Meditation Monday #62 – Here and Now

I spent this weekend trying to get prepared for today. Today my kids start virtual school and I start a new routine. But now that I am here I plan to be HERE….in the present…..no matter what that looks like.

Yesterday I listened to a meditation on Insight Timer by Elizabeth Gilbert….you know, Eat, Pray, Love. The meditation was one dealing with fear because I feel like respecting fear is part of my goals to both be present and to promote my wellness through Self-Love and Self-Responsibility. It’s okay to be afraid, but when I am, I just need to be here and be here for myself.

So, that’s what I’m doing today. I am going to follow some great advice from meditation practices, yoga, and The Wellness Inventory:

  • I will use my breath to monitor my emotions
  • I will take the time to notice my surroundings
  • I will make time to exercise and promote a physical response in life
  • I will meditate today and allow my mind to be aware of what is really going on inside of me
  • I will not spend too much time focused on the future or on things I cannot control in this moment

Today I am here.

Where are you today?

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?

 

TOLT #82 – A Call to Open

I hope that this post finds you well and safe wherever you are. I have taken a serious backseat in the last couple of months. I didn’t want to write about my coronavirus day to day or my negative opinions on how our country is acting around this international pandemic. I didn’t want to turn my blog political or have it just be a journal of the monotony that is quarantine life.

Instead, I put my head down and focused on the two main objectives I have had these past two months:

  • Finish the semester for my students
  • Keep homeschooling and life at home as normal as possible for my kids

I have not succeeded at the level I had hoped for either, but this week is finals week, so objective one is coming to an end. Other things in my life are coming to an end as well, but I’m not ready to write about that at this moment.

This morning I didn’t have to grade at 6am. I still got up at 6am and did my normal, go to the bathroom, check my phone, head upstairs. I spent a few minutes with my oldest who always wakes up early. I snuggled with my youngest when he found his way upstairs. I didn’t open the computer or respond to emails. We had breakfast and then I did something I haven’t done in FOREVER! I went upstairs and did yoga and meditated.

A few times over this at home period I have done yoga to film videos for my class. At one point I was trying to do some simple poses each day for gut health because my whole body is off at this moment. But, to be honest, I have abandoned a lot of my training. Life has taken many different turns for me and I have sacrificed some of the things that keep me most centered.

Today I chose differently. I did this video from Erin Motz at Bad Yogi:

As I was doing pigeon pose on the right side I noticed something unusual…..I couldn’t lay forward in the pose. I didn’t hurt, but felt trapped when I closed my body forward. It was as if I couldn’t breathe. So, I opened up the body and pushed it toward a backbend….not much of one, but one all the same. As I was doing it I realized that it was helping my heart chakra immensely. I was feeling open and free for the first time in a long time. So, when pigeon came up on the left side, I was surprised that I could do some of the fold, but also how great it felt to backbend and be open for a few breaths there. I usually ONLY love to fold forward in pigeon.

Later in my practice, as we were doing seated forward fold, Erin said something profound to me. She said to focus today on the feeling of the pose and not necessarily on how it looks. Right now I am in the process of making my life feel good; no matter how that’s going to look to the rest of the world…..

Namaste

May You Bloom and Grow…..Forever – Guest Post by Lauralaine Thiers

 

Through this class I have gained skills that I will carry on with me long after I leave Cape Fear. I think I’ve learned a lot about my physical capabilities like balance and strength as well as opening my mind and exploring things like patience and compassion. I believe I’ve grown since beginning this class in that I notice myself more often being mindful of my words and actions and how they affect others as well as being mindful of my place in the universe and continuously trying to only put out good energy and good karma. I’ve learned that yoga goes beyond stretching and posing on a mat. Yoga is a way of life and practicing yoga only paves the way to manifest a more peaceful lifestyle. 

I plan to continue to practice yoga on my own in a self-taught manor and push my boundaries as I explore new poses and meditations. Hand-in-hand with yoga, I have found meditating incredibly useful especially in stressful times to collect myself and stay grounded. A combination of continuous yoga practice and meditation will only continue to move me closer to true enlightenment, the ultimate goal. Although at the moment I have no set destination, yoga has proved to be a practice that has rightfully gained a spot in my life indefinitely. I plan on utilizing yoga as I do now, and hope to blossom through practice just as I hope to blossom as an individual.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.