Things from David

This is a place to share the small things in life that make you smile…. like a great conversation with a stranger, a fabulous meal at a new restaurant, a warm shower after a camping trip, the feel of some soft sheets after a long day, etc….

I can see how there’s an aspect of ignorance that is bliss but to me it’s more of a limitation than anything else. The flip side is much more blissful in my eyes. An examined life leads to greater awareness and greater awareness leads to more options and better choices and choice gives us greater possibility. All of this gives us a constantly expanding view of the world and ourselves… and expansion is quite possibly the core characteristic of the universe itself. Sure, there’s some pain and complication that may come along with the greater complexity but it’s a small price to pay. Ignorance is basically the choice to ignore reality and navigating around in the world ignoring what’s really happening will likely lead to unnecessary suffering. Dig deeper, get in alignment with the universe and bliss is sure to follow.

Life is like wine. The closer that you pay attention to it and the more you learn about its subtleties, the deeper and more profound your actual experience of it will be. It will literally “taste” different.

Quinoa pronounced keen-wah is a whole-grain that cooks in half the time of rice and contains essential amino acids for healthy muscle growth. This Incan powerfood also has lots of fiber, iron, and magnesium. Plus it’s tasty and is a great rice alternative. Soak it to make it easier to digest.

Eat lots of broccoli. Not only does it contain the antioxidant sulforaphane, which fights cancer… It also contains vitamins C & K, and fat burning fiber. Plus it also supports alkalinity of your blood.

To help with the stress associated with our busy lifestyles and seemingly endless responsibilities, create an ongoing to do list. We feel so much better when we have a handle on all of the things we need to get done. And we feel even better than that when we cross them off of the list. With the availability of smart phone, PDAs, and personal computers now-a-days, it’s easier than ever to keep our priorities organized and available to us at all times. I like to keep mine synced up on my calendars on my phone and computer with alerts to remind me.

An easy way to reduce stress and energize your body and mind is to get to bed early and spend the hour before bed winding down with quiet activities like reading, meditation, or a warm bath. Very simple and effective!

We all have to buy stuff from time to time. So, we mind as well shop with the knowledge that everything we do buy is on a slow (or fast) road to the landfill. Basically, we’re actually buying future garbage. This awareness can help us to slow down and consider what we really need… which will save money too. And then it can motivate us to look for the products that consume the fewest and most sustainable resources from manufacturing to shipping to the products that will break down and contribute the least to pollution.

When you’re wrong, say I’m sorry…. and really mean it. Doesn’t it feel good to let go of your attachment to being right? It feels good to admit it to yourself. It’s actually freeing! Plus, you’re making someone else feel cared for. Win, win!

Assume the best intentions of others before jumping to the negative conclusion. It’s amazing how much this simple shift can help any relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t be skeptical at times. The lack of skepticism could lead to it’s own set of problems. But if we look for the positive first, many unnecessary confrontations can be prevented before they ever start.

Organic foods are good for many reasons and here are just a few. They contain less pesticides and nitrates, which have been linked to a range of health problems including diabetes and Alzheimer’s, organic plant products are more nutrient dense, have higher levels of minerals, contain more antioxidants, and organic animal products contain more polyunsaturated fatty acids. Plus, they have much less of a negative effect on the land and water supply.

Try living (for a day or two or more) as if everyone could read your mind. Imagine how that would change the way you think… and interact with others. It may make you more aware of what you think about as well.

Using a filter for your drinking water has many benefits beyond the money you can save from buying bottled water. Here are just a few: 1) No petroleum necessary to ship those heavy bottles of water from the source to your glass 2) Very low carbon footprint 3) Your water hasn’t been sitting in a petroleum based plastic bottle sucking up all of those extra chemicals 4) No extra energy to recycle the bottle 5) Or worse, they get thrown in the landfill (that contributes hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic per year that doesn’t fully decompose) 5) You always have fresh drinking water on hand

Sometimes it’s better just to let go of our need to “fix” a situation or problem and simply be there to experience it. This can be especially useful in relationship with another. I’ve been amazed at how this can really be the only “fix” that is needed. It doesn’t always make sense but it does usually create deeper connection and understanding.

Switch over to rechargeable batteries. Not only will you save money and time, you’ll also save the earth and water from some of the worst toxins on the mass market. Plus, in some states it’s illegal to throw your batteries away. If you have non-rechargeable batteries that are dead, find a local battery recycling center to drop them off at. Libraries, electronic stores, and hazardous waste facilities are usually a good bet.

Put your computer to sleep instead of using the screen saver. Running your monitor takes a significant amount of energy, which adds up even more over time. And if you just can’t bear the time it takes to wake up (then you’re probably using a windows ;), seriously though, have the computer set to just turn off the monitor instead of sleep or screen saver. This leads to less energy consumption and money savings. Imagine how it would add up if it were required by just one semi-large company.

When you’re in a public restroom, take a look at how many paper towels get used. When we aren’t paying attention, we tend to pull out a few extra when we don’t really need to. Most of paper in that big clump stays dry. See if you can get away with just using one (or even none, if you’re feeling it). You can save hundreds and even thousands a year just by making this simple shift. Imagine the numbers if thousands of people did the same. It all adds up…. and that leaves more trees creating fresh air for us.

Take a few (or many) moments throughout the day to stretch the body. It’s relaxing, it’s good for the mind and circulation, and it’s very calming in the midst of everyday stresses. It’s extremely simple yet it works wonders. For more benefit, try watching the breath as you’re stretching….. a great practice for a quick mental cleanse.

If you’re in the market for a new computer, consider getting a notebook. Notebooks use around 4x less energy, use fewer resources (including packaging, peripherals, hardware, cables, etc), require less energy to ship, and they’re completely portable and take up far less space than the alternative. Sure, they cost a bit more but once you start adding up all of the benefits, notebooks are a great option to that big clunky mess on, under, and behind your desktop.

Only flush the toilet if you need to. It’s staggering how much water we would save if we flushed 2 times fewer a day. In the US alone, that would be (on average) 5 gallons per flush times 2 flushes times approximately 306,000,000 which equals over 3 billion gallons of water per day. That’s a lot of water! On a more personal level, in the average US household (of 2.5 people), that would be 25 gallons per day and 9,125 gallons a year. Small things can really add up. Cheaper water bills and more fresh water on the planet to drink. Win win!

When you’re hanging out with family, your lover, good friends, etc., be there with them as if it was the last time you were going to see them for a while (or maybe even ever). It’s a really powerful practice that shifts many things towards the positive in our interpersonal dynamics. Imagine how present you are when it really is the case that your loved one is going to be away for a while. Why not bring that energy as often as you can? All that we can be absolutely sure of is what is happening now. Now is the time to be the person you want to be to the people you care about. Plus, who likes to have regrets?

For a little more depth and a fun exercise on the subject, check out this entry.

Watch what you feed your head. The information that pours into your mind on a daily basis has a huge impact on your experience and ultimately, who you are. Consciously add positive content, media, thoughts, ideas, etc. to your daily routine instead of unconsciously filling up with a lot of the garbage, negativity, gossip, etc. that’s out there. You are what you eat? Yes…. and you’re also what you think!

Drive your car like your running out of gas…. ‘cuz we actually are running out of gas. If you pay attention to your gas mileage (via a calculator at the pump or if your car does it for you), you’ll start to notice just how much you can save by changing the way you drive. Imagine just coasting in to a red light rather than accelerating until the last second (we’ve all been there a time or two as we’re unconsciously rushing around town). You can easily save a few MPG by driving consciously which saves money, resources, and emissions. Give it a shot and see if you can beat your last record.

Skip the elevator and take the stairs. It takes a lot of energy to lift those big ol’ boxes up and down. You can save a lot of energy and resources by skipping it even once a day. Plus, you’ll burn a few extra calories every time you walk up yourself. It’s a win win.

After waking up in the morning and before starting to think about the day, take a few moments to breath and feel the stillness of your mind and body. Try to remember the dreamworld you were just experiencing. It’s a great way to start the day and it can help you to become more present in your dreams… which can eventually lead to lucid dreaming.

Make “new months” resolutions. It’s a great way to check in on your goals and intentions so they don’t get away from you. And 4 weeks is a much easier time frame to manage. It’s almost the 1st again!

Tell your family and friends how much you love them. It’s not something you’ll never regret. You may end up regretting that you didn’t tell them though. There’s no better time than now.

Try to make someone’s day, everyday. Why not try to make everyone’s day everyday? It’s the kind of thing that just might catch on and I don’t think anybody will complain. Plus, you’ll probably make your own day at the same time. And you never know what might happen when you help out a complete stranger.

Slow down and concentrate on the one thing you’re doing right now. And take a deep breath while you’re at it. Doesn’t it feel good to recognize that you’re actually here… right now? This is where it’s all happening. See how long you can stay here before being swept away by the external world again.

Doesn’t it seem so much easier to run from your problems? It does SEEM that way sometimes but it really turns out to be so much worse. When we actually face and push through our problems, we grow, and we don’t have to come back and confront them later. It’s actually a lot easier to face our problems now.

Small things and small decisions can be much more efficient and effective, rather than getting overwhelmed by diving head-first into something big, which can often paralyze us because the consequences and the commitments are just too much. Break your big changes/projects down into small parts. It’s much more empowering, sustainable, and more likely to bear fruit.

earthdrop
Effort of Ego

The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort—you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.

- Ken Wilber

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