Tag Archives: consistency

Fat Tuesday Update! On Wednesday!


Top ten things I am practicing right now in regard to food.

  1. I remember that a combination of walking and jogging (jwalking, I like to call it) was very successful for me in the past. I have begun jwalking again.
  2. When I jwalked in the past, I had a route I really enjoyed which took me through a nearby neighborhood. I have reinstituted this route as I have positive muscle memory associated with it.
  3. I used to count my steps — 100 steps walking and then 100 steps jogging. I enjoyed doing that, but I experimented this morning with noticing (noticing!!) where I was at each transition. I learned that I probably don’t have to count my steps, as I can just walk to this fire hydrant and then jog to this Bengal mailbox, etc.
  4. Because I listen to music when I jwalk, it will be nice not to have to have my brain all occupied with counting steps. Listening to my music on shuffle is such a joyful experience for me. I can focus more on the music and less on the steps now.
  5. Having a green smoothie in the morning works really well for me. I feel good as I make it; I love seeing all the ingredients turn into the beautiful green mixture. I enjoy using the tall soda glass I bought for this exact purpose. I enjoy choosing which straw to use. Little things that add up to a really positive experience.
  6. This morning when I got back to my driveway, I wanted to go on, but about 20 feet on down the street, Toast sat down to let me know we had gone past the driveway. (Such a good dog.) James Clear talks about the value of setting an upper limit to what we are planning to do in terms of exercise or implementing a new habit. I tend to get kind of excited about things and can sometimes overdo it. Toastie must have known that.
  7. Reminding myself that “One Small Step Can Change Your Life” which is the title of a book by Robert Maurer and discusses the wisdom of taking really tiny steps when implementing new habits. I can do that!
  8. Mindfulness. With my Alexander Technique lessons, the meditations by Deepak Chopra that come up as I shuffle through my music, the Active Rest sessions I do on a daily basis, and lots of reading about being present in this moment, I am finding that I am more available to what is happening right in front of and inside me.
  9. Eschewing (seems like an appropriate word in regard to food) setting up big barriers and huge lists of rules.
  10. Thinking about being fast and light as I go through my day; as I make choices of what to eat and drink.

Top ten things I want to implement or maintain in regard to food.

  1. I want a better plan for food for later in the day.
  2. Inserting space and stillness between activities. I pretty much run a 400 yard relay all day long, handing off the baton from one activity to the next, always moving. I can see how having a little space between things will keep me more in harmony with a natural rhythm and pace.
  3. Read the book I bought in Alaska “Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.”
  4. Go to bed early enough that I feel rested in the morning, and find out what the optimal sleeping times are for me.
  5. Allow the process of buying, making, eating, cleaning up after, planning, and creating food to be infused with joy, with a bubbly joy that comes from inside me. It’s definitely there, but I have to be intentional about fostering that internal state.
  6. Eat less often. James Altucher doesn’t eat after 530 pm; my Alexander Technique teacher doesn’t eat after 3pm as she believes that going to bed a little bit hungry is a good thing; my chiropractor eats only between the hours of noon and 6pm. I haven’t figured out what works for me, but I definitely believe that intermittent fasting is a hugely healthy thing to practice.
  7. Seriously consider going to another workshop in Alaska to address my experience of food and emotions and eating.
  8. Be more relaxed about the process overall.
  9. Organize my kitchen and have many sources of visual, olfactory and organizational pleasure in there. I have a small kitchen so I don’t have ledges and shelves and extra counter space where I can put collections of pitchers. I also don’t have a collection of pitchers, so that’s cool. I love my kitchen; it was one of the last remodeling projects my dad did, so it’s a lovely place to be.
  10. Continue to let go of anything I do not need, or that does not serve me or my family.

Good Reminder for Me and Possibly You

I was listening to the “The One You Feed” podcast this morning, after having whittled down my Twitter list to the people I really want to follow and/or those I do not see elsewhere on social media.

Eric was talking about getting things done. This has been a low-productivity week for me. He said two things I found very helpful.

When you are driving somewhere, if you look at your progress at any particular moment, you will not get an accurate overall picture. You may have to slow down to 10mph on the highway because of traffic, where you may be able to go 65 on another part of the highway. Making a decision about your overall progress based on the moment you are going 10mph is going to give you an inaccurate picture. It’s the overall average speed that will give you a good picture of how you are doing.

If I look at any particular moment (or day) when I am having low productivity and make large conclusions about my productivity based on this one moment, I will not see the whole picture. It’s the average of the moments, minutes, hours, days, week, not just this one moment right here.

Of course if I am working to be productive this minute, that’s great, but I mustn’t look at a slow time and decide that’s the entire picture.

The other reminder was an analogy about how we take care of plants. To have a healthy plant, we water it a little bit at a time. If we give it a gallon today and then nothing for the next four weeks, for most plants, this will not work at all. Same with projects or maintenance tasks. A little bit each day. I couldn’t possibly have gotten all the libraries visited with Kepler this summer if I had tried to visit all 41 branches in one day. It was the one or two at a time that got us this far.

Here is a link to the podcast, which is just under 6 minutes long. If you ever look at yourself and characterize yourself based on this individual moment, may I recommend that you listen to this podcast. Very encouraging.


M is for Maintenance




My A to Z blog post theme this year is Acceptance. I am exploring topics which I have come to accept over the course of my life. Thus far, I have written about being wrong, compassion and children, determination, enlightenment, feast or famine, giving advice, humanism, intuition, karma, and literal thinking.

I’ve just finished reading a book called Romancing Opiates, by Theodore Dalrymple. In part, his book is about problems of addiction that arise because

“… [users] do not have actions toward which they might actually work in a constructive fashion, but daydreams, in which everything is solved at once in a magical way, daydreams from which the emergence into reality is always painful.”

The vast majority of humans have mundane tasks of a maintenance nature, toward which we “might actually work in a constructive fashion.” Think of laundry, paperwork, parenting, cleaning, vehicles, taxes. We wash and dry and fold the same clothes, week in and week out. Some of us probably have servants to do the laundry for us, but I do not.

I spent a fair bit of time telling the story that I’m just not good at maintenance, to explain why the clothes tend to wait a skosh longer than they otherwise might to get washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Tony Robbins taught me that there are six basic human needs:

The Six Human Needs

1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure

2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli

3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed

4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something

5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding

6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

For a long time, I overemphasized my need for variety and allowed myself to abandon tasks and projects that required a great deal of maintenance. Finally, I accepted that taking care of myself and my things in a routine, sometimes mundane, manner is part of life, and can be just as satisfying as anything else, depending on my attitude. As a matter of fact, accepting and even embracing maintenance leads to quiet satisfaction in a job well done. 

The Buddha Doodles illustration at the top is by the wonderful artist Molly Hahn. Molly creates a beautiful, life-affirming gift every day with her doodles.