OK. I’ll Try Meditation

meditation_20171214A few things are universal in the self-help and coaching world.

  1. Exercise daily
  2. Avoid starches and sugars
  3. Sleep at least 7-hours each night
  4. Meditate

I’ve tried meditating. It’s difficult. My brain is the kind of brain that never stops. During the guided meditation session below, I drifted away at least 6 times. Thought about Christmas gifts I haven’t bought for my wife and when I do buy them, they’re going to suck compared to what she gives me. I thought about three Leads and a few people I need to call for appointments, I thought about my overdue library items and the current $15 fine, I thought about going to see Star Wars tonight, and a few other things.

Each time I came back to the meditation because I remember the lesson – meditation is a process that takes time and practice – like golf …or playing a musical instrument.

The world provides no shortage of meditation guides, tips, and Apps, but this one (also shown below) from Michigan State University’s own Professor Karl Gude (College of Communications Arts & Sciences) is as good as any (and he designed it to tap into creativity, which goes along with something else I want to rekindle, which is writing).

I’m going to try this every morning, as the first thing I do, from now until the end of the year.  Oh, and something that bothered me while doing this meditation was the fact I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes and my sides hurt. I need to work on that.

Were you thinking about adding meditation to your 2018 resolutions? Maybe this will help.

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Memories or Life Tips

My Uncle Jerry taught me many things in life, but something quite random he showed me makes an almost daily impact on me. My Blog readers know I’m obsessed about coffee. I don’t even have a drip coffee maker in my house – I only Aeropress or French Press my coffee (and sometimes when I’m lazy, I use my wife’s Nespresso).

One night at my Uncle Jerry’s house, after having enjoyed another incredible dinner from my Aunt Denise, he offered me a cuppa coffee and before he poured my coffee, he filled a mug, about halfway, with water, and microwaved it for a minute. He said, “it warms up the mug and I like pouring coffee into a warm mug.”

I’ve done it every time, since.

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Save Me from My Son

44-image2I was going to title this Blog post “Child Abuse” and then cleverly explain that my child is kicking my butt, but that seemed horrible. But truly, my son is kicking my butt. Humbling me. Yet, motivating me.

Do you remember my Project 44? It was my mission at the beginning of the year, a year in which I was turning 44-years-old, to build a personal improvement plan to get my weight to 144 pounds, go to bed at 9:44 nightly, wake at 4:44, exercise for 44-minutes daily, write for 44-minutes daily, and on and on.

I started. I stopped. I tried again. I stopped. Like everyone and their New Year’s resolutions and #Whole30 and 90-Day boot camps, I fizzled out. Then, I changed jobs and on the day I made that decision, my daughter had started a countdown-to-Thanksgiving note on our family chalkboard (where we write chores, important dates, things needed at the store …stuff like that), and my son wondered, “how many days until Christmas.”

We did the quick math and were amazed – there were exactly 44 days until Christmas.

If you read this Blog, you know I find meaning and messages in what some might think are random, everyday coincidences. I believe in coincidences. But I also believe Angels in heaven, possibly under the direction of Jesus, can’t really call us on the phone or text us, but are allowed to communicate to us through clever methods, and we need to be on the lookout for clues and what they want to say to us.

Was it my Mom? My Uncle, Grandmothers, or a host of other Angels that keep an eye on me? I don’t know …but it was clear …someone wanted me to realize #Project44 could be a reality (editor’s note: my overall neglect of myself will not allow me to get my weight to 144 pounds by Christmas, but I’ll make a dent).

Don, you say! Get to it! Why and how is your son kicking your butt? Oh, because that night, when I told him about the message I was getting to get back to #Project44, he and I dreamed up #Bootcamp44.  My son, being 13, wants to build muscles, get in shape, exercise and be faster for sports …ya know …all the stuff a teenager cares about. Me? I want to live longer and be healthy, again. I’m tired of wondering what chest pains really feel like, or did I just sleep wrong? I’m tired of my breathing issues and wondering, hmmm, if I was in any kind of better shape, would my breathing improve (and then combined with proper diet, how healthy could I actually be)? Could I really get my weight to 144 pounds? Would exercise really help my sleep like every article ever written on “sleep” and “stress” suggests?

So we started. We knew it wouldn’t be every day, but we are lucky to have a church near our house with a walking track and community center, and rooms where they have dance and karate classes, and it’s FREE!

#Bootcamp44 started simple enough…

  • 11 Push-Ups
  • 11 Sit-Ups
  • 11 Burpees
  • Ladders across the gym (some call these “suicides”)
  • Repeat 3 times (see why we picked 11? Do it 4-times and the workout is 44 of each exercise)

Then my son had the idea of “adding something new every week, or adding two things per week. And now, here’s what our workout has grown into…

  • 11 Push-Ups
  • 11 Sit-Ups
  • 11 Burpees
  • 22 Mountain Climbers (each leg comes forward 11 times)
  • 11 Dips (on a bench)
  • 11 Pull-Ups (with assistance)
  • Ladders across the gym (some call these “suicide sprints”)
  • A walking lap with dumbbell shoulder presses while walking (8 lb dumbbells)
  • Cool down lap
  • Repeat 3 times and end with a 44-second plank

Like I told the woman who works the front desk when she asked at the end of our workout last nigt, “did you two have fun tonight?”

No! I told her I’m being tortured. The kid is relentless. He never will let me take a night off. He’s always like “when are we going to the gym?” He won’t stop. He does the entire routine faster than me. On the Ladder/Suicides, he gives me a head start and then passes me. It’s humbling. But I guess that’s the difference between a 13-year-old coming into his prime and a 44-year-old a few years past his prime.

Seriously. I would let him have ice cream and play Playstation all night if he’d just let me skip – and he never lets me skip.

Oh, and did I mention, in between sets, he’s doing the other teenage boy thing …jumping up to touch every doorway or ceiling because boys like to jump and jump higher and amaze themselves at how high they can jump and how tall they’re getting.

Between sets, I pray for the roof to collapse and for forced evacuation from the facility in order to end the torture.

It’s for my own good. I know. But it’s killin’ me (even though it’s actually doing the opposite).

Wish me continued luck.

Christmas Wish-List, Part-6

wbm-himalayan-ionic-crystal-natural-salt-lamp-375x500Why do I have a Blog all about me? What’s the point? The main reason is, it gets me writing, almost daily, and it’s fun. Writing, like exercise, learning guitar, or golfing can’t be done once or twice a year with the expectations of being good – each must be done consistently, and with purpose, and will get easier over time. The quality will be better.

So, you might think my Christmas Wish-List is the most egomanical thing you’ve ever seen – but, isn’t Blogging just another sorta social media and isn’t almost all social media designed to “look at me?”

Yes. That’s all social media is.

Plus, how many Blogs try and capture readers simply by listing things like “Best VR Headsets” or “Best Digital Audio Players for under $100” and they fill ’em with keywards, tags, and links and then also post that same thing to YouTube and for what? For hits and page views and impressions.

At least my Blog is not so ambitious and commercialized. If it’s funny. Great. Glad you like it. If it’s inspiring. Super great. Please keep reading and share with someone because maybe some positivity will help someone in the right moment. If you’re my wife and don’t know what to buy me for Christmas or my birthday – this Blog is for you!

This brings me to Day-6 of my Christmas Wish-Llist. I’d like a few sessions at Salinair Salt Room in Rochester Hills. I’ve read a few places about how Himalayan Sea Salt lamps and spas do wonders for the lungs and respiratory system, and because I struggle with the effects of Bronchiectasis, I would love to give this a try.

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That’s a really good idea, don’t ya think? Join me tomorrow where I wish to win a million dollars so I can justify getting the Nintendo Switch just to play one (Mario) game.

One more gift idea …a high-quality Himalayan Sea Salt Lamp (this one from Himalayan Glow has a wood base, and I like that, and it seems their lamps are well reviewed). According to sources (a half dozen articles I Google’d), these lamps are known to:

  • Heat from the bulb or flame causes the salt to emit negative ions
  • These negative ions bond with the pollutants in the air (positive ions) and neutralize them
  • Also, the newly bonded ions become heavier and fall to the ground removing them from the air circulation
  • In addition, these negative ions combat electro-smog caused by electronic devices operating in the home
  • Symptoms from asthma, allergies, and other illnesses can also subside from the effects of these products
  • Concisely, these products cleanse the air naturally and are extremely beautiful

Plus, my brother swears since they got theirs, his wife noticed a difference in the air quality in their home. Can’t beat a testimonial like that.

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Christmas Wish-List, Part 5

Three stocking stuffers, today. Easy things. Like when you’re friend is getting married and registers somewhere and you hop on-line and see everything they picked is suuuuuuper expensive, so you click “Sort By Price” and you buy whatever is around $20 (or whatever your cheap-ass budget is). These are simple, affordable things for you to get me, and trust me …I don’t judge you by the amount you spend on me, but it’s the thought that counts.

Aeropress Replacement Plunger: I love my Aeropress, but this rubber plunger end is, well, rubber, and with all the heat, plunging, and thousands of cups of coffee, it shrinks a bit, so the vacuum isn’t quite what it needs to be for the optimal cuppa coffee.

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Chazzano Coffee Whole Beans: It’s available on-line, and the store in Ferndale on Nine Mile Road, or at Plum Market’s and a few other local grocers. My favorite is the Tanzanian Peaberry, but it’s been difficult to find, lately (I should ask him why). I like the Brazil beans, too.

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Micro SD Cards:  You can pick-up a 16 GB version pretty cheap. I would love a 32 GB or whopping 64 GB, but I don’t want to be greedy and selfish. I only have two. And that’s where I store my music to play on my Fiio digital music player, and I’d like more music with me when I go places.

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That’s it. Quick and easy. Tomorrow’s Saturday morning and I have a loooong post planned about my son kicking my ass every night in our bootcamp. He’s a jerk. More on that, tomorrow.

Christmas Wish-List, Part 4

Holy crap. It’s already the 6th of December and I’ve barely gotten started on my list. It’s not me so much I worry about (though I do worry I won’t get as many gifts as I could have if I had given you all more time), but it’s you I worry about because you’re probably stressed about getting me “the perfect gift” in time.

Here’s three more things to go with my Part 1, 2, and 3.

J. Crew Lambswool V-Neck Sweater (dark grey, S/M): Before you get all up in my face about it being from J. Crew, let’s just say it can be from anywhere – Express for Men, Eddie Bauer, etc. I had on and somehow hit some snags and a hole ripped in the belly. A tight grey sweater is a must-have in any man’s wardrobe.

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Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler Set (black): Actually, just the 16 oz. will be OK, but I’d like the 8 oz., too). We have soooooo many bottles and travel mugs, and some are missing lids and some leak, and none of them are black, and I lost the black (and stainless steel) one I had, and I just want to start over.

I also want coffee beans, black ankle socks, and a new pair of grey sweatpants that can be worn to run errands.

 

Goal: Stay Relevant

I’m sure Charles Koppelman has a million great stories and could write a book about business advice, but I wonder if he even knows what’s so magical about himself? He’s pushing 80 and if you watch the interview below, you’d still hire him and work with him. Why?

He stayed relevant. Click on the image below (or here) to watch the entire interview. If you’ve ever worried about someday getting “too old” or “out of touch” to compete in an ever-changing landscape that favors the young …please watch this.

Now, where’s my cheater reading glasses and robe?

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