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MAKING IT HAPPEN Week 2 -- 27 days until 2011

Sunday, December 05, 2010

In beginning my second week in this challenge, I'll start by reviewing my performance during the first week which ended yesterday. Yesterday I did no aerobic workout and Tuesday was weak. On the other hand I had five days of meeting and exceeding the standard I set for myself. My resolve was wobbly, and I had to really push some days, but I finished the week. I didn't cave in. I intend to fine tune my resolve and focus this week. I want to build habits that will last and finish 2010 strong as the evolving plan continues to unfold! By December 31, 2010 I would like to~~

~ have regular sadhana in place (spiritual practice)
~ be back to daily exercise and regular strength training
~ be eating consciously
~ be moving toward my goal weight of 128 pounds

NEW: When my copy arrives this week, QueenOfTheForest and I will begin reviewing SAVOR: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lillian Cheung, as an adjunct to encouraging one another in our quest for reaching our end-of-year goals and transforming our eating patterns.

I will keep revising and editing this template as I begin to see what my needs are for reaching goals, and what ideas I can implement to help, i.e., begin to track food to support portion control, consider participating in the By the Numbers Team, since friends have had great success with the approach.

So this blog is changing and evolving and morphing -- a living Document of Change! I will add other helpful things I do each day to the calendar. Here is Week 2:

DONE 27 DAYS, Sunday Dec 5

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 12 minutes yoga asanas -- DONE
~ 1 hr. ride, Trek -- DONE

DONE 26 DAYS, Monday Dec 6

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 12 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical -- DONE (230 calories)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 1 hr. Qigong. -- DONE

DONE 25 DAYS, Tuesday Dec 7

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE (evening)
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical or Trek -- BUST (I'll blog about this end-of-week)

DONE 24 DAYS, Wednesday Dec 8

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 2 hr. ride, Trek -- DONE (20 mi.)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 5 minutes Sit-ups -- DONE
~ 5 minutes yoga asanas -- DONE
Oh, and then there's the food sh!tuation, to be spoken of during week-in-review.

DONE 23 DAYS, Thursday Dec 9

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical or Trek -- DONE
~ 20 minutes Kathy Smith cardio DVD -- DONE
~ 10 minutes yoga asanas -- DONE
Oh, and then there's the food sh!tuation, to be spoken of during week-in-review.

22 DAYS, Friday Dec 10

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical or Trek -- BUST
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 5 minutes Sit-ups -- DONE

21 DAYS, Sat Dec 11

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 1.3 hr. Iyengar yoga -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical or Trek -- BUST
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ETC. to:

JANUARY 1, 2011
HAPPY New Year!

I know that this approach is dangerous because having a plan like this, while it has merit, also sets me up for failure. On the other hand, it sets me up for ACCOUNTABILITY as well, and that's good. I'm setting my goals week-by-week, and taking baby steps in the goal-setting process to focus on SUCCESS. The shape of this challenge will shake out with each passing day, I'm sure. Consistency for the next 27 days would be an amazing gift to give myself for the new -- February 23, beginning my 69th -- year ahead.

I may consider a reward not for pounds lost, but for consistency in the four areas of my end-of-year challenge.

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We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.
-- Albert Einstein
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLASALLE 12/7/2010 3:36PM

    I think small rewards (obviously, not food rewards) for ALL PIECES of this are in order - in other words, consistency AND pounds lost.

You are far too hard on yourself (it takes one to know one, my dear)!!! :-) You're doing much better than you give yourself credit for. Of course, there's always room for improvement, but make sure to TOTALLY RECOGNIZE what you HAVE done (rather than saying one day is weak, etc.).

Keep up the GREAT work!!! xoxoxo

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LIVELIGHTENFREE 12/6/2010 9:57PM

    Look at all the "DONE"s !!!!!

Consistency can do wonders, can't it? I try to make that my goal too (although I find I still want the numbers on the scale to go down!)

I've noticed that if I find ways of enjoying what I'm doing it helps me remain consistent. So I try to remember the aspects that I like about the various exercises I do, and that helps me remain committed.

I wish you all the best results!

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PENNYAN45 12/6/2010 7:30PM

    What a GREAT job you are doing! Keep up the good work! You will be greeting the new year with goals already achieved!

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FLORIDASUN 12/6/2010 7:23PM

    My beautiful Maha...I love that you constantly tweak, edit, rediscover, and educate yourself, then go on to continually climb that mountain. I know that you will WIN because you have the spirit to continually evolve. I love that MOST about you, amongst the other thousand things!

These goals are so very awesome, and I know that you will do your best to make them become a reality. I also know that you continually inspire me to keep reaching for what some may think are impossible...if sometimes even improbable goals...but if we don't continually stretch ourselves...what is the point of our being? I have had some hairy moments lately with this latest project...but guess what...I decided that I'm absolutely GOING to do the things I'm most fearful of...and if I happen to fail...it's just a lesson to begin again. Makes life MUCH more interesting...let me tell you!

My dear friend who has colon cancer keeps reminding me of all the time she just frittered away in her life...I am taking her lessons to heart! emoticon

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FRACTALMYTH 12/6/2010 4:39AM

    I look forward to your comments about the book - it sounds interesting! Best of luck with your challenge :D

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CNIANE 12/6/2010 3:47AM

    Excellent start to accomplishing your goals and getting on track. Keep up the great work!

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GOANNA2 12/6/2010 12:25AM

    You can do anything. emoticon

I am in the processing of enrolling for
University and as soon as I get organized
I will try and make a plan like yours.

I am starting by mindful eating though.
Thanks for the encouragement.
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DDOORN 12/5/2010 8:33PM

    Wonderful job 'Maha!

I need to jump start myself in a similar way...ugh!

Don

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PUDLECRAZY 12/5/2010 6:47PM

    You are amazing and you can do it!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/5/2010 5:03PM

    I find it scary to set up goals like we both are doing right now for the exact reason that you mentioned...it can set us up for failure, but I figured why not give it a try. I look at it as a process and a learning experience as I believe that you do too. SparkPeople is a good place to experiment to find out what works best for each of us. I'm glad to see you giving it a try.

I'm sending good thoughts your way that you will be successful in reaching your goals.

I like that you are considering a reward for consistency. It's something that is in your control. The only reward that I have set up for myself is for behavior and not pounds lost. I believe the behavior contributes to a healthy life. (In my case, I give myself a reward for every 100 miles that I walk or run.)

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CMRAND54 12/5/2010 2:29PM

    emoticon

You're a strong lady and a good example for us all.

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DOKEYOKEY 12/5/2010 1:44PM

    Yay!!!!!!!!!! I understand your mixed feelings about the plan -- but I'm delighted that you have plunged ahead anyway. I'm sending you good energy!
Kathleen

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WALKINGANNIE 12/5/2010 12:30PM

    Great going on the gift to yourself and to cherishing your body and soul.

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/5/2010 12:22PM

    No failure! You can do this!

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JLWOF1 12/5/2010 10:49AM

    Great goals! I like that you're doing them in baby steps! I believe in you! You will not fail! They will hold you accountable! Great going so far - now keep it up!

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MAZZYR 12/5/2010 9:51AM

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LOSER05 12/5/2010 9:43AM

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I'M WORKING ON THE WORLD!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

There are days when the piece that Joe-the-purveyor-of-juicy-poetry offers fairly screams, "SHARE ME!!!" (BTW, if you want to subscribe to his weekday offerings just click on the link at the end of the poem.) And so it is today, with this wonder-filled piece of Wislawa Szymborska (remember her?). Reading it filled me with such a sense of well-being and hope. I hope it speaks to you as well.



I'M WORKING ON THE WORLD

I'm working on the world,
revised, improved edition,
featuring fun for fools,
blues for brooders,
combs for bald pates,
tricks for old dogs.

Here's one chapter: The Speech
of Animals and Plants.
Each species comes, of course,
with its own dictionary.
Even a simple "Hi there,"
when traded with a fish,
make both the fish and you
feel quite extraordinary.

The long-suspected meanings
of rustlings, chirps, and growls!
Soliloquies of forests!
The epic hoot of owls!
Those crafty hedgehogs drafting
aphorisms after dark,
while we blindly believe
they are sleeping in the park!

Time (Chapter Two) retains
its sacred right to meddle
in each earthly affair.
Still, time's unbounded power
that makes a mountain crumble,
moves seas, rotates a star,
won't be enough to tear
lovers apart: they are
too naked, too embraced,
too much like timid sparrows.

Old age is, in my book,
the price that felons pay,
so don't whine that it's steep:
you'll stay young if you're good.
Suffering (Chapter Three)
doesn't insult the body.
Death? It comes in your sleep,
exactly as it should.

When it comes, you'll be dreaming
that you don't need to breathe;
that breathless silence is
the music of the dark
and it's part of the rhythm
to vanish like a spark.
Only a death like that. A rose
could prick you harder, I suppose;
you'd feel more terror at the sound
of petals falling to the ground.

Only a world like that. To die
just that much. And to live just so.
And all the rest is Bach's fugue, played
for the time being
on a saw.

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
(Poems New and Collected, trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh) www.panhala.net/Archive/Working_on_t
he_World.html



Wislawa Szymborska

Some tidbits on the Polish poet, essayist and translator, who once remarked in a poem entitled "Some Like Poetry" that no more than two out of a thousand people care for the art --

Szymborska frequently employs literary devices such as irony, paradox, contradiction, and understatement, to illuminate philosophical themes and obsessions. Szymborska's compact poems often conjure large existential puzzles, touching on issues of ethical import, and reflecting on the condition of people both as individuals and as members of human society. Szymborska's style is succinct and marked by introspection and wit.

Szymborska's reputation rests on a relatively small body of work: she has not published more than 250 poems to date. She is often described as modest to the point of shyness. She has long been cherished by Polish literary contemporaries (including Czesław Miłosz) and her poetry has been set to music by Zbigniew Preisner.

Szymborska became better known internationally after she was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality". Szymborska's work has been translated into many European languages, as well as into Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wis%C5%82awa_S
zymborska

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 12/3/2010 6:20PM

    Thank you for the lovely poem.
Thank you for your support.
We are in this together. Yay...

Have a great weekend and a great December.
Lots of love
Anna emoticon

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NANABABY5 12/3/2010 6:20AM

    She speaks a language that would move mountains ! A real sage in the Art of poem. Well done, well said! Thank-you for bringing this to light Maha.

Janet emoticon

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PEACEFULONE 12/3/2010 1:40AM

    Another keeper! Thank you dear Maha for the gift of this delightful poem.
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FRACTALMYTH 12/3/2010 1:20AM

    Ahhhhhhhhh... rushing to subscribe right now!

Thank you for your kind words on blog, photo and sparkpage :D That top is an old old favourite... I think it's about 17 years old, but worn only on special occasions! It has little mirrors around the cuffs and hem... though normally I tend to avoid wearing reds and pinks :P I was supposed to be taking pics of the kids at the Christmas party but also surreptitiously kept sticking my arm out to take self portraits... that was the only decent one of about 20 or so, but I like it - it looks like the me I feel like - smile wrinkles and all :D

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CMRAND54 12/2/2010 8:23PM

    Love the poem!

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PUDLECRAZY 12/2/2010 5:03PM

    Wonderful!

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WALKINGANNIE 12/2/2010 4:01PM

    emoticon for sharing words that I would not have read otherwise.

Knowing you is an education.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 12/2/2010 2:08PM

    Thanks for sharing about her.

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FRANCESCANAZ 12/2/2010 11:48AM

    emoticon

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SLASALLE 12/2/2010 11:00AM

    Anything that is shared by you, my dear friend, is always a gem, regardless of whether it is a first-time read, or a refresher.

Thanks!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/2/2010 10:58AM

    Love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

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DDOORN 12/2/2010 10:50AM

    Thx for sharing another gem!

Don

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KAT573 12/2/2010 9:39AM

    Well I have been yearning to read poetry again, and perhaps to once again write it. I love it for its condensed, holistic presentation of ideas, themes, realizations. I also can understand and appreciate the reasons why more people seem to prefer a more narrative and descriptive form of literature, which I also love.

It has been so many years since I have read and written poetry that it is always great to see you share those giants of our times now.

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MY_LIFE_NOW 12/2/2010 9:28AM

    emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 12/2/2010 9:20AM

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MAKING IT HAPPEN Week 1 -- 34 days until 2011

Sunday, November 28, 2010

As I told DancingEarthMom, "I followed ToBABetterMe over to your blog. At first I thought, 'Ho Hum.' But the more I considered it, the more I realized that this nuts-and-bolts, no-nonsense focus is EXACTLY what I need in my out-of-control feeling right now. So thanks for that leadership and focus!"

I am therefore doing a copy-and-paste from her blog
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3809362


So.....I want to finish 2010 strong and here Is the evolving plan! By December 31, 2010 I would like to~~

~ have regular sadhana in place (spiritual practice)
~ be back to daily exercise and regular strength training
~ be eating consciously
~ be nearing my goal weight of 128 pounds (currently at 145)

My approach will be to use this as my template and come back here to post, adjust, and change as needed, since it is so easy to edit blog entries.

I will keep adding to the calendar as I begin to see what my needs are for reaching goal, and what ideas I can implement to help, i.e., begin to track food to support portion control, consider participating in the By the Numbers Team, since friends have had great success with the approach.

So this blog is going to be changing and evolving and morphing -- a living Document of Change! I will add other helpful things I do each day to the calendar. Here's the initial calendar, which I'll update in a blog each week:

34 DAYS, Sunday Nov 28

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 10 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
~ 1 hr. ride on Trek -- DONE (10 miles RT)

33 DAYS, Monday Nov 29

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical -- DONE (213 calories burned)
~ Strength training -- DONE

32 DAYS, Tuesday Nov 30

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes brisk campus walking -- DONE (thanks Coach Steph!)

31 DAYS, Wednesday Dec 1

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes ARC/Elliptical -- DONE (200 calories burned)
~ Strength training --DONE

30 DAYS, Thursday Dec 2

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 10 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
~ 1 hr. Trek -- DONE (10 miles RT)

29 DAYS, Friday Dec 3

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 10 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
~ 1.5 hr. Trek -- DONE (15 miles RT)
~ Strength training -- DONE

28 DAYS, Sat Dec 4

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 1.3 hr. yoga class -- DONE
~ 10 minutes brisk walking -- DONE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ETC. to:

JANUARY 1, 2011
HAPPY New Year!

I know that this approach is dangerous because having a plan like this, while it has merit, also sets me up for failure. On the other hand, it sets me up for ACCOUNTABILITY as well, and that's good. I'm setting my goals week-by-week, and taking baby steps in the goal-setting process to focus on SUCCESS. The shape of this challenge will shake out with each passing day, I'm sure. Consistency for the next 34 days would be an amazing gift to give myself for the new -- February 23, beginning my 69th -- year ahead.

I'm beginning this challenge at 145 lbs. I may think about a reward not only for pounds lost, but for consistency in exercise: Goals ~ Date ~ Reward?

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Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
-- Abraham Lincoln
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWDOTB2 12/5/2010 7:36AM

    dear Maha, I am sorry that yesterday was a rough day for you and wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts more than you know. Remember ahimsa regarding one's self, let go of yesterday and tell me about today, you're one week in to this blogged plan! Wishing you strength from here and love,

Lee

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SLASALLE 12/3/2010 3:39PM

    Look at you go, girlfriend. Your original 34 days is now down to 29, and counting. You're on a consistency roll ... rollin', rollin', rollin' ...

Yay Maha!!! Woooo Hoooo

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 12/2/2010 10:19PM

    Well my friend you are doing so well! I am following along behind. I will read your emails tomorrow morning. I read them once through quickly. Tomorrow for a delicious Savor and for a reply.

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CATHERINEL66 12/1/2010 6:00AM

    I love this plan! After Yogaville this past summer/fall, I started a daily meditation/yoga practice, but have fallen away from it. It's time for me to get back to the mat. Thanks for a great blog. I'm a little envious of the bike riding time, LOL, especially since my commute here in DC sucks so much!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 12/1/2010 5:06AM

    Panny got me thinking about your blog. I had made up my mind to end the year right, not wait to start a new one that way. I've "shadowed" you through other SP friends (like your trip this summer) and would like to add you as a friend!
Here's to a great end of year.
Janet


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PENNYAN45 12/1/2010 12:40AM

    This blog, my friend, is JUST what I needed today for inspiration!

I am joining you on setting daily goals and aiming for consistency - in spite of the holiday season coming up.

I am clearing my mind of the idea I've been carrying around that it would not be possible to accomplish anything this month.

Instead, I will set some goals that will get me back on track after the Thanksgiving holiday:
~walk each day
~track my food each day, using portion control
~strength train 3 times this week.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 11/30/2010 8:21AM

    Wonderful, sensible, workable plan. We are both in a similar place right now. We are both clearly seeing goals that are not at all extreme. When I think about it the place where I started from 15 or so pounds ago before Spark was what was extreme.

I am caught up by your expression about a set up for failure. What is this about do you think for us? Barring illness or natural disaster or other extreme situation your plan is elegant and very very workable. Of course you weigh 128 and that is your way to be in the world. Both of us just need to unzip and let out the lighter healthier and more spiritually connected woman. We will do this!

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KAKIPOPUP 11/30/2010 5:36AM

    Sounds like a plan -

Remember, the only true failure occurs when you don't try - the journey is not about perfection, but progress -

Take care - be well -

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TX_3XDAD 11/29/2010 9:02PM

    Wow. True and tough accountability. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 11/29/2010 4:10PM

    Great plan Maha! This is real accountability.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 11/29/2010 9:00AM

    Right on, MAHA! You are doing pretty much what I am doing! Sure it does get a bit ho-hum, however, consistency in making healthy choices is what this SPLife is about AND we can do it!
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DDOORN 11/28/2010 11:32PM

    Whew! Talk about holding yourself ACCOUNTABLE! Been kicking around some ideas for myself as well...we'll see what we can muster on this year-end run! :-)

Don

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ABURRIS2 11/28/2010 5:41PM

    I've been working from something similar during the course of M's chemo, which will also be DONE New Year's eve. My approach is more of a personal daily Hours but much the same intent. I really struggle with some of it but it has really, REALLY helped adjust my attitude and focus to things more positive and health-giving. Coincidentally, both the scale and my blood pressure have been moving consistently down. Thrilling!

So, I will be cheering for you! Great plan! I wish you well.

peace to you
~Ann

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TEENY_BIKINI 11/28/2010 2:12PM

    Alright, gorgeous. That is great. It is also inspiring to me.

I am excited by how much can still be done by the end of the year, or even by the end of today.

Coolness.

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INSPIREBYNATURE 11/28/2010 1:57PM

    You are amazing! Thank you so much for the sincere blog comments on both of my blogs. I am so glad that one of them sparked something within yourself to encourage you to post this blog and hold yourself accountable. I am so inspired by your page and your journey! You are a remarkable woman and we certainly seem to share many common interests! I really appreciate the advice. Have you heard of California Institute of Integral Studies? That is the school in San Francisco that I have my heart set on...I would like to obtain my PhD in Integral Ecology. The school is amazing....it has a zen garden and a meditation room! Plus, free yoga classes and a fully sustainable kitchen! It's a rather remarkable school. I keep "flip flopping" if you will on what I want to do....stay with my current job or apply to CIIS and make the move if I get accepted...and then focus on getting a job. I think right now I'm going to definitely take baby steps and leave things the way they are...saving as much money as possible and preparing for a possible summer move (if I'm accepted). If my boyfriend gets a job in So Cal prior to this then I feel that we are meant to be here. You have touched my spirit and I am so grateful for you taking your time to read my blog and share your journey with me and allowing me to share my journey with you. I would love to get to know you better and continue on this journey with you if you are open for more friends. I feel that I have something immense that I can learn from you :)

I plan to check back on your daily check ins! Great big hugs.
Namaste

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CMRAND54 11/28/2010 1:39PM

    Sounds like a good plan. Be flexible and you will be successful.

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REENSKI 11/28/2010 12:56PM

    Great! I am working on mine & let you know when I post it.
Good luck, look forward to following your journey.


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SLASALLE 11/28/2010 12:51PM

    Maha, I think this is a GREAT idea.

As for your comment about the possibility of it setting you up for failure, I have an idea for you to consider. How's about allowing yourself to "switch out" plans for days that might not work as you have planned. I call it my "Plan B." For example, say you can't make it to yoga class one night. Well, you can either do yoga at home or switch it out for something similar.

If you're interested in an accountability buddy, sign me up. We are both at less than 20 pounds to goal and I'm trying my best to LOSE weight, even just a little, through the tough holiday time of year.

And of course, there's been NO EXERCISE for me all week long. I'm feeling the impact. I have to do some shopping for a single mom and little girl that Beth and I adopted for Christmas, so I'm considering going to Target today just to walk a bit up and down the aisles (and one end of the store opens into a mall). I KNOW I need to be resting, but I also KNOW I don't want to totally botch the wonderful exercise streak I've been on.

xoxoxo



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LOSETHEWTIN08 11/28/2010 11:47AM

    I like the idea of a "A Living Document Of Change". I will give this much thought. What ever I can do to support you during this change please let me know. As always thank you for making me think outside my tiny box.
Have a blessed week.
Geraldine

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The Ripple Effect of a Kind Act

Friday, November 26, 2010

YES -- taking good care of this body I've been entrusted with is vital! We learn more and more about basics of proper food with portion control and the variety of exercise which supports that here on SparkPeople, with myriad resources to help us in our journey.

And the flip side of loving self-care is reaching out in kindness to others.


This is Yoovie, in her professional role!

Yoovie, a dynamic young SparkWoman, is leading many SparkFriends to success in taking care of the body. But this week she posted another amazing blog, "Operation Brooklyn Lighthouse Part Uno" --
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3803762

-- about her intention to open her home to friends through the holidays instead of just being glum and depressed about being alone. THAT'S what I mean!


Stephanie, the professional!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=SL
ASALLE


SparkFriend Stephanie, also knows a lot about reaching out. Among other service, she manages a local food supply outreach at her work site and helps to support a youngster in Chile. She hopes to visit this child there next summer.

And I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that these two SparkFriends represent the smallest tip of the iceberg in terms of how the SparkCommunity reaches out to others and "pays it forward" in myriad ways!

Steph will be especially engaged by this global example of reaching out from a favorite site, KarmaTube, which touched me deeply. It shows how a small act can have an amazing ripple effect.


Chris Mburu

When Hilde Back, a Swedish woman, sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor. Using a strong narrative, the film interweaves seemingly separate lives into a cohesive whole. With clarity and grace, A SMALL ACT, bears witness to the ripple effect a single action can create:

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HERE is the short video:
www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2179
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Two options for reaching out:

Educating bright Kenyan children from poor families
www.hildebackeducationfund.com/about
-us.html


Global loans for youth desiring college/vocational education
www.vittana.org/howitworks

Hmmmm...just $25 can help???

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHERAH38 12/17/2010 3:13PM

    Hey Maha: I am just now getting around to checking out the wonderful resources you included in this blog. Pretty amazing--ripple effect indeed. Thanks for sharing these.

Hope all is smooth your way.

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KAT573 12/2/2010 9:43AM

    To gift another with no expectation of anything at all in return is the most loving gift one can give, and I have always loved this idea, of giving anonymously, as well, to maintain the purity of that gifting.

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YOOVIE 11/29/2010 10:33AM

    emoticon thank you Maha oxo

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TKADEEPBREATH 11/28/2010 11:17AM

    You are so right. A sincere "touch" from the heart means more than anything else no matter how small it might seem to us.

Great blog, thanks for sharing . . .

As always, Jan emoticon

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KALIGIRL 11/28/2010 9:43AM

    Great blog and great ideas about active thanksgiving.
emoticonfor sharing.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/28/2010 9:02AM

    Mmmm, another wonderful blog from my dear friend, Maha!

Thank you.

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PEACEFULONE 11/27/2010 12:23AM

    Inspirational as always!
emoticon

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SLASALLE 11/26/2010 8:34PM

    Maha, my dear friend and one of the kindest souls I know - YOU have caused quite the ripple!!! I knew naught of this organization, vittana.org. What an INCREDIBLE concept.

I LOVE Kiva (www.kiva.org) and have several microloans out there because I truly believe in helping others help themselves out of poverty through entrepreneurship. BUT I DID NOT KNOW there was an organization doing microfinancing for EDUCATION. In my mind, education is an even BETTER way to help others help themselves!!

So off I went to www.vittana.org - in search of students needing loans (since I just learned that most other countries don't offer student loans) - only to find out that all existing student applicants ARE FULLY FUNDED!!!!! They are now looking at more student loan applications and I've added my name to the waiting list.

I thought it was so totally awesome and heart-warming to see the generosity out there - so much so that all of the students needing funding at that time (if I remember, it was 300+) were taken care of. My time will come, I'm sure of it. And I am ready and waiting ... the $25 you questioned in your blog is simply the minimum amount you can loan, and then they lump the small loans together, just like Kiva does.

Then I sent the organization's link to my new bro-in-law, who is also already involved with Kiva. I have no doubt he'll be adding his name to the waiting list also.

So you see, my dear, the ripples continue ... all because of you. Bowing in gratitude for your presence in my life, your love and understanding, and most of all, for the many opportunities you share with me ...

With love,
Stephanie

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CMRAND54 11/26/2010 7:41PM

    Great blog. Very inspirational.

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WATERMELLEN 11/26/2010 7:30PM

    It never hurts to be kind. Really enjoyed this blog,thank you!!

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TX_3XDAD 11/26/2010 4:06PM

    Thank you for sharing this post. Well written.

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WALKINGANNIE 11/26/2010 3:40PM

    SP is a wonderful community of people who are parts of virtuous circles. At its best, ripples of kindness and positivity radiate outwards and touch so many people.

You, Maha, are an active participant in many of these waves of energy for good.

emoticon emoticon

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 11/26/2010 12:01PM

    Love it! Thx MAHA for sharing these lives here.

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STLRZGRRL 11/26/2010 11:49AM

    Aren't SP people just The. Best. ?

I love them all and you are ONEUV'EM!!!
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DOR2BFIT 11/26/2010 11:01AM

    Wonderful real stories, thank you! emoticon

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DDOORN 11/26/2010 10:36AM

    Paying our SPARK forward...one act at a time...!

I see SO MANY of our SparkFamily engaged in this way...it seems to be a natural extension of taking gentle care of ourselves...taking gentle care of the world around us! :-)

Don

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JLWOF1 11/26/2010 10:07AM

    Wow, such wonderful stories! Thanks for sharing!

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LAGREBE 11/26/2010 10:02AM

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for your blogs, always thought-provocing!

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Starting ever again....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've been going through some rough patches as we all do on this earth plane, doing this and that to remedy the malaise...the lethargy...the lack of enthusiasm. This morning I got, by way of my daily poetry subscription, a "message from the universe" so to speak. And I share it with you as my wish to you for a Day -- and LIFE -- of Thanks Giving, in ALL ways and in ALL things!

Blessed be!
Maha


Baby golden mole

STARTING WITH LITTLE THINGS

Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --

Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.

Tomorrow the world.

~ William Stafford ~
(The Way It Is)
www.panhala.net/Archive/Starting_Wit
h_Little_Things.html



William Stafford, 1914-1993

"Stafford's poems are often deceptively simple. Like Robert Frost's, however, they reveal a distinctive and complex vision upon closer examination. James Dickey, writing in his book Babel to Byzantium, notes that Stafford's 'natural mode of speech is a gentle, mystical, half-mocking and highly personal daydreaming.'" From:
www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/224

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STLRZGRRL 11/26/2010 11:12AM

    That little guy needs a manicure!

Which reminds me that I want YOU to do something nice for just YOU today, Maha... you wonder of energy and light, you...
MWAH!
/t.



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SLASALLE 11/26/2010 11:02AM

    One of these days, you are going to run out of new poets to introduce me to, my dear friend!!! As always, thank you for sharing with all of us exactly who you are.

xoxoxo

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LIVELIGHTENFREE 11/25/2010 1:57PM

    This is just beautiful, Maha.

The delicacy of making change through gentleness and love.

I wanted to write something profound, but you know where my thoughts went?!?!

... emoticon...

I don't know if you've ever seen the Austin Powers movies - but there's a scene in one of them (I think it's Goldmember?) where Austin's lines are "Moley, Moley, Moley!!!" - which in context is such a funny scene. Well, now I will think of this meaning of 'mole' as well.

So I will be laughing AND have my heart warmed at the same time..."love the earth...pink and loving" ...making the earth move with nuzzles!!!

emoticon

emoticon

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TX_3XDAD 11/25/2010 1:35AM

    What a beautiful poem: I must read more of his work. Thanks for your kind words on my blog; have a blessed holiday!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 11/24/2010 1:06PM

    So true! The smallest of love filled intentions can make miraculous changes in our world, for the better!

"Tomorrow the world."

I say... TODAY! I have to believe it is right NOW... otherwise, it will always just simply be within our grasp... slightly out of reach.

In my humble opinion... emoticon

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ROBINSNEWNEST 11/24/2010 12:07PM

    "Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow."

hmmmm... perfectly timed, as usual...as we "nuzzle"...

with love -
Robin

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SUSANSERENE 11/24/2010 11:02AM

    When I received this poem yesterday I had to really give it some thought, but then the light came on and I was delighted with the message!

I'm so glad you shared this, Maha, and I'm pleased that we share such good taste (heehee!)!!

Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

((Hugs)) and abundant blessings to you!
emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 11/24/2010 4:00AM

    Yes...we do need to be more mole like...we need to nudge up and see things very close. Most of us are so involved in our own little scenarios that we forget to look close and see that we can always help another. If by only being there. Hugs to you my beautiful Maha...I adore you up close and from far away! emoticon emoticon

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CNIANE 11/24/2010 3:16AM

    Great! Have a wonderful day!

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LOSETHEWTIN08 11/23/2010 9:09PM

    Just what I needed thank you for sharing.

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CMRAND54 11/23/2010 8:35PM

    Wonderful poem. Thanks so much for sharing.

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MOOKBALL 11/23/2010 4:37PM

    Leaves me "in the dark." emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/23/2010 4:37:35 PM

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KAT573 11/23/2010 2:53PM

    AWWWWWWW I am sorry to hear you are struggling yet hopefully the struggle will lead to a way back up into the sunshine, dusted with the discoveries from within and beneath!
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PUDLECRAZY 11/23/2010 2:47PM

    I love the poem, and the sentiment, and the photo. I hope you are making your way through the rough spot without too many snags.
I have been thinking of you and wishing you well.
emoticon
Chris

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DDOORN 11/23/2010 12:44PM

    Great thoughts which to hold fast during these long, dark months...struggling here also! But we'll prevail and SPRING forth anew soon enough!

Don

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MISS_VIV 11/23/2010 12:19PM

    Beautiful - have a great day. emoticon

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ERIN4771 11/23/2010 12:15PM

    love the baby mole!!! makes you want to snuggle, doesn't it? have an awesome tuesday!! emoticon

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