Mindfulness Mondays 4/13: Feeling “Full” of Life

Remember last week when I told you I was working on a new habit of waking up earlier- I’ve made progress! Today I was woken up at 5:45 am, though finally got out of bed at 6am. My sleep app showed that I did not enter into deep sleep at all, and so I could feel throughout my body the soreness and indigestion that comes with inadequate sleep. Though I’ve been trying to get right out of bed, it’s been difficult since I’ve been suffering from tendinitis of both shoulders which is making it harder to lift the blankets and bring myself up. Despite all of this I have made huge progress with when I awake and actually get up (I’ve gained a whole 25 minutes since last week)!

I’ve also re-invigorated my practice of some yoga and stretching in the morning, as well as a prioritizing just being alone with my cat before my partner rises. This has been really amazing, since normally I reject alone-time though lately I have been finding I crave it the more I’ve been giving myself that “practice” alone-time in the morning. Today, I was able to watch the sun rise as it peaked through the trees of my wooded backyard while holding my cat calmly- after 5 minutes of me cradling him, we both were still in awe. It was a beautiful moment of peace and I reminded myself out-loud of my intentions for the day and that I was going to let myself shine no matter what. After reflecting on recent events and being mindful of the opportunities I’ve been taking part in, I keep coming back to this feeling of “being full”. What I mean is that I’m actively checking in with my thoughts and emotions on situations in my life more regularly. In this, I’ve noticed there are areas of my life that I feel could improve, and so something is missing and I’m not completely satisfied or “full”. There are other areas where my satisfaction is almost overflowing, and so I have much thanks for the “fullness” that is present, but also recognize that there needs to be a balance.

This past weekend I was able to spend some time with friends I have not seen in a while, as well as meet complete strangers and have lovely conversations. Over the last week I’ve also had times where I have been by myself throughout the day and even at home overnight while my partner was traveling. I’ve realized that I do thrive off of being around others and the engagement that can occur. I also am working through my natural inclination to avoid loneliness at all costs, by giving myself opportunities in the morning and throughout the weekend to be by myself. Though this has not been easy it has been a joy to see my progression, and is my own way of practicing self-care. Yes, I have found joy throughout this process because despite life’s less-than-satisfactory moments, they’re only still moments, moments then that can turn around. This feeling of fullness is more of an appreciation for all of those moments that I’m able to be a part of, as well as the turn-around process. I’m full because I’m experiencing all of what life has to offer: the loneliness and the community, the scary and the fun, and that is truly a fulfilling experience.

Mindfulness Check-In 2/16: Stir Crazy Exercises and Ponderings

Another Monday off but today because of President’s Day and the celebration of George Washington’s birth! Along with the tumultuous amount of snow we received in MA and unbearable below 20 degrees weather, it just makes it nearly impossible to go outside for longer than you have to…shout out to Keely in Alaska (check out her blog)!

I kept debating on how I was going to frame my post today…and after lots of deliberation I came to the conclusion I needed today’s to be short but vividly expressive, so here goes.

In my effort to stick to my exercises and yoga routine, I give you my first successful inversion- Crow Pose:
Ignore background- Kitchen floor is being remodeled and thus kitchen contents are now in living room.

Ignore background- Kitchen floor is being remodeled and thus kitchen contents are now in the living room.

This was the best photo I could capture, which shows both of my feet are off the ground but did not catch when my feet were much higher. Regardless, this is what practice and progress look like. While I’m still going to practice this so I can have better balance, muscle strength, and bring my legs higher, I am also challenging myself to eventually be able to do a headstand. I can tell you I’ve had my fair share of falls and unintentional somersaults, but it felt so good when I finally got this after a few tries today. Adrenaline surged through me while my boredom subsided. For my pose I was following Yoga with Adriene’s Foundation video on “Crow Pose,” but had actually started with her video on “Headstands”. I was left with great advice to consider, which I realize greatly resonates with my personal belief of self-love and self-care.

She explained that doing inversions, especially something as challenging as a headstand, forces her to practice love and kindness to herself. This makes sense because if she’s reckless with her body she could get injured (ouch neck!) and also could leave the practice with toxic thoughts and not feel like she made progress. By slowing down the practice, taking care to listen to the body and what it needs at that moment, ease into the movements with the breath as the foundation, we can really tune in to our bodies and minds. Taking care of your body can be challenging, and so often times we rush the exercises or movements to feel the “good effects” as soon as we can. But being patient and kind to ourselves, through self-love and self-care, we can find greater peace and help ease the restlessness by just (metaphorically) sitting with it through patience.  

When you’re exercising, or doing anything physical for that matter (chores count), do you tune out or tune in? Does the thought cross your mind, or do you check in mentally, with how your body feels and the thoughts that are passing through your brain?