Category Archives: Miranda

Miranda’s twelfth month: Dreams

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There are times when nothing goes as planned. When your heart says one thing and your mind says another thing and all it takes all your energy to keep yourself together. That is why I  forgot to write the twelfth month post. More than halfway through, I realise that I have actually focused on my planned focus area without even noticing it.

So, I will devote my final month of this Memento Vivere year to dreams. Dreams such as finishing a novel, starting my own book café or living a greener life.  Apart from allowing myself to dream, I will try to find ways to actually make my dreams come true, because during the last few weeks I have realised that in fact, none of them are impossible.

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Miranda’s eleventh month: Writing

May did not turn out as planned. In the end I could not even pick up my guitar and two days ago everything fell apart. I am so confused right now. In one moment I somehow manage to repress what has happened, in the other I struggle to remember how to breathe. It seems as if the only thing I can do right now to cope with the anxiety and regret is to write. This will be a tough month, but I seem to be the most creative when I don’t feel very well. So maybe this is the perfect month to finally start writing my novel. Maybe it will be easier if I can slip into that other world, just for a little while, and pretend I’m not the girl who broke up with a boy she still loves terribly.

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Filed under creativity, Love, Miranda, Relationships, Writing

Miranda’s tenth month: music

I’m happy to say that I didn’t eat any candy or cookies for 22 days in a row. And during all of these days, I did some kind of physical exercise, although on a few days it was only a walk. I have tried zumba and pilates and tai chi, and for once, I’m almost addicted to working out. It does make me cope better with the workload, and I don’t crave sugar anymore. And despite my stress, I’ve been able to read two books, meet some friends and go to two concerts. Because I prioritized what I felt was most important to me, I had the energy to do things in time anyway.

So, because of last month’s success, I’ve decided to go against my plans and choose a focus area that may not help me finish my essay faster. However, it will hopefully keep my mood up and give me some nice breaks from the long hours of studying. This month, I will focus on music.

Last week, I took part in the filming of a documentary, and they wanted a shot of me playing the guitar. First, it hit me that I hadn’t taken my guitar out of its case since my last guitar lesson in December. Secondly, I couldn’t come up with a single song to play. This made me feel really awkward, because here I am, dreaming of making albums that will change people’s lives, and I haven’t even touched my guitar for months. I figured that if I managed to squeeze in up to an hour of exercise every day, I should have time to play some guitar as well.

My first goal is to learn a quite difficult song containing lots of fast picking, which is something I really need to practice. Right now, it seems completely impossible. But if I slow it down and just gradually play it a little faster each day during the month (or at least each day I’m home, because I’m going to London tomorrow), I could make it.

My second goal is to find a new band I like every week. Sounds simple enough, but I’ve had a really difficult time finding bands with more than one or two good songs lately. I cancelled my Spotify subscription last week to save some money, and I still haven’t regretted it. I think Spotify made me lose my patience with music, because there’s too much – it’s so easy to jump to the next song. And some music needs to be listened to a few times before the greatness of it sinks in. Now I’m mostly using 8tracks, a free service where you can only skip songs a limited number of times.

I think these two goals will be enough, considering that this is the month I will (hopefully) finish my essay. It’s kind of hard for me to grasp, but soon my education will be finished. In one month and a few days, I will be free.

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Miranda’s ninth month: Priorities

Inspired by Titania’s thoughts on time and priorities, I have decided to turn this month into an experiment. Since my life gets more and more stressful, I think it is time to start prioritizing the right things. Since I came home from Italy, I have been exercising twice a week, and I notice such a tremendous change in my energy and motivation that it would be stupid not to take time to exercise. It simply gives me so much time in return.

One thing that doesn’t give me energy, however, is sugar. This easter weekend has been crazy, with two family dinners and lots of desserts and candy. I don’t need to lose weight, but stomachaches and tiredness is something I could definitely do without. I’m curious to see how it would affect my body and mind to stay away from sweet things for a whole month. I don’t think I have managed more than a week before, but I think that this perspective will help me. Instead of viewing it as a ban, I will prioritize eating healthy because it makes me feel much better and gives me much more energy.

Finally, because of my stress I almost feel guilty when I spend half an hour reading  before I go to bed.  I haven’t touched my guitar for months, and sometimes I would like to draw or take some photos or bake bread or meet a friend, but I usually end up studying instead. This is not okay! I have to squeeze in some free time and fun activities to be able to cope with the stressful days, and I think that if I can make my days more effective by gaining more energy, I will find time for this as well.

So, my goals for April are:

1. Do some kind of physical exercise every day.

2. Eat no candy or cookies.

3. Take time to do something I really enjoy every day.

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Filed under Body, Challenge, Diet, Food, Goals, Health, Miranda, Physical exercise, Priorities, Productivity, Stress, Wellbeing

Mindfulness in Val Gardena

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I was tired. It was early in the morning, and my fingers were already numb with the cold. It was even snowing inside the cable car. I glared at the other people in their ugly ski clothing, who had pushed me on their way into our car, the first one, to reach the top before anyone else. It was the third day of our ski trip in Italy, and I was irritated. By everything.

It hit me then, how wrong this was. It was supposed to be my mindful month. I was supposed to enjoy each moment. And there I was, sulking away, for no substantial reason. So, I made a simple decision. I was not going to let my stress and bad mood ruin the rest of the trip. From now on, I would enjoy it. I turned my mind away from the other people, and watched the small, perfectly formed snowflakes that fell onto my jacket. I watched them melt. And slowly, I calmed down.

By the time we reached the top, my irritation was gone. When I saw the view, I didn’t mind the other people anymore. Their pushing was justified. How could you not want to struggle a bit for this? To get the first ride down these perfectly soft, newly pisted ski slopes. That morning, I had the best skiing of my life.

When I chose to savour things instead of letting them get on my nerves, there was suddenly so much to enjoy. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sun for a while, instead of getting irritated by the fact that I had to wait so long for my grandmother at the end of each slope. I sat back and enjoyed the beautiful British accent of the guys in the same chair lift, instead of grumbling about the cold wind in my face. I enjoyed four days of skiing with a newfound friend from the same coach journey, who suddenly started to talk to me, probably because I looked more friendly and open when I wasn’t angry. And when everyone else started to complain that the food wasn’t as good as it used to be, I kept quiet and enjoyed tasting new things.

I also noticed than when I was skiing more mindfully, I was less scared. When I was fourteen, I collided with another skier, and ever since, I have been a bit afraid. However, when I started to pay more attention to what I was doing, to the sound of the snow beneath my skis and the structure of the slope and the shapes that was formed by me and the other skiers, I had so much more control over the situation. I had time to choose my path and avoid risks, and for once, I could ski fast and without fear – even in the black slopes.

Sometimes bad things happen, things that provoke feelings that you cannot, and should not, control. But in everyday life situations, you always have a choice. You can choose where to put your energy, what to focus on and what to ignore.

In that cable car in the Alps of Italy, I chose to be happy. And suddenly I was.

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Filed under Attention, Fear, Feelings, Letting go, Mind, Mindfulness, Miranda, Physical exercise, Traveling, Uncategorized

Miranda’s eighth month: Mindfulness

Apart from catching a cold a few days ago, I think my wellbeing month went okay. I spent two weeks visiting my dad in France, and although I had to spend most of my time working or studying, I went for several really long walks and a 30 km bike tour. The time away from home also helped me to form some healthier sleeping habits, which has made it a lot easier to tackle everyday stress and lack of motivation.

However, I do have some problem staying positive and focused and getting things done in the pace I need to. I have so many things I have to do, and even more things I want to do, but instead of keeping me motivated, this never-ending to-do list sometimes makes me unmotivated and unable to start or finish anything. I just go numb and end up wasting my time doing absolutely nothing.

This month, my aim is to be more mindful. To focus on one thing at the time. To get things done, and enjoy the process. To meditate (which is the one goal from last month I completely failed to do). And as pretentious as it may sound, I want to find the beauty in each moment. To savour even the smallest of things.

To live, and notice it.

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Filed under Feelings, Goals, Meditation, Mindfulness, Miranda, Wellbeing

Miranda’s seventh month: Wellbeing

My simple month turned quite chaotic. I managed to clear out three rooms before I suddenly ran out of spare moments. All my time seemed to be wasted either working or worrying about working. I have tried to do one thing at a time, and I think I have started to prioritise better but I want to keep striving towards a simpler life. In the middle of everything I went to an osteopath and she said I had severe vitamin deficiencies and that my digestion isn’t working properly. So, now I’m taking four kinds of supplements, while trying to stress less and get my mind and body on track again. I decided to squeeze in a wellbeing month to have yet another reason to stay focused on what makes me feel better. These are my goals:

– Exercise regularly

– Eat mindfully

– Get enough sleep

– Meditate

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