VALERIEMAHA   50,251
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MAKING IT HAPPEN Week 3 -- 20 days until 2011

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I finished the second week of the challenge yesterday at the same weight as when I began. Granted, I'm trying to build an infrastructure of consistency in exercise and strength training, but that's just the CM half of the total equation I created for myself:
Consistent Movement + Conscious Eating = Whee! Optimal Wellness (CE+CM=WOW)

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Some musings at this point in the challenge --

@ I LOVE my online SparkTime. It is one of the true enjoyments of my day. But it can also easily "take me over" and throw my balance totally off, if I'm not careful. I really need to take a hard look at morning SparkPeople usage, because that's prime time for meditation practice, aerobic workout, strength training and studying.

Saving physical activity and studying until late afternoon or evening is VERY dangerous, because my energy lowers considerably at that time. And if dinner is added to the "mix" the energy is being used for digestion. Tuesday I didn't get aerobic workout done for that reason.

ACTION: I'm going to experiment this week postponing SparkTime (other than tracking and a morning gratitudes post) until late afternoon, for guilt-free enjoyment! I know it will be difficult, but I think in the long run I can adjust and it will be beneficial in more ways than I can even imagine at the moment.

@ Wednesday was a dyn-o-mite day of movement, and then I got into the ice cream. Let's negate all the calories burned, shall we? How's that for successfully sabotaging my effort! Then there was Thursday, an excellent day of movement, after which I got carried away eating Newman's Chocolate Alphabet Cookies for more sabotage, instant gratification, and momentary comfort.

SanDiegoJohn wrote a brilliant blog, "Starting Over? No, You're Not" and in it he said, "So don't beat yourself up with the, 'hey, look, I'm starting over again and don't think I can do it.' Because while it may have been something the old you could not stick with, the NEW you is stronger, smarter, wiser, and better equipped for the challenge. You can do it. The person you are right now, right this very moment, can do it. So stop looking backwards and focus all the energy on the path ahead of you." tinyurl.com/22rlt37

ACTION: As I begin the new week, with a *tabula rasa,* I will "focus all my energy on the path ahead."

@ I have repeatedly made excuses for not again taking up tracking of nutrition. I met my goal weight and maintained it the last time I consistently tracked my food. And this article Stephanie sent me as encouragement couldn't be any clearer, "Lose Twice the Weight by Tracking Your Food:" Or how about this as an alternative title, "Stop GAINING Weight by Tracking Your Food." tinyurl.com/67qloz

My friend Russellorama wrote a brilliant blog on RESISTANCE. In part it says, "Rosetta defined resistance as 'the act of resisting or pushing back...a psychological defense mechanism wherein a patient rejects, denies or otherwise opposes the thereapeutic efforts.' She also noted that scientifically, resistance is closely linked to friction, whose sole purpose is to fight motion, resulting in drag, which works against that motion. Simply put, RESISTANCE KEEPS YOU FROM MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD." tinyurl.com/27kebv6

ACTION: So l.Did.It. I entered my foods for the day in the Nutrition Tracker yesterday. It's not a pretty picture, and that's likely part of the reason I've been so resistant to beginning again. I've been saying that it's the cumbersome nature of tracking foods, but that was obviously a smoke screen. I'm going to continue doing it. So, as John suggested, the NEW me is ready, at three weeks into my personal challenge, to be stronger, smarter, wiser, and better equipped for success.
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Here again is my end-of-year challenge to build habits that will last. By December 31, 2010 I will~~

~ do daily sadhana (spiritual practice)
~ do regular exercise and strength training and track my exercise
~ eat more consciously and track my food
~ be moving toward my goal weight of 128 pounds

AND THE BEAT GOES ON:

20 DAYS, Sun Dec 12

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- DONE (233 calories)
~ Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

19 DAYS, Mon Dec 13

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 30 minutes of cardio -- DONE (330 calories)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
~ 1 hr. Qigong. -- DONE
~ Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

18 DAYS, Tues Dec 14

~ 15 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- BUST
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

17 DAYS, Wed Dec 15

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 30 minutes minimum of cardio -- DONE (343 calories)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
~ 5 minutes of yoga asanas -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

16 DAYS, Thurs Dec 16

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 20 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- BUST
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

15 DAYS, Fri Dec 17

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 32 minutes, minimum, of cardio -- DONE (355 calories burned)
~ Strength training -- DONE
~ 175 sit-ups -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE

14 DAYS, Sat Dec 18

~ 30 minutes of meditation -- DONE
~ 1.3 hrs. of yoga -- DONE
~ 1.3 hour bicycle ride -- DONE
Tracked food and exercise -- DONE
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ETC. to:

JANUARY 1, 2011
HAPPY New Year!

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The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself -- the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us -- that's where it's at.
-- Jesse Owens
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 12/14/2010 3:10PM

    Ohoh... here I am in the morning sparking away my exercise time again :) It is SO easy to do... Alright already. I hear the cardio calling. Hugs you!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/12/2010 11:20PM

    I just love your blogs!!! Keep up the amazing work! You inspire me!

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DDOORN 12/12/2010 10:49PM

    Good for you 'Maha! I hear you re: going overboard with Spark time...we are such a GREAT community, but have definitely found myself getting carried away at times.

Tracking really DOES take care of the pounds, doesn't it...? So simple, yet so hard! Kudos to PUSHING through on this!

Don

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SLASALLE 12/12/2010 9:38PM

    Hey there, dear Maha. YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!!! Look at the realities of all that you are learning ... this is ALL AWESOME.

An idea - What about dividing your Spark time into categories, and then labeling those categories as either "requisite" or "extras." THEN REWARD YOURSELF FOR CE AND CM with extra Spark time that you so enjoy. NOTE: I consider tracking food as "requisite." ROFLOL You had to know that was coming next!!! :-)

Your biggest learning piece: You KNOWING what your resistance to the tracker is all about. So what if it's not pretty? It's a HUGE STEP that you took and I want to provide as much positive reinforcement for that as possible. JUST PLEASE REMEMBER, make SURE to offset the "not so pretty picture" with everything YOU DID RIGHT. Tracking and looking at the big nasty picture is NOT ABOUT beating yourself up for the nasty picture, but rather, learning how to improve.

I am SO PROUD OF YOU, MY AMAZING FRIEND!!! You GO, GIRL - because YOU ROCK!!

xoxoxo
Stephanie

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PUDLECRAZY 12/12/2010 8:30PM

    Like you, I love my Spark time, but find it can get in my way of other things. I struggle to find balance with that. I tend to try to keep it to early morning and late evening. Same with that addictive old Facebook, which I probably wouldn't bother with if it weren't such a great way to keep in touch with family and friends who as so far away.

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SWEETSEASON 12/12/2010 6:51PM

  Dear Maha, I hope you read my emal, to see who this is from . I love what you wrote Consistent Movement + Conscious Eating = Whee! Optimal Wellness (CE+CM=WOW) Thank you for the SanDiegoJohn quote, I truly needed to read that.
~ Your Sparkfriend always!

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CMRAND54 12/12/2010 3:51PM

    I love my on-line Spark time, too, and like you I try to limit it to evenings. I have to work, then exercise, then get dinner and finally do my Sparking. Sometimes on the weekends I get to it earlier, but I can't let it take over my day or I don't get anything else done.

I find the food tracking invaluable. It really focuses me on eating healthy foods if I make myself accountable by tracking. So far it's working. I've met my weight goal and I'm going to maintain it for a while, then I may set another, lower goal for myself. I've moved my goal twice already, as previous goals were met. I'd like to lose more belly fat, but my face is getting kind of thin and making me look older. Oh well, we're never satisfied.

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WATERMELLEN 12/12/2010 3:22PM

    Sadly, I too have to track everything I eat -- or else I gain weight. Simple, but it's something that I delude myself about over and over again . . . .

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Our earnest work....

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lately I have hesitated to post these harbingers of beauty, these words wrapped in meaning for the mind, heart, and soul...because I've been reading the focused blogs of friends, which speak so eloquently to the journey we're on to optimal wellness and, well, I've thought that this kind of offering might be inappropriate.

But then I had the AHA! moment when I realized that in our body*mind*spirit wholeness, we need it all. We need the review, and reflection, and analysis on the wellness journey...and we ALSO need to feed our spirit delicious delights.

So here is Mary Oliver in all her glory...and I will introduce today's exquisite poem with a paragraph from her piece, YES! NO! --

"The swan, for all his pomp, his robes of glass and petals, wants only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond. The catbrier is without fault. The water thrushes, down among the sloppy rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination is better than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work."



The Deer

You never know.
The body of night opens
like a river, it drifts upward like white smoke,

like so many wrappings of mist.
And on the hillside two deer are walking along
just as though this wasn't

the owned, tilled earth of today
but the past.
I did not see them the next day, or the next,

but in my mind's eye -
there they are, in the long grass,
like two sisters.

This is the earnest work. Each of us is given
only so many mornings to do it -
to look around and love

the oily fur of our lives,
the hoof and the grass-stained muzzle.
Days I don't do this

I feel the terror of idleness,
like a red thirst.
Death isn't just an idea.

When we die the body breaks open
like a river;
the old body goes on, climbing the hill.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(House of Light)
www.panhala.net/Archive/The_Deer.htm
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINSNEWNEST 12/13/2010 12:21AM

    Amen.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 12/11/2010 7:51PM

    Hey Friend--Why does Spark always drop my subscriptions to my friends blogs??? Grrr... Yes we can love ourselves enough to get our butts in gear up off the couch and turn the computer off from time to time and eat healthily yet propotionally. We're in this thing together. And so it it! Hang with the best--our Spark buddies. Happy Season of Love. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/11/2010 7:51:54 PM

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MARCHMAID 12/11/2010 1:34AM

    Thank you. I needed tranquil thoughts. Perfect timing that I found your blog.

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 12/10/2010 10:34PM

    Beautiful.

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WATERMELLEN 12/8/2010 9:14PM

    We do want it all: women (and men) cannot live by diet and exercise tips alone!! Thanks.

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FRACTALMYTH 12/8/2010 1:38AM

    :D

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SUCHAHOOT 12/7/2010 11:36PM

    Hesitate no more!! I love reading your posts. Thought-provoking and nurturing and ... snuggly. Keep 'em comin'!!
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CMRAND54 12/7/2010 9:17PM

    Lovely!

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SLASALLE 12/7/2010 4:33PM

    Aaaaaaaah ... a much-needed "delicious delight" today - and NEVER inappropriate in my book!! xoxoxo

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/7/2010 11:32AM

    I just love our blogs! They make me feel at peace!

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DDOORN 12/7/2010 10:28AM

    "To pay attention," "to look around and love,"...such a gem!

Many thx for sharing, 'Maha!

Don

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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
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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

    emoticon


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LOSER05 12/5/2010 9:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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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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