Is Composting All That Simple?

With enough proper maintenance and basic knowledge on the subject, composting is indeed a very simple and low cost D.I.Y. project that anyone can do.

As I began to spend more time weeding and clearing out my yard in order to start up a garden, I contemplated ways in which I could enrich the soil so that it would benefit anything I decided to grow there (and so I could simply nurture the soil in general).

One of the simplest and most efficient (as well as cost efficient) ways in which I found to do this was by composting.

What is composting?

Composting is the process of recycling organic matter/material in order for it to decompose and produce a nutrient rich fertilizer to add to soil. 

What I have come to learn is that there are a variety of techniques when it comes to starting a compost. Although there are many different machines available to support this process, such as tumblers, tray units, and compost kits, I can say that from my own experience and research thus far, none of these products are even necessary to start your own compost project.

How to start a compost?

The two simplest ways that I have found to start a compost are:

  • Creating a designated pile in your yard
  • Using a plastic storage bin to store the material

I will add details below on how to regulate the process, but these are the basic methods.

Creating a Pile in Your Yard

This is a very simple method.

All you have to do is designate a spot in your yard that is easily accessible, yet still out of the way since these piles do tend to smell after a while.

Once you have chosen a designated area to start it, lay some twigs or grass clippings down on the earth and simply begin by adding material. You will want to occasionally turn and mix the pile as it starts to accumulate material, you can do this with tools such as a pitchfork, rake, or shovel

If you want to keep the pile a little more tidy, you can expand the project even further by constructing an encasement around the pile itself out of wood, specifically hard wood pallets (side note: wood pallets are also very good for making pallet gardens). To add your own touch to it, you can also get creative and paint the pallets before you construct the encasement.

Using a Plastic Storage Bin (This is the method I am currently using.)

This method is also very simple to start, and it avoids a lot of mess and is good to keep in easily accessible spaces.

For this, all you need is:

  • A Plastic Storage Container (preferably with a lid)
  • A Drill (or anything that can poke holes through the lid of the container)

To get this project going, all you need to do is find an easily accessible place to store the container, drill/create holes in the lid at least 1-2 inches apart for air circulation, and simply add material to start the compost.

How to regulate/maintain your compost?

Although composting is a simple process, maintenance is still required.

To maintain a compost, all you have to do is:

  • Once material starts to accumulate, remember to turn the pile occasionally (I do this once a day).
    • For the storage container: You can do this with a small shovel, or simply by picking up the tub and shaking it till it is thoroughly mixed.
    • For the pile: As I wrote above, you can mix the pile with a tool such as a shovel, rake, or pitchfork.
  • Make sure there is an even balance between moist and dry materials.
    • This is important, you don’t want your compost to be too wet or too dry. Make sure to keep an eye on this and to add more moist or dry materials accordingly.

The compost should be ready to use when all the contents have fully (or at least mostly) decomposed. It should have a dark and rich appearance, giving off an earthy scent. Once it has reached this state, it will then be ready to incorporate into your soil.

What materials to add to a compost?

Dry materials that you can add:

  • Dry Grass Cuttings
  • Fallen Leaves
  • Egg Shells
  • Cut Up Egg Cartons
  • Shredded/Teared Up Paper/Newspaper
  • Straw/Hay
  • Wood Ash/Chips
  • Small Pieces of Cardboard

Moist materials that you can add:

  • Teabags
  • Vegetable Peelings
  • Fruit Waste
  • Fresh Grass Cuttings
  • Worms
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Water

What to AVOID adding:

  • Meat
  • Dairy Products
  • Dog or Cat Poop
  • Baby Diapers
  • Weeds
  • Plastic, Glass, and Metals

 

All my love best wishes, you got this.

The Power of Gratitude

To live in a constant state of gratitude is to be content with all-that-is.

Only when we make peace with all-that-is are we able to rise above, or overcome all that we consider to be negative in our lives. The situations within our own personal lives that we consider to be negative are only negative because we choose to perceive our circumstances through that lens. When we create a shift and recognize the reasons to be grateful for all that we have, we then begin to realize that where we are is actually pretty good!

Give to receive. That is law.

Whatever we give is what we shall receive. Whether it be love, judgement, fear, or gratitude; Whatever goes around comes around.

The power of living in a state of gratitude typically tends to be pretty underestimated. I’ve found this aspect of my life to be so important now that the last thing I say before I go to sleep and the first thing I say as soon as I wake up in the morning is “Thank you.

When we teach ourselves how to be thankful for all that we have, we also open ourselves up to allowing and receiving that same type of positive energy. If we only focus on the things that are “wrong” in our lives, then that focus will allow those types of experiences to continue. 

I know how easy it is to slip into the ego’s tendencies of complaining about all the things we claim to dislike in our lives. I know how easy it is to slip into thinking about how good our lives would be “If we just had…“, and I know how easy it is to slip into negative ways of thinking when things don’t go our way; But it is still our choice whether we want to focus on the positive or the negative.

It is, and always is, that simple of a decision.

Some ways that one can practice living in a constant state of gratitude are:

Starting a Gratitude Journal

This can vary from writing a list of at least 5 things you are grateful for every day, to keeping a journal dedicated to gratitude.

Saying “Thank You

This can be saying “Thank you,” right before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up in the morning, to simply becoming aware of saying “Thank you,” to people in general.

For Every Complaint, Find Gratitude

Every time you catch yourself focusing on complaints, become aware of at least one thing that you are thankful for. Make the shift.

 

These are just a few examples that work for me, but like always, the list can go on forever and it is important to follow whatever path works for you personally. All my love and best wishes, thank you.

 

The Art of Being

There is no trying, only doing.

The moment one “tries” to be a certain way is the moment they get lost in the process. 

The beauty of simply being is that one doesn’t have to try or do anything. This is what some would call, “going with the flow”. It is the art of intentionally transitioning into a state of allowing and acceptance.

When we try to act, or even think a certain way, we are also unconsciously establishing the implication that we have to do in order to be. But we are already complete as we are.

Although it is important to recognize that through this natural process, awareness is powerful. Being is not simply giving up and falling into a state of unconsciousness, in fact, when we are in a state of being we are becoming more aligned with our higher consciousness. When we allow things to flow naturally, it is important to do so with the presence of awareness so we also become conscious of the things that were once running behind the scenes as unconscious patterns.

So being is not simply a doing in order to gain a temporary sense of relief from our lives, it is a way of livingOnce we begin to live life in this constant state of flow, it creates the shift into becoming our natural state. There is no more trying, there is no more “If I could just achieve this, I will finally be complete,” there just is, and that is a beautiful thing.

Becoming Non-Reactive Towards Thoughts

To observe thoughts without judgement or criticism, only with the presence of love and compassion, is to become aware of the truth that thoughts have no power over the way we feel, unless we allow them to have that power through reaction and ego-identification.

Of course no one would consciously want to give their thoughts the power to cause them suffering, that is why it is unconscious behavior. When one brings their awareness to the fact that thoughts do not have the power to cause them suffering unless they react to them, they then become conscious of it, and it is then no longer an unconscious pattern.

Some get as far as becoming aware of the thoughts that arise, but then lose this awareness by falling into unconscious reactivity; such as convincing themselves of “I should not be thinking this, I am wrong for thinking this” or truly believing that the thought has something to do with who they are (ego-identification), thus inducing emotions such as sadness, anger, regret, or fear.

The thoughts that we tend to react to the most are usually linked to a negative false belief system that we have recurrently convinced ourselves to be true (even if it is far from what is true), which then becomes ingrained within our mental structure. This false belief then influences unconscious cyclical patterns of thinking that we assume we have no control over, but we do.

When we begin to sit with these thoughts and look into why they arise, instead of fighting against, resisting, and trying to avoid them, we can then bring our awareness to the root cause of why these thoughts make us feel the way they do, and make the shift from unconsciousness to consciousness.

Practicing Unconditional Self-Love

When one begins to practice unconditionally loving them self, they are also nurturing a positive relationship between their mind, their body, and their being.

Unconditional love is not something that can be obtained, or a goal that is to be reached. Unconditional love is something that we as human-beings are constantly learning how to practice and cultivate within our own lives. 

So many of us often create limitations for ourselves by reinforcing self-constructed negative belief-systems, like patterns of self-doubt and self-judgement. In my personal experience, it feels much better to work towards letting go of such a mentality, and to give yourself a break.

One thing I have learned is the importance of making myself aware of the fact that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as I am able to perceive these mistakes as a lesson to learn from instead of a grievance with the power to hold me back from growing.

Instead of holding such high exceptions for ourselves, as if we’re not human-beings with imperfections, we should work towards being more compassionate and understanding towards ourselves, as we can then more genuinely express compassion and understanding towards others.

It is not selfish to prioritize yourself; if anything, once one practices loving them self unconditionally, they can then radiate that love to others,  and share it with whomever they decide to share it with.

You are already complete as you are, you don’t need any external validation to determine your self-worth, and that is truth. ♥

Patience, forgiveness, nourishment, making peace with being alone, a nice warm bath; self-love takes many forms, but at the end of the day, it simply comes down to what works best for one personally, based on their own personal life-experiences.

Trust in whatever feels right for you, and everything else will begin to fall into place.

From the Words of Dr. Dyer: Awareness of Perception

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

It is our choice whether we interpret our personal experiences to be positive or negative. In other words, we all have the power to choose to reflect a state of higher awareness, or to remain rooted in patterns of egoistic perception.

One thing I came to realize is that when the ego is in control, it will always manage to find another problem, another thing to complain about, another thing to oppose. Even if there is no problem present, the ego will find a way to create one just so it can continue to survive.

One way I learned how reflect a state of inner peace and higher awareness, instead of allowing myself to fall into negative ways of thinking and reactivity, is to live in a constant state of gratitude. 

If I am resting in a hot room, there are two ways in which I can perceive the situation:

  • “I can’t take this heat, this is so unpleasant. If I just had another fan to cool me off I would feel much better.” And so on…

OR

  • “I’m grateful that I am inside with some air flowing. If I were stuck outside, I would be much hotter than I am now. Thank you.”

This is just one small example, but this applies to all the experiences we perceive and encounter throughout each of our journeys. As one continues to practice and become aware of the ways in which they perceive interactions and situations, the ego’s tendencies to seek out negativity will diminish (as the ego itself will begin to diminish due to the presence of awareness), and all that is positive will start to become apparent.

Becoming Aware of Internal Thought Patterns

Anyone has the ability to become the observer of thought instead of identifying with thought.

When one is able to see thoughts for what they are, a programmed belief system existing only within one’s own mind, they are then over time able to reprogram these thought patterns in order to initiate a positive shift within themselves. If one does not become aware of their negative thought patterns, then these same thoughts continue on as a cycle of ego-based suffering.

Real positive change for oneself always begins on an internal level; but one can only make the decision to change for themselves, not anyone else. If one does not want to create change for themselves, or is not truly open to change, then they can never achieve this positive change until they make the choice (on their own) to create that internal switch.

Our egos love to convince ourselves that making such an internal switch is an impossible feat, when in reality that is not the case at all. Yes, it may take time to understand your negative  patterns and to form new positive ones, and I can personally tell you now it’s not always easy to dedicate oneself to such an internal change, but this is something that any human being can achieve; if they are willing to place enough importance on it.

So if you are contemplating a change within yourself, allow me to ask you this one question, the question that was at the root of all of the positive change I initiated within myself:

Do you think you have suffered enough?

(With all my love, this post was inspired by Eckhart Tolle)

 

Assume the Feeling of the Wish Fulfilled

UB Mind Projection

What we place in our imagination is more than just an empty thought, it becomes our reality.

When one assumes the feeling of a wish fulfilled, they are imagining the feeling of how it would feel if they already had the things that they desire. One can do this simply by asking themselves the question, “how would I feel if I already had it?”

Once one has a clear visualization of what they are striving for, they can then bring all of their attention towards envisioning that for themselves; focusing only on their highest expectations instead of the “how” it will happen, thus allowing the process of manifestation to unfold on its own.

And of course as I like to remind myself, infinite patience produces immediate results.

(This post was inspired by Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Wishes Fulfilled)

Breaking the Karmic Chain of Action and Reaction

UB Karmic Chain

The ongoing cycle of suffering and violence can never be broken with more suffering and violence.

It is no surprise that violence brings nothing but suffering into this world; whether it be through war and abuse of power, or violence within our own homes. My mom always used to tell me, “hurt people hurt people,” a line which has stuck with me to this day.

When someone hurts us, our immediate reaction is usually to hurt the other person back in defense (although really one is just defending a mental construct that they identify with within their own mind, but that’s besides the point). This relates closely to the principle of the Law of Retaliation, or “an eye for an eye.” But like Mahatma Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

Now this is not to say that we should take violence from others, but rather learn how to become nonreactive towards it. When we come from a place of non-reactivity, from a place of inner peace, we then hold the power to break the cycle of violence and suffering instead of contributing to it.  We then become the impact for positive change just by living in that state of mind.

If we all came from a place of peace and love, to promote progress instead of the “us” versus “them” mentality, we could achieve great things in this world, beautiful things. If we focused on building and bringing each other up instead of attacking and pulling each other down, so much unnecessary suffering could be avoided, and there would be no limit to the things that we could create in this world, as well as the experiences we could  create in our own lives.

So from the words of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” (click here to view the video)