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self care

14 Feb

One thing each day that makes me feel good and is good for me. I mean, a box of Little Debbie’s makes me feel good for a minute but I suppose that is unfortunately out of the realm of self care.

Today was early morning meditation. My mind was in epic form, wandering all over the place but that’s kind of the point; to constantly bring it back again and again*. With practice, this gets easier. Consistency is my nemesis in all things but today, this one time, I won.

*semicolons are a mystery to me. I stuck one there because it felt right. So there.

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meditation thoughts

23 Mar

LOVEMy personal meditation practice has thus far been one of ebbs and flows; in a definite ebb the past few weeks. One of my “recharging” strategies is a monthly meditation class at the yoga studio that I like so much. Meditation with a group vs meditation alone is such a different experience. Both are beneficial and I love them in equal measure. Yesterday I joined the small class for an hour of guided meditation/movement and this morning I sat alone for seven minutes. Each method is a win in spite of the vast difference in duration and format.

I find that when I haven’t meditated for several days, coming back to it is a welcome homecoming but my mind is much more active and jumpy than if I stick with it for longer stretches. That’s normal I suppose and I am a believer that meditation takes practice to reap optimal benefits, even though the irony is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It is about finding what works best for you; sitting in the traditional cross-legged position or legs outstretched, seated in a chair, standing up, laying down, or a walking meditation. You really can be mindful wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.

During yesterday’s class my mind was a whirl, my feet kept falling asleep, and my back ached. And yet, I came away refreshed and in a better mental state than when I had entered the doors of the studio an hour earlier. I received further confirmation that I was practicing in the right place for me when our teacher read from a book of one of my favorite meditation practitioners, Tara Brach, and reminded us that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Your mind will wander and thoughts will come and go. Meditation is a process of coming back to yourself, over and over again.

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. ~Zen Proverb

meditation and mindfulness

4 Jan

I haven’t yet made meditation a daily habit, which is my goal, but I have incorporated it into my life on a semi-regular basis and even that is pretty amazing so far. I’ve been doing a ton of reading and listening to talks but there’s no substitute for the actual doing. In a way, I think I’m a bit apprehensive about committing to sitting every day becausMeditationSpacee I know it is going to change me substantially. I love change, but when it’s an internal, personal, spiritual one like this is/will be, that seems scarier to me. Perhaps that makes no sense to anyone but me and my therapist, but I get it.

Its not just the physical act of meditation that I’m finding useful, but the act of mindfulness in general and being aware, accepting things without resistance, and so many other principles of being in mindful presence that I’m finding to be applicable in every aspect of life.

I’m so pleased with the sitting space I’ve created in my closet and it is working really well. I found myself in a bit of a restless, panicky, weird place late last night and I went in and did a guided meditation and came out feeling much better and was able to go to sleep.

So here’s to making it a daily habit and embracing personal growth. And keeping my closet clean and clutter free. That may be my biggest challenge.

The you that goes in one side of the meditation experience is not the same you that comes out the other side. ~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

29 and holding. Plus 10.

2 Dec

So, I turned 39 today. I’m trying to feel positive about this and embrace the moment and all that jazz, but Ima keep it real and just say that it kind of sucks. I have a case of the birthday blues and feel pretty stupid and petty about it. And if anyone says “its better than the alternative”, I will punch you in the face. Because old ladies are grumpy.

The day itself was good and my friends and family were awesome with the cards and texts and posts, etc. I was treated to a sweet “work meeting” at Starbucks and went to lunch at my favorite dive diner with a favorite friend. The Accountant sent sweet flowers and kiddo gifted me the cutest drawing in a card and a Barnes and Noble giftcard which I spent on the same day because giftcards are like FIAH in my pocket.

In other news, Thanksgiving was really nice. The three of us went to my family’s and did the holiday up right. And by doing the holiday up right, I mean that I now need new pants because food baby. Christmas prep is in full swing and is stress free so far thanks to artificial trees, a set budget, and online shopping.

I’m trying to get kiddo to focus on things other than presents and to realize that she is a fortunate little bugger and that this is not everyone’s reality. She’s got several projects in the works; donating her bike to a local organization that refurbishes them for others, Soles for Souls shoe drive, shopping for gifts for a family her class is supporting. Great things for sure but I don’t think she “gets it” yet. All part of the journey I guess.

There was an excellent Tara Brach talk on serving. I’ll have to find it and link because it was so pertinent, even though the gist was pretty obvious and nothing novel or new. Yet something we tend to forget. She discussed how depressed people are selfish, in that they can be completely focused on self. I can’t speak as eloquently about it as she does but the basic premise is that by serving others and taking away that focus on self, we counter this “selfishness”. No brainer, right? I think what stuck with me was how she framed it. Because depressed people ARE selfish, at some base level, but putting yourself outside your own issues and mental quagmire is mind-clearing in many ways. And yeah, it’s 3 in the morning and I am butchering this but you get the idea.

Which reminds me, the meditation space is coming along. It’s been cleaned out and just needs some final touches and I will be omming with the best of them. Haha. Not that you need the perfect space to meditate but I’ll be glad to have a home base of sorts. And if meditation means face-planting into your keyboard in Cubicle Nation tomorrow, I’ll gonna be spot on because it’s late and sleep has eluded me, until now.

Peas ‘n Carrots.

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