Tag Archives: #15

Learn #15 New Things: Freelancer or Entrepreneur?

Learn #15 New Things:

Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?

The concept of freelance work versus entrepreneurship is something I didn’t really understand until recently. I envisioned myself creating a career as an entrepreneur but was going about it from a freelancer point of view…

Last week I listened to a podcast called Seth Godin’s Startup School and I learned a lot about the difference between these two types of work. Author Gordin said, “Freelancers get paid when the work, they don’t get paid when they don’t.” And that really hit me. In the business of providing doula services and yoga classes I would be a freelancer. Also according to Godin, “Entrepreneurs build something bigger than themselves – they make money when they sleep.” My current model involves a lot of getting paid when I work, and very little getting paid when I don’t work. Perhaps this is the nature of my business, but perhaps I can be both.

What really resonated with me is the idea that you can be both. Like Seth Godin, I would eventually like to spend 80% or less of my time as a freelancer, and 20% or more of my time as an entrepreneur. To do that I need to corner a market and provide something different or better than anyone else. What will people cross the street to get from me? I’ve been looking at my competition in the prenatal yoga, childbirth education, and doula fields and considering my options. Always on the back-burner is my idea to incorporate a space or community center for queer and trans nonprofits and organizations. I continue to let these ideas marinate, and perhaps someday soon my true path with unfold itself to me.

As I continue to save financially to undertake my dreams, my next step is to really narrow down my goals and consider what I can realistically (and successfully) accomplish. My overarching goal this year is to get out of credit card debt and start saving! While I won’t reach my goal of having $600 saved for yoga teacher training by the end of March, I have significantly reduced my credit card debt by freelancing on the side of my regular job. As a tutor I make between $20-30 an hour, which helped me pay over $1,000 toward my credit cards this month. Through conscious thriftiness over 6 months we’ve paid off over $3,000 in debt. It’s been a long road, but when you have a concrete – AND AMAZING – goal in mind, it’s not so hard.

If you’re considering getting out of debt or starting to save to start your own business, let me know in the comment below!


Sorry guys… I’ve been busy! Catching up with #13, #26, and #22,!

Never in my life have I felt so simultaneously busy and at peace. I have chosen to put a lot onto my plate right now and I am managing it well. I have taken on 2 doula clients due in April and June, and I am awaiting the birth of my good friend’s baby in May. At Brightmont Academy we have had an influx of students and I have been working around 35 hours per week consistently. I also have 2 private tutoring student’s who are keeping me busy with 3-4 additional hours each week. Add to all that my monthly Mindful Queers and Allies Reading Circle (even though it does focus on meditation and mindfulness), planning a fundraiser for SPIRAL Collective, and hosting guests for 2 nights through AirBnB, and I’ve really had my hands full this month.

Managing my calendar, my sanity, and my home life have required immense focus and vigilance on my part. Even though I tried to take care of myself by sleeping and eating well, I still ended up with mild cold symptoms by the end of week two. With a full weekend of rest I am feeling myself again today, and I have vowed to take it a little easier moving forward. My Midwestern American upbringing urges me to work hard and work long, so I can have trouble truly relaxing once it’s time. That’s where meditation comes in.

Once you’ve completed your work for the day – and this isn’t defined by when your to-do list is complete necessarily, but by when you decide to call it quits for the day – try sitting in a quiet space and consciously reminding your mind to let go of your (busy, stressed, recurring) thoughts. Each time you are reminded of an idea, or something you should have done, simply try to let it go. If imagery is helpful to you, imagine this: each time you have a thought, place it on a cloud and watch it float away. You can also observe your breathing if this helps you direct your thoughts; think to yourself, “In, out, present, moment” with each in- and out-breath. As you watch your thoughts, try to watch them as a mere observer, not a judge. If your mind keeps returning to your work or your day, don’t get frustrated. Meditation isn’t the lack of thought, it’s this continual return to being the observer of your thoughts.

– Cheyenne

So what have I accomplished in this busy month? Many things!

Perfect #13 Recipes and Go on dates with friends #26 times 

I was asked to bring my famous Sausage Puff Pastry to Queer Vegan Thanksgiving, after my friend E.G. and her girlfriend Jenn were over for dinner at our place! I wanted to impress them, so I picked one of my fanciest cookbooks: Vegan Junk Food!


Everyone at dinner loved the sausage puff, which is simply veggie sausage, Vegenaise, herbs, and onions wrapped in a puff pastry roll! I was so happy when everyone asked for the recipe. Not only did our Thanksgiving centerpiece follow the Buddhist principle of “doing no harm”, but it was ad decadent and delicious as any Turkey I can remember from my childhood! If I’m going to enjoy the nostalgia of my childhood foods, the modern equivalent better damn well be delicious!


I also was…

My Unabashed-Self #22 Times in Public…

At an Ugly Cookie Party in December! Once again my friend E.G. was gracious enough to host us for a food-related event. I am so #grateful to have such wonderful vegan cooks around me that love to share their home and recipes!

So E.G. supplied the Ugly Cookie materials – everything from the cookies to the frosting and sprinkles. All we and her 12 closest other friends had to do was make the worlds nicest – or more likely ugliest – cookies in the world! It was a great opportunity to show my complete ineptitude at making frosted sugar cookies! And ugly or not, they were still Mmmmmmmm-rific! If you’re in the Twin Cities area and you’d like the invite, hit me up on Facebook!

I hope you enjoyed my long-overdue somewhat-holiday update!


Learn #15 Things: Let others be

                 ~ Day 19 ~
~ Thursday, January 1st, 2015 ~
Push Through the Dip
Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
– Epictetus

Completed my anchor habit for about 20 minutes with Remy. Led a great sitting meditation, then warm-up, then sitting poses from Om Yoga. Felt great to do it together… But then afterwards Remy told me honestly that he doesn’t like it when I ask him to do yoga the night before – it makes him feel obligated and cranky about it in the morning. He shared that he’d prefer if I simply told him in the morning, “I’m going to do my practice and you’re welcome to join me if you like.” I guess I can understand not wanting to do yoga out of requirement. I would always prefer to do yoga when I feel it’s my choice rather than something I have to do. I want him to feel good about yoga so I’m going to try to take this approach moving forward.

We can all learn something from my interaction with my partner this morning. We can make people feel negative thoughts or positive thoughts simply by demanding or leaving the opportunity open. Small differences in tone, demeanor, and word choice can make all the difference. When do you guilt someone you love into something because you don’t think they will do it unless they feel obliged to you?

Today’s action:

Do what it takes to keep your motivation strong. You’re over halfway through this program, but there are still a lot of actions to complete and changes to make. Catch up, get organized, review what you’ve done so far, and give yourself a dose of inspiration or an external reward.

Today I reviewed my notes and journals, and updated my business journal. I feel good about my progress, and I hope to do my weekly review this Sunday! I also took a nice shower and prepared for tomorrow by packing and organizing my work bag! Feelin’ great.

Learn #15 things: I was right all along!

Woohoo! Today I didn’t learn anything except that I was right all along about… Bathrooms! Yep that’s right… This may seem totally off on a tangent but bear with me hear and you too could learn something today! With any luck you’ll have been right all along too!

So I was just watching Mythbusters and this new episode in season 14 really caught my interest!

Down and Dirty/Earthquake Survival (Season 14 – Episode 3) was full of bathroom myths, and the one that caught my attention was related to the most used and dirtiest bathroom stalls in public restrooms. The myth postulates that because people think the first stall closest to the door is the dirtiest, they avoid it, or because of privacy reasons people will be more likely to choose the stall furthest from the door. They tested their hypothesis at a public restroom using ingenious door counters on the stalls. They tested for “dirtiness” by thoroughly cleaning the bathroom beforehand and then hilariously swabbing the toilets afterward.

So needless to say I paused the show and turned to my partner of 6 years and said, “this is a really important episode for me. I always do the same thing in public restrooms probably because I assume everyone thinks like me.”

“Oh yeah?,” He said, “what do you do?”

“Well I walked in there once a long time ago and thought, ‘I don’t want to use the first one, everyone uses the first one, so I’ll go in the second one, it’s probably the cleanest.’ Only right after I had that thought I had another one, ‘Oh but if you think that, so do other people! Everyone probably actually uses the second one!’ And ever since then I’ve always used the first stall, privacy or no. I believed it was the cleanest.”

And since you’ve probably guessed since the title of my post was “I was right all along” that I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! but…

The results of the Mythbusters study was that not only was the first stall closest to the door the least used, but it was by far the cleanest. The 2nd stall was the most used and the second dirtiest, the third was the next most used and the dirtiest, and the last one was the second least used and second cleanest.

So to sum it up for you, your best bet is using stall number 1 (closest to the door) or stall number 4 (or the last stall) in a 4-stall restroom! Probably don’t use the second stall!

Mythbusters data was as follows:
Stall 1 – 23 users – 168 colonies bacteria
Stall 2 – 38 users – 267 colonies bacteria
Stall 3 – 34 users – 290 colonies bacteria
Stall 4 – 24 users – 231 colonies bacteria

Learn #15 New Things: Where Is Your Time Going?

                ~ Day 16 ~
~ Monday, December 29th, 2014 ~
Find Out Where is Your Time Going
The essence of self-discipline is doing the important thing rather than the urgent thing.
– Barry Werner

Completed my anchor habit for 50 minutes today. Did recipe for morning routine including sun salutations. 4 minutes mindfully making cards of yoga flow to put up on the wall. Sitting meditation for 6 minutes on the qualities of the person I need to become. 2 minutes offering up my practice, 2 minutes chanting Om, and 10 minutes doing daily warm-up. 26 minutes of yoga and daily relaxation. I did the whole sequence from Om Yoga today, and even did a recipe that included head stand, shoulder stand, and back bending poses in addition to the sun salutation sequence. Felt good to hold my headstand for 9 full breaths and my shoulder stand for 10. Also, it’s 11:30 am and I’ve journaled for the day! Hooray! I think this is the earliest in the day I’ve been all caught up on journals. Thank you solitude and winter break!

Tonight after failing to find the new DharmaCore location Remy and I meditated at home in my new meditation room! I meditated on the qualities I need to become, reciting “I am…” Ten times for each quality. I feel like I have been focusing on organization and responsibility a lot this this week

Today’s action: Carry around a small notepad or piece of paper today, and record, to the minute, how you spend your time. When you’re done, group similar tasks and total up the time you spend on them.

My Day

Slept until 9:15am.
Went to the bathroom
Sat on the couch talking with Remy until 10am
Took the dogs out, sent Remy off 10:05am
Turned on oven to make hash browns
Cleaned off yoga mat with wipes and spray until 10:30
Made yoga flow cards, got hash browns, ate mindfully and started yoga 10:35
Yoga until 11:25
Finished anchor habit journal 11:30
Wrote about Day 16 until 11:37
Turned off Fetlife notifications 11:37-11:40
Called The Current 11:40-11:43
Unsubscribing from emails 11:43-12:48 (1 hr 5 mins)
Emailing Rachel until 1:18 (30 mins)
Unsubscribing from emails 1:18-1:48
Lunch while reading Artemis Fowl 1:48- 3:00
Email/Facebook check 3:00-3:10
Folding laundry 3:10-3:30
Talk to Remy on the phone 3:30-3:40
Folding laundry 3:40-4:35
4:35-4:38 Got a snack Dill-o
Put away and hang up laundry 4:45-5:15
Put away dry dishes/unload dishwasher/reload dishwasher 5:15-5:45
Preparing dinner/talking with Remy 5:50-6:20
Eating dinner/watching Clarlie Jade 6:20-6:50
Washing hair in sink and drying/styling it 6:50-7:05
Watching Charlie Jade 7:05-7:20
Driving to DharmaCore 7:20-7:30
Groceries at Aldi and Seward 7:30-8:30
Put away groceries 8:30-8:40
Prep for meditation 8:40-8:43
Sitting meditation 8:43-9:03
Prep mini-hot dog snack 9:03-9:12
Texted with Crystal from TCDP 9:12-9:15
Watching Charlie Jade/snacking 9:15-10:00
Prepping Remy’s lunch 10:00-10:15
Watching My Little Pony, updating this 10:15-11:15


Grooming: 15 minutes
Yoga: 50 minutes
Meditation: 20 minutes
Chatting: 2 hours
Chores: 4 hours 5 minutes
iPad: 3 hours
-Writing: 1 hour 12 minutes
Cooking/Eating: 2 hours 15 minutes
Talking on phone: 16 minutes
TV: 3 hours

Learn #15: Get Clear on Your Fears

~ Day 5 ~
~ Thursday, December 18th, 2014 ~
Get Clear on Your Fears
Set aside a certain number of days, during which you should be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself all the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’
– Lucius Seneca

Daily action:
Define your worst-case scenario fears of what could happen if you took action to change the aspects of your life that you listed yesterday. Once you’ve described your fears, in detail and in writing, consider how painful they actually would be. On the off-chance that these worst possible outcomes actually did come to fruition, what steps would you take to rebuild?
– Matt Frazier

Completed my anchor habit for 8 minutes. Did seated poses from Om Yoga. Balancing in squat with my heels down is stil hard. I was in a hurry this morning so I kind-of hurried through my last few poses after my 5 minute alarm went off. At least I did it!

Fear of failure:
If Remy and I save up the money for me to get my yoga teacher training, go to yoga therapy school, or if I want to open a yoga studio and meditation center, there is the chance that I could fail. What if it’s too hard to build a clientele and I’m too impatient? What if there isn’t enough interest in yoga to sustain another yoga studio in Minneapolis? What if people don’t like my teaching style? What is my teaching style? How will I get people to respect me as a business owner and manager? What if I don’t do a good job running a business due to lack of knowledge/experience or simply laziness?

What if I save up all that money and start something, and it does completely fail? What if I lose whatever I’ve built and push us further into debt? Do I think my partner would support me if I failed like this? What if we couldn’t afford our rent, got evicted, and had to move in with friends or family?

I think I can handle waiting and working to build clientele. I may be frustrated, and have to work hard not to overwhelm my partner with my worries, but I know I could get through it. I may take it personally if new clients don’t come back, or if my friends or family refuse to support my business. This may be painful, but if I am frustrated it will be because I’m excited about my new business and even more excited to share it with people. And I’m a pretty creative person, so if things weren’t great I’m sure I could use my ingenuity to figure something out.

I should do some research to discover more about the market in Minneapolis: where are studios located, what do they charge, and how do they work? Is bet there is room for one more! Especially in an area where there are no studios. I want to serve community rather than make huge profits. I trust in myself and have confidence in the fact that I am likeable enough to gain a regular following. I worry about being a small woman and trying to be taken seriously. There are two choices for people like me I think: try to change myself to present a more “mature, powerful” image, or pursue my dreams as myself and work for acceptance and respect as such. I don’t think I’m willing to conform and present a more acceptable image, so my route may be longer but I’ll get there.

I think for the first few years my excitement and energy will keep me working hard to succeed. If I lose my commitment to my business it’ll be because I’m disappointed in how it’s performing. If I don’t have as many customers as I want, or I’m unhappy about something, I am slightly worried I might mentally adjust my commitments without actively making a plan. I saw the owner of the Coffee Hag do just that – she let her business slide until it was no longer profitable and she didn’t even seem to care. Being your own boss means having discipline and knowing when to call it quits if it comes to that.

If I do ultimately fail to build something I’m proud of, and my whole life falls apart, I guess I would feel ashamed and guilty. If I let Remy support me financially and emotionally along the way and then I fail I would feel responsible for not only “ruining” my life by his as well. But when I think about it, Remy isn’t nearly as stressed out about money and debt as I am, and I think he would support me no matter what. We would rebuild. We have friends and family that we could live with in the short term, and I have lots of other work experience. I could go back to teaching or tutoring, fundraising, or GLBT work. And I think if I can trust in those good possibilities, I don’t have to be so afraid. 🙂

Learn #15 New Things: Abortion Support

Abortion Doula Workshop

Today I went to an amazing day-long workshop to become a trained abortion doula (support provider). To find out what a doula is, check out my website: cheyennethedoula.wordpress.com While I may not walk though the halls of the school I work in proclaiming my love of being an abortion doula, I am pretty open about it in the rest of my life. I love being an abortion doula.

One things I don’t think anyone loves is abortion. Abortion causes a lot of heads to turn due to its high profile in U.S. Elections and in the courts. But the fact is that abortion is necessary in today’s society.

On one hand, I’ll admit that in a perfect world, everyone would have access to sex education and birth control, no one would be coerced or forced into nonconsensual sex, or have unexpected pregnancies, and abortion would be obsolete. On the other hand, I just today read a well-researched article that said almost 2 million women are raped each year in the U.S. And that’s just women who were willing to admit it. So many more people are the victim of spousal/partner control, a lack of education, and/or religious/cultural/health/whatever barriers when it comes to family planning. It’s not a political issue to me, it’s a personal issue and a personal decision that every person should have the right to make for themselves. Because I firmly believe in working for the socially underrepresented and oppressed, I cannot turn away from those who need my help – possibly even more than those who choose to give birth. It is not pity that draws me to the aid of those seeking to end their pregnancies, it is camaraderie, compassion, and a desire to lessen the suffering that is the commonality within us all.

Article referenced:

#15 Learn 15 New Things: Knitting!

Learn 15 New Things!


Last weekend I met a fabulous new friend – Sam – who came over and taught me how to knit!

Sam is another awesome person I connected with through OkCupid. She’s a non-profit working, art making, Etsy store having – https://www.etsy.com/people/SamLenser, tea drinking, dancing, baking, fun loving, spirituality practicing lady. I had a great time getting to know her and getting to know knitting!

Sam explained the knots for getting started, then she showed me how to hold the needles and make the first line. I started making a scarf because they are simple, and they have the same number of knots each time. I didn’t have trouble at first, but the second line – where the actual knitting began – was tricky at first. She brought over her books to help me too, which was great!


Eventually I got it, but I have a lot of practicing to do to make pretty, even patterns. My first project might be sloppy, but I’m having fun!



I can’t wait to hang out again, but she’s moving next weekend and will be busy for a few weeks! Hopefully be the next time we hang out I’ll have some progress to show her!

#15 Learn 15 New Things: Women’s Roller Derby!

~~~~~ 2/15 ~~~~~

There’s no arguing that Women’s Roller Derby is one of the toughest, most fast-paced contact sports around.
I’ve seen the Minnesota Roller Girls a few times and they always keep me on the edge of my seat. The skaters are tough as nails and out to kill. Today I saw a Facebook post by my old favorite team and I felt inspired to learn more about the sport. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching derby and admiring those who play it, I admit I understand little about the rules of the game.

Anatomy and Rules of The Bout:

Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is played by two teams of 5 skaters, flying at lightning speed in a pack around a track. The players fight to earn points and knock other players out of the ring.
The matches are called bouts and they consist of two 30 minute periods, which are broken up into numerous jams. Each team consists of 3 blockers, 1 jammer, and 1 pivot. The jammer starts in back and score points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams play both offense and defense at once; they help their own jammer while hindering the other team’s jammer.
Each jam can last up to 2 minutes, and each team scores points according to how many scoring passes their jammer made (every pass a jammer makes through the pack after the first one). The blockers use body contact, positioning, and other tactics to assist their jammer and hinder the other. The pivot is a blocker that can becomes a jammer if necessary.


There are a few teams in every major city across the US these days, and US roller derby leagues represent about half of the 1250 leagues registered worldwide. Chicago has at least two leagues that I know about and each league is made up of at least 4 or 5 teams. The Windy City Rollers were founded in 2004 and the Outfit (an all-traveling league) in 2007. I can’t wait to get out and watch these ladies tear up the track!

The History

According to Wikipedia, roller derby has evolved greatly over the years.

While the sport has its origins in the banked-track roller skating marathons of the 1930s, Leo Seltzer and Damon Runyon are credited with the basic evolution of the sport to its initial competitive form. Professional roller derby quickly became popular; in 1940 more than 5 million spectators watched in about 50 US cities. In the ensuing decades, however, it predominantly became a form of sports entertainment where the theatrical elements overshadowed the athleticism. This gratuitous showmanship largely ended with the sport’s contemporary grassroots revival in the first decade of the 21st century. Although some sports entertainment qualities such as player pseudonyms and colorful uniforms were retained, scripted bouts with predetermined winners were abandoned.

Junior Roller Derby!

Roller Derby has also been taken over by young’uns! In Chicago, as well as Austin, TX, and a number of other major US cities, there are now roller derby leagues for kids age 7-17! In Chicago the Outfit is a parent team of the Chicago Riots, just that type of league! Watching youth derby – even videos online – really does a number on your emotions; you’re drawn in because those kids are absolutely adorable, but then you keep watching because they’re some badass little brats who know how to throw down. If I were a kid I would love the idea of slamming other kids around on roller skates! Here’s to creating a whole new generation of tough chicks!

#15 Learn 15 New Things: Phytochemicals!

~~~~~ 1/15 ~~~~~

The latest thing I have been driven to learn more about are phytochemicals.


What are phytochemicals?

Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life. It is well-known that plant produce these chemicals to protect themselves but recent research demonstrate that they can also protect humans against diseases. There are more than thousand known phytochemicals. Some of the well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones in soy and flavanoids in fruits.


According to the Stanford Medicine Cancer Institute, a surge in recent research on phytochemicals is showing a link between these plant-compounds and anti-cancerous qualities:

The scientific community is continually studying the role of diet in the development of cancer. Many results are preliminary and more is being learned every day. Research is discovering that intake of fruits, vegetables, and cereal grains may interfere with the process of developing cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, lung, prostate, and rectum. In addition to reducing the risk of developing cancer, the risk of developing heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases might also be prevented by eating more fruits and vegetables. There is also evidence that total fat intake of greater than 30 percent of total calories can increase the risk of developing some cancers. This is especially true when total fat intake includes saturated fat and possibly polyunsaturated fat.

The most phytochemicals most people are familiar with are antioxidants.

Antioxidant – Most phytochemicals have antioxidant activity and protect our cells against oxidative damage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Phytochemicals with antioxidant activity: allyl sulfides (onions, leeks, garlic), carotenoids (fruits, carrots), flavonoids (fruits, vegetables), polyphenols (tea, grapes).

According to http://www.phytochemicals.info, phytochemicals can also help with:

Hormonal action – Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogens and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.

Stimulation of enzymes – Indoles, which are found in cabbages, stimulate enzymes that make the estrogen less effective and could reduce the risk for breast cancer. Other phytochemicals, which interfere with enzymes, are protease inhibitors (soy and beans), terpenes (citrus fruits and cherries).

Interference with DNA replication – Saponins found in beans interfere with the replication of cell DNA, thereby preventing the multiplication of cancer cells. Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, protects DNA from carcinogens.

Anti-bacterial effects – The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties.

Physical action – Some phytochemicals bind physically to cell walls thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens to human cell walls. Proanthocyanidins are responsible for the anti-adhesion properties of cranberry. Consumption of cranberries will reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and will improve dental health.

Again referring to Stanford Medicine, “Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants that protect plants against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Eating large amounts of brightly colored fruits and vegetables (yellow, orange, red, green, white, blue, purple), whole grains/cereals, and beans containing phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing certain cancers as well as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The action of phytochemicals varies by color and type of the food.”

So basically, if you strive for diversity of color and texture among your fruits and vegetables, and you’ll get a wide variety of phytochemicals!


I am reminded of wonderful poster Remy ordered for us at Yoga Lifestyle on vegetarian nutrition, it’s a beautifully visual representation of the nutrients that come from plants!


Here are some more!