Wrap Up & July Challenge

June was a blur. A blur with lots of vegetables.

Purple Cauliflower

roasted carrots and onions

Sashimi Salad

Roasted onions, kabocha, and coconut butter

Typical nori wrap fillings

That was just a small sampling of food from my Terry Wahl’s challenge. The only hitch in my plan to eat 9 cups of veggies per day was that I have a decreased appetite recently, so I’ve been eating only two meals each day, but I always made sure to have vegetables with every meal that I did eat. Overall, a good success, so I’m ready for July.

In June, I let unimportant things overwhelm my schedule and dull the vibrancy of my every day life. I’m also constantly struggling with not trying to think or worry about weight loss. But it’s like meditation – the more you try not to think of something, to resist, the more strongly it pushes back.

So in an effort to add positivity to my life to crowd out unwanted diet thinking, the challenge for July is:

to live every day like it is my last day on Earth.

If this sounds morbid to you, I apologize. That is not my intention. I have no idea where I’ll go after Earth, but I believe it is going to be a pretty good place. In the meantime, there is a difference between a full life and a life full of stuff, and I definitely don’t want the latter. I think if we live each day with a more enlightened perspective, more awareness but less clutter, than we can achieve a full life.

And this isn’t to say that I am going to go out skydiving each night. I started experimenting with this last week, and mainly I just followed my intuition and did what I wanted to do in the evening, not what I felt obligated to do. I still went to work, but I spent extra time with each student. I tried to learn more names of people, notice the quiet kids, make people smile, be more generous with my time and attitude. And it all made me feel good. As usual, my problem is overthinking everything and not letting my feelings dictate how I should act.

Well, what practical steps can I take to do this?

  • watch only one hour of tv per week
  • no computer work after 7pm
  • 3o minutes of personal computer time per day, which can be carried over to the next day if unused
  • always saying yes to friends over a quiet evening at home
  • 10 minutes of pre-bed cleaning time, to declutter my apartment and promote good feng shui
  • learning all the names & faces of my 500 students by the end of August
  • taking a super fun trip to the mountains with my friend next weekend
  • study Japanese at least 20 minutes each day
  • go back to my mantra of make someone’s day, every day
  • reinvest my time into acts of kindness
  • increase my volunteer hours

Much of this was spurred by the fact that I was without a personal computer for one week while my trackpad was being repaired. I missed interacting with all of you (and the weather forecast), but it also made me realize how much I was overindulging in screen time and how I can accomplish more if I have less time and more focus. At least in the internet world. My mom said the same thing about coffee when she was visiting Japan. I don’t drink coffee and have no equipment to do so, so Mom only had coffee the few mornings we stayed at a hotel. She said she appreciated AND enjoyed it more when she didn’t take it for granted, and just automatically turn on the machine at home like she usually did. My mom is one of those enviable types, I suppose, who isn’t addicted to their morning cup of joe. I’ve been trying to do the same thing with caffeinated tea.

All this to illustrate that this month is about changing the routine, or throwing the routine out the window in some cases, and ACTING with awareness. I’ve already noticed that I’ve fallen back into diet-thinking, even after one day! But I’m reinvesting in yoga, guided meditation, and non-computer related activities after work. Wish me luck.

If you’re interested in more of this sort of thing, check out the July Self Care Retreat!

More typical dinner photos below:dinner & breakfast

breakfast scramble lamb crockpot roast random lunch