🌱 Love and Tomatoes πŸ…

I am just a novice gardener, but my hopes and dreams have been entangled in plants for quite some time.

I moved to Volcano, Hawaii this year after visiting twice, I fell in love with the moss, the trees, the sky, I live an hour away from the beach and the beach that is there is hot and rugged. It’s Hawaii, but it’s like a different world from the Honolulu hometown I grew up in during the 1980s. Anyways, it’s a great place to garden, up on a mountain, it doesn’t frost, but it does get much colder than Honolulu. There are almost a dozen different climate types in Hawaii, from snow to cool on Mana Kea, hot and arid in Kona, wet yet cool here in Volcano, wet and hot in Hilo ext.

I’ve got a problem, with my daughter, she never feels loved enough by me. I’ve been around her almost everyday since she was born at home. I worked a bit with her, but didn’t leave her, I took her with me. I don’t know why she is a cup that can’t be filled, but that’s how it’s always been with us. For years I carried my daughter in a carrier, I did many of the things reccomended to avoid this kind of a problem, yet the problem remains. I don’t know if it’s something to be fixed or just the way our life will be. I don’t know if she needs to find self love in her own heart or something I don’t know about, but changing the way I try to let her know I love her hasn’t helped so far. She clings and clings and clings and yet is never fuller of love and affection. My father, my sister, my husband, her God father, her God mother help me lover her, yet it’s not enough, not nearly enough for her. I don’t understand it, I’m not uncaring, not unnoticing, yet I have no solution so far.

It’s gotten so bad between us at times that I can’t feel love for her, yet I do love her. I told her my truth, that I do and will always love her, but when I am very angry or frustrated I can’t feel the love that is still there in my heart.

Last summer I planted two cherry tomato vines, this summer it fed my daughter nearly everyday, we went out together and picked the ripe yellow and red tomatoes. It was a handfull of tomatoes, but they are expensive here and they have always been her favorite food. The vines were overgrown and the fruit was hitting the floor in a tangles mess, caught up with spiky Hawaiian rasberry vines in a way that was difficult to protect from pests. At night I took many semislugs infected with rat lung paracite off the tomato vines and besides that my elderly father couldn’t be expected to harvest from the floor height vines when I wasn’t around during our winter trip. So, I decided to remove the tomato vines, with a very heavy heart.

When I placed the vines on a trellis I was planning to throw out I noticed the fruit still ripened, offering us more sustinance even after death, it touched me in a deep way.

Maybe like Michael Pollen I am just projecting imagined emotions onto plants, but maybe that’s fine.

I have trouble expressing deep emotions, noticing them, I am broken in many ways.

I don’t know exactly how my feelings, that I should have for my loved ones, became instead invested in plants, that logically don’t provide for me. I’m not a farmer, nor a famous gardener, nor is my garden even well kept or particularly beautiful… yet it’s where my heart lives.

My dad and my sister prefer dogs to people, dogs don’t hurt people often, they don’t critizise, they don’t usually leave, I get it…

But for me it’s plants.

I have a husband, a daughter, a baby son, a very helpful sister, a generous yet shy father, but it’s difficult to be excited about them to share my heart with them. It’s easy for me to do that with plants. I can care about the sprouts, be excited by seeds germinating, be in love with moss, find common ground with the trees, feel amazed by the ferns here, supposedly over a thousand years old. Loving plants has become as natural as breathing and loving people as hard as calculus.

I recognize how perverse that is for a social species individual and inopportune for a parent and spouse. Yet that’s the way my heart is.

So, I have a problem, we all have problems right?

I was in the garden trying to take out all the weeds this summer, when my sister who was baby sitting for me, asked me “what are you hopping to achieve, what’s the end goal?”

And it bothered me, it burrowed into and occupied my mind all summer and until this day I haven’t sorted it out or been able to stop trying to sort it out.

I suppose I should live a people first life, “love people, use things,” but that wasn’t how I was raised, I’m not that framiliar with doing that.

I try to be a good mother, but it’s not very enjoyable, I don’t feel unconditional love towards my violent, needy daughter very often, but one time when I did was when we picked tomatoes together during the summer this year.

I have planted the seeds of our tomatoes hoping they will grow well so we can pick them again next summer, but I know I should also find a way to actually love my daughter more often.

The slugs in my area have a paracite deadly to kids, my whole adult family hunted them for two weeks in June and July to try to make the garden safer for my kids to eat out of… I wanted my daughter to know the connection between nature and food at a deep level, not an intellectual one, yet after two weeks of not sleeping after coming back from hunting my worst phobia I didn’t really know if it was all worth it or not.

Months later there are still some slugs, but nature is on my side, wasps have moved in, lizards, skinks, and frogs are on the way that can all help eat the small slugs, we even found one snake here in Hawaii… a blind snake. Thought there weren’t any, but was wrong. Found a hammerhead worm, never knew that existed, walking down our pathway… in summary nature is headed back to balance where there won’t be a ton of slugs on our property anymore like there were this year (that’s my current hope and thought anyways). Even when there are less, there will be that low, yet horrible risk that if my unruly daughter does eat a slug, she will most likely contract the rat lung paracite that there is no cure for and is almost always deadly in children… so how can I risk her life because I want her to eat fresh veggies from our garden?

I have a hard time explaining that to myself.

Officials say washing produce is enough, yet people are getting the paracite without knowing how, that worries me… slime has low amounts of the disease, slime that could be anywhere outside… right on our door, our patio, in our kitchen once, on our welcome mat irronicly (slugs are unwelcome on our welcome mat)… it’s very scary not knowing how some people get sick, it’s scary that if my child eats a slug she will almost certainly get the paracite and almost certainly die, so why not find something else to do?

I don’t have a rational answer for that. Not really.

I don’t want to live in fear, I don’t want to not do the thing next year that gave me the most happinest this year, I don’t want to pay the high price of cherry tomatoes every week, I don’t want to give up my dream of having an amazing permaculture garden so soon or so easily. Those are part of why, but I think the real why is deeper and harder to define.

I think gardening is my ikigai, reason for being. I don’t know why it isn’t raising my kids, or writing, which I also enjoy.

Something about waking up and seeing what’s sprouted, watering the plants I want, slowly removing the weeds respectfully, dreaming of future pathways and microgardens, beats writing and taking care of my kids.

It seems messed up, and it’s a little beyond my comprehension or explanation, yet I think it’s the truth.

Raising my kids is significant to me, yet to be honest my sister or father could do as good a job as I could and my husband (if we could afford him to stop working) could do better. I’m not very good at raising them overall. I keep them safe, I love them, I feed them, I stimulate their minds, but it could be done equally well or better by others if I had others available.

Gardening is something less significant, yet it can only be done by me. My gardening can only be done by me, it’s kind of a living sculpture, a botanical painting of my soul. What I do for my kids may be my legacy, may affect the world, and my decendents more, yet it’s almost not at all personal, it’s me supporting their natural growth, it’s them being them. Gardening is me being me. Maybe someday I will change, maybe people will fascinate and inspire me someday, but right now they really don’t.

Right now gardening is my ikigai, it’s the reason I am passionate about life instead of just resigned to the never ending laundry, dishes and discipline I couldn’t really care much about eventhough I have tried for years to find satisfaction and meaning in service.

So, my daughter’s awesome school is featuring love (aloha) as the value of this month and for me love is picking cherry tomatoes together, washing them really well and watching my daughter enjoy her favorite food that the land gave to us so generously. I hope it happens again next year.

I hope some year in the furture I will say that my daughter is at peace, because of herself or something I changed or that we have too many things we do where I feel unconditional love towards her to even write about, but this year, it’s picking tomatoes. That’s the only time I’ve felt that way with her and something so precious to me that I’m now overly emotional about tomatoes in general. Tomatoes have become my symbol of unconditional love.

I was planning to discuss growing up in a horde of trash, broken items and broken dreams and how that might have affected my ability to love people or not love them… but perhaps that will be another time. I wanted to put down my feelings about the tomatoes. I never want to forget the smile on my daughter’s face, how I faced my phobias for what seemed right, the sweet taste of the tomatoes, the shared sunlight, the shared happiness that we don’t always have together. I never want to forget that there are moments when I love my daughter with all my heart as much as I’m “supposed to” be able to do/would like to do, all the time. πŸ…

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⭐ Life Improvement Second Week

Hello! This is the week two, it’s easier to do this the second time, it almost feels like a habit already to reflect on and learn from the past week on Sunday. I’m grateful that I jumped on someone else’s momentum, but I could still be rushing to get things done, instead of doing what matters to me, if not for upholding my own values, so I am celebrating myself too!

Pono & Mind:

πŸ—Ή Be the change you want to see happen instead of trying to change anyone else. -Arleen Lorance “Did this by starting a parenting class – The Whole Brained Child: Beyond the Book – to try to change the way I communicate during melt downs ext.”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. -Arleen Lorance “I’m doing this by changing my values and beliefs as painful and energy draining as it is, until I enjoy life and am satisfied I am living with integrity, why not keep changing the life I’ve made for myself?”

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. -Arleen Lorance “I did that by taking a chance for a free video lesson by Rachel Stafford Monday, that focuses on the problem of distraction.”

πŸ—Ή Have no expectations, but rather abundant expectancy. -Arleen Lorance “I did that because I’m not expecting any particular behavior or dynamic to change in my family due to the parenting class, yet I am open to improvements happening.”

πŸ—Ή Read books. Do puzzles. Brainstorming. Drawing, painting, and/or sculpting. -Demitri Martin “Read The Book Thief, reviewed took notes on The Whole Brained Child. Did a ton of brainstorming about discipline, what makes a well lived life and gardening. Worked on a digital drawing.”

Mālama & Body:

☐ Eat better. -Demitri Martin

πŸ—Ή Exercise. -Demitri Martin “I nailed T25 Ab Intervals, and was very sore afterwards.”

Aloha & Relationships:

πŸ—Ή Did you let people help you/provide others with opportunities to give? -Arleen Lorance “I got help from another writer in the form of a life lesson I needed about gratitude. Thank you to Nomz for another inspiring post about Sunday reflection!”

πŸ—Ή Did you receive all people/someone as beautiful exactly as they are? -Arleen Lorance “I did that with my baby, and I tried the hardest I could with my daughter and sister. It seems like acceptence isn’t all or none, I feel myself starting to approach embracing my sister and daughter, who are different than me, a little bit more everyday.”

☐ Did you help a friend/stranger? Uplift those around you? Do something nice for someone? -Demitri Martin “I don’t really know, I want to believe that this writing will do that, but since I don’t know I won’t cheat.”

πŸ—Ή Practice Confidence: Be forthright and proactive in your life. -Demitri Martin “I can’t believe I’m doing this, it’s maybe not 100% smooth, but I am communicating with respect what bothers me or what is on my heart and mind with those that I love instead of staying quiet believing that it will stir up trouble or that no one will understand.”

Kuleana & Career/Personal Management:

πŸ—Ή Did you set weekly goals? -Demitri Martin “Yes, here, monthly on a note and daily on Habitca, everything isn’t perfect, but I am getting my goals on paper and working on aligning everything with my values and nature’s principles over time.”

πŸ—Ή Did you take daily steps toward achieving those goals? -Demitri Martin “I did take two scary steps, paying $24 for a parenting class that might help my current worst problem and signing up for a video class given by my favorite author, which is free, yet still scary.”

☐ Money: Keep careful track of your income and expenses. -Demitri Martin “I didn’t keep careful track, I am getting closer though, I kept loose track of finances this time.”

πŸ—Ή Errands: Do your cleaning, marketing, and pay your bills on time. -Demitri Martin “I did my basics, as I could, even though I didn’t upgrade them.”

12 Points of 15 Points = 80% for the first week of September. A little less than last week, but that makes since, I had a little less to give this week. A little less sleep, a little more sick. I think the point system has helped me to be mindful of what I really want in life, but not really sure yet…

The next week I got sick and my eye was swollen halfway shut for three days…

πŸ•―οΈ Winds of Change πŸ•―️

This year my heart is very unsteady, my emotions and mind are unsure, it’s a different world for me this year. In March I had my second and last (intended) child. I never knew a love like this before. My daughter brought me a different kind of love, a lot of joy and sweetness, laughter and tears. Failures and successes, an emotional rollercoaster. My husband brought me a feeling of safety, a feeling of being known and cared for by someone, being special to someone. My son is different, he brings me such a profound inner peace, he brings a harmony to all of us that is really difficult to put to words. I believe we all bring something different to the family, to the world. My world is better than ever before, but also shaken up and upside down.

For the past few years I have chosen values and tried to live by them for a long time before changing them, but this year feels very different, it feels neccisary to change my way of being distracted and busy, it feels neccisary to change being passively dissatisfied with a life out of balance doing too much for others until I’m an empty shadow of a human being, it feels neccisary that I change my consioussness to create a different life than the one I have come to hate (even though I made it myself). In my new life I want these value changes:

Proactivity replaces entitlement.
Resilience replaces complaints.
Perseverance replaces excuses.
Authenticity replaces courage.
Mindfulness replaces persistence.
Humility replaces wisdom.
Serenity replaces power.

It’s a lot at once and I don’t like that, I don’t think it’s easy to make a lot of changes at one time without falling off good habits, yet I feel a kind of emotional momentum to complete a larger metamorphesis than normal. I feel inspired to give myself and my kids a different life than they would have with me the way I was before.

It’s not that many changes in our physical life, but so many in our actual life, in the way we live. I was rushing so much before, that the habit I am trying to form of “not rushing,” becomes a thosand real habits. Don’t rush through morning, don’t rush through meals, don’t rush to clean, don’t rush people who are talking, don’t rush while you brush your daughter’s hair, don’t rush as your kids grow up, don’t rush as your life passes you by without reaching your dreams, don’t rush as you reflect on the week, don’t rush so that you don’t ever tell your husband that he matter to you, it becomes millions of habits.

Which is why I like having the free habitca app, it lets me add daily habits, regular (but non-daily habits), to dos…

Some daily habits I’ve made since my son was born are “Live my Best Life Possible,” “Don’t Rush,” “Check Email in the Morning,” “Mindfulness,” “Communicate Assertively,” “Brush Teeth Twice,” “Dry Dishes at Night.” Some other habits I’ve made are “Authentic Acceptance,” “Notice My Kids,” “Work on Blog,” “People Care,” “Teach School,” “Home Care – Laundry and Dishes,” “Plant Care,” “Earth Care,” and “Fair Share.” The one habit that has stayed from before my son is “Stoic Meditation” on Coach.Me (an online positive habit community).

My life is in flux in a really positive way, but it’s very turbulent and challenging to try to rise to meet internal challenges and be honest about failures, re-evaluate plays, seek solutions instead of being bogged down by problems.

The year started with the meditation, “problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them” (Einstein) and it has become “do what you can today, with what you already have, find a way.”

It was the book The Power of Habit, that first inspired me to take a hold of my own mind and live the best I could in real life, before that book it seemed impossible to seperate who I am from my good and bad habits and make the changes I dreamed a reality. Much gratitude to Charles Duhigg for writing such a empowering, truthful and useful book. Since reading it I became interested in neuroscience and habit formation, but also in becoming emotionally proactive and healing my heart’s wounds enough to be able to have the resilience to face life with my heart on my sleave, take the pain of failures and continue trying to do the best I can everyday.

I think it’s going to take sometime to sort out my action plans and rationals for changing my value structure that thus changes my mindset, attitude and habit plans, but I wanted to write something as a declaration of my intent to be a better person, in part in thanks for the pressence of my son in my life and in part to be able to die in peace when I finally do so.

The quote that keeps me inspired when I bite off more than it seems like I can chew is “change is possible, if you seek it,” (- author unknown) that’s what the featured image represents to me.

πŸ“• Week 1 of the Whole Brained Child Beyond the Book

Week 1 Questions: Introduction – Survive and Thrive

1. How often do you find you find yourself just trying to survive moments in parenting? “Estimated: 3-5 times a day.”

2. What are your β€œgo toβ€œ survival techniques? “For non-stop screaming the room AKA prison (happens once every other week or so) until we both calm down enough to talk, if I feel like hitting my daughter her room (happens once a month or so when she hurts her tiny baby brother) until I calm down, for violations of known rules her room or prior punishment such as take away item for the day onto fridge if she hit someone with it – then we talk on her bed about the family value that was violated by the behavior, what I want to see and ask if she understands, yelling is just a failure that happens when I am overwhelmed once every other week or so, threatening happens in public where I want to let her stay somewhere fun like school or the library, but she is breaking rules such as running far away in the parking lot after other kids, running in hallways where it is not allowed ext. Consequences are not called consequences, we refer to them as “if,” “then” and choices, (ICC: inform, consequence, choice) if you do not share the doll with the little girl who is crying, then I will not get you shave ice after school. I do a lot of positive rewards with affection, words of affirmation and food treats, but I don’t consider that to be “bribes”, I consider it positive incentives and I think it’s been a good thing for us. Ex we practice languages in the morning, she tries to say new words and gets m&m mini’s, I think it’s the attention she likes the best, but I do give candy. She gets paid for helping with laundry and helping protect her brother, $4/week, I don’t think of that as a bribe, living in a country where workers get paid, I think it’s modeling the world (imperfect although it is) we live in.”

3. On page viii it asks what you really want for your children? What qualities do you hope they develop and carry into their adult lives? “Emotional control, resilience, empathy, eq, leadership, boundaries, integrity, ethics.”

How much time do you spend intentionally developing these qualities?
“Emotional control 1-5 hours/week, resilience 10 min-3 hours/day, empathy 3 hours/week, eq 1 hour/week, leadership 10 min-2 hours/week, boundaries 3 hours/week, integrity 7 hours/week, ethics 4 hours/week.”

4. What skills and abilities do you think will be easy to develop in these survive and thrive moments? Which will take more effort? Independence? Problem solving? Compassion? Empathy? Anything else? “None are easy, it was extremely hard to do this in real life.”

πŸ“• My Experience with Whole-Brained Parenting

Overall I enjoyed the book Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, I read it when my first child was a baby and found it somewhat unsuited for her tempermant.

I just started Kelly Meier’s “Beyond the Book” book club to try and apply the book towards my real family life, even though I failed in the past I’m excited to try again. Sometimes failure is not the opposite of success, but part of the path of success (and sometimes it’s not).

One thing about the book is it says that the child’s brain will mirror the parents, that doesn’t seem real to me. I have been super calm, while my child was screaming and kicking… my calmness just bothered my daugher more and more. It feels like I’m not able to validate her emotions and she isn’t able to down regulate. It’s not that I don’t want to help her, but I never found a way so far. I believe in her ability to self regulate and I think it’s fine for parents to co regulate also, but somewhere between her and I as individuals is some kind of problem doing so. I am able to face my emotions, I am able to calm my actions, yet I am helpless to help my daughter who is way more intense than I am. She reminds me a lot of her father, he doesn’t let me co regulate him, if he is very sad or mad he leaves the house and comes back. That’s the way he was before I met him, that’s his choice, but it seems to me that my daughter and him are very naturally different than average.

It’s my hope that I can help my daughter learn to calm down enough to handle her emotions well, not ignore them, not repress them, but also not be a slave to them.

The book says “everything that happens to us matters to how the brain develops,” that’s stress provoking for me, it made me want to control “everything that happens to my daughter’s brain” ie “everything.” That’s not a very realistic expectation, with one, or especially two kids. It also makes me frustrated when, not everything I try seems to have any effect on my child. From my experiences, I don’t believe that it is true. I believe that there are certain really important events, like “core memories” from Inside Out,” that for subtle reasons, are much more important than other events. I have come to find that a lot of events are outside of my control as a parent, and I have to accept and surrender to those events emotionally to face reality as it comes.

I also have doubts that squabbles are caused by lack of brain integration, I think they are part of human nature. I don’t know any adults who don’t squabble… I think heart to heart comunication breaks down and squabbles occur at all ages.

I have more doubts that brain integration can live up to it’s promise of helping people to thrive “emotionally, intellectually and socially,” maybe it does help “improved decision making, better control of body and emotions, fuller self understanding, stronger relationships and success in school,” but I don’t believe all the introductory claims are true. I personally know the “achademically best” student in my sisters school (her best friend), who struggled with relationships. I know many people who shine is one area of life, without brain integration. I think brain integration is worthwhile, but I think the claims of what it improves are inflatted or wrong. I think brain integration probably does improve day to day well being. I think success in school is somewhat determined by fate, some people can’t even afford to go seriously… I think relationship success relies on people outside of your control, not on your brain integration… I think intellect is heavily genetic or determined by nutrition or early education outside of brain integration. But even voicing my doubts, I believe brain integration has something beautiful and worth chasing at the end of its journey.

I think brain integration probably helps ward off depression, I was in the same place intellectually and socially, before and after working on brain integration, but I did end at a slightly elevated emotional place. What I can say about my daughter, is that despite getting more “enrichment” than her peers she is intellectually average, socially superior and emotionally poorer. I’m not sure if that is due to genetics vs enviornment, but I know she isn’t superior across the board, to her friends who’s parents don’t read parenting books or visit museums, learn sign language ext., instead she has peaks and valleys that I think are semi-perminant markers of her unique mind, heart and soul.

More to come…

⭐ Life Improvement First Week

Hello! This is the first week since reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a few years ago that I’m actually able to think in a weekly block. I was convinced I should try it, some time ago, however it took a lot of personal growth to stop asking my husband, family or kids for “permission” to design my week or to give myself time to reflect. It’s really hard to make time to do this, but Sunday feels like a good time to reflect on and learn from the past week.

Pono & Mind:

πŸ—Ή Be the change you want to see happen instead of trying to change anyone else. -Arleen Lorance “Did this by printing an assertive communication list of notes from Dr. Sharon Galor’s book about assertiveness, which I intend to use to communicate in a warm and honest way with my family instead of arguing with them.”

πŸ—Ή Create your own reality consciously. -Arleen Lorance “I’m doing that by making this life improvement system based on Demitri Martin’s one, but infused with possible corrections to avoid divorce and also to align with my own values”.

πŸ—Ή See problems as opportunities. -Arleen Lorance “I did that because of frequent arguments in my birth family I decided to change my assertiveness level to not engage in unpleasant arguments, but also reach out personally to all my family members to let them know I love them and I’m ready to talk pleasantly with them about solutions if they are respectful.”

πŸ—Ή Have no expectations, but rather abundant expectancy. -Arleen Lorance “I did that because I’m not expecting anyone else to suddenly change the way they talk to me, even though I am going to change how I talk and when I am available to listen.”

πŸ—Ή Read books. Do puzzles. Brainstorming. Drawing, painting, and/or sculpting. -Demitri Martin “Read the Four Tendencies, reviewed How to Win Friends and Influence People, Never Split the Difference and took notes on Be Assertive. Did a ton of brainstorming about discipline, coconut milk and gardening. Finished a digital drawing I’ve been working on for a month.”

Mālama & Body:

☐ Eat better. -Demitri Martin

πŸ—Ή Exercise. -Demitri Martin “I nailed T25 Total Body Circuit, and I tried Last Minute Abs from Rock’n Body.”

Aloha & Relationships:

πŸ—Ή Did you let people help you/provide others with opportunities to give? -Arleen Lorance “I did ask for help with my baby and happily recieve some from my family.”

πŸ—Ή Did you receive all people/someone as beautiful exactly as they are? -Arleen Lorance “I did that with my baby, even when he cries I respect that he isn’t happy and appriciate who he is, someone who has empowered me to dare to try my best in a way words can’t explain.”

πŸ—Ή Did you help a friend/stranger? Uplift those around you? Do something nice for someone? -Demitri Martin “Sent an actual card to my bestfriend and hope/think she enjoyed it.”

πŸ—Ή Practice Confidence: Be forthright and proactive in your life. -Demitri Martin “I would have trouble doing this except for a blog post “Bodly Celebrate Yourself,” by Nomz that really touched me and let me get outside my normal shyness for a little bit these past few weeks.”

Kuleana & Career/Personal Management:

πŸ—Ή Did you set weekly goals? -Demitri Martin “Yes, I did that with the Life Improvement System. I set weekly goals that seem like a good start towards living in a way I won’t regret on my deathbed, but without expecting an unrealistic amount. Prioritizing relationships over productivity, but not crucifying productivity either.”

πŸ—Ή Did you take daily steps toward achieving those goals? -Demitri Martin “I did take a lot of small emotional and mental actions leading to major changes in the structure and schedual of next week.”

☐ Money: Keep careful track of your income and expenses. -Demitri Martin “I fixed my budget in Mint, but honestly didn’t keep careful track of it this month.”

πŸ—Ή Errands: Do your cleaning, marketing, and pay your bills on time. -Demitri Martin “I had one late bill simply on accident, did most of the cleaning on time.”

13 Points of 15 Points = 87% for the last week of August. I don’t have a lot of feelings about it yet, but I do know that I honestly tried to be mindful of what I really want in life, the other people in my life, and being realistic about what I can achieve in real life while caring for my two kids.

(See how week two went.)

🌠 Weekly Life Improvement System

Just watched “If I,” on Youtube (Demetri Martin’s stand up comedy show about examining life). It reminded my of his point system. I like the idea of his point system, but also he got divorced in that time, so it makes me think it needs some tweaking. I inserted Arleen Lorrances love principles into the mix and aligned the catagories to my family values (which we just voted on this past month). This is my version of the Demitri Martin’s life improvement system:

Pono & Mind:

☐ Be the change you want to see happen instead of trying to change anyone else. -Arleen Lorance

☐ Create your own reality consciously. -Arleen Lorance

☐ See problems as opportunities. -Arleen Lorance

☐ Have no expectations, but rather abundant expectancy. -Arleen Lorance

☐ Read books. Do puzzles. Brainstorming. Drawing, painting, and/or sculpting. -Demitri Martin

Mālama & Body:

☐ Eat better. -Demitri Martin

☐ Exercise. -Demitri Martin

Aloha & Relationships:

☐ Did you let people help you/provide others with opportunities to give? -Arleen Lorance

☐ Did you receive all people/someone as beautiful exactly as they are? -Arleen Lorance

☐ See problems as opportunities. -Arleen Lorance

☐ Did you help a friend/stranger? Uplift those around you? Do something nice for someone? -Demitri Martin

☐ Practice Confidence: Be forthright and proactive in your life. -Demitri Martin

Kuleana & Career/Personal Management:

☐ Did you set weekly goals? -Demitri Martin

☐ Did you take daily steps toward achieving those goals? -Demitri Martin

☐ Money: Keep careful track of your income and expenses. -Demitri Martin

☐ Errands: Do your cleaning, marketing, and pay your bills on time. -Demitri Martin

(check in on my first weekly evaluation)

🎭 Emotional Diversity Project August 2019! πŸŒ»

πŸ“… Free Calendar
πŸ’€ Momento Morir; Vita Vivet in Vivo!

Almost every morning, since I’ve moved to having an Eastern facing bedroom window, I’ve been enjoying watching the pink and golden dawns of the forest, then I think of my inevitable death (since it cheers me up).

πŸ› Slug Despair

Yesterday I had a few hours of despair after getting scared by semi slugs (Parmarion martensi), which are known to carry brain eating paracites (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) in our area. So far only 5 people this year have been reported as infected in our state, but it is deadly to children and incurable in anyone.

🌱 Permaculture = People Care + Earth Care + Fair Share

I really enjoy gardening, but our property in particularly infested with slugs known to be carrying the paracites. This summer we were eating lunch out of the garden everyday, and I was double washing the produce, which is supposed to be safe after being washed. We hunted slugs as a family for two weeks, prior to 4th of July, and took out over 300 slugs (mostly semi slugs, but also some cuban slugs), but they are still around… I’ve been applying pet safe, forest safe sluggo bait, however due to frequent rain that hasn’t had enough of an effect yet. The slugs act crazy because they are carrying the brain paracite, so they sometimes come out before or after dark (scaring me), one came into the kitchen sink once with the door closed (scaring me a lot, as their slime is potentially deadly also but much less than their bodies), they go our pathways, driveway, walls, my daughter’s gardening tools, our patio, and sometimes into our house… I hate it very much. Yesterday two went onto our welcome mat (that is not next to any plants or food sources) and left it all slimy, that sent me into an antigardening dispair I don’t usually fall into.

πŸ’ž Emotions and Logic Both Make Up Who We Are as Humans

I’ve been working on an emotional diversity project, just recording how I feel each day to make a monthly (and maybe someday yearly) calendar. Supposedly noticing the variety of emotions I go through should make it easier to get unstuck in any emotion. It’s called granularity. From a book called “How Emotions are Made.” I’m finding it useful so far, especially because I’ve been more depressive than normal for me post partum. Exercise helps a lot, but being mindful of my emotions helps too, it helps me ask for help with the kids when I’m burnt out. The burn out, being rushed, being overwhelmed or not exercising tip me towards depression, but I’m grateful it’s not a very deep depression, a 10 minute exercise or a cup of green tea is enough to bring me back out of it. It’s very erie having hormone based depression, because I’ve always thought my brain/mind/soul create my emotions and they were a part of me, but definately with this depression it has nothing to do with me, nor my life, it’s just something that happened to me because of my physical body and I can manage it easily if I can be mindful that it’s happening.

πŸ–ΌοΈ Metathinking = Thinking About Thinking

Another cool part of the emotional diversity project, is to be able to pick a meta emotion for the month, which reflects the month (without being baised to my memory of the end of the month being stronger).

πŸ™€ Metaemotion August 2019

After thinking about my thinking in August I believe I’m still rushing myself to multitask, to meet self imposed deadlines that don’t matter, and not enjoying enough of the day. I have kids to take care of, but there must be a way to do that and still enjoy life? One thing that makes it hard is that my son is five months old, so worse than any needs he has is the way his needs change everyday. He rolls very easily, so he can’t be left anywhere… I can carry him, but he doesn’t like it, so I can get chores done that way, but he will start getting frusterated, whenever I try to spend time being close to him (which I love) my daughter gets jelous and I get angry because I’m sick of her understandable jelousy already and I completely stopped having sympathy for her the day she kicked her brother in the spine. But anyways, I feel positive about starting the new month with “ganbate spirit,” to do the best I can with what I have, to do what I need to do to, to have time to do some of what I want to do, to live my best life as best I can and not regret it later.

πŸ‘’ Thank you for reading! Aloha 🌻

🧠 Greet and Thank Your Mind

When Marie Kondo starts organizing a home she starts by greeting it and thanking it. I started to do that on the homepage of my blog, I acknowledged the homepage as a “dungeon” of my own mind. My mind isn’t so morose or anything, I say dungeon because of the metaphorical way that we are all imprisioned within our perspectives, that our senses aren’t fact, but interpretation ext, that we can’t experience the world directly or know exactly what are in other people’s hearts and minds. I think it’s very challenging to live in this time of great technological transition, there must have been a comfort in using the same technology that your grandparents and parents used, being able to learn from teachers who had a good grasp of the material, since they had time to digest it and play with different examples. When my father was young they didn’t believe in dinosaurs, when I was young genetics wasn’t a part of school, I took it in college, now my daughter is growing up with a better grasp of both genetics and paleontology than was available to the experts of the past. It’s great, but also taxing on our minds, and stressful to our bodies to have so much information overload as the status quo. For all of us growing up with sticks and cans for toys, living in this tablet, 3D printer world is understandably overwhelming. The begining step should have been to thank my mind for helping me know my loved ones, do what I do on a daily basis and remembering what is important to me (I did that at dawn for the first time).

✨ Profiles, Avitars, Identity, Ego

When I discarded my old avatars and profiles this past week, I made peace with who I am now, older than before, but more happy, more balanced and less shy. As I chose my new universal profile (for gravitar, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google) I scrolled through my photos and drawings looking at who I was before and how I looked then, and who I am now and how I look now. I was able to let go of my past youth and mentally move on to the 2019 me. I wanted to use just one avatar to represent my authenticity, whether or not a particular style would be better for marketing doesn’t matter to me, I’m comfortable with who I am without makeup ext. No offense to people who like makeup, it just isn’t me to care about it in real life and I want the digital world to organize my real life, not exist as a seperate facade. Discarding my past self along with my past avatar, helped me become more whole in this moment because it gave me time to reform a subconsious narative of this current chapter in my own life story.