Thursday, September 25, 2014
"Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me."
--Chris Prentiss from "Zen and the Art of Happiness"
Somebody recommended this book to me. I appreciate the message that it does no good adding negative thoughts to every situation. The author suggests we should ask ourselves "What good will come of this?" when we get into situations that might seem negative, on first look.
The thing that confuses me about this way of looking at things is how do you move forward with the idea that what is happening to you is the best thing for you? How do you grow? How do you change when it would benefit you, if now is the best thing for you?
I've been thinking about this and I was going to discuss it with the person that suggested this book. I was to meet with her yesterday, but she hurt her back. I can't ask her. Should you happen on this blog, perhaps you have an idea and want to share.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
My list of resolutions for August was long. Overall, I am pleased with how it went. Some things, like packing for tomorrow, cooking, and cleaning were a challenge. On the other hand, exercising and turning off the TV and doing fun things were easy. The big pleasant surprise was that turning off the TV and engaging in Ďjoyí talk made my husband very happy. I felt good too. It creates a loop of happiness. I want to explore this a bit more in September. Towards that end, I want to be sweet in September.
I will act like everyone I encounter is my neighbor. That means Iíll tolerate their quirks better. If their pace is slower than mine, Iíll assume there is a good reason for it: something hurts, they are being carefulÖ Also, Iíll squelch the urge to debate someoneís ideas, and I will not think about how Iím going to top their story. Instead Iíll just listen. Iíll nod my head and look to them for cues on how they want me to respond. Iíll be as enthusiastic or sympathetic as the circumstance calls for: Iíll be sweet!
The other thing I want to work on is sweeping away all the stuff that taunts me every time I visit my garage. There is stuff out of place in other parts of the house too and in the office and in the car. I will put some order in my stuff this month. I need to learn how to do this and this clean sweep might take longer than a month. This month, Iíll focus on the boxes in the garage.
There is one nutrition habit I want to work on too: drink less soda.
Here are the specific things to measure:
No dark colored soft drinks.
Sort the stuff in boxes in the garage for 45 minutes and spend 15 doing something fun, like reading, listening to music, dancingÖDo this cycle for three hours at a time during the weekend.
Spend 15 minutes before going to bed to clean up. (And pack for tomorrow.)
Spend 15 minutes a day reading books/blogs/ideas about organization.
When I have the urge to get annoyed with someone, give them the benefit of the doubt. Think about what might motivate them. Is there a noble intent behind the action? What would Mr. Fred Rogers do?
Listen attentively. Ask follow up questions.
When I feel like I know better what should be done, let the thought go and let it be.
When I am annoyed with a situation, Iíll think about an alternative way to look at it.
Here is some sample before and after thoughts:
Honey brings home five blocks of cheese: Iíll think, ďWhere are we going to put it and how much will go bad before we eat it.Ē Iíll say, ďGreat! Letís think of recipes we could make with this cheese.Ē
The garage door opener doesnít work. Iíll think, ďNothing works around here.Ē Iíll say, ďGreat! I get to get out of the car and walk a few extra steps today.Ē
the first week--I started with the garage well, then hit a snag. There are boxes that do not belong to me and honey is unsure about getting rid of them. Also, I found that some things I want to keep need a home. I have things I've written I want to keep, but they are loose papers or pages in a notebook. I need to find a place for them. I think I'll get a cardboard file box and put some manila folders to keep the things. Now, I also have some art work I need to figure out how to keep. I know there are holders for these things. I just need to purchase them. I plan to also put up some shelves in the garage, but there is still stuff to weed. The first weekend went well and the second weekend not so much because it was a busy week.
Being sweet is hard when I'm hungry or anxious about time. I was mindful about thinking about others as neighbors, but I didn't always act well. I don't like waiting and that brings out the zoom zoom instinct which has me tripping over others. I'm sure they don't like it. Then, I also need to figure out what to do about people that are not being very aware of others. When do I say something? When do I not? Finding the answer is tough.
Keeping away from dark soft drinks has 100% compliance. I'm glad it is easier than the other things.
End o the month review:
No dark colored soft drinks.
This was easy. Why? Because it was a very specific act. It was a Boolean decision. Either I did or did not. It feels good to accomplish this. I don't really 'crave' cola, so as I go forward, it should be easier to go to the drink as a habit.
The boxes in the garage hold mostly things that belong in the garage. We tossed things and donated things. There is still more to do, though. The content of the boxes kept, need a permanent home. The garage needs shelving to organize the things that belong there.
Oh man. I wasn't very good about the 15 minutes of cleanup and reading. I packed for tomorrow, most days. Getting things done in the evening is difficult. I need to avoid sitting down in front of the tv in the evening.
I have listen attentively.
I think I have. Mostly I've tried to understand what I'm being told. Sometimes people don't like all my questions, though. I have to figure out how to do this better. Anyway. At least I kept from jumping to conclusions and being defensive.
I kept my opinions to myself.
It feels good not to get worked out about the responsibility to 'correct' people. It lets them be happy about their choices. This is good.
I let annoyance get the better of me a couple of times.
My husband things that means Sweet September failed. I do not have that opinion, but I let him have his ideas. I told him I'm happy that I learned some things and also that there is more to work on.
In summary September was great! There are things I still need to work on.
It seems that most ideas point to mindfulness and mediation to get relaxed about the should and to find a way to enjoy what is.
Monday, August 04, 2014
This year is past the half way mark and I it feels like I am spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I hope Iíve learned something about what eating for hunger feels like. Now, I will focus on the Ďeasyí stuff: Action. These are my ten actions for August.
1) Turn off the media (TV, computer, cell phone) by 9pm Sunday-Thursday.
2) Lights out and sawing logs by 10pm Sunday-Friday.
3) Hit the fitness center by 6:30am on Monday(Swim/Walk), Wednesday(Swim/Walk), Thursday(Strength) and before 5pm on Sunday (Strength) Swim/Walk on Saturday AM. Skate on Tuesday AM and Friday AM.
4) Cook for the week on the weekend.
5) Smooches for honey when I arrive home. 5 minutes of meditation. Joy talk in the evening. M-F
6) Laundry, clean kitchen counters and kitchen sink 1x week.
7) Clear out one box per week from the garage.
8) Pack for tomorrow Sunday-Thursday.
9) 3-10 minute movement breaks M-F
10) Do something fun or novel each week(end)
Daily updates at my community journal:
Week one results: I need to work on packing for tomorrow, cleaning my kitchen, and my garage. #1 has helped me focus on honey in the evening and that makes him happy, which makes me happy.
Week two results: I want to get back on my schedule as soon as I can after it gets 'off track.' I had a late night last week and it screwed up my am workouts most of the week.
I want to pack my lunch and an evening sandwich so I am not so hungry when I get home. I want to do the household stuff that I know will help me feel better in the long run instead of watching Netflix... I can still 'visit' with honey. He can join in or recline, but I need to get my garage back. I think that is a big task and I'll have to focus on it next month. This month I'm going with the morning and evening things that make me and honey happy.
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