Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Calm before the Storm

My life, always filled with tasks and to-do lists that challenge my time and patience, both while toiling at my day job as well as following my bliss with all of my other passions, is about to get even busier.

Perhaps more fulfilling is a better way to express this.  Because, after all, I always practice and sometimes preach the constant need to find fulfillment in ones life—the vital importance of making each day as worthwhile as possible.

That’s why, as I sit here on my back deck, serenaded by my fountain mixing its bubbling melody with the call of the wilderness—birds singing, squirrels scurrying, deer gracefully meandering through the tall grass, dogs barking and echoing through the ridge—I force myself to take a moment.  And a breath.  Ahhhh…

Sunday morning, one of my favorite moments of my week.  Sipping green tea, catching up on my reading, plucking some tunes out of my guitar, far removed from my tasks and to-do list as I can possibly be.  Yet their burden—and the wealth of challenges and enjoyment associated with them—still slither through my tranquility, demanding attention, as they are wont to do.

What to do?

One of my favorite Zen sayings is:

                        “If it’s not paradoxical, it’s not true.”

So while I embrace all this relaxation and serenity, the constant itch of activity still scratches at the back of my psyche.  I understand that this is the calm before the storm of work and things-to-do awaiting me, and with that understanding comes the need to wrap myself around this calm to its fullest. While also preparing for the flurry of forecasted fireworks ahead.

Without getting into too much detail, my plate at my day job continues to overflow…with a promise of even more in the days and weeks ahead.  I’m ready, planning.  Taking it one hour, one day, one week at a time.  Focusing on keeping my balance between mind, body, and spirit in check and in shape. On top of that, trying to keep my head above water with the constant challenge of juggling a fulltime career with a part-time website…make that two websites.

Call that the second half of the storm after the calm—in the coming weeks and months I will be revealing the new livelife365 video site, a self-help book, a new song and music video (in the editing room getting polished as I write this), and lots more.

Do I sometimes feel like there is way too much on my plate, that I have bitten off more than I can chew, that I am grabbing a bit too much of life by the…ah…lapels?  Yes.  The key, though, is to focus on one task at a time, stay in the moment, worry about what you can control and not what you cannot, and prioritize, plan, pray, all the while practicing a plethora of patience…and those are just the “P”s!

Until next time…



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Do You Do Every Day?

Livelife365 is all about doing. Doing something positive every day. Something healthy. Spiritual. Exercising your body, yes, but also your mind. And your spirit. When I created livelife365 I wanted to share with as many people as possible helpful tips and successful programs that I have developed through the years, using videos and blog posts, like this one. Most of the successes that I talk and write about are things that I do every single day. Maybe that’s why this site is called livelife365.

What are some of the things—positive, useful, invigorating, creative, important, worthwhile, fun, healthy, entertaining, fulfilling—things that you do each day?

I created a list, but also, of course, a video:


1. Exercise. Break a sweat. Do something physical, be it just taking a walk or lifting weights and riding my stationary bike. Even if you detest working out you can still get plenty of exercise chasing your kids around the yard, doing housework, washing the car, walking to the mailbox, or rolling around in bed with your significant other.

2. Enjoy the great outdoors. You don’t have to live in the mountains or by a beach to appreciate the natural wonder and beauty of the earth. I have to go outside as often as possible during the day. Summertime is easier, but I still see many folks walk from house to car to work to car to house without stopping to smell the flowers or bask in the splendor. Taking a walk is an excellent way to get your exercise in while also listening to the birds.  Plus the sun offers vitamin D, an essential necessity.
3.Meditate.  I meditate every morning.  My goal is at least thirty minutes of just sitting in a quiet room, eyes relaxed, sometimes closed, most times half-closed, clearing the clutter from my brain, listening to the sounds around me other than the thoughts in my head.  It’s easier than you may think, and well worth a few minutes of your day.

4. Drink green tea. I used to be a soda junkie, drank over five cans of Diet Coke a day. Not only is all that caffeine bad for you, but the other junk they put in soda can remove corrosion from a carburetor…imagine what it does to your stomach. When I gave up soda several years ago I started drinking green tea, and have never looked back. Green tea tastes great, is loaded with antioxidant and polyphenols, which help the immune system and protect against cancer and heart disease. Green tea also settles your stomach, not upsets is like with soda, and it can help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and even fight tooth decay. Get the idea I dig green tea? You should too. Oh, and by the way, my new music video called “Drink Green Tea Every Day” will be out very soon.

5. Laugh. Sounds simple, sounds easy, sounds, well, rather silly to put on my list, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t laugh enough—especially at themselves. Having a sense of humor goes a long way toward helping heal whatever ails you. And it’s fun! That’s why when I developed this site I included lots of funny stuff to go along with the healthy living and personal development tips, because you gotta laugh.

6. Eat healthy. Easier said than done for way too many people, but enjoying a healthy diet of fresh veggies and fruit, whole grains, beans and legumes, low in bad fats and high in fiber is the fuel that makes me who I am. The best part, besides being good for you and aiding in helping you live a longer, happier, healthier life, is all these healthy foods taste amazing. Don’t let those fast food commercials fool you. A farm fresh tomato on whole wheat is one of the tastiest things you can eat…my mouth is watering already.

7. Pursue my hobbies. I play my guitar every day—sing, write music, just enjoying the sound. That’s one of my hobbies, I have many more: gardening, landscaping, writing, videography, book collecting. We work, we rest, we enjoy time with family and friends, we eat and go to bed. In between you must try to find the time to do something for yourself—hobbies will get you to the place you need to be.
8. Read. Speaking of hobbies. I have had a voracious appetite for books ever since I can remember. I love to read. I read every single day of my life. I usually have several books going at one time—fiction, non-fiction, humorous, historical. I also devour newspapers and magazines…not to mention spending way too many hours of my life at my day job, reading endless tomes there. Reading is my great escape as well as my daily bread.

9. Think positive thoughts. I am a firm believer that no matter how bad things get—and life WILL deal you bad stuff—you have to remain positive. You have that power, something only you can control. Even if I’m having a particularly dreadful day for reasons that only astrologers and weathermen can explain, I still try to find something positive inside the gloom. And more often than not my sour mood turns better, and I shake my head and wonder why I was so down in the first place. Again, life is going to get all of us sometimes, but we have the power to fight back with positivity.

10. Floss. Every day. Besides brushing after every meal, I floss every night before bedtime. We only get one set of choppers so we have to take good care of them. Flossing is actually good for your heart, as well as reaching all those nooks and crannies inside your maw that your toothbrush cannot. Like my oral hygienist likes to say, “You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep.”

I’m sure there are a few more things I do each day that didn’t make my top ten list, but it’s a good list. For me. What about you? We all have certain things that we need to do every day to live the life we want and need—these are some of mine. Hope your list is as healthy and happy and as fulfilling as I feel mine is.

Until next time…