Monthly Archives: October 2009

Giving Up to Get Better

I gave up coffee. Yes. Coffee. It was hard, it is hard still sometimes but oh so worth it.

I feel better, sleep better, think clearly and don’t have that overwhelming sense of false urgency that everything is a crisis and must be dealt with NOW. I definitely do not miss that.

I am very close to someone who has a huge addiction problem. I decided that if she can give up what she is addicted to I can give up coffee. We’ll both win. No, giving up coffee isn’t the same but it is something I relied on, wove my day around and used to facilitate social interaction.

You can find lots of articles suggesting coffee is not harmful and even has health benefits. There are just as many suggesting the opposite. Personally, I didn’t like relying on something to get me through my day. I didn’t like the tired feeling I had most of the time. It’s really noticable how your energy level stays consistent throughout the day withOUT coffee and how you don’t experience those intense crashes in the afternoons. That in itself it worth the withdrawal headaches.

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Incredible how long it takes to get it out of your system. Yes, the headaches are bad but they go away. The consistent energy levels don’t.

It’s surprising the reactions you get from people. When I mentioned this on Twitter people expressed shock, amazement and the general consensus seemed to be that I was losing my mind. ;)

The woman who works at my favorite coffee shop whispered she is trying too. Many friends on Facebook have also given it up. There are so many who have tried, are thinking about trying, plan on trying, think they should, know it’s a good idea – it’s quite the topic of conversation.

The thing I missed the most: the ritual. After wandering around not knowing how to begin my day for a few mornings the suggestion to try Rooibos tea was a welcome one. I can still plug in the kettle, still use the french press, get my favorite mug, stir, smell, relax.

Sometimes I find myself wondering about the millions of people running around fueled by anxiety- producing coffee. I think about how different business, social and all human interaction might be without it…….

What have you given up lately and how is that working for you?

Climate Change

It’s a phrase that’s become part of our everyday language. Something that we’re comfortable with, almost. We’ve all read the articles and seen the documentaries about changing weather and how it’s affecting different areas of the world. We’ve heard what’s happening in the Arctic and in other areas. We’ve heard about changing water levels, habitats and its affect on natural resources.

Today, as I was thinking about Blog Action Day and about the power we have as people to affect change, I started researching a little bit more about issues around Climate Change.
The one that really caught my attention was the direct increase in poverty in developing nations in relation to climate change.

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“Extreme weather affects agricultural productivity and can raise the price of staple foods, such as grains, that are important to poor households in developing countries,” said Noah Diffenbaugh, the associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and interim director of Purdue’s Climate Change Research Center

Yes, after reading, it all makes perfect sense. Just consider how the food prices we have seen jump in the supermarket are affecting those in developing urban areas struggling to live on $1 per day.
BlogAction Day
Degrees of separation explains the link between poverty and the impacts of climate change much better than I can. Please have a look.

Climate change negotiations are taking place in Copenhagen in December. Please, be aware, get educated and get involved. There are lots of activities happening in communities all over the world. You do have a say – you can make a difference.

Why You Have to Not Care to Really Care 

I grew up in a very small village in a large family where volunteering was expected and encouraged. My older brother was involved in municipal politics, my father was a volunteer firefighter and my mother joined every “woman’s” group that was on the go! I learned as I got older that volunteering was a part of life and a necessity. It not only helped others but brought great connections and satisfaction to one’s self. 

As I progressed through school and university, I was awakened to this huge world of opportunity to bring awareness, help others and create a like-minded group. A community around this awareness and common goal. I believe if we have any purpose or obligation in life it is to help others. We ALL need help in our lives. Everyone. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to have that support or help come through family and friends, or can afford to pay for it. 

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When we move from the individual level to the societal level and beyond, help is required in all instances to educate, empower and facilitate change. Necessary change. 

Do I believe we can do that? Yes, I do. I believe that each one of us has a responsibility to try. Opening one person’s eyes to a cause, or an organization that could benefit, is helping. We all have the power to do that. 

Social change doesn’t happen with a donation, although that is extremely important. Change happens with a switch in perception, principles and with political ACTION.  
I hear people asking frequently, but how can talking about something really help? How will it change anything? Why do you bother?  

Look at my friend and someone I admire greatly, Mark Horwath (@hardlynormal). Mark just finished a tour around America talking and making videos about homeless people.  You can read more of the details here and on his personal blog

Mark opened so many people’s eyes to what is actually happening with America’s homeless crisis. His travels, videos, presentations, and talks gave a voice to a population silenced by society and gave rise to a community determined to help. I am so proud, grateful and deeply honored to have played a small part in this with him. 

Defending my interests and actions as someone passionately caring about global issues, human rights and people in general should not be necessary.  

But I will. I am passionate about bringing change and passionate about encouraging others to realize their potential to do so too.