Thought I”d share this entry from the “Daily Om” (http://www.dailyom.com/) which I subscribe to. I really like the idea of having your home, or at least parts of it, a comfortable, energizing place. A place to recharge your internal battery.
Beautiful images and message of gratitude. What a great reminder to notice the beauty in each day…..and to say thanks.
Do you know you have a set of beliefs from your upbringing and culture that drives your thoughts and behaviour every day! Up to 92% of these beliefs are programmed in your unconscious mind and you are unaware that they create your fears, desires and experience of life..
Are you experiencing the life you want? Are you feeling free and fulfilled? Do you feel like you have an abundant life, or are you feeling stressed and out of balance? Is there an area in your life where you feel stuck or you just keep struggling?
John Woods, The Abundance Guy, will be joining Natalie Gentry and Leah Secrest as part of their ongoing “TB breath series” to create a unique event where you:
Discover how breathing 4 mins a day will align your beliefs with your intentions AND take you closer to what you want to get you in balance.
In this 4 1/2 hour personalised experience you will:
Inspired and motivated to share new ways to empower yourself, Natalie, Leah and John are all certified Transformational Breath Facilitators™ who facilitate your experience to discover, learn and grow in an exciting and fun way.
Dates:25 March 2012
Register: Leah Secrest on 303-995-7606 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org before Tuesday 20th March. Payment required to hold space..
Truly learn to improve the effectiveness of your intentions and breathing when you learn how to utilize the Transformational Breath™ technique daily. Experience a strengthened immune system, better supported brain function, the clearing of suppressed and repressed emotional blocks, reduced worry and anxiety, greater connection with yourself and others, increased enjoyment of life and fuller expression of love and joy.
I often write about ideas and thoughts on how we can do things to become more in balance as individuals. Of course, we also live in a world that operates in a balance as well. This balance can sometimes precarious. We are certainly hearing a lot about this today.
I feel that sometimes I really don’t have very much power over something as big as “helping” the world become more in balance. For me, having more “power” started with more awareness in my choices. For example, my friend Kasey, who worked at a recycling center and encourage me to take my recycling to the center back in the late 90’s. I still do this today despite no convenient pick up in the towns I live in. As I saw what the center was recycling, I added a bin or two and filled up the car more. So, Thanks Kasey!
Here is another pretty easy one that I did on my own five or six years ago. I bought a water filter and a water bottle and now I have better water from my facet than buying that over priced bottled water in a plastic container. Some estimate we throw away 50 to 100 million plastic bottles a day! Common sense says that’s a balance that can’t be sustained. Here is a link if you want more info on the impacts of bottled water http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/15/dangers-of-drinking-water-from-a-plastic-bottle.aspx.
About two years ago, I hired an energy consultant, Elizabeth Plumb, to help me improve the energy efficiency of my home in Breckenridge. I learned a lot about new and different choices I could make in being a more conscious consumer. With her guidance, I now feel like I have made steps improving my choices when I consume things. From “smaller” things like when I have a choice in buying a product, buying the one with less packaging or in the example of how I buy pineapple. I would often buy the pineapple already cut in a plastic container. Now I buy the whole pineapple and I just have to have a bit more patience to wait for it to ripen. Passing on those yummy looking berries from Chile in the middle of the winter as the reason their so expensive is how far they had to travel to get to the market. So, I just buy organic frozen from the states. Again, not a perfect choice, but a better one. Elizabeth also guided me to make an investment into my house through things like more insulation, more efficient household appliances, new hot water heater and a solar system. I cut my gas and electric bills more than half! And a lot of those savings were a bunch of small things, with modest costs. Thanks, Elizabeth!
I may not directly see the world changing as I consume less resources, but I feel better that I am making a small impact. Of course, that’s how we all can make a difference together. If we all can make just one new or different choice we can make a huge impact in the world being more in balance. If you have the time, read the below article from Ross Bishop (an author who helped shaped my thinking on abundance) and review his ideas on being more a more conscious consumer. There can be a lot of guilt attached to this issue, which for me, is not the best motivator. I prefer to move from a new awareness and then a new choice. Focusing on the positive changes I have made and being open to new ideas. So, is there one new choice you could make, even part of one? Can any of you make any simple suggestions?
ARE YOU PROBLEM OR SOLUTION?
By Ross Bishop
There are many problems today – the soft economy, the housing market, global warming, ineffectual schools, the political system, uncaring corporations, Wall Street corruption, natural disasters and European economic collapse. So what can you do? You can’t change the world, right?
You, your friends and neighbors have enormous power, but until you collectively use it, you defer that power and to the special interests who are only too happy to take it. You would be amazed at what can happen when a number of us make changes in our everyday choices.
We live in a world of incredible convenience, but every convenience comes at a significant price, whether it’s energy consumption, refuse in landfills, downstream chemical pollution or adding to global warming.
Today your choices encourage marketers to continue creating “convenience products” to serve your desire to have an easy life. And so long as you are willing to pay the cost for not being “inconvenienced,” the corporations have no incentive to change.
And that’s the problem: being a responsible consumer is inconvenient. It is easy to throw your laundry in the drier rather than hanging it outside. Scratch cooking takes time and planning. Microwave foods are convenient. Recycling is a hassle. Buying at the Farmer’s Market is expensive and it means an extra shopping trip. Bringing your own shopping bags is a nuisance. Eating organic is expensive. Eating meat is the American way. Buying sweatshop made products at WalMart saves money. Saving energy means the house won’t be as comfortable.
No one is asking you to carry water in a bucket, use an outhouse or churn your own butter, but many of our convenience choices have a significant impact on the planet and really don’t provide all that much in return. Your life would actually improve if you dumped some of them.
The problem with conveniences is that each individual thing may seem small but in the aggregate, the impacts can be devastating. Tossing a plastic bottle in the garbage is not a big deal, but 35 billion plastic bottles in landfills each year creates an enormous environmental problem. Consider just a few other examples: If every household in America replaced just ONE BOX of 175-count facial tissue with a 100% recycled product, we would save 385,000 trees, 140 million gallons of water and almost a million cubic feet of landfill space.
If every household substituted just ONE BOX of petroleum-based laundry detergent with a plant-derived detergent, we would save 165,000 barrels of oil (that’s almost 7 million gallons). That is enough to heat and cool 9,500 homes for a year! Plus there would be an immense reduction in the need for wastewater treatment! That’s for one box of detergent! The average family goes through a dozen or more of those in a year.
You would see a real impact if you eased up on your consumption of meat. Producing meat is an incredible resource hog. The biggest single contributor to global warming (20% of the total) is from the meat industry. Raising animals for food requires more than one-third of all raw materials and fossil fuels used in the United States. More than half of the U.S. water supply goes to livestock production. It takes 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water and 15 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef. That’s the monthly water use for a family of four, and fifteen pounds of grain would feed your entire neighborhood!
Doing something about these excesses requires making sacrifices, and frankly, we’re not very good at that. Our grandparents did that sort of thing. . . But without asking you to turn into an eco-freak, there are some fairly simple things that everyone can (and should) be doing:
THINGS WE ALL SHOULD DO
1. Hang out your laundry. It smells better, is better for the clothes, the environment and it saves a lot of energy. Your clothes dryer is a huge energy hog.
2. Eat meatless one day a week. It is much healthier, and the benefit to the planet would simply be incredible!
3. Recycle. It is mind boggling how much reusable trash gets thrown into landfills every day! 35 billion recyclable plastic bottles each year, 100 billion plastic bags, 2% of which are ever recycled. One thousand miles off the coast of California and New York are islands of floating plastic, each twice as large as the state of Texas, fouling the water and killing wildlife.
Consider this: every piece of plastic that has ever been made sits somewhere in a landfill. The stuff does not degrade! Very little of it can be recycled and very little of what can be reused ever is.
4. Use Eco-friendly cleaners, laundry detergent, dish soap, recycled paper products, etc. They may be more expensive, but this is the sort of sacrifice we all need to make in order to reduce the burden of chemical toxicity and deforestation on the planet.
5. Use your own shopping bags. Europeans have done this for years to no discernible detriment.
6. Eat organic as much as you can afford. It’s much better for your health and is enormously better for the planet. If I could show you the terrible nutritional content of the fresh produce you buy from the store, you probably would not believe me. Modern factory agriculture is not your friend.
7. Plant a garden! It’s one of the healthiest things you can do for your family, it’s great exercise, it’s fabulous for the planet and it will save you a lot of money!
8. Save vegetable kitchen scraps (freeze them) for soup stock, or bury them in the garden instead of tossing them in the garbage. It reduces the burden on landfills and is good for the soil.
9. Shop at your local Farmer’s Market. It’s more nutritious, reduces industrial transportation and supports the local economy. Yes, it’s more expensive, but consider it an investment in your family’s health.
10. When you shop, try to buy whole unprocessed food. Yes, it means more cooking and planning time. Avoid buying processed food whenever possible. Especially avoid: processed meat, hydrogenated oils, GMO products, artificial sweeteners, benzoate preservatives, high fructose corn syrup (sodas, fruit juice, etc.), Olestra and any ingredient you cannot pronounce or that your grandmother would not recognize.
11. Be careful of franchise restaurant food and restaurants that serve factory made, pre-prepared entrees. Most of it is loaded with chemicals and preservatives. There are a few franchise exceptions like Noodles & Company, Chipotle, Cosi, Panera and Au Bon Pain. Some franchises are starting to offer healthier choices. If possible, eat at locally owned restaurants that use healthy local ingredients and cook from scratch. Those who do this will be proud to tell you if you ask.
12. Become a more responsible consumer. Take a little time and learn about the products you buy and the companies who produce them. Is your coffee or chocolate produced under slave-like conditions? Was your cell phone or running shoes made in a sweat-shop? What about your jeans? Now that I know more about them, I feel better about buying things from companies like Burt’s Bees, Newman’s Own, Kashi, Ben & Jerry’s and TOMS shoes, etc. A couple of these have been bought by large corporations, but have kept their integrity intact.
There are a number of web sites that rank companies on their social consciousness. Some even have cell phone apps that allow you to scan bar codes and learn about your prospective purchases. The Ethical Consumer (http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/) is great publication for the UK, but I have not found anything similar here in the states. Web sites I have used are: http://www.free2work.org/ mobile app, www.chainstorereaction.com, www.shoptostopslavery.com and
There is more you can do if you want to take these ideas further. The web is a great source of information.
Lately I have felt a little off. I”m not sure if it”s lingering from the holidays, having lot”s of friends visiting lately or processing all the energy that seems to be speeding up in and around me.
Anyway, I noticed that I have been out of some of my regular routines, including my personal goal to blog once a week. Coming back into my routines feels much better, though at times it”s seems like two steps forward and one step back. After taking two steps forward, last night, I guess was the step back! I had a bit of a fight with my kitchen, or really with the food in it. It was one of those nights that no matter what I ate, I wasn”t satisfied….Huge bowl of popcorn, bowl of frozen mangos, healthy Oreo”s, chips and salsa, some nuts, ect. This battle with the kitchen lasted for a couple of hours and when I went to bed my stomach was uncomfortably full and my mind was not very kind to myself. I heard things like, “you should know better, why didn”t you stop at the popcorn?, it”s not good to eat so much, ect.” Being in a practice of “watching” my thoughts I did sneak in a few positive thoughts as well, but the negatives ones were way more dominate.
Interestingly, when I got up in the morning this quote from Ester and Jerry Hicks was waiting for me to read.
“Cravings are going to occur to you. So here”s the rule of thumb about eating, or about investing in the stock market, or about anything else: casino If the impulse comes from a joyous thought that feels good, follow it. If the impulse comes from an uncomfortable thought that felt bad, don”t follow it”
It reminded me to pay attention as I get the cravings and make sure I have my intuition turned ON as much as possible. Yesterday, in the early evening, for example, I had just gotten a massage. Could I have asked my body in the moment, what it wanted? Was some nutrient depleted? Was I really thirsty, not hungry? Did I just need an evening of comfort food without guilt?
Being more conscious around those cravings by investigating or listening to myself more. Of course, there are a lot of emotions and feelings around food, but can I trust that if I could just stop and take just a few seconds and listen, to myself, my body, I do have the “right” answer for myself in that moment? This listening is a practice, so I tried not to get too caught up on over eating and was open to looking for the positive in last night. I found a few things, with the big one being that it motivated me to write this blog!
Another step forward…….
I received as a gift recently a book called “Five good minutes with the one you love” (Brantley & Millstine). I like its format of “100 short practices to deepen & renew your love everyday” put in a very simple and easy way. They give a short description of a topic regarding relationships and then give some suggested steps towards improving and/or renewing it. I have read and played with a few of them and find they can be used in most of our relationships. So far, from the ones I have read, the common theme I see is to be mindful or present with who you are with. This is easier said than done. For example, how many of you while on the phone are practicing multi tasking? While talking, are your checking emails, organizing, cleaning the house, driving or making something in the kitchen? How about the classic of talking to someone and at the same time looking who’s on Facebook or Skype to talk/chat with? I have my hand raised for all of those, except, cleaning, which I avoid, unless I’m REALLY avoiding doing something I need to do!
Are we really listening while we are multi tasking or carrying on 3 conversations at once? Are we sometimes craving to be heard, but do not listen ourselves?
Their practice on this subject, number 35, is titled “affectionate listening”.
They offer – How often is your attention elsewhere when your partner is speaking?
A deeper connection and more joy are close at hand when you replace inattention with affectionate listening.
They give these steps to practice:
1. When your partner is speaking to you, notice where your attention is. Notice also any feelings of impatience or mental “stories” that may be going through your head. Acknowledge them and let them go.
2. Take a moment to breath mindfully for a few breaths.
3. Set your intention. For example: “May I be more present for him”
4. As he speaks to you, focus mindfully on the sounds. Notice tone, pace, and volume, as well as meaning.
5. Look more closely at him. If you are on a phone, close your eyes and picture him.
6. As you listen, let gentle feelings of warmth and affection flow within you.
7. Let attention and affection guide your own words in response.
I like this practice as it brings us back to connection, being present with someone. I think if we were more present, that phone call might not need to last as long so you would not feel like filling the “space” doing something else at the same time. Of course, if you not able to be present in the moment or only have a certain amount of time to be present, communicating that to someone is just as important. For me, this builds relationships in a clear, conscious way.
There is so much try this and try that in health these days it can be difficult to know what to do or try to improve your health. I consider myself very healthy and I’m still always open to new ways to improve. I have been playing with Vitamin D in two forms (sunlight & supplements) over the last few years and I’m starting to think there maybe something to increasing my levels of vitamin D in effecting my overall health as the article below suggest. I have noticed in the last two years I have not gotten my normal cold or two during the winter. Of course, this is far from scientific, but I think increasing my Vitamin D supplements during those times out of the sun has helped.
The below article on vitamin D is from Dr. Mercola who is an alternative thinking doctor that I have been following through his free emails for seven or eight years now. I have found his information helpful and another source to standard medical approaches.
Surfing for me is one of my passions and a great way for me to have fun, relax and enjoy the ocean. It is also a challenge and its been fun to push my comfort zone at my own pace. I love the anticipation of riding a wave, the camaraderie of other surfers and, of course, the riding of the wave. Growing up in the US Midwest there was not much chance to surf, so it wasn’t until I started spending time away from some of the Breckenridge winters that I began to surf. It has to be one of the hardest sports to learn as there are many different phases to surfing. However, once I glided along my first wave, I was hooked.
It’s also a sport where I’m continually learning and progressing, like life. It’s a good thing this sport is on water for the number of times I have fallen! Surfing is definitely one of those sports that has a correlation in life for me in that when I “fall” there is always an opportunity for growth! My challenging times in life have definitely been where I have learned some of my best lessons, though it sure didn’t feel like it at the time! Like surfing, falling with some awareness gives me some information that I can use to adjust or correct for the next wave……I was too far forward on my board, my timing getting on the wave was off, my turn on the wave was too slow, ect. I made this surf video mostly for me to have a record of my surf progress. However, I thought you might like to see my passion in action and also see that though I have come a long way in the last few years, I’m still falling and getting back up again!
“Everyone shines bright when riding high on the crest of a wave, it’s when things go wrong and we wipe out that we learn the most gaining courage and real strength along the way.”
Here is a recipe for a fun and abundant experience…..
1. add two friends to your kitchen one with a knife and one with a camera
2. add a new meal to your life ….change is as good as a holiday they say….
3. add in fresh ingredients that will add micro nutrients to your body, release some of the stress we put on our digestive system and therefore make us feel lighter and freer
4. add fresh air, great view and sunset?? to further make the body feel great!
I think around the world most people seem to end up in and around the kitchen……. I guess, that’s where the food is! However, it also a social gathering place for family and friends. This ceviche recipe on the video is a good one to get people involved in the kitchen as there is a lot of potential chopping help.
Hope you enjoy!
It seems that most people look for the negatives in life or focus or what’s missing. I believe this will keep you stuck or in a “negative” cycle. I believe by shifting to a focus on the “positives” you have and being grateful for what you currently have breaks this “negative” cycle and starts creating more abundance. As you are creating more of what you want it is important to keep your thoughts, feelings and actions aligned towards what you want. This can be easier said than done. However, with awareness of what you are thinking, feeling and doing, aligning your thoughts, feeling and actions towards what you want becomes a practice and easier and easier with time.
I can say this is true for myself. I live half the year in Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge is a small town with only a couple of thousand people. Meeting people with my similar life style and beliefs, living here on a part time basis, in the past, has been challenging at times for me. I can sometimes get caught up in negative thinking, “there is no one here like me”, “Breckenridge is too small”, “I’m lonely here”, “I can’t meet new friends”, etc. This can last for a few days sometimes and then I catch myself and apply my own practices. I first can turn around my negative thinking into positive just by saying things like, “it’s easy to meet new friends” or “I’m always in touch (connected) to people”. This can get you going in the right direction. Apply that “fake it until you make it” philosophy if you have a hard time believing your positive statements at first. To me, a belief is just a thought you keep on thinking, so if you have a negative belief you want to change, why not choose to keep on thinking a good one a create a new “better” belief!
Another practice is that I can acknowledge the wonderful friends I already have (even if you only have just one or two, the evidence of one means that others are possible), how they add value to my life, how they are similar to me, etc. This acknowledgement is very important and not meant to be just a one time thought. My belief, is what you focus on expands. So, if I have a practice of daily gratitude of the friends and their wonderful qualities I have NOW, I know that focusing on what I have will grow and my “job” is to let go of the outcome and keep the practice alive. Practicing this, in my experience, I have sometimes had new friends come into my life and sometimes my change has been deepening the friendship I already have with current friends, both of which are great.
Both of these practices work in other parts of life as well. Have a “problem” child? Focus on the aspects of your child you like and watch them grow. Your husband doesn’t compliment you the way you like? Try when you get a compliment, affirming that you really like hearing from him when he likes something and thank him for noticing it. This takes practice, I believe, daily or as frequently you can to change YOUR thinking. Be gentle with yourself, this doesn’t have to be so hard. Make it a game. Start with small steps.