Life

10 Minute Blog: Meditation

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3, 2, 1 Go! I don’t have much time but I do have 10 minutes before I have to leave for Job Club so I thought I’d put some thoughts together before I lose out on the opportunity to write altogether. You know how it goes, once the day gets into full swing, it’s hard to carve out a few minutes to write which is something I want to do every day.

One of the best things about my week away at the yoga retreat (which I have yet to fully blog about) was the 30 minutes we spent each morning journaling and meditating. I have tried many times to meditate but it’s hard to make it a daily habit. Coming home I thought it would be easy just to carry on what I had been doing but once I was home I was uninspired by my meditation surroundings (where was the beautiful scenery and Aegean Sea?!) and couldn’t find a place to get comfortable. I ordered a meditation pillow and decided to just get started.

There are a couple of Apps to help guide meditation and I need guidance (at least to begin). Right now I am trying out Headspace and have found the few meditations I’ve done to be really good. Today’s meditation was “quiet mind” and as in many other meditations you must focus on the breathe. In and out. In and out. I learned at the retreat that I’m not actually breathing properly so now I have that on my list of things to do: learn to breathe.

After you do a few deep breathes and close your eyes, you focus on how your body is feeling. And then there is the quiet mind. Gentle, regular breathing. Simply count them. One on the in breath and two on the out. Keep counting like this to 10 and restart. It reminds you to return your focus to counting your breaths if your mind wanders. And my mind wanders!

Today during meditation I thought about many things:

  • Should I return a call from a wrong number who thought they were reaching someone to talk about veganism? They left a message they got my name on a board about sustainable veganism and wanted to hear about my experience. Not me but should I call them?
  • I should call and make an appointment for a massage next week.
  • I wonder if I really should have applied to that job I just sent a resume to.
  • How much time is left in this meditation?
  • What should I make for dinner tonight?
  • Oh, God. Breathing. Breathing.

Do you meditate?

MC

 

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Life

Showing up

Over the weekend I was honored to partake in two celebrations: one of a new life and one of a death. Our nephew and his girlfriend (who I hadn’t met yet) are having a baby and this past weekend was a perfect time for everyone to get together to celebrate the new baby girl to come. I used to have all sorts of anxiety over attending showers (too long, too boring, too many crazy games!) but several years ago I had a mind shift about them and saw them for what they were: an important moment in a person’s life as we honor a transition to a beautiful new life stage. Whenever I am invited now, I think of it as an honor bestowed.

It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with people we haven’t seen in a while. To put away our phones and our Facebook timelines to make new (in real life) memories. There are always new people to meet too and the nephew’s girlfriend (and her parents) are wonderful and a balm to the family they are joining with. My nephew lost his twin brother in 2016, to addiction, and it has been a heartbreaking journey for them. To witness this happiness in their lives is a joy. And yes, there were games, and I came away with a prize or two.

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Writing

Just keep writing

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For a moment I got sucked into the vortex of blog stats. How many people are reading this? How many visitors did I have last month? This year? Look at how many more I had last year. Gosh. Why did I even look at these stats? Why do I care? How can people read what I’m not writing? Write for yourself whispers my soul.

I’m not going to lie. It isn’t easy to stick to writing, especially when the inspiration isn’t there. I see how much I wrote last year, particularly February when I committed to blogging every day for that month. I had stats! I had likes and follows. I’m not going to lie. It felt easy and good. This year I’ve been adrift and honestly (why do I think I have to keep prefacing myself about honesty!) when I lost my job, I lost my mojo, even though it had been steadily seeping away for some time.

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Life

From vision boarding to nostalgia

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During our yoga retreat a couple weeks ago, our instructor, Julie, talked about creating vision boards to set and guide our intentions. A few years ago I bought myself a small (12”x12”) bulletin board and clipped a few things that I wanted to see in my life. It was on my nightstand and then it slipped to the floor. I moved it to the office area and then when we renovated last year it got tucked away somewhere and I can no longer find it. What was on it? A house. I can’t remember what else.

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Life

Doing hard things

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A view from the Greek island of Amorgos

Last time I had them checked, my lungs were 82 years old. I see a pulmonologist and one of their favorite things is to have you blow into a machine to test your lung function. Take a deep breath and then blow out hard. Really hard. And keep blowing until you think you are going to pass out. Repeat three times. Definitely not a favorite test of mine.

On the outside, I look completely normal, though. At least I think I do. But the truth is, I can get winded from a flight of stairs. The other truth is I like to be active. I want to go out there and capture the world, see everything there is to see and do it all too. Two weeks ago I was in the most beautiful place I have ever visited, a small Greek island surrounded by the amazingly blue Aegean sea. The beauty would take your breath away.

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Getting things done

Organization!

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If there is anything I’ve ever wanted to excel at in life, it’s organization. I often fall short but that’s okay because it means there’s going to be more organizing in my future. The theme for this week is organizing for multiple trips while also deep cleaning the house. I’m not sure this is such a good idea because I’ll probably arrive at Friday, which is the go date for trip one, feeling overwhelmed that I still have things to prepare.

I’ve also been obsessed with “what to pack” videos on YouTube despite the fact I’ve been packing for years on my own. It’s just that I’m curious how other people do it so I’ve (wasted?) spent many hours on this (for entertainment purposes only). Whenever you watch videos on YouTube, they also kindly offer up other videos you might be interested in and so my second favorite genre has been Amazon travel purchase videos. This has been very dangerous! There were so many things I didn’t know I needed to have for my travels.

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Healthy Life

Kicking my sugar habit (part 2)

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Motivation for my nutrition journey

This is part two of my story on quitting sugar. Part one is here.

Greece was still two months away when I started talking to a mom who was on her own journey to lose weight. She was also doing it for health reasons and immediately I was intrigued. I don’t usually go in for programs where you pay money for shakes or other products to help you lose weight. I’ve never tried weight watchers, although I know many who successfully use it but to me it sounded like too much work to count points, etc. I was also at a point where my psoriasis was completely out of control and since I had used diet to get it under control before, I thought that would be the best way to go about it. It’s a very limited and rigid diet, however, so it was tough to get started.

Back to my friend and her program. Another friend had turned her onto Arbonne after successfully using it to help her lose weight and heal after a prolonged health issue. I talked with her at length and decided to give it a go. Arbonne has a 30 Days to Healthy Living starter kit. The products are vegan friendly (and thus compatible with my psoriasis diet) and have a host of good health benefits one of which was it proved promising for quitting my sugar habit. In mid May, I took a leap of faith and ordered the starter kit, eager to get going. I also purchased a Nutribullet to prepare the shakes which require frozen veggies and fruit along with the protein mix, probiotic powder and fiber supplement.

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parenting

God sent me a rainbow

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Before I continue you my story about my journey to quit sugar, I have to tell you about yesterday. It was a busy day where I had a multitude of errands to complete before driving my twelve year old to his first overnight camp experience. I hit the ground running with a car appointment that led to some unexpected expenses. I need it in good shape before I hit the road next week so I’m happy to have brought it in. From there I briefly checked in with my sleeping child and bounced to my next appointment to have my hair cut and colored so I would be ready for the next few busy weeks. Once home, I decided to let my still sleeping child rest on because I figured camp might leave him with some sleepless nights ahead.

By one, when he wasn’t awake yet, I peeked in to gently poke him awake (sleeping bears and all). This can often lead to him waking in a bad mood which it most certainly did. Why didn’t I wake him?! This was his last morning to play Fortnite (mommas don’t let your babies grow up to play Fortnite) and talk to friends before going internet and electroncs free for the next five days. I knew I was in for a tough couple of hours ahead. I let him play for a bit while I packed the car but I told him we had to leave by two so we could grab lunch on the way there. The only way I could get him out of the house was to turn off the internet and that never makes him happy.

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Healthy Life

Kicking sugar (part 1)

1A6E17FC-6EDC-4A93-8B78-882D34811C67.jpegIt’s been three and a half years since I gave up alcohol completely. I had a lot of stops and starts before that but the conditions had to be right before I could admit that I had no control over how many more drinks I would put in my body after I put the first one in. It’s been one of the very best decisions I have made for my life. Life didn’t get better right away but many days at a time later, I have a wonderful life today even with all its ups and downs.

Early in sobriety I was told it was okay to substitute sugar for alcohol. If you crave a drink, have a sweet instead. You don’t even have to give me a reason to treat myself to sugar because I have been a lifelong fan. Twizzlers, sweet tarts, gummy bears, sour patch kids, tootsie rolls, swedish fish, ice cream (mint chocolate chip, please), and the list can go on and on. I have no problem with chocolate, though. I always had a stash of candy in my night stand and if it got low, off to the drugstore I would go.

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Musings

The Junk Room

 

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Did you think I’d actually post a picture of the junk room?

I refuse to keep a junk drawer. When we re-did our kitchen last summer, it was the first thing to go and I’m pretty vigilant about making sure those extra random things do not end up in the silverware drawer. But a junk room I do have. Do you have one? A room where all the miscellaneous stuff we collect over the years and no longer use or need ends up? And also the stuff you use infrequently?

I came face to face with mine today and it wasn’t pretty. When I first became jobless a few months ago, I dove headlong into decluttering and then got stalled when it got to other people’s stuff (mainly my husband’s). I am not good with throwing out other people’s stuff because I don’t want to be blamed if something crucial goes missing. I also have not found a good way to motivate them to do their own decluttering. All ideas are welcome!

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