Tag Archives: Spirituality

I Had to Resolve to Stop Before Any More Shins Get Kicked

These are the incidents of me yelling at people in public that have inspired me to “bring back the love” in 2012. Now, these are kind of funny in hindsight, in an oh-my-god-I-did-that way. And, I can’t say that I don’t still feel that all 4 of these people deserved to be yelled at. BUT! In the future I hope to let people know that they are being ass-hats in a more constructive and respectful way. Also, I should maybe consider that the ass-hat in the situation could be me before I actually open my mouth! Self-awareness within a community context is the goal! Even if it is my own self-awareness, and I become aware that I suck. Right. Now for the stories:

  1. At the co-op on a super-busy day, having trouble navigating my cart through the produce section. A late-middle-aged woman in an expensively “arty” coat is standing in front of me, completely blocking all possible outlets. I had said nothing, and had made no sounds, was patiently waiting for her to move, when she she looked over her shoulder at me and snottily said  “well, what do you want me to do? There’s nowhere for me to go.” I then responded (in my head my tone was that of the New Yorkers portrayed in movies) “how ’bout you just back up LIKE A NORMAL PERSON? This isn’t EDINA lady!” (for non-Minnesotans: this was happening in one of the hipster parts of the City proper. Edina is known as the most entitlement-prone of the cake-eater suburbs).
  2. David, Stella (our dog), and I were heading out to the car. On the way to the car Stella decides she needs to take a crap. She proceeds to do so in the area between the sidewalk and the road (what is that called, anyway?) in front of our crazy neighbor’s house. Crazy neighbor lady landscapes that area every summer (though it is technically city property) and then yells at everyone all summer for tromping through it while trying to get to their cars (there is almost no off-street parking in our neighborhood). Crazy neighbor lady likes to yell at people  for a lot of totally batshit reasons. She also likes to corner people and make them listen to her rants and general grievances. David and I have politely listened to her for over a year. BUT, on this day Stella has decided to take a crap just as crazy neighbor lady is turning the corner onto the block. I spot her about 30 seconds before she spots us and David and I literally fly into a panic because we know what’s coming. David sprints toward the car to retrieve a poop bag. I am standing right next to Stella pressuring the poor girl to hurry up, or possibly scoot to the plot in front of our house…but it’s too late. Crazy lady starts yelling halfway down the block: “HEY! PICK THAT UP!!!” Oh my god. David and I are TOTALLY (please forgive the pun) anal about picking up the poo! I yell back at her “YES! WE’VE GOT IT! HE’S JUST GETTING A BAG.” She whines “it’s just really gross when I’m weeding and there’s poop there because people don’t pick it up.” Me: “We always pick it up!” Her: “well, somebody doesn’t” (her tone TOTALLY implies that she thinks it must be us).  At this point Stella is finished making her deposit, and David has it in the bag. I snatch the bag and march toward the garbage can, throwing over my shoulder “GOD! Quit YELLING at people all the time.” Now, she was (and frequently is) totally out of line. But, really? I yelled at her for yelling! She might actually be mentally ill. Whether she is or not,  she’s clearly a miserable person for some reason…perhaps feeding into her misery isn’t the best way to deal with her.
  3. I was getting into the car with Stella. I had a bunch of stuff to load up, so the back door of the car was still open, with Stella sitting in the backseat, as I was trying to play Tetris with all the crap that had to fit into the car. I failed to notice that another neighbor woman was approaching with her dog about half a block away. Stella had not failed to notice, and had jumped out of the car to say hello, without me noticing. Stella isn’t the type to approach another dog uninvited (she’s shy), so she was standing on the sidewalk next to the car. I hadn’t even noticed that Stella was out of the car until the woman, still standing halfway down the block, started yelling “can you move your dog, I’m trying to get by!”. Apparently I didn’t hear her/move Stella fast enough (my hands were full), because she yelled again “move your dog! I’m trying to get by and I don’t want my dog to hurt her.” Which I guess would be fine if she could have waited for 2 seconds for me to grab Stella, and if I didn’t also see her EVERY SINGLE DAY walking her dog, and know that her dog has NEVER made so much as an aggressive sound at Stella in almost 2 years of interaction. When she started yelling for the third time in less than 30 seconds, as I was grabbing Stella, I snapped and said “YEAH LADY!!! I’ve got her! She jumped out of the car when I wasn’t looking! You could have waited half a second! CHRIST.”  And then before slamming the car door I mumbled “your dog is fine!”  She stood there dumbfounded that I had yelled back until I pulled away. I have since wondered if that woman is ALSO actually mentally ill. There’s really no other explanation for why she sees me twice a day every day walking my dog, and always acts like she doesn’t recognize us. She also always behaves as if she thinks her dog (clearly at least half Rott) is vicious, but the dog has never acted anything other than sweet. Weird. I probably shouldn’t yell at sick people, right?
  4. The final, and craziest, incident happened when I was in line at the liquor store during the holidays. It’s a crowded store anyhow, with not much space for people to go. It was very busy; people were lining up and having difficulty finding places to stand in line. The woman in front of me hadn’t moved up when the last several people had gone up the register. The man behind me took it upon himself to ask her if she planned to move up. She said “I’ll move when I’m ready, honey. There’s no reason I have to move right now.” He made a vague motion behind him and said “there’s no place for people to go.” She said “it’s a big store. Those people are fine! I’ll move when I damn well please, honey!,” and turned around in a huff. I don’t know what seized me, maybe it was my OWN flagging patience with the stress of being downtown during the holidays. But it just slipped out: “Merry Christmas, crabby pants” I muttered. Oh man, that really did it. The woman spun around and yelled “don’t be like that, those people are FINE!” I said “they are stacking up, there’s no place for them to go, and you’re taking up much more space than you need!” Then the man behind me chimed back in and the argument went back and forth between them until it was her turn at the register. When she went up to the register, and I think that guilt started to set in for the guy behind me. He walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder, as if to apologize, and she whirled around, wound up, and KICKED HIM IN THE SHIN!!! At that point both of them got kicked out of the store. She tried to implicate me and get me kicked out too, but I calmly stood my ground and said “well, I didn’t kick anyone.” BUT, she is probably right. It may have never escalated to that point had I not added me two cents. I’m an instigator!

So, there you have it, friends. I need to get my anger in check. Just because the world is crazy doesn’t mean I have to go ahead and add to it. My sassy mouth is apparently a dangerous weapon that can lead to violence.  The end!

In Which I Think I Have an “Aha” Moment

I have a fairly long habit of reading a small meditational passage of some sort right before I go to sleep at night. It gives me something good to think about so I don’t get into the anxious headspace that causes insomnia for me. I try to be somewhat diverse in my choices. Some frequently used sources have been:

  • The Tao of Pooh
  • The Te of Piglet
  • The Tao Te Ching
  • The Bible
  • The Bhaghavad Gita
  • The Third Jesus
  • The Little Book of Zen
  • The Mastery of Love

I have been into The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello lately. He’s another one of these East/West fusion guys that I tend to like. One of his meditations that I read recently has really struck a deep chord with me. It is based on the Bible verse, Matthew 6:3: “When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing.”

The particular verse is specific to giving, but de Mello branches it out into the idea of happiness, or holiness, in general. He points out that “the moment you are aware of your holiness, it goes sour and becomes self-righteousness.”  Similarly, he argues that true happiness is uncaused. It is a state of being, not a string of events or a constant state of excitement over events.  

According to de Mello, true holiness and true happiness are unselfconscious, effortless, and without ambition. We don’t achieve these states of being through effort or discipline. Strong effort to be happy or holy (ie. “admirable”)often signifies that your ego is pushing you into making efforts to become something you’re not meant to be so it can glorify itself. He writes that:

effort can change behavior, it cannot change you. ..it can put food in your mouth, it cannot produce an appetite; it can keep you in bed, it cannot produce sleep… it can force you to pay a compliment, it cannot produce genuine admiration.

He contends that a person can’t strive for happiness because “if you desire happiness you will be anxious lest you do not attain it. You will be constantly in a state of dissatisfaction; and dissatisfaction and anxiety kill the very happiness that they set out to gain.”In de Mello’s opinion, the only way to find sustained happiness is to remove the things that make you unhappy or unfulfilled; in other words, your attachments.

This passage struck a chord with me because of the enormous amount of struggle I’ve been going through trying, as I so succinctly put it yesterday, to “get my shit together.” I beat the crap out of myself all the time, basically about how not-admirable I am.  However, I do happen to agree with de Mello that the only way to find happiness is to get rid of the things that make you unhappy; not to strive towards things that you think will make you happy.

So, this points out a philosophical problem in my approach to this blog. I have been writing it based on achievement, or lack thereof. Really my approach should be writing about the journey of getting over my attachments; for example, my attachment to having a place of perceived success in a socio-political-economic structure that I don’t even believe in. Or, my attachment to being attractive in a way that is set in place by a media that is largely based on making money by preying off from people’s psychological  weaknesses.  Etcetera.

The other conundrum that I’ve been rolling around in my mind has been: if I’m not writing this blog for my ego, or to goad myself into striving to “win,” why am I doing it? The answer is because I love to write. I love to set down and share experiences. I could use support and feedback. I’m human and I don’t want to live in a void. Is that a good enough answer? = )

“The Shift,” Starring Wayne Dyer

On Saturday night Dave and I got together with his moms. His mom had been talking about this movie, The Shift, for awhile. Dave and I were both skeptical about it because most of the modern spiritual-type movies that we’ve seen have been extremely cheesy. They tend to be pretty lackluster adaptations of the books that they’re based on (The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is one example), or feature bad acting or poor navigation of budgetary restrictions. We were pleasantly surprised by The Shift.

The Shift is a movie shaped around the teaching of Dr. Wayne Dyer. Dyer is a prodigious author and speaker known for motivating people to find their purpose. He is also known as a sort of spiritual guru; though he’s really more humanist than anything else. He’s not really into religion, but he is heavily into Taoism.

Basically the film is a series of interviews with Dyer, wrapped into three adjacent plot lines that show people hitting a point where they realize that what they have been doing with their lives isn’t really working for them anymore. The interviews are part of the plot. The theme of the movie is reaching middle age and getting to a place where you are less concerned with the egotistical pursuits of youth, and more concerned with living a life with purpose. “The shift” is the transition from one type of lifestyle to another.

Dyer suggests that to find fulfillment in life, one should practice active non-action; like the Taoist principle of wu-wei. If we just let go of our egotistical pursuits (hoarding material items, trying to impress people) and understand that we already have everything we need within our beings, it can open us up for greater awareness and creativity, from which we can draw purpose. Our actions will become effortless when we stop pushing so hard, and so will our successes. I liked that in The Shift, there is one character who acts as a skeptic, and presses Dyer to address some of the arguments against active non-action. It helps to further illuminate the point that Dyer is trying to make.

Apparently the crisis that causes “the shift” is  more common to what Dyer dubs “the afternoon of our lives;” so that is the audience he addresses.  However, I thought that the main principles that he discusses can easily be applied to anyone. Overall, I was really impressed with the movie. The plot was feasible, the actors were decent, and the filming was good. It was filmed at a resort on the northern coast of California, so there is also plenty of eye-candy in it.

It reminded me about the kinship between Taoism and my own beliefs; particularly related to my recent pursuit of simplicity. I’ve been inspired to pick up the Tao Te Ching again (as well as The Third Jesus, which I think is pretty fantastic). It feels good to be deliberately tapping back into the spiritual side of letting go of excess and to be reminded of the source of inspiration (God, chi, universal energy; whatever you might call it!).

The Old American Dream

Related to last Thursday’s post, I am aware of the source of some of the anxiety that I’ve been having about this move. It is rooted in choosing to live in a way that is different from the way that I was raised to live. I was raised in the suburbs. I have one brother. My parents worked opposite shifts so we never had to go to daycare. We certainly didn’t have a lot of money as a family unit, but I always had my own bedroom, even when we lived in a trailer. We went to Catholic grade school. We went on annual vacations (even if it was just camping most of the time!). We had plenty of toys. Plenty of stuff. We had very little awareness of what a struggle it was for our parents to provide all of this to us. In our minds we weren’t spoiled. We were just “normal.” Now I look back at what my parents sacrificed for us (They never had new clothes. They always drove crappy cars. They never got to get away alone together. Etc.), with a mixture of awe, gratitude, and horror.

At the time, mom and dad were just doing what they felt they were supposed to do. Get married. Have kids. Buy a house. Accumulate stuff; mainly for the benefit of their children. They were raised under the idea that their role as parents was to provide a better life for their children than the one they had themselves (even if it meant going into debt to do it). The American Dream. I still think that this ideal rings true; I think that most young parents still want to create the best life possible for their children. I hope so, anyhow! I just think that “a better life” is in the process of being redefined. The idea of “the good life” in American culture is very stuff-centric. There are prescribed steps that, when followed, are supposed to lead to success. Success is a nicely decorated house on a big lot, with lots of fancy appliances and electronics, new cars every couple of years, vacations, etc. In my parents’ generation, and for a couple generations before and after theirs, everyone strove for an approximation of this image of success.

My generation may have been the last where the majority of us were raised in some approximation of the American Dream. The middle class. We were raised to believe that the culture of stuff is normal, and even necessary. Now the middle class is disappearing. There are the rich (we’re talking Oprah and the like, here), the wealthy (aka, anyone that can afford to live the way that my generation was raised to live), the poor (what used to be blue-collar middle class), and the very poor (those that can barely afford, or can’t afford, basic needs like food, shelter, etc.). My friends and I represent the new middle class. Educated, but without any of the money or stuff that has historically been associated with being educated. We simply can’t afford it – our incomes are not commensurate with our education, or with the amount of educational debt we carry.

Roughly 90% of people I know in my age group (I’m thinking of a group of about 100 friends and acquaintances) went to college. A good chunk have advanced degrees as well. The majority of us are married or permanently coupled. At age 30-35, only around 5% own their own homes. Almost everyone I know still rents. We all buy our clothes at discount stores. Some of us have some fancy electronics, etc., but they are in apartments or very modest homes. Many of us are thinking about starting families, but are worried that we can’t afford it, particularly when we are so mired down with student loans, and aren’t yet making enough money to comfortably pay on them, live life, and support children. For us, the old American Dream just simply isn’t really available.

What I think, what I hope, is happening, is that many people, particularly in my generation, are readjusting their ideals for “the good life” to look a little less like their parents’ ideals, and a little more like their grandparents,’ or great-grandparents’ ideals. To be happy, we don’t need a lot of stuff. We can’t require a lot of stuff for happiness, or happiness would literally be impossible. We can still have families. We can still experience life. We just can’t do those things AND own a lot of crap. For many of us, it has to be a choice. I think that for those of us that are on the cusp of this change in ideals, the transition can be emotionally difficult. It has been for me, anyhow. It is difficult to be raised in one value system and to then adjust to another value system. Pieces of the old value system still come back to haunt you, as unreasonable as they may be. My old value system comes back and whispers in my ear that, even though I make a relatively decent living and don’t hate my job, I’m not as successful as I should be.

The reality is that I simply can’t afford to live the same way that my parents did, and neither can most of my peers, despite the fact that I took full advantage of all of the opportunities that they gave me; I took all the right steps. That reality feels a little bit backwards, and my emotions rebel against it (as do those of my parents). But the truth is that I know that the way that my parents ‘ generation, and the generations around theirs, lived has caused massive destruction on this planet, and in the health and well-being of billions of humans. I don’t really even want to live that way. The simple truth is: of course I can live in a small space and still raise a child well. Of course I can be happy and experience life in that same small space. Of course I can get by with fewer outfits. Of course I don’t need every updated gadget that appears on the market. Of course I don’t need to buy my children gobs of toys. Of course I don’t need to eat out all the time. And so on, and so on, and so on. My grandmother did it. Her mother did it. Everyone turned out just fine. Everyone turning out fine and happy is the true mark of success. Not stuff. My family and I will be just fine, too.

Creating a Life

Lately I’ve been focusing a lot on food and health on this blog, but that is not the only fish I’ve got to fry! What of my art goals for 2010? Well, I have not resumed The Artist’s Way. I have not joined a writer’s group, and I have not started guitar lessons (yet). However, I don’t feel like I’m suffering for lack of creative outlets.

I haven’t started doing the creative endeavors that I set out to do this year because I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve been busy in a good way. For one thing, I have been doing a lot of editing lately. As David has been working on getting marketing materials together for his massage practice, and cover letters together for job applications, I’ve been busy helping him to craft messages that are good representations of him and what he believes in. I’ve also been asked to look at several cover letters for friends recently, which is fun for me. Editing is something that I’m good at, and it feels good to use something I’m good at to help people out. Many people may not realize that editing is actually quite creative. It’s a real creative challenge to take something that somebody else has written and tweak it to suit his or her audience while still retaining his or her “voice.”

Editing aside, I have also been learning HTML. The main reason that I set out to learn it is for career development. Many writing positions are now web-based. Even though I already know how to use several web editors, most web-based positions require at least a basic HTML knowledge. The second reason for learning it is that I am slowly but surely building a (very basic) website for David’s practice. I know that there are a lot of cheap services that we could use to create a website for him; we may still use one of them to build something fancier. But right now it’s good for me to have a specific project as I’m learning. It helps reinforce the knowledge. I have been finding the project very inspiring.

I haven’t put a whole lot of action into creating a career path for myself recently. At least not directly (above and beyond HTML!). But I have been working on it; at the very least I’ve been working on it at an emotional and intellectual level. This kind of thing takes a lot of thought; a lot of working through issues that I didn’t know I had. It takes up a lot of head space.

Another piece of the puzzle is trying to whip my body back into shape. I won’t hover on this topic very much right now, since I already do a lot of that on this blog, but attempting to re-create one’s body is actually very creative. So much creativity and interest goes into pouring over recipes, making food choices, designing meal plans, choosing exercise routines, and cooking. It’s much more artistic than I have ever thought it could be.

Finally, though it hasn’t been reflected much yet in the consistency of my posts, this blog has also been enormously inspiring for me. For one thing, it has brought me back to the page. It has got me writing (in public – yikes!) after a long absense of the will to write. It has me feeling exploratory, and really thinking about what it is that I want to write. There are trillions of topics to pursue, and just simply writing about my own journey through “getting my act together” has really been helping me to figure out what my secondary passions (after words) are.

I feel fulfilled right now, with the creative end of my life. It’s a new revelation that simply creating my life can fulfill that creative urge within me. Therefore, I’m not going to come down too hard on myself for not hitting the specific goals that I set out for myself a month ago. I am excited to move on to learning new things, and creating new things. But right now my life seems pretty full!

Inner Guidance

Yesterday was an emotionally challenging day for me. The cause was nothing really specific. It was just a combination of a bunch of things: my alarm didn’t go off, and I overslept. It was rainy and gray outside. I paid my bills (never fun), and realized that the new outfit I was hoping to buy for going out this weekend (more on that later) wasn’t going to happen. People keep asking me questions about a transition that is happening in my job; I don’t know the answers, and I feel anxious about it. David is looking for a job, which is gnarly business for anyone, but particularly for someone like him who has never really had to learn how to look for one. It stresses me out, too. And the walls are starting to really close in on us at home. Five adults and two large dogs make for a pretty crowded house. I felt bummed out for all of yesterday afternoon, and into the evening. I almost didn’t work out. But then I did. And I felt better.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, and I woke up feeling bummed out again this morning. I drove to the bus depot feeling bummed out. On the bus, I wasn’t going to read because I didn’t feel like it. But then I did. And I felt better. I was reading a passage in Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra. It was about the inner guidance that we humans have. Intuition, instinct, or soul – whatever you want to call it; I think it exists. I’ve seen many examples of it in my life. The funny thing about this inner guidance is that life is so much easier when you follow it, but people so rarely do. I’m no exception. The less you listen to it, the quieter it gets. The more you listen to it, the more it seeps out into the physical world and starts giving you direct signs of which paths you should be taking.

I think that the main thing that makes it so hard to follow intuition is how deeply rational society has become. I mean, doesn’t what I described above sound a little like schizophrenia? Listening to your “inner voice”? Looking for “signs”? All of us are a little afraid of losing our minds. So we hold on to them like a vice; allowing nothing to come in that doesn’t seem rational. Unfortunately, that vice also keeps positive things, like creativity, from going out. But isn’t it our minds that drive us crazy in the first place? Would we really be so depressed if we could stop thinking about all of the negatives? If we weren’t thinking of all the negatives, would we be spending that energy on doing the positive?  Maybe losing a little bit of our minds isn’t such a bad thing.

So, letting go of a bit of my mind, being irrational, I’ve been reflecting this morning on the times in my life when everything just fell into place. When I chose my college. When I met my husband. When I quit a bad job. When we were planning our wedding. I’ve also been thinking of the times when my intuition, and all the signs, pointed to one thing; but I did the rational thing instead, and ended up losing. When I stopped writing. When I went to school for Arts Admin. It doesn’t always have to be a major decision. Your intuition could point you to turn left instead of right, and it could end up making a huge difference in your life.

In the last year, I have made some rational decisions that also felt intuitively correct. Encouraging David to quit his job at his family business and follow his intuition to be a healer. Moving back in with my family. These are not decisions of the variety where everything falls easily into place. These are decisions of the variety that take patience. But there have been signposts along the way that have told me that I did the right thing. If I can keep my awareness open for more, and not get dragged down by negative thoughts, it’s going to get easier. The more open I am to positive change, the more opportunities I’m going to see for it.

When was the last time that everything just fell into place for you? Was it obvious? Were you open to it? Or did it seem crazy?

The Connection


Abby, Shannon, and me at the Gala, 11/2009

Over the last week I have been thinking a lot about how connected all of my big goals are with each other. Good health, strong spirituality, wealth, and a satisfying career are nodes on the same loop.

Good health is biggie. We’ve all heard the phrase “you haven’t got anything if you haven’t got your health.” This is true on so many levels. The first level is obvious: if you are sick in any way, you are not able to function to your highest potential. If you are tired, can’t breathe, are in pain, can’t move properly, etc., it is going to make it all the harder to reach any goal you set out for yourself. Obviously, people overcome all kinds of physical obstacles to achieve their dreams; but at this point in time I feel like if I have any control over the obstacles, it’s best to just remove them. I have enough “issues” to get over without adding physical problems to the pile! The more energy I have, the more I can devote to spirituality, career development, and wealth.

The second level is that physical issues feed into the psychological issues. If you don’t feel good, it affects your brain chemistry and how you perceive the world; which then affects your behaviors, which affect how others perceive you. The perception of others can affect a lot of things – from your personal relationships to your career. It’s all a self-fulfilling loop. Feeling bad begets feeling bad.

The next level is that your health affects your appearance, which also affects the perception of others. Let’s face it, as much as we all want to say appearance doesn’t matter, it absolutely does. Despite our advanced self-awareness and cognitive ability, it’s my opinion (based on some stuff that I have read that I am too lazy to go find for reference!) that humans still have some holdovers from “survival of the fittest.” Above and beyond obvious conscious biases (ie., if you look like a supermodel or an olympic athlete, chances are that people might be “drawn” to you!), if you’re not healthy, there are a million little subconscious ways that other people are going to know it and be subconsciously biased towards you. I think that is some of the basis for “gut feelings” about people. If you have the opportunity to remove biases that others might have towards you, it is only going to be helpful in developing the relationships that a person needs for a successful career, etc. In other words, I think that health touches every part of our lives.

The next part of the “loop” is money. I don’t think that a lot of money is necessary for good health. But I do see where the more money a person has, the more they can afford to spend on maintaining their health, and they will definitely be less stressed out without debt nagging at them. Furthermore, there’s the old adage, “it takes money to make money,” you need to spend money on education and/or on other resources and supplies in order to gain a successful career that will earn more money. More money can also mean more free time- which can lead to more time for spiritual practice.

Next we have career development. Having a fulfilling career leads to a better sense of confidence and well-being, which contributes to good health in all kinds of ways – higher levels of endorphins, lower levels of stress, etc. People tend to be more successful at things they are passionate about. Success leads to wealth. I also believe that having a vocation, or doing what you are “supposed” to do for a living, can be part of a spiritual path.

Finally, there is spirituality. Like health, I feel that spirituality touches every single part of our lives. Part of it is that I believe that we are each active participants in creating our own realities. Every thought that we have has the potential to be a “prayer”- we are constantly asking the universe, or God, or whatever your preferred title, for what we want via our thoughts and intentions. If you think negatively about your health, money, or career, your experience is going to be negative. If you think positively your experience will be positive. I believe in this both psychologically and physically (I put weight on the whole theory that thoughts have physical bearing). The more energy I can devote to training myself to live with intention, and gratitude for the life that I have at any given moment, the better off I feel that I will be.

So really, the main point that I am trying to make is that having a lot of goals doesn’t need to be overwhelming, because if you are working hard on one of them, it is also going to make a gain in the others. Everything is a big web, and when you make positive changes in one area of life, all areas will be positively affected. Personally, I feel really good about focusing most of my energy on good health right now. It seems like a strong cornerstone. But it’s been a nice side-effect of that focus to begin noticing other, seemingly unrelated changes!