Blogs.

Dieting, Goals., Health, Health., Life, Uncategorized, vegan, veganism

Progress Made. Day 1.

So what a title, right?? One day of making progress is one day of success if you ask me.

When I first decided to go vegan, my colleagues were convinced that my choice wouldn’t last longer than a week. Day one went by, day seven, month one, year one, year four and I’m still going strong. Point being is that everything starts with day one. You won’t succeed if you don’t take the first step. I mean, am I right?

The day one success that I’m referring to in this moment are my personal goals that I set in my previous post.

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water.
  2. Study for one hour.
  3. Exercise for 30 minutes.
  4. Blog once per week (minimum) for one month.

All of which were simple tasks. All of which I have completed today.

What I needed was to find a way to get out of my never-ending procrastination cycle. Hopefully, blogging will do the trick. You know, knowing that so many supportive people reviewed and actually like my previous post was helpful beyond words. I hate that it’s a driving factor in my personality, but it is. I like to think that I’m helping others by staying active. Does that make sense? It makes me want to push through my failures and find a way to consistently succeed. To encourage someone else to do the same. There’s no way for me to know now if I’ll be able to do it. But here it is in words at the very least: I can. I will.

As I continue following my added choices of lifestyle, I’ll make changes and add more to it. Maybe eating healthier? (If you’re not vegan, I definitely recommend giving it a try using a S.M.A.R.T. Goal. 😉 Just saying! -and if you need pointers, lmk.)

Just remember, and I’ll try to remember myself, success is about getting there, not how many stops you make along the way. Find a way to do it. If you have a goal, achieve it. You can. You will.

success

 

Dieting, Goals., Health, Health., Life, Uncategorized, vegan, veganism, Zen.

Healthy Habits.

I’m so, so tired. Mentally. Physically. I’m tired of telling myself that I’m going to do something only to wind up procrastinating or not completing my goal at all. I’m tired of waking up at 4:30 every morning and leaving work at 5:00 every evening. I’m tired of my commute. I’m tired of studying. I’m tired of projects. I’m tired of doing the same thing day in and day out. I’m tired of wasting time.

I’m tired… of being tired.

Then today, a thought occurred to me: is it actually tiredness? Or am I just being lazy? Of course I want to blame it all on exhaustion (which it sometimes truly, truly is…or so I think), but I’ve finally decided that I need to do something about it. Instead of staying stuck in this vicious cycle of “do it later” or loafing about complaining, I need to break the habit. I’m going to make changes to my daily routine starting with a positive attitude. :/

Really though. Sometimes that’s all it takes. A new perspective, positive thoughts, and a genuine smile. Throw in a few “you can do this” mantras over and over again and bam! Golden. Okay, so maybe not quite. For myself I’m going to set some daily goals followed by short-term goals, followed by long-term goals.

 I took an online class a while back and learned about S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

SMART

I mean, it makes sense. Be specific about your goal. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Can you measure it? Is it realistic? Is it relevant to your bigger goals or things that you want to achieve? When will your goal be completed? It’s beautiful.

For now, I’m going to set a few simple, but obtainable goals.

GOAL #1

Drink 8 glasses of water every day for a month. I can measure this by drinking out of a 2 liter bottle and making sure that it’s gone before bedtime. I think this is realistic and challenging. I drink mostly coffee, but I can mix it up a bit. Especially with the giant jug of water acting as a ball and chain at my feet. This is relevant because hydration is the key to energy and health. Deadline? One month straight. I use this app called Habitica to keep track of my habits. I’ll add this to the list. After my month is up, I’ll do it again.

GOAL #2

Study for at least one hour every night until I pass my next certification. Simple. I can measure this by tracking my study time with my app. It is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Super SMART.

GOAL #3

Working out for at least 30 minutes every day for a month. This is a goal I’ve already started practicing. I work out at home, I do yoga, I run. I feel that if I don’t write it down though, then I won’t stick with it. So there it is.

GOAL #4

Blog once per week at a minimum for a month. Pretty specific. Definitely measurable, not only by me, but by you as well.

That’s all I have for now. None of these are the long-term goals that I planned on creating, but it’s enough to start with. If you don’t see a blog from me within seven days, assume I failed lol.

Hopefully you’ll hear from me sooner than that! If you’re struggling through similar issues, just remember, stay positive. You can do this.

Fun, Health., Life, Music, vegan, veganism

Davis Farmer’s Market.

Every Saturday all year-round, Davis, California has it’s own Farmer’s Market from 8am to 1pm. It’s also open on Wednesdays evenings from Spring to Fall. Wednesdays is my favorite day to go because it’s right after work and they have live bands and bounce castles for kids. It brings the community together. Friends can enjoy the music while drinking some beer or can grab a bite to eat from one of the food stands. College students practice yoga and tightrope walking (where they tie a string from one tree to another and try to walk across it. It’s pretty interesting). Families lay out their picnics in the grass while they watch their children run around. There’s a spot where children can get their faces painted or they can get a balloon animal from the Dilly Dally the Clown. There’s even a carousel at the site and two parks where children can play.

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My girls walking through the Farmer’s Market.

There’s a variety of stands. There’s coffee, pastries, clothing, artwork & pottery, fruits & vegetables, and so much more that you can choose from. I used to love getting my Pachamama coffee, but lately I’ve been try to save money (ugh) so I make my coffee at home instead (but is not the same!). I do buy organic strawberries and oranges almost every time I’m there. They’re so flavorful! When I buy strawberries from the grocery store, the berries have very little flavor and almost taste watery. It’s weird. These, however, omg. ❤ ❤ ❤ Strawberries for life.

It’s pretty much perfect here. The only problem is that we’re VEGAN so there isn’t as much to choose from as far as hot food goes. On the positive side, there’s a kettle corn stand, a HUMMUS stand, and some pastries to choose from. From the food stands, the Hotdogger sells vegan hot dogs and there’s another stand where I’ve gotten cooked cauliflower with potatoes on Naan that was phenom-nom-nomenal. I wish I knew the name of the stand. Next time I’m there, I’ll try to take note.

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Cherry Turnover

During our latest trip to the Farmer’s Market, we grabbed a few cherry turnovers that were, yes, vegan! The first time I discovered these, I couldn’t believe it. The pastry puff itself was everything that you could expect it to be. It was not the dry kind of flaky that results in a million crumbs, but instead was the sweet, soft kind of flaky. The kind where every bite melts in your mouth. The cherry filling was sweet but tangy. It had the ruby colored cherries that were slightly sour but balanced out the rest of the treat. Just take my advice, if you’re ever at this Farmer’s Market, try it for yourself. You won’t regret it.

If you find yourself far away from this location, check out your local Market. Try it at least once and let me know what you think. If you already visit your local place, what is it like? Leave some comments below with your experiences. I’d love to hear them!

Live. Love. Laugh.

…and Go Vegan. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

General., Life, Music, Zen.

Song List. A-Z.

A – Animals. Martin Garrix
B – Bloodstream. Stateless
C – Colors. Halsey
D – Dust it Off. The Dø
E – Eyes Closed. Halsey
F – Faded. Alan Walker
G – Give it Up. Knife Party
H – Haunting. Halsey
I – I Hate U, I Love U. Gnash
J – Jessie’s Girl. Rick Springfield
K – Keep on Walking. Passenger
L – Little Brother. Ella Vos
M – Mad Hatter. Melanie Martinez
N – New Americana. Halsey
O – Ocean Eyes. Billie Eilish
P – Power Glove. Knife Party
Q – Que Sera.  Wax Tailor.
R – Radioactive. Imagine Dragons
S – Slip. Elliot Moss
T – True Affection. The Blow
U – Under Pressure. Queen
V – Vertigo. U2
W – Way Down We Go. Kaleo
X – NONE!
Y – Your Song. Elton John (sung by Ewan McGregor)
Z – Zombies Ate My Neighbor. Schoolboy

Fun, General., Health., Life, Uncategorized, Zen.

Lucid Dreaming.

If I don’t add another blog now, I never will.

I mean, maybe that’s not true, but it’s time for me to do this.

Lucid Dreaming. I’m really interested in training my mind to do this. The beauty of Lucid Dreaming is that you can go anywhere. You can do anything. You have the ability to travel, to meet people, to find guidance all within your sleeping mind. I want to experience this. I’ve had very vivid dreams in the past and in those few, rare dreams, I knew that I was dreaming. I don’t know how I knew, but what an incredible feeling it was. I couldn’t even begin to explain how it felt.  It was so real.

future-1

For a long time now, I’ve been struggling to remember my dreams. Remembering your dream when you wake up is one of the first steps to lucid dreaming. It’s so hard for me. I’ve installed an app on my iPhone called Pillow. I’m using it to track my sleep cycles. It also has a built in alarm that wakes you up gradually. I think there’s even a feature to write notes about your dreams. I haven’t used it yet, but I plan to if I can.

I’ve also had a book on lucid dreaming for a while now. It’s called A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming by Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, and Thomas Peisel. I’ve only just begun reading it. I’ve read a chapter every night for the last five nights. I’m trying so hard to train myself. It’s difficult because of how emotionally drained I’ve been. Just finished the holidays. I’m working full-time and recently had my reserve weekend. I’m in crunch-mode for school. And I still find time to hang out with my favorite people. But I’m truly exhausted.

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“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” Edgar Allan Poe

According to this article (and where I found the awesome feature image for my blog),  lucid dreaming can help improve memory, can help us understand ourselves, and the coolest thing is that we’re free to do whatever we wish. Meet with old friends and family. Go where ever we want. Be whatever we want to be. I find all of this so fascinating.

How do we know the life we live right now is not a dream? How do we know that reality as we know it is not connected with the dream world? I want to find out.

As I continue my journey, and if I see any progress, I’ll be certain to write about it. I’m excited to see where this goes. Stayed tuned till next time.

Health., Life, Uncategorized, Zen.

Peace of Mind?

Candle lit. Incense burning. Calm mind.

This is where I find peace.

I am at peace.

My consciousness goes into a completely different state when I do this. I feel more awake. My mind is open. My body is relaxed. I usually have a difficult time with meditating like this. I’m always so tense. So busy. So clouded.

My spiritual energy was almost non-existent, but I feel it coming back. Slowly, but I am getting there. I’m becoming more in-tune with myself and with things around me again. What is this sensation? Do you know that feeling you get when you wake up naturally from a nap that you’ve taken in the middle of the day? Your entire body is tingling, but you feel wide awake. Refreshed. Happy. I don’t know a better way to describe this. I wish I could explain to you what I feel. I wish you could feel what I feel.

Aloha Bay – Healing Chakra Energy Candle

Try. Try to feel this way. Find a quite space of your own where you won’t be disturbed. Set up some candles. Burn any incense of your choice. I prefer Triloka Royal Sandalwood cones or the Sandalwood herbal sticks. These are just my choices. Find what works best for you.

I prefer to lay down when I meditate, but you can choose to sit. I use my room as my sanctuary. I set everything up, lay on my bed, and close my eyes as I relax my body and mind. It’s can be really simple, but you have to let yourself go.

It felt awkward for me when I first began doing this. But accept it. By doing so, you will feel a weight lift from your chest that you didn’t know was there. Release the negativity. Why have you been holding onto it? Try. Let go. See what happens.

* * * * *

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My Sanctuary
Fun, Goals., Health., Life, Uncategorized

Runner’s Break.

This isn’t about how runners break or get injured from running. This just is about myself. About how I’ve taken a month long vacation from running. Typical. The one thing I had been so passionate about. This may be a lame excuse, but honestly, the last month was an emotional rollercoaster for me.

I hate that overused term, “emotional rollercoaster”, but what would be a better way to describe the ups and downs that we feel? It’s certainly not like an elevator. Those are predictable. You know where you’re going, when your going. There’s nothing exciting or scary about them. Maybe a better description would be a broken elevator that goes and stops as it pleases. One that is hanging on a stressed cable, ready to snap. One that works sometimes, but not others. I suppose it really doesn’t matter. You understand the meaning behind “emotional rollercoaster”.

As I was trying to explain… It had been a while since my last run. The 3rd of December to be exact, for 3.20 miles at a pace of 8:54. I finally ran again yesterday: 3.55 miles/9:06 pace. My time isn’t far off from what it was, but if I ever want to get below an eight minute mile (preferably seven) for long distance, I need to practice more. I’ll continue to push myself. Look at the amazing athletes and inspiring people who commit to their goals. Look at their achievements.

Even though this is just an excuse for myself, I still want to blame the cold & darkness as well as emotions for my reasons to not run. Maybe they’re tied together. In Alaska (I use this because I lived there for eight years), many people go into depression during the winter. It must be the lack of sun, the cold, sickness. When you wake up, it’s cold and dark. When you get home from work, it’s cold and dark. There are actually studies on the link between winter seasons and emotional changes if you’re ever interested. Here’s one link that talks about the seasonal problem.

I don’t have anything else to add for now. I have a major test next week that I need to study for. This was simply about how and why I stopped running for a while, but that I’m going to keep going. I’ll continue to push myself through no matter the situation. It’s something I would expect others to do to. If you’re struggling, remind yourself this. Push past whatever is holding you back.

Random Note before I go:

I made myself an avocado bagel earlier and it was phenomenal. Super simple too.

Avocado Bagel

Ingredients

– Half a bagel (Dave’s Killer Bread)
– Half avocado
– Mustard
– Mustard Seed (Try this)

I just toasted the bagel, sliced up the avocado, put it on the bagel, added mustard and mustard seed and VOILA! Magic.

Family, Fun, General., Life, Uncategorized

The Little Things.

Last night I was sitting on my bed with my little ones. They were hilarious, being the silly goofballs that they are. They were crazy. They usually are. I’m sure our neighbors love us… The fighting, the “cut it out” yelling from me, the laughing, the sounds of things hitting the wall.

From someone else’s point of view, it would sound like a complete madhouse.

Most people probably wouldn’t realize that my kids were just flat out exhausted. The craziest times always happen in the evenings. Funny thing is that even when they’re tired, they have more energy than I would ever know what to do with.

So there we were last night. Tickling, giggling, and enjoying life. I enjoy them. Their presence, their hugs and kisses, their silly jokes and stories about their day.

My eldest daughter stopped playing early on and was relaxing peacefully with her laptop, reading my blogs. She’s fascinated knowing that people can make their own websites. She desperately wants to make one of her own. She’s eight. I’ve purchased her many coding books, but have not gotten around to teaching her much. With one of her books, I did help her set up her first “website” using Notepad++. She was on there for hours! I have quite a gift for her this Christmas, but I can’t post that since she’ll no doubt be reading this. Let’s just say, it’s a step in the right direction to what she wants to do. My skillful, brilliant girl.

My second oldest, almost seven, is absolutely hysterical. She can make me laugh until I’m literally in tears. (I know people overuse the term “literally”, but here, I MEAN IT). The best way to describe her personality is this: she’s a troll! Not on the internet, but in person! She provokes people until she sees the rise in them. She likes to “stirs pots” so to speak. Then, when the person is about to snap, she gives a devious successful smile and blinks her eyes slowly with that grin on her face. Little troublemaker, but she also has a huge heart. If someone is upset, she is the first to try to fix the problem. She loves making and giving gifts to people. She likes to make people feel special. She is remarkable.

Then there’s my son. Oh, my son. My four year old boy. He’s his own animal. He is now a typical “boy” if there ever was one. When he was two, however, he used to dress up in his sisters clothes. He loved being a princess. By age three, he transitioned to a fighting fairy (or princess depending on the costume of the day). He would walk down in his outfit, heels and all, and storm into me or his siblings to “beat chu up” as he put it. Now, age four, the dresses are gone, but the fight is still there. The kicking, the punching, the magic powers that he uses (“magic, magic, make you dead!” “magic, magic, make you alive!” are just a few of his spells). His favorite thing to do right now is the oh so popular “the floor is lava” game. He plays with his sisters and jumps onto any shoe, sock, or box that he can to avoid being burned alive by the imaginary lava. But that’s him. Wonderful and creative.

Last night was a strong reminder to myself how good I have it. How lucky I am to have them. They bring so much life to my own. They ARE my life. Through all of the good and the bad, they are always there to make it better.

This is all I had time for. I will try to add some photos later. Just remember, enjoy the simple things in life.

Fun, General., Life, Story Telling, Uncategorized

Simple. Fun. Story Telling.

The only thing I feel like doing right now is writing. I want to curl up with a large cup of coffee, fuzzy socks, and snuggle in my warm, cozy bed. I want to pour my soul out into my writing. To let my fingertips take over and let the feelings flow. Release these thoughts that fill and cloud my mind… Write it all out, to get it out. Unfortunately, I have neither coffee nor fuzzy socks. I am not sitting in my warm, cozy bed. And I will not be pouring any of my feelings into this blog. Not now. Not this time.

Instead, I’ll tell you a story. Not a story about myself, but a story that used to be told at sleepovers for entertainment. Not quite a scary story (although those were great too), but a story that made the listener think. I couldn’t even tell you where this story came from. Or if it’s even an actual story that was ever written because I can’t find it anywhere online. Regardless, this is how it goes… (Or at least how I remember it).

[Setting: The listener lays down, legs straight, eyes closed, flat on their back. Try to do this on a flat surface. The listener’s head should be resting comfortably in the reader’s lap. The reader is sitting up straight. Telling the story in a soothing tone. They gently massage the listener’s temples as they tell the story.]

The Reader Begins:

You live in a large wooden cabin in the middle of the woods. Your cabin is surrounded by tall trees. One day, you are bored and decide to go on a walk.

After ten minutes of walking, you hear a voice. You listen. “Procedure to change your life! Guaranteed to make you smarter! Only $5!” You walk towards the sound and see a little, old woman dressed in rags.

“What are you saying? What exactly will make me smarter?” You ask.

“Oh little one,” She says. She has a smile on her face, but you can’t tell if it’s genuine or if she is up to something. She looks up at you with intense eyes. “One simple procedure will make you smarter for the rest of your life. I guarantee it. It will only take a moment of your time and is only $5.”

She smiles again waiting for your answer.

“Alright,” you agree, “what do I need to do?” Though you are not entirely sure if you should do anything. But you figure, why not? That you have nothing to lose.

“Please lay on this table and close your eyes,” says the old woman. You look at the old wooden table. Next to it, you see several sharp tools. You don’t think much of it. You lay down, close your eyes, and you do as she says.

The old woman rubs a strong smelling, damp washcloth against your forehead. You feel your forehead going numb.

[The reader rubs their hand across the listeners forehead pretending to rub the cloth on it.]

“This may hurt,” you hear her say, but she sounds miles away. You feel pressure, not pain, across your forehead as a sharp blade is cut into your head and skull. She removes the top of your skull.

[Reader uses index finger with some pressure and runs their finger across the top of the listeners head. Then the reader pretends to pull of the top of the skull and sets it on the table.]

The woman begins asking questions. She sounds more distant than ever. What she’s saying doesn’t make any sense, but you must answer. “How many rocks? Pick a number: one through ten.”

[THE LISTENER PICKS A NUMBER. The reader makes a fist and starts knocking on the listeners head as though inserting “X” number of imaginary rocks.]

“How many pebbles? Pick: ten through twenty.”

[THE LISTENER PICKS A NUMBER. The reader uses the tips of their fingers, tapping on the listener’s forehead “X” number of times as though they are inserting pebbles.]

“How many pounds of sand? Pick: one pound or two?”

[THE LISTENER PICKS A NUMBER. The reader uses the tips of their fingers, tapping more quickly and softly on the listeners forehead for about 10-20 seconds.]

You feel the old woman place your skull back on and she sews up your head.

[Reader pretends to sew up the listener’s head, then begins massaging listener’s temples again].

You fall into a deep sleep. When you finally wake up, the woman is gone and your head is pounding. You look down and see that all of your money is missing. Your head feels like it’s 100lbs. Slowly, very slowly, you try to get up.

[At this, the listener tries to get up slowly. Encourage them to move very slowly and watch them struggle as though their head really did weigh 100lbs!]

The end!

I always enjoyed this story because it was interactive and entertaining. I know this isn’t exactly how it was told to me, but it’s the same idea. I never really knew what the moral of the story was, but reflecting on this as an adult, I now see the what it’s trying to teach. That we shouldn’t trust strangers. We shouldn’t change ourselves through surgery or magic pills. We should love ourselves the way we are. That’s my understanding anyway.

Well, this beats my bleeding heart problems that I could have been writing and reminds me of good times. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I used to! Try it out sometime and let me know how it goes. 🙂

General., Health., Life, Uncategorized, Zen.

Look within.

“There is no fire like greed,
No crime like hatred,
No sorrow like separation,
No sickness like hunger of heart,
And no joy like the joy of freedom.

Health, contentment and trust
Are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.

Look within.
Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.”

Teachings of the Buddha Edited by Jack Kornfield page 85. I bought this book in Biloxi, Mississippi, two years ago from a book store called Books-A-Million. I’ve used this book for general guidance ever since. From time to time, I randomly select a quote for guidance or to help clear my mind. Tonight, I picked up this book and fell upon this particular quote.

What do you feel when you read this? Line by line. That there is no fire like greed. No crime like hatred. No sorrow like separation. No sickness like hunger of heart. Does it speak to you as it does to me?

It reminds me to let go. To let go of all negative things. To free myself, and my mind, of all attachments. To enjoy life. With the way I’ve been feeling lately, this is exactly what I was looking for. A sign to let go.

Ironically, I also read my Tarot cards tonight and saw much of what has been on my mind. I saw the same “sign” in my cards as this quote showed me. Not that I truly believe that I can see my future in cards, but it’s comfortable to pretend that fate may play a role. Besides, it’s easier to read some cards than to ask for help from someone who is only half there.

Whether or not Tarot cards mean anything, mine have seemed to align with everything that has been bothering me lately. My past: unbalanced. Taking on too much. My present: Paralyzed with indecision. My future: Fear of letting go and to move on.

  • My past: I’ve always felt has been unbalanced. Since I was a teenager, I’ve consumed myself with work and school. As I got older and had children, I spent all of my time with them and also with work and school. I often take on more than I should, but somehow, I always manage to make things work.
  • My present: Completely indecisive. What should I do? What do I want to do? What is the right choice? I keep looking for signs rather than taking action. Rather than making decisions. It’s time to move on and figure that bit out. I need to create goals for myself and find ways to achieve them.
  • My future: Fear of letting go and moving on. Ha. True to the core. With more ways than one. But that’s it. That’s what I need to do – Move on. Continue forward with my head held high.

I would continue to tell you that none of this matters and that this is all a load of bull, that “signs” are just for silly, superstitious people. But hey, if a placebo helps, does it matter if it’s a placebo? That’s a serious question. What do you think? If I can gain something from this and find my motivation, does it make it alright to believe?

Just moments ago, I stumbled across this website while doing some research:

https://www.trustedtarot.com/

Of course I did it and it blew me a way with the accuracy. I’m sure you can shrug it off as a “those readings can match anyone at anytime” kind of thing. Sure. But I look for guidance everywhere. From life lessons. Tarot readings. Quotes. It helps me when I feel so lost.

I think everyone can use a good quote once in a while to remind them to let go of the things that don’t matter. To free yourself from negative energies. The Tarot reading just emphasized that truth for me. Try it yourself. What do you think?