Slowing Things Down

Slowing Things Down

I need to slow things down in my life. From time to time, I pause to reflect on how I’m doing, and then I take steps to correct any problems. Over the last several days, I have been taking stock and evaluating, and I’ve decided it is time to slow things down and simplify my life.

This is a holistic effort. I’m making sure that I spend more time at home with what I have rather than being on the go. One of my goals is to lose weight, and I can do that by not eating carry-out food. I can prepare meals here at home that is simple and filling.

Taking that step will also help me to save money. One thing that studying and practicing meditation has taught me is that I need to be happy with what I have now and not worry about the future based on material things.

I mentioned losing weight. Hal convinced me to monitor my sugar intake closely. He warned me that this change would be uncomfortable and difficult. I know it is a worthwhile goal, so each morning, I set aside a few cans of diet soda to keep a steady track of what I consume. Once I can manage that comfortably, I will take one less can each subsequent week.

It sounds like a lot to accomplish, and it is. The key to success is my mindset as I begin this journey. Positive thoughts.

Myself

Myself

I read a great article by a blogger I follow about Gratitude and Thankfulness, in which he pointed out that we forget to grateful for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being thankful for ourselves, indeed it is what makes each of us unique.

My Gratitude journal never mentioned being thankful for just being me, and after reading my friend’s blog post, I saw exactly what he meant. My attention was going outward when some of it should have been focused inward. If we can not see the good in ourselves, then we are truly blind.

Thankful

Thankful

I am in a bind financially until the end of this month. I had an unexpected car expense of nearly $600 that had to be taken care of, which destroyed my monthly budget. While this is unpleasant and uncomfortable, it does make me focus on what I have rather than what I lack. In fact, I have to be thankful that I could take care of the expense at the time.

I can also be thankful that I recognize my budget needs to be adjusted in the future for the next unexpected expense. While I make plans for the future, I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and enough food to make it until next payday.

I am thankful that this is the first time I’m facing a situation like this. I’m thankful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I take solace from the lesson learned after reading “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell many years ago. Once you hit bottom, you realize that you are still alive.

I’m thankful for the desire to write and express myself, and I’m thankful for those who read my words. I’m thankful if my words help someone else, and I hope they pay that help forward to someone else who can then be thankful.

Starting Yoga Again

Yesterday I finally started yoga again.

I realized that I wasn’t going to feel better unless I did something to get myself moving. I overcame a few obstacles with the yoga app before starting because I didn’t want things messed up with my account.

I feel better after the first day. I know that real change takes time, but at least I’ve taken the first step.

Group Meditation

Group Meditation

Tonight I joined a group meditation session on the Headspace app. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a session just like any other, but there were approximately 45 other people taking part.

The only voice was the group moderator. Like I said, if it weren’t for the other people participating, it would have been just like any other solo meditation. The amazing thing is that as I relaxed and really got into the session, I could sense the presence of the other people. It sounds crazy, but I genuinely felt that I wasn’t alone. It was a wonderful feeling that I hope to experience again.

I find this quote very refreshing as I lay awake in bed. Life is about living, not about finding what you’ll be like at some future point. The journey is the important thing to recognize every day as we build the foundation for tomorrow.

Grow and Prosper

I had never heard this quote before, but it sums up how we should live our lives. If we follow this advice, we will grow and prosper.

A New Yoga Beginning

A New Beginning

I’m starting yoga. Again. I had started practicing about a year ago until I was in the hospital off and on for the last four months of 2020. I was beginning to feel the benefits of yoga, but that ground to a screeching halt.

I have regained as much strength as possible since January, and I feel ready to start my yoga journey again. I’m humble enough to start at the very basic level once again. I will take things slowly, and focus on my technique and doing things right, not just racing through things.

I’m prepared to fail in the first few attempts because my endurance is very low, but I’ll keep after it until I complete the beginner course and then move on to the next course. One of my meditation lessons is all about failing better each time I try something new, because that is how you succeed in the long term.

Last year, I was using the DDPYoga app. For some reason I cannot get it to work this year, so I’m moving to the Glo app. It fills the requirements I need, so I’ll give it a shot. I prefer to start yoga at home by myself before attempting it in a group setting. There is a studio nearby that I can use, but my self-confidence is lacking right now. The last thing I want is to take my out-of-shape self in front of a bunch of other people.

I could certainly use some inspiration from others who are practicing yoga. Tell me your story.

Friends

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”

• Arnold H. Glasow

A true friend is hard to find, and more valuable than all the gold in the world. A true friend will be the one you can count on, and someone that can count on you, because true friendship is a two-way relationship.

Perspective

“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Max Ehrmann

A powerful message that I found this morning. I’m struggling with the purpose of my life, what I can do to make this a better place. Sadly, I veer towards negativity when I look at the world we live in. I feel powerless to change things, and this upsets me.

I need to practice gratitude daily and stop pouring over the news every day. The information generally upsets me, and that causes stress. I need to refocus my life on positive things and turn away from negativity.

Gratitude is a difficult thing to practice when all I do is criticize something that I can not control. My mindset defeats the very concept of gratitude before I even start. I need to contain my anger and eliminate it, or it will consume me after all.

Making a change like this won’t be easy. A wise saying is that nothing worthwhile is ever easy, so that gives me confidence that I’m on the right track.