Archive | December, 2011

52 FEATS – NUMBER 52 (Learning Something New)

28 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

Aaaaaaaahhhhh – last Feat, can you believe it?  This one has been the toughest to figure out, which is why it’s Tuesday night and I’m just now getting this done.  I’ve been ruminating on this for what seems like an eternity.  This is my last chance for greatness!  The 11th hour in my quest to make a difference in my life!!

I suppose in some ways, I’m kind of reaching into the bottom of the barrel now, although I still have quite a few ideas that I haven’t tried yet.  I really want to go out with a bang – something meaningful.  But I also want it to be a true, honest Feat- something I’ve really wanted to accomplish.

So for this last Feat of my journey (and of this year), I’m going to dust off the old noodle and learn something new.  It’s not too late, I hope – old dogs can learn new tricks, right?  I haven’t quite decided what it’s going to be: Dance classes? A writing course? Guitar lessons?  (I’ve had “learn a song on the guitar” on my New Year’s resolution list for the last 5 years and still haven’t crossed it off yet!)

I’m going to do some searching around my city to see what’s available, and sign up right away.  I figure if I go ahead and pay for some classes then I’ll have no excuse not to do it.  And I want it to be something new, something I’ve never tried before.  What a great way to kick off 2012!

Stay tuned for next week, where I’ll be giving you an end-of-year update!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 51 (Not Complaining)

20 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I’ve had two conversations recently during which I suddenly realized I was doing nothing but complain.  In both situations, someone had asked me the simple question, “How are you?”  Several minutes later, I noticed that I hadn’t talked about anything but how busy I am, how overworked, how hectic life is, etc.  Complain, complain, complain…  Do I hate my life that much?  No!  And who wants to listen to that??

Plus, it’s the holidays, for crying out loud – it’s a wonderful, fun time!  I suppose it’s just the pessimist in me that immediately spouts off the negative, when I truly have so much to be happy about.

For my penultimate Feat, I intend to work on not complaining.  I’m going to be very mindful about what I’m saying and try my hardest to steer away from negativity.  You should try it, too – and have a very happy holiday season!

The Winter Solstice

14 Dec

Check out this post written by Lori last December.  This year’s winter solstice is next Thursday, December 22!

The Winter Solstice, darkest day of the year, occurred Tuesday.  It was especially significant this year, because at the same time, there was a full moon accompanied by a lunar eclipse.  For centuries, people have held celebrations on the Winter Solstice.  They would bring all of their animals in (for slaughter), as there would be little food available for the animals during the harsh winter months.  They would celebrate and feast.  This has been a time of abundance and celebration for our ancestors.  Celestially, it is viewed as a powerful event.

A friend of mine and I came up with the idea to have a group meditation on this night.  My friend is more experienced in meditation.  I only recently began learning how to do it on my own.  The extent to my “group” meditation experience has been in chanting “Om” with fellow yogis during my weekly yoga practice!  So, I was really looking forward to it.

I read in Yoga Journal that more and more people are hosting Winter Solstice parties.  Some people even incorporate yoga practice into their event.  I went shopping for food and beverages, and planned where the ceremony should occur in my house.  I smudged the room to purify it and make it clear.  I lit candles.

A couple hours before the event, I received a call from my friend, whose daughter was really sick, saying she was unable to come.  I was saddened and started to cry.  I have three children myself, and my heart ached for her, her daughter, and for the thought that the meditation may not occur.  After I hung up the phone, I sat with my thoughts for a moment.

I felt compelled to go on, without my friend.  I was certainly nervous, but at the same time, knew from within, that I would not be alone, and I would receive all the Guidance I needed.

I called my mom, who is frequently my “Go-To Gal.”  She said when I had called her the previous day and said, “You’ll never guess who just called me,” she immediately thought it was about the meditation being cancelled.  Instead, that call was about something entirely different, but it compelled her to do some research.  She found a beautiful guided meditation online, which she shared with me.  I read it and immediately thought it was perfect for our circle.

Seven of us sat in a circle on the floor.  I smudged every one individually.  Then, we proceeded with the guided meditation.  Afterwards, I spoke from the heart (undoubtedly Guided) and we lit candles to diminish the darkness both within ourselves and throughout the Earth/Universe, and let our lights shine.  After the ceremony, we talked.  And talked.  It was amazing.  Deep.  Moving.  Satisfying.  The perfect way to begin a new season.

I learned some things about myself in the process.  I am capable of trusting myself.  I am not alone.  Ever.  When I need help, all I have to do is ask.

I have great family and friends.  I hope to make this a tradition for years to come.

For more information about Yoga Journal, see http://www.yogajournal.com/.

For more information about the guided meditation we used, go to http://www.matrifocus.com/SAM03/meditation.htm.

52 FEATS – NUMBER 50 (Making Friends)

13 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

I’m happy to announce that I did great with last week’s Feat!  Based on a more consistent schedule, Jenna has already improved so much with her reading lessons.  And that definitely makes me feel like I’m doing a better job as a mom!

Last week I was at a restaurant with my family when I happened to strike up conversations with two complete strangers – something very unusual for me!  They were both very nice – one was an older man telling me about his grandkids and his love of Christmas lights, and the other was a young mom asking me questions about local schools.  We talked for at least a couple hours.

Maybe the romance of the season is getting to me, but I think I need to do this more often.  It was a nice thing to do, connecting with complete strangers who turned out to be very friendly.  I actually enjoyed talking to them; surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a chore.  Maybe my little grinchy heart is ready to grow three sizes!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 49 (Making a Commitment)

5 Dec

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

Well last week I did a terrible job of keeping my trap shut.  Here’s a great example: As we were leaving for a playdate, my daughter put on a dress-up gown she had borrowed from a friend, only to find a huge rip across the front.  I went on this ridiculously long rant about being responsible for things we borrow, told her she owed her friend an apology, and said she would have to help pay to replace the dress.  We get to our playdate, she runs up to her friend and says she’s sorry for the dress, and her friend says nonchalantly, “Oh, my brother did that.”

Oops.

I think I’m going to make a t-shirt with a Nike-style swoosh across the front that says, “Just shut it.”

So obviously I need to keep working on not flapping my gums so much.  I found that goes awfully well with the previous Feat of smiling – I can paste a smile on my face, which instantly shuts me up and actually does sort of melt away any bad feelings.

On to this week – making a commitment.  Obviously I’m not a total commitment phobe – I mean, I did get married and have kids.  But there are a couple of small, important things that I’ve been letting slide lately.  The MOST important of those would be my daughter’s daily reading lessons.  Because they’re self-paced and not on any particular schedule, they keep getting pushed to the bottom of the list.  Sadly, most days we end up not even having time to do them at all.  Boo on myself.

I feel SO strongly about doing these lessons right now (and doing them the right way), that I have to make them more of a priority.  Twice a week just won’t cut it.  I was very diligent about doing these with my son, and I owe my daughter the same commitment!

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