For those of you who watched my Instagram video a li’l back, this post is about my 2017.
And my Spotify playlist, “MORE 2017 MORE.”
For those you who missed my Instagram glory-story and wonder what I’m talking about, here:
For the past few years, I’ve been starting a Spotify playlist at the beginning of year. I give it a name that becomes a theme for the year. The year before last, my playlist was called, “2016 candles,” and as you can imagine, it was a lighthearted year like a quirky movie full of beautiful love scenes with cake on a dining table and awkwardly inappropriate grandma-sayings. The year before that was called “ anew year 2015” which put me in the mood for newness and nowness.
This year, I gave my theme/playlist more intention because of an epiphany of blinding self-awareness that led to eye-opening self-realization.
What did I see?:
I’ve been taking my life pretty lightly for the past seven or so years. I’ve been having fun! My life has been full and simple after a few years of struggle and re-finding my bearings. Opportunities presented themselves, and they’ve allowed me to flow my creativity. This creativity birthed many ideas, but I’ve been a chicken to actually execute them. Or maybe I’ve been too comfortable. Or maybe I don’t even know. So many things I’ve talked about, so many ideas I could have executed, so many changes I could’ve made.
I knew that this year, I needed to make a change.
So I told myself, this was the year of doing and having more. Like:
More happiness, fulfillment, consciousness, mindfulness– on the daily.
More junk clearing– including unserving energies and situations.
More movement and effort– towards my dreams.
So I did. And in a few nutshells and after a few martinis, my thematic dramatics realized for 2017 include:
More Green, Less Mean.
More Make Down, Less Makeup.
More Do, Less Think.
And so my year, like my playlist, MORE 2017 MORE, turned out tobe pretty, pretty, pretty good! I made an effort of MORE and it resulted in MORE. Here are some personal ways I changed up my 2017. Maybe reading a screenplay isn’t your thing. so if you just wanna feel my smooth, freshly shaven Spotify playlist, here it is.
More Green, Less Mean
I kicked my efforts of personal environmental awareness up a notch.
Studying at UC Davis was my initial environmentalism immersion. Back in 1989, walking around a town with recycling bins to my left and housing and garden co-ops to my right, cow barns and Earth day parties every weekend, the hippie in my heart birthed a special earth-awareness that eventually made me mindful– even though I didn’t know to call it mindfulness at the time.
As time went on, I became more aware of my personal trash, which made me worry about the floating islands of trash in the middle of the ocean, which made me horrifically sad when I saw that trash washed up on the shores of Kauai last summer. There was more I could do.
I upleveled the cans, glass and paper recycling with
mindful waste-watch and overall consumption reduction.
I bought a whole lot more organic. I tried to buy bulk if it meant less packaging. I just bought a whole lot less stuff. I sought products that I could refill. I even made my own yogurt to cease my collection of plastic containers.
SURE, shopping also goes a lot slower when you’re being mindful. It can also be a little more expensive when you’re searching for earth-friendly packaging. And yogurt takes a lot of time and patience to make in an Instant Pot, but I’m consciously making a difference with my own actions. This just feels good because I’m living my truth every day.
Having a kid was parte deux of personal environmentalism awareness. My daughter educated me on the nasty impact the meat industry has on our planet, not to mention the inhumane treatment of these helpless animals we eat. So in March, we started a full-fledged effort into a plant-based diet.
And that got me thinking bigger and more long term.
I realized that that slight buzzing sound in my head is not the voices of the krazies telling me to leave it all behind for a deserted tropical island with meerkats and a blue lagoon. Nope. That gnawing buzz is the constant top-of-mind concern I have about the kind of earth my daughter (and possibly her daughter) will have to live on and with.
So. I looked at my 2009 BMW and it stared back at me with 100K miles and the plea of $5K worth of TLC. I traded her in for a 2016 Prius Hybrid in July. My friends could hardly believe it. I could hardly believe it…that I didn’t go full electric!
The biggest impact of all of these changes? I feel MORE good.
I feel this “good” from the inside, from my subconscious mind to my frontal lobe, from my heart and soul as Iive coherently, with everyday activities. I feel better knowing that I’m doing more to reduce my carbon footprint EVERY DAY. It’s an emotional and spiritual feel. It’s also physical. I feel healthy on the inside and it shows on the outside.
Plus, eating plants gives me more energy, a flatter tummy, and more agility. Bending down to reach my toes is easier. I can stretch for those volleys, get a higher jump on my serve. My digestion is smoother. My face has less morning puff and so I have less to fluff. And this takes us to…
More Make Down, Less Make Up
Oh, makeup. How I love thee: Nars, Shu Uemura, and Marc Jacobs, but I’m slowly breaking up with you. Actually, it’s more like, I’m cheating on you.
Kkkkkkk, ladies. Here is the lowdown. As we get older, let’s go lite on the shimmer and glimmer, ok?
On our younger skin, vibrant trendy colors and screaming highlighters accentuate certain designated areas of our face, adding interest and bringing attention. It happens the same way when we are older– only NOW we have dark circles, puffy eyes, drier skin, wrinkles, marionette lines. And while all of these personal souvenirs are totally well-deserved and should be worn with pride, that sparkly blue eyeshadow and overdrawn eyebrows bring a certain attention to certain areas (aka your whole face) so ask yourself: is it really so necessary?
Let your authentic beauty shine through in all its natural splendor. Instead of wearing those products to hide, decorate, and elaborate, wear face stuff to protect, nurture and nourish an authentic radiant glow. And btw, that glow comes from within. More on that at a later time. But for now, consider a new make down routine.
More Doing, Less Thinking
I have a friend who says, “If it isn’t a hell yes, then it’s a no.”
Just think about that for a second. Now think about your own life.
Have there been times when you made a move based on a comme çi, comme ça feeling? What did you get in return? A comme çi, comme ça result?
What if you made decisions based only on non-negotiable, gut feelings?
You know…that stimulation that gets you so excited that you can barely sit still. Or the kind that makes your body tense up and curl your toes in anticipation?
I’m talking about using your instincts.
Instincts are biological and evolved. They are a natural reaction. Humans and animals share this magical phenomenon. Sadly over the continuum of time, our brain has called interference on our instincts by throwing in these meddling and annoying things called thoughts. Next thing you know, you’ve got analysis paralysis and your kick-ass momentum is cryonic-ly preserved with the hope of a future-but-not-guaranteed revival.
One of my biggest hangups in my life: overthinking
My younger-self thought that a super self-inflicted analysis was a reflection of my intelligence and measurement of intellectualism. I realize now that it’s been a burden and has ruined my life.
JUST KIDDING. Truly though, the times when I’ve operated life without a brain manual are the times that I’ve really done some amazing things and have totally paid off in the long run: Par exemple:
Said yes to staying in Paris for 7 days to get a cheaper flight to Spain.
Said yes to a job I had no real clue what/how to do, but just loved.
Said yes to a marriage proposal (because it was a means to…).
Had a kid.
Said yes to playing some late night tennis with strangers.
Said yes to performing as a singer rather than a pianist.
Said yes to becoming a life coach.
And wow. My life is full. As I write this, I think of more times (than not) that I over-thunk decisions and opportunities (big and small). *Gulp of regret* I have another essay to write.
What would your life be like if you operated from your gut
rather than your brain?
Don’t gulp regrets. It makes you burp.
BONUS READING REWARD
Congrats! You’ve come to just the tips aka my paried musings of inspiration in case you wanna try some of the things I’ve written about. Think of ’em like Cliff’s Notes:
Eat: Begin your love for eating vegetables and be amazed by how delish vegan cooking can be. One site, one official cookbook: Thug Kitchen. Tip: Trader Joe’s is a great place to buy some new ingredients for your new lifestyle. Oh and yes, prepping fresh veggies takes time. Be mindful of the moment and of the goodness all your energy is supporting. This time makes the experience enjoyable.
Watch: Get freaked out and change your life from watching What the Health on Netflix. If Food, Inc. made you think, this documentary will make you do. Tip: Eat a big rib-eye or filet before you watch. Trust me.
Drive: Beside every other obvious benefit, pumping gas once every two weeks is MAGNIFICAT! There’s nothing like being a P.I.M.P. in a Prius. Oh yeah. You know it. Tip: In retrospect, I’d buy an electric plug-in. Consider all options before you buy, including tax credits…
Less Make Up
Care: While I super SUPER love Sephora, I found a new place to buy face stuff. The Dermstore. The cool thing is that they offer a sweet discount with your first order and even another discount on your second order within 30 days. And you even earn points. Yay!
Do: Read and repeat this mantra every morning or make your own: I am in tune with the universe. I trust what I feel because what I feel is right. I recognize opportunities for action. I am a warrior, not a worrier. I am fierce, not false. This life, I embrace with grace.
Naturally, when you have more of something, you have less of something else. Be more you. Be less chicken. Make 2018 MORE than anything you’ve ever dreamed or desired.