Episode 014: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life [podcast]

Do you ever feel like your life keeps going in circles?  You can get off the merry-go-round by changing your mind.

(c) L. DeVincentis.  Used by permission

(c) L. DeVincentis. Used by permission

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On Today’s Episode

Rhythm of Life – Snow at the End of the Driveway
Tune-up Tip – Winter Squash: The Unsung Hero
Random Riffs – What’s So Great About March?
Feature Segment – Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

Rhythm of Life – Snow at the End of the Driveway

New England has been blessed with a lot of snow this winter.  Not only in quantity, but also frequency.  Ever notice how even a small amount makes a huge pile at the end of the driveway? And if you don’t get it up right away, it becomes impossible to remove later.

We discussed this is a prior blog, but it got me thinking again about taking care of small things so they don’t turn into big things.

Some observations about the snow at the end of the driveway, and how it applies to life:

  1. The plow always seems to come after you’ve finished clearing.  We feel like we've finished a project, and then something causes us to have to redo the work.  Find a way to deal with that and move on.
  2. The snow at the end of the driveway is the most difficult to move.  Best to deal with the difficult things at the beginning when we have the most energy.
  3. Every so often, flatten the pile so you have somewhere to throw the snow.   Preventive maintenance makes the job easier.
  4. You need a sight line when you pull out of the driveway.  If we don't plan ahead, we may end up without a sight line for what we are trying to accomplish.

How can you apply these lessons to your own life?  And can you see the small things as gifts that remind you to be thankful for the big ones?

Tune-Up Tip – Winter Squash: Unsung Hero

Winter squash is in season now.  It comes in many forms, pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash being the most popular. And not so common varieties, like kabocha, carnival and sweet dumpling, are finding their way into our specialty markets and farm stands.  Spaghetti squash has also become popular with those who don’t want to eat pasta.

Sound delicious?  Taste buds activating?  Think outside the box and try a new recipe.

WinterSquash

 

There are many benefits of winter squash, including:

  • Versatility – you can add to a soup or stew, or eat as a side dish.
  • Beautiful and colorful – brightens up your plate
  • Nutritious and healing – packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, and fiber. It also soothes the digestive system and enhances our immune system

The below resources provide information on the many benefits from eating winter squash.

The Worlds Healthiest Foods – whfoods.org
Power Foods: Butternut Squash – wholeliving.com
Reasons to Love Winter Squash When You Have Digestive Issues – sondibruner.com

What’s the vote on adding butternut squash?  The “eyes” have it.

Random Riffs – What’s So Great About March?

Where does the name come from?  Mars – the god of war and agricultural guardian; the idea of peace and stability through war.  Many great events and celebrations have history in the month of March.  Here are just a few:

  • Ides of March – March 15th. Roman celebration. Oldest Roman calendar had March as the first month of the year. Most famously known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, marking the transition from Roman Republic to Roman Empire.
  • Two famous composers, Haydn and Bach, were born in March, as were two American presidents – Andrew Jackson, James Madison.
  • St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th. Celebration of Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland, as well as the Irish culture in general. Was made an official church feast day in the 1600s. The celebration is a great way to break up what would otherwise be a pretty dreary month at the end of a long winter.

And some not so great March events in history:

  • Watergate conspirators indicted on March 1, 1974
  • Boston Massacre – March 5, 1770
  • The Alamo fell – March 6, 1836
  • The Spanish flu hit US shores in March 1918, resulting in 500K deaths in the US and 22MM worldwide.

Feature Segment – Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

There is a quote that has surfaced on Facebook that says. “Life has no remote.  Get up and change it yourself.”

Remember as a kid the merry-go-round?  That joyful ride we enjoyed at the country fair.  The rhythm of it made you feel powerful, exhilarated.  It was fun!  We never wanted it to stop.  Until we hit that point when we’d had enough, and all we wanted was to get off.

Sometimes we feel like our life is on merry-go-round.  You can’t stop it; you can’t get off.

Your life feels like you keep going around in circles, never making progress.  It’s like Groundhog Day – repeating the same mistakes, doing the same things, having the same thoughts, all with the same results.  A lesson from the movie:  You can't get unstuck by doing the same thing over and over again.  You have to do something new.

Perhaps there is something about your life that you would like to change, but can’t seem to do it.  Or you can’t imagine that it’s possible to change.  You don’t see a way out.

There IS a way out.  There IS a way to change your life.  There IS a way to break free from behavior patterns, even when you have practiced them for years.

How?  Change your mind.  Change your thinking.

Why is our thinking so important?  I turn to Andy Andrews, best-selling author who lived through challenging and life-changing times when both of his parents died when he was a teen.  His life experience required him to change his thinking in order to survive.  In his book, “The Noticer”, he states, “In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective. For perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking yields new ideas. And ideas produce the bloom…of an answer. Keep your head and heart clear. Perspective can just as easily be lost as it can be found.”

How can we change our thinking?  How can start to renew our mind?
Here are seven ways; start with one and gradually add on.

  1. Have an attitude of gratitude. In Episode 6, we discussed how to develop a grateful heart. Gratitude goes a long way toward renewing our minds.
  2. Change how you tell your story. If you’d like to know more about how to do that, listen to Episode 4.
  3. Pay attention to what you let in. Feed your mind with what is good, true, and beneficial to developing it, like good food, exercise, meditation. Choose TV, movies, books, and other media wisely.
  4. Choose who you associate with. Surround yourself with healthy, positive people. Protect yourself from toxic people and environments.
  5. Give yourself a different soundtrack. Replace your running commentary of negativity with a positive one that speaks of what’s true. And do it out loud to drowned out the negative noise.
  6. Love and serve others. Taking our focus off ourselves is a great way to grow and renew your mind.
  7. Stop your instinctive thoughts and behavior. Train yourself to be an observer of your thoughts and actions. Stop, observe, inhibit, and choose your action. Train yourself to act, rather than react.

Once you have chosen one, choose how you will practice it.  Establish a habit.  Practice your new habit for at least a month before attempting anything else.  You may see some change even after changing only one thing.   Share the changes you are seeing. Add others to the mix as you are ready to take on more changes.

Don’t be captive on the carousel of time.  Don’t be trapped in Groundhog Day.  Renew your mind and change your life.

How has changing your mind changed your life?  Please share in the comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.