Tag Archives: meditation

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

Meditation 2.0 – finishing off my third project month

Candle lights in our meditation room

Today is the last day of my Family Love month. Of course this does not mean that I will stop giving love to my family after this. I hope that by focusing a little more than otherwise on this particular area, I have incorporated even more love than usual into our daily lives. On Monday I had a great experience combining the focus of my first project month, Mind and Soul with the third one Family, and before diving into my fourth month I would like to share it with you.

I have meditated almost daily since the beginning of August. Last week I read about a national meditation session, suggested by a magazine I subscribe to, devoted to personal and spiritual development. The meditation was supposed to take place Monday between 8 and 8.30, and I told my daughters, 8 and 11, that I would like to join, and could we perhaps read our bedtime story a little later than usual? Not only did they accept this, but they also told me that they wanted to join in!

We lit a lot of candles in our meditation room, and sat down on cushions. I told the kids that they could leave whenever they wanted to, but they both sat through the thirty minutes. Afterwards they said they had had a really nice meditation session. My eight-year-old told me that she had given a positive thought to each one of her classmates, and my eleven-year-old said that she had thought about her fear of darkness, and felt better about it after the session.

It was a magical experience, sharing the pleasure of meditation with my two daughters and perhaps hundreds or thousands of people all over the country. Perhaps this could be our new Monday tradition, suggested one of my daughters. And why not?

Tomorrow is 1 November and it is time to start my fourth project month, which is called Go Vegetarian. As soon as I find the time, I will tell you about what this will mean to me.

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Filed under family, Meditation, Titania

A more-than-halfways report

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A photo taken at yesterday’s evening walk, BEFORE it grew really dark.

Almost two thirds of my body month have passed. Some things have worked out well, others less well. As for physical exercise I have tried, but not succeeded entirely. First of all, it’s quite difficult to find time in the midst of a heavy workload and a lot of family activities. I know it’s all about priorities, but an extremely strong focus on my latest writing project the last few weeks has – unfortunately – made me sometimes forget about my exercise plans. Furthermore, since we live in the countryside and autumn is coming, taking a walk once all three kids are in bed, is simply not doable – as it was in summertime, when I often took a walk after nine in the evening and it was still not dark outside. Finally, my thigh started protesting last week, so I couldn’t work out in the same way as I usually can in my body combat class on Friday. After some stretching advice from my husband – who has had the same problem before – my body seems to be on my side again, and tomorrow I’ll introduce Miranda to a body combat class. I wonder what she’ll think about it.

Food-wise, things are going quite OK, although I haven’t been as strict to myself as perhaps I should if I want to get into that pair of black jeans before Christmas… I have, however, thought more about my daily intake, eaten less than before and more healthily too – and that’s something I feel happy about. I’m certainly on the right track. Getting into bed is still a problem, however. I simply love my book writing so much that I don’t want to sleep at all. And of course I  feel that I’m very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy so much. So far, staying up late hasn’t been a big problem either; I haven’t been that tired in day-time. And the other day, when I was particularly engulfed in my writing and put out the light FAR too late, I did what I had promised myself to do – I gave myself a reiki session, slept well and woke up without problems in the morning.

Meditation is still a daily routine, which I practice even those days when I get to bed late. Speaking of meditation, last week, Miranda and I had a really nice experience when visiting a local sculptor, whose private garden – which is full of flowers, trees, bushes, birds, butterflies, works of art and places to sit down and rest or meditate – is also open to the public by appointment. There is even a meditation tipi, where you can light a candle and stay for as long as you like. I meditated in the tent, and I also had a very nice moment sitting on an old tree stump watching a beautiful piece of art – a number of small round mirrors flickering in the wind casting glitter all around them when reflecting the sun. I felt very strongly that they symbolized how I feel about my working life right now, after I left the safety of my permanent position for a much less secure but oh so much more enjoyable situation as self-employed: happily dancing, lighthearted, free in spirit. Let it be, let it be…

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Filed under Body, Diet, Food, Physical exercise, Titania

I’m in meditation mood!

The other day I made a new and lovely discovery during my meditation session. It took me just a few minutes sitting their on my cushion before I got the feeling you get when doing a physical relaxation program. You know, when you go through your body, tightening your left hand and relaxing it, then tightening your right hand and relaxing it, and so on.  After a while it feels like your whole body is soaring above the bed, armchair, floor, or wherever you’re lying or sitting. That’s the sensation I reached – without a single second of physical relaxation – several times over the last few days, and it certainly does not make me less inclined to do my mediation.

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Filed under Meditation, Mind, Soul, Titania

In the name of love

Ho, ye thoughtful, strong and gorgeous ladies. So many ideas, goals and strategies! Whatever you do the coming year – flood it with love for yourself! Work with your habits and possible flaws only because you love the divine person they are part of – and love that person because she has those flaws, not in spite of her having them. Love is the stream capable of carrying your project the whole way through, and much further. Lots of love and luck to you both!

The words come from my friend S, one of the wisest people I know, and a constant source of inspiration in my daily life. What she writes is so true: acceptance, tolerance and – especially – love are important ingredients in a project like ours; otherwise there is always the risk of ending up with performance anxiety, an ingredient we definitely don’t need. Something that makes my part of the project a bit different from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project is that I’m not so much trying out new things in order to find out if they could make me happier. I am already happier than I’ve been in my entire life. I have stopped hunting, and found happiness all around me. What I want to do is simply to find  more room for things that I really enjoy doing.

With this perspective as the starting point, I feel that my project is infused with love, in every part of it. The commandment I put at the top of my list runs Give love, respect and attention to yourself and people around you. The very essence of my project is to show love and respect towards myself by focusing on things that I know make me feel good, or that are good for me. For instance, I loved my daily meditation routine three years ago, and I’ve longed to get back on track. However, with a life so filled with activity and people needing me as mine, it’s sometimes difficult to find time to do all the things I enjoy. I’ve tried, half-heartedly, for several months, but as soon as I integrated meditation in my project it became so much easier to prioritize.

Being able to document and reflect in writing on what happens in my project is another way for me to prioritize something that makes me go wild with happiness, thus again giving love to myself. Many thanks to you for patiently reading what I write!

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Filed under Love, Meditation, Mind, Soul, Titania

Meditating in a tent

Going away on vacation, changing one’s daily routines quite radically, can make a project like mine a bit challenging, and I was not quite sure I would be able to keep up with my newly re-started daily meditation sessions, but I actually did! For three days now I’ve been out camping with my family, sister, nieces and some friends of ours. The first night I was very close to forgetting about the whole thing. I had just turned out my headlamp after reading for a little while, and I was really tired, when realizing that I had forgotten all about my meditation. My first thought was: “Skip it!”, but then a little voice in my head says: “No, no, you go ahead!” – and I did.

Moonlight by “our” beach

My family fast asleep, a strong wind making the trees rustle and the waves crash on the shore, I realized I had an unusual but lovely environment for my meditation, and instead of focusing on my breath this time, I just listened to the sounds of the wind and the waves. The following two nights, the sea was much calmer, but there were still waves forming a beautiful background, and now I had no problem whatsoever remembering what to do.

I also had a great reminder from my best friend – who started meditating a few months ago – about something which became very important to me three years ago. We have both learned to accept that we are not the kind of people who easily leave all our thoughts behind and just fill our minds with emptiness. When accepting this, not feeling guilty or disappointed about not doing it “the right way”, we have both started to enjoy meditation a lot. I wish more people would be a little less anxious about how to meditate and just go with the flow. It’s so much more enjoyable then.

Now time for today’s session! Good night!

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Filed under Challenge, Meditation, Titania

Back on the meditation track

I didn’t think it would be this easy to get started with a daily routine of evening meditation, but after a few days it already feels just as natural as it did a few years ago. Even if I’ve been up very late at night lately, I have had no problems motivating myself to sit down for my little session before going to bed. Yesterday I got the feeling that I recognize so well from the time in my life when I actually did meditate every evening: the feeling that I could sit there for ages – although it was over one 0’clock in the morning. Simply lovely!

When I did my mindful walk to the mailbox this morning I noticed that I was walking very slowly. This reminded me of the time when I was on parental leave with my youngest child and started doing things – such as shopping, laundry, watering my houseplants – very slowly (often because there was a little one hanging from a baby carrier in front of me). I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this, that it felt like meditation, and I decided that one part of my mindfulness project will be doing things, such as driving my car and eating, more slowly (otherwise I’m the kind of person who usually does things at high speed…).

My “office” for today!

I have also created a playlist for my Reiki sessions (for the first time in many years I did half a session the day before yesterday). A session is one hour long and contains twelve positions – so twelve tracks, five minutes each. The playlist also works very well as background music when I’m working (today I’m doing this at a really cosy café in the town where I live – and in a little while a friend of mine will be joining for a cup of tea). Enjoy your day!

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Filed under Meditation, Mind, Mindfulness, Reiki, Soul, Titania