Scribbling Dame

Preposterous Pondering.

January Mindfulness: Maximizing What Is! January 1, 2015

I am nearing the last month of my yoga teacher training and can very much say it has been a life changing experience, which is so big I am still processing and can’t even begin to fully articulate. Like being the first woman in my family to get a college degree, I find myself having gone through such a complete transformation that I am a bit between worlds–my old self and new self trying to figure out the best life structure to accommodate the latest iteration of my genuine self. More on that later…

One of the practices I’ve happily built up is more awareness about nearly every damn thing. I’m so aware I feel like I can hear a squirrel crack a nut in Africa. Ultimately this awareness is going to take me some pretty amazing new places. For now I sort of feel like Spiderman when he first experiences his spidey senses. I’ll just be walking along or driving and then suddenly see every individual blade of grass glittering in the sun like a trillion diamonds. I’ll be going about my business and become struck by the most beautiful things I have ever seen–because I’ve never really truly seen them before. It’s pretty insane and I know I am so a rookie at this still…

One of the major themes of my practice has been acceptance. I spent much of my life fighting all kinds of things. I was feisty, and had to be to survive and surpass my life circumstances. So, it served me well for a time. Now that time is over and it serves me better to be more accepting, less judgmental, kind, grateful and even sentimental. So, mindfulness and meditation as part of that, are a tool on my path towards better understanding of this life.

This is very long backstory to share that I will post a monthly mindfulness topic–just sharing what I’m thinking about and noticing in the world or myself.

So with the January trend of being resolutionary, and the February reality that only 8% of people actually follow through on those resolutions, I got to thinking. I have a lot of experience with the science of goal setting and the reality is, when we focus on what’s missing, or what’s wrong, we rarely achieve anything but disappointment. I decided that, following my theme of true acceptance, I would create goals that focus on how I will leverage a strength to achieve anything I want throughout the year.

In other words, whatever your goals and dreams, there is something that you already have or do that will help you in getting to that new milestone. You would not even think to set the goals you have if you did not already have some sort of connection to it. So why not leverage what you already have to take it where you want! Accept that you are not starting from ground zero!

You've already got it all baby!

You’ve already got it all baby!

Here’s a sample:

Resolution: Stop watching so much T.V.

If your goal is a scold, your anxiety about this is now going to make you want t.v. even more probably–or at least that’s what happens to me.

Nicer: Leverage my curious nature to take some classes and read more books.

You don’t even have to give attention to the thing you don’t want to do (t.v.). You can just nourish your naturally curious self and the goal will unfold.

I’m just personally a fan of wanting my goals to feel good, and I know the more I focus on what I have, rather than what I don’t, the more I can break free from my fears and anxieties and downer stories.

So what strengths or qualities do you already have that are going to help you live the life you want in this beautiful year of 2015? I bet there’s a lot once you get to thinking about it…

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The Gift of Stillness December 24, 2013

I love Christmas and always have. I have successfully turned my oldest into a Christmas enthusiast as well, which only makes it even more fun for me. I was always raised with the experience of Christmas magic, even when I was so poor that my family received the food drive donations from my school. However, all these years I could not really pinpoint exactly what was so magical about Christmas.

Presents are fun, but as you get older, of course, these are few and far between and become a lot of work to acquire and wrap. Parties and get togethers can be joyful, but also a lot of work, especially if you are trying to haul your kids to them and hope the fact that they’re sugared up and haven’t been to bed on time in who-knows-how-long doesn’t make them the living argument for birth control.  All those things can be fun and provide momentary joy.

I realized though, that the real gift of Christmas (or the holiday season, however you celebrate), is the forced stillness that comes with it. Eventually all the presents are purchased and wrapped. Most of civilization is closed. The parties are done and the food eaten, and you are left with the people around you and nothing to do. This is the magic of Christmas–a moment to just be, with the person/people that mean something to you, with no need to achieve or accomplish or work. This stillness gives the opportunity to reconnect to our hearts, our gratitude and our families and memories, and experience the awe and wonder and warmth that is our lives in the here and now. The Silent Night is a waking meditation.

I hope you all find peace in the stillness of the season and enter the next year rejuvenated.

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