Healthy Habits Of A Beautiful Life
Listen to the complete article on audio HERE
Healthy Habits Press Release:
Martha Stewart Living Magazine featured an article today about Caryn Elizabeth’s unusual simply elegant lifestyle, as described in her best selling book, “Healthy Habits of a Beautiful Life”, connecting practical house keeping tips with one’s inner beliefs, values and riches.
Excited to personally interview this popular author, Martha and her staff arrived ready to photograph the spectacular views, features, creative use of the outdoors, and the simple luxury to share with her magazine subscribers. Martha proposed this author become a regular contributing Taste-maker magazine contributor. MSLO had moved their publishing over to Meredith and the new relationship editors would love working with Ms Elizabeth’s articles.
From Caryn’s book, we have discovered an unusual connection between a person’s home and their spiritual inner life. Astounded by the relationship of the inner game and the outer environment, many can learn how to declutter their life as they declutter their minds. We will also explore Caryn’s coaching practice and success in building a profitable network marketing business and how she uses her positive mindset and skills to gather the right people to partner with.
Martha: Ms. Caryn, I just love your home. I sense that you have a very unique perspective about your home based on your recent book, Healthy Habits of a Beautiful life”. let’s begin with the beliefs that shaped your theme? How did you make the connection between your inner thoughts and beliefs and your outer world, namely your home?
Caryn: Each of us is born with innate drives and talents. I’ve always loved color. I enjoy creativity and freedom. Over my lifetime of wanting to know the truth about what my purpose for living was, I read books. I began developing the mindset of a beautiful life when I read the book “Captivating” by Eldridge. That book awakened me to intimacy with God, as relayed in the Song of Solomon in the Bible. Rather than focusing on the superstition of the sin nature and needed to protect myself, I learned that God made me to live an abundant life. This helped me see how I had been thinking wrongly about love.
Several years later, not knowing yet that my dreams were void of habits with strong desire and focus I joined a mastermind call where we read the book “Think and Grow Rich” to assist me in developing a money consciousness. “The Game of Life” gave me an alternative option for “turning” from negative thoughts by turning to thoughts of God as life, as love, as Soul, as Spirit, as Intelligence and as principle. My next advancement came with “The Master key Experience” which really got me on the fast track to manifesting my dreams with strong desire. In that course, we read Haanel’s”The Master Key”, Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman In The World”, “Emerson’s Essay on Compensation”, The “7 Laws of The Mind” and several other sources.
Healthy Habits and Dreams
In fact, this interview was a part of the dream I had when I began the Master key course. The house we are sitting in right now was part of my original Definite Major Purpose statement. I had a movie poster board with a picture of a house very similar to this one. My habits helped me imagine every room and many of the details before I ever saw this house for real. I owned it in my imagination. I came to realize that I had power beyond my understanding. As the class progressed, my power grew and this home was before me. My book gets into this further and I really want others to enjoy the full story when they read how magical lifestyle came to me.
This change in mindset shifted me into a belief that I could have an intimate relationship with infinite intelligence, or God. While divorce was a part of my old blueprint, I was persistent to sit for 30 minutes a day and see that everything I needed was already in me; my power, courage and faith. In time, with practice, substitution, and other laws of the mind, I got myself out of darkness and into the sunlight of wealth, position and happiness. Today, I can testify that this pattern is duplicatable and what I did, others have done also. While it may seem magical, every person who manifested great wealth and lifestyle use these same principles, gained these same skills and are honest about sharing it with those who want to know.
Martha: Caryn, That does sound magical. And your home here has a magical feel to it. It sounds like your “old blueprint” had a pretty faulty foundation. Will you share a bit more about that so we can get an understand of what the difference was in this old blueprint.
Caryn: Sure Martha. I grew up in a what I called a “quantity family” of 7 children! When I began having my own children, I read a book called “The 5 love languages. My primary love language is “quality time”. An example of that would be a love for having an intimate candlelite dinner with my husband. Just the two of us. Another would be to have a one on one conversation with a friend or parent. These times I feel that deep sense of love. However, my large family of 5 boys and 1 eldest sister felt very chaotic to me. I longed for healthy family rituals and weekly meetings to discuss how to better serve one another’s needs. but that never happened. Therefore, my love language was only satisfied when I got one on one with a parent, which was few and far between. My love need was not met to my satisfaction, growing up. I knew that when I became a parent, I’d do things differently and I actually did. I home-schooled my children and they received recognition for creative expression 24/7 with habits I formed.
Many years later, in my continual search for healthy habits and the missing inner game skills I needed for the abundant life filled with quality time and personal relationships, I was offered the pay it forward scholarship to participate in the Master Key Experience. They definitely over delivered and under promised on the magical change that I’d make in the 6 months of dedication and persistence they demanded of us. When they told me I’d “find” my authentic purpose and gain the discipline of an organized mind, it had me reaching hopefully each week to write my Definite Major Purpose, the index cards, and doing the weekly reading, creating a web blog, writing weekly and keeping up with the alliances on the membership site. It was quite a feat to keep up but they made it fun and we trusted them. Mark J and Davenne are an amazing couple who manifested their dreams and live in Hawaii helping others do what they did. They inspired me to keep going and I am so appreciative of their training and mentorship.
One of my dreams was to become certified as a John Maxwell coach, which you know I manifested several years ago now. My purpose there was to build quality relationships with other coaches and create a state wide coaching organization. As you may be aware, we have over 100 active coaches serving our state, participating in schools and businesses teaching leadership courses.
One of my favorite pieces in the Master key course and which our organization emphasizes is to learn the art of speaking honestly to ourselves always keeping promises to ourselves. I continue to encourage my private clients to stick with me for 6 months to train them in the Master key strategies so they can get free of the clutter in their closets of their inner home!
Quality minded client recognize me for my unique creative “habit definer” system, using places that they spend a lot of time in. Their home, apartment, car, boat, office may be used as a measuring gauge for how their inner life defines them. Each session advances their dreams as they get focused on one to 4 areas in their space. We engage the senses, colors, clutter and more to help declutter and free up some brain space by creating healthy habits that lead to that beautiful life they want and deserve! All I ask is that they create a burning desire for it’s attainment and follow the system.
Martha: You also mention in your chapter on “healthy office habits” how you built a large residual income in your network marketing business.
Caryn: Absolutely! Being raised by independent business owner parents, I learned how to be an entrepreneur from day one. At 24 I entered Network Marketing with Shaklee Corporation. Young and enthusiastic, I built a moderate income with people twice my age. Once I moved out of state, my business associate took care of my team but by then, products were purchased online and there was no need to keep stock. It changed the nature of doing business and I loved the idea of auto ship and no more product shelves. My office is free of clutter of that kind.
Like many entrepreneurs, most try and fail to create that dream income early on. For a variety of reasons, many have been in as many as 14 different companies over their lifetime. It was their persistence that finally granted them success. Residual income to me is the best part of network marketing. Get paid over and over for what you get started! My present income is over 100,000 per year and I work part time. I am so blessed to have an outstanding team with a leader who earned over $7,000,000 in his first 7 years with this company. We are over a 6 billion dollar company presently and growing. What I love most about it is the quality relationships I’ve built with many leaders. We mastermind and learn from each other with a spirit of integrity and creativity rather than competition you find a lot in corporate jobs!
Martha: Yes, I watched Bill Gates share with college students that Network Marketing is the business to be in. Also heard from Guy Kiyosaki in his book “Business of the 21 Century” that Multi Level Marketing creates a level playing field for the middle class to generate income of the upper 5% of business owners of franchises with large overhead and long hours. This brings up a great point about working from home rather than going out to a job. Do you enjoy working from home?
Caryn: Unless you establish healthy habits in your home office, your business will suffer. I love working from home and taking my laptop outside on the deck under my yellow umbrella. I grab a glass of cold tea and a couple cookies read a book, make some phone calls while watching boats go by. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. Technology has simplified a lot of paperwork and I use closet shelving to keep any machinery out of the way. Wireless systems keep wires out of site and I take photos of important papers which I store on an external hard drive for reference. Phone planners and online fax services make it easier than ever to keep up with business wherever I take my phone, tablet or laptop!
Martha: Yes Caryn, I agree there for sure. I am a proponent of organizing closets with baskets and clutter bins. Can you share your belief about working toward creating more empty spaces in your home?
Caryn: I have to go back to how I grew up. while mom worked long and hard to keep the house clean, she often had clutter on her bedside floor. Bags of books, magazines, and crocheting kept things a bit to cluttered. While I have the same love for those things, I chose to take advantage of the vertical space in a room. Shelving helps open up more floor space and that openness expands the mind. To me, the space between the furniture is just as important and creates a sense of harmony.
Martha: What do you consider your greatest weakness with regards to decorating or keeping harmony in your home?
Caryn: Mail! Paperwork! Filing! Organizing paperwork was difficult for me, especially when I had responsibility for children, home improvement, budget, and hobbies. I found the “Fly Lady” daily and weekly email reminders made a big difference in keeping the house picked up when the kids were young. When I built my home in the Poconos, I purchased a book on organizing my filing system. Not realizing that I’d adopted the habits of “keep everything syndrome” I didn’t know what papers to keep so I kept more than I need. It took a while but in time, I learned that monthly magazine subscriptions were disposable. I just cut articles out and filed them. I saved a few extremely special holiday cards and anything homemade.
Honestly, moving is the best way to declutter one’s stuff. I find great pleasure in giving things to nonprofit organizations. Now, I think about the shelf life of something and if I haven’t used it in a year, it is put in the basement. Once there, and not use for another year, its next stop is Salvation Army!
My motto is when something new comes into your home, 2 old things have to go! Or you will be carrying the burden of your past with you for good. Things like clothing, dishes, electrical equipment, and linens are trendy and need replacing every few years anyway. I’m sure many of your readers still have record albums, for instance. The problem is that they are only valuable when you sell them. They lose value if kept too long. There are a few exceptions as we know but of all the beanie babies, perhaps 3 are of value. How many still have them in a box in the attic or closet?
Clutter is dangerous and may be a fire hazard. Our homes are our primary real estate. Shelf space may be limited so I keep only the necessities local. This leads me to sharing how our mindset gets cluttered as well. But healthy habits in both areas of life make an impact on peace of mind. Positive mind habits make us unconsciously toss the outdated ideas and childhood beliefs. Worries you focus on keep growing and the crop is sickness! When you clean up the floor space in your mind, you are unblocking the flow and it’s easier to navigate your space. Habits are like the storage spaces of your home. Keeping stuff put away, it’s easy to find and use when you need it. Otherwise it stays put safely away until needed.
Martha: Your sun room in the back of your home is all wood with shelves of old objects. What made you decide on these collectibles out there?
Caryn: The sun room was inspired by my husband when we first met. He drew me a picture of a room with doors out to a deck on each side. The color wood we chose works perfectly with the warmth of the sunset. The room was windowed and the front corners were on a 45 degree angle. The sun shines through and reflects on the kitchen counter and living room wall. I wanted to honor his love for history and embraced his heart as a collector of treasures. To bring attention to some of his favorites, we created several displays on custom made shelves in the sun room. He had saved his trains, collector trucks, tools, pictures and documents from long forgotten relatives.
My biggest concern with those displays is the habits of dust accumulation. But the power of a soft vacuum attachment keeps the dust under control. I just loved the book “Clutters Last Stand” by Don Aslett. It taught me a lot about the right tool and why to purchase cleaning products at a janitorial supply .
Relating this to our mindset, we need the books and products that concentrate on right thinking! If we are going to keep material objects, be aware that they are slowly deteriorating. It’s been said that you can only look one way at the time. While some memories are happy, unhealthy one need to be eliminated. The way we do that in the material world is to toss them or give them away. In the law of substitution, we are taught you turn away from the old. What you ignore goes away.
As I said earlier, I love quality rather than quantity, demonstrated in having 3 children instead of 7 like my mom. My grandma use to say “too much is too much!” I’m reminded of that when clutter on horizontal surfaces begins to accumulate.
Martha: You seem to have captured a simple beauty with the tchotchkes, some old and some new, all in colors that coordinate with your theme. Did you have a specific reason for the variety of items?
There is something beautiful when gathering the generations together. As kids, one of our habits was that we enjoyed taking Grandma out for ice cream Also, we’d beg mom to take us for the “treatment”, which meant we’d drive down this steep cobblestone road. We’d go bumpity bump and each of us had a unique experience. In decorating, 3 items grouped together causes a similar stimulation. In reality, it causes the eye to move around and around as to not allow the mind to rest. Yes, the “treatment” occurs each time you group 3 items or generations together.
I learned this from my mom who loved the eclectic look. She praised herself for the variety of woods and accessories. But in the variety, she created excitement. I feel that life is like this. Our living and working spaces are a reflection of us. My mom loved bringing home treasures she found on the side of the road and stored them in the basement until she could fix them up to add to the house somewhere. And when one of us had a friend in need, mom welcomed him into our home and fed and nurtured him until his parents cooled down and he could return to his home!
Martha: How is it that you decided to move lakeside? Is water a link to the inner world for you?
Caryn: So much of me has its roots in my past. I grew up in a home my mom and dad designed and built. Dad, a building contractor and mom who took up home design to assist dad. After all the kids were grown they chose to retire in upstate NY. A family investment in an old farm house with potential was recreated into a masterpiece of dramatic warm beauty. Mom designed it and dad built it! Every room had life and charm. The details were so compelling and when we were there, it was always delightful! So I am actually compelled by my family background to imagine, design, and build it. Because of my unique nature, I gravitate toward my authentic style. It’s natural for me because of my habits and practice to build and beautify a house until it becomes an extension of me! I redesigned several rooms in my first home. I designed and built my home in the Poconos. Then I envisioned the perfect the lake house.
Early in our relationship, my husband shared his fond memories of summers on his dad’s boat on Lake Ontario. It brought back memories of my own childhood growing up on the Passaic River in NJ. I was a baby when my dad built a seaplane and landed it in the river. My brothers built boats and rafts. We’d watch car boats, tug boats, speed boats, and all kinds of sea worthy objects go by. My older sister and brothers swam in it years before but my younger brothers and I were told it wasn’t safe. I was told that as a young boy, my older brother fell off a dock and nearly drowned when a repairman jumped in to save his life. We actually saw a drowned man pulled out of the river around the corner from our house, by our uncle, a fire chief at the time. I had swimming lessons most likely because of the dangers of the river. We came to respect its power.
But it didn’t stop the enjoyment of the habits of tossing stones to see who could hit the Barge Inn, a tavern docked at the marina across the way. My brothers became all great baseball players and I could burn a baseball in the catcher’s glove because of all those tossed stones! To this day, the sight of water still captures me. My big claim to fame was stepping on a nail walking in bare feet down on the river’s edge. I was taken to the hospital for a tetanus shot. We’d walk through the muck for fun!
My grandmother owned several homes, one up on a Erskine Lake and several beach homes down the New Jersey shore. We loved staying there each summer enjoying the ocean and the bay. We learned to water ski in my oldest brother’s boat that he drove all the way down the shore from our Rutherford home.
Because I love water so much, one of my goals is to visit the 10 most beautiful waterfalls in the world! I’ve been to Niagara Falls and Yellowstone of the Rockies. I’m sure the magnificence of Hawaiian waterfalls will be a beautiful sight to behold.
So, I guess you can say water plays a big part in my life for sure. Since my boyfriend and I both loved water, I thought about how nice it would be for him to have a boat on a lake where he could enjoy those times again like with his dad, who died when he was a young man. I decided a lake would be a great addition to my vision. My kids love to come for the holidays and a week’s vacation. We go for boat rides, fish off the dock, toss stones in the water, and help our grandchildren find frogs and tadpoles. Our children love water as much as we do. They taught the Grandkids to swim right off the dock. The lake is an entirely different animal than the Passaic River but learning to respect it is part of the rules of coming to the lake house.
Martha: You mentioned in your book that you wanted your home to face east. Can you share why this is important to you?
Caryn: Well, Martha, I enjoy the Fung Shui idea and the way I love my rooms laid out, I desired the front rooms to gather up the morning sun and it made sense for the sun to set in the rear over the lake to allow the evening reflection to grace us with its sparkly water dance!! Since the sun sets in the west, it makes sense that the back yard should be on the west side of the property.
Martha: So are colors linked to the inner world for you?
Caryn: When I was a teen, my mom allowed me to paint a mural on my bedroom wall. I painted a deep red mountain and a bright orange sun above it. One night I cried out in pain from menstrual cramps. I turned to my side, looked at the mountain and their was the perfect profile of Jesus, lying atop that mountain. I found great comfort that night. It is these encounters with color and design that cause me to embrace the glory of color and the belief that colors bring joy. As an adult, I am grateful for color and this positive mental attitude brings me more pleasure from colors seen everywhere I look.
After high-school, I went to college in Florida, where I embraced the sky, sun, clouds and rain with adoration. I studied color in college and I believe God made color just for me. When I’m outside in the summer, I feel like I’m in heaven. Color stimulates my creativity. Add some music on my ipod and a quiet road and I’ll walk 5-7 miles with enthusiasm.
Martha: So you chose red for your dining room and kitchen. What was your thought on that?
Caryn: I had read that red makes people feel special. To some it’s a power color, like black. But to me, red says “give me a hug”, “let’s have a cup of tea”, and “what do you want for dinner?” The vibrancy of red makes one feel connected. Great conversations are created around the kitchen and dining room. My dining and kitchen are placed in the front of the house on the east side where the sun comes up. I found that it is as captivating as the sunset. It’s just a great way to start your day!
Martha: Many of your rooms have different colors but mostly warm tones. Why is that?
Caryn: Because of my love for sky and sun, warm colors remind me of summer, my favorite season. I actually still love sky blue and fun pink, but over the years I’ve watched trends and warm grays, yellows, and reds thrill me. It’s also good to note that paint, furniture and other items available generally follow the color trends. So purchasing items for the home is easier when your color palette keeps up with the trends.
Martha: What made you design your guest rooms above the garage?
Caryn: I envisioned this home for months until I could see each area. I did have a practical challenge of deciding how to arrange the stairway from a one story ranch into the 2nd floor of the garage but I was assured that you can do anything with money. Once I figured out the stairs, I envisioned my children and grandchildren going up and down, chatting about how cool it was to have the windows in the loft area overlook the back yard and lake.
They could sit there all evening and watch the boats, water fowl and sunsets when the weather kept them indoors. For all practical purposes, I wanted to be able to turn off the heat in that area of the house to save on my utilities. To me, it’s just being a good steward of our natural resources.
Martha: So was your fire pit area designed with your children in mind?
Caryn: Yes, it was. We spent many happy times camping and hiking. There are waterfalls all over the Poconos and we hiked plenty. They were raised to respect the outdoors. It seems when we’re together outdoors, time stands still. We look up and smile knowing that there is some purpose we are here on earth. My first husband and I raised philosophers. The deep conversations would get started around a campfire or long drive. Because I homeschooled my children, we had many opportunities to chat about deep issues and our habits kept us close. Nature seems to bring that out in us! I imagine Thoreau and many others who fled the city for the lake front lodges of upstate NY felt compelled to ponder the deeper issues as well.
Martha: Well, I wanted to save the best for last Caryn. Tell me what inspired the shag rug in your master bedroom?
Caryn: Ha-ha… Martha, we both remember years ago when we were kids. My lavender room had the best shag rug! Just loved it! I had a vision once of a white lounge chair facing a wall fire place, with a shag rug beneath. But I just love the idea of a good book, a cup of tea, and that rug. I imagined lying on the rug strewn with pillows for a time of playfulness with my husband. Grab a glass of wine and a blanket and cuddle up for a special time of closeness.
Martha: Any final thoughts Caryn?
Caryn: Martha, as having a biblical name of great significance, the scriptures tell us we are the temple of the living God. And our home tells us the significance of who we are as well. It is the place we live daily and come home to after a long day out in the world. My home is decorated with the best of the best of my memories and beautiful things I love today; handmade items from my children and generational furniture that has sentimental value. I love fun hand painted furniture as well as the richness of the older ornate type pieces. New items reflect my present life. And I always have my vision of my next home to reach optimistically toward! Most of all, color is by far my greatest treasure and a gift from my creator to us all.
Martha: Amen! Well, thank you so much Caryn Elizabeth for sharing your home, your values and ideas about the simple elegance and healthy habits of the beautiful life you’ve created. Your home is a true reflection of you. I am sure this will inspire my readers to think about how they can create spaces that support their physical and emotional health. Your book really goes into greater detail and we’re making it available for our readers.
Caryn: Thank you Martha, I enjoyed sharing my lifestyle with you.