On her blog, my friend Katrina asked "what do you practice?" and it got me thinking about my newfound focus on practice as opposed to the setting and reaching of goals. The past couple of years, since discovering my thyroid disease, my goal was to take charge of my health, take my meds and lose the weight. Hmm. Not as easy as I had hoped. Though I had a goal and made a multitude of changes in my life, it seemed to be for nothing as I was met with disappointment at every turn.
Then, at some point, my perspective shifted. Now, instead of focusing on the goal - though valid and worthy - I focus on the journey and enjoy every minute of it. In my disappointment and desperation, it was clear to me it was time for a shift in my attitude.
I made a mindful decision to focus on the practice rather than the goal.
TAKE MEDS & SUPPLEMENTS | each morning, I take my thyroid medication as well as my omega capules and vitamin D supplements - all swallowed with warm lemon water.
EAT BREAKFAST | each morning I have a small container of 0% fat Greek yogurt (strawberry or blueberry) with a half dozen almonds. Better than nothing, but still not enough. This practice needs improvement by adding toast or something else to boost my caloric intake.
REMINDERS | I have set up regular reminders in my iPhone for things like: eating (I'm an eat to live, not live to eat type, so I need to remind myself to eat meals and snacks through the day), moving (I spend a lot of my day writing at my computer - once an hour is a reminder to get up and walk around the block, walk up the stairs and do laundry, that kind of thing), delivering kids to school/activities, collecting kids from school/activities, time to shut down for the day.
REFORMER PILATES | twice a week, since September, I have been attending private and semi private reformer Pilates classes and it is kicking my ample ass. The reality is, if I'm going to be fat, I'm going to be fat and flexible. The weight? It will have to take care of itself. I'm getting into the practice of simply moving more without focus or expectation on a result. I've also purchased Pilates equipment for use at home and I've incorporated plenty of stretching and leaning-in to discomfort.
MEDITATION | once a week I attend Kundalini at iGita, via Deepak & Oprah during their 21-day challenges and my own meditation of folding laundry, waiting in parking lots and regular driving trips to and from Toronto or Kingston. I'm learning to simply be, in the moment. It's lovely. The greatest benefit? I no longer hold my breath.
INTENTION | as often as I remember, I post on Facebook my intention for the day ahead. I did try to use the phrase "with grace" at the start of the year, but I prefer "intention" so I'm going back to the old practice.
WRITE/CREATE | with the television off all day, I now listen to the "spa" channel and sometimes turn on the coffitivity app and then write or create. There is little rhyme or reason to what I write - blog posts, articles, essays, project life, flow of consciousness - though there is far less time spent on the computer now that I have many other things to do and places to be.
EDITORIAL CALENDAR | there are plenty of days that I have no idea what to post here on the blog. My writing often goes in fits-and-starts. I really fell of my practice of daily posting in December and was not pleased with myself. I put together an editorial calendar and it is working beautifully!
READ | in order to write good fiction you need to read good fiction and I found I wasn't taking enough time to do that over the last few years. A handful of books are read each year, but certainly not enough. I joined Patti Digh's book club and with that I know I'll have at least a dozen really well written books read by the end of the year.
COACHING | to keep my goals (yes, I still have plenty!) on track, I continue my practice of attending a coaching session with Helen each week. As my year ebbs and flows, especially now that we're getting into the very worst part of the year - dreary mid-winter - it keeps me propelling myself forward in my effort to: open a boutique, write a book, create a practice for others.
CONNECTION | my relationships are very important. I make it a priority to meet with friends and family on a regular basis, either for a coffee, a meal, a message on Facebook or a phone call. I check in with myself at least once each week to make sure those I value in my life have heard from me and know how much I appreciate them.
DESIRE MAP BOOK CLUB | I have been a fan of Danielle LaPorte for a very long time and I'm thrilled to carry The Desire Map with me everywhere I go - so much good stuff. I keep my Core Desired Feelings (CDF's) with me through every day - they are: trust, connect, align and grace. Recently, I became a leader of her World's Biggest Book Club and conduct weekly meetings with an incredible group of women. I do hope this becomes a regular practice, expanding in content, as we get to know each other and encourage each other on our journey to feel the way we want to feel, every day.
ONE LITTLE WORD | this has been a regular practice for a number of years. I enjoy keeping my word as my focus during the year. For 2014, I chose GRACE (the toughest of my CDF's) and so far so good! I'm looking forward to the next prompt, and all of the prompts through the end of the year.
KINDNESS | though I embrace gratitude as a practice and have done my best to reject judgment, it really is kindness that has found it's way into my every day. I no longer take offence to the choices made by someone else - anyone else. I can only control my own reactions and most of the choices I make come from a place of kindness, if not complete understanding. Decisions made by other people have precious little to do with me so it's far healthier for me to live in a space of kindness and gratitude.
Wow, that looks like a lot, but I need to incorporate a few more practices in order to improve my daily flow.
Once I purge my room of all paper, clothes that need repair, laundry, donations and projects, I hope to incorporate a practice of quiet and peace with no visual chaos.
I'd like to get back into writing morning pages. I think of them around 2PM. I really should do them right when I get back home from dropping the kids at school in the morning.
Though I try to shut down everything in the house around 10PM, I don't actually have a regular bedtime routine. Of course, once the room is more inviting, I think better rest will come with it.
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Not until I started answering Katrina's query did I realize just how much my life has changed over the past year with the implementation of so many wonderful things. Who knew that my profound failure at finding weight loss would bring such spiritual and practical gain? My life is truly unrecognizable from a couple of years ago, but in such alignment with the woman I am and want to be. This was a really wonderful check-in.
What about you? What do you practice?