Thoughts from the Barn

Day 16 Create A Life You Love: The Operator

The Operator

The Operator by Robert O’Neill is a riveting book that all Americans would benefit from reading. O’Neill is an honest and graphic storyteller opening the reader’s eyes to the reality of what it takes to be the best of the best in US Military operations. These men sacrifice everything, including their lives to protect our great country so that you have the opportunity to Create A Life You Love. Don’t ever take this for granted.

O’Neill didn’t plan on signing up to be a Navy Seal, but as fate would have it he ended up squarely in the middle of one of the world’s most intense military training programs.  In his book, he describes in excruciating detail the unimaginable training that Navy Seals go through to prepare for the most deadly military missions on Earth.  During his time as a counter-terror expert, he went on over 400 missions in some of the most God-forsaken areas of the planet.

And finally, he talks about being the shooter of Osama bin Laden.  Days before the mission he and his seal mates wrote letters to loved ones and discussed the fact that they would likely not survive the assignment.  The task did not go as planned and so his team had to adjust to one of their helicopters going down and a handful of other unexpected occurrences.  If you haven’t read this book, do.  If you have read it, give it to someone who hasn’t. Stay true and be

Day 15 Create A Life You Love: Workout Challenge

Workout Challenge

Many workouts can be done with little or no equipment.  Below you will find a video of a workout challenge that requires your bodyweight and gravity.  That’s it.  Our bodies benefit in many ways from moving.  It helps keep our bones and muscles sturdy, it helps to circulate our blood throughout our body, and it assists in a good nights sleep.  At the very least I suggest that you go on a 30-minute walk each day.  You can always add hand weights to help increase your heart rate and burn more calories.  Whatever exercise routine you choose for yourself, make sure you keep it interesting and challenging. Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
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Day 14 Create A Life You Love: Design Your Own Home

Design Your Own Home

I went to a home tour event that was sponsored by the Historical Society in my community of Rancho Santa Fe, California.  All of the homes we toured were designed by the late architect, Lilian Rice.  Many of the houses and buildings that she designed are listed in the Historical Registry.  After visiting the homes today, I thought it would be a great writing/design challenge for you.  Design your own home.  What would it look like?  How big/small would it be?  What materials would be used?  What is the color scheme?  What does the exterior look like?  What does the landscape look like?  Go to town.  Have fun with this.  If you could design your ideal home, what would you do?

I Designed My Home

Several years ago, my home was destroyed by the wildfires in southern California.  I had never planned to build a house from the ground up, but Mother Nature gave me the opportunity.  It is an arduous process that requires thousands of decisions, but I found it to be an incredible learning experience.  I learned a lot about design, construction, project management, and of course, myself.  As a matter of fact, the ceiling of my dining room was created from wood that came from the first school built in Rancho Santa Fe in the early 1920’s.  The designer of the school, Lilian Rice.  So, get after it, design your own home. Stay true and be you —

By |2018-07-15T12:09:35+00:00July 14th, 2018|Categories: Thoughts from the Barn|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Day 13 Create A Life You Love: Cowboy Ethics

Cowboy Ethics

Today’s reading challenge is Cowboy Ethics What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West by James P. Owen.  Photography by the late David R. Stoecklein.  Owen was a 40 year veteran of Wall Street and for many years he felt a deep anger and shame about the lack of ethical behavior in the world of finance.  During this time he saw the movie Open Range he felt a tremendous emotional pull to get back to simpler times when right and wrong were as clear as black and white.  So he decided to steep himself in the history of the time-honored ways of the working cowboy.  He writes about these rules of the range in his book, Cowboy Ethics.

Code of the West

The following are those rules of the range which are expanded upon in the book:

  1.  Live Each Day With Courage
  2. Take Pride In Your Work
  3. Always Finish What You Start
  4. Do What Has To Be Done
  5. Be Tough, But Fair
  6. When You Make A Promise, Keep It
  7. Ride For The Brand
  8. Talk Less And Say More
  9. Remember That Some Things Aren’t For Sale
  10. Know Where To Draw The Line

Cowboy Ethics is a must-read for anyone who wants to live a values-based life.

  Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
Participate in the Online Edition of Lines In The Sand Join Us Now

Day 12 Create A Life You Love: Shoulder And Lat Workout

Shoulder and Lat Workout

Today is our workout challenge.  Grab a stretchy band of some sort.  Theraband is a well-known brand with a variety of sizes and resistances from which to choose.  Anchor your band to a stable structure and then get into a squat position.  Hold the band with your arms straight out, palms facing down.  Now, with a slight bend in your arms raise the band into a V-shaped position, and lower.  Repeat this exercise at least three times of 15 reps.  Step back a few steps and remain in the squat position.  This time start with your arms straight out in front of you and pull down to the side or your hips.  This movement will engage your lat muscles and assist you in gaining strength throughout your back.  Again, repeat the exercise three times doing 15 reps.  Watch the video below for a demonstration. Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
Participate in the Online Edition of Lines In The Sand Join Us Now

Day 11 Create A Life You Love: Let Go Of Limitations

Let Go

At some point in our life, we all have a person, place or thing that we know we must let go of to evolve to our next level of living.  We will often hold on to whatever it is that is holding us back because we have concocted a story that helps us to argue for our limitations.  And then, our boundaries become our comfort zone which in turn causes us to be afraid to let go.  Being stuck is not good.  Staying stuck is a choice.

You Know In Your Gut

For years I remained in a relationship that was not thriving, and it indeed was not serving me.  I knew I must get out of the link to achieve my highest level of living.  However, I would make excuses up ’til the cows came home’ because I had great fear about ending the situation.  It had become a habit, a horrible habit.  It wasn’t until I decided and fully committed to taking my power back that I was finally able to let go of this limiting circumstance in my life.  I have never felt better.  I have never been freer.  Whatever it is that you KNOW that you MUST let go of, do it! Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
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Day 10 Create A Life You Love: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

Here we are at one of our reading challenges.  If you have read this book, read it again.  If you have not read it. Get it. Read it. Take it all in.  When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Galanithi is a wonderfully written true story about a young man who came from a long line of doctors in his family.  He never wanted to be a doctor.  He attended Stanford where he studied biology and literature.  He went on to study history and the philosophy of medicine at Cambridge.  And finally, he graduated from Yale with a degree in Neuro Surgery.  Alas, a doctor after all.  He spends many years telling patients that they are going to die from their medical malady; a conversation that was NEVER easy.

Becoming A Patient

After all those years of training, at the age of 36 Kalanithi was diagnosed with level IV metastatic lung cancer.  He tells of his transition from doctor to patient and what an odd and compromising position he assumed.  The book is layered with science and medicine and compassion and heartbreak; Kalanithi is a stunning writer.  When you put the book down after reading the last words, you will sit there for awhile and consider how you are living your own life.  When Breath Becomes Air is a must read. Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love

By |2018-07-13T11:26:10+00:00July 10th, 2018|Categories: Thoughts from the Barn|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Day 9 Create A Life You Love: Bosu Ball Abs

Bosu Ball Abs

OK, my friends today’s workout challenge is Bosu Ball Abs.  Most gyms have a Bosu Ball.  What you want to do is sit on the ball and do a series of abdominal exercises.  The first is a regular sit up.  Sit in the middle of the Bosu and roll down so your back is parallel to the flow with your feet remaining on the floor.  Then do a regular sit-up bringing your upper body perpendicular to the floor.  Do at least 15 reps of this exercise.

The second exercise incorporates lifting one leg off the floor each time you come to a sitting position.  Alternate legs and continue doing at least 15 reps.  There are hundreds of core exercises you can do on a Bosu ball.  Click here to see an example.  For more of the same do a Google search for Bosu Ball Ab Workouts.  Within seconds you will have thousands of options to choose from.

It’s “Ab Friday” in class so here’s a few great exercises for you! Tighten up that core!

Posted by Kate Grace on Friday, June 22, 2018

  Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
Participate in the Online Edition of Lines In The Sand Join Us Now

Day 8 Create A Life You Love: Answer These 2 Questions

Answer These Two Questions

Get your journal. Yes, right now.  Sit down and answer these two questions:

  1. What are you most proud of about yourself?  Why?
  2. What do you value most in your life?

As part of Creating A Life That You Love it is essential to have a thoughtful and profound inquiry with yourself.  It is when we take time to go inside of ourselves and reflect that we become willing to live wholeheartedly.  It is essential that you know and appreciate everything about yourself that makes you proud.  It is equally as important to identify what you value most.  This is what creates the basis for your values.  And, your values give you a trustworthy tool to guide you purposefully through your life.

Practice Journaling

The practice of journaling is a beautiful habit of honing your writing skills.  When we write things down, we are more likely to remember what it is we want to achieve in our lives.  It gives us a place to capture our thoughts and desires.  And, it allows our conscious mind to be in alignment with our subconscious mind.  So, grab your journal and a favorite pen, find a quiet corner and journal for at least 15 minutes each day. Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
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Day 7 Create A Life You Love: The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages

Are you thriving in your relationship or merely going through the motions to get through the day?  Whatever the status of your romantic relationship, I encourage you to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  Chapman explains that each of us falls into the category of one of the following love languages:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gift
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

It is when we know what our partners love language is that we can talk to and be with them in a way that allows them to feel loved and appreciated.  Chapman explains that in some marriages it is as if one person is speaking English and the other person is speaking Chinese.  Neither person understands what the other is saying.  Therefore, the relationship is contentious, unsatisfying, and often on the brink of falling apart.

What Is Your Love Language?

You can easily find out. Merely go to and take the short test to determine your language.  Chapman has also written books on the love languages of children and teenagers, great reads if you have kids.  Take advantage of the quiz and the book.  I am confident it will help to improve even the best of relationships.

  Stay true and be you —

Annie Create a Life You Love
Participate in the Online Edition of Lines In The Sand Join Us Now