4 Reasons Why Taking Time For Yourself is SO Necessary…And How To Spend It

4 Reasons Time Self

We have all had those days when we feel like we are just a jumbled mess inside. The days when nothing is clear and everything seems wrong and you just don’t know what to do. A messy, not so fabulous day, if you will.

I have these days now and then. They suck, I know.

But I have learned recently to take these days and learn from them and to see them as a sign that something needs to be done to change the way you are feeling.

So what to do?

In my experience, having more than one of these days in a week means I need a moment for myself.

The world is busy and our lives get crazy and there is always something to be doing or seeing or saying to paying or planning or thinking about.

It gets exhausting.

So when I have a messy, not so fabulous day, I make it a priority to find time for myself…pronto.

The worst thing is when you are having a bad time and you end up getting frustrated with others for no good reason. It is not right, and it’s rather embarrassing, too!

They didn’t do anything wrong, and they don’t deserve to be treated poorly because you have had a messy, not so fabulous day.

I’ve learned to be constructive with these feelings and simply take some time for myself to recharge, reset, and just think.

This has worked wonders for me. I feel so much more in tune with my brain and my body and my life after taking just a bit of time to myself to figure out exactly what is going on.

Here are the reasons I think taking time for yourself is so necessary:

 

1. Truth Talks

Taking time to just be with yourself allows you to really think about why you have been feeling so messy and jumbled lately. What has been going on in your life to make you feel this way?

I often find that it is not until I am by myself that I can really break down how I have been feeling and actually figure out what is going on deep down…and how to fix it.

It is easy to blame others for trouble. It is harder to be truthful and look into ourselves for answers. But when you do it, you find the REAL reasons for feeling down AND just how to get back up again!

 

2. Free Flow

I’ve talked previously about what it means to be in “flow.” To be doing exactly what you feel like doing at the moment and to be all in.

The easiest time to truly be in flow is when you are alone. This is the time when you can choose to do exactly what feels right at the moment with no input from others and no holding back.

Read if you feel like reading. Walk if you feel like walking. Turn left or right or spin in circles, all with you as the pilot of your life and no one else to influence you.

Being with others is wonderful most of the time, but taking a few hours to just be you can be SO refreshing and leave you more recharged than you can imagine.

 

3. Bold Brain

Being alone is a great time to encourage your mind to be truly open!

You can think about whatever comes to mind and just see where your thoughts take you.

I often do this in the morning, even if I am around others. I just sit and close my eyes and think and have no judgments about where my brain wanders to, but just let it wander and ponder things in my subconscious.

Often, my brain will naturally work out things it had been worrying about or will think about things that are important in the moment and leave me more at peace with them.

This is even better to do when alone.

It sounds strange, but just take some time to sit or lay in bed on your own and just think.

Don’t read, don’t listen to music, don’t look at your phone. Just let your mind wander freely.

You will be blown away by what you think about and how it makes you feel. Sometimes our lives are just too busy to allow our brains time to work through simple items, let alone complex thoughts.

Being alone can offer this sort of clarity and a huge sense of relief afterward.

 

4. Positive Planning

The BEST way to conquer those messy, not so fabulous days? Plan against them.

Time alone to be truthful, free, and bold with yourself is the best time to plan for a more positive life and more positive individual days.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather limit the number of messy, not so fabulous days that I face in my lifetime, but that can’t be the case unless you plan your positivity!

Take time to really think about what was going on in your life and what all played a part in making it messy and not so fabulous.

Was it something with work? Was it a relationship conflict? Are you unhappy with yourself?

Think REALLY deep about all aspects of your life and how you feel about them and how you can take action to make them better.

What conversations can you have to improve relationships? What changes can you make to allow yourself to work in an environment that you truly enjoy?

These questions are SO important, but no one is going to change them until you do.

You are the only person that has that kind of supreme control over your life and you are held accountable to make yourself happy, or to keep analyzing and changing things until you are!

 

 

Life is too short to not be happy always. If you are having frequent messy, not so fabulous days, make it a priority to spend some time alone.

You deserve to recharge your body, your mind, and your life!

Take time to do things that make you happy. Take a bath, read a book, take a nap! Whatever it is that helps you feel recharged.

You can schedule in alone time weekly if that works for you!

Just don’t forget to use this time to really allow your brain to think openly about the past and present, and to plan positively for the future.

But don’t be afraid to ask for it when the time comes that you really need a break. Those who love you and are close to you will understand and support you being happy and healthy.

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

Beautifully Blurred: It is Okay to Not Always Know Where You Are Going in Life

Beautifully Blurred-

“Hindsight is 20/20.”

We’ve all heard this expression. There is often much more clarity in life when looking back than when you are in the moment or looking forward.

The future is often beautifully blurred, and I want to argue that that is perfectly okay!

We can’t ever know exactly what is going to happen or even where we will be tomorrow, in a week, in a year, in ten years or beyond.

This can be rather frightening and intimidating but regardless of how we feel about it, we still can do nothing to control it.

Society puts a crushing amount of pressure on us to always be thinking ahead. To build our resumes, plan for the future, follow the status quo, and worry about the things we simply can’t control.

Embrace the blur.

I want to advocate for the fact that it is completely okay to not know where you are going or what you are doing next.

To be honest, none of us actually do, we just pretend to and fight day in and day out to control the uncontrollable.

You don’t need to be building your resume every second. You don’t need to be chasing the job others say is right for you. You don’t need to be following the “normal” order of life.

YOU are the only one who has the power to control what you are doing and to make sure that whatever you are doing is making you happy.

Time is an asset that we can never get more of. Once we use it, it is gone forever.

So, what are you spending your time doing? Are you happy each day? You should be. You deserve to be happy every. single. day.

The validity of happiness.

Just remember that it is completely okay if you aren’t working a full time job so that you have time to pursue your passion.

It is completely okay if you aren’t trying to be the lawyer others want you to be.

It is completely okay if you are taking time each day to stroll and enjoy the small and simple things in this world.

In my opinion, enjoying each imperfect, marvelous moment in life as it arrives is forever more valuable than chasing a control over the future that we will never reach.

If you are happy, you are doing something right…and you should never feel shame for that.

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

3 Steps To Turn Negativity into Productivity

3 Steps To Turn Negativity into Productivity (1)

“Ugh…why.”

This is a question I find myself often asking. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, or just simply unhappy with the situations we are in.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Negativity eats away at you and can bleed into every aspect of your life as quick as a blink. Before you know it, you are feeling down, distressed, and just outright negative about everything.

But you have the power to change this! Don’t let the negativity win…turn it to productivity…here’s how:

 

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Why are you here?

Why are you in the situation you are in? What has brought you here? Why are you feeling blue about it?

Understanding why you are where you are and how you got there is the first step to change.

Feeling annoyed and frustrated with your job? Why are you working there? What events have brought you to this place in this time and what are your motivations for showing up?

Write those down.

2) Where do you want to be?

Typically, when we are feeling down or frustrated about something or being negative, it is because we would rather the situation be different.

Ideally, what would you change about your situation?

Would you have a different job? Would you be in a different location? Would you be doing different activities?

Really think about what is exactly causing you to feel this way and what the best possible case-scenario could be that would make you NOT feel negative.

Write this down. (be detailed!)

3) What ACTIONS can you take to go from stage 1 to 2?

Big or small. Long-term or short-term. Easy or difficult.

Really think about things you can actually do to shift you from where you are at in stage 1, to where you want to be in stage 2.

Make these actions achievable. What steps can you take right now to start moving in the right direction?

What steps can you take each day to make progress?

Plan out each little or large step until your goal is reached and DO IT!

Write this down….and turn your negativity into productivity.

 

Now you have your game plan, your goals, your future. Right there in front of you. On paper.

It is real and it is attainable…now GET THERE!

 

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina

Avoid Regret: 5 Steps to Getting the BEST and LOVING Everything You Buy at the Thrift Shop

Thrift

Here in Portland, Oregon, thrifting is King. You can walk down any main drag and see at least a handful of thrift shops full of items just waiting to be discovered!

This is a bit dangerous for the pocketbook!

Walking into a thrift shop or vintage store can be overwhelming. There is always SO MUCH STUFF.

But there can also be some genuine treasures and you can save A LOT of money in comparison to shopping new at retail stores.

But how do you know if you are making a good purchase at a thrift shop? That’s the tricky part. There are many brands, many conditions, many options available and you want to be sure to choose something that will last and that you will LOVE!

So here are some basic tips:

  1. Know What Your Goal Is

Like I said, thrift shops can be dangerous. The number one rule to thrift shopping is to know what you are looking for and what your goal is…and stick to it!

If you go in looking for a new pair of black pants, stick with looking at the pants section and try your hardest to avoid scoping out the glassware that you don’t need.

You will spend less money and also cause yourself less anxiety about wanting to buy a large amount of items.

Staying in one section can make a thrift shop less overwhelming and help you focus on the task at hand. And you will be sure to see all the options you can consider without being distracted by that super adorable cat statue!

 

2) Do Some Investigating

Find something you like? Take a quick second to do some sleuthing. What brand is it? What condition is it in? Does it seem like it will last awhile?

I always like to quickly google the brand on my phone! This helps give me a better idea of what others have thought of this product or item. If it has tons of happy customers, chances are you will be happy with it, too!

If you are looking for a clothing item always, ALWAYS try it on before you buy. Though some changing rooms in thrift stores may not be the most glamorous of experiences, you will be happy to know if you love the item on or not.

 

3) Remember to Compare

If you find something you think you really love at the first shop you try, that’s great! You’ve had some amazing luck!

But don’t forget that there are maybe some other places to check out before you commit to buying. Don’t hesitate to check out a few more shops to see if there is something you may like even MORE than this piece.

If you really can’t bear to think about losing it, some thrift shops will even hold an item for a couple hours for you. Can’t hurt to ask! Just make sure to be courteous and let them know if you no longer want the item.

 

4) Walk Away (if only temporarily)

Your heart is set. This blouse will make your LIFE better and you simply can’t live without it.

Well, try, if only for a minute or two.

If you absolutely adore something, make sure it is true love. Set the item back and walk either to another store or simply to another area of the same store for a little bit.

Is the item still on your mind? Do you still feel super attached and in love with it? Does it fit in with the lifestyle you are living and the goals you have set?

If yes, it will probably be a good purchase! It is always a good idea to make sure that it isn’t just puppy love (sometime seeing an item right away can make you love something you would never normally like).

 

5) How Does It Make You Feel?

Now before you finally make the purchase, ask yourself these questions:

-How does this item make me feel?

-Realistically, how often will I use this?

-Does this fit my goal for coming here?

If the item makes you feel confident and happy and if it fits perfectly into the lifestyle you live and will be used often, it is going to be a purchase you love.

But remember to be realistic with yourself, if you don’t absolutely love it or it doesn’t quite seem like something you will use as much as you should, set it down.

If it stays on your mind, you can always come back and hope to find it again in a day or two!

 

 

And don’t forget to have some FUN! Thrifting is a blast and seeing all the strange, beautiful and random things in this world can fill a day full.

Follow these steps and you will be sure to come home with the BEST items and things you will genuinely LOVE in your life.

 

Forever moving forward,
-Sarina

Easy Energy: 4 Must-Try Natural Herbs to Boost Your Spirit…No Caffeine Needed!

Easy Energy

Lately, I have been (slowly) learning more and more about the power of herbal medicine and some of the amazing benefits that I never expected.

I was never one to much believe in the use of herbs or oils to cure ailments, and to be honest, the reason I became interested was from a historical fiction series I’ve been really into lately, but the more I read, the more I am convinced that some of it is true and really useful!

Different herbs, spices and oils have been used for thousands of years and there is so much literature on the topic, it can be quite overwhelming.

So to make things simple, I wanted to share a few awesome things I have learned that have helped with improve my daily energy levels and overall mood.

I am not saying to cut caffeine completely (I absolutely haven’t) but when you know you have just had too much and you need to tone it down a bit, try these methods instead! And it is never a bad idea to challenge yourself to a caffeine detox once in awhile!

1) Peppermint Oil

Feeling low? Smell a little peppermint oil to get your blood pumping! Peppermint oil really helps to wake up the brain and has helped me get back to being focused.

I just have a little bottle of oil that I smell or dab somewhere nearby but others really love to use a diffuser and make the whole room smell like peppermint energy!

 

2) Rosemary Leaves

If you take a little dried rosemary and crush it lightly between your fingers and take a good whiff, you will feel alert and energized almost instantly!

It’s a good idea to keep a little container of rosemary in your desk to use as needed and maybe lay out the crushed leaves around you for continued whiffs of energy.

 

3) Schizandra

THESE BERRIES ARE MAGIC. No, for real. They are known as one of the most powerful herbs in Chinese medicine and they really pack a punch!

You can always try chewing on a dried berry (yuck!) but I highly suggest making a nice warm tea to sip on and re-energize from.

 

4) Ashwagandha

This herb is basically great for any type of stress relief. It helps with your memory, focus, endurance, and overall emotional well-being.

I like to mix in this herb with some others in an energizing tea (it doesn’t taste that great on its own) and maybe add a little lemon juice or your favorite sweetener.

 

 

By no means are these herbs going to give you the same buzz that a cup of caffeinated coffee will, but if you continually use herbs to boost your energy, you will see some crazy awesome effects!

Have fun with it! The world of herbal medicine is HUGE and you totally have some creative agency with what you make or how you use powerful herbs.

Comment to let me know what works best for you or any other great energizing herbs/spices/oils that you use in your daily life! I’d love to continue learning about this amazing practice.

 

Forever Moving Forward,

 

-Sarina

How To See That The Grass Is Greener On Your Own Side

The Grass Is Greener On Your Own Side

I have been noticing something about myself lately that I have found pretty unsettling…and I don’t think I am alone in this.

I have noticed that no matter where I am or what I am doing or when it is, I am always wishing I was doing something else, being somewhere else, or in some time in the pas or future.

This is unsettling because I feel as though I am always reaching for something just out of reach. Something that I am looking forward to, a time I really enjoyed previously, or something that someone else has.

But this is my life, and living in a state of constant need for something different is exhausting!

I am not content. I always think that I could be content if I could “just get to July so I can go on my trip” or “if only it were summer, I would be happy.”

But I’ve learned that this is just not the case. Even when I reach these moments when I am so sure I will be content and happy, I am still not content nor happy…not completely anyway. “The grass is always greener on the other side.”

So what to do?

Well, I’ve decided that I (and I think many others, too!) need to realize that the grass is plenty green on my own damn side. And here are the steps I am taking to realize this:

 

1) Take a second…

I have been trying really hard lately to more frequently just take a second…

to think about all that I have in the moment.

to take a deep breath and let go of stress and anxiety.

to be mindful of what I am doing and be all in.

to just simply be and see all the wonderful things going on in each moment. So, maybe I am not off being a globetrotter or saving the planet…I am still having a pretty wonderful day. I still had enough food to eat today. I still have friends and family who love and support me. I am still breathing.

 

2) Be thankful…

After I take a second to be in the moment and realize everything that is going well, I try to be genuinely thankful for it.

Everyone has something to be grateful for and taking more time to acknowledge this can really lead to a more content mindset in the long term.

Be thankful for small things, like the coffee you drank this morning or the kiss from your partner as you were leaving.

Be thankful for big things, like the fact that you are living and breathing on this earth or the fact that you have meaningful relationships in your life.

Gratitude is a great medicine and just thinking about it can lead you to feel happier and to brighten that green grass on your own side!

 

3) Spend time doing things you love…

A simple step to being happy…is to love what you are doing! Fill your days with things you truly enjoy.

Love exercising? Make sure to set aside time each day for you to do so. Really enjoy getting lost in a novel? You can do that each and every day and truly love that time spent.

If you feel like you don’t spend time doing things you love, think about what changes you can make in your life to adjust this.

Are there other employment opportunities that align better with your hobbies and values? Can you spend less time watching Netflix, and spend more time getting better at something you are passionate about?

If it doesn’t make you smile, if it doesn’t make you happy, change it. A life doing things you don’t enjoy is a sad one. You will be much more likely to feel content if you spend more time doing things you love (no excuses!).

 

4) Talk it out with someone you trust…

Always remember you don’t have to go it alone.

Discussing how you feel with someone you trust can really help releave some of the frustration that comes with not feeling content.

Tell them about what makes you anxious, what makes you stressed, what you are not looking forward to, what you ARE looking forward to, or anything else that is on your mind.

Having someone listen and truly hear you can help you feel better, but also, realize how grateful you are to be spending time with that person and building a strong relationship!

And don’t forget that it goes both ways. Listen to them when they are having good, bad, or ugly days as well!

 

5) Find meaning in what you do…

Take a moment to think about why you are doing what you do each day.

Is it because you feel like you have to? Is it because someone else is telling you to do it? If these are true, this could be the reason happiness is fleeting for you. I know I feel this way when I am doing certain things.

You need to be doing everything with meaning and purpose. Every little step you take and decision you make each day should reflect who you are deep down.

Are you spending time putting on that makeup because you really enjoy it or because you feel like you have to to please others?

Are you going to work each day because society tells you it is the way to be a successful human or because you thoroughly enjoy the work you do there and it means something to you?

If you find that you are doing things for others or that you can’t find meaning behind things you do often, it is time to re-evaluate.

How can you spend more time doing meaningful things? How can you integrate your values into things you do everyday?

This may seem daunting and making these changes can be difficult, but in the long run they can make a huge difference. And even in the short term you will be taking steps to reach your goals, which will also bring contentment!

Educate yourself, explore, try new things. Believe me, you will get a feel for what you are passionate about and why, what means the most to you, and what gives you purpose.

 

 

Boy, the grass is looking mighty green now isn’t it!

I’m not going to lie, I still have a good deal of trouble with this feeling. I still catch myself thinking, “If only it were Friday, I would be so happy.”

But the reality is that isn’t true.

I am happy right now. I am succeeding right now. I am taking steps toward my goals right now. And you are, too.

So breath, be grateful, talk it out, and find meaning. And SMILE! Because today is freaking awesome!

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

 

6 Steps To Deal With Something Difficult

6 Steps to Deal With Something Difficult in Life

The bad news? We all deal with difficult things throughout our lives. Whether it is something like the loss of a job or the loss of a friend, we all need to learn how to cope.

The good news? We all CAN deal with difficult things. With grace and with resiliency. And not all is bad. Many times good things come from bad. So keep your chin up and try this:

1) Come to terms with it

It happened. It is how it is. If you have done all you can do and the rest is out of your control, come to terms with it. You can’t change it. You can try to will it to change, but it won’t…so coming to term with the fact that something difficult is happening or has happened is the first step to moving on.

2) Celebrate what is great

Even if something difficult has happened or is happening, there are still wonderful things that you are experiencing. They could have something to do with the difficult event/person/thing/experience, or they could be completely unrelated. What’s important is to realize that there are good things in this world. And sometimes the best things actually come from the difficult ones.

3) Make the most of it

Even if something difficult is going on, there are always ways to make it brighter. You lost your job? Think of the time you have to do things you truly enjoy or the open opportunities that are waiting for you ahead. Don’t just give up. Make the most of what you have and think on the bright side. Positivity leads to more positivity.

4) Find support

If you are going through something difficult, there is no need to go it alone. Call up an old friend and ask to talk things out. Speak with your spouse about what is going on. There is no need to take the burden all yourself, asking for help and support is not weakness, it is strength. And being there for others when they experience difficult times is even sweeter.

5) Write about it

Sometimes talking to others isn’t exactly what will make you feel good. Try writing about the experience/person/place/thing that is difficult. Write how you feel about it, write what makes you sad/angry; write about what makes you happy/joyful; write it all down and get it out of your mind and on paper.

6) Be happy

Unfortunately, not everything can be wonderful all the time. Difficult things happen. It is a part of life we all deal with. It is okay to feel sad or frustrated or confused, but in the end, be happy. You are doing your best. Take a deep breath, let it out and smile. Think about what makes you happy and be that.

Everything will be alright.

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina

Happiness Hustle: The Difference in Mindset Between Millennials and Their Parents

happiness-hustle

Let me begin by saying that everything I am about to say and the points I am going to try to make are completely my own opinions. I’ve come to these conclusions after reading a lot of resources, doing a lot of thinking, and living a little of life.

If your opinion differs, great! I am happy you have one and would love to hear it, but remember to be mindful of how you share that information.

That being said, I often find myself asking “why” questions. “Why is does that man look so angry?” “Why am I buying this item?” or better yet, “Why am I working so much for so little happiness?”

The millennial generation that I was born into tends to do this. We question everything. So much so that we end up questioning the very things our parents have done without question their entire lives.

“Why I am working a 40 hour week?”

“Why I am so unhappy doing so?”

“Why does society tell me I have to get married, pop out kids, buy a house and build a white picket fence right this second?”

The list goes on.

The real question we are asking is: “Why can’t I spend my time doing what makes me happy instead of what others think will make me happy?”

But let’s not forget our parents’ point of view. They work 40 hours a week so they can make money. They make money so they can provide for their family. They provide for their family so they can all be happy.

We all have the same goal: happiness. We just tend to have different definitions of what happiness is.

Our parents might tell you that happiness is making enough money to be able to buy the house, the car(s), the fun things. Enough to not worry about if you can pay the bills and enough to have a long and happy retirement when we can do what we want.

But us millennials question this. We ask, “Why can’t we be happy and do what we want now?”

Millennials seek something other than money. We all need money, that’s true, but for millennials, the money is just a side note. Something that needs to be made, but something that is not necessary to create happiness.

Millennials search for true meaning in life. Purpose. Passion. Potential.

We cannot be satisfied with things you can buy and hold in our hands. We aim to gain understanding of why we are here, what we can do while we are here, and how we can live this life to its fullest potential.

Us millennials would rather drive the crappy car, pass up the new gadget, or buy things second hand in order to save money, work less, and spend more time doing what we love.

I’m not saying that making money for happiness is wrong; it has worked for generations! I am saying that there has been a shift in the value system of young people.

Many young people now strive to do what they absolutely love, what makes them want to get up each morning and keep pushing, even if it barely pays the bills.

Millennials don’t want to make money to buy things. They make money to gain experiences.

And to a millennial, it is completely unnecessary to sit in an office or at a desk 40 hours a week in order to earn money to be happy. They would rather work less, have less, and do more.

So next time you are talking to your parents and they don’t quite seem to understand why you are choosing to donate a year of your life to help children or quit your job to spend time writing, remember to think about their perspective.

To them, you are failing to be happy.

And next time you are talking to your child and they don’t understand why you continue to work 40 hour weeks even though you still don’t have the life you envisioned, remember to think about their perspective.

To them, you are failing to be happy.

But neither of us are!

We are different, but the same.

Our perspectives are different, but our goals are the same.

All we ever want in this life is happiness. Though our means of getting there may be different and mean different things, the end goal is always the same.

To continue to hustle for happiness.

Discovering Your Values…And Their Order: An Exercise

discovering-your-values-and-their-order-2

Okay, so we all have values. We all have things we genuinely believe in and strive for. We also all have things that we think we value because others tell us to.

Deciphering which of your values are true to you and which are most important is the first step to discovering who you are and what your purpose in this life may be.

We all want to have a purpose, but uncovering this can be extremely hard to do. Take the first step by discovering your values…and their order by doing this little exercise:

The Steps:

  • Sit down. Think. Think deep, like uncomfortably deep. Consider everything in your life, what makes you happy, what secretly makes you sad. Reveal your truths, your emotions, realities that you don’t even like to admit to yourself, but that might be important and make more of a difference than they seem to on the surface…

Now what makes the cut?

  • Write out 8-10 of your personal values out on a sheet of paper, nice and spread out so you can cut them out individually. You can also write smaller, but still important values to include under your larger ones.

 

  • On a new sheet of paper, write out the numbers 1-8 or 1-9 or 1-10, however many values you listed nice and spread out in order to fit your values in between them.

 

  • Take time to order your values, 1 being most important. This is HARD; especially since everything you wrote down is incredibly important to you and who you are and who you want to be. Keep trying. Rearrange. Realize what is really important and what you just like to say is important. Dig DEEP.

 

  • Take a picture and walk away. Come back once a week and try again. Make adjustments as you see fit. Once your list hasn’t changed for over a week, tape those bitches down!

 

  • Take a step back and really think about your list. Are you taking steps everyday to make sure those values are fulfilled? Do you have short and long-term goals to make your values a reality? If not, how can you change to ensure you are? What adjustments can you make to aline your life with your values? If so, what can you do to make your life and values aline even MORE?

Know yourself. Listen to yourself. Don’t postpone joy.

Here are a few examples of my values and how they have changed so far. Lots of adjusting still happening so nothing is taped down yet, but I am learning more and more about myself each time I revisit the list.

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img_1330

img_1431

 

Forever moving forward,

 

-Sarina

The Super Powers of Soil: How It Can Save Us AND Our Planet

the-super-powers-of-soil

I was recently introduced to an entirely new field of thought that one of my great friends, Travis Berg, has been working diligently in to learn more about and advocate for.

 

The field is Soil Ecology and let me tell you, this stuff is WILD. It could make all the difference in the future of our planet, our health, and the human race.

 

That sounds like a big promise, but this is the real deal.

 

Travis has been studying with the Life In The Soil Program under Elaine Ingram and is so incredibly passionate about this knowledge that I decided to ask him a few questions and share this information in the simplest, and most matter of fact way. Here is what he shared:

 

Me: At a 3rd grade level: What is soil ecology exactly?

 

Travis:

Soil is the basis of life. It is essential to everything whether we realize it or not. Soil is a living and breathing thing.

 

Soil ecology is the study of the relationship of organisms in our soil; how and why these organisms interact; how soil functions as a whole. For example: you would never just study the red blood cells in order to understand how the body works. So likewise, you can’t just study one organism to understand how the soil functions, you need to study how they interact. That is soil ecology.

 

Me: What does adopting the advancements in soil ecology mean?

 

Travis:

There are basically four types of soil that are all made up of different ratios of bacteria to fungi:

  • Weeds (where bacteria dominates)
  • Grass (where vegetables grow and there is a balance of bacteria and fungus)
  • Forest (where there is a bit more fungus than bacteria)
  • Old Growth (where there is a high concentration of fungus: this is the most productive soil ecology).

In most farm soil, the fungal mass is missing which leads to an imbalance in the soil. An imbalanced soil is where weeds grow. If the biology of the soil is right, weeds won’t grow and plants will be healthy on their own.

 

Essentially, adopting soil ecology ideas would mean encouraging farmers to work toward achieving balanced, healthy soil to combat weeds, not spraying chemicals to kill the weeds that need not be present anyway.

 

Farmers need to understand that they don’t need chemicals to provide nutrients to their plants; they simply need healthy, balanced soil to grow them in.

 

Me: What are the long term effects if we do or don’t adopt this science into our agriculture practices?

 

Travis:

If we DO adopt it: We can essentially reverse the damage we have done to the planet so far with our harmful agriculture practices and industrial emissions.

 

Soil is largely made up of carbon, so if we have healthy soil, it can absorb the extensive carbon in our atmosphere and CLEAN OUR AIR. It’s simply amazing. The natural healthy biology of the soil can clean our air, our ground water, and much more. We can achieve a carbon neutral or carbon negative ratio!

 

Also, we can eliminate the use of harmful synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides and stop the detrimental leaking of these chemicals into our oceans, rivers, lakes, and soil that is killing wildlife.

 

If we Don’t adopt it: Our alarming rate of global warming will continue. If we continue the siege we are putting our soil through, it will be depleted and won’t be able to absorb our extra carbon back into it.

 

The atmosphere will continue to rise in temperature and the human race will eventually not be able to sustain it’s own life. The sustainable energy sources we are beginning to use widely are great and slowing the damage, but adopting soil ecology ideas is the only thing we can do that will actually reverse the damage done.

 

Me: What can WE do on a daily basis to help the cause?

 

Travis:

There are so many things! I guess the top 5 I can think of would be:

 

  • Start Composting!: Composting in our homes can start improving the soil in our own backyards first. It also reduces the use of landfills. Do your research and get started!
  • Educate Yourself: Take the initiative to read articles, watch videos, talk to others, and learn more about this cause and share the ideas with others. The more the word gets out, the more good we can do together.
  • Buy Organic/Non GMO Food: Support the farmers in the world that are already using natural practices to produce our food. This will allow them to continue and encourage other farmers to follow!
  • Encourage Farmers: Know farmers? Encourage them to look into this cause and the good it can do for their land and their yield. Help farmers realize that there ARE options other than using pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Pursue Your Interests: If this science really intrigues you, pursue it! Soil Ecology is a growing field and the world is in need of more soil scientists! Be sure to check out the Life In The Soil Program!

 

Thanks to Travis Berg for all this amazing information and for opening my eyes to the world and magic of our soil.

 

I hope you are as inspired as I am and start really taking action to promote these methods. Only we have the power to reverse the damage done and eat clean, healthy food!

 

Forever moving forward,

-Sarina