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How to Expand Time: Practicing Quiet and Calm Listening.


Dubbed “extrovert”, I was an expressive enthusiast for many of the first 30 years of my life. I was so familiar with the role, that I was nearly comfortable with the dis-ease it was prompted by. I have been practicing quiet intermittently for a few years. This has opened space to learn patience, calm listening, self-love, and boundary setting. As a beginner with this curriculum, I have come to wonder: how did I survive nearly three decades without these skills?

keep_quiet_by_firemisha

Picture Source

Calm listening expands time. One could say it’s mighty generous to be an active, inquisitive listener of a friend, colleague, or spouse. I’ve learned that the calm listener is doing the getting, to be sure! Consider the gifts:

  • The satisfaction of sharing in another’s experience.
  • The intimacy of entering and exploring the maze that the other is mapping at the moment.
  • The richness of observing human behavior, impulse, compassion, and interconnectedness.
  • The receipt of another’s knowledge pool of raw data that is inevitably distinct from my own.
  • The energizing wonderment in another’s attributes that make them unique from any other being, drive their purpose, and shape the lessons they entered this life to learn.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Through calm listening, I learn and share more inside of each precious moment. It expands time.

When practicing quiet, I am not always silent. I do speak! When? What are my words? What is my intention for speaking, and for the message, tone, and delivery I choose? The answers draw me nearer to knowledge of self. They also magnify opportunities for adjustments. Who do I want to be? I get to decide.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

I used to be vocal when I disagreed. In practicing quiet, I explore: what would have been my motive to say something?

    • Would it have been pure?
    • Would it have been to try to change another person… to change their mind? If so, then why?
    • Would it have been to satisfy curiosity, to engage in debate, or test my argumentative prowess? If so, then why?

I observe the result of not speaking up. Quieting when I disagree makes me feel like I’ve deceived another and myself. There must be another option, beyond the saying or not saying, as intention-guiding leaders have shown us. I think of peace-evoking Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, and the Dalai Lama. Who do you think of?

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Compassion involves seeking to understand another’s opinion, to understand the foundation another balances upon to form their opinion, and most importantly, to understand the experience that may have led another to build that foundation. In this intention, an interaction escalated by differing opinions, likely indicates I have many more questions to ask, and responses to calmly listen to. In some cases, the other’s intentions may be to confuse, harm, or enmesh. The most compassionate practice may be to state acknowledgement of difference and quickly disengage.

I am a beginner in this curriculum. A starry eyed, eager novice, reinforced by the fruit of my triumphs and hiccups. And so, I continue trying.

Silenced Enjoyment, Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Silenced Enjoyment, Iguazu Falls, Argentina

I invite you to join me in my favorite mantra for the time:

“May all beings be peaceful and know they are loved.”

Thank you for reading, beautiful people! Squeeze hugs, from Annie at Biocadence.

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

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What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

In Response to Coca Cola Anti-Obesity Campaign


Answer honestly: Do advertisements urge you to desire a featured product?

I am not immune to alluring images of the fried, the greasy, and the otherwise dripping yumminess. For this, amongst other reasons, I choose advertisement-free Netflix over cable. I don’t need any more cravings than I tolerate organically, thank you very much!

Stop-Food-Cravings

Picture Source: Fighting Cravings Effectively in a Natural Way

This week @Disarm tweeted:

#Coca-Cola Launches Anti-Obesity Ad. Are we the only ones who think this campaign is obscene? http://ti.me/V7bjXK  @time #PublicHealth“.

I bet I’ll agree, I thought, as I linked to the article. Against all protective self-advisement, I watched the referenced Coca Cola advertisement. I refuse to embed the video here because I fancy myself generous and compassionate.

Coca Cola’s “Anti-Obesity” campaign features lower calorie options, suggesting that Coca Cola’s low-cal initiative is responsible for decreasing the calorie count for the entire beverage industry. After watching the advertisement, I felt the hankering to arrive at a wildly illogical conclusion. In spite of myself, my wit… my health… my sanity… I thought that incorporating Coca Cola products into my daily lifestyle could be healthy! Thank goodness, the spell was broken by a dose of fact-checking followed by boundary-prompting anger!

I do not want Coca Cola in my house, in my mind, in my mouth… yet the advertisement knocked on my welcoming Oh-Just-This-Once door. I willed myself into a practice that I’ve rehearsed, and exercised: I closed my eyes, breathed, and let the temptation pass. Subsequent thoughts and images flashed my mind screen. One might say they are unrelated to the advertisement. I share them because I think that they are not only related, but enmeshed:

“Oh my goodness gracious, Prop 37 didn’t pass.”

“Many hard-working, well-intending people were convinced that a triumphant Prop 37 would lead to prohibitive rises in food prices.”

“The pharmaceutical consequences of consuming GMOs, as well as other substances disguised as food (i.e. high fructose corn syrup) may result in prohibitive healthcare costs for the very same families who feel threatened by rising food costs!”

After thoroughly absorbing these thoughts, I felt mad. I embraced a form of pissed-off that I welcome: the Oh Hell No, I’m Not Drinking Cola Today element of anger… the I get to choose what I feed my body FREEDOM ROAR.

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Picture Source: Some Pissed Off Babies

Am I a madwoman for craving the Cola? Have I swooped over one too many coo coo’s nests? While that may be the case, my weakness for (or addiction to) imitation food, alone, does not serve as evidence.

I expect that Coca Cola analysts (with the help of contracted ad company analysts… the Don Drapers of our time) researched which campaign focus was worthy of budget. They concluded that such a high % of their audience would be weaseled by the low calorie trickery, that it was worth funding the project! I suspect that the audience vulnerable to this trickery (including me, for more than one instant, [your favorite expletive]), is the very audience that believed Prop 37 might hurt them.

Don Draper, of Mad Men, Played by Jon Hamm

Don Draper, of Mad Men, Played by Jon Hamm

Picture Source: Television Blog

For this, I feel motivated. The real-food revolution is reaching more open minds by the day! In turn, the affordable real-food curriculum is growing. Momentum continue, I say… upward, forward, onward, and around… until we saturate every fridge, kitchen, and tummy with empowering accessibility to real-food! In the meantime, let us understand that we are indeed human. We are not immune to the Pavlovian impact of drool-inducing advertising! We can, however, design our lives such that we minimize triggers. Avoid the ads; turn the television off! As Jack Johnson writes, “[…] you better turn that thing down; turn it around.” Sing it Mr. Johnson, sing it!

Thanks for reading! Squeeze hugs and craving tolerance from Annie at Biocadence.

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New Years Dreams and Visions


I have a dear friend I met at work 7-8 years ago. Having worked 11, 12… 13 hour days together, we have fierce mutual respect, and many fun memories to giggle about. Years later, we have something else in common: we often gasp at the same wonders.

For my birthday, it was quite natural for her to join me in writing lyrics late into the night. We cackled, guffawed, and “oohed” and “ahhhed”. We sang, and cackled some more. For her birthday, I joined her in a full-day meditation retreat at the East Bay Meditation Center: “Dream, Believe, and Soar”. Spring Washam was our guide. Her gentle spirit and solid intentions are apparent at first introduction, and reinforced through a day of conscious story-telling, progress-crafting, and meditating. She speaks with clarity and generously offers effervescent joy for life. The experience made me feel like it was my birthday again. What an energizing day!

The retreat began with a focus on joyful moments in childhood, moved into exploration of fear in the early afternoon, and honed in on dreams, visions, and leap-taking in the late afternoon. Meditations were interspersed amongst writing exercises and group discussions. As I read through what I’d written during the retreat, I decided to share my vision via Biocadence. I encourage everyone to take 20 minutes to write your own visions for the future! The New Year is such a great time to set intentions, and craft images for what can be.

My Vision

My space is sparse, clean and crisp. I have given many belongings away. Those that I’ve kept have a purpose and a place.

Yoga Meditation. Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

Yoga Meditation. Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

My first thoughts upon waking are self-affirming, life-welcoming, and optimistic. I have nutrients, hydration, and my practice of conscious-lifestyle-design.

I am always planning a trip abroad, to explore and write about distinct cultures and how they relate to behavioral change, sustainability, and global conflict.

Nahuel Huapi. Patagonia, Argentina.

Nahuel Huapi. Patagonia, Argentina.

Biocadence has many platforms for community, lifestyle design, and quality-of-life brainstorming, related to over-consumption recovery.

I write in the morning, exercise, meditate, then clean, cook, network, and play in the afternoon.

Wall Art Explorations. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Wall Art Explorations. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I have a child. My efforts include constant consideration of alleviating my husband’s workload, such that he can know our child well.

I have boundaries. I am as safe as is possible in human form. I understand that I do not need to tolerate unnecessary pain, to prove that I’ve earned the reward of life. I offer love and compassion to all, in my understanding of our inter-connectedness.

Quiet Meditation. Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

Quiet Meditation. Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

I have fears, sure, as I am human. I explore my fears, and define their sources. I know what and who I’m afraid of, allowing me to manage risk, and progress without paralysis-inducing traffic jams of mind/body.

I do not only survive. I survive and I thrive. I honor the map that has guided me to relief and wisdom. I share my map openly, to help other survivors write their own maps.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

Iguazu Falls, Argentina.

My journey is never finished; the mystery of my future fuels me to continue with curiosity, awe and wonder. I am homesick… oh, such a sweet response to being human. It drives me to do everything I can to make human existence more like heavenly existence.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day! Squeeze hugs and happy visions from,

Annie at Biocadence

Is Sustainable Travel Possible?


Hello and Happy New Year beautiful people! I’ve missed you! Before the holidays we took a trip to Argentina for my husband’s birthday. Today I write about how we reconcile our passion for travel with our sustainable-living goals.

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

Patagonia, Isla Victoria

I’ve learned that traveling by airplane is devastatingly unsustainable… Especially if it is not the only heavy-footprint activity in a given year… And especially if the trip is as far away as Bali (read more about what I learned in Bali, my favorite place), or Argentina.

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

Lupin of Villa la Angostura, Patagonia, 7-lakes drive

In addition to being devastatingly unsustainable, traveling is one of the activities that my husband and I value most in our lives. It has introduced us to catalysts for substantial growth, repeatedly… dare I say every time?!!!! Many of my most vivid instances of “remembering” and reconnection with nature happen abroad. Traveling is an activity we are always sacrificing for, and identifying with. What would it mean to give it up? I did consider doing that…

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“The Yikes Factor” expression!

Many sustainable-living experts have done the math, identifying precise consumption parameters. I’ve read arguments that sustainable-living means:

  • Living off approximately $5,000-10,000/year/person, in North America
  • Growing our own food and bartering for the items our households are missing
  • Eating a low impact diet (vegan or vegetarian… I argue that omnivore is possible… read more)
  • Not using a car for transportation, nor airplane for travel
  • Having one or fewer children per household

(Sources: Radical Simplicity, Redefining Progress, Diet for a Hot Planet)

However convincing, these arguments elicit a response, in me, that I call “The Yikes Factor” (refer to picture above for an accurate visual). I feel overwhelmed. I feel that this change is inaccessible to me, given the financial and emotional demands of every day life. I feel terrified. This response is certainly not universal, as many have courageously followed a similar recipe for sustainable-living. To them, I give my utmost respect and awe. For the remaining pupils in sustainable-living curriculum, I fear that the “The Yikes Factor” may cause a complete system shut-down. My worst fear is that many will not even begin the process of sustainable-living transition, anticipating that the goal is far too daunting. In my first speech for Biocadence, I identified 5 key principles for sustainable living adjustment. 1: Behavioral sustainability. 2: Baby steps. 3: ID Model (Impact/Disturbance). 4: Give up the guilt, and 5: Find joy in the process.

(See 3 min Mash-Up or full 20 min speech)

The over-consumption recovery movement is focused on increasing quality of life through the sustainable-living process. It incorporates ecological sustainability as one of the many factors in lifestyle-design. We believe that we can shape our experience through positive thinking, devoted working, and conscious playing. In an effort to facilitate recollection of humanity in harmony with nature, we implement environmental sustainability as one measure of deliberate decision-making. Taking baby-steps, and incorporating additional challenges only when we’ve mastered the last, helps to ensure that our sustainable-living transition is behaviorally sustainable.

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Conscious Playing & Planking, Cerro Otto, Bariloche

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Conscious Playing & Meditating- Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Amongst the many sustainable-living adjustments available to us, our household has prioritized those that are most accessible on the Biocadence ID Model scale – those that are both high impact and low disturbance. Sacrificing travel would be a MASSIVE-impact/MASSIVE-disturbance adjustment for us. Will we ever make this sacrifice? I do not think so. When I dig deep, intent on honest reflection, I see us sacrificing everything else ahead of travel. We will ensure that this highly consumptive activity is as saturated with intention as possible, by maximizing our time, sharing our experience, and learning about how distinct cultures relate to environmental sustainability. We will not travel eyes-and-hearts closed, ignoring our impact. To the contrary, we will practice conscious understanding of the “what” and the “why” of our travel. It will fuel our motivation to derive value from every single moment.

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Iguazu Falls- My heart will always race at the memory

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I’m crazy about this gorgeous man. Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia

Thanks for reading! We would love to hear about how you relate to travel re: your own sustainable-living transition!

Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

Thanksgiving ~ Defining Our Gratitude!


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! It also happens to be my husband’s birthday this year!!

I like to take inventory of what I’m thankful for everyday… Mostly because it’s fun. I also practice happiness-crafting out of utility. Focus on optimism and deliberate thought selection endows increased quality of life, focus and productivity. This year, on a single day, I celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday AND the birth of a man who inspires my belief in human goodness!

Maybe I will explode from delight??…

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Okay, I know that combustion is unlikely, however certain I feel that it may happen! I will do a lot of giggling and generous expression, to be sure. Practicing gratitude feels even more compelling this year- a day of abundance and celebration, doubled, packaged and wrapped in bows!

I enjoy sharing precisely what I’m thankful for (below), and will love to hear gratitude-defining contributions from you!

– I’m thankful for the community of like minded over-consumption recovery enthusiasts I have connected with. Thank you for teaching me so much every day! I feel the movement growing… Boom, holla holla!!! A big squeeze hug to each of you!

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– I’m thankful for my trials, however painful. In facing my struggles I’ve found a route to abundance, and a path to rebirth!

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– I’m thankful for my support system. It is precious indeed, to count on someone to offer space, respect, patience, trust, allowing, and quiet wisdom. To find one person who offers this love consistently, defines fortune. To have more than one?… I’m not sure we have a word for that yet?!!!

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– I’m thankful for mystery and for questions unanswered. The more I learn, live and age, the more mystery I find. Questions unanswered fuel my curiosity and my desire to fervently continue seeking. They motivate me to believe in what I cannot see, hear, nor know with certainty. Delight in mystery has become the foundation of my smile and the root of my laughter. It is consistent and enduring in the ever-shifting harmony of nature and humanity. Mystery is a dependable companion. Kiss on your face, mystery. I love you!

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I’m thankful to my body. She has become a compass for me, guiding much of my decision-making. She whispers suggestions that my mind may not yet access. She does more than offer me mobility and expression. She stores information that I’m not strong enough to process, holds it for me until she knows I can handle it, then loves me enough to yell/holler/scream so that I have to listen up:)! Thank you, thank you.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING DEAR FOLLOWERS! I APPRECIATE YOU, AND WISH YOU A FOOD & VIVE-FILLED HOLIDAY. SQUEEZE HUGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!

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Quicklinks to Most Popular Biocadence Articles:

“The Hunger Games”… Fiction or Non-Fiction?

What is Ethical Eating?… Is Eating Meat Ethical?

Use Biodegrable Trash Bags!

Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in the Law of Attraction With My Sustainable Living Transition

America Recycles Day ~ 4 Quick & Easy Tips


4 Quick & Easy Tips to honor America Recycles Day

http://americarecyclesday.org/

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