Thursday, March 24, 2011

That's More Like It

Got back on the meditation wagon last week and by this Monday I was feeling noticeably better, I was also able to exercise three times last week, one of which was an amazing hike in CT on our way back from Boston. It felt so good to do something outside after this increasingly long winter. It had been years since I'd spent time in the woods and I had never done it as a Buddhist. Being in nature is amazing when you take the time to feel the rocks under your feet and breathe in the fresh air. Maybe I've been in the city too long, but I really enjoyed myself.

Here are some pics:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Monday Recap (with a little Tues,Wed,Thurs)

I'm back to feeling hormonal again, sort of. I keep using old habits to try and fix things and big surprise, it's not working. I went to get a massage last night because I had a gift certificate I'd been needing to use. While the massage was amazing, it was unable to cure my mood even though I was secretly hoping it would. I've had very little patience for anyone lately, especially my poor dog, who just wants to play.

I meditated for 20 minutes on, but was mostly just irritated for no reason. I think I'm being particularly hard on myself because now that I'm "in a relationship"(gross) I feel responsible for another person's fun as well as my own, therefore when I'm not in the best mood, I feel like I'm ruining his time as well. This is a trap I feel many people fall into when faced with uncontrollable mood swings because who wants to be the guy bringing everybody down? Also, once I get in the mindset that I'm ruining the fun and I'm the problem (you know, because the world revolves around me), it's really hard to return to a good/positive mental state.

The funny thing is, after I completed my shitacular Monday meditation, I did a little reading in When Things Fall Apart and it happened to be a chapter on exactly what I'm struggling with; putting all of this into practice when in a state of total frustration/helplessness. I can get on this blog and rave about all the times when I have the capacity to observe behavior and the patience to take a "time out" and change that behavior, but at the end of the day, I still get stuck. And I've been getting stuck a lot lately (or at least it feels like a lot), to the point where I just want to run and hide until I don't feel that way anymore.

Anyway, in the book, PC says this is exactly the occasion when we need to remember that feeling out of control is ok, we need to become intimate with this kind of fear. She talks a lot throughout the book about the human instinct to categorize things. As humans we inherently feel that things need to be this or that, but that's rarely how it is. Everything is the middle. And when I think about it, I totally agree, but man is it hard to start rationalizing when you're in that dark moment.

That's more or less how my week has been. A plethora, if you will, of highs and lows. Tuesday was much improved as was Wednesday, but Thursday was arguable worse than Monday. Bleck. I am proud to say that I am back on the meditation wagon though. Have not missed one all week. I also have exercised twice, for those keeping track. Whelp, have a great weekend!


In other news, I got a new computer charger, so I am no longer sharing with my roommate, which will hopefully help me to return to more regular posting. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Progress Report

Here's a little update on my progress a little over two months into this project:

Meditation: Nearly everyday for a minimum of 5 minutes, usually for at least 20. Have not skipped more than 3 days consecutively. While this is indeed impressive and I'm proud of myself, I really do feel the negative effects (bad mood, sense of no control, etc.) come on almost immediately when I skip meditation for even a day.

Buddhist Reading: Yes, I would say I have read something almost everyday be it on a blog, in a book, or an article a friend sent me.

Daily Highs: I've dropped off doing this on the blog everyday, but I would say counting the positive has worked it way into my daily routine. Ideally I would still do this on the blog everyday, but time is an issue sometimes and I can accept that

Monthly Random Gift or Card: January, February, March completed

Monthly Meditation Center/Temple Visit: Have only gone once so far (January). Again, time.

Exercise: Three times as week only happened for the first week or two. It's been more like once a week which is definitely not enough for me. Hopefully this will change pronto.

In general I'm incredibly pleased with my progress thus far. However, I will note that when I was following the guidelines more strictly back in January and taking the time to meditate for 20 minutes even at 2am, I felt remarkably better than I have in the past few weeks where I have just skipped meditation and blogging for days at a time. While I don't want to beat myself up for not being perfect, I can't deny the positive effects of taking the time to practice, even when I'm totally exhausted. For the remainder of March I would like to meditate everyday for at least 20 minutes and get back to the gym at least two days a week. Hold me to it folks!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Walk Don't Run

Saturday night was slated to be a great night. I had friends in town who I was meeting for dinner and two of my newest friends were joining. After dinner we were going to my man friend's friend's karaoke birthday party. My man friend had been out of town for over a week, so I was very excited to see him as well as my out of town friends. I was also anticipating everyone meeting each other because I thoroughly enjoy introducing my friends to my other friends.

I first went over to my friend's/neighbor's house to help them pick out clothes and get ready. Jess wasn't sure she was feeling like going out, but I convinced her we'd have a great time, so she agreed to join us. While I was waiting for everyone I looked up directions to my friend's hotel on my evil snazzy iPhone.

See, the iPhone has to feature where it uses google maps and your current location to create a customized route based on how you're traveling (i.e. on foot, by train, by car). Being that I've lived in New York for a few years, this was the first occasion I had used it to look up train directions, so it was also the first time I realized that it tells you not only what train to take, but WHEN the next train it coming. This is information that people like me should not have.

When I say people like me, I mean people who are constantly trying to be as efficient as possible particularly when it comes to travel. I am the girl who cuts through the parking lot. I am the girl who stands strategically at one end of the platform because I know it will put me closest to my destination. I am the girl who yells at people when they don't have their metrocard out and we miss the train. (For the record, I'm working on all of this, I really am.)

Anyway, if you haven't guessed it already, when I found out the next train was coming in 10 minutes, I immediately decided we HAD to catch that train. It is a 7 minute walk from my house to the train, so I thought if we picked up the pace we would make it there just in time. I am a pretty fast walker, so in order to keep up with me, my friends were literally jogging. It was quite entertaining. We made jokes and it turned into somewhat of a game.

As we approached the station I heard something, it was the sound of my friend in pain. When I turned around she was on the ground. She had slipped and fallen on the asphalt right off the curb of the sidewalk. For a moment we thought she was going to shake it off, but she declared she was in a massive amount of pain concentrated in her shoulder AND that she had no health insurance. We made some calls to various nurses, doctors, and veterinarians(?) we knew and they all said the same thing, "GO TO THE HOSPITAL".

So that is what we did. The ride there was pretty terrible because Brooklyn streets aren't the smoothest and pretty much any movement caused her pain. The hospital was interesting to say the least. The doctor seemed to think she was making a big fuss over nothing and said that it wasn't dislocated. He actaully said her injury was most likely a muscle tear. They took her to get an x-ray to confirm and guess what? It was broken! Take that Dr. Skeptical.

While my non-injured friend and I sat in the waiting area we encountered a man who had a chicken bone lodged in his throat, a man dead asleep with dollar bills sprawled on his lap, a guy who had a seizure and now did not recognize his own family, and of course, a young man who could only keep himself awake by staring up our dress. Ahhh Kings County General. We decided to keep ourselves occupied by browsing the romance section of Netflix on my iPhone. The first movie listed was titled: Walk Don't Run. Oddly appropriate, no?

The good news is, it's a quick healing injury. She should be fully recovered in a few weeks. Needless to say, I feel terrible because I convinced to her to come out and encouraged her to run to the train. Rather than sit around feeling guilty I'm just trying to be as helpful as I can while she recovers and to be more patient overall.

On a side note, sorry I haven't been posting as often. I really miss it, but I'm in an adjustment period right now. I've added some important people to my life, so a lot of my time has been spent enjoying them. I've also been making more of an effort to show everyone in my life how much I appreciate them, which often means less personal time. I'm working on it though and I'm hopeful that I'll be back in the groove soon. But after this weekend I'm not about to rush it!

Take care everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Big Baby

Today I feel like Big Baby from Toy Story 3. She (he?) seems all tough and hardened, kind of a bully, but at the end of the day, she's still a big baby. I was pretty irritable today at work and honestly just wanted to be left alone. In my mind everything was happening to ME and me only.

I woke up late, no hot water, and this lady on the street said I was disrespectful (I think because I had Henry's retractable leash let out too far, but I couldn't really understand her due to her accent and many missing teeth). She also assured me she would be watching me...

Someone else in the laundry room politely informed me that Henry was scratching at the door when I left and it was "shaking the whole hallway". I could barely bring myself to apologize to him. Just not in the mood. I'm resisting the urge to rant here because people getting in my business regarding my dog is becoming my biggest pet peeve.

As you can maybe tell, I'm still really pissy at this point in time. My meditation was all daydreaming and distraction, but as always, glad I took 20 minutes out of my day to sit still.

I'm not being productive at all right now. I'm too irritable to even try to examine my behavior, but hey, at least I can admit it!

- going to bed very soon
- got off work on time again
- laundry complete
- in spite of what this post conveys, my hormones did not wreck my day


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Enter the Void

I just had a really great meditation. I was feeling incredibly hormotional (as VA would say) today, which is why I wanted to focus on stress relief and just relaxing my body. I started off by going through the motions of relaxing my forehead, eyes, et cetera and when I got to my shoulders I really started to get into the zone. Of course I did what I always do when I get into "the zone" which is desperately try to hang onto it, which inevitably makes me lose it (I swear I am not talking about boners).

Anyway...I started to observe this pattern and had a total Buddhist moment where suddenly all of the  yammering about "emptiness" and being comfortable with fear made a whole shit ton of sense. I thought to myself, "what am I fighting to hang onto here? Nothing? Yeah nothing."

So I stopped, I stopped trying to hang onto that tiny little moment of nothingness and you know what? It worked. All at once I had a whole lot of nothingness and let me tell you, nothing is pretty amazing. Now I'm totally ready for bed.

That is all.

- meditation went swimmingly
- didn't let my hormones ruin my day
- watched Toy Story 3 with a friend :)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have had virtually no personal time over the past few days AND no computer charger. I have been meditating, I promise. If I get out of work at a decent hour I will be sure to update you on this past weekend and my life in general.

In the meantime, this is what comes up if you google "random 80's video" Enjoy!