Savoring This Moment

The way to develop the habit of savoring is to pause when something is beautiful and good and catches our attention – the sound of rain, the look of the night sky – the glow in a child’s eyes, or when we witness some kindness. Pause… then totally immerse in the experience of savoring it. ~ Tara Brach

This morning, I am taking a little bit of time to contemplate how in the heck it is December 20th… In fact, I’m thinking a bit of how in the heck is it almost 2020?? Where really… does time go?

The fact that I feel as if I actually have time this morning may be part of the problem. I’ve created a life that is so busy, there are fewer moments that I make time to savor and so they seem to pass outside of my awareness. It is a fact in complete violation of my desire to be present but in many ways, it is simply what’s real for most of us.

Why not take a moment with me now… deep inhale… slow exhale… repeat. Notice the comfort of your seat and be aware of your body in the room.  Doesn’t taking that moment feel good?

I realize I haven’t written much since I finished the book but I didn’t want the year to end without taking a minute to check in here. I am so very appreciative of the support that I’ve garnered by the readers of this blog, the listeners of the Podcast, and the purchasers of my book. I hope that the information / advice that has been offered has helped in some way. My goal is always a mutually encouraging and supportive exchange.

After  a few errands this morning and an afternoon with clients, I am prepared to enjoy  – to completely savor – the remainder of 2019 surrounded by people I love. I hope you are as well.  My wish is that each of you savor the spirit of what’s been good and manifest joy as we move into another new decade.

Happy Holiday’s and a very Happy New Year!!

~ Leslyn

#12 Argue Effectively

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Argue Effectively

In January, I dedicated a post to ‘Stop Arguing’ but in a relationship, the idea that you may never argue is too idealistic. When you live with someone, you’re bound to run into conflict and the solution isn’t to avoid the confrontation, but to approach it effectively.

The following eight suggestions – when followed – will allow disagreements to be addressed with respect and maturity.

  1. Use “I” statements only. Explain your position, your role in the conflict, and your expectations. Identify your triggers, explain your needs, and describe how you will work to bridge the gap in the conflict. Concentrate on your perspective here and work hard not to engage in finger pointing or blaming.
  2. Step back from your ego. In supportive partnerships, it is important to embrace our differences with respect and develop acceptance for the ways that our partners are different. There are mostly differences between us – not always rights and wrongs. If you feel you need to fight for being ‘right’ about something, ask yourself “why?” If it is only ego based, drop it.
  3. Be present.  Don’t focus on the past (unless you are reflecting for the lesson it is teaching you) – or worry about the future.  Try and stay right there in the present moment and what is happening there. Don’t allow your baggage to overwhelm the issue at hand.
  4. Pay attention to the issue. Try to understand why it is important to or distracting you. Is is a failed expectation? Something you didn’t know? Are you defensive? Why? Exactly what are you feeling and why?
  5. Don’t interrupt your partner. You can’t be a good listener if you aren’t allowing their complete thought to be articulated or expressed.
  6. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. If necessary, restate what you hear – paraphrase it – based on your understanding so that you get on the same page.
  7. Remember that most of us have good intentions. Try not to jump right to the conclusion that your partner is being an ass. Consider that they are experiencing frustration and give them space to talk about how they feel.
  8. Do not raise your voice or walk out. If you need a break from the conflict – honor that it remains unsolved and ask for a time out. Don’t threaten. People who feel attacked or threatened will get defensive almost immediately. Once that happens, the discussion is doomed.

Communicating with respect is probably the most critical aspect of a healthy relationship. Remembering that we each come into a relationship with different experiences, worldviews, expectations, and methods will go a long way. Resolving conflict is more easily accomplished when you know how to …

Argue effectively.

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I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#135 Create Some Doodle Art

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Create some doodle art

Who hasn’t doodled? For some of us, it’s a passing time activity that barely has any conscious value. Yet, psychologists say that what we doodle actually says something about us. It’s akin to daydreaming in symbols and sometimes it can be downright artistic. Interestingly, doodling can stimulate your brain just enough that it actually pays attention to what’s happening environmentally instead of going rogue and into hyperspace.


What do you draw when you doodle? Do you draw faces? If you draw an attractive face it symbolizes that you are in a positive state of mind. Ugly faces mean the opposite or perhaps that you may be feeling distrusting of something. People who draw profiles are more apt to be introverted and those who draw wide circular faces tend to be innocent and needy.


Flowers are the most popular doodle and imply a gentle or even passive frame of mind. Flowers made of circles and soft lines signify a happy doodler. If there are thorns or sharp petals surrounding a round center, there is a possibility that the doodler is feeling defensive.


Stairs and ladders suggest that your inner self is focused on a goal. Psychologists infer that the style of this doodle indicates the level of significance or struggle you are experiencing in reference to this goal.

Tell Tale

Your doodles describe your inner most thoughts, fears, and considerations. They suggest how organized or disorganized you are; how motivated or uninspired you may be; whether or not you take a passive or aggressive stance; if you are generally selfish or benevolent; whether you feel trapped and isolated or free and loved.

Exact Science?

Very similar to dreams, this is not an exact science and the goal isn’t to be self-conscious while you’re drawing… just let your mind do the work. Keep a pad of drawing paper near your work desk and allow yourself to doodle at random times without too much forethought. Once the paper is full, consider adding some color.


As you’re doodling, consider using different color pens or pencils for the color element. Maybe the easiest doodle style art is simply a random long squiggly line that intersects repeatedly and then colored in a stained glass fashion. This is a great activity to do with kids because there is no right or wrong way to do it and somehow our inner mind leads the way.

Need a break? A way to mentally vent? An inside view to your deeper psyche?

Create some doodle art.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#137 Visit a Cemetery

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Visit a Cemetery

This suggestion isn’t specifically because it is close to Halloween, a time when a walk through a cemetery may take on a different meaning… It’s more because walking through a cemetery has a strange way of connecting us to our past.

The fact is that each of those graves represents a person with a history; someone’s child. Maybe they had siblings, fell in love, and worked hard – or not. Whatever they did, they had a story. Even if we are not connected to any of those particular stories, standing in the middle of a cemetery can remind us of several things that are important life lessons to keep in the forefront of our mind.

Life Ends

Maybe it’s morbid, but it’s also a fact and one that when considered… literally helps us to be present more often. When we realize that our days are numbered somewhere between 0 and 36,000 – generally speaking – we tend to pay more attention.

Relationships Matter

When we consider that there are perhaps, only 8 or 9 thousand more days to share, those people that are important to us somehow take on a new urgency. We tend to sweat the little things a lot less when we think of life as limited initiative.

Life Goes On

When we walk through a cemetery and consider all of the lives represented there and then think of our own, we can’t help but become acutely aware that life goes on and the world keeps moving. We become aware of our despensibility and while that may be a little discerning to our ego… it’s great to know that everything continues to turn in our absence.


Cemeteries are full of traditions which, is fun to notice and experience. It can be a cultural learning tool. There are religious, ethnic, generational, and socioeconomic differences visibly obvious from the headstones and ornaments that are displayed throughout. All of these variations tend to change across time, making it an interesting archaeological study as well.


Architecture may not be the most precise term here yet there can be tremendous examples of architectural intrigue and ornamentation in some of the more elaborate structures. A stroll through the grounds may be visually stimulating – raising an itch in your artistic energy. The Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia is one of the most famous for this element along with Sleepy Hollow in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Whether it is one of these famous ones, or the one in your hometown – there’s something for you there so go ahead and make a date to …

Visit a cemetery.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.


#185 Play a Card Game

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Play a card game

In my mother’s generation, it seemed that everyone – really, everyone – played cards. If it wasn’t Bridge or Poker, it was Spades and Canasta. People often had a deck of cards in their purse or glove compartment and it was a great way to whittle away time or get together with friends. Now we have smartphones and video games. Consequently, I’ve noticed that a lot of young people don’t know how to play even the basic card games like Rummy.

Card games are a great way to bring people together for conversation, entertainment, and a little competition. Many of them are quite strategic and like some board games, generate great worldwide contests. Yes, there’s a bit of luck involved insomuch as the draw or deal of your cards but ‘how’ you play them… that takes some finesse.

Grab a friend, family member, or grandchild and encourage them to hang out with you for the mere purpose of playing a card game. Perhaps one of you can teach the other or dust off a deck of cards and search the internet for the rules to your favorite game from childhood like Spit or Euchre. Bicycle – the dominant and market King of all card companies – even has an app that allows you to pull up the rules for almost any game you can think of!  Remember ‘I doubt it’ and ‘Hearts’? The rules are there too!

It’s one of those simple things that keeps us humble, connected, and present. The comradery you experience will help increase endorphins that increase feelings of happiness. Using strategy will help keep your mind clear and sharp. Learning and or laughter will also improve your overall mood so make an effort to step out of your routine, clear your schedule, invite some friends over, and do something fun the old-fashioned way…

Play a card game.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#213 Snuggle

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.



Who doesn’t love to snuggle? From the time we are born, one of the ways that we experience connection and belonging is to get our body up close and connected to another person. Snuggling is NOT sex… it’s sharing personal space with another warm body – human or animal friend. It’s connecting – heartbeat to heartbeat – with another being to remind us that we are not alone in the world, that we are more than just ourselves. It’s part of what keeps us grounded and produces sensations of ‘existential significance’ – a feeling of having a purpose.

Snuggling comes with benefits

Spending as little as FIVE minutes a day cuddling with another being will stimulate an increase in the three primary emotional health hormones: Oxytocin, Dopamine, & Serotonin. Between the three of them, benefits include prevention of depression, loneliness, anxiety, and high blood pressure. They improve your immune system, lower your heart rate, and stimulate your metabolism. All together, they relax you and induce smiling.

Snuggle buddy

If you wake up next to someone each day – try to commit to 5 min either in the morning or the evening to cuddle together (without anticipation of sex) and no conversation. This is just time for the two of you to experience the life force of one another, to feel connected, and to be present with one another. If you sleep alone most of the time, then take 5 min a day to snuggle with a child (yours or someone in your care) or an animal friend. Cats and dogs are great snugglers (well… some cats.) and the living energy that exists in them can still mingle with yours for the existential benefit of realizing that you are not here alone.

Being present

In addition to all of the ‘connection’ elements associated with snuggling and their benefits, the ability for us to be still and present for 5 minutes a day has its own associated perks. In that small allotted time, nothing else matters and we are able to feel centered in our space. For those few moments, the pressures of the world are quiet. Breathe in the stillness and allow it to settle in your soul. Allow yourself to take the time to…


I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#229 Chat with a random Stranger

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Chat with a Random Stranger


We live in a world that while connected via radio waves and fiber optic cables, is often disconnected from an interpersonal perspective. We walk around with cell phones and headphones, attending to email, social media, and news headlines rather than the space in which we stand. Most of us can find ourselves standing next to a stranger at some point during the day with barely a glance to recognize their presence there; the ghostly whisper of our mothers “don’t talk to strangers” mantra reverberating ever so slightly through our memory.


If we take time to bring ourselves into the present moment while we run our errands, grab our lunch, or wait for transportation, we can simultaneously take time to appreciate the people in our periphery. Why not go one step further and connect with one of the other human beings close by? A simple comment of “that color looks great on you” or “I love your haircut” may be just the thing that person needs to counterbalance a negative from earlier in the day. The few seconds you take to actually connect to someone benefits you too.


Social connection is linked to happiness, personal thriving, and longevity. It seems that even the simple act of acknowledging that we are not isolated – even if we don’t know or aren’t friends with people – can improve our state of mind. If we look up and acknowledge others in our environment for even a brief interaction, our brains interpret connectivity. The truth is, we aren’t isolated anywhere but in our minds. At any given point, most of us can walk out our door, down the sidewalk and connect with a human being in some kind of way – IF we choose.

Lessons from Childhood

The premise is simple and mostly likely etched in your memory somewhere because children do this naturally. (Another example of something innate that we ‘unlearn’.) Children – completely unknown to one another – will engage on a playground within minutes of being there. In no time at all, they are introducing themselves and cooperating to extend their enjoyment.

Make a pledge to yourself to disarm those adult hesitations, break away from your distractions, and be present the next time you find yourself in a line, a group, or a crowd and make the effort to …

Talk to a random stranger.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash

#262 A Day of Photography

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


A Day of Photography.

In her book Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert posits that we all have at least ‘some’ creative energy that is often untapped. Photography is a great way to begin unpacking artistic instinct.  So, grab a camera – whether it’s your phone or a 35mm that’s been collecting dust – and go outdoors.

Take a walk or a drive but with your artistic eye. Go out with the intent to capture color and/or light versus people or things. Part of what makes what we look at interesting and beautiful is the way that it appears in light; distinguishing colors and textures. Change your typical perspective by sitting on the ground or getting up high. As you move through your environment, look past the usual and seek to see more detail. When you notice it… capture it from as many angles as you can.

Try changing the frame of a photo. Capture an object through the branches of a tree or blades of grass. Seek a variety of visual interests as you move an object from the left of your shot to the right…

The digital element of photography these days means we can shoot as many images as we want without regard to expense. It’s another gift of technology. By taking the time to examine a scene or an object through the lens of a camera and with attention to shadows at a variety of angles, you may see the same things looking immensely different.

Don’t worry about knowing what to do … use your instinct at first and if you find that you have ignited a talent and/or an interest, you can keep learning. Or, you can remain a noob and shoot photos for fun and interest.

Warning: there is a rabbit hole here… once you capture a few images and upload them onto your computer there is a whole world of photo editing that may seize your curiosity and imagination. Play and have fun. This is an opportunity for you to be creative, get outdoors, be present, move your body, and experience your world in a new way. So many benefits from a simple …

Day of Photography.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Casual photo snapping is a favorite past time of mine… here are a few of my favs:

#269 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Behave like a child

Well… good behavior only please. One of the most endearing elements of childhood is a child’s ability to be present – in the moment – at almost any given time. They are free from the fear of judgment for a few years (until socialization kicks in high gear) and so they live freely.

A child doesn’t care about what they’re wearing or even if their shoes are on the right feet. They don’t care about sitting in the dirt or how much sand ends up in their britches. They play outside in the cold or heat without much bother and when given the chance – they’ll use their imagination to discover an entirely new world. They’ll make noise and jump around in silly ways. They laugh and cry at will.

They’ll say “I love you” and “no” without hesitation. And there is rarely an ulterior motive. For a few brief years, we all exist without the restrictions and rigidness that growing up births.

Today – or this week at least – find a playground and and swing on the swings or sit on the merry-go-round as it spins and laugh yourself silly. Grab an ice cream cone and share it with someone you love – taking turns with the licks. Sit in the grass and look for four-leaf clovers – reveling in delight should you actually find one. Or have a brownie sundae for dinner without any guilt or shame at all.

If you need help thinking of something to delight in like only a child can, spend a few minutes watching a group of children. Notice how present they are. Pay attention to the raw emotion they demonstrate at any given moment. How might your life benefit from a little reminder of what it was like before you learned not to…

Behave like a child.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by sept commercial on Unsplash