Category Archives: meditation

finding focus

Big things have happened this year and as a result, I’ve felt kind of off balance and out of routine since about June / July. I’m truly grateful for everything this year has brought but even those wonderful things are change and change can be stressful.  I had a mini meltdown the other day – as you do while pregnant – over all the change recently and just general feeling of being unsettled, unbalanced and unfocused. So, instead of dwelling on how crazy things have been I want to try to start focusing on where I want to be and how I want to feel in my everyday life. I recently ordered the Desire Map which sounds kind of hippy-woo-woo but I’m really looking forward to working through it and am hoping it will help me focus on some goals that are most meaningful for me in the year to come (understanding that it’s about to be one CRAZY upside-down year). I really love the sentiment of setting goals that matter versus setting goals just to cross another thing off my list.

desire map

For the near term, I’ve narrowed down a few focus areas that I can work on here and now. My most immediate goal is to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby so my focus areas are a reflection of that.

bump22

22 week bump!

1. Nourishment (food!) – Things have gotten out of hand around here with the holidays! I want to clean it up for me and for the baby. Time to reel it in on the late night ice cream and trips to the candy drawer at work. I’m also following along with Carrots n Cake and doing a food diary for this week to kick things off.

nourish

2. Moving (slowly) – I miss my intense sweaty workouts and I’m not sure why but I’ve swung to the complete opposite end of the pendulum and haven’t been doing much of anything the last couple weeks. I want to stay committed to doing something at least 3x/week. My favorites lately include prenatal yoga, barre, walking/jogging or an at home dvd. Ideally, I’d be doing something 5 days a week but yeahhh…let’s start off slow.

3. Meditating – My 30 days of meditation focus was my favorite challenge earlier this year but I’ve only sat down to do it a handful of times since. Time to bring it back.  I think 1x/week would be a good place to start.

4. Journaling – I started a journal just after our wedding and it’s been really therapeutic to get my thoughts out on paper. I want to be doing this more….maybe 1x/week to start?

pinkmoleskine

5. Preparing for labor (eeeeek) – I’ve decided to take the plunge and take the hypnobirthing class offered by my hospital that starts in January. I want to feel as calm and prepared when the time comes and with all the meditation and yoga I’ve done in the past year, this method sounded right to me. It’s all about mentally preparing yourself and trusting your body to do it’s thang.  

6. Sleeeeeep – My pregnant body has been craving those quality ZZZs! I’ve been sleeping pretty comfortably through my pregnancy and am taking the opportunity to get in as much as I can because I know I’ll be kicking myself later if I don’t enjoy it now. This one doesn’t require too much extra effort on my part – sleep has always been a high priority item for me. 

That’s it for now and probably more than enough to keep me on track for the next few months.

friday meditation metaphors

I bookmarked this metaphor on meditation a while ago and wanted to share here because it really resonated with me.

I also enjoyed reading the now of crossfit. Crossfit is it’s own crazy type of meditation and I lovvvve it. I haven’t been this week which makes me feel like a huge slacker. I’m gonna go ahead and blame it on daylight savings – 5:30am and 4:30am feel very different to my body no matter what time I go to bed. Instead, I went for a run, went to hot yoga and am going to a women’s climbing class tonight. Next week I’m aiming to get my behind to the box at least twice.

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On another note, here is another little round up of clean eats I’d like to try this coming week (I’m starting my meal planning early! – look at me go)

Twice baked potatoes – I’ll swap out regular potatoes for sweet ones!

Thai Red Beef Curry – I think I need to give in and just buy the book already

Thai Yellow Curry with Beef Brisket

Bacon Butternut Squash Soup

I think the grey Seattle skies are putting me in the mood for comfort food. Can it be summer now? sigh

swim

::source::

 

 

 

 

after action report – meditation

goals

Today is the last day of my 30-day meditation challenge. To summarize my experience, I’ve pulled together an “after action report”.

What went well?

Being that I’m brand new to meditation, this was the most I have ever meditated. What went well is that I gave it a try. I probably spent around 8 hours meditating this month and I think it was time well spent. I enjoyed taking that time to quiet my mind every day.

Some of my meditations were really great experiences and I felt a sense of calm afterwards but some were just “meh” and kind of frustrating.

I would highly recommend the Headspace program to anyone interested in trying meditation. It was extremely helpful in giving me a simple structure to work with and I plan to continue using it in the future.

 

I wish I had more huge revelation to share but I don’t and I’m ok with that.

What could have gone better?

I did miss two days of meditation. I was sad that I missed those days and I don’t really have a good excuse for why I missed them but it happened and I’m owning up to it.

I wish that my practice had been more regular. I never established a consistent time of day or place to practice (it’s hard to do so while sharing a small space with another person). In a chair, on a pillow next to my bed, in the living room – I was all over the place. Maybe in the future I’ll set up a meditation corner for myself.

What I’ll do in the future, to keep doing better.

I won’t hold expectations for my meditation. Below is my list of things that I was hoping to get out of completing this challenge and I can’t definitively say that I’ve achieved any of them. That just might be my big takeaway…don’t approach meditation with a bunch of expectations.

  • A overall feeling of calm
  • Better focus on the task at hand – less multi-tasking!
  • More empathy and acceptance for those around me
  • A greater sense of gratitude and contentment

I’ll continue meditating but probably not every day. I see myself returning to it when I’m feeling stressed/overwhelmed and I will add mini meditations into my every day but I probably won’t be sitting down for the full 20 minutes every day. Overall, I’m really content with my meditation challenge and I’m looking forward to incorporating what I’ve learned in little ways.

meditation challenge: half way

My meditation challenge has been going strong since the beginning of February. It’s part of my goal to take on twelve thirty-day challenges in 2013. I’m right around the half way mark and I thought it would be a good spot to pause and write up how I feel about it and what I’ve been learning in the last couple weeks.

headspace

  • It’s easier than I thought it would be to make the time. Turns out 15 minutes isn’t that long after all. 🙂
  • My “Take15” will end on the 14th when I move to a “Take20” program which is 20 20-minute meditations. I sort of dread those extra 5 minutes.
  • I never avoid sitting down for my meditation but some days it’s definitely harder to tame my mind than others. Sometimes it’s just been a hectic day and sometimes it’s hard just because. It’s difficult to accept that all of my meditations won’t be perfect and that I just need to see the perfection in their imperfection. Cheesy but true.
  • Meditation doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning. It can still be beneficial when done at night. Some of my best sessions have been in the evening before bed.
  • Little pieces of my meditations have been making their way into my everyday life and I kinda like it. Taking a deep breath when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stopping to take stock of my body/mind/mood and feeling a tiny bit calmer when some idiot person cuts me off on the freeway.
  • What I eat is directly correlated to how well I focus. Being fresh off the whole30 challenge it’s very apparent that when I eat crap, my focus is terrible. My mind wanders and spins and never fully settles.
  • The Headspace app may sound dorky but it’s been a really great tool. Especially for someone who is new to the whole thing.

That’s it for now. I’m excited to see how the next couple weeks go and I’ll be sure to write up an “after action report” when my 30 days is up.