7 Things I Learned This Winter
Magic Makers by Vermonter Jennifer Vaughan, with gratitude
1. Not Tickled Pink
Cradle to cane, female consumers are discriminated against: women-centric products cost 7-13% more than men's. In particular, personal care products—especially if they are pink! It literally costs more to be female in this country, to the tune of $2,000 annually. By the time a female reaches age thirty, she has been robbed of $40,000 dollars; in a country where women are lucky to make eighty cents on the dollar this constitutes double jeopardy. Gender determines price for mortgages, dry cleaning, personal care, clothing, shoes, and nutritional items, to name a few categories. Products that are otherwise equal in quality and value are sold at premium price for female versions. Take a look at pink bottles, bikes, and razors versus blue bottles, bikes, and razors. Women have been on the losing side of this fight, and many still don't even realize it is happening. This month, I learned about Ax The Pink Tax and vowed to be a more savvy and discriminating consumer. Ladies, we need to take action! (I started my quest at my dry cleaners—god bless the clerk.) We have the influence–we hold more than 60% of the nation's wealth and $20 TRILLION dollars worldwide. We make the majority of the purchasing decisions for our households. Pink is power–let's use it.
2. FAST is BEST
Apparently, detoxes aren't really a biodynamic thing. Thank goodness. I can scratch juice cleanse off of my Spring Equinox to-do list. Apparently, fasting IS the thing, and it's really, really good for the body, as I found out preparing for a colonoscopy. I learned that fasting gives my organs a rest, it rebalances insulin resistance, it clears body, mind, and spirit, and it invites gratitude into the heart, and stomach. And—it’s FREE! I read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD; it’s a dense book about insulin management and intermittent fasting. I’ll save you the read, because the bottom line is simple: skip a meal every now and then to maintain weight and enhance general health.
3. On The GoGo
Being retired does not make me less busy. I literally don't know where the time goes–there is never enough for all I want to be doing. This month I learned a new strategy: I am going to stop allowing my caffeinated self to make plans for my decaffeinated self. In my enthusiasm for all things interesting, I shamelessly overbook on a regular basis. I am now attempting to be more selective about what I say 'yes' to, and figure out how I can best fulfill the commitments I truly care about. News flash: 'No.' is a complete sentence. ('I have a previous commitment, but thank you' sounds a bit more like what I would actually say.) My eldest daughter sent me Laura Vanderkam's newest book Off The Clock and I am taking the message to heart–thanks, Kate!
4. Glinda’s GPS
Ever find yourself powerless at the airport, tortured by texts pushing your flight back in hourly increments? Maybe consider driving (especially if you missed lunch and have the Chipotle app cued to order their delish vegan burritos.) This happened to me on a Burlington-Newark flight this month. After hours of being held hostage, I enquired at the Budget desk about a car rental from BTV to Albany; my plan was to take the train into Manhattan, and fly home on my return ticket. The car rental price was quoted—rather smugly I thought—at $325 for the 3-hour drive. I walked away, unhappy about the price, how infuriating travel-pickles are, and now, a third trip through security to get back to my gate. Instead, I took a moment to check in with my ultimate goal: it was to be in NYC the next morning for a 10AM workshop. Deep breath; focus; click heels.
Just for grins, I checked Expedia's app. BOOYAH! I had a car booked in thirty seconds for $24, no drop fees. Returning to the Budget desk I subdued my glee until the car keys were safely in hand; the agent was not amused. The workshop was amazing. This month I learned that I seriously dislike feeling powerless. As long as I am moving towards my Glinda-inspired-goal, I will take action and responsibility for my outcomes whenever possible.
5. Venom Vaccine
Let's say a snake bites me—and not for the first time. When that snake comes slithering around again, asking to be put into my pocket because it's cold, what do I do? This month I learned, finally and for good, that I don't have to put that snake back into my pocket. Sometimes living my highest good comes in the capsule of self-compassion. I no longer accommodate for emotional expectations that keep me anchored in the past. Putting my own needs first, like emotional safety and peace of mind, feels like a long overdue choice. I know that having boundaries is healthy, that they are about integrity to myself. Integrity is the result of being grounded and clear about what is in my highest good. If that snake shows up again, I will be compassionate, to myself. I am immune to a viper’s venom. 'I so value what you have shared with me. Thank you. This is what works best for me.'
6. Magic Makers
Surround yourself with the game-changers, the disruptors, and the magic-makers. Especially gather the ones who uncork joy and absolutely have your back. I have tried to honor this wisdom over the years, but this month I learned why it really does make a difference who I spend my time with. Emotional energy exchange matters to health on a deep cellular level.
I am a podcast nut, and I love the GOOP series. The guests are cutting edge researchers, thinkers, scientists, and innovators in the world of personal growth, nutrition, parenting, and culture. The wonderfully nerdy podcast that blew my socks off this month was How To Become Your Future Self, with Joe Dispenza, D.C. His work explores neuroscience, epigenetics, quantum physics, and consciousness as it relates to our health and growth potential.
7. Grace Note…
‘Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.’ —Carl Jung
This month I learned that comparison is the death of joy. I like that, so I won't be comparing my perceived weaknesses to someone else's perceived strengths any longer—will you join me?
I’d love to hear from you—feel free to send your comments to me.