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One-liner Wednesday – mindfulness

‘Prayer is when we talk to God. Meditation is when God talks to you.’

Looks like we’ve had quite a long chat!


Today’s midweek pondering is brought to you by Linda G Hill and my meditation app, Headspace.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday xx

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Ah! That’s better.

The calm after the storm is all the sweeter for having weathered the storm. I think the heady combination of multiple celebrations back to back and the lunar eclipse had quite a disruptive effect on me over the past few days.

Fortunately I’ve learned that these storms do pass. Sometimes you have to ride them out, and other times you need to give yourself a good talking to. Today was ‘talking to’ time.

Pup was hitched up to her lead earlier than usual. She looked at me as if to say

“What’s up Mum? We’re headed out way earlier than usual and you have a ‘look’ that says this is going to be a speed march!”

“It’ll do us both good, pup. I need to have a strong word with myself, and your walk route is the best place for it. Nobody to overhear me.”

An hour later, my move target on my Apple Watch completely smashed, we trooped back in, hot and bothered but happier. Well at least I was. Pup was thirsty and gave me a bit of a reproachful look.

Filled with a renewed sense of purpose and energy, I decided to bake bread without using my mixer. Normally I chuck everything into the bowl, attach the dough hook, and let it do the work. Not today. I was on a mission. There’s nothing quite so much fun as getting your hands into the flour, fingers in a claw shape, and giving everything a good squish. Tactile fun with the added bonus of decent bread at the end.

Next was the kneading… the bit I’m usually happy to leave to the machine. I’d forgotten how tiring it can be. It was almost a full upper body workout! In the past I used to pretend that the dough was a person who’d annoyed me. Great for getting you through the tiring muscle bit. Not today. Today I wanted my bread filled with renewed energy, love, and happiness, so that’s what I focused on as I thumped the poor defenceless dough into shape.

With the weather still warm, the warming wasn’t needed, just a disposable shower cap over my mixing bowl and time.

What to do while I waited?

Listen to a Deepak Chopra talk followed by a pedicure. With everyone one out of the house I had the peace and quiet I needed to listen to the talk. I did not do anything else at the same time… just listened. I used to pride myself on my ninja multitasking skills. Now I see that as not paying attention to what I’m doing. At last I was a human simply being, in the listening state.

It was a great eye-opener… lots of ‘aha’ moments as well as being timely (thank you again, universe).

Then I dug out an unused Christmas pressy… a pedicure kit. An hour later my tootsies were smooth, trimmed, and Barbie pink and my bread dough was ready for knocking back and shaping.

After another Hay House talk the dough was ready for the oven. It would seem that a good talking too was just what I needed.

By the way, the bread turned out delicious.

Wishing you all a terrific Tuesday xxx

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Keeping my mind on track…

Having just taken time to reply to Perimenopausal Ponderings‘ latest post, it got me think about what goes through my head when I do finally find the time and uninterrupted space to meditate. Her question was about the types of crutches we use to get us through the day. Mine is meditating or gin!

I’ve given up expecting the dog and my family to work it out for themselves that me, sitting quietly with my eyes shut, headphones on, deep breathing, is me meditating. The preparation for those ten short minutes is almost a ritual in itself.

It starts with me giving the dog some cuddles, declaring my intention to have ten minutes, grabbing the headphones and getting comfortable. With my Mums Radar switched to quiet mode, I fire up my meditation app and chose a session from a pack I’ve loaded earlier or go with the daily offering.

Making sure I’m sitting correctly (my chiropractor would be impressed) I take a few moments to try to get my head in the zone. As the opening sentences pass through my brain, instructing me to breathe deeply, I feel a sense of calm descend…. and then the end of my nose itches.

Do I scratch it or try to ignore it? Oh heck, I’m thinking about my nose instead of listening to the meditation.

Deep breath and start again.

I get to the bit where I’m encouraged to close my eyes… not a problem for me, but seems to be a signal to the dog to sneak up, unheard, and drop a toy on my lap.

“Eeeek! Urgh! Get that smelly thing off me! (Throws toy and biscuit into dog’s bed to encourage her to bugger off and leave me alone).

Deep breath, restart the meditation and try to recover from the fright.

Breathing deeply, eyes closed, I feel my heart return to normal pace. Ah! Mmmm!

….

….

“…and now gently scan your body from head to toe, simply noticing how it feels…”

Ok so far… head feels fine, nose has stopped itching. Stop thinking about the nose. Keep scanning down. All is well.

5 minutes later, just concentrating on the breath, my little bubble of calm is interrupted by Mr D.

“Are you done yet? Do you want a cup of tea?”

Breathing deeply, counting to ten, I reply that I’m still meditating (or at least trying to) and that a cuppa would be nice later thank you. He doesn’t notice that I’m speaking to him through gritted teeth!

I don’t bother to restart the session from the beginning and attempt to regain a tiny smidge of calmness from where I left off when I was interrupted – again!

….

….

“... and now release the focus on your breath, allowing your mind to wander freely…”

“…. gammon steak and pineapple…”

“… oh God, I’m in the office tomorrow…”

“… fluffy clouds…”

“… did I water my greenhouse plants?”

“… and in your own time, gently open your eyes.

And there you have it, ten minutes of mindfulness, Cath Dean style!

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To bee or not to bee…

So today is my first day back at work after a wonderful week in magical Cornwall. Within minutes of opening my inbox I was wishing myself back there. It’s taken me all day to sort through the crap to find the actual things to do.

I was so glad when close of business came round. I don’t think I’ve ever shot out of my office and into yoga as fast as I did today. Lucky me. The weather is perfect for outdoor yoga. Molly joined me for a few down-dogs and got in the way of a nearly great triangle!

Naughty puppy! Fancy trying to knock Mummy over!

Molly trotted off in disgust when I didn’t pay her much more attention. Settling down for a ten minute meditation session under my holly tree, I was on the point of closing my eyes when a massive downdraught appeared next to my left hand, followed by a super-loud buzzzzzzz.

A bumble bee landed on me. After carefully washing its antennas, it proceeded to settle down for a rest. So there I was, me meditating and the bee possibly joining in. Bliss. I even managed to stroke the fur without disturbing it.

Afterwards, it seemed very reluctant to say good bye. Even a lovely nectar-rich flower was not nearly as interesting as my hand. I made up a sugar solution (there’s a good recipe for it here) and offered up a little drink. It seems my meditating bee was tired and thirsty. Within minutes it took off and headed out into the garden.

The start of my day may not have been great but the end sure was.

Happy Monday my lovelies xx

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Remember to make a date with yourself… One-liner Wednesday

Mindfulness quote

Surrounded by technology, being plugged in 24/7, is not good for the body, mind and soul. Are we masters of our gadgets or the slaves?

I think the trick is to consciously unplug. Every day I give myself the gift of ten minutes undivided attention in the form of mindfulness meditation. As a result, I am less prone to quick-temperedness, anxiety, and depression. It has really helped me through the menopause.

The irony is, I use an app!

Happy hump day everyone xx


Today’s post was prompted by Linda G Hill and her mid-week One-liner Wednesday prompt. Pop over and say Hi! You’ll find her list of guidelines for participation. Join in the fun!

One Liner Wednesday

 

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Mind over matter

img_4094It’s time for a little update on my Couch-to-5K challenge. What started out as a running challenge has now morphed into a mind challenge. Week 7 is the first week of continuous runs, no walking breaks. This shouldn’t pose much of a problem as the previous week saw me running for 15 minutes continuously, followed by a three minute walking break and another small run at the end. I felt comfortable throughout.

The continuous runs (20 minutes) seem much more of a challenge than a mere extra five minutes would suggest. Why is this? I suspect my head is getting in the way of my feet. I’m thinking about the whole run and the absence of walking breaks. The last run of week 7 is tomorrow. Before I head out, I think I will visit Headspace and listen to the running meditation to see if it helps me get over this mental hurdle.

As encouragement, the Couch to 5K app awarded me a badge. It may be a virtual badge, but I’m so proud to have it nonetheless.

Wishing you all a happy Friday Eve xx

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Things that pop up during the day…

“Acceptance doesn’t mean to sit back and do nothing. It means having the clarity of mind to know when to let go… and when to act.” – Headspace thoughtful moment. This little bit of daily encouragement popped up just as I was leaving the house for a run.

The running app popped up with an award as I reached the end of the session. And more things have popped up since my last run. Two pale cream hellebores and some African marigolds. I’ve no idea why the marigolds are blooming this early. They don’t seem to have been affected by our recent sub-zero temperatures. They must be hardier that they look.

I’m always amazed what pops into my head when running! I now view my training sessions as meditations. I bet there’s a Headspace session for running… must have a look….

Happy Friday xx