Archive | October, 2009

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Why I’ve Been So Quiet

Posted on 08 October 2009 by Carl

To be honest, I’ve been neglecting you.

That’s right – I’ve applied my warcry of I Don’t Care to you.

It’s not that I don’t like you – surely you’re my readers, I appreciate you greatly.

But life has its way of changing things – and it’s changed me these past few months.

To give you a brief rundown of how I’ll use a nice easy to read set of bullet points.

•  Roadtrip Disconnect

I finished a month long roadtrip this summer with an amazing woman.  I learned a great deal about living on the road even though I had been doing it for nearly eight months.  What it’s like to take care of your space, be direct and honest with other people, reach out when you need to, and take care of myself both physically and mentally.

The roadtrip also helped me disconnect from a number of addictions or habits I had cultivated over the years.  An addiction to being connected was broken because I was in a car in the middle of nowhere half the time where my iPhone didn’t even get voice service.  An addiction to coffee was broken when in Chicago I made the decision to cut it out of my life.  Three months later and I don’t need coffee or caffeine, my energy levels are more even (I wake up naturally without an alarm about 9:30am everyday) and I don’t spend as much money feeding that addiction.

I cultivated a practice of doing yoga every morning.  I call it a practice and not a habit because it’s a conscious choice every morning to get up and flow through my sequence – it’s a part of my centering each day.  On top of that I added rigorous body weight intervals to increase strength, endurance, and power (while home I managed to add about 8 lbs. of muscle mass in less than 6 weeks).

•  Family

While there I helped (i.e. smooth talked) them renovate my old bedroom into a library space.  This involved sorting through about two decades of attic and storageroom stuff of theirs and sending it to Goodwill, the dump or repackaging it for sale or storage.  Then tearing out a ceiling and a wall, sanding down a floor, staining the floor and building a wall to wall bookcase with my dad.

Additionally I spent time helping my father after a surgery around the house.  Cutting down trees that had been bent over in an ice storm last winter.  Chopping firewood for the external wood furnace that heats our house.

Spending time helping my family through a bit of a rough patch, involving myself in manual labor and creating something with my hands, helping my family streamline a bit of their life – these things have so much reward for me and they took precedence.

•  Retreat

I went on a weeklong retreat in Hartland, Vermont hosted by Vida Samiha that focused on sustainability in our lives.  It began with a workshop focusing on Design Thinking, Permaculture and the intersection with Social Movements.  Tasked to implement these strategies in relationship to a project we were involved in, it really helped clarify where I wanted to go with my work-career-liberation path.

The rest of the week focused on the retreat space where we could reflect on specific terms like oppression, sustainability, and privilege in our lives.  It allowed me to connect with individuals doing exceptional work in their communities, explore concepts in a new way, and revisit activist (both socially and ecologically) roots that I have let stagnate.

As part of the retreat I got to share the ideas of the lifestyle design community and the vagabonding community with everyone, including a 45 minute talk about my expulsion from Canada, my embracing of a transient life and minimalism (including the 100 item challenge).

•  Coaching

I started exploring the possibility of adding life coaching to my repertoire of skills.  I reached out to a few life coaches I know personally and they explained their entry to the field, how they operate and some valuable lessons they have learned in the process (Jonathan Mead talks a bit about this in the latest conversation we had).

As part of this process, in addition to researching it, reading about the practice and studying the concepts I had my first coaching session with Jenny Blake from Life After College.  It was an amazing experience.  She guided me through some visualizations which guided me to a re-imagining of my path in life.   It also included an wonderful visual image for me about how I will walk through the world and enact change.

The following work I did at the Retreat and at home has led me to the place where I will be retiring Slacker Reform.  Even though I love the name, the work I do here and what it embodies – it lacks a certain mindfulness and calm that I want to embody in my life.

So where does this leave you?

The path I will be walking through the world will involve the retirement of Slacker Reform, however, it will be the birth of the Drop Of Change website and blog.

Drop Of Change’s mission is to create sustainable, curious and mindful living.

I hope you follow me on my path to the Drop Of Change – I will continue to write about personal development, lifestyle design, life hacking and all of the issues I address here but the tone of the site will change from Slacker Reform and I will add issues that are important to me like sustainability, design thinking, spirituality, physical practices and more.

If you are interested in the path I have chosen to walk, please visit my personal vision statement that was the culmination of my time at the Vida Samiha retreat.

If you are interested in contacting me, please e-mail me at carl(at)slackerreform(dot)com.

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