Update – My 16 Year News Addiction

Recently, I wrote about my 16 year addiction to the news (you can read about it here).

It’s been over 30 days (38 to be exact) since I’ve logged on to any news website or turned the TV t0 24/7 news.

As I sat down to work this morning, it occurred to maybe it’s worth spending a moment to think about what’s changed.

I noticed that even the thought of TV news makes me a bit nauseous now.

I noticed a need to supplement my mindfulness curriculum with activities based around kindness (a most mindful thing) and took steps to incorporate kindness in every mindfulness class I teach.

I noticed I have a lot more ideas for blog posts, both here and over on Irish Yoga Chick.

I’ve noticed I’m a lot more creative in general.

I noticed it’s been 4 days since I’ve checked Twitter. At all. And that it’s been a little tougher than ditching the news on the web and the TV.

I noticed a significant increase in the number of entries to my yearly book journal. Most of them are cozy mysteries I’ve read on my tablet (Yep. I made it into the 21st century and now read ebooks. Sometimes.) Some of my favorite series are Molly MacRae’s Haunted Yarn Shop series, Hannah Reed’s Scottish Highlands series, Sheila Connolly’s County Cork series, and Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.

I’ve learned about the Agatha Awards, named for Agatha Christie and presented to authors in the cozy genre.

I’ve noticed I ditched a lot of TV shows on my Hulu watchlist, mostly those with over the top violence. Definitely not Jane The Virgin, though. And Kevin (Probably) Saves The World. tThose shows are just FUN.

If I were into analyzing myself, I’d think what I choose to read and DVR directly correlates to how the constant culture of violence and flat- out meanness has negatively and deeply affected my spirit, and it wasn’t until I removed the platforms that serve as constant reminders that I realized just how damaging the impact has been.

I’ve noticed I now make my bed every day. I don’t know how, or if that correlates. I’ll take it, though.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved

cross posted to Irish Yoga Chick

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My 16 Year Addiction To The News

A photo I took shortly after the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.

Last week, subscribers to my newsletter learned about my 16 year addiction to the news. (You can read it here).

As of today, it’s officially been 14 days since I’ve watched any news on tv. Additionally, I haven’t randomly gone to any news websites, either.

I’ve also made some progress in breaking my addiction to Twitter news. I’ve rearranged  how my tweets are delivered, making a specific “news” tab that I check a max of 2x a day for 15-20 minutes. And I have not checked Twitter in the middle of the night once in the last two weeks. Yeah, that’s progress.

Instead of my constant need to have the news on in the background, both day and night, I now subscribe to 3 news aggregation emails that I read every morning. I also have a couple of podcasts lined up, however I just realized I haven’t listened to them in the last two weeks, either.

My favorite news aggregation email is The Morning News (probably because it’s delivered just like Twitter. The irony is not lost on me.) Politico’s Playbook and Morning Media round out my three. Both of the Politico subscriptions are pretty wonky. The Skimm is another good one. It’s less less wonky, too.

As for podcasts, The Daily is a short, in-depth look at one current topic each day. Vox’s The Weeds (semi-weekly), Lovett or Leave It and Pod Save America (weekly — and really, all of the Crooked Media podcasts are informative) are my go-to. And, of course, my local NPR podcasts.

My fear that I wouldn’t be prepared, or that I’d somehow be “sticking my head in the sand” if I wasn’t focused on the news 24/7 hasn’t played out that way at all. If anything, I’m more aware of what’s going on in my neighborhood, my city and my state now because I’m choosing where to focus my attention and not depending on ratings-hungry media companies to decide for me what’s important.

Completely random, Austin Kleon’s newsletter today has several links on just this topic as his #1 of “ten things worth sharing.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved

May Deal – Pay What You Think Is Fair

A couple of weeks ago maybe, as I was sitting in my office staring out the window, I was overcome with how much my life has changed and how overwhelmingly grateful I am for so much.

A couple of years ago life was upended. All at once. As is life’s prerogative. Initially, this was not o.k.

Not. O.k. At. All.

I was fond of saying “It’s fine if my work life is chaos as long as my home life isn’t.” And vice versa. This was not that. This was all chaos all the time.

A couple of months ago, the last of that chaos worked it’s way out of the picture.

And that’s how I came to be looking out my office window a couple of weeks ago. That office, that window, that view, are the end result of all that chaos. And the view feels good.

HeyAmyLou came to be during all that chaos. And now is the time to celebrate.

So, HeyAmyLou is making May Pay What You Think Is Fair Pricing Month for our newsletter production and design services, mailing list development and maintenance, or website development services.

You tell us what you think is fair pricing. HeyAmyLou will  give you the same great service, product and attention you always get.

HeyAmyLou is a company built around ethics, respect, family, and fun. We take pride in the ability to meet our client’s needs. Pay What You Think Is Fair Month is our virtual cake and candles celebration. A big WHOO-HOO! We MADE it!

We want you and your business to make it, too.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved

*image created with Canva.

My Word(s) For 2017

I like words. Mostly, I like them in the form of books, articles, and lyrics. Then, I read an article (see!) about choosing a word. One word. To guide the whole year, I was intrigued. And appalled. ONE word? I like words, plural. Lots and lots of words. Just one?

Turns out, lots of people do this choosing of one word thing. Chris Brogan writes a lengthy blog post about his (he chooses three. Still, though.) Elise Blaha sent out an email mentioning hers, the Huffington Post even wrote and article on it.  And once I got going, I found all kinds of websites (here, and here  for starters) devoted to the process of picking one word. Oh, and the Oxford Living Dictionaries even got in on it, although their process is arguably a bit different.

It sounds cheezy, I know. And admittedly, I didn’t do any of the prep or soul-searching recommended. I sat down one morning in late 2015, took a look around and decided that in 2016 I wanted EASE. That’s it. EASE.

So, starting January 1, 2016, I wrote the word at the top of each weekly page in my calendar, and any time I found myself barreling toward a situation that was lining up to be anything other than easy, I repeated the word over and over to myself. And I took time each week to write down a couple of ways in which my week had included EASE. 90 days in, I started noticing a shift. EASE was more prevalent in my daily life. And, in those instances where EASE was elusive, the realization that it wasn’t necessarily me who was making the interaction hard was quite useful.  As was the reminder that in situations lacking EASE I didn’t automatically have to contribute to making things more difficult.

So, I’m doing it again this year. And again, it was pretty spontaneous. I auditioned quite a few words throughout the year and when it came time to choose, I chose none of them. Instead, I went with a word that I think will serve me just as well as EASE did last year.

2017’s word is REJECT.

As in:

  • I reject false conclusions
  • I reject being drawn into other’s drama
  • I reject complacency

You get the idea.

I think, though, that REJECT needs balance. So I’m also choosing WHOLE.

WHOLE reminds me that in REJECTing there is room for replacing, rebuilding, and reconnecting.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved

cross-posted to IrishYogaChick

The Things That Made My Year Great — 2016 edition

 

Shamelessly stolen from Austin Kleon, who can list out 100 things.

______________

people who share

black eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread on new year’s day

yearly book challenges

weekly playlists

audiobooks

washi tape

The Eagles

lists in the back of books (Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend)

honey vanilla chamomile tea

A Year Of Living Your Yoga

my public library

soy sauce

painted garage windows

the days I accomplish everything on my to-do list

moving big projects forward

spring planting

wax seals on handwritten letters

Mental Health First Aid

voting

saying goodbye to the probate court

knitting

tax refunds

Michael Franti concerts

farmer’s markets

new business cards

taking risks

easy fixes

slow Sunday mornings

kitchen gardens

neighbors

creating systems

teaching yoga

24in48 book challenges

book stacks on Instagram

alterations

Pokemon GO

Finding lost dogs

compassionate pest control experts

clean sheets

cool August summer mornings

the sound of a fan

toad / frog relocation

planners

The Youtube 8-hour fireplace

“A Year In The Life” (Gilmore Girls Revival)

selling a house and not spending another minute on Angie’s list for at least 6 months

cutting the cord in favor of Roku. Best decision ever.

ditching the smart phone for an old-fashioned flip phone. Another good decision.

Judy and Loretta at Mills Record Company

Good Reading
The Story of a F##k Fund – Billfold

Artists Aren’t Afraid Of Doing Things Badly – Jonathan Fields

Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to an Island and Scoop Ice Cream – and the follow up  — Noelle Hancock

This Is What Happened When We Posted Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk – Nadia Goodman

I came Undone: One Woman’s Horrifyingly Real Experience With Burnout — Glynnis Macnichol

Good Books

Tribe: On Homecoming And Belonging – Sebastian Junger

You’re Never Weird on The Internet [Almost]- Felicia Day

Furiously Happy: A FunnY Book About Horrible Things -Jenny Lawson

Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

Hope In The Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities — Rebecca Solnit

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers – Robert Sapolsky

The Nightingale  — Kristin Hannah

One Second After – William Forstchen

The Accidental Alchemist, Pirate Vishnu and Artifact— Gigi Pandian

All The Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr

Good Movies and TV  

Hundred Foot Journey

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Jimmy’s Hall

The Lunchbox

Rebellion – TV Mini Series

Sports Night (seasons 1 & 2)

The Martian

Making lists– My favorite blog posts authored by me

A Different Kind Of Post For A Different Kind Of Election

How, And More Importantly, When To Delegate pt 1 and 2

Busy

Voting

And any of the weekly wrap ups.

Other People’s Lists – my favorite blog posts authored by others

Let It Be Sunday – Joy The Baker

I Love Lists – Shutterbean

Inspiring Simplicity – The Minimalists

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something after clicking one of the links in this post. I only link things I have used and can truthfully recommend. Purchasing from these links helps me keep business costs low for my clients and that’s what HeyAmyLou is all about.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2017 – All rights reserved

cross-posted to IrishYogaChick

Death and David Bowie

I spent a lot of time with death. My mother’s Alzheimer’s meant for upwards of  a decade I watched her die slowly, right in front of me.

And I still spend time with it. Thinking about dying with dignity and grace.

As David Bowie did.

Thinking about making the minutes of this life matter.

As David Bowie did.

Acknowledging that death is inevitable and getting on with it anyway.

As David Bowie did.

I ran across this the other day and I like it enough to share. Elizabeth Gilbert writing of David Bowie’s death.

“How do you do that? How do you BE that? To work with your death so imaginatively, in order to perfectly time out the last beats of your life?”

Stunning in its truth. Living out loud, messy, sloppy, lyrical, beautiful in the way only we can choose. Death on our own terms, perfectly timing out the last beats of our lives.

I’m in.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2016 – All rights reserved

The Best List Ever. FastCo’s Monthly Roundup

Image via Fast Company

It’s no secret I dig lists. And I feel confident that I’ve read enough of the m to pronounce this one the very best. Ever.

My plan for the month (see? I like lists):

  • Movies In Theatres: Jurassic World
  • Movies to Watch At Home: The Wolf Pack
  • Albums You Should Hear: Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmy / Ed Helms- Self Titled
  • Things to Watch On Your TV Or Computer: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
  • Books To Read: Judy Blume In The Unlikely Event
  • Places To Go: Pianos On Parade – various locations around Kansas City

Big Announcement!

Image source

HeyAmyLou™ is growing! I’m so excited to announce we’ll soon be offering digital publishing services including book cover design, interior layout, publishing, physical book binding/printing, and quite possibly fulfillment. Our expertise is in technical publishing (manuals, art books, teacher’s guides) and non-fiction (family histories, memoirs), although novels and poetry books are always welcome.

Digital publishing will be incorporated into our permanent services offerings — website design and maintenance, newsletter publishing, social media marketing and small business consulting. And because I’m so excited about this, we might even start hosting book launch parties. What could be better than a party and a book? A party celebrating a book!

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2015 – All rights reserved

Truthbomb Jewelry by Danielle LaPorte

My new best friend (not really – I just like to think we’d be fantastic friends) Danielle LaPorte has created the #‎Truthbomb‬ jewelry collection with Dogeared  Jewelry.

The collection debuts tomorrow. As an affiliate for Danielle LaPorte, I can tell you that the pieces are amazing. There are 9 unique pieces (silver + gold), all handcrafted in the USA

Each necklace and charm combo comes with a beautifully designed inspirational card to explain the intentions of that piece. It’s like giving yourself, or your loved ones, a customized wish.

Choose from:
French Kiss Life
You Can and You Will
Love Rewards The Brave
Lack Of Passion Is Fatal
Choose to Shine
I See You
It’s Going To Be Ok
Love Love
or, my favorite, Authenticity Is Magnetic

Silver retails for $58.00 and gold for $68.00 per piece.
You can purchase your piece, a piece to give as a gift, or both, here. If you’d rather avoid shipping email me. And, if you’d like to order multiples for your next event, I can make that happen, too.

Remember, the link above won’t work until tomorrow. If you want a head start, though, email me.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2015 – All rights reserved

Save Missouri Libraries

click here to learn more

[Update 4.03.2015: $43 Million now available for priorities, including libraries.]

For many years I worked in the non-profit sector, as the Executive Director of an Adult Literacy Center in Springfield and the Associate Director of Programs for an Adult Literacy Center in Kansas City.

Some of my most impactful mentors were the adult learners with whom I spent so much time. All of them were accomplished, successful, smart and determined. Most of them said the one thing they wanted to do as adult readers was walk into a library without feeling ashamed, alienated, or intimidated because they didn’t know how to read.

That’s the thing about libraries. They empower people. All people. Just the thought of being able to walk into a library and be able to get information out if it was a major motivator for these adults.

That’s my story. There are a million others: The job-seeker who uses the internet to surf job boards. The mother who takes her kids there for story time and receives a minute or two of time for herself. The teenager who checks out books on 3D animation and teaches herself how to code. The family in rural Missouri who goes to the library to stay connected to their community.

Libraries are important. Please share this around and consider signing the petition asking Governor Jay Nixon to release the other 90% of the already allocated funding for 2015.

© copyright HeyAmyLou 2015 – All rights reserved