Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Less is More: My "Organic Top 21" list and positive media

In the spirit of "less is more" Ode Magazine (the magazine for intelligent optimists) came out with It's "Organic Top 20" list today. I would like to add Patagonia to that list for having the courage to invest in organic cotton clothing two decades ago when organic cotton was much more expensive, hard to source and before green went mainstream. They really went out on a limb then.

[Full disclosure: I used to work for Patagonia. The view from the inside convinced me that their commitment to the environment is pretty legit.]

Sorry if this posting sounds like an ad. It's just that it's hard to find POSITIVE and USEFUL news lately and I wanted to post something that was both.

Speaking of the increased amount of negativity and irrelevancy flowing out from the media lately, I believe it's depressing our moods (and my 401k--and personal income, too I might add). Getting bombarded several times a day with negativity is just not healthy or helpful. It's times like these when I need more energy, more creativity, more connections in my life to help my clients with my web business, support our non-profit, be a good moma and still make a difference. Our country needs more inspiration, more collective resolve and spirit--not less--in order to fix our economy, environment, and increase our personal happiness quotient.

So, less is more...

Recently, I canceled our local daily newspaper, said "no" to cable (again) and have limited my own doses of NPR to thoughtful and interesting programs such as "Fresh Air", "On Point" and "This American Life".

For the past month, I've been getting my news from these generally positive and useful sources:

•People: I've gone old school and have taken up more active listening and sharing news with friends and fellow business owners & shop keepers around town
•Coffee Connection (aka "John's Coffee Shop" in Ojai): It's remarkable how much useful and locally interesting news I get from just chatting with people while standing at the counter
Facebook.com: I get daily postings about people I know and care about
Twitter.com: I get (sometimes) hourly postings from runners, social entrepreneurs and triathletes that keep me energized and inspired to do more
• Newspapers (okay, I admit that newspapers are a definite exception to my positive rule): Wall Street Journal for the helpful articles for small businesses and the occasional Sunday edition of the New York Times or Los Angeles Times for their in depth features on global and societal issues and trends
•Magazines: Ode, National Geographic, The Sun Magazine ("The Science of Happiness" article is great this month), Runner's World (online), Marathon and Beyond, Vegetarian Times, Craft:, and a bunch of anthropology journals I get through my AAA membership (Ethos, Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, American Anthropology).
•Emails and texts flying back and forth from friends, business associates, professors, artists, professional athletes, journalists, anthropologists, lawyers, plumbers, my kids and their friends.

And, since I've made these changes, I feel that I've essentially regained control of my information and outlook. I'm keeping informed about things that I want to know about. And, less informed of what someone else believes is important for me to be told and to believe. I'm less pissed off. I'm more content with what I have. I'm less anxious about stuff like swine flu, failing banks, global warming and threats to social security. And, I am participating in discourses that are more helpful and meaningful to me personally. Discourses that could lead to increased good. Since these changes...

I've been happier.
Less stressed.

"You become what you think about all day long."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

:) A

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
:) A