Episode 31: Erica Duran; Luxurious Minimalism

Sucky Moment of the Week (1/5) Erica missed her flight from Hawaii by a whopping 10 hours. Oops! Inspired Action Find ways to remove potential human error from important situations, like using apps to help keep track of time zone changes and flights.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Erica Duran is a master at living luxuriously with less.

Major Topic: Living with Less Our special guest, Erica Duran, is a former professional organizer, a minimalist, and a freedom-based luxury lifestyle designer. She clues us in on the difference between organizing and decluttering, and shares how living with less doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort and style.

Try This: Seek out and take advantage of opportunities for help. There are tons of business, lifestyle, and other coaches who offer free introductory sessions. You never know what valuable advice you could get from a 10-minute conversation.

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Erica SHOUT out In the midst of all the crazy airline scandal drama in the world, Hawaiian Airlines is keeping it real for their customers and fostering “Aloha in the air” 🙂

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: Minimalism is Just Whatever; Fresh into Freelancing
  • How to find Erica:
  • What would you do with 8 extra hours in your week? Would you get more sleep? Catch up on your reading? Spend time with family and friends? Start that new project? With Spark Online, you’ll get tools to help you stress less, sleep more, and feel free in just 5 weeks. Click here for more info!
  • We have a brand ✨NEW✨ 7-Day Challenge! 7 Days to Make Your Life Sparkle! It’s completely FREE online and, over the course of just a week, will help you find ways to stress less so you can do more. Go to https://angelawagnercoaching.com/ to sign up.

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Fresh Into Freelancing

I just recently entered the freelance world out of necessity and opportunity. My husband and I relocated to Rhode Island, and we had to make the decision for me to leave my corporate job so he can take advantage of a really awesome opportunity with his company. I was initially considering finding another corporate type position, as I had solid work experience in my field, and then things took a turn when we realized we are going to have a baby! After a few weeks of mulling over my options and putting in my leave notice, I decided I would seek out contracts and work for myself. This decision was not an easy one; in fact, this decision was quite scary because I did not have the comfort of a stable paycheck with any sort of added benefits a typical full-time job provides. I was entering a world of uncertainty with a move across the country and a baby on the way… a lot of changes were happening in a very short period of time. However, the thought of taking on a new, fast paced and potentially stressful job seemed out of reach to add into the mix.

I took a look at the experience I had with technical writing, instructional design, training development, and the accomplishments I made through my work experience and decided that I AM ENOUGH. I can do this. Pep talk, pep talk, pep talk…. After a few weeks of ‘crickets’ from attempting to contact agencies to land a few contracts, I got in touch with a former employer who was looking for an Instructional Designer. Just like that everything fell into place THREE DAYS before I flew up to Rhode Island. At this point, I allowed the outside forces of the world let everything happen the way it is meant to be and began to let go of the worry of ‘how is this going to work out?’

I had no idea how involved my corporate job was until I left. I traveled at least 50% to a few locations in the southern region and often took a pit stop at corporate headquarters in between trips. I worked from home the other part of the time to get ahead on managing projects and completing writing assignments. My husband also traveled for work so our time together was hit or miss. We saw each other most if we scheduled a vacation,  but we barely had time to do the laundry, clean house, or even have a sit-down dinner in our own home.  With all the time we spent road running for work, our decisions were often made for us. I was so exhausted on the weekend that anything that required leaving the house or socializing became a chore. Even yoga. I love Yoga. Now all of that has changed.

 

The awesome and awful thing about working from home doing contract work is that you don’t have to leave your house (EVER. Have you heard of Amazon?!). You control what time you wake up to work, how long you work for (unless there is a deadline approaching), and when you shower, cook, or clean. I am finding a balance with all of these new again life parameters I now have control over. Honestly, it wasn’t going so well for awhile, as moving across the country and unpacking boxes upon boxes can get pretty tiring. I slept in, ate cereal and sometimes didn’t wear pants. Now that I’ve decided to call upon my old friend, discipline, everything is going much better. I put in solid hours at a time of work but also take time for breaks and healthy meals. I appreciate all the hours in the day I have to make my own decisions and take advantage of slowly sipping a cup of coffee in the morning, going for a walk to keep my pregnancy weight in check, and cooking dinner before my husband gets home. Life has become very sweet and simple with a side of discipline.

One last thing about the freelance world- I have a job that I really enjoy because I choose the type of work I want to do. I have the freedom to turn down any work that I’m not interested in. I have fully accepted that I am a learning content developer and a writer that can make an impact where people have a business or academic need and graciously allow me to serve a purpose, even if it’s just for a little while.

 

Minimalism is Just Whatever

When you think of “Minimalism,” is this pretty close to what comes to mind?

On this week’s episode of the podcast, we had freedom-based luxury lifestyle designer and business coach Erica Duran on to discuss her globe-trotting, minimalist lifestyle and her tips on how to integrate more simplicity into our lives. The concepts of minimalism and decluttering have been huge in our world lately. Clean, simplistic aesthetics have taken over our Instagram feeds and HGTV might as well be called “The Tiny House Channel.”

But despite the ever-growing popularity of downsizing and living with less, most people would still say that “Minimalism” isn’t for them. Which is totally understandable. As a concept, capital-M Minimalism is pretty intimidating! I’m sorry, you want me to purge all of my belongings and live out of a backpack? No, thank you.

But here’s the thing: You don’t have to purge all of your belongings and live out of a backpack! Actually, you don’t have to do ANYTHING (duh, live your life). Sure, in the ~true~ sense of the ideology of Minimalism, one aims to live with as little as possible. But let’s think about it in a more utilitarian sense. If minimalism appeals to you, but you aren’t sure you can “go all the way,” take a step back and ask yourself what aspect of minimalism appeals to you. Why are you attracted to it? Is it the freedom from material things? The extra space? The stress that will be lifted once you don’t have to deal with so much stuff and clutter?

If “Minimalism” had an official color, I think we can all agree it would be white.

The secret of little-M minimalism, is that there is no secret. Minimalism is just whatever. You want to sell all your books, move into a tiny house, and only own 5 items of clothing? Sweet! I bet that’ll be awesome! But we have to be real and recognize that, for most people, that lifestyle is pretty extreme. So you like having 3 different sets of fine china and a shelf full of books and 32 pairs of shoes? GREAT! Being a minimalist is not about having very little. It is about ensuring that the things you do have are things that serve a purpose, bring you joy, and add value to your life. Simple as that!

Making moves toward a more minimalist lifestyle does not have to be drastic. It’s just whatever you need it to be. If you want to move in that direction, start looking at your belongings and asking yourself “Does this material item add value to my life? Does it make me happy?” If not, consider getting rid of it. But if the answer is “yes”, no dogma or lifestyle is worth letting that go.

 

Episode 30: Dropping the Screens and Doing Something Scary

Luke catching on his emails.

Sucky Moment of the Week (4/5) Angela got irritated with a situation that, it turned out, wasn’t what it seemed. Inspired Action Don’t make assumptions (you know what happens) or judge people based on appearances. You never know what other people are going through.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Ask Coach AWags A listener is troubled by how much time she and her family spend on their devices. Angela and Nicole tackle the topic of screen time and how we can keep ourselves accountable to decrease it.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Try This: Do something that scares you.

We luuurve this group of humans! YogaSport Dallas Teacher Training Class of 2017, CONGRATULATIONS! Click here for more info on the YogaSport Yoga School Teacher Training program.

Nicole SHOUT out to our lovely Spark host, ANGELA! Angela just gets Nicole, dude, and everyone should have that person who knows them on another level.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog:
  • How to set a YouTube timer
  • An awesome countdown timer for screen time
  • The book Nicole mentioned about the age of constant connection, End of Absence by Michael Harris
  • Congratulations to the YogaSport Dallas Teacher Training Class of 2017! Click here for more info on the YogaSport Yoga School Teacher Training program.
  • What would you do with 8 extra hours in your week? YES, you read that right. We’re having a special deal on Spark Online, a five-week program that will help you stress less, sleep more, and feel free. Click here to find out more about the program and secure our limited offer of three 1:1 coaching sessions with Angela.
  • We have a brand ✨NEW✨ 7-Day Challenge! 7 Days to Make Your Life Sparkle! It’s completely FREE online and, over the course of just a week, will help you find ways to stress less so you can do more. Go to https://angelawagnercoaching.com/ to sign up.

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

Stop, Drop, & Roll (out of the screen hole)

Ever feel like you live in an endless hole of screen time?

Ten years ago, the iPhone had just come out. Crazy to think about, I know. But even just that small piece of information communicates a lot  about how much our world has changed since then. In 2007, our phones couldn’t do that much. There was no such thing as a tablet or a smart watch, Netflix was just some dudes sending you DVDs in the mail, and “buffering” was a very real time suck for those of us with YouTube accounts.

Now, in a world where just a few swipes of the thumb can have you watching an entire season of Lost from anywhere with a cell signal, many of us are starting to get fed up. After a few years of seeing how far we can take this tech stuff and how many cool gadgets we can acquire, we’re taking closer looks at where these devices actually serve us versus where they are getting in the way of us living our lives and connecting with the world and people around us.

The thing is, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having our screens. Smart phones are hella useful, laptops allow us to work virtually anywhere, and TV is a captivating form of entertainment. But, in order to preserve some sense of control and, let’s be honest, sanity, it’s important to work screen time into our lives in a way that is intentional. You control your screens, they do not control you!

Make mindful decisions about how much time you and your family spend in front of your screens.

Easier said than done, right? But it doesn’t have to be. Often the best solution is the simplest one, and in this case (and, spoiler alert, most cases), it’s all about changing your mindset. So how can you take your screen use from a passive place of mindless scrolling or binge watching to an active, intentional place where you’ll no longer have to ask yourself, “What have I been doing for the last hour?”

Three words. Stop, Drop, and Roll.

“What?” you say. “Am I on fire? Why are you telling me to stop drop and roll..?” OK OK I know but it’s a different kind of stop drop and roll. We all learned this when we were children so why not take the useful mnemonic and apply it to a different area of our lives?

So the next time you pick up your phone, open your laptop, or turn on the TV, remember to 1) STOP before you start using the device, and ask yourself why you’re doing it. Work? Cool! Relaxation? Good for you. Get it. Impulse? Nah. That takes us to the next step. 2) DROP the device (not literally, please) if you realize that what you’re about to do won’t serve you or your intended use of time. And 3) ROLL on with your life and out of the mindless screen time hole! Whether you decide to go on with your screen time or drop it and do something different, you’ll have made the decision with intention and a clear mindset.

Real World Activities

If you’ve been in a Barnes & Noble or Target lately, you may have noticed the rising popularity of adult coloring books. As the name suggests, these aren’t your kindergartener’s coloring books. They’re usually filled with intricate designs that require the fine motor skills of a human over the age of 10 to color in and very sharp colored pencils. Coloring in a mandala made out of thousands of tiny insects may or may not sound like your idea of a good way to pass the time, but the adult coloring book craze even being a thing highlights an ever-increasing need for real world activities.

On the podcast this week, Angela spoke with Renée Adams about the importance of memory and how we can work on developing ours to lead to more productive thinking. Renée mentioned a few studies that link real world activities (things like crafting and reading) to a decreased chance of memory loss later in life. These activities take focus and concentration and help build the mental muscles we need to strengthen our memory.

We are so dependent on screens to accomplish a lot of what we do in a given day. What time is it? Look at your phone. Call someone? Phone. Text? Phone. Picture? Phone. Check the weather? Phone. Work? Computer. Phones and computers are great tools for us to have, but it is so easy to allow those screens to permeate every little bit of our existence. What do you do when you want to relax? Does it involve watching TV or scrolling through an app? Reading on a tablet? Not only are the things we’re doing on these screens not “real” – i.e. grounded in the physical, tactile, natural world – but they allow for so many distractions to come in that we can’t really focus on any one thing unless we turn all notifications off and really zone in.

This week, try getting back to earth. When you’re tempted to turn on Netflix or start playing a game on your phone, instead think of something physical you can do. It doesn’t have to be for any purpose other than enjoyment, just make it a thing you can do with your hands. Draw a picture, play a sudoku puzzle, re-organize your bookshelf, bake a cake, whatever! Turn everything else off, and focus on the real world activity you choose. Be in that moment, and concentrate on what you’re doing and how you feel doing it, nothing else. Start working these activities into your weekly routines, and see if you start to feel more present and focused.

Episode 29: Renée Adams; Memory

Our special guest, Renée!

Sucky Moment of the Week (4/5) Renée let her frustration get the best of her and took it out on a friend. Inspired Action Be thankful for good friends who are compassionate, and look at the broader perspective of how your actions affect others. If you do something you aren’t proud of, own up to it and move on.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Major Topic: Memory Renée shares some of her knowledge on the topic of memory and how we can use simple exercises to shape a more productive mind.

Try This: The snapshot memory exercise. Throughout your day, take detailed snapshots of 3 moments in your mind. At the end of the day, go back through your moments from the most recent back in time through your memory, remembering as much detail as you can. Do this for two more days, each night going back through the memories from the previous days as well as the new snapshots from that day. See Renée’s graphic below, cause we know that gets a little confusing 😉

If you didn’t get a pic doing a yoga pose on your road trip, did it even happen?

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Angela SHOUT out Renée has been a member at YogaSport Dallas since the beginning and has continued to get more and more involved in the studio community. Shoutout to Renée for being a true YS OG!

From the Episode:

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

 

 

Summer Vibes

by Sarah Lang

Summer was my favorite time of year growing up. I am the youngest of 3 daughters. By the time I was old enough to play with my sisters they were in school all day until the end of May. My middle sister and I would hit the streets on our bikes, play kickball with the neighbors, and as mom was willing, walk with us to the corner store to get Icee’s or drive us to the nearest snowball stand. All of this sounds like a typical summer, but the most exciting part was the impromptu beach vacation. At least these vacations appeared impromptu to all three of us because we absolutely went bonkers once our parents told us we were headed to the beach. The buildup of a beach vacation is intense. Because we were a relatively big family, we often did not have the typical snacks and treats at home…that was all saved for VACATION TIME! One of our favorite parts is going to the store to pick out all the snacks we were going to eat. Cheetos, pop tarts, powdered donuts, popcorn, pizza rolls, Doritos, and more. Of course all three of us grew out of our swimsuits so if the Easter bunny didn’t bring us a swimsuit we were all headed to the nearest KMart to pick up a new stylin’ and profilin’ suit- sometimes coordinating, sometimes matching, but always very exciting to do a little pre-vacation shopping! We knew we had to wake up really early in the morning to get on the road to the beach, so we often would pack our bags and head to bed early. I sometimes was so excited I even wore my swimsuit to bed so I didn’t have to change once we reached our destination.

Alright, there were some not as fun parts being the youngest in the family. Did I mention we are a family of 5? We used to have a big car we took with us and I would get stuffed into the middle seat like a little sausage kolache. Things got a little better when my dad bought the minivan, but I did still have to share the middle seat with my middle sister; not terrible, but sometimes she would spread out and put her head in my lap to sleep the whole way there. Aw, sweet…My big sister always got the whole back seat. Now look this was back in the early 90’s. We didn’t have smartphones or tablets to occupy ourselves on the 4+ hour car ride. There was no way my sister was going to let me put a coloring book over her head while she was sleeping. I simply enjoyed the music and the scenery (mostly pine trees to be honest when you’re from Louisiana) and let the magic of a beach vacation continue to build up.

About how most accommodation’s fit a family of 4….being the 5th wheel in the family I didn’t usually have the opportunity to sleep in a bed. I did, however, get to sleep on a beach raft in between the beds at night. Again, not terrible, but after a few nights I did get a little restless trying to get comfortable before the raft began to soften and start releasing air… Sometimes sleeping on a wicker sofa was a nice treat. Sometimes I’d try to pick a fight to get access to a regular bed with sheets, but honestly that never worked as the pee wee kid of the family so I learned to deal with what was offered.

That’s just the thing.

Every morning I got to sit on the patio with my sisters and tear into a new bag of powdered donuts for breakfast, head to the beach to build sandcastles and ride the waves on our boogie boards, race to the pool once it got too hot to sit in the sand, fight over who gets a dry towel, eat Cheetos until our fingers were stained, and hunt for mini crabs at night with flashlights and a sand bucket. I have countless memories of beach time with my two big sisters and my mom and dad. It didn’t matter how I got there or where I made my own little sleep nest at night, as long I was along for the fun times I was down for whatever adventures were ahead of us.

I was 25 when I got my own room in a condo for family vacation, complete with a bed (I’d like to thank my fiancé for coming on this vacation because it’s pretty clear we couldn’t share a beach raft). Up until then, I spent many years learning to make the best of any situation and find the fun during any group outing, trip, or vacation. Going to cheer camp, moving into a dorm room with a stranger, and living in a sorority house with 21 other women was a breeze compared to all the other worries and anxieties other people may have with coming into a new situation and sharing a room or a house with other people. Having a good attitude and focusing on all the fun parts has made my life much, much more satisfying and enjoyable. I have a different zest for life and adventure than the average bear. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’d be happy to sleep on a raft again if it meant we all can have a good time together. Also, you can find me where the vacation snacks are 🙂

Summer! (go outside)

Snacks along the trail

It’s summer and if you’re in a place like the place I’m in (Dallas), it’s freakin’ hot outside. Like, you’re lucky if it’s below 100 degrees level hot. We know there are dangers associated with heat (sunburn, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sweat stains on your white t-shirt, etc.), and, as a person whose skin is so pale I consider a new formation of freckles a rockin’ tan, I’ll be the first person to emphasize the importance of sun/heat-related safety precautions.

However! None of the precautions I endorse involve staying inside.

Though I know those super hot summer days can be precarious if we aren’t careful, I’m puzzled by how often I hear people saying that they just straight up don’t want to go outside because it’s too hot out. We live in this rad point in time where we can adapt our environment to basically whatever we want at any given moment. It’s hot outside? No problem, this is the future! Ice comes straight out of the refrigerator, ice cream rolls are a thing, and Siri can read your body temperature and text Alexa to turn down the AC for when you get home (anyone want to take the over/under on how many years until that’s a real thing?)! But the risk of getting oh so comfy in our regulated, manmade environments is that we suddenly don’t know how to be comfortable outside, the environment in which we were naturally meant to thrive.

The only thing better than live music is live music OUTSIDE

We can stay in air-conditioned buildings all year long, but there are only so many days a year when plunging into a freezing cold river feels amazing because the air around you is so warm. When it doesn’t matter that there’s popsicle juice dripping down your arm because you’re about to run through a sprinkler anyway. Where the day lasts for 14 hours and night is equally inviting because the fireflies will light it up for you.

So put on a hat, grab your water bottle, slather on some sunscreen, and get.out.side! Embrace the heat and the prospect of working up a good sweat and ruining a white shirt. Get out there and enjoy all that vitamin D before the Scary Time comes and takes the sun from us at 5pm. You owe it to yourself, your people, and that big hot star we all go in circles around.

Movies in the park, Space Needle edition

 

A hammock is one of the best purchases you can make for outside chillin’

 


Sarah Mowery is the Podcast Marketing Editor for the Spark – Inspire Your Life Podcast and an avid podcast listener. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarah enjoys writing, playing outside, going to concerts, and anything else she can list here that will make you think she’s cool. Sarah is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a member of the teaching and assisting teams at YogaSport in Dallas.

Episode 28: Summer Lovin’

Luke’s birthday “Celebration of Life” at school <3

Sucky Moment of the Week (3/5) Nicole went to her first birthing class and got all kinds of freaked out by her newfound, up-close-and-personal knowledge of certain elements of the process. Inspired Action Focus on what’s happening right now. Don’t waste time or energy being anxious about what’s going to happen in the future and let it get in the way of enjoying the present.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Major Topic: Summer! Angela and Nicole share their favorite memories of summer, as well as some tips on fun ways to embrace the heat and make the most of the season.

Try This: Re-create a fun summer event from when you were younger. Share your pics on social media and use #summersparkle to share your summer moments with us and possibly get featured on the show.

Ask Coach AWags Michelle wants to know how she can better plan her meals in order to cook at home more and eat out less.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Angela SHOUT out Angela throws one out to popsicles – delicious summer joy on a stick!

We love berry picking with family in the summertime!

From the Episode:

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.