Everything’s On The Table

I’m starting a new tradition. It’s called Everything’s On The Table. Basically, it is me putting everything on the table. I want to seriously look at the habits I have, the decisions I’m making, and the places I’m going. I’m going to be exploring stuff individually, but I thought it would be fun to open it to the public for this reason: you can help me.

My friends are experts in things I am not an expert in. For this reason, friends can add to my knowledge. So, in the comments below provide your most helpful “life hack.” What do you do really well that would add substance to my life? Are you a healthy cook? Are you all about working out? Do you have impeccable time management? Then I want to hear from you.

Here are the things that I’m looking into as of right now so any wisdom you could pour into these things would be greatly appreciated:

  • time management
  • cooking
  • being healthy
  • being present
  • being more thoughtful and loving
  • staying positive

Cool. So Everything’s On The Table lasts through December 31st so we’ve got six weeks to explore some of these topics. I will share what I’m learning. In the comments below, feel free to post resources/help/things you want to be on the table.

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15 thoughts on “Everything’s On The Table

  1. Spencer– full disclosure, this blog has been inspiring me lately. Thank you for being.

    My reflection for you is this: “What are my non-negotiables?”

    These include time commitments and values. Think about the things you value in life (love, friends, family, community service, religion, education, sleep, self car… there are a myriad of values out there…all up for your interpretation) and challenge yourself to figure out if the way you spend your time reflects the things you value. There is a “leadership building” activity that involves flashcards I can try and find for you…it helped me.

    Hope this helps!

  2. I absolutely love cooking! Here is a link to my Pinterest board of recipes: http://pinterest.com/freespiritpinnr/meet-me-in-the-kitchen/.

    My basic philosophy is: limit the meat and eat lots of veggies. Almost all the recipes on there (or many of them) are healthy.

    Another great blog I love is called Chocolate Covered Katie. Here’s a link to that: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

    She re-makes desserts in a healthy way. My favorite? She made a chickpea-based “chocolate-chip cookie dough” this is really, really tasty. I also love her sweet potato chili, which has become a regular staple in my diet. At $5 for a whole pot of it, it’s also one of the most economically friendly dishes I can make!

    When I was in school, I stayed active by doing things I thought were fun – I love hiking, kayaking, and doing taekwondo. Sometimes it’s really hard to motivate yourself to go to Ping and run, but going to taekwondo club always seemed like a reward, not an obligation, you know?

    Hope this helps! Oh! And staying positive? I personally choose interactions with children to provide this for me. I volunteer with my church’s Sunday school. You could maybe do that at Central! It’s like an instant cup of life-java. 🙂

  3. One of my biggest struggles in the past has been finding time to cook (cooking usually means a healthier meal, at least in my case), and I have found that setting aside the time, or picking one night a week to make something (or several somethings) that I can eat throughout the week really helps and really cuts down on the amount of processed food that goes into my mouth. Soup is awesome (I can Facebook message you a recipe for taco/ tortilla soup that my friend and I found in a healthy cookbook that we love) and especially comforting in the winter (and a great way to get your veggies!). Another example is crustless quiche for breakfast (if you like quiche, of course). Even just taking the time to wash and cut up fruit to make it more portable and easy to just grab and eat makes a difference with me. At the very least, I rationalize the time I spend cooking by remembering that my body is the only one that I have and that it should be one of my top priorities to nourish it well.

    I hope that was helpful! I really like the idea of this post and will probably be back as I think about these things more. : )

  4. As far as being healthy goes, I can tell you that you are not drinking enough water. In fact, no one is. Drinking more water will help you sleep, slow aging, and boost your metabolism. If you are feeling like your stomach is a gaping, un-fillable void, I suggest drinking a large glass of hot water (or piping tea without sugar if you want a little flavor). Any hot beverage will make you feel fuller. Also, drinking a full glass of water before each meal aids in digestion, as well as helping you eat less.

    In the realm of happiness, I suppose it depends on what makes you happy. I’m not sure how universal this idea is, but making others happy makes me happy. So take time each day to do at least one nice thing for a loved one (friend, family, significant other) and at least one nice thing for a random stranger. It doesn’t have to be much; Giving someone an impromptu compliment can make their day. You’ll feel good, someone else will feel good it’s a win-win. Pay it forward!

  5. -time management
    I’ve really valued the principles in Zen to Done. Essentially keep a list of tasks you want to do (a to do list) and then prioritize three things you want to do everyday. You big rocks. Do them as soon as you wake up (waking up before you go to work if you have to).

    I’ve gotten a lot done in my own life this way, I don’t always follow it but it’s how I opperate when I’m on my A-game.

    -cooking
    Make large, easy to reheat meals on the weekends. Make multiple meals and then freeze or chill pre-made batches that you can nuke for quick meals throughout the week. This is pretty much the only way Rachel and I can eat homemade meals together with our busy work schedules.

    -being present
    Start a meditation practice if you haven’t already. I really like “Mindfulness in Plain English” but there are other non Buddhist texts on the practice of mindfulness. I also use a bodhi timer to remind me to be mindful every 20 mins. I create a lot of visual ques to do so as well.

    -being more thoughtful and loving
    -staying positive

    Both of these have been profoundly helped by my meditation practice. But staying positive or not being quick to anger has been a life long struggle for me. I find the best way is to try to create a habit of viewing anger as a bad state to be in.

    We shouldn’t be skeptical of it as a state of being. Instead, I channel it toward productive uses of my time. Being mindful of what’s causing your anger and how your anger manifests itself overtime can trigger a realization that hot anger or resentment or non positive thoughts do little to change your situation.

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