Wednesday Wellness: Rebalance

Hi, Friends!

I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, because I noted that so many of my creative friends struggle with wellness, as do I.  Join me on my journey as I muse and make mistakes.  And some discoveries along the way.

It has been a while since I posted on Wellness.  I worked really hard on completing my book and launching it.  The soft launch and book tour went really well. And then I got a little overwhelmed.

Which means I need to practice some self-care.

Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to NOT write a blog post.  It sounds counter-productive, but it’s true.

Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to Not Eat That Cookie. But sometimes, the best thing I can do for myself is to Just Eat It, Already. Sometimes I need to crank up the 90s angsty music and sing along, but not if it’s going to make me grumpy the rest of the day.  Sometimes I need to watch TV with my husband, but not if it will keep me up past my bedtime.  Sometimes I need to skip going to Mass, and instead take a long drive to go see the Harp Twins perform live in concert. You get it.

Sometimes it is time to rebalance.  You know how you should look at your 401k allotments once a year to see if you need to rebalance. Anyone?  Well, sometimes you need to do that in your life, too.

I have just discovered creative planning.  I happened upon this subculture of crafty planners on instagram and on Facebook.  Now my readers know, I am an INFP and I had always preferred spontaneity to planning, until becoming a working mom.  Then I discovered the value of Plan, to have Fun!

I used to scrapbook, and I also do collage journals.  I am currently using the Leonie Dawson Shining Year planner– which I think is really fantastic for planning goals and achieving dreams.  Imagine my delight when I happened upon a planner community that uses creative embellishments in their planners!  TA-DAH! And a choir of angels sang.  Or, Ewoks.  Allelu- Ta-Dah! Yub! Yub! (original release, people!)

As I looked at my weekly spread for this week, and I noted that all the entries were for my kids ‘  activities.  It’s softball season, and there’s also band practice, drum lessons, 3rd Grade Musical, mentor sessions. It’s a lot to coordinate. And don’t get me wrong, I love it.  But sometimes seeing it all written out like that, makes it painfully obvious.  I need some Me Time.

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So I am going to see my favorite massage therapist during my lunch, today.  And maybe pick up some Kombucha on the way back to the office.

What are YOU doing for yourself?

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Wednesday Wellness: Prepare Ye

Happy #WellnessWednesday! (Or is it Wednesday Wellness? I can never remember.) I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I notice many of my friends who are creative types struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my humble journey to wellness.
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Having just survived that family ordeal which we call Thanksgiving, we are now entering my birth month, otherwise known as that month which always has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off, run over by a train. (Writing run-on sentences and mixing metaphors, apparently, too.)

Let’s just all take a moment to acknowledge the winter holiday struggle and invisible illnesses, shall we?  Here’s “Unwell” by Matchbox 20.

Sing it, Rob

Here are a few things I am doing this year to help me find the light and keep the darkness at bay.

Honor Advent.
Many world religions celebrate the winter solstice. Read this. http://www.religioustolerance.org/xmas_conflict1.htm I have a book of meditations that I like to read at this time of year- part Christian, part Zen. I am also singing at church on the second and fourth Sundays.

Practice Self-Care.
I listen to guided visualizations on my phone before bed. After some basic yoga and maybe the plank challenge.
https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Yoga-Workout-Dummies-Ivanhoe/dp/B00005LQ08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480533014&sr=8-1&keywords=basic+yoga+for+dummies
http://gettinmyhealthyon.com/2013/09/20/30-day-plank-challenge/
Organize.
I am near done purchasing my holiday gifts, and just have to wrap them. Thanks to my handy dandy historical gift-giving spreadsheet, which I have kept up since 2004. I also search online for lists of books containing characters with my children’s and nieces’ and nephew’s names.

Give.
Tis the Season of giving. Many social justice organizations need your help now more than ever. Feels good to donate even just a little. If you are a homeowner, your charitable donation may have tax benefits, as well. There are many ways to give, starting with collecting unneeded clothes, books and toys in your home to donate to a local charity, many which swing by your neighborhood on a regular basis. Your old glasses could give someone the gift of sight. You can also donate your time. Sign up to volunteer with a local food bank or charity organization to sort or distribute donations. Sign up with a friend or family member and share the experience.

Write.
I do want to journal and blog more. Right now I am working on self-editing my new book, so hopefully I can return to regular writing in just a bit.

Calendar.
Maintaining the family calendar of all our events. We have orthodontist appointments, church, religious instruction, pageants, school, band practices, band performance, the Nutcracker, recitals, and three family birthdays. Still it’s all manageable with clever calendaring. I’m so excited that my 2017 Diary Planner has already arrived! https://shiningacademy.com/2017-workbooks/

Say No.
Even though singing with a volunteer choir sounds fun, I don’t have time for all the rehearsals. So, Ive learned to say “No, Thank you. Maybe next year.” Try it.

Read my other posts on Advent here.

Advent Calendar

Peace,
Denise

Wednesday Wellness: Walk the Walk

After ten days of El Niño, the California sun returned. I woke up in the darkness that is the first Monday of Daylight Savings Time, y’all know what I mean, but I knew the sun would he coming out.

I’m not gonna lie, my great intentions were waning by mid-morning. I’d thought I would enjoy three meal-replacement protein shakes, then I thought well I’d just eat the salad in the lunch that work provided, but by afternoon I’d eaten the entire candy cookie. But here’s what I did do.

I took a long walk during my lunch break.  I knew the point of half mile, and so after my return it would be a whole mile.  I donned my purple floppy hat, plugged in my Wonder Woman earbuds, grabbed a water and headed west.  I listened to a guided visualization meditation as I walked.

Last year I could have sworn it was it a field   on the next block. This year, even the weeds are a spectrum of color. And then I saw this sign.

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And I knew it to be a sign from the Universe, that I was on the right path.

I completed my circle and thought, wow, that felt so good, and I even have time left in this hour to read or write! As I approached my building, the meditation ended and my music shuffle chose to play Once a Day by Michael Franti for me. And I fell into step, as all former marching band members do. Left, Right, One, Two. And I began to see a daily walk as a gift that I give to myself, something actually enjoyable (and not a chore).

All too often, I talk the talk. I know my mantras and meditations, apps and affirmations. But I always seem to fall back into my little indulgences and pretend it’s self-care. But something was different this day.

That night I dreamt that an old boyfriend was telling everyone I knew that he still liked me. And Dream-Me was appalled, thinking ‘He has got to GET OVER me!’ And I woke up knowing I could now let go of my indulgences. It was like I already had.

I walked the next day, as well. A little longer. I joked about my popcorn and Pepsi “diet” and even indulged a little bit here and there, but I didn’t beat myself up about it.

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That night I added a bit to my evening meditation. I visualized sending love and healing energy to parts of my body, especially to the parts I don’t really like. And then I sent Gratitude.  And I went to sleep, smiling.

This afternoon I added the prayer walk to my circle. I entered on the paved side, and couldn’t see how deep into the field it might go. But I went in. The path turned and became unpaved, rocky. I was a little annoyed. Then there was one point where there was a fork. I decided to go right, where there was a quick dusty dead-end, so I turned back around and followed the path back out to the street. Here the rocks began to change, there were rocks of many colors and sizes- red, blues, white and greys. The last bit of the path was under water on one side, but the right side was drier. So I carefully stepped my way to the sidewalk. No sweat.

There are so many wonderful sights along the journey.

image Now I get it. You gotta walk the walk.

Do you struggle with balance? How do you maintain wellness? 

Please scroll down and comment below!

 

Wednesday Wellness – Intuition

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Hello, My Friends!

I decided to write about Wellness on Wednesdays, as I noticed so many of my writer friends and creatives struggle with wellness. As do I.  Join me on Wednesdays for wellness topics.  

I have a strong intuitive nature, but I often have to try to “turn it off” in order to get through my day.  I don’t like certain images (often hiding posts from my Facebook newsfeed), and I can’t watch the news after a disaster.  An unfortunate side effect of this attempting to tune out is that sometimes I get out of touch with my own intuition.

Sometimes I can’t hear my own thoughts.  You know how sometimes you get two radio stations on the same frequency, it’s like that.  Some previous thought or memory is on loop while some other noise is interfering.  And I spend the entire lunch hour overthinking where I should go for lunch.

I am working on achieving balance this year.  I am letting go of things which no longer serve me, including possessions but also limiting beliefs.  I self-imposed a debt diet, and am counting my calories again.  And I am practicing meditation.  (I mostly make up my own meditations, but I like listening to guided meditations especially by Kris Oster and Rebecca Kane.)

At first I thought I didn’t want to enroll in a super cool online course, because the cost was outside of my debt diet.  I almost didn’t sign up.  But then I realized, it’s an investment in MYSELF, and my well-being.  And already I am so glad I signed up.

In another seemingly counter-intuitive move, I decided to NOT go to Mass last Sunday.  Now I happen to like going to church, but I certainly don’t judge people who do not.  But I decided we could use a little break. The kids and I met up with my dearest friend for a lovely brunch and then some playtime at the park.  And it was so well-making.

Are you in touch with your intuition?  How do you stay balanced?

Be Well,

Denise

 

 

Wednesday Wellness

This month is already flying by!  Are you feeling it?

I have to make extra effort to SLOW DOWN.  Otherwise this crazy month will run me over like a train.  The consumer chaos is such the antithesis of Advent, which is a quiet season of waiting. Nowadays I make a commitment to practice mindfulness and self care, especially during the month of December.

One of the ways I practice my Advent is by listening to music.

I have been listening to my favorite Bach piece: the Magnificat.  This is a classical piece using the text of the Canticle of Mary, which is found in the Gospel of Luke (LK 1: 46-55).  Mary has always been very special to me.  Growing up post-modern Catholic, I often felt a disconnect with the church leadership, but always felt that Mary understood me.  Thus summer I had the opportunity to visit the Blessed Virgin Mary room in the Vatican Museum, and was moved to tears.

I adore this setting because it is so delightfully classical:  many soloists and a chamber orchestra featuring lovely instruments as the flute, oboe, and clarinet alongside the lovely soprano and alto arias, lilting melodies with beauteous descending phrases and waves which seem to never end (I’ve performed two of these arias, it’s hard to find the right place to catch a breath in some of these songs!)  And yet there are still the bigger chorus numbers with excitement and syncopation and tympani.

Here, my friends, is a lovely scrolling score, if you wish to enjoy the magic that is Bach’s Magnificat. Bach’s Magnificat score on youtube

Peace,

Denise