Sunday, April 25, 2021

the big question everyone should ask...the questions only you know the answer

"There is no greater gift, you can give or receive

than to honor your calling."  Oprah

What are you putting off that your soul, your spirit, your very essence wants you to do?  This week, I came across a question that stopped me in my tracks!

Whatever you are doing...or plan on doing, or are putting off 5 years if you do more of this thing....where will you be?  Will you be happier, healthier, kinder, prouder, freer, more loving, richer....?

It makes you ponder doesn't it?  No matter what anyone else thinks of our  actions, we all have an internal North Star that tells us if we are on the right path.  By asking this I enhancing or diminishing my future by this action.  You will know.  We will know the answer.  

Going shopping, hitting the Amazon button, ordering a double cheese pizza, putting off calling a friend, staying up past or bedtime, heading out for a walk first thing in the dawn, writing on your porch on a Sunday afternoon after mowing the lawn.  Whatever you are doing or plan on doing...pause and ask this question.  In 5 years, if I continue doing _________ where will I be?  Will my internal essence, heart, my soul be cheering me on or sobbing?  

This question doesn't care how old we are, or what we did yesterday or 15 years ago.  It cares what we are doing right now and how we want to live in our own future.  Our current actions pave forward our future.   

Ask more questions!  Flush judgment down the drain!!  Judgement is wasted energy.  It does you no good.  How do you want your future to be?  A year from now, tomorrow morning?  

What do you truly love, what do you want to do with your beautiful life?  Our future is created day by day, moment by moment. Feeling stuck, of course, we all get stuck.  Just start with one little shift in a positive direction.  It can be microscopic...but headed towards a beautiful tomorrow.

It doesn't matter if your ______ is monumentally big or taking a step in the right direction we begin.

Happy travels and questions,  Denise

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Do not waste your Heart on fear!!

 "May I have the courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer,

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart no more on fear.

                    John O'Donohue

Can I get a YES?????????  We have got this.  Life, I mean.  Yes, there are things in the world that stink...but that does not give us the excuse of wasting this beautiful soul of ours to fear.  

What are we capable if we let go of fear and dream again?  


Monday, March 1, 2021

The joy of work

 "It is the enjoyment of every step in the process of doing; everything not only the isolated piece we label art...  If you want to rush to the accomplishment, it is an inevitable disappointment. Then you rush to something else. The disappointment is repeated over and over again.  But if every step is pleasant, then the accomplishment becomes even more, because it is nourished by what is going on."

"All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature."

                                         Sue Bender  Plain and Simple

Clutter clearing gives you breathing space to live. And this is good.

But there is more.  When you learn how to make your daily work a practice of love, that's when you transcend your work into something extraordinary. 

When you can shift your matter how ordinary, boring or below your pay grade.  When your work becomes your art. When you change the very nature of what you are doing. When you shift your long held beliefs about your work.   In this process, your work becomes healing.

If you would have said to me, what I just said to you when I was a girl on the farm, I would have fell into a heap of giggles and complete disbelief.  And yet, here I am, after 30 plus years of  this practice...sometimes kicking and screaming...I get it.  At least today I do.  

Our daily work is a practice.  Sometimes this work is a deep practice.  With one foot in front of the other through gritted teeth. But the art does happen.   Work becomes poetic. More and more frequently I feel it now.  Our daily work is the rhythm of our life.  It is an act of love.

This morning I was reminded of a great conversation I had with a wise client 13 years ago.  At that time,  I was just really beginning this deeper practice of home care. Little did I know where it would take me. Somehow the path just kept opening up to me as if saying "stay here, go deep, create art while you work, share it with kindred souls who think your crazy"!" And low and behold, here I am sharing this message with you my friend.

May your journey be sweet and long.  May your dishes be a time of joy, your pick up a space of gratitude and your vacuuming an act of love.  May you never "work" another day.

                                                       Denise Frakes... Life, home and work coach

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Take the 7 day breathing challenge - clean off life's residues!

"Breathing in, I calm my body
Breathing out, I smile
Dwelling in the Present Moment
the only Moment"
Thich Nhat Hanh

For my gift to you this January...I'm sharing a 7 day breathing challenge.
7 days...7 exercises for your lungs.  Because, in homes and lives...breathing is life.

Clearing clutter...looking back from yesterday,  last year...or the last 15 years, can uncover grief.  As much as I love joy, grief is also a valuable emotion.  The key is to let grief do her or his work...and then let it flow out.  This may take time...but not too much.  Because when we let grief get stuck...that's when it sets up camp.  Emotions need to flow.  Our stuff need to flow, our emotions need to flow too.  

Did you know lungs are thought to be the organ you hold grief in?
Last year, we all had loss.  A loss of friends and family, a loss of work, a loss of connection a loss of freedom, travel, events...the list is large.  It was an extraordinary year...growth and loss.

You know, we think about grief when we lose someone...but there are many way we grieve.
Every loss can leave it's mark...unless you remember to keep cleaning off life's residues.
If you are feeling a bit down, and or clearing your clutter, or just want to breathe deeper and these exercises everyday in January...and beyond.

The following exercise are by Donna Eden of Energy Medicine and her two daughters, Titanya and Dondi.  Together they created a fantastic 7 day challenge. FYI , I've been a big fan of Donna Eden and her work for over 20 plus years.  
These exercises are from a December  7 day challenge.
I did the challenge and continue to do these 7 exercises everyday. I recommend them 
to you too.
 They only take a couple minutes per day.
 The most common side effect I get are big, lung stretching and contented yawns.

Start this new year with fresh breath 
 and clean off some of the residues left by 2020.

Take the 7 day breathing challenge!!!

Clean off life's residues...Nourish your lungs...

Now...start over and do it again....
  Happy new year my friend.  I look forward to many conversations with you this year,
             Denise Frakes
           Home and Life Coach


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

8 delightful habits to your home...during a pandemic.

 The essential qualities that make a healthy home...are simply true.  These qualities are timeless.  They help us see beyond our current and into a world that is rich.  They help us create homes and families that are nourishing, healthy and sustaining.  I hope you enjoy these quotes that I've gathered for you.  

                                          Happy Holidays, from my home to yours,  Denise

1.   Simplify 

"Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it". – Joshua Becker

"Pare down to the essence, but don't remove the poetry. Keep things clean and unencumbered, but don't sterilize."  Leonard Koren  Wabi Sabi

2.   Tidy Up

"It is not our memories but the person we have become of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past"   Marie Kondo...the life changing Magic of Tidying up

3.    Breathe ...pause and breathe

“Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.”
Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

4.    Add in Splashes of Joy

“A body of research is emerging that demonstrates a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health. For example, studies show that people with sunny workspaces sleep better and laugh more than their peers in dimly lit offices, and that flowers improve not only people’s moods but their memory as well.”
Ingrid Fetell Lee, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness

"And what does it feel like?" we asked. "Well," she said, leaning over to us like a secret,  "it feels like a gust of wind blowing inside your heart. It feels like bright yellow paint." Monique Duval  The persistence of yellow

5.    Practice Gratitude

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” —Charles Dickens

6.    Cultivate your Beauty Muscle

"Beauty is abundantly present. In old things, brown fields, weary days, prickly people...the art of beauty is learning to see beauty everywhere, in everyone, everyday.  Seeing beauty is a way of seeing, a muscle to strengthen."  Denise Frakes

"Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness...Wabi-Sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else.  beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view.  Beauty thus is an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace"  Leonard Koren Wabi Sabi for artists, designers, poets and philosophers

7.   Nature...bring it in and go outside 

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” –John Muir

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” –John Burroughs

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein

8.   LOVE!!!

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”
— Morrie Schwartz

“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” 
— Helen Keller

Of all things...I believe in us.  I believe in bluebells, curious calves, and how the mundane acts of where life can become rich...or dreary.
What you believe is an essential quality of a healthy home...and joyful life.
What do you believe in...?


Monday, November 2, 2020

Tiny Acts of a daily habit

   On my run this morning I passed one very intent dog. He was staring at something through the chain link fence. He looked at me then back to whatever had his attention.  When I got closer, I saw it was is ball.  Nothing mattered as much as this little green ball just out of reach.

  I picked it up and threw it back over the fence, to a very happy puppy.  As I watched the puppy get his ball back... an extraordinary thing happened...I was just as happy as the puppy.  

A tiny act of kindness gave me joy.   

 Research shows that kindness raises endorphins, reducing pain, enhances serotonin production, responsible for relaxation, happiness, and wound healing, and promotes oxytocin production, that reduces blood pressure, enhances heart health, and creates a surplus of loving feelings ( Even watching others behave in a kind fashion can make you feel good. You are then more likely to pay it forward to others, resulting in a “helper’s high” through being kind.   Lori Chortkoff Hops, PhD, DCEP)

How do you clean your house, wash dishes, unclutter your desk?  How do you cook dinner, pick up after your family and greet each other?  

In our normal, there are pockets of daily, habitual actions that can be cultivated into habits of love.  

What if your evening dish washing became a meditation in gratitude?  Your grocery shopping an exploration in color?  What if the act of making dinner became a nightly act of love?  What would happen to your life, to the lives around you?  What if every time you picked up something left behind, you sent that person a little love in your thoughts?  

I'm not saying every chore needs to be elevated.  But in a world where we can get lost in the nightly news. Or brain drained from too much screen and digital time... We need rebalancing habits...Habits of gratitude, wonder, kindness...

Simple actions done intentionally and consistently to reboot our sense of life

Start cultivating pockets of nourishment.. daily chores that transform the ordinary into extraordinary.

Try this...Pick one chore or daily activity.  Something you do everyday.  Brush your teeth and send love to those you love, do the dishes with gratitude, pick up the house thinking how lucky you are, cook dinner with beautiful posture and a smile, go for a walk look for wonder and wave at your neighbors.  Turn one little act into something extraordinary.  Practice gratitude in your chores.. and habitual actions.

 Do it everyday for 31 days...and just notice what happens.  Be curious, consistent and persistent.

From my home of chores and practices to yours,


Monday, September 21, 2020

Clutter clearing is spiritual

Clutter clearing is spiritual.  Clutter effects us physically, mentally, emotionally...and spiritually.  When you walk into a room and your energy drops, your confidence fades and you can't breathe...this weight builds on and depletes your soul.  

I was drawn to my work in clutter clearing, not to create perfectly tidy homes but to create space for the beautiful souls that live there. 

There are no perfect homes but the souls that live there are naturally perfect.  We all have a story and an authentic calling.  My joy, my job is to see the beauty beyond the stuff. To support the path of each spirit that lives inside.  

By no means am I a perfect clutter clearer.  Heavens, I'm not perfect at anything.  Which in itself is perfect, because my work is not to fix but to uncover that which was there all along.  It takes one imperfectly...perfect soul to see that beauty in another

I believe in my heart, we are all beautiful, creative and important to this world.  When our souls and energies are depleted we don't shine.  Our authentic gifts get bogged down in life.  

Clutter clearing is a practical and incredibly effective practice to shift the energy of a home...and our lives in the process.  The magic of shifting a space, of releasing old memories, stuck energy, over stuffed places and general ugh.. is transformational.  

There is a physical response to a room being shifted, cleaned and uplifted. I can feel it in my body.  My breath expands- literally, it's like life rushes into my chest. 

When you clean and unclutter, when you open your windows and let fresh air in, you are creating flow for your spirit to awaken and thrive.   

 I write and talk on cleaning, tools, habits and healthy homes ... all of which are very important. But at the heart of my work, is not to help you create a shiny home but a shiny spirit.  A home that supports your authentic beautiful soul.  A home that is healthy, easy, nourishing and.. feels like a big breath of fresh air...and a cozy hug.

In this time of pandemics, wild fires and physical distancing, creating a space that lets you rest deeply and feel nourished is essential.  It's easy to gather up more things to fill voids and even get bogged down and not care for this space.   

So turn off the TV, turn on some music.  If the air is healthy outside, open up your windows wide and create a space for yourself...even a little shift.  A tiny space refreshed will have a profound effect on your spirit.  Clean off your desk, wash your sheets, take a shower, pick up your all matters!  If you need a little boost along the way, you know who to call.

     From my spirit to yours,  Denise


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tips for healthy indoor air...when you have to seal up your home

 As I'm writing this, the smoke is heavy outside my home. I know I'm totally not alone with smoke.  We are all closing up our we should.  However, by shutting off our ventilation we increase our need to improve our indoor air quality...ASAP.  

The tips I'm sharing are always good..but now they are truly necessary.

I've created a video for you on how to improve your indoor air quality with a closed up house.  Below that is a DIY video from WA Dept of Ecology for how to make your own air cleaner.

Hang in much is going on this year but we will keep on moving forwards with the zest and creativity I know we all have.  

         Tips for healthy indoor air

Note:  In this video I mention smoke and particles.  What I meant to say is: the smoke looks like clouds or fog but is actually smoke and toxic particles which are hazardous to our health.

DIY for making your own air cleaner

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Are you feeling bogged down? Try this...Clean!

Cleaning, really, that's your solution? 
 The world is falling apart and your want me to clean? 

Cleaning opens your heart.  I can't explain it, but I know it.  For 30 years, I have practiced, taught, cleaned, trained, coached and felt the effects of cleaning. 
Cleaning is a raw and productive form of therapy. 
It works like magic to shift both space and our mindset.  

This picture comes from the book: I am yoga
written by Susan Verde...Art by Peter H. Reynolds

  Cleaning is a primal activity of movement. 
 It is simple, grounding.  A productive meditation
  Cleaning creates a nourished, refreshed and cared space
               ...which in turn helps you feel nourished, refreshed and cared for.
  Cleaning and clutter clearing are foundational to Feng Shui.
to create flow...intentional flow

Cleaning give clarity to a muddled mind, home and world.

  Cleaning is an act of love, of gratitude
It is an act of service.

  Cleaning makes you feel better.
 It's good for spirit and soul.

The truth is, we are all living in new times.  
We don't have control over a lot, but we do have control over the
 space we keep and how we approach each day.

There is a magic in cleaning

When we live in a nourished space, we are healthier, more creative, more confident and have increased resiliency.

Cleaning makes us feel better. This I know, I have 30 years of practice, testing, exploration, and feeling the effects of cleaning make me a what does cleaning feel
If you are stuck, struggling...I have 3 pieces of advice
Take a nap
Go outside

If you want to learn how to clean easy, safe and me, it's a practice worth learning.
Denise- Residue Free Coach

Transformational life coach
Healthy Home Specialist
Clutter Clearing Coach
Residue Free Cleaning trainer 

At your service


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Everyone needs a little nook.. a tree house, a fort...

This week I had to slow down to a crawl.  With a foot injury, my daily travels came to a halt.   COVID had already slowed me down and then my body said...still slower Denise.  Ah...I'm not much of a slow mover or at least I didn't think so. 

 In my office I have a great window facing west.  My office didn't really have a seating area...but when I needed to slow down I created one.  I created a place to soak my foot and enjoy the sunshine or rain from my west window.


In creating this unconventional spa area...5 gallon bucket for my Epson salt baths...and all, ... I was transported back to my childhood.  As a kid I would set up the card table in the middle of the living room, throw a quilt over the top and create my own nook.  I had no formal training in nook building but there was something deep in my spirit that needed a nook of my own.

I would gather up treasures, books, things I loved and go under(table)  I was happy there.  I was free to ponder, discover.  I can't even explain what "it" is, except my happy spirit space.

To create this new space, I grabbed a wicker chair from my patio and got a 5 gallon bucket to soak my foot. I sit next to my books and treasures.  I'm tucked in a back corner a spot unused for daily life.  This is my nook.  It's not fancy or extravagant.  It didn't cost me a dime.  It must be good, Penny Kitty seem to get "it" instantly.

This weekend as I was nursing a soar foot, instead of having despair...I found joy.  I would go to my nook, with with my treasures and be.  I didn't see joy as a side effect from an injured food. By having to shift my life and slow down even slower than I was... I created my nook out of need.  It taught me what can happen when we slow down and create space.

Yesterday, as I was soaking my foot and a bit of Sarah Ban Breathnach's book Simple will never guess what I read about...yup... creating a nook of your own. June can't make this stuff up.

A nook is more than a space to sit. It is permission to create, to explore, to be 10 years old again.  To play, to have a playhouse and let go of your actual house chores.  It is to be a kid again, free from adulthood, full of creative wonder and secret loves.  Not everything in life needs to make sense or be shared...sometimes we need a quiet space...a space we create as we go.  Simple - unconventional.  A place where our imaginations can turn a nook into world of adventure.

  If you come see my secret nook- will you be bedazzled?  Maybe, maybe not, who knows?  What's more important...will you want to go home and create a nook of your own?  Oh, I hope so!!

   I know we are in the middle of a Pandemic, an economic shut down and civil right re-creation...I also know my own business has shifted and my freedom to run...paused....  This is our life...but in the midst of life...isn't it essential to create a nook of our own?  A place we can be free to create, ponder, be true to our spirit.  

From this space...the rest of the world is easier.

Wishing you enriched journeys and a delightful nook of your own.