October 24th, 2008 cate
In this lively collection from an array of accomplished writers, readers meet an old woman who imparts an invaluable midnight message on a Greek island; brothers who heal old family wounds in Ireland; and travelers who awaken to the mystery of their souls in such disparate places as St. Peter’s in Rome and a dusty road in India. Contributors include Phil Cousineau, Kim Chernin, David Yeadon, Don George, and Jan Morris. The Spiritual Gifts of Travel reveals the myriad ways that travel renews the spirit. “The tales ring clear and loud with the universal need to travel the road toward self.” — Francesca de Grandis, author of Be a Goddess!
Read more about: The Spiritual Gifts of Travel: The Best of Travelers’ Tales
September 2nd, 2008 cate
“Do you have trouble getting things done? Have you ever decided to do something that was important to you, but later found you just weren’t making any headway at all? If you’re having trouble completing tasks that you want to do, and which you know you’re capable of doing, you might considering using a technique called benchmarking.
A benchmark is nothing more than a certain level of output that you’re establishing as your bare minimum. When using benchmarking, what you want to do is decide what your daily benchmark will be for a particular task, and accept nothing less than hitting that benchmark consistently.
For a benchmark to be realistic, it should be well below the maximum that you’re capable of, and substantially less than what you really want to do. You want to have an idea of what you’d ideally like to accomplish each day, but if you fail to hit your targets, you want to be sure that you at least achieve a certain minimum standard. Shoot for your goal, but accept no less than your benchmark.
An Example of Using Benchmarks
Let’s say you have a book that you’ve been meaning to read. You know it’s a book that will be very helpful, so you really want to read it in a reasonable period of time. But it’s a really big book and it requires a lot of concentration to fully understand it, so you’ve been procrastinating, hoping that you’ll find the time to read it someday. Of course, that day never comes, and the book continues to collect dust every day. How can you use benchmarking to ensure that you stop making excuses and actually read the book?
First, decide what your goal will be, how many pages you would like to read each day. How about 100 pages? No, that’s too much because it’s a fantasy. You might read that much on the first sitting, but you know the book’s material is too complex and you won’t make the time to read that much consistently. How about 20 pages? OK, you decide that you can shoot for 20 pages a day. That’s your goal.
But it’s OK if you don’t always reach your goal. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Even though you’ll try to read 20 pages a day, some days you might not have the time or the energy to hit your goal. And that’s fine; you’re allowed to sometimes fall short of what you’d like to get done. But you decide to set a benchmark of reading 5 pages a day. No matter what, you’re going to read a minimum of 5 pages a day, every day, without fail.
That means that even if the kids have soccer practice, or you get a flat tire, or you get sick, or you have a huge argument with your boss, or whatever, you still have to read those 5 pages. Your benchmark of 5 pages is considerably less than your goal of 20 pages, but that’s because things are bound to come up once in a while, and you’ll need to have some flexibility to slow down. You’re still shooting for your goal each day, but you’ll accept no less than your benchmark, no matter what.
Read the rest
August 17th, 2008 cate
As a family that has abandoned the city and suburbs for the countryside, the very presence of a book like John Seymour’s “The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It” is enough to inspire fits of joy. A perfect companion to works like Hemenway’s “Gaia’s Garden” and Mollison’s “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual,” this book is a must for would-be urbanites fleeing the cities. Covering every topic relevant to self-sufficient, sustainable living and farm life, Seymour’s classic provides a great way to start a different life. An update from the venerable mid-Seventies edition of the book, this 2002 release is a fine improvement.
The book has quite a bit going for it:
1. Beautifully made, illustrated and laid-out, this book is meant to last and be used readily and often. Typical Dorling Kindersley quality.
2. An eye-friendly typeface and bright, semi-gloss pages make this easy reading.
3. The shear breadth of the information here is outstanding. Packed into 306 letter-sized pages are the following chapters:
*The Meaning of Self-Sufficiency
*Food from the Garden
*Food from Animals
*Food from the Fields
*Food from the Wild
*In the Dairy
*In the Kitchen
*Brewing & Wine-making
*Energy & Waste
*Crafts & Skills
*Things You Need to Know
4. Good specifics on all the categories of info listed above. You should be able to get started on your way to being people of the soil. Need to know how to kill, gut, and prepare your cattle? It’s in here. Got a hankering to get off the electrical grid altogether? Helpful windmill buying advice is here. Can’t tell rye from barley? You will after reading this book.
5. A helpful list of contacts and companies that can get you started on your dream are included.
This is a fine primer on self-sufficiency. Anyone looking to escape the rat race could hardly do better than to pick up a copy of “The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It.”
Get it now
August 11th, 2008 cate
Sorry to remind you about the fall and winter coming up but it’s a good time to plan how you’ll try to stay fit during the months when the weather is so horrible out, that you don’t (or can’t) get into your car to go to the gym.
My best solution for this situation so far is this Elliptical Trainer, which I absolute adore and if I didn’t have it, I’d gain approximately 30 pounds during those harsh, cold winter months where all you want to do is eat comfort food. This way, you can eat your comfort food but work it off. And remember, exercise is a great way to fight depression, that can sometimes creep in your life during these months. Just eliminate that whole SADD process. How awesome is that?
More about Elliptical Trainers
Elliptical trainers represent the next wave of advancement in low-impact cardiovascular exercise machines and continue to grow in popularity. By simulating motions experienced through walking, stepping, cycling, and skiing, elliptical machines allow for a smooth and fluid motion while building strength in the arms and legs. Similar to the exercise position for treadmills, elliptical trainers are used by standing in an upright position while holding the handrails of the machine. With elliptical trainers, however, your feet remain in the foot pedals throughout the exercise regimen and circulate in a smooth and seamless motion, resulting in little to no impact on the knees, back, and hips.
Elliptical trainers are compatible for all ages and fitness levels and allow you to select the difficulty level through the incline and intensity settings. Additionally, elliptical trainers allow you to determine the complexity of your workout based on your needs, all while listening to music, watching television, or reading a magazine while exercising in the comfort and safety of your own home.
Although different types of elliptical trainers offer an assortment of features, many of them include an array of challenging programs, forward and reverse directional movement, EKG grip pulse handles, a lightweight portable design with easy fold-up capability, and a monitor displaying calories burned, distance, speed, time, and heart rate. Other types of exercise machines, namely treadmills and bikes, offer excellent cardiovascular exercise and muscular training for the legs in a forward-motion exercise. Elliptical trainers take this to the next level by offering an upper and lower body workout with dual motion, challenging and diverse programs, and a low-impact exercise machine that won’t strain sensitive joints.
See photos and find out more about getting in shape
August 9th, 2008 cate
What is a Drumming Circle?
It’s a musical gathering. However, it is much more than just the instruments and people beating on drums; it is also the shared experience of the drummers. The drums and drumming take the group to its final destination, a place where everyone has a voice and is empowered to use it, and where the creative spirit is shared by everyone in the circle.
Why take part in a Drumming Circle?
Drumming is a vehicle to express as well as to feel. It is exercise, nurturing, social support, bonding and spirituality, to intellectual stimulation, heightened understanding and enhanced capacity to cope with life’s challenges, the benefits of recreational music-making extend far beyond music. This type of music making ultimately affords unparalleled creative expression that unites and heals our bodies, minds and spirits.
Start Your Own Drumming Circle
World-renowned author offers tips to run a successful drum circle. As the popularity for drum circles continues to grow, the need for facilitators increases as well. Written by the foremost authority in this field, Arthur Hull offers his insights, plans and practical strategies to become a facilitator – regardless of your musical background or expertise. This can be used by social workers, store owners, human resource managers, church leaders, camp leaders, nursing home activity coordinators – for anyone who wants to unify a group that will enjoy the benefits of participating in this simple activity. It’s about leadership and communication. The book covers dozens of exercises, instrument suggestions, facilitator’s shorthand, interviews with successful facilitators, and even marketing tips on how to promote and expand your events. This is the complete rhythm event facilitation handbook from the expert.
Start a Drumming Circle Now