Thoughts and Revelations – A Random Collection

1. Do I really need two of something? Do I need two bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and hand soap refills?  I doubt it.  I’m trying to reduce the number of things that I have.  There is no need for my place to be a storage warehouse.  If I need something, I can easily go out and buy it.  No need to hoard things.

2. I realize why I don’t enjoy the snow here.  The snow here doesn’t have that mesmerizing quality that falling snow has back home.  You know, the kind of snow that falls so gently and peacefully that you can’t help but watch it fall.  The kind of snow that makes everything really quiet.  The kind of snow that has you curled up somewhere warm (a fireplace is nice) with a good book and some tea or hot cocoa.

3. The SO Delicious coconut almond mini bars are almost as good as the vanilla and almond snack size bars from Häagen-Dazs.  I’m trying to reduce dairy and craving junk food lately, the coconut almond mini bars are a pretty good solution.

4. I feel better when the window is open. I’m sure there is someone who will jump up and down that I’m wasting energy by opening the window with the heat on inside.  Don’t worry, I turned down the heat settings and the window is only open a crack.  I just need some fresh air.  There is a lack of air circulation and I found out today that I feel much better if the window is cracked.  It does make it a bit louder, though.

5. Having a purging cleaning spree is good for your mind and soul. Not to mention your health as well. I’ve been slowly working through the various nooks and crannies in my place. My very impulsive and impatient sides want to do it all at once in one big cleaning spree with a mini dumpster to drop things into from my windows, but alas, it’s not to be.  However, I’m making good progress and finding a lot of things that I can part with.  The most exciting part is that I’ve managed to get out everything from underneath my bed.  I like being able to see the floor.

That’s all for now.

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to the year of the dragon. I’m told that it’s an extra special year because it’s the year of the black dragon. I’m not exactly sure what that all means, just that it’s an extra special year.

I would also like to note that today’s lunar new year is celebrated by many people, not just the Chinese. I find it rather unenlightened to continue in this day and age of limitless information and technology for people to call it Chinese New Year. Even Google puts up Chinese New Year when I search for lunar new year. Well, at least Wikipedia didn’t totally forget about the other people that celebrate other new years.  Now that I’ve let you all know this fact, please pass the word on.  🙂

Paleo Lessons For All

I know that not every person agrees with the idea of eating paleo.  However, I think that the basic threads of what paleo living is can help anyone improve their eating and health.  They are basic ideas, but ideas that we often forget out of convenience and busy-ness.

So here is my list lessons from paleo that I think everyone can benefit from.

  1. Eat high quality foods – Paleo encourages people to eat high quality foods.  Eating locally and organically is the motto of paleo eaters the world over.  Furthermore, there is a focus on eating grass-fed, pastured meats whenever possible.  Don’t forget that we want wild caught seafood, too.
  2. Cook your own meals – While I’m sure it’s entirely possible to eat paleo without cooking your own meals (whether by the fortune of having someone who will cook for you or a lot of paleo friendly restaurants in your neck of the woods), paleo encourages you to cook your own meals.  I never ate out much to begin with, but since becoming paleo, I eat out even less.  You don’t know what kind of junk you are eating when you eat out.
  3. Avoid processed foods – Yes, there are paleo processed foods.  However, paleo really encourages, fresh, home cooked eats.  All that packaged stuff, goes right in the trash can when do your pantry clean out and start eating paleo.  I know that stuff is easy to eat.  I went through a spree of being depressed and eating lean cuisines last year. I’m not proud of it, but committing to paleo, I don’t even dare.  I’d rather starve.
  4. Sleep – Being paleo (or primal or half a dozen other terms), is not just about eating, although that’s where it usually starts for most people.  Paleo is about a lifestyle and about thinking about how your body best functions.  Your body best functions with sleep.  Make is a habit and a priority to get enough good quality sleep every night.
  5. Exercise – You don’t need to get crazy and stressed over exercise (in fact that would be the wrong idea), just do some.  Walk, run, play tennis, ski…whatever it is that’s active and has you moving.
  6. Stress less – Lower your stress levels.  I’m pretty sure just about everyone can reduce their stress in some way.  My current stress less goal is to wean myself of excessive technology use.  Being constantly plugged in makes me crazy.
  7. Water, water, water – Drink a lot of it.  Don’t skimp and don’t adulterate it with sugars and whatnot.  Just drink water that tastes good to you.
  8. Listen to your body – If your body says sleep, don’t give it coffee.  Listen to that call and get some shut eye.  I know that some people have crazy jobs and responsibilities where you might have to caffeinate instead of sleep, but try to keep those moments to a minimum.

I’m pretty sure I had a lot more for that list, but that’s all I can come up with for now.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments section.

Mottos, Mantras, and Resolutions

Hello hello.  Happy new year! (I’m early by a day if we’re going by the lunar calendar.)  I know I’ve been MIA for quite a while now.  Sorry about that.  I hope you all had a wonderful holidays filled with love, happiness, and much cheer.

In the time that I’ve been away, I enjoyed a nice long hiatus from my computer (the computer needed a lot of TLC from an expert technician and some new parts) and just took a big break.  I was busy, but it was busy in a good, productive way different from the kind of day to day productivity that is my regular working life.  The only thing that could have made my hiatus even better would have been a vacation to a warm and sunny beach for a week of sun soaking.  (Did I tell you that I have come to realize that I actually dislike winter?  Yeah, it’s going to be a grim few more years until I can escape this northern exposure.)

Anyway, in the spirit of a fresh new year full of promise and hope, let’s talk new year’s plans, a.k.a. resolutions.  This year instead of making a list of resolutions, I came up with a motto/mantra for this year.  How is this different and better, you ask?  Well, good question.

First off, I came to the realization during my hiatus that I have a bit of a commitment problem.  I like to leave all my options wide open instead of pigeon holing myself into one final answer.  Now, that might sound all lovely and bohemian, but that mindset can actually backfire on leading a productive and accomplished life.  At least that has been the case for me.  So, that was the first part of the process of coming up with a motto of the year.

I also realized that New Year’s resolutions are either made sort of half heartedly or with this “should” mindset.  What ends up happening with me is that I end up making a list of resolutions that sound good and when I don’t accomplish these lofty goals, I go through a period of hating myself for not being good enough to follow through.  Know what I’m talking about?

I decided instead of feeling bad about not accomplishing resolutions, I’d go with a motto and mantra to apply to my life this year.  I went with “commitment.”  (I know, it’s obvious, but just in case you weren’t following my logic here, I had to say it.)  I like it because it helps me work on a lot of different parts of my life and when I manage to live by that motto even in a small way, I feel accomplished and good.  I feel like I’m making progress.  After all, isn’t that the point of resolutions?  To improve ourselves and our lives?

When I’m not doing such a great job at applying my motto, I can use it as a mantra to remind myself to think about how I can apply commitment to whatever I am facing.  The concept of commitment can work in a lot of different places and for a lot of different things.  For example, I can choose to be committed to doing one thing at a time, which is something I’ve wanted to work on.  (Doing one thing at a time helps me feel less fragmented, less stressed, and more grounded.)

Using “commitment” as a motto and mantra allows me to work on a lot of different areas of my life without it being a big bulky list of resolutions that I’ll never accomplish.  A motto seems like the answer to failed resolutions and bad feelings.

What do you think?  What will be your motto for 2012?