Extreme Sport Decluttering

extreme sport declutter

Dara dubinet

dara dubinet home

Meet Dara Dubinet, queen of all things clean, clear and bright. Like me (and so many others), she functions better when the energy in her life has room to flow. Over the years she has shared her transformational story and knowledge of decluttering, feng shui, fresh foods, hot tonics and radiant health. Check out her website and Youtube channel for a fabulous selection of great videos on those topics. But for today, I only wanted to share decluttering. Summer has just begun, and it’s a great time to revamp your life and allow the light in. Shine bright this season! Don’t be afraid of change. Let go of the old and bring in the new. (Not just in your things, but in yourself.)

Photography credit: The super-fab pics of Dara are from The Rose Journals

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Rich Roll: Poop, Purpose & Peace

Rich Roll 2016

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Questions for Answers

IMG_1296

You ask me questions, and I’ll give you answers. Today’s blog post is a melange of questions asked by readers this week. You can ask some too! The people that connect with me through Sunday Is For Lovers are my e-friends, my e-family, my e-community. I’m always honored & happy to engage with you. Simply email me your questions (link here) or leave them as comments. I’ll either reply to you directly, or include the answer in a blog post. (I will never share your personal information, only my general answers.) So feel free to reach out.

You’re always so cheerful. How do you do it?

There are certain things that make me agitated & miserable, I try to keep them out of my day/life. Sometimes I have to do them, or sometimes they creep in, but if I keep them in-check or at bay, I can stay pretty peppy & inspired. Below are a few examples:

Fitting in with social norms and engaging in small talk.
Doing work that feels out of alignment with my values.
Being stuck in traffic or in noisy/congested/polluted areas.
Eating or drinking acid forming foods in excess.
Not having the space or time to contemplate/simply be.
Sitting in chairs too long, not feeling free to move.
Having too much stuff or feeling burdened by luxuries.

What does A.P.S. mean?

A.P.S. [Rainbow] is a shortened version of my name, plus my dog’s name.

The A is for Aimee, and the P. S. Rainbow is for Penelope Super Rainbow. My dog was already named Penelope when I adopted her, and my sister added the Super Rainbow.

What have you learned (or are learning) about yourself?

I learned to question myself/life; to see if I am doing something out of social influence or a natural gravitational pull. I learned that my life is more magical when I surrender and give up ‘control’/overthinking. I’m learning to listen more, see more, and to be kinder to myself. I learned that much of what I hated about myself as a child is now becoming my strongest and my most loyal/unique trait. Awareness becomes more & more important to me as I get older. To observe, watch, see, listen, feel, be… it’s paramount for me.

Is [meditation] as simple as quieting the mind?

You don’t quiet the mind. You simply get simple and the mind gets quiet.

There is no activity, nothing that needs to be done, no A to Z journey, no goal — not even quieting the mind. Only being, or being simple.

Think of it this way: think of those blissful moments when you are on the toilet pooping, and a great idea/insight pops in your mind! It could be in the shower, or while waiting for a bus, or going for a run, or looking out the window of a moving train. These moments are simply spaces. Moments in time when you’ve totally relaxed and had space between your thoughts, and that space gave your mind the opening to have an insight, clear view, ah-ha, or great idea. That’s what meditating or being feels like. It’s very relaxing & effortless, it happens on its own. You could be still & planted, or be somewhere doing something, but you aren’t identifying with it. You are simply being, in a state of flow, or being moved, being breathed, being thought, being relaxed. It’s not you, it’s just life happening through you. And when you let go, you can feel the spaciousness/vastness of it, you can be the space.

Is chanting necessary [for meditation]? If so, why?

Absolutely not. Chanting is not necessary.

Chanting can be helpful for people with busy minds, that need routine or are beginning a practice, but it’s not necessary. In general, it’s scientifically proven that you can not think of two things at one time. You can multitask, but your mind switches back and forth between the activities, it doesn’t/can’t hold both in thought at the exact same time. It has to fluctuate its focus, focusing on one thing at a time. So… if you meditate, and you repeat something, you can’t entertain other thoughts. Which is good. You can’t say Om and think of laundry in the exact same moment. And if you think Om, Om, Om, Om, Om, Om, Om, Om… (you get the picture)… laundry is no where in your mind, because there is no room! It’s focused and filled with Om. And of course some chanting/mantras hold special vibrations or meanings, etc. But they aren’t needed. Nothing is needed to be. Being is meditating. Being is natural from birth. (And before birth, as you were ‘just being’ in your mother’s womb.)

I love having a dog, I learn so much from her. She’s the best mediation teacher I’ve ever had. She can sit and look at me for hours. She can sit and stare at her doggie blanket for hours too! She’s happy to walk, sleep, eat, drink, or do absolutely nothing. She just holds the space for it. When sitting, she sits there. When eating, she’s fully engaged in eating. When sleeping, she gets right to it! She’s present, fully present for all of it. Being is presence. It’s awareness. It’s being with what is. A meditation cushion could help, so could a certain schedule — or it could not! It’s whatever works.

I totally think the best meditation practice is the one someone will actually do. If mantras work well and bring someone grace, peace and mental space. That’s a winner! If walking meditation is great for someone, or sitting on a zafu staring at a wall, or floating in a salt water swimming pool — whatever it takes! The point is to let go. Find a way to let go and gain greater awareness, greater peace, greater acceptance — spaciousness, openness, expansion, compassion. Whatever is grease on your relaxed being wheels is a good thing. But no, mantras are never needed. They can help though. For some people.

Is it okay to meditate lying down?

The difference between sleep & mediation is the fact that you are aware. If you can lie down and stay awake, stay present, stay in the moment — then I think it’s totally acceptable. Some might say you are giving your energy to the floor/bed, or that the energy in the spine can not rise to the head, etc.. I think it’s more important for you to develop a practice and do what feels like restful being. Siting upright in a pretzel-like pose is not restful being in many cases. For some people, it would drive the mind wild. I would simply avoid that. Sit on grass, lie on the floor, take a hot bath — do whatever will bring your mind into a state of grace, gratitude and simplicity. The more you practice this, the more you will be able to do it in any position, comfortable or not. But I would not begin with uncomfortable. Start with where you are. Start there. Get comfortable. Stay awake. Breathe and be.

As a side note: If you are using meditation as a way to fall asleep, then I would say you need more sleep. Do not use meditation as a way to fall asleep. Be kind to yourself, understand that you need more rest. If you fall asleep while meditating, it’s a good sign! You now know what you need to do. Get more rest and reset your daily priorities. Do that first. Get that caught up and in order. Once you are ready, begin a practice of meditation with full wakefulness, full presence. And if that means at night lying on your back — that’s totally okay. Just remain present. Stay with the feeling of being at ease and awake. This is why meditation is typically done in the morning and afternoon. It sets the tone for how to live each day. Going though our busy lives, with a mind that is clear, at ease and fully aware. Fully present.

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George Carlin, Muhammad Ali & Vietnam

Muhammad Ali

George Carlin discusses Muhammad Ali & Vietnam in 1971 on the Ed Sullivan Show:

muhammad ali vietnam

Muhammad Ali: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

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3 Amazing Photographers …that happen to be women

amazing photographers

I know I am late to whole app scene, but I’m just recently checking out all of the wonderfulness on Instagram. Wow, so much talent & fun there! I’m just soaking it up. Below I will list only a tiny few of the Instagram accounts I really enjoy. My favorites right now are predominately professional photographers. I have so many that I’m really loving, but I’ll share just three. And I’m not sharing their photography here! I want you to troll their lives and their work, check it out for yourself first hand. You’ll be glad you did.

Jillian Lukiwski

1. Jillian Lukiwski, a silversmith and writer who goes by the pseudonym The Noisy Plume.

Emily Nathan

2. Emily Nathan, the founder of an inspiring creative collective called Tiny Atlas Quarterly.

Andrea Gentl

3. Andrea Gentl, a food and travel aficionado, as well as the other half of Gentl and Hyers.

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If I Asked…

love yourself

This blog post/art was inspired by @humblethepoet – thank you!

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Friends with Benefits

Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria, enteric bacteria, Intestinal flora, Gut flora, probiotics, image illustration

There is so much I want to say on this topic! But it’s too much to put into words right now. All I will say is, please choose wisely and take good care of your friendly bacteria. It does so much for you, much more than you probably know.

Today I listened to two interviews with Dr. Robynne Chutkan. Both were wonderful! I highly recommend them. One is a Rich Roll interview (‘Live Dirty, Eat Clean’ podcast), and the other is an Abel James video I will embed below. Do yourself a super-duper-massive favor and see/listen to what Dr. Robynne Chutkan has to say. She is very knowledgable and she has such a gentle, yet effective way of expressing her findings/views.

I was talking to my brother the other day, and he asked me what I eat/drink that I feel the most benefit from. Without a doubt I told him that when I consume a really good probiotic food/drink/supplement, I feel amazing! I immediately feel a big difference (more energy, more happiness, better poops, better sleep, better skin, better thinking, better moods, etc.)

As I get older I feel myself drifting away from spending and leaning towards investing. What we do with our body, money, energy, thoughts and time is either an investment or a waste that creates future debt/obligation. I want to invest in a better me living a better life, and in order to do that I have to love myself and choose wisely. And since approximately 90 percent of the cells in my body are bacterial… Well, it might be best to give my friendly bacteria a huge portion of my respect, love, attention and appreciation. If I expect them to take care of me, I should at least help them thrive and survive — they are me after all!

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