information overload

There is so much bad and sad news about.
And all of it important: Deforestation, Pollution, War Crimes, Domestic Violence, Hate Crimes, Homelessness, and so much more.
To ignore any of it seems a crime in itself. Do I want to be ignorant and unfeeling?
And yet is lying awake at night in a state of paralysis doing any good either?
And so I picked one thing I can do, one thing that is the very best of what I have to offer.

I plant trees.

I plant trees and have faith that those of you who document, march, write letters, offer safe harbour and commit other acts of nonviolence are all out there taking action with me.

All of us, all giving the very best of ourselves.

via Daily Prompt: Overwhelming

Comments – getting what I want?

Last week I told about the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) – a 100 day team competition based on steps taken per day. I reluctantly entered this challenge, created some personal goals to suit myself and am now really enjoying it. One aspect I particularly enjoy is participation in the GCC Community.

The GCC Community is an online space where participants and organisers can post a ‘story’ and others can comment or like. So I posted a story and got comments, but not the ones I was looking for.

My story: Non-conventional diets: Paleo

Is anyone else trying out a different diet as part of the GCC? I am getting back on board the paleo wagon after a few years of paleo + anything else I want to eat 🙂
Oh, Tim Tams, white bread and just about everything I find delicious served up at work morning teas – I hope it will be worth it!

And I got heaps of comments about how you ‘need’ to use the food calculator.

Or did I? Re-reading the comments to write this blog, I suddenly don’t see that at all! Just 6 people wanting to lose weight and telling me they are using a variety of means, including three who are using the food calculator! for example: Trying to stick to healthy eating plan too entering my food on the food calculator… The most strongly worded was: …you need to use the GCC food calculator as it really shows you how when you fall off the wagon… In the pleasantly chilly light of morning I can see this person was using a general ‘you,’ like an old fashioned ‘one.’ (one needs to use…)

In short, I got six terrific supportive comments and I somehow mangled them into ‘bloody advice I don’t need.’ I am really going to work on my *non-violent listening some more! Big dramatic sigh.

*non-violent listening: the ability to hear what someone is feeling, needing and wanting to express rather than what you expect them to say. Frequently requires getting my own ‘stuff’ out of other people’s faces 😦

Yes, I made non-violent listening up – but that does not make it untrue!

what i get up to when i’m not on facebook

I totally quit my facebook habit in December, and in February reopened it but only check in about once a month. Yes, its inconvenient and I am missing my friend John’s wildlife photos and at least one invitation to something fun, but my everyday life has become so much better… In the morning, I chat to my kids (if they are up), I walk to the train a couple of times a week, and I feel so great not being so exposed to all the sadnessed and badnesses of the world. I get up in the morning happy.

I am also well on the way to fulfilling my dream of sewing my own wardrobe with sustainable/ethically produced fabrics (I only exploit myself and my sister who ‘leant’ me her machine – thanks Cat 🙂 )

Here is my latest dress (and my first selfie). The dresses I will continue with, but maybe not the selfies – I think I sprained a finger… 🙂

IMG_20150313_061021

my 2015 to come

Ok, this is a ramble by the end I get to my intentions and how I made them – that’s probably the interesting bit, but I liked the rest too so left it in anyway 🙂

The 2015 intentions setting (not resolutions) all started in the stress and hubbub of December 2014, when one morning I noted that instead of doing an online yoga session and feeling balanced and awesome, I had (once again) got diverted to facebook and was feeling scared, angry, hopeless and had a headache too. I knew it was time to Slow Down With the Social Media and after thinking about it for a few days I …

  • put facebook on holiday with no time limit or immediate plans to reinstate
  • started reading my personal email just once a week, and
  • took a holiday from blogging while I figured out what I want to accomplish and what I want to invest.

I got some pretty immediate results, some being…

  • I excised for at least an hour every day (and lost a kilo over Christmas)
  • I walked and caught public transport to work (and reduced my carbon footprint)
  • I sewed 5 dresses (and am well on my way to wearing only clothes that are made equitably and mindful of the environment)
  • I caught up with a neighbour I love but hadn’t made the time to see in months and also with some other old friends, in person – so satisfying! And,
  • I created a new vision for me and my blogging

So, my new intentions are

  • to connect
  • to contribute
  • to be fully self-expressed
  • to experience ease, and
  • to have some fun and play

I like intentions better than the usual ‘I will do this,’ or ‘I won’t do that’ resolutions stuff. Intentions allow flexibility and are thus more likely (for me) to be accomplished. For example, I once set the resolution that ‘I will run every day’ but then got stumped when I got really sick, had to have an operation and wasn’t able to do any real exercise for two months. So I got depressed and angry, hurt myself trying to get back into running too quickly, became a burden for others for longer than necessary and comfort ate and put on a bit of weight. But if I had the intention of ‘valuing my health’ I could then have come up with an alternative, like resting and doing the very gentle exercises given by my physio until I was well enough to ease back into walking then running. Dammit, I could have even bobbed about in a pool for a bit. Sigh…

The other thing I like about intentions is that they are a bit magical, in that they often start appearing in unplanned and unexpected ways, and all I have to do is say ‘yes.’ Like when in Kuranda I set an intention of ‘community’ and almost tripped over a habitat group while walking to the library a few days later. Following intentions may also lead to unexpected and magical results – like the time when I set the intention of ‘being considerate’ and so slept on the verandah lounge instead of waking my family in the middle of the night when I forgot my keys and woke to a beautiful sunrise and serenade by magpies – an unforgettably magical morning really.

How I made my intentions (probably the good bit)

I made the intentions using a list of universal human needs. You can find such a list here. I highlighted the needs that were important, then of those kept the ones that seemed most important (while reassuring myself that they are all important) until I got to just five. And these five make me feel warm and optimistic and content too. All good feelings to be having 🙂

With thanks to the New York Centre for Nonviolent Communication who are responsible for the needs list – and many other awesome things 🙂

sharing sad and bad news and politics on facebook

There’s so much of it. Today they will dredge the reef to dump garbage on the breeding grounds of endangered turtles, torture refugees and lock innocent children in detention turn off the water to Aboriginal communities pass laws that will make it easier for big companies to plop great dirty mines on farmers land. And ruin their water. Frack. Smack little kiddies while shopping, foreclose on the family home. Build housing estates for the disadvantaged on a toxic waste dump. Trick old folk into gambling their mortgage but won’t admit it till they drag the wretches through a court case. Domestic violence kills so many women a week and the government will continue to do nothing. Another species will go missing. Another little kiddie will go missing. And American children will continue to shoot each other and we will follow them to yet another unwinnable war.

My favourite: 99% of people won’t give a damn – share and show you care!

Are you like me – do you care and care and then feel sad and numb and full of despair? Do you wonder – does my garden variety unhappiness make a difference to any of this? Does my clicking on the petition make a difference? Do Tony  or Campbell lose a second of sleep over it? I decided, no, they don’t. They really don’t give a damn.

So, to save my happiness, I did two things. First, I purged my facebook account of all political groups and lobbyists. (Except Bob Brown because he doesn’t post much and he is a hero). I started using the ‘hide all posts from’ button on any post accusing the non-sharer of being a non-carer. And I stopped following a couple of friends who really love to share the sads. It was pretty easy to do – you might like to try it yourself 🙂

And the second thing I did was start acknowledging myself for the ways I do show that I care…

I plant trees and weed with a habitat group, collect eggs from my neighbour, wash them, pack them in cartons (that I collect from friends) and donate this real healthy food to the student food bank. I donate a little money to a group that supports Aboriginal communities in ways that they wish to be supported. I babysit my nieces and nephews at the last minute so their parents can get out and not go crazy. And if a Big Issue I Really Care About and Understand comes up, I use my best nonviolent communication skills to write a cracker of a letter to my local MP. And get a response written directly to me. That’s stuff that really makes a difference.

I would love to hear how others are making a difference too – feel free to leave me a comment 🙂

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