Goal Setting, Uncategorized

On Spirituality

Path to Spirituality

Part 7: Living a Level 10 Life Series

A lot of people view spirituality and religion as the same thing or as interconnected, while others see spirituality as its own, separate entity.  Me, I see spirituality as a complement to religion, but not the same thing.  Spirituality is about interconnectedness and the act of being.

Part of spirituality is living in the now, that the present is what’s important.  It isn’t about the afterlife or the past, but how you treat people today, the acts you partake in today. There aren’t any set rules and that judgment isn’t about God per se, it’s about your place in the world and how well you treat the earth, the animals, other humans.

With all that said, I decided to think of my own beliefs about spirituality, how I can best connect with others, and my place in the world.  Here’s what I plan to focus on for the year:

  1. Live a compassionate life
  2. Try to always look/understand the other side
  3. Forgive others AND myself
  4. Learn about neighbors here and abroad
  5. Take time to enjoy the moment
  6. Volunteer my time/contribute skills and talents to causes important to me
  7. Enjoy nature
  8. Meditate
Goal Setting, Uncategorized

I’m Having a Good Time

Part 6: Living a Level 10 Life Series

Well, I didn’t post last week because I actually took a break away from my computer.  Woot woot!  That’s very rare for me, as my work means that I’m online almost all the time.  In fact, taking time off and just enjoying the moment is something that I rarely do and something that I’d love to change. In fact, I actually looked up events and took last week to think about what I’d like to do with the free time I’m scheduling.

First, I love festivals and fairs.  I like the LA County Fair, but it’s so hot when it happens.  Instead, I’ve decided to attend the upcoming Strawberry Festival.  Why?  Strawberry Pizza.  Make Your Own strawberry shortcake.  Need I say more?

Second, I realized that I haven’t taken a real vacation since 2015 when I traipsed around the Midwest, Northeast, and parts of Canada.  I now have at least one real vacation scheduled, possibly two.  Thank goodness my passport is up to date!  Only drawback?  I booked my flight on Spirit Airlines and I hate those folding chairs they call seats.

Third, I plan to do a little bit of hiking/enjoyment of nature.  Not during the hot summer months, but in the Fall/Winter.  I don’t have a desire to go camping here in California, but I do like the mountain trails.  I’m a little worried about coyotes, but one followed me when I was walking in my own neighborhood.

Fourth, I plan to go to the beach at least once.  I mean, I live in sunny California.  I should spend way more time at the beach.  There’s one that’s kind of not so popular, but I love it.  I’m not a sunbather, but I love a good sunset and just walking the sand, listening to the sounds of the ocean, watching the breaking waves.  Wistful sigh.  Maybe I’ll do that beach trip sooner rather than later.

Fifth, I love artsy craftsy stuff.  I’ve been learning how to Sketchnote and am getting back into sketching, even though I’m not great at it.  It’s very calming.  I also crochet.  In fact, I feel an urge to make something.  Hmm….probably an animal.  I haven’t crocheted a creature since 2012/2013.

Lastly, I live in a city that has a great summer concert series.  How is it that I didn’t attend any last year?  How could I have spent so much time in my home cave?  I’ve gotta get in a Hollywood Bowl show or some type of musical or theatrical performance.  I’m not taking full advantage of the Los Angeles area if I don’t take in some type of entertainment event.

So, I’ve got my plan for the upcoming year.  Lots of catching time to do fun things.  I don’t prioritize recreation and I don’t want to regret that when I’m looking back at this year.

Goal Setting, Uncategorized

Assessing My Career

The 5th category in the Wheel of Life is Career/Business. In evaluating my career, I thought about the jobs and volunteer positions I’ve had in the past. I’ve worked for the government, nonprofits, and contracted with private corporations. I would jump from job to job or gig to gig almost yearly because they weren’t the right fit for me. Now, I’m trying to determine what is the right fit.
I know that I do not want another degree. Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn and actually read textbooks for fun, but the idea of going back to school causes hives. I made a list of my soft skills and transferable skills. I know that I have weaknesses, but I wanted to know what I could do with my strengths if that makes sense. I also made a list of what I hate doing and what I disliked and liked about each job/contract in the past. I’ve taken career interest surveys in the past (my school district was all tracking when I was a kid). As an adult, I used the library and college career centers to take free interest surveys.
I thought about the difference between vocation and avocation. I realized that in the past, I’ve gotten paid for what was best suited to be an avocation. The fields are interesting, but not enough for me to make a career out of it. I liked doing certain gigs as a favor to people but hated doing them on a regular basis.
What I found is that I am on the right track. I have the soft skills necessary to work with artists and creatives. I have many hard skills for art business development. I also have a passion for the arts, and that’s super important. I love working with people who love what they do. I enjoy helping them to create a solid business infrastructure. I like creating that infrastructure for emerging artists who adhere to what I’ve put in place.
There’s a lot that I do know, but I definitely have a learning curve. I know that I have a lot to learn about the technical aspect of art. Though I’ve taken A LOT of art history, literature, and film classes, I need a refresher on the terminology. I’m learning more about art pricing in different fields. Artists should make a real salary and have savings. I want to make sure that I’m advocating for high enough rates. I’m taking online courses through various MOOCs. I’m reading books and articles. I’m going to events. My more specific goals are to finish 6 online courses, learn the ins and outs of 2 particular websites. I also plan to write one article per month for my business website.
Goal Setting, health, Uncategorized

Health and Fitness Goals

A little sketchnotefor the post

Part 4 of the Level 10 Life Series:

I used to be in great shape.  Then, laziness and too much food happened.  Well, other things happened as well, like a health crisis or three.  Now, I’m able to concentrate on being healthy again and getting back in shape.

For me, being in shape doesn’t mean being a size 0.  It means cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, and strength (who doesn’t like being able to open the olive jar?).  I took a cold, hard look at where I’m at nutritionally, as well.  I had a full panel of blood tests run (health insurance is wonderful).

Luckily, my cholesterol (HDL, LDL and total cholesterol) is a very nice number.  So are my triglycerides.  My blood sugar (A1C) levels aren’t too shabby either.  I feel like I could improve in both areas, but that’s because I like beating my marathon running, vegetarian brother in the HDL department.  I eat fast food once in a blue moon and eat pretty healthy when going out.  To me, improving my nutrition isn’t about starvation or withholding my favorite dessert.  It’s about what can I add to my diet or substitute for yummy, but healthier alternatives.  One thing I noticed is that I don’t eat enough beans (legumes/pulses).  So, I decided to continue my

One thing I noticed is that I don’t eat enough beans (legumes/pulses).  So, I decided to continue my Pulse Pledge and plan to get to the point where I have a serving of pulses each day.  One of my favorite recipes is a turkey burger where navy beans are incorporated into the meat mixture.  You can do the same thing with black beans and ground beef.

I also noticed that I don’t get enough cruciferous, leafy greens.  So, I plan to have a nice big salad daily.  I’ll probably add beans.  I know that I’ll add carrots, tomatoes, bagged broccoli slaw mix (no mayo for me), olives, and other raw veggies.  I am not a fan of dressing, so my go to is either a flavored vinegar or pico de gallo.  I’m also going to have homemade, vegan soup at least once a week.  I get meat and meat by-product (milk, cheese, etc) burn out quite often and am trying to reduce my consumption to a couple of meals a week. I’m currently researching how to get my daily dose of calcium through non-dairy, non-animal, non-pill sources.

I’m also going to have homemade, vegan soup at least once a week.  I get meat and meat by-product (milk, cheese, etc) burn out quite often and am trying to reduce my consumption to a couple of meals a week. Having a vegan soup, with beans, certain grains, will help with protein consumption.  I’m currently researching how to get my daily dose of calcium through non-dairy, non-animal, non-pill sources.

As for exercise, I was doing a little something each day.  Now I have a set routine.  I bike or walk 5 times a week for an hour.  I do yoga 3 times a week (huge fan of Ashtanga b/c I like routine).  It’s great for flexibility and balance.  I also do other strength training exercises twice a week.  I take the stairs instead of the elevator.  I park further away from the doors when shopping or at the doctor.  I also walk to the store.  I make healthier purchases that way because I buy what I can carry.

Konmari, Uncategorized

April Konmari Update

This is just a quick update regarding how I did with tidying up my clothes this month.  I donated racks and bags of clothes about 3 years ago.  I didn’t think I had that many items left.  I was wrong.

I know I was supposed to only keep items that spark joy, but I wanted to be methodical about it.  After all, I had already given away a ton of clothes a few years ago.  This time, I wanted to definitely give away clothes, but I also wanted to create a capsule collection.  A capsule collection is a wardrobe of a certain number of items that don’t go out of style.  To get help with this, I did a lot of research.  I used Cladwell, an app mentioned on the Marie Kondo website.  I used Un-Fancy, an amazing website all about a woman who has a curated, somewhat minimalist wardrobe that’s pretty cute.  I read “The Curated Closet” and completed the workbook.  I also read about Project 333, which seems to be one of the originators of the new minimalist wardrobe movement.  From what I read, many people tend to have 33-37 items of clothing.  So, that was my rough aim.

I have to admit, I was pretty ruthless.  I  kept items that only sparked joy.  The rest, I thanked for their service and joy they gave me in the past.  I remembered fun times I had wearing certain pieces, then donated them.  I also thought about which pieces were made as fast fashion and which pieces were more eco-friendly.  Items made from bamboo, that were fair trade, sparked more joy than those that were fast fashion.  My favorite shirt is actually from a local thrift shop.  I feel better about the supply chain, worker treatment, environmental impacts, and longevity/craftsmanship.  I feel better when I wear them.

Now that I’m done with sorting through my clothes, I feel lighter.  It’s kind of weird, but I’m not overanalyzing it.  Instead, I’m moving on to the next part of tidying up, going through my books, magazines, and newspapers, both physical and electronic.  But that’s a post for another day.