Category Archives: series

keeping myself accountable

way, way, waaaaaaaaay back now, i made a list of things  and slowly but surely i have been able to tick some off my list. if i’m being completely honest, did i think i would still be working on this list OVER 6 MONTHS LATER? no. no i did not. but i am grateful that i have not given up, not turned my back on these mini-projects that are making me whole again.

so a quick update on which i’ve “newly” accomplished: #4 { returning to yoga }, #5 { exploring various faith communities }, #9 { creating something as a gift to give away }, #17 {  learning a new skill from/with someone }, #18 { having a “terribly adult” conversation }, #21 { re-purposing something}, #22 { doing something wildly outside my norm }, and #28 { spending the day being crafty }.

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takin’ care of business: where-in many things on “the list” are accomplished

it turns out that when putting off writing a blog entry, it gets harder and more difficult to want to update the longer one puts it off. ah well, so this will be a more “guerrilla style” update.

below, you can read about the following things i have completed from my list of things embrace: #6 { reading a book outside my go-to genres }, #24 { hanging out with a new friend }, and #25 { making a mini altar }.

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#12 & 13: reading in a public setting; practicing self-care–massage

not much to say about #13- practicing self-care:massage.  i booked a 90 minute massage at a local place. it was heavenly! soothing music, muscle manipulation, a heated massage table !!! i think i struggle with justifying spending a huge chunk of money on something so fleeting, particularly because it’s sole purpose is to care for myself. $100+ for a tattoo…that’s fine because it literally lasts forever. around $100/month for unlimited yoga classes {which i’m not currently doing….it’s on the list} seems reasonable because you’re building a healthy practice. but $ for massage….i struggle with feeling “i’m worth it.”

on #12, reading in a public setting…i thought it would be an easy challenge. i love reading. i’m never bothered by taking a book to say a park or the beach to read. however, on two different days, my book and i went out into the world for food/coffee and reading time. i’m not sure if i feel awkward or pathetic or what, but both times, at both locations, i could barely stand staying more than 30 minutes after finishing the food or beverage before me. probably due to the fact that i used to work in cafes, and hated when people would sit at tables FOR HOURS knitting or reading or doing school work without ordering more. do i feel i must spend more to be allowed to stay and read? quite possibly….

#27, 20, & 23: one day-many yeses!

last week, i made a list, challenging myself to turn and face the strange.

yesterday was something of a “powerhouse” day, where i managed to accomplish 3 off my list. {for the record, just because it’s been achieved doesn’t mean it’s a one-and-done situation. this is suppose to help me grow, after all } i hung out with an old friend {#27}, shared my happy place with someone new {#20}, and practiced a random act of selflessness {#23}.

my friend K, whom i have known since living in the bay area over 5 years ago, and her significant other, A, just moved to our fair city from boston.  the spousal unit and i have hung out with the 2 of them a few times since they’ve moved…but yesterday, K and i had lunch/coffee, i gave her a walking tour of my favourite neighbourhood, AND then took her to my sanctuary/happy place. the random act of selflessness happened during the lunch hour–you will have to trust me that i did something because sharing details feels icky,boastful, and self-serving.

here is a picture of my happy place: it’s at a local park/beach about 1.5 miles from my home. i usually drive there because of steep hills, but i have walked there on days off. the beauty of water, mountains, and forest stuns and calms me.

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#7: exploring chakra meditations

i have a root {muladhara} chakra problem–it’s terribly blocked/out-of-whack-imbalanced.  i know that for some people, chakras and other”non-traditional” ways of explaining how/why things are {ie. traditional Chinese medicine, auras, the enneagram, etc/.} can seem a litte, well woowoo– as my therapist likes to put it. however, i have found uncanny linkages between scientific and spiritual explanations for all the crud in my life.

according to most sources, and under-active or imbalanced root chakra manifests in many of my least favorite “personal issues”:

Under-Active Root Chakra:

If your root chakra is under-active you may feel disconnected from the world around you, including from your body. You will feel disorganized and consequently this will reflect in your world. You will lack focus and discipline and you may even become afraid, anxious or restless in your daily interactions. You will probably experience a lack of stamina, depression or desire to do or to want anything out of life. You will have trouble obtaining financial security and will find yourself with no, or very little boundaries.

Physical symptoms of an Imbalance:

Weight-loss/gain, over or underactive sex drive, poor immune system, anemia, depression, laziness, irratible bowel syndrome are all possible physical symptoms of an imbalance within the root chakra.  { from OneWorldHealing.Net }

other fascinating references on the root chakra can be found at chakra-anatomy and at the chopra center. sonce i’m pretty shitty at meditation in general, i turned to the world wide web for guided meditations…lo and behold, the interwebz is full of them! after much sampling, i found two that didn’t annoy the shit out of me, so i’m sharing them in case they might be of benefit to YOU…and so i can easily find them again!

a very powerful root chakra healing

powerful root chakra activation and balancing

#15: supporting my local bookstore

yesterday, i publicly challenged myself to 30 “days” of change. today i began that journey with a trip to my local bookstore.

img_20160921_203016 it’s been AGES since i’ve purposefully made a trip to a bookstore- sure, i’ve walked through corporate chain stores, but the last time i remember actually going into a store for the purpose of browsing-to-buy… before my nephew was born, and that was january 2015!

i had forgotten how charming and welcoming bookstores can be- the labyrinthine aisles of new and used tomes, the silly last minute cards & presents, the smell of paper and binding glue. i’m fortunate to live in an area that supports MULTIPLE local bookstores- some with more than one location! i stopped at this particular branch because it was on the way home from work and spent about an hour roaming. i will DEFINITIVELY be returning in the near future to scope out YA titles to borrow from the library.

one of the things i love most about independent stores  is the humanity that pervades them. based on the hand-written employee recommendation cards, i left with 3 new books: 2 colour/activity { for future challenges ;) } and the next in a graphic novel series i’m reading. yes, this was an easier challenge, but i’m going to ease myself in- AND CELEBRATE THAT I DID IT!!!! this is all about growth and change…

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nuggets of wisdom: women in praise of the sacred

there are many books i turn to in times when i need uplifting, peace, encouragement, or inspiration.  one of these is Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women { edited by jane hirschfield }. i was raised Christian, and still consider my self so–though very far liberal/left-leaning, and find comfort/ solace/ understanding outside of the “traditional” church setting.

i want to share 2 VERY different poems, the authors separated by over 500 years, from totally differing faith traditions, yet both bring me such a sense of joy and peace.

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writing prompt:what is true about you that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

welcome to the start of a new series–this one is DIRECTLY inspired by 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose { over on mark manson dot net }. the entire article is incredibly thought provoking and out of the ordinary, usually self-help type questions all end up sounding the same: what do you dream of? if money wasn’t an option, what would you do? etc etc etc. so, i’m starting by answering his question number 2: what is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?

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nuggets of wisdom 2: “the noonday demon”

i had suspected that this book would be full of juicy, thought-provoking wisdom, and so far, i have not been disappointed.

from page 133:

Most people cannot emerge from really serious depression just by fighting; a real serious depression has to be treated, or it had to pass. But while you are being treated or waiting for it to pass, you have to keep up the fighting. To take medication as part of the battle is to battle fiercely, and to refuse it would be as ludicrously self-destructive as entering a modern war on horseback. It is not weak to take medications; it does not mean that you can’t cope with your personal life; it is courageous. { emphasis mine } Nor is it weak to seek help from a wise therapist. Faith in God and any form of faith in yourself are great. You must take your therapies, all kinds, with you into the struggle. You cannot wait to be cured.

nuggets of wisdom: “the noonday demon”

this is part one of a new “series” of posts– quotes or passages from books i am reading that i don’t want to forget.

i’m currently reading The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression { by Andrew Solomon }. it is part memoir, part scientific research, part sociological & culturally-anthropological analogy. only 42 pages in and i’m gaining so much insight on myself, and on how humanity deals { or doesn’t deal } with depression.

anyways, here is the passage i wish to share, from page 17:

It is not pleasant to experience decay, to find yourself exposed to the ravages of an almost daily rain, and to know that you are turning into something feeble, that more and more of you will blow off with the first strong wind, making you less and less. Some people accumulate more emotional rust than others. Depression starts out insipid, fogs the days into a dull color, weakens ordinary actions until their clear shapes are obscured by the effort they require, leaves you tired and bored and self-obsessed– but you can get through all that. Not happily, perhaps, but you can get through.