Join me for a 32-minute session using a moderate Theraband and moderate resistance tube. A fantastic session that begins with injury prevention and activation before moving into upper body toning and finishing with core. Enjoy!
This workout starts with a basic balance test (Stork) that you can use to track your imbalances, and weekly progress! This session is a fantastic injury prevention and prehab routine, as it incorporates stability, flexibility, and mobility in all three planes of movement. Work to build a solid foundation from the bottom up, inside out all in just under 30 minutes. Complete 2-3 times a week for best results.
Forever is composed of nows.– Emily Dickinson
The topic for this week’s blog struck me as I was staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool, distractedly thinking about my lengthy to-do list while swimming laps. I snapped back to reality just before running headfirst into the cement wall lining the pool, indicating just how far away my mind was. It struck me that perhaps I was missing out what I could have been experiencing if I wasn’t so future-focused (we will deep dive types of time-perspectives shortly) If you’ve read my writing in the past, you may already know how firmly rooted I am to the idea of self-awareness. The awareness of time perspective brought me here, to this moment, writing this message to help myself (and you!) live a full, more sustainable, happy life.
Let’s start with the question at the front of our minds: what is time perspective? The time perspective theory is the idea that the way we perceive the past, present, and future impacts our thoughts, emotions, and actions. A Stanford University psychology professor named Philip Zimbardo (you may recognize him as the mastermind behind the Stanford Prison Experiment) developed this theory. His philosophy is based on 5 approaches, or “types.” Review these approaches, or types, below. Which one do you relate with most?
- The ‘past-negative’ type. Having suffered trauma(s) in the past, you focus on what went previously went wrong. You would describe yourself as pessimistic, or as a realist. This can lead to feelings like anger, bitterness, and regret.
- The ‘past-positive’ type. You enjoy remembering “the good ‘ol days” and have a nostalgic view of the past. You keep in touch with family and childhood friends. You enjoy holidays and souvenirs to remind you of the past but may suffer from a cautiously “better safe than sorry” type mentality.
- The ‘present-hedonistic’ type. You are an in-the-moment pleasure-seeker! You may be impulsive, and are reluctant to postpone feeling good, possibly to avoid pain. You may live a less healthy lifestyle, trend towards addictions, and take more risks.
- The ‘present-fatalistic’ type. You feel you have no control of your future and therefore feel stuck in the present. You feel trapped in the moment, powerless to change your future. This may lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, or in some cases risk-taking.
- The ‘future-focused’ type. (sometimes referred to as extreme-future focused) You plan for the future, make to-do lists, and trust your decisions. You are most likely to succeed and stay out of trouble, but may sacrifice personal relationships, intimacy and enjoyment of the present by meticulously planning the future.
Citation: Rosemary K.M. Sword and Philip Zimbardo.
The idea of this theory and understanding how you look at the past, present, and future may help you. How? Understanding your needs and values, whether those are reminiscing the past or brightly planning the future, may help you find balance and stability while identify toxic triggers. If you think about it, a lot of people who are unhappy, anxious, rushing around, acting out in a grumpy manner, etc. may simply be out of balance with their time perspective. Picture a coworker or companion that unexpectedly snapped at you recently. It may be a result of them obsessing over past pains, like a divorce or simply wishing it was the way it was before Covid, unable to pull themselves to the present. Another example is someone like myself, too busy plotting a productive day I miss out on the taste of my coffee, the warm shine of afternoon sun, or the smell of fresh rain. We often snap when our mojo is off, and I’m starting to see how essential time-perspective is in achieving sustainability and stability.
We all take time for granted. I think this may be one valuable lesson Covid taught us: we may not realize what we have until it has been taken. Especially intangible things, like freedom and time. We all know living in the past or worrying about the future takes joy out of the present. Understanding time perspective may help us slow down, gain perspective, act with kindness and empathy. So, what are some ways we can balance our time perspective? I’m so glad you asked!
Depending on what your time-perspective is, you may need an individualized approach to finding balance. My first suggestion is to seek a therapist that seeks to understand your past traumas, future burdens, and present mentality. Therapy is always a helpful resource – speaking from experience as I still keep in touch with my trusted therapist from high school! A few examples of balancing time perspective can be found below.
If you identified with the past-negative approach, boosting positive experiences may help lessen the traumas deeply rooted in your past. Boosting positive past experiences or memories may be helpful, as well as identifying bright future events. Enlightening yourself with positive past and present events regularly may be helpful!
If you identified with present-fatalistic, giving yourself permission to do things you enjoy may help balance the fear and trapped feelings you feel in the present moment. Perhaps hanging out with some present-hedonistic types will help! Relationships that have different time perspectives may prove useful to all types.
If you identified with future focused but find you’re a bit extreme or obsessive with planning (or extreme future focused), you may miss out on the pleasures of the here and now, like relationships and intimacy. Making more time for present activities may need to be intentional at first but working it into your future plans by scheduling “activities in the present” may soon become more natural. Asking friends and family to hold you accountable may be wise!
Whether you realize you need to make time to read or give yourself permission to do things you enjoy more, it’s important to deep dive your views on past joys or traumas while understanding how you view the future. This may help you be more present. I know I’ve incorporated simply breathing and taking in my current surroundings as a way to let go of past stressors or future worries. I like the way I feel when I’m in the moment: enjoying the taste of the food I’m eating, the touch of a loved ones fingers interlaced in mine, the smell in the fresh air (or chlorinated pool water, going back to my opening story), or the feel of a hard effort in a workout. Awareness of each sense leads to an experience specific to that moment alone, and all those moments added together make up my life, my memories. Why waste them with negative emotions of the past or future? Reminiscing and planning will always be important ways to remember things or be productive, as long as it’s not at the expensive of my presence.
Be well. Love,
Join me for a creative, functional movement session! This bodyweight workout is the product of a Kawaoka Coaching’s philosophy: Listen to your body & Train sustainably. Work from the bottom to the top, focusing on stability, flexibility, and mobility while incorporating core movements. Improve your strength from the inside out, the deepest layers to the most superficial, to improve your function. Enjoy!
Influencer: a person or thing that influences another, a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
Inspirer: someone who inspires, fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
I will never forget hearing the title “social media influencer” for the first time. I was coaching a group of 15-18-year-old swimmers when I overheard a conversation about a crush someone had on. “She’s an influencer,” the boy stated. I was immediately filled with curiosity. What in the world was an influencer? A quick Google search between training athletes filled me in. “A social media influencer is a user who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a huge audience and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations.” Apparently, an influencer can bring in $30,000-100,000 per year by promoting products. The trick? Getting over one million followers. No wonder our society is obsessed with hashtags, selfies, likes, and tagging brands- myself included! As I have fallen into these practices of meticulously well-thought posts and hashtags, I began to wonder if this was sustainable. If you know me, my passion for sustainability is now at the forefront of all my practices.
Let me be clear: I believe social media is a necessary evil today’s society. As someone who uses it as a marketing tool (I used Instagram to communicate about this blog, for example), I believe it is helpful for expression, communication, sponsorships, and staying in touch with family. I also have been negatively impacted by social media by no fault but my own. This blog is a somewhat of a ‘journal entry’ of mine, a result of curiosity and self-analysis regarding my use of social media and how I can help others who have struggled with it as well. You may be an influencer, an inspirer, or just a guy or gal who enjoys posting an occasional photo! I hope you find this blog helpful, regardless of your social media stance or presence.
As one of the unique millennials to go through my early teen age years without a cell phone or social media, I have an interesting outlook on how significant the impact has been on humans (especially teens and young adults). Since being introduced to social media (age 14, myspace and Facebook in its early glory days) I’ve been off and on and off and back on again with platforms like Instagram. I would go online for a few months to a year, get exhausted from it, delete it, get bored, create a new profile and see how long it lasts. This pattern was not sustainable, so recently I decided if I was to be on social media, I was committed to being authentic, keep things real with my audience, and limit my time spend scrolling. I think self-expression is extremely important and being online has brought me joy in that regard, but also realize the tears I’ve cried stalking an ex or the rage I’ve felt after seeing some posts.
So, is it good to have social media? Should I avoid being online, or change the way I interact online? Is it just a timewaster? Am I trying too hard to be… influential? Is it worth it? How can I protect myself from the pitfalls of social media?
I feel it’s important to note that my experiences on social media have led me to believe that it’s given some of us a false sense of influence. I believe we tend to seek the attention and affirmation of gaining thousands of followers that think, act, dress like you do. The idea has crossed my mind: “If I just post this photo with the right caption and hashtag I could go viral and have it made!” I’ve had both positive and negative experiences from social media and learned a lot about myself in my time spent online, as well as in the breaks I’ve taken from it. Positives include sharing free workouts to people during a global pandemic, staying in touch with my friends and families overseas in various time zones, and learning from climate-change and fitness education-based platforms. Negatives include arguments from clashing political beliefs, angry emotions and mood swings from reading bragging-based posts, wasted time from scrolling, and jealousy from accounts more successful but seemingly less educated or passionate than mine. Perhaps you can relate?
I’ve learned that if I post something looking for a response, affirmation, or attention, I generally experience more self-doubt and negative emotions. If I post something authentic, honest, and creative, I generally experience more independent, positive emotions. Generally, the more confident, genuine, and self-aware I am at the given time, the more equipped I feel to stay true to myself online. The disassociation, I think, happens when people project their insecurities publicly and analyze their value based on people’s response.
So, in response to those questions… is social media good or bad? Is there a benefit to openly sharing, posting, interacting and engaging with people online? It is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of studies and reviews. Studies have found a connection between social media use and feelings like loneliness, depression, and poor life satisfaction. So, IF you’re going to be on there, are there ways to limit my experiences to negative things and enjoy more of the positives? I would say Yes. In response to “Is it merely a time-waster?” I would state that social media has, at times, seemed to threaten face-to-face interactions, but it may be streamlining those conversations at the same time.
From the research I’ve done on the topic, it’s important to have a clear and aware understanding of yourself prior to exposing yourself to the opinions of the world. As you might know, it can be a harsh world. A photo you thought would go viral gets only a handful of likes and minimal feedback, a crushing blow after your excitement and time spent thoughtfully putting a clever caption together. The person you’ve been crushing on shares a selfie with someone else, triggering stabs of jealous and anger. Your dear friend makes a political statement that shocks you, giving way to the notion perhaps you shouldn’t be friends at all…
“This is a very, very hot topic,” says Jeffrey Hall, PhD, director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at the University of Kansas. “Overwhelmingly, the literature says that if there is an effect, the effect is extremely small, and is likely not in the direction we expect.” This means “that it’s more likely that people who are depressed, lonely, and have poor quality of life are more likely to turn to social media to resolve those pre-existing lacks in their social world, than it is the case that people who use social media are causally becoming more unsatisfied with their life.”
While I’m no therapist I would recommend those struggling with self-doubt, identity, and emotional or mental health struggles refrain from looking for the answers online. While social media may or may not help these individuals is unclear, but I may reason that the more energy spent fully focused on one’s self, the better. Social media has a reputation for being a timewaster.
Now, there are several people in the subcategory of marketing-those who are only online for the occasional required brand post and that’s it. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to push a brand, especially one you enjoy using! I’m all for sharing a good brand of flour, dumbbells you enjoy, and whatnot. What I’m NOT in support of is the notion that sharing useful things may lead to fame, fortune and popularity. While this may seem silly to some of you, those of you who are self-aware and could care less how many likes or comments or retweets you get, realize there are people young and old who have grown to find an identity in posting photos filled with brands and hashtags in hopes of becoming an influencer (or who perhaps feel they are an influencer) and such a notion can lead to psychological consequences and pitfalls.
I want to bring us back to the opening lines of this write up and tie it into what we’ve reviewed about social media. Below is a brief self-analysis that may help shed light on where you are in your personal self-awareness journey. Your responses may help you determine if you’re interactions online will lead to further positive or negative emotions, and my hope is that conclusion will help safeguard you from the pitfalls of social media. There are no wrong answers.
- Do I want to influence others to use the same brands and products as me; am I trying to become a brand influencer and why?
- Does my self-worth hinge on how well my posts are received by my audience?
- Do I want to inspire introspection, self-realization, and positive adaptations?
- Do I post in such a way that encourages meaningful conversations, open to controversial or opposing beliefs, or do I prefer to avoid conflict-based interactions by posting in a neutral way?
- Do I have emotional and psychological issues to work through, such as anxiety and/or depression, and will being online positively or negatively affect the work I’m trying to do on myself?
- Am I exposing myself to anyone that makes me feel negative emotions, like jealousy, sadness, or anger? Should I create a boundary by muting or unfollowing them to limit experiencing these emotions?
- Am I fostering an authentic environment for myself to share original ideas and real-life emotions, or projecting a version of what I think may bring me, or my followers, the illusion of perfection and happiness?
If I’m being honest, and perhaps I’ve been too honest, I would say there are times when I bounce back and forth from to confident and aware to searching for affirmation. I still occasionally scroll aimlessly through my news feed and look up people that initiate negative emotional responses. I’m learning the consequences of these actions and challenge myself to limit intentional self-sabotage. After all, I really enjoy chatting with friends online, learning new things from posts they share, and communicating my experiences and knowledge as a resource to people who are open to it. Perhaps the question not IF you should be on social media, or is it good or bad, perhaps the question is how are you using it, and are you creating a positive environment for yourself? Dwayne Johnson, one of my favorite celebrities to follow, seems to be a shining example of a fellow who openly commits to speaking from an authentic place, both good and bad, and addressing controversial topics head-on. He is now the most followed man in America, and the most followed American man in the world. He cites authenticity as his driving resource in gaining popularity and promises to continue his honest communication with his audience. This is an assumption, but I have a feeling he doesn’t check his stats or interact with trolls much… He’s too busy accomplishing things!
In conclusion: My goal, and reason for being online is to share my lifestyle with the hope of I inspiring others to continuously search for sustainability, happiness, and personal growth. Anything that strays from that goal (scrolling, stalking, comparing, boasting, “humble bragging”, searching for quick affirmation) could lead to negative emotional consequences. This may mean unfollowing or muting some accounts, thinking about purpose before posting, talking to peers about how you feel, regularly taking account of your feelings (self-analysis checks), taking breaks from being online, and good old-fashioned self-discipline in terms of time spent using social media.
I hope this inspires you to reflect. I believe we are all capable of real inspiration, and right now the world could sure use more of it.
Keep it real out there!
*Please consult a physician before beginning a new program.
Join me for an effective, calorie-burning, muscle-building 30 minute at-home session! This session is great for those newer to kettlebell training. Becca show proper lifting and entry techniques for safe, functional kettlebell training. Be sure to start with a lighter weight while watching my demonstration and listening to my form cues to improve your technique before using heavy weight. I recommend tracking the weight you use, and doing this workout once per week. Gradually increase weight by no more than 10% as you consistently improve with your technique and strength with this great weekly workout!
This 30 minute session has it all: Balance, Mobility, Functional Compound Strength Movements, and Core.
Join me for this quick but effective session, designed to burn calories while building muscles with exercises that target several major muscle groups at once. A great session to do once a week and track your strength gains by increasing your resistance by 10%.
This is not a doom and gloom, scare people into action type of article. In fact, it’s the opposite. If you’ve given up on listening to climate change advocates because it’s depressing and overwhelming, give me one more chance to help your perspective! I have so much hope for the Earth, and I want to share that with you. You can make a difference. We, as a globe, have a chance to reverse the direction we are going and return to a state of sustainable living on planet Earth. No, this doesn’t mean limiting the number of people or mandating vegan diets. It means raising awareness and encouraging humans to reconnect with nature. Read on to find out what I’ve learned and changed in the past 6 months as proof that sustainability is not only a way to thrive, it’s a way to save the human species from the inevitable 6th mass extinction.
How I Got Started
I just learned how to effectively recycle (rinsing food from all plastics containers, removing stickers from containers, and separating correctly). I also recently learned how to effectively compost and why we should do it. I’ve grown most of our vegetables myself, and visited our local market once a month for local, organic produce. Finally, I began cooking 25-50% of our meals vegan or vegetarian and began making all of our soaps, cleaning products (laundry detergent and surface cleaners) and bread from scratch. Bread and shampoo are not expensive. Simply put: I can make soap and bread, so why buy it?
This all started as a time-filler. I don’t commute 90+ minutes to and from work every day, so I felt the need to fill that time with something productive. I had always been curious about my impact on the environment, but wrote it off as something I simply did not have time for. After a month or so of trying new DIY, gardening, and recycling projects, I started feeling better. Stronger, more resilient, more in tune with my body. Happier. Healthier. A passion to learn more about sustainable living grew each day. I began researching ways to live more sustainable. Soon I was checking out climate change books from the library, following activists online, and watching environmental documentaries.
I want to live in a world that doesn’t have an expiration date. At the rate we are currently using limited fossil fuels, destroying forests, and pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we are only accelerating our projection towards extinction. We have the opportunity to shift our focus entirely to sustainable, renewable energy resources. Voting for leaders that are ready to make that investment will not only help our atmosphere, but it will unite us with nature while providing more abundant energy for people in all class systems- not just the wealthy.
I also want to contribute to the change we all have to make as a society in order for our species to survive. Being in nature is healing and healthy, we all know that. Can you imagine if we lived WITH nature, instead of manipulating it, sheltering from it… abusing it? You see, we’re in a bit of a redundant cycle with Earth. We drill, harvest, hunt, and burn, expecting life to go on as normal merely because everyone else is doing it. We travel long miles to see pretty landscapes and immerse ourselves in the few corners of the worlds that aren’t as inhabited, unknowingly pumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere in the process.
The oceans can’t absorb our emissions much longer, and the reefs are paying for our flippant actions. Every Instagram post of a friend snorkeling in the ocean is now shadowed by the knowledge that several tons of carbon were expelled to allow such a luxurious photo op. I calculated our home’s emissions. Even without air conditioning, driving an average of 3,000 miles per year, AND recycling/composting, our household of two emits close to 11 tons of CO2 per year, 5.5 tons each. If you would like to calculate your carbon footprint, click here.
As a globe, we should aim for each individual to emit 3 tons of CO2, total, per year or LESS. This includes our monthly home energy, travel, and waste emission totals. Ideally, we reduce our emissions to zero so our future generations can thrive. But…baby steps. Ideally, we just need to start by reducing emissions, instead of increasing.
By limiting our travel, or traveling in energy-efficient ways, we can dramatically reduce our carbon emissions that are causing global warming, which could directly help decrease wildfires. California, Oregon, and Washington suffered an extreme loss of forest during this year’s wildfire season, and we’re only halfway through “fire season.” In Washington state alone, more acreage burned in one day than in the last 12 of 18 fire seasons combined. Over the past 10 years, there were an average of 64,100 wildfires annually and an average of 6.8million acres burned annually. For more statistics, please click here.
Unfortunately, the wealthy are responsible for a large portion of the world’s emissions. This is why climate justice would mean justice for the poor. By providing clean, renewable energy to poverty-stricken areas, we can help the globe AND those less fortunate. This would help, not solve, the racial injustice problem by providing more opportunities to minorities while eliminating close to 30% of the emissions the upper 10% are responsible for. We need to hold the wealthy accountable for their actions.
Farming methods can also be improved. The current method of tilling, planting, spraying, and harvesting is not sustainable. We are slowly killing our soil, and knocking down trees to make room for edible livestock. We are stealing the planet’s diversity to push things like chicken, beef, dairy, wheat, and corn. Insects are going extinct. Large fish are being eliminated from over-fishing, and rare animals are even harder to find as we destroy their homes and poach them. Have we already forgotten the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s? We tilled and tilled the land, which coupled with Mother Nature’s wind storms, giving us the first hint of what is to come if we don’t LISTEN to the Earth and LEARN from Her.
Deforestation is happening at an incredible rate. If we follow our current patterns of cutting down trees to make room for animals and crops, or for timber and paper production, by the time your newborn baby is YOUR age natural forests could be reduced to a mere 15%. In the past 50 years, we went from 66% natural forests remaining to 31%. That means by 2070, the world will look incredibly different. Your grandchildren will be wondering why we didn’t change sooner, when we could save forests and entire species from perishing instead of as a last resort. Good news: some countries have already turned the tide! Bad news: the US is not one of them. In fact, in the past few years we’ve only produced more emissions and waste.
The population is often brought up in climate change arguments. While people are causing the problem, people are not the problem. People can change. I am proof of that. All species have a ceiling, and I’m confident that humans will eventually level out in terms of population growth. Japan may be an example. The Japanese culture has developed rapidly, and experienced a notable decline in birth rates. This could be explained, in part, to limited job availability as technology advances. Robots are being used in place of humans, serving in restaurants for example.
Humans are still gradually evolving and adapting. The more informed, educated, advanced and equal our society becomes, the sooner our population can right itself and stabilize.
What You Can Do
Recycling is the first step. If you aren’t involved in a recycling program, I invite you to make a plan to start participating in one. This is an investment in our future. The second step is to look at your lifestyle and assess your emissions. It’s ironic that our cost of living goes down as we invest in sustainable options. Another idea: gardening! Growing plants is a great way to help our environment. Plants breath in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. If you need help starting an indoor container garden, refer to my 30 minute DIY post. Hydroponic indoor gardens just may be the future of farming!
The way we eat has become a grotesque model of unsustainable consumption. It’s not just the single-use plastic packaging (which is awful in and of itself), but also the mass production of plants and animals. We are manipulating nature to provide for our growing appetite. Instead of diets and keto-fad diets, we could try simply taking a small step back. Eating vegetarian 3-4 times per week. Not every day, every meal…perhaps start with 25-50%. We all know dairy products are linked to GI issues, so limiting these items serves as a health benefit and climate benefit. We love a good steak, so now it’s a special monthly occasion instead of weekly. I enjoy making my own almond and oat milk, and swap coconut oil or avocado oil for butter when possible in baking and cooking. When possible, buy or grow organic.
As mentioned before, eliminating or decreasing wasteful travel and clothing purchases is another effective way to reduce your emissions and save money. Travel by train if possible, or by electric car. We have family in Hawaii, and would like to travel to see them. Until energy-efficient flights are available, I have committed to flying roundtrip to Hawaii once every other year, instead of 1-2 times per year. Production, like new Lululemon pants or Gucci bags, requires energy and materials. Where do those come from? You guessed it: Earth. Buying clothing second hands skips the emissions from production AND eliminates the waste of used clothes. Confession: Almost all my name-brand clothing (yes Lulu!) and home décor/kitchen wares have come from second-hand stores. One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure, at least in our household. You’ll save money and Mama Earth, how can you say no?!
When it’s time to replace your car, think about investing in electric. We are making a plan to phase in solar power options, as well as eliminating our two vehicles to eventually invest in one electric car. Yes, solar panels and electric cars are more pricey than natural gas and diesel cars. In the long run, we will save money and *HELLO* the planet! I have to believe my nieces, Emma (5) and Lydia (3), are worthy of a clean future, so this will be my investment in them. If you are a parent, I hope you begin to see the impact of climate change in such a way. You may also consider improving the economy of your home by lowering the temperature of you home in the winter by a degree or two, and the inverse in the summer to save electricity. Swapping out energy-efficient light bulbs is another trick, as well as setting devices like computer to energy-save mode.
Lastly, VOTE for leaders who will take climate change seriously and act to equalize the distribution of wealth by providing sustainable, renewable energy. We can learn from countries like Costa Rica, Morocco, and France. These countries once suffered from deforestation, contaminated water, average temperature hikes, and drought. After their country leaders to action, these countries flourished where they had suffered. Morocco is now exporting energy produced by their solar farms to other countries. Costa Rica, largely powered by renewable energy, has seen its forest double in the past 30 years. France has worked to provide a clean, public water system. The Paris Agreement, formed in 2015, is our best hope at reducing emissions as a GLOBE. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to allow the global temperature increase below 2*C by reducing emissions. Sadly, President Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement upon taking office and the Unites States per capita emissions are among the worst globally at 16.2 tons, compared to a global 4.8.
Encouragement to End
Here are some encouraging articles where climate action is showing beneficial, economical gains:
You see, it IS possible for us to change. The proof is right in front of us. We just lack the desire, or perhaps the group effort, and leadership. It starts with educating yourself. Cleaning up your household, reducing individual emissions, and living a sustainable life, one without an expiration date, is as liberating as it is resilient. I’d be thrilled if you calculated your yearly emissions, and/or googled your next flight emissions. It’s incredibly humbling.
Eventually, the choice won’t be there. Eventually, we will drain the world of fossil fuels. Eventually, Earth will be a barren desert, burnt up from carbon emissions. But, if we act now, we can start going back towards a thriving, diverse planet. Your children deserve a thriving future. By 2050, the world will look vastly different if we continue on this destructive path. Vote for leaders who will take us in the right direction. Think about an electric car when it’s time for a new vehicle. Consider more economical energy options. Buy second hand when possible. Eat vegetarian once or twice a week. REDUCE travel, clothing purchases, and plastic use. REUSE items before throwing them away (repurposing is SO fun!). RECYCLE and compost!
You can do it. Email me with any questions you may have. I would love to hear from you!
In Good Health,
“We can’t just consume our way to a more sustainable world”
Whether you’re struggling against the weather (no pun intended!) or looking to burn some calories while watching your kiddos, this indoor sweat session will get your heart rate pumping with a blend of functional exercises! Safe for all levels, this 30 minute session starts with a warm up before a challenging and diverse main set. Wrap things up with a 5 minute core sequence that’s sure to leave your abs burning! Enjoy!
“No more bad news, please.” Elliot, my husband, says flatly. We’ve shared coffee and breakfast almost every morning since the pandemic pulverized our “normal” routine several months ago. What started as a luxurious adaptation became a downtrodden dose of reality, and soon our coffee chats slowly became saturated with the latest news headlines. In addition to the news and bleak reality of Covid-19, my family was struck with an unexpected loss when my sister lost her son, Titus Daniel, in an emergency C section at 37 weeks. We were at a loss for how to move forward. I don’t blame him for saying enough is enough, at least for today.
I am certainly not the first person to take to writing as a form of sad, frustrated expression during these times, and I won’t be the last. I do not have the answers. I do not have a special solution or magic “fix it” button. I do, however, have a knack for finding silver linings and I hope to share that with you.
As a kid, people used to say, “Do you want to hear the good news first or the bad news?” I always chose bad news always first. Let’s start by getting very real, and work our way into positive coping strategies from there.
- We’re smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic, thousands dead with new cases climbing daily, and no vaccine in sight.
- The Election
- Both American presidential candidates have demonstrated utterly childlike behavior to the world in an embarrassing opening debate, and the future of this country could not be more divided or uncertain.
- Racial inequality rages in our faces – a problem that has existed since humans have walked the earth, if you ask me.
- I’ll throw in sexual inequality for those fighting for equal rights in the LGBTQ community
- Climate Change
- The entire West coast is on fire, burning more each year as a direct result of global warming. Coral reefs are dying, hurricanes are more frequent and destructive, and we’re seeing animals go extinct as forests are being destroyed.
- The Economy
- … is reflecting the devastation of a deadly virus. Thousands are jobless, homelessness is growing, and there are no signs of stimulus until the virus and testing are in a better place.
- Individual Struggle
- As I mentioned earlier, we’re all fighting our own little battles and experiences trauma on top of the world’s devastation. Perhaps you have lost a loved one, lost your job, or are just fed up with dealing with Zoom online schooling.
Alright, now that we’re nice and cozy, lets figure out what the hell we can do to survive the rest of this year. Most importantly, you have every right to be afraid, worried, angry, anxious, sad, and/or any other emotion you’ve experienced. That’s one hefty list of awful things. Honestly, I’m not here to change your political viewpoint, or even to harp about the need to wear a mask, or the importance of recycle and flight reduction. I’m here as a fellow human being, desperate to shine light on my fellow man and woman.
I’ve listed some though process and words of comfort that have helped me during this time. Before you get into them, however, I want you to know it’s ok to have a moment, an hour, a day, or even a week where you just don’t feel like yourself. It’s fine to feel the weight of reality, as long as you don’t let it crush you.
Coping with reality:
- We’ve been here before.
- Perhaps not Covid-19 and such specifically, but as a globe we’ve overcome some harsh adversities. Surprisingly, I’ve taken comfort in the idea that the world has almost always been in some state of turmoil. I’ve watched movies reliving the civil war, listened to relatives recall the AIDS, Ebola, and SARS outbreak, read books detailing the inhumanities of WWII and Vietnam. My point is: YES, this sucks, but there is so much hope! There is the ability and resilience of humankind, the same humankind that rallied to overcome all the terrors of the past.
- If our ancestors can do it, so can we.
- Invest in deep, meaningful conversations.
- Share your emotions with a friend or family member. Disarm the power of these uncomfortable feelings you have by speaking about them. Letting emotions rage internally can severely affect your quality of life. If you’re uncomfortable opening up, or aren’t ready to just yet, try journaling.
- Live In the Moment.
- We all have an End Date. The world does, too. Regardless of your religion, we share the knowledge as a society that we will not live forever. It is not easy to hear, but this is one constant that has not changed despite the wild roller coaster of 2020. This is as true today as it was on December 31, 2019. We still have no idea when our last day is going to be, so why not find joy, love, and happiness right now? Live in the moment, THIS MOMENT.
- Simple, but oh so challenging. I know… I like to travel and give hugs and high fives and go to Costco without something covering my whole face, too (although I could get used to hiding blemishes or the dark circles under my eyes on tired days!) Listen, I like everything pre-2020 just as much as you do. I miss it, and I hope it comes back. But you know what I’ve committed to? The idea that IF life doesn’t get back to “normal” I’m not going to waste the upcoming minutes, hours, days, months, and years wishing it was “the way it used to be.”
- What are some things you CAN do, right now, that bring you purpose and joy? Refer to last blog “Simple, Inexpensive, 30 Minute DIY” if you need a little guidance or a creative jumpstart. We’ve begun utilizing our local library, informally starting the Kawaoka Book Club, and I’ve enjoyed making soaps, lotion, crafty household items and breads, too!
- Get off social media
- I’m always flabbergasted at the total time I spend on my phone, especially social media. If I have X number of minutes to live, why would I waste it trying to impress other people? I’m happy to go online and share my resources, experiences and knowledge while attempting to stay moderately up to date on my friends and family, but I have set boundaries on both my followers and following. I have personal time limits for my cell phone, and I’m not afraid to shut my phone off or delete my Instagram app for as long as I need so I can process my emotions without the influence of anyone. I encourage you to separate yourself from trolls, negativity, and the pressure to influence whenever that burden is too great. Just click “OFF” and retreat to those in your inner circle.
- Fight for your rights
- As one who is deeply convicted by the wrongdoings of society, I find I feel peace when I’m doing something about it. This could mean peaceful protest, calling Senators, educating yourself, getting into DIY, and voting. I understand that it can be emotionally and physically exhausting to engage, so fight the fight but rest, guilt-free, when needed.
I’m going to adapt, live in the moment, invest in my relationships, and have hope for mankind. I’m challenging you to speak up, turn the phone off, find something you enjoy doing, stop worrying about the future or wishing for the past, and remember that we, as a globe, have been through turmoil before and we just may get through it again. If you need someone to listen, you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not a therapist, but I am a person who can listen. I do not know what you are struggling with, but I know you should not struggle alone. We are all going through changes, trials, and deep emotional distress.
It’s OK to not be OK.
“Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”