Movie Day: Food Inc

So I'm definitely behind the in-crowd in finally watching Food Inc but everyone has to jump on the wagon at their own pace, right? Right. (see here? I'm at least a year behind the time.)

Since I finally watched this movie, thanks to, I have to say that it was a good watch. It was also a good source of conversation between my wife and I. We discussed the various subjects as they came up, and it was a good conversation. It was definitely interesting seeing how each of our own biases showed up in our opinions. My wife being a meat-loving meatatarian (as she calls herself) who avoids veggies and anything that tastes healthy (also her words), and me being a vegetarian who loves health foods and whole wheat and trying new things. It was definitely interesting.

Most of the things I saw on there, information-wise, were pretty old news. Especially since I read all the other health blogs, and Dr. Mercola's site. But it put pictures to the words, which really resonated with me and made me feel a little bit better about trying to eat real foods. It even struck a chord with my wife when she saw what went into meat fillers (i.e.: ammonia).

Despite the fact that the information for this movie came entirely from the United States, it was well rounded and gave a good insight into their food system. I'm not sure how much different Canada's food policy is, and I have yet to hear of a documentary that looks into it, but I'm sure it can't be that far off. I have to say that our meat in the grocery stores here in Ottawa definitely looks healthier and fresher than the meat they showed in the movie. I hope that means something.

It certainly is amazing to hear about all the different uses for corn, and just reinforces my feelings about eating real foods. Knowing that processed foods are full of corn and soy is really disenheartening. I felt myself feeling really bad and empathizing for the latino(looking) family who couldn't afford the real healthy food and went for the junk food instead because of the price. Buying junk because it's all you can afford is really a catch-22, because you pay for it later in life with your health.

You can tell from how the farmer's are talking about the situation that they are unimpressed. The meat farmers are getting screwed because they're subsidized by the big companies and can easily get their contracts cancelled for any little thing. The female chicken farmer that they featured had her contract cancelled because she believed in having an open chicken house that had windows so that her chickens could see the sun and the outside. She refused to switch to the dark, closed, ventilated chicken house, so she lost the contract with the meat company.

The seed cleaner's story was equally sad, if not worse, because he had been in the same business for years (probably more than fifteen) and he got sued. He tried to fight it, but he ran out of money to pay his legal bills so he was forced to settle with Monsanto. This segment of the movie made me really glad that I consciously avoid soy products, and now I will be even more observant and open to looking where hidden soy and corn might hide.

Paying higher prices to get good, healthy, real food is worth it. It's worth it in the medium term because you'll feel better and you'll have more energy. It's worth it especially in the long term because your body will be healthier and less prone to chronic diseases, not to mention that your immune system will be stronger from you putting real food that provides real energy.

In summary, it was a really good movie and puts everything in perspective. It brushes over a huge range of topics and gives you a taste of each one. The movie features Michael Pollan who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma (which I look forward to reading soon) as well as the mother of the boy who sparked Kevin's Law Barbara Kowalcyk. Even if you've read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Fast Food Nation, I recommend watching this movie. Because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So a movie must be a few million at least. Rent it, share it, borrow it, or buy it, it is a good watch and a sobering look at the food industry and how it has evolved.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Please note that some of the links are to the site where you can purchase the titles. If you do, a small commission goes to helping to support Simply Green. I recommend that before buying, you check out your local library, or used book store. Keep the world a little greener and share the love. Thank you.

No more ads!

Upon a brief thought and realization that I'm not in this to make a few cents in ads click, I decided to get rid of the AdSense advertisements.

They're ugly and I don't get to choose with any great detail what's being shown. Not to mention that the links are always to sign up for or buy something that seems kind of scammish.

So the only ads you'll see here are for affiliate programs for products or services that I truly believe in.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Monday Musing: Work

Having worked in a variety of fields, I can say with some meaning that having to work for a living doing something that is not fulfilling kind of sucks. It doesn't make you feel better, especially when you work in an industry that is knowingly poisoning the population, either by the food being served, or the ideas being portrayed. Where I currently work is a bit like that, it feels like every meeting and event I go to, I'm being told how wonderful this company is. But when I look around and see the corruption and the sadness that is all around, it really makes me think.

It makes me think about why money is so important. Who decided that the world was to revolve around money? All money is worth is what the corporations and the government leaders say it's worth. A piece of paper that is worth five dollars doesn't mean anything. Five dollars can't even get you a nutritious meal nowadays. Why not put value in something valuable, like commodities?

Make it worth your time to get the things you want. Barter and trade with family and friends. I have a system in my family where we share things. We exchange recipes and we exchange ideas. If anyone needs help putting something together, they call a sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin. There is no money exchange, only time and attention. That is what's worth the most.

Going to work, especially if it's a job you don't like, is ridiculous. How can we ever evolve as a society when all we do is what we're expected? Personally, I'm working towards pursuing my passions in my spare time. Maybe I will be able to make money off of it, and maybe not. I am willing to alter my lifestyle to fit into what I want my life to be. I can't just quit my job off the bat, but I can work towards getting out of it. Every day that I pursue my passions, I work towards finding my future. Not just a future, because the future will come whether I want it to or not. But my future, where I'm content in the work I put into the world.

Where do you want your future to be when the future comes? Do you want to be sitting in an office doing unfulfilling work just to go home and be miserable? Or do you want to do something with your life? Make the change, follow your passion. Live your life to the fullest. You are worth it.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here's the rest of the posts:
Happy thoughts
Automatic negative reactions
Sustainable eating
Crutch or reason?

Compassionate Parenting: Meeting needs - Part 2

When your needs are met it is easier to meet your child's needs, too.

What needs -- yours and your child's -- aren't currently being met as well as you would like?

Make a list of doable, inexpensive strategies that could fulfill each of these needs, and this week do at least one thing to meet each of them.
From my e-mail subscription to

Having kids around you can be draining physically and emotionally. When you don't look after your own needs to ensure that you are prepared for your day, it can take a huge toll on you and, by proxy, your child.
When you are getting ready for your day, and you know you will be interacting with a variety of people, you need to ensure that your own personal needs are met. If they aren't, it can adversely affect your relationships and your mental health.
Personal needs, in summary, are the following:

Found on the website
The negative repercussions of meeting your own needs are numerous, not to mention the effect it will have on those around you. Each day, work towards actively and consciously meeting at least one of those needs.
Examples can be endless.
For integrity, create something beautiful to you, be it artwork or a website or even a catch phrase. Anything that you create that means a lot to you. You don't have to share it with anyone else, this is for yourself.
For spiritual communion, if you aren't religious, could be going for a walk in the crisp beautiful autumn air and embracing the beautiful and pure state of nature.
The list could go on.
What are ways you could meet your needs? Come up with some unique ones, and please share them!
Peace and serenity,
Simply Me

Enjoy the Compassionate Parenting series? Click the link for a full list from the series.

Healthy Snacks e-book sale!

Healthy Snacks To Go e-book - The comprehensive and easy to use guide to easy and healthy snacks. These recipes are amazing, and incredibly forgiving. They are easy to follow and Katie stuffs these pages full of useful facts as well as links to other information that you may want to find.

This Friday, November the 26th, (also known as Black Friday) she is holding a sale on this fabulous buy. 50% off the first 50 copies sold using the code BLACKFRIDAY! But hurry, the code expires at noon MST.

If you don't manage to snag yourselves a copy of the Healthy Snacks To Go e-book on Black Friday, Katie is also holding another sale on Monday, November the 29th, (also known as Cyber Monday) which is the online trickle from Black Friday. The first 100 copies sold on Monday are going for an even 4$ using the code CYBERMONDAY which will expire at 6pm MST.

If you haven't had a chance to check out this woman's fantastic site, please take advantage of it now. She offers a wealth of information on a large variety of health related topics, and she is extremely friendly.

Her other e-book is also available through the attached link, but it will not be on sale for this weekend's shopping festivities.

Happy shopping, and if you're heading out to brave the crowds in any stores, be careful. Remember family first, and stay safe. There are things more important than buying gifts, so remember what is important to you and your family.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Disclosure: Simply Green will earn a small commission for every copy of the Healthy Snacks To Go e-book purchased through this link as well as the Kitchen Stewardship in the Big Woods e-book so thank you in advance for helping to support this site.

Compassionate Parenting: Meeting needs - Part 1

All people (that includes you and your kids) are always doing their best to meet their needs.

Think of an incident with your child that didn't go well. What did your child do? What need was s/he trying to meet? What did you do? What need were you trying to meet by doing what you did?
Quote is from my e-mail subscription to

This week focuses on meeting needs. Misbehaviour in children is oftentimes just a way for them to express themselves. They don't understand societal or personal rules because they just haven't experienced them often enough. Not to mention that people often do not take the time to explain any rules to children, they just say "because I said so" and call it good.

Because I said so is the WORST excuse you can use to get your child to respect your rules and decisions. It shows that you don't have a valid reason, or that you don't respect them enough to explain anything to them. Children are "why" machines. They need to know why something is important. How can they make their own assumptions and inflections on rules and pressures if they don't actually understand them?

Not meeting needs and expecting others to fall to their feet to meet yours is something that people learn and do right into adulthood. Is it fair to others to not listen to their own needs while expecting yours to be fulfilled? Can you think of a poor experience recently with another person that ended badly? I'm sure it has happened, no matter how compassionate you are, everyone makes mistakes.

Remember that others have needs to, so try to meet in the middle.

Here is something that happened the other day with my family. My wife (W), daughter (Em), and a kid we babysit (Z).

W and I were heading out the door to pick up the kids and grab some groceries we needed for dinner. It was an emergency grocery run, as we hadn't made it to the store earlier in the week to pick up our usual fruits and vegetables. W asked me if I wanted to get dropped off at the daycare then walk home, and she would go to the store and get the groceries. I decided that we should all go along, in hindsight a poor decision. Em and Z were very excited and energetic, and were not listening at all. They were hitting the price signs and running all over, nearly running into other shoppers all the while. I tried many times to explain to them that what they were doing was unacceptable, and they needed to calm down. They didn't. We finally made it to the cashier and finished our shopping. On our way out the door, W snapped at the kids because she had enough, they were being disrespectful to both W and I, and it was enough. Harsh words were said, and the behaviour did not change all that much. We finally made it home, and W decided that she had a long enough day (she had a very rough day at work) and that she was going to lie down for a bit.

So, what needs was Em trying to meet (and Z, for that matter)?
  • She had just gotten picked up from daycare, and so was excited to go home and play. Instead of being able to go play (as we usually did) she was dragged along to the grocery store where she wasn't allowed to do anything. This did not match her needs.
  • She also wanted to be moving and expressing herself through her actions, and probably felt that she was being held back and contrained. She wasn't given enough time to understand what was going on and why her routine was being thrown out of whack, she was just thrust into the situation and expected to handle it.
Now, what needs was I trying to meet by bringing them along in the first place and all through the trip?
  • I wanted some interdependance, and wanted to be able to get responsibilities done (grocery shopping) and still spend time with W and Em
  • I wanted to get the shopping done quickly so that we could go home, and didn't give the kids enough time to process the change in routine.
  • I wanted the kids to listen to me when I explained things to them, and respect me.
  • I particularly want to ensure that my daughter knows that she is loved and respected, and that she can express her feelings and needs to me whenever she may need it. I want her to forgive me even though she doesn't act as though she remembers what happened.
Now, from this I can draw up a brief conclusion. Firstly, expecting kids to act like adults is unfair in many situations. Expecting kids to be able to switch their routines around freely is unrealistic, as kids need routine. Em did not want to be at the store where she could not express herself or move around freely. Next time this comes up, I will take up W on her offer of letting me walk home with the kids and her do the shopping. It will avoid future problems caused by routine switches, and still allow us to complete responsibilities.

Do you have an example of an incident (either with another adult or a child) that didn't go well? Analyze it. Break it down. Figure out what possible sources of issues were, and see if you can create a compromise. Just because that one situation has passed doesn't mean that there won't be more that may arise. Deal with it ahead of time, and predict issues.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me
(this post is a part of November's blog carnival against child abuse)

Enjoy the Compassionate Parenting series? Click the link for a full list from the series.

Wednesday's Small Step: Get your hands dirty!

Take a relaxing step back and let your hands get dirty. Play in mud. Don't run from germs, embrace them!

Stop worrying that germs are going to attack you and devour your immune system! It's not going to happen! So put down that bottle of hand sanitizer, rub some coconut oil (or whichever moisturizer you prefer) on your hands, and do something fun!

When you spend your time constantly worrying about how sanitized a surface is before you touch, or even after you touch it, you are wasting valuable brain space. Give it a wipe with a damp cloth if there is some debris and it will be clean enough. There are so many more things you can do if you relax your fears about bacteria.

Alcohol based sanitizers kill germs, sure... but they kill the beneficial bacteria just as often as the malignant bacteria. The down side? Malignant bacteria grows back faster. Then your body will have no helpful bacteria to assist in fighting off the bad bacteria, and you are more likely to get sicker than you would have otherwise.

So help your immune system, make your body stronger, and stop compulsively cleaning your hands and wiping your surfaces. You won't get sick from that, you'll get sick from someone coughing on you.

Instead of worrying about sanitation, worry about cleanliness. Think about keeping your things organized and tidy, and they won't have much chance to get dirty. Dust them periodically if they are items that stay in one place. Use your extra time to think about what you'd like to do with your life, come up with a plan or idea for sometihng that is important to you.

Enjoy the relaxing feeling of not stressing about germs. Germs are good for you, they make your body do it's job. So let it do what it was made to do, and relax. Your body will appreciate it.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Monday Musing: Crutch or Reason?

I really appreciate all the input I got for my emotional expression the other day, it's nice to know that there are others out there that experience issues that are beyond their control. I always know that there are others out there with problems coping, but it's nice to actually hear from you (Here's looking at you Denise!)

My thoughts today have to do with sharing your mental instabilities (whatever they may be) with those around you. I find that sometimes when people find out that I have trouble controlling my emotions and keeping them under control and logical, that they tend to start thinking that I'm less of a mature adult, and more someone who needs to be treated like a kid who doesn't know what life is really like.

If I'm not enjoying shopping one day, it might be because my mood is a little bit off centre, or it might be because I'm just tired and don't feel like shopping. Or what we're looking at isn't interesting to me. To say "oh, if you're just going to be moody, then what's the point?" just makes me feel like a complete nincompoop. Not to mention that it's really harsh.

To look at me when I might look sad or depressed, maybe it is a swing in the mood that came up for no reason, or maybe it's because I had a crappy day. Maybe it's even because your general tone of voice is really harsh and hurting my feelings. I have feelings, and I'm proud of it, and I don't like it when people treat me like I'm some kind of zombie just because I tend to have mood swings. It's biased, prejudiced, and effing rude. (Pardon my language)

So when someone you know has trouble coping, or has some mood disorder (whether it's diagnosed or not) or maybe is just having a bad day, try looking at it from their perspective instead of just thinking that they're being an inconvenience. Because when you have compassion for those around you, they are way more likely to believe that you are sincere when you ask them what's wrong, and maybe talking to you will help break them out of whatever funk they're in.

Think globally. Even a simple smile can change someone's day, imagine what a whole tone of voice can do.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here's the rest of the posts:
Happy thoughts
Automatic negative reactions
Sustainable eating

Link Share!

Last minute savings plan - Who doesn't like some quick and dirty ways to save a little dough? I know I do! Great tips for all levels of "hardcore"! Push your own limits, come on, it's fun!

1001 Must-See Movies (with reviews) - Squish delivers great reviews and in-depth perspectives on every film-buffs bible 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Wondermark - Because who doesn't love ridiculous jokes that don't always make sense? Old school graphics with new age jokes. I actually laughed out loud at some of these.

Advanced Fiction Writing - Randy breaks it down pretty simple and offers all sorts of fantastic information. I signed up for his newsletter about two weeks ago and haven't received any spam to date. Very helpful and insightful for those interested in improving your creative writing skillz

Got any other fantastic links you care to share with me or any others? Drop me a line, or leave a comment!

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Ebb and flow - Emotions that are not under control

When you feel unable to focus on the things right in front of you, what do you do? I have been suffering this question a lot lately. I have this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that just doesn't go away for longer than a few days. I feel lost and confused at my own thoughts and emotions, and don't have a starting point to go by to start stepping out of this.

I feel isolated despite being around many people throughout the day. I know that most of them even care about me to an extent. Processing negative emotions has always been a challenge for me, and I think the main reason I recede into isolation and hopelessness is because I'm avoiding these negative emotions.

I need to find a way to express myself, but don't know where to start.

Things starting feeling habit and routine, and I start to crave spontaneity despite the recklessness that I know it brings.

I lose the will to eat, or I find myself eating too much.

I lose the will to read, or I find myself reading more than paying attention to my wife and daughter.

I lose the will to knit/crochet, or I find myself burying into it as an escape from what's around me.

The worst of it is, I don't realize that I'm doing it until those around me have been hurt and pushed away by my actions.

Baby steps is the way to go, but I don't know which baby steps to start with.

Any advice?

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

NaNoWriMo? I'm trying anyways!

Yes, I am trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I will confess, it isn't looking good so far... And this is also the reason that my posting has been a little irregular the past week or so. I do apologize, but I hope you understand anyways and keep reading!

But who am I if I just give up? Even if I don't win, I will still keep writing, this story is keeping me intrigued.

For those who haven't heard of NaNoWriMo before, it is a non-profit site for people to come together and try to write a novel in a month. Truly, if nothing else, it's inspirational. Fully signed and lifetime authors are included with those who sign up each year, and this year I decided to throw my name into the hat.

Truth be told, I only found it in September, and I'll also confess that I did absolutely NO pre-planning for my novel.

I'm sitting at 15,642 words as I write this and the plans I had originally are altering themselves as the characters become more defined. Which is okay.

Anyone else heard of NaNoWriMo? Trying your hand at it this year? If not, do you think you will next year?

Want me to post an exerpt from my story? Let me know somehow (comment or e-mail) and I will start posting snippets. But I'm not going to if no one is going to read them. So if you want them, you have to tell me. Kay? Thanks!
Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Holidays are inching closer!

This is just a friendly reminder that CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

We started our shopping a few weeks ago, and did some more yesterday. We're sharing a lot of simple things, and I plan on making quite a few gifts too.

So here is your reminder that if you plan on making any of your gifts this year, better get started! There is a wealth of information and ideas out there, but here are a few if you're still stumped:

  1. Jam and/or other preserves
  2. Vanilla extract
  3. Scarves/mittens/hats/anything knit or crocheted
  4. Hand decorated picture frames
  5. Premixed cookie/cake/baked good mixes, just the dry ingredients, with a tag for cooking instructions and which wet ingredients to add.
If you have any other ideas, or any other gifts that you have made previous years or that you plan on making this year or any upcoming years, feel free to share!

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Compassionate Parenting: Resolving problems by encouraging independance

One of the actions you can choose that will ensure more co-operation than conflict in your home is to encourage your children to think things through for themselves and make their own choices.

Next time you are tempted to solve a problem your child is having, ask your child what his/her ideas are about how to solve it.

Each week I get a new tip in my e-mail from, and each week when I read it I try to see the correlation between parent and child, and between other people. So far, each tip has been able to be related to both children and adults.
Which really does make sense, because children are just small adults, waiting to shine and trying to grow.
So how can we help children and adults grow? By nurturing them, treating them as equals, and letting them make their own mistakes about life. No one will learn a task the same way that you have, and that is perfectly alright. Each person needs to try things their own way to find their personal preferences and abilities to complete it.
Allowing others to try things their way when it's regarding something that you may be involved in can be a challenge. Even more so if you allow yourself to think that your method of doing things is better than anyone elses. Instead of trying to push someone towards the method or answer that you want, try instead to ensure that they have any and all the information required to make a truly educated decision.
Not only will this help them grow in terms of gaining abilities on how to do things, it will also grow the co-operativeness between the two of you, and it will allow the other person to be able to trust you to help without interfering.
The best gift you can give someone is the gift of your time with no strings attached.
Peace and serenity,
Simply Me

Enjoy the Compassionate Parenting series? Click the link for a full list from the series.

Annie Leonard strikes again with a new short video

The Story of Electronics has been long awaited by those who have come to know and love Annie's blunt and broken down way of explaining how materialistic our current society has become. She speaks from an American perspective, but she speaks the truth. If you're interested in looking up her well thought out and well organized videos, here are a few links for you:

The Story of Stuff

The Story of Cosmetics

The Story of Cap & Trade

The Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Electronics

Each possesses a new and informative perspective on the world that is around us, and each and every person deserves to learn the truth. So watch these great videos, the longest of them is only 20 minutes, and share your thoughts and opinions. If you like them, feel free to share them with friends. Information deserves to be widespread across the globe, and each and every one of us has the ability to share it.

So share your knowledge and fascinations. The world is waiting for you.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Wednesday's small step: Find your passion

Finding your passion can be both simple and extremely complex. But making the first move towards finding what your true passion is can be very simple and very liberating.

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I'm going to suggest one simple task for you this week to make that first move. I hope that you will try this task and let me know how it works for you so that I can continue to help you work towards the passionate life you deserve.

This week's simple step is to try something new with even just five minutes of your spare time. Look up something that you've always been at least a little bit interested in. Go outside and take a short walk just to enjoy the weather or scenery. Anything that you can imagine that would bring you some joy, just get up and devote yourself to it for five minutes.

Set a timer, if you want to. But you may find yourself ignoring the timer just to continue experiencing this simple pleasure.

And that's okay.

Let me know what you do, I look forward to hearing it.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Stuck doing things you don't want to? Me too...

Have you ever sat through something that you really did not enjoy? That feeling of dread and wishing that you could be anywhere else but there?

That's what I get the distinct displeasure of taking part in both yesterday and today. So I do apologize for the lack of interesting or amusing posts, I very much plan on making a good comeback tomorrow when I'm back to my regularly scheduled programming.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Adopting Simplicity: I could never...

When you hear people mention simplifying or minimizing, is your first though I could never live without (insert object/service here)? I know I used to.

But it's really not that frightening or traumatizing to go without things that you may have become accustomed to. Take your cell phone for example. I carry my cell phone everywhere with me. I have it at work, I have it at home, and it's next to the bed while I'm sleeping. Do you think that I could live without it? It would be difficult, that is for sure, but I could manage.

But how? How could I bring myself to go without something that is currently an integral part of my daily routine?

Simple. I lived without being constantly connected to the world via telephone communication, and I could surely do it again. Cellular phones only picked up really big in the last 15-20 years. Now look where we are, there are 6 year olds out there with cell phones.

Crazy, I hear you say, what could a 6 year old possibly need with a cell phone? Believe me, I asked myself the same question. Believe it or not, it's a simple answer. His/her parents thought that the kid might need to get a hold of it, and thought little Jimmy/Jane was too good to be 'forced' to use the school's phone. Now, this general situation may not be all encompassing, I'm sure that each parent has a very good excuse for giving their dependent and non-self sufficient child a cell phone.

But the simple fact is this: it's just an excuse. There is no real good reason for a child so young they are not even capable of crossing the street alone to have a cell phone.

This is only one example of course, but look at the things you have in your life. Before you start thinking I could never live without ... think about why not. Why couldn't you live without it?

Why can't you live without cable television? Because reality is too much to handle? Or because you need a way to 'relax' after work? There are so many wonderful things to experience in the world.

Don't waste your time and energy on things that don't contribute positively to your life.

Go out and live your life. Relax in the fresh air and allow your senses to take in and be encompassed by the world around you. There is more out there than can ever be seen, but that is no reason to not try.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy my Adopting Simplicity series? Here is a list of other posts from this series:
Step 1
Ask yourself this...
Be Here Now
Three important things per day
Simplify your holidays by adding depth

Compassionate Parenting: Right vs Wrong vs Who cares?

You are the editor of your thoughts.
Are you choosing thoughts about who is right and who is wrong and spending valuable time and energy analyzing, judging, blaming and criticizing?

This week, focus on you and your child's needs. With this refocus, you can spend your valuable time and energy finding creative strategies to meet those needs.
Quote is from e-mail tips from

Can this be used when dealing with any day-to-day interpersonal situation? Absolutely.

Who among us can say that we don't have an underlying, pervasive need to be right? I will openly confess it right now, I often feel that I'm right when discussing pretty much anything, and will sometimes verbally argue with others who I feel are wrong.

But are others truly wrong? Just because I am right, does not automatically make them wrong. There are as many perspectives on a situation as there are people involved or observing the same situation.

So when you find your own defenses firing and the need to fight, take a small breath and try to see it from another perspective. There is almost always a happy medium, and attempting to force your own way can be like trying to move a mountain with your bare hands.

Don't waste your time judging or critisizing when you could be working together towards a peaceful resolution that keeps all parties happy.

You can make that happen. You can change any situation you're put into towards a positive and helpful resolution. All you have to do is try.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Compassionate Parenting series? Click the link for a full list from the series.


Maybe it's the weather, and maybe it's just me, but it seems like it's getting harder to express yourself. Walls are closing in and looks are given for the smallest of variances from the norm.

But what is the norm? And why can't it change?

Should those with creativity be forced to live in a world and mindset that does not permit use of their talents? Sometimes it seems like dreaming of becoming something or someone that doesn't bring in a huge salary is looked down on. Why should everything be about making lots of money? Is it so hard to believe that you can be satisfied with your life without being a millionaire?

It boggles my brain, as I find my consciousness awakening from within my own mind, that people are so distracted that they don't realize they're being herded.

Each and every person has the capability to help make the world less stressful, more satisfying and more relaxing than before.

To do so is unbelievably simple, yet unbelivably challenging at the same time. Each person, if/when they awaken to themselves, needs only to stop talking. Stop talking without thinking about what you're saying. You don't need to be in contact with hundreds of people at the same time, because doing so only perpetrates the image that you need to be in contact with people to be successful and feel content.

It's a hard fact, but you don't. To be content with your life and the people around you, you first need to be content with yourself.

This is why I am advocating and repeating and underlining the fact that you need to do things for yourself, and you need to do them consciously. Because your subconscious mind, normally, just wants to go with the flow. Well, right now the river is flowing in such a way that will not improve the quality of life for anyone.

So don't be afraid to push against the crowd, you may discover more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Finding inspiration

What inspires you? For me, it can be reading articles, or just sitting outside.

Lately, I'm having a hard time finding inspiration. Maybe because of some stress and frustration at home, but it's becoming harder to focus on creation.

I find myself reading a lot of articles and working towards expanding my knowledge, and yet at the same time I have difficulty putting my thoughts into words. I can't really even consider it writer's block, because it's happening in general conversation as well.

Listening is a skill that has always come easily for me. The ability to listen without interrupting, and hear more than just the words being said, but the meaning and intonation beneath them as well is a skill that I've discovered many people don't possess. In light of this, I try and spread it further, and expand my understanding level.

I enjoy listening to people, hearing them talk about things that they find important. Sometimes I have a hard time because a person's beliefs or thoughts are different from my own, but I remind myself that each person has their own perspective. Your perspective on any given subject will likely be at least minutely different from mine, and at most completely opposite, and that's okay.
But finding the words to express the feelings and thoughts inside my own mind has always been a struggle, and lately I have been trying to break out of my shell somewhat and express myself. Only the words in my vocabulary just don't quite express the meaning I'm trying to share.

Perhaps my emotions are far to different, or perhaps most people just use words that are "close enough" to how they feel. I'm not sure, but I'd like to find out.
To find within myself the feelings that I have, I try to focus and relax. I tend to fight against feelings, particularly negative ones, and in doing that I restrict my ability to feel emotions fully. My mind will automatically shut off and void out any emotions that I would guard against, and so I find it very difficult to break out of that.
I have been writing down thoughts when I feel them, but it's not a regular thing. I definitely recommend it, because it helps to discover the feeling as it happens, instead of trying to remember it. You might find yourself with a whole new perspective on your own emotions, which may help you to understand yourself. Finding your true emotions is essential when trying to determine your purpose, and that's what I am trying to do.
Follow me on this road, and let me know what thoughts you have. Share with me, and I will share back. Relationships are built based on truth and openness, so here is my statement of openness. Give love, and receive love in return. Life is a wonderful experience, so go out and experience it. Find your inspiration, and follow it. Challenge your walls and restrictions, and push through.
Peace and serenity,
Simply Me

Wednesday's Small Step: Turn the lights out!

Small steps are small steps.

Maybe you already turn the lights out when you're not in a room, or maybe you don't. Either way, even if you use CFLs or halogens, you should try to avoid using electricity or energy to power something that's not in use.

I admit, even I leave lights on sometimes when I'm not in the room, and honestly my excuse is weak. I don't like the dark, so I'll leave the hallway light on if I'm home alone or just with my daughter. It makes me feel safer, even though it really doesn't change how safe I am.

But I try to ensure that I have the least amount of lights on as possible.

Also, due to my mood disorder, I have a hard time staying awake in the morning when there's no lights on. Which may be a slightly more realistic excuse, but it's still an excuse.

What about when you're watching a movie? Do you leave the lights on, or do you let the TV bask you in the special effects and acting wonder (or horror) that is in front of you?

What are your views on having lights on when you're not in the room?

Do you give yourself excuses sometimes, like I do? Or do you just suck it up and turn it out anyways?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Sidenote: great minds think alike! check out 's article on shutting out your lights as well! just found it today. simple steps and small drops make big staircases conquered and buckets overflow. peace and love

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Small Steps series? Let me know what you think below.

Do things for yourself

Stop right now. Stop whatever you're doing.

Think about what you're doing. Is it for you, or is it for someone else?

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Can you remember?

Well, I want you to do something for yourself. Right now.

Eat something you enjoy. Write something you want to write. Give yourself 15 minutes to relax in silence. Listen to some music. Whatever you like.

Just do it.

It'll feel good, and you'll feel better.

You spend all day trying to do things for other people. Who is more important to you than yourself? If you answer anything other than "ME!" you have your priorities mixed up. Even if you have a baby, or a child, or whatever else, YOU are still the most important.


Because if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to help other as effectively, and you'll burn yourself out. Then who will help those you were helping?

So take some time and do something just for you.

You won't regret it.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Monday Musing: Contentment

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you - Lao Tzu

When we are being told all day that we'll be happy if we have MORE, the simple truth is that you won't. You won't be happy when you get that new job, or that big screen HD TV, or a big house, or a fast car, because you're not happy now.

If you can't be happy with what you already have, then you won't be happy.

You have so much right now, and you don't even realize it. Everyday, we take advantage of things that we have. Sights to behold around you that are beautiful, such as the falling leaves of autumn, or the peaceful rain that rejuvenates. Sounds, feelings, scents. Every day we are surrounded by the pure simple majesty of the world, and yet we are constantly reaching for more.

Maybe you don't have the newest greatest shiniest gadget. So what? You've made it so far for years without it, life will continue if you don't own it. All it will do is add to a collection of things that you don't need, and probably don't really want.

Happiness starts from within, so slow down and listen to the world.

Found by Google images here
Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

Enjoy the Monday Musing series? Here are the rest of the posts from this series:
Happy thoughts
Automatic negative reactions
Sustainable eating
Crutch or reason?
Peaceful Scenery