A Mother's Day Note

A Mother's Day Note

A MOTHER'S DAY NOTE:

I remember when I was a new mom and in the thick of trying to find my grounding in my new life, I kept on hearing this refrain in my head...

"It is hard enough to mother ourselves, let alone to mother someone else."

Not The New Year's Day I Wanted, But The One I Needed

Not The New Year's Day I Wanted, But The One I Needed

Not all new years start off on a high note, some begin on a challenging one. But within that challenge there could be some gold, if you choose to look for it.

A Riff on Procrastination & Intuition

Photo Credit: Elana Kilkenny Taken At: ABC Carpet and Home

Photo Credit: Elana Kilkenny Taken At: ABC Carpet and Home

Life has taught me this in spades...you know that inertia-inducing, opportunity-missing, confidence-betraying cocktail of perfectionism and procrastination.  

Come to think of it, those two "p" patterns are probably fraternal twins, they might look different but the connection between perfectionism and procrastination runs deep.

So off I go to put some whole-hearted time into writing my book (dream since childhood) and working on my new website (halle-f***ing-lujah), which has stirred up a veritable perfect-storm cocktail of the evil "p" twins. Lest I use spending more time perfecting this newsletter as a tricky way to think I'm being productive, while I'm actually avoiding doing something that is very important to me but more thorn-laden with doubt and fear than writing this is. 

Having said all of that, as I'm writing this, I was just inspired to ask the universe if there was something more I should add to this subject for you, and I had to smile at the uncanny synchronicity of receiving this particular message:

So let's riff on this jewel from Danielle LaPorte for a moment. Sometimes we judge ourselves and think we are procrastinating when in reality we are being asked by our intuition to not move forward for some reason on that project, deadline, email, task, etc. Because sometimes, we are being asked to change course, to dream it a little more before we produce, or to wait for intuitive timing to dictate to us rather than our fear-based "pushing" timing would tell us to birth.

How do you know the difference? Ask it. Meditate on the question "Is this procrastination or intuition?"

See what your own innate wisdom says. You might receive some guidance via a little voice in your head that's of a different frequency from your thoughts, you might receive a message from the outside world that's uncanny in its answer, you might just listen to what your body tells you (your body never lies), or you might just pick up that book or card deck you use as a tarot and see what answer comes to you (like I did just now). 

And then listen...and do what you hear to do (or not to do).

OVER TO YOU:
What is calling to you to "do it now"? What are you delaying that feels like it could be your intuition telling you something? What past experience/s do you have where you delayed doing something and it turned out to be wise that you did? Join me in the comments below!

 

Of Stars Falling Out Of Sippy Cups

"Olaf and the Falling Stars" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Olaf and the Falling Stars" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

One rainy summer afternoon after finding out some challenging news, I found myself in search of clarity. My energy was scattered, my heart was worried and my head felt messy. So I did what I knew to do, I couldn't unfold the big things in my life, I could only unfold that which was in front of me. So I went into our home office that had been cluttered for way too long and started clearing it out. My prayer in doing so was for my mind to be cleared out with it. 

Through that process, I found in a Disney Store bag these two sippy cups. They had been given to me a while ago as a gift from my father to my children. They were of Olaf the unflaggingly optimistic, magical snowman from the movie "Frozen". I somehow resisted these cups for months, but today inexplicably I decided to wash them out and get them ready for my kids to enjoy.

In doing so, in one I found quite expectedly a piece of paper with washing and care instructions. But when I attempted to open the other sippy cup, the top was stuck. Olaf's head wouldn't budge. As I was still knee-deep in emotional muck, I found myself spewing expletives under my breath followed by a deep urge to chuck Olaf into the garbage. I was angry, why did everything feel so hard right now? Even a stupid sippy cup wouldn't open easily. I persevered and attempted to get the snowman's head off once more. Finally, his head popped off and quite unexpectedly, out flew a slew of paper stars.

They were these perfectly-shaped, delicate little stars. So small that I couldn't even imagine an origami master making them. So, I knew. They were angel made. The universe knew that I did not need one more instruction manual that day, I needed grace. And so, grace was provided. As, come to think of it, it usually is.  

For sometimes grace comes in the form of stars falling out of sippy cups...

Gazing upon these fallen stars I burst into tears. I cried because I knew. Because I knew this was a message. I knew this was an answer to a prayer. I knew that I had opened up this silly cup at the perfect moment to know that I was not alone, that indeed my life and my family's life was still and would always be imbued with magic. I needed the reminder, because even those of us who speak to angels lose our way sometimes.  

While the challenges that were obscuring my faith didn't go away over night and I still very humanly at times find myself dipping in and out of faith; I continue to go back to that shooting star moment. As it was one of enigmatic synchronicity. I mean really, how the hell did those stars get into that cup? Even if as part of some "Frozen" marketing magic, a few stars were slipped into some Olafs randomly, well, even the analytic side of my brain couldn't argue with the fact that the timing of these falling stars were indeed serendipitous and deeply meaningful to me.   

For in that moment I knew instantly that I should indeed, still believe. Believe what I know to be true, but sometimes lose touch with feeling. Believe that help is always available. Believe that support is always there...seen and unseen. Believe that indeed peace would not only be restored but is already here if I could just trust into it.  

Believe that even on a stormy day in summer, that a snowman could warm a girl's heart.

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SOME "STARS FALLING" MESSAGES FOR YOU:

*Sometimes you need to ask the universe, god, spirit (whatever feels right for you) to show you some signs.

*Be awake and present enough in your day to receive the message, sometimes they will hit you over the head even when you are sleepwalking through your day, but it helps to be available to receive the message.

*Follow that intuitive whisper that tells you to do something, go somewhere, speak to someone, etc. Messages from the universe are often subtle. 

*Don't judge yourself when you are feeling bad, scared, angry. Judging how you feel only further entrenches it. Allow the feelings to move through you, but also allow some space for support to come in to shift how you feel. Ask for support and help when you feel you need it and/or when you are spiraling in your stuckness.

*When a sign comes to you, don't take it for granted. Pause, breathe in the gift of it. Allow the synchronicity, sign, moment of serendipity to shift your energy. Your present mood and resistance to feeling better might tell you to do otherwise, but choose to let grace fill-up your heart and soul. You'll be grateful that you did...

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INSPIRATIONAL BONUS CONTENT:

Spotify Playlist to Follow:

*A "Stars Falling" Music Playlist That I Made for You

LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:

I would love to hear about a time in your life when you experienced a synchronicity or received a sign that was particularly meaningful to you. I have found that when we share our stories we not only empower ourselves, we also help to inspire those who hear them.

Leave a comment below to share the love, as you never know who might just need to hear your story and you might just need to tell it! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Blessings and love,

Elana

Feng Shui Design: Art For Every Budget

Photo & Sacred Space Design by Elana Kilkenny.

Photo & Sacred Space Design by Elana Kilkenny.

THE FENG SHUI OF ART:

Art is a wonderful way to add beauty, personality, and inspiration to your home. From a Feng Shui perspective, I always suggest that you buy art that you love and that makes you feel the way you desire to feel...which is not necessarily the same as what you are currently feeling.

For instance, maybe you are single and wanting to be in a relationship. Are you drawn to art that contains solitary figures or images? While you may be attracted to these pieces, it might be echoing back to you a sense of living a solitary life that you may no longer desire. Try adding some other art into the mix and consider taking down some art that may not be nourishing your dreams. In this instance, consider adding some art to your home that has duality, reflects how you want to feel in a relationship, or somehow signifies love to you.

If you are feeling overworked or stressed in your life, look for some art that is more calming, serene, and/or joyful. Do you find yourself vigilant in your life, feeling a need to be protective and avert getting hurt or possible danger? Having a collection of tribal war masks might not be the best choice for you. Are you prone to fiery spurts of anger or simmering rage? Art that depicts or symbolizes conflict whether in abstract or figurative form might just be fanning your flames rather than helping you get to a more peaceful place in your heart. You get the picture...

Our relationship to art is ultimately very personal, what one piece of art might mean to you, might mean something else to another person. Understanding your own relationship to the art you already own and to that which you are drawn to bringing into your home can be a very significant form of support and catalyst for creating the life that you desire.


ART FOR EVERY BUDGET:

Now that you are thinking about the art in your home, below are some tips and resources for Art For Every Budget that I use frequently with my Sacred Space Design clients:

  • Prints and Photography: are wonderful options for adding art to your home. While this option can run the gamut of pricing from reasonable to pricey there are some great options out there in all price categories. Many of the resources I have listed below also offer a limited selection of framing options that are often cheaper than having it framed at a frame store.

    Here are some resources I often use for my Sacred Space Design clients: 
    1. My Pinterest board "Prints I Love"
    2. Etsy
    3. Minted 
    4. Domino Magazine
    5. Specific sales from One Kings Lane
    6. Some of the artists you love but can't afford at this time, might sell prints of their more expensive works. For instance, many painters now sell prints of their in-stock and/or sold pieces of artwork. 
       
  • Misc Options: Beautiful pieces of wrapping paper, fragments of wallpaper or fabric are a great and often cost-effective way to add art to your home. Another option is framing cards or postcards with a design you love. As these are generally smaller in size, think about hanging a bunch of different pieces that work together or adding them to collection of art that is on one of your walls.

    For Example: To add more meaning to our home I took a handmade sheet of wrapping paper that I used to make our wedding invitations and I had it matted and framed. It now hangs over our couch in our living room as it is a beautiful reminder of our love and commitment to one another.

    Here are some resources I often use for my Feng Shui Design clients:
  1. Etsy
  2. Paper Source
  3. My Pinterest board "Wallpaper"
  • Paintings: Paintings are one of my favorite ways to add depth, texture, beauty and soul to your home.While paintings can get expensive, there are plenty of options for every price range.

    Here are some resources that I often use for my Feng Shui Design clients:  
  1. Etsy 
  2. My Pinterest Board "Artists You Should Know About"
  3. Local flea markets and craft fairs
  4.  Ugallery
  • Make Your Own: Last but not least, one of my favorite ways to bring art and new energy into you home is by making your own art. You don't have to have dreams of showing your art in a gallery or call yourself an artist to create your own art. Whether you love to draw, paint, make collages, etc. it's never too late to unleash the inner artist in you. It's one of the most soulful, fulfilling and budget-friendly ways you can bring art into your home.

    If you need a little help to get your artistic juices flowing, look for some local art classes that resonate with you in your area. My beloved journey into painting started with some amazing classes that I took with Rebecca Schweiger (one of my favorite artists and people) at her amazing The Art Studio NY .

    As always, I'd love to hear from you!

    Does you home's art currently reflect your dreams and, if not, what tip or resource are you going to utilize to create a home that inspires your desires?

    Who are some of your favorite artists or resources for art?

    Let us know in the comments below.

    As always, deep gratitude to you for reading and sharing so generously! Enjoy feathering your nest!

    Much love and blessings,
    Elana

What Season Of Life Are You In?

"Urban Garden" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Urban Garden" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

There are these tulips that are planted outside of the building that we live in, they came up hopefully but out of dozens of bulbs only four flowered. When we spoke to the master gardener who lives in the building next door she said it was because they were planted in the wrong season, that they had flowered once already last year and won't flower again. "Next time," she said "plant them in the autumn. If you plant them in the right season they will flourish for years to come."

I heard this and I found myself thinking about how many times we have all planted seeds for ideas in the "wrong" season only to find that they didn't come into fruition. This led me to remembering a theory I heard from master coach Tony Robbins that I often use with my Intuitive Counseling clients in sessions.

"The secret to life is threefold. It's to understand what season of life you're in, to understand what season the world is in, and to figure out how to take advantage of it." He goes on to say that it is important for each person to, "find the season they're in, which is different for everyone, and to take advantage of it. That's the secret to experiencing an extraordinary life."

We often push things to happen even though some part of us know that something feels off. Whether it's a difficult conversation you pursue with a friend even though you know they are going through a challenging time that might make them reactive rather than open to what you have to say. Or a business idea that you push while having the sense that it wasn't quite the right time for either you or in terms of the receptivity of those involved. There are countless iterations of this idea of planting in the "wrong" season.

What Season Of Life Are You In?

One way to find out what season of life you are in, is to take a cue from the animal world.

According to Jamie Sams and David Carson's enlightening

"Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals,"

butterflies reflect back to us that we are always at a certain stage in our life activities. "The way to discern where you are in this cycle is to ask yourself:"

Is this the egg stage:
Is it just a thought or idea?

Is this the larva stage:
Do I need to make a decision?

Is this the cocoon stage:
Am I developing and doing something to make my idea a reality?

Is this the birth stage:
Am I sharing my completed idea

While this is a great way to tune into what stage you are in for your life as a whole or perhaps more specifically for the idea that you are cultivating, what do you do if you have already planted in the "wrong" season? I don't know anyone who hasn't had that experience in life.

Perhaps the tulips can help us out here. This past weekend one of the families in our building dug out the half sprung tulips from their beds. They prepared the soil for a different flower that we were told would grow this time of year. We did some research and decided we would order with the master gardener new tulip bulbs in the fall and plant them together in the "right season."

We went from feeling disappointed about the state of our garden and the extra work that we had to do, to feeling excited that we now have an opportunity to get to know the other families in our building and include our children in planting some brilliantly hued marigolds this spring.

I also realized that that by needing to educate ourselves in order to utilize our time and energy more effectively we have opened up a line of communication with this lovely gardener next door which has presented the opportunity for these two buildings to work together in harmony for the first time in years to make this block even more beautiful for those of us who live here and for all who walk by. It might take us another few seasons to bring our garden up to where we want it to be, but when we do, I imagine that our neighborhood relationships will be growing as well as the flowers.

Back to you. 

So are you thinking that perhaps you planted in the "wrong" season?  If so, first be kind to yourself. No one has impeccable timing all of the time.  If the word "wrong" brings up regret or shame for you, then let go of the word (want to go deeper with letting go of shame read Dr. Brené Brown's truly brilliant book "Daring Greatly"). Beating yourself up is not only an all-too-human waste of time, it also often leads to you missing out on the benefits in your situation.

It can obviously benefit you greatly to know what season you are in and to understand the confluence of how that relates to the season the world around you is in as it relates to what you want to plant. However, I truly believe that there is always something to be gleaned from all experiences.  

Just like we discovered in this chapter with our building's garden, there are always "hidden gifts" to planting seeds in the "wrong season".  Think about what you learned from your own equivalent experience and apply that newly gained wisdom to your present and future.  Then perhaps meditate on whether you are in an egg, larva, cocoon or birth stage in a life activity that is important to you. Once you know what stage you are in, your decisions about how to proceed will be clearer.

The difference between disappointment and opportunity is your perception of the situation, choosing to be loving to yourself in the process, and being creatively open to how you can grow and flourish in this season of your life...right here...right now.

Beauty Within The Frost...

"Beauty Within the Frost" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Beauty Within the Frost" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

It was a late autumn day all the trees lay barren, a reflection of their current wintry state, alone amidst the fallen landscape stood a tree aglow in vibrant fiery lushness. Radiant, bejeweled with orange leaves and a perfect undercoat of yellow. Harried New Yorkers stopped dead in their tracks spellbound by their rare beauty. Strangers unfolded stream of consciousness utterings to one another..."Wow", "Well isn't that just magical" and "Miraculous." The New York City perpetual ticking clock stopped for a moment and we all paused spellbound to drink in the beauty.

We are now in the heart of winter, I pass by this tree every day as I bring my daughter to school. Its branches are now bare like their companions. But burned into my memory is an overlay of its autumnal incandescent glow. On certain days I could swear I see the halo of burnt sienna leaves adorning its limbs. And I am reminded that there is always beauty within the frost.

As we rush, as we bundle up, as we dream of spring wildflowers in bloom and a whisper of a spring jacket...we are beckoned to remember that change is inevitable and yet so much remains innate. The beauty that resides in you, in each of us, is immutable. It may radiate more in certain seasons of our lives, it may deepen with the bloom of requited desire and fluid moments of grace but even in the days of our winter's darkness the aura of our heart's luminosity is always present.

So today as you roll out of bed, engage in the world, dance with your muse...breathe in beyond your resistance, beyond your slushy winter boots, beyond your old stories that fool you into believing that your finest days are behind you and touch that which the frost protects...that which is your radiant self.

For more of my February Newsletter dedicated to the subject of love click here to read more...

Watch My New Video On: "Intuition, Signs & Expectations" for Happiness Series

"It was sign." "I thought I followed the signs but why did I end up where I did?" "What do these signs in my life actually mean?" These are snapshots of conversations I have had over the years with my Intuitive Counseling clients and have overheard a myriad of times in passing.

As it is often more powerful to illuminate a broad topic with a specific example and then go broader, Tania Van Pelt and I made for you a video for her illuminating website Happiness Series where we discuss "Intuition, Signs & Expectations" using some specific examples. One of the clearest takeaways from this discussion was that expectations and signs don't "mix well" at all.  In fact, expectations often get in the way of the natural momentum and direction that the signs of our life are trying to take us in.

Whether you are a believer in synchronicities, signs and its ilk or not, you will garner wisdom from this video as we speak about a type of experience that is common to all of us in one way or another. We often go in a direction in our lives feeling that we are somehow being led on a path only to find out that the process and the outcome is very different than we anticipated...and then what?

Watch the video below and enjoy! Share the wisdom and love, please share this video with all those you feel would benefit! I would love to hear from you about your own experiences with intuition, signs and expectations so please leave a comment below on the blog or underneath the video on YouTube!

"If we miss the moment, we miss the clues. In the present, when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, made deeper and happier." Marianne Williamson (via: www.oprah.com)

 

 

Create The Life You Desire: New Year Workshop

"Walking Toward Grace" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Walking Toward Grace" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Walking Toward Grace" Photo Credit: Elana Kilkenny

Every moment is an opportunity to begin again...

This is my invitation to you...

~Dance beyond the unrequited realm of New Year's resolutions to the fertile ground of real sustainable change.

~Learn to create from a place of clear desire, grounded intention, and passionate action.

~Enter this year with renewed inspiration, guidance and authentic momentum to create a year that surpasses your dreams.

In this workshop I offer you a sacred space to...

*Explore with love, support & intuitive guidance what your heart's deepest desires are...

*Gain clarity on what action steps you will take...

*Feel deeply inspired to go out into your world and create your dream 2014

DATE:

Sunday: January 19th, 2014

TIME:

10am-1pm

LOCATION:

My serene home near Columbia University (exact location will be sent to you when you register)

RSVP REQUIRED:

In order to provide you with a more one-on-one experience, this workshop will be limited to a small group size. Therefore, you must RSVP and purchase you ticket by 1/14 to ensure you seat (see "TICKET" section below for more information).

TICKETS:
Please note that this event is now full. No more tickets are available.

It is always a leap of faith to forge new ground in your life. Follow your heart and dive into the life you have been dreaming of...

RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW!

To purchase your ticket and/or for questions: email me at elanakilkenny@yahoo.com

Watch My Video on "How to Feel More Connected."

Is the velocity of life feeling too fast for you? Like a train speeding toward a destination, there is so much to get accomplished within a small window of time. While this time of year can be particularly busy, if you were to take a moment to pause and take stock you might realize that the pace of your life in general is such that it can contribute to a sense of disconnection. Disconnection from yourself, loved ones, your children, spiritual connection, etc.

The uplifting news is that alongside all the ways in which you may feel disconnected that there are just as many anecdotes available to you right now that will assist you to feel a deeper sense of connection. Over the course of many sessions with my Intuitive Counseling and Feng Shui clients and my own experience, I have distilled a number of practices that can assist you to feel more connected. This in turn can create a ripple effect in your life of opening up your heart and life to even more joy, peace, and possibilities. In conjunction with the inspiring wellness website Happiness Series, I created a video that offers you two very effective and accessible ways to feel a deeper sense of connection in your life.

I would love to hear from you on which tip resonates with you the most. Do you have any suggestions on how you create more connection in your life?  Leave them in the comments area below and share the love!

Watch...Enjoy...Share...Comment...Put Into Action...

P.S. For more inspirational and empowering videos in my series with Happiness Series, please click here.

"We forget we're mostly water til the rain falls and every atom in our body starts to go home." Albert Huffstickler (via Arianna Huffington from "Thrive")

Blessings and love,
Elana

New Year's Gift Certificates

"Offering" Photo by Elana Kilkenny. Taken at Jung Lee NY.

Festive, overwhelmed, merry, overscheduled, uplifted, depressed, inspired...are you feeling any of these feelings this time of year. If so, you are in very good company. This may be your favorite time of year, or perhaps it is a time that brings up a lot of expectations, disappointment and anxiety. Feeling all of the above...check. Yep, it's that time of year where feelings are heightened and the pace is at a gallop.

How can you enjoy this time more, be more present to your blessings, enter 2014 with clarity and inspired vitality? Well that can be a complex answer but gratitude is always a powerful gateway to joy. At the heart of this season is an innate impulse to give, to celebrate, and to dip ones toes in magic. It is a opportune time to open your heart to what is already good and plentiful in your life, for no matter what is going on for you right now I promise there is always something to be grateful for.  

In the spirit of gratitude, I am offering some special gift certificates of soul, heart and grounded intention for the New Year. If you are interested in more information please email me at elanakilkenny@yahoo.com for details.

In my thirteen years as an Intuitive Counselor and Feng Shui Designer, I am deeply grateful to have the blessing of helping you to unearth, polish, and birth many of your heart's desires. If you feel a longing to be more connected to your innate joy, peace, spark, and abundance, I am honored to be of service to assist you in your sacred journey.

Blessings and love,
Elana

P.S. See my next post for some joy-creating Gratitude Practices.

Gratitude Practices

"Gratitude" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Gratitude" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

GRATITUDE PRACTICES

Please Note: These practices are sure to open your heart to more joy...instantly.

1) Gratitude Journal...

Start a gratitude journal. Every night spend a few minutes writing down three things you are grateful for. Each night write different things you are grateful for from the night before. Once you have written them, spend a few moments breathing in each item you are grateful for and experience them once again in that moment. This exercise helps your heart instantly and literally trains your mind to focus more on what it is positive. And where your focus goes, your energy goes. And where your energy goes, your life goes...

2) Express Your Gratitude...

* To Your Loved Ones...

Pick up the phone, tell them face-to-face, mail an old-fashioned note, email. Tell people in your life that you are grateful for them and be specific. It feels great to to the recipient and equally wonderful for you.

* To Those Who Provide You Services...

In Brené Brown's brilliant book, "Daring Greatly", she has this powerful section about the "invisibility" of service providers and how important it is to take the time to "see" the people who provide you service and to treat them with kindness and respect. Take it a step further and express your gratitude to them.

Coffee baristas, waiters/waitresses, grocery clerks, clothing salespeople, subway drivers, etc. Express your gratitude for the services they are providing you, for some quality you see in them, pay them a compliment. It doesn't have to be a big gesture but it surely does make a difference. Take it a step further, if you are moved to do so, by asking them who you should speak to or email that would best benefit them and pass that compliment on. Managers are very used to being complained to by a customer but are often very grateful and surprised to be called over to hear a compliment about an employee. You will surely brighten their day and who knows perhaps even help them in a larger way.

* To Your Children's Teachers:

Write a random note or tell your child's teacher "Thank You" for all the love, care and nourishment they are providing your child with. Be specific, take a moment to really "see" the teacher and reflect back to them their innate grace. Teachers often hear your questions about your child or something you might be upset about but rarely do they receive gratitude for the everyday miracle of assisting your child to grow, learn and thrive.

You Get The Idea
...so dive into gratitude and revel in the ripples of goodness that radiate from its joyful core.

P.S.

Those of you reading this who are feeling sad, stuck, disconnected, these gratitude practices truly do make a difference. So if any part of you is intrigued by this, don't wait until you are feeling better to try these out. As gratitude practices are a surefire way to move your energy into a more positive direction. I know this through experience, as I have offered these practices to many of my clients and have done them myself. In fact, gratitude practices are one of the first anecdotes I reach for when I am in a down state as they are manageable, instantly gratifying and build positive momentum.

Watch My "How to Calm Down" Video

Hello beloved all,
This has been a very full autumn for many of us. I have heard from many of you that there have been a lot of changes happening in your life and loved ones just over the past few months. That coupled with generally fuller schedules this time of year, has resulted in your feeling more overwhelmed or anxious. You might have even been told by those around us to "just calm down."

Many of us are not sure what to do when we hear that or how to actually "just calm down". So as an anecdote to feeling so frenzied I created a video for you on "How to Calm Down" in partnership with the wonderful website Happiness Series http://happinessseries.com/. Hopefully watching it will give you some insight on how to calm down and also on why we often we react so badly when people tell us to "just calm down".

Watch the video below...enjoy...and please leave a comment here or below the video on YouTube. I would love to hear from you about where you are struggling with this so that I can be of more service to you in future videos!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch My Video On What Does "Getting Grounded" Really Mean

Hi beloved all,
I am thrilled to share with you all the first in a series of videos I am doing in conjunction with the wonderful website http://happinessseries.com/. So often in life and books these days we have been hearing certain catch-all spiritual phrases such as just "get grounded" or "manifestation" or "abundance." When I am working with clients I find that while these concepts sound appealing, most people don't really know what they really mean and how to apply it to their every day lives. With this is mind, my first video for Happiness Series focuses on the idea of "Getting Grounded". What does this mean in real life in terms of grounding your energy and also what does it mean in the area of money?

Stay tuned for more inspirational and practical videos in our series over the next few months as well as upcoming articles I am writing as a blog writer for http://happinessseries.com/! If you like what you see, please leave me a comment below I would love to hear from you!

Watch...Apply...Share!
Blessings,
Elana

"What Can We Do?"--Coming Into the Light from The Shadows of The Tragedy in Boston

"Freedom" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Freedom" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

 "What can we do?" In the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy, this is a question that we are hearing in our own hearts and all around us. Today, I watched my six-year-old son go on his first class trip out of town to a farm. Yesterday morning

I was simply excited for him and after learning about the tragedy in Boston I found myself slowly getting more jittery. Fear creeps in when an old wound lingers...for me it was how close my then boyfriend, now husband, was to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

I tuned in, I felt in my intuition that my son was safe. I prayed for Liam and his class and for the bus drivers. I prayed deeper for the source of my pain which were the lives affected so grievously yesterday and for that dear 8 year old boy who died. I prayed even deeper for innocence to be protected.

After watching his bus leave, I finally was able to move my legs knowing there was nothing else to do as I was releasing Liam once more into the world and I realize that is one of my sacred duties as a parent. I started walking home with my daughter and this "what can I do" question whispered to me. I saw a few women who work for the city cleaning up the streets. One had her head down a lot, I thought, perhaps not even accurately, that these are people who are so often invisible to those who walk past them. And as I truly believe it is our deepest desire to be "truly seen" I stopped and thanked each of them for being angels to our city and for making where we live so beautiful.

They stopped, huge smiles...my 2.5 year old daughter then spontaneously says "Thank you" and then the woman whose head was previously down looks up and beams, she says"God bless you." It is a small thing to take that time to simply be kind and to simply acknowledge another human being, but it is never a small thing to be seen...

As I write this I wonder, the person/people who were behind this horrible atrocity...they are human too, what if on a deep and fundamental level they feel invisible and out of that invisibility they swim undetected, seething, planning, and worst of all executing darkness. When at a core level they too are human and hence being human just want to be seen--deeply seen--like the rest of us.

Surely practicing an random act of kindness won't bring back 8 year old Martin Richard, it won't solve overnight what is behind such acts of violence and violation, but perhaps it will add more light where it is dark. And perhaps even one day you will find yourself being kind to someone, who unbeknownst to you, was on the brink of a choice to add more darkness to either their life or others. And perhaps by being seen in that moment something shifts and another choice is made...a choice that adds more light instead...and perhaps, just perhaps that makes all the difference in the world. 

Random Acts of Kindness...Some Ideas

For more ideas on random acts of kindness...be present to those around you and your heart will know. Want more specific ideas, I will be adding ideas over the next few days on my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/elanakilkenny

and to give a random act of kindness to the city of Boston check out this amazing Facebook page that sprung from the Ann Curry's beautiful heart...one person can always make a difference. 

http://www.facebook.com/26acts?ref=ts&fref=ts

Be the change you want to see in the world...

Love and Light,

Elana

Synchronicities, Letting Go and Nora Ephron

"Rainbows Over Manhattan" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

"Rainbows Over Manhattan" Photo by Elana Kilkenny.

I feel somehow that Nora Ephron is woven inexorably into the tapestry of my living in this city that I love so profoundly. When I was a college senior I moved into a tiny, slightly decrepit one bedroom apartment in the boondocks section of the Upper East Side. There was scarcely a thing about that particular neighborhood or apartment that felt like me, but on my second night there I went to see "Sleepless in Seattle" in a local movie theater and it hit me...I was living my childhood dream of calling New York City my home. So my apartment was still just an apartment, but I was now at home in New York City.

Years later when I was in my mid-twenties, I found myself blessed enough to buy a one bedroom apartment in my beloved city. And although I had barely spent a minute in all my years in Manhattan on the Upper West Side, somehow my vision of living in New York City was shaped by my adoration of Woody Allen movies and my hundredth viewing of "When Harry Met Sally". My home for fourteen years was in the West 70's and close to Riverside Park. I spent countless strolls passing by the storied Apthorp building. And when I did, I would always look into the courtyard from the street and daydream of all the magical people I imagined lived there. Never realizing at the time that Ms. Ephron was one of those very people.

Years later, I found through a series of synchronicities Nora Ephron's famous love letter in The New Yorker to her apartment in the Apthorp. Somewhere in this timeline, my dear friend Alex D. invited me to the New York premier of "You've Got Mail" and I found myself living out another childhood dream torn from the pages of "The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" of being inside The Natural History Museum after hour. Underneath the iconic blue whale stood both Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks who I adore, but it was Ms. Ephron that I was longing to speak to but too shy to approach. No small violins are playing here though, as in that inevitable way that life presents us all with our own full-circle story arcs, I had my opportunity years later to speak with her under much more meaningful circumstances.

So at this point in my own story, here is my love letter to Ms. Ephron that I posted in the wake of her recent passing:

"I will always remember Nora Ephron, not just because I loved her humor and her movies, but because she obsessively loved her Upper West Side apartment in the Apthorp and her article in The New Yorker about letting it go helped me to let go of my own apartment on the UPW that I was obsessively attached to. I loved her because when I was pregnant with my second child, and my aforementioned beloved home was in contract to be sold, I found myself sitting behind her in a movie theater and mustered up the courage to thank her for her Apthorp article. I told her of my heartache in moving and she turned around to me and put her hand on my arm and looked me squarely in the eyes as she said, 'You will feel so stupid that you ever worried about leaving...'

And it being Nora Ephron, it was said with the perfect mix of tenderness, tough love, perspective and emphasis. And of course, as I sit here looking out my window of my new home where I am greeted by rainbows, fireworks, and all the phases of the moon...I know she was right."

With deep abiding gratitude and love,
Elana

Revitalizing Your Home: De-clutter and Redesign

Photo by Elana Kilkenny. Taken at a Jonathan Adler store in NYC.

Photo by Elana Kilkenny. Taken at a Jonathan Adler store in NYC.

With temperatures climbing across the country, it is a great time to spend some time indoors de-cluttering and re-decorating your home. I have found with myself and clients that so much energy gets stuck in our homes when clutter accumulates and when your home no longer reflects who you are. De-cluttering can be a bit overwhelming for many of us,  I have found that since becoming a mother and having less disposable time that for the first time in years I am needing to do a de-cluttering overhaul. It is often wise to start with a small defined area and to identify first the items that simply need to be sifted through for outdated material (i.e. papers, magazines, etc.) that are no longer of use. I start here first as it gives an instant boost in de-cluttering confidence as you have an instant clearing in space. The areas that have items that require you to create more systematic organization in order to properly place them takes more time and thought.

Karen Kingston has a great and simple book called "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" that I refer to a lot of my clients when I help them with the Sacred Space design of their homes and office. A simple tenant that I try to keep in mind as often as possible is to keep that which you truly use and that which you love. Those things that you are keeping out of obligation, attachment to the past, fear of not having enough..all contribute to a constriction in your energy and general flow of not only your space but also your life to receive what is trying to come through to you.

While not all of us have the budget or desire to completely redesign your home, this time of year provides a great opportunity to be creative in bringing the style of your home into your own inspirational present. As an example, our family is still in the process of allowing our new home to speak to us and to acquire meaningful pieces to fill it. In the meantime, there are spaces that I know I don't want to commit to hanging pictures with nails as I know the furniture arrangement will probably change shortly. So I have taken some of my children's art and used simple blue painters tape to artfully arrange some pieces to add instant color and meaning to our home. When new artwork comes home or new inspiration hits I simply take down the old ones and replace them with new ones leaving my walls completely unharmed.

Another cost-conscious way to add instant pop to your walls is to frame pretty wrapping paper, wallpaper remnants, or reasonably priced prints (Etsy has some great ones). The summer is a great time to also unleash your inner artist and even if you have never painted before  you can buy a canvas and simply buy paint whose colors attract you and paint. My inner painter was unleashed years ago at Rebecca Schweiger's wonderful The Art Studio NY (see below for resources) as her classes provide tremendous support and freedom to simply create regardless of whether you have ever painted before or consider yourself an artist.

Another instant re-boot for your home is to simply rehash some current furniture and pieces in your home by placing them in different locations and/or for different uses. For instance an old shelving piece with doors once used for books can be re-jiggered to be a min-wardrobe for a child. Simply switching out or adding some decorative pillows are great ways to instantly refresh your current decor and can be switched seasonally if you like.

For more design inspiration from everything from great interiors, furniture, pillows, etc. follow me onPinterest and Instagram. Need some more one-on-one guidance, contact me about my transformative Sacred Home Design and Space Clearing and Blessing services. Happy clearing and decorating!!!

P.S. More tips forthcoming!

Resources:

1) For Design Inspiration and Resources follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.

2) Art Classes: The Art Studio NY.

3) Pillows of all price ranges (Ikea, Jonathan Adler, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and more on my Pinterest "Pillow Talk" board)

4)For art at all price ranges follow your own muse or check out my "Artists You Should Know About" board on Pinterest.

5)"Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston

6)Resources and great idea for organizing at my "Uncluttered Home, Peaceful Home" board on Pinterest.

Follow me on Pinterest for More Inspiration and Resources!

"Butterflies In-Store" Photo by Elana Kilkenny. Taken at Anthropologie in Soho, NYC.

"Butterflies In-Store" Photo by Elana Kilkenny. Taken at Anthropologie in Soho, NYC.

Many of you know that I am positively and joyously obsessed with interior design and all things related to making one's life more fully beautiful, so it will come as no surprise to you that I would instantly fall in love with making boards on Pinterest.  For those of you who don't know what Pinterest is, it is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to decorate their homes, share children related information, and a host of other information.

I have recently created a collection of boards to share with you on everything from home decor, children's rooms/stuff/clothing, to holistic resources. Whenever possible I have tried to pin something from its original source so if you click on the picture it will take you there. It has been a great way to organize a treasure trove of information that I am thrilled to share with you to inspire you to truly create a more beautiful and vibrant life! If it sounds intriguing follow my Pinterest page as I update my boards frequently.

Blessings and love,

Elana