by Dee Harris

   When we were born I believe we all arrived strong…strong to live and survive.  I believe our cells were born that way as well, but they never intentionally give up that will to survive.  As a matter of fact, they will continue on forever doing their best to keep us alive and well.  But what happens to us as human beings?

   So, okay, we come out with that fight or flight mentality – survival.  But it’s that mentality that will change us from the moment we start to be exposed to new experiences, incidents, and people.  Luckily, that doesn’t happen to our cells that continue to protect and nurture us as best they can throughout our lives.  And, yes, children are strong-willed, too, until we begin to “tame” the spirit out of them.  So let’s not.

   Okay, we must teach our children about safety, but we don’t have to scare them into living a fear-based life.  We can teach them to live smart and to make wise choices.  We all know that there is evil out there in the real world so we must undeniably teach that to our children, again, without forcing them to withdraw from society.

   I also feel that teaching our children about respect is one of the greatest lessons we can give them.  Being polite and learning proper etiquette, okay, very helpful.  But real respect comes from the teachings that none of us is any better nor any worse than the other.  We are all human beings that deserve respect, no matter what color, gender, race, etc.  We are ALL human beings.  We are ALL equal!

   We must learn to share.  We must learn to care.  It is not all about us.  Like everything else on the planet, we will be out of balance if we do not all thrive, from the tiniest of plankton to the hugest of whales.  We need each other!

   But kids won’t automatically get that.  We must teach them so that they won’t be the bully at school, the mass shooter that didn’t learn respect nor experience it during childhood, the politician who could swear on a stack of bibles to tell the truth to perform his duties and succumbs to power and money.

   So where am I going with this?  Let’s teach our children respect without taking the child away.  Our children’s power is their innocence, their strong-will, their being in the moment.  Yes, they can hold onto their childhood and practice respect at the same time.  As can we!

   And while we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.  Don’t forget that valuable lesson!

   We have lost our inner child as we matured into adults.  So many commitments.  So many responsibilities.  So much regret about the past and worry about the future.  Let’s get back in the moment as strong-willed children before society broke us into its stereotypical adult definition.

   And let’s teach our children what gifts they have in being strong-willed, respectfully.  Don’t be meek.  Stand up for yourself.  Don’t live in fear of others’ opinions and your own comparisons.  We are all human beings, doing the best we can.  Be okay with that.  You will thrive.  And as they teach this to their children, all of humanity and our planet will begin thriving once again as well.  We all have our own unique gifts.  Make sure your children know that, and sharing their unique assets is the greatest gift of all!

   It is easier to build strong children that to repair broken adults.  Don’t you agree?


  Thank you for reading my blog and for being part of my journey in recovery.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

   For those interested in my Art to Inspire, please visit my website at  To see this blog on YouTube, please visit…  Mahalo and enjoy!




By Dee Harris
1.  Everything can – and will – change.

   Just like us, everything changes.  You are still that infant, aren’t you?  And that adolescent?  That is you, but you have transitioned into who you are today.  And who will you be at 3 PM or tomorrow?  Change is inevitable.  You have no control over it.  So make the best of it; thrive from it.

   That small town you grew up in isn’t so small anymore.  That station wagon you drove around in as a child has transitioned into a hybrid car.  That telephone with a dial and attached to the wall with a cord, well, you know the drill.

   These are exciting times as we “try” to make the world a better place.  Keep on trying; don’t let these changes put you in a negative state of mind.  Remember that everything happens for a reason.  Make it positive, optimistic, hopeful!

2.  You’ve overcome challenges before.   

   When challenges arise today I am blessed to have a God Box and a Power Greater Than Myself in my life over to whom I can turn my will, my life…and my challenges.  This way of living is so comforting for me, knowing that I have no control over people, places, or things, and that everything is happening for a reason.  With that I can just go with the flow, being mindful of the present moment, not regretting the past nor worrying about the future.

   And, yes, I’ve overcome many a challenge.  The greatest being overcoming my alcoholism and being married, raising two boys, and holding down a job in that state of dis-ease.  That was a long chapter in my life and I am so very grateful to have started a fresh new chapter.  That challenge made me who I am today.  Today’s challenges will make me who I am tomorrow.  Make it better!

3.  It’s a learning experience.

   I believe there are no coincidences…that everything happens for a reason.  This newly-found Higher Power in my life has a plan for me, a purpose.  All for learning and growing.  Each person I meet, each occurrence I experience, each thought and feeling I have.  All for growing and becoming a better human being.  And then sharing those experiences.  Important stuff.

   And it’s not until my Higher Power says “You may pass GO and collect $200” that I get to be released from my tough times.  When the student is ready, the Master appears.  No sooner; no later.  All perfectly choreographed.

4.  Not getting what you want can be a blessing.   

   My Higher Power knows what’s best for me…what I “need”; my ego knows what it wants…oftentimes not what I “need”.  And what I need can feel uncomfortable, chaotic, tumultuous.  Yuck!  Who wants that?

   I didn’t want to go through the discomfort of stopping drinking and learning a new way to live.  But I had to.  My Higher Power said so.  That part of my journey was over.  All those decades had brought me to the bottom He saw fit for me to claw out of so that I could now have understanding and clarity, purpose and self-love.  Who would have thought?  Not in my wildest dreams (I never dreamed nor got good sleep; I passed out and came to) would I ever have thought I would know contentment and peace; to be comfortable in my own skin.  That was the plan; I just didn’t know it then.

5.  Allow yourself to have some fun.   

   I remember telling my kids to never let go of their inner child.  And I believe that for me, as well.  To live our passion and let that child in us come out and play.  Love yourself enough, be comfortable enough in your skin to dance as if no one were looking.  They’re not looking anyway.  And if they are, who gives a shit?  If I’m being judged, not my problem, but their’s.  Such a better mind-set and way to live.  LIVE!  HAVE FUN!  BE YOU!

6.  Being kind to yourself is the best medicine.   

   This is still hard for me.  I’ve always been such a perfectionist and it’s hard to let that character defect go.  But I’m trying.  Yes, I can love myself for who and what I am with all my unique gifts, just like you have what I want.  If it’s meant to be, I’ll get them.  If not, move on and be thankful for what I have.

   I still feel I am not worthy of having such a good life.  When I’m experience chaos-free, peaceful and productive days, I’m waiting for the ball to drop.  Why?  Because I’m once again living from my head, my ego, and have forgotten to turn my will and my life over to the care of my God of My Own Understanding.

   So if I remember to stay in the moment, be grateful, be humble, then I can be kinder to myself knowing that I am perfect right here and now…everything is perfect.  I can turn off the Imposter Syndrome that tries to sabotage me.  I can allow my positive self-talk to drown out my negative self-talk.  Good, yeah?  Is that odd, or is that God?

7.  Other people’s negativity isn’t worth worrying about.

   I have no control over people, places and things and I cannot allow myself, will not allow myself, to let their negativity worry me.  Worrying only means that the ego has once again taken over control.  Scary place for me. 

   I choose to live my life in an optimistic, positive, “glass-half-full” mindset.  I feel bad for those who don’t, or can’t, and am glad that I am not walking in their shoes.  However, I try to put on my empathetic hat to understand why they are the way they are.  That helps for me to not judge as I have not walked in their shoes.  Again, I get grateful.  I get humble.

8.  And there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

   Oh, dang.  Add a few more “always” onto that statement.  To wake up excited each morning for what the day, and my Higher Power has in store for me.  That is something to be thankful for.  To not “have to” drink today is a miracle in itself.  To have a family and a wealth of true friends who love me for who I am, pretty amazing.  To be comfortable in my own skin…unreal.  To be able to share my experience, strength and hope with rigorous honesty with those I don’t even know, unimaginable.  Dang, I am SOOOO thankful!

   Thank you for being here on my journey.  Please share yours with me.  Together we thrive.  Alone we die a slow death.  Yikes!  Don’t go there…

   With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in what I do when I’m not blogging or vlogging, please visit my shop with inspirational pieces of Art with a Message of Hope and Optimism at  If you would like to view this blog on YouTube, please visit

Mahalo and enjoy!

Sharing My Experience, Strength and Hope with DUI Class

I am so blessed, so grateful, so humble to be able to share my experience, strength and hope with others in order to keep this precious gift called sobriety, in hopes that a struggling human being can walk away inspired and hopeful.  Today I share with you one of my speeches I give in a local DUI class…

Sharing My Experience, Strength and Hope with DUI Class

Hi.  My name is Dee and I’m an alcoholic.  This was so difficult for me to say when I first came into the rooms of AA as I still held that stereotype of what an alcoholic was, and I didn’t fit it.  But I was definitely an alcoholic.  I could no longer control my drinking; my drinking controlled me…every part of me.

By a show of hands who here is really excited to be here today with no place that you would rather be?  There is no place that I would rather be and woke up excited this morning that I get to share my Experience, Strength and Hope at a DUI class today.  I feel there are no coincidences why each and every one of us is here in this room today and, if one person walks away today with a ray of hope and optimism, then my purpose has been served. 


You are all here today by choice.  Yes, you got a DUI and that sucks, and unless you’re a straw, don’t suck.  Choose to look at your DUI in a positive way and don’t slither or stomp away thinking, “Why me?”  Again, there are no coincidences.  I believe you were chosen for this part of your journey through life.  It is up to you to either sit and wallow on the pity pot, or use this incident to make you a better and more grateful human being.  Look at the positive…you’re not  dead and you didn’t kill anyone.


So when I came into the rooms of AA, I came in via a 28-day treatment program for alcoholism.  At that time my drinking definitely controlled me.  As a matter of fact, life was getting in the way of my drinking and that’s all I could think about and all I wanted to do.  Yes, I was throwing away everything that meant anything to me, including myself, but I didn’t care.  I had to drink.  I was driven and obsessed to drink.

I tried many, many times in every way possible to stop drinking.  Just for one day.  But my head always forced me back to taking that first drink, and one drink was never enough.  I was a closet drinker, a black-out drinker and a pass-out drinker.  I functioned for many years this way until the progression of this disease brought me to my bottom. 

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When the kids came home from school that afternoon like they did for years, I didn’t “come to” to get ready for my swing shift.  I was passed out through my shift and when I finally did “come to” the red light on the answering machine was flashing.  A message from work was on that machine from the manager at work.  Had a talked to her?  What did I say?  I got no response from my family as I “fished” for answers as I often did after a black-out.  Did I call the manager, who happened to be and still is one of my best friends?  No.  The incomprehensible demoralization we hear about in AA was so strong at that time, that I did not have the nerve nor courage to call her back.  I was full of guilt and shame and hopelessness and sadness.

So a new life begins.  My life in recovery.  In that 28-day treatment program I learn about alcoholism, the disease, that helped me to erase all preconceived stereotypes.  I learn that an alcoholic’s brain is different that those of normal drinkers and, when we put alcohol into our bodies, our prefrontal cortex yells out for more and won’t take “no” for an answer.  The only thing I could do was the “one day at a time” approach.  Just for today, I shall not drink.  And with the help of a loving, non-judgmental fellowship of like-minded human beings striving to not drink today as well, I put together enough minutes to make it through a day.

And I did what was suggested in AA.  I attended meetings regularly.  I got a sponsor.  I read the Big Book and worked the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with my trusted sponsor.  I got into service to give back what was so freely given me when I needed it most.  And my life changed.  I changed.  Today I am happy, joyous and free and have a fellowship to remind me I don’t have to do this alone and a toolbox for living in the 12 Steps of AA.

It’s simple but not easy.  Nothing worth having or holding on to comes easily.  But it sure beats the alternative.  Having to drink every day.  Not having a choice.  Not having hope or optimism or anything positive in your life.  Just negative, doom and gloom and lots of incomprehensible  demoralization.


And for icing on the cake I got to make up a Power Greater than Myself, a Higher Power of My Own Understanding over to whom I could turn my will and my life.  My ego and self-will are out the door today and I’ve been shown how to live from my heart and no longer my intellectual brain that couldn’t get me to stop drinking.  That’s a beautiful thing and a wonderful way to live.  And to finally be comfortable in my own skin and love myself for who and what I am. 


So today I share with you my gift of recovery, my Experience, Strength and Hope so that I could keep it.  Unless I give it away, I cannot keep it.  And I want it.  It’s awesome!!! 


I hope one person got one positive thing from what I have said today.  Shed the guilt and the shame.  It does not serve you!  Know you are not alone.  And when you are ready, we are here to take you on a magic carpet ride to recovery and a purposeful way to live…and love yourself.  No coincidences you are here today.

Thank you for being here for my journey and for letting me share my joy of a life beyond my wildest dreams.  Please share with me your journey!  We’re all in this together, never alone!  No coincidences.  Just hope and optimism.  With warmest aloha, Dee Harris

For those interested in quotes and affirmations such as those above, please visit my website at  I have also made this blog into a YouTube video at  Mahalo and enjoy!

5 Techniques That Declutter and Simplify from Marie Kondo

•Because I am inspired by other people’s writings and teachings, I share them with you and hope you receive inspiration as well.  I add my two-cents worth by sharing how these teachings have affected me in my life in recovery and spirituality… 

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5 Techniques That Declutter and Simplify from Marie Kondo

by Brittany Wright

Spring is a time of cleansing and renewal. Nature reveals itself in its simplest slate—the snow melts, while the plants are not yet sprung. The ground seems to swell with potential but restrain from bursting into life until the weather warms. 

People, too, tend to ritualistically simplify during this time. Spring cleaning of your home is a common practice, while you may simplify your diet to shed winter layers and prepare for “swimsuit season.” 

This tendency to disburden has been made popular recently by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and host of a popular television show which holds people accountable to simplifying their belongings. While Kondo sites Japanese tradition for her principles, several other philosophies share the same sentiment. 

•Dee:  I have started decluttering and am finding things that once gave me joy no longer hold that magic.  Those things are now gone.  The chi is flowing more freely throughout my home.  And, hopefully, those things can now give joy to someone else or, at least, be put to good use.

But I was still experiencing poison arrows darting into me when it came to my business.  I was resentful that it was taking as much time, if not more, to do the business side of my art than the creative time.  It finally got to me and I am now decluttering my business.

Weeding out those items that no longer give me joy nor fit my brand of enhancing others’ lives by offering hope, optimism and laughter is now allowing me space for more creativity.  Keeping the pieces that most strongly represent my message, my brand, and me with the added bonus of not spending time writing product descriptions, taking new photographs, and posting on websites and social media will, hopefully, get the good energy flowing once again.


You’ve no doubt heard discussion of “karma” in your yoga classes. However, this idea stems from tradition far beyond the yoga mat. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, the term karma is used to describe the sum of your actions in this and previous lifetimes. The sum total of accumulated karma is thought to decide your fate in future existences. 

In Jainism, karma is believed to be an actual sticky substance that attaches to a person. Karma particles are attracted to you based on your actions. Quite literally, karma becomes the “stuff” that binds you. 


While karma accumulates day to day, it can also be shed. One way to burn karma, Jainists believe, is through performing focused work, or kriya. The word “kriya” is derived from the Sanskrit root “kri,” meaning “to do.” Kriya can be any action or ritual that is performed consciously. Repetitive action, or kriya, not only burns through heavy karma, but also helps to develop tapas (self-discipline) which limits the future accumulation of karma. 

How to Burn Karma 

Have you ever noticed the way clutter makes you feel, compared to simplicity and order? Imagine the way you feel coming home to a house that is cluttered with laundry on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink. Maybe the air in your home smells stale. Now, compare this feeling to the way you feel when opening your door to a clean home: the floors are clear for walking, the sink is empty and ready for washing, and the air smells crisp and clean. 

You probably notice the difference, both now—in imagination—and in real time. This clutter is a very real manifestation of karma. It becomes sticky, heavy, and dispiriting. It is nearly impossible to access your true spirit— light and free—when surrounded by the karma of clutter. 

So, what to do? You guessed it: utilize a little kriya! If kriya, or focused attention, helps to burn karma, then the choice is easy. Focused and conscientious cleaning helps cut through the muddy karma of accumulated “stuff”— both dirt and possessions. 

What’s Karma and Kriya Got to Do with Marie Kondo? 

So now that the relationship between karma and kriya has been established, what does that have to do with Marie Kondo? 

Marie Kondo utilizes this principle, whether calling it kriya or just “decluttering.” In her television show, she coaches individuals to not only “clean out,” but to do so with attention and gratitude. Rather than hastily folding a pile of clothes, she shows them how to carefully fold each item into a perfect shape, all the while giving thanks for the opportunity to fold your possessions. When it comes to clearing out clutter, she again encourages individuals to touch each item and give it thanks for the purpose that it served, prior to placing it into the “to- dispose-of” bin. Through teaching both attention as well as work, she is coaching others through the practice of kriya. 

•Dee:  This really works!  Being mindful.  I mean totally mindful.  And thankful.  With intention.  And I’m finding that no matter what I’m doing, being 100% present rewards me with such growth and awareness.  It’s pretty amazing!

Here are five techniques to burn karma through kriya. 

1. Limit Your Possessions 

Set aside a day to clear out your drawers, pantry, dishes, refrigerator, closet, shoes … you get the idea. Be honest with yourself about whether or not your current volume of possessions serves you and let go of the excess. 

•Dee:  I started by getting rid of 27 things per day for nine days consecutively.  If I missed a day, I’d have to start over.  That happened twice.  I lost track of the days but continued on for way more than nine days.  27 Things seems like a lot, but it isn’t; it could be anything.  And it only takes a few minutes each day to find 27 things.  The beauty of it all is that once you’re in that mindset, you continue on because you want to!  You’re on a mission!

2. Stick to a Schedule 

The fine-tuning tasks of dusting, vacuuming, mopping, folding, etc., can quickly become overwhelming. Draw up a weekly schedule to assign these tasks to each individual day of the week. Then hold yourself accountable! Three to four daily chores are much more enjoyable than a catchup day of 20 chores. 

•Dee:  I’m really obsessive-compulsive so once I start on a project, it’s all or nothing…usually.  But I am trying to limit my time on each project, moving onto another, then another, once the newness, excitement, attention starts to wane.  And it’s really good for me to get up and move and not be in the same spot for hours.  And everything seems to get done without me being exhausted at the end of the day.

3. Simplify Where You Can 

One of my most recent revelations came from my husba snd. He buys only the same black, crew-cut socks, over and over. Why? Because this saves him the chore of pairing socks. When all his socks are the same, he can grab any two he desires. This idea at first seemed absurd to me, and then genius. This can be applied to so many areas —do you really need all those dishes? Both china and daily wear? An entire drawer of Tupperware? Simplify, simplify, simplify. 

•Dee:  It really is nice to open a cupboard and not have everything spill out.  Then you have to take out everything anyway just to find what you’re looking for.  Just as when we start to declutter our open spaces, decluttering our closed spaces is just as freeing!

4. Commit to Doing Dishes and Laundry Daily 

Often times, it may seem like you need those extra dishes and clothes because you only do the wash once or twice weekly. This creates excess—you have to buy more due to washing everything less. You also have excess clutter! Rather than washing and putting away items daily for reuse, they sit around, dirty—in the sink or in a hamper. Commit to washing dishes and a load of laundry daily—you will see that you probably need fewer clothes and dishes than you think! 

5. Reframe Your Perspective 

I read an article a while back from a woman whose young husband passed away unexpectedly. She wrote a testimonial to others reminding them to acknowledge the opportunity they have, each day, to do simple tasks for loved ones. In her honest recollection, she stated that she regretted each of the days that she begrudgingly picked up clutter from her husband, and admitted that, following his passing, she would give almost anything for the chance to have him around again, making clutter—for her to be able to touch his laundry each day and fold it. 

This is not to say that decluttering is a woman’s job—absolutely not! Kriya is for everyone, as karma does not discriminate by gender. The job of simplifying and decluttering belongs to everybody in the home. However, this is a great example of how reframing—seeing the same chore in a different light—can create an attitude of opportunity and gratefulness, rather than despair. 

•Dee:  Yep, it’s all whether you look at the glass half-full or half-empty.  I try to keep an optimistic and positive mindset, being grateful that I am able to do that “wretched” task.  I become grateful.  I become humble.

Live Light 

If karma is all about accumulating experiences and goods that weigh you down, then kriya is all about how to shed the muck and remain buoyant. Life provides unlimited opportunities for both accumulation and subsequent shedding. Your home is maybe one of the easiest opportunities to hone the principle of staying “light,” as this is the place in which you spend the most time and therefore tend to accumulate. 

This spring, take an honest look at the clutter—the karma—residing in your home. Using the five tips above, start the process of shedding and simplifying. Your inner light—and your home—will be shining more brightly by summer! 

•Dee:  I love now looking at clutter as karma.  We all want good karma, yeah?  We all want the weight of the world off our shoulders and it starts with baby steps at home.  Then the car.  Then your workplace.  You’ll notice soon that there is now less clutter in your brain.  You’re entirely open for all things good!

If you would like to view this blog as a YouTube video, please visit  Mahalo and enjoy!

About the Author 

Brittany Wright, Writer, Registered Dietitian, Certified Yoga Teacher 

Brittany is a dietitian, writer, and adventurer. With experience in wellness consulting, acute care nutrition, as well as geriatric and end-of-life nourishment, Brittany has honed a simple food philosophy for all: Eat real food, slowly, with good people. Outside of the nine to five job as a registered dietitian, Brittany enjoys exploring the mountains of Colorado with her husky puppy, Nieve. Follow their adventures here. (

The Chopra Center

If I Didn’t Think, I’d Be Much Happier

If I Didnt Think 

If I Didn’t Think, I’d Be Much Happier

by Dee Harris 

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   I never “thought” thinking would get me in such trouble.  What is thinking?  The process of using one’s mind to consider or reason about something.  Okay, then.  What is rationalization?  The action of attempting to explain or justify behavior or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate.  So that’s where my thinking got me in trouble…by rationalizing.

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    I prided myself for being an intellectual human being.  I studied hard.  I excelled in school.  I believed that if I wanted something badly enough and really put my mind to it, I could get it.  I knew nothing of religion or spirituality.  I only knew of science and intellect.

   Leading up to the time of coming to terms with brain vs. heart I noticed that my intellectual endeavors were diminishing.  My drive and passion were diminishing.  And I had no purpose.  Sad, huh? 

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   In retrospect I can now see where this journey was taking me and the cause of my “just getting by”.  It was addiction.  Mainly an addiction to alcohol.  All starting out most innocently with peers in junior and then senior high school.  I wasn’t enslaved yet and don’t even know when it happened.

   Throughout college I drank on occasion with friends.  Then sometime thereafter drinking started to become more regular for me…and in the end, decades later, regular drinking meant daily drinking.  Life was now in the way of my drinking.

   So this once intellectual and driven human being couldn’t muster enough know-how to go a day without drinking.  And, boy, did I rationalize my destructive behavior as this disease slowly dragged me to and through hell.

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   So what happened?  I finally came to my senses, got lucky, got unlucky, however you want to look at it, but I got the help I needed to stop drinking.  And today I believe my Higher Power made an intervention.  My destructive journey that I needed to endure would now transition to “trudging the road of happy destiny”, as it is said in AA.

   In a 28-day treatment program for alcoholism I started to learn living from my heart, rather than my head.  This was totally foreign to me but what did I have to lose?  I had intellectually screwed my life up by thinking and rationalizing, so “fake it ’til you make it”. 

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  Living from my heart was made possible by a Power Greater Than Myself, of my own understand, that I got to make up.  Yep, from my own little brain.  Over to this Higher Power I turned my will and my life.  My Higher Power spoke through my gut.  You know those feelings.  Intuition.

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   So now my brain, my ego and I are no longer running the show.  The HP has got everything under control and I shall just do the footwork from the messages I get in my gut.  Dang.  It works!

   Not only does it work, it’s so freeing!!!  The heavy load I had been carrying on my shoulders for decades was no longer there.  The fact that this all seemed miraculous and inexplicable helped me to gain trust in this Power Greater Than Myself.

   It’s now been awhile since I’ve transitioned from brain to heart and this way of living still serves me today.  I’m in such a better place of surrender and acceptance and everyday keeps getting better and better.  So thankful.  So humble…

   …and so glad to be able to share my journey with you.  I look forward to being part of your journey and hearing about your story!

   With much aloha, Dee Harris 

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   This blog is also on YouTube as a vlog at  And for those of you who are interested in what I do when I’m not blogging and vlogging, please check out my Art with a Message of “No Stinkin’ Thinkin’” at  Mahalo and enjoy!

Affirmations – Why They Work

Affirmations – Why They Work

by Dee Harris

   I’m a strong believer in affirmations.  The affirmation I made up in morning meditation when I was in a 28-day alcohol treatment program I would have never thought I would still be saying today, and so grateful to have something positive coming out of my mouth about myself until I could finally believe it in myself. 


   So just what is an affirmation?  An affirmation is a positive statement used for emotional support or encouragement.  And if we can become one-tenth as good at positive self-talk as we are at negative self-talk, we shall notice an enormous change.  I  know I did.

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  Our brain filters out what matters to us based on our goals, needs, interests and desires.  When you say an affirmation over and over again, a couple of things happen. One is that it sends a very clear message to your brain that this is important to you. When you do that, it gets busy noticing ways to help you achieve your goals. 


   The other way affirmations work is that they create a dynamic tension in our beings. If what I am saying is at a higher vibration that what I perceive the truth to be, the dynamic tension is uncomfortable.  A painful incongruence is felt between what I perceive the truth to be and what I am saying. Since this is uncomfortable, we want to rid ourselves of the tension. There are only two ways to do that: one is to stop saying the affirmation; the other is to raise the bar on reality by making the affirmation and reality match. 

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   So what makes an effective affirmation? First, determine what kind of transformation you want to bring about in yourself—a goal or intention.  Second, if it fits, add an emotion to the mix or a word that qualities the statement. For instance, I am joyfully at my ideal weight of 125. Or, I’m happily living in my own home.  Third, make it positive vs. negative: “I am healthy and fit” rather than “I am no longer fat.”   


   Some say it takes 21 days of repetition for an affirmation to make its mark on your psyche, so aim to keep your affirmation going for at least a month. Our Censors loathe anything that sounds like real self-worth.  They immediately start up with the imposter routine:  “Who do you think you are?” 

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   So just try picking an affirmation.  Write it 10 times in a row.  While you are busy doing that, something very interesting will happen.  Your Censor will start to object.  “Hey, wait a minute.  You can’t say all that positive stuff around me.”   


   Listen to the objections.  You will be amazed at the rotten things your subconscious will blurt out.  Write them down.  These blurts flag your personal negative core beliefs.  They hold the key to your freedom in their ugly little claws. 

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   So list your personal blurts.  Where do they come from?  Mom?  Dad?  Teachers?  One effective way to locate the sources is to time-travel.  Once you bring your monsters up from the depths, you could begin to work with them.  Each one of your blurts must be  dissolved.

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   My personal affirmation I came up with in rehab was, “I am a good person.  I am a whole person.”  Take it from me, when I made this up I felt anything but good or whole.  I loathed and hated myself for the predicament I had put myself in and for being weak and lacking self-control.     


   As I started my life in recovery with the new knowledge about alcoholism I had learned in rehab and the suggestions given me in AA, I still felt so uncomfortable in my skin.  I didn’t know how to live without drinking; my life revolved around drinking up to this point.  Every holiday, every event, everyday getting off work had drinking involved.  But one day at a time I started to gain a bit of clarity.  I was amazed to have not picked up a drink that day when I had tried every way possible which seemed like forever to go just one day without drinking.  I couldn’t do it. 

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   “I am a good person.  I am a whole person.”  Everyday.  Along with making up a Power Greater Than Myself over to whom I could turn my will and my life, I worked the 12 Steps of AA with a trusted sponsor and got to uncover where my ugly negative blurts  came from.    

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   So now come up with an affirmation that negates a blurt.  Positive affirmations may feel very uncomfortable at first, but they will rapidly allow you a new freedom once you  begin to believe in yourself.

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   Thank you for being on my journey with me.  I look forward to being part of yours, so please contact me anytime so that we can be the best we can be…anytime…all the  time…at this very moment!

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With warmest aloha, Dee Harris 

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   For those of you interested in checking out my Art with a Message of Inspiration and Hope such as the above mosaics, please visit my website at  And for those who would like to see this blog as a vlog on YouTube, please visit .  Mahalo and enjoy!

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron

Affirmations: Why They Work & How to Use Them, by Eve Hogan

Richness Comes from Simplicity

Richness Comes from Simplicity

by Dee Harris

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      Too much or not enough?  I believe the answer to that question depends a lot on the phase of life you’re in.  It probably doesn’t matter much in what part of the planet you popped out of the womb.  You probably started learning straight away in your society that more is better.  I know I did.

   Why don’t we live in a two-story house?  Can’t we drive a Mercedes?  I need new clothes for school and that new toy I saw on TV.  That’s just in elementary school.

   I want my own car and my own room.  I want to do those things my friends are doing and travel the world like them.  Our neighbor just got a pool. 

   I just want to get through college without owing a bajillion dollars in student loans.  I’ve get to get that job so I can have my own home and a brand new car.  I’ll need that stylish attire for that new job.

   We have a mortgage and a car payment now.  The kids are growing out of their clothes.  They need money for that new camp and their sporting events.  We really should get better insurance and started putting money aside for retirement.

   I’m so glad and so grateful to have made it to my sixth decade in life.  Life is much simpler now.  Why did I wait so long to find peace and contentment? 

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   Being so wrapped up in the craziness and drama of life doesn’t award much time for contemplating whether or not one has peace or contentment.  That contemplation doesn’t usually come until things quiet down, the kids are on their own, and retirement is here or just around the corner.

   That’s how it happened for me and I’ve found myself reading books and streaming videos and movies that peak my interest.  I cancelled our subscription to TV since most of what I was seeing was a waste of time, depressing and negative, and downright junk.  So I stumble across across videos showing how to declutter.  Embrace the mountains of shit accumulated through my lifetime, thank it for coming and bringing me joy, and ask it to leave.  

   I read a book suggesting I get rid of 27 things each day for 9 consecutive day.  If I miss a day (which I did twice) I must start again on day one.  I don’t know what day I’m on but I continue to rid my life of 27 things per day.  I’ll always find 27 things to lighten the load.

   The result.  FREEDOM!  Tons of weight off my shoulders!  Space for good chi to flow happily through the house!  And this new chi which serves my highest good makes me think twice every time I need this new gadget or that new toy.  I don’t need anything!  I’ve been blessed with everything I could possibly need. 

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   And I find that the more days that go by where I’ve discarded 27 items from my life make me richer.  Simplicity is my richness, my contentment, my happy place.  No drama.  No chaos.  No poison arrows shooting this way and that way.   And I can breathe and be in the moment.  I can live with gratitude and humility.

   And the awesome thing is that I’m finding I now am more attentive.  I can respectfully give you my full attention when you speak with me.  I can now be more empathetic and compassionate.  I have learned to listen better by decluttering not only my home, but the cobwebs from my brain!

   So know “You are rich, when you are content and happy with what you have.”  And if you’re not feeling it, get rid of what doesn’t give you joy or serve you any longer.  Richness comes from simplicity.

   I would love to hear your stories about contentment, and your feedback as well.  Thank you for being  part of my journey!

   With warmest aloha, 

Dee Harris

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For those looking for motivational reminders to live a simple lifestyle, please visit my website at  This blog is also available on a YouTube video at .  Mahalo and enjoy!