Meditation: The Ultimate Life Hack? [A Dude's Guide to What, Why & How]

The Dude is all about some life hacks.

Simple. But effective. That’s my jam.

As I travel down life’s path, I continue to refine. Every aspect of my life. Daily.

How can I improve? Make this better. Easier. More efficient.

Everything can be improved. Always.

Regardless of the area of life I place my attention – work, art, fitness, relationships, health, well-being – a common thread that binds is the suggestion to practice mediation. It is astounding how often mediation comes up from all walks of life.

I’ve tried to create a mediation practice for years. Read. Researched. Started. Stopped.

I never felt I was doing it “right.” Or my mind would drift, and I felt my efforts were wasted.

Practice was consistently inconsistent.

Almost two years ago, I hit my stride. Daily practice has become a reality.

What changed?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the magik bullet. I did land on a style I dig (check out Theurgy), but mainly, I think I’m at the right place at the right time.

I may not have the magik bullet, but the interwebs sure do have A LOT of valuable info.

During meditation tenure, I’ve collected a variety of articles, blog posts, etc. that discuss the vast benefits of meditation. Coupled with the real-world effects I feel on the daily, I’m starting to believe mediation just may be the ultimate life hack.

Let’s take a gander at what the interwebs have to offer…

What is Meditation

  • The Paradox of Meditation: Great source. Subscribe. The book reviewed here has been on my Amazon list for a while. Time to buy.  In Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (public library), neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris argued that cultivating the art of presence is our greatest gateway to true happiness. After his extensive, decades-long empirical romp through the world’s major religious traditions and humanity’s most potent psychedelic substances, Harris returns again and again to meditation as the holy grail of self-transcendence, the single most promising practice for slicing through the illusion of the ego to reveal what Jack Kerouac so memorably called “the Golden Eternity.” (You can also find a great interview on Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Book AND source. Foreshadowing?)
  • Ram Dass on Meditation (Polishing the Mirror): Meditation is basic spiritual practice for quieting the mind and getting in touch with our deeper Self, the spirit. Meditation provides a deeper appreciation of the interrelatedness of all things and the part each person plays. The simple rules of this game are honesty with yourself about where you are in your life and learning and listening to hear how it is. Meditation is a way of listening more deeply, so you hear how it all is from a more profound place. Meditation enhances your insight, reveals your true nature, and brings you inner peace.
  • Meditation & Theosophy: Builds on my Theurgy link above. Meditation is thus a continual process of remedying our ills by remembering who we are and adapting to the circumstances we face in life. The techniques of meditation are varied.
  • The Rituals of Kumar Pallana: Kumar loves mediation. Wes Anderson love Kumar. You should love meditation AND Kumar.

Why Meditate

  • A Scientific Revolution Driven by Meditation: Harvard level professors giving attention to mediation. Meditation vs. Mindfulness – same? Maybe. Maybe not. Seems pretty close to me. This article discusses Jon Kabat-Zinn– one of my first entrants to mediation/mindfulness and still one of my favs.
  • The Power of Meditation & How it Affects the Brain: Great mediation overview on Buffer (Don’t know Buffer?! Dude!) – 4 types of mediation, how mediation affects the brain, how mediation affects us, getting started.
  • Meditation Enhances Creativity: David Lynch, famed movie/TV director, uses mediation to find great ideas. Agreed. Keep your bullet journal nearby…sweet creative ideas will bubble to surface.
  • Meditation Alters Genes: Methodology – Researchers at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Subjects trained 26 adults with no prior experience in meditation for eight weeks. Results – All of the subjects’ blood samples revealed changes in gene expression following meditation. The changes were the exact opposite of what occurs during flight or fight: genes associated with energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, insulin secretion, and telomere maintenance were turned on, while those involved in inflammation were turned off. These effects were more pronounced and consistent for long-term practitioners.
  • 10 Benefits of Meditation: The length of your practice isn’t as important as the frequency; you’re far more likely to experience the many benefits if you meditate for five to 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week than if you squeeze your meditation into a 30-minute session once a week.
  • Meditation – Key to Longer, Stress-free life?: Telomeres are portions of repetitive DNA at the ends of our chromosomes that protect our chromosomes from deteriorating. Meditation was the focus of research at UC Davis and UCSF by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD. The 2011 study found that meditation increased activity of telomerase — enzymes that can rebuild and lengthen our chromosomal telomeres — when meditation was conducted twice a week for three months.
  • How Meditation Can Boost Your Brainpower: For skeptics, this study showed how the brain literally changes with meditation in order to provide dozens of positive benefits for anyone who starts a practice. The sizes of key regions of our brain improve as a result of meditation, memory is made far more efficient, and empathy, compassion, and resiliency under stress are also improved.
  • Meditation Appears to Produce Enduring Changes in Emotional Processing in the Brain:  A study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that participating in an eight-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. The researchers also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced.
  • Increase Happiness, Bravery & Attention Span: Great post from a great source. A number of good quotes. Will motivate you to take five minutes out of your day to test a habit that could offer widespread, lasting positive effects.
  • How Changing Your Breathing Will Change Your Life: Think you know how to breathe? You do it every day. Even right now! Yeah, nope.
  • Google’s Jolly Good Fellow: Meditation, emotional intelligence, and Google. Safe to say it’s worth the read.
  • Meditation & the Brain: A team of researchers from Norway and Australia are trying to sort the different forms of meditation and the benefits each one yields.
  • Superhuman Energy Cultivated by Meditators – It’s Science: The energy emitted by people who have reached an advanced level in meditation practice has been shown by multiple studies to exceed normal human levels by hundreds or thousands of times.
  • Meditate Before You Medicate: There have been numerous studies of the health and financial benefits of meditation including: 28% cumulative decrease in physician fees, 55% less medical care utilization with lower sickness rates, including 87% less hospitalization for heart disease and 55% less for cancer.
  • Does Meditation Make You Smart?: A new study claims that meditation activates parts of the brain that simple ‘relaxing’ cannot.
  • Does Mediation Slow Aging?: A Nobel Prize-winning biochemist is engaged in serious studies hinting that meditation might – as Eastern traditions have long claimed – slow ageing and lengthen life.
  • Think Meditation is a Waste of Time? Watch This – The Neuroscience Behind Meditation: Despite its continued growth and popularity, meditation -like so many other practices -is not without ridicule, as a large portion of the world’s population are still happy to classify it as pseudoscientific, or a waste of time. In response to this common classification, the group at Big Think have created an easy to understand short video that explains the neuroscience behind meditation.


How to Meditate

  • 10 Ways to Work Meditation Into Your Day: Surprisingly good suggestions for a quick list. Great accompanying quotes as well.
  • Meditation for Beginners: 11 easy tips to get you started.
  • 100 Breaths Meditation: Increase concentration by using the breath as a focal point for meditation. It should take between 10-15 minutes depending on your natural pace of breathing.
  • Guided Mediation – Destress in 5 Minutes: Thinking is the cause of stress. The most effective way to relieve stress is by taking a break from thinking. Guided meditation does not involve thinking. Guided meditation is one of the easiest meditation techniques available. All you have to do is press play, close your eyes, and follow the voice instructions. Meditation downloads can be found by searching for guided meditation in any search engine.
  • How to Finally Start Meditating (Like a Pro): Without guided meditation, I could barely last for 3 minutes without getting bored, anxious, and giving up.
  • TED – All It Takes is 10 MinutesTransformative power of refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day.
  • 5 Minute Guide to Meditation – Anywhere, Any Time: All you need to meditate is yourself.
  • 12 Meditation Apps: Guided meditation is a great way to start. These apps have you covered.
  • Mind the Gap: Notice that in between thoughts, there’s a small gap of “no-mind.” Thoughts run in succession, interspersed by gaps of empty space. Over time, with practice, we become aware of the feeling, and we learn to extend the gaps, feeling more and more stillness and inner peace.
  • Two Minute Meditation: The most important two minutes of your life.
  • 5 Methods of Meditation: There’s a myriad of methods for meditation. Some are easy and some are difficult. All require daily practice to perfect. Here are five of the most popular methods of meditation and what they each bring to the Meditation Table.
  • Four Primary Skills of Meditation: Presence, awareness, focus, concentration.
  • Learn How to Meditate in 8 Easy Steps: We all already know how to meditate. Meditation is the natural state of all human beings, and we have had to work ourselves very hard to condition ourselves out of that natural blissful state of unity with the universe.
  • Solitude as Meditation: Losing oneself in solitude is a means to the end of finding oneself in meditation.
  • 7 Day Meditation Challenge: 7-Day Meditation Challenge to see the positive affects it has on your life and on reducing stress.

Mindfulness Meditation

  • Science Behind Mindfulness: Researchers highlight six neuropsychological processes that are active mechanisms in the brain during mindfulness and which support S-ART (self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence). These processes include 1) intention and motivation, 2) attention regulation, 3) emotion regulation, 4) extinction and reconsolidation, 5) pro-social behavior, and 6) non-attachment and de-centering.
  • Mindfulness – Meditation for People Too Busy to Meditate: Practicing mindfulness – and reaping its benefits – doesn’t need to be a large time commitment or require special training. You can start right now – this moment. These techniques quite literally train the mind and rewire the brain – ability to concentrate increases, see things with increasing clarity, which improves your judgment, and develop equanimity.
  • How (Mindfulness) Meditation Works: In a practical sense, “sitting” is really all there is to the meditation aspect of mindfulness meditation. You sit in a quiet place with your eyes closed, focusing on your breath as it moves in and out. Your mind will inevitably wander, which is where the mindfulness aspect comes in. Instead of growing frustrated with your lack of focus or getting caught up in the web of your thoughts, you train yourself to observe the thought or emotion with acceptance and curiosity, and to calmly bring your focus back to the breath.
  • How Mindfulness Meditation Works: Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have devised a model that sheds light on the science behind mindfulness. Instead of a single dimension of cognition, the researchers show that mindfulness involves a large framework of complex mechanisms in the brain that lead a person down the path of developing self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART). Practitioners can begin training themselves to become less emotionally reactive and to recover more quickly from negative emotions.
  • A Simpler Guide to Mindfulness for Beginners: Learn how to do your daily routine activities mindfully.
  • Brief Mindfulness Yields Long-Term Results: Even brief mindfulness practice—typically, a kind of meditation that focuses on a particular aspect of the present moment, like your breath, your body, or a particular sensation—has a substantial positive effect on mental well-being and memory. It also appears to physically improve the brain, strengthening certain neural structures that are tied to heightened attention and focus, and bolstering connectivity in the brain’s default mode network, which is linked to self-monitoring and control.
  • Inhabit the Moment: Practice occupying the current moment. Inhabit it, by really being in it, fully experiencing all our senses in everyday ordinary actions.
  • The Shadow Side of Mindfulness Meditation?: Every yin has a yang. Meditation shouldn’t be viewed as a cure-all. But from my experience, it’s a pretty rad addition to your daily.

Kids & Meditation

HeartMath

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How To Transition from Movember to Winter Beard | A Dude’s Guide to Beard Care

We’ve reached a crucial point of transition in the annual calendar. November to December.

Thanksgiving to Christmas. Real world to holiday world.

Most importantly, Movember to Winter Beard.

You’re feeling good with your Movember scruff, right?

A chance to let the beard hair down. And now you’re supposed to shave it?!

The Winter Beard is your savior. The opportunity to hold onto your bearded freedom – at least until April.

If you’ve missed my previous love of facial hair, peep the links below. But to start, let’s do a quick refresher on why beards are the dopest of the dope.

 

I dig a good beard. Especially during the chilly winter months.

I’m not alone is this love. Here’s a groovy website dedicated to “the celebration of The Beard” – BeardRevered.com. In fact, the December Beard is now a thing.

Despite my longstanding beard love, I’ve never taken the time to understand how to properly grow, groom and care for the winter whiskers.

Seems the start of Winter Beard season is the perfect opportunity for some facial follicle edification.

To start, we need to be honest with ourselves – Should you shave?

Use this handy infographic/flowchart to determine if you’re a candidate for a Winter Beard. We can’t all be beardos.

 Onward, beardo.

But how will the rest of the world deal with your righteous beard? The Art Of Manliness has you covered

Alright, the world is going to love your brawny beardedness. But how do you take care of your new companion?

Keep it trimmed. Keep it hydrated. Keep it looking sweet.

Your beard is a piece of art. Treat it with the respect it deserves.

How To Trim Your Beard; with Joey Tasca from Freemans (coincidence – no way! Beards = freedom) Sporting Club Barbershop – thanks Birchbox.

How to Shave Well; with Charlie King from London Barbers – gracias Mr. Porter.

Don’t forget to Mind the Line

GIF Guide How To Tame a Wild & Bushy Beard – hat tip Birchbox.

Beardsmen unite!

Tools of the Trade

A couple bonus items…

Dude’s Beard Links

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Proud Dad Moment: Spontaneous Beastie Boys

The teacher’s mouth was moving. I assume words were spoken.

All I heard was the sound of the adults in Charlie Brown…wont, wont…wont,wont, wont…wont wont.

Like Neal Armstrong driving the American flag into the surface of the moon (did he do that?), the rap culture was hoisting it’s flag triumphantly in the back of a 4th grade classroom in the (distant) suburbs of Boston, MA.

1986.

The Beastie Boys had (crash) landed.

My friends and I passed the Licensed to Ill cassette tape (!!!) around like it was contraband…Because it was!

Like a scene from an 80′s version of Wonder Years.

Hilarious.

The Beasties are forever misunderstood, but the musical legacy is undeniable.

Changed the face of rap with timeless flow, sick mixes, and a continuously evolving style.

Yesterday, in a proud dad moment, I heard Little Dude (4) spontaneously bust out “You gotta fight for your right to paaaarty!”

Awesome. And to celebrate, the Muppets killing it on So What’cha Want

PS – Want more Beastie info? Check out this awesome Rick Rubin interview. Beasties and so much more.

PPS – Related Beastie Boys Posts:

  1. Sabotage for the Kids – RIP MCA
  2. Beasties + Sesame Street = Awesome
  3. She’s Crafty
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Prime Your World: Why Quality Matters

I may, or may not, have been referred to as frugal. Ok, definitely have.

Lack of dinero tends to drive frugality. But I’m realizing quality matters.

Perhaps it is the maturing taste that accompanies my maturing age, but quality has become a sought-after value recently.

Years of frugality leads to disposal junk. (You’re welcome local thrift store.)

Quality, on the other hand, is lasting.

Quality stays with you and helps define who you are.

I’ve been instinctively seeking greater quality, and then I happened upon a great post about the Priming Effect:

Priming: an increased sensitivity to a particular schema due to a recent experience. In other words, priming is when an experience or exposure to a stimulus puts a particular schema at the forefront of our mind. When this in turn influences our judgments and decisions, it’s called the priming effect. (Great explanation - including video)

Quality is everywhere. The words we use, the thoughts we have, the clothes we wear the food we eat, the pictures we see, the people we hug and the time we spend. Everything.

The world moves fast. Modern attention spans are short. It’s easy to lose focus on quality.

That lose of quality is changing who we are. Who we want to be.

A few quotes from the above mentioned post to help build some perspective…

Your visual cortex is only about 1/200th of your brain. Your auditory cortex is about 1/1000th. If you can’t even consciously fathom what these relatively small brain regions are doing computationally, what hope do you have of maintaining awareness of what the rest of your brain is doing on an ongoing basis?

Your conscious mind doesn’t have anywhere close to the capacity that would be required to intelligently monitor and maintain all the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are constantly firing inside of you. Most of the time you’re not even aware of what’s happening inside your mind.

The reality is that different patches of neurons are processing different thoughts in parallel at all times.

Dude! We are SO cool.

Our bodies just work. And we have no idea how or why. It just is.

But here’s the magic. We can influence. We can drive.

We can work with our ability to “prime.” When we prime with quality, we’re more likely get quality.

In fact, we need to consciously prime. If you’re not aware of what is priming your world, then someone else is – Pepsi, Chevy, Facebook.

It’s a battle for your mind Neo. :) But you’re in control…if you want to be.

Your brain is always bouncing around between linked associations. It does this in parallel, subconsciously, all the time. The vast majority of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors occur without your conscious awareness or conscious involvement.

The lesson here is that seemingly subtle influences matter. If your senses perceive it, your brain is processing it. And this processing is seldom isolated. One little change in input can create significant ripples throughout your neural net. And this in turn can have a significant influence on the results you get to experience.

By exerting some control over our priming influences — which may involve just a few small changes that can be made within a minute or two — we can create a permanent and lasting improvement in different facets of our lives.

By giving your brain slightly different input on a subconscious level, you can enjoy some truly significant benefits on the results side. This is easy. It works. And there are many ways you can apply this for free.

Small changes. Big impact. I dig.

How do we put this into practice?

We need to consciously prime our world. Start on the inside and work our way out. Surround ourselves with the right thoughts, feelings, words, people and sensory input.

Start small and grow. Perfection is overrated. Take the next step and see where it leads.

Get  primin’ y’all!

  1.  Let Your Values Drive Your Choices: Blog post about a great approach to making decisions. Mi Padre preached the gospel of only making decisions you would be happy seeing in the newspaper the next day…more accurate than expected considering social media.
    1. Every decision is made within some type of constraint. Maybe it’s how much knowledge you have. Maybe it’s how much money you have. Maybe it’s how many resources you have. Why not what values you have?
  2. #1 Secret of Astronauts, Samurai & Navy Seals: Develop a practice to build calm mindfulness. Decision points are crucial and keeping a calm mind in tough situations makes an amazing impact. We need to train ourselves to make this happen.
    1. Meditation, spirituality, breathing, yoga, Tai Chi…it’s a long list. How are you going to prime your mind to stay calm when you don’t have time to think about it?
    2. One of my fav quotes – Thomas Jefferson: Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
    3. Side Note: This blog post mentions a book called Musashi. Supposedly the best samurai book ever written. 900+ pages. 6 months later, I’m almost at 700. It’s awesome. Well worth the time.
  3. 10 Regrets You can Avoid: Don’t steal paperclips from the office. Make good choices. Be true to yourself. See #1 & #2.
  4. Keep a quality journal
  5. Quality pens: The Best Pen evaaaaaa?! From Wirecutter.
  6. Quality mug (for your bulletproof coffee)
  7. Take a nap.
  8. Take distractions and negative vibes out of your view. Keep your world clean and happy.
  9. Keep your world smelling good.
  10. Quality tunes or background noise
  11. Keep some power words lingering in your view (whiteboard?): Flow, Focus, Success, Complete, etc.
  12. Clothes
  13. Food
  14. Technology
  15. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

You get the gist. Quality matters. And everything is quality.

Focus on the things that are important in your world, and make sure you surround yourself with quality. Spend time on the things that matter, the influences that make you the person you want to be.

The Putter: A Great Example of Quality

Quality…scissors. Amazing. I now want quality scissors. Who woulda thunk it?

Hat tip to A Continuous Lean

Posted in Dude Knows Best, Dude's Flow, Hack, Life, Life Lessons, Life Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our New Normal {Awesome Mack}

This post has been 1 year, 72 days and two hours in the making. Hands down the hardest post anything I’ve ever had to write. But it feels good. Cathartic.

Mrs. Dude already shared some thoughts on her fabulous blog. To offer a preface to this post, many similarities below. That post was a bit of a collaboration – Mrs. Dude’s words, my editing. No need to recreate the wheel.

The Mrs. has received some amazing comments and messages from her post – heartfelt, inspiring and loving. Awesome.

But the best message – impeccable timing, but completely unrelated to the post – came from our own house. Princess penned the below gem today in her daily journal…

Awesome Mack

I love our little Mack. He is so nice, kind and sweet. One day I think Mack is going to grow a long mustache and plant flowers. And do yoga.

Nailed it! Future Mack seems super rad. The Dude is going to dig that cool cat.

Yes, that awesome picture did accompany the journal entry.

So what’s all the hub bub about Dudeski?

There’s not a lot to say, and at the same time, there’s so much to say.

His first birthday was perfect. No walking, no talking. But every rug-rat develops at their own pace.

Then the stress kicked in.

We began to question things when the party was over. We heard concerns from both Grandmas:

“Does he say any words? None?”

“He’s not using his fingers at all…still raking.”

“Notice his right foot? It drags when you help him walk.”

We started to consult Google. 12 month milestones. Yeah, not hitting many…any?!

We missed our 9 month appointment. Life moves fast with three! But, thinking back Jazzy Mack hit milestones up to 6-8 months. Then the milestones started to slow down.

Still in denial, the Mrs. and I countered with:

“He’s a quiet kid.”

“He has his sister and brother to do everything he needs.”

“Some kids just develop slower.”

Since both Grandmas also happen to be longtime nurses, we decided to listen to their concerns. We made an apt with our pediatrician to get her input. Concerns confirmed. This appointment has now led to many more – hearing test, thyroid test, a developmental specialist…

The first step was a pediatric developmental specialist. I was traveling for work. Yeah, not the best time to be apart, but the appointment came quick. And we had confidence in our handsome boy.

The development specialist is great (so I hear). She spent 2 hours conducting a very thorough exam – playing with Jasper and asking a lot of questions. As the appointment closed, she said the words that are forever locked in my noggin,

 “I think Jasper has cerebral palsy.”

I wasn’t there to hear the words come out, but I sure did feel them on the other end of a phone.

The Mrs. called me on the way out to tell me the news. We talk (I cursed…a lot), some tears are shed, and we just sit on the phone in silence. Hearts breaking. And we can’t even hug.

What just happened!?!?

As the days march on, we continue with more appointments – an MRI and a neurology consult.

The neurologist shows us Jasper’s MRI for the first time. It’s abnormal.

“There is white matter on the grey matter. I see lesions on the right and left side and additional spots in the back. Was Jasper premature?”

Jasper Mack was born at home, 42 weeks pregnant. No trauma, typical everything. Big & beautiful. 9.2 lbs of total babe.

“This is deeper then what I would expect with a typical CP child.”

She mentions this could have been caused from a stroke in utero. It could be metabolic or maybe a genetic disorder.

Heads spinning.

She gives us an order for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, and a leg brace for the right leg that drags.

“I’m not convinced this is cerebral palsy, I’m not ruling it out though. I want therapy, more testing, and then we’ll have the geneticist see him.”

We leave her office, more confused than when we entered.

After weeks of research, we had almost become used to the idea that Jas has a mild form of CP…even grateful that’s all it was.

We headed directly to the hospital for x-rays of his hips and legs, blood work and urine cultures. Genetic blood tests came a couple weeks later – but results are two months out.

Now we wait.

We’re getting good at patience.

In the mean time, we’re working hard. More importantly, Mack is working hard!

We have therapy sessions four times a week, and the little man is getting used to the new leg brace.

In four short weeks we’ve gone from no unsupported steps and no words, to a lot of new sounds (maybe even words!), some sign language, and walking…as many as 25 steps…on his own!

I LOOOOOVE this guy! With every bit of my heart.

Jasper is almost 17 months old, and as much as I want to hear him say a word – a real word – walk on his own, or use his two cute little fingers to pick up food, I really just want him to keep smiling.

If you’ve met Jas, then you know he can light up a room with his smile. He is the happiest person I know, and that happiness is contagious to anyone in the same room.

With so many unanswered questions and endless unknowns, we are doing our best to live in the present, work with Jasper as much as possible, and remember how lucky we are.

Keep smiling Jasper Mack. We love you to the moon and back.

This is our new normal. Awesome Mack.

Posted in Dad, Dude Family, Family, Father, Jazzy, Man Cub, Milestones, Princess, The Dudeski | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Reality of Parenting: An Occasional Hit to the Groin

Parenting is rad. Very rad.

However, for anyone considering a journey down the parental path, every yin has a yang.

The reality of parenting?

Sometimes, as you stretch your arm across the counter to purchase a pound of your favorite coffee beans, an awesome man cub may just reach out and knock you in the midsection.

A toddler ambush. How do they have such a keen sense of attack?!

No matter how adorable, protect yourself. Cute AND sinister.

 

Posted in Family, Father, Jazzy, Kids, Parenting Skills, The Dudeski, Toddler | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Everyday Mobility: Every Dude Needs to Move

Mobility: The Dude Abides

As you may recall, I plan to live to 137.

To make that journey worthwhile, I’d like to make movement a prerequisite.

In order to maintain, said,  movement, we need to move. Everyday.

I’ve mentioned the idea of “mobility” a few times:

  1. Take Care of Yourself
  2. Best Exercises to Keep a Dude Healthy
  3. Dude’s Flow: Off the Reservation
  4. You Should Stand More

Mobility has become a part of the Dude’s everyday. Not even in my vocab a few short years ago, but now it’s daily go-to. We gots to move.

But here’s the catch, Mobility is not a quick fix. It’s a marathon. We’ve done years of damage to our bodies. It takes time and consistent focus to get back on track.

I squeeze my mobility into the early AM routine, before the young’ins start to get too crazy. A little meditation, some movement…recipe for a great morning.

Here’s a quick rundown on some sweet mobility ideas I’ve been digging lately:

  • Becoming a Supple Leopard
    • Great mobility “bible” written by the rad mobility guru Kelly Starrett.
    • Best advice I’ve seen about this book is don’t try to do it all at once. Choose a muscle group and focus on slow, consistent improvement.
    • Read the first few chapters. It will change the way you move everyday, in every way. Do you squat right? Probably not.
  • Mobility WOD broken down by muscle groups
    • Awesome library of Kelly’s mobility YouTube videos categorized by muscle group. Seriously good resource. Hat tip Bryce Lewis putting it together.
  • 5 Things You Should Do Everyday
    • Bret Contreras is a rad dude. Worth following for fitness and mobility ideas.
    • Squatting everyday is one of the best things I’ve started to do…and one of the most difficult. Seriously, as simple as lowering you butt into a squat and holding it for 30+ seconds will rock your world. I’m a believer this will help me hit 137.
  • Sarvangasana(shoulder stand)
    • Loving this classic inverted yoga pose. 10 reasons you should too.
  • Circling Hands
    • Sticking to the classics, here’s a perfect start for Tai Chi beginners.
    • Tai Chi Circling Hands offers most of the potential health and healing applications available in tai chi–without the complex choreography.
  • Boomerang pose rocks.
  • Thoracic Bridge - rockin’ fo sho. Hitting some hard to reach spots. Especially for you desk sitters.
  • Hips don’t lie
    • His and shoulders are key. Hinges that allow you to move. Open ‘em up!
    • Great ideas to gain strength and mobility in your hips
  • Test your mobility skills
    • Some good tests to see how mobile you are and to track your progress.

Get to moving.

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Ninjas, Two Wheels & a Swing

A soup of dude awesomeness.

Ninja Class graduation. Little Dude scores a yellow stripe…

 

Little Dude finds his balance. On two wheels.

The Dudeski realizes how much he loves the swing. Look at that smile! Awesome.

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Dude Approved: An Amazingly Simple DIY Standing Desk

Standing is muy bueno.

I’ve professed my love for the art of standing: You Should Stand More.

I’ll let you peruse that gem for the details.

I used this beauty at my previous job for a make-shift standing desk…ugly, but it worked:

When I started working from home over a year ago, somehow I fell back into the sitting trap.

I had a desk. And a chair. No sweet boxes laying around…..so I sat. For waaaaay too long.

I looked for a DIY standing desk online from time to time, but never found one that tickled my fancy.

Then I came across A New Twist on the DIY Standing Desk on Man Made. Very sweet. Very easy.

How to: An Amazingly Simple DIY Standing Desk

  1. Buy extra-large shelf brackets and pre-cut wood. Lowes? Home Depot?
  2. Measure height of desk – elbow height, i.e. 44″ for a 5’11” person.
  3. Find stud to attach shelf brackets. Bonus Tip: Best Stud Finder
  4. Attach shelf brackets with wood screws.
  5. Make sure they are level.
  6. Attached wood to shelf brackets.

Bam! Super rad, amazingly simple DIY standing desk.

So awesome we have two at the Dude Casa…

Super sweet DIY standing desk

 

 

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Totally Awesome Obituary

Obituaries are not my forte. But I reckon this is a pretty fantastic note to leave at the end of the line.

Walter Bruhl wrote his own obituary. And it’s totally awesome.

  • “He was surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Helene Sellers Bruhl, who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink.”
  • “Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1935; a spinal disc in 1974; a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988; and his prostate on March 27, 2000.”
  • He chose to join the Marine Corps and serve in the Korean War “because of Hollywood propaganda, to which he succumbed as a child during World War II.”
  • “There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors.”
  • “Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Walt’s life in their own way; raising a glass of their favorite drink in his memory would be quite appropriate.”
  • “Instead of flowers, Walt would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor unfortunate soul in his name.”

Mr. Bruhl, you are were a rad dude.

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