So today’s chapter is about being grateful. I find this fitting seeing as I just wrote a blog about how meeting my kid’s Xmas expectations is stressing me out. Gratitude is a funny thing. It’s easy to say we should be grateful or happy with what we have but its in our nature to want what we don’t have. For instance I have very curly hair, but would love to have straight hair. Most people would love the curls but because their mine I want something else. It’s almost like there is no chance of having fulfilment. Except that I can’t believe that. And I think this chapter hits in why and how it can be possible.
It talks about being grateful with what you have in order to accept more. So if your good with where you start you can be happy with where you are going. Giving though and daily thanks for you body, life and people is a humbling act. Perhaps if you are humbled you can have a greater appreciation for anything new that comes in your life or any triumphs or changes you make.
She also talks about being grateful for the bad or difficult things in life too because of what you will come away with from them. I can relate to this. In fact it speaks quit loudly to me. Our family experienced a traumatic few years that culminated in us losing everything including our home. Even though this brought us grief, pain and anguish, it also brought us to a new and better life. We have a freedom and happiness now that would never have been possible where we were before. So even though we had to walk through fire and experience the most difficult challenge of our lives thus far, we came out in a world of hope and light.
From now on the book asks for a gratitude list daily and I want to embrace this. Even encourage the rest of my family to join in. So here is mine for today.
• my family
• my friends
• my new town
• my inner strength
• my outer strength
• my worst day
• my yoga practice
• my good health
I’m about as far from being a religious person as you can get so in our house Xmas is about family and friends and Santa Clause. Having such a huge day based mostly in materialistic gain can bare down a ton of pressure on parents, especially when one is a minimalist to begin with. And just so we’re clear, that’s not me.
My husband rightly believes that going into massive debt for a holiday is crazy and should not be done. He gets it into his head the things he thinks they will actually play with or use and goes with it, keeping cost at the minimum of what is possible. For me it’s about not disappointing the three little precious gifts I have on Xmas morning. Every thing that they ask for tugs at my heart strings and if I didn’t use my head at all we’d not only be broke but our house would be filled to the brim. So hubby is right for the most part. He is very good at knowing what they like. But sometimes he misses some of their requests which breaks my heart the morning of.
TV does not help either. There is so much for kids to choose from now, it most seem overwhelming even to them. It’s like the sky’s the limit. But there has to be a limit. I find it hard to determine what they want the most as a possed to what is a fade to be forgotten right after it comes out of the box. No easy task. And the price of everything! Yikes!
So what’s the solution ? I hate to say it but listen to the hubby. I think the biggest lesson I want to teach my kids now is being happy with less. I want them to not want everything they see. Perhaps I can save them the learning of lesson later in life when your income doesn’t allow for everything you see.
So this is actually for yesterday, I’m just having time to write it now. Yesterday was about listening to and appreciating your senses. Most of us really do take them for granted and don’t take the time to really enjoy what’s around us. I am guilty of this. So I used a nice smelling candle during yoga, had a nice long walk where I enjoyed the sites and a wonderfully hot shower that felt great after being wet and cold!
Yoga teaches us to become aware. Aware of our self, body, breathing and thoughts and aware of our surroundings. It is a chance to be completely present in the moment. This may sound easy but it is no small task. I know personally that most times when I’m doing my yoga practice my puppy is jumping on me or the phone is ringing or my kids are asking for juice. So finding that moment of pure peace and awareness is like finding the holy grail. Ok I watch too much Indiana Jones! But just because something is difficult or less than ideal doesn’t mean it not worth doing. Everyday I try to remind myself of this. Somedays it’s easy for me to see and other days I just want to give up.
In my profession I work with people that have failing or diminished senses. I can see how this affects many aspects of your life. Many of us would be lost without our senses and although we would learn to adapt, we would be always missing something. So I want to take the time to experience my senses as hard as they may be.
It’s amazing how quickly life can get in the way of good intentions! I think one of the most important skills or lessons you can learn in life is adaptation. Any diet or exercise plan that doesn’t allow for that will not work. I’m living proof.
Now this isn’t to say I’ve completely given up on the Yogalosophy challenge, because I haven’t. I was pretty upset Saturday when I become apparent that between needing sleep after a last minute night shift at work and having company over to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, I wasn’t going to be able to stick to the plan. But the thing is I had a great visit with my dad and step mom and the kids had fun, so I couldn’t be too upset. And then Sunday was more of the same minus the night shift. I would have stuck more to it if it had been a little more flexible, or perhaps I just couldn’t see how to make flexible. Either way though I feel off the diet wagon. Then I sort stood and watched a it started driving away.
Personally I find that my OCD can both help me and derail me. If I can get into a routine then I’m golden and will stick to something. But throw one wrench in it where I can’t do the routine and I basically walk away from it. It’s funny because in all other aspects of life I adapt, but when it comes to my own health; I get a D. So this diet was not surprisingly hard to maintain. However I do believe that I can adapt it to be what I need.
I really like the daily “lessons” or intentions. No also like the exercise routine. So those I will work hard to continue. The food components are harder. I’m not sure how people do it. How people who are vegetarians and non vegetarians work out their meals when they live together. One must really work hard to be a vegetarian and find the right food choices. I am supposing that over time it gets easier but I found it difficult. It wasn’t even that I missed eating meat while my family did. It was more that it was too hard to fit in making such drastically different meals for only myself and all the time that took. As parents I’m sure you can appreciate that there are only so many hours in the day, especially ones that you can be productive in. So prioritizing is a necessary skill. I like to cook but what I make has to feed more than me.
So my new short term goals are to keep up with doing the daily exercise and the books “inner” work. As far as diet goes I’m going to go back to my original plan of eating healthier foods and keeping my calories to between 1200 and 1500 a day. More so towards the 1200. This was producing results already so I shouldn’t have messed with a good thing. It’s very easily adaptable. I will probably try to sneak in some of the try vegetarian dishes from the book. They were very good.
So today’s lesson was about setting small short term goals so that you have greater success achieving them and are therefore more apt to continue on the path. I agree with this concept. I guilty of getting to far ahead of myself and losing focus on the task at hand. I also take failure hard.
Today was definitely not a success. It started out fine. I ate well and exercised. Then I had my daughter’s birthday party with 17 kids aged 6-8 and that was the end of my successful day. I threw caution to the wind and ate pizza and cake. Then we got home from the party and I got called into a night shift at work so now I’m drinking tons of coffee and eating to stay awake another 12 hours. So much for good behaviour!
That’s the thing about life and diets. They don’t always go together! But when you hit that bump in the road you have to get back up and try again tomorrow. Part of yoga is living in the present, so every day is a clean slate to do and be your best. I need that!
My other task for the day was to make a vision board. It was to depict what j want for myself. So that I will work on. I think it should be fun!
So fittingly the challenge starts off with setting an intention for what you want. This may sound easy at first but I feel like I need to dig deeper than the obvious, to be healthier and thinner.
I think what I really want is to regain some of myself back from what I lost over the last few years. I have lived through a series of traumatic and demeaning events and I think what I need is to be able to be the person I am and not have to feel scared by what I’ve been through. I don’t want to be haunted by the past but instead inspired by the future. I think my anxiety would lessen and become controlled and I think I could fully feel the happiness I have found in our new life.
So although it may be a tall order, I think my intention is self healing.
Ok so since it’s the first day I will include a picture of yours truly and then every week through the challenge. Hopefully this will reflect what a great job I’m doing 😉. At the very least it should be an encouragement to stay on task.
Sometimes you just need to challenge yourself. And sometimes that challenge can give you direction.
As you may know I have been trying to turn a health conscious corner and overall it has been a very positive experience. There have been slips here and there and it hasn’t been easy to cut my calories back to 1200 a day and no bread, few carbs and little sugar. Like I said I haven always been able to stick to it. But I have been way more active and that alone makes me feel great! I feel though a lack of direction which makes sticking to it hard. So I picked up a book I bought last year and re read it. And you know it resonated more with me now than it had before.
So if you love yoga then you know that there is a lot more to it than just the poses that we do in a class setting. There is an internal component that works towards balance and harmony through both body and mind. It is about being present and aware internally and externally. Meditation and breath work are ways in which there are achieved along with the poses that are commonly known. This book is about making a holistic change, mind and body. I find this appealing as it gives a deeper sense of direction, something that I could use.
So over the next 28 days I will be sharing my experience with Yogalosophy. I am NOT endorsing or recommending ANY diet or exercise as I am not in a position to know what is best for you. It is more my hope that you may be inspired or even find comforter commonality in my struggles. It is also recommend to journal during this process so I though why not share it!
It is very common for “yogis” to be vegetarian or vegan. This is an aspect I’ve never explored before so I have choose the meal plan that is vegetarian. It also is a cleans as it eliminates sugars, caffeine and most carbs. So wish me luck and get ready for an interesting ride!
We are born to fight. Not to argue or bicker, but to fight for our existence. It’s hard wired in us to live, survive so no matter what life throws at us our first and strongest instinct is to fight.
Our bodies do it naturally. Without us thinking about it our bodies will do everything within its power to keep us alive. This is how we overcome tragedy, loss and injury. We have it deep within us to push forward, adapt and redefine ourselves. It is an incredible part of nature that we share with all living creatures. It’s amazing what we can conquer in the face of fear, uncertainty and death. Our minds follow suit with our bodies and we are nearly unstoppable. Nearly. After all we can’t be invincible.
Sometimes though this instinct can be more of a detriment than a gift. Sometimes our bodies are defeated and just don’t know it. But our minds do. This makes the decision to under go assisted suicide all the more difficult. People that follow through with this course of action are incredibly brave. They have had to overcome their own bodies, their own natural instinct to fight because their higher knowledge can see reality. The strength that this must take!
Then there is the opposite where the body is in form to continue but the mind is not. Where the mind has given up and it is the body that dictates survival. There are many reasons for this to happen, none of which are pleasant, but mostly the need is the same, compassion. People that find themselves in this state need compassion more than anything. They need to not be judged.
Almost as strong as our will to living is our humanity. Our compassion for our fellow “man” and inane need to protect and care for each other. You would be surprised how people come together to survive and thrive. Or maybe you have already seen or experienced it. We not only have the instinct to survive ourselves but to have those around us survive with us. Incredible creatures aren’t we!
It probably shouldn’t take 34 years to realize you can’t make changes to your appearance without making changes to your “self”, but apparently it has. Finding happiness, acceptance and pride in who you are in the deepest sense and then embracing that is by far the greatest gift you can give yourself. No one else can do it for you either. It’s something that you have to work on and through and no matter what conclusion you come to, there’s more to be learned. Good thing too because otherwise, life would get pretty boring.
Family time is anytime. It doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are together.
We often try to plan actives or events so that we can be together and if your family is anything like mine, there is ALWAYS someone unhappy with the plans. It’s inevitable really. Each member had their own tastes and trying to find this everyone enjoys can be difficult. Plus we all have different moods. So what one feels like doing another may not.
Now I’m not saying don’t try to plan things. Trust me this wouldn’t be possible for me! But I am saying it’s not about the plan, it’s about the togetherness. So even if everyone in your family is doing something different, if you are in the same room and talking to each other; then you are golden. The simplest of moments can still hold great meaning!