Preparing for a new year

There is something about cleaning…about de-cluttering…about organizing. All of these take a bit of concentration, consistency, and cooperation in order to be done well. All of these may not be a favorite chore at first, but trust me the work is well worth it. Especially when preparing for a new year.

In our house this bend of a new year, we are putting together a new desk for homework space AND purchasing a juicer. Both of these purchases have required the house to be de-cluttered to make room. These purchases are also a way to set new intentions as a family as well as individuals. This year we intend to continue practicing the technique of thinking. We hope to build our intellects and reach for the higher as the lower melt away.   We intend to continue channeling our actions towards living a healthy, active lifestyle.

THE DESK: We, as a family, set out to provide a thinking space. Concentration is a thing of the past, in my opinion. In today’s go-go society, it is easy to for the mind to worry over the past or become anxious of the future. Technology is also a heavy part of todays days. As a mother raising a child, I strive to remind the young that it is important to pause and think about our thoughts and actions…our intentions…our goals. To practice this technique of the mind holding on to the present occupation without distraction, is a life lesson that must be lived. Back to the desk. We have a small abode and so the only space for the desk is in my son’s room. Let the cleaning begin! For half a day, I rummaged through old toys that were no longer needed or played with. A pile was made to give a way as well as a pile of broken pieces (regrettably, we did throw the broken pieces away due to lack of space in our craft area). It felt so damn good to clear out the old and simplify the “things” that accumulate in a kids room! (Kind of like cleaning through emails that accumulate.)

THE JUICER: We, as a family (even the begrudged 8 year old) set out to feed ourselves the healthiest possible nutrients for our family. As we focus our actions in one direction, we realize the power of consistency. Of course the shiny metal objects or glistening cupcakes are tantilizing, yet with more consistency (daily juicing) we hope to resist and persist.

Cleaning/de-cluttering/organizing is a lot like choosing to participate in eating simple, WHOLE foods. Preparation is crucial, like preparing a list before shopping. Then organizing an action plan like planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week. And last but not least, the following through with the action like getting home from store and washing fruits and veggies and putting them into containers or green bags to stay fresher longer.

As we enter this new year, let us reign in our focus and set out to live the lives we want to live.

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Physical Activity = weak link

Today, I am sharing with you my weakness, my weakest link, my vice so to speak. In wake of a new year, I decided to share my new action plan. The word action should be taken literally and figuratively. The idea is to incorporate some form(s) of physical activity into EVERY day. No more of this 3 days a week nonsense. That didn’t work for me then and won’t work for me now. What will work is my commitment to TRUE self-care.

At a yoga training a couple years ago, I was asked to bring a childhood photo. I picked my favorite (funny because it took me hours to search for the right one and when I saw it I knew it was “the one”). The picture is of me at the age of 5 on Halloween. I was wearing a homemade mermaid costume made by my mother (to this day, this is my favorite Halloween costume ever!). Along with the coolest glow-in-the-dark dangly earrings. I had smeared subtle amounts of glitter makeup along random parts of my face. And was holding my cool bucket for treats. The person behind the camera must have called my name seconds before snapping because there is no posing. It is just me, looking into the lens, with a look I couldn’t associate with because it had been so long since I felt like that well taken care of girl. The first mission of this photo was to look at it. For a long, at first uncomfortable length of time. Secondly, we were asked bring that photo EVERYWHERE during the remainder of the training. Just as if you were the parent of that child. Yoga class, lecture, meals, bathroom, bed, etc. If you were caught without the photo, you were held accountable for the safety of that child being left alone. If you felt lonely, you were responsible for singing the child a lullaby or holding its hand. One night, I sang myself a lullaby and felt comfort I forgot I was capable of producing. One day during yoga class I grabbed my own leg and hugged it so gently and remembered that I am alive and well and blessed beyond measure. Now, I am able to wake up each day saying “Hey! I woke up again! Let’s get this day started!”. And so it is here, where I begin the journey of taking the sweetest, deepest care of myself. And it is from here, where I can take the sweetest deepest care of others.

A lot of my laziness sprung out of having the 8-5 career. I did not feel comfortable in my own skin and experienced debilitating digestive problems. So trust me when I say I understand the TIME issue. I also understand the benefit of getting past TIME being an issue and using it as an advantage. The more TIME I put into taking care of myself, the more TIME I will have living.

The plan is this. Because of the dance company, Saturdays are usually full of yoga and moving and grooving. The other 6 days of the week are open for whatever activity is needed. While walking one Wednesday morning, I thought to myself, “What if Wednesdays are for walking?” Then came to mind, “Thursdays for stretching…breathing…yoga-ing…so Thinkin”. Etcetera. So the following are list of ideas to get me moving, consistently and gratefully. Can be done in groups or as individual activities. Just remember to concentrate on the bigger picture, cooperate with the gifts we are given, and commit to your health.

Movin’ Mondays: Put on music, make a 30 min. playlist and get moving! Dance around the house, bedroom, wherever! Where clothes, or not, or whatever makes you feel like you. Try to stay out of sight from mirrors. Get out of your head and do the first thing that comes to mind.

Treatin’ Tuesdays: Treat yourself. Do whatever feels good and right. Ride a bike, go for a walk, yoga, pilates, run, skip, lift weights…whatever your heart, mind, soul desires.

Walkin’ Wednesdays: Get together with friends, clients, loved ones and walk. Explore your town and find great places to walk. Get creative when the weather presents challenges, just keep walking!

Thinkin’ Thursdays: Yoga time. Create a flow or use the media (TV, DVD’s, or YouTube) to switch things up when needed. Yoga is great because it can be customized. Slow Flow/Gentle Flow, Relaxing poses, Booty-In-Check poses, etc. Time to step into the driver seat and take back our lives. Yoga is a great place to start thinking with a clearer mind!

Funky Fridays: Because Fridays can be busy, mix it up. Maybe the family goes for a bike ride when everyone is home from school or work. Maybe a sunrise or sunset yoga sesh, walk or bike ride. Maybe an afternoon walk-it-out with girlfriends. Maybe a swim in the ocean. Use this day to cater to yourself and your support system.

Splendid Sundays: Definitely a challenge to keep momentum on Sundays. I find Sundays can be left for house cleaning and chores. Use these activities as inspiration to get moving. Crank up the tunes and clean the house. Do laundry. Maybe between loads add in a weight lifting routine or a set of pilates core work.

Cheers to self-care!