100 Days of Meditation Day 3: Is this thing on?

I realize this is just day 3 and my meditations have been only about 15 minutes each day, but I’m finding myself excited to hit the ground sitting. This is probably due to the fact that my life is so chaotic currently that the 15 minutes I make an effort to sit down and quiet my mind are like a mini-vacation. Today was hard, not only did I find myself wandering a lot, my I feel like I was focusing so much it was detrimental. I found myself with these abstract images that related to the thoughts I was working to quiet for a few minutes. Despite the restlessness of my mind today I was excited to step another day further in to this journey. 

I know I need to work on my posture, but my back has been bothering me. So sitting up straight hurts a lot right now. I may have to try a pillow behind my back tomorrow or something. 
I found myself wondering today, “Is this thing on?” Regarding the practice, is it possible to be doing this wrong? It’s been so long since my last regular meditation practice that I’m not sure if I’m even reaping any benefits. I suppose I’ll just have to keep going and see where this journey takes me. 
Namaste

100 Days of Meditation Day 2: Meditation Routine

Well folks, we survived day two, and today didn’t feel too difficult. I’ve decided that an evening meditation is perfect for me because as a barista, I’m up early most mornings, and getting up even earlier to meditate will just make me too tired. I would eventually like to work my schedule so that I can do a quick 5 minute meditation in before work in the morning, but I’m going to start with baby steps, work on my evening meditation before I try and take leaps and bounds.

Today was definitely hard in the sense that I ended up getting stuck at work late, and I almost fell asleep on the couch before I even started my practice. My mind even tried to talk me out of it, saying I could just sit twice tomorrow. I resisted, pulled through and sat through a wonderful meditation. I really enjoy meditation guides to help me keep my mind from wandering, they are kind of a jolt in a sense that when my mind starts to go off in a million directions during my practice it helps me to hear that voice and bring me back to where I want to be focused.

The past two days I’ve enjoyed a wonderful breathing meditation from wildmind and have found it easy to get myself in to and isn’t too incredibly long. As tired as I felt, and as much as I dozed off yesterday, I’m happy to report that none of that occurred today. A couple times I found myself so deep within my meditation that I didn’t really know where I was within it, but I was awake and alert the whole time. I guess I just need to make an effort to do my meditation before 9pm. Wow, now I just sound like an old lady, but seriously, I’m a major morning person, and go to bed before 10pm most nights.

You know, it’s funny, I haven’t regularly blogged in so long that I feel like I’m just writing with no sort of structure, but maybe that’s what I need right now. Just word vomit all over the page and get back in to the groove of writing. To be completely honest, part of the reason I’m doing this challenge is because I wanted to have something to write about, daily, for a set amount of time, so that I could get back in to the groove a little bit easier. Never fear, I promise the next 100 days won’t be just about my meditations, I fully intend to write posts on other topics throughout this journey, but for me, this is just a starting point. A kick in the pants so to speak, allowing me to have at least one thing, every day, that I can use to stretch my writing muscles and find my groove again.

That’s about all I have for the night, until tomorrow, Namaste.

100 Day Meditation Challenge

Whoa, two posts in one day? Now that’s just crazy talk. Have you ever just jumped in to something, and ran full speed towards it, but hesitated at the last second? I feel like that’s exactly what happened with this blog. I was incredibly excited to start it and get things rolling and then I reached the edge of the cliff and I just couldn’t jump. I could probably use years of therapy, but up until recently have been too stubborn to admit it. I used to see it as something bad to need therapy, but I’ve come to the realization that it can only better my life. Silently, I’ve always suffered from anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Due to these things I carry around a lot of self doubt, unnecessary baggage, and many other things that I know hold me back in my day to day life. Yet, despite how much I hold myself back every once in a while that distorted veil I see the world through breaks open and reveals the kind of person I truly am and other people can see.

So what does any of that have to do with anything relevant? Well, you see, there was one time, when I was a freshmen in college that I caved for like five minutes and went to see a therapist. He was the therapist my parents sent my little brother to when they got divorced and he started having anger issues. The trigger of this visit was that I had an anxiety attack in the middle of my first college exam, and I walked in there 100% expecting to be handed a prescription for a medication. I live in the U.S. and that’s the norm here. Oh, you have a problem? Here take this drug that has a long list of side affects that we will later treat with other drugs. Sorry, I’m getting side tracked now, I promise, no more medical system bashing… Anywho, what I got was something that would strike a chord with me and stick with me even when my life ended up all sorts of topsy-turvy. He prescribed me meditation, once a day, for a minimum of 5 minutes. He even provided me with a book to read called The Relaxation Response and gave me a guided meditation.

Now, this was 4 years ago, and I can’t even begin to explain the things that have happened in the past 4 years, but I can tell you that meditation completely changed my life. I fell out of practice just a few months after this prescription, but I always find myself wandering back around to it. Well, this is one of those times where my spirit wandered back around and actually persistently stuck with me for a few weeks. My life has been so crazy hectic this past year, and I’m in desperate need of some balance.

So, without further ado, the real reason I sat down behind the keyboard tonight. I’ve decided that I need to challenge myself to find that balance, to bring the calm back in to my life, and maybe make some long overdue changes. Today marks the 1st of 100 days straight of meditation. I don’t care how crazy my schedule looks (I’m currently scheduled to work 6 days this upcoming week), I’m going to make sure I sit, for a minimum of 5 minutes a day, and just be still.

Today I did 8 minutes, because it’s a really bad idea to drink Celestial Sleepytime Tea and then sit down, in the dark, and listen to a calming meditation. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Has your life become a whirlwind of crazy? Are you over-working yourself to make ends meet? Is your stomach constantly in knots because you’ve got a world of worries on your shoulders? Are you none of the above? I challenge everyone, to follow along with me on this journey. It’s going to be a bumpy road, and some days 5 minutes may feel like an eternity, other days 40 minutes will fly by so fast you won’t even realize the world won’t collapse without you for a while. I promise, we’re in this together.

Namaste

Black Bean Hummus

Well, hello there, it has been a while, sorry about that. This summer has been incredibly crazy between getting a new apartment with J and working about 60 hours a week at the coffee shop. A couple weeks back we had a party to go to and I decided to whip up some Black Bean Hummus and homemade chips. The original recipe came from Chef in Training. I made a few adjustments, but overall it turned out great and was a big hit!

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This recipe was so easy to do and I was done making it in about 15 minutes. It will be a perfect last minute throw together, any time I forget I need to bring something. Not to mention, it was a huge hit at the party! I made a few changes to the original recipe, so here goes!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Can (19oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic Infused Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

As for the chips, I cut up about 10 tortillas and placed them on a pan that I sprayed with some cooking spray. I put them in the oven at 350 for approximately ten minutes.

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Spread the hummus in to a container and create some grooves with a spoon. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then drizzle some olive oil in to the grooves. The changes I made were definitely minor, but I loved the end result.

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Hello world!

I’ve had many different blogs over the years, but I’ve decided that it’s time for a fresh start. There will be many different things that you can find here. I will mostly be posting about personal finance, my personal writing career, all things coffee/tea related, yoga, food and the occasional thoughts about the environment. Eventually I may break these topics up in to different websites, but for right now they’re all going to be packaged right here. I can’t guarantee that every post will fall in to one of those categories, but that’s because every once in a while everyone has an opinion about something they absolutely just have to share. My goal is to post at least three times a week, and just let things grow organically.

Eventually I will add links in for various other things, but just so you know upfront. I offer many different talents, and if you’d like to inquire about any don’t hesitate to drop me a line. For the most part I do site management, writing (Staff, Freelance, you name it), affiliate work, paid reviews, and a little bit of web and graphic design.

Stay tuned!