Make the ordinary come alive

‘Do not ask your children to strive by William Martin

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.

Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.

Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.

Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.

Show them how to cry when pets and people die.

Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.

And make the ordinary come alive for them.

The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Morning workout routines

Morning exercise has many benefits, such as higher motivation, more energy, and kickstarting your day. It’s important to note that avoiding coffee before a workout is best.

Breathing exercises and high-cardio exercises are effective stress relievers. One great way to achieve this is by swimming, a low-impact, high-cardio activity. Using props like kickboards, pull buoys, and snorkels can help keep things interesting and vary your routine. Open water swimming in the ocean is an excellent option as the natural surroundings, and potential wildlife encounters can add an extra layer of excitement.

After your workout, consider sitting in a sauna, similar to monkeys in the Himalayan hot baths. A quick cold shower after the sauna can refresh you.

To finish your routine, it’s essential to stretch on a mat. Focus on exercises that strengthen your back, lower body, and core, such as squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. Adding in 26 Bikram (aka hot yoga) poses can help activate your heart and thyroid while also building strength.

Sauna benefits:

4-7-8 breathing tutorial

Lung capacity breathing prescription:

Sneaker waves

Thinking about something from a couple of years ago after reading about surf conditions in Northern California this week. I was at Rodeo Beach in Marin, California, after a storm had passed. The waves were huge, crashing near the lagoon. I was on higher ground, and I could see where the wave wash was coming in from my vantage point. It was like walking on two levels – the higher, drier, safe beach area that had yet to be hit and the lower level that was smooth, wet, and steeper. As someone who grew up near the water, I knew to never walk on the lower side.

I watched an older woman and her dog walk on the lower level. Suddenly, a sneaker wave hit quickly and unexpectedly. I was up high and could only bear witness to the event. The wave ran up the beach like a freight train, and the old Labrador saw it coming. It quickly surrendered as the water engulfed it. The older, overweight woman walking the dog tried to run up the beach, but the panic of a slight uphill run and water coming from behind caused her to stumble and fall. The water took her quickly. Fortunately, neither she nor the dog was swept out to sea. They were so lucky.

Highs and lows

Life is full of high-stress moments where your cortisol spikes and anxiety peaks. There are also moment os total downtime, boredom and low stress. These moments are unpredictable. Too much stress will make you sick, and too little stress do the same as your brain and muscles atrophy. You need to handle both

Set up a system (financial, mental and physical fitness, lifestyle, community, to manage the highs and the lows so that there’s flex in the system to be malleable.

Routines and Rituals

“First, forget inspiration.
Habit is more dependable.
Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not.
Habit is persistence in practice.”

– Octavia Butler

Structure your life, so you eliminate choice/decision fatigue. Rituals and routines set you up for success.

The best part about returning to a regular schedule after the holidays is the joy of rituals that set you up for success every day,

Lost by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Small talk tennis 🎾

Small talk is the cartilage of a good conversation.

A healthy conversation is like a game of tennis. The game only works if you hit the ball back and forth to each other.

People have forgotten how important small talk is because of the lockdowns and physical-social-distancing over the last 2.5 years. Holiday parties, birthday gatherings, weddings, funerals and those awkward first-day-on-the-job team lunches are all part of the bonding we humans need in a community.

I hope 2023 gets us all back into the game so we can play a little word tennis.

Unwinding the covid brain fog decisions

A friend told me the other day that it takes courage and eating some humble pie to book a financial loss and move on rather than holding on in the hope of making yourself whole in the distant future. Not many people have the appetite for that flavour of pie. 

Another hard-learned lesson is that you never have to make it back the way you lost it. That’s also part of the fun and the journey. When you are young, and there’s still meat on the bone, you get the luxury of time and experimentation on the way up.

Many intelligent people will be voluntarily and involuntarily unwinding covid brain fog decisions made during the irrational exuberance of the covid era. 2023 will be about who has the courage and humility to course correct and swallow the bitter medicine. There will be some messy public meltdowns where a lot of money is lost and some private ones that are snuck under the rug that they, their spouse and the tax man know about. 

Fortitude and temperance are critical attributes in 2023.