Well I completed the Live Below the Line Challenge – and it went as well I as had expected.
My main source of food was the chicken broth I made from $1.00 chicken bones, and the only time I noticed a pinch was when I went to the vegetable market. I’m used to buying whatever vegetables I want, so to walk in and choose one kind of greens rather than a huge handful was an exercise in mindfulness for me.
I was a little hungry, but nothing compared to the chronic hunger others experience with no end in sight.
I’ve noticed a greater feeling of awareness and restriction in terms of my food budget. I keep thinking about how much I can spend and how much I should spend on food. For other items and general shopping, I usually apply these questions:
- Is this a truly needed item or just something I desire to buy?
- How many times will I use this? Is it single use? How will I dispose of it or recycle it? Will it be trash or be reused?
- If I wait 30 days to buy this, will I still want it?
- What is driving this impulse to buy?
- Who could use this money more than I could?
The last question is the result of this latest experiment. I find that I am happier when I have fewer things – especially when moving internationally or sticking to my goal of decluttering one thing in my life each day.
So when I shop for anything now – food or otherwise – I’ll be keeping in mind the principles I learned from No Spend Month and this challenge. Now if I could remember to implement my budget the 1st of each month, rather than a week later after I’ve discarded my food receipts, that would be a big help too.
My 30 day dance challenge went so well that I’ll be doing another challenge for May. I’m going to continue dancing every morning to get me going, or when I need a pick me up or am feeling crabby. I was dancing down the hallways after a very frustrating morning at work, and I realized that I could just let everything go. I didn’t have to struggle with all these thoughts and judgements – so I didn’t. I still made all my co-workers laugh when I talked about how much I hated the printer that never quite works right, but it was a humorous dialogue rather than one full of expletives (which I had been contemplating only 20 minutes before when I hadn’t been dancing). So I’ll keep working on dancing as a habit for stress relief, and my next habit-building challenge will be….
5 minute Standing Meditation!
I speak about meditation quite a bit, only because this former skeptical, bottle-up-emotions and “just deal with it” girl has had her outlook on life and healing significantly improved by guided meditation. From exploring emotions, discovering how to listen to my own body wisdom, waking up to have a better and more productive day, positive sleep habits, to simple relaxation, mediation has been awesome. But I needed help to quiet my crazy brain, and now I think I’m ready to try a more active, visualization type of meditation. So I’ll be doing the Standing Meditation outlined in Paul Chek’s book How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy, for 5 minutes a day. I also want to incorporate a lunch break deep breathing exercise to remind my body not to get into funky shallow breathing, poor sitting and standing posture. I’m also toying with the idea of getting a pedometer in order to reach 10,000 steps per day, but I’ll focus on mediation for now.
What are you interested in? Would you like to start your own 30 day, positive habit building challenge? It would be a great compliment to Step 5 in the Whole Foods Ladder – crowding out.
I’m also thinking of sharing some simple, homemade cleaning product “recipes” for future Green Tips. Would that strike your fancy?
Oh, and here is a JAM for you to groove to. Happy Tuesday!