Tag Archives: mindful52

OK, I may have gone too far with the Zumba

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So I’m a little tired and sore. Yoga this morning AND Zumba tonight. (Zumba because my step-girl wanted to go and I wanted to do it while she was enthused about it). I cannot dance, nor am I very coordinated, so I normally avoid classes like these. But we had fun and I’m sure I was pretty amusing to watch.  

I don’t want to crash and burn, doing too many fitness things at once, just because I can now go to the fitness center every day. I also don’t want to spend too much time there. If I were just doing things on my own, the No Excuses way, I’d only need to do a 20-25-minute interval workout 3 times a week and then my NEWO 3 days a week (about 30-minutes per). So I’ll be keeping those totals in mind.

Where are my writing prompts this fall?!

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I’m sort of at a writing loss this fall. First, I fell behind on mindful52. Recently, I’d been trying to catch up, but noticed that the organizer lost some steam as well and posts and responses have become fewer and far between and maybe even stopped completely in October. Then, I gave up on NaNoWriMo (although I’ve kept up with NaBloPoMo).

I was really looking forward to Reverb, which last year took place during December. But today I received an email from the main organizer who has decided not to host it this year. She encouraged everyone to write our own Reverb prompts and then comment on them throughout the month, possibly inviting others to respond to our prompts. I can tell the community feels a little abandoned and irritated that she waited until the last minute to let everyone know, and I certainly feel this myself. It’s just not the same as being given a new prompt each day, with several thousand other people responding to the same prompts on the same day in a sort of collective group meditation. And tomorrow is already December 1—not a lot of time to come up with our own list. However,  there are a few people seeing this as a challenge: brainstorming ideas and posting them on twitter. Maybe I’ll end up following one of those, or come up with a list tomorrow morning…

Although it’s disappointing, I can’t really blame the organizers for petering out on mindful52 or reverb. They put a huge amount of time, energy, and resources into creating and maintaining these challenges, and who knows what is happening in their personal lives?

If not for December, I like the idea  of writing the prompts ahead of time for my February light box month.

Kindle Fire tech-geek crack, and accepting where I am

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 29

Acceptance. It’s a big one this week, ACCEPTANCE. I am hopeful I’m not the only one who has this issue come up often. … But acceptance sure is a hard pill to swallow when you want and expect things to be a certain way. … Acceptance. I practice it each time I go to my mat. I can do this pose. I cannot do that at all. I wish I could go further in this pose. I wish I could relax more. Breathe. Choose to accept, to BE exactly as I am. I am accepting this situation as well. Perhaps life is giving me exactly what I need. Perhaps. What about you? How has the lesson of ACCEPTANCE been presented to you lately, and how well are you dealing with it?

I have been sucked into the black hole of the Kindle Fire, which is like tech-geek crack. The thing has not left my side or my sight the entire day, as I keep exploring and tweaking, and occasionally actually consuming content. (The Netflix app is fantastic: I watched the documentary, Blood into Wine, and I love that I can now load library books in a few clicks, and that I was able to use Calibre to port over my existing non-Amazon collection, and I’ve even downloaded my free library book of the month from Amazon—Bonk by Mary Roach, a science writer who makes me laugh out loud, also author of Packing for Mars). The Fire is also ADD inducing: As soon as I explore one thing, I remember something else that I wanted to look up, install, or configure, and I’m off doing that. I’m sure I’ll have some pros and cons to list soon, because it’s certainly not perfect, especially in the web browsing / Android apps / Google apps area, but there’s plenty of time for that.

This work laptop seemed old before—and now it really seems dated—hot, clunky, and buggy. And yet, I’m returning to it to post my blog, because I can still type way faster this way. Maybe there’s a more qwerty type keyboard that I can install on the Fire that will allow me to come up to speed, so to speak. Or, a foldable external keyboard for long posts, much like I used to have eons ago for my Palm Pilot. I loved that little keyboard! If I can find a way to type at a reasonable pace on the Fire, I’ll be able to use it way more frequently than my laptop for non work, and even some for work.

As far as acceptance goes: I’ve had zero desire to blog about our Thanksgiving recipes and post the photos, for some reason. I think that’s OK. I’ve accepted that things often don’t go the way that I’ve planned or desired, but we are all here together for the holidays, unlike last year, so that is what is important. And I’ve also accepted that I’m not going to finish NaNoWriMo this year. I really haven’t felt motivated to do it since about day one, and I kept trying to guilt myself into it for the first couple of weeks, but eventually I stopped beating myself up. Because the whole reason for doing it is for fun, and for personal growth, and I chose to make many other things a priority this month. Plus, I did it last year, so I know it’s possible, and I know I’ll probably do it again, so it didn’t seem like quite as much of a challenge this year. It would have been good for personal reflection, but so would a regular writing habit. Daily blog posts are what I’ve been able to stick to in 2011, and I accept that.

What do I know about Constancy?

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 28

Constancy. Constancy is defined as:

  1. the quality of having a resolute mind, purpose, or affection; steadfastness
  2. freedom from change or variation; stability
  3. steadfastness, as in purpose or affection; faithfulness

When I think of constancy, I think of those things that make me feel grounded. I think in terms of the larger cycles of life: the ebb and flow of the tides (see more beautiful ocean views below), the changing of the seasons, the passing of each new day – followed by the beginning of another, the life cycle of plants and animals. Each are absolute wonders of our natural world.

What do I know about Constancy? I suppose I do appreciate the ebb and flow of each day with the dark and the light, and changes of the moon each month, and the seasons that bleed softly (sometimes harshly) into one another. Steadfastness, faithfulness, yes, I hope a know a little of those. But freedom from change or variation? That sounds boring. Frankly, I think I’m afraid to stick to routine because it might be unexciting, or be perceived as uninspired.

Nevermore seems almost back to her old self today. Still clearly not 100%, but we did not have to make a vet appointment, yet.

In the meantime, outside stray calico kitty is back and has been receiving regular supplementation under the porch, where I think she stays most nights. I don’t know what she does when it’s bitter cold. She was sunbathing on our defunct car in the driveway today, so hubby took her out an extra snack. She’s still very skittish and ran away, but came back to eat every bit within minutes once the human went back inside. He said she looked pretty skinny. We’re trying to make friends with her enough to see if we can verify that she’s homeless, but she’s so wary.

Kids got here today. I think tomorrow we may have to start some preliminary vegan cooking for Thursday. Maybe make bread crumbs for stuffing, and pie…


The wider the grin, the sharper the blade

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A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 27

Optimism. Mindfulness is all about the present moment, yet we often live our lives in the past and future. Since we cannot change the past nor predict the future, remaining hopeful seems the best course of action each time we are taken out of the present moment. For this reason, I spend time observing my thoughts. My outlook and attitude depends upon it. When we think negatively about things, more negativity occurs. When we think positively however, more positivity follows. Like increases like. This week’s theme is optimism. Optimism is all about our thoughts – having a bright outlook.

I’m all for being mindful—definitely something I’m constantly working towards. But don’t even get me started on optimism. A natural skeptic, I’m not convinced that it’s healthy or helpful to constantly try to think “positively.” In fact, it can be detrimental at times (think: cancer patients feeling guilty that they’ve made themselves sick or are not getting better because they have not been “ positive” enough).

Have you ever met a person who smiles all the time? Who you can describe as constantly cheerful? Don’t trust them. Don’t trust them to be honest with themselves—or with you. They’ll be the first one to have a mental breakdown—or to stab you in the back. Someone I was once close to used to say, “The wider the grin, the sharper the blade,” and for the most part, I’ve found that to be true. I did not realize at the time that he was essentially quoting one of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: “The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife,” but it makes sense because he was a big Star Trek fan. (For the record, I’m an appreciator of Star Trek, but not sure I’d consider myself a fan, namely because I do not watch the movies and episodes over and over again, memorizing the dialog. Also, I’m sure the origin of the idiom goes further back than Star Trek.)

This does not mean that we all need to be full of gloom and doom, nor does it give us an excuse to be assholes to each other. Nor does it mean that I don’t appreciate that rare individual who has faith in humanity but has not lost their critical thinking skills or sense of humor. It does not even mean that I’m not sometimes hopeful. If I didn’t have a glimmer of hope to latch on to at times, I wouldn’t be here.