Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

The Heart of April: Change

Banana Plants

Welcome to my monthly collection of interesting personal development articles from around the web, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

Outstanding Articles and Books

I haven’t had time to read much this month, but I’ve been revisiting books on food intolerance and food sensitivity to help reduce pain and inflammation.  The right diet does wonders!  Two of my favorites include:

Great Courses

If you are new to blogging or would like to learn to blog more effectively with simplicity, focus, and integrity, you might like The Goodblog Project.  I highly recommend this 4-week course, which begins May 6th  This is the last time Courtney Carver is offering the course so don’t miss out if you think it might be for you.  You can read all about The Goodblog Project in this article:  A Gentle Approach to Better Blogging.  As a graduate of the course, I’ll be participating too.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

On the very same day, I’m starting Tammy Strobel’s course Writing in the Digital Age.  I can’t wait.  Although I’m a seasoned writer, I look forward to learning all of Tammy’s tips and tricks, and connecting with a community of wordsmiths.

The Heart of April:  Change

Writing a brief monthly review helps me to celebrate my accomplishments and stay focused on what really counts.  Sharing my review may inspire you to be more intentional too.

Placing Sacred Objects in the 4 Directions

Placing Sacred Objects in the 4 Directions

In April, my husband and I moved from a 1,800 square foot house to a 450 square foot studio with space (outside) for an orchard. Living in close quarters has gone remarkably well.  Still, one room is a little tight for two, especially when it comes to sound travel.  We plan to expand our living space a bit, but our goal is to live more simply.

Although it’s an intentional and joyful change, however you look at it, moving is stressful.  Here are three practices I employed during the transition to modulate the stress effect.

  1. Do less.  Since you are doing more with the move, cut back on other activities in your life.
  2. Be compassionate towards yourself.  Tense moments will arise!  When they do, take a moment to express compassion towards yourself.  Use encouraging words, take a step back before the tension mounts, and forgive yourself for any transgressions.
  3. Be kind to yourself.  Our days have been full and demanding, but we almost always ended them by taking a relaxing soak at the warm pond.

Flavor of the Month:  Happy Transition

How was your April?  What did you learn this past month? 

I’m so glad you are here!  If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra



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  1. Hi Sandra,

    You and Bernie look SO happy. Congratulations1 You have lived in a small space before, so I’m sure you can do it again.
    I moved to Strawberry Creek Lodge in September, from 1100sq ft to 350 sq ft. I love it. Simple. It’s my retreat room. I find I like small!
    Best of luck.
    Much joy. Love, Mimi

    • Thank you, Mimi! Yes, we’ve lived in 1 bedroom apartments for most of our married life. I’m so happy you are finding you like small. You had such a wonderful apartment and I’m sure this “retreat room” will be very special for you too.

  2. I *love* your photo…thank you for sharing it! Kind of eclipsed the rest of the article for me…sent my heart soaring with joy and love for you!

    I learn so much about myself and world from living in small spaces…and I am blessed to have the ocean as my backyard, which seems a lovely trade! I am excited to see how this journey unfolds for you.

    In my life, April has been a liminal space from there to here (still not sure where here is, but that is okay, too). It is has been a time of centering into my practices of presence, then unexpectedly being asked (in a tangible, physical sense) to create from that center with courage and faith. I pretty much breathed through the month of April…I hadn’t realized how important and effective all of the breath-work I had been doing was, and now I am not quite sure “what to do” with it all, accept to be the breath. Sounds quite esoteric, but the true work was done in a physical sense.

    Thank you for introducing me to “One With Now”…the article “Think Magic” drew me in, and I love the feel of the site!

    • Thank you, Joy! It sounds like April was powerful and very centered around the breath. So simple, but yet so reliable. Thank you for reminding us how important the breath is!

      I love “One With Now” and I’m glad you enjoyed that particular article.

      Looking forward to seeing what unfolds after NYC! Sounds hot. 🙂

  3. jean sampson

    Hey, Sandra. I loved the photo—-ya’ll look happy and free! I have lived in small places all of my life and I like to think of it sort of like my house is always hugging me! I do need to get rid of more stuff, though. As usual. books are the hardest. I like real books, not e-books. I wonder if I will ever be able to let go of books. Maybe I should just say that these books are here to stay and that is ok. 🙂 I will report any progress I make as I make it 🙂 🙂 Or not! 🙂
    Enjoy your new living quarters. I am sure that you will! Hugs!

    • Hi Jean,

      I love the image of your house “hugging” you. I’ll borrow that one! I have the same challenge with books. I have 3 or 4 cabinets of books stored in our former house. But now I know for sure, all but the most important have to go. I think the opposite conclusion is just as good though if that fits for you: they are here to stay. Fortunately, I’m cool with my Kindle but I don’t like reading ebooks on my computer as well.

  4. Darling Sandra,
    I love the post…but my god that picture just had me fixed!! So beautiful!! I am completely enamored …..
    Only year I too moved into a smaller place….and at first it was an adjustment..but now I like the cozy feel.
    Congrats on all that youre learning and all that youre ‘becoming’. I learn from your becoming 🙂
    Much Love always,

    • Thank you, Zeenat! “Cozy” is a good way to see a small place. I like that positive view, which always comes from you. Much love to you.

  5. Like others, I was drawn to the photo! That is definitely a 1,000 word picture!

    You are modeling so many things about transition. I appreciate your honesty about the stressful aspects while at the same time offering insight about how to make the transition a deeply spiritual and meaningful process.

    Best wishes to you and your husband as you move into this new space, literally and figuratively!

    Theme for me for April? Hmm, turning inward, I think.

    • Hi Galen,

      Turning inward? Interesting. It’s been feeling like you are moving in that direction. I look forward to seeing how that unfolds for you.

      We’re all human, especially me, so I think it’s good to acknowledge our challenges and our weaknesses too. Stress has always been a challenge for me, but I’m handling it so much better these days.

      Thanks for your good wishes.

  6. Sandra,

    I love that photo of you and your husband. It captured a perfect moment.

    Downsizing sounds wonderful. I daydream about it sometimes, but am not
    ready to do it just yet.

    My April has been wonderful.
    –I made a trip to visit friends and my sister that I’ve been neglecting, as well as finally visited Sedona, AZ.
    –Presented a free and a pay live workshop in my area
    –Decided to be less dependent on my car and learn to use the public transportation in Los Angeles ( a major endeavor for a Californian who’s been driving all my adult life.) Joined a group of ladies who go on day trips on local buses, trains and subways. Yippee! We went to the Hollywood Museum to see a Loretta Young exhibit.
    –Finally figured out what I’m going to do re: upcoming book/ebook revisions.
    –Tried out a new asparagus soup recipe. It was delicious.

    Thanks for your suggested readings. I’m also looking at Tammy’s course and the two food books you mention.

    • Hi Flora,

      It sounds like a wonderful April for you. I love that you are learning to use public transportation in LA. That is so radical! You will have to tell us all about it on your blog. I’m glad you are moving forward with your book and nourishing yourself with good food at the same time. I’m very happy for you.

  7. I’m thrilled that you’ll be in my class! Thank you so much for registering and sharing. xo.

    • Me too! I was even excitedly looking for the welcome email today, forgetting that it’s an entire week before the class begins. Darn!

  8. Hi Sandra,

    I love the pic of you and your hubby and hope to read more about your adventures setting up the orchard.

    Yes, moving is so stressful emotionally and physically. So glad you’ve done it now and you can relax and enjoy. Hopefully the weather will be kind so you can spend time outside and don’t feel too cooped up inside 🙂

    • Hi Annabel,

      I spent two hours watering transplanted bamboo today. It’s a whole different world and reality away from the internet. I noticed it really takes patience, which would be a good quality for me to captivate.

      The weather is consistently good hear except for occasionally rainy days. Must be like Noosa! We get to spend lots of time outdoors. We’re so lucky! And you live in a special place too!

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