The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

Cover of the book "The Subtle art of Not Giving a Fuck" by Mark Manson next to a picture of the author.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson proclaims it contains a counterintuitive approach to living a good life. While the title and description may be enchanting to those who wish to read the latest New York Times best seller, the flashy veneer only conceals deeper wisdoms that have been combed over throughout the ages by our deep thinkers and spiritual belief systems such as Buddhism and Taoism. 

The author draws from their own life experiences to illustrate the principles and as you delve deeper into the material, the heart of the matter comes to the surface. The subtle art of not giving a fuck is in actuality the art of choosing where to give your fucks. One should strive to find the things in life that are most valued and pour energy into those things to the exclusion of all other options.

What I enjoyed about this read is its bluntness and accessibility. In the ancient spiritual teachings, we are often given a line or two to describe a precept while the reader is left to ponder the meaning of “one hand clapping”. Mark breaks down concepts about immortality, life, death, and value into modern terms that can be converted into foundational principles and applied to life in the modern age.

My biggest take-away from this read was actually a quote from Mark Twain, “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” I revel in this quote because one of my decision-making strategies when faced with a fork in the road involves contemplating death. I imagine myself laying on my death bed in old age, surrounded by my loved ones and I ask myself which thing do I wish I had chosen? What stories do I want to tell to the next generation? Which path do I feel will contain the most growth and enlightenment? 

Mark takes us on a fictional flirt with death journey while you’re left to let this quote sink into your bones. Have I lived my life to the fullest? Are there things I have left to say? Do I have bucket list items left? Is it even that complex? Perhaps living a fulfilled life is simple to be fully embodied in every moment, interacting and enjoying everything a Goldilocks fashion? What does a fulfilled life look and feel like?

Rather than spoil the reading, I’ll leave you to discover how Mark answers these questions. This book won’t disappoint if you are looking for something that will entertain you and change the way you feel about where to give your fucks. 

If I were to give this book a rating, it would be four out of five stars, only because I wish that Mark had shared more words of wisdom with us. Every page is enjoyable and at times I intentionally put pauses in to savor the flavor.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Please comment below your biggest take-away from reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Amazon Link

Healing The Past

Autumn Leaves – Little Rock, AR

This method of healing the past came to me during the full moon eclipse in Taurus during Scorpio season of 2021. During this time a number of planets were in retrograde and the season is ripe for going deep into the past, unearthing ancient wounds in the genetic, historic lines, childhood, and other past situations. Human consciousness is ever expanding and each individual finds themselves at the cutting edge of the myriad of choices that brought them to this moment. We feel a deep need to change the outside world so that we can live a life of peace and harmony with others, and yet the past can sometimes feel like an anchor preventing forward movement.

Parts of ourselves are stuck in the past, replaying the events, continuing to feel the pain of old hurts. When we move forward with this hurts, we are manifesting a future with these artifacts of pain still in our energy field and it will show up again in another form until we have healed and chosen another way of being in our now moments.

We aren’t meant to live life carrying burdens of the past. We are meant to live fully in the present with the knowledge of the experiences we have had so we can face each day as a more enlightened being. We are meant to as free beings, able to choose our futures.

My guides showed me a simple roadmap on how to integrate and transcend the pain of the past into something useful and actionable for forward movement. I’ve put the elements into an easy to follow worksheet so you can experience the feeling of freedom found in integrating your past.

The first question is “What Happened?”. Write out the situation in as much or as little detail as you like. You can write out a whole story of a scenario and then break it down into tiny pieces. The purpose of this question is to illuminate the details. By understanding the situation and your perspective, you can begin to find the places where you can regain your power of choice. When you begin to see the places where you could have chosen a different response, that is where you will find your power.

The next question is “How did you feel about this?”. It’s important to identify the emotions that arose during this interaction. You have to feel to heal. Give yourself permission to feel all the feelings that came up during this situation. It is safe to feel your feelings.

The next question is “What would you do differently?”. This question is getting at the heart of the experience. What did you learn from it? Where do you have the power to change your approach? Where do you have the power to change your response?

The last question is “What words of encouragement would you give to someone in your situation?”. Imagine someone else, a best friend, had just told you the above story. Imagine they told you what happened, how they felt about it, and what they would do differently if faced with the same situation again. What would you say to them as a reflection of empathy and encouragement? It’s hard to be human, were you able to empathize with their story? What strengths did you see in how they handled the situation? What strengths did you see in the way they would want to handle things differently?

Once you’ve finished the last question, find a mirror and say the words of encouragement to yourself. This is a way of being a witness to yourself. Allow yourself to take in the words of encouragement. If you found this exercise helpful, share it with a friend! If you have any questions or additional comments please share them below!

Download a printable version of the worksheet! Click Here.

If you feel you need additional help or support, you can text me directly at 414-207-9881 for a consultation.

Full Moon Eclipse in Taurus November 2021

This full moon eclipse energy is inspiring some intensely contrasting elements. Happening during Scorpio season and being a lunar eclipse means that the darker energies will be surrounding this full moon. This is inspiring the shadow, or illusions to come out and play. These darker energies may feel like racing thoughts, or old negative thought patterns swirling around your head. Just know that these are all an illusion and by focusing on the light within and grounding techniques, you can find your way through the shadow boxing. One suggestion to help focus your energies through this time is to pray for other people to find the light rather than praying for yourself. This will show the universe that you are acting as a beacon and are untouched by the darkness around you.

This full moon falls in the sign of Taurus and while most full moons are about bring things into fruition and reaping the harvest from your new moon manifestations, this one is more about letting go of old programming in the areas that Taurus resides, namely: home, finances, and relationship.

You may have already felt these topics starting to creep up into your mind. Maybe you’re noticing that you have been thinking about your career versus your passion in life, or there’s uncertainty around finances personally or in the country at large, and lastly you may be dealing with family relational patterns. Whatever it is that is coming up for you, just remember that now is a time to make a decision to move from old programs or, a victim “life happens to me” mentality and start tapping into your personal power and create the career, income, home, and relationships that you desire. You have the power to make the life you desire regardless of what is going on in the world.

Even though the full moon is eclipsed by the Earth, there is still very powerful manifestation energy and it may even be amplified at this time. Now is the time to harness that energy and get clear about the things you want to create in your life. Do some scripting and write out what your perfect day looks like. Think outside the box of what you have been told and really imagine what the flow of your perfect day would look like. What is your morning routine? What does work look like? What do you eat? What leisure activities do you engage in? Are you working on solo projects or with others? What kind of food to you eat? What do your evenings look like? Get creative and add different categories and feelings. 

Book Review: Get Together

“The dream of a peaceful society to me is still the dream of the potluck supper. The society in which all can contribute, and all can find friendship.” -Ursula Franklin

Get Together: How to Build Community with Your People was written by Kevin Huynh, Bailey Richardson, and Kai Elmer Sotto and published in 2019. The book is designed as a roadmap for community building and the chapters take you through the three phases that communities typically go through:

1. Stoke the Flame: Getting Together

2. Stoke the Fire: Sticking Together

3. Pass the Torch: Growing Together

I read this book in a day and I really loved its accessibility and simplicity. The authors put community building within anyone’s grasp by breaking down the concepts into easy-to-follow steps. My biggest take-away from the writing is their exercise on “Designing Your First Activity”. This activity should be purposeful, participatory, and repeatable. The structure of this first activity is something you can come back to again and again to re-establish or re-imagine your community.

When you think of some of the great communities that have stood the test of time, they all have a very simple structure and process for the main activity. You can see this principle to sports, AA, church, motorcycle clubs, anime conventions, fire festivals, burning man, choir clubs, the list goes on and on.

The book follows its own example of being purposeful, participatory, and repeatable. Each chapter outlines another aspect of community building and comes complete with checklists and worksheets for you to jot down your ideas. In the appendix, they recap what each chapter is about in a simple checklist. I would highly recommend this read for anyone who has worked with community building or is interested in starting one. There’s something to be gleaned from the information for all skill levels.

The later chapters of the book cover topics on how to pass the torch. How do you identify future leaders and support them in the ways that are most helpful. As someone who has worked with community building in the past, this book was both validating and inspiring.

I would highly recommend reading the whole book if you can spare a few hours and support the authors. Here’s a link to purchase on Amazon: Click Here!

If you’re not able to spare the time, I’ve included photos of the checklists in the appendix below. I hope you enjoy this content and I want to hear your ideas for what you’d like to build community around. Please leave your replies below in the comments!

Fork-Knife-Spoon

Good morning everyone! Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite contraptions for #priuslife which is actually great for life in general. The fork, knife, spoon set. I originally got this to reduce the amount of plastic and single-use cutlery I was consuming. 

Since I became conscious of my impact on the environment in the year 2000, I’ve been working to decrease my footprint and bring sustainability into as many aspects of my life as possible. The fork, knife, spoon set was a simple and elegant solution to the problem of single-use plastic cutlery.

It’s estimated that every year 40 billion single use plastic utensils are thrown out every year.

Divided by the 333 million Americans, that’s about 120 pieces per person per year.

According to Forbes, plastic cutlery is one of the items that won’t ever be recycled because they are too lightweight, too small, and too contaminated.

Which means that this type of single-use plastic just ends up in a landfill or some other random location. Plastic takes about 450 years to decompose meaning, every year the number of single-use cutlery on the planet is increasing. 

If you want to understand the real cost of this cutlery convenience, Andrew Bernier’s paper “Living the Life of a Plastic Fork” he goes into detail on the costs of the initial production of the fork, supply chain & distribution, and finally disposal. 

Just because single-use cutlery is considered disposable, does not mean that it’s sustainable or good for the environment.

It’s estimated that since the 1950s one billion tons of plastic have been discarded. 

If you’re interested in other life hacks to reduce your footprint you can check out habitsofwaste.org where they empower people to change their mission is to clean up the planet one “habit of waste” at a time.

Having your own cutlery set is a cool way to let others know that you care about the earth. It also means you are always prepared for a meal, and you can be sure that your silverware is always cleaned to your standards 😉

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauratenenbaum/2019/07/16/plastic-cutlery-is-terrible-for-the-environment-and-we-dont-need-to-have-it-delivered/?sh=491fcbf4019c

November 2021 Animal Spirit Tarot Predictions

Message from Light Beings: This message is about completion. This month you may feel a sense of contentment rising up from within you as you reflect on the year prior. You did it! It’s been a cool ride and from the egg we came and to the egg we return. It’s about completing a cycle and also beginning of a gestation period. This is perfect for the coming of winter. This month should be spend just relaxing and recognizing your part in the beautiful tapestry of life. This part of the journey is complete, while another leg shall begin soon!

Click here to see the predictions for the whole year of 2021.

Please leave your insights & questions in the comments below!

If you are interested in doing a past/present/future Animal Spirit Reading with Ananda please submit your $50 payment below and you’ll be contacted to set up a time for either a phone or zoom call.

Full Moon in Aries: October 20th, 2021

The information in this blog is very closely aligned with the collective energy reading that I posted earlier today on youtube:

This full moon is in the fire sign of Aries. The moon is all about our emotions and bringing fire into the full moon energy could have you feeling reckless and explosive! This full moon is also happening in Libra season which is all about finding balance in the relationship between the self and others so, be aware that you may find yourself in an intense relationship confrontation this full moon. 

Remember that during this full moon, everyone’s temperature is going to be hot. Full moons turn up the volume on emotions around repressed stress, trauma, or pain and may be projected onto others. So you may find yourself on the giving or receiving end of an emotional explosion and it may be really hard to resist a reaction.

How to navigate this? Take some time to yourself during the full moon and channel the fiery energy into productive outlets. Rather than burning a bridge, acknowledge the issue and put it on pause for a moment until the energies have a moment to settle. This full moon is coming at the end of a mercury retrograde and the resolution of several other planets in retrograde. This means that the energy is ripe for bringing old patterns that are no longer serving us to the surface, to be observed and transcended during the full moon. While this may mean breaking away from certain people in your life, take a moment before you burn the bridge to be sure that’s what you want to do (you could always burn it tomorrow, after the full moon, if that’s what’s meant to be). 

Write a letter to your old self, or the person you’re having difficulties with, get all of your emotions out on paper. Write it all out, no holds barred, and then burn it to release the energy.

The Aries energy also urges us to tear apart old plans or things that aren’t working and start fresh. Don’t worry about the outcome of a new project, just get started and see where it leads you. Use the “going first” energy of Aries to break past your own resistance and start something new. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of things you want to do, or the number of steps involved in the new project. Allow yourself to be taken by the energy, there’s plenty available for trying out everything that you’re curious about.

#priuslife : Test Run

It’s time to hit the road! Lots of people are doing the #vanlife or other conversions and #priuslife is a variation on that same theme. This trip will be an extended version of the month long trip that we went on earlier this year in April 2021. Click here to read all about that trip!

The intention is to blog and video about the adventures, minimalist living, philosophies of life based off of past and current experiences, how to live your best life, art, Akashic readings of the collective, and whatever else comes up on the trip!

The first stop on this trip: Prometheus Gathering in Pomeroy, OH

This was the first fire festival attended since 2019 and it was so much needed. After everything that has happened in 2020 etc., it’s been challenging to find spaces to gather with others and socialize. The fire community provides a special kind of warmth for those who are interested in this art form. Around every bend you’ll find people who are dedicated to the art of movement, dance, prop manipulation, and hitting the flow state.

The daylight hours are spent studying prop manipulation at various courses, eating, buying things from the vendor village, and napping. The evening landscape is painted by the performance gala, Dj’s, live music, fire games, and all manner of thrill-seeking in the fire circle.

This year Prometheus took place at Wisteria: “A safe and loving place with a generous and kind community. It offers a land where people can be free and accepted for who they are. Find like-minded people and explore what Wisteria is and what it can be to you. ” The grounds offer lots to explore with 620 acres of land peppered with fairie shrines, hiking trails, hidden ponds, drum circles, and other gems.

This weekend was all about connection, creativity, and heart centered healing. Being out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life allows the dust to settle and the cobwebs to clear. This trip really showed me how much I want and need to be in nature. The happenings of 2020 changed the way I view the world and what I think of as “wild”. It’s funny how we think that being out in nature is “wild” even though the trees, grass, and open sky are the natural state of the world. To me, it’s actually the city that is “wild”. A place that has grown out of control into different distortions and contortions.

What are your thoughts on the city vs nature? Comment below!

October 2021 Animal Spirit Tarot Predictions

Message from Light Beings: Entering into scorpio on the 22nd, we welcome the scorpion energy! Fall is in coming in and we are in the time of the harvest. We begin to take a look at how our manifestations for the year have played out in our lives and the fruit from our endeavors. Instead of ignoring the things that didn’t go well, look them in the eye and discuss these situations with parties involved to resolve any underlying tensions. A way to open the conversation could look like “I noticed this pattern played out, what are your thoughts on this?” and ask open-ended questions to dissipate tensions. Once you’ve done the hard work, enjoy returning to your passion with resolve and determination.

Click here to see the predictions for the whole year of 2021.

Please leave your insights & questions in the comments below!

If you are interested in doing a past/present/future Animal Spirit Reading with Ananda please submit your $50 payment below and you’ll be contacted to set up a time for either a phone or zoom call.

Minimalism: Trash Removal

Before we get started, just to be clear, this post is not about zero waste living. Zero waste living is next level minimalism where people make lifestyle choices to reduce and eventually eliminate their generation of waste products in their life. To learn more about zero waste living you can read these amazing stories for inspiration and how to’s:

https://www.goingzerowaste.com

https://trashisfortossers.com/about-lauren/

This post is about taking your trash with you in your day-to-day life. Why would you do this? To beautify your environment by not leaving trash on the ground and not adding it to the public trash cans. When you take your trash with you and dispose of it at home its far less likely to end up in the ocean or some other natural environment.

I first heard about this concept from a friend who had recently visited Japan. They made an observation that Japan had no public trash cans and the streets were clean. Apparently in Japanese culture, it’s normal for everyone to take their trash with them and dispose of it at home.

How did this come about? 

According to this articles:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-23/where-are-all-the-trash-cans-in-japanese-cities

Japanese people are naturally averse to litter, but that’s not the only reason for the lack of trash. In 1995 there was a sarin gas attack that happened through a public trash can. Ever since then, trash cans have been removed from public places to prevent terrorists from placing gas bombs in them. Talk about another case of something bad being used to inspire something good!

Regardless of how this shift came about, I adopted this practice of taking my trash with me and disposing of it when I got home. I have to say that since adopting this practice, I’ve become far more aware of the trash that I generate in a day. Every night when I get home, I would methodically sort out my trash into the different bins.

I started to notice the overwhelming number of coffee cups and to go containers from specific restaurants. As a step towards zero waste living, I replaced the disposable coffee containers with travel mugs. For the restaurants, I started either packing a lunch or taking Tupperware with me to use as a to go container.

Do you have any interesting trash stories or insights you’d like to add to the conversation? Comment below and start a conversation!

Have you travelled to another country and discovered they handle trash and recycling completely different? Share your story below!

References:

https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-shibuya/article-a0002380/

https://www.goingzerowaste.com

https://trashisfortossers.com/about-lauren/

https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-shibuya/article-a0002380/