Archives for category: Resolutions

Comet McNaught as seen from Swift's Creek, Vic...

If I’d never read THIS, I would have never known there’s a slight chance…ok, more than a slight chance…that we’ll be dust by March.  I jest (I think).

And although I said I would avoid writing resolutions this year and instead just endeavor to show more kindness toward myself, given the extenuating circumstances and the challenge set forth by the fun folks at WordPress I feel compelled to find three things I’d most like to change about myself.  Before March.

The first two are easy:

1.  I want to forgive myself for all the not so well thought choices I’ve made throughout my life.  Like being an art major instead of a history major like I wanted to do but was too chicken.  Or like choosing to not think about a retirement plan until I was fifty (of course, that could be moot if March ends with a bang).  And I think I’d like to forgive myself for disappearing off to Ireland for ten years instead of staying put and working through whatever it was I needed to work through. Ireland was great but it’s true – wherever you go, there you are.  So if I’d stay home instead of gallivanting off into the wilds I’d be ten years ahead on that retirement plan!

2.  Before March, I want to play with my shadow.  Let a little bit of my dark side out.  See if I can be a bad girl.  A very, very bad girl.  Ok. Maybe not that bad.  But I’m curious.  I want to see if I am more than a naïve Pollyanna.  Without breaking any laws, of course.

You know, this last one was easy, too:

3.  Finally, I’d like to show more courage.  I’d like to hear myself say ‘no’ more often – which really shouldn’t require courage, just a sense of who you are and what you want. I’d like to perform in public again – something I promised myself I’d do last year and then quickly brushed aside.  That takes a bit of courage.  I think it takes courage to believe in yourself with such ferocity that you refuse to allow your story to play out in any other way than the way you always believed it would.

Maybe that’s what I really want to do.  Before March 2013 I want be ferocious.

I better get busy.  March is only fifty-eight days away!

Woman Writing a Letter

If you want to put a neat little twist on the whole end-of-the-year resolution deal, Kelly McGonigal – one of my favorite teachers and author of Yoga for Pain Relief and The Willpower Instinct suggests we try this ideas: (click HERE)

I’d tell you more, but I have to do this: (click HERE)

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

As a holiday gift one of my students presented me with a home-baked coffee cake. Possibly one of the best coffee cakes I’ve tasted. I knew I was in trouble from the first slice and so I did the only reasonable thing: I cut the cake in half, wrapped one half in foil to share with a friend and put the remaining half in the freezer. My intention was to reward myself from time to time with a sliver of its walnut and buttery goodness.

Yeah. That kinda didn’t happen.

Because this is that weird week. That odd week at the end of each year that we don’t really know what to do with. We’re sort of finished with the gluttonous food frenzy that began at Thanksgiving, and yet we still have New Years to contend with. For the self-employed yoga teacher it’s that week when not all classes are in full swing. Private clients are off skiing or basking in Hawaiian sun. In other words – I have a bit of time on my hands. Sure, I could put this time to good use like cleaning my kitchen floor or organizing my storage space. But didn’t I just get done making a resolution to be kind to myself? I think I did (you can read about it here).

And so I had no choice. I had to eat the coffee cake.

Now before you picture me a twitching, glassy-eyed madwoman with brown sugar crumble smeared on my face and trailing down the front of my sweatshirt – I didn’t say I ate ALL the coffee cake. In fact, I backed away from the coffee cake after the second sliver (ok…third sliver). Yep. I burped that Tupperware baby and slipped that bad boy right back in the freezer where it belonged.

Because half the fun of luscious coffee cake is the anticipation of enjoying that last slice on Sunday morning, warmed gently, with a mug of steaming fresh pressed coffee.

Besides, like I said, I resolved to be kind to myself. And to me that means taking a middle path. Showing a bit of moderation. Even when the best coffee cake in the world is begging to be enjoyed.

Is it Sunday yet?

ps…Yes, I’ll try to get the recipe… 

376 words/20 minutes with 10 minutes of fussing

 

I’m doing that thing that I do. The thing that from the day I discovered my ability to make a list I’ve anticipated, longed for and agonized over. After 2010’s novel-writing debacle it’s the one thing I pinky swore with myself I’d never, ever do ever again. But here I sit, craving it the way a former four-pack-a-day woman of a certain age might crave a Virginia Slims.

It’s the last week of December. I want to write my resolutions. That’s right. ResolutionS. Because I’m never satisfied with one.

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a...

A symbol of Jainism consisting of a hand and a wheel reading “ahimsa”, the Jain vow of non-violence.

(Yet as I do this I’m thinking about ahimsa. Ahimsa is non-violence. Kindness and non-violence towards all living things. Wait a minute. I’m a living thing. It means me, too. Kindness and non-violence towards Mimm. Huh.)

So there you have it. With a flash of unanticipated insight complete with the cartoon lightbulb shining brightly above my head: as an act of kindness toward myself, I am not writing ANY resolutions this year. And I am definitely not going to drop any hints – that is, if I was going to write a list of resolutions – of what they might be. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Because when I write resolutions – which I’m not doing this year, by the way – I usually begin by breaking down the categories. What changes would I like to be a witness to in my life? What will I do to improve my health and fitness? My finances? My love life?

The categories are then broken down into sub-categories. There’s physical health, mental health and spiritual growth. There are bills to pay down and savings to build up. And the love life? Weeelllll…there are on-line sites to explore, real life avenues for meeting people, dates to arrange and not cancel at the last minute. Don’t forget about my intellectual life. There are books to read and graduate school papers to submit…ahead of schedule, of course.

After the categories and sub-categories are established, we begin creating a time line.

  • How soon do I want to lose fifteen pounds? In time for the opening of Samyama Yoga Studio at the end of the month? No problem. Two pounds a week. Any ninny could do that.
  • Oh? You’d like to run a 10-K in March? Easy-peasy. Haven’t run ten feet in ten months? Pishaw. No worries.
  • Meditating for an hour each day beginning January 1st? Consider it done.
  • Car paid off and retirement secured by April? Piece of cake. While you’re at it, have that down payment on a house saved by July.
  • Subscriptions to the dating sites Flirty at Fifty, Is it Hot in Here or am I Just Happy to See You and Trading Up established in time for Valentine’s Day…ok…that’s never going to happen.

In fact, it’s safe to wager that none of this will happen. Would I prefer that my life move in this direction? Of course. And I’d like all my classes overflowing with students, a beautifully furnished Craftsman home to call my own, an agent, a publishing contract – oh, and a recording contract while were at it (dream big I always say) – a swept-off-my-feet romance and a dog. Preferably a dog named Roscoe. Oh, and I’d like to sail through graduate school. And have financial security.

But isn’t setting a dozen bars impossibly out of reach an act of violence committed by me, towards me? Though perhaps it’s an act of kindness to choose the one bar that supports all the other hopes and dreams. And then to set that one, lone bar within reach.

Because, at the end of the day, despite all the whines and complaints and wishful thoughts I write about on this public forum – the truth is I’m a very happy woman. I live a simple life in a simple apartment. I have everything I need and very few things that I don’t need. I’m healthy and whole. There are friends who love me and friends I love. It’s a good life.

And yet…and yet….I’m human. I’m a human who does not write New Year’s Resolutions. Except maybe. Maybe this year I’ve the one resolution that will be the true catalyst for change. Maybe this year I’ve discovered the one idea, one habit, one way of walking on this path that has the potential to change the way I experience the entire journey? Do I have the strength and will power to see it through?

Of course I do. It’s just one resolution. And I’m not even going to wait for the New Year.

Beginning now, this moment, I resolve to be kind. I resolve to be kind to all living things. I resolve to be kind to me.

787 words in about an hour with a bit of revision.  My intention was to take twenty minutes each morning charge up my writing batteries with two-hundred words or so.  Ever the overachiever, this personal challenge is now eating up an hour.  Yes – I’ve written eleven posts in ten days.  But I have a real deadline for a real writing assignment and this is morphing from fun challenge to agent of procrastination.  Typical. To that end, I resolve to consider an end to this challenge.

Photo 43Christmas Day. Last night I resolved to wake this morning at six o’clock. I’ve been using an app on my phone that calls to wake me according to the principal of the Golden Mean. If my intention is to rise at 6:00, the iPhone version of a Tibetan bowl‘s single gong will seep into my subconscious at 5:45. The first chime is not at full volume and has no discernible effect. Five minutes later and a bit louder it sounds again. Is it my imagination or does that gong resonate with just the slightest edge of urgency in its tone? I make no attempt to bring myself any closer to full wakefulness. A few minutes later and once again there’s a proportionate increase in volume. This time, it feels personal. I swear that as the cyber sound of cyber wood hitting cyber brass lands on my frontal lobe I hear the echo of Ben Franklin’s voice in my head: wake up lazy cow…om…wake up lazy cow…shanti…wake up lazy cow…om….

As the appointed hour nears the ringing gong becomes increasingly incessant until finally, at 6:00 AM and at full volume its chimes fall in quick succession, unwilling to respectfully wait until the echo of proceeding chime fades.

This is just a practice run,” I tell myself. I pick up the phone, turn off one alarm and reset the nice, normal, standard iPhone alarm and grab another twenty minutes of shut-eye. “The New Year will be here soon enough.”

246 words/20 minutes with a bit of revision as I wrote