Category Archives: Soul

Engage in #24 acts of kindness: Forgive yourself

                 ~ Day 18 ~
~ Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 ~
         Perform an 80/20 Analysis
Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.
– Jim Rohn

Cheyenne-
Completed my anchor habit for 37 minutes. Meditated on the qualities I need to become – see Day 11 – for 5 minutes, then started my yoga. Decided to do a strength routine today, which included 3 sun salutations, the balancing poses (for Wednesday), boat post, some inversions, and twists. Boat pose is especially challenging for me. Most poses I tried to hold for 5 or 10 breaths, which added another layer of strength to the routine.

Warm-up and sun salutes each took 5 minutes, and the rest of the routine lasted 22 minutes. Did headstand instead of forearm stand and fell out of it the wrong way. Hurt my fingers. Made myself get back up and come down the right way before moving on. Was kinda scared I would hurt my fingers again. Did it anyway. Felt good.
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There’s a productivity principle borrowed from economics known as the Pareto Principle, which says that 80 percent of results come from about 20 percent of activities. Common examples:

✦ 80 percent of your business comes from the top 20 percent of your clients

✦ 80 percent of your fitness gains come from the most effort-filled 20 percent of your time in the gym or your running workouts

✦ 80 percent of the work you accomplish in a day comes from 20 percent of your work tasks

✦ You can clean 80 percent of your home in 20 percent of the time it takes you to do a full, detailed cleaning

The idea, then, is that you can drastically reduce the amount of stress in your life and time you spend on work, fitness, and just about anything else by focusing only on the 20 percent of activities that produce 80 percent of your results.

Today’s action: Use your 24-hour time inventory from a few days ago to figure out which 20 percent of your activities are responsible for 80 percent of your results in a given day as they pertain to your goals. For each of your one-year goals, identify the half dozen “majors,” and consider how you can increase the time and focus you spend on those activities, while eliminating, delegating, or at least reducing your time and energy expenditures on the “minors.”

80/20 Analysis

I feel like this is a little redundant for me. When I am focused I am usually focused, and when I’m not I’m not… And because of that I liked yesterdays exercise better: focus on what time you spend procrastinating and could cut out. I can do that. 80/20 is definitely true for my life, I probably do spend about 20 percent of my time getting 80 percent of my useful things done, but I spend ALL of that 20 percent on focused work. I just need to increase the percentage of my time spent on focused work… which is what yesterday was all about. I guess I can say generally that I am more productive at the beginning of the week, and after long spurs of unproductivity. I am more productive in the late morning and when I am home alone. There’s nothing I can really outsource… chores are really the only thing I do each day and we also can’t afford a housekeeper so I can’t cut that out. The other things like TV time and smoking can simply be eliminated, and I should have plenty of time with that alone. I don’t know if I’m thinking about it right but I just don’t get it. I’ll keep thinking on it though…

….

After feeling bad for a few days for not really doing the above journal, I ultimately decided to forgive myself for not doing it. It’s okay if every single topic in this book doesn’t resonate with me, and I am proud of myself for writing what I felt. Sometimes we just have to offer ourselves kindness and not force things that don’t feel productive or joyful.

Engage in #24 acts of kindness: Love Thyself

                 ~ Day 11 ~
~ Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 ~
    Decide Who You Need to Become
If you want more, you’ve got to become more. When you change, everything changes for you.
– Jim Rohn

Cheyenne-

Happy Christmas Eve! I didn’t do my anchor habit today, nor did I make any progress toward my goals. But Merry Christmas, and I did spend valuable time with my family all day, going out to lunch, to a movie, and exchanging some wonderful gifts! This is also Christmas Day that I am writing this 😉 I’ll get back on track!

Today’s journal feels to me like loving-kindness meditation in another form. Loving-kindness is offering love and understanding to yourself, another person, or the world. The key is to take a moment to offer love and acceptance to whatever it is you are meditating on, just as they are – faults and all. I think taking the time to write down your goal qualities is nice, but it’s a different twist to state them in the present like Matt recommends: “I am hard-working.” Even if you’re not right now it’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy, say it and you will become it. I like that. I think I’m going to recite these statements during my daily meditation. How serendipitous that things seem to start coming together…

Today’s action: Determine the type of person you need to become in order to reach your goals. Write these qualities down in a list, and refer to it as often as you can (even as often as once each morning and night). If you want to drive the grooves even deeper, write a detailed description of the person you need to become, phrasing it in the first person present tense (“I, [name], am [qualities]”), and make it as descriptive and emotionally-charged as possible.

Qualities

  • Hard-working
  • Determined
  • Responsible
  • Organized
  • Mindful
  • Strong
  • Self-disciplined
  • Confident
  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Open
  • Authentic
  • Creative
  • A leader

Find #9 people or things that inspire you: Setting Big Goals

~ Day 7~
~ Saturday, December 20th, 2014 ~
Set Big Goals
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Patch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain

Direct from Wake Up – 31 days to take charge of your life!

Today’s action: 

Set Massive, Obsession-worthy Goals!

Step 1. Take a quick look back at the areas of your life you listed a few days ago that are not at  the level you deserve. Then quickly review your  victories list, and let yourself feel the emotion  those accomplishments stir in you. Do what it  takes to get amped up for this!
Step 2. On a sheet of paper or your journal (I  like to actually handwrite for this step), make a  huge list of all that you’d like to accomplish, acquire, and experience in the next 10 years. Don’t think about what’s realistic, just dream, as if a genie were going to grant you your every wish. Write for 10 minutes straight here, and try to get as much down as you possibly can — don’t let your pencil stop moving if you can help it. We’re not concerned about details at this stage; just write enough so that you’ll know what  it means later.
Step 3. Go through your list of dreams and quickly put a timeline on each one — the amount of time in which you’d realistically like to make each happen. No need to get more detailed than “1 year (or less),” “2 years,” “3 years,” “5 years,” “10 years.” Make sure you’ve got several goals that are short-term and several that are long-term.
Step 4. Go through your dream list and pare it down a bit. Cross off any that you wrote down that, while perhaps fun, you aren’t really willing to work for, as well as those for which you’d have trouble coming up with a strong “why.”.
Step 5. From the goals that remain, choose your top three long-term goals (those whose timeline is longer than a year), up to 10 years out from now. Circle, underline, or star each one. Here, it’s especially important to be balanced — you wouldn’t want all your long-term goals to be financial, for example. Make sure you’re willing to start creating each one now.
Step 6. Next, choose your top three one-year goals and circle each one or put a star next to it. Aim for balance again here; try to choose one goal from each of three different areas of your life.
Step 7. Now, look at how your one-year goals line up with your long-term goals. Do any of them match up with (and act as stepping stones to) a corresponding long-term goal that you selected back in step 5? For any long-term goal that does not have a one-year stepping stone goal, choose another one-year goal to add your list. It may be from your dream list in step 1, or you may need to think of a new one-year goal that would represent the perfect stepping stone to the long-term goal (while still being exciting for its own sake).
Step 8. Finally, from your one-year goals (you’ll have three or more), choose one to be your most important, “banner” goal for the year — the one thing that if you accomplished it and none of the others in the next year, you’d still be pretty darn ecstatic.
Step 9. Check your goals. Are they specific? (For example, don’t say “I want to get faster”; choose a precise time in which you’d like to run in a certain race.) Are they positive (focused on what you DO want, not what you DON’T)? And most importantly, do they really excite you, so much that you can’t wait to get started on making them a reality? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then adjust accordingly.
Step 10. For each of your new goals (you should have a total of three goals longer than one year, and at least three for one year or less), set a precise deadline for its achievement and write in your journal a positive, first-person, present-tense statement about it: For example, “I run a marathon in under four hours by December 1st, 2016.”
*Repeat every 6 months

Completed my anchor habit for 16 minutes. Did inversions from Om Yoga. This week I am committed to journaling right after completing my anchor habit. Today is day 1! I remember my anchor habit better immediately after and it feels good to just get it done. Today I really enjoyed inversions, and when I learned that shoulder stand is a thyroid balancer it totally changed my perspective on the pose. Before knowing that I found it awkward and it was one of my least favorite poses. Now I see it’s healing nature and I am drawn to doing shoulder stand more often!
I also went to Elise’s yoga class at Svasti for Jivamukti yoga. Her class always makes me feel incredible. By the end of class I usually have my heels down in downward dog. I love her style of teaching and I love her music choices. Today during savasana she played a singing bowls song that got me incredibly relaxed. Finished with sitting meditation for 5 minutes.

Big Goals:

Short Term (1 Year)
Get finances under control and start saving*
Participate in a 3 or 10 day meditation retreat
Get DONA Certification
Arrange personal sperm donors
Read 12 books

Long Term (2-10 Year)
Be self-employed/Open a space for yoga, meditation, art, family planning, ecstatic dance, meetings, art, markets (5 year)
Yoga teacher training
Meditation training
DONA certification
Have a baby (2-3 year)
Buy a house (make it green) (10 year)
Read all the books we own (10 year)

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Find #5 things you like: My Job

~ Day 4 ~
~ Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 ~
What Has to Change?
You get what you tolerate.
– Mike Ditka

Today’s action:
Make a list of things that are not at a level you expect and demand. Choose the area or areas you’re most frustrated with, and write two emotionally-charged paragraphs about each, describing why you deserve more, why you’re committed to changing it, and (just as importantly) what will happen if you don’t make a change.
– Matt Frazier

This morning I was committed to doing my yoga before work. I have now realized that if I don’t do it in the morning, I end up doing it at work because I know I’ll never do it at night when I got home. Frustrated by how bothered I feel about doing yoga in my office (I always feel a little like I’m going to get “caught” even though I do it on a break), and knowing I wouldn’t do it tonight when I got home, I did my yoga first thing this morning. When my alarm went off at 7:30, I didn’t stay in bed for 15-30 minutes like I’ve become accustomed to this week, I got up and unrolled my mat. My sequences always end up going over the 5 minutes, and by then I’m fine with it. It’s all about getting over the hurdle of getting started.
Completed my anchor habit for 8 minutes. Did balance poses from Om a yoga.
Silent meditation for 5 minutes.
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1. Unfulfilling career/lack of certainty with career direction

I deserve better than a boss I don’t respect. I love the kids at my school, but I never really feel like I can be my full self around there. My boss is so scatter-brained she blames me for taking her off task when she’s the one that drew me into conversation. She makes me feel like a lot of my job is keeping her happy. And the way she talks about other employees makes me feel like she probably speaks negatively of me when I’m not around. I don’t like the full time lead teacher there and I feel like she talks down to me. I have slowly been feeling worse about my job there since the fall school year started. This summer was different because Ihad a lot more freedom and responsibility (we didn’t have a full time lead yet). I don’t get to see or talk to her much so a lot of our interactions are via email, and a lot of them are negative. I’ve been trying to find ways to interact positively, but we’re both very busy.

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I want to get in a better place about my job so I can make the best of my time there. I also don’t see myself staying in education forever, so I also want explore other options. I have decided I don’t want to seek a full time position there, but I am committed to putting more effort into my job after holiday break. There are lots of good things about my job, the flexibility in scheduling, the other teachers, and the work-life balance it allows me. I can really excell at this if I put my mind to it, and I want to save up money and get a good recommendation when I’m ready to move on. If things don’t change I will probably continue to be disappointed by my job and my boss for years. I likely can’t get out of there and run my own business for a few years so I am determined to make the most of it!

Take on #8 acts of self-expression: Victories List

~ Day 3 ~
~ Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 ~
Victories List
Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.
– Coco Chanel

Today’s action:
Create your victories list in your journal… Make a list of your life’s greatest victories. And I’m being liberal with my use of the word “greatest” – I want you to come up with a list of as many wins as you possibly can, hopefully 50 or more!
– Matt Frazier

Completed my anchor habit for 6 minutes. Did standing poses sequence from Om Yoga
So I don’t think my anchor habit is really a habit yet. Motivation did get me started, and last week it helped me do yoga for 5 minutes right when I woke up each day. Even though I felt tired and nauseous I would get on my mat and stretch. This week I haven’t made time for it either morning. This morning I laid on the couch for 15 minutes trying to get some more rest. Then I thought I was going to have time for yoga, but I decided I wanted a shower instead. Once I took my shower and took the dogs out, there was only a few minutes left before I needed to leave for work. At least today I made time for yoga before my first class instead of after lunch. I told myself I was going to do it right when I got to work, and I did. That felt great. It even took me more than 5 minutes because my timer went off in the middle of a sequence and I decided to finish my flow.
Silent meditation for 8 minutes.
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~Victory List~

Getting glasses
Playing sports
Qualifying for nationals in 12 and under softball
4th grade teach Mrs. Neadeau appreciated me and let me assist her
Learning to cook
Hired for paper route in 6th grade
Reading The Hobbit in 6th grade
Nannying for Richter family
Getting my driver’s license
Becoming friends with Matt and Jenny
Hired at Coffee Hag
Hired at St. Peter Food Coop
Becoming vegetarian
Qualifying for state in diving
Doing PSEO in high school
National Honor Society
Co-president of high school GSA
Attending first OutFront MN Lobby Day at the Capital
Graduating high school
Coaching Lacrosse camp
Going to Austria, Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic
Getting accepted into U of M
Hired at QSCC
Lacrosse Travel Coordinator
Qualifying for college lacrosse nationals
Hired at NARAL Pro Choice MN
Hired at the GLBTA Programs Office
Volunteering for Harm Reduction Shot Clinic
Falling in love with Remy
Writing Remy a love letter
Joining Transgender Commission
Organizing World AIDS Week 2009
Beating Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess
Going vegan
Running a successful Etsy store
Taking Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Getting the GLBTA Student Scholarship
Summer Road Trip
Training Spencer to fetch
Going to Burning Man
MTHC volunteer coordinator and board member
Performing in The Naked I
Always “going the extra mile” at the GLBTA Programs Office
Learning to make necklaces
Curating an Art Exhibit for the GLBTA Programs Office
Planning Lavender Celebration
Getting the “Outstanding Student Intern Award” from the GLBTA Programs Office
Graduation from University of Minnesota
Summer biking with Remy
Going to Amsterdam and London
Education Coordinator of MN GLBTA Campus Alliance
Birth doula certification
Joining SPIRAL Collective
Accepted into Teach For America
Hired at CICS Washington Park
Hired at Huntington
Hired at Green Zebra
Learning to teach math
Starting my “Journey to Improve My Life with 30 Goals” blog
Learning to tutor ACT test prep
Trying out for Windy City Rollers
Average ACT score increase of 6 points at Huntington Learning Center
Standing up for myself with Liz at Green Zebra
Hired at Brightmont
Completing the Minneapolis Bike Tour
Making Remy a love scavenger hunt
Joining Dharmacore Queer Meditation Group
Card from Julie praising my successes as a teacher
Abortion doula training
Reaching 20 posts on blog
Cooking a five course meal for 4
Making yoga and meditation a priority in my life
Starting Mindful Queers & Allies Reading Circle
Successfully starting and maintaining a new habit!

#5 Find 5 things you like that you didn’t used to like: OkCupid

Find 5 things you like that you didn’t used to like!
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There’s something about the phrase “online dating” that seems to elicit a wide range or reactions, from the avid site-hoppers who always screen potential friends and lovers online before the first date, to the adamant naysayers who believe real connections need to be made in the real world. This topic of conversation has livened up many a get-together with my friends, whose opinions vary from passionate (both for and against) to completely apathetic.

Don’t get me wrong, I met my first girlfriend on MySpace, so I’m not above making friends online, but I’ve always been skeptical of any sites that claim to analyze your compatibility and “find your match”. Social media is a great way to connect, but something about websites like OkCupid makes me uneasy. I would say my opinion of online dating has been tainted my my best friend, an online-date-a-holic.

My bestie has been on OkC for over a year now, and she’s told me many tales of her adventures. I’ve been living vicariously though her tumultuous dating life: the exciting first dates, the stand-ups, the horrible disasters survived, and the friends made.
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After consoling her on the phone for nearly twenty minutes over another extremely awkward and uncomfortable date – “Why can’t I just meet the right guy?!” – I suggested that she simply look for a friend first, and then see if she wants to turn it into something more. See this friend of mine has the tendency to rush right in, even with guys she’s not that crazy about… and this has created some humorous, and sometimes serious consequences for her. I thought, instead of looking for a boyfriend, why not look for someone you actually *like* spending time with instead! Who knew, right?

Well she didn’t really take my advice, but I did!

I decided matchmaking sites are wasted on single people. The single people that I know seem to be looking for someone to bone first, then someone to date second. They ignore most of the compatibility analysis and just flip through photos looking for who they’re attracted to. That’s great, but you can do that on the street or at a bar, so I don’t know what OkC is doing except help you talk to someone if you’re too shy to do it in person. And I’m not. But what about finding friends and relationships with people you truly connect with – you can’t walk up to someone on the street and just know that you’re going to enjoy spending time together… Not usually anyway!

Friendships need compatibility almost more than partnerships… So I figured this site was secretly designed for me!

OkC allows you to answer as many random “matching” questions – ranging from opinions on politics to tattoos, and tastes from dive bars to fancy restaurants, and your level of hygiene. When you view someone’s profile OkC tells you your compatibility percentage based on the questions you answered the same way. You can also filter potential interests based on over 50 different interests and identities. You can search for people in your area who are shorter than 5’5, catholic non-smokers… Or you can find vegetarian friends who smoke regularly and have no kids. You can filter based on gender, sexuality, religion, race, class, physical appearance (is that a good thing?), and interests. Then you can look at the profile of anyone you’re interested in, where people write more about themselves and upload photos – much like Facebook.

I was honest on my profile about being in a relationship and looking for friends, so I was worried people might be only looking for sex or love and wouldn’t respond. If you live in a metro center, or even a decent-sized city, you can spend hours looking at people in your area. I did a few filtered searches, messaged a few people, and came out the other end with more people that I can meet! This map below will tell you your likelihood of getting a date on OkC by state!
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I would recommend OkC to anyone who’s living in a new city, looking to find friends that share their interests. I’ve already met almost a dozen new people, and made a handful of new friends: twice as many in the last month than in the last six months combined!

#16 Engage in 16 acts of pure joy! Healing herbal oatmeal bath

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Being someone who doesn’t take baths very often, I like to make them special when I do. In the past I’ve been known to sprinkle some Epsom salts into a bath along with some essential oils, and burn incense to set the mood.

Last night I not only wanted a relaxing bath, but something to help with my dry, itchy midwest-winter skin. So I looked up bath remedies for dry skin, and I discovered oatmeal baths are an age-old remedy for eczema and psoriasis as well as dry, itchy, or sunburned skin! Doctors have prescribed Aveeno colloidal oatmeal baths for just these ailments for years! Who knew, oatmeal was such a good remedy!

And it’s not just for people with dry and itchy skin. Oatmeal is also great for acneic skin, oily skin, and aging skin.

It’s just … softening. Soothing. It caresses your body and makes it feel brand new. It was heaven in the bath!

You want to bathe in it. Trust me.
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How to take an oatmeal bath:

Fill a knee-high nylon or thin sock without holes with 1/2 to 1 c. of oatmeal (not quick cooking or instant). Tie tightly at the top. Place it in your warm bath, with you, and squeeze it softly every so often to release the oatmeal “water.” Before leaving the bathtub, scrub your entire body lightly with the sock. To clean: Over a trash can, turn the sock inside out and scrape all of the oatmeal off the outside, then rinse well with warm water. Wash as normal.

Option 2: grind 1/2 to 1 c. oatmeal to a powder in coffee grinder and pour directly into bath. I wouldn’t recommend putting whole oatmeal in the tub, it can clog the drain or jacuzzi jets.