Thursday, March 7, 2013

One Day It Will Just be a Story...a Memory

My boyfriend and I were talking to my pottery teacher one day, and he started talking about how quickly life passes us by. He shared that he and his wife have been married over 50 years and how blessed those years have been.  He looked at us and told us a story about how he had purchased a new vehicle when they were in their 20's, and before even having it a month, his wife backed into something and did some nice damage to the car.

At that time, he was angry. Without saying so, the tone of his voice and the look on his face implied that he was regretful now, for however he had reacted to that situation back then.

He told us that things like that, no matter how big they seem at the time, are very small and insignificant in the big scheme of life.  He said something to the effect of, "be careful of what you choose to get angry about because it probably isn't worth it. One day it will just be a story...a memory."

What I gathered from that, is that when unfortunate things happen, especially related to material items, they really do NOT matter.  Items, big or small, pricey or cheap, are not guaranteed to be around forever and probably were never intended to be around forever.  So, if you waste your energy on being upset over something that happens to any "thing," and hold anger or hatred toward any person that may have inflicted that damage, it is not worth it. Be thankful you were able to acquire that item in the first place, accept things for what they are (since you can't go back in time and change anything), and move on in whatever direction is appropriate.

A very small example, one that happens to SOOOO may people and recently happened to me, is the mystery scratch or dent in a store parking lot.

A few months ago, we got a new truck.  Well, a used truck but pretty new for us. It had a few minor scratches and a couple tiny dings that weren't that noticeable.  Then, one day Joe and I came out of the store and I noticed a new scrape, a bit bigger than any that were already on the truck.  I pointed it out with an "Oh well," attitude. Then I noticed Joe's expression, followed by some cussing and grumbling.  He carried this disappointment and mild anger with him all the way home.  Then brought up that he was still mad later. Then pointed it out and got mad again every time he went to the car and saw it for the next few days.  Finally, I told him something very simple that I say CONSTANTLY!  "Joe. It is what it is. Stop worrying about it." 

I know he can't stand when I say that.  He doesn't fully understand why little things like that don't bother me (anymore). I mean, sure I'd prefer it had never happened, but if there isn't anything that can be done about it, then it's not worth spending energy on it.  Especially negative energy.

Can you learn to start letting go of anger related to life's little mishaps?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Work. Bleh.

I have been working like crazy lately!  This week I'll probably have close to 70 hours.  Though, it's boring to work that much, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to make some extra money.

I have been neglecting my "self" time a bit. I just haven't made the hours to devote to myself physically. I have missed a few more days of yoga than I'd like to admit. The past 2 weeks it's been more of a 3 day per week practice, rather than everyday.  What can I say?  I work 10 hours and still have to squeeze in kid's homework, dinner, cleaning, errands, and the occasional shower.

I haven't been writing as much either...just thought I'd write it down so I can refer back to this one day and see how well I handled this load.

Will I reward myself for my hard work? Absolutely! I did make time to reserve a small cottage in the Gulf, and we're taking a 3 day getaway on the kid's spring break.  I CAN'T wait!!!  I'll make up plenty of yoga time with a warm gulf breeze on my face.

What's in driving distance of you? Can you make time to take a inexpensive, mini-getaway?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Some Place In Between

Over the weekend I took some time to think about my place in the world.  Where do I fit in, in the big scheme of things? What is my purpose? Where is my place?

I'm not a rich person in the eyes of most people, though I have the most important riches which are love and family.  I'm not poor, even though I without a savings account and I live paycheck to paycheck. I'm just some place in between.

I'm not a motivational speaker, a miracle worker, or a counselor. I'm also not one to turn my back on someone in need of an ear, a shoulder, or shelter. I'm just some place in between. I find encouragement and inspiration in the strong, and I help and defend those who need it and cant defend themselves.

I guess what I'm saying is, I know there are people stronger than me. I admit I need to feel inspired and motivated by things that others say and do. But, I also know I am here to help other people as well.  Several times throughout my life, people have told how much something I have said or done has helped them in one way or another.

I am comfortable in this place right now. A place where I can seek guidance and help when I need it. The same place where I can help and guide or inspire others who need me.

Some people may not understand that... how is it possible to help someone when you need help yourself?  It just is. I know it's possible because I've been here for years and years.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Knowing you CAN

I often feel like can do many things in my life.  I often say I know I can do those things. Do I believe it?  Sometimes I do, depending on what it is. Other times I am trying really hard to have faith in that knowing...which really means, I think, that I don't believe it.

Today I feel like I need to step up a little bit and start KNOWING that I can do all the things I want to do and be.  I need to make it a feeling, and I need to add it to the changes I'm practicing.  I'll tell you where I started to struggle in these changes I'm implementing:

I get discouraged. Discouraging feelings make me question if what I "know" is right.

What happens when I get discouraged? Probably the same thing that happens when you get discouraged. You start to give up, and say you'll try again later.

I'll admit, the past 4 days I have not been doing a fantastic job with my yoga and meditation practice. (I've been doing it half the time or even a quarter of the time. Better than nothing, but not a good enough effort on my part).  I started to feel like I should have "lost weight" since I started doing this in the beginning of the year. Even though my initial focus was to improve my health, I sort of figured that losing weight was going to be a package deal so I hadn't worried about it. For some reason, it slapped me in the face the past few days and I started to think my efforts were being wasted a bit.

I was getting discouraged  the past few days because I was focusing on the wrong things.  Today I woke up and chose to refocus my energy to the positive things that have come from yoga and meditation. 

-I am physically stronger and I can FEEL it in my muscles
-I have improved flexibility
-I have stressed less. Much less.
-I have been more patient with myself and my surroundings
-I have been choosing to eat better, because I feel better
-I sleep more soundly

There are probably other benefits that I haven't quite notice yet, but I will see them eventually.  I just need to keep doing this. I have to KNOW that I can.  I have to act on that knowing. And, if I look at this list of positives, then I KNOW that what I initially set out to do (improve my health) is working!  So I can't stop, and I don't want to.

My Goddess card (I'll talk about those later) for today was Sekhmet. She said, "Be Strong. You are stronger than you think and your strength assures a happy outcome."

I can do this. I KNOW I CAN.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why Stress?

How many things do you have to accomplish today? Tomorrow? Next week? If I asked myself those questions right now, I'd start stressing out because I'm sure the number is high.  I have been doing extremely well with remaining present. I've had a few slips, (I'm still practicing) but overall I've been quite successful.

If you focus on what you are doing in the moment, things start to settle down within you.  It's so easy for your mind to start wandering in multiple directions when we worry about everything other than what we're doing right now. Then that starts toying with your emotions, then your clarity and focus, then your blood pressure (if you're anything like me). Next thing you know, your snacking on something you may not really want to eat, or feel an urge to drink...whatever your "mind-easer" is. Then a few minutes later your back in the same vicious cycle.

I noticed as I went through this cycle, I would rarely feel a much needed sense of accomplishment.  The reason for that was, once I accomplished one thing, I didn't take time to appreciate it because my mind was already focused on all the other things I still hadn't done.  The whens and the hows really consumed the majority of my days resulting in stress. And that stress usually turned into more stress.

I still have a lot of work to do on myself, but I know where to channel my thoughts now. I can think of things I want to do, and set goals, but I need not worry right now about how that can happen. I need to be thankful for each day. I need to focus on the things at hand without worrying about what comes next. How do I feel right now? What I can appreciate today? Is the weather nice enough to go for a quick walk? 

It is the best, and most natural way to start living stress free, or at least with less stress.  Be present.

What worries from yesterday and tomorrow can you eliminate today?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Holiday Weekend

I'll start by saying that Saturday was a good day. Meaning, I did yoga and wrote on this blog. But, Sunday and Monday I did neither of the two, as well as indulged in a few unhealthy snacks.  Does that mean they weren't also good days? Again I had a little debate in my head, but I think overall, they were good. I still made sure to do somethings for myself, and health was also involved (aside from some of my food choices).

First, we went shopping for new pots and pans. Why not? I got a few hundred dollars back on my tax return, and I was painfully tired of using old, mismatched, peeling-teflon, pans. I found a beautiful set of stainless steel pots and pans, WAY above what I'd normally spend on myself $$$. I justified this purchase for a couple reasons. One, this is a safe alternative to toxic teflon/nonstick surface pots/pans. Health Bonus! Two, they should last nearly forever, as opposed to the cheap ones I've been replacing every couple years. Three, I've been wanting them for YEARS.  Done.

Next, we decided we ALL needed a new (better) bed.  This kid's bed (they share a full-sized) was a hand-me-down and wasn't very comfortable at all. You know a bed is bad when a child complains of the comfort level.  And, our bed was fairly decent, but just not quite right for Joe and I. Plus we had been toying with the idea of getting a king size (we also had a full).  The kids however, love our bed.  The pillow top and added softness was just what they wanted. So, they got ours, and we splurged on a big bed.  What exactly is a splurge for us?  A bargain usually shows up at just the perfect time. We found an older couple who had bought this bed (mattress to be exact) for nearly $2,000, barely used it, and they decided it was too soft for them.  So we scored it for ...wait for it...$300!!!  Now that is a steal for the practically new bed from heaven.  Of course these changes in sleeping arrangements improve health.  Health can't survive when you aren't properly rested.  My only problem now might be my new found desire to stay in bed!  It's truly amazing. Joe is in love with the bed as well.  He was having some problems sleeping though the night on the last bed.

The last thing I did was take some time COMPLETELY alone yesterday. I went and got a hair wash and cut.  Getting my hairwashed is one of the most relaxing things I could do for myself. It just feels so fantasitc to me!  Then I went and treated myself to a frappacino at Starbucks (which I never do), then drove down to Goodwill.  This may not sound like an exciting day to many people, but I truly enjoyed myself.  Going to the thrift store alone really is fun. I love searching for nothing in particular and seeing what I actually leave with. Yesterday it was 6 books, an organizer for the kids bathroom, a super cute tunic for myself, and a couple cute tops for the girls.  The key to enjoyiung the thrift store for me, is going by myself.  Because I can take as long as I want!

Overall, great weekend!  Make sure to make time for yourself, and do things for yourself, and occasionally buy things for yourself.  You deserve it!

Now, back to focusing on yoga and eating well...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ignoring Negativity

I have a really positive energy today. I did yesterday as well, even though I had someone really try to bring me down.

Though I don't believe it was intentional, the person I was speaking with told me I CANNOT achieve all of my goals.  He said, "Just don't get your hopes up because achieving your goals is just not possible."  This was told to me when I simply said that I have a lot of goals that I want to accomplish. I didn't even SPECIFY what any of my goals were, so how could this person tell me that my goals aren't achievable?  I replied by saying that I would continue to try and I am also allowed to adjust and change my goals as I go through life.  That opened another door for more negative comments to walk through.  While listening, I decided to think back to something I read earlier in the day from a friend:

The Buddah.
A man throws insults at him, but Buddah continues to smile. The man says, Why do you smile? I just assaulted you with insults.

Buddha: I do not accept your insults.

Man: What does that mean?

Buddah: If you were to give me $100 and I did not accept it, the $100 would still be yours, not mine. The same is true of your insults. I do not accept them, so they are still yours.

Though he wasn't trying to insult me, I was in fact a little insulted at first.  I felt insulted because that's what I'm used to. I'm used to getting negative feedback and reacting negatively to it.  BUT, I am working on changing my reactions, and improving on being positive.  I chose to leave this negativity with him, and by not accepting it, it can do me no harm.  It can continue to harm him and he can choose to live that way if he chooses.  

I really felt great when that conversation ended. I learned a new and simple method of refusing to accept negativity, and leaving it with its originator.