Tag Archives: NaBloPoMo

Z is for Zero

30 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we have been exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Thank you for joining us on this journey towards more simple, sustainable and meaningful lives. Over the last month we’ve talked about a lot that we need to continue to work on over time if we’re to succeed. Today we finish up by looking at Z… Zero.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

Z is for Zero

A simple life is one in which we’re aiming for ZERO (or as close to zero as we can get).

We’re aiming for zero stress, disappointment and waste (time, money, things).

If we’re realistic we know that this isn’t doable but it’s good to set our goals high. Each and everything we’ve talked about over the last month are small steps towards achieving this goal.

My ZERO includes reducing the negative impact I have on both those around me and the environment. That’s because this fits with my values, it may not fit with yours.

My ZERO means trying to live by Bea’s 5 R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.

My ZERO also means learning to compromise. My husband’s values may not be exactly the same as mine. At times I compromise on waste coming into our home to meet his values as well.

My ZERO means spending as much time as possible with my family and friends, helping others as much as I can through my work and what I do in my spare time, and spending time by myself to focus on healing my body.

My ZERO is a life in which I feel needed, loved, supported and cared for.

What is your ZERO?


Y is for Yes

29 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at Y… Yes.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

Y is for Yes

Say YES!

To looking after yourself.

Photo (c) E. S. January, 2014

Photo (c) E. S. January, 2014

To living by your values.

2013-11-22 12.09.08

To being the best YOU you can be!

Over the last few months I’ve made an effort to say YES to opportunities that have come my way. I’m being careful to try and keep pacing while I do this and I’m also giving myself permission to say YES to my health by saying NO to others when I need to.

By saying YES over the last few years I’ve taken up some exciting opportunities, including:

  • Creating the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book
  • Developing a 3-year Environmental Management Plan which will guide community sustainable actions within one of the Local Councils I work with
  • Developing educational biodiversity trails for local schools in another Local Council
  • Joining the executive committee for the South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association for Environmental Education through which I’m helping with organising and running a national conference later next year.

Without saying YES, I wouldn’t be doing any of these things but to be able to do them I also need to say YES to the following:

  • Pacing myself and resting every day
  • Eating as healthy as possible
  • Listening to my body

What do you say YES to?

Don’t forget that the Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway is now open. Sign up here for your opportunity to win! This giveaway has ended.

 

The Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway!

28 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , ,
No Comments

THE ULTIMATE SPOONIE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED

I’m taking a break today from our A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life to share with you an exciting opportunity to win some amazing prizes in time for Christmas. I’ve teamed up with Julie from Counting My Spoons, Donna from February Stars and Fed Up With Fatigue, AshleyJane from Living Incurably, Alisha from The Invisible F, and Dr Rodger Murphree from The Fibro Doctor to run a Rafflecopter giveaway  (the Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway) just in time for Christmas.

What can you win?

There will be five lucky winners:

1 Ultimate Spoonie Gift Package includes the following prizes:

2015-06-01 14.29.26

1 Fibro Recovery package includes:

2015-06-01 14.28.45

3 runners up will each receive a copy of the book “Suffered Long Enough” by Dr. William Rawls MD.

The wheat bags have all been sustainably made using upcycled material. I find having one or more of these as being a crucial tool in my arsenal for coping with the pain I have from Fibromyalgia and Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. They’re great to use hot or cold. For heat, just stick in the microwave for up to 2 minutes and apply. For cold, store in a sealed waterproof layer (like a ziplock bag) in the freezer for at least 4 hours and remove when needed.

To enter the contest simply go to the Rafflecopter giveaway page and follow the links to join the social media pages or mailing lists for one or more of the participating pages. You have the opportunity of entering up to 21 times. Full terms & conditions are available on the Rafflecopter page.

The contest opens today and will run from midnight (EST) on Nov. 27 to midnight (EST) Dec. 4. Winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter software.

Winners will then have 7 days to reply with their mailing info once contacted to claim their prize.

GOOD LUCK!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

X is for eXperiment

27 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at X… eXperiment.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

X is for eXperiment

One non-formal way of learning is to experiment. Experimentation is essential for those of us living with chronic illnesses. For many of us there are no known cures (or even causes) for what we are dealing with. That means we need to constantly experiment with treatment options until we find ones that work for us.

Throughout my journey with chronic illness I’ve experimented with various drugs (antidepressants, lyrica, sleeping tablets, other pain relief). I’ve experimented with natural alternatives like the TENS machine, accupuncture, yoga, massage, meditation and visiting a naturopath.

I’m constantly experimenting with different routines, sustainable lifestyle options (like cloth toilet paper and napkins), and new healthy recipes.

homemade cloth toilet paper

homemade cloth toilet paper

Finding what brings you joy and wonder, and what you’re good at is only possible by experimenting with different ideas.

What experimenting do you do in your life?

 

W is for Wonder

26 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at W… Wonder.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

W is for Wonder

Like Joy, Wonder is an important feeling to have in life. It’s also a feeling that is surprisingly hard to find, especially when things aren’t going right in your life. Think of some times when you have felt it, or when you can focus on finding it.

Take the time when being mindful to find wonder in the world around you. Wonder can be found in the smallest things…

The feeling of the sun on your skin as you sit in the garden…

The smell of the flowers…

The taste of a fresh cup of tea…

Without wonder, I wouldn’t learn so much. It is what encourages me to keep researching and learning. It helps me through the tough times by giving me something to focus on.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

V is for Values

25 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at V… Values.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

I’m also going to cheat a bit with this post and use information from a previous post…

V is for Values

Everyone has values. Throughout this journey I’ve talked about how a simple, sustainable and meaningful life is different for each and every person and that because for it to be meaningful it has to be aligned with your values.

I’m going to suggest you do an activity to determine what your values are. This could be something like the 100 Goals Challenge I undertook last year. It could also be a discussion with your family to work out your shared values.

We’ve done this at LiveKen and, in no particular order, our values are:

  • With the Community for the Community
  • Make a positive impact (be sustainable and aware)
  • Respect yourself and each other
  • Be genuine and transparent
  • Love what you do and do what you love
  • Never stop learning

Let’s take a closer look at each of these and see what they mean to us, why we do it and how it is important for you.

With the Community for the Community

Every thing we do here at LiveKen is done with the Community’s best interest in mind. We also include the community in the development of everything we deliver to make sure that what we’re developing and delivering actually meets the needs of the Community.

Who is the Community?

When we’re talking about working with the Community for the Community, who do we mean by the Community? The simple answer to that is that we mean you, the complete answer is a bit more complicated than that.

Our Community are those who:

  • are feeling overwhelmed by life and looking for a way to simplify it
  • suffer from a chronic illness, such as Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, MS or any other lifelong illness that interferes with their ability to live a ‘normal’ life
  • Have multiple symptoms that interfere with life, such as constant pain, fatigue, and brain fog, but no diagnosis
  • are simply struggling with life and unsure where you are heading
  • are looking for guidance on living a more sustainable, fulfilling life

If you recognise yourself in even one of the statements above then you are part of our community and we welcome you to join us in identifying the issues and finding the solutions to solve them.

Our initial services are focusing specifically on those with health concerns and chronic illness but other services are on their way shortly, so please join us for the ride. Sign up to our newsletter to get monthly updates on what we’re doing, useful links, and special offers.

Make a positive impact (be sustainable and aware)

With every decision we make we consider the impact of that decision on our lives, the lives of others and the planet around us. We aim to make our impact on the world a positive one. Creating a legacy that helps others to live fulfilling and sustainable lives that have a positive impact on those around them.

By joining us at LiveKen, you are making the first step in the direction of a positive life change. You are making the decision to consider your health, those around you and the environment you live in when you make decisions.

We know that at times all of us will make decisions that don’t have a positive impact, but when this occurs we will learn from these experiences and make better decisions the next time.

Respect Yourself and Others

In the past we have lived our lives by pushing ourselves to the limits and trying to do as much as we can. For some of us, this has led to chronic illness and an inforced need to respect our own bodies. Because of this, and the negative experiences many of us have had since being ill, we are hyper-aware of the need to respect ourselves and each other.

You never know what other people are going through so try not to judge them. By trying to empathise with, and respect, each other and our own bodies we are able to listen to understand and not just to respond.

Be Genuine and Transparent

We only talk about things that we have experience with and an understanding of. We approach our products and services with open hearts and open minds. That means we are open to constructive criticism and will consider others’ thoughts and opinions on what we are delivering.

Through this blog we aim to be transparent about how we are working, what we are hoping to do, and what we’re able to do for you.

In many ways we are learning as we go. We do not claim to be experts in our field, instead we claim to know enough to help you and to find ways to discover what we don’t know so that we can help the best we can.

We will be honest when we don’t know the answer and, when ever possible, will direct you to the appropriate people if we know someone who is better able to help you.

Love what you do and do what you love

All of us here at LiveKen are starting out volunteering our time to get these projects of the ground because we believe in them and believe they are important to get out in the world. If you don’t actually enjoy what you’re doing then we will be asking you to stop doing it, if that means leaving us then so be it!

Because we actually believe in these projects, our aim is to provide as much as we can for free. However, we can’t live off air alone so we’ll be offering fee for service offerings to cover business expenses.

Never Stop Learning

To be able to Understand, Inspire and Empower we need to have that first step in place; we need to understand. A big part of understanding is actually knowing what is going on, as such continual learning through courses, conferences, interviews, reading and experimenting is key to LiveKen philosophy. We will be sharing what we learn through our blog, our courses and our other products and services.

So, there you have it! These are LiveKen’s values. We believe that these values fit well not only with staff and volunteers but also with our clients. If you believe in working with the community to develop services to assist the community, respecting yourself, others and the planet we live on, and continually learning to improve your own life and the lives of those around you then you have come to the right place!

What are your values?

 

U is for Unplug

24 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at U… Unplug.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

U is for Unplug

In today’s day and age we seem to be constantly surrounded by and connected to technology. This makes it difficult to step back and relax.

I always feel much calmer and life seems much simpler when I have the opportunity to disconnect.

This can be as simple as switching off your phone and sitting outside for a while, or can be more involved including going away camping for a week or more to reconnect with nature.

Reconnecting with nature on our last camping trip

Reconnecting with nature on our last camping trip

I really need to work on unplugging more often.

Since becoming ill, I’ve spent more and more time online. In many ways this has been a great thing. It’s helped me connect with people like me, like you, who can understand what I’ve been going through and provide support. It’s been a great way of building my community, but it can be all consuming.

I do try to spend time outdoors every day but I’d like to expand it more and have at least one day that is completely technology free. I’ve tried this before and failed but I think it’s important. It will give me more time for reflection, more space for myself, and allow me to focus on what’s most important to me.

Do you ever take the opportunity to unplug?

 

T is for Transform

23 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at T… Transform.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

T is for Transform

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the 3 R’s of waste management – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Bea Johnson from the Zero Waste Home talks about 5 R’s adding Refuse at the beginning and Rot at the end.

The 5 R’s are a great way to reduce waste in your home and live a simpler and more sustainable life.

You may be wondering why I’m talking about the 5 R’s when the word of the day is Transform. Transforming is one way of reusing items and reducing the amount of new items you need to bring into your life.

I love the idea of transforming an old unneeded item into something meaningful and useful for you.

Old clothes and sheets can be transformed into new clothes (dress to a skirt for example), other items (t-shirts to bags, patchwork quilts), or rags.

patchwork quilt I made my husband last year for Christmas

Patchwork quilt I made my husband last year for Christmas

To transform is to make a marked change in appearance, form or nature of something.

Given this definition we could also say the whole journey we are on is one of transformation.

We are moving ourselves towards a different lifestyle than the one we had to start with. Transforming ourselves and our lives into something simple, sustainable and meaningful.

And the weather changes again…

22 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

The weather here has been up and down with some extreme heat over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, this weather isn’t conducive to me being at my best.

I have been struggling a lot over the last week in particular with very high pain and fatigue levels. Keeping up with the daily blog posts and doing a minimal amount of other work or appointments takes most of my energy and the rest of the time has mainly been spent doing mindless screen activities (tablet games or tv).

My step count has dropped again to a minimum of 2,000 (half the minimum I’d built up to) but I’m not too concerned about that. The thing I’m most to concerned about is if this is a precursor to a crash like I had last year (which I haven’t fully recovered from even now).

I’m hoping by proactively resting and listening to my body I can avoid a major crash.

The problem is that I still don’t really know what caused the crash last year so I don’t know what I can do to avoid it.

On the other hand, I don’t want to go backwards because I’m being too cautious… so I am still trying to maintain a minimum level of activity and because it’s the newest and most meaningful addition to my routine, I’m trying to prioritise my work activities.

Now it’s time for another rest…

Do weather changes affect your health? What steps do you take to minimise the impact?

S is for Space

21 Nov 15
Megan
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
No Comments

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at S… Space.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

S is for Space

A simple and sustainable life is one with space for opportunity, reflection, and relaxation.

I have been trying to increase the space in our house by decluttering and removing excess stuff. That’s included creating a minimalist wardrobe (or close to it), and cutting back on items in the kitchen and open areas. This is an area that I’m constantly needing to work on. It’s especially difficult if you don’t have a policy in place for when new things enter the house.

Thanks to my illness, my calendar went from completely full and occasionally double booked to fairly open. I’ve learnt to aim to book only one or two activities a day so that I have space in my day to rest. This is an important tool in my ability to pace and minimise my symptoms.

We all need space to focus on ourselves so that we can discover what is meaningful to us and so that we can have room for impromptu activities as well. This can be done through meditations, putting aside time to have a mini-retreat, or simply removing activities from our calendar so we can be more flexible and open to new ideas.

Do you have space in your life?