WELLNESS: Learn to Say “Fuck You” to the World Once in a While

LETTER FROM SOL LEWITT TO EVA HESSE:

Dear Eva,

It will be almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly forgotten your state of mind (I doubt it though). You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say “Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!

From your description, and from what I know of your previous work and you [sic] ability; the work you are doing sounds very good “Drawing-clean-clear but crazy like machines, larger and bolder… real nonsense.” That sounds fine, wonderful – real nonsense. Do more. More nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts, whatever – make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!

I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working – then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to DO!

It seems I do understand your attitude somewhat, anyway, because I go through a similar process every so often. I have an “Agonizing Reappraisal” of my work and change everything as much as possible = and hate everything I’ve done, and try to do something entirely different and better. Maybe that kind of process is necessary to me, pushing me on and on. The feeling that I can do better than that shit I just did. Maybe you need your agony to accomplish what you do. And maybe it goads you on to do better. But it is very painful I know. It would be better if you had the confidence just to do the stuff and not even think about it. Can’t you leave the “world” and “ART” alone and also quit fondling your ego. I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself. Well, you know I admire your work greatly and can’t understand why you are so bothered by it. But you can see the next ones and I can’t. You also must believe in your ability. I think you do. So try the most outrageous things you can – shock yourself. You have at your power the ability to do anything.

I would like to see your work and will have to be content to wait until Aug or Sept. I have seen photos of some of Tom’s new things at Lucy’s. They are impressive – especially the ones with the more rigorous form: the simpler ones. I guess he’ll send some more later on. Let me know how the shows are going and that kind of stuff.

My work had changed since you left and it is much better. I will be having a show May 4 -9 at the Daniels Gallery 17 E 64yh St (where Emmerich was), I wish you could be there. Much love to you both.

Sol

Health: CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY

Does this illustration look familiar? The journey towards a healthier lifestyle is not a straight line, however, it does not need to be a jumbled mess. When there is no clear plan it is difficult to stay on track. Success requires CONSISTENT hard work, eating well, and rest. When you’ve set goals and expectations for yourself in this new year, make every decision count towards accomplishing them. 

Last week we talked about PREPARATION, this week we focus on CONSISTENCY. The two go hand in hand. Preparing in advance and identifying all known obstacles allows you to solve problems before they happen. Need help? #TBWClub’s Jumpstart 30 provides exactly that, a CLEAR, FOCUSED, and SUSTAINABLE program designed specifically for your goals.

DON'T SKIP A MEAL

Eating CONSISTENTLY throughout the DAY keeps your metabolism up, which directly contributes to the burning of excess fat. Skipping a meal and letting yourself go for more than 3 hours without eating, even if you don’t feel hungry, leaves your body wondering when the next time it will be fed. In turn, whatever you eat next, will be stored as fat and kept as reserves in the event that you skip another meal and leave your body feeling starved again. You can prevent this from happening!

PROBLEM:
Being hungry in the middle of the day and running between two meetings that are directly across town from each other with no healthy and quick options in sight!

(Left)  Roy Lichtenstein   ,    Crying Girl   (1963); (Right)  Claes Oldenburg ,  Fried Egg

(Left) Roy LichtensteinCrying Girl (1963); (Right) Claes Oldenburg, Fried Egg

SOLUTION:
Pack an easy source of PROTEIN (eggs!), HEALTHY FATS (unsalted almonds!), COMPLEX CARBS (Mary’s Gone Crackers!) that you can easily eat in the car, cab, or bus ride over.

DON'T SKIP A CHEAT MEAL

Stephen Shore ,  Trail's End Restaurant, Kanab, Utah, August, 10, 1973

Stephen Shore, Trail's End Restaurant, Kanab, Utah, August, 10, 1973

Eating clean CONSISTENTLY throughout the WEEK doesn’t come without any rewards! A cheat meal is waiting for you so plan accordingly. Don’t go off the rails! If you’re in the mood for a burger, go somewhere that will give you 100% grass fed beef, a whole wheat roll, and all natural fixings NOT a fast food chain. Foods that are overly processed can set you back much longer than the same meal made with preservative free whole foods. Weekly cheat meals are crucial for maintaining CONSISTENCY because you need to have THOSE moments ONCE IN A WHILE to satisfy your cravings so you don’t completely fall off the wagon.

DON'T SKIP A WORKOUT

At the start of any project there is an unrivaled energy and confidence. This is especially true when it comes to health and fitness. We tend overcommit and burn out after 2 or 3 weeks of going to the gym everyday, eating a strict diet with no cheat meals, and not allowing for proper recovery time. When you commit to a healthy lifestyle remember that it is for LIFE. Of course there will be fixed goals to achieve along the way, but the focus should be creating a SUSTAINABLE way of living that can allow for life’s surprises.

Here are some tips on how to set up a sustainable workout schedule:

  • Get a calendar 
  • Identify all fixed obligations/responsibilities (work, school, pick up kids from school, date night, weekend brunch, etc.) for each day and pencil them onto the calendar
  • Identify the windows where it is possible to fit in a workout ranging from 15-60 minutes (this may require you to wake up earlier or reevaluate what you wrote above as an “obligation/responsibility.” Find ways to integrate health and fitness into some of these responsibilities. Get active with your partner or kids, add squats throughout your day, etc.)
  • Chose 1-2 days of rest (typically those can be the weekend, but if those are the days you have the most time to workout, place each rest day after a day of working out. 
  • For the smaller periods of time focus on cardio/interval/circuit training
  • For the longer periods of time focus on strength training
  • Evaluate and finalize your calendar

BOOM! Stick with this schedule for 2 weeks. If you’ve completed every single task through a 2 week cycle, go on for 2 more. Once you’ve reached 30 days, congratulate yourself! Continue until you reach your initial goals. If you need help #TBWClub’s Jumpstart 30 is perfectly designed with you in mind. Join the club today

WELLNESS: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep

1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

via Harvard Medical Review

WELLNESS: Mindful Awareness, Guided Meditations

Meditation offers innumerable benefits for your body, mind and spirit. The rest you gain in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep. The deeper your rest, the more dynamic your activity is.

If you are new to meditation, start with the 5-minute Breathing Meditation

De-stress with Meditation 

Meditation has two important benefits:

  • Meditation prevents stress from getting into the system
  • Meditation releases accumulated stress that is in the system

Both of these happen simultaneously, leaving one refreshed and joyful.

Physical Benefits of Meditation

With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (energy). This results in joy, peace, enthusiasm as the level of prana in the body increases.

On a physical level, meditation:

  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
  • Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
  • Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
  • Improves the immune system

Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy

Mental Benefits of Meditation

Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an Alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation:

  • Anxiety decreases
  • Emotional stability improves
  • Creativity increases
  • Happiness increases
  • Intuition develops
  • Gain clarity and peace of mind
  • Problems become smaller
  • Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
  • A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
  • An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
  • The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection

Meditation makes you aware - that your inner attitude determines your happiness.

For an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, visit UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center's audible list of guided meditation.

via UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

NUTRITION: The Yogurt Must Be Greek

Greek yogurt, with its beneficial probiotic bacteria, high protein content and rich flavor, is one of the most popular health foods in America, comprising a billion dollar market.

But few people have as much appreciation for Greek yogurt – or expertise in making it – as Maria Loi, an acclaimed chef, author and host of television cooking shows that have aired in her native Greece and on PBS.

READ MORE HERE

RECIPE: Banana Oatmeal Almond Smoothie

Ingredients

Preparation

  1. Combine the rolled oats and hot or boiling water in a small bowl or ramekin and leave until the oatmeal is soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place all of the ingredients (including the soaked oatmeal) in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Serve at once.

Note

  • To soak the chia seeds place in a jar or bowl and add 4 tablespoons water for every tablespoon of chia seeds. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The seeds and water will be become gelatinous but the smoothie you make with them will not be. To add to a smoothie, scoop up a tablespoon of the gelatinous mixture and add to the blender jar.

Recipe via cooking.nytimes.com