Qigong for Beginners | GaiamTV

Qigong for Beginners | GaiamTV.


While I wanted to run this afternoon, trying to upload my daily work was important today due to the closure of the current area we are working.  I spent several hours after work making attempts to utilize this archaic system.  At approximately 7:30, I successfully uploaded my data for the day.

Not wanting to run at this time of day, I was prepared to exercise.  My interest in “chi work” lately let me to explore a new video this evening.

This video was an hour and fifteen minutes long.  It is a more comprehensive approach to qigong.  Rather than go full on into tai chi, I decided to try this video to get accustomed to the more gentle movements of qigong.

The benefits received from this video were exactly what I wanted to receive and I am enjoying the time spent practicing the various chi work that I am involved with.  Just for good measure I will end my day shortly with the PM chi work that I have been doing for the past week or so.

Always a good way to end my day, I will end it in my normal fashion.  All things otherwise going well in life.  Positive feedback received today at work and good things taking place throughout the day made for a good and uplifting day.

While sometimes the transition into a new area of inspection can be a stressful time, a good attitude and positive actions can dramatically improve just about anything and today was evidence of this.  Be the change you want to see in the world.

Stay tuned.


I wanted to throw this out there as I listened to this today again instead of music during my walk/shuffle/run on the trails throughout the San Elijo Hills.  This is great information being delivered in a very positive way.  Check it out.  More on this later… 

Now it’s Pomodoro time focusing on work!

Weekly Review (cont)

Last pomodoro left off with me expanding on my primal hiking desires and feeling pretty durned good after a night of many beers and TVDs (tasty vodka drinks).  Anyways, the hiking (both primal and “regular” style) aspect of last post has been a big part of life lately.  Vodka drinks, while tasty – are a less integral cog in my machine.  However, I did love chuckling to my roommates about my lack of a hangover…and quite frankly, I contribute this to good nutrition and taking care of my body.  In return, it took care of me for a night.  At least that’s what I’m chalking it up to!

As I write, my mind drifts off to the Transmission material work I have been putting off all weekend.  I’ll have to play catch up tonight and a few nights this week as I agreed to have this material assembled in a deliverable format by the end of the month.  This will be a nice, small “quasi-project” to wrap up at work right before my sister arrives on Friday.  This week will be long on work, with longer 10 hour days over the course of 4 days.

The flexibility to work longer hours and take a day off as my sister arrives for a visit is much appreciated.  With that said, I really appreciate working in the field as a contract utility forester.  The regimented schedule and early hours I keep are very similar to the schedule that I maintained while living in North Carolina.  The only difference is that I work in a more stable industry and have a greater skill set than I did while living there.

Moreover, with my continuous and ongoing “life refinements” and streamlining, I am able to afford living on the salary of a field utility forester.  My desire to simplify and attempt to go at life with a minimalist approach make this lifestyle much easier.  Also, because of the nature of this work, the demand for it and my love of it…I will likely have job security as I age, and this is a good feeling.

However, working outdoors as a forester can be physically taxing – so I am putting a fair amount of time into health/wellness and fitness to maintain my body and improve my health.  Working in the field has allowed me to invest more time and energy in myself – rather than my career.  The results of doing so have been increased happiness.  I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.

Continued involvement in the industry with organizations like the UAA and some small projects at work are keeping me challenged.  The nice thing is that my desire for continued growth and development of my career, like many other things in life…been modified.  “Career Growth and Development” for me has evolved into “Career Refinement” as I have come full circle in my Vegetation Management career.  I began working as a field forester and “climbed the ladder” into management.  Life transitions allowed me an opportunity to move here to San Diego County in California and now I have returned to working in the field again and I am truly enjoying it.

Work, Hiking and Primal have been touched on and were three of the 7 “projects” of my life.  As a refresher, last week I had determined that the 7 man projects of my life were as follows:

  1. Yoga
  2. Primal
  3. GTD
  4. Hiking
  5. Work
  6. Socializing
  7. Skating

This week as I perform my weekly review…I think about what is important to me again (as the pomodoro ends…)

I would have to say in closing that my main “projects” going on are as follows:

  1. Vacation (Kate’s visit and family time next weekend, Labor Day weekend)
  2. Work / Career
  3. Wellness = Yoga -> Tai Chi (increased focus on AM/PM Chi workouts in addition to/in place of AM/PM Yoga)
  4. Volunteer Work = Operation Bigs involvement starting in a few weeks
  5. Fitness = Hiking / Running – Lots of hikes and trail runs lately, some with friend/activity partner
  6. Community / Socializing = Slightly decreased Meetup involvment lately and also contemplating involvement in local church
  7. GTD = trying to keep on top of my organizational system (The Secret Weapon) to stay on top of it

Renaming these “life projects” helps me stay focused as I dial in my “system,” including this blog.

Stay tuned.

Weekly Review

I am taking some time this Sunday evening after a nice meal to begin the second half of my “Weekly Review”

First thing in the morning on Sunday is a nice time to relax, reflect and think.  Today, that was followed by a haircut, tacos, grocery shopping, froyo and a cruise around behind grocery stores and whatnot scouting for empty milkcrates that I could perhaps acquire…and these actions made me feel like I was in college again.  Feeling like I’m in college is actually quite fitting after last night.

What I mean is that after getting home after a 9-10 mile hike primal style (in my Vibram KSO Trek shoes…check out the link).  I was stoked because my feet felt pretty good after logging the miles – which so far is probably the farthest I have hiked.  While the trail was pretty well maintained, there were some rugged and rocky parts, and I am pleased with how my feet held up during the day.

Here’s a pretty cool panoramic photo I took with my iPhone – while it is expensive to maintain and use this device, here’s one of the reasons I continue to use it.  The hike was rewarding with some spectacular views and waterfalls…though they were just a trickle at this time of year.  While my hiking partner and I walked a different trail than we intended to – this is likely due to the navigator here losing the trail map.  Doh!

At any rate, back to the reference to my college days…after hiking yesterday – I was greeted by the roommates and some friends over partying and enjoying our little pool out back.  After a big hike, I was ready to have a few beers myself, having purchased a 4-pack of Le Freak, by the Green Flash Brewing Company, out of San Diego.  Check it:

This beer was exactly as claimed…”zesty” – and it was tasty for sure!  Moreover, it was a higher gravity beer – weighing in at 9.2%.  After a long hike, this is precisely what I wanted to consume in an effort to rehydrate and make sure I get those electrolytes back into me and catch a buzz while doing so!  Well…while doing this, I got involved in the festivities with the rest of the house, the shots began to flow freely.  Oh boy…

Needless to say there were shots by all on numerous occasions while watching an old hollywood horror b-movie and subsequent dance party.  There were several parties here on our street last night…San Elijo Hills can be a bumping little neighboorhood sometimes.  Nevertheless, I was able to wake up at a reasonable hour while not feeling too hungover.

Being a moderate drinker anymore, I was concerned that I would feel it in the morning, but I actually felt wonderful.  After breakfast and a little morning review on the computer, I decided to get outside and work up a sweat and enjoy the sun.


Besides getting primal with my barefoot style, my recently re-soled Chacos have been getting a lot of use – as is evident in my above photo of wook foot (according to some family).  Yes…the Chaco sandals still serve me well after 10+ years.  This is good value for sure.

Pomodoro is up!

Stay tuned.

PM Chi to end the evening…

AM & PM Chi for Beginners | GaiamTV.


As written about in my last post, above is a link to the series of exercises that I am currently doing each morning and evening.

Prior to this, I was reviewing work email and collecting documentation for some Transmission Vegetation Management material for presentation to our team.

I agreed to do this, which provided me with additional opportunities to reach out to my previous teams back east.  Moreover, I utilized the opportunity to reach out to the Education Committee of the Utility Arborists Association (UAA).

While returning to work in the field with considerably less responsibility – I am capitalizing on this stability with my field position to first and foremost, “refine” my personal life.  In the process, this is allowing me to continue development of my career as well.

This time around the shaping of these two areas of my life is more on my terms and at my own pace.  I am grateful for this and appreciative of the situation that I currently find myself.  Not only am I able to continue making contributions to the team/company I work for – but at this time, I am able to make contributions to the industry that I am involved with.

With that said, I am attacking all of it in my regular Pomodoro fashion – attacking all of this in little 25 minute blocks.  After a few productive computer Pomodoros, I took a break to perform my PM chi exercises in addition to the T’ai Chi practice for beginners earlier.

Not only is this helping me improve my practice, but it clears my mind and allows for more efficient and effective thinking when I chose to focus on the specific task at hand.  So far, these are the results of my stretching/yoga/tai chi practice.

Continued time spent writing (probably a similar amount of time spent on facebook) is paying off in an updated blog…similar in form and fashion to something I used to merely think about doing.  Taking action is much more rewarding.

Often times during my runs and hikes, I find myself contemplating my return to facebook one day, if only to stay connected to old friends and contacts.  I believe that if/when I do return to facebook, I will severely limit my use of it – perhaps primarily using it as an avenue to share these blog posts.

Yes, these blog posts…now that I’m into an additional blog post of the day, I find myself with 11 minutes remaining in the timer feeling  like I’m stretching to find things to write about – which is a strange feeling and one I particularly do not enjoy experiencing.

With that said, perhaps a better idea would be to write for 25 minutes “when the spirit moves me.”  Otherwise, if I would like to focus writing on a particular topic of interest…perhaps one such as the “7 projects of importance” right now.  And in doing so, I could do little 10-15 minute blocks of “project specific” writing.

Yikes, I re-read a paragraph sometimes and am mystified at times by the way that my mind operates sometimes.  It is times like this where I scratch my head and wonder about my eccentricities.  Then I chuckle to myself about how I like to write about it and spew my mental guts out to the world in this manner.


All for your entertainment value.  You’re welcome.


I don’t really know what to make of it either.  Perhaps I’ll keep this up and use these nonsensical writings to write a book one day.  Hell, maybe somebody will write a book about me someday.  Unlikely, but these are romantic notions that are likely contributing factors to the way that I lead my life.

The other day I called it “reflections” – sometimes the words I write seem more like a “rant” than a reflection.  Hah, so says the grumpy old man in his early 30’s.

As I wrap up this “rantflection” – I feel satisfied about my day.  That is all I have to share right now.  Goodnight.

Stay tuned.

T’ai Chi For Beginners | GaiamTV – a true return to center

T’ai Chi For Beginners | GaiamTV.

Having just completed this 45 minute video – I feel challenged.  However, this was a challenging video for me.  Attempting this made me feel like a clumsy caveman.  Progress, not perfection I suppose…

For several months, I have been stretching and becoming more aware of my body and mind.  With each passing day, my desire to improve has grown.  I have adjusted and increased my routines accordingly with the implementation of the Gaiam series of videos.  I re-discovered the AM/PM Yoga series that I used to do years ago and have been utilizing them daily for the past week and a half.

After exploring the GaiamTV site, I discovered a similar series for T’ai Chi practice – which is awesome.  Many years ago, I dabbled in T’ai Chi as my interest in Taoism grew.  Like many things in my life at that time – I was inconsistent in my practice of it and it faded away like many of my interests.  I was first exposed to T’ai Chi as I took some lessons after college at a cool little place in the Coventry neighborhood in Cleveland Heights.  Transitions in life changed my focus and the practice was temporarily forgotten.

Years later, while living in Asheville, I again pursued my desire to engage in T’ai Chi – and my ways took me to weekly practice of Emperor’s Long Fist Kung Fu, taught by Sifu Brian Moran of Smoky Mountain Kung Fu.  In a similar way, my involvement in this practice ended as experienced transitions in my life as I left North Carolina in February of 2008.  I loved North Carolina, but was struggling to make ends meet working a temporary job at the North Carolina Arboretum and a second job at Home Depot in the evenings.

My parents had recently purchased 20 acres of property with the intent to begin farming.  The prospect of more stable employment with benefits and helping my parents led me to make a challenging decision to leave my new found home in North Carolina.  Again, I experienced transitions in life and stopped a wonderful practice that I had engaged in.

Currently, it is precisely the transitions that have taken place in life that led me to engage in the practice of T’ai Chi and Yoga again.  This time around, my gypsy ways have landed me in North San Diego County, in beautiful Southern California.  As I step back in life and reflect on what is important to me, I realize that implementation of these healthy activities is important to me in maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind.

I feel that regular stretching practice, leading into yoga practice and returning back into T’ai Chi practice will be very important to me to maintain balance in my life.  Doing so will ensure that I make positive, healthy and beneficial decisions on my life path.

This, along with all other activities in my life are all very fun and I feel as though I am truly embracing the “southern california” lifestyle – as one should, while living here!  However, all of these activities are very time consuming.  As a result, I find myself constantly evaluating what is and isn’t important to me… lots of time reflecting – as I wrote about several days ago.

I have a tendency to overthink many things.  With the recent increased mental clarity due to the change in my medicine used to manage my epilepsy…I am finding much solace and peace in this T’ai Chi practice.

Meetup groups are something I have been involved with lately for hiking.  This has been very enjoyable, meeting new people and exploring new trails and areas in the area.  I believe there are also Meetup groups that meet weekly for T’ai Chi in the park or near the beach.  This sounds delightful.

Life’s transitions are always challenging.  I am grateful for the re-introduction of this centering practice to help bring peace and calm to both my body and my mind.  As I glance down at my pomodoro timer, there are 45 seconds left as I conclude my writing.

This pleases me…as I feel more efficient in this practice as well.

Until next time.

Stay tuned.

Daily and Weekly Review

Today, I will have spent 3 pomodoros writing…75 minutes.  I feel like I’m playing catch up – as another week went by with very little writing, it was nice to get caught up in many respects…including the writing aspect.

After this morning, I spent a pomodoro on Evernote, processing my tag list and “cleaning up” my organizational system.  Afterwards, I had a nice shower and a good quality shave.  For the first time in months, I lathered in the bowl with a slight super lather and proper face prep.  Three passes.  More on my shaving routine later.

Volunteer Work

I prepped and then left around 11:00 thinking I would do some errands, get some tacos and then head up to Camp Pendleton to pick up my little brother for the Operation Bigs Ice Cream and Movie Summer Event.

I am very grateful to be a part of this program and it was nice to catch up with my little and finally meet his parents.  His step-dad and I had a wonderful conversation.  We discussed many things, including church.  Overall I feel very blessed to be able to contribute within my community and give back in this way.
Based on the conversation above and other recent signs…I will likely research some churches for additional positive involvement in the community.
This was an all day event and I got hope a couple hours ago and am trying to keep playing catch up.  Next pomodoro will be spent processing physical mail and filing old bank statements, etc and just doing a final cleanup before beginning my PM yoga routine which will be followed by the new PM chi program.  Very excited about these new additions to my current programs.
Skating this past week has taken a bit of a back seat as I had a less physically active week and spent more time at home getting caught up on things around the house.  The next two weekends will be crazy busy with a 10-12 mile hike next Saturday with my sister coming in to town the weekend after for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
While the diet remains an important part of my life, the focus is on fresh, raw foods and minimally processed food…with the exception of the $9 froyo peanut butter cup nightmare last night and the popcorn, candy and ice cream treats this afternoon!  At first, the fascination with the Primal comparison was there…and while still fascinated about that, for now it’s not high on my priority list.  My diet is good and I am satisfied with it as well as the dietary/nutritional supplements that I take regularly – Green Vibrance and Raw Meal and Source of Life shakes.
Running / Hiking
Running and hiking have been high on the priority list and may become even more important with making a new friend/hiking partner.  We keep similar pace and have similar ideas for hiking and running desires/goals so it will be nice to step the running and hiking endeavors up a notch with a motivating partner or group.  This has also been the primary source of my socializing as well.

Work has been productive with the opportunity for increased involvement and submission of transmission training material in my possession.  There is also a potential opportunity for some freelance consulting work that I could get involved in for some additional income and to continue building the resume.

Stay tuned.