July 22, 2016

It's Simple: Do This Or DIe

If this wasn't your view when you woke up this morning, you are doing alright.

Being in the hospital forces one to think about what is really important in life. It is a harsh lesson in the basics, in simplicity. Life stripped to the essentials.

It all really comes down to one question.

When the doctor or nurses come into your room they don't ask you about all the stuff you have at home. They don't ask what kind of car you drive, or how many square feet your home is. They don't ask what you do for a living, or how much money you have.

No, this is what they ask - "Have you had a bowel movement today?"

That is something that really matters. As my friend said while training as a nurse - "If you don't poo and pee, you die." I have thought a lot about that simple statement since the last time I was in the hospital shortly after moving to Nova Scotia, two years ago.

I had injured my back doing a transfer with Linda. We needed two ambulances to get us to the hospital, since there was no one to care for her in my absence. I was in hospital for one week, Linda for two (so I could have one week of respite and heal properly).

During that time we were both asked "The Question" on a regular basis. Why? Because it is one of the most simple and important things any of us do, whether during a crisis in the hospital or in regular life back home.

So Dr. NBA asks you, "Have you had a movement today? Urinated, too?" If so, you are doing alright.  Have a great hind end, and weekend. Life is good.

July 20, 2016

It's All About The Freedom

“Living simply, voluntary simplicity, back to basics - whatever you want to call it - is all about freedom. It is about wanting less and being happy with that. It is about finding true priorities and making our lives less complex.”

- Yvonne Quarles

July 18, 2016

Sit Spot Schedule

I recently discovered this special spot near my new home in southwest Nova Scotia, Canada.

For many years my main priority, my passion, has been to experience as much nature as possible. Our connection to nature is not something that is nice to have, or extra. Our survival depends on recognizing our place in the web of life. A sit spot helps to do just that.

It doesn't matter what you call it, a sit spot, special place, secret spot, or medicine site, the benefits are the same. Simply put, a sit spot is a place to go to connect to nature in a deep and disciplined way. Everyone should have one or more special spots to visit.

Especially kids. The sooner you start, the better.

This spot is a good place to witness the throb of life in the Acadian Forest.

There are a few things to consider when deciding on, and enjoying your particular spot, or spots. The most important is to make your chosen area easily accessible.

  1. Choose a spot outside, preferably at ground level and with a few of the surrounding area. If it takes longer than a couple of minutes to get there, it is too far away.
  2. Any spot will do - chair outside your door, a bench in the yard, or sitting cross legged in the grass. The easier it is to access, the fewer excuses you will have for not visiting it regularly.
  3. Once in your spot, rest comfortably. Don't move, breath deeply.
  4. Sit for a while. It can take several minutes for your body and mind to relax into it, so try from 10 to 30 minutes, or more. 
  5. Be still, quiet, and aware of your surroundings. 
  6. Observe. What do you see? Hear? Feel? What does it smell like?
  7. Visit your sit spot every day, or as regular as possible. An every day sit schedule is something to work toward.
  8. After a while, you might consider using a journal to record your discoveries, experiences, and ah - ha moments while in your special spot.
  9. Ask questions. What does it all mean? What is it trying to teach you?
  10. Help someone else establish their own sit spot schedule. It would be a most valuable gift.

I have always had special natural areas that I like to revisit often. They have been both around home, and some a bit farther away. When I miss out on sit spot visits I feel deprived. I can feel it in my mood and energy levels.

Ultimately, nature deficit disorder can lead to catastrophic results, including thinking that the economy is more important than the environment.

No terrorism here. No coups, no hate or ugliness. Those are the poisons - this is the antidote.

All the answers we need to ensure our survival are already known, and they all come from nature. A regular sit spot schedule teaches the sitter a lot about themselves, and nature, of which we are an inextricable participant.

Spending time in nature teaches us all the lessons we need to know. It engages our empathy for all life, and reveals our place, and our purpose. It helps us to do as little harm as possible as we journey through this life. It can change the world.

Try 30 days of a few minutes in your special spot and see what happens. Its medicine can lead to a life time connection with your area, and everything in it, in a deep and intimate way.

It can change your life. It did mine.

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