Connect

I’ve been part of a number of in-depth conversations over the last couple of weeks about how important community is, and how it can be so hard to grasp these days. The topic came up at work, in a book group, in an Eldering discussion group, at the Democracy Cafe, and among a circle of friends. Have you ever noticed when an idea bubbles up in your life that you hear it over and over?

Here’s the core of the thinking. Humans are tribal. We evolved to live and work in tight communities with shared experiences and shared work. But we live in crazy times where few of us live near family or old friends. Many of us live in houses or apartments that are tucked away from everyone. We drive in cars by ourselves. And many of us put on a face when we’re at work or school. Do people even know us? Continue reading

Make Time

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to get and stay organized. My latest inspiration is Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. These two Silicon Valley fellows found themselves swamped with work and while they had interesting careers, were unhappy with the amount of time they had left in the day to do work they loved. Part of the work they loved, of course, was writing a book about doing the work they loved… :).

Here are their four big take-aways: Continue reading

Bats and Palaces

As an organizer, it’s a bit of a mind game to make a plan to get your best work done and still be okay with whatever happens. When the Universe is synchronous around you, it’s a great reminder that all is well, that there’s a pattern in your life, and that things are happening as they’re meant to happen. When you recognize and appreciate synchronicity, it helps you work toward an end without being too attached to the outcome. And breathing into this gives you a wonderful feeling of settled Zen.

I had a synchronous moment last week between a wild animal presentation on bats, and a book I was reading, Palaces of the People, by Eric Klinenberg. Continue reading

The planet’s health is your health

A key component of being organized in a Zen way is to maintain good health. If you’re healthy, you can do anything. If you aren’t healthy, don’t expect to be organized! You have a bigger task at hand.

You might think about your health in terms of a doctor’s visit. Or maybe relate it to what you eat. But how important is the health of the planet to your health? It’s vital! And yet it’s so easy to ignore. Continue reading

10 tips for healthy eating

What you eat is at the core of how you feel. And how you feel has a direct impact on your ability to get good work done.

As we head into the first of the big holiday feasts next week, food is going to be coming at you fast and furious. You can’t fight it, but if you want to survive the holidays and still feel healthy and clear-headed, to have energy and not gain 10 pounds, practice mindfulness. Be sensible. Be picky. And use your head over your gut to make decisions.

Here are 10 healthy eating tips I originally posted in 2017. Today seemed like a good time to pass them on again as a reminder to me, and to you, to stay on a healthy-eating path as delicious smells start to fill the house next week. Continue reading

Are you a Stranger in the Woods?

I just finished listening to The Stranger in the Woods; the Extraordinary Life of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. This is a non-fiction account of Christopher Knight. At age 20, Chris ditched his car and walked away from an apartment and a dead-end job, preferring to live by himself in the Maine woods rather than conform to the demands of a society he did not feel part of. When Chris fled to the woods it was out of a desperate need to be alone. To have the quiet to contemplate. To be outside. Twenty-seven years later, he was arrested for burglary and sent to jail.

There is so much interesting thinking here for anyone trying to craft a life that fits with who you are. And the book reminds us that we are all different, that what works for one person does not work for all. This includes a conventional education path, climbing a ladder, to-do lists, and that ever-present push to “succeed.” If that makes you happy, great. But if it doesn’t, what then? Continue reading

Breaking out of a food rut

I don’t know about you but I tend to eat the same types of food for long periods of time. Before I gave up meat, I had a year where I ate roast chicken weekly if not daily. Another year it was turkey on pita. The year I was pregnant with my second daughter, it was roast beef sandwiches. When Bea was born, she weighed just under 11 pounds and was almost 2 feet tall. She is clearly made of iron!

I gave up meat about 12 years ago but still have binge foods – spinach, salmon, nuts. Recently, my daily fare includes spicy almonds and guacamole. These aren’t bad for me, but when you eat the same foods over and over, you can overwhelm your body with certain “same” ingredients. And you may miss out on hearing cues your body is telling you about new things to eat. Continue reading