Hiatus: 2016 Intentions

I apologize for such a prolonged hiatus, life has been crazy and I’ve been using that as an unnecessary excuse to hold myself back. Even on my busiest days, I generally have an hour or two between jobs that I sit and just fiddle around doing nothing. Sometimes, though, I feel as if I get caught in this productivity loop of researching ways to be more productive and forgetting to address the tasks I really need to accomplish. Over the years, I’ve found that putting my intentions out in the internet keeps me a bit more accountable than when I just keep them to myself. Another thing I fully believe in is setting intentions over setting resolutions. To resolve something means you’re fixing a problem, and implying that something about you is a problem. This bothers me, we should resolve to fix things that we view as problems in ourselves because we’re only human. We’re flawed. We’re beautiful. We make mistakes. Instead, I think we should set intentions to better ourselves. It still involves change, it still involves goals, but it’s not putting the notion into the world that there’s something wrong with you, because there isn’t, you’re a human.

Now that we’ve set that straight, I’m going to share with you the intentions I have for myself in 2016…

Meditation: Minimum 10 minutes daily
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with my 100 days of meditation challenge. The point isn’t that I sit daily, but to create a habit of adding meditation to my life. I think meditation is a very important health measure that is often missed. Meditation has been shown to have a multitude of benefits and can help where modern medicine sometimes falls short.

Yoga: 3x per week
I love the way that yoga makes me feel. I love all of the different positions I can move my body into. Mostly, I love that yoga can balance me even on the days I feel as if I’ll never find my balance again. As kind of a sub-intention, I would love to hit my full scorpion in floor yoga, aerial yoga and whatever it translates to on the pole.

Debt: Cut it in half
My personal debt is currently sitting at $45,803.69. This is a mixture of student loan debt, credit card debt and a car loan. There’s a long story on why I got into this much debt, but that’s a story for another day. In all realities, I want to focus more on paying off $20,000 worth of my debt this year which isn’t quite half, but I figured it was a good number to aim for.

Income: Diversify/Have multiple streams
This is definitely in direct relation to how much debt I want to pay off this upcoming year (well 11 months). Over the next year, I’m going to challenge myself to research other streams of income, work on building my own business, and getting myself into a stable place financially.

These are the 4 biggest intentions I’ve set for myself over the course of the next year and I plan on posting updates, and other various things pertaining to each. I may add in more, but we’ll just take this journey day-by-day.

 

Namaste.

100 Days of Meditation Day 17: Hiatus

So I haven’t posted in 5 days, but that doesn’t mean I gave up on my challenge. I’ve just had a lot going on between work and home. Things have been frustrating and chaotic. I haven’t had the best focus, but I’m making an effort to sit, that’s all that matters right?

I know that the more chaotic life is the longer I should be sitting, but I think that taking 5-20 minutes a day is better than not at all. Hopefully I’ll have more to say soon. Have a great night, namaste.

100 Days of Meditation Day 6 & 7: Pain in the …

I’ve been experiencing some pretty intense back pain, and I’m not sure if it’s from the move or working so much, or both. Either way, I decided to do my session laying down last night and probably only got about two minutes in to it before I fell asleep. It was mostly my fault that happened, I stayed up a lot later than usual, which was still only 10:30, god I feel old.. Anyway, so it didn’t last long, but I did it, so I’m proud of myself, especially since I really wasn’t feeling it at all yesterday.

Anyway, today my back still hurt, but I decided to try a sitting session again. I had a lot of trouble focusing, my mind kept wandering between work and my back and how much I still need to do to get my apartment unpacked. My to do list is a mile long and I really, really need to get back to the gym. As much as i desperately need the money and am incredibly thankful for all the hours I’ve been getting at work, I feel like I can’t find any semblance of normalcy because I’m at work 6 days a week and I can’t get everything organized at my apartment to a point where I can relax. Plus, I have a million projects to do at work, and not enough time to do them.

Obviously I just need to go to bed because that seems to be the only peaceful time I have right now. So, until tomorrow…

Namaste

100 Days of Meditation Day 4: Weight of the World

I don’t know what happened to Day 3’s post, but I didn’t realize until this afternoon that it wasn’t showing up on the site, so I apologize. It’s up and posted now, and trust me, I did my meditation yesterday. I felt a sort of excitement when it got close to time for me to meditate (I’ve found around 7:30-9 is the best time for me to meditate. J is house sitting for his aunt and uncle for two weeks, so this will be a great kickstart to my practice, it’ll give me two weeks to establish it before I have to really, solidly, address it with him. It’s not that I don’t think he’d be okay with it, I just know he’ll think it’s stupid. I need to find a way to approach it so he understands how much it means to me. I figure if I have 2 weeks under my belt already I may have an enlightening thought or two to help back me up. Speaking of enlightenment…..

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the meditation or the fact that J is out of the apartment, but I feel like I’m sleeping ten times better than usual. I’ve been going to sleep before 9 and don’t wake up before my alarm. Usually, I wake up at least once a night, or am up at like 3am and try to force myself to get more sleep before I need to be up at 4:30-4:45. Honestly, it’s probably a bit of both. On the one hand I really miss J when he’s not here, and I don’t have anyone next to me in bed, and on the other, I love not having to share a bed. Either way, I’m going to give at least some credit to the meditation, because the meditation deserves it.

Anyway, on to today’s session… I was searching the app store and found this app called OMG I can Meditate! and while I really do enjoy the wild mind guided meditation, I also want to try multiple different meditation guides through this challenge. This will help keep my interest up, and it’ll help me find the things I like and don’t like. The app has some stuff you have to pay for, but they also have a good number of free guided meditations, so I decided to just give it ago. Today I listened to Week 1; Day 1 and chose the 16 minute meditation. The thing that I really liked, and stuck out to me was there were 4 different length options so that I could choose between 12 and 18 minutes for my session. Since the wildmind meditation I’ve been using the past two days is 12 minutes I wanted to challenge myself to go a little bit longer.

There were a few things I noticed during this practice. First of all, my back wasn’t as tense and sore as it has been the past week or two. This is another combined effect between the meditation and J, I believe. He gave me a pretty great back rub yesterday when I told him it was bothering me, but I also know that meditation is great for all sorts of pain and health issues. Secondly, as I got in to the meditation I felt as if there was this pressure weighing me down. I mostly felt it in my arms and shoulders, and am not sure if it was supposed to insinuate the pressure I put on myself, or the weight of everything I carry and try to take responsibility of. In retrospect, it wasn’t really an uncomfortable weight, but it was definitely pressing and kept me slightly distracted.

Finally, I felt more alert today than I have since the beginning of this challenge. It seems as if each day I’m a little more alert than the last, so we will see where this trend leads. For the first time I kept finding myself wandering to different aspects and thoughts. Putting away dinner leftovers, things I needed to accomplish at work, the schedule I need to help write the next two weeks, etc. I definitely found myself trying to guide myself back to my breathing more than usual. I think this is why I enjoy guided meditations so much. When I’m listening to a voice in the background guiding me, it’s harder to find my mind wandering off because I’m focusing on my breath and the speaker. I’m sure I’ll be able to move away from the guided meditations as I get further in to the practice, but for now they’re exactly what I need.

You would think that 4 minutes wouldn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that long of a period of time. I definitely noticed that towards the end of the meditation, I was starting to get antsy, and wondering when it would be over. I pushed myself through to the end, but it was definitely harder than the past three days. I’m going to try and aim to stay at the 16 minute mark for a few days and then push myself to go a little bit longer. If I can get up to maybe 30 minutes in the next couple of weeks I’d be really happy with that.

Another weird thought that kept coming up in my head as I meditated was, “If I’m focusing on my breathing how am I supposed to observe it? Isn’t becoming aware of my breath making me choose my breathing pattern?” It just kept swirling around and around in my head. It’s like if you start to think about blinking, you start to manually blink. Doesn’t the same apply to breathing? How do I observe my breath without disrupting my breathing pattern?

Honestly, sometimes I wonder where all my crazy random thoughts come from. Oh well… 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