Stop the Junk Mail, Junk Calls and Reclaim Your Time

There is so much mental and physical clutter that keeps us from staying focused, and on task (even if that task is chilling out!)

Every piece of rubbish junk mail that fills up our physical or digital mailboxes, and each pesky call that comes through to our cell phone asking us to buy this or that or the other add up!

You can think of each disturbance as a little stone thrown against your peace of mind, focus, and energy. Day in and day out, it can be energy sapping! And certainly, keep us from our task at hand!

So what to do? I started considering the cost of such disturbances. How much does it “cost” to have to go through dozens of pieces of mail every week and figure out which pieces you need to shred, which you can trash, and which are actually important. Calculating the cost of going through the actual process, and then the accumulated cost of mental clutter it causes the see the stack pile up each day. Not to mention the actual time or money cost of shredding documents with your sensitive information on them.

There is also a hidden cost we rarely think of. That is the threat of identity theft. With so many credit card offers and other types of credit-extension offers circulating through the sometimes, unsecured post systems, we ought to stop or minimize the volume of documents with our sensitive information from even being created.


Well, it was started to get on my nerves (a lot!) so I thought to myself, “Self, why don’t we find a solution?” And that I did.

I started the process back in late March, and now it’s September and I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in credit card offers, car loan offers, other offers from credit card companies, mortgage insurance offers, catalogs I have no or little interest in, and other random junk mail! Now, we just have got to get my other half to do this and we’ll be all good.

Here’s what I did and what you can do:

#1: Stop calling me!!

The national “Do Not Call Registry” was created by the Federal Trade Commission to help protect consumers from incessant sales calls. It helps gets you off of the telemarketer’s radar. There are still those that fly under the radar of the law, so you can report them separately through the same link.

National Do Not Call Registry

You can register your phone and put it on a “Do Not Call List” for 5 years by registering online, or do it permanently, and do it through mail.

You can also report unwanted calls and check your registration. My calls have gone down significantly since I registered.

#2 Choose How You Get Marketed To!

The Data & Marketing Choice Association has a service where you can decide what types of direct mail marketing you’d like to receive and stop receiving from different companies.

You’ve got to register for the site and there is a one time fee of $2 for this service. (I think it’s a fair trade off for how much we have to gain!)

Data & Marketing Association Manage My Mail Page –

You can see in the above image, the once you get registered, you can decide how to manage catalog, magazine, credit card (at the very bottom) and other offers. You get a lot of choices, so if there are mailings you want to begin receiving, you can do that here.  See the shot below and all the catalogs you have to choose from. You can also do a one step opt out of all paper catalogs as well.

Managing catalogs

They also have an email preferences system. You can include yourself on a list to be cleared from email list services that are in compliance. This is not all marketers, and it does not include business to business marketing. They maintain that they do not sell or provide the list for any other purpose rather than to clear you off of marketing rosters. It is a free service that lasts six years.

Local Mailers

ValPak anyone? The Valpak poses a special problem for me. I can’t just recycle it or throw it away without looking at it first. And looking through it takes time and mental processing. What if there is a really cool deal in there? So I go through them, more often than not, save coupons I won’t usually use and take up my precious time, space and keen, yet finite mental processing energy.

So what’s the solution? Opt out of the physical ValPak and browse their coupons online for your location, when you are going to buy local products or services. The best of both worlds!

Opt out here.

Browse coupons here (just punch in your zip code)

RedPlum Mailers too!

The same goes for the RedPlum mailers! Go digital and on demand!

Opt out

Browse online! 

Hopefully, this was helpful! Less clutter, less stress, more happiness. Also, junk mail takes a YUUUGE bit out of our precious natural resources and our precious time here on our little blue planet.





Are you wondering why change is so hard? Here’s how to make it easier.

Hello everyone!

cultivate change, change now, be happier
image courtesy of jiggojo/

Sorry I’ve have been off the grid for the past couple of weeks. I have thrown myself head first into a time consuming new project, but I’m back!

Onwards to the piece. The question occurred to me during my morning meditation – how do things change or how can we change things in our lives? Then upon reflection I saw the grandest changes that have brought the most happiness and external results have all followed the same route into physical reality. A repeatable path, if you will.  Continue reading “Are you wondering why change is so hard? Here’s how to make it easier.”

Mind Games 101

mind reader, passive aggressive, thrive-365

The Essence of Mind Games

For the longest time I found myself trying to guess at what was written between the lines. I wanted to find out what people really meant or felt or wanted. I didn’t take what people said at face value. Communication was ambiguous and murky. Continue reading “Mind Games 101”

Sickness and Health

(This sat in my drafts for a few months, so it was really not this past weekend, but a weekend in November.)

This past weekend I learned and saw from very close up exactly how I got really sick, and how I got better in a matter of a couple of days. I want to share this with you in the hopes that it will help you get over anything you might have going on by looking in places that seem completely unrelated.

First the sick part.

I was set to spend what was meant to be a wonderful weekend with Chrissy and her family at a lovely beach house in Ventura California to celebrate her Grandmother’s birthday. IMG_6106The waves literally crashed against the walls of the outdoor area and the bedroom windows looked out on the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the small volcanic island of Anacapa. When you slept, you could hear the waves crashing, and when you awoke, the vast horizon stretched before you as if you were at sea. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Continue reading “Sickness and Health”

God, Why Have I Been so Inauthentic?

Why have I been so inauthentic? I’m not really asking God, but maybe I am. I have been hiding behind this veil of what I think I should be like, and what will everyone think of that person I think I should be? (Because they sure as heck won’t like the person I really am, or maybe they would really like it, and THEN what?). You know, so many brilliant people speak about authenticity, so I won’t plunge into that worthy and complex topic right now but what I will say is that I have been inauthentic. Continue reading “God, Why Have I Been so Inauthentic?”

Elimination Diet

I’m an artist/preschool teacher living in Seattle with my amazing husband, Pat. He and I have been really focused on our health over the past couple of years, this has led us to making many dietary changes. We implemented some pretty drastic changes to our diets and experienced firsthand how much diet can affect not only your physical appearance but also how you feel. My husband has a multitude of allergies to foods that I have no measureable reaction to so the two of us couldn’t be on the same exact diet because our bodies handle food differently. This brought me to the realization that there is no perfect diet for everyone. There are so many different factors that determine what your nutritional needs are and the only way that I have found to truly find out what your body reacts to is to do an elimination diet.

My husband’s naturopathic doctor recommended he try last year and he did, finding out even more about his allergies to food. I was hesitant at first because I don’t have a lot of food allergies- or so I thought. Recently, I have learned a great deal about how diet can affect hormones and how the right diet can help balance out your hormones as well as improve your overall physical and mental health. I have always struggled with PMS symptoms including mood swings, severe cramps, fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness and acne. As I’ve gotten older some of these symptoms have worsened. My acne has also become much more of an issue over the past 4 or 5 years to the point where I was so desperate to try anything to get rid of it. In my research I came across an article that talked about how nightshade vegetables can cause acne and joint pain. I was floored because I LOVE all things tomato-y and spicy .Also, keep in mind, I have had joint pain since I was 10 or 11. I cut all nightshades out of my diet immediately after I learned of this information and the first thing I noticed was my joint pain disappeared. Then, my skin began to clear up. I still got a few zits around my period but my skin was noticeably clearer. I also noticed I would get zits almost immediately after a weekend of eating nightshades (pizza or Mexican food) and the joint pain would come back. After I made this discovery, I wondered what other foods in my diet were affecting me negatively. Aside from the basic things that we should all avoid such as soy, corn and simple sugars, I wanted to know exactly what I should and shouldn’t eat. A food reaction, no matter how mild seeming, can be a sign of inflammation and repeated, long-term exposure to these foods will likely lead to heart disease, cancer and a host of other health problems.          These experiences have led me to try beginning an elimination diet and I wanted to journal what my experiences are so that others who are considering it or are beginning one as well can use this as a reference point. I have been doing a lot of Googling and have come up with very little information on what to expect when starting an elimination diet or how one feels when they are on it. Also, this is a great way to keep myself motivated and keep track of my progress and symptoms. I will journal how I’m feeling throughout the process and what my meals are. If you are thinking about doing an elimination diet, this may help you know what to expect along the way, even though we are all different and unique, we are also more similar than not.Let the elimination diet begin!

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