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.

Work as Play

I’ve started reading through the information on the Playing/Working dimension on the Wellness Inventory….have no clue as to what I’m talking about? Read here.

And I started to think about how grateful I am that my work is play to me. My work with students, with my children, with teaching in all aspects is enjoyable to me. When I workout I always feel like I’m doing something fun….or else I just don’t do it. Not everyone is that lucky in life to have chosen a career or a job that allows them to do something they find to be play each day.

Our snowman on day two

The new semester is starting for me tomorrow and I did spend a little time this week complaining about all of the “set up” for classes. But that’s because I’m sooooo excited to get to the “doing” part. I’m also ready for this miniscule amount of snow to be gone so that the whole town is no longer shut down!

This past week we went outside and played in the snow. I did notice that I had forgotten what to do with such little amounts of snow….I threw a few snowballs, attempted to make a small snowman, helped my kids make snow angels, watched my hubby pull the kids on the boogie board (we don’t have a sled here), and pretty much enjoyed watching them be kids. Play for kids is different than play for adults.

I just finished reading a great book by Robin Hemley called Do-Over! Instead of writing a Fave Reads Friday post about it at this time, I’m just going to tell you two things:

  1. Read it! I totally had LOL moments while reading this book…
  2. And, the main take away (for me at least) is that it’s okay to make mistakes in life and that being an “Adult” is a very fluid idea.

For me, a lot of my work is play. For me play is working out and reading and writing and interacting with others. It doesn’t always involve jump ropes and swings and games of tag, but sometimes it does. It doesn’t always mean sleeping in and eating cookies (although I did my fair share of that over the last few weeks). I think I have the hardest time with Play/Work balance because I enjoy the work I do so much and because I view it as play. How about you?

What is the hardest part of Play/Work balance for you? How do you view your work? How do you view exercise?

Want a little more on the subject? Check out these articles from Fit is a Feminist Issue:

Walking Dogs and Rewards for Writing

New strategy: Using activity and workouts as a reward

My Assessment Results – Wellness Inventory

Another New Start?

I’ve written almost every January 2 since I started this blog 4 years ago on this same day. Usually my first post of the year is all about resolutions and starting over etc. This year is different….it’s about continuing my progress of self-discovery and journey of wellness.

I’ve chosen, this year, to work with a tool that I use for my students called the Wellness Inventory. While I can’t say that this is the right tool for everyone, it’s the one at my disposal and I plan to use it to its fullest this year.

Last year, in prep for teaching with the WI, I took a Wellness Assessment. I didn’t think to keep those results and now can’t seem to find them. I barely used the WI and all of the resources available and just skimmed over everything. Because of this, I don’t think I got the best experience I possibly could have had in learning all that there is to know. I’m sure many of my students did the same thing…….

But, I decided that 2018 will be my Year of Wellness, so today (while my kids are at school) I sat down and re-evaluated where I am at. I have chosen a simple plan for this year…..work the program for all 12 months taking it a little at a time. This will benefit me as a person and as an instructor. I have the time and I want to learn. Plus, life is ticking by and there’s no better time than the present to make sure your wellness (basically your whole self) is aligned.

The Results Are In…..

So, I’m only going to give the highlights here as I’m sure I’ll spend much more time on the results in the future. Basically you answer several questions for each of the 12 dimensions of wellness and within those answers you choose how well the statement reflects who you are at this moment as well as your current motivation to change. At the end you are given a total wellness score (mine was 62.2%) as well as a ranking of your greatest to least areas of wellness:

  • Greatest was a tie: Self Responsibility/Love, Moving, Intimacy, and Finding Meaning all hit 69%
  • Lowest was also a tie: Feeling and Playing/Working at 47%

and finally a ranking of your motivation to change:

  • My greatest was Playing/Working
  • My least was Eating
The First Step

So, that brings me to the first steps…..I will be working this month on the Playing/Working dimension. It’s an element of life balance that I have always struggled with and a great place for me to start. As I go through the WI I’ll post about what I learn and my progress. I’m scheduling time to do WI work for myself each week (part of my habits in my new calendar) and I’ve chosen the word BALANCE as my first word of the year; to remind myself of the need for both in my life.

My hope is that by the end of 2018 I have a greater understanding of my own personal wellness. By the end of January I hope to find greater contentment in my Work/Play life. I look forward to sharing those results then and the journey along the way with you!

Will you join us?

Click this link to sign-up for the Wellness Inventory yourself.

Take the assessment and share your results. What’s your greatest dimension of wellness? Your greatest motivation to improve? Link to your posts on the topic in the comments section below.

Here’s to a Year of Wellness for us all!