Tag Archives: Breathe

Sharing My World 65

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Share Your World – January 23, 2017

Do you prefer juice or fruit?

I take medication (for Type II Diabetes) which helps my body deal with sugar.  I try to make its job easier by ingesting as little sugar as possible.  Fruit juice is deadly.  Natural sugars are still sugars, so I have to be careful with fruit too.  Thankfully I was never a big fan of juice (or all the other ways we mangle fruit) so I don’t miss it.  I do miss sitting down and eating a whole big bowl full of grapes though.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up on a farm.  At the time I professed to not like it much at all.  Now that I’m older and wiser and living in a city I realize what an idyllic place it really was and how lucky we were to spend our childhood there.  But I would never go back.  Farms are a lot of work.  Plus there’s all that manure.

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use?

All the colours.  Every last one of them.  Green trees, red barn, yellow brick house, brown garden dirt, blue skies, black and white cows, orange cats, purple lilacs, grey thunder clouds, pink spring blossoms, indigo nights.  Oatmeal coloured porridge.  Yuck.  Hey, it wasn’t ALL pretty.

Ways to Relax List: Make a list of what relaxes you and helps you feel calm.

  • sharing my world, because it makes me remember
  • making lists, so I won’t forget
  • playing mindless (non memory) games on my iPad
  • drinking coffee
  • drinking red wine
  • reading books
  • drawing/sketching/painting
  • binge watching whole seasons of tv shows on Netflix
  • concentrating on nothing but breathing
  • drinking more coffee
  • reading myself to sleep

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I mentioned the bag of marshmallows left over from Christmas baking and my intent to use them up by making Rice Krispy squares. I sent W on a puffed rice hunting expedition and he came home with the biggest box of cereal made anywhere in the world (just a guess, but geez…) so after I made the squares there was half a box of cereal left.  Then I asked him to get me another bag of marshmallows so I could use up the rest of the cereal.  He came home with TWO bags of marshmallows.  And thus we are back to our original state of one unused bag of marshmallows sitting in the cupboard.  I am not starting over.  They can stay there until next Christmas.

That little story really doesn’t have much to do with being grateful except for another interesting fact or two.  I gave most of the first batch of rice krispy squares to my daughter and granddaughter, but the second batch I have almost finished single- handedly consuming all by myself.  Yes I know I am being redundant in that sentence, but seriously, what is wrong with me.  W has ceased to be much help, perhaps feeling he has already done his part by purchasing ingredients.  Although I guess I should give him credit for bravely trying to finish up the brownies I was craving and made and which don’t interest me anymore because they are stale.  I really need to stop making stuff.

I am looking forward to dealing more satisfactorily with my random food cravings in the week coming up.  Or not.  Truthfully it’s something which just now popped in to my head and will no doubt pop out of it again.  Sometimes I think there’s no point in setting goals for myself at this stage of forgetfulness in my life.  I’m looking forward to winging it.  There, that one sounds attainable.

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Sharing My World 21

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Share Your World – 2015 Week #10

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?
I have no idea where all the flashlights are in this house, although I know W has lots of them.  Candles are more my thing.  Most of those are on the fireplace mantle along with a box of wooden matches.  We have a barbecue lighter, which I hate, because it takes for flaming ever to fire unless someone besides me is using it.  I also have cigarette lighters which I use for lighting incense sticks.  It appears I am a fan of fire.  My phone is always close by if I need to light things up in a hurry.   Despite all this preparedness, the power rarely ever goes out here during a storm.  I honestly can’t remember the last time it happened.  However, that doesn’t stop me from sitting around with the lights out.  I love candlelight.
You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?
I’m no gambler.  The odds are rarely in my favor.  I went to the horse races once and was thrilled to break even.  So no, I would not make the trade.  I would grab the five grand and run.
What’s your first memory?
I don’t trust that my very early memories are really my own, rather than stories I’ve been told.  I think I remember standing up in the back seat of a car behind my dad and seeing a gigantic animal wander across the road in front of us while the rest of the passengers (mom, brother, grandparents) exclaimed excitedly about it.  Several miles down the road I apparently said “Oh my, that was a very big mouse.”  Moose, mouse, big scary creature – it was all the same to me.  My mother told me I was two years old and couldn’t possibly have a memory of that, and she’s probably right.  But standing in the backseat behind my dad is something I know I did all the time.  It was the best way to travel for a kid who got motion sickness if she sat down and couldn’t see out the windows.  There were no seat belts or booster seats way back then.  There were some really big mice wandering around on the roads though.
What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?
I read.  Until my eyes burn.  But falling asleep is normally easy for me.  If there’s too much going on in my head,  I think about breathing.  Not making myself take slow, deep breaths or anything, just being aware of the breaths I am taking and nothing else.  Inhaling, exhaling, relaxing.  It’s usually the last thing I remember.
Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m glad W had a good visit with his parents.  And yes, I’m glad he went on his own.  I’m glad I had some me time.  Well, who am I kidding, it’s ALL me time.  I’m grateful that I survived the trip to and from the airport in rush hour traffic yesterday.  Through various stretches of construction.  Going just over the speed limit and still being passed on both sides by idiots in a big hurry to die.  This morning I went to see my doctor to have my prescriptions renewed and to discuss the results of my recent tests.  And on the way home I stopped at Michael’s for some retail therapy.
My calendar is blank for next week, except for a notation that our middle granddaughter celebrates her tenth birthday on the 18th.
They’re growing up and we’re growing old.  And I’m grateful for both of those things.
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Meditate

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Cin’s Feb Challenge  ” It’s a bit of self-love, inner child, and just all around fun things…..If you want to participate then all you have to do is read on and follow in any way you wish.”

The best challenges to me are such open-ended ones with easy rules, or no rules at all.  Cin’s blog, Witchy Rambles, is one I stumbled upon in my typically random manner of stumbling upon things, and I’ve been a follower of her lovely, peaceful and inspiring posts ever since.  She is one of this worlds beautiful people.  I am happy to rise to her February challenge.

So what does it mean to me when I hear the word meditate?

I used to believe it meant serious contemplation, hard thinking, reflection on the past, intent for the future.  Sit down, close your eyes, ponder, ruminate and contrive.  And that’s why I never wanted to be bothered with it.  All that stuff can give you a colossal headache.  Often all that thinking doesn’t solve anything anyway, it just adds fuel to an already blazing fire.

Now in this much more mature and wise stage of my life I know meditation can mean the complete opposite of concentration.  It’s a wonderful and freeing ‘letting go’ of all the mind blather that makes you the crazy person you were never meant to be.

I am certainly not an expert on this subject, but I think I’ve been practicing emptying my head my entire life.  I can sit still without moving or speaking or fidgeting, taking laziness to a whole new level.  To an outside observer (like some of my school teachers long ago and now my family, friends and co-workers) it probably looks like I am either totally focused on something drastically important or in some kind of a trance-like daydream.  The truth is, if someone asks me during one of these episodes ‘what are you thinking’ I would have to say I’m not thinking about anything at all.

Yeah, kind of scary, I know.

Maybe this is something I should have taught my kids, but since no one taught it to me, I simply assumed it was a normal thing to be able to dump the noise and confusion and all the bad things around you for a few minutes until you can gather up the energy you need to face them again.  Now I don’t wait to be pushed to the edge where I’m forced to get myself behind all the nonsense that’s cluttering up my world so that I won’t break down under the pressure of it all.  I actually do this on purpose with clear intent as a preventative measure.

I think there are as many meditative methods and processes as there are yoga positions, but for whatever it’s worth, here’s mine.

1.  Arrange yourself in a comfortable, stable posture, legs crossed, fingers touching – feel relaxed but not so relaxed that you nod off and fall over.  Meditation is like a conscious form of sleep.  Emphasis on staying conscious.

2.  Be perfectly still – stop inner and outer chatter – relax, relax, relax.

3.  Breathe, and observe the breath without consciously forcing yourself to breathe.  Only witness your normal breathing. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, relax, relax, relax.  Did I already say relax?  Really, you need to relax.

4.  Empty your mind of thoughts, questions, images, emotions and everything else.  When you do this you open yourself to receive cosmic energy, a drop of spirituality, some healing life force, inner peace.

5.  flow with it,  be with it…… let everything go….for as long as you can.  The real world will intrude soon enough to jolt you and your mind back into it.

Simple, right?  If you keep practicing this, you will end up relaxed, happy, healthy, stress free, with a calmed and tranquil mind, having a better memory, higher understanding, better interpersonal relationships, and a better life.  Has all this happened to me?

Well, who knows, really.  Like I said, I am no expert, but I do believe without my zoned out times my life would be a much less enjoyable experience.

So what does ‘meditate’ mean to you?  Am I completely out to lunch?  If I am, I like it – to me it’s a good life-nurturing kind of lunch to be out to.

Peace For Another January

Monthly Peace Challenge: The Neuroscience of Peace

What one thought will you focus on this year to bring more peace?  Call it a mantra, a resolution, a pebble in the pond of your consciousness that will send out ripples of peace throughout the year.

calm in your heart

I have a female brain.  I’ve decided to blame it for the fact that some days I can’t seem to focus on one thought for five minutes, so choosing a thought to last a year is a daunting task.

My mantras change with the weather.  But they’re all good ones.  Here’s a list which skims the top of the many different ones that go galumphing through my head.  I know, that doesn’t sound very peaceful, does it?  But if I can grab hold of a calming thought and breathe it in, I can also breathe it out.  May you find some small thing here to soothe your soul.

1.  Everything you go through, grows you.

2.  You were given this life because you are strong enough to handle it.

3.  Choose to see the good stuff.

4.  Let it out or it will eat you away.

5.  Feel everything deeply, both the pain and the joy.

6.  Find the calm in the storm.

7.  Be still and listen.

8.  Create something beautiful.

9.  Do small things with great love.

10.  Laugh.  Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

11.  Just do it.  Because why the hell not?

12.  Do not let the world make you hard.

13.  No one heals themselves by wounding another.

14.  Try being informed instead of just opinionated.

15.  Don’t waste the rain.  Play in the puddles.

16.  Choose kindness.

17.  It’s okay to make glorious, amazing mistakes because that’s how you learn.

18.  Be grateful.

19.  Your life has purpose, your voice matters.

20.  Tell your story.

namaste

my soul honors your soul

I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides

I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you

because it is also within me

in sharing these things we are united, we are the same,

we are one

bloggers for peace

Mulligans

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Mulligan is that great golf term, used when a shot is not counted against the score.  It is permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor.  Like a do-over.

Well I would like a Mulligan of my last two days off.  There is so much nothing to do, two days just isn’t long enough to do it all.  I have accomplished as little as humanly possible without actually forgetting to breathe.  And thus procrastination has been taken to a whole new level, because I don’t even know what things I should be doing that I am so determinedly avoiding.

There was some vague plan in my head to play so much Candy Crush that I would get sick of it and stop for a while. So far, this has not worked.

I played around on an Instagram app and made these two collaborative pictures.

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I drank a lot of coffee.  I did some grocery shopping.  I read some books. I slept late and went to bed early.  I read every single inspirational thing on Facebook.  And some things that were not at all stimulating or helpful or moving but I read them anyway.  Because they were there.

Eventually I sat down and wrote this post about it all.  I don’t know about you, but I am now completely worn out and done reliving it and ready for bed.  Never mind the Mulligan – I would probably do the same non-things all over again anyway.

I have the expertise, if anyone needs guidance on whiling away time and goofing off.  If you forget to call, I’ll understand.

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Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep.

Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.  And when you get angry, get good and angry.

Try to be alive.  You will be dead soon enough.

(Ernest Hemingway)

Feel the joy, share your light;  live and love with all your might.
Feel the joy, share your light; live and love with all your might.

All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe

English: Tilia sp. buds opening in spring.
English: Tilia sp. buds opening in spring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suddenly, almost over night,  the leaves are appearing everywhere here.  It feels like I’ve been waiting forever to see them this year.  All that delicious green is exhilarating, almost breathtaking,

Would I know this if they were here year round?  Probably not.  This morning I looked out the kitchen window and this phrase popped into my head –  peace came upon me.  My brain has little storage areas for random song lyrics that zing themselves into my consciousness without warning.

This beautiful and timeless song was a big hit for the Hollies in 1974.  Alfalfa sings it to Darla in The Little Rascals movie.  It’s been covered by Phil Everly, Olivia Newton John, Julio Iglesias, Judi Collins and many others, including the Brazilian country group “Chitãozinho & Xororó” with Portuguese lyrics under the title “É Assim Que Eu Te Amo” (translated as “This is how I love you”).  That last bit is straight from Wikipedia, not some random trivia I had floating about in my head.  Yes, I’m relieved to hear that too.

Take a deep breath, have a listen. Realize you already have everything you need to be happy.  And then get yourself out there and have a fun green day.

If I could make a wish
I think I’d pass
Can’t think of anything I need
No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound
Nothing to eat, no books to read

Making love with you
Has left me peaceful, warm and tired
What more could I ask
There’s nothing left to be desired
Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep

Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe
Yes to love you
All I need is the air that I breathe

Peace came upon me and it leaves me weak
So sleep, silent angel, go to sleep