Changing Your Routines

Like most people, I can get caught in ruts. Whether it’s how I clean or organize (or not), or what I do for a work-out, everything can become fairly routine. The downside to this is that routine can become extremely boring. So, in the interest of switching it up, I swapped out my walking with Denise (Austin) DVDs to Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo. The first time that I tried Tae Bo it was a VHS video that I followed, and boy did I get my a** kicked. It was so hard that over the years I’ve gone back and forth between Denise Austin and Billy Blanks.

I recently realized that with the wonders of YouTube there are lots of Tae Bo work-outs to try. Some of these are not the complete work-out (I don’t know if that is due to copyright infringement or not), but I have managed to find some that are complete. I started one on Tuesday, and of course like everything else, there is a learning curve. My first work-out found me marching a little while everyone in the work-out was doing something – I couldn’t follow what, at top speed looking a little bit like Roadrunner. Thursday found me more able to follow, and I only had to march along looking like Elmer Fudd trying to run once or twice. However, I must say that second try was much better than the first. So it goes. Learning something new can be quite difficult and leave you feeling like a failure. But, if I’ve learned anything so far, we have to keep pushing ourselves, whether it’s learning a new skill, or thinking new thoughts.

 

If you don’t try new things and only keep to your old routines, the boredom of it all can kill your enthusiasm for life. Follow your curiosity; try new exercises, it might kick your butt for a while, but you’ll be better off for it!

Health for Life

I wanted to continue with another Buddha quote today. As I alluded to on Monday, I’ve been having difficulties following through on my goals. Somehow I’ve let other people’s issues become my own. Once again though, I’ve realized that I can’t change someone else’s behavior, I can only change my own. I really wish I could keep that thought at the forefront of my mind, but I seem to lose it in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The above quote is an important one to remember while we’re busy living our lives. We need health in all its forms in order to fully live. If one system is unhealthy, all systems are affected. To be completely healthy we really do need a “whole body” approach. http://www.alternativemedicine.com/alternative-medicine/features/whole-body-approach

I feel like people are encouraged to eat and drink too much.  http://www.auburn-reporter.com/lifestyle/225568912.html#  When I went out to dinner a few weeks ago, my plate was so large that I actually had two additional meals from the box of leftovers I brought home.  If you go out to dinner a lot, how would you be able to recognize a “normal-sized” portion of food?  So, is it any wonder that so many of us are overweight?  The amount of food that we think we need to eat are usually larger than what we should eat.  Another related topic is what we’re eating.  Healthy food should make up the majority of our meals, with fruits and vegetables having a large part of our daily food intake.

Our health can be affected adversely by eating too much; but also by not getting enough exercise.  It’s difficult for many people to get out and do things.  With the winter hanging on and the vast amounts of snow that we’ve gotten, my walking mileage has gone down to only a scant few miles a week lately.  This had left me feeling out-of-sorts with a major case of cabin fever.  So, I’ve dusted off my walking DVDs and am trying to use them to rectify the situation.  Health means many things, but it all can add up.  Eating a balanced diet and exercising can help immensely.

Finally, there is the topic of our mental health.  SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can be a problem for some people during the winter months.   http://www.permaculture.co.uk/readers-solutions/5-natural-cures-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad  If there are problems with your mental health, please get help.  My feelings are that many people can be affected by SAD and not even know it.  I do realize that I can be affected by how little sun there is, and I do make an effort to get outside in the sun for at least some part of the day.  Playing ball with my dog is a good way to get out of the house on a daily basis.

So, I’m going to make an effort to obtain health for life.  Without it, life won’t be nearly the adventure it should be!

The Mind is Everything

I wanted to reflect on this quote today since I haven’t been meeting all my goals lately. At first I thought that maybe I had too many goals, but then I realized that really wasn’t the problem. The problem has been my living arrangements. I have various negative people in my life that I simply cannot just ignore. I have to live with them. I try all kinds of ways to negate their negativity (quite the phrase!), but this only seems to work to a certain extent. I have also found that what they think about me and what I do seems to matter too much. This is something that I’ve been working on, but it has been hard going. Then, there is also the non-stop snow and cold weather that we’ve been having, and I’ve gotten quite a case of cabin fever.

Now, I realize that this seems to be a lot of excuses, and maybe it is, however, like the quote says, what you think is what you become. So I’ve decided to try and become more conscious of what it is that I’m thinking about, and change it from negative thoughts to positive thoughts. I’m aware that this can be quite difficult, but I will be reading affirmations first thing every morning in an effort to change my thinking, and then my behavior.  But what I’m really interested in is what do you do to add positive thoughts to your lives?  Let me know!

Maleficent and True Love

**Spoiler Alert** – If you haven’t watched this movie and want to, don’t continue reading!

Okay, now that I said that, and know that I won’t ruin anything for those who haven’t seen this movie, I’m going to get on with it. As a concept, true love is “supposed” to be between you and your love. http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/24/true-love-how-do-you-know/

Well, in this movie I feel that true love is shown to be exactly what it is. At the beginning of the movie Maleficent is given a kiss, which Stefan calls “true love”. Years afterward he drugs Maleficent and cuts off her wings in order to gain the kingdom. Later, as everyone knows, when a baby girl is born to King Stefan and his Queen, Maleficent gives the gift of eternal sleep to Princess Aurora; a sleep that she can only be awakened from by “true love’s kiss”. Of course, as Maleficent believes, there is no such thing as “true love’s kiss”. Therefore, King Stefan by his own acts has consigned his daughter to sleep forever.

King Stefan sends Aurora away to live with the three fairies who, if not for the care that Maleficent shows to baby Aurora, she would have died. (As an aside, these three fairies would be the last people to act as mothers to any baby.) As Aurora grows, she spends more time in the fairy forest with Maleficent, who she believes to be her Fairy Godmother, as she can remember all the times that Maleficent saved her from the neglect of the three fairies. Of course, a relationship has developed between the two, and at some point we come to understand without a doubt that the “bad fairy” loves Aurora as a mother; although Maleficent continues to call Aurora “Beastie” (which I personally found to be quite funny).

As with all things, Aurora’s birthday comes, and she runs off to the palace where the magic Maleficent wrought begins to work, and Aurora pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. Maleficent tries to undo the magic, but her curse was such that no magic could reverse the spell. Naturally, there is a prince, but his kiss will not awaken the princess, since, as we all know there is really no such thing as “true love’s kiss”. But then, when all is practically lost, Maleficent sits at her bedside and kisses Aurora. Poof! The spell is broken.

I must say that I loved this! For one thing, Maleficent is shown to be the abused individual, and not the “evil” fairy from the tale we all know. For another reason, the actual take-away is the nature of “true love”. If the love of a mother (or pseudo mother-figure), isn’t “true love” what is? A mother, who truly loves her child, for the simple fact of being her child (in whatever manner), no matter what or who that child is, exhibits “true love”. To purely love someone regardless of whatever that person can do for you, I feel is true love. When our children are given to us, who among us puts caveats on their love? Other love tends to have certain caveats on it. We expect our spouses to “make” us happy; or treat us in a certain way. Only in our pure love for our children can we come close to a “true love’s kiss”.

Will Magical Thinking Save the World?

Over the weekend, I watched a movie called The Last Keepers. While there was nothing wrong with the movie, it fed into the kind of magical thinking that it really doesn’t matter what we do to our planet, Mother Nature is going to send some magical person to fix it. While this is a wonderful feel-good ending, and all you who read this blog know that I reside in the land of fairies, unicorns and rainbows, even I know that we can’t wait for some magical being to fix all the abuse we’ve heaped upon the earth – Mother Nature, if you will.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/photos/10-places-ruined-by-man-made-catastrophes/no-mans-land

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

While I’m not going to go into details (I’ll leave that to the scientists), my main question is this: Why would Mother Nature want to “save” the human race? We have destroyed thousands of species and 30 to 50% of what species are left are in danger of going extinct. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

So, again, my question, Why would the earth want to save us from ourselves? The answer is simple. It wouldn’t. And, no amount of magical thinking is going to save us. The gig is up, people. Oh, we’ll probably hang on for a while; but we’re on our way out, no doubt about it. The earth will keep spinning, and evolution will keep evolving, but it won’t matter to us…we won’t be here. The earth is not going to end, like some people claim; we just won’t be here anymore. We aren’t the moon and the stars; we’re just the ones who have destroyed all that nature built so far. She’ll continue on, evolving other species after us. My concern is that while we’ve taken ourselves off the shelf, we’ve taken so many others off, too. I could maybe list them, however I’ll just name a few that we’ve hunted to extinction: Tasmanian tiger, Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk, Quagga; Falkland Island Wolf, Zanzibar Leopard, Caribbean Monk Seal, Carolina Parakeet, Atlas Bear, Toolache Wallaby, Sea Mink, Bubal hartebeest, Stellar’s Sea Cow and the list goes on and on.
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/13-animals-hunted-to-extinction

http://nautil.us/blog/if-half-of-all-species-go-extinct-will-one-of-them-be-us
So, again, my question Why would Mother Nature save us? If you have an answer, I’d be more than interested to hear it. After all, I do try to live in a magical world. Of course, it’s magical because only certain kinds of beings are allowed in. Please do yourself a favor and read the above articles. Knowledge is a powerful thing, and the more intelligence people have the better choices they can make.

Oh Winter!

You know how when your alarm goes off and you realize that it’s below zero out and the wind is blowing at gale-force? The house is cold because the wood-stoves are almost out and you wish there was someone other than you to take the dogs out and build-up the fires, but there is only you? So, in your night-gown and bare feet you open the door letting the cold air blast inside, but the dogs run out and you try your hardest to get both fires going before too much time passes, since the wind is howling down the chimney. That’s what the past month-and-a-half has been like. Am I sick of it yet?

Not. At. All. Because where I live there is no longer any such season as Spring. We seem to go directly into 90°F with 95% humidity. To tell you the truth, I’d rather be cold than hot – you can layer-up in cold weather, but you can only layer-down to a certain extent. After all, walking around nude just isn’t an option. (Well, maybe for some people.)

I really feel sorry for my neighbors since most of them have either oil or electric heat. We spent money on a huge load of logs for the first time in about 15 years, and will still have most of our firewood for next year. But I see the oil trucks in my neighbor’s yards on a regular basis. I think we made out pretty good as far as the price of heating this year.  Of course you must add in the time we spent with the chain saw and splitter, but what else do people do in the so-called Spring?

So, even though this has been an insane year for snow, bring on the cold, since the humid heat is coming! So is the mud, but that will be a post for another day.

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day?

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Do you have your gift picked out? Have you bought your card? If we watch T.V. we know that in order to “show” our love we must spend money. Why is this so? Well, so that advertisers can sell us the perfect jewelry, coat, candy, flowers, etc. If we don’t buy something spectacular our loved ones won’t know that we love them. I’m I right?

Of course not. We should know better, but the commercials keep on coming. According to business, the only way to show our love is by spending money. If I were to get my dearest wish fulfilled, my husband would take my poor filthy car to the car wash. I’ll even pay for it. Going to the car wash is one of those things that I do, although I wish I didn’t have to. I have this horrible phobia about it. First, I think I’ll somehow miss the tight turn into the car wash bay; the next fear is that I’ll put my car in neutral either too soon, or too late; then I fear that somehow I’ve forgotten to close all the windows and I’ll get the soap inside the car. At the end, I’m afraid that I’ll either put the car into drive too soon or too late. So, as you can see, going to the car wash is just an unending phobia for me. I actually get to the point where my hands shake when I give the really nice guy the money. I think they feel sorry for me, as I’m sure that my face looks like I’m going to pass out from stress. All this over a car wash!

So, maybe this Valentine’s Day, we should think about what our loved ones really want. Is it the candy and flowers, or is there something else that we could do? Of course, I’ve gotten my husband, son and daughter candy. But, I say, “They like candy.” Me, I’m waiting for my car to be washed.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and share the love!