Sunday, January 24, 2010

Power Vinyasa Yoga

There's a Baron Baptiste affiliated Yoga studio near me that I've been going to off and on for over 2 years now. Off and on because I would try out different studios from time to time, too. But I've decided I love Baptiste yoga. It's just for me. I mean, I've always known vinyasa (a style of yoga that focuses on breath and connecting each different yoga pose) is definitely my thing, but Baptiste vinyasa is without a doubt my thing. I took a class last night, and I think I'm going to start making it a more regular thing. I just felt so clear and awake afterward.

The studio near me is doing a six week intensive yoga/meditation program right now, but I don't want to impulsively commit myself to anything (since I tend to do that...) so I'm going to do my own version of it. I'm going to try to go 2-3 times/week and see how that feels. Perhaps the next time they offer the six week program I'll do it.

I'm also going to focus on continuing my meditation practice each day and continuing to make sure I have good food packed to eat at work (which is a goal I set earlier). I'll make sure and post my thoughts again after my next class.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How do you keep mindfulness alive during particularly boring bouts at work?

I'm a tad bit at a loss on this one. I've tried deep breaths and re-focusing on reading materials that I don't really have to read but could read for work. In the end I just keep going back to reading things online and it makes me feel a little bit like I'm slowly going crazy. By reading random things online, visiting the same blogs over and over again I'm trying to do the opposite of mindfulness. I'm trying to escape from the present moment, from the reality of my situation, and at first it sounds like fun. Or like, oh, well, I just catch up on some gossip or news or whatever during this downtime, but it quickly spirals into nothingness and makes me feel crazy.

Should I just accept the random internet stuff as wanderings of my mind the same way that I accept the thoughts that pop up during meditation. Should I, as I do with thoughts during meditation, gently x-out of the web browser when it's obvious that I'm just aimlessly clicking away. This would follow the same idea as gently ignoring thoughts during meditation by saying "thinking" silently to myself and re-focusing on meditating. Could I do that at work? Could I say "mindlessly clicking" to myself and re-focus on my work or something else that is meaningful, such as writing for my blog or reading academic works online. I honestly don't even know if reading articles of a more academic nature would be any better. There's something about the glare of the computer screen that makes me feel crazy. Now, if I'm typing I feel fine.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spending Free Time

Wow, it's been a while since I posted...

Anyway, today has been pretty darn boring, but I do have a whole topic that I want to talk about: the internet!

See, I think sometimes I mightmaybejustalittle have a small internet addiction. Perhaps addiction is much too strong of a word to use, but I'd say compulsion is good. For instance, I will go on at night time and only intend to do a couple of things and then shut the computer down, and then, bam, an hour has passed and I have no clue what I've been doing! It makes my brain hurt. All that staring at the screen and just checking out of the present moment. When I first graduated from college I would do this all the time. It was also before I found mindfulness meditation and I was searching for any way to just escape from the reality of post-grad life. I would just be online for hourssss. It was horrible. It made me feel bad, and I know I was neglecting my relationship with Liz because of it. Perhaps it was an addiction then. Now it's an occasional compulsion.

Well, now that we have the terms all defined, I'll explain my plan. I'm going to set an alarm for 15 minutes if I want to go on the internet while at home, and when the alarm goes off I'm done. As my old boss used to say, "D-U-N, done." She had some really great expression...another favorite of mine was, "This is weather for ducks! I'm going home!"

I also want to spend more time reading and even watching movies. Neither of those activities make me feel as crazy as going online for too long. I was actually just reading The New Yorker, and Liz is keeping track of my internet time so I will be off this thing in 10 minutes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Have a Coke and a Smile

Now, I know I don't write too often (if ever?) about having an eating disorder. I like to think that it's because it really just hasn't been an issue in a couple of years. And it's true. It just really hasn't been an issue lately. The last time is was an issue at all was around Dec. of 2007, and it actually wasn't much of an issue at that time. It was more an issue in the "every woman has an eating disorder" sense.

Since Dec. 2007, through much trial and error in learning how to eat intuitively, I have largely returned to my pre-ana (though I can't really remember what that was like, to be honest) way of relating to food. ...With one caveat. There's always one, huh? I still remain scared of coke.

When I google scared of coke I get lots of stuff about people who are scared of kicking a cocaine habit and even quite a few sites about some child that is scared of what happens when you combine mentos and coca-cola.

Perhaps I should reframe. I'm scared of coca-cola, you know soda with calories. Diet coke isn't scary. I mean, I guess it actually is if you think about the crazy stuff that's in it, but eh, I can drink it in moderation, and I feel neither one way or the other about it.

I drank a coke today. It was delish. It reminds me of my childhood because my grandmother always had a ton of it on hand since her family owned a drug-store, you know, the old fashioned kind with an actual soda fountain. Amazing. Does that even exist anymore? I mean, aside from novelty restaurants pretending to be old-timey?

But I digress--it does still bother me a bit. For instance, I often don't order it/drink it even though I want to because in my head coca-cola is bad. However, there is no other item that I categorize as solely good anymore, so how can I keep coca-cola as bad and how can I make it fall into simply the food/drink category--not good or bad, just something to take in as I wish?

There is no way this can happen through avoiding coca-cola. In the same way that I have not become good at speaking to other people by staying at home on the couch, I cannot become comfortable with drinking coca-cola if I avoid it.

I also know that I cannot have opinions on food/drink. When I form opinions on food/drink or when I try to monitor what I eat, I always focus on cutting back and cutting out. If I remain scared of coke, next I will be scared of another food and then another... Years of trial and error has taught me this. The next time I want to have a coke, I will. And I think if I do this over and over again I will eventually be comfortable with it.

One more thing--I know I won't overdo it because I practice intuitive eating. When I want the coke, I'll drink it. When I feel as though I've had enough, I'll stop drinking it. I can trust my body to let me know when I've had enough. It is far wiser than I am about these things...obviously--I was anorexic for a long time after all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just Do It

Yes, it's the Nike slogan, but I'm realizing more and more that "Just Do It" is something that I need to embrace more. For instance, dishes are in the sink waiting to be washed? Don't think, just do. Laundry needs to be done? Just do. There are, of course, many other examples of this, but you get the general idea.

When I think about plotting out time to do things that need to be done, when I think about how I can put them off all that gets done is thinking. For instance, I have been thinking about this ever-growing pile of laundry in my bedroom for over two weeks now, and it still isn't done. I'm out of underwear and I've caused myself a lot of stress/anxiety just thinking about when I will do the laundry. Actually, in spending so much time thinking about when I will do it, I've lost out on many opportunities to actually do it.

Of course, realizing the necessitiy of the "Just Do It" mantra can be traced back to my mindfulness meditation practice. About six months in, I realized that while, yes, I was meditating everyday, I would also put it off. I realized if I just did it as soon as I got home from work or woke up in the morning, it would get done and I would be all the better for it. It became apparrent that thinking and planning and worrying about it was uncessessary.

I think this slogan can be prescribed to many things, not just daily chores but bigger events. Planning a wedding? No need to agonize, do the appropriate research, check your budget, confer with friends and family (and most importantly your fiance!) and then just do it. Make your decisions, trust yourself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I just spent some time reading Gretchen Rubin's new book, The Happiness Project. I've been following her blog for some time now, and I have to say she has a lot of really great tips. For some reason I stopped reading her blog a few months ago, and picking up her book today really renewed and refreshed my own happiness project--though mindfulness is more the main focus of my project.

I realized that though mindfulness naturally is the main focus of my happiness project, it cannot be its only focus. By making it my only focus, I am neglecting to do many of the things that Gretchen found helpful, and that were originally very helpful to me. I'd like to do something along the lines of what she did in setting goals for each month. These won't be big, New Years Resolutions goals, they will be small. At the start of each month I will revisit Gretchen's blog/book to remind myself of what I'm aiming for and I'll set additional goals.

For January:
  • Make my lunch (and Liz's) for the next day every night
  • Write for 30 minutes each day
  • Once a week (let's say Tuesday night, give or take) meditate for an entire hour (I usually just do 15-20 minutes a day)
  • Stop nagging/snapping at Liz
"Whoever is happy will make others happy, too." Mark Twain

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Normally I don't make any New Years Resolutions at all. I think it's kind of a silly tradition, but I do love the idea of starting out fresh. So I figure I might as well jump on the bandwagon. For 2010 I resolve to:

1. Look at the PW or the City Paper and pick activities to do on the weekend even if I have to do them alone. I want to sit around the house less on the weekend.
2. Strengthen relationships with friends I have and make new friends. This one could be difficult for me since I am still feel like I'm re-learning how to make/strengthen friendships.
3. Make my lunch 4/5 days a week. And not just any lunch--a good lunch that will cover snack times as well.
4. Write for 30 minutes a day. I think I make this promise to myself pretty often, but maybe this time it will stick.

Aside from resolutions, I've been feeling pretty anxious since I got back home. I think I'm just needing time to settle in. I have acupuncture today for the first time in a long while! Yay!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Let This be a Reminder

I just got back from a 8 day vacation with my family. Now, they are crazy. You'll have to trust me. I can't write everything on the internet, you know. But never again. I would say that 4 days is my max to spend with them.

It's a slow adjustment. My anxiety is really coming out. I think it's here to say, "Yo, something's wrong. Please don't spend that much time with a bunch of people that hate each other again." Hopefully this post, among other things, will serve as a reminder to not agree to that much time with them again.

They work their way in though, and gradually they always make me think that maybe this will be the time when everything is 100% a-okay. They call multiple times a day (red flag!), and I've gotten it down to where I only actually answer once every day or so. Talking to them that infrequently makes them seem quite pleasant, and it forces them to behave. Spending 8 days with them allows them to think they can act all crazy-cakes on me, that I'm no longer enough of a stranger, fronting is no longer needed. Well, I prefer that they put the whole act on for me. Really, I do.