If Bill Gates says so…

Brrrrrr. It’s freezing cold here with  lots of snow, school closing, and howling winds. Hello February.

Just because it’s dark and cold and the big gift giving holidays have passed,  you don’t have to stop giving or receiving gifts. February is really an excellent time to be extra friendly to yourself.

Start with a gift from you to you. How about permission to drop, “I should be able to do this alone?” If you don’t believe me, check out this 1.25 minute video of Bill Gates  telling you the very same thing 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLF90uwII1k&feature=youtu.be

Then get a gift from me too:  Permission Granted: Move Into Change With Your Own Approval here.

And another one, this lovely poem…

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments

As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments

Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for

We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter

Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for

The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments

As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

– unknown

Don’t be shy! If you like this, share it. Comment if you have something to say. I would love it. Thanks!

moveintochange.com

I usually have a freak out just before I’m about to break new ground…

I never remember that when I’m in it.  It isn’t until after, when I’ve felt the shift and made some change that I realize what’s been going on. What makes the difference isn’t just having the freak out, if that were true I’d be someone quite different right now.   The trick seems to be knowing I’m in a freak out, and then using the tools I’ve learned over the years to find my way back. Even if it takes as few days to remember I even have them. Even if it takes days to notice I’m in a freak out.

Or a week. Like it did this time.  This one built for days and ended with me getting sick. Sick? I went through the whole winter, flu everywhere, and not even a sniffle. But this week, the week I’m putting myself out there about the Artful Insight Collage Workshop, learning how to use email marketing, writing the stuff (trying for engaging, clear, not annoying invitations), planning the class, buying materials, negotiating with Pound Ridge Recreation, telling business owners in town about the workshop, worrying about sign ups.  This on top of meeting with and corresponding with my beloved clients. Out there, out there, and more out there.

Did I forget to eat well? Check. Did I abandon Mediation? Check. Did I obsess? Yes. Were there some other factors in personal life that have me a bit ungrounded? Sure. Was I somewhat aware that I was pushing beyond healthy for me? Yes. Did I pay attention? Not really.

And then  “out of the blue” I get a raging fever and stomach yuck.  Hmmm…

So a big thank you to my body for the head’s up. And a ton of appreciation to myself for all the work I’ve done around self-compassion and permission; because as I crashed, I knew what had happened and I didn’t criticize myself for it. No shaming or demeaning myself for having acted out the over-work pattern again. The self-critical pattern  (at least in this instance) – kaput! And, I gave myself permission to rest – without guilt. Without worry, or admonishing myself for “wasting time.” Total permission to sleep, read, rinse and repeat.

Then the magic happened. The next day, I flew through hours of writing and planning with ease. On the other side of the freak out, the world looked brighter and new ideas were coming so fast I had to use my voice memo app. to keep up. The speed and flow felt entirely different than the hair-pulling of days before. This song kept playing in my head, so a little gift for you for fun, or freak-out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5qrwbkmlEk

Come on 9!

For some people things come in threes, but it seems that 100 is my number.

I just finished 100 Days 100 Breaths, and now I’m just nine people short of 100 folks on my One and Only List. Will you help me get there?

More than reaching 100 (which would be cool), I want you to on the One & Only List because I know the free workbook Permission Granted: Move Into Change with Your Own Approval can help jump-start changes that will make your life more joyful, free and balanced. There are simple exercises in it that may help you think in new ways about old stuff. I worked hard on it, and it’s good.

I want you to have access to tips and tools for self coaching that you won’t find on the blog, and advanced notice about classes or workshops before I announce to everyone else.   This is my way of making more of what I know available to you. It may not be the time for one- on-one coaching for you, or you may not even want it. If you’re perfectly happy hanging here on the blog, it’s all good.

So what else might come my way in groups of 100? Please not Dalmatians. JOIN HERE

Please share with your friends, thanks.

Meditation Monday: Day #15

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

Updating you on what’s happened since last Monday.

General Observations from the Week: Grabbing and Grasping

  • I seem to need about the first 15 breaths to relax my body while maintaining an alert spine. I’ll show you how I do this below.
  • Mostly I just can’t tell the difference. between controlling each breath and merely counting.
  • I worry that I won’t have anything to write to you about- that I won’t remember the sensations and thoughts I experience. Like a hawk circling above a tasty meal, I hover looking to dive,  snatch, and keep one.   I never noticed this vigilance before.
  • When I grab an observation, it morphs into an image and before I know it I’ve followed a train of thought, one that tickles me (hello ego), and I see that I’ve left the breath. Again.
  • Thought I am not giving myself a hard time about getting distracted – this is already different than how it would have been a  few years ago – there’s a sense of p-p-ull-ling myself back to the breath that’s definitely tense.
  • Day 13 I meditate, but I take no notes.

What it was like today:

Cross-legged, I close my eyes. I find my sitz bones (the ones under your butt) on the floor. Then I tune into the right side of my body. I’m imagining it softening and widening beginning at my legs and moving up to my face. Then I repeat on the other side.

At first, this leads to pleasant sensations until my spine starts to droop. Next, I imagine the meeting place between the two sides of my body filled with flowing water. Now my spine is awake enough without too much muscular effort.

My breath has been coming and going more slowly and at 40 I really notice it. For the first time, I know that I’m watching at the same time that I’m watching. Is this  the “witness?”  The part of me that’s watching me breathe feels big and loving; that heart cracking sweetness of watching my babies sleep.

Oops, I’m gone again, lost in memory. My babies. I bring my attention back to my body. Where was I?

How’s it going for you? What have you noticed?

I think it’s  so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with me. There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo  but it would be fantastic if you were doing it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there’s info about coaching, Focusing, free stuff. Go… and then go forth and tell your friends.

Meditation Monday: Day #8

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

After a whole week ( a whole week!) of sitting Mindfulness Meditation I’m playing  with how I’ll tell you about it. Here goes.

General Observations from the Week:

  • Chucked the cushion, it distracted me.
  • Had to decide where I’d put my hands . Right now I’m opting for in my lap with fingertips almost touching.
  • I avoided sitting on Day 5- but finally did it.
  • Avoided it again on Day 6 – this time didn’t do it.
  • Knowing I was going to tell you about not practicing actually helped me let myself off the hook, “it’s all part of the experiment,” and that led me to wondering if it I could try meditating right after yoga.
  • My mind wants to use mental images to help me bring my concentration to breathing. One day it’s seeing a train conductor playing the harmonica to calm a scared child on the train, and another day it’s finding the very center of my skull. When I sensed the middle of my skull, I felt my spine elongate. My eyes (even though they were closed) shifted in their sockets. Oddly, this made it easier to  breathe.

What it was like today:

Getting started felt like easing  instead of reminding. I attribute this to being super relaxed during Shivasana (Corpse Pose) at the end of yoga. I just sat up slowly and got to it. (Makes sense, Hatha Yoga was designed to get the body ready for meditation- and it makes sense too that I’d have to experience it to get it.)

At about 60 breaths there was a rush of heat (no, not a hot flash) and I welcome it. Then I’m feeling impatient. By 80 breaths I want to stay forever. And at 90 I feel a subtle circling deep in my ribcage. It kind of snakes up to my shoulders and neck as I watch it. Then I have a powerful urge to turn my head all the way to the left, and a voice inside asks, “Are you supposed to move during sitting meditation?”

Then I think, “I don’t know the answer to that, I  haven’t a clue what I’m doing. And since I don’t, it doesn’t matter what I choose right now.” It occurs to me that I can file away this urge for further investigation at a later time. I don’t have to act on it but I can if I want. Now, it seems right to just watch and stay still. Of course, I’ve lost count several times, and am only vaguely aware that I’m breathing at all. 99…100.

How’s it going for you?

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you? There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo on this, but it would be fantastic if you were doing it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too. That’s where there info about coaching, Focusing, free stuff … go… and then go forth and tell your friends.

Wednesday Words

You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?                                                                                     – Rumi

                                                                                              000265651

Meditation Monday: Day #1

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100 Breaths for 100 Days, that’s the commitment.

If I’m going to stick with this meditation thing, it’s going to be important to stay in experimentation mode. The spirit of experimentation, containing qualities like curiosity, gentleness, non-judgement and detailed observation (and lots of notes) is what’s needed now. Because, already I can see myself getting tripped up by decisions; the kind of decisions I don’t really like, such as, Where will I meditate? When? What kind of meditation will I do?

I’ve read a bunch of “rules” for meditating. They say to pick a quiet spot (makes sense not to be easily interrupted), to meditate at the same time everyday preferably very early in the morning (not going to happen) and to pick a method and stick to it (hmm).

Right about now, I need a permission slip to not play by all the rules, and to trust that I can or at least will, at some point, discern which rules will support my practice and which will undermine this sweet little project of mine.

Decided: meditation in the bedroom, probably in the morning, with cushion. Sounds like a game of Clue. It is a game of Clue -looking for clues about my stuff and ways to practice interacting with it- meditation being one way.

Okay, phew, on to the menu of meditation choices. Below are a few you’ve probably heard of but don’t worry, I’m not going to describe them, you’ve got Google for that.

  • Mindfulness, Zazen, Metta, Heart Rhythm, Guided Visualization and Qigong Visualization.

I’m going with MIndfulness. I will observe my breaths and count them.  I sit and begin to breathe. I’m all over the place. I wonder if I’m breathing right. There’s a cacophony of body sensations and I lose count. I worry about getting through 100 breaths. It’s a struggle. Then I remember the one meditation class I took with my friend Theodore (hi, Theodore!) where we used finger-tip touch to keep count. Yes. This physical reminder helps. With thumb to fingertip at the completion of each breath I still lose count here and there, but I have a way to return.

Have you noticed that it’s so much better when other people tackle a disciplined practice along with you? There’s something even more  than support, encouragement, and empathy that happens between us, even online.  I’m perfectly willing to go solo on this, but it would be fantastic if you did it too. We can share stories – or not.  You can just read, lurk about and observe – your call.

Want to ask a private question? email: judy@moveintochange.com

Related articles & photo credit:

You might want to check out moveintochange.com too.

Wednesday Words

dont-hide-your-light_thumb2_thumb“Your thing! And even if this seems impossible to believe right now, the world needs you. And hiding from the people who need you isn’t fair to them or to you.”                                                           —Havi Brooks