Night Owl to Early Riser in 30 days….

The formula has worked!  No meat, no caffeine, no alcohol, studying The Fall of the Human Intellect every morning, and no hanky panky, wait did I just say no Hanky Panky? Yes that is part of the formula….and I’m up at 6:00 am on a Saturday morning with only 2.5 hours of sleep and feel fully alert and ready for the world! All of this is part of the lifestyle changing formula. I really had to give myself a month or so to do it because in the beginning I went through the headaches of no coffee, and withdrawals of my favorite foods but once I began to see the benefits I was able to start reasoning with my intellect vs. emotions and attachments like I need this or I need that to survive!

Just a couple of weeks ago I put on my facebook status “How do you change your habits and become a morning person, even though you’ve been a night owl your whole life?”. I got answers like “have kids, drinking before bed so you have to get up early and go pee, get an early morning JOB”. These are all answers that FORCE yourself to get out of bed in the morning but how about doing it by choice?  Good answers but the formula above helped me change my mind set and make physical changes in my body that have allowed me to become a morning person.

And I’m fucking shocked by this one simple change I’ve seen in myself. I never thought it was possible that is why I had to use the F word…because I’m just that surprised by my behavioral changes. A month ago I would have talked myself into going back to bed because the mere thought of only getting 2.5 hours of sleep must indicate that I need more sleep. I mean its pure logic right? Actually it is not, the pure logic is if you are not tired wake up and get your ass out of bed!

This is one of the many changes I have seen over the past month, but one that I have been trying on my own to accomplish for the past 1o years.  I do not think, “now that I have accomplished it I own it and can do it every day”.  It will take daily work to keep up this practice and change.  On a side note now that my 30 days are almost up I will be continuing many of the sacrifices I have made with slight modifications that fit my true self.

Listen to your intellect, reason out what really is the logic and make that change you want to see but be consistent daily and you too can make it happen!

Namaste

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Ozomatli New Album

Back in the day if I was still in the music biz, I would have the advance copy and be talking about this album months months ago, but I actually stumbled upon the details on TED:  Ideas worth spreading.  They played at the TED’s legendary block party and they plugged their new album along with an exclusive video (4/20/2010).

This is definitely a band that should be honored.  Staying close to their cultural roots and embracing everyone else’s too, Ozo is a Funk Infused Latin Lovin’, Far East to Far West, Rasta, Africana, musical genius that introduced me amongst many others worldwide to sounds I had never heard before.

They blend them up and it’s what they like to call LA Home Grown music.  If you have not been to a concert, please go you will become an instant fan. The audience is as blended as the music and they love to get you moving and involved by rooming around, and that is why they are recognized as Cultural Ambassadors by the U.S. State department.  Did I mention that the Mayor of Los Angeles declared 4/23 Ozomatli day too, how cool is that?  I’ve loved them since the beginning, not only because they loved Minnesota and always put on an amazing show for us 3 times a year but because as a person of multi cultural backgrounds I could relate to the music.  It is multi-lingual, multi-cultural and musically diverse.  They tell stories with their music about issues people may not know about and help bring awareness and understanding.

Ozomatli homepage link: http://ozomatli.com/

Click here to read a great album review and see an exclusive SXSW acoustic video.

Enjoy!

Namaste

Mineral Water Martini

I’m going through a Yoga form of lent. Give up the things that you desire. Isn’t this the act we do before Easter? Give something up that we enjoy? I hardly ever do lent, but I dig this exercise. Give up something that you desire that way when you miss it, you can meditate on it and give thanks that you are becoming free of attachment to your desires and try to understand why you were attached in the first place.

Giving up alcohol for the next 30 days is among many of the things I’ve given up for the next 30 days as part of my new lifestyle experience.  Don’t worry…it makes sense to me.

Anyway I had a few friends over for dinner last Friday and they were game for the Vegan Lasagna but I really felt I had to explain myself on the whole no drinking thing.  The conversation went something like this.

Kendra: Let me pour you a glass of wine

Friends: Thanks, this is divine, aren’t you going to have a glass?

Kendra: Oh yes, don’t worry I WILL be having a glass I’m just starting off slow, I like drinking mineral water out of a martini glass, it taste better that way.

Friends:  Oh OK

In the beginning, I really felt the need to want to include myself in the wine drinking but as the night progressed my Mineral Water Martini planted itself as a REAL adult beverage and I never felt the need to switch over to wine.  Whew…I made it though my first trial.  I realized I do have attachments to drinking, its a social thing, a way to be included and part of the party.  But in reality its not really the alcohol, just a pretty glass.

Namaste

Warrior Weekend

What won’t kill you will only make you stronger.  The above image is from a weekend I spent with my sorority sisters that changed my life.  We called it “Warrior Weekend”.  I suspect my long weekend beginning tomorrow will be another Warrior Weekend… a life changing experience, after all it is called Life Training.  Most people think a Yoga Retreat sounds relaxing, indeed it is going to be a way to balance ourselves out but I’m not sure about relaxing.  The website asks, “Are you seeking information and knowledge?  To understand yourself better and the world around you?  Tools to make change in your life?  To teach Yoga and build a business around the Yoga philosophy?  Begin your journey to clarity”.  I’m nervous, excited, curious, motivated, and anxious all at the same time.  I guess its because I’m ready.  Ready to make a change, to work on whatever it is that is holding me back from completely fulfilling what I know I can accomplish.  No communication with the outside world until Mid-Monday.  Can’t wait to share all about it.

Namaste.

Affirmations

7.) I want everybody to respect me.

8.) I want to be able to reason out good decisions.

9.) I want to have fun.

10.) I want to be happy with myself.

11.) I want to enjoy everyday.

12.) I want to do only the things that make me proud.

13.) I want to accept the truth.

14.) I want to find good in everybody.

15.) I always want to be myself.

1.) I never want to be jealous.

2.) I never want to put anybody down.

3.) I never want to be scared of what tomorrow may bring.

4.) I never want to judge people.

5.) I never want to indulge.

6.) I never want to disrespect myself.

7.) I never want to act out of character.

8.) I never want to quit what I know I can accomplish.

9.) I never want to be mean.

10.) I never want to wish to be something that I am not.

11.) I never want to lie to myself.

12.) I never want to blame others for my mistakes.

I took a class in high school, I can’t remember what it was called but it was along the lines of life skills.  We talked about healthy relationships, being a healthy person mentally and honestly I can’t remember what else.  It was either 11th or 12th grade.  What I do remember is that it was first period and I always walked out of class feeling alive and happy!  One of the exercises we did was to write down affirmations.  Above is about what I wrote.  I have my original notes from class and I still look at them regularly.  Sometimes I just read them one by one until one sticks out to me at that moment and I try to meditate on the words throughout the day.  It reminds me of what kind of person I want to be.  From time to time I loose my way and I look at this and think, “how did I know myself better at 17 then I do today?”  Was I more honest with myself?  Less tainted with the temptations of society?  Hadn’t felt as much pain and worry in life?

I think this is a good way to start or end your day because there is something powerful in simple words, written down, and said out loud.

Namaste.

Surprise!

Last Saturday I reminded myself that my life is easy.  Things just always come to me, or they just work out the way I want them to.  I haven’t thought this in awhile, not for any reason unparticular I just hadn’t.  Then on Saturday the thought just came to me and I said “oh yea…that is true normally things just work out the way I want them to and I don’t have to worry about it”.  The first time I lost my job 2 years ago was the first time I was stumped on how did this happen to me?  I did have to remind myself that it was my choice, I could have moved to Arkansas.  YUCK!  I put in the hard work required and landed back on my feet.  Of course I wasn’t alone in this scenario because many of my friends had also lost their jobs.

So this brings me to the following week.  Friday April 2nd was one of my best friends 30th birthday’s and Sunday was Easter.  Looking at flights to Minnesota was nonsense at $600 a pop; there was no way I was going to afford it.  Then I got a call from a customer of ours on Tuesday who said they wanted to meet with us the following week on Tuesday the 6th!  It took a lot of work to pull it together on such short notice.  My colleague was off for Passover, my boss was on vacation another one was out sick but I did the due diligence to coordinate with everyone’s schedule and Friday I was off to Minnesota!

Surprise! I didn’t even have time to let anyone know.  It was so great to see her face when I showed up at her roller skating birthday party!  I was so happy I could be there for her and a part of her special day.  It just amazes me how everything just fell into place.  I wouldn’t call it luck or magic but the Law of Attraction. I seriously believe that my life is how it is meant to be and what I want will eventually present itself.

My mom had asked me to bring The Secret DVD next time I came into town so we could watch it together.  I looked everywhere but could not find it.  The day before I came back to Michigan I was looking for a pen in my briefcase and pulled out The Secret DVD!  It was seriously eerie.  At that point we had to watch it!  I believe in Karma, the Law of Attraction, and the Secret and feel it’s amazing when a realization comes true like what happened this week.  It proves the power of the mind.  Practice gratitude, visualization and truly believe that your brain can transform your current reality to whatever you wish it to be.  Now that is powerful!

Namaste

One of my new favorite experiences

Most of all I value experiences, adventures, living…. not so much things.  And tonight I have a new favorite experience to add to my list.  “The Moth”.  Such a breath of fresh air.  What The Moth is, is a story slam.  Much like the famous poetry slam but people put their names in a bucket and if chosen they get up on stage in front of an audience and tell their story.  There is a theme, and tonight’s theme was “On the Road”.  There are 3 tables that rate each speaker and there is a winner at the end.  Each story is limited to 5 minutes. You would think 5 minutes is long, but it goes by fast.

Now I first heard a live recording of the NYC story slam on NPR and thought it was the coolest idea, I actually pulled my car over and finished listening to the whole program.  I was over the top when I heard we had it here in the D.  2 months ago my girlfriend and I went down to Cliff Bells where they host the slam at 7:30, when the show was suppose to start.  We had NO IDEA how popular it was since it had just started 3 months prior.  We waited in February for an hour and the line didn’t even move and we never got in.  Today we got there an hour and 15 minutes prior to the start time and were lucky to find chairs.  We discovered from talking to people with all the best tables that it is a full house at 4 pm!!!  Seriously people, you are lucky I’m sharing this little gem of an experience with you it was a packed house as it was.  But I want to help people move OUT of their comfort zones and try new things.  Sometimes that takes hearing a recommendation from others.  The Moth is only in 4 cities and Detroit is one of them!  I feel so lucky.

The best part of tonight was the fact that one of my friends put her name in the bucket.  What a brave soul.  Public speaking is not easy, especially while trying to be funny and entertaining at the same time.  9 stories were read, everyone was so open talking about crapping their pants (multiple people had this theme), being pimped for gay sex in Chile until finally escaping while their capturer passed out, and being stranded by the greyhound bus company for 3 days in the middle of a snowstorm in Nebraska.  My friend too had a great bus story.  She was almost off the hook until they called number 10!  Now she had to face her fear to speak in front of a group, and this is a fear among many.  Out of about 25 people 10 were chosen and she got to tell her story of when she was 16 and left her family on their vacation and took the greyhound back to the city 12 hours and all the crazy people she met.  I was so proud of her, it take a lot of courage to get up and speak like that, and I was just happy to say that I was there….in the present moment listening, enjoying my new experience and not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.  We will be going back to The Moth every month that we can, it was above all pure entertainment with an enlightening twist of getting to know a few people around you!

I hope you enjoyed my story.