Meditation Monday #61 – One Day at a Time

SLOW DOWN!

I just want us all to take a moment and slow down. You don’t have to rush into anything today. Things will not be that drastically different tomorrow or in 5 minutes from now. Let’s just all take a quick moment to breathe, slow down, and refocus.

I have a lot on my mind these days. Today I started back to work (course prep online) and things aren’t going my way. Life is throwing a lot at me at the moment. I haven’t been exercising as I was earlier this summer. I am trying to figure out how to do it all. I am worried and stressed and feeling the same things that everyone else is feeling.

The difference?

I decided to take this week one day at a time. I haven’t filled out my calendar in full this week or any of the weeks coming up. I am planning. I am going slow. I am considering all parts of my health and wellness. Today, my only goals left are to go for a run, do a meditation, attend a training, and get done at least 1 more hour of work. It’s only 1230pm, but I don’t want to over do it on the first day and then be burnt out.

I have already done yoga, taken the kids for a walk, done 2 hours of work, and delivered stuff to the school. The day doesn’t have to be packed full today. I need to make space to breathe. You do too.

How are you making space in your life to slow down?

 

Meditation Monday #60 – Making Choices During COVID-19

Last week we had to decide if we were sending our kids back to school for the first 9 weeks or keeping them home. It was a big decision and took a lot of time to make. I had to reach deep into my heart and separate panic from reason. We discussed it in length, the pros and the cons of both options. Then, we laid out the facts to the boys. They’re 9 and 7 and have a good understanding of what’s going on. We told them their choices were to:

  1. Go back to school for a week and two weeks at home in rotation for 9 weeks
  2. Stay at home for 9 weeks continuing school online

We explained that Option 1 included wearing a mask all day at school, keeping 6 feet apart from teachers and other students, that only one kid could do a “work” at a time (Montessori lingo), washing hands and cleaning items would happen regularly, there would be lots of hand sanitizing, and I wasn’t sure that “Specials” would be happening. They also would not know who would be in their class that day as only 1/3 of the class could be there at a time and we don’t know who was opting into what. Then, they would be home doing online work the other two weeks and then go back to repeat the cycle.

We told them that the pluses to this would be that they could do hands on Montessori works again, they’d get to see their teachers and some of their friends, and they’d get out of the house.

We explained that Option 2 would be like it was in the spring. They would have the same schedule they’d had then, but they’d not go to the school at all. We also explained that with the fully online we could continue to have socially distant play dates at the beach with other families that chose that same option.

This is something we’ve been doing for a few weeks early in the morning before crowds arrive at the beach. We go for 2 hours and let the kids run in and out of the water and we stay a good distance from our friends. I have felt “okay” about doing this because we’re not in anyone else’s house and we’ve all been doing the same amount of social distancing this entire time. We all have the same values and the same fears. We’re all following the guidelines set by our Governor and we’re not being cavalier.

Not surprisingly to me, the boys chose Option 2. My kids miss being in school and they miss their friends and Montessori learning. However, they know the importance of fighting the good fight. They also hate wearing masks and didn’t feel they could do it for 7 hours a day, 5 days in a row. They also liked the idea of consistency. They don’t have to figure out if they’re going to school or staying home. It’s going to be a (now) familiar routine.

We will not home school our kids forever; it’s not what they or we want. I want them to get back to their school, when it’s safer to do so, when the numbers in our state are not climbing. Until then, they’re doing their part to help flatten the curve by staying home.

Now…..I have to figure out what to do about my work as a college lecturer.

How are you feeling about school?

What big decisions are you making during this pandemic?

 

Meditation Monday #59 – Give and Take

How do you balance give and take in your life?

I have been doing a lot of meditation on self-love lately and realizing that some of that talk is very one sided. It asks you to give to yourself and not so much to others. But it doesn’t focus on allowing yourself to take from others so much.

I was reading on The Wellness Inventory today in the self-love study center and came across the Statement Commentary called It is OK for me to be out-of-balance, vulnerable, or in need.

I have used this one in the past to write this post: Wellness Wednesday #2 – I Am A Glorious Series of Contradictions

I Am A Glorious Series of Contradictions

For me, Self Love and Responsibility have been about knowing that it’s okay to be out of balance from time to time; to share that experience with others being vulnerable and in need. It’s been about increasing that interdependence and asking for help from time to time. It’s about accepting life without expectation of outcome and accepting the outcome of my decisions when they reveal themselves. It’s about learning that giving only to others doesn’t fulfill all that I need, but it does complete me.

I am making more time for self-care as I and my children get older. I do it through physical activity, meditation, getting more sleep, journaling, making time to read more, and trying to make sure the world I surround myself with fits my model of self love. I am trying to learn more about how to be accountable and accepting of my choices as well as how to learn from the ones that didn’t serve me. I am growing more assertive and responsible for my ultimate outcome in life. And I’m trying to be more kind to myself by letting go of some outcomes.

 

Today I also saw this quote on a blog that I follow:

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving 
to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief 
that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, 
we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, 
judgement, and shame. It’s a shield.
~Brené Brown
I am having the kind of day in which I wish I were supported by others. I wish that my self-love was more like others loving me and holding me up. I need to feel loved for who I am today by more than just myself. I am facing difficult challenges and today, the give and take doesn’t feel like I have received enough. Today I want to take. Today I want to take someone’s hand/shoulder/support and lean in to it. I want to feel held and seen and like it’s okay to be me and that I don’t have to do life alone.
I am strong most days, today is just not one of those day.

Can you ask for love when you need it?

 

TOLT #86 – A Rough Week

Last week I intended to start my work on my summer courses….but the set up wasn’t ready for me to start yet. Then the rain set in.

It rained for DAYS! And that, plus hormonal things, put me in such a funk that when it was time to start work……I couldn’t.

So, for the last two days I have been absorbed by setting things up. I have ignored my kids. I haven’t cleaned a single room in my house. And my yoga and meditation have been thrown out the window.

I didn’t do any wellness work yesterday (or this week) even though it’s what I need the most right now. My life is out of whack and I am taking it back in this very moment.

  1. I blogged. I needed to.
  2. I am about to go for a walk with my kids. We need that too.
  3. Then I am going to come home and clean up a little so that I can get my space in order to do Pilates and Yoga and Meditation.
  4. Then I will cook dinner and take a shower and start over tomorrow.

Balance has not been on my side. As the planner list grew the checks got fewer. It’s been a rough week, but the rain is gone and things are looking up!

Do you ever feel like you immerse yourself too far into one thing?

 

Meditation Monday #56 – Finding Symmetry Before Depth

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my own Meditation Monday post…..it’s been almost as long since I really dedicated time to my own meditation. Lately I’ve been using small meditation sessions on YouTube in the early morning hours when I actually get up at 6am and do some yoga. It’s helping.

Last week I was doing some yoga (not in the morning) and Erin Motz said to

go for symmetry before depth; the depth will come naturally

Although she was talking about pigeon pose; this really made me think about life in general and how we all need balance. That all of the great and wonderful experiences in life only come when you have balance. Maybe it’s me being a Libra and loving balance and justice, but I truly feel that all of life needs BALANCE before everything else.

I wonder if this is a hint about last week’s Wellness Wednesday question….where to start?

And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

TOLT #79 – End of Another Semester

Another semester is over and done. Each time one ends I wonder how I could have done better and what I will change the next time around. When the next semester starts I have high hopes and ambitions and nerves like crazy! There’s always a little bit of….what if they don’t like me? In that same moment I think, it doesn’t matter if they like me or not.

For me, my self-esteem is not caught up in my image of how I teach. I know that I am a good teacher. To some I am a great teacher. For myself I am satisfied in my work and my work makes me happy. Every semester I get both bad and good reviews. This semester was no exception.

However, in grading one student’s paper I read something that has really struck me as wise and something I want to remember. She wrote:

My goal is consistency, not perfection.

It couldn’t be more simple than that. Life, for me, is about consistently being in a place where I can be content. I want to know I’m doing a good job and that someone is benefiting from my existence. I won’t be able to make all of my students happy. I won’t be able to get to everything I want to do. I will miss workouts and kill workouts; not send some emails on time and send too many emails sometimes; be tired and cranky some days and overly perky some days; let the laundry pile up and have a completely spotless home; spend hours grading or skip grading to be with my kids; eat too many snacks and forget to eat lunch; write on my blog and then abandon my blog for work or a nap or a workout or to read……I am not perfect and my life is not perfection. But, really, that’s what makes it kind of perfect for me.

At every point in my life I am consistently where I need to be….striving for my best, but accepting that each day is what it is. I am content and balanced.

What does consistency look like for you?

 

TOLT #77 – If I Could Turn Back Time

It’s been a hot minute since I posted on the blog and even longer since I posted a Think Out Loud Thursday post. I mostly stopped doing those because Amanda at Running With Spoons just suddenly went MIA after my last post. I still haven’t been able to find out where she disappeared to in Canada and if she’s ever coming back. So, on I press with my summer and my blog….. Continue reading “TOLT #77 – If I Could Turn Back Time”

Change of Priorities, Lack of Interest, Laziness?

What causes you to quit things?

It’s New Year’s Resolution time and it’s almost quitting time for many people around the world. We all have been guilty of making them and dropping them and remaking them and the cycle continues. Some people make the same resolution year after year and fail at it year after year. There’s a lot of articles out there about how to stick with it and lots more about why we fail or why we shouldn’t make them in the first place.

I’ve been thinking about this since last Friday. I’ve been debating what to write….if anything on here. Am I too lazy to post? Have I lost interest in blogging? Or are my priorities changing? And if the latter, is it temporary or permanent?

For me, though, the blog problem is two fold.

First, it’s hard to maintain readership on a blog if you don’t regularly write relevant material. When I was posting more about yoga I found that I had a lot more readers and clicks and views and all that jazz. However, the blog has never been just about yoga. It’s been about my fitness and yoga journey. It’s been about my desire to build a community to share that experience with much as I feel I build small communities each semester I teach….but this would extend beyond the semester. It would foster real connections.

And that brings me to the second problem. My own journey. I put a lot of myself out here on the blog. My successes and my failures. But, I don’t share my whole life here and currently my whole life needs a different outlet than the blog. I love that I have started this Year of Wellness and I intend to follow through with it. It’s been very enlightening to read the articles on the Wellness Inventory and to journal my feelings around the material in my scribbled little notes here and there. I want so much to share that with you all on here……but that brings me back to my first problem.

I feel that I can’t regularly commit to writing about something substantial without feedback and involvement. So, for the time being, I am taking my journey off the blog. I don’t currently feel the urge to write openly for the world that doesn’t connect back. I feel like my journey has reached a point of personal vs. communal. I cannot determine how long this feeling will last, but it’s here for now.

This past week I read a piece by John W. Travis, MD, MPH entitled Become a Beginner – Simplify and it said:

Wellness is……..unburdening yourself of all that prevents a natural state of basic healthiness.

So, I have to decide what is preventing me from being well in all aspects and ditch it. I have decided to allocate that “space in my planner” that was reserved for blogging to something else at the moment. I am leaving the blog up and I will be back at some point, I just don’t know when.

I intend to write when the mood strikes me, to keep reading other blogs, and to keep on my journey for the whole year. Who knows where it will take me…..

Be well. Namaste.