Category Archives: live in the moment

A Poem to help you change for the better; 2014 In the Rearview

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Hi all, thanks for your support and friendship this year. This has been another year of growtzzzzgngngngnzzzzngn ngggggnnnnnnnnzzzzngnggggnan.

I can’t add myself to the litany of retrospective posts; I do enough of that in my own time, I will be damned if I do that to you in The Last Post Of The Year.

I typically don’t really give a toot about New Year’s Eve / Day culture. To me, we have every breath to look at how we are living and to use the next one to change our behavior if we are aware enough to know we need it.

And most of us need it.

2014 is over. It’s about 2 hours away from being toast. Dust. Ashes. Yesterday. It doesn’t matter how we feel about 2014. Many people suffered and many people triumphed. It doesn’t matter because it’s in the past. So if you or me or your neighbor or your best friend or your worst enemy spends one moment but one laced with gratitude thinking about 2014, it’s a waste.

Here’s my instruction: Have a safe and empowering final hours of 2014. I hope that when we look back on it, we can learn something and then apply it for a fantastic ’15. Just for clarification: I’m all for retrospectives if they put you in a good frame of mind and remind you of how far you’ve come. It’s when they loop and repeat and grind you and your beloved listener into a silent submission or prayer for it to end, that they are useless.

Here’s my plea: If you’re One of Those People Who Knows Your Faults But Does Nothing About Them And Continues To Hurt People, please … please … please: stop. If you’re feeling hot in the face or your stomach hurts or you feel like someone is watching you right now, you know it’s you I’m talking to. Stop hurting people. Start changing your behavior. As I say to my sons and the kids I teach creative writing, “Stop apologizing. Change your behavior.” If an elementary school kid can get it, you can too.

And if you’re a victim or a martyr or you feel like you’re in a rut, in a loop or other haze thinking about something you can’t change because you blew it, here’s a poem I didn’t write which can help you move in another direction:

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk: An Autobiography In Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walked on the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place, but it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walked down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walked down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

That’s a simple, elegant, witty and To The *#^&%@)! Point reminder that we are in charge of our own lives and its direction. It’s both liberating and daunting because it’s so much easier to blame other people for our stuff. Anyway… Food for thought.

Here’s a pic of me and my team on our singular sunny day on Hilton Head Island, SC.

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Here’s a pic of me and my husband and oldest son after we did the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Eve … The water was 53˚ and this was my first and definitely not my last PBP. I am a beast now… bring on the plunges!

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May you all both have fantastic and healthy remaining hours tonight and abundant spiritual, mental and physical health in 2015.

Thanks for sticking around. It’s been fun. 2015 is gonna rock; just like 2014 did.

Thank you.

Three Things Thursday 3 — Free Ways to Live Well(er)

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I started this series, thinking it would be fun to share three things I love which help me enhance my Mind, Body and Spirit in less than 750 words. Last week’s offered Art, Apps and Apologies and it went over the limit due to captions (and my inability to censor myself).

I am meeting with the “aging consultant” for my parents today to discuss their situation, as requested by my father. I know that this meeting will only be tenable emotionally because it will happen on the heels of my yoga class. I will need every whisper of namaste during this meeting over hummous, pita points, and cucumber medallions dipped in tzatiki.

I taught sixth graders a bit of yoga this week; I love sharing the gift of yoga with people. Especially children, who have waaaaaay too many responsibilities these days placed upon their narrow shoulders. I showed them how the best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of slowing down. I doubt they’ll adhere to it now, but maybe when they’re my age they might remember.

All of this brings us to three free things:

Mind: Meditate

Slow down and meditate. I don’t mean sit in criss-cross applesauce and hum Ommmmmmm to yourself. I mean to be where you are (if you’re not driving) and just calm the heck down. Calm. Yourself. Down.

"Just Let Go. Be the Leaf." learning, and loving this app, "Drawing Carl" on my ipad.

“Just let go… be the leaf.” learning, and loving this app, “Drawing Carl” on my iPad.

Here’s how: Imagine a place you love, a beach, a forest, a mountain, a lakeside and close your eyes. See that place and as you inhale, count down from 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1… pause and exhale counting down from 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … pause. When you increase the exhale, you are releasing oxytocin and dopamine, and feeling good. Other than the nicotine addiction, this is one of the reasons smokers smoke… the inhale and the exhale; they savor it. If smokers could learn to do this without the cigarette, they’d be golden. Do this five times at first and stay in your favorite place. Just be. If a thought comes in, don’t judge it, let it drift away. Just let go. If you want to do more than five times, do! Wanna know when to stop? The MOMENT it becomes irritating to your spirit, body or mind. Take in one last breath and exhale normally. Try it again later.

Body: Nap

A nap. Sounds easier said than done. As a mother, I wear many hats. One of them is crazed insomniac. I don’t know if it’s hormones, but I’m not getting much sleep at night these days. Soon I’ll be popping the Geritol. That comment used to get laughs, now it just gets knowing sighs and nods. When you’re not driving, respond to your body giving you a tug to lay down and nap. This is different than the meditation. For in meditation, we need to be conscious. We aren’t working out crises or other stuff, as we do in REM dreaming. But take a nap. I took one last week, after the norovirus, and I slept for four hours. I was ready to take hostages before the nap: shaky, agitated, unfocused, bumping into things. Then I took the nap and I felt human. Homo Sapiens even. Just close the blinds, turn off the phone, and nap.

Nap. Windows, couch, you. You can do this. You're allowed.

Nap. Windows, couch, you. You can do this. You’re allowed.

Soul: Perspective, life off the grid

I gave up Facebook for Lent. It was the best choice ever. I don’t know what will happen after Lent, but it’s only been two days and I’ve caught up on laundry (holla!), I’ve become OK with myself and the fact that I’m normal, not perfect, not wealthy, not fantastically domestic and not thinking as much in terms of “status updates.” I wrote (excessively?) about the impending need to unplug, the lie I’d been living and coming to terms with my vulnerability two days ago, Tuesday in one post and then I gave my rationale and cited reasons and a chronology of my obsession in a second post in the same day. Apparently I had some demons to exorcise. I was never addicted (in the clinical, life interrupted, fashion) to it, but I was close. I miss my FB friends, but I’m loving the life I’ve returned to so very much. Try it. Even for a weekend. The blue and white in the sky is waaaay more better (more better… like that?) than the blue and white on your monitor.

Unplug to plug in to life.

Unplug to plug into life.

Hmm. A common theme: not driving and not online and loving yourself. Go for it.

Thank you.