I had to pull some posts today. I cannot tell you the reason but you can probably guess why. I will update when I can but there are now certain things I can no longer discuss. Sorry.
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One of the things that is essential to all of us is a good night’s sleep. For many of us that is almost impossible to attain because of background noises, discomfort, or racing thoughts.
My mind never stops, and this makes sleep a challenge for me to attain. I eventually learned a trick that not only helps me to sleep restfully but to improve my life as well:
I hypnotize myself.
When I go to bed at night I load up a playlist with hypnosis titles and play them while I sleep. The soothing sounds quickly cause me to doze off, then mask unwanted noises while they target areas of my life that I wish to improve.
It sounds silly but it really works. Thanks to this method, I not only get a good night’s sleep, I am motivated to work harder on my goals come morning thanks to the specially selected hypnosis tracks on my playlist.
This isn’t the only way to guarantee a good night’s sleep. Eric West has written a book on the subject titled Set Your Sleep on Autopilot that covers the subject in-depth. It is filled with tips for attaining a good night’s sleep, and I am honored to have shared my personal sleeping hack in there as well.
In today’s post I want to publicly thank Dwayne Johnson, AKA “The Rock” for being such a wonderful role model for the children of single parents.
Mr. Johnson, my daughter has heard the stories of how your mother struggled during your childhood and how you do things for her now that you are successful. She approached me the other day to tell me about the Mother’s Day tale you shared on Instagram. Over the years she has watched me work multiple jobs to provide for her needs so the story resonated with her. She then informed me that when she becomes successful she wants to follow in your footsteps where your mother is concerned.
While my only goal in life is to see her happy, hearing those words brought a tear to my eye.
Thank you for being such an excellent role model. I appreciate you.
My salt shaker died some time ago. It had a metal cap that rusted through. I’ve been looking about for a shaker with a plastic top but have yet to find one that will suit our needs.
In the meantime I’ve decided to go makeshift. I purchased a disposable salt and pepper combo that is made of plastic and waxed cardboard. When the salt ran out (we use considerably more salt than pepper) I pried open the top and refilled it.
After over a decade of service one of my favorite pillows finally decided to give up the ghost. It was horribly lumpy and my attempts to revive it only made things worse.
Since I wasn’t in the mood to splurge for another one I decided to look around my house for a solution. I took a soft blanket, folded it neatly, and inserted it into a pillowcase. It isn’t very fluffy, but for now it serves my needs.
What have you hacked around your house lately?
“Sit down, close your eyes, and hold out your hands,” Katie instructed as soon as I arrived home from work yesterday.
Curious, I did as she instructed and felt her place something small, light, and round into my palm.
I opened my eyes to discover a brightly colored egg. A real egg, with a tiny hole hollowed out of the bottom. A shake revealed that something was inside.
Katie bounced in excitement. “Don’t just stare at it, Mom — break it open!”
“But it’s so pretty,” I complained.
She huffed at me, so I did what she asked. Inside this cute little egg was a love note.
When I first started eliminating stuff I was overwhelmed. I had four jobs, three kids, and way too much stuff. I was exhausted, and something had to give.
By paring down my possessions I was able to begin the journey to retake control of my life. Minimalism allowed me to focus on what was important — which at the time was survival.
Thanks to minimalism I have been able to pick up and move long distances with ease. I’ve been able to reinvent myself multiple times as my desires dictated and survive situations that would have destroyed many.
But do you have to be a minimalist forever? What if you are settled in a comfortable home and have no intentions to move? What if you can comfortably afford the lifestyle that you are living — do you need to get rid of all your stuff even then?
The answer is no.
Minimalism is a tool. It can help you regain your focus, concentrate on what is important, and prepare for your dreams. It can pull your head above water if you are drowning in debt.
For those who love to travel, minimalism is essential. It is much easier to move to another state or country with a single bag than it is with a whole house full of stuff. It enables the travelers to wander, unburdened with material things to squash their enjoyment.
But for the rest of us minimalism is not a lifestyle. It is simply a means to an end. Don’t feel guilty because you choose to own more than 100 things. There is no point in living out of a backpack when you’ve got a home and kids and a mate. Extremism will not benefit you in this case — it will only hinder you from the life you have chosen to live.
I’m not sure what I hate most about televisions. Is it having that big, black screen on the wall that spews advertising every few minutes? Or the fact that when one is turned on everyone forgets about actually talking because they are all too busy staring at the screen?
Is it the fact that they promote an unrealistic life: poor people who always seem to have the money for big homes and designer clothing? They can go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money yet never ever appear to be broke?
Let’s look at the television itself. It is an innocuous device, promoted to give us entertainment and education and news. In reality it gives us unrealistic expectations of life and programs us to purchase this or believe in that.
When you buy a television you immediately have to start giving away your hard-earned money just to feed it with a cable or satellite subscription, and for what? Just so it can sit in your living room and tell you to spend even more of your money, because you are worthless if you don’t.
Televisions are the opiate of the masses. Go to work, come home, and sit mindlessly in front of it for the rest of the evening instead of doing something useful like learning a new trade or cleaning the house. Instead of doing something to actually improve their lives they watch the latest episode of “The Walking Dead.”
Step away from the remote for a while and you will be shocked at the mindless drivel that you were watching when you come back. You will sit there, observing those around you chortling in glee, wondering why in the world they find that crap amusing.
I know. It happened to me.
While I’m not saying that you should avoid visual entertainment entirely (I sure don’t), what I am saying is that televisions will brainwash you if you watch them too much. Get a Netflix subscription so that you can entertain yourself occasionally sans the commercials and for God’s sake, cancel the cable!
When you go home tonight try something different. Don’t turn on the boob tube for a change. Grab a book or do something to improve your life instead. Better yet, pick that sucker up and throw it in a dumpster. Your mind will thank you.
Oddly enough I feel like I’m getting a better workout now that I’m riding a bike to work than I did when I was walking the distance. You use a different set of muscles when bike riding and I can feel the difference every single day.
My calves and knees seem to be getting the biggest workout. Since I ride my bike over some hilly areas, the intensity of the workout varies. Also, the more I push myself, the faster I get to work — an added incentive to pedal harder. I suspect that I will have legs of steel before this is over with.
The other day at work I met an older lady. She watched me work as I wiped tables in the lobby. As part of my job I go around to the customers and offer to refill drinks, take away trash, etc. When I reached her table she gave me a surprise.
“You work so much harder than anyone realizes,” she informed me.
“True, but it is a honest paycheck at least,” I replied with a smile.
She agreed, then confessed that a few months back she had gotten a job across the street at McDonalds so that she would have something to do in her retirement. She thought it would be an easy paycheck and help to keep her active and involved in life.
She lasted a single week.
She admitted that she had never realized just how hard fast food employees worked. Like many others, she had always taken them for granted. “Never again,” she promised. “You work harder than I’ve ever had to in my life.”
Her words put a spring in my step for the rest of my shift. It felt nice to get some respect for a change.