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  1. This challenge begins during a time of converging paths, each with their own pressures: PhD classes, interpersonal conflict, editing work, physical challenges, emotional balance, spiritual wholeness. At times it feels like I am navigating under a starless sky, and all I can do is trust the sails and be grateful that the water lifts the boat. I hadn't meant to make an Earthsea challenge, and it's been forever since I read the books, but here we are. Writing often reveals the Way; as Ged found, words have power to restore balance to what has been upset. The way will open.
  2. Snow Falling on Warm Ground When I sit Let the thoughts come. Welcome them even! With an open heart, I can receive them Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am work, Let the chaos come. Welcome it even! With a centered heart, I can embrace it Drifts of snow falling On warm ground. When I am play, Let the obstacles come. Welcome them even! With a calm heart, I can resolve them Drifts of snow falling On warm grou
  3. Not sure what this challenge holds for me, so I'm coming in with an open heart. Stay tuned, because this is the mindset that usually means the doors get blown off. ❤️
  4. Heidi

    Heidi: Amazoning

    My journey to this point has taken me into some hellish and dark spaces, a trap-laden trek encountering demons; at times there was a sea of despair. I have been stripped of so much along the way, walking naked through the dark without even the light of the moon. But I kept walking, and when I couldn't walk, I sat. Rest is not an admission of defeat. Over the challenges this year, I stood up and walked again, however slowly, a miracle in its own right. The demons are now familiar companions; there is no fear; there is no fight; I have no enemies. I feel as though I'm on the other side now,
  5. Wow, what a journey we have been on, Dear Readers. The process all began in 2015, but we never know it at the time. I realized I was on some sort of soul journey in mid-2016, then really ramped up through 2017. By the beginning of the year in 2018, I had a name for this path. I can confirm: the past two years have been crucible-level intense. The name "nightmare of the soul" is apt. I even got cocky this time last year, celebrating my new vantage point. I think I might have even said something along the lines of: FOR THE RECORD: DO NOT DO T
  6. Heidi

    Heidi: Retreat

    Welcome to the WayBack. Inner Light is revealed in the deep darkness. It has been quite the year so far, a bit of a (hopefully) final boss fight in a trilogy of trilogies of weirdness. Frankly, I feel as though I’ve been through some Stephen R. Donaldson weirdness since 2013 (the original Year That Would Not Die). At this point, I don’t know if I would recognize the person I was back then if I met her on the street. They say the butterfly still remembers its caterpillar-self, though. This challenge starts off with a beautiful New Moon that promises insights an
  7. Heidi

    Heidi: Emerge

    Hi there. It's been a weird couple months. The concussion symptoms are still with me, but the physical whiplash symptoms are abating. The headaches are less frequent. I can do a little screen time each day. It's time for me to return to the Light, even if it has to be slowly. Emerging back into my life is strange and new -- so much about me has changed since the autumnal equinox. I'm looking forward to having you along for the journey. Thank you for walking this piece with me as I watch for the Way to open.
  8. Heidi

    Heidi: Believe

    The last challenge was about watching the wheels come off, as I knew they would. So this challenge is about walking the new path, finding peace in the solitude and listening for the inspiration in the quiet. It is the darkness that makes the light shine so brightly. I have much on my plate for school this challenge. I just met with my new writing workshop adviser, and after exchanging several heartfelt emails, I decided to look up what she has written. It turns out she's on my Read Real Soon list. I have bumped the book ahead of a few others in the stack. Ov
  9. Heidi

    New Moon Light

    Happy February, Druids. This month there is no full moon, as the Snow moon of February was early and ambitious and showed up at the end of January just in time for a spectacular eclipse, leaving this a month for walking in the dark as I make my way toward balance and harmony, in my life and in my soul. There is no end in sight to the contentiousness that the universe is sending my way, giving me the opportunity to acknowledge and release my own shortcomings, if I'm up to the challenge. I have worked hard to get where I am; the journey has been a difficult one si
  10. January starts with the Wolf supermoon and ends with the Blue supermoon. The end of the year holiday visiting and playtime have been wonderful, but now, taking a cue from the moons, it's time for some serious reflection. I need to sit quietly and listen, to look behind me at the fractured path that was 2017, to lean into the feelings and find the insights as I prepare to walk forward. I'm glad to have you along.
  11. Heidi

    Heidi: Hurrah!

    A final hurrah! for 2017, I'm letting this challenge span from November 19 - December 31 This challenge I'm going to put together some of the best parts of 2017, laying a strong foundation as I head out of this year and into the next. We have two major holidays going on in this challenge, and I'm looking forward to the structure holding me. Also, I have Yet Another Court Case at the end of the challenge, so all structure is good structure; my balance tends to get wobbly with court cases. The daily and weekly structure seems to work best for me, one of the lessons I've l
  12. Heidi

    Heidi: Fall

    #Fall - into routine Daily: Sleep Chronic Fatigue makes sleep elusive and fitful. Routine helps, so with that I'm hoping to #Fall back into a routine: Sauna or hot bath Writing a few pages each day, hopefully finding something that can get worked on well enough to turn in for the submission due on November 1. Knitting It seems to soothe me. Knitting helps me feel as though I'm not a useless slug even when I can barely do anything physically. It's a bonus that Vivian has started knitting with me and we are enjoying planning a blanket for her
  13. Wow. The end of the last challenge went through my life like a meat grinder. Mediation Workshops, threats of nuclear war, Personal Relationship Crumbling, Charlottesville. Thank goodness I have the NF community and the habits I've built with you guys over the past few years. One of the things that I know is that we will do it together, and we will go farther than we ever could have imagined. #Writing: After attending the Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop, I applied for and got accepted into the Queens University MFA in Creative writing. This means that I have to read a
  14. I don't have a clue when I last posted -- I know that the #BigHeavyWeight of it all wrapped itself around my shoulders on June 19 and I have been working my way through a bit of hell ever since. Anton Chekhov wrote that "Any idiot can handle a crisis. It's the day to day living that wears you out." And I've had about three weeks of living in that space. The good news is that I am brave enough to say I'm tired, brave enough to quit pretending all is well, brave enough to rest and to begin to heal. Another wonderful man once said "This is not the end, and not even the beginning of the end, but i
  15. Heidi

    Heidi: Center

    I'm coming into this round a bit worn thin. I don't think that the conflict is going to slow its pace -- last challenge saw the Whirling Dervish of Conflict speed its pace and extend its scope. The only sane response to insanity is more sanity, and in my case that means do less and center more. Elements in bold are the core target, with elements in italics being stretch goals. Love > Fear Stillness > Chaos Mind Writing (this is in bold because it's a focus point for the challenge, a point where when things get into conflict -- and they always do at some point,
  16. Heidi

    Heidi: Frost

    | Frost, or Isa, the Rune of Ice Attention to small things gives us real results in large things.This is my Why, and the Tao is my Way. The Rune Isa indicates stillness and reinforcement, a great theme for me this round. I'm going with a 3x5 (+1) for this, three goals with five elements each plus one life goal. Act (daily elements) - keeping in action to sustain the healthy foundation. Improvements are bonus, a happy accident of continued use over time. Morning walk -- 20 minutes Steam room and sauna meditation -- 20 minutes
  17. 16: Returning to the root Be completely empty. Be perfectly serene. The ten thousand things arise together; in their arising is their return. Now they flower, and flowering sink homeward, returning to the root. The return to the root is peace. Peace: to accept what must be. to know what endures. In that knowledge is wisdom. Without it, ruin, disorder. To know what endures is to be openhearted, magnanimous, regal, blessed, following the Tao, the way that endures forever. The body comes to its ending, but there is nothing t
  18. Ice Heidi’s Yuletide 2016 Challenge The Big Why Attention to small things gives us real results in large things.This is my Why, and the Tao is my Way. Objectives: What I Want A peaceful mind. I value balance in all things, but especially in my heart and mind. Peace of mind vanquishes all. A healthy body. Happy family time. A clean and orderly home. Activities: What I’m Willing to do Attitude Awareness and Adjustment: Read the Tao daily, preferably with my partner, sharing our thoughts
  19. Oct. 24-30 . . . Do you have the patience to wait Till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving Till the right action arises by itself? The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment Not seeking, not expecting, She is present, and can welcome all things. Stephen Mitchell’s Notes: “Mud” stands for concepts, judgments, desires, expectations -- everything t
  20. Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. Lao Tzu I can't believe another challenge cycle has spun around again. The new timeframe seems to be uncannily aligned with my life's rhythms, to boot. Life is frequently like that.Last challenge I learned much - so very very much - about how love is stronger than fear. It was a lesson I understood intellectually, but had no true grasp on, and I delved in to put the principle into practice.It was as hard as it sounds. At times, I could not imagine how to release the fear, let alone find the love, but it was
  21. Hey. Psst! Yeah, you. Do you want to know a secret? Come, pull up a chair, scooch it close; let me tell you what I know. It won’t take long, because it isn’t much: LOVE IS GREATER THAN FEAR. Let me pour you some tea while you think that over, because that’s it; that’s all I know. I have spent a lifetime looking for answers, thinking I found them, watching them crumble or dissolve or simply disappear. But not love; never love. And it’s possible that the Beatles were right all along, that love really is all you need. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of love
  22. Wow. What a wonderful ride it has been over the last few years. I am absolutely impressed with the difference small changes over time have wrought, and I feel as though I am standing on the peak of a mountain, valleys, streams and waterfalls around me, held by the love of the universe. And the way before me shows higher peaks yet, beautiful vistas for the journey, and I face them with strength and serenity. This challenge will encompass summer, with all the strange and delightful and at times surreal energy that comes along with an abundance of sun. Summer classes r
  23. Well, I'm not sure how it happened so fast, but here we are, in graduation month. I have had some huge successes so far this year, not the least of which are graduation and quitting smoking. But now it seems as though a lot of weird loose ends are all that remains, and my externally-imposed structures are all melting away. If I have learned anything, it's that I'm no good without structure. This challenge is about saying centered in what works while being available for whatever post-graduation life might hold. I've rediscovered walking, and @T2sarahconnor is helping keep me on track thi
  24. School stuff: Leap week 1 Thesis edits to Advisor March 31 Complete 3/31 Conference Presentation April 2 (Epic Quest Moment) Complete 4/2 Thesis to second reader April 4 Complete 4/4 The Core: Languish weeks 2-5 Meetings 1 3 4 Acupuncture 1 3 4 Gym time 1 3 4 T'ai Chi / Yoga / Pilates 1 3 4 Library weekly 1 2 3 4 Ongoing House ideas: Paint entryway April 1-4 Paint kitchen Keep baking Rebuild entrance cover and pillars And something for my birthday. Complete 4/7
  25. 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 reall
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