Get Out!

The last few weeks have been a struggle for me. Sleeping too much, not enough exercise…you know, the late winter “I don’t wanna” syndrome.

http://Photo by Sora Sagano on Unsplash

I’m a big fan of Dr. John Arden’s mindfulness tool: S.E.E.D.S. Balance the following areas of your life and things won’t be so draining:

Sleep (not too much, not too little)

Exercise (just do it!)

Educate (yer mind)

Diet (all the things…food, media, negative relationships)

Socialize (with other righteous folks)

As I write this I’m on one of my jaunts to NYC. Today started out with sleeting snow and muck on the ground. Earlier in the week I RSVP’d to a meetup in the hitherlands of Brooklyn. After walking the dog early this morning I began to talk myself out of schlepping ALL the way to the event [insert snark face].

I thought about just jumping back into bed.

I thought about staying in and arting all day.

Instead, I put myself together (brushed my hair AND my teeth!) and headed out for the meetup adventure.

Art work by me 🙂

AND I’M SO HAPPY I DID (yup, shouting!)

The meetup was produced by Matt Rosenblum of Advanced Life Coaching      
Go check this man out! (I’ll wait…)

I’d met Matt at another meetup a few months ago and am glad to be able to get to know him. He’s smart, thorough, and shares his knowledge freely. Win win win!

Today I also met A, an entrepreneur working on a fashion related business and M, an advocate for students and families trying to manage the world of higher learning.

It felt great to chat about our projects, and the feeling of useful focus (versus twirling thoughts that lead to burnout) was refreshing.

If you’d like to check out this fabu meetup, here’s a link:

She wore a Raspberry Beret!

I’m so glad I went on today’s adventure! What fun thing(s) will you be doing today? Have any other suggestions for meetups you love? Let me know!

The Power of Practice

Let’s start by me telling you I wasn’t a great meditation student in the early days of  my practice. In fact, I was sort of reluctant and (ahem…) crabby about it.  I once a asked a pretty well known author and meditation mentor something like: “Why wouldn’t I just crochet instead…I don’t see why I can’t do something active…”. In a room filled with devoted followers of said guru…

Oh girl…

Let’s fast forward to two of my experiences in the last 20 or so hours…

Last night I had a (long story short) TERRIBLE time driving home. Wintery weather + darkness + no reliable GPS + anxiety… At one point I was just going to leave the car in a ditch and take my chances walking the 6 miles to my house.

Meditation Medallions by Filomena Jack
Mediations on color.

Then this afternoon I had to have an unpleasant medical exam lasting about 30 minutes. I found myself slipping into a panic attack, confined in an MRI machine.

OK, here’s how the Power of Practice (capital letters!) saved my butt…because I choose to practice meditation many times each week I have a strong foundation on how to control my breathing, slow my heart rate, and make more clear decisions. I can become much more reasonable about any situation with which I find myself. I can remember that time passes and situations (such as being stuck in an MRI machine) aren’t forever. I can control my urges of fight and flight.

The take away:

PRACTICE MEDITATION EVERYDAY, in the small moments where you don’t NEED to calm down or reset. Practice when it’s easy in order to make your “meditation muscles” strong when times are tough.

Easy peasy: Breathe. In then out. Then out again. Do it with the intention to slow your heart rate and hamster wheel mind. You don’t have to get all fancy with cushions, candles, and memberships to apps. Those things are nice, but not necessary.

I am so very grateful my meditation muscles kicked in during these stressful events. I hope you find the practice useful too.

Much love,