Category: Blog

Office Organizers created during Maker Monday with SparklewithSara Blog

Repurpose with Upcycle Arts & Crafts

Upcycle; Create and Repurpose!

Reduce waste AND have fun creating something functional and aesthetically pleasing to use in your daily life!

Below are some examples of past projects that re-purposed packaging and other waste to create something new and useful!

Office Organizers made with food packaging

BEFORE: Cereal Boxes, Cracker /Cookie Box, Popcorn Box, and re purposed scrapbook paper.

AFTER: Cute Organizer for your home or office.

Maker Monday SparklewithSara Upcycle Project Create Office Organizers

Cultivate Gratitude and Save the Planet

BEFORE: Mixed Paper & Aluminum Cans (Pringles, Nuts, Coffee, Breadcrumbs, comes in this packaging)

AFTER: Jar of Good Fortune (Jar of Gratitude)

BEFORE: Tea Boxes, Keurig Boxes and Re-purposed Card Stock.

AFTER: Box of Good Fortune (Box of Gratitude)  This one pictured below is on of the original designs made with love for my brother and his girlfriend. It’s still holding up from a few years ago!! (don’t mind the dust😘 )

Halloween Decorations made from re-purposed materials like food jars

BEFORE: Glass Jars and re purposed paper product

AFTER: Halloween Decoration with light

S Sparkle with Sara Values Blog

What does Sparkle mean?

Sparkle with Sara | Sparkle Meaning

Sparkle means all of this in the dictionary (see below), but also MORE. It’s about balancing the light and dark in our lives. Life isn’t consistently positive or filled with light. The darkness allows us to appreciate the light. When light and dark is in perfect balance that’s when we perceive a sparkle, a glow, and fullness of life.

Let’s SPARKLE!!! Join the sparkle crew, here.

Sparkle Means

If you google “Sparkle Definition” this is what it shows you:

verb
1. shine brightly with flashes of light.
“her earrings sparkled as she turned her head”
synonyms include:
  • glitter, glint, glisten, twinkle, flicker, flash, blink, shimmer, dance, shine, gleam, glow
2. be vivacious and witty.
“after a glass of wine, she began to sparkle”
synonyms include: 
  • be lively, be vivacious, be animated, be ebullient, be exuberant, be bubbly, be effervescent, be sparkling, be witty, be brilliant, be enthusiastic, be full of life

 

Blog

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

I received the BEST ADVICE from a serendipitous interaction with a complete stranger. I didn’t think that their advice would have such a HUGE IMPACT on my life. It’s funny how things can work out like that. Now keep in mind, this advice did not change my life immediately, but rather sent me down a specific path that ultimate meant everything.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

For me, the best advice (so far) was the suggestion to learn how to dance the tango. Argentine Tango, to be precise. Advice given by Claudyne Wilder of Wilder Presentations and Torchmetrics (wow). She expressed to me that if I learned to dance the tango, I would learn how to properly stand and move about the room while public speaking, teaching, or presenting information. The walk of the tango creates body language that is confident and purposeful. She complimented me and said I have a lot of potential, and if I learn this, I will go far!

Seems like pretty basic advice, but again life is funny. I would have never met Claudyne Wilder if it weren’t for the fact that I was working for a friend of a friend of a friend (yeah, three times removed), to help them out last minute with their booth at the Gem and Mineral Show here in Tucson, AZ. This was in February 2019.

At that time in my life I had already been on a journey of weight loss and healthy habits (like going veganish). I was down 30/40 pounds and this new gig at the Gem Show proved to be an excellent workout. Since I had been used to sitting at my desk working on websites, digital marketing strategy, graphic design, etc…. this new gig had me standing for 8+ hours a day for 21 days straight (or almost, I didn’t make it the whole time lol). I also started doing intermittent fasting as a way to cleanse, reduce calories, and get to the autophagy phase (discovered by Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine in 2016) I had recently learned about. While standing at this gig I was trying to have good posture and did my best to stay hydrated throughout the day. So, when I got this advice it seemed very aligned with my current goals.

As soon as I was able to, I found a local tango dance class. They even offer the first group lesson FREE! “Yes! That’s awesome!” I thought! Unfortunately, the specified time for the free class never lined up with my availability AND it was a solid 30-minute drive away.

The next time I had free time (jump to end of April beginning of May), I pulled up some Beginner Basics for Tango Dancing on YouTube. The first video was specifically on how to do the basic walk and how to hold your spine, hips, and legs. I quickly found that I literally could not hold my body in that way. My back, my hips, and my injured leg just couldn’t do it. It just didn’t work. The more I tried, the more excruciating it got. Whoa! I did not expect that!

I have had chronic pain my entire life, but I’ve done my best to work through it and not let it hold me back. So I have plenty of experience utilizing the “grin and bear it” method. Things got much worse when I injured my leg and knee in 2015. But during that time, I felt like I had to put my job at a start-up tech company first, before my personal health. And then in 2016, I co-founded my own business so I really didn’t have time or energy to put toward my body. Big mistake, but full speed ahead!

Now here we are in 2019 and boy do I have some work to do! I started going to the chiropractor first. I thought the main issue was that I was just out of alignment, quick fix right? WRONG! My first session with my chiropractor released a lot of blocked and built up energy. Just taking the steps to address that pain and bring it to the forefront was an emotional mountain to climb. I cried so hard in that first session. My chiropractor was sweet and understanding. He said, “Let’s get you aligned and you’ll have much better control of your energy and emotions.” After several sessions he had a good understanding of me and my body. He was able to make meaningful suggestions and even discovered a few underlying issues.

I learned that I have joint hyper-mobility syndrome. It explains a lot! It turns out that a lot of people with anxiety have hyper mobile joints. It makes sense when you think about it because it’s a condition where the body and muscles can’t relax because the joints and the muscles around the joints will move too far and painfully over extend. It makes sense that people who can’t relax their body, and/or literally have to hold themselves together at all times, would also feel that way emotionally. It’s weird that this isn’t talked about more. Your physical state can inform and influence your mental and emotional state!!!

The solution for painful hyper-mobile joints is to build very specific muscle mass so that there is a foundation of muscle around these joints to help hold them and keep them in place, even when relaxed at rest. With my sedentary lifestyle (I work on a computer all day!), and with altering my posture to compensate for my injured leg, I created quite a problem and lots of atrophied muscles. So, my chiropractor suggested that I get a professional personal trainer to help with that.

I found a passionate personal trainer, Jade B at The Gym of Tucson, that could help me safely build muscle mass. Again, my first session I cried like a baby. Bringing that pain forward to talk about it and address it was opening the door to years and years of pain that had not been fully dealt with. Thankfully by the 2nd or 3rd meeting, I had worked through those blockages so the tears finally stopped. Just like the chiropractor, my trainer showed compassion and understanding, despite my emotional distress. It was, and is, extremely painful and slow going, but I was able to push through thanks to my positive and passionate trainer. When you are surround by support, you cannot fail!

This original advice to learn how to dance Argentine Tango pushed me to start my summer journey toward alignment and balance in all areas of my life. I became, and am still becoming, more aligned with my values, my goals, and my purpose. With this alignment I have been speaking my truth, sharing my knowledge, and anything that isn’t in alignment really doesn’t feel right. If you have hung out with me or worked with me this summer you may have experienced me “speaking my truth”. I just couldn’t help it. I can’t be silent anymore. I cannot be anything but me! I’m always working to be the best I can be, by learning and growing constantly. I have made leaps and bounds compared to where I started at the beginning of the summer. I went back to that tango video recently and was able to do more than before. Still difficult and I have balance issues, BUT it’s not impossible and excruciating like it was that first try.

Who knew that Argentine Tango could change my life so drastically, and I haven’t even started dancing yet… This is just the beginning!

 

What’s the best advice you have ever gotten?

Share your experiences and comment below! Thank you so much for reading!!! 🙂

 

 

Blog

Full Moon Ritual & Labyrinth Walk

My Full Moon Ritual & Self-Care

I love celebrating the new moons and full moons! There was a time when my roommates and I would howl at the full moon and do a round of applause. It was a wonderful group ritual, so fun and energizing… our neighbors got used to it (lol). Recently, I’ve started walking a labyrinth during the new moon and full moon. It’s been a great way to reflect and start anew regularly. It’s been great for personal growth, and peace of mind and body.

Turns out this idea of reflecting and starting fresh has been proven to be beneficial, and is sadly underutilized! I learned about this “fresh start” concept from the research of Katie Milkman. When you think about a “fresh start” most people think of New Year’s Resolutions or anniversaries or birthdays. These naturally start a fresh new year, a new perspective, new habits, new you. Starting fresh can be difficult, but aids in lasting behavior change. When we can start fresh as often as possible we have the most overall success at changing behavior, perspectives and habits. By having the new moon and full moon as a ritual to start fresh has positively affected my life.

September Full Moon Ritual

For September’s Full Moon I took myself out on a “Full Moon Goddess Date”. I went to a local labyrinth as the full moon was rising. The labyrinth exists inside a natural desert park. The path outline is created with stones and rocks in the desert dirt. Not too far away coyotes were howling, completing the authentic feel of this full moon labyrinth ritual. I did a relaxing breathing exercise. I felt centered and my mind quiet. I set my intentions and stepped into the labyrinth. I walked the path to the center of the labyrinth slowly and mindfully. Step by step, breath by breath. I soaked up the moonlight. As I reached the center, I symbolically left behind the old to reenter the world fresh and anew, ready for all the possibilities. I’m a Goddess, I got this. This ritual in the serene moonlit desert felt so energizing and calming at the same time. I felt grounded and empowered.

I continued my Full Moon Goddess Date with myself by going to the Metal Arts Village for their Full Moon Open Studio event.  The art there was captivating and the live music was soulful. Onstage was a drummer, and the singer was playing the guitar. I sat and listened for a bit and then walked back to my car. I finished the night with a margarita, I stopped by where my brother is the bartender. It was great to see him and the mango tajin margarita was delicious. The full moon ritual and the entire evening was exactly what my body, mind, and spirit needed.

New Moon Ritual & Self Care

New Moon, who dis? Do you feel that new moon energy?  I walked the labyrinth in the daylight starting fresh along with the new moon. It was nice to enjoy the breeze and the sunlight, the chatter of birds and the rustling of rabbits in the bushes. Mindfully and intentionally walking toward the center I was washed over with feelings of peace and true relaxation.  Following the path back out of the labyrinth it felt like taking the first steps of the rest of my life. A fresh start, a clean slate with infinite potential.

October Full Moon Ritual

For the full moon in October I wanted to share this labyrinth experience with two amazing people; My friend of almost 20 years, Sarah, and my partner in life, Josh. It was so perfect. Sarah and I dressed up as Moon Goddesses with white dresses and gold leaves in our hair. It felt good to get dressed up for the occasion. It’s good to feel beautiful sometimes. My partner was our very own personal photographer for our full moon experience.When we arrived at the desert labyrinth path, we did a candle lighting ceremony. Together we set our individual intentions and walked the labyrinth path. It felt so powerful yet gentle in the stillness of the desert under the full moon.

To complete the night, we got our wings so we can fly! Our “wings” were a beautiful mural of a large wingspan at Hotel McCoy. This experience was so exhilarating it really felt like flying! And I love that the photos turned out so well! Especially considering this was a night time photo shoot!

I am so grateful that I was able to do this with my best friend while she was in town. I love that I have these memories and photos to cherish after she goes back home (across the country). I feel so blessed to have this friendship and be able to have this experience. I love that I can enjoy this local labyrinth any day of the month, but especially on full moons and on new moons. It is a result of doing these rituals I am so filled with gratitude! I am gushing with gratitude, love, and joy. I’m so excited for my new projects in collaboration with Locals Only Tucson, offering a version of this Guided Labyrinth Experience to locals and visitors in Tucson, Az. Check dates for upcoming full moon and new moon tours. If this is something you might be interested in you can purchase tickets through their Eventbrite, here.

It feels so good to create, connect, reflect, and grow. And yes, sometimes there are growing pains, but we don’t need to suffer. We can let go and grow! My mantra to help me is: I am a Sparkling Goddess; I got this. 😊 We are all sparkling and have more power than we know. YOU are a sparkling goddess or god and YOU got this! ✨💕✨

 

And shout out to the MVP Goddess, our last minute photographer @fadpanta ❤

Blog

What is a Labyrinth?

Walking a labyrinth is quickly becoming popular….again. Labyrinths have been created and used globally for centuries. Labyrinths are found in many cultures and religions; used for meditation and prayer. Today, you can find labyrinths at parks, schools, spas, hospitals, and communities. Even Princeton Center for Yoga and Health unveiled their very own labyrinth walking path.

What is a Labyrinth?

First, let me tell you what a labyrinth isn’t; a labyrinth is not a puzzle or a maze. There is no guessing or choosing, there is only one clear path to follow. The path takes you to the center of the labyrinth. To exit, it is the same path. This labyrinth path can be created as simply as with an outline in the ground, or built up with rocks, or it can truly be a labyrinth with large hedges of plants or mounds/walls, etc.

What do you do at a Labyrinth?

All you must do is follow the clear path to walk to the center and then go back out the way you came in. For the full benefit, enter the labyrinth with a set intention or with a meditative / present mindset, you may sit or stand in meditation once in the center, if you wish. As you exit the labyrinth and reenter the world you can feel the difference in your body, mind, and spirit. Building a labyrinth in a park is a great way to create a sacred space for all people to use for their own purposes. Your labyrinth walk can be made special for you by filling it with your own meaning and intentions. Walking the labyrinth can be done at any time, but can hold additional meaning when done on significant days. For example, I enjoy walking the labyrinth during the full moon and new moon. Using a labyrinth and special dates to “start fresh” has been shown to inspire positive behavior change by Katie Milkman.

Blog

Healing Spirit Soaks

As I entered the Healing Spirit Soaks studio at Swan on Speedway in Tucson, Arizona, I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle smell of cedar. Local owner and operator, Jasmine May NMD welcomed me and graciously gave me a personal tour of the space. Healing Spirits Soaks has two bathtubs, which consists of a copper claw foot tub and a modern porcelain tub, for the optional cold plunge and the Naturopathic herbal hot soak offering. In addition to the bathtubs, they also have 2 cedar hot tubs. A large round cedar hot tub, kept at a consistent 105°F and a bathtub shaped one kept at 104.5°F. Healing Spirit Soaks also offers experiences with the infrared sauna, reflexology, massage therapy, and more.

Dr. Jaz started my experience with a Eucalyptus Spearmint CBD salt rub. I love the smell of eucalyptus and mint. A deep breath in focused my mind and invigorated my senses. I was blessed with the full suite to myself so after a few instructions from Dr. Jaz, I enjoyed the space alone. It was an amazing experience to soak in the tubs, sit in the infrared sauna and rest on the bio-mat in solitary peace and quiet.

I did the recommended hot soak for three to five minutes and then a cold plunge for 30 seconds to two minutes. Dr. Jaz recommends three or more cycles of the hot soak / cold plunge to reap the benefits of contrast hydrotherapy. After I rinsed the scrub away, I made my way to the round cedar tub. I stepped into the hot soak and relaxed taking a few deep breaths, relaxing my muscles more with each breath. The cedar smell was stronger inside the tub. The smell transported me to a forest, to a quiet peaceful place. I let my body relax even further as I floated on my back. Next up, the cold plunge. The sensation of the contrasting cold water against my warm skin was actually quite enjoyable. The initial shock of the cold water was followed by a sensory awareness that encompassed all thought; a true mental and physical break. As I repeated the relaxing soak and the invigorating cold plunge, I could feel the circulation increasing in my body, creating waves of tingling sensation throughout my body.

Included in the Contrast Hydrotherapy is the opportunity to utilize the BioMat, which has technology to block EMF’s while infrared pulses through amethyst crystals. The infrared frequency increases cell metabolism promoting healing and repair.  Laying on the massage table with the biomat, I could feel the infrared pulses warming up my body, soothing my muscles, joints, and spine. I also had the opportunity to enjoy the infrared sauna. It was my first time experiencing an infrared sauna! It felt pleasantly hot without the suffocating feeling of a steam sauna. Plus, it has more benefits due to the infrared frequencies helping to improve detoxification, decrease inflammation and joint pain, boost the immune system, ease fatigue, and reduce stress.

This experience nurtured my body, mind, and spirit. I recommend anyone seeking relaxation, restoration, rejuvenation and healing to book your experience immediately. I’m hooked!

Blog

Ta-Done!

How I manage my Anxiety & Depression with Ta-Done Lists

I know you have heard of To-Do Lists, but have you ever heard of a Ta-Done List? You should read that like this, TAA – DONNNNNNEEE!!!! This is a play on words, like when a child proudly presents their handiwork, “Ta-Da!!”. It’s like that, but the adult version, because you’re actually getting shit DONE.

 

What is a Ta-Done List?

It’s like a to-do list but instead of writing things the things to do, you write the things you have ALREADY DONE. You keep adding to the list throughout the day as you complete tasks or you write down everything you accomplished that day at the end. Pay special attention to the little things you do that aren’t on your “official” to-do list. Why is this important? Because there a many small things you do throughout the day that help make your world function, and you have to give credit where credit is due.

 

How does the Ta-Done List help anxiety and depression?

For me, the original to-do list helps me stay focused on the tasks at hand – instead of the tsunami of tasks that await me in the future. The Ta-Done list takes it further by allowing me to give myself credit for ALL the work I do, even those little things that aren’t on my to-do list. This helps my anxiety when I start to obsess with my productivity and I start to ask myself “WHAT DID YOU EVEN DO TODAY!????” I can point to my Ta-Done List and say, “THIS, TAAA-DONNNNE”. Mic Drop. My Brain: Speechless.

This helps me from spiraling into negative thoughts and full blown depression. Sometimes I still get bogged down with anxiety and depression. Somedays I can’t even fight the tsunami of tasks in my mind to do my lists, I just have to do the things. Somedays I keep working on yesterday’s list or maybe I work on one day’s list for the entire week (usually because I add way too many large tasks to one day). And you know what? THAT’S OKAY! This is meant to help me, I’m not going to beat myself up about the exact usage or frequency (or at least I’m trying not to).

 

When it comes to managing my mental health sometimes I have to get creative with solutions. Try different things. It’s important to be your own cheerleader. For me, being positive when your own brain is telling you something else can be really hard at times. I try to treat myself like I would a close friend. If I’m honest, I say things to myself that I would never say to another person, ever. So why the eff would I do that to myself? This was a game changer in managing my mental health. I can comfort myself with encouragement and kind words. I am my own friend. And take joy in the baby steps! Every. Single. Time.

Truth Seek Understanding Think CriticallySparkle with Sara Values Books & Podcasts

November List – Books, Podcasts, & Videos

November 2019

Here is my list for November. Numbered in no particular (count purpose only), but I did put ** next to the ones that I really enjoyed. So here are the books, podcasts, and videos that I read/watched/listened to (and remembered to document lol) in the month of November 2019.

Books (Audiobooks)

  1. The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch (in progress)
  2. DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Straussman (in progress)
  3. How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (in progress)
  4. The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (in progress)

I started all these and got about a quarter of the way through all of them.

Podcasts & Videos

  1. Life & Mind (with Richard Dawkins) | Making Sense with Sam Harris Podcast #174
  2. Philip Goff on Consciousness Everywhere | Sean Carroll’s Mindscape #71
  3. Kate Jeffery on Entropy, Complexity, and Evolution – Sean Carroll’s Mindscape #67
  4. Rick Straussman Md, author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule | GrahamHancockDotCom
  5. Joe Rogan’s DMT Experiences | JRE Clips
  6. Dennis McKenna & Wickerham | Joe Rogan Experience #477
  7. Richard Dawkins | Joe Rogan Experience #1366
  8. **Cesar Hidalgo on Information in Societies, Economies, and the Universe | Mindscape #72
  9. **The Nature of Consciousness with Thomas Metzinger (author of The Ego Tunnel) | Making Sense with Sam Harris #96
  10. Leaving the Faith with Yasmine Mohammed | Making Sense with Sam Harris # 175
  11. **Magicians of the Gods Lecture by Grahm Hancock at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey | MegalithomaniaUK
  12. Paul Stamets | Joe Rogan Experience # 1385
  13. **Malcolm MacIver on Sensing, Consciousness, and Imagination | Mindscape #39
  14. Alan Lightman on Transcendence, Science, and a Naturalist’s Sense of Meaning | Mindscape #38
  15. **Adrienne Mayor on Gods and Robots in Ancient Mythology | Minsdcape # 40
  16. James Ladyman on Reality Metaphysics, and Complexity | Mindscape #33
  17. Save Money House Renovation Secrets | Home RenoVision DIY

Format for podcasts and videos above:   

Podcast or Video Title | Podcast/Video Username and Episode Number if applicable

Truth Seek Understanding Think CriticallySparkle with Sara Values Books & Podcasts

October 2019 – Books & Podcasts List

I keep getting asked, “How do you know this?”, “Where did you learn that?”. So I decided to start documenting all the books, podcasts, articles, videos, research, and other items of knowledge that I devour every month. I wish I had started this sooner, so many great pieces of information that I would love to be reminded of, and therefore improve retention/remembering the information over time.

Another question I get asked a lot is; “How do you go through so many audio books and podcasts every month?”,  or simpler “How do you find time?”.

The answer: Multi-task or bundle this activity. Listen while driving, cleaning, and exercising. I also try to speed up the audio, up to 2x faster (depending on the speaker and the subject matter). You can speed it up in the settings of most audio book and podcast apps, and YouTube videos can be sped up as well, if needed.

I’ll be posting a recap every month with the list of books, podcasts, and other helpful knowledge sources. It’s exciting to see the different topics that I explore, you may see a trend each month or maybe it’s a random assortment of information.  I hope this is interesting or helpful for others, as well as for my own documentation and remembering what I have read! Haha! I wish I had started this sooner. Maybe I can make a list for books and podcasts that stand out from the past few years. It would be great to look back and remember those.

Now here is the list from October 2019. For this month, there is a bit of a theme around exploring consciousness and the universe. And it’s Halloween month so there is a spooky podcast in there too!

October 2019 – Books & Podcasts List

Books (Audio books mostly)

Mind and Cosmos by Thomas Nagel

On Having No Head by D. E. Harding

Conscious: A Brief  Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind by  Annaka Harris

The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch (still in progress)

 

Podcasts & Videos

From Cells to Cities with Geoffrey West | Making Sense with Sam Harris #86

Edward Snowden – Joe Rogan Experience #1368

Katie Mack on How the Universe Will End | Sean Carroll’s Mindscape Podcast #70

And the Call Was Coming From the Basement | This American Life Podcast #319

How to Practice Emotional First Aid | Ted Talk by Guy Winch

Guided Yoga Nidra (20 minutes) | YouTube Video by Lizzy Hill

Super Quick Alignment Meditation | YouTube Video by Steve Nobel

Daily Guided Meditations with Sam Harris | YouTube Videos by Sam Harris (even more are available through his Waking Up app)

 

Articles, Blogs, Maps Satellite and Wikipedia 😉

Too many to name, but I will try to document this in the future.

I read so many articles every day. I also go on tangents on Google Maps Satellite View, which allows me to travel the world and see satellite images of the terrain, the streets, buildings, and people of rural and urban areas all over the world. This in turn gets me curious about so many things so I will read the Wikipedia page and then get launched into additional research. Then the marketing algorithms know what I have been looking at, so they give me ads for more articles on those kinds of subjects so I end up learning even more because BBC or NY Times posted an article about this or that topic I was just researching. It’s kinda cool, but also a bit scary. I am interested to start documenting more in this section, although it will be harder to track because I consume so much content so quickly (all the more reason to track it, if you ask me!).