Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Exercise in Futility

Yesterday, I was playing a card game on the computer called, "The Angry German." I have played this game at least a thousand times and have not won the game once. John oftens asks me why I keep playing knowing that I'll most likely not win. I came to realize that I played the game to play the game, not win or lose. I enjoyed the process involved. Then, it all came back to the idea that it is not always the destination that is the important part of a journey. Sometimes, the hardest won victories and the most crushing of defeats have given us the most valuable insights about life and about ourselves. I know that some of the struggles in my life when I wanted to just lay down and die, give up, have taught me how to be stronger, no, have made me stronger. This message comes to me at an important time when I have really been hating my job, wishing away the days, or as Sting would sing, "wishing my days away." Maybe I have been "walking on the moon." So, the next step for me is to enjoy the process. And, if that is not going to happen, I will try to reap the benefits of all the processes in life, even the ones that are equivalent to eating liver and onions or getting a root canal. Now, on to "The Angry German"!

Friday, March 20, 2009

True Confessions, Lena Style

I have to admit that I had a momentary breakdown last night and made John the unwitting target. Even though I know better than to let my frustrations turn into a rant at him, I sometimes cannot help myself. It has not helped that I was not feeling well and have been exhausted all week. It is just another reminder that how a person feels physically has an impact on their behaviors. I, of course, apologized and he accepted. Today, I am happy that it is the weekend and working on following my own advice of self-nurturing. I think I will try to be five decibels lighter in heart. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Value of Staying Silly

I hope that everyone had a Happy St. Patty's Day!! Working in a Kindergarten, I get to witness many adults acting somewhat "silly", dressing up for the holiday. I love it! Any excuse to remember our childlike side is wonderful. One of my main philosophies is that people let go of the wrong aspects of themselves as they grow older more "mature." The ability to be lighthearted is a huge strength. Whether it is just remembering your own sense of humor or letting down your guard to be silly, it can be such a huge stress relief and may open up the channels of creativity inside you. I will admit some "silly" things that I do: I like to dance around the apartment to music and I also make up songs that I sing to my cat, Magnum. What have you let go about yourself that you would like to get back? What are you waiting for? Here is a picture of Johnnie being silly!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cumulative Kindness: the Power of Collaboration

Entering the "blog world" or blogosphere as I have heard it called has helped me realize something I have believed for several years. I have had the belief that the world is full of people who are trying to make a difference, who work to make the world better. I have also believed that if these people supported each other and worked together, they could have a huge impact. I have been very lucky in my life in terms of the number of people who have showed me kindness or taught me something and most of them did not even realize that they had that kind of impact. It was just a natural outgrowth of who they were and how they lived.
As I read other people's blogs, I see that there are so many people sharing positive ideas and energy. I am really excited to being a part of this community and I highly recommend to everyone to take advantage of this free resource! A couple blogs I have found that I really like are (thanks Veronica!) and meditation-air.blogspot. Part of being on a path towards health and happiness adn knowing your resources. The internet makes it easy to tap into some really knowledgeable and helpful people. Thanks bloggers!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watching your Weight, Loving Life, Minding the Mantra

I have been struggling with my weight since puberty. Like many people, I have done the fad diets and the short periods of exercise. Now, I am in Weight Watchers, that follows the most basic rules of eat better and move more as a way to be healthy and at your ideal weight. I like them because they are about health and lifestyle rather than quick fixes and fads. I go to meetings almost every Thursday evening. The leader, Lorraine, looks like she could be on a cover of a fitness magazine, which just goes to show you do not know the obstacles others have faced to be where they are.
One of the things Lorraine does at her meetings is pass around a necklace each week that has "Love Yourself" spelled backwards so that every time you look in the mirror, you are reminded to follow that mantra. Well, after a year of avoiding the necklace, one of the members passed it to me. Why has this been a point of anxiety? It is hard to deal with loving oneself and really taking a responsible role in your own caretaking. It really is not something that has really been taught or modelled and many people confuse self-love with narcissism or selfishness. However, people who take care of themselves properly and truly love themselves are actually much better at their relationships and more nurturing. After all, they end up being happier and having more energy. So, I guess this week, I will have to take a dose of my own advice and really live this philosophy of self-nurturance. I hope you do the same!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Simple Solutions: Improve Your Groove

I recently heard that there is a significant correlation between spouses interactions the first five minutes they see each other during the day and the success of their relationship. Basically, how you treat your spouse when s/he or you gets home from work is predictive of the quality of that relationship. What this means is that there is a great opportunity to learn about your relationship and improve it. Instead of getting right to business when your spouse or significant other gets home, it is more effective to give them some affection and positive attention. When John, my significant other, gets home, I immediately give him a hug and a kiss and ask about his day. He also asks me about my day. I do this no matter what business has to be attended to, and we have had plenty of business to attend to since the custody battle for his ten year old who I refer to as M. By starting our interactions in a positive way, it sets a positive tone for the rest of the night. Try it for a couple weeks and test the theory for yourself!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Find Your Art

Just a short one today--one way to self-evolution is to find an art that you like and do it. It could be photography (which you can share with others on, it could be drawing, writing, painting, sculpting, singing, playing an instrument--whatever appeals to you. It does not have to be good; it's just an adult's way of playing. It will help you develop your creativity and express yourself. Just like play helps children process their emotions and experiences, art can do this for adults. So go for it!!