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Found 7 results

  1. Beltane May 1 - June 11: Bloom Where You’re Planted Yoga, meditation, anti-inflammatory foods, gardening, composting (with worms!!), love. Welcome to a truly Druidic Challenge. Grounded. Like an errant teenager or an injured pilot, like the third prong on the electrical plug, this challenge I am grounded, or looking to get that way. Me, being me, I’m taking this as literally as I take everything else, and I’m looking to dirt and roots to help me out. Even my yoga sessions are on the ground, and meditation is definitely that way. Nourish Flower and urban farm shares (including eggs!) start this week. Nearby farm vegetable delivery starts May 17. I need to make sure I have the fridge and tools prepared and waiting. Eating farm-to-table is a mindset more than an activity, and having the right structure in place makes all the difference. Weekly vegetable delivery means weekly cooking. Last year was a wash with me having no motivation or energy. Truly, it was a sad year on the cooking front. Looking forward to this year in the kitchen. Vermicomposting, the nerdiest druid thing to happen in the dirt. I’m super excited about this. I’ve wanted to do indoor vermicomposting for years, and am finally making this happen. I have the composter ready to be assembled, and lots of thoughts about worms. The composter isn’t large, but every square inch matters in this small apartment, so I’ll need to figure out where it will live and how collecting vegetable scraps and tea leaves will fit into the workflow. Plants! Vivian wants to plant roses and lavender in containers on the rooftop terrace, and I want to have fresh herbs again, especially rosemary and basil, and possibly sunflowers. Look for green thumb reports. Bask I’m kicking the challenge off with a session of sound bowl healing, one of my favorite activities. A second session is scheduled for the first week of June as well. The weather is warming up and there’s a couple free yoga sessions each week with an instructor I really like, so I’m adding those to the calendar, in pencil as my energy level allows. Acupuncture and milk each week help me keep my glow. I have two passes for a salt float (similar to a sensory deprivation tank, but larger) that are like a deep meditation session, and I’ll add those where and when I can. Love I get to see Vivian every other Saturday, still, and we are supposed to start adding in time on the following Sundays, as well as video chats on the Friday before. I’m looking forward to that. Academic Housekeeping: I need to finish up the semester projects and send them off. I’ve been dragging my feet and will have them done and turned in by the end of zero week.
  2. We all need peace in our lives. If you would like to find that balance between your mind, body and spirit, try this PvP challenge. You can do this through your yoga practice, walking, running, shavasana or sitting comfortably in a quiet room. Focus on your breath, and either a candle or your foundation, as long as you bring yourself back if your thoughts start to wander (they are called the minds bicep curls). This analogy on reddit has been referenced frequently, but here is something you should keep in mind: Post your meditation and describe what you can from it. First with the tally of how many meditations you have completed. How did you do it? For how long? How often did your mind wander? How did you feel afterwards? Did you learn anything new about yourself? Try this for at least 10 minutes every day or every other day, depending on your routine. If you complete 30 days of meditation, you are rewarded with learning how to embrace your distractions, taking time to focus on yourself. and gained "emotional intelligence". Among many other benefits people have claimed to experience. I have downloaded the Insight Timer app. I usually meditate during yoga class, but I will use the app on non-yoga days. Please feel free to offer any suggestions for this PvP. I plan on making a list to keep track of how far each participant has come. If you want to do more than 30, go for it! Good luck and namaste!
  3. This challenge is about making the most of opportunities as they come up. I have a lovely foundation behind me so far this year, and some ends to wrap up, or items to put in place this round. I would like to make the most of my energy and my choices so that I am flexible and available to make use of opportunities that come my way. I'll be continuing with the near-daily gym visits. More than ever I have seen how beneficial they are to my emotional well being and balance. I have a good rhythm with my partner on this front, and it grounds me. We do T'ai Chi once or twice a week as well, and really like it. Vivian, now 5, has become a bit of a gym rat too, and days when she doesn't get in the pool are a bit gloomy for her. The thesis and conference paper final edits need to be completed and submitted and done and dusted by mid March. I'm looking forward to it, and wondering where the universe will lead me once it's all wrapped up. The onerous task weekly list will always be a part of my life, as will the gratitude and affirmations journal.
  4. In keeping with all things "love" for this month, I'm including a lean on others piece. This month I will actively look for ways to accept the strength and wisdom of others. We are all stronger together. I am not alone. ~Daily Gratitude Journal continues, and will include when I'm grateful for the assistance of others. ~Daily gym will continue, with my partner. It's not as though I am incapable or disallowed to go alone, or anything. But it's a powerfully connected time when we go together. ~Onerous Tasks will continue, as ever, and I will make a note of how and when I am able to have help slaying these pesky kobolds. ~Papers: I have full rough drafts for the thesis and the conference papers due this month.
  5. I considered making legit, fancy goals for this between-challenge period, but I don't think that's going to happen. And I think I can do better with something a bit more nuanced that takes into account all the buts and becauses and wherefores and so on. So roughly, my goal is to a) survive Christmas and recover from it enough to hit the next challenge at full speed. The Christmas survival thing is tough. I'm visiting my parents, and without going into too much detail, there are both massive fundamental issues between us and minute-to-minute annoyances that make things pretty tough. (And that's not far from literal; it would be an exaggeration to say that a full 60 seconds never goes by without my dad screaming about something or my mom trying to put food in my face, but I don't know that it would be an exaggeration to say that a full 5 minutes never passes without one of those things occurring.) Moreover, we were visiting my brother's in-laws for Thanksgiving -- since they host a big party, my parents were on their best behavior then. But now, it's just me here, so they can be themselves in full force. I'm not calm and won't be until I leave, which is mercifully only three days away. And I haven't done well with my diet, but I'm trying not to stress out too much about that -- again, it's a short time to deal with it. I have established the precedent of taking long walks on my own, which helps, and I also brought some work to do... I think it will be fine. After getting home comes the ramping up to full speed for my next challenge. That will involve restoring the diet to what it should be (and ideally reaching the same weight I was at before the holidays), getting back into my exercise routine (which involves classes with instructors who push me, rather than being solely responsible for myself), and re-acquainting myself with a writing project that I've pushed to the back burner for the past couple months. I should also actually formalize and write down my goals for the next challenge -- I've got plenty of ideas in my mind, so it's really just a matter of picking them. Also, I need to find a polite way to say "Flying from Chicago to Florida so that I can take a road trip to New Jersey with a woman who has to chirp about something meaningless constantly and a man who never seems to be able to put his wants into words but compensates for that by expressing them at ever-increasing volume sounds like an extraordinarily bad use of my vacation time next year." Is that possible? Oh, yeah. Serenity.
  6. I have chosen the two pillars of my next challenge – serenity and flexibility – because these are two aspects of my life which have recently given me a feeling of great balance. These were actually unexpected benefits from the challenge we just finished, so I wanted to focus more energy on them in the coming six weeks. I accomplished things in my last challenge – my first – that I didn’t know were possible for me. I have lost almost 15 inches and 16 pounds, and I have sustained a daily gratitude practice that has transformed my life. But I want to go further. I am looking for the peace that comes with knowing myself and my heart, and the practices I have planned in my second quest will hopefully help me deepen that knowledge. To get to know myself even better, I guess I'm going to have to spend some time with Me. I’m going to do this through spending Me time in the woods, on the yoga mat, and through continuing the meditation practice I started in my last challenge. Running My budding running practice has given me a sense of balance and peace I have not known before. When it’s good, it’s almost like a moving meditation for me. As I run more, I find that I do not enjoy road-running AT ALL. I am most at peace in nature, walking and running on sun-dappled trails with the smell of leaves and earth and moss all around me. In the next six weeks, I would like to 1) increase my distance to the point that I am running 5k easily and regularly, and 2) wean myself from the “dreadmill†by getting out to the trails near my home multiple times a week. For the first three weeks of this challenge, I will be completing the Couch-to-5k training program I started in the middle of my last challenge. When I complete the program, I will be running in a 5k for charity. After that, I will focus exclusively on running trails until the weather leaves the trails un-navigable. The ultimate goal will be to conquer the Hickory Grove Trail, a 3-mile dirt/gravel trail in a conservation area near my house. I would like to be able to run the entire three miles of the trail with ease by the end of this challenge. The next six weeks looks like this in my mind: Week 1 – complete C25k Week 6 program – 3 runs Week 2 – complete C25k Week 7 program – 3 runs Week 3 – complete C25k Week 8 program and run Pink Laundry 5k on 10/6 Week 4 – Run 2x5k on treadmill plus 1 Hickory Grove trail run Week 5 – Run 1x5k on treadmill plus 2 Hickory Grove trail runs Week 6 – Run 3 Hickory Grove trail runs For ease of grading, I will add one distance walk per week. Thus, the grading scale will be as follows: 3 runs + weekly distance walk completed: A 2 runs + weekly distance walk completed: B 1 run + weekly distance walk completed: C 1 run or 1 distance walk completed: D No run or walk completed: F Yoga Practice I have also found serenity in practicing yoga. I am still an uber-novice, but I would like to increase the frequency of my practice in order to increase mental and physical awareness and gain even more flexibility. I will be increasing my yoga practice to 5x per week over the course of this 6-week challenge. I’d really like to be able to complete an entire Shiva Rea vinyasa yoga dvd without having to leave out any poses by the end of the 6 weeks, I’m just not sure how to make this part a measurable mission lol. For ease of grading, I’ll keep the frequency as the measurable part. Here’s what the grading scale will look like for the yoga mission: 5x yoga practice/week: A 4x yoga practice/week: B 3x yoga practice/week: C 2x yoga practice/week: D 1 or fewer yoga practice/week: F Meditation I was extremely successful introducing basic meditation into my daily practice in the last challenge. It made a great improvement in my mental state and overall sense of balance, and I would like to continue and deepen that practice with the current challenge. I will change my approach to be less mantra-centered and more focused on emptying my mind. Ideally, this would be a daily practice, but I learned in the last challenge that flexibility is the foundation of sanity in my house. J Here is the grading scale: Meditating 5x or more/week: A Meditating 4x/week: B Meditating 3x/week: C Meditating 2x/week: D Meditating 1x/week: F Life Goal: People IRL I have virtually no social life. I see pictures on Facebook of women and their “tribes†of supporters at various outings and functions, and it makes me somewhat wistful. I’ve never really had a tribe of people in person – I have been content to keep track of my closest friends, who live far away, via email. I am going to set out to change that and build a foundation for creating my own tribe here IN REAL LIFE. I am going to commit to having at least one IRL meeting with a friend each week. This could be getting coffee or going out for a drink, or getting together for a project. This is over and above my daily workouts, which I do with a workout buddy. I need to increase face-time with folks I like, not just chatting on Facebook or communicating solely via text message. This is an all-or-nothing goal – either I pass or I fail.
  7. Welcome to my battle log! I didn't have one for my first challenge, but I have since decided that it is a most excellent idea. I'm still trying to formulate the missions for my second challenge, but I just wanted to stake my claim to a thread here so my peeps could find me and give me a Follow. LOL
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