Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mindful March

While I am going to make my post on the short and sweet side tonight – well, short anyway, I did want to make sure I posted at least a little something on the 1st of March... at least enough to explain the odd little kangaroo on the right of this page.

A blogger that I have recently started reading, Chile from http://chilechews.blogspot.com/ made a rather intriguing challenge for March. The gauntlet to avoid the stresses of March Madness and replace them with a month of mindfulness and attempts to avoid stressing out was laid before her readers... and as I am nothing but an eager follower (I think I just heard all those who know me in real life snort their drinks into their keyboards.) I decided to give it a whirl. Initially I joined out of a curiosity to see if I was actually capable of stemming some of the frenetic energy I constantly run on. The Prime Geek is a mountain of zen calm when compared to my hyper kinetic pace, and he has often bemoaned my apparent inability to just... breathe. I figured tossing my name into the ring would give me a month of being accountable in my attempts at meditation and calm. Essentially, I figured that if I said I was going to do it publicly, I would have to pony up in my claims. (Same reason this month will find me in a few other challenges.)

I had planned to spend the few days I had left in February to do a little bit of research into different meditation techniques and determine where I wanted to start. Well, to paraphrase a favored poet “the best laid plans of mice and nerds...”

Instead, the end of February found me scurrying around like a mouse in a maze – with little or no time to decide how I best should attack this challenge. As I wrote yesterday, my family is experiencing the surreal time dilation that can only be found in the anxious spiral of a death watch. Toss in – starting a new class, sick animals, a job proposal (a good thing, but a terrifying tightrope to walk), some family dramas, and the myriad of other items that have chosen just now to scream for my attention... I very nearly scraped the whole idea and said to hell with it.

Fingers poised over the send key to deliver my email retracting my participation, I stopped. While on the one hand, joining a blog challenge seems foolish. One more item to tic off each day, one for thing to get done before I catch my four hours of sleep, one more thing I frankly just didn't need. But on the other... is there really any better time to force myself to slow down and quietly work through my own thoughts then when I have pushed myself to the extreme limits of my endurance? I have several chronic health issues that make stress doubly difficult AND dangerous to my system, wouldn't that make the perfect reason behind staying with the challenge?

So, with that in mind, I reaffirm my promise to take the next thirty one days and just try to relax – if only a little. At least thirty minutes a day will be put aside for a brief moment of zen (or as close as I can get to it). I'm not sure approach I'm gonna take, that will be something I figure out over this weekend. I may even try several different methods until I find one that is a perfect fit. At the moment, I'm gonna go pour myself a glass of wine, soak myself in a hot bath, then curl up in bed with a copy of the Tao of Pooh.

That's relaxing, right?

4 comments:

Chile said...

I'm glad you decided to hang in, Jenn. And to be honest, I haven't decided on a method either. Yesterday I opted for mindful yoga and stretching. Today, it may be meditation.

Try different approaches and find one that clicks for you. Best wishes for a more peaceful month!

Addiopolis said...

Good for you, and good luck. And we'd love to see you at knit-night again. But, based on everything you're balancing, we'll understand if you're meditating, or sitting, or washing dishes instead.

oonagh said...

ya know, i tried this earlier.......the internet ate my comment, teacher, i swear.....but anyways, i digress.....

good luck with the slowing down.....

for meditation, what i've found works is prayer beads.....(sometimes also called worry beads or fidget beads!)......for both me and the monkey. her set is only 15 beads, but then again, she's 8, but ADHD.....mine is a full 108 strand. she uses hers right before bed, saying the thing she has to remember once for each bead......usually something like "i will behave properly", "i will glue my butt to my seat", or our standby when she's been behaving "make haste slowly"....i've gotten her a long strand made of the same materials, for when she gets a little older (or really needs to get calm)

i use mine to help me fall asleep, or keep from killing people (and you were wondering why i'm writing so much, huh??)......i use a long mantra to fall asleep....by about halfway through the strand, i'm out like a light (but then hafta pry the beads outta my tummy when i roll over them).......

here's some web info.......
first, wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_beads especially the non-denominational section at the bottom!!
http://www.fluidartist.com/nest/aboutpb.html looks like pretty good info also.....
i just googled prayer bead meditation, see what you can find..

and if you come up with anything else, please share!!!

hugs hon.......again, good luck........

Packrat said...

I use my knitting as a form of meditation. It gives me a chance to relax and focus internally.

I'd love to find a yoga for beginners. I have fibromyalgia and I need something that won't make me hurt so bad that I won't keep it up.

I'm sorry your plate is so full. I'll be sending prayers for peace your way.