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Guest Post by Patricia Bonelli Author of ‘Owning Patricia: A Story of Breaking Free’


Patricia Bonelli is the author of Owning Patricia: A Story of Breaking of Free, a compelling memoir. I am honored to share this guest post from her with you.

with Patricia Bonelli

How may times in your past has a well-meaning friend or family member told you that they know the “perfect” man for you? Or that you’d be ideally-suited for a certain career? Or this outfit would look fabulous on you—why don’t you wear more short skirts?? Despite these well-meaning folks, you may have thought, They don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about!! In your mind, in your heart, the “he”, the career, or the short skirts just don’t, well, suit you—it doesn’t feel right to you and that is a good enough reason to just say it, “The truth is…I don’t want to do that.”

If I have learned anything in my fifties, it’s this: This is the decade of finding and owning your voice and letting the world hear it. I decided to do just that when this year I wrote my memoir, “Owning Patricia: A Story of Breaking Free”.

Here is an explanation of the 3 kinds of truth in women’s lives: Past, Present, and Future, and how you can use each aspect to unleash your power and create a future that is uniquely right for you, beginning today.

1) Show Me A Woman with A Past…(I’m Every Woman)

Your past truth was often determined by what others saw in you as you developed…when we are children, family and society often gives us definitions about who we are, should, and could be. Some of this information imparted is right on target and resonates with us even at an early age…such as when as children we demonstrate a particular passion or aptitude for sports or learning and we enjoy that pursuit and encouraged by others to do so. On the other hand, past truths such as religious and moral beliefs were handed down to most of us but probably not questioned by us in youth to see if they were a good fit. Maybe when you were age 10, you believed that it was best for a man and a woman to be married forever. Maybe now, if you are in your fifties or beyond, having been divorced (like me), you see male-female relationships with more realistic vision and understanding.

Consciously determine what past beliefs serve you today and which are a holdover from the past from other people’s beliefs and not truly your truth in the present. Make a pact with yourself to not let the past solely define who you are today.

2) There’s no Time Like The Present…(Unless You Are Running Late)

Present truth is grounded in the nitty-gritty, ever-surprising day-to-day reality of responsibilites and the challenges and benefits that come with what’s on your plate right now. Present truth is about not living in denial about anything that is facing you. It’s about having a plan and then being able to veer from it when there is fork in the road or the flat tire or the option of something better you never even dreamed of. It’s knowing when to call for assistance, admitting you are vulnerable and need help to get through something. It’s allowing yourself to feel the truth of what brings you joy and what makes you want to cry your eyes out. It’s the reality check of you are right now where you need to be if you just pay attention to what is showing up.

What do I mean by “what is showing up”? Well, let’s say you are running late due to whatever circumstances caused you to fall behind schedule. For example…

Did you really want to have lunch with the friend who consistently whines and bemoans on and on about her troubles? Is that really why you left the house without giving yourself enough time to get to the restaurant? The question in present truth is always, “What is Really Going on Here?” What do I need to admit, proclaim, own about my life right now?? Yes, sometimes the truth hurts. It’s not easy to say no to people who drain you. They will want to hurt you back (whether they do or not)—that’s the truth. It doesn’t mean you have to tolerate people just because you are afraid of hurting their feelings.

Your time is precious…spend it in the present with people who energize, enliven, and inspire you.

3) The Future Is Yours for The Taking….(Pack lightly.)

There is a great anonymous quote that I keep posted on my desk, which says… “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, my friend, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.”

When you think about making a brand new end for yourself and a future that is happy and authentically you, be mindful about what you are packing to bring with you…most people dread it when they have to literally pack up and move because we all have too much stuff to schlep from place to place, whether it be emotional or physical baggage. It will be easiest to create the futures we want if we are carrying a light load. What people and things should be left behind as you move forward? Drop the thoughts about what could’ve been and never will be, make peace with the past, and in the present, put one step ahead each day towards what is truly meaningful for your future. If you don’t know what you want one month from now, one year from now, 5 years from now, then write out your future life plan. Share it with trusted friends. A commitment of writing down your goals has been proven to help you accomplish them. Post it where you can see it. Pack gratitude every day for the things that are good and bless what appears to be a struggle—you have no idea where it might take you, to exactly the place you need to be.

Do your best to eliminate all of the worst-case scenario what-ifs that run through your head. What if I lose my job? What if I can’t get a job? What if I NEVER have sex again?? (I’ve certainly thought that before!) What if I get incurable cancer?

What if my husband leaves me? As we have these fear-based thoughts, we can quickly spiral out of control and carry heavy baggage from one moment to the next. Pretty soon, if we are not careful, it’s hours, days, weeks, and years that we are living under a black cloud of negativity. I know, I have been there myself more than I like to admit. To prevent these “what-if” scenarios from happening to us, we sometimes mistakenly think that we alone have to handle these problems or challenges with no help from the universe or the people in it. It is then that we often force, coerce, and manipulate things to make everything APPEAR okay. Part of creating a healthy future is surrendering to the fact that we are not fully in control. It is our job to do the best we can with the circumstances at hand. When you believe, even in the most challenging situations, that good things will come into your life, doors open and grace comes through for a bright future.

You can order her book, Owning Patricia: A Story of Breaking of Free, today!

How to Sort Through the Clutter


Knowing where to start and how to sort through the clutter is the stage that takes the longest and where people tend to get stuck most often when it comes to organizing a room.

A pantry is one of the most convenient storage areas within a home. However, you cheat yourself out of some of that space if you don't keep the pantry organized. You can store a lot more things in an organized space than you can in an area that is cluttered and chaotic. The following six tips can help you maintain an organized pantry.

This is what happens: you decide you are going to organize your bedroom closet. You pull everything out, start trying to decide what to do with all the stuff piled on your bed, shock and awe hits when you realize how much stuff you had crammed in there. So, you close the door and sleep on the couch.

Sound familiar?

There is a method to the madness when it comes to sorting through the clutter. You need to have a plan and you need to know what questions to ask as you handle every item.

It’s also a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or family member. Be sure it’s some who is good at making decisions and someone who is not afraid to tell you to get rid of that shirt you haven’t worn in 15 years!

Here’s how to sort through the clutter:

1. Gather your supplies.

You will need four boxes labeled keep, throw away, donate/sell and belongs in another room. It’s also a good idea to get you a big glass of water and put on some music that gives you energy. You are going to need it when you are sorting through years of stuff.

2. Start at one corner of the room and work your way around.

Don’t start hopping from one end of the room to the other. If you start at one corner and work your way around, you will be less likely to get distracted by that broken lamp you love that’s on the other side of the room. Wait to deal with that when you get to that side. There is such a thing as organized chaos when it comes to sorting through the clutter.

3. Handle every item once.

This is better known as the rule OHIO or only handle it once. Pick up each item and make a quick decision. If you agonize over each item, you will eventually get burnt out and not finish sorting through everything.

4. As you handle each item ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Is it garbage?
  • Does it need to be repaired?
  • Has it been more than a year since it has been used?
  • Do I use this item in a different room? If so, put the item in the “belongs in another room” box.
  • Is the item actually used and enjoyed in this room? If so, put it in the keep box.
  • Can this item help someone else?
  • What is the worst that could happen if I get rid of this?
  • If I were to go shopping today, would I buy this? (Question when sorting clothes.)

5. After you are done sorting every item, distribute the boxes.

Take the trash box and put it next to the trash can. Put the “belongs in another room” box and the “donate/sell” box in another room to deal with later. Right now your main focus is the current room you are working on. Don’t let yourself get distracted.

Now that you have sorted through every item in the room, you are ready for the next two steps: assigning items a home and choosing the best storage solutions.

Now it’s time for the fun part, designating a spot for the items you are keeping in the room!

Knowing where to start and how to sort through the clutter is the stage that takes the longest and where people tend to get stuck most often when it comes to organizing a room. These 5 tips will help.

More Organizing Tips for the Home:

Family Command Center

21 Family Command Centers

Home Organizing Tips -- There is one thing I do before I organize anything in my home. I do this before I touch one item, before I de-clutter and definitely before I head out to shop for storage supplies. This one thing has helped me create rooms and spaces in our home that truly work for us.

The ONE Thing I Do Before I Organize Anything (Plus a Printable)

These tips, resources and success stories show how the KonMari Method of cleaning and organizing your home can be life changing. Just like the title of her book states!

Organizing Your Home with the KonMari Method

Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life


I have so many books to review, it’s not even funny! But I am okay with that because I am an avid reader. My idea of the perfect day is curled up in bed with a glass of wine and a good book. Just saying that makes me want to go back to bed and read.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life

The book Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life just came across my desk yesterday. It was released in April and is written by Karen Maezen Miller, the author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood. I can’t wait to dig in.

Description via Amazon:

Miller (Momma Zen) uses daily household chores—laundry, kitchen, yard—to demonstrate timeless Buddhist principles. The skillful weaving of personal anecdotes, a few Zen terms, and acute insights—sometimes addressing the reader directly—distinguish this book from others in the genre. Miller, a Zen priest and student of the late Maezumi Roshi, argues for the faultless wisdom of following instructions when going about the mundane activities that form the substance of everyday life. Candid about some of the difficulties of her past, Miller stresses the importance of changing perceptions, which can lead to more beneficial outcomes for oneself and others: All practice is the practice of making a turn in a different direction. The book wears its Zen lightly; indeed, Miller skates over the years of study—as well as the decision to become a priest—that undoubtedly ground her current perspectives. By choosing to focus on the conclusions rather than the process of her Zen journey, Miller has tilted her writing more toward self-help/advice than spirituality/religion. This disarming book is full of deft and reassuring observations. (May 7)

More books from this author:

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden

Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood

Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood

Affordable Disney Backpacks and Lunch Totes for Back to School


Have you thought about your back-to-school shopping? We have. We’ve even started already, which is shocking in and of itself. Disney has you covered when it comes to affordable backpacks and lunch totes, which your little Disney fan will love. 

Updated: To see Disney Store’s newest backpacks and totes, go here.

The backpacks and lunch totes range in price from $8.95 to $22.95 . All items will be available Fall 2010 at DisneyStore.com and Disney Stores. (With some exceptions, which you’ll see those at the bottom of this feature.)

Disney Backpacks to Die For

Jessie Backpack & Lunch Tote

Disney BackpacksDisney lunch totes

Yee haw! Our root ‘n toot ‘n Jessie Backpack and matching lunch tote features your favorite cowgirl from Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3! Every girl will love the bright red color and trendy design.

Woody & Buzz Lightyear Backpack

Disney backpacksDisney backpacks

Kids will be ready for action with these Woody and Buzz Lightyear backpacks. They provide plenty of room for school supplies, books and lunch.

Toy Story 3 Backpack and Lunch Tote

Disney backpacksDisney lunch totes

This fun Toy Story 3 Backpack features some of your favorite Toy Story friends including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Rex.

Disney Fairies & Princess Backpacks and Lunch Totes

Disney backpacksDisney lunch totesDisney Princess backpackDisney princess lunch toteDisney princess backpackDisney princess lunch tote

Girls will become trendsetters when they model the Disney Fairies and Princess backpacks around the school yard. Complete with bright colors and beautiful details, each backpack has plenty of space for school books or other school supplies.

Cars Backpack and Lunch Tote

Disney Cars BackpackDisney Cars Lunch Tote

Lightning McQueen is roaring to a big winning finish on this Cars backpack. It comes with plenty of space to store school

Wizards of Waverly Place & Hannah Montana Backpacks

Phineas and Ferb Backpack ($29.99 at JCPenney Fall 2010)

Go back to school in style with this Phineas and Ferb backpack!

The Nightmare Before Christmas Tote Bag

The Nightmare Before Christmas backpack

This tote bag is practical and stylish and is perfect for older students.

Which one is your favorite?

Source & Images: Disney Consumer Products

‘Tranquilista – Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play’


I am currently reading Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play, which was sent to me as a review book. The title caught my attention and I knew I had to dig in. So far, I love it.

Tranquilista Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play

Book description:

In this pithy, would-be full-service self-help, Wilson seeks to motivate women to be their best selves, without losing sight of what makes us human. Helpful and humorous, Wilson’s friendly style is welcoming, if occasionally cringe-inducing (cutesy internet vernacular, like substituting “heart” for “like,” is sure to wear on certain readers).

Attempting to cover a broad range of women’s lifestyle topics-eating better, exercising, going green, finding inner peace, entrepreneurship-Wilson’s guide is occasionally scanty on details, and heavily lopsided toward the aspiring businesswoman: eating suggestions span little more than a page, while nearly half the text is devoted to small business growth.

As an accomplished entrepreneur (founder of a women’s advocacy group and her own “eco-fashion” line), Wilson’s business advice is valuable and well-considered but would serve better in a more narrow, career-focused volume, rather than as part of a holistic guide to life. END


Tranquilista is a strong, sparkly, and succulent guide for living and working with mindfulness and enlightened joy!”
SARK, artist and author of Succulent Wild Woman

“Kimberly Wilson lovingly guides us through ideas on how to be a soulful and compassionate entrepreneur while embracing our bliss and our beauty.…She is my new favorite guru!”
Amy Butler, designer and author of Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern

“[Kimberly Wilson] does it all with incredible grace, elegance, compassion, wisdom, cleverness, and dazzling style — and never forgets the essential lip gloss! In her fabulous new book, she generously shares all her success secrets.…I place her in the ‘great muse’ category along with Audrey and Coco.”
Sharon Gannon, coauthor of Jivamukti Yoga

“The go-to guide for any woman who wants style, success, and soul in her life.”
Christine Arylo, author of Choosing ME before WE

Now tell me, what are you reading?


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