Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ease Worrying

Tips To Help Ease Worrying


* Today's article was written by: "Richa"

Have you turned on your television lately? If so, words like ISIS, Ebola, economy and Obamacare can send your blood pressure through the roof. It is difficult in today's world to keep from worrying. I've recently spoken with a number of friends who say they have trouble sleeping at night because their minds just can't shut down. With all of the stresses and strains on our lives these days it's no wonder people are weighted down with worry. 

Worry is a dangerous animal. It lurks through our minds and then moves in and says a while. It fills us with self-doubt, fear, and sometimes even anger...all of which have significant negative effects on our health and well-being.

So the question becomes, "How can we stop worrying?" There is a quote I love that states: "Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace." Today I would like to present to you my top 5 guidelines to easing your worrying mind. I know I could use a little more of all of these things in my life as well. Let's take a look.

Focus your thoughts on positive things. This sounds pretty simplistic, right...just don't think about the negative things that surround you and you won't worry so much. We all know it's not that easy though. Thoughts are powerful and we need to be very conscious about how we allow them to work in our lives. We are the masters of our thoughts. If we allow negative thoughts to take over, "I will never get that job." or "I'm just not as good as every one else.", we will begin to live what we are believing. Thoughts become actions, so we need to ensure that our thoughts are supported with positive energy and power. Garbage in, garbage out right? When worry starts to creep in, try your best to consciously change those thoughts of worry into something more positive.

Stay in the present moment. Nine times out of ten the things we worry about are either in our past or in our future. For example, someone may worry that they may run into an old friend that they had a falling out with while others may worry that the presentation they need to give at work at the end of the week won't go well. The key word in both situations is control. Ask yourself: "What can I control about this situation?" If your answer is "nothing" then you need to consciously refocus your thinking. You cannot control where your old friend goes or exactly how your presentation will go. Those are things that need to be dealt with in the present moment; if you ever run into that old friend you will deal with it then just as if your presentation doesn't go well. All you can control is what is happening in the present moment. Become aware and present in each and every moment of your day, and you will notice worry starting to disappear. Life is a sequence of moments called now. Be sure you are living every moment fully!

Stay properly informed. Here's a newsflash; not everything you read online or see on television is authentic. I know, shocking right? Seriously, there will be situations, such as is the case recently with ISIS and Ebola, where there may be legitimate cause for concern. Concern...not worry. It's okay to be concerned. When someone is concerned, they properly research the issue that concerns them and find out what they need to know to do what they can to help the situation. Sometimes you can take preventative measures and sometimes you just have to leave things to the Universe and trust that everything will fall into place appropriately. In either case, worry is not going to help. I suggest reading up on what concerns you and arming yourself with knowledge. After all, knowledge is power!

Do something to initiate positive change. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to help others. One of my favorite quotes says, "You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." I have found this to be true, especially recently with my work as PTO president at my daughter's charter school. There is just something about volunteering with the other parents and helping the children that speaks to my soul. It's wonderful to reach out to others in need, especially when our hearts and minds are filled with worry and doubt. Seeing the looks on the faces of those who are helped brings about a sense of peace and purpose that the worry and fear we experience sometimes can diminish. Replenish that peace and joy by doing for others.

Meditate, breathe, and Pause for Power. I spoke earlier about how we are the masters of our thoughts and how positive thoughts bring about positive energy and power. I started my Pause for Power programs and meditations because I firmly believe that when we take time out of our lives to center ourselves, to meditate on the things in our lives that are not serving our higher purpose and release those things, when we pause and meditate with a grateful heart on those things in our lives which we are thankful for...that all of these things together create a power within us that nothing can diminish. Breathe deeply, release your doubts and fears and fill that space with positive energy and peace. 
I am grateful that you took the time to be with me today here on my blog. I hope these guidelines will help you lessen the worry in your life and help bring about more peace and joy.


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

poetry



 Poetry 


Yep - another fine day to share poetry! For those of you who are interested - Dave and I have 2 books of poetry out and you can find more via: http://brummet.ca/store.html




Towards Understanding




 The Sound of a Soul

Have you heard the sound of a soul set free?
The soul has may sounds,
If you could hear them you'd agree.
But the only sounds a mortal hears,
Are the bitterness and the tears;
The sounds of blame, fear and shame.
But if you can, listen
Listen close and hear
The harmonious singing
The beautiful sound ringing 
From that same soul, once masked and held prisoner
In the body you knew so long ago.
Yes the body has been asked to leave,
And it is alright to hurt and grieve.
Just listen closer and you'll hear,
That her soul is happier being free.


 A Thought


Most of us are mixed of heart.

Most of us have been torn apart.

How much pain can one endure,

And still retain some innocence?

Is it just me, or do others see

This comical, sadistic error of confusion

That we are pleased to call "human".


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca
  * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Of Asphalt and Cement




Of Asphalt and Cement


There is a lot of new "green space" movements happening across the planet - schools and universities and even hospitals are increasingly putting in gardens.  A recent issue of the Seeds of Diversity magazine  shared several articles about school and college programs that work with seed saving organizations using grants, volunteers and donated seed to create new grow-out programs helping to ensure there will be a variety of plants available to future gardeners. 

I read a post on Facebook that LA has passed a bylaw that reverses other, closed-minded laws…  laws that prevented people from growing gardens in empty lots and unused, uncovered (no asphalt or concrete) lots and spaces. Today, where ever they are allowed - people are taking up shovels and expressing creativity and concern for the environment and where their food is coming from by replacing front lawns (often unused space) into gardens. Restaurants are creating gardens, roof top gardens are created to supply food to people and cafe's inside the building; there are just too many examples to list here.

Depave is one example of many programs and organizations -  Their first project (back in 2008) involved 150 volunteers who helped remove 3,000 square feet of concrete to create the Fargo Forest Garden. Since then Depave has created 30+ such spaces across Portland, Oregan (US) - a total of over 110,000 square feet of green space, which diverts about 2.4 million gallons of rainwater from the storm drains and sewers. 

Check out the hyperlinks in this article and also visit:
** scroll through old blog posts here to find more information too

Creating green spaces with a diverse variety of fruiting and flowering plants where non existed, (whether it is a roof top, a balcony, lawn or parking lot ) can have tremendous benefits. People can actually create micro businesses with their gardens. Green spaces help improve air quality by cleaning the air, releasing oxygen and acting like living filters to help keep down dust, smoke, noise and light pollution. They counteract the Greenhouse Effect of reflective and heat retention surfaces. They protect water sources (rivers, water tables, lakes) and reduce the impact on sewage and storm drain systems. In the heat of summer, parking lots shaded by trees can experience a 31˚ reduction in temperature! One mature tree can remove enough carbon dioxide that it would be like taking 11,000 miles of vehicle travel out of the equation every single year. Green spaces can also save energy for the surrounding buildings and keep cars, play areas and sidewalks cooler.

Imagine a barren old parking lot, broken asphalt, weeds growing through the cracks... unused useless space, good soil buried under a man made seal, hot summer heat and stench of hot asphalt. Now picture a space where fruit, nut and flowering trees shade benches, sidewalks and gardens or lawns. Where wildflowers attract bees and butterflies and birds and more. Where berries and vegetables, fruits and herbs feed the people...


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Friday, March 20, 2015

I dream of compost...


 
Compost... again? Yes, I happen to be in love with the concept and application for 20 years, studying it, interviewing experts on the radio show I hosted and produced for 7 years, and writing about it during my 15 year career.  Find chapter in Trast Talk book series as well. Book 2 I think.



I recently read a few articles about Paul Kaiser and his wife and their farm – Singing Frog. Actually I found a FB post and that lead to an article and that lead to more articles and before long here I am pouring out my passion for compost and sustainable food production to you yet again on this blog.I encourage you to look up their farm online through your favorite search engine to find numerous media interviews and articles about their success in using more compost than conventional farmers would use and how it affects the microbiological life, nutrient retention, water conservation and virtually eliminates water table issues (caused from water leaching nutrients and pollutants into the water table).



The key to a natural garden is to cover almost every spot of bare soil. Leaving a few areas of rocky and sandy textures for both landscape appeal but also for beneficial wildlife. So every garden bed and pathway should be mulched. Mulch will break down into compost eventually feeding the plants as well, so fresh mulch will need to be applied occasionally. Do not till - except in the situation where you have to start gardening from scratch. Tilling kills the biological life in the soil, leaving carcasses of worms and beetles and such in it's wake. Mulch instead and keep digging in a few inches of compost every year. Eventually you'll find you can sink your arm to the elbow in deep rich soil.


Compost leads to increased soil biologic life feeding and providing homes for all kinds of life forms from microbes to worms and beetles. These guys break down all that organic matter and soil chemicals and other things into nutrients in just the right form that the plants can readily absorb them, in which case experts would refer to your soil's nutrients as “bio-available”. You might have a lot of expensive soil amendments in there, but if your plants can't use them - you've wasted time and money.

Now, not to pick on Americans, but this is the stat I happen to have – Americans throw out more than 200 million tons of organic waste annually. 200. Million. Tons. And yet so many experts say we just can’t farm sustainably simply because we don’t produce enough compost. Hmmm. Where, oh where, will we find more compost?


Some people burn backyard leaves and branches, or farm debris - and the ashes are nutrient rich, however the act of burning releases carbon into the atmosphere, pollutes the air and wastes a valuable product. Sending it to the landfill is not a viable option either because it results in expensive water table issues, the release of toxic pollutants and climate change accelerators.

Here locally (Creston Valley, BC - Canada) we have a couple of options for people who don't want, or cannot, compost.  This notice was put out on FaceBook by the Creston Airshed Management and Regional District of the Central Kootenays: “Instead of burning backyard leaves, branches etc. all valley residents can bring these items unbagged for free to the landfill on Mallory Road in Lister for chipping and mulching. This is a free annual program to reduce backyard burning in the valley. Drop off is also available for lake residents at Boswell and Crawford Bay. "  ...We also have a local nursery - Morris - where you can take your leaves and grass clippings and ground up tree trimmings and such to.



If you know a farmer or gardener, see if they want organic matter for their fields or compost piles. If you have fruit trees or excess edible crop materials - there is likely a goat, rabbit, chicken or pig farmer who would love to have it. Or start your own compost  and feed the neighboring trees and boulevard plantings and landscaping or give the finished compost to other gardeners, offer to apartment/condo neighbors in the building for household or balcony plants. There are many indoor compost machines available for condo/apartment dwellers and for people who can no longer turn a compost pile. 

Farmers and market gardeners are dependent on their soil's health and as such it is in their best interest to make connections with orchards, food processing, cafés, coffee shops and restaurant industries.

 
Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green, Book 1



Food sharing programs might exist in your community everything from sharing harvests with the needy to missions for the poor, food banks, or just take your excess to work and offer to fellow employees and customers. In Kelowna (BC) we had a group that took virtually anything they could get, dehydrate it, and made soup and casserole mixes, dried fruit leather and other preserves - some stayed in the community but a lot was also shipped to grief stricken areas around the world. Locally in Creston (BC) we have a group called  Gleaners that share food with many non-profit groups, run the food bank and operate Harvest Share and Tree Share programs - connecting people with less to people with excess. Acts like this help to reduce food waste and improve the environment.


If you do start up your own compost system and/or garden - you might find that it helps you meet your neighbors - they get curious and start up conversations with you. Before you know it, like us, you'll be networking and sharing up and down the street. Start a phone # exchange for the purpose of neighborhood watch, and call them if you are heading to a farmers field with a load of organic waste, they might appreciate the offer to take theirs in with you as well. 

We've been in this small city in this home for 4+ years now and from the first year here, we have received regular contributions of grass clippings,  garden plant trimmings and tree leaves from 3 neighboring households. In the spring when the grass is growing rampantly, a lawn service fella drops off a trailer load of grass clippings whenever he is in our neighborhood. Last year I did an experiment, I put a notice out on a local Facebook group to see if anyone had clean, bagged tree leaves for us to pick up. In one hour or so I had more offers than I needed for the winter and early spring layers of contributions in the compost pile.

Trash Talk - It's Easy To Be Green, book 2


Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

World of Writing, interview




-- World of Writing -- 

Ah - another installment in the World of Writing interview series for you. This one is a bit more extended then others, thus the decision to forgo images. Our guest: JD Glassock, author and short film producer, owner of StormCrow Productions - www.stormcrowproductions.com

Q: Tell us about yourself...
 
A: My name is JD Glasscock. Originally I am from Costa Mesa, CA (US), although 25 years ago when I decided to be a writer I thought I needed to experience life and move places. I had a beat up old PA and a speaker and a mic and moved numerous states with very little money always finding a bar, starting an open mic and experiencing the street level thump trump of existence.  I would do that for a couple years each place before moving on and repeating. I started  25 years ago in 1990 as a slam poet on national teams. I moved to music, becoming the front man/singer/songwriter of  the blues rock band Sofa King which lasted 10 years.  I then found film and was struck with the epiphany that all I had learned, lyrics, poetics had given me the tools I needed to bring a bright vivid originality to film that hasn't been seen.  I studied lighting and directing for 8 years before shooting anything. I now have 5 short films and feel blessed to have won awards.

Q: When did you consider yourself a writer?

A: I had my epiphany when I was 18 though in retrospect I have always been an artist, only the medium has changed. I didn't even graduate high school, I was already living on my own, renting a couch from a bunch of weed dealers, lol..   I am self-taught though. I have a passion for reading 2 or 3 books a week since I was 5 or 6 years old. I have had the beautiful opportunity, several times, in being a guest speaker at colleges for creative writing.

I have been reading voraciously since I was a little one and it brought me with fluidity into word carving when I was 18. But really, I had been creating since I was little from the multiple worlds and complex stories I wove with my star wars action figures to the intricate threads I loomed with all the role playing systems I gobbled up.


Q: Do you feel like you can do more with poetry than prose?

A: No, I can do equal things with both.  Poetry though is a great basis to start for a beginning writer.  Poetry teaches you how to say more with less, to condense language. I do self publish all of my books.  Though my books are amalgams of poetics, lyrics and film scripts.
Q: Do you still have the first piece you wrote? 
 
A: Hmm, no but i remember it. 
A flower sits before, 
you focus on the beauty of it's petals 
but they blind to the consuming hatred of it's thorns.  
Like a carnival mirror of illussions, 
the scene is a deception, 
the hatred that waits to devour.  
 (...Written 25 yrs ago, obviously over a girl. lol) 
 
Q: What is your typical workday like?
A: Right now - prepping for my next short film, which I started shooting mid-March as well as prepping for the following one. In addition, two of my shorts are in an upcoming festival, a large one, and I have a couple other people's projects I am directing. SO busy, busy. In addition my publicist (as proven by this interview) is keeping me extremely busy. I am overwhelmed and humbled that so many people are finding I and my work and my life so intriguing.  
Q: What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer?
A: Numerous memories! Although one stands out: About 15 years ago I was in a bar when a girl wearing a thick wool cap stopped me and asked "Is your name JD?" At the moment I was kinda tipsy and had been flirting with a girl so was somewhat annoyed at being interrupted. I said "Yes".  She told me she had read one of my kinko chapbooks of poetry, of which I had numerous. Her friend had seen me at an open mic and bought one. I said great and tried to fluff her off and continue flirting. She grabbed my arm and said "No, you don't understand" and ripped her hat off showing me she was bald.  "Your writing got me through chemo."  ...It was the most intense, beautiful and blessed commentary I have ever received on my art. 

...In closing, I thank you so much for your interest and time and would say to all aspiring writers: "Never give up".  Talent is located in self-truth and self-awareness - constantly dig for such. I have pursued this aspiration non-stop for 25 years and am only now seeing the beginnings of success, but I never lost faith, never stopped stepping, never fell and didn't rise up again despite scuffed knees. Dream, sweat and step. 
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca 
* Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!
  


Monday, March 16, 2015

Being Content in life





 -- Quote of the Day -- 



“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life 
and the only way to be truly satisfied
 is to do what you believe is great work.”

~ Steve Jobs 


-- Content In Life --  


 * Today's article was written by Executive Coach, Bill Catlette. He helps leaders connect the dots between People, Passion, Performance and Profit, hone their leadership skills, and achieve demonstrably better outcomes. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work,, follow them on Twitter @ContentedCows


Another new year has begun, and many of us are now in the process of embracing it, with hopeful ambitions to tidy up our bodies, our lives, habits, homes, you name it. Clearly, we do so with varying degrees of enthusiasm and Commitment (the capital ‘C’ is intentional), but to be sure, no one enters 2015 with the hope that things will actually get worse. Not to put a damper on the freshness of the season, but some things will get worse if we don’t pay proper attention to them.

Over the last year, most U.S. businesses have felt something of a breeze blowing, and for the first time in a long time, that breeze is mostly at our backs. As a result, orders are up in many organizations, to the point that the need to hire has reappeared. Yay!!

Indeed, throughout much of tech-world, and until recently the energy space, real hiring has been occurring, to the point that, for many job vacancies, the number of openings exceeds qualified candidates. In lots of other organizations, that same need is apparent, but management has resisted hiring, preferring instead to make do for a while longer by utilizing temps, contractors, and/or increasing hours of incumbent staff. Concurrently, workers in greater numbers are voting with their feet and leaving their current jobs for greener pastures.

As a result, we’re seeing some undesired, and thus far relatively undisclosed downside impact. Specifically, the candidate-challenged and tepid hiring approaches are leading to a growing number of people on the payroll who would otherwise have already had some closed door discussions, or been asked to leave. Managers in very large numbers, concerned about their ability to fill position vacancies, have silently but decidedly lowered the bar of acceptable behavior and performance, to wit they find themselves trying to get the daily wash out with a growing list of folks who really need to shape up or be on someone else’s payroll… preferably a competitor’s. We are seeing it throughout the entire spectrum of the employment market.

What to do about it?

Stop  Ignoring It: First things first, it’s important to realize that ignoring the problem only makes it worse, for everyone. Tolerating sub-par performance or people who, to put it charitably just don’t fit, is not the answer. Indeed, not only is their own output subpar, these folks are one of the greatest sources of frustration and annoyance to star performers, who quickly grow tired of carrying their own water and others’. Put  in more selfish terms, continuing to look the other way puts you at risk of being fairly branded a leadership failure. Let’s not go there.

Take Action: Make it a point (no, a promise) to begin having conversations, this week, with… 1. People who could at least become C-players with a modicum of coaching, 2. Some of the people you’ve been leaning on extra hard (your stars), to thank them for their extra effort, and let them know that you appreciate it and them, 3. Your own boss (and HR as appropriate) to initiate conversations about moving some people on to their next station in life.

Get Back in Recruiting Mode: The best managers I’ve ever worked with are always in recruiting mode, even when they don’t have any approved reqs, because they know that the likelihood of the ideal candidate having an opening in their dance card at the exact moment when they do have a need is slim.

Sharpen Your Own Skills: In all likelihood, this situation didn’t sneak up on you. Rather, you’ve been aware of it for some time, but avoided taking difficult action because you were a bit uncertain of your own skills, and besides, you had more fun stuff to do. Bone up on your own coaching skills. A good place to start is with a great book. We recommend “The Coach” by Starcevich and Stowell.   It’s not pretty, it’s not new, but it works. (We don’t get paid for recommending it.) Alternatively, look within your organization for a course or seminar that might be beneficial to you; or, find a coach to work with.





Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca 
* Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

recommended resource



 -- Quote of the Day -- 



"I try to treat each evening and weekend as little slices of retirement because no one is guaranteed a lengthy one at the end of their career."

~ Mike Hammar


 -- Recommended Resource -- 


The Ocean River Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corp, helps people and groups make a difference where they live through environmental stewardship and science. 

Many environmental issues are best addressed by people taking action in their own communities and regions, not by large, national entities. 

However, localized or newly formed groups often need help to achieve their goals. 

That’s where ORI comes in. 

They maintain a network - connecting them with resources and services to help  maximize their impact, expand their capacity and weather unanticipated setbacks. 

ORI Actions and Events offer opportunities to make a difference for environments



Find Dave and Lillian Brummet at: http://brummet.ca 
* Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!