Road Kill

By: Ray Weaver, Founder

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given over my life time is that of “Learn to drive past roadkill”.

Here is the analogy:

Have you ever been driving in your car on a hot day? You know, one of those days where is has been extreme temperatures for multiple days in a row. There you sit, driving along in your luxury automobile, air-conditioning keeping the cabin a respectable temperature. The best sing-along-song on the stereo and you are bopping to the music and having a good day. Suddenly you see an animal, that has met its demise by being struck by another automobile sometime prior to your getting to that spot. That is road kill.

Now imagine, the scenario above, multiple hot days in a row, you are driving in your luxury automobile, music, your bopping and singing to the music, etc. However, instead of driving by the dead animal, you decide to get out of the car and walk up to it.  As you get closer to it, you can smell the rotting stench. As you get closer, you notice it is has movement, and you realize the movement are the flies and maggots that have begun to digest the rotting carcass. You continue forward, kneel next to it, and take a bite of it. Do you suppose there is a likely probability you will get sick from what you just chose to do? 

Now, what if your hurts, disappoints, anger and bitterness you are holding on to concerning a coworker or relationship is that roadkill? Do you suppose, if you keep eating on it in your thought life, it will sicken you and stunt your professional and personal growth? It my life, it has an I have learned that is why it is important to let go of your past. Note: I did not say, not to learn from your past; I am saying not to feast on those past hurts, angers, bitterness, and disappointments; because they can and will make your mind sick and you will miss the opportunities set before you today.

It is said, “As a person thinketh, so they shall be”. We have a lot of bad thinking going on and it is divisive, damming and debilitating to individuals, organizations, and communities. What if we start with ourselves and stop feasting on those thoughts (roadkill) that become barriers to our becoming whole and health in our thoughts and actions toward others? 

Ritual of Farming

By: Rubie Simonsen, Creative Content & Media

By nearly nine ‘o’clock I am dressed in my work boots, jeans, long sleeve, and sun hat while a peacock blue mug is brimming with hot coffee. Jumping into my van I am making my eight-minute commute to my urban farm in West Sacramento from Downtown Sacramento.

It was about half way through the season in mid-June that I really hit my stride. It didn’t matter if there was a little or a lot of work to be done on the farm that day. What mattered was I made the commitment to wake up and go to the farm first. 

Starting a business is never easy. If you were used to playing one role at a job before launching on your own; upon staring you now become a sales person, social media manager, accountant, and farmer, in my case all at once. There was more than one benefit I gained from my morning ritual.

If I wasn’t motivated by the time I left the apartment, by the time I had worked for an hour or three at the farm there was warmth in my body and some dirt on my hands. There was an immediate gratification from the completion of a physical task. While I was working my mind was open to wander in peace which allowed insights and opportunities to present themselves. When I was done, I would leave with a since of accomplishment and spark to keep my efforts going.

Farming I found, I did for myself. Not anyone else. And its greatest return was the power it gave me to focus which in turn expanded my mental capacity for the rest of the day. There were days I didn’t have to do anything. Yet by digging out every weed or just picking a few flowers it was enough to ground my thoughts. 

Finding your rhythm may take time. Finding what really focuses your energy may take longer. Just start by making a commitment to something you have always been meaning to do and do that first. Either for the first 15 minutes after your morning coffee or three-hours if you have the chance. Don’t worry about the outcome. The process reveals numerous lessons in their season. 

Year of Routine 

By: Ray Weaver, Founder

I have become a fan of routines. One such routine is giving each New Year a theme. 2018 is “The Year of Routine.” This comes after the “Year of Living Foolishly”, were I attempted to live with less routine, more spontaneity and gave into my impulses. *Note to self, some advice you should ignore.

The routine became clearer after watching ex-NFL tight-end Tony Gonzalez on the Herd last week. The topic came up about what he had noted in other greats from the sporting world. He spoke about the greats being people of “routine.” Their routines are what made them great. Including practice, warm-up routines, sleep, recovery routines, and other routines to keep them focused on what they had to do when it was time to do it.

As the year unfolds, I am looking at my routines. I find some are helpful, some need to be modified, and some I need to let go. Here is my list: 

My Helpful Routines:

A routine bedtime and rise time. I go to bed at 10:00 p.m. and set my alarm to wake at 5:30 a.m.; years ago, I heard sleep and rest are weapons that displace weariness, worry, and fear. I find my mind becomes a refuge of peace when I well rested.

Forgive myself for how I let past events affect me. Past missteps, events, and decisions have been hurtful, painful and set me back personally, financially and professionally. I routinely forgive myself for how I let them affect me when the thoughts of them come up. When they come up, I immediately say, “I forgive myself for how I let X or Y affect me” and then let it go. If ever it comes up again, I remind myself that I forgave myself for that and the feelings attached to them become distant. Bottom-line, I routinely am as loving, forgiving, and kind to myself as I am to others. It’s a choice. Therefore, it is not tough to do.

Scheduled reading time. I schedule one hour a day for reading, normally right before bedtime.

When someone comes across my thoughts, I reach out to them. There are times when people come across my thoughts that I have not seen or heard from in months. When they do, I text them a note that they came across my thoughts. It continually surprises me how they respond positively and accepting knowing that they are being thought of. Most times the connection comes with the response, “I needed that” or “Thank you that made my day.”

Routines I Have Modified:

My diet. Of all the elements I can take out of my diet what has helped me the most ha been reducing my intake of sugar. It does not come without a fight. I like cake, donuts, and ice cream. I have learned is that they do not like me. My body seems to be responding well to the decision. I will keep you posted throughout 2018 on the full effects!

Reduce my intake of news. The news cycle is just that, it’s a cycle. Breaking news is a cycle, but instead told by a different anchor or panel of experts with varying opinions, on repeat. I found the more consumed media the less willing I was to listen to those that do not share my ideology or beliefs.

Routines I Have Let Go:

Gambling. I do not gamble anymore. I let that habit go because it is a black hole in which your money never returns. I too found that I was justifying it has relaxation time. I think of it has a bad love. You know in your gut that it is bad for you. But you justified that they really cared, but it was on track to end badly. Pour one of for the mixtape.

Saying no to things. I now ask myself if, “Am I passionate about what I am being asked to do or participate in?” If I am not passionate about it, I will not do it, and will not give financially to it. If you want to see this in action, watch an episode of Shark Tank.

Routines are part of the keys to success. Some are truly helpful, others require modification, and still others we need to let go. Here’s to 2018 -- The Year of Routine. Happy New Year!