Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reposting 1

Due to a miscommunication with my web guy, a shift happened and some of you didn't get this blog and the next one, so I'm reposting them.

In my money program, many of the activities center around figuring out what we really want in all areas of our life. Saying I want to be healthier or I want to be thinner are fine, but they aren't specific enough to help us make much of a change. In my next round of support for shifting off of sugar, my friend Meredith and I are offering each other email and phone support to make changes. And so I found myself asking her and me what is it that we really want in terms of fitness and nutrition habits and behaviors.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. I want to eat four satisfying meals a day that will manage my blood sugar/insulin reactions so that I'm not thinking about hunger and food between meals.
2. I want to be fit and flexible enough to walk five miles without any problems.
3. I want to be able to do three flights of stairs without huffing and puffing.
4. I want all of my belly and organ fat gone.
5. I want to be so relaxed and engaged in my work and other activities that I'm not circling the refrigerator.
6. I want to be fit and flexible enough to easily get up off the floor without assistance.
7. I want to wake up refreshed from sleep every morning.
8. I want to be thin enough to fit in any theater seat.
9. I want to be physiologically calm and peaceful (anxiety be gone!).
10. I want all problems with my psoas and piriformis permanently resolved.

What is it that you really want for your health and well-being?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meaningful ideas to me

When it’s time to suffer, you should suffer; when it’s time to cry, you should cry. Cry completely. Cry until there are no more tears and then recognize in your exhaustion that you’re alive. The sun still rises and sets. The seasons come and go. Absolutely nothing remains the same and that includes suffering. When the suffering ends wisdom begins to raise the right questions.

—Seido Ray Ronci, “The Examined Life”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April is National Poetry Month

I finished the first draft of my next novel, Vague and Broken Boy, in the last days of March, and because I wanted it to sit a while before I did the second draft, I committed to writing a poem a day for April. Here's the one I wrote yesterday:

We don't have many words for snow here
Oh, we get some all right
We have flurries sometimes in December
Or in January
Even once in a while in March

And every third or fourth year
We have real snow
Steady falling white
That covers the roofs
And the yards
Piles up against the kitchen door
A few inches worth
Enough to stop traffic
In a city with few plows
And a ban on salted roads
And there's a stampede
Of grocery buying
And parents scrambling
For daycare options
Or taking precious personal leave days
To be home
With the snowmen builders
And snowball throwers

But today's snow isn't like that
Although the wind off the mountain
Is chilly and smells of the deep drifts
That it's harbored since December
And although the sky is laden with clouds
It's not the clouds that are
Dropping the dancing white wind passengers
It is the three old trees
That mark the border of
Neighbor and neighbor

For April is not the cruelest month here
But one of the loveliest
And the cherry snowfall
Blankets the yard and the sidewalks
Runs down the gutters
Into splayed-out bouquets
In the flower beds
Blows in and speckles
The red cotton cushions on the terrace
Swirls in when the front door opens
Rides in white against the black
of Tuxedo Nellie's glossy fur

And while the arrival of the cherry snow
Depends on the mildness of the late winter
It comes every year
As dependable as the winter rain
As the reds of Indian summer

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lynne Twist and the Soul of Money

The amazing Lynne Twist, author of the Soul of Money, is one of the teachers of my money program. A global activist, a fundraiser, a philanthropist, she is an amazing teacher and human being. Lynne has given several TED talks and you can experience a bit of her presence here.

I also highly recommend the Soul of Money if you're interested in moving from being run by scarcity to being engaged in sufficiency.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Robert Lustig's Fat Chance is a powerful book

A friend recently sent me some nutrition information that included a reference to Dr. Robert Lustig's 2012 book Fat Chance. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist (hormone expert) at St. Jude's Children's hospital and his specialty has been dealing with obese infants and children. Fat Chance is about the global obesity pandemic, where he thinks it is coming from, and what we can do as individuals and society's about it. This not a weight loss book although he makes some suggestions and discusses common diets. It's about eating for health. As he says, you're probably not going to lose your butt fat (subcutaneous fat) but it won't kill you. Belly fat and fat in your organs is what will kill you and that you can lose.

Lustig is frank, funny, and philosophical. He cites a ton of research but in an accessible way. And a recap of his suggestions can be found here:

This is the first book that has ever explained to me the physiology of why I overeat and why I'm still hungry after a big meal. If you struggle with weight and healthy eating, you might want to give it a read.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fun with Money: A Guest Post

By Margaret Marcuson

Every year I do something for Lent, the 40 days in preparation for Easter. I’ve given up chocolate, coffee and genre fiction (the biggest sacrifice so far). Other years I’ve added practices. Last year I did something fun every day for Lent and put it on Facebook. People are still talking about it a year later.

I’m also taking the money course with Jill this year. As Lent approached, I was clear I wanted to do a practice related to money. What to do? I thought, I could have fun with money every day. That would be a great way to lighten myself up. In fact, the point of Lent is not simply to grimly give things up, but to find greater freedom. My aim is to be freer in relation to money.

So I’ve had fun in a variety of ways through these days:

  • ·         given money to charity.
  • ·         received gifts of money.
  • ·         gave my father a birthday gift that cost me $5.50, two thrift store frames that I put two pictures of my late mother in. (He was thrilled.)
  • ·         finished my taxes earlier than I have in ten years, while listening to movie music.
  • ·         made a cash flow statement with fun pictures added to it.
  • ·         surprised each of my kids by giving them some money.
  • ·         bought myself some great colored pencils.
  • ·         signed up for a workshop that previously I would have thought was too expensive.

One of my goals for the money workshop is to love everything to do with money: making it, spending it, managing it, giving it, saving it. I’m a lot closer than I was a few weeks ago.  You can love dealing with money without loving money itself.

I believe money needs to be secondary not primary in life. It’s a tool, a means to an end. Most of us take it far too seriously. Practicing fun with money has helped me step away from my anxious attachment to it and toward greater joy in my dealings with money.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Being alert to life

Starting to wake up is a lot like giving up an addiction. You’re going to go through withdrawal symptoms, weaning yourself from this addiction to habitual, small-minded patterns of perception. You could say enlightenment is no more addiction. You’re just fully awake, fully on the spot, without having to hide out.

—Pema Chödrön, No Right, No Wrong