November 2010

 I loved this book, it was hard to pick one single quote, but here it is:

Billions of things could happen that you haven’t even thought of yet.  The question is not whether they will happen.  Things are going to happen.  The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens.  The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learning from your experiences.  You were not put on Earth to suffer….

In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do.  You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  Go ahead, take a look at reality.  You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever.  If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience.  You’re going to die anyways.  Things are going to happen anyway…..

Committing yourself to unconditional happiness will teach you every single thing there is to learn about youself, about others and about the nautre of life.  You will learn all about your mind, your heart, and your will.  But you have to mean it when you say that you’ll be happy for the rest of your life.  Every time a part of you begins to get unhappy, let it go…..

In the end, if you stay happy, you win.  Make that your game, and just stay happy no matter what.

The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer

I’ve become a big proponent of not letting my cranky ol’ mind run the show.  My mind is really useful at times, don’t get me wrong, but there are times when it seems to be set on driving me nutty crackers.  I was reading lately about how researchers have concluded that we’re hardwired to be cup-half-empty kind of people.

And it makes sense if you think about the survival of the species.  You were more likely to survive if you were looking over your shoulder for a lion or some other angry large-toothed predator.  Being fearful and looking for what’s wrong or missing has probably helped us survive in the long run.  Our flight or fight responses are pretty well honed.  But in our modern day it’s not as handy as it was when we were cave dwellers.

Now the thing we fear might be the next squabble with our boss and how does fight or flight help us there?  We’re probably not going to punch him out.  Although running away may make sense at times.

So the researchers suggest we actively work against the tendencies of our mind to be always looking at the empty half of the glass.   Be grateful, for example.  For all the full-part-of-the-cup things you can possibly think of.   It’s a simple method of replacing the list in your mind of everything that’s “wrong” with everything that’s right.  

Somedays that “wrong”  list seems to run on auto-pilot, “oh yeah see i can’t find a parking place.  And the line-up inside is probably huge.  Do I have the money for this?  I dread seeing my credit card bill.  Just watch,  I’m going to be late and my friend will be pissed.”  and on and on on it goes.

You can also actively work against your cranky mind by telling it the score.  The cup-half-full score.  Whether you believe what you say or not, I find it gets my head into a better space and helps me feel more calm.  And that’s a start to improving my day.  Here are some lines I used in Savasana in yoga class recently:

I am filled with peace, strength and power

All indecision, anxiety, depression and discouragement are dissolving from my mind.

The life force flows freely and harmoniously through every atom of my body.I am complete and perfect now.

I dwell in perfect peace.

I was talking to a friend who recently found out she’s pregnant and she’s thinking about the clothing strategy that will take her through.  Here are some suggestions I had from being down that road twice before.

  1. Buy some big Ts.  Some women are so excited about being pregnant that they can’t wait to get into the goofy clothes to prove it.  Chill out.  You are pregnant and you’ll be sick of that stuff soon enough so stay in normal clothes as long as you can.  Invest in a couple tshirts that are a size bigger than your usual.  They’ll be longer and bigger through the torso so they’ll house your growing body happily for a couple of months.  And then after you have the baby you can wear them again while your body gets its shape back together.
  2. Buy a good pair of yoga pants.  Make them semi-fitted (I’m sorry but yes your tukus might grow a little, but it’ll be gorgeous!  no worries!), and a matte material.  They’ll be super comfy throughout your pregnancy, just wear them under your belly.  I secretly wore mine to work with a long shirt. 
  3. Get those awesome super stretchy camisoles from Motherhood in at least two colors.  They’re so stretchy, they’ll go to your knees, or at least cover any bump you got.  They make you feel held in, they help hold up your pants and they’ll keep that awesome cleavage demure in a low cut shirt.
  4. Invest in good bras.  The ones I liked the best were stretchy stretchy stretchy.  Yeah lace looks great, but comfort is king when your body is going places you have no control over.
  5. Invest in good second layers.  I had an athletic sweater and a cardigan, both in black, that I wore non-stop.  Sweaters are best thin and flowy to avoid that quarterback sillouette.  Sometimes I wanted the extra layer to feel covered up and cozy.  Sometimes that’s all I wore for a jacket because I was so Darn Hot All The Time.
  6. Find sales, steal and buy second hand.  Repeat after me – spending a lot on maternity clothes means I save less for baby’s college tuition.  You do not want to spend a lot on clothes.  So ask any baby mama you know if she’s got some clothes to lend.  Return them clean and pressed.  Go to second hand stores.  My friend found a full-length wool winter coat that way for $5. Check consignment stores.  Even if you don’t usually do that, get over it, you’ll need the money for so many other things.
  7. Buy even bigger Ts.  While you’re at the second hand stores or discount stores, leave the maternity section and check out some big girl clothes.  Maybe it was just a summer thing, but I found some great tank tops in 1x kind of sizes that were flowy and long, cheap and super comfy with shorts.
  8. Get lots of different sizes.  I got some scary big clothes from a co-worker, including some terrifying looking old school pants and thought, I will *never* wear those.  I watched what i ate, exercised regularly and did all the right stuff but things got out of hand toward the end.  I went from normal-ish size to big all over, I just couldn’t seem to do anything about it.  And those humungous clothes?  I was happy to have them.  Yes, even the old style pants.  I didn’t have to fret about having nothing to wear  I could just focus on getting things ready for baby.
  9. Watch the colors.  I love to wear color.  But sometime in the midst of my first pregnancy I realized that the orange shirt I was wearing probably made me look like a circus tent on legs.  And the red and orange patterned shirt I got somewhere?  It never saw the light of day.  So the second time around I got more toned down colors, like black.  Also a deep wine, because if I couldn’t drink it, I should at least be able to wear it.
  10. Watch the cutesy styles.  Why do they think that just because you’re having a baby you want to look like one?  Some of those maternity blouses with the empire waist, cap sleeves, cutesy prints are hard to take by month 8 when you’re cranky and your feet hurt.  If you don’t normally dress that way, give it a second thought before dropping your cash.  I had a basic long sleeved black tshirt from Old Navy I wore like crazy.  It was so nice to wear something that made me feel like a grown up.  And looked good with jewelry.

This doesn’t have anything to do with clothes, just another suggestion – get your hair cut regularly so that you feel good.  Get your hair cut right before your due date too.  You think you’ll have time to jump out and do that but, ahem, you might not.

I’m still thinking about the Goop email I got last week.  Gwynie always has interesting stuff to share.  Last week she had Dr. Frank Lipman write about sugar addiction.  He reported on a study:

One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats (who metabolize sugar much like we do) were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose (sugar), the same preference was observed—the rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.

Let me get this straight, even addicted to cocaine, the rats still chose sugar.  Wow.  The newsletter is still up on the site if you want to read his suggestions for avoiding sugar cravings.  They were interesting to me. I am Corilee, and I am a sugar addict :-)