Always Well Within

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

Month: June 2016

Is It Time to Create a Culture of Care?

What if love, compassion + care ruled society? With examples.

Did you know, in some countries:

  • Prison cells aren’t locked, there’s very little if any prison violence, and homicide rates have declined (Norway)?
  • There are no drug crimes and correspondingly less drug use (Portugal)?
  • Employees are given almost 2 months paid vacation and holidays per year as well as 5 months of paid maternity leave when needed (Italy)?

These represent some of the positive ideas that Michael Moore suggests importing to America in his recent movie, “Where To Invade Next.”  The title misleads as this exploration only “invades” in a whimsical way to “steal” methods aligned with love, care, and respect for human dignity.

I love the way Godfrey Cheshire described this film at

Michael Moore’s surprising and extraordinarily winning ‘Where to Invade Next’ will almost surely cast his detractors at Fox News and similar sinkholes into consternation. They get lots of mileage out of painting Moore as a far-left provocateur who’s all about ‘running America down.’ But his new film is all about building America up, in some amazingly novel and thought-provoking ways. In my view, it’s one of the most genuinely, and valuably, patriotic films any American has ever made.

If you’re American, it might be embarrassing at first to see how the countries featured in this movie operate from a more compassionate model of society instead of the “me first” approach to getting all that you can for yourself characteristic of the modern America ethos.  But the film is irresistibly inspiring.

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How I Organize My Time, Tasks, and Creative Ideas

How I Organize My Time, Tasks, and Creative Ideas

A week in my Passion Planner

My mind is rich and creative.  It tends to be scattered and chaotic as well.  I need to systematically pour its contents into an organized planning system so my life doesn’t go into chaos too – due to a lack of focus,  an absence of structure, or lost information.

I’ve tried innumerable planning systems over the years – physical planners, electronic devices, and online programs.  I dropped most of them after a week or two and went back to my haphazard ways.

I finally found a simple planning and task management approach that works for me.  Since we all have different personalities and different dimensions of activity, there’s no single appointment book or list manager that will work for everyone.

So as a first step, it’s important to discover what makes a good fit for you when it comes to staying on track with your goals, tasks, appointments, and ideas. These are some of the qualities I require from an organizational system to be effective and enjoyable for me.

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How to Give Without Expectations and Overcome the Need for Acknowledgement & Praise

Do expectations get in your way when giving?

Although I aspire to give without expectations, I know I’m not able to do so fully at the present time.

There’s so much I give freely without a second thought.  For example, each year, I carefully write 40,000 – 60,000 words on Always Well Within as a gift from my heart, nearly an entire traditional-length manuscript.

But other times, after giving, I go into an emotional nosedive when I don’t get the response I unknowingly craved.

Does that happen to you sometimes too?

A recent epiphany, after a bout of giving, uncovered how deeply I wanted to be seen, heard, and acknowledged in return for all that I shared.  Of course, that’s not my sole motivation. But I acknowledge there’s an unresolved wound that sometimes drives me, without my knowledge, until I feel a sting.

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The Best Way to Declutter So You Feel Happy at Home {KonMari Style}

Simplify + declutter with the KonMari method.

I know, without a doubt, that my energy feels uplifted after tidying up or de-cluttering.  I believe that clutter and chaos depresses the spirit in an invisible way that you may never notice until after a good cleaning and clearing session like I do.

I didn’t develop a healthy habit of tidying up as a child or as a teen, as my mother did all the housework.  I tended to disorderliness, a sign I think of not having or wanting to have my feet firmly planted on this earth.

As long as it’s not noisy, I can work in a physically chaotic environment due to my enhanced ability to focus.  But it doesn’t feel optimal.  Also, I notice an immediate feeling of aversion whenever I encounter a messy house or space.  I see this as a sign that disorder is not conducive for my own well-being.  I suspect this is true across the board for almost all of us.  How is it for you?

During my one-week spring break, I went into active cleaning, decluttering, and organizing mode. It felt so good to clean out under the sinks, reorganize my closet, and reduce my archive file box to a few inches of folders from its previous bursting at the seems appearance.  During this time, I decided to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo to keep the positive momentum going.

To be honest, I find most books on decluttering boring.  But this book is unique, perhaps due to its roots in Japanese culture.  It’s been wildly popular, selling more than 2 million copies.  Kondo’s book confirmed my intuitive claims by asserting that putting your house in order can positively effect all other areas of your life.  She even suggests that your life will change dramatically when you finish the process.

There are two phases to the tidying up process using the KonMari method:

  • Discarding
  • Finding a place for everything that remains

Here are ten of the most important tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and my commentary on what I found useful or not.

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