Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Greenhouse 3/29/15

3/29/15 - Garlic
 3/29/15 - Dino kale
 3/29/15 - Giant Swiss Chard
 3/29/15 - Ox Heart Tomato
 3/29/15 - Pak Choy and Chinese Cabbage
 3/29/15 - Transplanted Pak Choy and Chinese Cabbage
 3/29/15 - Peppers and tomatoes
 3/29/15 - White Carolina Strawberry
  3/29/15 - White Carolina Strawberry
 3/29/15 - Tomatoes
 3/29/15 - Touch-Me-Not

Monday, March 30, 2015

Powerful Words

How You Can Turn On Thousands of Life-Enhancing Genes with Your Words

Decades ago Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Founder of the Mind Body Medical Institute, published The Relaxation Response to help people achieve "a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress... and the opposite of the fight or flight response."

Now recent studies show that the Relaxation Response (repeating a meaningful value word or sacred sound) produces profound changes - even at a genetic level. 

In fact, thousands of genes associated with stress reduction, anti-aging, reduced inflammation, and greater cellular-level health/energy get turned on. 

Relaxationresponse.org lists steps to elicit this state:
  1. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed.
  4. Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word, "one"*, silently to yourself. For example, breathe in ... out, "one",- in .. out, "one", etc. Breathe easily and naturally
  5. Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.
  6. Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "one." With practice, the response should come with little effort. 

Practice the technique once or twice daily, but not within two hours after any meal, since the digestive processes seem to interfere with  the elicitation of the Relaxation Response.

* or any soothing, mellifluous sound, preferably with no meaning.
or association, to avoid stimulation of unnecessary thoughts.

PLoS One. 2013 May 1;8(5):e62817. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062817. Print 2013.
Relaxation response induces temporal transcriptome changes in energy metabolism, insulin secretion and inflammatory pathways.
Bhasin MK1, Dusek JA, Chang BH, Joseph MG, Denninger JW, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Libermann TA.


The relaxation response (RR) is the counterpart of the stress response. Millennia-old practices evoking the RR include meditation, yoga and repetitive prayer. Although RR elicitation is an effective therapeutic intervention that counteracts the adverse clinical effects of stress in disorders including hypertension, anxiety, insomnia and aging, the underlying molecular mechanisms that explain these clinical benefits remain undetermined. To assess rapid time-dependent (temporal) genomic changes during one session of RR practice among healthy practitioners with years of RR practice and also in novices before and after 8 weeks of RR training, we measured the transcriptome in peripheral blood prior to, immediately after, and 15 minutes after listening to an RR-eliciting or a health education CD. Both short-term and long-term practitioners evoked significant temporal gene expression changes with greater significance in the latter as compared to novices. RR practice enhanced expression of genes associated with energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, insulin secretion and telomere maintenance, and reduced expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress-related pathways. Interactive network analyses of RR-affected pathways identified mitochondrial ATP synthase and insulin (INS) as top upregulated critical molecules (focus hubs) and NF-κB pathway genes as top downregulated focus hubs. Our results for the first time indicate that RR elicitation, particularly after long-term practice, may evoke its downstream health benefits by improving mitochondrial energy production and utilization and thus promoting mitochondrial resiliency through upregulation of ATPase and insulin function. Mitochondrial resiliency might also be promoted by RR-induced downregulation of NF-κB-associated upstream and downstream targets that mitigates stress.

PLoS One. 2008 Jul 2;3(7):e2576. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002576.
Genomic counter-stress changes induced by the relaxation response.
Dusek JA1, Otu HH, Wohlhueter AL, Bhasin M, Zerbini LF, Joseph MG, Benson H, Libermann TA.

Mind-body practices that elicit the relaxation response (RR) have been used worldwide for millennia to prevent and treat disease. The RR is characterized by decreased oxygen consumption, increased exhaled nitric oxide, and reduced psychological distress. It is believed to be the counterpart of the stress response that exhibits a distinct pattern of physiology and transcriptional profile. We hypothesized that RR elicitation results in characteristic gene expression changes that can be used to measure physiological responses elicited by the RR in an unbiased fashion.

We assessed whole blood transcriptional profiles in 19 healthy, long-term practitioners of daily RR practice (group M), 19 healthy controls (group N(1)), and 20 N(1) individuals who completed 8 weeks of RR training (group N(2)). 2209 genes were differentially expressed in group M relative to group N(1) (p<0.05) and 1561 genes in group N(2) compared to group N(1) (p<0.05). Importantly, 433 (p<10(-10)) of 2209 and 1561 differentially expressed genes were shared among long-term (M) and short-term practitioners (N(2)). Gene ontology and gene set enrichment analyses revealed significant alterations in cellular metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, generation of reactive oxygen species and response to oxidative stress in long-term and short-term practitioners of daily RR practice that may counteract cellular damage related to chronic psychological stress. A significant number of genes and pathways were confirmed in an independent validation set containing 5 N(1) controls, 5 N(2) short-term and 6 M long-term practitioners.

This study provides the first compelling evidence that the RR elicits specific gene expression changes in short-term and long-term practitioners. Our results suggest consistent and constitutive changes in gene expression resulting from RR may relate to long term physiological effects. Our study may stimulate new investigations into applying transcriptional profiling for accurately measuring RR and stress related responses in multiple disease settings.

Special thanks to leading neuroscience expert and best-selling author Mark Waldman for the source material for this post. Check out his university endorsed Neurowisdom 101 brain training program.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Daydreaming Profoundly Strengthens Your Brain

With the emergence of the new fields of contemplative neuroscience, neuropsychology, and neuro-economics, we now have a growing toolbox of techniques that have been shown to strengthen those areas of the brain that make us happier and more skilled at achieving our goals. And the most important tool is the one that we never bring into the classroom environment and rarely bring into the workplace. Daydreaming.

When we are focusing on a task, only a small part of our decision-making frontal lobes are busy. But we can only remain consciously focused for brief periods of time (anywhere between 10-40 minutes) before the neurochemicals of concentration are depleted. Then our minds begin to wander.

Brain-scan studies show that neural activity dramatically increases when we let the mind wander. At first, this may seem like a distraction (and it is, because your brain needs a break!), but the newest research shows that this “daydreaming” state gives you immediate access to extraordinary creative processes.

If you deliberately take a 60 second daydreaming break every hour, you’ll find that the next hour of work feels more satisfying. Add a few seconds of yawning and stretching before you concentrate on your work and you’ll optimize your brain for peak performance.

Conscious Daydreaming is the Easiest Thing to Do 
Just close your eyes for a minute and watch how your mind wanders through random thoughts, feelings, and images. It’s like a fractured movie, and all you need to do is sit in front of the “screen” and mindfully watch everything float in and out of consciousness.

It’s one of the most powerful ways to improve emotional and cognitive functioning, and it's the state where fresh insights occur. Conscious daydreaming is essential to learn anything and keep your work productivity high.

Special thanks to leading neuroscience expert and best-selling author Mark Waldman for the material of this post. Check out his university-endorsed Neurowisdom 101 brain training program.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mental Contrasting

Mental Contrasting Makes You More Successful According to 18 New Studies

Mental Contrasting Makes You More Successful According to 18 New Studies

18 new studies show that you can increase the chances you'll reach your goals if you practice 'mental contrasting'
To Practice Mental Contrasting 

Vividly imagine the benefits you'd experience if you attain your goal. Then, with equal intensity, visualize the obstacles that could impede this goal. If you form those mental images in that order, you'll be more likely to succeed - provided you are confident in your ability to achieve your goal.

When people face obstacles, such as anxiety, a variety of counterproductive inclinations may trigger. For example, they may avoid necessary challenges that could amplify the anxiety. 

Yet, when people practice mental contrasting, they become less likely to associate obstacles with avoidance. Instead, they associate the obstacles with activities that overcome the impediments.

A study investigated this. Participants were asked to reflect on an interpersonal concern, such as a conflict with their partner. They were to specify a positive consequence they'd experience if the concern resolved - such as feelings of warmth and harmony. Then, they were asked to specify a word that represents an obstacle to this result - such as jealousy - then a word that represents a behavior they could put in place to override this obstacle - such as distraction. Finally, they imagined the positive consequence and the obstacle as vividly as possible.

One control group was given a variation on the same instructions. They imagined the obstacle before the benefits of attaining their goal. Yet another control group was told to imagine events that were unrelated to the concern.

After this exercise, participants were tasked with deciding whether a string of characters was a legitimate word or not. Before each string appeared, another word was presented subliminally (that is, too rapidly to register). The target word was the behavior - such as 'distraction', and the prime was either the obstacle- such as 'jealousy', or another word.

Those that engaged in mental contrasting recognized the behavior more rapidly if followed by the obstacle. In other words, the obstacle was more associated with the behavior. In contrast, if participants had imagined the obstacle before they imagined the rewards of success, the effect was not observed. 

When individuals enjoy positive fantasies only, they neglect vital information. In particular, they feel motivated to overlook complications and other insights they perceive as undesirable.

Yet, with mental contrasting, ideas that epitomize challenging realities or obstacles get translated by the brain  as ideas that epitomize inspiring future possibilities. Consequently, individuals become more aware of how the challenging realities are obstacles to future possibilities. Their motivation to override these obstacles thus increases.

Read more here

Friday, March 27, 2015

Inspirational Quotes


A Quote by Abraham-Hicks on negativity, attention, and benefit

You are of no advantage to anyone who has your negative attention.
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham-Hicks on life, suffering, and living

Your life is supposed to feel good to you.
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham-Hicks on alignment, charisma, power, source, and authenticity

Someone who takes the time to understand their relationship with source, who actively seeks alignment with their broader perspective, who deliberately seeks and finds alignment with who-they-really-are, is more charismatic, more attractive, more effective, and more powerful than a group of millions who have not achieved this alignment.
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham Hicks on ownership, vision, reality, and want

You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with "reality". Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too.
Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered. 
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham Hicks on happiness

Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook." And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel—and then, you'll love them all.
Because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good.
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham Hicks on well-being, action, vibration, and work
Hard work is not the path to Well- Being. Feeling good is the path to Well-Being. You don't create through action; you create through vibration. And then, your vibration calls action from you. 
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham-Hicks on thoughts, feel good, vibrate, law of attraction, standard, and joy

Find thoughts that feel good, because it is inevitable that you are going to always be moving toward something. So why not be moving toward something that is pleasing? You can't cease to vibrate, and Law of Attraction will not stop responding to the vibration that you are offering. So, expansion is inevitable. You provide it, whether you know you do, or not. The only question is, what is the standard of joy that you are demanding for yourself? From your Nonphysical perspective, it's a high, high standard. 
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham-Hicks on vibration, connection, relationships, and control

You don't have to worry about what their vibration is if your vibration is one of connection. Because if your vibration is one of connection -- you're going to dominate the vibration. This is the way you learn your relationships. The thing that most people do not understand, is that you get to control the way you feel, because you get to choose the thoughts you think. Most people think that they only have the option of responding to the circumstances that surround them. And that's what makes them attempt the impossible, which is to control the circumstances around them, which only feeds their feeling of frustration and vulnerability, because it doesn't take very much life experience to discover you can't control all of those circumstances. But you can control your vibration. And when you control your vibration, you've controlled everything that has anything to do with you. 
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham Hicks on sides, happy, for, and against

You can't take sides against anything. If you would just be one who is for things, you would live happily ever after. If you could just leave the "against" part out. 
Abraham Hicks

A Quote by Abraham Hicks on reason for being, bliss, guide, joy, and path

Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy -- you're right on the path of that which you intended when you came forth into this physical body.
Abraham Hicks

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3/23/15 Greenhouse

  3/15/15 - Greenhouse update...new Greenhouse set up for my overflowing amount of plants this year!
 3/15/15 - Chinese Cabbage and Bok Choy planted on 3/20/15
3/23/15 - I discovered the stow-away is cilantro! I've decided to let it just grow....it's come this far, determined to!
  3/15/15 - Red Russian Kale planted on 3/20/15
  3/15/15 - Swiss Chard planted on 3/20/15
 3/15/15 - Tomatoes and Peppers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ice cube on neck

This Is What Happens When You Place An Ice Cube At This Point On Your Head

Interesting! Worth a try ^_^

We all want to live longer, look younger, have more energy and lead a fuller life, right? How can it be done?

Of course, eat right, be active, keep your mind sharp, and don’t do high-risk activities is one way. But it turns out, an ice cube and a few moments of your time helps too. At the base of your skull on the neck there is a point known as Feng Fu.

It’s a pressure point found at the base of the skull just below the bottom ridge of the skull cap at the top of the neck. If you put ice on it regularly, it triggers rejuvenation in your body.

Diseases seem to disappear and you find yourself more energetic and just plain happier.

Lie on your stomach and put an ice cube at the Feng Fu point. Leave it there for 20 minutes. You can also use a bandage to fix it in place if you’re on the go.

Doing it once in the morning on an empty stomach and then again once before bed. What does it do?

  1. It improves your sleep quality
  2. It improves your mood.
  3. It helps regulate your gut.
  4. It relieves colds.
  5. It relieves toothaches and headaches.
  6. It may help relieve lung and cardiovascular diseases.
  7. It may help thyroid issues.
  8. It may relieve PMS.
  9. It may improve mental health.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

15 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone

(Even Though You Think You Do)

I absolutely love these points! 
I know how much social pressure there is to conduct yourself a certain way. Some people they know what’s best for you and the whole world. But remember…


1. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your living situation.

It doesn’t matter what kind of living situation you’re in, whether you have housemates, live alone, live unmarried with a partner, or live with your ex still. You don’t need to explain to anyone why you live the way that you do.


2. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your life priorities.

Want to open a business? Become a pastor at your church? Sell all your belongings and backpack through India? Go for it! And remember, you don’t have to explain your priorities to anyone. They are yours, and you don’t have to try to impress people with them.


3. You don’t owe anyone an apology if you are not sorry.

If you’ve done something that someone else doesn’t like but that you don’t regret, you don’t owe them an apology. An apology is to try to rectify a mistake and the impact it’s had on others.


4. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for requiring alone time.

If you need alone time, you’re not being rude, introverted, or unfriendly. You just need time alone. You don’t have to explain your need for that. Just enjoy that precious time alone.


5. You don’t owe anyone your agreement on their personal beliefs.

When people share their personal beliefs with you, it’s often a sign of trust that should be cherished. It’s a window into their souls and the way they think. But just because someone has shared their personal beliefs with you doesn’t mean you have to nod in agreement. Also, see #3.


6. You don’t owe anyone a yes to everything they say.

I know it can be hard to say no to the hard ask, but just know that you don’t have to say yes to everything everyone asks of you. Know your limits and what you’re willing to do for others.


7. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your physical appearance.

If you’ve lost weight, gained weight, changed your hair, grown a beard, or done anything with your physical appearance, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it. You’re just doing you. They can deal with pink hair.


8. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your food preferences.

We all like different types of food. If someone tries to judge you over it, don’t engage. You don’t have to explain what kind of food you like to eat. You just eat what you want to.


9. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your sex life.

Whether your sex life doesn’t exist or does with another consenting adult, it’s no one’s business but your own. People will try to judge you for who you sleep with or what your sexuality is, but what they think generally doesn’t matter.


10. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your career or personal life choices.

When it comes to the direction you’re going in life, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your career or the direction you’ve opted to go. Just go for it! The people who truly care for you will back you up.


11. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your religious or political views.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Catholic, Protestant or Muslim, it’s your choice and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it. If someone wants to have a fun, candid discussion with you and you also want that, have at it! A good debate or exchange of ideas is a lot of fun.


12. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for being single.

It doesn’t matter if you’re single by design or by accident – you’re single! Chances are, you’re pretty happy with it too. You might get pressured to go find a partner and get married, but you march to the beat of your own drum.


13. You don’t owe anyone a date just because they asked.

This is such an important thing to remember. You don’t have to say yes just because someone asked you to go out with them!


14. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your decision about marriage.

Want to get married at 18? Don’t ever want to get married? As long as you’re an adult making decisions of your own accord, your decision about marriage is yours alone.


15. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your relationship choices.

Did you forgive a cheater? Did you get back together with your ex? Did you say no to a marriage proposal? These decisions were made by you for your own set of reasons, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for that.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Greenhouse 3/20/15

 3/20/15 - Green onions 17 days after planting!
  3/20/15 - transplanted my Tobasco peppers and 5 color Chinese peppers
  3/20/15 - Garlic after 4 days of planting!
  3/20/15 - White Carolina Pineberry Strawberries 11 days after planting the roots...a lot of great growth:)
  3/20/15 - White Carolina Pineberry Strawberries 11 days after planting the roots...a lot of great growth:)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Extreme Low Abs Workout

This extreme low abs workout will tone your abdominal muscles and strengthen your core. It’s pretty hard, but you’re gonna love it and your gonna get through it. Get ready to work!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Greenhouse 3/16/15

 3/16/15 - Green onions taking off! 13 days after planting the roots.
 3/16/15 - A little stow-away in the green onions! It looks like a germinated Swiss Chard...must have been in the dried up soil I reused.
 3/16/15 -  Touch-Me-Not plants getting their sleepy leaves!
 3/16/15 - sprouted Tabasco Pepper and Chinese 5 color pepper
 3/16/15 - Remaining tomatoes need new cups
 3/16/15 - Tokyo Long White Bunch Onions and
Red Brunswick Onions
 3/16/15 - decided to grow a garlic clove
 3/16/15 -  Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard and colored Swiss Chard seeds planted. Also planted the 3 kale (Red Russian, Curled Scotch kale and Dino kale).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Garden update 3/14/15

3/14/15 - soil amendments....Azomite, mushroom compost, Organic compost Plus Manure, Earthworm Castings and bone meal.
3/12/15 - before...fence needs mending and more stable stakes, and a new approach to keeping neighboring weeds out. Soil needs amending to set the foundation for an amazing growing season
 3/14/15 - Used a fiberglass screen netting to go around the fence, stapled to the stakes. Plastic was way too temporary, and didn't do too great with heavy winds.
 3/14/15 - Soil all amended and ready to go^_^

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Key Teachings of Abraham-Hicks


You are a Physical Extension of that which is Non-physical. All-That-Is, or God, is not finished and waiting for you to catch up. You are the leading edge of thought, here seeking more: more of all that feels good to you, more of that which is fresh and gloriously uplifting. (You are, in essence, bringing heaven to earth.)
You are here in this body because you chose to be here. You wanted the opportunity to experience this delicious contrast in time and space, and with great anticipation you came to co-create with other joy-seeking beings, to fine-tune the process of deliberate thought. (What, where, when and with whom are your choices, too.)
The basis of your life is Freedom; the purpose of your life is Joy. You are free to choose to discover new avenues for joy. In your joy you will grow, and in your joyous growth you will add to the growth experience of All-That-Is. (However, you are also free to choose bondage or pain.) 
You are a creator; you create with your every thought. You often create by default, for you are getting what you are giving your attention to wanted or unwanted but you know by how it feels if what you are getting (creating) is what you are wanting or if it is not what you are wanting. (Where is your attention focused?) 
Anything that you can imagine is yours to be or do or have. As you ask yourself why you want it, the essence of your desire is activated, and the Universe begins to bring it to you. The more intense your positive feelings, the faster it is coming to you. (It is as easy to create a castle as a button.) 
As you are choosing your thoughts, your emotions are guiding you. Your loving, Inner Being offers guidance in the form of emotion. Entertain a wanted or unwanted thought and you feel a wanted or unwanted emotion. Choose to change the thought and you've changed the emotion and the creation. (Make more choices in every day.)
The Universe adores you; for it knows your broadest intentions. You have come to earth with great intentions, and the Universe constantly guides you on your chosen path. When you are feeling good, you are, in that moment, allowing more of that which you have intended from your broader perspective. (You are Spirit Incarnate.) 
Relax into your natural Well-being. All is well. ( Really it is!) The essence of all that you appreciate is constantly flowing into your reality. As you find more things to appreciate, your state of appreciation opens more avenues to more to feel appreciation for. (As you think you vibrate. As you vibrate you attract.) 
You are a creator of thoughtways on your unique path of joy. No one can limit where you can direct your thought. There are no limits to your joyous journeys to experience. On the path to your happiness you will discover all that you want to be or do or have. (Allowing others their experiences allows you yours.) 
Actions to be taken and money to be exchanged are by-products of your focus on joy. On your deliberately joyous journey your actions will be inspired, your resources will be abundant and you will know by the way you feel that you are fulfilling your reason for life. (Most have this one backwards, therefore most feel little joy in their actions or their possessions.) 
You may appropriately depart your body without illness or pain. You need not attract illness or pain as an excuse to leave. Your natural state coming, remaining or leaving is that of health and of Well-being. (You are free to choose otherwise.)
You can not die; you are Everlasting Life. In grace, you may choose to relax and allow your gentle transition back into your Non-physical state of pure, positive Energy. Your natural state is that of Foreverness. (Have fun with all of this. Lighten up! You can't get it wrong.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Greenhouse 3/12/15

 3/12/15 - Extra tomato plans and pepper plants
  3/12/15 - Tomato plants getting their true leaves
  3/12/15 - Green onions growing fast!
  3/12/15 - Tokyo Long white onions and Red onions
 3/12/15 - Touch-M-Not plants growing in their true leaves

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

30 Challenges for 30 Days



It is been said that it takes about 30 days to form a habit. The ones that are good for you require cultivation and determination. The starting phase is the hardest, especially if you want to change an old habit into a new one. This is why giving yourself a challenge for a minimum of 30 days is a great way to improve all facets of your life. Yes, it is a gift. So, take a moment to think ‘Who do I want to be in 5 years?’ What kind of habits would you like to have? You better start now if you want your new habits to influence your lifestyle and consequently your life! Check out this TED talk first to get inspired:
Now pick one or more challenges and stick with them! Keep a log, challenge your friends and stay inspired! Be cautioned, picking too many challenges at the same time can easily result in a failure of all of them.


#1 Write a I-Like-This-About-You note/text/email each day for someone (Easy)

This is the perfect way to let someone else know you care. We are so often focused on the bad stuff that we forget to mention the good. You surely will make people’s day, 30 days in a row!


#2 Talk to one stranger each day (Hard)

This is a great one to cure approaching anxiety. Have you ever resisted the temptation to talk to someone because you were afraid and said to yourself that you actually don’t want to talk to her/him anyway? Not anymore! After 30 strangers you will understand people are just people and there’s nothing weird in speaking to someone you don’t know.


#3 Take one picture each day (Hard)

This one gets harder nearing the end of the challenge because at one point you will run out of the easy shots. This one is great to combine with other challenges, a great way to make a photo diary!


#4 Re-evaluate one long-held belief each day (Intermediate)

Questioning your own beliefs is a great way to rid yourself of bullshit while continually adapting to new knowledge you’ve taken on since putting old beliefs together.


#5 Take a 30 minute walk each day (Easy)

Walking is healthy, relaxing and inspiring. And it is both easy and free! A great exercise while walking is to observe other people and think about what the differences and similarities are between you and them. This will definitely increase your empathy and your observing skills! A great book on this subject is Manwatching.


#6 Take a moment each day to practice self compassion and self-love (Hard)

Do you love yourself? Do you beat yourself up after you make mistakes? You can test your own level of self compassion here. Chances are you don’t score very high. This is because our society sets standards that are almost impossible to achieve. And so we form a habit of thinking we are not good enough, not worthy enough. There is also a kind of stigma on self-love, it is often confused with either being arrogant or it being a weakness. Both are wrong. It is a skill that can be trained so you will develop the emotional skillset to accept parts of yourself which you might not like very much, you learn to stop fighting against frustration and start accepting it as an integral part of life itself. Self love and self acceptance are also crucial to loving and accepting others around you. Exercises to increase self compassion can be found here and check out the love yourself challenge here.


#7 Try a new recipe each day (Intermediate)

If you want to learn how to cook you need to practice, practice, practice. Forcing yourself to try a new recipe each day is a great way to learn of more techniques and ingredients. It also makes it easier to drop bad food habits you might have and turn them into healthy ones!


#8 Refrain from alcohol and other drugs for 30 days in a row! (Depends)

Do you have a social circle where there hasn’t been a sober night out for years? Can you try to have fun without ingesting chemicals to alter your doors of perception? This is a great challenge to learn how to stand up for yourself against peer pressure.


#9 Write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (Hard)

Ever wanted to write a book? Do it. Do it in 30 days. Check out the official site here.


#10 Learn how to draw a human face in 30 days (Intermediate)

There are many ‘how to’ youtube videos on drawing and if you ever wanted to learn how to draw, stop making excuses. Set yourself a challenge and be amazed what you can achieve in 30 days!


#11 Watch a documentary each day (Easy)

Always wanted to know everything about a certain topic? You are in luck, it’s the digital era! There are more documentaries online you can possible watch in a lifetime. YouTube, Google Video, TruthTheory.org and TopDocumentaryFilms.com are some of the great sources. Here is a list of HEthens best documentaries!


#12 Read a chapter each day (Easy)

We all know we should be reading more often but somehow we are glued to the same computer screen you are staring at right now. Clicking buttons. The solution is to take some time each day to read one chapter. Just one. Easy right? Do it somewhere cozy or outside. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, turn on some ambient music. Check out these links on what books to read. Click here and here.


#13 Study a topic you’d like to master each day (Hard)

Always wanted to know everything about Animal Behaviour? Psychology? Physics? Philosophy? Educate yourself without school! Pick a topic, plan at least a lecture or an assignment each day and become a genius on your passion! Click here to find out what is possible and how to do it.


#14 Walk/Drive/Run a new route to work/school each day (Easy)

This is a great challenge to keep alert, discover new places, get a better understanding of your city and to have more fun while doing one of the mundane daily tasks of life.


#15 Read a new inspirational quote each day (Easy)

A great way to keep inspired, to come up with new ideas and to motivate yourself to make the best out of life!


#16 Media-fast for 30 days (Intermediate)

Don’t watch any television and stop following the news. Limit yourself to reading a maximum of 5 blogs this whole month. Log out of Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon. Stop the information overload and try living simple. You¥ll be amazed how much free time you have left!


#17 Pick one bad habit you already have and ditch it for 30 days (Hard)

Are you a smoker? Do you like to see the negative side of things? Do you practice self-hate? Do you eat fast food? Do you play too many video games? Quit them for 30 days, and pick another challenge instead!


#18 Inspire yourself each day (Easy)

Studies have shown that people who are inspired are happier, nicer, productive and will not stray away from their chosen path if life gets difficult. So print a quote and tape it to the mirror. Have an inspirational video as your starting page. Use an inspirational mantra for meditation. Get a principle to live by. In short, get your dose of inspiration each day!


#19 Take a cold shower each day (Intermediate)

Cold showers are great for uplifting ones mood, cure stress related diseases, to strengthens ones immune system and to make your skin beautiful. You can read the reports of some HEthens that have been trying it for some time over here!


#20 Think of an accomplishment you’d like to achieve for each year of the next 30 years, a year each day. (Hard)

This is great existential shock therapy. You can’t answer these questions without facing your life as it is right now and how it is likely to unfold. This one also gets harder progressively. It’s a great way to reflect!


#21 Practice a random skill everyday (Easy)

There are many available How To’s on YouTube and other video sites. Pen tricks, hand stands, parkour, dances, cooking tricks. Broaden your arsenal!


#22 Take the stairs every chance you get (Easy)

Somehow escalators seem ridiculous to me, and in some cases elevators too. It always reminds me a bit of all the fat people in Wall-E. Too lazy to do anything. So take the stairs every chance you get for 30 days. It is healthy, it doesn¥t look silly and it will add up over a lifetime :)


#23 Wake up early each day (Intermediate)

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom. – Aristotle
Check out how to become an early riser.


#24 Keep a journal (Intermediate)

Great for memory, reflection and especially awesome to look back to in the future and remember the good old times when you did these challenges!


#25 Don’t lie for 30 days (Hard)

This is quite the challenge. Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart. This one goes great with cultivating right intentions, because if you master that, there won’t be any need for lying!


#26 Combine challenges (Easy)

Take a photo of yourself reading a different book at a different location. Take 10,000 steps on a new route to meet a stranger and ask for a recipe to try out. Do all challenges, a different one each day. Wake up early to make time to meditate, practice self compassion and yoga. Finish it off with a cold shower!


#27 Doing something that scares you every day (Hard)

Fear is the one thing keeping you from being the best version of yourself. The only way to overcome your fears is to face them head on!


#28 Don’t complain for an entire day (Hard)

This one will likely take more than a few days to work up to achieving. Even if you’re a highly positive person, it’s difficult not to utter one negative sentence for a 24-hour span. Don’t be down on yourself if you can’t make it past an hour — as with everything this takes practice! This one is also great practice for becoming conscious of your thoughts.


#29 Meditate each day (Intermediate)

Read this to learn why you should meditate, learn awesome variations on meditation here and discuss this challenge here. The best moments are just after waking up and just before sleep!


#30 Practice (at least) one completely selfless act each day (Easy)

Go out of your way to help someone else out who may or may not deserve your kindness. Take out your neighbor’s trash. Give a $5 to a homeless person. Do something that takes real effort on your part while brightening the day of the receiver.