Saturday, March 18, 2017

Shower?

#1 –I didn’t shower Thursday even though I did a sweaty exercise class.  I thought about showering last night (I’d also done some sweaty exercise yesterday), but I planned to go to  7:15AM hot yoga class so I would be drenched in sweat practically as soon as I woke up.  I thought, “What is the point?”

When I left yoga this morning, I was glad I’d brought a t-shirt which I switched for my soaked tank top.  Then I went grocery shopping.

Then I took a shower, which I actually really needed, so I appreciated it all the more.

#2 - This made me curious about how often people shower throughout the world so I looked it up and skimmed the article below.  It had this interesting tidbit which I actually often practice, but previously would never have admitted to anyone -

"When you do shower, use soap only on your underarms and groin area, not your entire body"

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/07/daily-showering.aspx 

Also I have been meaning to replace my shower filter for a while and hoped to remember to buy a new one at the co-op next week.  This article clearly reinforced that idea.

#3 -   Doing some research for someone I love to help them find support.   We all need support. 

"It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you," I reminded this love one recently.  "We are social beings, EVERYONE needs help."  It was clearly something they needed to hear.
 
#4-5 - When I invited a couple friends to go hear Glennon Doyle Melton speak last fall, one of them declined since Glennon’s blog is called “Momastery” and this friend didn’t have children.  I understood this and had doubts myself, but Elizabeth Gilbert recommended her and it was free, so I went.

What I discovered is the same thing I discovered as I finished reading her first book today– Carry on Warrior, Thoughts on Life Unarmed – it didn’t matter if I related to the particulars.  I once heard at a theater performance, “The more deeply you go into the personal, the more you tap into the universal.”  This is why I could read a passage about talking to another parent at a playground to a college student last night and she appreciated it, even though she is at a completely different stage in life.  As Glennon states, “And I realized the secret of my writing is this:  the voice I use to write is not really my voice.  It’s Love’s voice…And that’s why you recognize the voice.  Because you have the same voice inside you (251).”

Friday, March 10, 2017

Today's Mandala


#1 - Today's Mandala was inspired by some colored pencils I came across which had some new colors to play with.

#2 - I had a moment of anxiety while working on my taxes when I thought I'd made a mistake the past few years.  I called and patiently waited on hold for over an hour (with other things to do on the computer).  Then I happily discovered that I had not made an error.

#3 - I started reading Glennon Doyle Melton's first book yesterday and I'm trying to pace myself because I don't want to finish it too rapidly!

#4 - I'm playing a game, with the man I used to date, where we pretend we don't know each other.  It was an idea I was resistant too, but now is making me laugh.  I am almost nervous to meet him tomorrow and to see if I can keep it up.

#5 -  I asked a yoga teacher who I know is also a personal trainer about my abs because they are not normal since my surgery.  She said the superficial muscles have healed but it takes more time for healing internally (that surprised me because it is difficult to feel things internally, but that is how I would describe it).  She advised me exercises to do (which I have been mostly) and not do (which I should have known sooner but thankfully aren't things I've done often).




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Beasts

#1 - I was upset earlier today when I looked up the three options for my health plan (I have to change in a couple months) and I did not see my clinic on any of them.  I specifically moved to that clinic a few years ago and want to stay there. 

Now though, a few hours later, I'm still going to inquire further and try to stay at my clinic, but I do at least know that another clinic my primary care doctor works at is an option.  So I should be able to switch there and still see her at least and

at least I will still have insurance.

#2 - I have a monthly volunteer gig that I started visiting a friend after in December. I needed to break the pattern of what I usually did after that activity as it was no longer an option.  So tonight went over to my friend's and it was so nice to talk to him.  Even though it was just a little over an hour, it was still a welcome visit and discussion.

#3 - There is a couples workshop I told him about at the end of next month that I am hoping to attend at a local meditation center.  He wrote it down as something he and his partner would maybe attend as well. "That would be so fun if you did!" I responded.

#4 - I just emailed him the info to remind him to consider it.

#5 - It would easily take more than one hand, probably more than two, to count all the relationships that have become strengthened for me because of the difficulties I've experienced the last couple of months.  It has been such a huge gift, opening to others while in pain, allowing them to care for you and support you, but also to grow with you.  I had one email from a friend today that began, "I think you're an objective source for this topic."  And another email from a friend that ended, "Resentment and anger over past events can be strong beasts in my experience. If you decide to continue on with M, I hope you find a beautiful way to slay those beasts together."

Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Injection of Sweetness

The majority of the time I reach out to my friends and initiate plans more than they reach out to me.  However today -

#1 - A friend finalized a date for us to try "aerial yoga" and said she'd sign us up.

#2 - Another friend called to ask if I would go for a walk this afternoon, someone in fact that I've never done such a thing with or spent much one on one time with.

#3 - Another friend called during lunch to ask how I was doing.  I said I felt a bit scrunched for time today as I'm not the greatest with spontaneity and since I've added this walk to my afternoon I didn't feel I had the space to talk much.  She said she didn't know why she was calling me because she had a bunch of things to do as well.  I felt relieved.  "Well maybe you called then just to give an injection of sweetness into my day?" I asked.  She agreed and told me she loved me.

#4 - After responding to a friend's email this morning and telling her, "be gentle with yourself," I realized this was advice I needed myself.  This led to listening to music that offered such energy to me.  I started with the Sea and the Shore by Amy Speace and then landed on Storyhill for quite a while.  This line from World Go Round really stuck with me in a new way today.

"Won't you,
let love, 
let you down?"


#5  - And from there I ended up at a song that I know I've posted here before with Storyhill and Ellis called "Doin Fine", but like a lot of poems and songs the past few months it hit me different today.

 It traveled deeper inside.

"It's good to understand where you are standing
 and it's good to know where you've been
 and it's good to work through the tough times 
and let the lessons start to sink in

I think we're able to let go of more baggage
 than we give ourselves credit for
and the sunrise saying hello in the morning time
makes me believe that more and more..."













Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Missing a Title


#1 - The sympathetic look and hug I received from the owner where I do yoga when she said, "Happy Valentine's Day" to me.  It was an opening to a deeper connection.

#2 - My friend  asked me for the third time if I still wanted to try aerial yoga with her.  Yes :)

#3-5 - The Minnesota state park system - and here I don't even mean the parks themselves which would be a whole other level of appreciation - I mostly mean the  MN state park system website.  I've been looking at the Iowa site today and granted  I have less familiarity but I really think the MN site is much better.  It is easy to locate parks in the first place on the MN site.  Then you can click on a park and get a basic summary, photos and highlights to see if the park interests you.  And then there are clear, precise and easy to read maps of the parks themselves with trails etc.  I'm having a hard time even getting some of the links to open on the Iowa site, and if they do I find the maps themselves unimpressive.  Who knew there was/is such skill in creating maps?  I used to hear people complain about Iowa - I thought unfairly.  I don't know if it is funding or what, but I can clearly see some areas of growth.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Find Their Own Healing

I came across Lewis Howes last month via his interview with Glennon Doyle Melton.  Today I started listening to his interview with Katherine Woodward Thomas.  The topic was How to Consciously End a Relationship.  

I am loving it.  I've only listened to the first 30 minutes but here are a few of my favorites thus far.



“Like we update our computer programs and our child-rearing practices and our diets and our exercise programs, I think we have to update our aspirations around love.  And we need to shift from the question of, you know, how we are going to value the union according to how long did it last, and start to ask the question, ‘What did I learn and how have I expanded my capacity to love?’”

Katherine Woodward Thomas






“We live in a very mobile society that values growth and evolution, right? And in a way America is really kind of torn between these two ideals of the stability of family and commitment and devotion and most of us really believe in that.  90% of us are going to get married at some point in  our lifetimes, but we also are a country that was kind of founded upon the ideal of the pursuit of happiness.  We are a creative bunch.  We love change.  We love evolution.  We love personal growth and development and those two things aren’t always the best bed fellows.  So in a perfect world we all grow together, but different people have different callings and different people have different aspirations.  How much they are willing to grow and how they are going to navigate the tension between just wanting to be comfortable in life, kind of set in life, and how much they are going to be risk oriented, and keep striving to be your best self.”

Katherine Woodward Thomas




And then this part which I absolutely loved in minutes 23-25.

“One of the things that I offer people is a simple technique called affect labeling, in the psychological world, which is basically the ability to put a name on each of your feelings…there was a scientific study done where subjects were looking at a computer screen, and they were seeing, you know, faces of horror, faces of rage, faces of hatred, and they were being monitored and all of their vitals and they are kind of going off of the charts, their blood pressures rising, their heart rate is going.  And then they did another technique with this, they had the same pictures to a new group, but they put a name, ‘Hatred,’ ‘Rage,’ ‘Despair,’ and the vitals did not go up in the same way.  So what that shows is that when we have a name for the experience that we are having, we don’t get as overwhelmed.  So language serves kind of as a container.”

“So how we would use that in a break-up?” Howes

“So I have a practice where I just very simply advice people to ask yourself, “You know Katherine, honey what are you feeling right now?’

‘I’m feeling - terrified.’

‘I can see that you are feeling terrified, honey what else are you feeling?’

‘I’m feeling so humiliated.’

‘Oh I can see that, so humiliated, what else are you feeling?’…" 

 Katherine Woodward Thomas






“If the feelings are overwhelming I also give them, people, an opportunity to do the process of Tonglen…which is a beautiful practice that Pema Chodron actually made very popular of you breathe a certain feeling into your heart.  So I feel despair, I’m going to breathe despair in.   I’m not going to turn away from it.  And the outbreath I’m going to breathe out a blessing to everyone in the world who at this very moment is suffering with this very feeling, including myself.  And it starts to feel like you can start to hold the feeling more because you’ve made a bigger playing field and you see it as an impersonal experience, and then you become, you know, a force of good.  Ideally what happens is we want to harvest the seeds of growth that are inside of each of our feelings. “

Katherine Woodward Thomas






And to top it off I received a letter today which included the following, "Your writing is touching and beautiful.  I'm sure it helps you somewhat in the hard times but it is also a gift to others who find their own healing through your story."

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Applications Wanted


Currently accepting applications to participate in outdoors activities, specifically to motivate an adult woman to do outdoor activities on days like today, days when said woman is in good spirits overall, but feeling a slight lack of motivation. On said days an outdoor companion would be of utmost assistance. The most important qualification, in addition to being active outside, is the ability to both participate in engaging conversations as well as feel at ease and at home in silence. At the moment the primary need is in the area of cross-country skiing, but other outdoor activities will also qualify.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. This position is not limited to one individual.


***


My friend posted on Instagram one December about visiting Santa in NYC and asking for a boyfriend for Christmas. Soon after someone applied for the position.

That thought inspired me today and gave me something playful to think about while I skied. Then I thought my blog is clearly not the most efficient place to post this. I could make an, "APPLICATIONS WANTED" and tape on my back while I'm skiing and then have a little folder with the details -like the details you get on house that is for sale.  I could take interviews immediately for interested individuals - ski one lap with me in silence and one lap in conversation.  Then after being provided contact information, I will let you know if you qualify.

***

My word of the year for 2017 is "Light" which has numerous definitions, one of which I am consciously leaning into is "playful".