Thursday, January 27, 2011

Resolutions for the Northern Hemisphere


If the Northern Hemisphere is your playground, and winters are grey and gloom, I bet I know exactly why your goals and resolutions don't last a snap.

Despite all our good intentions, it's just not inspiring to go out in the cold to go for a run, or zip to the gym, or refine our diets. The ways those things will stick are as follows:

1. You've had a strong epiphany, a do-or-die happenstance, or are flooded with constant support, influence, and fun.
2. You force yourself, despite your longings for warmth, comfort, and what you're used to.

January is not the time when I feel inspired to make changes. It's when I want to sit down by the heater, read books, cuddle dogs, snuggle people, and lick honey off my fingers. I want richer foods, and longer naps.

Spring is when I really zing.

So from here, I say stop with the January First goal-setting. If you're like me, make spring your "start date" for new undertakings - that is, if they are completely new to you and you feel some resistance. You know you want to do them, but you're not sure how or when, or would rather do it when it's not dark at 4pm, when fruit is fresh, when the air is full of fresh blossoms, and when there is a collective beam of health emanating from the world.

Things are born in spring. The death of winter may be the December solstice, but the true births don't begin until March.

Until then, conceive of ideas. Write them all out, in detail. Make a treasure map to your desires. Know you will do them, and make it easy for yourself. Figure out what will inspire you to stick with your chosen goals. Make your winter resolutions, too - but make those months about research, or tiny changes - on your way to your true initiation.

When I started my raw food path, I did not jump into it. I made it easy for myself. It was a Definite Do, but I wanted to make sure I would stick to it, and I wanted the tools to do so. I don't think I would have been able to do it without all my research. It's been almost 3 years now, and I have barely faltered.
For months, I poured myself into all the information I could on the subject. I obsessed, looking from many possible angles. There is a voluminous amount of options, and it is great fun to sort through them all, to find the niche that will capture your spirit. It takes a lot of work to swim through the choices, but make sure you know which one to focus on, because then you can commit.

You need to obsess to succeed. And you need to be specific.

If I had just said, "I am going to eat healthier" I probably would have slunk back to my old ways. Instead, I discovered the path that spoke to me, and I gave myself over to it.

I set dates, and I knew exactly what I was going to accomplish by those times. I had a network of people to inspire me, even if I didn't know them. They're out there. Find those people and read everything they have to say. Interact with them. Find communities. Fort yourself in library books. Earthquake your soul.

THEN, when the birds are out and the cherry blossoms are confetti on the ground, you know it's time to do it. The warmth of the world will call you out, and you can tap into the collective happiness that is awakening from hibernation.

You are fresh. New.

Consider yourself a newborn. You have to learn the basics before you will attempt to do more. So first...LEARN......choose...then Do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Little Steps Will Lead Somewhere, Eventually

So, honestly, I have not been doing all that well with my progress - or so it would seem by my chart outline.
I guess at the beginning of the year, when hopes are high and goals are set in multitudes, it is easy to "fail." This is why I set so few.

My real resolution is "be productive." I am actually wanting to RESOLVE something - the rest are purely goals.

In terms of my static goals for the year, writing is the number one. And even though I have not been writing my allotted "1-2 hours a day!", I have been making progress, steadily.

Why would I be disappointed in myself? It's the same with any big goal - you generally have to start small. To expect yourself to go from nothing, to hardcore, is silly. Sometimes these kinds of changes do happen, but I find they are the result of something extreme, and not just a decision spurred on by a date change.

For instance, when I changed my diet from junk-food vegetarian to raw vegan, it was certainly not overnight, and it was because I was in an extreme state - one that needed a harsh change.

So, I have been writing the book that has been swimming in my brain for 10 years. I don't have a ton written yet - only about 10 pages. But that's more than I've written of it in 10 years. If I keep doing little by little, it will get completed!

In the meantime, I still journal every day. I have been reading the first of my self-appointed "textbooks."

I am more active, too, and before it got really cold, I was walking steep hills in the very early morning with my dog.
I have barely tried to meditate. I still have not started a yoga practice, but want to. I have been having a green juice almost every day.

So things will become more of a habit once I integrate them more, over time. I am pretty happy with my story so far. It's funny how stories shape themselves - things happen that you never anticipated, even though you are the one writing the story. Weird.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pushing Through Procrastination

There are times when I really just have to force myself to do things.

It's often the only way I'll get anything done. Are you like this, too? There are so many fascinating things out there to tempt me. I'm constantly scouring the internet for interesting information, photos, ideas, books, and people. It's so easy to be lured into those worlds and to ignore my own.
Then it's hours later, and I have accomplished nothing. Still aware of my idleness, I push it aside until it makes me feel wasted. My mood is low, my day is squandered, and I feel listless.
It all happens at once - the inertia, then the response to it.

"Just fucking do what you wanted to do all day, do it now!"

And so, even though it is late in my day, it is not over. I write a little, I go for a late night walk in the rain, I sit down in the silence of the very early morning and meditate, I read my books.

So was it really a waste of a day if I accomplished all I wanted? No, but maybe I want more.

I'm not going to distract you with a long post, or photos. If there is something you want to get done today, go do it right now. Whatever is capturing your attention can be done later. Write it down quickly, bookmark it, or pause it. Do what you wanted, and come back later. Life is waiting for you.

I'm going for my walk.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Favourites of 2010

Hello to anyone reading!

This is a love list to 2010, which has now departed. It's so odd how fast time goes, so we mustn't waste it, should we?

I've been reading a lot of "thank fuck 2010 is over" or "good riddance" type things and it makes me wonder why everyone thinks it's the YEAR'S fault, and not how they perceive their lives.
Sure, shitty stuff happens to all of us, but if it keeps happening, then you really have to do something different. Probably the complete opposite.

That being said, I had a rather tumultuous year, but I knew everything would end up okay, because it always does. Worrying is really a pointless thing. Anxiety is only based on an imagined worry, something that is so unlikely to even happen. And even if it DOES happen, your brain deals with it only in the moment anyway. You can't possibly know how you will react in that moment. The only moment that even exists is right now.

So to get it out of the way, here are the very few shitty things I went through this year:

1. Olympics Anxiety/Crowd Anxiety.
2. Roommates moving out, couldn't find new ones, so was forced to leave and find a new home.
3. Having to confront someone I love about something they were doing that I hated and couldn't deal with anymore.
4. My Nana dying.
5. Apartment break-in.

And guess what! It all turned out okay! I didn't die in the crowds! I moved and got my OWN little abode. The confrontation led to better communication. And Nana is gone, which royally sucks, but it brought our family together and we had a lovely time remembering her. And even though we had a break-in, no one stole MY stuff...amazing. I had left the light on in my room that day, with the door closed (for my dog). Very lucky.

Here are the best things that happened to me this year:

1. Seeing Pipeline in person.

It's been a dream of mine to see this place for a really long time. It was mesmerizing to see people play in such a dangerous place of divine beauty.

2. Hawaii in General:

I hadn't been to Hawaii since I was about 7 years old and I'd always wanted to go back. Now I want to live there, one day.

3. Concerts: La Roux, and Die Antwoord

I would like to see more shows this year, but the two I saw in 2010 were flippin' great! Die Antwoord was a treat - I'd only gotten into them two days before they played a show in Vancouver.

Die Antwoord - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC - Oct 12th 2010

4. Moving to a place close enough to get spring water on a regular basis.

I rarely drink anything else!

5. Getting my hair done all fancy.

My friend Bliss does good hair.

6. Getting a VITA-MIX !!! and a dehydrator!

Seriously, the best things ever.

7. Meeting lots of new pals at work.

8. Getting another job at my favourite raw food restaurant, after 2 years of pestering!

9. Celebrating one year with my sweetie (it's up to 1.5 now!)

I made him a comic about our first year together, as a gift. I'm also stoked that he grew out his hair for me.

10. Spending time with animals.

Always a good time!

11. Durian Hot Tub Party with Pandora!

12. Rescuing two animals - a bird and a mouse.

13. Raising money for a guide dog that was hurt in a horrific incident with the Vancouver Skytrain. I helped raise a bunch of money for this dog (well, the owner!) to help cover the huge vet bill. The dog is okay, by the way.

14. Getting an apology I have wanted for over 2 years.

Favourite Books of the Year!

I read 84 books this year (!) but these are my favourites.

1. I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World
2. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
3. A Mess of Everything
4. As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial
5. Drugs Are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir
6. Insecure at Last: A Political Memoir
7. A Child's Life and Other Stories
8. Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto
9. The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
10. Ecstatic Beings: 144,000 Ways to Eternal Ecstatic Bliss
11. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World
12. Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams
13. Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes: A Year Alone in the Patagonia Wilderness
14. Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea
15. The Road
16. How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time

Also the Scott Pilgrim books, Y: The Last Man (graphic novel series), and anything by Jeffrey Brown, especially Clumsy and Unlikely.

AND...the Anastasia books, ALWAYS. - I still have a few to go.

I could list several more, but those are the ones I loved the most.

Favourite Movies/Shows

Black Swan, Avatar, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Temple Grandin, Martyrs (completely insane and gruesome), Alice in Wonderland, The Runaways.
Documentaries: Food Inc., The Botany of Desire, Tribe (show).

Music I Most Enjoyed

Die Antwoord, Max Normal, Sleigh Bells, Lady Gaga (yep), Bright Bright Bright, Crystal Castles.

Favourite blogs:

1. White Hot Truth. Brilliant.
2. 90's Woman. Nostalgic.
3. Angeliska Gazette. Beauty.
4. Damn You Auto Correct. Hilarity.
5. Gala Darling. Whirlwind.
6. Keri Smith. Mess Creatrix.
7. Style Rookie. Spitfire.
8. Yes and Yes. Dazzling.
9. Unicorns for Socialism. Divine.
10. The Art of Non-Conformity. Amazing.
11. Earth Empress. Magical.
12. Daniel Vitalis. Primal.

Favourite Place

As always, Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver.

And favourite photo!

And last of all, my favourite video of the year!!

Happy New Year everyone!