Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scheduling "Me-Time" (or indulging my Type A personality)

I’m a big-time list maker and have been for my whole life. Even as early as middle school I was making lists to remind myself to change Lucy and Ethel’s tank (my “I Love Lucy” inspired pet mice), clean out my unnaturally organized closet, and write my Christmas thank-you cards. What kind of 12 year old does this? A: The same one who gets hired by her friends parents to clean their kids’ bedrooms at an hourly rate (true story, on more than one occasion too).

I remember the day when I finally checked everything off my to-do list and asked my mom what I was supposed to do then: “Whatever you enjoy doing” she said. Oh, right. I probably started a new list right then and added “Enjoy yourself” to the top.

Well, nothing much has changed I suppose because this week I’ve been all about scheduling Me-Time (does this officially make me a grown-up or someone who needs to be committed?). I remember reading about a life coach suggesting this in an old issue of Body + Soul, but I had never actually tried it myself. I have to say; it’s been pretty effective so far. By treating journal writing or going to a yoga class on the same level of importance as paying bills and running errands, it gives each item a little more gravity (and the extra satisfaction of being able to check it off a list!). Seeing “lay in the grass on your lunch break” on my Teux Deux list definitely makes it less overwhelming to look at too.

You can’t plan everything of course, and some of my best ‘Just Be’ moments have come much more organically. Whichever way they happen though, being more conscious and in the moment has only made me enjoy my days more, especially the ones that are full of work and responsibilities.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tea Wisdom

Does anyone else drink Yogi Tea and love the little sayings on the tea bag tags as much as I do? Here are my favorite gems from this month that relate to my October “Just Be” mantra (and a few that I just like):

“Happiness is nothing but total relaxation”
“Let your heart guide you”
“You only give when you love”
“Where there is love, there is no question”
“Whatever you are, you are. Be proud of it.”

Who writes these? They put a smile on my face every morning! I love the idea of including a positive life affirmation with a morning ritual like drinking tea. If you'd rather skip the cup of tea and get right to the good stuff though, they have a whole section of their website dedicated to them: Yogi Inspirations

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pie Lab

Here's a great article about Pie Lab, a Project M endeavor, from the NY Times. Yay, M!

Yoga Today

Yoga and I have had an on-again off-again relationship for about a decade now. From my first Denise Austin yoga VHS in high school, to a more serious and in-depth practice in college, I’ve fallen in and out of it over the years. Now, whenever I do manage to squeeze in a session, I always, without fail, say to myself “Why don’t I do this all the time!?” (to which I can never come up with a reasonable excuse).

Lame excuses aside, it really does seem to come down to time. During the week I often get home too late to make it out to a class and have a hard time getting psyched about doing the same DVD for the 100th time. The perfect solution for me has been this website, Yoga Today. When I first found it a few years ago they had a free class that you could watch every day, which was incredible (and speaking of incredible, they’re based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming so the scenery is unreal). In the past few years though, they’ve made some changes and now only offer one free class a week, and allow you to buy previous classes for $3.99. Nonetheless, it still gets my stamp of approval and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a way to do yoga on the cheap.

And speaking of yoga today, I’m trying to make it out to do some yoga tomorrow so if anyone is interested in coming with, let me know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just Be

Unemployment was a bit of a Catch 22 for me. As difficult as it was living on a tight budget and stressing about finding work in a bleak economy, having so much free time was incredible. Maybe it’s because I was an only child for 10 years, but I’ve never had a difficult time keeping myself entertained. I have a never-ending to-do list and projects lined-up to last a lifetime, so for me, losing my job was more of a blessing in disguise; a time to relax, re-evaluate, re-center and just be.

In my year of joblessness, I successfully did just that. Fast forward through that year though, and here I am again: sleep deprived, pushing pixels around in front of a glowing monitor all day, eating Trader Joes bagged pasta dinners, and making my $20 monthly donation to Planet Fitness. Really? How did it get to this so quickly?

Let me start out by saying that I’m not trying to make a statement about how working is terrible for your physical and mental health. Having been on both sides of the employment spectrum in recent years, I can safely say that I feel much better about most things in my life when I have a job. The bottom line is that working is great and I’m glad to be doing it again, but now the challenge is trying to regain that balance that I achieved when I had all the time in the world, not just the time between dinner and bed. In my unemployed days, I had the time to take time, now I need to focus on taking the time to make time.

So how do I do that? Lent it out. Forcing yourself to relax might sound like an oxymoron, but hey, if it works then who cares. October is all about trying to find that balance again and my first steps are to: journal religiously, get back into practicing yoga, and to finally give meditation a try. No, I’m too tired’s, no I’m just going to watch Teen Mom on demand all night’s, no excuses. With a busy schedule it’s not going to happen unless I make it happen.

The little tag on my Yogi tea this morning put it perfectly: "The best way of life is to be. Simply to be." And that’s just what I’m trying to achieve.

More to come…