The Visalia Young Professionals Network provides the next generation of professional Visalians with lasting connections and new opportunities.
Spring Cleaning for Your Mind- 6 Ways to De-Clutter and Re-Focus
By: Kelsey Low, The Growth Coach of Central California

Spring is here! Warm weather and bright sunshine might be getting you in the mood to clean and get all those dust bunnies. We can clean our homes and space, but what about our mind?

Have you ever been unable to focus because your mind is so busy worrying about other things? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Most people are multi-tasking multiple things at once and their mind is constantly running. I am here to give you 6 ways to de-clutter your MIND. Just like cleaning the house, it requires consistent upkeep and maintenance. It’s practices that are meant to do often not just one time.

1.      No Cell Phone for first 30 Minutes of Waking Up
Specifically, do not scroll through emails and social media. Why? This instantly puts the brain in a fight or flight mode and is a huge contributor to stress. When we see all the notifications, our brain instantly goes into a reaction/response mode. Our brain sees uncompleted tasks and wants to complete them. Before even leaving bed, stress can start to take over the peaceful process of waking up! Also, this puts you into a response mode; it doesn’t give you time to plan or set the tone for your day, on your terms.

Not using your cell phone first thing in the morning not only helps with stress and inner peace, it also helps us get strategic for how we want the day to go. I use the first 30 minutes to make my bed, get some coffee, write a couple things in my journal. The things in my journal are often the top 3 most important things I want to do for MYSELF. Then, I write 3 things I need to do for work. Only 3 major things, everything else is a bonus. I keep it simple so I can stay on track with what I need to do. There is a whole other list of things I need to do for other people but I focus one ME first. Then, I’ll grab my phone and see what’s going on.

You get to run your day- wake up and make a game plan then check the gram and email.

So what do you think? Are you willing to change the entire course of your day and headspace by not using your phone for the first 30 minutes of your morning?

2.      Learn to Meditate
Meditation is the practice of letting your body fully relax and giving yourself permission to be an observer of your thoughts. It is a practice that is LEARNED. It’s not something you are gifted with or not, it takes practice. It can start with as little as 5 minutes! There are endless studies that show meditation is linked to living a longer life because of how effective it is for slowing the constant movement of our tech filled world.

I was so intimidated thinking about meditation, until I downloaded HeadSpace. It’s an app that gives you 5, 10 or 15-minute meditations. It taught me how to meditate and now I feel confident doing it without the app. Often, we don’t even realize how tense our body is in response to our thoughts. Do yourself a huge favor and try a meditation from an app like HeadSpace or Calm. They both have free trials.

3.      Let Go of a Grudge
Who do you need to forgive? As we go into this new season, each person that you have a grudge towards is taking up precious space in your mind. That space between your ears is valuable real estate. I coach clients all around the world and forgiveness and letting go is a vital part of the process. When you forgive other people, you set yourself free. Most people think that it means letting the other person win, but no, that is simply a perspective. If you forgive someone and YOU feel better, doesn’t that sound like a win/win?

Forgiving someone and letting go of a grudge does not even need to involve the other person! This is between you and you. Are you willing to let go? Are you willing to love them anyways? Just because you love them doesn’t mean they need to be in your space or life. Letting go clears up your mind and soul from any anger, hurt or resentment.

If you want to go deep into forgiveness and guided meditation, there is an ancient Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual called O’ho pono pono. Yes, that’s really the name. You can google variations of it, my favorite one is with Dr. Matt. This ritual has helped so many people, myself included, clear out the grudges and create a fresh, new feeling. 

4.      Move Your Body
When your body is stressed, it’s literally fueled with energy. Back in caveman days, this energy was needed to run fast from saber tooth tigers or any other predator. In our day and time, you get that energy and then have to sit down and stay still. No wonder stress is so rampant!!! This is my invitation to you…. MINI DANCE PARTIES!!

If you have a moment alone and you are feeling your worries screaming at you- blast a song and move your body. Seriously. I do this all the time in my living room. Close your eyes, put your hands in the air, jump around, do anything to move your body. Let the inner child come out, the part of you that wants to have fun and be silly. The best cure for stress and worry- dance party. Always J

If you don’t feel ready to let lose with a private dance party, here is an alternative. Start parking in the far corner of the parking lot each time you go somewhere. Purposely park farther away so you get more walking and movement weaved into your day. 3 extra minutes of walking can support you in clearing your mind.

5.      Stop Binge Watching TV
If you have found yourself watching TV every night, for multiple hours, I invite you to cut your TV usage in half. If you are stressed or trying to zone out, the blue light from TV isn’t ever relaxing you, it’s distracting you . It’s also upping the response rate in your brain. Remember how looking at our phones create the fight or flight response? Watching TV can do the exact same thing because of how easily we are over-stimulated by the rapid pace of the shows and movies. Your mind and nervous system doesn’t actually get a moment to relax.

Let watching TV or Movies be a special occasion activity. If you have the TV on every single day, imagine what other ways you could spend your time. Invest your time into things that invest back into you.

6.      Set a To-BE List         
Most of us are masters at creating a to-do list. I invite you to write a to-be list, set clear intentions for the type of person you want to be. For example, do you want to be courageous? Bold? Honest? Kind? Loving? Hard-Working? Focused?

Write 3 words of the person you want to be today. I have written on my bedroom mirror, “Who do you want to be today?” and it reminds me to be intentional with my character. I can bulldoze through a to-do list but what really moves the needle is being the best version of me throughout it. It’s easy to just be “busy.” I’ve found that with having a clear to-be intention; I am more present in interactions with people because I am thinking about BEING the person I’ve committed to being, not the next thing on the to-do list.

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

I hope these 6 ways to Spring Clean your Mind support you in the step of life you’re in right now. Learn to embrace the bumpy road of life; there is always something to be grateful for and learn from. 

Non-Profit Spotlight:
210 Connect
210 Connect is a monthly community forum which is a collaboration of the Visalia Times-Delta and the First Presbyterian Church of Visalia. The forum is held the 2nd Monday of each month at 210 from 7pm-830pm

The planning team consists of interested community members, assuring representation from the Times Delta and First Pres. The team meets 1-2 Thursdays(typically 3rd and 4th) a month at 8:30am at the 210 Conference Room. The team selects topics, determines moderator, arranges for forum panelists, develops questions, arranges for room setup/AV needs.

210 Connect Mission : To bring people together to find solutions to community quality of life issues
Values Summary
* Open and respectful communication
* Diverse faiths and perspectives
* Increased understanding
* Solution focused

We will: 
1) Offer a safe, public, and welcoming atmosphere for interested people in and outside faith communities
2) Seek common ground to build working relationships among diverse viewpoints
3) Provide balance in planning and delivery of topics, perspectives, and speakers through various venues
4) Listen with tolerance and respect

We are seeking new volunteers to participate on the planning team to bring fresh ideas and perspectives. The commitment is important but flexible, as we recognize the busy lives of our team members.

For more information please contact Jody Gilman 559-972-5280
Monthly Meet Up

Thursday, April 11th
5:30 pm
BarrelHouse Brewing
Monthly Kickball Game

Saturday, April 13th
11:00 am
Bring a Friend & Food to Share
Visalia YPN Mixer at  Visalia Rawhide   on April 18th, 7:00 pm. 

  • $10.00 ticket includes; ball game, 1 drink and 1 food voucher. 
  • This will be a family friendly event so feel free to bring your kids (kids get in free). 
  • More details to come next week!
The Visalia Young Professionals Network is looking for new Steering Comittee Members

Steering Committee Members are expected to attend monthly meetings, help plan events, publicze the network, and secure sponsor funding.

If you are intersted in joining the YPN steering comittee please contact Nicola Wissler at
Tax Tips and Deadlines
By: Krystal Parreira, CPA (M Green and Company LLP); Visalia YPN Steering Committee Member
Five easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April 15 deadline rolls around:
  1. Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don't forget to save a copy for your files.
  • Any mail you receive that says “Important Tax Document and/or Statement Enclosed”
  1. Get the right forms. They're available around the clock on in the Forms and Publications section.
  2. Take your time. Don't forget to leave room for a coffee break when filling out your tax return. Rushing can mean making a mistake — and that can be expensive!
  3. Double-check your math and Social Security number. These are among the most common errors on tax returns. Taking care on these reduces your chances of hearing from the IRS.
  4. Get the fastest refund. When you file early, you get your refund faster. Using e-filing with direct deposit gets you a refund in half the time as paper filing.

Important Tax Due Dates
3/1 - Farmers & Fishermen (who haven’t paid previous year estimate by 1/15)
Forms to File: 1040 (US) & 540 (CA)

3/15 - Pass-through Entities, S Corporations, Partnerships     
Forms to File: 1040 (US) & 540 (CA)
4/15 - Individuals, Corporations, Trusts & Estates         
Forms to File: 1120S (US) & 100S (CA), 1065 (US) & 568 (CA)
1040, 1040A or 1040EZ (US) & 540 (CA)
1120 or 1120-A (US) & 100 (CA)
1041 (US) & 541 (CA)
Helpful Links
Check your California refund -
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