exercise

Mexican Squirt, listen and stop

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listen

Around the corner from where I live there is this Mexican Grocery store.  And right now I am enjoying a Mexican Squirt.  That’s Squirt made with pure cane sugar.  No high-fructose corn syrup in it and it is delicious.   I enjoyed being in the market.  The store clerk was friendly, ask me if it was my first time there, it wasn’t.  He was super kind.

They sell all types of peppers, homemade salsa, they even prepare fresh tacos during lunch hour, and they also sell cacti.  How do you even prepare cactus? I don’t know, but while I was there I felt like I was worlds away. Away from the normal unrelenting drone of this American life.  Yet, I was less than one mile from my house.

The point here is – I think I am suffering from too much.  Too much of everything.  Seeing too much, hearing too much.  Owning too much, and feeling too much.  Thinking too much.  Worrying too much.  I am officially on overload.

I need to shut it all off.  I need to shut it all down.  I need to try not to notice.  I need to listen.

I need to listen to that voice inside that has been screaming at me – STOP!

So today I stop.  I am really going to stop tomorrow,  I don’t know exactly what I will do, but it wont require me to worry, to think, or to rush here or there.

I am officially in the stop mode.  I don’t care if I don’t know how to be  a miracle worker right now…..I am stop mode.  If I don’t learn how to meditate this week, so what?

I already feel better just saying I am in “stop mode.”  Seems silly but it appears to be helping me.

I hope you can STOP also…..it’s awesome and I just started a few minutes ago. I guess it doesn’t take 40 day to stop.

Cheers!

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Better today

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Today I learned from the other day and simply removed myself from a conversation of which I didn’t want to participate in, and I am proud of myself.

It was so easy to just change the subject, get ignored, and slowly move away.  The conversation wasn’t a feel good conversation, and even though I have my own opinions on just about everything I just wanted a more positive day for myself.  So I got it.

smiley-happy-face-yellow

There you have it, an example of taking control of my environment.   I am still learning, so I know there is hope for you too.

Happy Father’s Day all you dads, keep being awesome!

Oh it’s Sunday so I shouldn’t be posting – got to go!  Cheers!

Screwed up.

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So everything in your life is a mess, you’re stressed and wondering what you should do.  It’s easy to let your emotions take over at times like these, but that’s not going to help anything.

Here’s what you are gong to do about it: NOTHING.

Artist Andrew Myers, modern-day sculptor

Andrew Myers make creates portraits with screws.

Let go of your problems for a while. I suggest all day today, just don’t do or think anything related to any of the problems in your life. If you have to, put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you find yourself dwelling on some issue you can not control or thinking about an issue that has you worried or upset.

I plan on reading. I know I have a pile of books that are begging for my attention. When you read you learn. Learning is a sure way to take your mind someplace else. I may be going to a movie, by myself. It’s quite relaxing to go out without any company. I encourage you to try it.

If you are alone most the time, go somewhere social. Go to a museum and join a talk or a group tour. You’ll be with other people and share an experience, which is usually interesting if nothing more.

By the end of the day your life will still be a mess but you will not have wasted your Saturday worrying about it.

Your mission should you chose to take it is: Make your today work for you and not against you.

Cheers!

Tip: Leave the desk behind if you can this weekend and just live. It’s hard to slow down

Inspiration: “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin

One-day one-thing: Enjoy something, anything, your choice.

Back on the Mat

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Thanks to a dear friend, and a couple on-line friends, I am back on the mat. I started again last two nights ago and hopefully I will never stop my practice of yoga. I am a beginner for the 5th time. Five different attempts to make yoga part of my life. One time I even paid for an entire session, and never went because I thought I was too busy or it wasn’t convenient. So I guess that actually makes it six attempts.

However, this time I feel differently about it. This time it’s not just something I should do. It’s not something I want do only because it will get me in better shape. I have no expectation for my yoga experience, I am going with the flow. I want to do yoga for the rest of my life, as in life-long commitment. I believe that shift in my thinking will make all the difference.

Just eliminated your expectations all together.

This makes me happy. Granted I am little sore really sore, and I have only gone to one session, but I know it’s all possible. Being a beginner (I should be an expert at being a beginner)  is a bit awkward only because it’s new and your body isn’t accustom to being used. You are not unlike a baby learning to walk, unsure and wobbly. But that’s normal.

I’m okay not knowing all the details of this journey and I am okay with being wobbly. I know with practice I will improve. I’m not sure what all the yoga words mean or all the symbols, it doesn’t matter.

Everything will come in time.

So with much gratitude I thank Kat, Claudia and James. Namaste.

________

I want to share these awesome posts from two fantastic blogs.

James: I’m Completely Humiliated by Yoga

Claudia: 32 Suggestions: How to Start an Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Tip: What is the meaning of Namaste?

Aadil Palkhivala’s reply: “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Inspiration:

One-day one thing: Practice breathing.

Re-wire your brain – light up your life.

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It’s time.  This time, not next time, right now and right where ever you are.

(Please know I am addressing myself as well.)

No more excuses. Change your mind and change your life.  Decide today that you are worth taking care of.  Believe that there is nothing more important that taking care of yourself.   Other people do it.  We look at them in awe.  We question how do they do it? Sometimes we get jealous.  Maybe we claim they don’t have troubles, or they are younger, healthier, or they are rich, or they don’t have to work so they have the time. Over and over again we convince ourselves that they can have it all, because of something they have that we don’t.

Each time we make any excuse as to why we are not living our best life we are bullshitting ourselves – every single time.

I have no room to talk.  I am right there with everyone. I have attempted so many times to get my sh*t together that I have all the tips embossed into my gray matter.  Those tips, and they are good ones,  didn’t help me at all.  You know why?  Because I never followed through with what they said. I would read self help books up to about page 30.  You wouldn’t believe how many of these books I donated in my de-cluttering.  I had to remove all the pathetic book marks. I never stuck with anything long enough to get to the point where I knew I was living my best life.

More importantly MOST importantly, I never cleared out all the other toxic beliefs, grudges, and negatives in my heart and mind.  You have to have an open mind, that’s true.  I had an open mind.  What I didn’t have was any extra room in my mind.  You have to have a clean slate, or at least some free space in your head where new ideas can begin to live and grow.

It’s somewhat like a chalk board. Try this:

Fill a chalk board with every thing that you have issues with, and things that makes you angry, and people who have  hurt your feelings.  Write down the negative things you say to yourself.  Right down every regret you have.  Write down any and all shame you carry.  Write down the reasons you don’t exercise or eat right. Write down names of people who screwed you, or lied to you. I think you get the point.

Now step back.  Look at that mess. There’s no room for anything else.  Your board is full.  Full of sh*t.

It’s time to erase that nasty chalkboard.  Everything you wrote down doesn’t matter.  Erase it. It just doesn’t do you any good, in fact every day you keep it on your board (in your brain), you suffer.

This can be a long painful process, but at a certain point in time you will reach a tipping point where, letting go of the ugly past/present becomes easier.  You may even wonder why you didn’t do all this sooner, don’t worry that’s normal.  Here are four simple things you can do this weekend to start re-wiring your brain.

1. Don’t gossip:  It can be a habit.  Just stop it.  It is negative energy that saps you of positive emotions. It’s not nice and it attracts people who are not nice.

2. Compliment yourself: Acknowledge something that you do or did well.  Be proud of it.  It can be anything, even something as simple as cleaning out a cat box.  Just say to yourself, “That was nasty but I did a good job of cleaning it and now it’s done, the cats will be happy.”

3. Be grateful: Every day express gratitude, and recall that gratitude throughout the day.  Key word “express.”  Let someone ( even yourself) know you are grateful.

4. Stop complaining: Cold turkey on this one.  If you can’t say something nice stay silent.

This is only a start. I don’t know if this will work for anyone else, but I have used these four things and they have helped me.

I am working on changing my mental wiring, my life.  I am starting to actually see a difference.  It feels good.  My old issues, they are still there, but they have no power less influence over my thoughts and my decisions.  Letting go doesn’t make things disappear, it just means  you are no longer holding on to them.

Be conscientious of these four simple things for the entire weekend, what do you have to lose?   Happy Friday. Cheers- I love Fridays!

And if you really want to enjoy your weekend try Sunday, simply.

Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself, stop talking yourself down.

Inspiration:

This is my goal in life.


One-day one-thing: Set one realistic goal to accomplish this weekend and do it.

I could be a drug addict.

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Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at  same time.  I was super woman.

What the h*ll happened to me?

Devastation and deep depression.  Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards.  The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real.  Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us.  And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS.  Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.

So this is what I did.  I started a blog just for me.  I called it my sad blog.  I wrote how I felt.  If nothing more it provided an outlet.  Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I  replayed them over and over again.

I played this one first:  the house that built me

Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.

These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings.  However they also made me cry.  You see I  could  barely speak during this time.  Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own.  Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks.  I was a mess.   I wore sunglasses to work,  closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do.  I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief.  None.

During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed.  Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut.   We were in final stages in both instances.  Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom.  Neither deal closed.  Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.

I was broken.

I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much.  Here is one entry from my personal  blog:

Sad but True

The best part of my day is knowing it will end.

Right now I can say I am better.  Much better.  I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to  pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)

1.)  I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.

2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life.  Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.

3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life.  I made room for new ideas.  In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.

4.) I started reading these bloggers – Thanks James and Claudia. Highly recommended.

5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone.  I am what I am, either like me or not.

6.) I let go of any shame.  The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business  it was global.  Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.”  (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)

7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.

8.) I learned who had my back.  It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws.  I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change.  I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.

9.) I looked to my husband.  I realized without him I am nothing.  He is the love of my life.  And he is my rock.  He has my back – forever and always.

10.) My children are among my greatest loves.  They are my  are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life.  I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life.  I am so very proud of each of them.

The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude.  Some of these people I know well.  Others, I don’t even know their names.

Anyway, time eventually ran out and  I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home.  I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank.  (We were lucky to do that, we  avoided foreclosure.)

My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom.  Home is where ever my family is.”  I was stunned by his comment.  I will never forget his kind and wise words.

Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through.  I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go.  But I have faith we will get there some day.  And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”

(I would like to add, this took me well over a year.  Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in.  At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)

Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.

Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.

I woke up to this message, my daughter had primed the entire kitchen during the night while I slept.

One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering:  Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.

PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment.   I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not.  I know.  I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here.  I’m grabbing a beer.  And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing  and then again maybe I won’t.

Cheers with a smile. :)

“Stop. Hey what’s that sound?”

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I walked in the park the other day, alone.  I wanted to take photos but my camera’s battery was dead.  The only camera I had was in my phone.  Usually I take my dogs with me as my protectors, but I didn’t have the right harnesses.  I felt a strong desire to walk in the woods.  It was a beautiful day and I was afraid to waste it.  So I went alone.

I walked up the stairs, all 100+ of them.  I was winded.  It was beautiful.  I was alone.  Sitting there catching my breath, taking in the fall colors of the tree tops below, and then all of a sudden I got scared.  Just me,  alone, at the brink of a huge cliff  next to the never ending woods.  Not a soul in sight.

What crossed my fearful mind, after all the horrific scenarios, was that I should think like an Indian Squaw.  Hold on….I have to look up “squaw” because I don’t really know what it means.  Well… that was more than I needed to know.  I guess I need to know, but I didn’t know the bad meaning until I looked for the regular meaning.

I recovered from the stairs and started my hike.  I began telling myself to “stop it, don’t let your fear win, just enjoy.”  So I walked for awhile up until the moment I noticed freshly pressed large foot prints in the mud.  I froze stiff in my steps and listened.  I listened hard.  I wanted to hear those footsteps if they were out there.   I tried to imagine that if I heard foot steps that I could locate the origin of them as quickly as a native Squaw.

Sigh….

I calmed myself down.  Which was no small task.  But still I wanted to locate something by sound alone.  I wanted to be keen, keenly aware.

I continued on, hearing only my own footsteps.   I stopped again.  It was really quiet.  Finally I  heard a bird, a large bird, an owl or something up in the trees.  I tried to locate it, but as I walked on the sound bounced, appearing to move.  Being keen is not that easy.

The voice I heard had a soft mellow earthy tone, relaxed.  I have no idea what kind of creature it was, I never saw it.   It sounded blissfully content, high above me in the seemingly empty quiet woods and that was enough for me.

All this on an indiscernible Thursday from a simple walk in the park, alone.

Tip: Keep your batteries charged.

Inspiration: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.”  ~Rosa Parks

One-day one-thing: Wake-up your senses; step outside and do something alone.