Enter MOTIVATION MONDAY, a weekly short and sweet collection of five things that will help you to get motivated for the week ahead, with all its creative possibilities.
Could you use the same boost? Read on for the debut installment!
A tech tool to consider: Mortality Tab Extension for Chrome. Whoa. Did you know that by installing this extension to your Chrome browser, you can get a live countdown clock of how many estimated years, months, weeks, days, minutes, and seconds you have left to live? Based on an average lifespan, this tool sounds morbid at first, but the goal is to keep you mindful when online and hopefully motivate you to get going on whatever your work in this world is, as opposed to, say, mindlessly looking through your ex-roommate's vacation photos. But who does that, right?
Gorgeous visual inspiration to peruse (and use--for free!): In need of some visual inspiration? Need a photo for a blog post or screensaver (do people even do those anymore?)? You must check out unsplash.com, which offers thousands of royalty free photographs that you can download in seconds. The only thing they do kindly ask is that you credit the artist, which they even provide a handy dandy link to when you save the photo to your computer or device.
Something to listen to on your commute: This TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert is an oldie but goodie. The advice she gives has stuck in my soul and rattles around in my brain on days when I don't feel like getting started with learning the new monologue or writing the blog post. Listen. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Words to Consider: I just finished Chris Kresser's brand new book, Unconventional Medicine, which is an awesome call to arms to reclaim our health at both a patient and practitioner level. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy on Amazon now. After all, if you don't have your health, how can you continue to make art?
Chris sent out a newsletter this morning where he ponders the ever elusive idea of finding "balance" in one's life, work, and play. This is going to be staying with me for a long time.
"Several years ago, when my Zen Buddhism teacher, Darlene Cohen, was still alive, I would have dokusan with her every two or three weeks. The Japanese word dokusan means “going alone to a respected one,” and it refers to a private meeting between a Zen student and teacher. Dokusan is a core part of a formal Zen Buddhist practice.
During one of our dokusan meetings, I told Darlene that I was struggling to find work–life balance. She laughed and said, “Balance is overrated!” She explained that the idea of balance can become oppressive and interfere with the natural ebb and flow of life. Darlene encouraged me to think of balance over a broader time scale of weeks, months, or even years—rather than something that we have to achieve on a daily basis....
This doesn’t mean that I’ll give up taking care of myself. I’ve learned the hard way that there are certain non-negotiable habits, like meditation, exercise, a clean diet, and time for rest and family, that I need to function well and be happy.
But I’ve also come to accept that some periods will be busier than others—sometimes my life will feel more balanced, and other times it will feel less balanced.
This is natural. And fighting against it just adds unnecessary suffering. I hope this helps you as much as it’s helped me over the years."
A one-pot meal to keep you warm and full all week long: I don't know about your, but I'm over the idea of the Starving Artist and like to kick that notion to the curb by cooking something every week that takes little time but that keeps me full and fueled up for the days ahead.
Enter my homemade Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup:
🍽 1 pound stew beef
🍽 Four carrots, chopped
🍽 Three stalks of celery, chopped
🍽 1 yellow onion, chopped
🍽 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
🍽 3 cups of broth (I had vegetable, but chicken or beef works well, too)
🍽 Dash of each: salt, garlic and onion powder, herbs de Provence, turmeric
🍽 Glug of balsamic vinegar
Combine everything in a slow cooker, and cook overnight on low for 8-9 hours, or however long you sleep for. I also added sauteed mushrooms at the end, just for kicks. To make it vegetarian or vegan, omit the beef, and add lentils or beans in its place. This would still be lovely!