Dedication to 3 Hours of Daily Self-Care

Yesterday I started an experiment – to spend the first three hours of my day doing everything to feel my best – all the things that make me feel good, to start my day.

Initially I thought two hours would do, but three hours seemed better.

After doing this for ONE day only, I felt crazily fantastic, and I had the same overwhelming passion and pizzazz today, too.

What will happen to me after a week, a month of this? My god.

I realize that not everyone can start their day with 3 hours to themselves, but you can always start with an hour (get up earlier, go to bed earlier), and spread it throughout the day. If you can do it all in one go sometimes, even better, because you will notice a difference, I promise.

Everyone is going to have a different list of things that make them feel fantastic, but I do suggest starting with gratitude, going over your goals, questioning beliefs that make you anxious, movement, raw foods, and really gorgeous physical care of your body. And love, of course, always love.

So here’s the list I wrote for myself. I will follow it daily for the next month, and then check in on how it has affected my life. I may not be able to do every single thing, every single day, but as long as I do most of it, and do the missing things at some point in the day, all is good.

(This list also ends with a nightly care routine which is much shorter.)

1. Wake up with NO alarm. Phone is off overnight (home phone is on for emergencies). This involves going to sleep early enough to get sufficient amount of sleep.

2. Three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing (Morning Pages a la The Artist’s Way).

3. Lemon water (1 lemon blended with 32 ounces of water), magnesium supplement, B12 (weekly), cranberry/D-Mannose supplement.

4. MOVEMENT. This can be any of the following that I love: stretching, gym/weights, yoga/pilates, HIIT, hooping, rolling, running, hiking, surfing, sex, Movnat, or combat!

5. Jade egg exercises. Orgasm.

6. Dry skin brushing. Contrast shower. Basic hair washing, skin care, shaving.

7. Green smoothie or green juice (or both).

8. The Work, a la Byron Katie. Question any beliefs causing stress.

9. Dog cuddles and human cuddles if available.

10. Beauty – can include doing hair, make-up, extra skin care, being creative with my daily attire.

11. Being in nature. This can be included with movement or meditation. Must get sunshine on the skin.

12. Reading my book of inspirational quotes that I have collected.

13. Going over my goals. Writing out goals. Taking action on each of them.

14. Meditation for as long as I have time for.

15. Teeth care.

16. Gratitude list. List at least 3 things I am grateful for, and tell at least 3 people I love that I love them.

After doing almost all of these things yesterday, I felt SO good, that nothing could possibly have brought me down (except something really horrific). My confidence went crazy high, my patience was strong, and my attitude and love was just glowing out of me. I walked around with a natural smile, beaming. People noticed. Nothing in particular had HAPPENED to make me happy – I just WAS happy. I felt free, and loved – because I had loved MYSELF. Heavily.

My night care routine is a lot shorter:

1. Magnesium again + cranberry. Vitamin D if it’s the winter.
2. Remove all make-up. Skin care.
3. Diligent teeth care.
4. Journaling.
5. NO media for at least an hour before sleeping.
6. Reading (fiction).
7. Sex (if I’m with my sweetheart!) 🙂

Along with my high carbohydrate raw food meals in the day, and my huge salad in the evening, all of these steps turn me into a dynamo that is just bursting to create, give, and do important work. The things that are important to me, with an attitude and confidence that allows me to help and inspire other people.

Other than these three hours, the majority of my day is going to be spent pursuing my goals that I went over earlier in the day.

Don’t ever feel guilty or bad for spending a ton of time on yourself and your self-growth. It will make you a kinder person, a move loving and patient person, and more giving to the people you love. You can’t GIVE love if you don’t HAVE love. You can’t fully love and give unless you are full to bursting – then you won’t run dry. Then you beam it out wherever you go, to whoever is in your midst. People NOTICE, trust me, and they mirror it right back to you.

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New Home, New Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but that’s because I had other focuses – like getting my shit together.

Winter is always rough for me, but the beginning of this year really strangled me. There was a sudden need to leave my boyfriend’s place (because of my dog and the fact she wasn’t supposed to be there – I had to drive her to my parents’ place 4 hours away, for now), a sudden pay cut right after finding the place I wanted to live, and just general fuckery within Mercury Retrograde, whether you believe in it or not – a lot of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and turmoil in my brain. So, I just got myself together and did what I had to do.

I found a new job – very part time, at a raw food cafe – just enough work to pay for rent on my new place, or most of it. Still, I am having to be a lot more frugal than before, but that’s okay. I cherish my freedom more than a big paycheck. I am lucky and grateful to have so many weird little jobs that allow me to work when I want (mostly) and live a life of leisure and to just do what I please (unfortunately a lot of what I want to do takes money, like it does for most people – so I am still working on more ways to make some of that cash!) Mostly I want the free time and the solitude to write, explore, and create.

The most bright thing in my life came to me because I asked the universe for it. Merely wishing for something doesn’t really work when it comes to the Law of Attraction – you have to put it out there, somehow. For instance, I have always said I want to live in the woods near the city. In a cabin or something. But I wasn’t looking for that. Ever. It was only a thought, a wish. I kept scrolling the ads on Craigslist, looking at the meager choices of places I could afford that allow dogs – either they were too expensive or I would have to share with a lot of very young people, and either choice was not what I wanted. One day, on a whim, I put an ad in the “Housing Wanted” section, and right in the subject I said “Woman and quiet dog seek tiny home/cabin.” My ad was short and within a few days I had a response. A tiny house. CHEAP. In the woods. Near the city. I went to see it, and fell in love. I had trepidations that it would be too small, but when I actually went inside it, it was perfect.

A month later, I moved in. My dog will be here in a couple of weeks. There are chickens, and a big foster dog, and the owners are lovely people. It’s quiet, and for the first time in years I don’t need earplugs. When it rains at night, I am lulled to sleep in a little rain cocoon.

Here’s a little video I made of my home. More videos of my life to come.

Like I say in the video, this has felt more like my home than anywhere I’ve lived, other than where I grew up as a kid. And I felt this way after a day or two! I want to live in the woods forever – crazy weather, cougars, bears, ticks, whatever. There are deer and trees and fog and rain and owls and that air that just clears your lungs as if the rain just got into your pores. I am always exclaiming “I love my house” out loud, and I don’t think I’ve ever said those words in my life.

The Glory of Change

A year of changes already.

A long-term relationship over, the great barrier to my full self – I feel a great freedom at last.

The last months have been full of zest and anxiety, January was so harsh and tumbled that I dare not post, I could not really concentrate on anything, except moving on, moving forward, escape.

I have been so fully focused on me, so I could do hard things, hurt someone I care for deeply, and be a voracious vixen once again. It took a lot of courage, I pushed past my comfort zone, and now I do again.

I am off to the other side of the world, to eat copious amounts of tropical fruit, play with dogs, lay on the most epic beaches, read books of substance, swim, float, write, get massaged, explore, visit friends, sweat, turn even further inward, find that place in myself that was lost, and most importantly, turn wild again.

Freedom has always been the most important thing to me – the freedom to be fully myself, in any situation.

I am now in a good headspace, but I know it can be even better. Now is a month of succulence, melty feelings, and bikinis.

A New Year? Who Cares? Life Resolutions.

Getting Tattooed, Dec.22/12 – My Birthday.

I intend for this year to be my year of freedom.

To break ties with things and people (at least in certain ways) that do not allow me to be my fullest self.

I do not blame ANYONE other than me for feeling like a watered-down version of my True Self (and I have been reading about this, sort of, through someone’s graphic novel version of her own therapy, and it is poignant – I love the word poignant).

I think that ALL of my anxiety over the last year stems from the anxiety of ONE issue, one that has been gnawing at me for a year or more. It is time to deal with it and move on, despite how painful it will be.

I have some resolutions/goals, etc, for the year. I don’t like making typical “resolutions” as they don’t tend to stick. The main one is a LIFE resolution, and really the entire point of my new tattoo.

I also want to get the word “Free” tattooed on me. I want constant reminders. And I think that knowing I am creating my own cages is really what is driving me mental – it’s always me, of course, I blame no one else.

LIFE RESOLUTION: To be my True Self. To feel free, in whatever choices I make. To LIVE, fully, always, and never let money get in the way.

Stumbled on this a few moments ago and it is so perfectly in tune with my current mindset. I must read Alan Watts, as I have meant to for several years and he keeps being pressed into my consciousness from several directions.


I also have some goals:

+ To get back into photography. Every time I see someone’s gorgeous photos, or them walking with their cameras (and obviously GOOD cameras, that take vivid, wonderful shots) it makes me wonder why the hell I stopped. Also, I would not charge people for photos, unless they hired me. Ever. Not digital ones, anyway.

+ To make my blog into an actual money-accruing website. My step-dad knows how to do this, and offered to help me. I had no idea. I lost interest in learning how to “make websites” in terms of coding and whatnot, long ago. I find it dull.

+ To travel, despite money and despite anxiety.

+ To get a VAN, and have it be my little caravan all over the place, a mobile bedroom.

+ To produce large ink drawings, life-size portraits, full-body.

+ To finish my zine, which should be complete VERY soon. I keep saying that but it’s almost done.

+ To begin writing my novel. It’s been in my head forever.

+ To have as much intense, passionate sex as possible.

+ To read more books than blogs or FB posts.

+ To intricately chronicle my life in my journal (I have been doing this, it is wonderful – I always have, but not in such exquisite detail).

+ To stay on a fruity diet, as that is when I feel best. A fancy raw-food diet is easy for me now.

+ To work on my comic.

+ To rid myself of even more STUFF.

+ Write, write, write, write, write.

It seems like a lot, but these are things I want to do with my life, and things i CAN do, especially if I eliminate a lot of distractions. Also, I don’t expect myself to DO all of this in a year. Just start. Just move forward with them all. Then in 10 years or whatever, forever, it will all add up and I will have a lot to show for it.

I have other things I plan on changing, in all other areas of my life. So much needs to change, because I want to align with who I am, totally, utterly. Don’t you?

Officially Fall

Me at Playland, 2012

Now that autumn has arrived, and I have enjoyed a good chunk of the summer, I am more inclined to write, sit inside, and read.

This summer included some wonderful new habits and revived my love of others…it took some time. I generally go through years-long phases of being social vs. being solitary. A visit to Vancouver Island and a group of friends has brought me out of that shell, and even tempts me to move back over there.

I’ve never had a strong friend-group for a long period of time – there was my friends in school, but it was not common for us to hang out in this group outside of school as we all did not live very close together, and our parents had different levels of strictness.

There was a group of gothy types I had weekly parties with in my late teens, but my social anxiety and strange inclinations took over, I felt paranoid that I was being used for my age (to get booze) and my car, and I retreated.

At my last jobs, there were amazing gaggles of people who would hang out together, but when we left one by one, the gatherings got lesser and lesser, and my interactions seem to be one-on-one (still my favourite), and not the grand jigsaw of all us coming together.

And then there were my island friends, all of whom I met through my first time on IRC, a friend named Allen who knew so many wildly funny and eccentric, goofy, and kind people on the Island, and I very much fell into those people, loved them all, and went as often as I could.

So many of these people moved around, and many are now again in one place – some have moved on, but we all have this connected, group-feel, and it is the only one where I feel completely at ease. Groups have always intimidated me and if there is a large gathering where I only know one or two people, or no one, I completely panic. Large crowds? Don’t even go there. The Olympics in Vancouver 2 years ago…the epicenter was right outside of my work, and I had panic attacks daily.

I would spend every weekend on the Island if I was not saving up for my winter vacation, but I love that a 2-day excursion has revived me. THE FEELINGS.

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Other things I’ve done this summer:

+ Read about a billion graphic novels and other books.

+ Beach running.

+ Beach gathering with many raw foods.

+ PLAYLAND + a ride that swings 70 kph at 218 feet in the air (overwhelming).

+ Swimming at the pool with my Dad.

+ Much running with my dog.

+ Fruit, so much fruit. I bought well over 100 lbs of blueberries in a couple of months, and ate them all.

+ Blackberry picking.

+ Waking much earlier than usual, and sleeping more.

+ I actually went out to a club  for the first time in years.

+ Many visits to the farm market, to visit the cows, goats, and donkeys (and buy food).

+ Pet-sitting.

+ Beach jaunts with my dog, who loves to run on the sandbars. She is a Chinese Crested and ends up looking very drowned afterward.

+ Another visit to the island to visit my friend and her son (before her new baby was born). I proceeded to eat much of her garden.

+ Fund-raising and walking for the SPCA.

+ Reminiscing and reliving many moments from teenagedom, and planning out a comic based on those years.

+ So much dog-park.

+ Zombie-walk.

+ Went to see the DJ Richie Hawtin with my boyfriend.

+ Much, much lying in the sun.

AND NOW, it is fall, and still beautiful out. The night is colder, but the days are still bright and bloom with happy. I have many ideas and jaunts planned for fall.

Always make the most of the weather, your friends, your time, your health. It’s so easy to say “You only get one life” and not really reflect on that – this time is not endless, as much as I wish it was. I want to live forever.

Maps + Update for May

I find that getting motivated and sticking to goals requires some SPECIFIC goals.

Like when I initially went raw, I had a timeline for myself:

Feb 1st, 2008, vegan, no refined sugar. Every week I would cut something else out – tofu, rice, potatoes, bread, other sweeteners like cane juice, etc.

April 1st, 2008, 100% raw vegan.

It worked, I stuck to it. I’ve had some little ups and downs but generally I have been raw for over 4 years with some minor blips. And I have never returned to refined sugars, cheese, cakes, etc – nothing like that. The worst I got was some baguette in Paris.

And so it is June 1st – I have been low-fat for the whole month of May, with the exception of today – it was a bit of a celebration, and also a good-bye – a good-bye to potatoes (which I used to help me stay low-fat this month, occasionally), and a good-bye to salt. I have been eating it way too much (I
don’t want to eat it at all) and I can push out my stomach so far that I look pregnant – that’s how bloated I am. When I gave up salt before I lost 10 lbs in a week.

Now I am dropping the salt. I am keeping low-fat and back to 100% raw.

I am also very proud of my exercise dedication this last month, and my chart has really helped – I took it seriously and wanted to make sure I filled it as much as possible. This was doable because I had very specific goals instead of “I want to be 80/10/10” – why? Without a why, I had no real reason to stick with it.

This last month I have discovered the following:

With low-fat, I get ZERO menstrual cramps. I finally found out the mystery of why I have had awful periods since going raw (everything else improved, that got worse – I had no issues with menstruation before raw, only after).

With low-fat…I can run.

Seriously, in my whole life whenever I have attempted to run, or jog…I lasted a minute at most. When I was trying to be a runner in 2000, I never improved much – I could go 30-60 seconds and have to take a break. This month I was inspired to go jogging and would improve every time. At first I could only go a minute without a break. The next week (I only went every couple of days) I could do 5 minutes without stopping – this for me was amazing.

Two days later (doing nothing on those two days except some arm weights) I went 20 minutes with NO breaks – I was BAFFLED. All this in two weeks of going every 2-3 days. I improved so much, and felt so good, that I started to ENJOY jogging. Now I WANT to go. Now I WANT to be able to do it for an hour! A new goal!

And why am I exercising? To be fit. To have a lean body. To stay healthy. To have strong bones. To have good endurance. To work out my heart – it’s a muscle, and it needs to be worked. To move lymph fluid. To prove to myself I can do something I thought I could NEVER do.

Also when I am low-fat, my skin is better. When I have no salt, my skin is better and my stomach is leaner. So is my face. Food tastes better. I can eat lettuce by itself and it’s amazing. Avocado starts to be delicious without anything added.

And on and on.

Which brings me to the map.

Along with my simple chart, I thought it would be fun to have a simple map I could just add any goal to and then mark specific steps over the month – this way I have something to follow instead of being all haphazard – maybe some people can just be like “Okay, this is this and I’m doing it” – for me, I like to have a basic idea to follow.

Little steps are much easier to reach, and to break down a big goal to small steps makes it a lot easier to get to the “end” – the whole reason I managed to run that 20 minutes the first time (which I would have thought impossible, especially since my max before that was 5 mins) was that I just kept saying “Okay you can make it to that tree…okay now you can make it to that driveway…okay now make it to that post” and eventually I thought…wow, I am almost at Oak street! Maybe I can make it there! Then I did, and I thought holy crap, I am still moving! Maybe I can make it all the way home! And I did.

ALL BECAUSE I USED POSITIVES – not “Oh god, I can’t do it, I’m so tired, omg I need a break” etc – I pushed myself maybe 10 steps at a time, and focused only on those 10 steps, and that got me all the way.

I have no doubt that I can reach one hour now. Maybe not within the next week, but that is my new goal for the next month or two – I am going to stretch it to two, but if I do it before then, AWESOME.

Same with my diet – over the next month I want to really simplify it – first week no salt, and any combo of fruits and greens, low-fat. 2nd week, still no salt, no fats, 3rd + 4th weeks, mono-meals of fruit, salads in evening, low-fat every couple of days.

In July, when it’s blueberry season, I want to do a week of JUST blueberries. Like 10 lbs a day. Oh my god I cannot wait.

I also want to drink 2 litres + of water per day and get as much sleep as possible, earlier the better.

I am going to photograph my physical progress and write down my daily and weekly changes, then share them at the end of the month.

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Regarding the rest of my goals in the past month, I did quite a bit of writing – I only missed 12 days of the month for writing fiction, and I only missed 6 days of writing for the blog. I only missed 5 days of exercise. I stayed 80/10/10 (with occasional potatoes) 30 days of the 31 – today being my bye-bye to salt and fancy foods. I had a bit too much fat today! Oh well.

So, bye-bye to May! I enjoyed you and the first sunny days of 2012. June is going to rule!

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I have been finding this guy’s videos hella inspiring.

April: Progress Report

So, my April was so-so.

I was pretty good on the diet front, not good at all with exercise – LAME – one day? Pfft.

I think this is because I have not been paying enough attention to my chart, and I had some depression issues again – thank gad the sun is coming back. I am going to rethink my anti-vitamin-D-pill thing and order some vegan ones if I get in a bind again, or just continue going to the tanning place.

ANYWAY, I have been feeling grand.

This month on my chart is:

D – diet – this time meaning 80/10/10 and not just “raw” – raw for me is easy-peasy. So, now I am just doing it gung-ho, my only other food included being nori, just at first. I love nori and yes, it does look delicious to me seeing it on a beach, and yes I could make a meal of it – sometimes I will eat a whole package on its own. I’m also going to do what I did when I initially went raw and that is to stick to it 100% for 30 days and see how I feel (I felt so awesome that I knew it would be for life). I took a “before” picture, too, so I can show my progress physically!

W – writing – this meaning in my blog or in my journals. Mostly I want to write in this here bloggo (I hate the word blog but it’s a funny sounding word at least).

F – this meaning writing FICTION. I stopped setting a time frame for myself – this was becoming too daunting and I always wanted to do other things and would get distracted. Now I just plonk myself in front of the page and write with no real agenda. If I write for 5 minutes, it counts. If I want to write more (and I usually do), then yay! It all adds up.

E – exercise. Of some sort, every day. Exercise is never a waste of time – in fact, I LOVE to exercise. Sometimes I forget this and if I push myself to just start (same with writing) I often want to keep going.

Something awesome I noticed yesterday was this:

About 12 years ago when I lived on Vancouver Island, I decided I wanted to see if I could become a runner. This was one thing I said I would “never” be able to do, and the quote “You must do the thing you think you cannot do” would repeat itself in my head, and so I decided that because I had a lot of time on my hands, that I would start running. There were a lot of gorgeous parks and forests, so it was quite lovely to go out and have this goal. I also had seen my reflection in bad thrift store lighting and was appalled at my appearance, therefore starting me into health + fitness madness.

So I started walk/jogging and could not go for very long with the jogs or runs. I wasn’t eating very well of course, and limiting my calories, still eating fish and bread and whatever else – lots of chocolate chip rice cakes. Eventually I got bored with it and went back to my sedentary hobbies. I didn’t seem to improve much, either. I could go a minute or so and would be so out of breath – this had happened since childhood and I would do everything I could to get out of running track or anything sporty. I thought I had asthma and had an inhaler that I used once – I thought it would allow me to run or exert myself more – it did sweet fuckall.

So yesterday I decided to take my dog out and go for a jog. I used to go out walking quite a bit last year when I lived near some beautiful trails. This was one reason I went so much – now I don’t live near anything but big expensive homes, so to go somewhere pretty I have to drive first.

ANYWAY, I took my pooch out and started to jog – and I just kept going, and going, and going. And even if I got a bit winded, I took a break. I only needed to break for a few seconds and could go more.

I realized that there was a huge difference even from last summer, when I was still eating heavier raw foods. I have been far more outdoorsy and sporty since I went raw, but lowering the fat in my diet has been an even more amazing aspect. Last month I was eating salt and heavier foods again, but I have recommitted to the low-fat approach. I just feel better on it. I feel more energized and clear and SO creative. I want to feel that way, always. I also want to be lean, and eating salt and too many nuts makes me bloated! Yuck. (I have been so bloated I thought about taking an April Fool’s photo because I looked pregnant).

Watching Freelee and Kristina on youtube really makes me motivated. So does Durianrider, listening to Doug Graham, and all sorts of raw foodists. I am constantly inspired.

And so my little chart is going to be the pinpoint for my goals – so far it’s kind of been off to the side of my desk, but I am going to make it more of a focal point of my day – something I do before bed. I am also making myself go to bed earlier – it’s tough because my body rebels – as I am falling asleep, I realize it, then wake up 😦

Another thing I’ve been doing is starting my morning thinking about things I love about my life – positive things – this is what I do WHILE I am still waking up (my grumpiest time of day) – also I have made it a point to stop complaining. A few years ago I read a book called A Complaint Free World that really impacted me – it’s pretty hard to go a whole day without complaining, let me tell you! (Try it). But I have been pretty successful, and something I noticed about when I was doing these things before, is that I was a LOT happier.

It’s much easier to make goals in spring. I say let’s make our yearly resolutions in April or May, when we feel renewed! If you live in the Northern  Hemisphere, I think you’ll be more likely to succeed with “New Spring Resolutions” instead of new years’ ones. Just a tip 🙂

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If you like my chart, you can download my blank one here!