Floundering, being lost, non-functioning, what ever name you put on it, when we are not on our paths, out of control, can't see the forest, the very first step I like to take is to "Be here now." More on that here.

The next step is a develop or return to a daily routine. If I need a past time to get me through some hard hours, I clean. I clean when I am angry, too. Wow, does it help. If you can't clean up your life, it helps to cleanup your surroundings.

I have a list that is stored in my recipe box in the 'other stuff' section. That's where I keep information like a cool list of things to do when you are depressed, the garlic bug spray recipe and a hilarious banana bread recipe.

This is my list of daily routines to follow when I am lost:

Shower, Chores, Fix, Finish, Pamper, Learn, Help, Hug, Stop, Watch, Pray

Shower. Take a long, hot shower. After the basic cleaning, or even a lengthy, detailed luxurious scrub, I just stand in the water, appreciate it, feel it, play with it, absorb the way it runs over my head and down my hair, feel it to the max.

When I was down and in my early twenties, (at the beginning of all these precious lessons) I would head for my dad's ranch at the very top of the foothills that surround Sonoma; Stony Acres. My best friend, Pai, would drop me off, as she would visit local friends and give me some time to adapt my attitude to the mountains. I would take the long road up to the top of the property and stop about half way up. The view to the valley is breath taking, and I am standing among tall, timeless trees. I would put down my backpack, stand tall and quiet, and be a tree. By the time I continued on my way and reached the trailer, I was already well on my way to harmony. By the time Pai arrived, I was ready for a wonderful, nature filled, peaceful, priceless weekend, and I usually took most of that peace back with me to the frantic city.

In the shower, I stand on the mountain, long gone now that my father has passed on. I have added a few things over the years, as well. Many, many thoughts run through my head. Now, I am the drop that slowly lands in an infinite pool of cool, blue, clear water.  Read more about the daily aligning of your universe, my bubble here.

I am John Stevens's daughter. I am Lady Anne Shiercliffe, and I was raised to that task. I can do anything. I am strong, as he was. I carry his genes, his love and his strength in my heart, my limbs, my mind. I am John Stevens's daughter.

I mentally watch a drop kiss the water, creating a gentle, circled flow of waves. My immediate space in life is the series of instant surf, but the world and the universe is the territory beyond the ripples.  I make myself aware, intensely aware, of all the unlimited, endless space around me. I open myself and my immediate space to the infinite possibilities, to the eternal, continuous, never ending flow of energy, thought, karma, goodness, spirit, and love. My newest addition to this list, thanks to Wayne Dyer, is the power of intention. Good book, get it, read it and use it!

I recite to myself, eyes closed, the chant I use for sleep: relax, refresh, revitalize, replenish, restore. I soak up energy from the hot water and the endless space around me.

After the hot water is gone, I get dressed and start my day.

Chores - Next are the light, regular household chores. I don't want to do them, but I do know that if I get them done and out of the way, I will feel better all day. Dishes, laundry, animals, watering, whatever. Then I get to move on to the less regulated activities.

Fix something. I do not stay on top of this activity as well as I like, so there is an actual "Fix It" area in the shop.  I do one a day. Fix it or toss it. Usually, there are enough items in there so I have my pick and choose to suit my mood or pocketbook.

Finish a project. If you have spent any time at all on my other pages, you know I am an addict. The unfinished project list is just a teensy bit longer than the wish list for the day I win the lottery.  If the project is long term, as most of them are, a dent in the progress is just fine, as long as I make progress.

Pamper myself by doing something strictly for me. This might have been the more luxurious s than normal shower, it might be a cup of tea and a cookie for a rest in the hummingbird area of the garden. It might mean finally taking the time out specifically to go to the sporting good store and buying myself new favorite, warm socks.

Learn something, anything.  Usually there is a list of weird things by the computer, things someone asked me and I did not know the answer, and want to look up the next time I am on line. Or, I just think about my day so far and realized I have already learned something new today! Either way, expand your brain just a bit more.

Laugh. It was never meant to be all that serious, really. A daily laugh is the best medicine in the world. Find it.

Help someone else, do something for someone else, no matter how small or big. Cookies for a neighbor, volunteer an hour at the SPCA to pet animals waiting for adoption, make brownies for a loved one's midnight snack, pickup your daughter's laundry, leave your son some money with a note to use it for himself, leave an "I love You" note in a book your mate is reading. I have a few of those from my Jena and I treasure each one.

Hug someone. This includes animals, but they must be real, breathing, and living.

Stop avoiding a task and get it done. We all have these, and boy, does it feel good to get these over with.

Watch the sunset at the end of the day, especially if you have not managed to do this earlier. One day, amidst turmoil and havoc, David came to get me, without a word, took me by the hand to the front yard and silently pointed out the most incredible pink, blue and red sunset. We stood there together, hand in hand, watching until it faded. Now, we both keep an eye open and go get the other person, and joke about needing a sunset when things get tense for what ever reason. If you need one and can't find one, use anything in nature, or even watching your child play quietly. No matter, it is as time to saturate yourself with life, count your blessings, enjoy your surroundings and smell the roses.

Say prayers at night before you fall to sleep, even if you do not believe in a higher power. Say them to the wind, use them as a centering for yourself, tuck someone you know safely away in your heart and good thoughts. Falling into sleep, I recite my slow, even, gentle mantra of "Relax, restore, refresh, revitalize, replenish, re-energize" as I feel my body, one muscle at a time, lose their grip on the tension of the day. Amazing sleep can happen.

Take this list, use it, change it, adopt it, add to it. Put your list where you can see it every day until the day you no longer need it, but put it where you can find it again, when it is needed the next time.

Return to Inside Anne
Return to Packrat Main Page