Green Tips for Your Office

Even if you’ve never practiced green living before, putting a few conservation tips into practice could be the start of your steady participation in helping to save the Earth. Here are some conservation tips for your office that you can incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Don’t print: Before you hit print, ask yourself if you can cut and paste the information into a document that you can store in a computer file, or simply write it down the old-fashioned way. You’d be amazed at how much paper and ink (plus the energy required of your printer) you can save by just pausing for a few seconds to determine just how badly you need another piece of paper (or two or three). And if you must print, don’t forget to print on both sides if you can. It might take a few mishaps to know exactly how to reload the paper into the feeder, but the amount of paper you’ll save in the end will be well worth it.
  • Recycle: Think of the money you and your company can save by recycling paper. And you don’t have to wait until it comes back to you in the form of a ream of paper to help the environment. Any sheet of paper that does not contain proprietary information can be turned into scraps that can be used for notes or memos. Also, use chlorine-free paper that contains a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled materials.
  • Quiet the photocopier: Instead of leaving the photocopier on all day, keep it on during a specified time, maybe three hours during which you and your colleagues can copy what you need. With some scheduling and a little fine-tuning, this practice could become a regular way of conducting business.
  • Conduct a light bulb exchange: Switch out your old standard light bulbs with ENERGY STAR–rated bulbs. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that helps protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. These bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy than regular bulbs.
  • Buy used furniture: Before buying any new office furniture, investigate buying quality used furniture, which is much cheaper and keeps another desk or chair out of the landfill.

B.Y.O.P.: Bring your own plates and cutlery to work. Throw in a few cloth napkins, too, if you can. Paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic forks, spoons, and knives have been a mainstay in the office for a long time, so it might be difficult at first to make the switch. Reusable dishes and cutlery can significantly cut down on paper waste and pollution.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

From Trash to Treasure

We are so busy getting from one appointment to the next working as a mom or in corporate America.  It’s hard enough to keep up with the day-to-day schedules that are already stretched.  But suddenly we find our closets and garages busting with things that we have accumulated over time.  It would be easy to just pile everything in a big Uhaul and head for the local landfill.  Just the thought of this makes me cringe and think of how others may benefit from the items.  Or maybe there are some personal items that I may throw out without knowing unless I sift through them.

It was a bonding day with my daughter shopping for new clothes.  She always loves these types of days as she gets a few things while the big love for mom is some one on one time without all the distractions.  Plus to see her thought process of thriftiness feels my heart with joy.  As I arrive home I find that there is barely any room in the walk in closet nor are there any additional hangers.  Hum, I guess the universe is telling me that it’s time to clear out the clutter!  So as I start thumbing through all those clothes I find that I have not worn some for over a year and others, well just don’t fit any longer.  This is how I relate to my clients, which helps them to understand that just because I clear the clutter for others does not mean I don’t have clutter myself that needs clearing.

So off I went to our local resale store and thrift shop with bags of clothing.  I now receive the great satisfaction of others benefiting from the items as well as receiving a tax deduction for our tax return.  Yippee!

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

How Healthy Is My Home?

What you see in a person’s physical surroundings is an extension of one’s life.  The shapes, colors, textures, number arrangement, and arrangement of furniture has a direct affect on our overall mental and emotional state.  This is a hard realization for most of us; however, with a few simple techniques, we can overcome the same habits that slow us down and affect our well-being.

Holding onto or gathering things has become a very common habit for all of us.  We find ourselves becoming prisoners within our own homes by objects that we have been programmed to hold on to, just in case someone else may need it. Unfortunately, by holding on to such objects this can cause deep psychological and emotional roots.  Broken items that have been stored with the possibility of one day fixing them can be a direct reflection of energy within our own life.   All of this is considered clutter that can drag us down and prevent us from moving forward to face new challenges.  Clutter has become an addiction in our society.

What does this have to do with our furniture?  Your furniture, cabinets, closets, and garages are holding areas for these objects that shift your energy level into a lower state.  The pathways that you have developed around your furniture may not be increasing your own energy field.  The energy field around your body is called your “aura” or “chi”.  We are constantly reconstructing our energy field without even being aware of it.  Take for example, when you walk into a room with very high ceilings for the first time, you automatically look up, this is your energy field or chi that is grounding itself.  Also, sitting directly in front of a flat mirror while working is uncomfortable because a flat mirror pushes energy outward.  When we come home or enter work each day and there are stacks of papers, sharp corners, wrong colors, or wrong shapes, our energy levels automatically decrease.

Our bodies are very wondrous in that they are in a constant state of repair from what our surroundings may be.  However, over time, our bodies do not repair as easily; this causes stress, pain, growths, and aging.  Yes, we all age, but living each day as a new beginning and surrounding ourselves with clutter free, functional environments that are in our higher good, will bring us more joy and energy.

Even a small start is a beginning, and sometimes changes in smaller doses help us to realize that we can let go of those items that are no longer giving us a feeling of higher energy.  Here are a few tips that can get you started today:

  • Clutter is determined in five seconds or less.
  • You can determine whether or not an item gives you more energy.
  • Don’t make your determination with your head but rather your heart and gut. This is called your intuition.
  • Ask yourself the question, “Does this object raise or lower my energy”?
    1. If you feel good or smile about it then it can stay.
    2. If you feel sad or broken then remove it.

We all want to remember past events and love to hold onto such objects that bring us to this past event.  Or we want to pass them on to our family members so that they may possibly have the same feeling.  If you do feel this way, then pass on the objects now.  If they do want to accept the piece, then you can watch them enjoy it just as you have.  However, don’t be hurt if they do not want to accept the item.  They may not feel the same way as you do about a piece.  This presents an opportunity of donating the item while giving you a tax deduction as well.

Maybe you need someone to help you through the process of creating a functional space that will enable you to live and work in a peaceful, non-chaotic environment.  There are simple techniques that can be put into place that is tailored to each individual or family.  This will provide structure, solutions, and systems to increase productivity and reduce overall stress.

Kandi Phillips is a certified Decorator, Organizer, and Feng Shui consultant.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

Being a Mom

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions
that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”
“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should
have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more
spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter,
Trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will
Never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the
physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper
without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash,
every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving
children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching
your child hurt.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think
that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of
“Mom!” will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a
moment’s hesitation. I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no
Longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the
men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major
dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that someone or something harmful may be lurking in that restroom. However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that
eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will
become badges of honor. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will
change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she
will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very
unromantic. I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel
with other women who are mothers.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your
child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a
baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I
want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed
in my eyes.

“You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the
table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into
this most wonderful of callings…Motherhood.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends
who may someday be Moms. May you always have in your arms the one
who is in your heart.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

Thanksgiving and The Environment

What does Thanksgiving mean? According to Wikipedia, “Families and friends gather for a reunion, a day of thanks, and a festive meal”.  However, one day of thanks is not meant to be the true spirit of our inner souls.  We should be thankful everyday for something even as small as the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning or the children laughing and having fun.

We get so caught up with our daily schedules that we really don’t take the time to be thankful each day or even throughout the day.  It’s no wonder with so many readily available comfort features such as the remote control, telephone, heating & air, or my favorite, a massage chair.  But am I truly thankful when I use the massage chair? I recall complaining about how it does not reach a particular spot on my back instead of how I should be thankful to have a massage chair.  This is what we all tend to do, we take many things for granted, much like the time we lost power for weeks due to past hurricanes.  Boy, were we thankful when it came back on and we could take warm showers again.

Thanksgiving is truly a wonderful day that our entire nation can take advantage of with everyone giving thanks on the same day.  It’s also a day that we can take advantage of our planet and future.  Imagine the impact this would have on our environment with so much positive energy in one day.  I recently attended a Green Conference and was quite amazed at how we are truly taking so much from the environment without giving back.  This is already impacting us all, especially the future for our children.  However, there is still hope if we all start within our own homes, offices, vehicles, or why not discuss and share this on Thanksgiving Day!

What a perfect family project to share with each other while also showing the children how to be energy conscious. I challenge everyone to take 15-30 minutes on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks to mother earth by doing one, or better yet all of the following:

Change every light bulb in your home with Energy Star CFL bulbs. (See what your city or state is doing? www.18seconds.org  Take the pledge at www.energystar.gov ) Purchase fresh organic foods for your Thanksgiving feast. Also look for the Fair Trade Certified labels on items. Need help with your earth friendly feast? www.wholefoodsmarket.com Conserve water by not washing clothes or vehicles on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone team together to hand wash and put away all the dinner dishes instead of using the dishwasher.

Of course you can add to the list but the thought of us all giving thanks to our mother earth for nurturing and supporting us goes well beyond the reunion of immediate family and friends.  Go beyond Thanksgiving Day by taking a few moments each day to be thankful for something even if it’s being able to make it home through rush hour.  Whatever you give back in thanks will always come to you in some small or large way.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

7 Tips To Boost Business

The gift called “asking” has been around for a long, long time. One of life’s fundamental truths states, “Ask and you shall receive.” Kids are masters at using this gift, but we adults seem to have lost our ability to ask. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of rejection.

Yet the world responds to those who ask. If you are not moving closer to what you want, you probably aren’t doing enough asking. Here are seven asking strategies you can implement in your business (and in life) to boost your results:

  1. Ask for Information

To win potential new clients, you first need to know what their current challenges are, what they want to accomplish and how they plan to do it. Only then can you proceed to demonstrate the advantages of your unique product or service.

Ask questions starting with the words who, why, what, where, when and how to obtain the information you need. Only when you truly understand and appreciate a prospect’s needs can you offer a solution.

  1. Ask for Business

Here’s an amazing statistic: after giving a complete presentation about the benefits of their product or service, more than 60 percent of the time salespeople never ask for the order! That’s a bad habit, and one that could ultimately put you out of business.

Always ask a closing question to secure the business. Don’t waffle or talk around it—or worse, wait for your prospect to ask you. No doubt you have heard of many good ways to ask the question, “Would you like to give it a try?” The point is, ask.

  1. Ask for Written Endorsements

Well-written, results-oriented testimonials from highly respected people are powerful for future sales. They solidify the quality of your product or service and leverage you as a person who has integrity, is trustworthy and gets the job done on time.

When is the best time to ask? Right after you have provided excellent service, gone the extra mile to help out, or in any other way made your customer really happy.

Simply ask if your customer would be willing to give you a testimonial about the value of your product or service, plus any other helpful comments.

  1. Ask for Top-Quality Referrals

Just about everyone in business knows the importance of referrals. It’s the easiest, least expensive way of ensuring your growth and success in the marketplace.

Your core clients will gladly give you referrals because you treat them so well. So why not ask all of them for referrals? It’s a habit that will dramatically increase your income. Like any other habit, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

  1. Ask for More Business

Look for other products or services you can provide your customers. Devise a system that tells you when your clients will require more of your products. The simplest way is to ask your customers when you should contact them to reorder. It’s often easier to sell your existing clients more than to go looking for new ones.

  1. Ask to Renegotiate

Regular business activities include negotiation. Many networkers get stuck because they lack skills in negotiation, yet this is simply another form of asking that can save a lot of time and money. All sorts of contracts can be renegotiated in your personal life, too, such as changing your mortgage terms and rate. As long as you negotiate ethically and in the spirit of win-win, you can enjoy a lot of flexibility. Nothing is ever cast in stone.

  1. Ask for Feedback

This is an important component of asking that is often overlooked. How do you really know if your product or service is meeting your customers’ needs? Ask them, “How are we doing? What can we do to improve our service to you? Please share what you like or don’t like about our products.” Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions and tough questions. It’s a powerful way to fine-tune your business.

How to Ask

Some people don’t enjoy the fruits of asking because they don’t ask effectively. If you use vague language you will not be clearly understood. Here are five ways to ensure that your asking gets results.

  • Ask Clearly

Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a note pad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully.

  • Ask with Confidence

People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence.

  • Ask Consistently

Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In prospecting there are usually four or five “no’s” before you get a “yes.” Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on asking it.

  • Ask Creatively

In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision-makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone’s attention, don’t ask the ordinary way. Use your creativity to dream up a high-impact presentation.

  • Ask Sincerely

When you really need help, people will respond. Sincerity means dropping the image facade and showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don’t worry if your presentation isn’t perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and people will open up to you.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com

The Art of Meditation

The art of meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It began as a devotional practice commonly associated with monks, priests, mystics, and other practitioners of spiritual disciplines. The meditative state has been described as one of perfect stillness: the silence of body, speech, and mind. The systematic practice of meditation enables one to go within and uncover that hidden center of the one Life, which is the divine birthright of every human being. Today information on meditation is widely disseminated and can be practiced by anyone who desires to find inner peace and happiness.

The Need for Meditation

The pace of life in modern industrialized and post-industrialized societies has become increasingly demanding and hectic. Sweeping technological changes continue to alter the way we live our lives. The pervasiveness of the modern media makes us susceptible to sensory overload by its relentless bombardment of news, entertainment, and information. Health practitioners are reporting increased levels of mental and emotional stress, even in young children. As the pressures of our world intensify, many people are turning to the practice of meditation as a means of leading a calmer life, achieving greater clarity of mind, and coming into touch with the spiritual core of their being.

In this search for inner peace, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is an inner journey. Just as the ocean contains quiet depths untouched by surface agitation, so does every human heart. The state of our emotions often resembles the churning of the ocean’s surface: we feel as though we are being swept along by waves of anxiety, fear, restlessness, and anger. Against those powerful forces, we may feel as helpless as a branch being tossed by the waves. Our inability to empty our mind of worries and concerns creates further levels of stress. Through meditation we can learn to experience inner peace, even though our outer environment may be chaotic or stressful. In the depths of the human heart wherein lies our true Self, abide perfect stillness, peace, and beauty. Meditation is the means that takes us from the surface of life to its depths.

Types of Meditation

Over the centuries, many forms of meditation have been developed. Some aim at emptying the mind of all thoughts and thought processes. Others recommend concentrating upon a quote from Scripture or an uplifting aphorism taken from a spiritual book. Some methods make use of creative visualization, while still others involve verbal chanting or the silent recitation of mantras. Another technique is to reflect upon certain qualities that we would like to realize in our own life such as patience, compassion, or non-attachment.

Preliminary Guidelines

Although styles of meditation differ, there are some basic guidelines that should be observed. The following preparatory steps are fairly common to all traditional forms of meditation:

Find a suitable time of day when you can meditate without being interrupted. It is preferable to meditate at the same time each day to establish a rhythm. Early mornings are recommended.

You will have better results if you practice meditation on an empty stomach. Trying to meditate after eating a meal is not an efficient use of your energies.

Sit comfortably in a chair with your eyes closed or half-closed. You should not slouch in the chair but keep your back erect.

Take a few moments to relax your body and release any tension that you may observe, such as in the arms, legs, or the neck. Taking a few slow, deep breaths is helpful. Remain alert.

Slowly withdraw your attention from the outer world of sounds, sights, and other sensory stimuli. You are turning from the outer to the inner.

Meditation on the Breath

An exercise that is helpful for beginning students is watching the movement of the breath. After following the preliminary steps outlined above, turn your attention to observing the flow of your breath. Let it flow naturally without counting or trying to alter it in any way. If your attention should drift, gently bring it back. Sit quietly and continue observing the rhythm of the in-breath followed by the out-breath. Do this for 5 minutes. After a week’s practice, you can try increasing the time to 10 or 15 minutes. It sounds simple but you will be surprised how easy it is for the mind to throw up thoughts or get distracted from the task at hand. Each time you notice that the mind has wandered off, gently bring it back to watching the breath. This is a very effective way of training the mind to stay focused on one task. After you become proficient with this exercise, you may want to proceed to more difficult forms of meditation.

Kandi Phillips
http://www.AwakenYourSpace.com
http://www.LiveYourIntention.com
http://www.ArkansasHomes4Sale.com
http://www.KandiPhillips.com