Posts tagged ‘Mindful living’

December 22, 2011

Don’t forget to breathe! (a.k.a. – Surviving the Holidays)

Children singing, people laughing, bells ringing, people calling, emails flying, emotions soaring… the holidays are here!

In the midst of all of the flurry of the holidays it’s easy to get caught up in all of it and forget to take care of ourselves.  There’s so much energy swirling around you can practically feel it and if you close your eyes, you just might get dizzy.

It’s in this time, when I feel myself spinning, things moving so fast around me that everything becomes a blur.  I’m making my lists, all 240 of them, and checking them twice, and three times and four times, then transferring them to another list so I only need to focus on what’s left….  The house needs cleaning, cards need mailing, gifts need wrapping, menus need planning, cookies need baking… ribbon is twirling, lights are flashing… make it stop!

The other day as I was feeling the pressure from every direction a friend reminded me… “in the storm, create your own centered space, Zen, if you will”.  Then everything came to a stop.  Calm and peacefulness came over me.  I was feeling the storm and needed to revert back to my centered space. I had gotten caught up in the undertow.  My friend threw me a life-preserver.  When I “go inside”, meditate and ground myself, I’m a much happier and calm person.  I smile at the chaos.  It’s like having a magnetic force field protecting me from the noise.  And by noise, I mean everything: the music, the commercials, the reminders, the emails, the registers, the intense emotions, the intoxicating scents, all of it.


If I go to my centered space (envision the raisin exercise), I can watch it all take place (much like watching a movie), take it all in, and then choose whether or not to get involved.  I get to choose my action versus just reacting to the situations at hand.

So as the days wind down to just hours until we celebrate Jesus’ birth, I thought it would be a good time to pay it forward.  Just as my friend reminded me to go within, I’ll remind you as well.  When things get hectic, when emotions are running high or low, when things feel like they are getting out of control and everyone is losing sight of the true meaning of Christmas, remember to go to your centered space and breathe.

Just… breathe.


October 13, 2011

You’ve got an hour

When I originally started Walnuts and Pears the focus was going to be somewhat broad as far as the subject matter, but the common thread is that all things tie back into living today not just for ourselves, but for future generations, living mindfully .

During the spring and summer much of my focus has been on gardening and caring for our injured dog because that’s what was right in front of me. Reflecting back, it’s kind of funny how things work out.  Shortly before Darby got hurt, my full-time job changed to a part-time job.  My original plan was to use the 2nd half of the day to blog (daily) and combine my landscape, garden and marketing background into something new.  While I have picked-up a handful of design jobs, its honestly been tough.  Things haven’t been exactly going according to that plan and frankly, I’ve been struggling.

Recently someone reminded me that life is what happens when you’re busy planning.  The funny part about that is that I’m really not that great of a planner.  I’m more of a big picture kind of person.  I like to keep things loose so I can do something fun, take a class, or follow a whim.  What that also means though, is that when I do actually plan something, I get kind of H-E-double hockey sticks bent on sticking to that plan.  So the fact that things aren’t following my plan has been frustrating to say the least.

Instead of simply flipping a switch at the end of my 1st job and switching over to the 2nd as originally intended, I now switch into “Dog Mom” mode.  Caring for Darby has been much like caring for an infant.  She’s getting stronger every day, but she’s still dependent on us to walk.  And walk she does.  She gets 3 short walks a day as well as stretches and exercises 2 times a day.  Jake is still a puppy in a full size body, so he has a lot of energy that needs to be released each day through play and walks.  Since the two of them still need to be separated, all of this happens independently.  By the time this is done I usually have about half an hour to get anything else done that I have in my “plan”.

Yesterday, on my walk with Jake, it dawned on me (sometimes I need a 2×4 to hit me over the head to make this happen), but I realized, this is the plan.  It might not be my plan, but it is what I’m supposed to be doing.  Caring for the dogs has actually done a lot for me.  Having been sick for a couple of years, my body got weak.  Supporting Darby and staying active with Jake has strengthened me both physically and spiritually.  While I’m being leaned on, I need to lean on someone else for strength to get me through it all.

So while things aren’t going according to my plan, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’m trying my best to help Darby recover as fully as possible, watching the baby steps of success everyday while at the same time trying to make sure Jake gets what he needs as well. In the interim, I’m trying to stick to my commitment to myself to blog and do landscaping and other creative “stuff”.   Right now I don’t have the time to do it all, so I’m learning to allow myself to simply do what I can and ask for help when I need it.  (The asking for help thing doesn’t come easy for me. Call it pride, stubbornness, heritage or upbringing it is one of my “quirks”.)

So today, I had an hour before the kiddo gets home.  My choice was this… post for 1/2 and take Jake for a walk for the other 1/2.  That’s my plan… and with 29 minutes left, I’m kind of sticking to it.

This…..  is where I’m headed.

A walk in the park