Posts Tagged With: mindful

gratitude, get you some

Gratitude.
I’m not super feeling it of late.
Friday last the roofers came to rebuild and repair the rafters. The next day rain poured into the house. Turns out the tarps were not properly reattached.
Yay.
The roofers were here for nearly five hours Saturday evening working to stop the water.
The rain. Sweet baby Jesus, the rain we’ve had.
And the weather related head pain just makes me weary.

It occurred to me I’m paying attention to the wrong stuff.
So I stopped. And took a big ass breath to focus on the right stuff.
Once I began to consider what I am actively grateful for it was simple to create a list and I noticed a significant shift in my well being.

10:00 am movies at the theater because, summer!
Amber (she does my hair)
Target app
peach citrus white tea from Starbucks
Hercules quotes
crusty bread and butter
air cooled seats and xm radio
simple summer dresses
Bloom gin
long phone conversations with my girl

I’m making the choice to actively focus on what is good, what is meaningful, what I’m grateful for. I’m not sure I’ll do a daily gratitude post, but I’m considering a weekly one. But, each day I will write in my journal that for which I am grateful. That is a promise I am making to myself. And one I have every intention of keeping.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by life. Easy to get caught up in the chaos. It’s harder to pay attention. Harder to be mindful.
I must pay attention. Otherwise I’ll get lost.
And we all know

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mind full or mindful


I’m actively focusing on this as I create my summer schedule.
I must pay attention to where I am while I’m creating my schedule.
Being mindful of building in time for self care.

I have three things that must be accomplished before school starts.
1. 5 courses
2. GOOB Lula
3. house

I can most likely complete three of my five courses between now and when school starts, leaving me with one month to finish two. I’m going to do this if it kills me, and y’all it just might.

Getting rid of all the Lula merch before school starts is a must for me. I need to close the book on this going out of business.

The process of fixing the hole in the house has finally begun. We met with the roofer Saturday. Of course they can’t begin work for about a month, but I was assured it would be finished before I have to go back to school in August.

My mind is full.
There are lists. And tasks. And plans.
I must be mindful about my time, and needs, and state of being so I don’t overwhelm myself.

On Monday I tempered homework with writing for this blog, and running to the post office and Costco.
Tuesday I posted Lula merch in an online sale, and did homework, and wrote.
Today I’m writing and I’ll do homework. I have two appointments today, one with my therapist, the other to see the massage therapist. I need both these appointments. My therapist and I will talk of how best to plan. The massage therapist will ease the discomfort in my head for a while.

When my mind is full, I feel frantic. I’m not actually checking anything off my list because I’m just spinning my wheels. I’m aware of how much I have to do, but not actually doing any of it. I’m like the Tasmanian Devil spinning around creating more chaos in my wake. I’m like a pinball bouncing around off things, all flashing lights and dinging bells.
I know this about myself. I know that I’ve not made the best use of my time or skills. Neither have I taken the best care of myself.
When I’m mindful, I’m still. I’m aware. I’m comfortable and confident.
Shifting gears from the former to the later is not exactly simple, but neither is it all that difficult. I only have to remember that I must stop to shift. Can’t shift on the fly, don’t want to ruin my transmission.
So I stop and I breathe.
Then I plan.

Create my summer schedule.
On paper with a pen.
Times and tasks and appointments.
But I’m also adding porch life and cocktails and maybe even a trip!

I’m paying attention to what I need to accomplish and what I need to be me. Being mindful about tempering crossing accomplishments off lists with simply living my life.
My mind feels full. I feel a little bit of anxiety about accomplishing tasks.
By being mindful about myself and my place in the world, I feel confident I can do what needs to be done without becoming overwhelmed. I know how to make it work. Just have to set about the planning.
Being mindful, living my intention, kicking ass and taking names, I got this!

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mental self five

I keep thinking about the war between desire and effort and the more I consider the whole situation, the more I need to clarify for myself, y’all just reap the benefits of the process.

YBW and I do most things together. As a matter of fact, outside of the people we work with, we spend the most time with each other. We do our normal daily routine things together because we live in the same physical space. But we also go out in the world together and do things. Some times things he likes, some times things I like, often times things we both like, or like to do together.
That said, there are some days when YBW doesn’t want to leave the house and I’m itching to get out. Even if it’s simple errand running to Target or whatever. Some days I’ll go alone, other’s I’ll choose to stay put because I don’t feel like going by myself.
There are some times when YBW wants to be in front of his computer in his jammies to play video games all day long. And though I’m cool with that, me spending time alone in this house is something I do most days so I don’t always love it.
My husband loves to game. I don’t. He should be able to do what he loves even if I want to do something else. And y’all, that man will often times do what I want instead of gaming. It’s not always fair to him.

The obvious solution when it comes to one of us wanting to do something the other does not is to be social with friends.
Here’s what’s tricky about that. Most of the people I’m closest to live far far away from me.
When I was in SC, I had many friends to go and do things with. I also had my girls to go and do things with.

The local people I’m friends with mostly have young children.
Because I’m passionate about education and young children, that’s how I spend my time. I don’t really see people that aren’t either moms of young children, or educators of young children.
I have a couple of friends that have grown kids, but they have established friend groups. This means we can sometimes get together, but those friendship bonds are different than those of established relationships.
Even some of the teachers at school that I’m friendly with have children that aren’t old enough to be left alone.
So, unless we’re doing a kid friendly activity, most of my local friends don’t have the freedom of movement I have. That leaves me to fend for myself, or YBW and I do things as a couple.

As I read what I’m writing, it may sound as though I’m making excuses. I’m actually not. These are simply the facts of my life.
Since making new friends is not as easy as it sounds, I’m going to consider how to best spend time with the friends I have.
I’m also going to continue to spend time with YBW.
But, I’m also going to continue to do things on my own.

I want to learn to rock climb, and there’s a great indoor place three miles from home called Vertical Rock. I’ve been considering this for some time and finally decided I’m going to investigate what it takes to learn. YBW is anxious about heights. This is something he would not remotely enjoy doing with me. I’m not sure I know anyone (local) that would like to learn to climb with me and that’s OK, because I just discovered that Vertical Rock has it’s own meet up group! Can’t wait to share that with my therapist!

However I consider any of these things, this is my life.
The question is: Does if fulfill me?
The answer is: Yes…for the most part.

Follow up question: How can I be more fulfilled in my life?
Answer here is keep going and growing.
I’m enthusiastic about learning. I’m enthusiastic about life.
I’m hearing ‘ephphatha‘ in my head: be opened.
I am open to new and different things. To new and different ways of doing old things.
I am ready to be opened up to the world around me.
I have a keen sense of adventure!
It is time for my desire to outweigh my effort.

Who knows?
Stepping out of my comfort zone may be the beginning of something wonderful.
It may blow up in my face.
Doesn’t matter, because I’m up for it.

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the war between desire and effort

Had an interesting conversation with my therapist on Monday about life satisfaction.
I’ve been thinking for a few days, perhaps even a week now about how my life is a quiet, sort of prosaic suburban existence, and I’m not sure how satisfied I am with that. We specifically focused on things I like to do but am disinclined to do alone.
She and I tossed around the whys and wherefores of this.
We examined whether it was fear or laziness. (my vote was lazy and we both laughed)
Using my hands as a scale I talked about weighing my desire against my effort.
Specifically, did I want to go by myself to a Sylvia Plath exhibit at the NPG.
Would I enjoy the exhibit?
Absolutely.
Do I want to physically get myself into the district?
Not so much.
(It’s not as much that I dislike driving in DC, it’s more that I hate parking in DC. And just so we’re clear, I hate the Metro even more.)

How much effort am I willing to put forth to do the things I want to do?
Depends on how badly I want to do them.
Ah ha!
There’s the rub.
Too much weight on ‘not putting forth the effort’ side of the scale and ‘doing things’ side of the scale will never find balance.
In theory, well, my theory. Well, more like I sorta-kinda-had-part-of-a-thought-a-couple-days-ago…this all comes down to stepping outside of my comfort zone.

I’m completely capable of stepping outside my comfort zone, I just don’t like to.
I mean seriously, do you see how comfy it is in here? What’s out there that’s so freaking great?

Lucille feels me.

I love the idea of being adaptable. And y’all, however much of a tightly wound control freak I am, for the love of all things holy, I am adaptable.
But I’m only adaptable when I must be. I’m less inclined to adapt when it’s not absolutely necessary.
I’ve got a great big sense of adventure. I love to consider all kinds of adventures! I also am willing to go on all kinds of adventures. And I’m even willing to go on all kinds of adventures by myself.
But I have a really hard time with going on adventures by myself because I feel as though I’m not actively sharing that experience. I love to be able to talk about experiences as they’re happening. I love making special moments and memories with other people, it seems that somehow makes them stronger or reinforces them because I can experience them from more points of view.
When sharing this with my therapist, she suggested an app called meet up.
That gave me pause.

I’m over here like:

Of course, I’m teasing…mostly.
We discussed the pros and cons of meeting up with strangers to do thing we like to do. For the most part, the pros outweighed the cons. She was quick to point out how this was not the building of relationships, but just like minded folks looking to do things together. For me the biggest con is that even when I’m acting somewhat normal, I’m kind of a big spazz.
Out of context, I’m just plain weird.
(Hmmm…little bit of social anxiety there. wonder if my girls know they get it from me.)

In reality, I’m relatively confident.
I act like a fully functioning adult most days and I can interact with a wide variety of people.
It’s the idea of ‘being on display’ without any one I know and trust to deflect attention from me. It’s funny, I think we all feel like folks are watching us even though we realize nobody is watching anybody else because we’re all too busy being on our best behavior.
It occurs to me as I write this that I may be using this whole ‘I’m weird, but also normal, but kind of spazzy, but capable’ thought process as an excuse.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve really developed this attitude:

And if I look at it from that point of view I should just bust out and do whatever the hell I want and everyone else be damned.
Which brings us back to the whys and wherefores.
I’m making excuses.
Is it fear? Is it laziness?
It doesn’t matter!
With every excuse, I’m actually reducing the size of my comfort zone.
And that is just ridiculous!

There is magic in the world, but I know there is magic down deep in me.

No more boring!
I’ll stay in my comfort zone when I want to, because let’s face it, I love being comfy. But I’ll be working on making it grow, letting a little of the magic in me mix it up more with the magic out in the world.
This will be a process. One which I will journal about to really understand, but I’ll also be actively leaving my comfort zone to experience a different sort of existence. Learning to better balance my effort and desire. I remember being able to do it rather well. I just let my comfort zone shrink.

The best part about all of this is I’m aware.
I realize I’m not satisfied with the status quo.
I’m being mindful about how I feel and how I might best go about changing it.
However I end up moving forward, I can only do it by acknowledging where I am and working on where I’d like to be.

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Paul knew what was up


1 Corinthians 16:14
The general consensus is Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians between 54-58 in the common era. This verse is from the conclusion of the letter.
I feel like Paul knew what was up when it comes to this particular verse. He’s ending his letter with, well, some good advice really.

Be alert. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. And do everything in love.

Almost as though he’s presenting ideas for possible rules to live by.

Do everything in love.

Love is my intention.
I live my life by love.
I mean even when I’m crabby and kind of evil…I actually live each day of my life by do(ing) everything in love. (Is it weird that I wonder if Paul would dig it?)

Lately I’ve wondered if I’m not being mindful about doing things in love for myself. That is, living in love for me, treating myself with the same love I share with others.
Only, after considering this for a while, I’ve come to understand that by doing everything in love, I am treating myself with the same love, grace, and gratitude I do for everyone else.
I think I just haven’t been paying enough attention. And while that’s OK on occasion, I must remember to be present and recognize living my intention begins with me.
Love is in the simple every day things.
It’s with the children at school. With my family. With my friends. It’s even in the way I drive my buggy around the grocery store.
Love actually is all around me.
Every day. In every thing I do. And that love gives me hope. As far as I can tell, hope and love go hand in hand.
(Seriously, though, Paul wrote about that in the same damn letter, right!?)

I’m grateful for Paul’s advice. I truly take it to heart. I live my life by it.
I do everything in love.
Y’all, isn’t that the most beautifully hopeful way to be?

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speaking truths or the time to hesitate is through

After several days of struggling with my thoughts and emotions, I feel a little better today.
I had to be honest with myself before I could suss out what was going on. Journaling helped that. I had to get it all down on the page to see what was troubling me so. After being honest with myself I was able to be honest with others.
I had good conversations. Speaking truths that are hard to say out loud, especially when these truths could be hurtful to people I care about.
I feel like I’m at a place where I can proceed. Though not gone completely, my instinct to run has been quieted.
Being mindful and present in my relationships will keep them true. To love and be loved, to share and experience in this state of being more present is what’s best for me.

These are things I know. Things I preach. But I’m realizing it’s easy to become complacent. It’s easy to simply acquiesce. That needs to stop. For me. For the people I love.
I must be proactive. I must…do!

I feel much like Lucas at the beginning of Empire Records.
Lucas

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cheer up cheerily

It has been a…what’s the word…curious(?) couple of weeks. I have been completely overworked at school, and editing that book, as well as finishing up my school term, not to mention still trying to process my personal feelings about my little friend whose mother died.
But(!) the curiousness is actually the best part!

nest

Robin birds in the spring are a SUPER big deal for me, (Gee, I can’t imagine why.) but since my mom died, I’ve not seen them anywhere near as frequently or in as great of numbers as it seems I always have in the past….and if I have seen one, I’ve been with either Thing 2 or YBW only.
A part of me was relieved I wasn’t seeing them in great big amounts because it was painful, made me miss my Mommie, but a part of me was disappointed, because it is one of my favorite “rites of Spring”. My theory was “God” (by whatever gender or name) kind of knew I wasn’t ready, that was why the sightings were so few and far between, or I was with those particular people.
This year however, I have seen more robin birds than I have been able to count! They’re EVERYWHERE! Even with all this snow, they’re flying and chirping and skibbling all around on the lawns. My joy is immense at hearing their “cheerily cheer up cheer up cheerily”!
It must be time. Either I’m finally healing on own, or Mommie is ‘up there’ pulling strings to make me heal (Of course she would still be trying to boss me around.)

The second ‘wonderful’ aspect of the curious is YBW. I had a total crap day yesterday and he just happened to be home when I came home for lunch, I honestly can’t remember the last time I was that happy to see anyone. He hugged me and I just breathed in his scent and felt so much better straightaway …I was instantly safe and comforted and so very grateful. I was just enough to bolster me to get through the rest of my day.

I went to see the holistic doc and he was worried about my appearance, when I told him I was just worn out, he was worried it was the book. No, my job…the strangest thing…he offered me a job right on the spot! I thought and thought about it…made the pro and con list in my head, talked with Sundance and YBW about it then went to school this morning and met with my director (For three hours!) discussed where my ‘heart is’, made plans for positive changes. I walked into her office completely devoid of hope and walked out three hours later quite full.
Got an email with a new chapter for the book with a note asking me to let him know about the position. I’m going to decline…I know how to run the office because I did it for my doctor before I came here, and it is very seductive to receive all that free healthcare, and there are so many positives, but there are negatives, too…but ultimately, it isn’t where my heart is.
If I am going to leave my school I need to do it in a mindful way, not a reactionary way. I’m not ready yet, my time there isn’t finished.

The robin birds are singing just for me, “cheer up cheerily”.

Oh! P.S. YBW and I are going to the beach the day after tomorrow! Hello, Jewish Mother for breakfast! Yay for YBW and yay for the mini break!

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