20 Seasonal Activities to Delight Your Inner Child

Aug 29, 2021 Julie Barlow

This year, as we savor the last bits of summer freedom and activity and welcome the changes fall brings, we can let our inner child drive our seasonal shift! Here are some fun ideas to keep the child in you alive:

Prolonged Grief During COVID

Aug 15, 2021 Julie Barlow

None of us are immune to the amount of loss and change we’ve seen in the last couple of years. Lives, jobs, friendships, and many aspects of our lives as we know it have disappeared, possibly forever. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t think all the changes have been bad. Some relationships are closer, many have taken time to truly understand what is important to them and are taking steps to bring more joy into their daily lives. But this blog post isn’t about that. It’s about handling loss in this unprecedented time. I share my story of loss and some suggestions on coping for those that may be struggling with this now.

Living your Bucket List

Aug 01, 2021 Julie Barlow

I created The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Dream Bucket List based on a mindset shift from dying without regrets, to living without regrets. This is a step-by-step comprehensive guide that allows you to explore the most fulfilling desires you have and how to accomplish them.

Chocolate for Mind, Body, and Soul

Jul 18, 2021 Julie Barlow

Chocolate is delicious, but it also has a rich and diverse variety of meanings and benefits. Join me as I reminisce about a perfect cup of hot cocoa in Peru, explore the differences between cocoa, cacao and ceremonial cacao, share a healthy dessert recipe and contemplate how to mindfully consume this wonderful substance.

How to Live Holistically in Kindness

Jul 04, 2021 Julie Barlow

My mentality when it comes to kindness is simply, “why not?” There are never negative consequences to being kind, and it is a pillar of joy and contentment. This is why each week of every JMB Living Journal begins with a “Kindness Karma”, a suggestion about how to live outside of yourself and take one opportunity a week to serve someone else, expecting nothing in return.

How to Have a Fresh Start with the Summer Solstice

Jun 20, 2021 Julie Barlow

Now is the perfect time to refresh our dreams and goals for the year and evaluate how we can achieve them before the year ends! Here are some tips to have a fresh start with the summer solstice:

Habit Tracker Hacks

Jun 06, 2021 Julie Barlow

After a few months of using a habit tracker, I realized that while they are extremely helpful in making progress toward making and breaking a habit, there are a few things you can do to help set yourself up for success in the process. While some of this I’ve discovered through trial and error, research seems to back up many of my conclusions. Herein are five hacks for making the best use of your habit tracker, followed by a couple of unique ways I’m using mine.

Tips for Tackling Life Challenges

May 23, 2021 Julie Barlow

Part of the experience of being human is working our way through the challenges that we either consciously decide to take on or that are thrown in our path along the way. Sometimes we fall flat on our faces or seemingly fail miserably in the process. Yet what is more important is how we pick ourselves back up to continue to rise to the challenge and tackle it head-on.

Journaling Outside the Lines

May 09, 2021 Julie Barlow

I was immediately attached to the idea of the JMB Living Journal being like an adult coloring book: the lines and bigger picture are provided, and you fill it with your own personal flair and perspective to express yourself.

How to Give a Meaningful Mother’s Day Gift

Apr 25, 2021 Julie Barlow

What do we give the most giving women in our lives? While I can’t tell you the perfect gift for your mother, I have some tips to help guide your search:

How Journaling Can Change Your Life

Apr 11, 2021 Julie Barlow

Holistic journaling and applying intent to our narratives allows us to have more internal control on external factors, while bringing us closer to achieving what we both want and need most by allowing our inner strength and mindfulness to engage with our daily lives.

March Mindfulness: Springtime Nutrition

Mar 28, 2021 Julie Barlow

Over the years, I’ve found answers on how to live in harmony with the seasons through Ayurveda and seasonal eating. Ayurveda is the sanskrit word for “The Science of Life”, and within this science, I find many helpful guidelines for living in tune with the seasons. One of the ways I am allowing myself to adjust to spring, is with a focus on preparing my meals and consuming in a way that helps to optimize health.

Mops and Mindfulness: Spring Cleaning Essentials

Mar 14, 2021 Julie Barlow

Spring cleaning in itself seems like a daunting, laborious task—and it can be. However, implementing different aspects of mindfulness will make it more worthwhile and beneficial in a way that will make you feel peaceful and accomplished by the time you’re finished.

Soft Skin with DIY Mango Body Butter

Feb 28, 2021 Julie Barlow

I like to give my skin a little extra TLC in the wintertime to combat the drying effects of heating the house. And lately, I have fallen in love with this DIY Mango Body Butter that I have been making, so I wanted to share it with you. It’s super easy to make and my skin feels so soft for hours after using it. I also love that it absorbs quickly so that you don’t end up feeling greasy like often is the case with some DIY lotions and body creams.

How to Keep Smiling While COVID Rages On

Feb 21, 2021 Julie Barlow

This week’s journal theme is about smiles. The mindful moment challenge is to become fascinated with smiles; in a time where finding a reason to smile can be challenging at times, I wanted to share my sources for smiling and weathering the long-lasting emotional wear from COVID.

Cast Iron Apple Oatmeal Custard and Mindful in the Kitchen

Feb 14, 2021 Julie Barlow

…Today I’ll share the recipe for one of my favorite baked oatmeals while first throwing in some tips for making it mindfully along the way. Feel free to scroll straight to the bottom for the recipe, or meander with me to get there while I talk a little bit about mindfulness in the kitchen.  

Tips to Establish Good Journaling Habits

Feb 07, 2021 Julie Barlow

…I’d like to share some tips and best practices for staying motivated to consistently update and use a journal. Journaling is intrinsically a personal act, and you should customize it according to you.

My Journal, My Friend, My Guide to More Joy

Jan 31, 2021 Julie Barlow

Okay, this may sound a little weird, but my journal is kind of like a best friend. It helps me start my day on a happy note, encouraging me with uplifting messages to be the best me I can be. It hangs out with me during the day, keeping me on track of what I need to do. And it brings a smile to my heart as I wind down and reflect back on the beauty, joy and small wins that occurred throughout the day. It reminds me of what I am working towards and gently admonishes me when I get off track. I share my secrets and in exchange, I am rewarded with insights. This is a post about my relationship with my JMB Living Journal and how we speak to each other, but it is my hope that you take away some ideas regardless of what planner or journal you use.

Cultivating Virtues to Heal a Fractured Nation - Part 3

Jan 24, 2021 Julie Barlow

This post concludes the three-part series detailing six virtues I am working to cultivate in my life with the intent of contributing to society by being a better human. I can’t help but wonder if the actions of some in our political organizations can’t be motivated by greed and power. And as I notice these faults in others, I challenge myself to increase the opposite in the way I choose to live—with simplicity and generosity.

Cultivating Virtues to Heal a Fractured Nation - Part 2

Jan 17, 2021 Julie Barlow

This post is the second of a three-part series the delves into six virtues I have decided to cultivate in my life in an effort to do my part toward helping heal the divisions in our nation by striving to become a better human myself. This second part of the series focuses on compassion and how we can make sure we are getting the full story to be able to better “step into another’s shoes”. It also focuses on kindness, offering a few thoughts on both kindness to self as well as to others.

Cultivating Virtues to Heal a Fractured Nation - Part 1

Jan 10, 2021 Julie Barlow

In today’s blog post, I share a personal story of a falling out this weekend and how it served to remind me of how I can practice one of my chosen virtues - Honesty. I do a pretty good job at not telling outright lies, as Mom and Dad did a good job in my wee years of instilling that yucky feeling down in the pit of my stomach each time I told a little fib. However, I realize that it is the area of self-deception that could use a bit more focus and attention in my life. I’ll share with you how I go about uncovering these areas, as they can be tricky little buggers to bring to light and resolve.

Embracing New Beginnings

Jan 03, 2021 Julie Barlow

The New Year is a celebration that embodies releasing the past and making a fresh start. I intend to simultaneously embrace what can be learned from 2020 and the opportunities that 2021 holds. And I encourage us all to take advantage of the increased spiritual meaning that the genesis of a new year brings.

The Art of Letting Go to Create Space for What’s Next

Dec 27, 2020 Julie Barlow

This post explains why this week is the perfect time for this letting go and shares insights on different techniques that can be used depending on whether you are letting go of negative thoughts/energies, beliefs, excess things around the house, projects or when necessary, people in your life. A process of intentional reflection can help you more clearly and more intentionally decide what is useful in your life and what would be better off discarded or left behind. Taking steps to create space in our physical, mental and emotional houses is so advantageous in helping to lay a firm foundation for new dreams and future projects. 

Cozy Christmas in Strasbourg and Keeping it Simple this Year

Dec 21, 2020 Julie Barlow

…The time together and the memories created are something I know that we’ll cherish and look back on for years to come. So this post is a trip down memory lane for anyone interested in knowing a little bit about visiting the Christmas markets in Europe, followed by a recipe for Vin Chaud and some thoughts on keeping it simple during the holiday season this year.

Hygge and Soul

Dec 13, 2020 Julie Barlow

…In a year like 2020 where we spend so much time in our homes, they truly serve as our sanctuaries—and hygge can help create that sacred feeling of comfort we could all use so much right now.

Taking Gratitude Up a Notch

Nov 22, 2020 Julie Barlow

…You can also use this connection of mind and body to give more oomph to your gratitude practice. Combined with mindfulness, I have found that a daily gratitude practice is arguably one of the simplest tools you have at your disposal for making positive, long-lasting changes in your life and it is also one of the most powerful.  

Harnessing the Mind-Body Connection

Nov 08, 2020 Julie Barlow

…Yet this amazing connection between your mind and body can also be harnessed in a powerful way to help you reach your goals and simply to create more positivity in your life. This blog post focuses on a few techniques that you can use to maximize the power in your own mind-body connection toward getting all you want out of life.  

Why Indiegogo and why crowdfunding?

Nov 01, 2020 Julie Barlow

As you may be aware, we are getting ready to launch our newest product, the JMB Living Journal very soon. And you may be aware that we’ve decided to using a crowdfunding platform to do so. After careful contemplation, we’ve decided that Indiegogo is the best option for us, as it will give us the ability to get the journals in the mail to everyone a little sooner.

Creating Control Among Chaos with the Enneagram

Oct 24, 2020 Julie Barlow

As the election and the conclusion of 2020 draw near, so many of us are struggling to find a sense of control in the middle of the chaos that this year has become. During a year where the majority of us had no choice but to be at home with our thoughts during quarantine, it has offered an opportunity for deeper self reflection. And in this space, therein also lies the opportunity for a deeper understanding of what you can control - and where the source of this control resides: within.

Ribollita - A Tuscan Vegetable Stew

Oct 17, 2020 Julie Barlow

Ribolita is traditionally a thick Tuscan vegetable stew that is thickened with day old bread. I prefer to simply use a bit less liquid to keep it nice and thick, but if adding the bread appeals to you, a crusty French bread would do nicely. The word Ribollita in Italian means twice boiled or re-boiled. Hence this was often a leftover minestrone soup to which chunks of bread were added just prior to serving..

Tips to Tackle Overwhelm

Oct 10, 2020 Julie Barlow

Have you ever wanted to take on a big project, but continued to procrastinate because you haven’t known where to start? Do you have a dream that has languished because you haven’t managed to figure out how to tackle the overwhelm that looms large every time you attempt to decide where to begin? Are you struggling to work through a challenging situation in your life that feels overwhelming and for which you can’t seem to figure out how to move through? You are not alone my friend. In today’s blog post we’ll talk about some tips to tackle overwhelm and get things moving again.

Celebrating Seasonal Shifts

Oct 03, 2020 Julie Barlow

It’s time for pumpkins, colorful mums, drinking apple cider and more! The fall season is upon us and there are so ways to celebrate this shift of the seasons. Yet if we take our cues from nature, we can reconnect even more deeply with the rhythms and wisdom of this season.

Advantages of an Abundance Mindset

Sep 26, 2020 Julie Barlow

A little clay bull sits beside the computer monitor at my desk to remind me to have an abundance mindset. Why would a clay bull remind me of this you ask? In today’s post I’ll explain the significance behind the bull, tell you a story of how an abundance mindset saved me $10,000 dollars and share some suggestions for cultivating an abundance mindset yourself.

Inspiration for the Home from the Sacred Valley

Sep 20, 2020 Julie Barlow

While snipping and stashing away my lemongrass cuttings before the cold evenings of Autumn begin to set in, my mind travels back to when I first began to enjoy lemongrass in my tea. It was a couple of years ago while in a lovely little dining room at the historic and romantic El Albergue hotel in Ollantaytambo, Peru. I was there for our annual Travel to Transform retreat and each morning we would meander down to the dining room to start our day with a fresh cooked meal and a cup of coca tea to help adjust to the change in altitude. They had a table in the dining room where they set out bowls of freshly cut lemongrass, fresh mint leaves and dried coca leaves (for assisting with the change in altitude), as well as fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and other breakfast goodies.

Roadblocks & Detours in Life

Sep 13, 2020 Julie Barlow

When life throws you a roadblock, it is time to look for the detours. There is almost always more than one way to get from point A to Point B. The problem is we usually have our blinders on and are so accustomed to our typical road home that we never see the myriad of other options. And even if we ultimately decide our familiar road is the best choice, it is wise to make a conscious effort to be open to and looking for opportunities, options and alternatives. This blog post talks about a few reasons why this is a good idea and reflects on a few personal stories that support this prerogative.  

Choosing Good Vibes

Sep 07, 2020 Julie Barlow

It was a bad day turned good day by intentionally choosing good vibes over bad when things were headed downhill. Expecting good things are going to happen is so freaking powerful! I use this power of positivity time and again in life, but sometimes I catch myself getting in the habit of whining and complaining too often and then I’m amazed all over again at what happens when I strongly shift my attitude. In today’s blog post I’ll share just a little example of how that worked for me on Friday.

Harvesting Herbs for Winter

Aug 31, 2020 Julie Barlow

As nature begins to slow down and prepare for the end of another growth season, so too can we begin to prepare and look for ways to mimic her rhythms and slow down as well. We can celebrate this season of harvest by fully appreciating the last of the fresh local summer bounties from your garden or the farmers markets and if you are blessed with an abundance, by taking the time to store away some of this bounty for the winter ahead. I’ve been more than a little preoccupied with my pots of herbs on the deck lately, so it seems only right to devote this post to how to extend the enjoyment of these beauties into the cold winter months ahead. If you too have an abundance of herbs and enjoy cooking with them, read on.

Mango Yogurt Chia Seed Pudding

Aug 24, 2020 Julie Barlow

Since chia seed puddings are quick and easy to make in advance and store well for about five days, I am now hooked and have started to experiment with recipes for them on my own. I’ll share my favorite one with you at the bottom of today’s post, but first let’s talk about why would you want to eat these seeds anyway and what makes them so unique compared to other seeds you may already include in your diet? I’d often heard them referred to as a superfood, but after reading a bit more about them I now fully understand why.

The Simple Joys of Rosemary

Aug 17, 2020 Julie Barlow

I fell madly in love with rosemary years ago. It wasn’t love at first sight and I don’t even remember how she started capturing my heart, but there are so many simple ways of using rosemary that bring me such joy today. This fragrant fair maiden is native to the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family. In this post I’ll share how to reciprocate love for this herb so you can cultivate a year long relationship and I’ll suggest some of my favorite ways to enjoy both inside and outside the home.

Ditch Goals and Replace them with Dreams

Aug 10, 2020 Julie Barlow

It is this difference in language of dreams compared to that of goals that leads me to assert that it is time to ditch goals and replace them with dreams instead. Many people will tell you to dream big dreams, but set realistic goals to help you achieve them. This thought has some merit, but it is my belief that the difference in the language used when working with achieving what you want for the future is very very important. When it comes to creating and altering your current reality, the mode of feeling is infinitely more powerful than the mode of thinking. When we envision how we would look and feel if we were to realize our dreams, our subconscious begins to activate movement in a direction to create the vision.

Weathering the Storms of Life

Aug 03, 2020 Julie Barlow

Wild. Bold. Beautiful. This summer thunderstorm. As I watch the trees bending under heavy gusts of wind, I am amazed at their resilience. It reminds me of how I too have managed to weather storms in life. How in the chaos, the hurt and the unknown of how to overcome, a sense of knowing resides deep down within that this too shall pass and that I’ll still be standing when it does. Perhaps a little ragged around the edges, but a little wiser too, a little stronger and with roots digging down a bit deeper to anchor me as I stand back up tall.

Cultivating Your Intentions

Jul 27, 2020 Julie Barlow

Just as you know that beautiful flower gardens don’t appear overnight, neither are intentions immediately set never to be broken. Let’s take a look at some of the steps that bring a gorgeous flower garden into being and how we can use this as a metaphor for creating our own beautiful intentions in our minds and for our lives.

Summertime Soup

Jul 20, 2020 Julie Barlow

So when you need to use up excess veggies, in my house, it’s time to make soup. This yellow squash and tomato soup is one of my all time favorites, especially for summer. It’s light and has a unique blend of vegetables that make it a little different, healthy and sooo delicious.

Taking Time for Tea - A Mindful Ritual

Jul 13, 2020 Julie Barlow

Tea has become a morning ritual for me and is something that can bring me back to the present moment multiple times throughout the day. While I don’t practice the full ritual I suggest below every time I take joy in a cup of tea, I’ve noticed that small segments of this practice have become a habit - a ritual of sorts, with almost every cup I brew. In this post, I’ll talk about a few of the benefits of different types of tea, when to drink each type and why, how to practice the art of mindfully drinking tea and suggest a few of my favorite teas that may be new to you. I hope you’ll join me on this little diversion into the joy and mindful practice of drinking tea.

Realizing Intentions through Mindful Attention

Jul 07, 2020 Julie Barlow

How many times have you set an intention, whether in a yoga class or just life in general, then immediately allowed your brain to shift to the next fleeting thought? …How can we make sure we follow through on our intentions? This post explores thoughts and ideas on this very question.  

Creating a Solo Retreat at Home - A Wise use of Precious Time

Jun 30, 2020 Julie Barlow

So many joy filled moments, so much laughter, so much fun. Yet what we came away with was even more precious. We came away with a renewed sense of focus, a strong feeling of purpose and a plan. Each in our own we, we jumpstarted our paths forward in our own directions by allowing this time for ourselves. And this is why you should go on a retreat. With so many of us choosing not to travel this year, we can still create a lovely solo retreat at home or close to home.

Sthira and Sukha in Yoga, Life and Love

Jun 23, 2020 Julie Barlow

Sharing a journey and insights on stretching, but honoring your limits in yoga, life and love. As I reflect back over the years, I realize how many facets of life I stretched beyond my limits and broke parts of myself. Yes, I mended and in many cases came back stronger, but I don’t think the breaking was necessary for the strengthening along the journey...

Sao Jorge - Slow, Long, Deep Exhales

Jun 16, 2020 Julie Barlow

A new place.  New friends.  A new adventure.  My happy heart began to beat quickly in anticipation of beginning to explore this new destination.  Yet when I stepped off the plane it seemed as if instantly the world slowed down and a sense of calm came over me...

Tips for Grounding and Creating Moments of Joy in Uncertain Times

Jun 09, 2020 Julie Barlow

Grounding activities get you out of the chatter in your head and back into the comfort of your body.  Grounding is a frequent term used in the yoga community, but you don’t have to practice yoga to feel grounded.  There are a multitude of ways to reestablish your connection with the earth, with something bigger, to sink fully back into your body and to allow yourself a few moments to simply savor the joy of being...