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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.

Breaking the Cycle of Procrastination

Our egos love to convince ourselves that it is easier to remain stagnant than to initiate growth and rise above limitations; But staying stagnant is suffering, and the limitations do not exist. 

If one feels as though they are lost and don’t know where to go next, the best thing to do is something.

Whenever I felt as if I was stuck in one place, not knowing which direction to go in next, I would realize that it was time for something to change.

Instead of waiting for some magical solution to come into my life, I always found it easier to take control and make something happen.

 

Some of the things that helped me to take action within my own life, that are easy for anyone to take control and do if they are feeling stuck, are:

Clean and Reorganize Your Bedroom

This is a great way to initiate a shift within one’s life. One can get rid of things that no longer grow them, serve them, or make them happy within their own personal space.

It feels good to let go of things that you feel as if you’ve grown out of, as well as getting rid of things that may carry an energy that holds you back mentally. Although more than anything, it feels good to create a space where you feel at peace.

Start a Garden

This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing project. One can take the initiative from going out and weeding, to starting a compost bin, to potting a flower and nurturing it every day. Don’t be afraid to get creative and involved with it, do whatever calls to you personally. Enjoy and be present during the process, as this is also a way to connect with nature.

Start a New Diet/Detox

It helps to start out small, like eliminating certain things from one’s diet (which is what I did in order to nurture my body). Some of the things I took the initiative of eliminating from my diet were:

  • Sugar
  • Bread
  • Dairy
  • Meat

It is important to do whatever works for you personally, and not to forget to love yourself through the process!

Create a Daily Exercise/Yoga Routine

This can be finding an exercise or yoga video that you like and practicing it every night before you go to sleep, or even something as simple as taking a walk once a day. As I wrote above, anything is better than nothing, as long as one is taking the initiative with the intention of doing things differently. 

Read a Book or Learn Something New

One doesn’t have to pay for a class or wait for knowledge to come to them in order to learn something new, there are many resources and ways to educate ourselves right here within our own homes. It is up to us though to initiate this process and become open to learning new things.

 

The list can go on forever… But at the end of the day, initiating some kind of change feels much better than staying stuck.

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.

Using Your Body as an Anchor for Presence

Your body is an anchor for presence.

Presence not only has to do with becoming aware of perception and the activity of the mind, but becoming aware of the energy within the physical body as well. Although our essence is the formless aspect of our being, we are also connected to and inhabit our temporary physical forms that exists here within this collective reality.

To learn more about this connection between the form and the formless, one can look into concepts such as ChakrasKundalini, and Tantra. (These are just a few examples that have helped me, but there are many more). 

It is important to treat our bodies as our temples, and remember to not neglect this aspect of ourselves.

Let go, and Let Flow

Resistance of the flow happens when one allows fear-based thinking and negative emotions to take control, which causes suffering. When one ceases to resist and allows the natural flow to occur within them, without judgement or retaliation, inner peace takes over.

To make inner peace is to cease the fighting within. To allow, to forgive, to accept, to love. There is a saying that we usually make ourselves own worst enemies, that is to say, we judge our minds and our own egos the harshest. The things that we tend to judge in others, whether we’re aware of it or not, is usually a reflection of how we feel about our own identities.

We all inherently have the desire to come from a place of authenticity, but that is a difficult task when most of don’t even know how to be honest with ourselves. This is not usually intentional, but we have trained ourselves so well to avoid thoughts and feelings that make us uncomfortable that, for most of us, it has become ingrained within our mental structure.

When we become aware of the reason behind why certain emotions, thoughts, and feelings arise, instead of falling into the self-constructed pattern of judgement and escapism, the path to freeing oneself of the suffering connected to these certain emotions, thoughts, and feelings then becomes apparent.

We then realize that these thoughts, feelings, and emotions only have the power to effect us because we allow them to, because we give it our attention, whether we’re aware of it or not.

To fall into identification with things like thought and emotion is to allow thought and emotion to determine and have power over how we feel, and this includes how we feel about ourselves. This is to resist the natural flow of what is, to resist all that is love. 

When we allow these things to flow through us without judgement or fear, only with the presence of love and acceptance towards anything that arises, we then allow it to come and go, to pass through us instead of holding onto it with our attention. We then learn how to let go, and let flow.