Thought Matters

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.

I am in the process of reading a book called Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind

Ever wonder why you repeat the same negative thoughts in your head? Why you keep coming back for more from hurtful family members, friends, or significant others? Why you keep falling into the same detrimental habits or limiting attitudes―even when you know that they are going to make you feel bad?

Dr. Joe Dispenza has spent decades studying the human mind―how it works, how it stores information, and why it perpetuates the same behavioral patterns over and over. In the acclaimed film What the Bleep Do We Know!? he began to explain how the brain evolves―by learning new skills, developing the ability to concentrate in the midst of chaos, and even healing the body and the psyche.

Evolve Your Brain presents this information in depth, while helping you take control of your mind, explaining how thoughts can create chemical reactions that keep you addicted to patterns and feelings―including ones that make you unhappy. And when you know how these bad habits are created, it’s possible to not only break these patterns, but also reprogram and evolve your brain, so that new, positive, and beneficial habits can take over.

I am finding it fascinating to delve into the area of thought and how we can literally shape our lives with our thoughts.

Our thoughts become matter. It turns out that our brains and our very thought patterns can be reprogrammed.

The power of positive thinking is not just some New Age thing. It is backed by some pretty powerful science.

I have struggled for pretty much my entire life with thoughts of “I am not good enough”. Now I am not sure exactly when, how or why these thoughts have dominated my life, but now I am realizing that I can change my thinking. I can actually change my brain and re-wire it to think differently. Thusly I am a different person that I was even a month ago.

I do have to train my brain to accomplish this transformation. Whether it be for happiness, positivity, success, money, contentedness, it does not matter. Your thoughts are what will allow you to accomplish whatever it is that you want to accomplish.

If you think it, you can achieve it.


How To Train Your Brain

Scan for the daily positives. At the end of each day, make a list of three specific good things that happened that day and reflect on what caused them to happen. The good things could be anything — bumping into an old friend, a positive remark from someone at work, a pretty sunset. Celebrating small wins also has a proven effect of powering motivation and igniting joy. As you record your good things daily, the better you will get and feel.

Give one shout-out to someone (daily). Take the positive things you’re getting better at recognizing and let people know you’ve noticed! Take a minute to say thanks or recognize someone for their efforts, from friends and family to people at work. A great way to go about this is by sending 1 daily email to someone. It can be your old school teacher, who’s advice you are now appreciating every day. A co-worker or someone you’ve only met. Show courage and say thanks, I love doing this and just checking in with a nice note.

Do something nice. Acts of kindness boost happiness levels. Something as small and simple as making someone smile works. Pausing to do something thoughtful has the power to get you out of that negativity loop. Do something nice that is small and concrete like buying someone a coffee. You can try and have that even on your to do list – have you done anything nice for someone today? I love this technique and it’s one of the most amazing ways to feel happier.

Mind your mind. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Opening our awareness beyond the narrowness of negativity can help bring back more balance and positivity into the picture.

The regular practice of mindfulness meditation has also been shown to affect the brain’s neuroplasticity, increasing gray matter in the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for learning, memory, and emotion, and reducing gray matter in the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with stress and anxiety. Take a look at these tips on mindfulness and meditation to get started.

All I know is that I am fascinated by this topic and feel that some of this should be taught in school to even young students.

We are our thoughts.

“Live Simply”

Posted in healthy lifestyle, Life, Self Help, self improvement | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Reinvent Yourself

by Mark Lowe

reinvent your your

“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

Have you ever felt stuck in where you are in your life?

Have you ever felt that your life has not turned out quite the way you thought it would?

I am sure a lot of people have had these feelings from time to time.

We get in a rut AND we get complacent and comfortable.

We get to a certain age and start to analyze where we are in life and think that life has passed us by. We also sometimes feel that the best days are behind us.

I am not immune to these feelings at times.

About a year ago I was fired from my job. It was a decent paying job with benefits and a pension. But here is the thing. I was not really happy there.

So certain events transpired to lead me to getting canned. It hurt. I was angry.

Looking back it was the best thing that happened. It forced me to look in the mirror and ask, “okay, what now?”.

It was stressful for a time. I got back into substitute teaching and I started a small lawn care business which has really taken off over the past few months. I absolutely love it. I make my own schedule. I am outside, getting fresh air, sweating my butt off, listening to music and I am providing a service that people need. I have lost 15 or 20 pounds and I am just HAPPY.

So what does this mean for you?

I would say that if I can manage to turn things around then you can too.

I do not expect you to leave your job. But if you want to do that then go for it. Start your own little business doing something that you are both good at, and passionate about.

Make no mistake, there are moments where I slip into some negative thinking patterns in regards to certain things. But I always works towards remembering that we have to take control of who we will become or risk never reaching our full potential. It is up to me to do the work.

Here is the other thing: We have a tendency to dwell on the past.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

In doing this we do not create any type of vision of what we may even want our future to be like.

get out of your comfort zone

Close your eyes and imagine what your reinvention will look like. Who is with you? What are you doing? What do you look like? Where are you?

Got a bit of a vision going on? Good. I bet it made you smile just thinking about it.

Now you should write it down. Put it point form it you want or draw some silly little pictures. Cut an image out of a magazine to help with your visualization. If you cannot see it, how can you expect it to become your new reality?

I have a goal to someday work with orphaned elephants. I am going to get a picture and a jar and I am going to start putting my change in there to help realize my goal. I have to do the work to make that happen.

So now I ask you, when is this going to happen? I love creating a date in the future and then working backwards from that date, creating actual actionable steps that will keep me on track towards reinventing yourself.

Here is an example. A few people will decide they need to lose weight. First of all it would be better to have a simple goal weight in mind. By the 20th of next month I want to weigh 230 pounds. I have four weeks to lose 5 pounds(of fat I hope). About 1 pound per week. What do I actually need to do EACH DAY to accomplish this?

I need to work out every day. I need to drink 4 liters or more of water ever day. I need to eat 1 ingredient foods every day. I need to meditate every day.

I could be a bit more specific, but you get the idea.

Every morning or evening, close your eyes and see yourself walking into the rising sun, toward your dreams, and reconnect with why you’re moving toward this new possibility.

Reinvention is neither easy nor always smooth. Often, we encounter resistance. We don’t want to let go, even of things that cause us pain or that are obviously already out of our grasp. We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things.

But there is one way to keep your compass pointed to this new life, even in the midst of any resistance or struggles you may encounter on your path.

Each time you find yourself slipping into old habits—isolating yourself, making excuses not to look for work, procrastinating on a task that might help you advance in your career—don’t bother wondering why you’re doing it or beating yourself up.

Just ask yourself this: “What can I do in this moment to keep moving forward?”

This post is for The Family. You know who you are. I love you.

“Live Simply”

If you like this post please share it via social media. Thanks.

Posted in Life, Lifestyle Design, Self Help, self improvement | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

I Can’t Afford Cheap Stuff. Custom made Clothing at 180 Moda

custom designed clothing

Custom Designed Clothing at 180Moda

I am not exactly sure who came up with that phrase. The one about not being able to afford cheap stuff. I find it to be true.

Unfortunately in today’s world we seem to only buy cheap stuff that is not really made to last. It is called “planned obsolescence“.

This is a blog about living a minimalist lifestyle. Sometimes this means spending a bit more on quality items that are designed to actually last.

Now specifically for me I have a bit of a hard time when it comes to buying clothes. I am a bit broad so I have to buy a bigger size and then it looks like a tent. I end up not feeling overly confident when wearing said items. Also, I do not want to look sloppy. Too many men are walking around looking like slobs. Sorry if that sounds harsh but this is just my personal observation.

Custom Designed Clothing

Have you ever seen someone who is dressed very well? Their clothes seem to fit them perfectly in all the right places?

Maybe you even do a “180” to check them out a second time!

This is where the incredible custom designed clothing of 180Moda comes in.

(Moda is Italian for fashion)

I was first exposed to 180 Moda a few years ago when out for dinner in Halifax, NS. The waiter had on a very nice fitting dress shirt and someone commented on it. He mentioned a custom slothing shop, 180 Moda. As someone who has a hard time when it comes to finding clothes that fit properly, I tucked that nugget of information away for future reference.

Fast forward to present day. I had signed up for the 180 Moda newsletter and a few weeks ago I got an email for a custom designed suit. I was intrigued. I emailed Taura, the owner and CEO and asked some questions.

She was nothing short of incredible.

First of all here is how the custom designed clothing process works.

You go to the location where the 180 Moda 3D Body Scanner is located. It is just like going into a dressing room. There is a scanner that scans you from head to toe and takes hundreds of measurements down to the millimeter. Then it creates a 3D avatar of YOU. Gulp.

Check your ego at the door and just do it. You need to do this. It is incredible AND empowering.

Get this. There are scanner locations ACROSS CANADA!! They are located at various Canex Stores. Get your measurments done, contact 180Moda and off you go!

These measurements then get sent to 180 Moda. You can then start choosing what clothing you want to have custom designed for YOU.

Taura was fantastic. she is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. I put myself at her mercy and she made suggestions.

It was the best thing I have ever done for myself.

They also offer a range of other services to help you.

Now you may think that you cannot afford custom designed clothing. Let me suggest that you cannot afford NOT to have clothes that are made JUST FOR YOU.

How many times have you purchased clothing “off the rack”, only to get it home and not be thrilled with it? There it is in your closet with the tags still on it.

Sound familiar?

Well how much money, you ask? It was about the same as going to a men’s clothing store. I am frugal and I thought the pricing was fantastic. I did NOT get the suit but I did order two pairs of dress pants. I will get more use out of those when it comes time for teaching than I would an actual suit.

My point is maybe you owe it to yourself to feel good. To feel successful. To feel empowered. This is what custom designed clothing from 180Moda will do for you.

Posted in Minimalist Lifestyle, minimalist living | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Music. By My Son!!

So my 17 year old son Tyler, who lives with me full time is quite a kid. He is so ridiculously smart and creative it isn’t even funny.

He is very into music. Specifically rap and hip hop, but he loves ALL music.

For the past few weeks he has been involved with a local group who helps young aspiring “artists” bring their vision and art to the world. they work with mentors who can help them develop a business model and business plan.

So Tyler has gone to a recording studio and recorded his song, which is all his own. He wrote it.

Last night they had their “open house” for the public where they had their art displayed and performances were done by the people who were performers.

It was pretty spectacular.

Here is a link that explains things better than I can.


And here is Tyler’s song on Soundcloud.

Please give it a listen and maybe share it on your Facebook page.

Posted in Minimalist Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that
we have taller buildings but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less;
we buy more but enjoy less

We have bigger houses and smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
spend too recklessly,
laugh too little,
drive too fast,
get too angry,
stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life,
we’ve added years to life not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have
trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to
produce more copies than ever, but we communicate
less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
big men and small character;
steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce,
fancier houses but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers,
throw-away morality, one-night stands,
overweight bodies, and pills that do everything
from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and
nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology
can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose
either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones,
because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up
to you in awe, because that little person soon
will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,
because that is the only treasure you can give with
your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say “I Love you” to your partner and
your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes
from deep inside of you.

Give time to Love, give time to speak, give time to
share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Posted in Minimalist Lifestyle, minimalist living | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Quotes About Life That Are Making Me Feel Better

I have a confession to make.

I spend waaaay too much time worrying. Worrying about stuff that I have no real business worrying about,

I worry about how I look. I worry about what others think of me. I worry about my life. And on and on and on.

Am I good enough? Successful enough? You get the idea. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.

I am tired of it. It is very draining mentally.

Here are some quotes about life that I came across that really seem to fit my current way of thinking and that are making me feel a lot better.

Quotes About Life

Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. So pay close attention to the thoughts you choose. They have a way of becoming real.

There is absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress, one step at a time.

Worry, and you get what you worry about. Work, and you get what you work for. It’s often just that simple.

You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones. Don’t let the silly little dramas of each day get you down.

Happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with ‘what is,’ rather than wishing for and worrying about ‘what is not.’ ‘What is’ is what’s supposed to be, or it would not be. The rest is just you, arguing with life.

Frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude today, and the frustration and stress is gone.

Be positive and smile right now, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything.

Lies only exist if you believe in them. The truth shall indeed set you free in the end. Whenever negativity creeps into your mind, ask yourself: Is it true? Can I be 100% certain that it’s true? (And then let the lies GO!)

No book is just one chapter. No chapter tells the whole story. No mistake defines who we are. Keep turning the pages that need to be turned.

Remember, letting go isn’t about having the courage to release the past; it’s about having the wisdom and strength to embrace the present.

The past has absolutely no power over the present moment.

No amount of regret changes the past. No amount of anxiety changes the future. But any amount of gratitude changes the present.

Replace the phrase “I have to” with “I get to” whenever you catch yourself starting to complain. So many activities we complain about are things others wish they had the chance to do.

The more beauty you find in someone else’s journey, the less you’ll want to compare it to your own.

Feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact. So never assume that you’re stuck with the way things are. Life changes every second, and so can you.

In almost every situation, a little more willingness to acknowledge that there may be something you do not know could change everything. Go somewhere new, and countless opportunities suddenly appear. Do something differently, and all sorts of great new possibilities spring up. Keep your mind quiet and peaceful, by keeping it open.

Be careful about who you give the microphone and stage to in your life. Don’t just listen to the loudest voice. Listen to the truest one.

The unhappiest people in this world are the people who care the most about what everyone else thinks.

Saying yes to happiness and peace of mind means learning to say no to the people and things that hurt you. Be wise enough to ignore the needless negativity around you.

When people undermine your dreams, predict your doom, or criticize you, remember, they’re telling you their story, not yours.

The person you liked, loved or respected in the past, who treated you like dirt again and again, has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you in the present moment, but headaches and heartache.

One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don’t have to agree with everyone, everyone doesn’t have to agree with us, and it’s perfectly OK.

Be OK with walking away… Rejection teaches you how to reject what’s not right for you.

You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.

Everyone you meet can teach you something important. In fact, the people who are the most difficult to deal with can also be your most valuable teachers.

Some life changes look negative and painful on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new and beautiful to emerge.

Without letting go of thinking there’s somewhere better to be, or someone better to be, you’ll never relax with where you are and who you are.

The curious paradox of life is that when you accept yourself just as you are, right where you are, only then can you change and grow.

Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally. Listen, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.

Sometimes your mind needs more time to accept what your heart already knows. Breathe. Be a witness, not a judge.

Don’t run away from things; run toward them – the best way to move away from something negative is to move toward something positive.

If you’re being pulled in every direction by forces beyond your control, take time to realign yourself with what you value most in life. What is important in your life is what you decide is important. Nothing can overwhelm you unless you let it.

True purpose has no time limit. True purpose has no deadline. Don’t worry and stress yourself out. Just do the one thing you can right now.

Patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.

Remember, “I don’t have time,” is really just another, perhaps politer, or perhaps naive, way of saying, “It’s not that important to me.”

You cannot always wait for the perfect time, because there may be no such thing. Sometimes you must dare to jump.

Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not here to scare you. They’re here to let you know that something is worth your while.

Don’t let not knowing how it’ll end keep you from beginning. Uncertainty chases us out into the open where life’s true magic is waiting.

Look at how far you’ve come. You have made progress. And now, imagine how far you can go.

And finally… Stop worrying so much about what’s in it for you every single second. If you’re making a positive contribution to others, there’s always something in it for you in the long run.

There you have it. Some quotes about life that are sure to ring true. Hopefully they help some readers put things in perspective in regards to where there life is right now. I am reading and re-reading these, as they are making a huge difference in how I am feeling.

Please share this post on Facebook.

“Live Simply”

Posted in Life, Minimalist Lifestyle, minimalist living, Self Help, self improvement | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“Allow Nothing In Your Life That You Cannot Walk Out On In 30 Seconds Flat.”

The above quote is from the classic Michael Mann movie Heat, with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

The character played by De Niro is the one who says the line. He plays the leader of a group of bank robbers who have to be able to just walk away from their lives if the “heat” is on.

It is a fantastic movie.

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” – C.S. Lewis

What does this have to do with minimalist living?

If your house was on fire what would you want to be able to save or salvage? Most of the stuff in your place is just that. Stuff. Most of it(all of it?) can be replaced.

Of course things like photos or family heirlooms would be missed on a much higher level. But as long as everyone is safe and unharmed isn’t that the only thing that really matters?

Now I have never been through a house fire or any other disaster where all of my possessions are wiped out, so I am sure that it is a very traumatic experience and I am sorry for anyone who has had to go through this.

I just wonder if we place too much value of these material possessions. For some their entire being seems wrapped up in how much “stuff” they own. Does own 50 pairs of shoes really make you a better person?

Maybe we should only be spending our hard earned money on things that add value to our lives.

Personally I think I want to get to a point where I can just walk away and not miss anything in my life. I do not want to be owned or tied down by my possessions.

If somethings is not adding value to your life, does this mean that is devaluing your life?

Hell even some marriages end up in this category and people do indeed walk away. Not easy to do, I know. When this happened to me, it almost killed me.

I have too many possessions. I need to do some purging, there is no doubt about that.

I am on the right path.

If you could just pick up and walk away from your current life and start over, what would you want to do and why?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

“Live Simply”

Posted in Minimalist Lifestyle, minimalist living | Tagged , , | 2 Comments