Posts tagged ‘biking’

Metaphysics Monday: Finding a Way to Slow Down

I know I’ve disappeared for a while.  Here’s part of the reason why:

LIfehack.org: 10 Ways to Slow Down in a Fast-Paced World

It’s very metaphysical, so it works out perfectly for today!  Another article is coming soon on ways to understand yourself better through your dreams.

I just came off of a long bike ride: 70 miles in the Door County Century.  It was just the right amount — not too short, and a little bit challenging in the middle.  I told Brian I would never do the century again (I did 100 last year) unless I got road wheels or a new bike — or both!  He did 100 miles this year, even after minimal training.  Apparently he isn’t human. . .

The weather was perfect this year, and I had a lot of time to myself on the road to just enjoy the sights.  At one point my “to do” list began to creep in, and I began to start worrying and panicking about things coming up this week.  I had to remind myself repeatedly: “All I have is right now.  I am here.  I am now.  All I have is now.”  It became something of a mantra, and I was able to calm down.

I’ve been reading the book Dharma: Finding Your Soul’s Purpose.  There is a part in there about a woman who wastes a lot of energy through her excessive thinking.  I was reminded about how much I get lost in my thinking — what an energy waster I am!  And I dislike inefficiency!  Here was yet another reason to redirect my mind to the present.

That’s all we need to do.  Concentrate on the present.  One task at a time — the one we are currently doing!  I was talking with my mom the other night about how scattered my mind is.  I was frustrated because I’ve been in classes for a year, and lately I feel nearly as scattered as when I started!  I told her it was hard feeling this way, noticing the stillness of others around me.  She reminded me not to compare.  It is about me, just as for every one of us, it is about ourselves only. And all we need to do is redirect.  Thoughts will come, and thoughts will go, and we gently redirect.  Over and over.

I’m really looking forward to the Still Mind, Present Moment, Open Heart experience on September 27th.  The presenter, Dr. Daniel Condron is known for his still-minded influence and has written many, many books on related topics and on spiritual work, some of which include: Still Mind, Present Moment, Open Heart : The Hope of the World, The Emptiness Sutra, Permanent Healing, the Bhagavad Gita Interpreted and Explained, Tao Interpreted and Explained, The Seven Secret Keys to Prosperity and Abundance, and Understanding Your Dreams.

Have a wonderful, present-minded day, everyone. Namaste.

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Summary Sunday: Softball, Positive Thinking, Random English Guy, Time Off, and a Return to Teaching

Softball

After 25 years or so of softball, I recently gave it a rest.  It’s a great sport, but I wasn’t thrilled with the weekly commitment, and I was beating up my body.  I do still sub every-so-often..  Last Friday I subbed for the first time in a year, and I really enjoyed myself.  I caught the one fly ball that made it out to me in right field, backed up the first basewoman on an over-throw, and — through some visualization practice — made contact or walked every time I came up to bat.  Not only that, but Brian’s team is awesome.  Really friendly, fun people who were solid on the field with great hitting potential.  And I was pleased that I’m still in decent shape and could remember everybody’s name: Brian, Teresa, Kevin, Lani, Carl, Val, Crystal, Mark, and Jeremy!  (Yay for metaphysics exercises!)

Positive Thinking

Sometimes when I’d head out on the field the fears would get a hold of me.  What would I do if the ball came to me?  What if I missed it?  Made a mistake?  This time I noticed it coming on and simply told myself: “That’s not productive thinking.  I have no use for that.”

I also took a look at my words this week and worked on 2 resolutions: 1. Eliminate criticisms of others.  2. Eliminate criticisms of movies.  Part of my metaphysics lesson this week included speaking negatively about myself out loud any time I was tempted to speak ill of others.  I had to catch myself more than I’d like, but I’ve seen an improvement.  I’ve also been uneasy with how I tend to critique movies down to a pulp.  After a nasty reaction to the latest Superman movie, I decided I would give the negativity a rest and speak only positives tidbits about the next one I watched.  My test happened to be the latest X-Men movie, which Brian assured me would have absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I thought that was a funny joke, but amazingly, I ended up agreeing with him.

Random English Guy

I love those random experiences that make you muse and wonder and brighten your day.  Today I stopped at a park during a break between two tutoring sessions.  As I made my way to a bench with my Artist’s Way notebook in tow, I passed a young gentleman in workout gear, resting with his bike under a canopied picnic area.  He seemed like he may have been glancing at me, but I didn’t think much of it.  I made a phonecall and then started writing.

Soon after he came over and asked if I had the time, and I checked my watch.  He thanked me and turned back to his bike, and I returned to my writing.  But then I thought: it seems odd that he would just ask me the time.  Most people have a phone or something on them.  I felt the urge to speak to him.

“How far are you going today?” I called out to him.  And that’s how I learned that he didn’t really know how far he’d gone, just that he’d gone a lap around today and yesterday and also that he’d biked quite a few miles on a stationary bike at the gym yesterday, too.  He was staying with a friend who’d been a schoolmate back in England and who was now a workout fanatic.  The purpose of his trip was to get out of England for a while because it was raining all of the time, and he said that can really get to you mentally. (Made me feel better about our own messed-up weather.)  He told me that it was never this hot in England and that 22 degrees (C) was generally his limit for working out outdoors.  (I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t sure how to do the conversion to Fahrenheit and was therefore lacking a frame of reference and could only smile and nod.)  He’s been trying to exercise more and get his body in shape because he was in a motorcycle racing accident last year — where he miraculously only tore up some muscle — and he’d lost weight and then really started to gain, and he didn’t want to get fat.  He was impressed that I tutored Spanish and asked if I knew any other languages and what languages I’d like to learn, and he told me a story about a time he’d been riding in France and hadn’t realized he’s crossed over the border into Spain and had proceeded to speak a bit of French to a confused Spanish gas station attendant.  (What little French he knew came from his ex-girlfriend.)  Also, he wasn’t sure what type of bees were flying under the canopy and if they stung or not.  (I couldn’t help him identify them, but I was pretty sure they stung.)  We finished by wished each other a lovely day, and I wished him a good trip back.

Time Off

I’m sure you can understand that having time off can seem a blessing and a curse.  Yesterday my two tutoring students cancelled, so I got another surprise day off.  (I usually work a full 7-day work week.)  I went nuts — I was writing like crazy, took a look at my collages, sat out in the fresh air, caught up on correspondence — and I don’t honestly remember what else I did — but it was pure bliss . . .  until I had to go back to work today.  I had a decent work day today, but it’s just really nice to have a day to feel free to do whatever.  Working on that. . .

A Return to Teaching

After 10 years in the classroom, I threw in the towel.  I like kids, I like learning, and I liked the subjects, but I just did not like classroom teaching.  I’d tried — but I was done.  So, when I became a metaphysics student and learned about the potential to teach, I said “No way!”  I had just quit that path;  I was not getting back on that road.  But as sometimes happens, my stubborn mind opened up a little.  I realized I was actually still teaching, even if not in name.  I was a tutor, I was teaching people through my writing, and I had begun unconsciously teaching people about metaphysics.  So, I went from hating the idea, to being lukewarm about it, to looking forward to having a class.  Next week I will be taking over a class and teaching a student, and in the summer I will be starting a new metaphysics classes.  Who woulda thunk it?  The teacher is back!

5-Day Reversal

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am not supposed to write this.  I am supposed to think this.  It builds my memory.  If I do it right, it can build my sense of understanding of the past and help me focus on the meaning of my life experiences.  Right now I just want to keep blogging, and I also have metaphysical exercises to complete, so I’m just doing my best here.  Here we go:

Today

  • Blogged
  • Spent some time on Facebook
  • ESL Class
  • Food-shopped at Trader Joe’s
  • Drove back from Door County

Yesterday

  • Spent some time playing games and chatting with friends.
  • Did the dot exercise and meditated for 15 minutes
  • Had the spaghetti dinner (made it in time!)
  • Whooped at the finish line
  • Biked 100 miles!

Two Days Ago

  • Prepared for the next morning.
  • Watched The Princess and the Frog with Brian and a pretty neat girl, guessing at the plot because I couldn’t hear the words above the after-dinner conversation and random other background noises; bonded with a friend over our vegetarian/vegan diets.
  • Drove up with Brian to Door County, singing much of the way (and pleasantly surprised that Brian new some of my songs).
  • Stopped by the bike shop to make sure we had extra inner tubes, a mini-pump with cartridges, and the wedges to pry off the tires.
  • Had a mini-break down about having to plan and pack after a week of hard work.

Three Days Ago

  • Finished up my metaphysics exercises.
  • Had a great conversation with a friend from the School of Metaphysics.
  • Did random unmemorable things in avoidance of planning/packing/working.
  • Errands: bank stop, litter stop.
  • Warehouse clerk work.

Four Days Ago

  • Finished up Metaphysics Exercises.
  • ACT Student
  • Dinner on the run.
  • ESL class
  • Warehouse clerk work.

That’s it!  Ideally I would be looking at my ideal, purpose, goals, and activities in conjunction with these events.  But this is what I’ve got for today!

All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet. . . of Topics

I asked Brian what another word for “smorgasbord” is — hence the title.  Brian informs me that I haven’t written a blog in 5 days.  And that I need to blog.  I’ve had inspiration this week, but I just haven’t acted on it.

So, here are the topics that haven’t yet made it to my blog:

1) Love and Gratitude . . .  and Water   The True Power of Water by Masaru Emoto — fascinating book for my metaphysics class about how words can influence water.

2) Complaint-Free!A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen — the next book I’m reading for my metaphysics class.  It had me at “purple bracelets.”. Tangible reminders to aid in the consciousness of our thoughts?  Great concept!

3) More Calories; More Exercise!  I’m adjusting to my changing schedule, the changing weather, and my changing excuses, and I’m concerned I haven’t been taking in enough calories.  I also haven’t been exercising enough.  Last Tuesday I got in a 38-mile bike ride (awesome!) but I haven’t gotten a good workout since.  I’ve gotta make it a priority.

4) New Top 10 I’d like to tweak my Top 10 list a bit from my last post.

5) Inspiring Art I really enjoyed the Coursera Art Course that is just finishing up this week.  I finished up watching the videos, and I was amazed by what I learned.  I didn’t think I liked contemporary/modern art, but I do!  (At least, the parts I learned about from the class.)  The class gave me some great ideas of some art projects I might try.

6) Busy, Busy, Busy Besides becoming more conscious of whether my thoughts are negative or positive, I’m becoming more aware of my incessant business, not matter where I find myself in life.  I’m working on getting to the root of this and turning my perception around.

7) Deceptively Dark Book Club Books It’s “light” summer reading, so why do I feel agitated/depressed?

8) Precious Moments Those moments when the world stays still for you, and you experience perfection.  (Not the figurines.)

And. . . that’s it for now. (I did it!) Time for bed. 🙂

10 Most Wanted List

IMG_0176Part of my exercises for The School of Metaphysics education include a “10 Most Wanted” list of things that I really want for myself.  This list can fluctuate (as the person changes), but this is what I have right now and how I’m progressing on each one:

These are numbered by importance, starting with #1 as most important.

1. Play time. This one has been the most difficult for me and the one I want the most.  I’m always thinking about what I need to do work-wise, and I’m not giving myself enough time to play.  I’ve found that I even try to structure my playtime!  But what’s helping is noticing ways that I “play” throughout the day that I may not even have been aware of.  I heard from somewhere that I need to play more with little children.  I think that’s true.  I also think I need to just sit down and rock out old school with some coloring books and My Little Ponies, partying like it’s 1985.

2. Art time. Ah, just as elusive.  And this one I tend to structure.  I’m still technically taking that art class from Coursera, but I’ve danced around it because it seems like a huge time commitment and a lot of work.  My plan is to veer away from the structure of the class and just dabble.  Watch the videos that interest me and pick a project that feels doable and just PLAY.  Back to play again. 🙂  Notice I’ve given these two spots top priority.  And they are STILL a challenge.

3. Sacred Space. This means I’m trying to keep the spaces that I’m in looking nice, i.e. home, work, and car.  I started with my car and cleaned out everything extraneous — I left a basket/purse with tutoring stuff in there and my sunglasses — and then I dusted and vacuumed.  Much better.  Then I cleaned up the desk space at work where I tutor.  Much better.  The house has been more of a challenge.  I’ve reorganized the main floor space.  The kitchen table is now my official play and workspace.  My end table is organized with magazine holders.  The kitchen counter stays clean, the dishes are less out-of-control, and I’m keeping up with the litterbox on a daily basis.  My next big project is the office.  The floor of the office is clean, and my shelves are fine, but I’ve got to wade through all of my papers.  I want to go through old files and then file the new stuff.  I may have more paperwork to work with this year, so I want to make sure my organizational system is already in place.  And then there’s cleaning the rest of the house.  I need to come up with some system/habit to maintain overall cleanliness of the house: dusting, defurring, vacuuming, washing the kitchen floor, wiping down surfaces, washing the wood floor, vacuuming stairs and upstairs, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping the basement, etc.  And then there’s also the difficulty in sharing space and involving your partner in your efforts. . .

4. $2500 a month.  This one is the hardest one for me to even think about, and not just because I’m in the midst of transition and honing in on the job direction I’m actually taking next, but because I’m concerned that more money possibly = more work, and that conflicts with my numbers 1 and 2, and probably a lot of the rest of my list.  Regardless, I’m pretty tight with my budget right now — squeezed thin, really — and I want to be able to travel more, donate more, and generally do more of the things on my list.  So, I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, and dealing with the queasy feeling in my stomach.

5. Enlightenment. I feel that I am meant for something big.   I’m not sure what that is yet, but I want to make a huge difference.  I want to rock the socks of this world.  And now that I’m typing this, I feel like I’ve gotten off course.  BUT, they say that you can lead others by example (like St. Francis) So, I want to become enlightened so that others can also become enlightened.  And I’m doing this through the School of Metaphysics.  And also by trying not to multi-task, working on staying present.

6. Work clothes. I had a post some time ago about certain garments that were just not comfortable for me.  I have yet to solve that problem.  I have gotten some helpful advice that I eventually intend to follow-up on that will however inevitably end up costing great expense.  (See #4.)  Also, I’ve been wanting to go to Goodwill for sometime to beef up my spring work clothes.  My pants and skirts are sufficient (although I don’t like wearing the black pants.  I don’t know how, but black attracts 10 times as much cat fur as any other color.  Or else the other colors just camouflage it.  I shudder at the thought.)  But, anyway, most of my tops are long-sleeved.  And I don’t have a lot that will work with my skirts.  I also badly need a pair of summer shoes, but I will be forced to do some specific department store shopping for those because of my narrow, flat feet. (Again, see #4.)

7. Etsy skirts. My super awesome students/families from my previous employment gave me some generous gifts, so I finally used them to buy some Etsy skirts (which I feel more comfortable buying from than from department stores).  The skirts are gorgeous, and I’m super-excited. (I spent hours pouring over the site to pick the ones I liked best.)  So, you may think I should take this off my list, then, right?  I’ve decided I like having it on there.  It will take some time before the skirts actually make it to me anyway, and by that time I may be able to afford more! 🙂

8. Fish tank. One day when I walked into the pet store to get food and litter I saw a fish tank display and decided I wanted one.  I had a ten gallon back when I was a kid, and I really enjoyed having fish.  I actually cleared off our kitchen counter to make the perfect little spot for it under the cabinets (making it less accessible for the cats).  I’m thinking a 30-gallon tank will fit in there, so now I’m just waiting for the right opportunity.

9. Mortgage paid. I hate being in debt.  I suppose it’s fairly normal, but I still don’t think it’s ideal, so I want that mortgage paid off.  Circumstances aren’t the best for it right now, but I intend to get it done.

10. Bike 100 miles (in one day). I’m pretty excited about this one.  I put it low on my list because I won’t actually do it until September when I participate in the Door County Century.  However, I have a systematic plan to get there, and I’m already up to 38 miles in one day from when Brian and I biked yesterday.  (Last year I biked 70 miles in the Door County Century, so this goal is reasonable for me.)

So, these are my “10 Most Wanted.”  I keep the multicolored list on an index card in my purse and look at them at least once a day.  What would you put on your list?

Good Decision/ Bad Decision

"Deer From Forest" courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Deer From Forest” courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today’s Mistake: Going on Facebook

I told myself I wasn’t going on Facebook today.  And then sometime later I sat down on my couch, laptop in my lap, and I said “Just 5 minutes.”  Then, “Just til 2:30,” and then 40 minutes later I finally got off.

And it brought me down.

Conspiracies surrounding the events of the Boston Marathon, criticism of Fox News network and some of their newscasters’ wishy-washyness on the Bill of Rights, and negative comments on one of my posts.  Plus, I felt the guilt and disappointment of my broken commitment not to go on today.  The frustration, the anger, the overall negativity. . .I became upset and depressed..

And then came —

Today’s Good Choice: Going Outside

First I went for one of my backwards walks with Bowser (to build up my hamstrings).  It was gorgeous outside, and I took in the view, hugged my favorite tree, and saw an egret!

Then Brian got home and we went for a bike ride.  We’ve saved some time by starting out from the house and making our way to any paths along the way.  The wind was tough, but we had a beautiful ride (6 deer near the path!) and made good time.  We got home at 18 miles, and then Brian had us bike our nearby walk path and a couple times around our court so that I got my full 20 miles. in 🙂

So, I got back on track with exercise since the flooding. and the endorphins restored my emotional balance.  There were a few moments today — right after yoga and at times when I was outside — when I realized — “Wow!  I’m truly happy.”  And: “No matter what happens in the future, I am happy right here, right now.”

Day 9.5 up to 10: Final Day/s to Happiness

"Girl Showing Thumbs Up" courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Girl Showing Thumbs Up” courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Of course this is not the last day I intend to be happy.  But this is the sort of end of my “spring break”, and tomorrow I will move on to other topics, with the occasional updates throughout.

Random semi-related thought: I’m really intrigued by the variety of “like”s from this week (because yes, I do sometimes obsess about these things):

Intro: 5 Pieces of Happiness:15       Days 1 & 2: 10     Day 3: 10     Day 4: 9     Day 5: 10     Days 6 & 7: 13     Days 8 and 8.5: 2

So. . . naturally I’m curious about the most recent day.  I think it’s likely that it was too long to read or that people are ready for me to move on.  Or people have places to go, people to see, other blogs to read etc.

Moving on. . .

1. My health took a hit with the two parties I had this week.  I overindulged in many delicious sweets, and I paid for it, especially today.  The overeating and sugar explosion resulted in a very cranky, depressed Teri who still has not completely recovered, though faring much better.  Sleep has still been fine, and exercise has been great.  Yesterday I took Bowser for a walk.  Today I biked 14 miles, and after the party I took Bowser for a mile walk.

2. I am having a lot of technological drama this weekend.  I’m trying not to dwell on it too much because I know I’m only attracting more to myself that way.  I finally completed my first vlog, but I’m still struggling to upload it to letsvlog.com.  Brian helped me with conversion — first getting it to be the right size, and then the right file format — and now I’m still trying to get the site to accept it.  As of this moment, I have just deleted the video (that the site was still “converting”), and am attempting to upload again.  I must admit these difficulties have lessened my excitement with this new venture.  But I do think I’m video-genic, so worse comes to worse, I may try youtube next.  I’d really like to start with the smaller vlog community, though, before I open myself up to the whole world.

3. People.  Ah, people.  I was completely awkward at the party last night.  Full blown introvertedness, though I tried to fight it/hide it.  It was a great party with a lot of people, but I was feeling extremely self-conscious and unsure of myself with all the new people, and my uncomfortablesness came to an unpleasant climax when I lived out one of my most awkward/drawn out goodbye — Brian confirmed it even made him uncomfortable.  Maybe I need to just give a blunt “Bye” and spin right around from now on because I think I’ve gone way out to the opposite extreme now.  The party today was fine.  It was family.  I was a little uneasy with the one new person there, but I got over it fairly quickly until the ladies began talking about engagement rings.  I think I masked my uneasiness well, but I didn’t even know what I was supposed to think and feel.  The thing is, though a part of me wants the traditional things, like a ring, another part of me thinks it goes against everything I am.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and would never want to spend that much money on any one item, and I certainly wouldn’t want to insist that Brian shell out so much for me.  Finally, I abhor the notion that my future decisions and happiness depend entirely on my partner.  (Why should deciding to get married be just the guy’s job?)   But I could go on and on about that sort of thing.  So, I’m moving on again.

4. This is still good.  Being present.  No, I’m not in a perfect state of awareness all the time, but I’m a lot more aware than I used to be.  And I have moments of meditative bliss.  Today I found the perfect tree to hug on my walk — the tree was actually leaning in as if about to give a hug! — and wrapping my arms around the massive trunk felt fantastic.  Bowser was really patient about the whole thing, too, even when I went to hug a second tree.  The trees are still more alive; the birds are alive.  I’m more in touch with myself.  Unfortunately, that means I’m also in touch with my inner unpleasant feelings, like the dread of going back to work, and my nervous emotional reactions to people and situations.  And speaking of touch, I’ve become much more observant of how often I touch my skin, especially my face.  I think it’s mainly a nervous thing, and I’ve noticed that I’m doing it a lot more now, as my break comes to an end.  I’m wondering if my skin issues are correlated to the amount of contact I have with my skin.  I still think stress is a factor, too.

5.  I don’t have much to say for this last one.  Just that I’m ready for a change and want a simpler life.  I’m willing to work hard; I just want to be able to play hard, too.  I admit that I miss my regular work routine, and I’m ready to return to work, if only for that part.  I keep trying to calm my nervous stomach and tell it that from now on I will not be as stressed, but my body doesn’t want to believe me yet.  It may take time.

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