Thursday, May 7, 2015

Does Social Media Keep you from being Mindful?

****...this was originally a MindBodyGreen submission that was not selected. So now I can post it here!!  (:      

Over the past several years, I have refrained from an addiction to social networking. I check my Facebook when I am near a computer. I allow myself a few minutes of Instagram every couple of days, maybe weeks. I have had the same flip phone for five years and I still use T9Word to text message. When I go on vacation, I send postcards. Sometimes I even approach strangers face to face when I have a question(since I don’t have a computer at my fingertips).

I post pictures to social media, but I do so when not in the moment of enjoying my moments. When I am out with friends and family, I like to give them as much of my full attention as possible. I want there to be some mystery to my life, so that when chatting with old friends, we can chat and they don’t already know everything I have been up to.

Social Media also gives us a really strange disadvantage to compare ourselves to others. You can sit there all day and watch people you know, and some you don’t, becoming more successful than you. Having a bigger family than you. Having more money than you. Traveling more than you. Going to a better school than you. Receiving better job opportunities than you. Although, if you are an optimist, you will be happy for your fellow social networkers. But let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to be optimistic when you log in after you have had a bad day.

I recently watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” And there was a scene when Sean and Walter  are talking. Sean is sitting with his fancy camera about to snap a picture of a snow leopard. They sit in silence, watching. Walter asks, “When are you going to take the picture?” Sean says, “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.” Walter asks, “Stay in what?” Sean replies, “Yeah. Right there. Right here.”

So the next time you feel compelled to snap a picture of that delicious, mouth-watering California burrito on your iPhone and immediately post it to Instagram, maybe try not doing so.
Take a couple breaths. And enjoy the moment for yourself, and maybe whoever else you are with. Really soak it in, and really enjoy that moment. Without the distraction. 

...Stay mindful.   (:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Everyone Dies & Has Bowel Movements

i think about death a lot.

it's a mixture of an obsession, and something i see everyday in my line of work.. which is why i am such an advocate for preventative health.

everyone thinks "IT" can never happen to them..
..but then "IT" does... 
...and then any possible dietary/lifestyle changes are entirely too late.

so why am I bringing this up and why do I think it's important for someone to read this??

.. because I see so many people.. young.. real young.. and old.. and they die. because that's what humans do. people die. and that is okay! because we are all going to. 

this should not make anyone upset, but instead ignite feelings of *gratitude and ambition*.

gratitude for being fortunate enough to experience life..
..and ambition to get your ass up and do some shit before your life ends.  <3

i love all people. i love all of my experiences. all of them.. even the shit times..
...because hardships make the good times that much sweeter, and it really is all about perspective and how you frame your existence.

dancing in the dark.. 
looking like a ghost lady! 
next to the ocean.. 
because i love oceans.

so my challenge of the day, or of your life, is to make sure you are living fully. To evaluate your life and know that what you are doing right now is what you are satisfied with.
...which doesn't necessarily mean traveling the world, or becoming a rich lady..
            ..but maybe it does??

So just to clear things up..

everyone dies, just like everyone poops.

and so just like I want everyone to have really amazing, out-of-this-world bowel movements, I want everyone to have an ultra-fascinating, exhilarating, and exciting life!!

I want to leave you with a paragraph from a book that I hope will resinate with you.. I have read this paragraph over. and over. and over. and over. and over. For the past, probably 4 or 5 years. No one could possibly express their gratitude for life more perfectly through language.. this is the absolute best thing I have ever read:

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?” 

        Unweaving the Rainbow
        By Richard Dawkins


Monday, March 30, 2015

A Note to my Non-Indiana Friends

Hello Friends!!!

As much as I try to tell people what is really awesome about Indiana, our politics have to go and make a mockery of my most beloved home.

However, our politics do not reflect most hoosiers I know.

As I have tried to understand SB101- RFRA, I do not study law, and therefore find the bill difficult to understand for a working class nurse. So I have read, and re-read, hoping that this bill is something different than what people were saying it is.

At first, I thought it was a joke. I thought there was no way a bill could be passed that would allow a business to refuse to serve people. I thought, why does this even matter? (I mean, if someone is giving me money for my goods & services, I am not going to care who they are or what they are doing with it, they are keeping me in business.)
But some people do care.

..and because of these people, not only is Indiana receiving a high volume of negative, national  attention, but it is also destroying prospective revenue.

Indianapolis has been on an upward slope attracting new ideas, new people, new businesses, etc.. Every time I look around, there are new shops, new breweries, new restaurants. Old houses being fixed up and new houses being built.. New bike lanes, more art, more music, more young people. More entrepreneurs, more everything. Indy is growing, proliferating..

But unfortunately for all Hoosiers, whether you believe in the bill or not, it is putting a halt on our growth. 
Businesses are literally boycotting our state.

We are losing the $40 MILLION Angie's List expansion to the EastSide and GenCon generates $50 MILLION in a single weekend.. which could be done.
..just to name two.

The most frustrating thing about this bill is to think we even need it. 

The LGBT community is not a separate community. It is everyone's community.
Gay has always been here. Trans has always been here.

.. and remember, folks...

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."
-from Origin of Species.

Friday, March 27, 2015

$2.5 Trillion

..sitting in a meeting today, I got to thinking...

2.5 Trillion $$$$$  spent on healthcare in 2009.

I can't help but want to jump out of my skin when I hear how much people spend on "healthcare."

If other prices rose as quickly as healthcare since 1948:

a dozen eggs would cost $55
a gallon of milk would cost $48
a dozen oranges would cost $134

  • Eighty-four percent of all health care spending in 2006 was for the 50% of the population who have one or more chronic medical conditions.15
  • The total costs of heart disease and stroke in 2010 were estimated to be $315.4 billion. Of this amount, $193.4 billion was for direct medical costs, not including costs of nursing home care.16
  • The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity. Decreased productivity includes costs associated with people being absent from work, being less productive while at work, or not being able to work at all because of diabetes.18
  • The total cost of arthritis and related conditions was about $128 billion in 2003. Of this amount, nearly $81 billion was for direct medical costs and $47 billion was for indirect costs associated with lost earnings.19
  • Medical costs linked to obesity were estimated to be $147 billion in 2008. Annual medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those for people of normal weight in 2006.20
  • For the years 2009–2012, economic cost due to smoking is estimated to be more than $289 billion a year. This cost includes at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion for lost productivity from premature death estimated from 2005 through 2009.11

These Statistics are straight from the CDC and are all preventable illnesses.

I want so badly to make change. And to educate people on disease prevention and how easy it CAN be.  SIMPLE lifestyle changes.

I have heard the objective that healthy people die too... so who cares?

Yes, healthy people die.. because that's a natural part of life.

But healthy people will live out their life feeling well, being active, and completely able bodied to do all of the things they enjoyed at 30.

Growing old does not have to mean feeling tired, having achy joints, and becoming more forgetful.
..they are signs of neglecting your health. eat your friggin' vegetables.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stop Making Excuses..

Excuses are a coping mechanism for regret.

This is not a quote I stole from the internet. This is an observation I have made in my life interacting with many people.

excuses will hold you back from so much.

If you really want to do something, you will.
And if you don't really want to, you will not.

It is a battle between what you want, and whatever habit or excuse you make for yourself that you wish to continue.

I want people to be happy.. happy and interesting.
When I talk to people and I hear them say:

 "I wish I could do this, BUT.."
 "I would totally do that if I didn't have 'X' holding me back."
"I will quit 'X' someday.."

I am talking about the excuses we make for our behaviors...

           our health habits...

                        why we don't see more of the world...

Everywhere I go, there are excuses.. and the problem lies with time.. and this false sense of having plenty of it.


"I will stop smoking tomorrow.."
........ when I already have COPD........

"I will start eating better tomorrow.."
......... when I am already suffering the consequences of unhealthy eating habits....

"I will exercise tomorrow....."
......... because tomorrow I will have way more time than today?....

"I will see the world when my kids are grown...."
........ because I will totally have the energy in 18 years to deviate from the habits I have grown accustomed to my entire life.......

How do you stop making excuses?

 Realize what your priorities are.

either you do things, or you don't.. excuses about why you can't is wasted energy.

If you set your mind to something, you can do it. 
Anything is possible.. 

Don't use excuses as a means to not do things. 

Accountability is something I love, but I see so many people struggle with it.
 People in general love putting the blame elsewhere.... took me years to learn how to take accountability and stop making excuses... but I did it, and it can be done.

When you start taking accountability for why you can or cannot do things, you will feel much more control over your life, which will in return, make you a much more satisfied person.

I am not trying to make people feel bad about decisions they make.
I am making an attempt to help people do what they really want because one day, you won't have that choice. And it is just that. A CHOICE.

I am finding more and more that most people do NOT realize that most things in life are a choice.

So name one thing you want(or want to do) MORE than anything.
               ..and now figure out how you are going to do it.
..make that your priority.

We don't have forever.. and death is certainly certain. be the person you want to be.. and do all the things you want to do...
....all while loving every minute.
All you have is time.. but only a finite amount.


taken @ Acadia N.P. in Maine. 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thinking Out Loud.. (or online)

So as I sit here, attempting to read my Anthropology textbook.. 

  I think to myself, "wow, some people have really cool jobs that I didn't even know existed!"

and then I sit here like, "wow, a lot of people aren't freezing right now because they live in warm places, or at least 'bearable.'"  (bearable is obviously a relative term).... however it IS colder in Indianapolis right now than in the NORTH POLE...

        So as I sit, all day, everyday, dreaming about other places and interacting with distant humans, with distant dreams and goals and lives....
........ I just wish I could be a trust fund baby and have all the money I needed to just hop around and be a nomad. (I am aware I could do this without money.. yet it would be much more difficult..)
Plus, a major component to finding true happiness is to know where exactly you lie between security and uncertainty..  Unfortunately, I know myself well enough... and I know I need a good amount of financial certainty, probably because my only monetary safety net is my own bank account.

An older woman once asked my age, and when I told her, she responded, "Wow, you've really done a lot for your age.."

..But I don't think I have... 

I would say that I have not even BEGUN to scratch the surface!

I have many more awkward foreign interactions to make!
Many more shitty diner coffees to drink!
Many more strangers that need day brightening!
Many more roads to get lost on!
Many more piers to walk down!
Many more crabs to get pinched by!
Many more new foods to try!

I love you, life! And even though I don't have all the money I wish I did, I will still spend it all on Experiences & Food!!!!  <3

..all pictures above were taken in South Beach Miami..
the one below was taken in Indianapolis @ Fort Ben.. (:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Be My Valentine!!


i am really excited for Valentine's Day!
Just like I was for Groundhog's Day.

Groundhog's Day is my favorite holiday.. but this year i had to work. 
Why is Groundhog's Day my favorite?!?!

1) don't need a family to celebrate.

2) no one gets special pay or days off making it fair for everyone to either work or not work.

3) groundhogs are adorable.

4) even though the Groundhog usually sees his shadow(meaning 6 more weeks of winter)... it's still kind of an initial stepping stone for spring.
and who doesn't love spring after a freezing winter!!??

So I wasn't actually planning to talk about Groundhog's Day, I wanted to talk about Valentine's Day!! 

Talking about Groundhog's Day was so much more exciting than anything I could possibly say about Valentine's Day..

...what i actually wanted to focus on was self love.. because when you first decide to truly love yourself, all sorts of other things fall into place..  so here's a really great info graphic on why you should be nicer to yourself. *this info graphic even cites its sources..  (:

**self compassion brings about more constant feelings of self worth than self esteem.** this year, ditch your Valentine and take yourself out for a night on the town!!  <3  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Write Down YOUR Crazy Ideas!!!!

I received a message today that looked something like this:

Is it possible for a out of shape lazy person like myself to learn yoga in the least humiliating way lol"

and ended with:

"thank you so much nancy! i love when you post your bananas among us stuff"

so i want to post some photos and chat about goals.
this was a delicious smoothie i consumed yesterday!!  :)

this is me.

this is me again!

So my friend says to me that he wants to be able to crush a beer can on his abs one day..

..i am going to assume he was serious.. but either way.. the thing about goals is that they can be ANYTHING!! Goals are fun because they give you something to aim for. I write down all of my goals.. actually, I write down everything.. otherwise I would not ever get anything done.. lists are my friends!!  

I worked with this really amazing therapist at a really not-so-amazing Psychiatric Hospital.. and I used to tell him some crazy iadeas, and he would say, write it down.

"Write down all your crazy ideas!!!"

...and I thought he was crazy... but he was actually on to something. 
I have found that since I have been writing down my goals, when I go back to evaluate them, I am checking them off!! I am doing ALL of my goals. 
....and I have MANY.

I write down things as simple as.. 

"Pet Kittens"
"Smile a lot"
"Be really, really genuinely happy today"
"Drink some hot tea"
"Smile some more"

as well as grocery lists.. homework assignments.. personal obligations.. car stuff... reading.. whatever...
i make a list as soon as a wake up in the morning.

whenever I do not make a list... I never get anything done... which is maybe just because I need that structure to stay on task.. otherwise I will be stuck at the pet kittens part forever..

check out this book... can find it by clicking here on Amazon.

I bought this book a year ago, and it has been so helpful in so many ways with achieving my goals... and it is super fun to read. it's got all different sized font and lots of good stories and ideas... it is one of, if not, the best book I own.

However big or small your goals: 

petting kittens today...  or becoming a millionaire by age 55.
..getting a really fit body.. or thinking more positively about the future..
..reminding yourself to be more mindful.. 

..whatever your goals.. write them down. and just do them.

it's super rewarding.

Stay Beautiful. & Smile.  (:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paleo.PILLS. & fActS!!

"Today, Americans get more than 50% of their calories each day from processed foods like flour, sugar and industrial seed oils that are virtually devoid of nutrients. Soft drinks alone account for 7% of our daily calorie intake. Yet these foods are directly at odds with what our bodies were designed for."

 50% of calories from nutrient-less food that does nothing but destroy your body.

 7% of calorie intake comes soda.


 "a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that prescription medication is responsible for over 110,000 deaths a year."

..not to mention the irreversible damage medication can do to your body that is not reported as death..


"As for the common objection that the Paleo diet is dangerous because it permits foods like red meat, eggs and saturated fat, the most recent research does not support a causal relationship between eating these foods and heart disease, cancer, or early death. " is evolving just like we are... once upon a time, we didn't think there was a correlation between disease and hand washing..
"people who take prescription medications may be less likely to engage in healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors. For example, a study published in 2014 found that people taking statins to reduce cholesterol may feel a false sense of security and overindulge in unhealthy foods. They increased their total calorie intake by 10% over a 10-year period, whereas no changes in eating habits were observed in non-statin users over that same period."

..this might be my most hated issue with prescription medication. 'i take pills for that so i no longer need to engage in healthy diet or lifestyle.'  taking pills for something does not mean you are controlling the issue. it means you are artificially addressing/acknowledging it... (there are obvious exceptions..)

Have a beautiful day!! And say 3 nice things to yourself in the mirror!! (seriously)

Monday, January 5, 2015

..another shitty blog post.

...after chatting on the phone for a good 30 minutes with a friend equally, if not greater than, obsessed with bowel movements as I.. 
...I have decided to blog once again.. about bowel movements!!

what does an optimal bowel movement look like???


it should be missile-shaped!

Whether you are someone who already maintains optimal digestion.. or you are thriving to achieve optimal digestion, I would like to include some handy tips for improving digesting!!

  • eat only when hungry
  • start your day with a glass of room temperature/warm water
  • eat in a calm, seated, and settled environment
  • eat at a moderate pace
  • chew your food well and be mindful of its smells, tastes, and textures
  • eat freshly cooked meals - avoid leftovers and stale, processed foods
  • sip a little warm water thru out meals
  • allow a few minutes after eating to relax
  • try to eat your biggest meal at lunchtime when digestion is strongest
  • allow a few hours in-between meals
  • allow at least 2 hours between dinner and bedtime
  • sip warm water thru out the day
  • try not to eat on the run or in the car
  • avoid ice-cold foods and drinks
  • eat in a neutral or positive environment
  • give thanks that went into growing, harvesting, and preparing your food <3

**i realize that some of these are near impossible for a multitude of reasons...

Fiber is also a great way to achieve optimal bowel movements!!!..
..but in an effort to hold your attention, we will talk about fiber next time!!

Happy Pooping!! (:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Art of Asking..

Am I good enough?

Do I deserve this?

Currently reading Amanda Palmer's book... 

"The Art of Asking.. or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help" makes me want to be a street performer!!
..and to jump into the world and be vulnerable!

If you have never seen a music video of hers.. you are missing out.
She is a true entertainer.

Why is it so hard for people to ask for things? 


Asking for help means that you are weak. That you are unproductive. That you are not good enough to manage your issues on your own.
... once upon a time, I thought these statements to be true.

Once upon a time I was stubborn. I was narrow minded. 

Although I never thought I had the world figured out, I did think that my way was the best way.

I moved out when I was 18 making a whopping $7.00/hour.
Trying to pay rent + pay for school out of pocket + groceries..
.. I was miserable. I was hungry.

Every penny I made went to school so I wouldn't have to take out loans.. and to rent.. and if I had any money left over.. it went to groceries.. 

Society made me think I needed my own space to feel accomplished.. If I lived at home, I was unsuccessful.. or not an adult.
..if I needed someone's help, I would rather be hungry than a burden.
~ thought process has tremendously altered since that near decade ago..

..but this book is about these situations.
..why humans feels so scared to ask for help. to be vulnerable.

Everyone has a different set of circumstances, and while i once viewed myself as a victim of circumstance and lived life fairly negatively.. or, really, severely negatively.. i feel as though i have overcome A LOT of mental anguish by merely altering my perception of the world and what success really meant to me.

If you are someone who struggles with asking for things..

... spare change for a parking meter ...
... a promotion...
... a hug ...
... love ...

..i think this book can bring you a lot of joy..

..especially if you have love for street performers, strippers, lawyers, nurses, Amanda Palmer, yourself.. or anyone who has ever struggled to ask for something.