Three Reasons You Should Wander Around

To wander is defined, by Meriam-Webster and by most of us, as “characterised by  aimless, slow or pointless movement.”  We think of wandering as lonely poverty (think of “wandering minstrels” and itinerant preachers, or the activity of men in the mall who are waiting on others who shop.)  If we’re describing more purposeful movement, we use words like “migration” (because ducks and geese and human migrants have a purpose in their movement) or “exploring” (because Cousteau and Hillary and Lewis and Clark had destinations to conquer). Is it always pointless to wander?

How I Learned I Needed to Wander

I’m the kind of person who thinks a lot.  About everything. Constantly.

When friends tell me (as they often do) “Don’t think so much…”,  my reply is usually something like: “Don’t assume it took very much of my time to come up with that…”  (as if “a lot of thinking” really equals “a lot of time spent thinking”.  The truth is, a tremendous amount of brain activity goes on in just a few microseconds.

I doubt that time spent is the point of those making the comment.  Instead, I think they were referring to my “monkey mind” — incessant brain activity that jumps from branch to branch, constantly chattering away with internal (and sometimes external) commentary about how things are, how they should be, what they could be, what they aren’t.

It wasn’t until I was invited to participate in a “Day of Wandering” that I realized just how incessant my thinking activity is, and just how much that keeps me from actually experiencing people and situations around me. That day I spent about 6 hours by myself walking the Mogollon Rim.

During the first five hours, my mind was actively plotting, planning, evaluating, deciding — which way to go, what process to use to quiet my mind, how to measure my success…and on, and on, and on.  Finally, in the sixth hour, I sat and closed my eyes and just listened, and increasingly found myself not evaluating.

After that, I was able to walk in a way that I can confidently call wandering:  I did not choose a path or a destination; I simply walked.  The result?  I experienced the world around me with a new appreciation, a new depth and a new connection that felt vaguely familiar to me.

[callout]Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. –Anatole France[/callout]

Continue reading “Three Reasons You Should Wander Around”

The Great Pumpkin – With Protein, Even

One of the things I love most about the holidays is the nostalgia of the foods that were on the table at my grandmother’s house, at my aunt’s house and on our own kitchen table.  Of course that had to include pumpkin pie! Over the years, I’ve added to my pumpkin-loving list: pumpkin cookies and, more recently, a pumpkin latte with a pumpkin spice bagel, or a wonderful pumpkin soup.  Of course, the primary problem with many of my “nostalgia foods” is that they aren’t necessarily all that healthy.

In my search for small things to do today that make tomorrow amazing, I came across this recipe for a Pumpkin Latte Shake (Tomatoe, Tomato – you say smoothie, I say shake!).

Here’s what you need:

Just mix

2 scoops of Vanilla Shaklee Energizing Life Shake (this is where the protein comes from)

8 ounces of Unsweetened Almond  or Cashew Milk

1 tsp instant coffee*

1 tbs pumpkin pie puree^

4-5 ice cubes

cinnamon & nutmeg to taste

Add dry ingredients to wet in blender, and blend all ingredients until smooth.

*Notes & Variations

Instead of Instant Coffee (who keeps that around if you drink coffee regularly??), try substituting a 1/2 cup of cold / room temperature coffee in place of the cashew milk.  Better yet, keep the cashew milk and use ice cubes created from your leftover, strongly-brewed coffee.

Pumpkin pie puree:  Sure, you can get a can of pumpkin pie filling and scoop it away a tablespoon at a time. But here’s a quick and easy way to have pumpkin puree around for just such occasions.  (If you use frozen puree, then use liquid coffee. )

That’s all there is to it!  I get the best of the old an new pumpkin classics — all in a healthy, protein-packed meal replacement!

Three Reasons Why You Should Stop Being Responsive

Google declared being responsive as the Gold Standard for web design, so the responsive vs adaptive argument is over.   Responsive design usually refers to a website that adjusts it size to fit the dimensions of your device … resulting in just the right display size for your phone, tablet or large screen. Adaptive, on the other hand, refers to changing not only the format of the information, but changing WHAT is presented based upon your device and a number of other factors.

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But this (repackaged content vs. highly customized content)  is the age-old challenge of not only marketing, but of all communication, including interpersonal communication. Do we simply fit what we have to say into a convenient package for each audience or person (respond)? Or do we adapt, and present what each audience or person perceives they need?  Google can’t answer that one for you. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why You Should Stop Being Responsive”