Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Mantra: Let Us Not Forget

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I am thankful for all things that make me connect with others

Not having had cable for several years now, and also not being one to read newspapers or online news articles, I've been left me out of the loop on many things. For 90% of the news, I'm glad. I don't need to know about it all. In fact, not knowing a lot of it has made my life fuller and happier, worry free in some ways.

But every once in a while a news story hits and it gets me. The Amanda Berry rescue, along with those other three poor girls. The tornadoes in Oklahoma. The story of Zach Sobiech and his short but amazing life. These stories, while sad and awe-inspiring, make me feel more human. More connected. And the reason is because they all have a human element to them. Someone rescued someone else. Someone inspired someone. Someone did good for others. These are the stories I want to hear. These are the stories that connect us.

Situations like these always tend to bring people together in a bigger way because of the sheer impact - whether good or bad - to remind us that we are all fragile, all human, all in need of one another. While I believe it is wonderful that we all rise up together for these larger events, I also believe that it's important to connect over the little things, the little miracles and the little joys as well.

On this memorial day let us recognize all who have served our great country and protected our great freedoms. Let us remember them today and always. Let us remember that, while they are strong and courageous, they are also just human and they need our support. Now. Always.

Let us be there for everyone who has triumphed and sacrificed and let us not forget.

To the great men and women, those with us and those that have passed, THANK YOU.


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To Every Soldier Out There

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday Mantra: Try Something New

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Try something new

I apologize for the delay in writing this, however, I was recovering from almost being killed by a bear.

Sort of.

Let me explain.

Two weeks ago my boyfriend asked me to go camping with him and his friends. Camping? I've heard of this no-showering-sleep-in-a-burrito-like-contraption-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere idea, but because my bed is so fluffy and awesome,  I had never given it a second thought.

Trying to win the annual Girlfriend of the Year award, and trying to be open minded to new things, I decided to suck it up and rough it like a man out in the wilderness of the Rose Canyon Campground site in Tucson. I was already nervous enough about the lack of amenities, but got a little more terrified with every bear sign we passed. And according to my professional calculations, we had passed at least a kajillion signs.

The night fell, and with it rose the memories of every bear related horror movie I've ever seen, ever. I had my trusty TechLite Lumen Master flashlight with me (which, oddly enough, has a strobe light setting for those wild rave parties in the woods that I'm certain you've heard about) to shine the spotlight on any bear daring enough to come close. Every snapping and cracking I heard was followed by me grabbing my flashlight and shining it at what ended up always being nothing. It didn't matter. I knew they were out there. Somewhere.

Eventually, we all went to bed on the rocky and super uncomfortable ground and I actually fell asleep for a bit until roughly 4 am when I heard the crunching of twigs outside our tent.

Crunch, crunch, crunch.


Crunch, crunch.

I was positive there was a bear right outside. I was also petrified.

There are many different types of fear in the world. The normal kind, where you see a spider and panic until you've squished that poor little thing to smithereens. There's the irrational fear of things like zombies and, in my case, werewolves. Then there's the kind where you are actually in a setting where something serious could happen, and in my mind, that's where I was with this potential bear near the tent.

As I lay there, not breathing so as to hear every snap, crackle, and pop of leaves being stepped on, I began to tremble in fear and think less than helpful thoughts like, I am going to die and not even in a cool way, like being trampled by hundreds of fans as I attend my record release party for my #1 chart topping rap album. Not that I have any album of any kind, but if I'm going to die in any way outside of natural death, I want it to be awesome. I also want that meter on my grave, for future reference.

After about five minutes, I also started to smell something weird. Animal weird, I decided. Using common sense and compassion, as I didn't want to be terrified alone, I woke up my boyfriend. I explained the dire situation to him in a hushed voice, outlining my keen detective skills of laying there doing nothing other than freaking out with every sound I heard and smell I smelled.

He sat there quietly and listened. Nothing. No crackling forest sounds at all. The bear had clearly heard me talking and was trying not to move as to not get caught in the act of trying to maul us. My boyfriend, after about ten more minutes of humoring me, decided there was nothing outside. I explained my theory of crunch + smell = bear and was met with a resounding laugh and statement that I was most likely smelling nothing other than him. I was neither comforted nor amused and was still very certain this most likely gigantic bear outside the tent had either not properly bathed in quite some time or, more likely, had taken a dump right near our tent. Theory two was what I went with. I was met with more laughter and believed even less than before.

As my boyfriend laid back down to go to sleep after deciding the crunching was nothing more than the tent flapping in the wind, I sat there listening to the fading sounds of what I still believe to be twigs snapping by bear feet. Eventually, and miraculously, I fell back asleep.

An hour later, out of nowhere, I was startled awake again by another unexpected sound- my boyfriend waking out of a dead sleep and laughing his face off. Apparently, he had not been sleeping and had decided breakfast with the rest of the gang was going to be the Best Breakfast Ever because of my bear pooping in the woods story. Such a supportive guy, he is.

When we did finally get out and about, I searched my little heart out for any signs, poop and all, of my alleged bear and found nothing. I guess I should be relieved, but a little proof to back up my 200% certainty earlier that morning would've been good.

And yes, the story at breakfast was a big hit. I will most likely never live this down.

Do you like camping? Have any favorite campfire stories?


Image 2 via Guy Sports

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monday Mantra: Be Whole

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Be whole

Every so often, I realize I pick myself apart, like I'm pieces of a person patched together rather than a whole and complete human; perfect, solid, with no fractures or cracks in my being. Sometimes, I find myself thinking I have a "good" side of my body, which I then compare to the "bad" side of my body, which is silly and stupid and wrong entirely. All of my sides are good because I am good, because we are all good.

Sometimes, I think I am too right brained to fit in a left brained world, while other times I feel like I've lost myself in logic when I long for illusion. Many times I, more than anything else, feel slightly unbalanced in what I perceive to be a balanced world. At those time I feel lost, left out, not quite adequate enough.

It is only in those moments when I accept the topsy-turvy world I've decided I'm living in that everything suddenly rights itself. That is when I let go of the thoughts of how things should be. Of how I should be compared to everyone else. It is only when I decide and accept that there is no "should"- there only "is." And when you finally accept the "is" everything becomes solid, whole, balanced.

In those moments I finally see all the pieces of me, and all of those pieces are perfect.


Image via Tumblr

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In the World of Wellness: Stand Up

Wellness is a term widely used that has multiple meanings around health and positive life style changes leading to well-being. Here we will use the term "wellness" as a means of defining a life free from disease as well as a way to explore alternative medicines, what they offer, and what this could mean for you.

Every month I'll do a post on a health and wellness related topic. This will give you a chance to explore other options, become informed, and make the best overall decision for your own well-being.

In the World of Wellness: In the words of Ludacris, stand up!

Ever since I recently went back to school, I've noticed how much sitting I do. For work, I sit. For school, I sit. All this sitting has been driving me crazy, so I decided to look into what sitting all day does to the body and friends, it's not good.

Many, many of us have day jobs where we're tied to the phone or email, conference calls or project planning, sitting on our bums tied to a desk. Even right now, I'm sitting here as I type this and, according to the research done on this lack of movement, my glute muscles are melting away.

In an article I recently read in Natural Health Magazine, standing burns roughly 60 more calories an hour versus sitting. Add that number up over the course of an eight hour day and you just found yourself almost 500 extra calories you could be burning by doing practically nothing. One very alarming thing the article said was that exercising on a regular basis won't be able to to help you if you're sitting down all day, every day. Yikes!

Sitting causes our muscles to shorten and the lack of movement in our bodies can seriously mess up our circulation, digestive system, and even (get this) increase our risk of heart disease. And if you're a slumper, your spine is in some serious trouble.

Here's some info from the Huffington Post on the dangers of sitting and what you can do as an alternative. I had a very dedicated co-worker who created a work station that transformed from a sitting station to a standing one, and let me tell you, she was obviously ahead of her game. Here's another article from the New York Times which also offers up some important info on why sitting too much is bad for your health.

If you have to sit all day, try this Balance Ball, from Gaiam, which helps you to create perfect posture while strengthening your abs as you sit. I've not tried it, but it looks pretty cool. Plus, it's on sale right now.

If you have to sit all day long at work, try to make sure you move at least once every hour. The Insight Lite Timer app helps you to set a reminder on your phone with a lovely chiming bell as often as you like. Get up and stretch, go for a walk around the office, and if you have a headset on your phone, walk around while you talk if at all possible. Whatever you do, make sure you keep moving.


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In the World of Wellness: So Many Good Things, You Might Just Pass Out

Image 1 via deviantART
Image 2 via