Real Life: Polar Plunges & Instagram Purges

5 Minute Read: Real life, roundup, social media purge, polar bear plunge.

How’d your New Year’s turn out? Anyone else do a polar bear plunge? I missed the official madness at our local park but did a solo, backyard version that morning.

I used to brave a daily dip in glacier-fed Kootenay Lake throughout the year…but living in a cold, damp cabin changed things. This winter, I’m saving it for special occasions and sudden urges ;).

While the freezing water always brings a special sort of high, this year’s plunge was especially intense – not because of dunking under, but on account of walking through ice and snow to get there and back. One toe was actually bleeding by the time I reached the water (do NOT recommend).

My cats’ eyes were wide as saucers when I rushed back in and held my feet in crazed fashion by the heater. (Their expressions read: WTAF???)

But all worked out in the end: I fed them people tuna, rubbed purple Chinese Medicine salve on my toes, and we resumed our day. I also de-thawed at two hot yoga classes later – all-in-all, an excellent start to 2019.

On being cold, Nelson, BC, selfie

On being cold, Nelson, BC, selfie

The other project I got up to on New Year’s was an unplanned, radical purge of my Instagram feed.

While I don’t have many physical belongings to declutter, and my laptop gets regular editing and tidying, my Insta feed had been bugging me.

  • For one, I feel totally done with stock images and wanted them out of there. 

  • Plus, I’m not keen on the font used in my social graphics. I kept some scattered throughout for now, but future ones are evolving to look different (still playing, but here’s an early go at it).

  • My colour palate also felt slightly unaligned. The clean-up helped, but I’m still after a particular pink and go down hex code rabbit holes. I’m also feeling pulled to do more dark black-and-white photos – even less colour and noise, in other words.

  • Oh, and I purged hundreds of personal, everyday pics from way back when. That was painful…and needed. (I still have many of them; just on FB instead of IG.)

  • Then I did my usual periodic edit of Insta feeds I follow. I keep them under 200 to minimize distraction, noise and hype.

These things are what I do for fun (!), but I get frustrated because I’m teaching myself along the way and don’t have the skills to create *just* what I’m after.

On the other hand, it offers needed practice in imperfection + good-enough-ness. (Bonus: Novelty and mindful attention build brain cells.)

I’d love to hear about YOUR relationship with Instagram in the comments!

Lastly, Chinese Medicine school resumes tomorrow…and the new nutrition program starts next week. So, teaching prep.

One of the courses I’m teaching (and creating) is focused on eating disorders and addictions; another is focused on maintaining healthy body weight from a lifestyle perspective; and another covers the foundations of healthy eating.

I’m having fun creating resources and exercises…and plan on sharing a few of them with my private clients as well as with subscribers to my weekly newsletter.

The more I can bring real life, spiritual practice, teaching, and my work as a coach and doctor together, the better.

Integrated life-work-practice = ease, depth, authenticity, connection.

It also creates more powerful, synergistic outcomes for everyone. Stay tuned for a taste! Meanwhile, here are some things to eat, read and listen to this week…

Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, site of my backyard polar plunge

Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, site of my backyard polar plunge

Recipes + Links

Got Sunday Scaries? Here’s a melancholy listen for you. Every time I play it (which is every Sunday), I play it at least twice. She speaks to my soul.

Charlie's sweet, sweet Insta feed makes me tear up in tender moments. Head here after Billie if you need a heart-felt hug.

Ten very important reasons to love living alone. These don’t all line up with my own, but some do!

For those looking to lower your carbs, check this keto roundup. It includes options for those who eat animals…and those who don’t. 

Editing your closet in the new year? I'm thrilled to share an online course from my friend Dacy. It guides you through defining your style, editing your closet, overcoming stumbling blocks, and creating a mindful shopping list. Use the COUPON CODE alchemisteating for $50 off. (*If you use my coupon, I'll receive a small commission.)

Lastly, two listens that get to the heart of my work + practice: A short one on resolutions...and placing your shoes ;), and a longer one on life as conversation, vulnerability, spirituality, belonging, aging, dying, being alone, being human.

I’d love to hear about your New Year’s, your relationship with Instagram…or your thoughts on this roundup. Please send a note or meet me in the comments! xo

Life by design.

If you’re manifesting changes in the year ahead, caring support + accountability make a world of difference.

I offer two avenues for customized plans + coaching:

The Foundation and The Deep Dive.

For free support, also check out my ebooks and newsletter.

With steadiness + ease.

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