Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday's Collection of Bookmarks

A fresh feminist voice in slam poetry.

Could Hot Hula be your new happy place? See you in class!

Unmaking a Home: A podcast that I found deeply moving. I've started to listen to the whole series.

Can you spot the bees on the latest Chanel collection? Too bad the models look so glum. Has Posh Spices' mask of tense unhappiness infected the crowd?

I'm intrigued by these Desperation Pie recipes in Bon Appetit magazine.

Volunteers in Japan work with dementia patients.

Goat butter fudge I hear your siren song.

Soul Train videos make me very happy.

Lego has changed its policy and Ai Weiwei is ecstatic.

Fantastic 70's garb from a band called Honey Cone.

Girls react to the new Barbie dolls.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tools for Finding Equilibrium

Inspired by Spontaneous Happiness: A Path to Emotional Well-Being
By Andrew Weil (which I’m currently reading) and other sources. And many years of  experience. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments.

1)   Eat and drink half an hour after waking. Oily fish and/or other protein if possible.

canned salmon on toast
boiled egg
fish and brown rice
cashew spread and ancient grain no yeast toast
slow cooked oatmeal or birdseed porridge and milk
coconut milk and squash pudding
lean sausage and pancakes
sausage roll
lentil dahl

2)   Morning pages: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (the first book)
This helps a self-directed person shape their goals which shapes their day. It also helps you articulate and become aware of emotional states and barriers. It warms-up the brain and creates momentum.
3) Make sure you get enough Vitamin D, especially in winter
 This is good motivation to get out in the sun every day, but sometimes you need a supplement.

4) Take a brisk walk at least once a day. Aim for half and hour or more. Rain or shine. I find myself saying "brisk walk, brisk walk" as I go. Walking in nature is best. Trees and flowers have healing and restorative powers. Focusing on nature takes you out of yourself, which is a life-saver.
5) Monitor caffeine intake, especially if it affects your sleeping patterns. Learn your cut-off point during the day.
6) Find some “happy places” gardens, cafés, libraries, book shops, where you can refresh your spirit. Make a mental or actual map and form happy trails around the city. If you are feeling paralyzed, get out, get out and refresh yourself.
7) Find your passions, grand and small. Follow the trails down the rabbit holes or up the mountains. But look for and respect the guides and sherpas along the way. Tolkien may have said that not all who wanders is lost, but honey, it’s very easy to lose your way. Don’t be afraid to call for help.
8) Remain a life-long learner. Keep humble by trying new things and refreshing lost skills. This is also good for your brain. Upgrade skills you are good at.
9) Be silly and find people you can be silly with. Take your outrageous side for a walk.
10) Dress like you’re having fun. It will be a mitzvah, and reflect joy back at you.
11) Choose your battles. Relish some. Back the hell away from others.
12) Nip it in the bud. I used to have an algebra teacher that started every class with “Any difficulties?” Address them before they grow into larger difficulties.
13) Live in the economy of abundance. Think about what you can give away and who you can give it too. Make it a habit. Remember that even small things like pencils and erasers mean a lot to other folks.
14) Dare yourself to take yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while just to remember what that feels like.
15) I may not be a huge Woody Allen fan, but he did say something like "97% of success is showing up" and he was right.
16) Learn how to make decisions. Commit. Learn how to admit you’ve made the wrong decision and move on. Every day sees us making hundreds of decisions. Get used to it! Enjoy it when you can. Ask for help when you need it.

17) In North America, there is pressure to be cheerleaders for ourselves and others. Sometimes that’s appropriate and needed. Other times it’s just dumb. Especially if it is counter to authenticity. I like the way Dr. Weil describes the goal not as happiness, but as equilibrium. Take the good. Take the bad. Move on through the crowd. Don’t be over positive. Don’t beat yourself up. Just be. That way if someone tries to pin the blame on you, you can start from a neutral position, which is helpful.
18) Volunteering makes you high, gives you’re a free education, helps you make friends and improves your job potential and sex life. Need I say more?
19) Sing. Hum. Join a choir or band. Listen to music, but don’t get caught in a loop that traps you in one emotional state. Emotions need to move around. People need to be dynamic, even if in small degrees.
20) Define what ails you in a way that encompasses its complexity. Depression may be mixed with a cocktail of 50 shades of anxiety. Emotional instability  and oversensitivity may be mixed with emotional paralysis.
21) Do you read micro-expressions? Just be careful you don’t create a fiction about what other people are thinking. Because you just don’t know. You don’t. Dope smokers take note, especially.
22) Be an adult and put yourself to bed. Create a ritual that winds down the day and helps you sleep. Because sleep is f-king important to health and equilibrium.
23) Use your senses while you still have them. As John Denver would say “fill up your senses.” It’s good for your brain and body.
24) Make aging a group sport. Even if you are young, you are not as young as you used to be, so change your life habits to acknowledge and support your aging body.
25) Be body smart. Don’t wear out your joints with repetitive exercise, but choose a variety of activities that help you celebrate your range of motion, flexibility, endurance, and grace.
26) Keep a journal and make part of it an exercise in gratitude. Make them on books you can recycle because over the years you'll need to dispose of some of them. Keep maybe one a year. Always put the date and place you are writing from.
27) Be human and humanizing. If you are trapped in an uncomfortable situation, imagine you are a hostage and try to befriend your captors.
28) I have a problem with all that “live in the moment” b.s.. Life is complex and we are time traveling beings. We need to look both ways (past and future) before we cross the street. However, “being in the zone” is good for your sense of equilibrium.
29) Be light on your soul feet. Try to unburden yourself so your emotional footprints are not deep in sand or snow. Write it down. Talk to people. Put it in a boat and float it down the river.
30) As Joni Mitchell says “We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.” Gardening is good for you. And I need your help to feed people and bees.
31) Write your job description down. Be clear. Ask yourself if this is what you want to do everyday. If not, you’d better rethink it. Do this even if you are self-employed.

32) Make rituals of sharing food and drink with family and friends.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Links

 Hiya Friends,

I am reviving this blog as a space to share an eclectic selection of stuff.

First, an article in the Guardian that caught my eye after attending the book launch of an amazing memoir by Sonja Larsen, called The Red Star Tattoo.

A TEDx SFU talk by Aidan Scott that blew me away: Restoring Emotional Authority.

This New Zealand wedding video made me cry.

Haz U seen my Cuteness Pinterest Board?

Winners of the 2015 Audubon Photography Contest. 

Artist Ai Weiwei's beef with Lego and the public response. 

Fantastic news on Anakana Schofield's blog.

A touching blog post: Environmental rights are human rights by David Suzuki.

These photos of an abandoned cruise ship in Italy are disturbing.

Pixie grapes!

Mushroom sale!

Emergency Ready Food Connection Workshop on JAN 27!news/cfng

Radius Fellow deadline on JAN 28

DinnerPartyYVR Hobby Chef Signup by JAN 31

Creativity workshop on Sunday, JAN 24. It will be a full day of relaxing body work and playfulness to unleash creativity.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And Speaking of Pickles

I seem to be under stress and I have been under stress for a few months now. It's that BIG PROJECT I'm working on. Every week I seem to have a new way of dealing with stress, but mostly I eat too much. I did have a lovely risotto at Trafalgar's with pickled sunchokes on top which inspired me to eat sunchokes again.

I am drinking a lot of kombucha, which I have grown to love so much that I have trouble keeping up for the demand. Peter calls it my fermented lady tea. Well he doesn't really, but that's what he's thinking.

I have just watched the two seasons of Green Wing, an absolutely amazing adventurous British comedy. The second season was gut-churningly disappointing, but season one is AMAZING. I may just have to watch it again while making felted sweater crafts. It is cold and rainy and today I may not have discovered the meaning of life, but I have discovered the meaning of "lek" and I like it.

The skies are pouring forth, which is good timing because I just planted a bunch more seeds, (including salsify) but bad timing for the fruit trees which have just come into bloom.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Contemplating Pickles

  As I am deciding what to grow this year, I'm thinking about fermenting. What can I pickle? I discovered some inspiring links. I love pickles in taco, in sushi rolls and as a side to curries. Wanna start a pickle club?