Beautiful day!

It is so beautiful out today that it is hard to believe. In May we had weather that was like August and now it is like May out. There is a wonderful breeze and sitting here on the porch is heaven. I have so much more energy when the heat lets us get outdoors. I have been on the porch almost all day. Even mopping the deck was not a chore.

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Tillie decided to join me but of course after I put the rug back. Bassets don’t do uncomfortable.

I put out more bird feed and some squirrel feed. I try to keep the squirrel feeder full to keep the squirrels away from the porch. They make such a mess.

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It is amazing how much difference can be made in how we feel when the weather is wonderful. The tide is coming in and soon the muddy parts of the marsh will disappear. Our daily tide change is around 7 feet so when the water moves it is almost impossible to swim against it. When our children were young we taught them if they were caught in the tide to go with it to another dock, climb out and walk back. It can be dangerous if you are not aware of its strength. We also have extremely salty water. When you swim and get out and dry you can see salt on your body.

There are lots of things I could be doing inside but i’m not moving. This amazing coolness will not last and I am soaking it up while I can.

Time out

This is my last day with my daughter and her family. It has been a wonderful visit and I look forward to being with them again soon. Each of my children’s families are different in personality and the things they enjoy doing. That is as it should be and I would like to think it means that I allowed each of them to be themselves.

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It has been cool since I have been here unusual for Austin but a great break for me. I will now return to warm weather and humidity. My mind is beginning its shift to what is ahead and the things I need to do this week. This has been a wonderful break. I didn’t have to plan anything or think about anything in particular.

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We all need down time. It refreshes us and allows us to go back to our routine with renewed enthusiasm. This time out has been a blessing. I hope that each of you can find time in your lives to back away and just vegetate.

Spend time with nature

Today was beautiful here. We have been having typical March weather…one day cold the next really warm. Today was just right. In spite of the weather the azaleas have been beautiful. We have several varieties in our yard and they don’t always bloom at same time. This year they are all blooming at once.

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There is nothing more beautiful than nature. Spending time outside will refresh the soul. Just sitting in the sunshine can make life seem better. Time under the trees quietly thinking helps reduce anxiety and depression. When you can take some quality time with nature.

Practice!

Yesterday I was missing something very dear to me. Something my mother gave me. I was upset but shortly after realizing that it was gone I went on Reader and was given the word peace to think on. It was just what I needed. I was drawn to the phrase from Mark “Peace, be still! It made me stop my obsessing and turn to meditation to calm myself. It turned me around completely. I was able to adjust my thinking and my day went much better than it could have.

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I learned a valuable lesson about approaching a problem with a different attitude. One I have known all along but didn’t use. My day could have dissolved into anxiety (which was where I was headed) but the day moved in a totally different direction. Lesson learned.

It is so important keep on track and it is so hard at first. Old habits want to return. I learned as a piano student that practice is the only thing that works. Note to self: the coping skills only work when practiced routinely.

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Meditation is worth the work

caroline-myss-quiet-mind-meditation-quoteMeditation can be a daunting idea. For most of us our minds are running full speed and we can even have difficulty turning them off to sleep. This is the most common complaint heard by physicians about insomnia….”I just couldn’t turn my mind off.”

We hear that meditation will calm us and release endorphins. We can listen to meditation tapes and find ourselves wandering from the voice’s instructions. Turning our minds off is a difficult task.

Our minds have been running like this for years. What makes us think that turning off the thoughts can be just a matter of sitting down and expecting it to happen. Just like anything else in life it is a skill that we have to learn. To learn it we have to practise*. I have friends who run marathons and they have to be consistent in their training. They can’t just go out and run without work.

The same thing is true of meditation. We have to retrain our mind. You can’t learn to shut thoughts off like snapping your fingers. It takes time, work and consistency.

When we start to learn this new skill we must have patience with ourselves. We try it and we can’t stop the mind and we think it is hogwash and a failure. It isn’t any more than trying to run a marathon by just deciding…”today I am going to run 26 miles.”

In the beginning the only thing that we may accomplish is just taking time to sit or lie quietly. This is not a bad thing in itself. It helps to just stop for a while. Paying attention to your breath and checking your body for tension is always good. The next step is to recognize the thoughts that are running through your mind. My first (and very best) yoga instructor told us to see that thought and mentally watch it slide across your mind and on out. Continue to do this with each thought that occurs. With practise* you will notice less thoughts intruding and by watching them go by you are not allowing them to really intrude.

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Learn to take time for meditation. My yoga instructor said that when we are awake we are like a car in forward gear. When we are asleep we are in reverse. When we are in meditation we are in neutral. A good analogy.

Meditation is wonderful…learning it is a task worth putting time into.

*word press wants me to change practise to practice. Practise is the verb. Practice is a noun.

Seeking calm

are-you-an-authentic-empath-watch-for-these-12-strange-behaviors-2I am tired. I have realized that the tiredness is coming from the emotional roller coaster I have been on lately. When we have done physical work or completed a project we can be tired but it is a satisfying tired. It feels good. This is not that. This tired is totally enervating. It has drained me to my core.

When we are truly empathetic we experience the feelings and aura of those around us.  Recently the strain that my friends have been under and the energy I have expended has taken all the oomph out of me. However I hope we are now on the upswing and that things are getting better.

Tomorrow I will be able to work in the yard. Although this is tiring it is the good kind of tired. It will produce a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. I have complained about the yard work but you can actually see the progress and that is something.

Lately I have taken little time for myself and I will address that in the coming week. I would like to see some “normal” but you never know when you will have to adjust to a “new normal.”

calmFinding things that bring us peace and calm are so important. Reading help me and just sitting on the porch and enjoying the outdoors. Each of us needs to find what can help when things get overwhelming. Not caring for ourselves will bring on anxiety, panic and depression. Not something we want to do.

What helps to bring you some peace and calm?

A day out of time

moment-in-time-imageToday felt like a day out of time. My husband had tests scheduled and left our hotel at 9:30 and came back at 2:30. He says the day was organized and fairly simple. For me it felt like a day out of time. I spent most of the day in the room and re-read a book that I loved (When Breath Becomes Air). It is the journey of a remarkable neurosurgeon, scientist, PHD in English as he receives a terminal diagnosis. It has some sad parts but some amazing quotes. He was an amazing writer and thinker.

For me it was a day to think and just be. I did some knitting…also think time…and a little TV. I think it was the first day in a long time where I had nothing planned and no agenda at all. In my case this would normally be stressful but today it was so calm. What a joy.

I am not sure why the calm settled in since tomorrow we (hopefully) will have a plan in place and normally I would have been anxious about that. The calm was a blessing.

awesome momentsHow often are we blessed enough to feel calm? For me that is not often. I let myself dive into it. Thanks to God for the moment out of time!