A mind full of excuses – Week 12 & 13

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Preamble: as work piles up and I gain direction and momentum in my life, I observe my attention slip away from meditation and into action. As you can see from my notes of the past 2 weeks I am still attempting to carve out time for the all-important mind-clearing… I’m successful at times, not so much in others. Truth be told, I’m sleepier than before, as if my mind is tired of slowing down only at the sleep level and wishes it to happen at the conscious level too.

An experiment indeed!

Meditation week 12 & 13
Sunday :
Monday: a blank
Tuesday :
Wednesday: yay – a whole 5 minutes. Watched my mood go from confused and muddled to settled and optimistic.. all I did was send out a little prayer to the universe and let her know that my trust is in her, always in her 🙂
Thursday:
Friday: 10 minutes were dedicated, and happily so, to prayer and conscious relaxation. It feels so good to relax but the moment my energy meter reads just 1% stronger I begin getting impatient and excited to work on all of my awesome projects. There is so much I want to DO!! I am a bubble of happy energy 🙂
Saturday: again, didn’t meditate so much as let my thought catch up with me. Simply sitting, and being and not doing was the most healing thing I could have done for myself.
Sunday:
Monday: Nearly overwhelmed by wave of sadness that came over. Many factors contributing to it, but you might say today’s meditation was time needed and spent on a good cry! Very healing crying is, it always is.
Tuesday:
Friday: the time that I set aside was filled with thoughts… I went instead to visual meditation and to my “peaceful place”. On another note I’ve been witness to amazing examples of direct manifestation – I have been consciously asking and receiving exactly what I need and desired at the perfect time. I feel in line and one with my intentions, the universe is openly supporting me, my biggest cheerleader unleashed 🙂
Saturday: once again I found some seemingly plausible excuses not to meditate. Argh.
Am missing fasting – perhaps I’ll give it another go?

Meditation week 10 & 11 – hanging on…

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Day 1: Sunday – no fasting, not much mindfulness either

Day 2: Monday – nope

Day 3: Tuesday – tried, only lasted about 8 min. and there was a lot of squirming at that.

Thursday : beautiful, sunny and energy filled day. I indulged in one of my favourite childhood addictions: the swing set. Taking the time to enjoy my surrounding and maybe even a quick nap on the sunny bench… 🙂

Week 11:

Day 2: Monday
Set aside 10 minutes today and watched feelings of tension and anxiety come up in response to all of the changes and decisions taking place in my life right now. It was difficult to keep the thought stream from slowing or dissipating… but I practiced it all the same. Have been reading about the Dalai Lama and buddhism and his words of inner peace ring loudly in my ears right now.

Day 7: saturday
Gave self 10 minutes to simpy catch up with self. Very helpful – I wish I had time for more! Correction: I wish I would make time for more.

As you can see the meditation is sporadic, at best, right now. The fasting has been replaced with mindful eating – these days I’m getting so much exercise (fitness classes, skiing, biking etc) that it’s increasingly difficult to fast. Combine this with a woman’s cycles and there are days when not eating is not an option. That being said, I can feel that my body misses it and I’m planning for a half-day fast later this week. A fresh vege juice can replace a meal and I can indulge in that delicious, empty feeling once again.

Rest assured, I am continuing to make a significant effort in incorporating both meditation and fasting in my whirlwind adventure of a life 🙂

Here comes week 12!!

Week 8, Day 1 – a great “fasting” day

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So today I decided to live by some age-old wisdom: be kind to yourself.

And so, with a busy day of pottery painting ahead of me (livin’ the high life!) I had only a few kiwis and pecan nuts for breakfast, some weak coffee and orange juice and I was out the door.
The intensity of focusing on my painting creation – which took all afternoon – followed by a long talk with my sister meant that my mind was constantly engaged… and the body forgot to feel hunger. I’m also in a moment in my feminine cycle where I’m less hungry… so that helps too.

I did end up getting a persistent headache around 8:00pm and so made a delicious salad of greens, with a bit of goat cheese, oil and vinegar and rounded it off with an orange and tea.

The body feels great as the headache dissapates, and I feel centred and focused as I head to do my meditation for the day and to read and go to sleep.

Thank you Universe for another beautiful day of existence!!

Liebster Award – Thanks for nomination… now here are mine!

Thank you A Mindful Traveler for nominating my blog for the Liebster Blog Award! It’s very sweet of you, and it’s fun to answer these questions, share fun facts and nominate other great blogs that deserve some time in the spotlight too!

Rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 bloggers who you feel deserve to be noticed. These blogs must have 200 followers or less. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated by you.

4. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog. Post all the items listed in item 2 on your blog also.

My Answers To The 11 Questions From A Mindful Traveler

What is your favorite color?

Bright green.

How do you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life?

By taking the time to observe self, surroundings and other people free of judgement, simply being present in the moment as much as I can

What do you like most about travel?

Discovering that there is so much world to see, and so many incredible people to interact with! Ultimately however, travel makes me realise that the greatest journey is the journey within

How frequently do you meditate, for how long, and in what way (sitting, walking, standing)?

I aim for 15 minutes, sitting, daily

  1. What is your favorite animal?

The horse. Arabian, to be exact.

  1. Have you ever lived outside the country of your birth?  If so where and for how long?

I was 4 when my family immigrated from my native Poland to Canada.  Since that time I’ve lived on and off in France, Spain and Peru.  I hold 2 passports and am currently a resident of 3 nations. The term I identify with the most is….  global citizen!

  1. Who is the most important mentor you have had in your life?

Difficult question!! Should I call upon the Great Teachers like Christ, the Buddha, Gandhi and the like? I cannot choose just one… there have been so many incredible teachers and there is still so much to learn!!

  1. What is your favorite novel?

“Johnathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach. It’s a tiny book… and incredibly powerful.

  1. What is your favorite cuisine?

Again, difficult question. I just love food in general! If forced to name a cuisine or two I’d go for Indian (good sense) and Polish (for purely sentimental reasons 🙂

  1. Who has inspired you in your life?

Well, I am very inspired by my parents and my sister – they are so brave and so willing to take on new challenges!!

  1. What is your favorite hour of the day?

Getting up with a spring out of bed, making the morning coffee and getting excited for the new day!

11 Random Facts about me:

  1. As per being a horse-lover… it is my dream to one day train for and compete in an endurance ride
  2. the physical characteristic that I notice the most in people is… their hands
  3. I play the piano, clarinet (kinda) and guitar
  4. when I was a kid I was terrified of water and swimming…and as an adult absolutely adore it
  5. I love messin’ about with photographs and making collages
  6. last summer I biked across Europe in a fundraiser for World Literacy Canada
  7. I’ve never had a cavity
  8. Nor a broken bone in my body (knock on wood 🙂
  9. on my bucket list is: attending the Sensation White event in Amsterdam (before I turn 30)
  10. as per no. 9, yes, it’s true… I love trance music! Especially Armin Van Buuren
  11. people, people, people… what I love most about life are… people!!

My 11 Questions for my nominees are:

  1. Do you have a  Bucket List… and why?
  2. (if YES to no. 1) – What’s the last thing you crossed off your bucket list?
  3. What personality trait do you love the most about yourself?
  4. Do you like where you work right now?
  5. What’s the last thing you photographed? (with iPhone or otherwise)
  6. Why do you blog?
  7. What’s your favourite hobby?
  8. How would you “spiritually” describe yourself?
  9. What did you eat for breakfast?
  10. What are your minor addictions? (ie. coffee, food, blogging… lol)
  11. Who is currently your favourite singer / band?

My 11 Nominees Are:

1. www.certainwaymarketing.wordpress.com

2. www.ellatitman.wordpress.com

3. http://happsters.com/

4. http://yaz2004.wordpress.com/about/

5. http://mindfulacting.org/

 

6. http://ambitioninthecity.com/

7. http://silkroadcollector.me/

8. http://diarioelena.wordpress.com/

9. www.amindfultraveler.wordpress.com

10. http://freshrawlife.wordpress.com/

11. http://meditationcommunity.wordpress.com/

Week 6, Day 7; Week 7, Day 1: adaptation

Went through quite the adaptation process this weekend.  The mind has played many tricks on me… but I feel I’ve come out of the experience understanding it’s illusory nature just a bit better.

Fasting: today I went on just tea and a shake until about 17:00 at which point I did tuck into a nice guacamole, beets, tortilla chips and fried eggs.  I’ve been exercising a lot and my young body is burning through calories like mad.  A short fast of 15 hours or so feels great – I love experiencing that empty, gnawing, energetic feeling in the pit of my stomach – but the next step, when energy conservation and tiredness kicks in, just doesn’t feel worth it right now. My energy is high, and I like it there… that’s where I want it to stay.

It’s a learning process, and I have to remember to adapt and to leave room for exploration.

Meditation: the mantra is helpful to settling the mind, and I’m experimenting with short bursts of mindfulness and in-the-moment presence – focus on 10 deep breaths and feel every part of the body and mind and breath in the hear and now – as compared to 15 minutes of watching the mind-parade saunter by.  Again, neither way is the superior choice.. I’m simply experimenting!

Week 6, day 1 – go with the flow

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Today, a Sunday, should technically have been a fasting day.
But I knew from the get-go that I would choose to forego my fasting day, that my purpose was served through eating and fueling my body at this time, not through rest.
I had the choice to be upset and military with myself, or to accept this turn of events and realise that next week will be a much better time to return to the Sunday fasting ritual. Without getting into too much detail – there are simply too many variables changing in my life right now and my energy and purpose are so channeled and strong… that a planned for rest wasn’t what I needed. I catch them on the fly, for the time being.
In a few days time I’ll be back to buying, preparing and cooking my own food – this, I have found thus far, plays a big role into whether or not fasting is easier, and whether or not food temptations tease me all day long (as housemates cook up delicious smells and eat and – to top it off – encourage you to join in!).

My meditation in the evening was… curious. I tapped into visualization and focused specifically on compassion. Feels like I’ve been eating too much meat… the compassion I was experiencing was centered specifically around animals…

Interesting

Week 5, day 1 – chant and sing

A breathing meditation and a day of mindful eating. For reasons unknown, (although I’ve a dozen hypotheses as to why fasting is so difficult for me right now) I’ve had to keep to the food.

During the past few weeks I’ve done frequent mini-fasts… More like prolonged meal waiting. Attempted a full-day fast today, but after a long winter walk in the fresh Canadian air my appetite got the better of me!

The meditation this evening was a simple breath exercise, and I took advantage of an empty house to loudly chant my mantra. Sometimes I chanted, sometimes I sang.. At all times I felt those vibrations shaking my being and awakening me to infinite devine possibilites!!

Photo (original) – a hawk encountered on the walk 🙂

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Week 3, day 2: a fasting day, but not this time

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Arrived yesterday in a new town, new climate, new country. Didn’t eat dinner as I would have usually on the flight over and had small snack before bed. Broken and sleepless night… Result: tired, hungry and running on empty half a day earlier than I should have.

Water and teas in the morning but I decided, for energy’s sake, to have a light, late lunch. Am glad I did, it’s given me back that much needed spark!

A short, ten minute meditation before bed and a great sleep and rest will follow 🙂

Great blog posts: “never give up”
http://echoes19.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/never-give-up/

“Never give up on self” at http://sistersthatbeenthere.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/never-give-up-on-self/
“never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about” from http://mummigrants.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/never-give-up/

Day 14 & 15 – fastin’ and flyin’

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Day 14: a social butterfly day, as I observed my reactions to new and old friends, surrounded by so many varying energies I did my best to quiet the mind in the evening. Trying does not necessarily mean succeeding.

Day 15:
Another fast day! And another one more closely resembling a liquid diet day as I enjoyed carrot and orange juice and two sizable bowls of soup broth. I did OK though and am proud of myself for sticking to it… Whatever “it” may be at the moment. Also am realising that full fasting is that much more difficult since meat has re-entered my diet… Making appearances on the Saturday before the big day makes for poor timing. Am making note of eating light food only next time the sabbath rolls along thus helping myself enjoy a better and easier fast day the following day.
It felt like a quick fast this time around… Dare I say a fast fast…? 😛

Day 8 – resting

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Today is Sunday, therefore a fasting day.

I woke up and was immediately hungry. Didn’t know how I was going to keep to today’s fast… In fact what ended up happening was that I filled in the hunger spots with copious amounts of freshly pressed carrot-apple juice and a few hot cups of tomato soup broth. Add the teas and water and once again it was more of a liquid diet day than an authentic fast. I think it’s the quality and wonderfulness of being surrounded again by momma’s cooking… But boy am I ravanous! Adjusting to the Canadian cold surely plays its part as well.

My 15 minutes of mindfulness went well although I left it for too late in the day and so had to shake off the yawns quite often. Either way I’m starting to see these 15 minutes (which sometimes seems like a lot of time, sometimes like barely enough) as my sanity anchor, my return to self and calm and an opportunity to reconnect. I’m enjoying this whole process more and more 🙂

Day 1 (a fasting day)

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Here I am in the evening, hungry (lol), with tea in hand and ready to go to bed and wake up to an epic breakfast.

The fasting was alright today, although the cold, grey weather in Barcelona made it difficult to get any support and energy from the sun. Water with lemon in the morning, watered down coffee with bit of milk to warm up, big freshly-squeezed orange juice, handful of mandarines and a carrot-celery-ginger juice on the fly. Tons of herbal teas. More of a liquid diet than full-on fast, but I refuse to be hard on myself. I remind myself that I’m new to this and that it’s a process, and for the time being I find it difficult to be on water and herbal teas alone… The headaches and hunger pangs are tough.

Meditation was challenging. The mind wanders and gets distracted so easily. Sometimes it takes more than a few seconds to realise I’m thinking again about “that thing”…
But I will learn.
That’s what it’s all about after all 🙂

and it’s hardly a coincidence…

…that on the day before I begin my project, TED publishes this great talk by Andy Puddicombe on mindfulness, meditation and how important it is to understand the inner workings of the mind.

I couldn’t agree more, nor can I disregard the recurring reminders that I too need to introduce a consistent meditative practice into my life.  And since eating mindfully is also a priority, I intend to incorporate a one day per week fasting regimen too.

And so I commit, starting tomorrow, to a one year project which – I can safely predict – will change my life.

Tomorrow is a Sunday, and a fasting day.

In the meantime, enjoy this great video!