Disrupting Old Patterns

A sidewalk disrupted

Being a person with eclectic interests and viewpoints, it’s always been challenging for me to decide what my focus is. What am I really about? What is my work?

It came to me recently that my work has always been about disrupting old patterns. Patterns of eating, patterns of belief, patterns of activity, patterns of thinking.

So I guess I now have an answer when people ask me the inevitable question, “What do you do?”

I’m a pattern disruptor. In that vein, here are a couple of disruptive videos… Continue reading

What we say matters.

There is energy and power in our words. People around us tune in.

Anyone who was paying attention in language class learned that words have two kinds of meaning. The obvious one is “denotation” which is the literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests. Those  ideas or feelings are the “connotation,” the subtle meaning of the word—the overtone, undertone, implication, nuance or suggestion invoked by the word.

Consider a couple health-related examples that illustrate these subtle differences. Continue reading

Security or Expansion?

Humans are wired to seek security.  It’s how we survived, individually and as a species. It’s in our genes.

Seeking security leads us to entrench in the familiar, which includes the way we do things and how we think. We become “set in our ways.” We forget how to venture out and explore. We develop a fixed mindset.

That’s the contracted state I found myself in a couple years ago. I had the security of familiarity. But I wasn’t very happy. Truly, I was bored with myself. Continue reading

Making Marshmallows? Yes!

Homemade marshmallows

So there you have it. I decided in favour of tradition. I got out my recipe card and the 1950s candy thermometer that my aunt passed on to me. I went back to making marshmallows for Christmas.

Not without some thought, as you might have guessed. Last week I said I’d be thinking about it, considering that sugar is a primary ingredient in homemade marshmallows. So this post is about how my thinking got me from there to here. If you want the recipe, you’ll find it here. Continue reading

Process or Goals?

Last week I wrote about the inch-by-inch principle. This is the viewpoint that regaining health is a process rather than a goal. After reading that post, you may have thought I’m a proponent of aimless wandering  through life. Not at all!

Why can’t it be both a process and a goal?

I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of having my cake and eating it too. Why not a process with direction instead of one  or the other? Continue reading

Cultivating Health

We live in a culture oriented toward goals rather than processes. The expectation is that we set a goal, achieve it, and then that’s done. It’s a linear way of looking at things, and it works for some people in some instances. Health doesn’t work that way.

Achieving health is an organic process with built-in feedback loops. As changes are made, we get internal information about what’s working and what isn’t. Then we adjust accordingly and go from there. Like gardening. Continue reading

The party’s over. Now what?

It depends on what we set in motion.

Image via www.iphone2lovely.com

This new year I was surprised to find myself more aware of it than usual. When I heard that 2017 is the beginning of a multi-year cycle, my heightened interest made sense. Each new year is a time for new beginnings, but the first year of a new cycle sets the tone for the next decade or so. Worth paying attention to, I’m thinking!

Another view of the significance of this time of year has to do with nature’s seasonal cycles. We have just passed the winter solstice, the time when we have the least amount of daylight and the days are cold in my part of the world. In terms of nature and growth, the harvest is completed and there’s a tendency toward rest and hibernation.

The stage is set.

Continue reading

Financial Sustainability

The economic system depends on high levels of consumer activity. The more we spend—the more mindlessly we spend—the better for the economy. Never mind what it does to the lives of those who spend beyond their means and end up deeply in debt.

Over-indebtedness is a frequent media topic these days because it has become a fact of life in the consumer culture. Concern is not just about the magnitude of the debt load, but the rapid increase Continue reading

Kids Need Us to Teach Them about Conscious Spending

There’s a good possibility our children will be poorer than we are, according to Kevin Press in a recent “Today’s Economy” blog .  If productivity of the Canadian economy doesn’t improve, he says, our children will not experience the standard of living we enjoy.

It strikes me that kids raised in a consumer culture have been put in a very difficult position. The conditions of their upbringing have set them up for a fall Continue reading

We Need to Hear Ourselves Think

To make meaningful lives that work for us, we need mental space. How else can we be open to seeing and hearing the prompts and opportunities that occur around us? Serendipities will slide right by us if we don’t recognize them and respond. Recently, Frans Johansson wrote an interesting blog in the Harvard Business Review about the role of serendipity in business success—not only his own, but also unexpected moments that forever changed life for the owners of Microsoft and Google.

I’m a fan of serendipity myself. That’s how my book title appeared after more than six months of searching Continue reading