Going Back to Kindergarten: Start Again Without Starting Over

Let me tell you how rocky last month was for me. Late nights, uncontrollable snacking, lack of motivation to do my exercises, and lack of focus during my meditation. I felt I was on a downward spiral. So what did I do to turn it around? A little practice called “going back to kindergarten”.

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Lads Before the Wind

Welcome to my Book Project, currently called Animal Notes, but I’d love suggestions for a better or more apropos name- Keeper Records, Training Notes, Reviews for Zoos… Whatever conveys the sharing of ideas to improve the lives of (not just) animal care professionals so we can show up as the best versions of ourselves for the animals, the community, and the world.

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Animal Notes- Flight of the Hummingbird

This week’s Animal Note we’re going to be discussing the PHENOMENAL and super short story The Flight of the Hummingbird. This parable has origins among the Quechan people of South America and the Haida of the North Pacific. But the book we will review is interpreted by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas with commentary by Wangari Maathai and His Holiness the Dalia Lama.

If you would like to watch my note, it’s on YouTube Here

This book is definitely a MUST HAVE book for any conservationist, environmentalist, or anyone who wants to make a difference in this world. The story and commentary themselves are only 50 pages long, but the ideas presented could fill encyclopedias, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I have, so let’s dive right in. Read More “Animal Notes- Flight of the Hummingbird”

Life Safari

In this note, we will be discussing the wisdom behind a beautiful short parable called Life Safari by John Strelecky. I first found Strelecky while I was a marine mammal trainer in Florida and picked up a quick short book titled Why Are You Here Café. It took me a few years to get around to reading it, but when I finally did, my whole view of life was altered. When Life Safari came out, I quickly nabbed a copy and read it in one sitting. It’s a really short, brilliant story of a young man visiting Africa and his adventure with his guide, Ma Ma Gombe. As they journey across the great continent of Africa, Jack learns more about life and how to appreciate it as well as everyone you meet along your journey. He completes one of his greatest dreams by seeing all the African animals on his journey, and realizes what he needs to do to get the most out of life.

While short in length, this book is an absolutely enormous volume in regards to wonderful tips and wisdom. And I’ll share some of my favorite big ideas with you in our first Animal Notes. Read More “Life Safari”

Plastic-Free July Eco-Challenge, Day 21: The Zero Waste Chef

I’m pretty busy with a few projects but I still want to give my readers a daily dose of goodness for Plastic-Free July. It’s important to stay motivated, stay inspired.

But ZooFit Safari is *THIS* close to being published. I decided to give myself a day and let a professional take the wheel for today. Don’t worry, I still practiced Plastic-Free. But when it comes to helpful tips and practices, it’s good to know I’m certainly not alone.

I came across the Zero Waste Chef while in Kentucky, visiting family. Surfing the webs for a rhubarb crisp recipe, I stumbled upon a recipe using almond pulp from homemade almond milk. That’s curious, I thought. I looked at the site name, and saw the Zero-Waste Chef, and then her main quote- “We don’t need a few people doing waste-free perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

This woman must be one of my soulmates. Our philosophies are the same- small steps toward your goal, keep doing the best you can, it’s not about perfection. And so on.

If you want to be inspired, whether it’s a recipe you want to try doing waste-free, or looking for tips for breaking up with plastic, Anne Marie Bonneau has tons of experience and advice. After Plastic-Free July, I’m going to look into her 31 day challenge to go Zero-Waste. I’m also looking forward to trying her homemade Nutella recipe. No waste, and no palm oil?!?! What wizardry is this?!?!

So, while I finish up my incredible fitness challenge (it’s epic, my friends, EPIC!), I’ll let you peruse the Zero Waste Chef and see that each small behavior change leads to a better life and a better world.


Plastic-Free July Eco-Challenge, Day 14: Watch a Movie

In my Optimize coach class, we discuss cutting down on television to make time for things which are important to us. Important things like fitness, writing, art, family time (and no, TV is not family time). But even our mentor, Brian Johnson, watches movies, documentaries, and even TED talks once in a while (he’s really impressed with the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”). Read More “Plastic-Free July Eco-Challenge, Day 14: Watch a Movie”