Category Archives: Mindfulness & Meditation

Expectations, Change, & Growth – Oh my!!!

I LOVE a good plan. I’m a planner. Sometimes it hurts when unforeseen kinks appear in my plans. This week I talk about some things I do to manage my own expectations, in case things don’t go exactly the way I plan them.

Zero to My Own Hero – The Evolution of Me

Over time I’ve changed, grown taller and wiser. My physical appearance, ways of thinking, and self-wort have all teetered back and forth, from one extreme to the other. Every experience is an opportunity for growth, if we are open, even the most difficult situations have the power to teach us something

A friend once said to me that she remembered that I “wasn’t good at anything” when we were kids. This week I talk about what’s changed over the years. Life hasn’t always been easy but I make the most of things.

Most importantly, I’ve gained more self-confidence through growing a better understanding of myself.

Habit-forming – The Art of Creating Good Habits

I am a creature of habit. I love my little rituals and routines. I am very aware of this and take advantage of my ability to form habits.

 

Fear & Anxiety – Do you know the difference?

Anxiety is on the rise globally. Many people, including some anxiety sufferers, may not know what anxiety is or how to deal with it.

It’s time we swallow our pride and start having these discussions. We need to talk about mental health.

 

The Quiet Place – An Addiction to Solitude

I have a deep love for the peaceful quiet that only solitude can create. When the dogs are sleeping, and the only sounds I hear are birds chirping, my introspective mind comes alive.

The blank in between the interactions, where I can find my true self, uncluttered by the sounds and feelings of others. This is my chapel, my holy place, where I speak with my soul.

It is the place I go for yoga and meditation, the place I go when I need to think. At first, I started in my home but, as I grow, I am learning to take it with me everywhere.

I build quite meditation and rest times into my day. Prescheduled breaks give me something to look forward to if I’m not excited about a project in front of me.

I’m a huge believer in positive reinforcement (although taking things away from me worked well for my mother when I was growing up). She called it The Taming of Shrew. For a while, I wondered why she was comparing me to a rodent.

My mother would set a clear expectation of what she wanted from me and what would be taken away if I did not comply. Rewards for good deeds also helped as motivators.

Now, as an adult rodent, I am in charge of motivating myself. I use lists and rewards, many of which are times of quiet reflection or writing breaks. Retreating back into myself, diving deeply, settling in my quiet space.

The atmosphere in my world is pleasant because I control most of the elements. It’s intoxicating and blissful. Why would I ever want to leave?

Careful not to get too comfortable.

This place, where art is born, songs come to life, and birds sing is too perfect, to the point of addiction. It would be easy to settle into a monk-like solitude, giving up speaking, but that is taking the easy way out.

Not speaking is easier. Being alone is often easier. I don’t want to settle for what is easy.

This comfort zone I’m standing in, it’s something I need to push. Walking out of it slowly, step by step, learning new things every single day.

Take Care of Yourself

“You look like you take good care of yourself.” – What a strange thing to say to someone.

Self care is the deepest affection that you can show to yourself.

It has taken me years to get to where I am now in regards to self care. As I grow and age self care has become a much bigger priority for me.

Love yourself – YOU deserve it!

 

Coming Home – The Road to Writing

Written words are enchanting magic spells, casting thoughts out into the wider world. As I relax into a quiet space behind my keyboard something miraculous happens.

Many people complain about how much they hate writing papers, but my experience with writing (typing) has been very different.

I remember the first time I felt the fear, sitting in the reading circle of my first grade classroom. Each student in the circle would have to read a passage out loud. Terrified, and on the spot, when the teacher called on me I froze like a mouse trying to hide in a dark corner, nose pointing down towards my book.

My mother was furious. I started reading at a young age but my teacher was insisting that I could not even perform the basics in her class. To make matters worse, I was “interrupting the learning environment for the other students, running around the classroom and making disruptive and distracting noises.” The teacher was not happy and my mother was in complete disbelief.

“That KID CAN READ!” I remember hearing her say. “She’s been reading since she was two years old!”

Yes, I could read. In fact, I had read the entire page in my head already several times. The literature was pretty simple, I understood and enjoyed the story but when asked to speak in front of the group something happened. A fear I’d never felt before grabbed me by the gut. The eyes in the room like laser beams blocking the connectivity between my mouth and brain. I was completely stuck, unable to speak. As the teacher became more and more aggravated my anxiety grew, causing me to retreat further into myself.

The same fear lingered for years, even into high school. Teachers, who seemed to take pleasure in calling on anyone who didn’t seem to be paying attention or gave off a confused aura. I was the perfect target. Vengeance on the students who didn’t study or understand the material. Most days I wanted to be invisible.

The school wasn’t the best time for me, but there were a few good teachers along the way. High school was a bit better. I was spending large chunks of time typing up vampire fiction, inspired by books that I had read in middle school, most of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (this was before the Twilight era).

The books were trash, and I never published or finished them. They featured teen vampires, inspired by myself and my friends, getting into fights and mischief. The stories had plenty of sex and violence, giving me credit with my peers as a real “artist”.

Truthfully they were tasteless.

Telling those stories was like therapy. Back then almost everything I set my eyes upon was fiction, so I used fiction to work through many questions and scenes from my own life.

There was a period in my life when I wasn’t writing. The entire time I felt as if something were missing. Chatter in my head, telling me to search without sharing what I should be searching for.

My deepest and most accurate form of communication had been cut off, and I hadn’t even realized it.

Finally, something inspired me to write, I started writing and I kept writing. It was easy and enjoyable, just like coming home to a plush sofa and a Netflix movie.

The more I write the more I understand about life, the world, myself, about relationships, and the people I care about. It is like a key opening up greater understandings.

Spilling my thoughts onto a screen through a rubber coated keyboard is a very soothing practice. Creating a blog post doesn’t feel like work, in reality, it is more of a meditation.

Gazing upon the softly glowing screen I sit perched in a nest of pillows, wrapped in a soft red blanket. Relaxed, bathing in the softly glowing lights of our living room, I am calm and still.