Life is flying by really quickly. Here’s a snapshot:
#mind: I’ve been reading lots of good books recently! One in particular – It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way To Happiness, by Sylvia Boorstein – was absolutely wonderful. I don’t subscribe to any religion, but I do love reading about Buddhism and Buddhist thought typically resonates with me.
I took copious notes on the eightfold path, the way that supposedly leads to the end of suffering. The path includes:
- right view –seeing a thing in its true nature, without name or label; knowing what’s really going on inside and outside of ourselves
- right intention – having the motivation to develop and progress toward awesomeness
- right livelihood – making your living in a noble, peaceful way
- right speech – be honest, don’t slander others or cause disharmony, don’t be rude/impolite/abusive, don’t indulge in idle talk
- right action – “right” = “wise, wholesome, ideal” – act without selfish attachment to your own agenda, act mindfully and compassionately.
- right effort – prevent unwholesome qualities from arising, extinguish unwholesome qualities that already exist, cultivate new wholesome qualities and strengthen the wholesome qualities you already have
- right mindfulness – being fully attentive to everything as it is
- right concentration – complete focus i.e. (I think?) meditation
#soul: I haven’t had a ton of #soul nourishment lately, other than the books I’ve been reading. (Currently am in the middle of Perfectly Imperfect by Baron Baptiste – so good!) However, I’ve posted recently about my intention to curb my addiction to background noise. I think this will be TREMENDOUS #soul food for me!
Also, I read a little snippet somewhere recently: Make nice plans for yourself. I don’t like making my life too overplanned. But I think that it may help me to limit my TV watching, Facebook stalking, and phone scrolling when I make nice plans with myself for nourishing activities rather than just stumbling through my day with tired eyes and a spit-up shirt.
#heart: A college friend of mine got married last weekend at a state park in Connecticut. It was gorgeous and lovely, and the wedding was my standard mix of “This is so much fun!” and “I wish I saw all these glorious people every day of my life!” Teddy was a cuddly darling and it was so wonderful to be surrounded by good friends.
All in all – life is sweet. Writing helps to make it even sweeter. Hopefully there will be more to post soon!
My last check-in was on April 10th. That was a really, really long time ago!
Life is insane right now. I’ll write more about it someday, I’m sure – but for right now, let me take a look.
Here’s a snapshot of my current balance situation:
-There is SO MUCH HAPPENING! Most of it new and exciting and wonderful. But when there are changes in life, we have to re-calibrate – we have to figure out our new equilibrium.
-When I am seeking a new balance, I sometimes regress to my default settings. And some of my defaults are not the best. Such as keeping a television show on in the background all day long (ugh) and drinking a million diet cokes and coffees (even when the stressor is lack of sleep or anxiety). These defaults will need to reset, stat, so that I can be at my best and most balanced!
-When I am off-balance, I have go-to methods for correcting it, mostly involving taking a rejuvenation day and getting in some exercise. Those methods are not going to be as easy to come by now. It’s a time for change, growth, and novelty. And I couldn’t be more excited for it all.
The last time I published a blog post was the first of July.
What?! That was way too long ago!
There’s been a lot going on, and I’m sure I’ll write about all of it eventually. But for right now, I’m just enjoying sitting on my couch, sipping coffee, and typing away.
One of the side effects of having such a lull in my writing is that I’ve shared almost all of my share-worthy blog posts. So I’m going to need to write like craaazy to get myself caught up! To start myself off, here’s a snapshot:
#mind – One of my simplest pleasures in life is editing and re-editing
my list of books I want to read. Today I’ve been doing that using Goodreads, a site where I keep track of what I’m reading currently (six books total), the books that are on deck (five), the books I’ve read, and the books I want to read. I recently emerged from a reading rut via a non-fiction book (Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister) as well as the latest Harry Potter installment, and now I am reading like crazy – mostly YA titles that I read out loud to the newest family addition. 🙂
#heart – We’ve had a ton of family and friends visits lately, which has been heart-warming and lovely. SO MUCH HEART FOOD. More than I could ever have imagined.
#soul – My soul food has been a little lacking. I haven’t meditated since early July. This needs to be remedied.
#body – Currently I am reading a lovely little book – Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice by Baron Baptiste. It’s getting me psyched up to do some yoga, which I’ve only practiced intermittently lately. My most regular #body food lately has been my almost-daily walks with my baby boy.
#spirit – Everything in life is infused with spirit lately! It’s all new. It’s all wonderful. And there’s a baby boy with blue eyes. Love.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and subsequently, there’s a lot to include. Which means it’s time for a snapshot!
-Tee and I travelled to North Carolina early this week to visit our new baby nephew! He is two months old and precious. (We saw the rest of the family, too – but the baby was the STAR of our visit.)
-My reading rut is over, I think! And weirdly, I’ve been brought back into reading by a nonfiction book – Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For American Women, by Rebecca Traister. I’m usually not into nonfiction at all; I enjoy the fantastical elements of fiction, escaping into an imaginary world. But the RBG book and the Traister book have both been fabulous. (There will likely be a blog post about this in the future.)
-My job continues to be pretty crazy. BUT I’ve been trying to impose self-care guidelines for myself! Not allowing myself to go into to the office at five in the morning and trying not to bring work stress home with me. Additionally, I’m trying to get back to my zen work mode – the mode when I acknowledge the fact that I can only do what I can do. I do not have the capacity to ever, ever, EVER accomplish everything on my to do list. I just have to work hard every day, and then come home and live my life until it comes time for me to work hard again tomorrow. Like you do.
-What else? OH – I’m addicted to Trivia Crack, a game I downloaded on my phone. Like, so addicted that I understand the word ‘crack’ being in the name. It’s really been helping with my anxiety of late. Definitely NOT my healthiest coping skill – but it’s super-fun. AND EDUCATIONAL.
There’s been a lot going on lately, and not a ton of time or energy to write. Hopefully that will change.
Today I decided to do a #How’sMyBalance? check-in, and I opened up this work-in-progress post to get started on it.
I had just finished Dan Harris’s book about meditation (10% Happier – see my post about it here!), and I definitely had meditation on my mind.
This was the draft I’d written several weeks ago for my #How’sMyBalance? post:
Recently I read an article about ways for highly sensitive people, empaths, and introverts to survive in a world that is full of talking and extroversion. (You can read the article here – loooove elephantjournal.com!) This article emphasized the importance of meditaton as a grounding, centering practice, especially for people who are extra-sensitive to the energies and vibrations of the universe. Yeah – I need some more of that meditation stuff.
So funny! I didn’t even remember having written those words several weeks ago. Clearly, the time has come for me to meditate. I’ve felt very scattered and all-over-the-place recently. Let’s see how my balance has been:
My last check in was the morning of 2/29, and this pie chart represents my info as of 4/9.
THE BAD NEWS: I’ve been super unbalanced lately. Work’s been crazy and it’s gotten in the way of my self-care.
THE GOOD NEWS: Clearly, I’ve been doing well with having my Me Time include all the different aspects of self I want to nourish! This is a pretty rock star pie chart, if I do say so myself.
Here’s a snapshot of this moment:
-There are about eight books on deck for me to read, but I’m having trouble deciding which book should be my next. During my Portland journey to my mecca, Powell’s, I purchased three books: Seven Types Of Ambiguity by Eliot Perlman; The Holy, by Daniel Quinn; and How To Relax, by Thich Nhat Hanh. (This required extraordinary restraint on my part.)
-This weekend is a wonderful chance to re-charge. It’s been a long time since I’ve meditated, and yesterday I sat outside on the grassy hill by my side door and used my favorite meditation app, Stop Breathe & Think, to do a five-minute meditation on mindful breathing.
-I’ve also been taking time to write. Yesterday I rode my bike a couple of miles down the NCR Trail to the Rail Trail Cafe in New Freedom, PA. I sat at a table on the porch outside the cafe, writing in my journal and musing about heart soul mind body. Lately I’ve been way more into biking than running. It’s probably a phase, initiated by my excitement at being to be able to tumble out my front door and immediately hop on my bike and start riding down the NCR Trail. It’s been years since I’ve been able to bike so easily and happily.
-Tee and I spent Easter Sunday with my mother, my siblings, and our adorable nieces and nephew. That is always amazing #heart food!
-I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed, like life is unmanageable, lately; a combination of the adoption wait, work stress, and a general lack of spiritual work caught up with me yesterday. Luckily, I have Tee, who helped me to do exactly what I needed to do yesterday to feel more like myself. The result was major #soul food.
This is my snapshot – a pretty balanced one, I think! I’m grateful for my long weekend (why aren’t all weekends three days long?) and for feeling serene and peaceful. Namaste.
My last check-in was December 24.
So, it’s been a while. Which is evidence supporting that a) it’s been a crazy few months, and b) my self-care has not been ideal. (Case in point – self-care, for me, usually involves writing. And if I’m not blogging, I’m probably not writing.)
Anyway – here’s where I’m at:
Things I learned from this #How’sMyBalance check-in
- Come on, KEM! There is literally NO SLICE for #spirit! It makes sense though. Things have been pretty crazy and stressful, and when I’m stressed out, I revert to routine, rhythm, and familiarity. I get myself back to basics – it helps me to feel grounded, centered.
- I’ve been going to the gym – ugh, not my favorite form of exercise, but it’s winter and the snow has kept me from trail running. I’ve been doing a Plank Challenge for the last few days, which I think may be an urban myth… Supposedly, if I follow a Plank Challenge schedule like the one I found online (see this website), in 30 days I’ll be able to stay in plank position for five minutes. FIVE MINUTES. I call bullshit. But I’ve been trying it anyway – I’m on day five.
- There’s been so much happening lately that I haven’t felt super-balanced; however, looking at my pie chart, I haven’t been doing TOO badly. Sometimes we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be.
Cheers to balance!