As I begin the June part of the LIFE project, I’ll summarize what happened in May, but if you want to scroll down to June free to do so. If you don’t want to read, the video above summarizes the month.
A summary of the month of May:
Read Living Well, Spending Less –
This was a good book on getting ideas for finances and for decluttering. This book was useful but I actually ended up knowing a lot of the information already, from reading other similar books. It ended up being more about the author’s journey to a more simple life herself, which was interesting to read, but for me I was looking more for tips and tricks on decluttering, and I ended up finding them in various sites online.
Analyzed bills –
I’m working on getting my grocery bill much smaller and cooking from scratch. I have done some research online about how cooking from scratch, and utilizing stores other than your regular grocery store, can be really helpful in slashing your grocery bill. I am working on doing that, for multiple reasons.
First, you just have that much more disposable income, it allows you to save more money for more important things (granted, food is really actually very important for day-to-day living), but it allows you to have more adventures with your eating and you try things that you might not ever try.
For example, I bought cauliflower and kale on sale, both organic, and for the first time ever made a frittata with those ingredients. It was one of the best dishes I’ve made in a long time!
As I started the decluttering process, I didn’t have a lot of time at the beginning of May to really work on this every day, so I admit I took the hands off approach for the first couple of weeks.
In fact, I did this the sort of lazy way. I started with laundry piled in a basket of everything that I had worn for two weeks, which then led me to see which clothes I wore most often.
At the end of the two weeks, I went through and took all those clothes out and set them aside knowing that I would most likely keep them, then I went through my closet and took out all the clothes that I hadn’t worn in a while.
After that, I did the same with my dresser drawers.
Some clothes did go into the trash because they had paint all over them or they were just worn out.
And you know, I also went through the laundry basket of clothes that I had set aside, and there were still a few that I ended up getting rid of because they either weren’t flattering or they were in tip top shape, or they ended up looking a little shabby.
In fact, as I went through this process, I was really surprised at the amount of clothes that I never wore anymore.
There were also clothes that I barely wore that I’ve had for years and years. Still, there were garments that I had that I hoped to wear sometime, or that I had hoped that I would find something else to eventually wear with them.
For example I had a old fish-hook sweater that reminded me of my younger days where I looked a little more hippie and I loved to wear it with long flowing skirts.
These days in my life I don’t wear long flowing skirts as much, partly because of my occupation, and partly because they’re a little less practical in terms of being able to walk and hike and bike everywhere.
There was a crocheted sweater that someone had given me a long time ago – it was more like a duster, and I never felt like I would be able to give that away because it was special to me. In the end, I decided that I never wore it because it didn’t really match anything I had.
I decided to part with it.
For other clothes, I found a bin where I could put specialty clothes that I need sometimes, but don’t necessarily need in the closet.
For example, I have a wrinkle resistant suit that I can wear to formal functions or interviews.
It seemed silly to get rid of something that fit but that I only wear every once in a while out of necessity.
After all that, I got everything else down to about 31 items.
These included: T-shirts, button up shirts, pants, shorts, skirts.
This doesn’t include a couple pairs of sports shorts and tops, socks, undergarments, the specialty items I mentioned like a ski jacket or clothes I use to paint in, or things like hiking or mountain biking clothes that have wicking fabric.
This also didn’t include pajamas (though I went through and pared those down). I still went through old socks, robes, jackets, and more, just to pare all that down, too.
You see that I have a small closet. I didn’t think I had a lot of clothes. My goodness, I did!
Before the month of May I had already gone through my shoes and gotten rid of pairs that didn’t really work anymore or had holes, etc.
Everything that didn’t have to be thrown away went to charity (which, I didn’t end up throwing away much – but some things you can’t even give away).
I ended up with two big garden trash bags of clothes.
What I was left with were all the things I wore normally – and they all matched – because I tend to like the same colors.
Can I just tell you how “freeing” all this was?
How easy it is to just look in the closet and easily pick something out?
When I decided to just “let go,” it was easy to get past the emotional attachment and pare down. It helped to have a cheerleader (like my husband) tell me, “Nope! Get rid of it!”
I did. Over and over.
I feel like I have made not only physical room in my life but more mental room, too!
I continued to journal each day, often writing more than 250 words.
I still did 60 minutes of meditation, daily mantras, and recited daily affirmations.
There were a couple days where I didn’t reach 10,000 steps, but instead I either worked in the garden, or did other exercise such as mountain biking.
At the beginning of the month you can see the photo doesn’t show any steps, I’m not sure why. I use my phone as a backup counter, and the first two days of May show over, well over, 10,000 steps.
For the month of May, I compiled and launched my Tree of Life coloring book.
I had planned on starting a visionary fiction book, but what I didn’t realize about the coloring book, is how much time it would take to compile and get it ready for publication. I focused on that and not starting another book just yet.
During the month of June, I was supposed to begin editing this would-be visionary fiction book.
However, though I have many ideas of what I would like to do, I’m actually feeling called to create a mindfulness journal, as a companion to the Tree of Life coloring book.
So, for now, I’m going to hold off on the visionary fiction, while I concentrate on creating more giveaways for this website, and work on the mindfulness journal.
I’m slated to still complete five books for the LIFE project, though. Much fun and rewarding work ahead!
The month of June: detox and design –
For the month of June I’m slated to do the following:
- read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
- drink a gallon of water a day
- prepare for marathon walk
- look into new vegetarian recipes
- get eight hours of sleep each day
- edit my book
- not watch the news on television
- continue with 60 minutes of meditation, journal writing, affirmations, and 10,000 steps per day
Conversations with God
First, let me talk about the book.
When I originally looked at reading The Four Hour workweek, I did so because other major bloggers have talked about the virtues of this book.
However, my library didn’t have this book available, I thought I’d buy it from Amazon.
However, when I looked at the reviews, I saw quite a few that didn’t really appreciate the book.
It was mostly because people felt like there was a lot of fluff, or that there were things that would be really extremely difficult to attain for a “normal” person.
In several reviews, I saw folks recommend “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey. I decided I was going to read that….
…Until I spoke with Sue dreamwalker on her blog, and she suggested a book called, “Conversations with God,” by Neil Walsch.
Its about a man who was struggling, wrote an angry letter to God, who then “answers his questions.”
I’ve already started reading, and whatever your walk of life, this book is pretty powerful, in that it can be used as a guide for those seeking answers, or at least philosophical responses for life’s greatest questions.
Though the author talks to “God,” I could see where a person could also use the term Great Spirit, or Universe, or Source, or even Energy.
If anyone would like to participate in a book discussion about this book, I will be on the Intuitive and Spiritual Facebook page on Monday evening from 9 PM to 10 PM EST.
Drinking a gallon of water a day
Next, I have started drinking 1 gallon of water every day.
For the month of June, this has replaced my morning tea, and my evening glass of wine, as well.
With so much water, I’m not really missing either the tea, or the wine, actually.
I don’t really feel the difference in caffeine, or lack thereof, and so far I’ve been enjoying grape juice with dinner.
I tell you, that stuff is underrated. It’s really good!
I would have thought that I would have ended up in the bathroom a lot more (teehee), but because I am also getting 10,000 steps per day in my routine, I’m finding that I’m not spending that much more time in the restroom – ha!
There are articles out there on the web where folks are doing a 30 day challenge of drinking a gallon of water each day, and their main complaint is how much time they spend in the bathroom. Fortunately for me, this is not the case.
10,000 Steps…and NO marathon!
Speaking of walking, I’ve continued to do 10,000 steps per day, unless I’m doing another activity that lasts between one and a half and two hours.
But, I was supposed to start marathon training towards the end of May.
I need to change this intention.
I was finding that I was feeling stressed about all the projects I was juggling.
In addition to this LIFE project, I am having to make some decisions with work (I will do an announcement about this more formally in July, but for now let’s just say that my career is going in a different direction).
I’m also trying to work on my website.
Thinking about walking 15-20 miles on a Saturday, when I’m usually working on blog posts as time permits, was making me feel stressed as to how I was going to fit everything in.
I will still do a walking marathon, as it is an intention that I will realize.
However, I’m either going to move it to the end of this project, or I will complete it when I find a walking marathon that I can sensibly do.
I found that several folks were interested in doing a walking marathon with me – and I’m eternally grateful to those people – but then I thought if this got bigger, I would be planning a marathon while trying to train for it, and possibly having to work with the city of Asheville, North Carolina, and pull permits, and meet with the fire department, and possibly the police department, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, and…and….
In doing research for this, I found that this can actually become a full-time job.
While that’s all good and well, I honestly do not have the time to plan an actual marathon, while training for one, while completing this project, and figuring out my work situation.
On getting eight hours of sleep…
For the eight hours of sleep part, my intention is to try to get eight hours of sleep each night or enough that I feel well-rested.
This is one of those intentions that I actually try to do normally, but I wanted to make it a little more formal.
In addition, I don’t really watch the news per se, however, I will often watch when my husband has it on in the background.
I’ll find myself getting frustrated, and sad at the affairs of the world, and thought a mental detox might be nice, as well as a physical one.
On social media, I can read the headlines so that I can stay abreast of what’s going on in the world, but I’m intentionally spending less time reading all those articles – just for this month.
As a side note…
Being now 1/6th of the way through this journey, I just wanted to share some interesting little things that are happening.
First, I’m noticing that I’m getting into really good shape.
Even though I’m not running, or jogging, I live in a mountainous area and I’m getting a lot of exercise with doing 10,000 steps per day by walking up and down lots of hills.
I’m noticing that clothes fit more loosely, that I have more energy, and that it’s much easier to be contemplative, and mindful, in my day-to-day activities.
Along with the publication of this coloring book, my life is becoming defined by intention and action, which I can tell you, is changing everything.
Honestly, I think everyone should take on their own intention project.
It gets you to do the things that you always wanted to do.