Intentional Tuesdays

Mind the Gap

health Mar 09, 2021

I recently recommitted myself to my meditation practice. That is to say, I've committed to doing it every single day, rather than only doing it on the days I want to do it. So far, I've got a nice little streak going!

I've heard it said that meditation is about seeking the gaps between one's thoughts. This definition resonates with me. The default condition for my mind appears to be eight thousand RPMs. Not exactly a calm, idle. My sitting practice brings this fact to my attention. But also offers a few minutes each day where I can throttle back and simply rest.

My practice is to meditate first thing in the morning, before I begin my work for the day. I find the days when I most resist doing my practice are the days when it feels like I don't have time. Of course, this feeling is an illusion. I know this because lately I've been forcing myself to do the meditation and I haven't suffered for it.

To the contrary, in fact. The benefits are clear to me. It's not that I feel calmer...

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Give Yourself Permission to Be Okay

covid-19 finances health Apr 02, 2020

Let's face it.  These are anxious times.  No matter how close or how far you feel from the Coronavirus, there's no escaping the fear and the stress of this pandemic.

There are many ways to work through the stress and the anxiety.  I'll periodically come back and update this post with some of the better resources that I've come across.

But one of the best ways is also one of the simplest...Give yourself permission to be okay.  That's exactly what I'll be talking about in this week's episode.  I hope it serves you.

Additional Resources

  • The Drive Podcast, Episode 100 -  In this episode, Sam Harris, neuroscientist, author, and host of the Waking Up Podcast, joins Peter to discuss this unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  NOTE:  For the first 38 minutes, they discuss the virus in general.  At 38:00 the conversation shifts to managing the emotions and stress. 



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The Most Valuable Gift

book review health Aug 06, 2019

How much time do you spend thinking about violence. I’m talking about violence at a personal level. Something that involves you or your immediate family. Something close to home.

If you are like most people, the answer is ‘none’. Most of us don't like to think about violence because it makes us feel uncomfortable. I'll be exploring this anti-motivation more in the video portion. For now, let's stay on the topic of violence...

Ironically, we make decisions every single day where our own lives and the lives of our loved ones are at stake. Will the employee that I need to fire react violently? Will the neighbor snap when I approach him about his loud music and poor parking habits? How should I handle the person who refuses to accept that we’re no longer together? Will this babysitter harm my child? What about my child’s friends? Might one of them be dangerous.

Most people would rather avoid these questions than endure the discomfort of having to ask and...

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Blue Zone - Lesson #3 - Slant towards Plants

blue zone health Apr 30, 2019
Do I have to give up bacon?  
You might.  
And that’s how I lost 80% of my audience.  
Let’s start over...  
Do you have to give up meat in order to live a long, healthy life?  Of course not.  But it’s worth noting that each of the five of Blue Zones have a plant-based diet.  Four of the five do include meat in their diet, but it’s the exception, not the rule.  A typical Ikarian eats meat 2-4 times each month.  When I was in Ikaria, I definitely saw plenty of goats and chickens running around and the Ikarians tend to these animals with great care.  Rather than eating them, Ikarians use their animals for eggs and milk.  (Goat milk is particularly popular and the Blue Zone book touts this as one of the key differentiators for longevity.). 
But what about protein?  
There are a lot of ways to get protein and none of the Blue Zones are lacking in this area....
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Blue Zone - Lesson #2 - Eat Less, Live Longer

blue zone health Apr 23, 2019
Do you over-eat?  I do.  Especially around the holidays.  Easter indulgences usually take the form of cute little animals fashioned from chocolate or marshmallow.  And Easter dinner usually results in bursting pain and crushing lethargy.  It’s bad.  And my waistline agrees.  
What ever can we do?
Hara Hachi Bu.
What can we do? 
Hara Hachi Bu.  (Ok, I’ll stop.)
The phrase Hara Hachi Bu is one of the most practical and insightful lessons that I took away from the Blue Zone book.  The phrase comes from the Okinawan Blue Zone and means, “eat until you are 80% full.”  Okinawan elders recite this mantra before every meal as a way to be more mindful.  
Okinawa is the only known culture to consciously restrict caloric intake in this way, a practice that is shown to increase longevity in some laboratory experiments.  I don’t need an experiment to tell me...
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Blue Zone Principle #1 - Move Naturally

blue zone health Apr 15, 2019
How much movement do you get on a daily basis?  If you are like me, you spend a significant portion of your waking hours either hunched over a computer or sprawled out on the couch, with the only movement occurring in my fingers.  This is, of course, not the way our ancient ancestors lived, nor is it a formula for physical well-being.  One of the common aspects across each of the five blue zones is the incorporation of natural movement into daily life.  
Of course, most of the BZ inhabitants have a significant physical component to their primary ‘work', whether it be hunting, farming, gardening, or foraging.  In Ikaria, the act of physical movement is enhanced by the fact there doesn’t seem to be 10 square feet of flat terrain anywhere on the island.  It’s incredibly hilly and walking those hills is a natural part of any Ikarian’s day, regardless of age.  From the bottom of the hill where Thea’s Inn stands, I...
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How to Live Forever - Lessons from the Blue Zone

I recently returned from a weeklong trip to the island of Ikaria, Greece.  Ikaria is known to be home to an unusual number of centenarians and has been designated as one of five "Blue Zones" in the world.  This post will launch a mini-series focused on the Blue Zone way of life and how we can apply the principles to increase both our quantity and quality of life.  In this first post, I provide a review of the Blue Zone book and offer my initial observations from my experience in Ikaria.  
Length:  300 Pages
Life Design Applications:  Health, Relationships
Recommendation:  Highly Recommended
Three Sentence Summary:  Living an active, fulfilling life well into your 90’s (and longer) may be easier than you think.  The Blue Zones explores the defining characteristics of five unique locations around the...
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The Problem of Now

growth health productivity Mar 10, 2019
Thanks to Eckhart Tolle and his mega-best-seller, The Power of Now, people focus a lot of attention on living in the moment. I’ve even heard it said…the only thing you really have is Now.  Well, let me tell you, Now is not all it’s cracked up to be.  
Although it is true that we can allow our past to weigh too heavily upon us or we can spend all of our time worrying about what the future may bring.  Over-emphasizing the past or the present can cost us the contentment and joy that is available right now, in the present moment.  Too much of a good thing is still too much.  It is is possible to over-emphasize the Now.  In fact, I think the shadow side of Now may be the more pervasive and insidious problem.  Let’s explore the darker side of living in the moment.
I’m reading the book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker, by David Maister. The premise of the book is that when given the choice between pleasure in...
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