Category Archives: fine-tuning life

Questions For You (from Seth Godin)

seth-godin-questions

What brings out the best in you?

What brings out the worst?

One more question: Is it possible to adjust your life so that you show up more often in situations that bring out the best? Can you have an agenda, a rider or an itinerary that makes it more likely that the world around you is what you need it to be?

Because if you can’t, there’s one other option: Can you change your posture so that the situations you’re in a lot bring out your best instead of your worst?

Ideal situations are often rare—now more so than ever. But we can redefine ‘ideal situation’ if we choose.

:)

The above text is from Seth Godin’s email newsletter that I subscribe to. I thought they were good questions. So I wanted to pass them along.

2 Comments

Filed under fine-tuning life

The Enormous Dance of Stuff

cosmic-dance-gregg-echols-ayahuasca-paintings

Sometimes it’s all too much. Don’t you feel that way? I feel like everyone I know is overloaded with stuff. Stuff can be anything, but it’s mostly desires. Desires past and desires present. I know people with great homes, great jobs, great partners, that were all a part of past desires. But now the enthusiasm for these past desires have been replaced by new desires. And those things, people, or places that were once so important, or so exciting, now seem in the way of achieving the new desires. Why do we need so much? Why do we have so much? Why does it take so much to achieve or destroy (get rid of, change, swap) our desires? Do you know anyone selling their property? What about looking to buy property? Or leaving a partnership/relationship? Or seeking a new one? What about changing careers? I do. And I can tell you right now, it’s a b*tch. So why do we keep doing it to ourselves?

I know Buddhists think that being desireless is the path to enlightenment. But I’ll leave that for another blog post. For now let’s just work with the fact that we have desires, and to be human and desireless feels pretty impossible for most of us. Some might ask, “Isn’t having desires part of being human? Doesn’t having desires make us human? Or is that emotions? Is having emotions what makes us human?” I can tell you right now that plenty of plants and puppies want and emote. So we are obviously not special in that department. [If you don’t believe that plants have feelings or wants, read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird.] So what is it then? Why are we filled with insatiable desire? And why does it cause us to suffer?

I believe that who we are is infinite. And in the words of Buckminster Fuller; who we are is 99% invisible. [“Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.” – Buckminster Fuller] I believe that we are creators. So why is this need to constantly create viewed as painful desires instead of plain ol’ creativity? Do you have any idea how many times a sculptor scraps an idea? Or molds one face into another? What about an interior designer? We can only imagine how many times they might change a room. So why is it in a sense effortless for them to be who they are and almost painful for us to be who we are?

I think it’s not so much the desire that is causing the trouble, but the attachment to it, as well as the meaning we’ve plastered all over it. And if we add impatience on top of it, we have some real suffering (or work) laid out for us. Let’s go back to that first statement I made about homes, partnerships and careers. How many of those desires were rushed because the one that wanted them was feeling impatient at the time? They needed them now, or for various reasons felt that it was now or never.

I think we see who we are in this person, place, or thing we want so bad. We want to feel like we know who we are, (and can show who we are to others), as well as feel in control of who we are. And we don’t want to wait another minute for it! But what about the creator? The designer, the artist I talked about? If we are just like them, (and we are), we should know that we are only the instrument. We are the vessel for creative energy to flow through. If we think like Michelangelo, if we work to set what we are creating free, isn’t that so much more empowering? [“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo] Think about it. We are setting this house, this partner, this career we want (or don’t want) free! Creating & destroying (letting go) become equal partners; one helping the other. If we view things in this way, there is no attachment. And why bother with impatience. This thing that we are creating or letting go is its own thing. It happens on its own time. No rush. It’s not ours to give or take, we’re only part of the energy that moves it.

We can exhale. We can give ourselves a much needed break and take all of the pressure off. This mad rush of things in our life or this life of things is just a dance. Let’s step back and enjoy being moved as much as we love to move things. This enormous dance of stuff is part of an even bigger dance. The most magnificent & extraordinary dance you can imagine. So let’s let go of who is doing what, and let’s trust that we are doing it together. We are one, and we are all moving. As long as we are movin’ & groovin’ as we set things free (including ourselves), there is nothing to worry about. The more we feel in alignment, the less stuff we will need or feel burdened by. I write these things not because I do them effortlessly, but because I don’t. I had the craziest week this week. Full of push & pull, unnecessary thinking, and heels stuck firmly in the ground. I definitely wasn’t dancing. And if I felt moved, it was moved to tears. I had to step back and see what there was to see. This blog post is me taking another look and sharing the view. I feel so much better now. I can let go and enjoy the dance.

[Today’s blog post was written and posted back in May 2011.]

Leave a comment

Filed under finding balance, fine-tuning life, getting clear

Fine-Tuning My Life (Making sure it rocks!)

Fine-Tuning_life_rocks

“One of the easiest ways to avoid finishing something is to complicate the process so much that you can never finish.”

Last week I wrote a blog post about how important it is to simplify one’s life. At the time, I felt overwhelmed and my life felt complicated. I also felt that I was always running to catch up with all that I have to do. But after thinking about it over the week, I think maybe it’s not so much a drastic simplification that is needed, but a tuning. Like when instruments gets out of tune, it simply needs a few adjustments. For me those adjustments are my priorities. And those priorities need to be based on what I love most.

I am currently re-examining my priorities. What do I love to do most? What lights me up? What am I most content doing?

My priorities need be in alignment with what I love most, and if they aren’t, I feel like I am sludge-ing along. Like I am walking through mud or deep sand. It doesn’t feel good, and it makes me feel like I’m not being true to myself.

We all have priorities that aren’t fun, like putting a roof over our heads, and paying monthly bills — but they too need to be in alignment with what we love. Everything can be tweaked, everything can be adjusted. So there is no reason why everything in our lives couldn’t be fine-tuned to our benefit (and if that can’t happen physically, than we need to make sure it happens mentally).

I know what works best for me, and I know what doesn’t. I don’t thrive when I have a stuffed social calender, or a job that I don’t feel challenged & inspired by, or when I eat foods that weigh me down, the list goes on and on… like spending lots of energy chit-chatting & making small-talk, or spending too much time indoors stationary, or investing too many hours in entertainment (movies, etc.). All of those things get the best of me and leave me feeling drained. On the other side of the spectrum — I thrive when I spend time alone in silence, or when I am blogging or dancing, or when I am creating something, or when I am drinking lots of healthy liquids and eating lots of greens, or when I’m out in nature breathing fresh air, or when I am making a difference in the lives of others by connecting with them on a deeper level. That’s when I thrive, that’s when I come alive.

So today I am organizing how I spend my days & weeks. It’s helpful for me when I have a daily plan and a weekly plan. Below I will share with you the current rough plan of my daily & weekly routines.

Daily Plan:
Meditative gratitude session after waking
Spicy chaga tea (early morning)
Green drink & fibrous fruit (brunch)
Brazil nut mylk (afternoon)
Simple salad with seaweed & legumes (early dinner)
Healthy wholefood snack (optional, anytime)
1 hour of morning exercise
Creating, documenting or sharing new works & ideas
Getting to bed before 10PM for sound sleep
Meditative gratitude session before falling asleep

Weekly Plan:
MONDAY –  str & str @ 7:30AM / tending to sprouts & plants / Etsy beadwork
TUESDAY – nature walk with camera @ 7:30AM / Etsy beadwork
WEDNESDAY – nature walk @ 7:30AM / write TRF blog posts
THURSDAY – yoga @ 9:30AM / Etsy teams to-do lists
FRIDAY – yoga @ 9:30AM / photograph & list new Etsy beadwork
SATURDAY – dance @ 10:00AM / farmer’s market / write SIFL blog post
SUNDAY – dance @ 10:00AM / organize & take care of home to-do list

According to the list above, those are my priorities, the things that make me thrive when I have them in place as a constant in my life. Everything else works around it. Adjustments will be made daily as needed, but those things will take up the bulk of my time. It’s like the examples of rocks in a jar. You put in all of rocks in a jar_organizing_priorities_timeyour big rocks first, and then add all the little rocks that fill in the gaps. If you allow all the little things to come first, you won’t have space for the big things. And for me, the big things are: exercising, creating & sharing. Those are my big rocks. When they are in place, I feel grounded and balanced.

I am going to document all I can in the coming weeks on my The Rainbow Farmer blog. I’m going to do better at keeping it as my accountability site, so everyone can see what I am up to. I slowed down a bit during that spell when my schedule got the best of me and I felt overwhelmed. But I am back with a vengeance! And I am committed to keeping the ball (I mean rocks) rolling.

[Rock photo is from Bradley Gauthier’s blog. Check out his How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed blog post.]

Leave a comment

Filed under awareness, fine-tuning life, organizing