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Visiting the Druids


alannamoonlight

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Hello! I'm Alanna, I just finished my first level 1 challenge and I think I'm ready to do a guild-specific one. I found during my last challenge that meditation is going to continue to prove a key part of my health throughout my life, and despite it having nothing to do with the initial goals I set in my level 1 challenge, I knew by the end of week 2 that I'd want to focus my next challenge with it. And I think this is the guild to try it in!

 

I'd really like to get more physically active and start working out, but I'm coming to the end of my 3rd Masters semester and my mental health has made it imperative to focus on the meditation and mental exercises, so I'm going to de-emphasize the gym and put more emphasis on the mental/spiritual for this four weeks.

 

Nevertheless, I do want to make one goal physical.

 

Body:

-Get to the gym four times (once each week average). I'm not going to force myself into a new routine, but I'm still striving toward the general habit of "just show up." If I get there four times this challenge, it will have beaten the number last time!

-Maintain my decaffeinated state. I successfully weaned myself off of caffeine and put sugary drinks on the "treat" / "'date night" back burner; I plan to maintain this.

 

Mind:

-Keep up a meditation streak on Headspace. I will post a screencap here every day just for accountability's sake, even though I realize it may get repetitive for anyone following this challenge.

-Finish 2 audiobooks. I have an Audible backlog!

 

Spirit:

-Finish 2 knit / crochet projects for Christmas presents. I've handmade most of my family and friends' presents this year; I want to add two more items to the pile to ensure there's something for everyone!

-Cut profanity out of my reactive vocabulary. Recently I've noticed that I reflexively swear more than I'd like. I realize that profanity has a place -- I studied linguistics and I'm not terribly prudish about it in general, but I've wanted to reduce the frequency of my use of it (maybe eliminate it?) and just generally soften my conversational style. I think I can tie this into the mindfulness mindset that regular meditation has helped me with.

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Excitedly following your challenge!! I really like your goals and I'm eager to follow your progress!  :D 

 

giphy.webp

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 51

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

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Welcome to the Druids! :D 

On ‎26‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 3:57 AM, alannamoonlight said:

I'm coming to the end of my 3rd Masters semester

I'm roughly half-way through my MA, so I know exactly how important meditation is!

 

Good luck with your challenge! :D 

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Level 16 Warrior Druidess

Walk FROM Mordor   Challenges: Current (#17)   Previous (#1-16)

Keto:  https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto      Fasting:  https://idmprogram.com/tag/fasting/

 

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On 11/25/2017 at 10:57 PM, alannamoonlight said:

 

-Cut profanity out of my reactive vocabulary. Recently I've noticed that I reflexively swear more than I'd like. I realize that profanity has a place -- I studied linguistics and I'm not terribly prudish about it in general, but I've wanted to reduce the frequency of my use of it (maybe eliminate it?) and just generally soften my conversational style. I think I can tie this into the mindfulness mindset that regular meditation has helped me with.

 All of your goals look awesome, but this one really touched me. I have the same problem with lacing my vocab with too many creative and colorful words. I look forward to reading how you rock this one!

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Screenshot_20171128-090735.png.0522e65b0f2b538bc501cefbcddca2fe.png

 

I'm stumbling a little bit getting back in the habit of meditation after the holidays, but this challenge is already keeping it more present in my mind as a priority! I also told my therapist about it, and she thought NerdFitness goal setting sounded brilliant! I'll post these screencaps every few days; I was going to post one every day but they're a hassle to grab and edit to get my personal details out of the image.

 

I've already finished one of my crochet projects! I'll probably end up actually exceeding that goal. I was unexpectedly productive yesterday; I finally finished and submitted the personal statement for my PhD program application, after fussing over it for way too long. @SkyGirl can attest...she witnessed some of my IRL agonizing...:lol:

 

So, in summary:

1 Crochet Christmas present done

Personal statement submitted (not part of my challenge goals but still a highly productive thing I needed to get done and it feels good!)

Meditation - 2 day streak

 

Something I'm already noticing I want to work on as part of this challenge is my wake-up time. I'm a snooze button addict, which leaves me very little room to actually make meditation a consistent morning habit. I tend to stay in bed as long as I can possibly manage, then rush around for forty-five minutes and fly out the door. I shouldn't really need to do this anymore since my work schedule has changed and accommodated more time to myself in the evening; I can get to bed at a perfectly reasonable hour, so there's not really any reason I shouldn't be getting up with time to spare, too. I'm not sure what the best way to motivate myself is; maybe if I make it through a whole work week getting my feet on the ground when the first alarm goes off, I treat myself to something? Not really sure.

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10 hours ago, CraftyHeathen said:

 All of your goals look awesome, but this one really touched me. I have the same problem with lacing my vocab with too many creative and colorful words. I look forward to reading how you rock this one!

 

It's hard to explain it without seeming judgmental...I don't have a deep-rooted moral issue with profanity, but I just notice myself using it a lot in my day to day. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I live in an unfathomably huge metro area where transit is still largely car-based, and people drive selfishly and aggressively. Injurious and deadly accidents of the most extreme variety happen here daily, and it infuriates me when I see people do things like dart and weave in and out of lanes, passing on shoulders, and getting road ragey at people who are actually trying to drive deliberately. Just this morning I had a woman lay on her horn immediately and nonstop because I wasn't being quick enough to her taste in turning left across three lanes of oncoming traffic. In my mind, there's just no excuse for that kind of behavior when so many people die in automobile accidents every year; I end up calling people a lot of filthy names behind the wheel. From a neurolinguistic perspective, swearing in such a situation makes sense because it vents frustration that might otherwise be taken out in some more dangerous physical action, but it still bothers me that I deal with routine rage like that.

 

Here I am ranting about traffic. It's basically like weather smalltalk here :lol:.

 

I've had some success in swapping out profanities for ameliorations, like "Good Lord!" "Oh, beans!" and "Oh, for the love of puppies." It sounds silly but it has softened some things up, but the impulse in my language is still there, so I think that's just one step in the bridge toward a mindful day-to-day attitude that will reduce my flares of anger in the first place.

 

I think regular mindfulness practice is going to prove key, so it ties into my meditation goal!

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8 hours ago, alannamoonlight said:

finally finished and submitted the personal statement for my PhD program application, after fussing over it for way too long. @SkyGirl can attest...she witnessed some of my IRL agonizing...:lol:

 

You were just fine!! I'm so proud of you for taking the leap - that is a huge goal to check off your list! Pleeeeeeeeeze keep us posted on what you find out!!  :D 

 

7 hours ago, alannamoonlight said:

I've had some success in swapping out profanities for ameliorations, like "Good Lord!" "Oh, beans!" and "Oh, for the love of puppies." It sounds silly but it has softened some things up, but the impulse in my language is still there, so I think that's just one step in the bridge toward a mindful day-to-day attitude that will reduce my flares of anger in the first place.

 

830cf46e0b4f0126f3c7bae11d655cb3.jpg 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 51

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

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On the use of profanity and obscenity...

 

I went through a similar realization and evolution.    

 

On my commute, I see the same level of buffoonery.  They are all trying to kill you.  Being military, I've had offensive driving training and I just stay out of the way.  Knowing you can put someone into a ditch makes driving completely different, and you just stay chill.   In the interest of full disclosure, I do drive a 7000 lb SUV when the weather is bad in case human stupidity exceeds my driving ability and others decide to throw themselves into me. 

 

Part of it is mindfulness, staying in the moment, and controlling your reactions.  You are certainly on the right track with mindfulness.  There is a time and a place for these things.  There is a moment for rage mode.  There is a time to jam your foot on the accelerator and play adult bumper cars.  For those of us fortunate enough to live in a world where we have cars, food, shelter, etc. it is very rare that you need to flip that switch.  Even more importantly, you chose to flip that switch, others don't chose for you. 

 

Part of it is expressing yourself appropriately for your surroundings.   Some people just don't listen if the F-Bomb isn't a major part of your vocabulary.  Other people won't listen if the F-Bomb is a major part of your vocabulary.  One of my boss's was very polite.  She'd say "That's Interesting."  What she meant is "You are all f***** up, go pull your cranium out of your rectal storage container, co-locate your fecal matter in a garment commonly associated with footwear, and return once you have accomplished these tasks."  It didn't take long for people to figure out that if she said "That's Interesting" during a briefing, they had gone seriously awry. 

 

It is about the control you exercise, not what other people hear.

 

 - Murphy's Roommate

 

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I know working in an elementary school has forced me to be careful with my language. I curse like a sailor, but being around little kids I narrate my feelings more (which I'm modeling for my students, because emotional vocabulary and intelligence are big topics for us) instead of just venting my frustration using a curse or a replacement phrase. It's always kind of funny when it happens in my out of work life, but it also makes me acknowledge the feeling instead of just dropping a f-bomb and continuing on in a nameless state of angry. Hope that makes sense. Working in an elementary school has also played havoc with my communication skills in general.

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11 hours ago, Murphy's Roommate said:

Part of it is mindfulness, staying in the moment, and controlling your reactions.  You are certainly on the right track with mindfulness.  There is a time and a place for these things.  There is a moment for rage mode.  There is a time to jam your foot on the accelerator and play adult bumper cars.  For those of us fortunate enough to live in a world where we have cars, food, shelter, etc. it is very rare that you need to flip that switch.  Even more importantly, you chose to flip that switch, others don't chose for you. 

 

 

I did notice yesterday that twice on my commute home (which lasted over an hour...oy) the two times people were driving idiotically my exclamations were "DUDE." and "Person!!!!", both automatic. I think I got "Person!!!" from my mom; I don't know that I've ever heard anyone else use it as an expression of exasperation, but I guess it works.

 

But yeah, you're right about the "switch flip" aspect; I'd rather not allow maniacal drivers to trigger my stress response so easily; as long as they're not endangering me I'd rather just be the type of person to chuckle about their folly and move on with my day. It's really hard to separate though, when the implications for bad driving are so dire!

 

32 minutes ago, JessOfAllTrades said:

I know working in an elementary school has forced me to be careful with my language. I curse like a sailor, but being around little kids I narrate my feelings more (which I'm modeling for my students, because emotional vocabulary and intelligence are big topics for us) instead of just venting my frustration using a curse or a replacement phrase. It's always kind of funny when it happens in my out of work life, but it also makes me acknowledge the feeling instead of just dropping a f-bomb and continuing on in a nameless state of angry. Hope that makes sense. Working in an elementary school has also played havoc with my communication skills in general.

 

That's a good point! I definitely code-switch, and only occasionally in a setting where I'm talking to someone I know would be offended by profanity I've stopped myself mid-word and morphed it last-second into something less offensive. I don't have trouble curbing it when it's really critical; but I want to curb it for my own sake as well.

 

But really, explaining and talking it out has made it more and more evident to me that it's less (personally) about the words and more about the spikes of stress that result in the swearing reflex, which I dislike, even in private.

 

@SkyGirl I have a new sub-goal...by New Year, get my whole family using the phrase "Shucky Darn." :lol: 

 

****

 

Goal-wise, nothing super fantastic to report since yesterday...I had very little energy yesterday evening and just kinda vegged. I meditated twice, but not in the evening...I'd really like to get myself doing it morning and evening rather than at random times, but I realize some is better than none.

 

I got a lot done during the day, both work and PhD application related stuff and homework, and I did start another crochet gift. Hoping and planning to get myself to the gym tonight.

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1 hour ago, alannamoonlight said:

@SkyGirl I have a new sub-goal...by New Year, get my whole family using the phrase "Shucky Darn." :lol: 

 

I have started quasi-affectionately calling people "Crudface" and it is quite satisfying ...  :D 

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SKY ELVENWORD NOBLEHEART

The Silver Archer, Ranger Level 51

Jesus-follower | Writer | Encourager | Resident Myers-Briggs and Enneagram Geek 

"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers

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Screenshot_20171202-142225.png.902c141fc4ede17395422202323e3782.png

 

So far...

 

6-day meditation streak on Headspace. I still haven't nailed down a schedule to get into a rhythm of doing it multiple times per day, but I have been sitting down for longer (10 minute) sessions and I've at least managed to do it 6 days in a row and counting! If I break my streak from trying a different source or style of meditation (off Headspace) I'll make a note here. I did a sleep meditation yesterday right before bed and it knocked me the heck out!!

Decaffeinated. Okay, confession...I got a Nespresso machine. I'm currently trying to find the right kind of refillable pod so that I can use my own decaf espresso but in the meantime, I got re-caffeinated on the samples the machine came with! I got a refillable pod from Amazon yesterday but unfortunately it doesn't work -_-. So the next one to try out arrives from Prime tomorrow...such 21st century struggles. All that to say, I got myself caffeinated earlier this week and just finished suffering through the detox headache this morning. Not going to do that again!

I went to the gym today! I think I'm actually going to re-tool this goal because honestly my rec center is great for cardio but not so much for resistance stuff (as you might expect for a modest community gym, as opposed to an LA Fitness or something). It's okay, but it's very small and a few times I've shown up and the area is too populated to use. My husband and I already have a bunch of weights and resistance equipment at home that I'm actually better off using. Soooo...I'm currently brainstorming a little, but I think I want to change my goal from "go to the gym 1 time per week" (an arbitrary "just get there" number with no actual metrics on calories/time/reps) to "work out at home for 20 minutes 2x / week" with some sort of structure to it. Our membership is coming to an end anyway, and we probably won't renew it because we are looking at relocating to a different state soon.

All that is a little more complicated, but actually more conducive to what I want to get out of my actual exercise time. I will probably consult with my husband to come up with some combination of meditation, yoga/stretching, and hand weights that I can effectively pick up right in my own living room -- rather than just obligatorily putzing around on an elliptical just because it's technically "at a gym."

Almost finished with 1 book.

Currently working on several more Christmas present craft projects. I have been very crafty lately! I like getting absorbed in episodes of Star Trek while I work on things...so much that it's sort of a metric for how productive I am in a particular day. On Wednesday evening I sewed for 2.5 episodes of TOS :) I should probably apply this to exercising, too.

 

In short, everything's going well! Now I need to stop procrastinating and finish a final paper. I've been to the grocery store, the gym, a thrift store, and cleaned and organized the kitchen cabinets and pantry. My husband called me on exactly what that was all about...procrastination...here I am on NF, and he thinks I'm probably looking up scholarly articles or something. The joke is only on me. :lol:

 

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This week has been hectic, despite being done with the semester. It's been a flurry of addressing health issues, helping friends with the end of their finals, work stuff, and prepping Christmas presents. I've done sort of spotty across the different categories but still heading in the right direction:

 

Body:

-Need to do 1 at home work out before Sunday to stay on track.

-Staying decaf. I let myself have a Dr. Pepper yesterday but honestly it wasn't worth it and my heart palpitations were bonkers. Not bothering again with that "treat"!

 

Mind:

-Meditating...spottily. Still struggling to make it part of my routine. There's nothing really to say except I need to keep working on this.

-Finished a book! 1 more to go.

 

Spirit:

-Finish 2 knit / crochet projects for Christmas presents. All done! I'm still working on other projects but I finished two yarn-based ones quickly (as I suspected I would)

-Cut profanity out of my reactive vocabulary. I'm actually really achieving in this category! I've noticed not only am I using less profanity day-to-day, I've addressed it by being more mindful of moments when I'd normally use it. I even mentioned it to my therapist as part of my mindfulness goals and she found it really interesting. I've been driving with a much more "zen" mindset, forgiving people for moves I'd normally get really mad about, that sort of thing. It feels good!

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Progress is slow/stalled the past ten days. Last week I had a horrible mental health week, and my self care of any kind tends to just plummet when that happens. Which, of course, is the point of getting on regular routines of meditation and physical activity, so that it's easier to stay consistent to take care of myself when that kind of thing happens, but I'm not meeting my physical goals for this challenge (so far, not saying I don't have it in me to make a last-second surge this week).

 

have finished the projects I intended, and started a new knitting project that I'm really excited about.

I have still yet to finish another book. I was trying to force myself through the end of Outlander, but honestly it's dragged on so long I gave it up. I'm going to switch to something shorter and sweeter and hopefully finish it by the end of the week.

My vocabulary is actually a lot cleaner! I am proud of myself for that one. I've also been way more mindful while driving. So I'll consider that a victory!

 

I haven't worked out at home this week but I did go riding for two hours yesterday working on half-seat, so my legs and core and back got a workout! Apparently my biggest motivator for exercise is still horses.

 

I'll probably repeat this challenge over again next time around given that I set certain physical and meditation goals and just haven't hit them. I need to keep trying to establish a routine.

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