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Juliebarkley tries to remember


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The swamp looked lovely this morning. A sparkling mist blanketed the ground in every direction, swirling around Julie’s feet as she picked her way along the path to the blackberry patch before heading out on her regular inspection round. Not that she expected to find anything amiss. It had been months since the blue mushrooms had been attacked and the wounded gargoyle returned to its home. Even the underpants gnomes had procured the parts they needed (with her assistance) and were hard at work on Phase 2. Indeed, it had been so quiet here lately – so peaceful – that she was not sure that her role as protector was needed here at all. Still, at least there were blackberries to be had.

 
The path meandered into a valley. As it did, the mist grew deeper, rising to Julie’s knees, then waist, then swirling around her face. It was difficult to see the path ahead, but Julie persevered. Just pay attention and we’ll get there, slowly but surely. It can’t be much farther now. In a few more steps, the path will reach… something …
 
Wait. Where was I going again?

 
Julie stopped. The mist seemed to muffle even the birdsong now, and completely obscured the path forward. Or was it back?
 
She turned. The mist swirled, sparkled, and fell. There was the path. Here she was. But where is here? Had she ever been here before? What was she doing here?
 
I need to clear my head. She stepped off the path to a fallen tree and sat down. She felt a bump sooner than expected, and realized that she was wearing a backpack. Maybe there’s some water in there. I could use a drink. She shrugged off the pack and pulled a bottle of water out of a side pocket. As she drank, she looked again at the pack, which looked only vaguely familiar. What else is in here? She shuffled through an assortment of items that seemed to belong to a stranger, finally pulling out a notebook. On the frontispiece, in neat handwriting, was written “Property of Juliebarkley”.
 
I know that name. It’s mine… isn’t it?

 

Isn’t it?
 
She started to panic, breathing harder. Instinctively she clutched a necklace she hadn’t even known that she was wearing – a simple cord with a few beads and a black feather. She ran the feather through her hands. It was soft, comforting. She felt a warmth surround her, as if she'd pulled a blanket over her shoulders. She let the panic ebb away as she closed her eyes, watching the swirling colours dance behind her eyelids, images forming, then dissolving again. She heard a voice - no, not heard, felt - familiar and reassuring, yet insistent:
 
Remember who you are.
 
Julie opened her eyes and looked at the backpack again, then at her clothing. She opened the notebook. There would be clues in these things, she was certain, of who she was and where she was going. She only needed to find them.

 

Here is what she discovered:

 

I am an active person.

  • Start my new exercise program. I spent last challenge putting together a more randomized, flexible, gamified exercise system. This challenge, I try it out and see how I like it! The goal here is to do be consistent, not to achieve anything fitnessy in particular.
  • Wear fitness watch and hit 10,000 steps per day. I have a Chinese knockoff Fitbit which works great when I am wearing it. So I'm going to actually do that and try to hit 10,000 steps per day. I think I am likely pretty close already on the days that I work. It helps that have a short stride, lol.

 
I like to try new things.

  • Start handstands. I have four fitness goals that I would like to get to, but with starting the new exercise program this challenge, I don't want to start too many things at once. So just this one for now, because it sounds like fun. Practice handstands at least 3 days per week for at least 5 minutes each time.

 
I get things done.

  • Write something for the new blog every day. My son and I have been planning on starting a blog together, but writing the actual content keeps getting put off. I have lots of ideas, so let's get them down! I will write something, likely not a whole post, but something, every day. Even if it's just a sentence. Habits, and all that jazz.
  • Choose one other potential side hustle and take concrete action on it. I have a bunch of stuff I'm interested in trying, but never quite get to the action phase. Pick one thing and do what's necessary to get it going. I can't be really specific about this until I've picked the thing.

 
I travel light.

  • Both email boxes are lower at the end of the week than they were at the start. If you were around for my last challenge, you saw the sad state of my email boxes. Rather than set daily goals (because some days have more email time available than others), the goal is a weekly one: just make sure the numbers are lower at the start of the week than they were at the beginning.
  • Clear the C books by challenge end. Remember my book pile mountain? I actually already started the Cs last challenge. I thought this letter would be huge, but it's actually not. Sort these by challenge end!

 
Remember your foundation.

  • Habits. Oh, my sweet nemesis. Same as they have been since challenges immemorial. Do them. Daily.

 
Remember your friends.

  • Post daily on NF. My own thread and others', too.
  • Email/contact one real-life friend, family member, or acquaintance every day. I am just as bad at keeping in touch with real-life folks as I am with NerdFitness folks. There are lots of people I'd like to reach out to - people I've met recently and would like to build relationships with, people I see less often and need to make an effort with, and old friends from school that I haven't spoken to in absolutely forever, but would like to still consider friends and catch up with. Contact somebody every day (it does not always have to be a new person) and see what happens.
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22 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

Start handstands.

YASS!  Following for handstand solidarity :) 

HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library   Shuffle Club

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132Ambition [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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22 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

YASS!  Following for handstand solidarity :) 

Are you handstanding too?????

 

Today is the day where I have the least free time and I neglected to have my challenge items in a list where I could see them, doh! I didn't get tons done, but that's okay. It's only the first day, and I am still a forgetful person. I have now entered them into my todo app, so that should reinforce that habit while also helping me get my challenge stuff done.

 

This was the second time that I have tried out the new exercise program. I tried it out for the first time right after the last challenge and just before I ran off for the long weekend. Last time, I got two hard leg exercises (and had DOMS due to not having done challenging leg things for months). This time, it was two pushup variations and a plank. If I find it too hard (or too annoying) to do all arms/legs/whatever when it happens, I'll have to tweak the system and mark the exercise type. But I survived it today. :) However, I totally forgot to put on my watch before work, and arrived home to thunder and rain, so the walking was a bust today. No handstands today due to lack of time and lots of arm exercises.

 

No writing or side hustling today either. Except for side hustle thoughts. I'll have to make a list to help me pick what I want to work on, but I think I am already leaning in one direction.

 

Eensy amount of email done and absolutely no books.

 

Habits are actually good so far! :D

 

Posted here, but only on my own thread today. I emailed a lady I met at my former workplace. We met up once for a foraging walk and chatted often, but since I moved work, I haven't heard from her in about a month.

 

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On 8/9/2019 at 8:31 AM, juliebarkley said:

Write something for the new blog every day. My son and I have been planning on starting a blog together, but writing the actual content keeps getting put off. I have lots of ideas, so let's get them down! I will write something, likely not a whole post, but something, every day. Even if it's just a sentence. Habits, and all that jazz.

That's so cool- something that has been on my list for a long time, to just write something every day.. but I haven't gotten around to it yet.. I'll let you inspire me :D

Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current challenge: KB Girl dusts off her competition skills

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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20 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Are you handstanding too????

Yep,  been working on them for a while now (but not this challenge because I am on the road) 

 

20 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

If I find it too hard (or too annoying) to do all arms/legs/whatever when it happens, I'll have to tweak the system and mark the exercise type

When I did a randomized workout challenge, I rolled separately for each category because my first two workouts ended up being all the same category too :)

 

HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library   Shuffle Club

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132Ambition [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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15 hours ago, KB Girl said:

I'll let you inspire me :D

Ooh, pressure!

 

4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

When I did a randomized workout challenge, I rolled separately for each category because my first two workouts ended up being all the same category too :)

I haven't even checked the cards to see if they're skewed towards one type of exercise, either. Work in progress.

 

I remembered the watch today, so I was able to measure my baseline for a workday. I had enough work that I did a lot of sitting on the job. I also got up to check on things regularly, but maybe not as much as on a less busy day. I just checked the watch and it has reset itself to zero, but I am pretty sure that it was around 7100 a few minutes ago. That is less than my goal, but I have some sense now of where I need to be getting to.

 

Handstands started today! I had to feel out where I am. I tried out the preparatory exercises from the NF handstands article and found both of the hollow body variations incredibly easy. Awesome. Crow pose was the next thing to try, and that was a failure (unsurprising). Lastly, I walked up the wall to straight with hands about a metre out from the wall and held it for maybe 30 seconds. I could have gone longer easily. I wasn't actually planning to go that far up on the first try, but it was the more comfortable position once I started going up, so I went with it. Being upside down was pretty comfortable too, probably because of all the time I spent working on bridges a few months back. Also cool.

 

Rather than stare at a blank screen for blog post writing, I made a list of some topics that have repeatedly floated into my head. I started to get bits of random ideas composing themselves in my head as I did this brainstorming, so fingers crossed picking a topic and starting the writing proper tomorrow will be easy. I was going to write actual titles, but I forgot how very bad I am at coming up with interesting titles, lol.

 

No side hustle or book action today. Cleared a little email to get to roughly where I was at the end of yesterday, then realized that I never wrote down my starting amounts, so how can I know if I am lower at the end of the week? Oops. Guess right now will be the baseline then - 14,020 total, of which 10,058 Yahoo and 3962 Gmail. Worked on this very little. Must remember that ignoring the email does not make it go away.

 

I met a lady at work today who, while we were talking about something completely different, mentioned that she also homeschools her son, who is roughly the same age as my son. So my contacting today was to send her info on a course that she was interested in, and ask her about a program that she is involved with that sounded interesting. I also replied to the friend from yesterday, who was pleased to hear from me. :) I posted on a newbie's thread because I'm tired and their threads are short and easy to get caught up on (and encouraging new people is good, too).

 

Having my challenge pieces in my todo app got me to check it multiple times today! Win! Prayer alarm went off during handstands, but I either didn't hear it or ignored it (that alarm is still iffy), then forgot, and now I am in the tired-before-bed risky zone. Hopefully I can power through, but I don't always. Guess I'll have to leave you in suspense till tomorrow. ;)

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On 8/11/2019 at 2:37 AM, juliebarkley said:

Having my challenge pieces in my todo app got me to check it multiple times today! Win! Prayer alarm went off during handstands, but I either didn't hear it or ignored it (that alarm is still iffy), then forgot, and now I am in the tired-before-bed risky zone. Hopefully I can power through, but I don't always. Guess I'll have to leave you in suspense till tomorrow. ;)

 

tenor.gif

 

Following again for general awesomeness and handstands. With the hollow body holds and wall walks down, what did you decide to work on? 

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Didn't update yesterday as I got a headache (migraine?) which made anything involving looking at screens for more than a few minutes, moving around, or formulating coherent thoughts almost impossible. I got very little done yesterday as a result. I did, however, get my laundry folded.

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38 minutes ago, Manarelle said:

Following again for general awesomeness and handstands. With the hollow body holds and wall walks down, what did you decide to work on? 

 

Yay! Always glad to have you along for the ride.

 

I'm going to try to figure out crow pose. I've never tried it before, so my failure was partly an arm strength/balance thing, and partly and I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing thing. I'm also going to learn how to bail, because getting closer to the wall will make falling more likely.

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Went to the doctor for the ulnar nerve/finger numbness, and she is referring me to a hospital to get a nerve conductivity test done. She recommends going easy on things like pushups until then, because once the nerve is irritated it's easier to irritate again, and long-term nerve damage is obviously a terrible thing. I also found out that I am due for both a pap smear and tetanus booster. Joy.

 

Today was supposed to be a sprint day, but it was raining when I woke up, and continued raining off and on until after dark, with the occasional thundery rumble. I was just not motivated enough to run in that. WIth the weather sort of trapping me indoors, my step count for today was very low. It has now reset for the day so I'm not sure of the exact number, but I think around 2000. Low.

 

Handstands, however did happen. I did better at crow pose, on one attempt getting my feet up off the ground and sort of balanced for about 5 seconds. There's a lot of work that needs doing here - mostly in technique and balance rather than straight up strength. I wall walked up to handstand from the same position as last time and got my hands a little closer to the wall and held that for around 30 seconds. The holding was not so hard, but scooching my hands closer was.

 

I did not get things done today. Despite waking up late and needing to go to bed early (so short day), I was quite tired in the afternoon. I decided I might as well have a nap rather than just be kind of useless and tired the whole rest of the day. Maybe the headache wore me out more than I thought? Or it could just be the overcast sky and rain. Regardless, I could have done the blog post writing and friend contacting afterwards, but I didn't. I also did nothing on the side hustle front. I did some email (and may do a little more before bed) and sorted a pile of books (the easy part of the job). I should be able to get a NF post in before I sleep. I think tomorrow I'll stick on a podcast and pull the rest of the C books out of my piles (the funnest part of the job). But I have to get some writing done. Missing two days in a row is not a good start to making a habit.

 

Checked my todo app more than once. No prayers yet and I didn't hear the alarm. I"m not wiped though and I'm going to bed shortly, so I'm committed to doing them. I don't know what's up with that alarm. I'm going to try either deleting it and recreating it, or maybe using a salat time app instead. Only trouble with those is that they signal right at the start of the time block, and I know that'll be too early for me to actually do it. Bleh.

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No post yesterday - in short, got all the C books pulled, but it took a long time, then I was really tired, so I went to bed. A lot of other things - most other things - did not get done.

 

Today is supposed to be a "play" day, but I haven't really worked out what I want to do on those days, so I just went for a walk. I got in somewhere around 6500 steps - clearly if I want to hit 10,000, I will need to up my game as I am not coming all that close in my current day to day activities. I also did a bit of handstands, less than 5 minutes, but I think that 5 minutes target is more of a hindrance than a help. I felt weaker than last time - I wall walked to handstand from the same distance as last time and held for 30 seconds, but it was harder than last time. On my first crow pose, I forgot that I am supposed to look a bit ahead and fell on my head. :( I tried and failed several more times (no more falling though) before getting a hold for just a few seconds. I could feel it in my arms then, so I called it good.

 

I (finally) got some writing in for the blog! I was feeling a bit tired (I've been tired all week), but was determined to write something. I thought it'd be maybe a paragraph. Once I started though, I kept going and ended up writing the entire first draft! I actually found I had more energy when I was done than when I began. That was a pleasant surprise! I have never considered myself a writer at all and have been hesitant on the whole blog thing for that reason (among others), but it was actually fun and satisfying, and I am pleased to discover that.

 

Nothing done on the side hustle exploration front.

 

I have been pretty much ignoring email for this whole challenge so far, and today was no exception (I did actually do some yesterday though). I find I do better at chipping away at the beast when I have a nice block of time to devote to it, but I haven't really had that yet. Maybe I should consider setting mini daily goals just to get myself to work on it more regularly again.

 

The C books are all gathered now, and my pile is done the first sort. Now I am waiting for my son to return his pile, and I can move onto the more time-consuming second stage. Still, good progress here.

 

Todo list checking continues to be really good. Prayers continue to be iffy, but a little better lately. 

 

Posted on my own and another thread. Got a text this morning from one of the friends I'd been meaning to contact earlier in this challenge, except that they go do bed super early and I didn't want to wake them with a text. I answered them, but haven't heard back yet.

 

All in all, a pretty good day!

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No post yesterday, and minimal stuff done, because late home plus early work next day means little free time.

 

Today went pretty well, I think. Exercise was fun today - 3x10 jumping sideways over an object (in this case, a watering can), 3x writing a sentence in the air with dumbbells (all about my cat), and 3x10 crab walk toe touches (so hard to balance!). This came after the handstand practice - one thirty second hold of the wall walked handstand, then repeated attempts at crow pose. I am not leaning far enough forward on most attempts, but I did get one good hold in today, and nearly a second until I lost my balance and fell forward. :S

 

I edited the blog post that I wrote rather than write something new. I think it needs one more read over and some pics, and it's ready to go! I also came up with another article topic, yay! Still no action on the side hustle front.


Some email actually got done today, hurrah! Mostly, I looked at my calendar and realized that this challenge I have few days off, so if I'm going to get it done, I have to get on it because the time will not magically appear. No book work - I am waiting on my son to do his bit because it's just easier to do them all at once.

 

Habits were sort of yes? I sometimes forget to put on the watch first thing. If I do, I often forget to check my todo list for some reason. I have been really tired lately (stupid early shifts), and so prone to crashing with prayers not done or only done half-heartedly. Mostly the latter. And no, I still haven't fixed the alarm.


Got in a post on a newbie thread. Contacted an Esperanto-speaking friend about an event in New York state in October - I haven't been in a few years, but I finally have the weekend free without having to book it off (it's a holiday weekend and hard to get cover for), so I'm looking forward to going (cross fingers)!

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Sounds like a productive week/ weekend, despite the early shifts. Are those going to continue for a while, or is it a temporary thing? The hardest part of crow, in my opinion, is getting past the "I'm gonna faceplant" fear, leaving your head too far up and your butt too far back. I hear it's easier for guys, with the weight being in the shoulders, but those of us who are more bottom heavy have to pitch forward more. Keep at it, you'll get it!

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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On 8/19/2019 at 12:08 PM, Manarelle said:

Sounds like a productive week/ weekend, despite the early shifts. Are those going to continue for a while, or is it a temporary thing?

 

Temporary - I picked up a few in a row, but they're not part of my regular routine. I should be completely done with them by mid-October, and the worst is already past.

 

On 8/19/2019 at 12:08 PM, Manarelle said:

The hardest part of crow, in my opinion, is getting past the "I'm gonna faceplant" fear, leaving your head too far up and your butt too far back.

 

YES YES YES YES YES. I already faceplanted because my head was down too far, and landed on the top of my head with a crunching sound in my neck. No harm done, but it was a little scary at the time.

 

Things I have learned (or been reminded of) since the last post:

  • When I miss a day of posting, it is hard to get back to it, and gets progressively harder with each passing day.
  • Wearing a watch to count my steps makes me more mindful of how much (or little) I walk each day.
  • Crow pose is easier on the grass than on the hardwood floor. Both for gripping the ground and for fear of toppling over.
  • Headstands are fun outside, but the tree roots get in the way and you have to be careful not to flash the neighbours. Still worth it.
  • If I don't do things right when I think of them (or get a reminder for them) they don't get done at all. They fly right back out of my head. I'm trying to mitigate this by jotting them down in my todo app, but I still need to plan for the actual doing. I think a Pomodoro trial will be in the offing next challenge.
  • 3:30 in the afternoon is the best time of day for a walk.
  • I find it difficult to use small bits of time, or to do small tasks. I much prefer to put in 4 hours on a big task than 2 hours on a bunch of 10 minute tasks. Despite this, the short tasks are more common in life and often more urgent. Again, perhaps Pomodoro will help.
  • One of the side hustles that I was considering is voice acting/narration. I was leaning towards this for my concrete action step, but thought that I should at least list out the various ideas that I am interested in before committing. I still haven't done that, but I keep seeing things about voice work, including a positive article in the local paper about the very exploratory class from the very company that I was thinking about signing up for (no idea why, they do not offer it here -  the nearest location is five hours away!) right when I was wondering if I should take it and if it was worth it. I think that when this sort of thing happens, it is a gentle divine nudge to take that path. I'll make istikhara for confirmation, but it's likely that I am signing up for this class either five hours away in person or from a distance if I can find a place with better internet than mine. The internet issue alone makes me think the in-person option would be best, plus then you have met the people in person and gotten to know them, which can only be a good thing, right?
  • I'm a wordy writer, and I need to teach myself to cut back.
  • Putting off contacting people does not make the contacting easier, but harder.
  • People on NF would probably appreciate it more that I chipped in with a "good job, keep it up" type post than that I posted nothing because I didn't feel I had anything interesting or contributing to say.
  • I really hate early mornings. Especially when preceded by late nights.
  • I need more sleep than I think I do. I also need to eat more, and probably more often.
  • I'm not the only one who struggles with these things.
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Yesterday I felt sick, so I went to bed earlyish, and didn't post. As this was supposed to be exercise day, there has been no exercise to speak of this week. Also unfortunately, precious little blog writing.

 

Today I was not sick, but got sucked into a game after work and didn't get much done (I did, however, contact a person I'd been meaning to reach out to). However, I have the next two days off, and I have plans. Book plans. Also a few urgent tasks. And other stuff too. I love that feeling of the time stretching out before you, so full of promise ... now I just have to make it a reality.

 

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On 8/22/2019 at 7:03 PM, juliebarkley said:

YES YES YES YES YES. I already faceplanted because my head was down too far, and landed on the top of my head with a crunching sound in my neck. No harm done, but it was a little scary at the time.

 

Ouch, that is scary. I can recommend two options for that: one, put a pillow down where your head would land (doesn't help the neck pressure, but helps the skull); two, if you start falling forward, tilt your head to one side and slide the knee the head is AWAY from off your arm, onto the ground (or I suppose tuck it under and try for a somersault). The second method is more falling onto your side/ knee and shoulder rather than your head. It's a way to remind your brain and body that you have a safe way to get out of a problem situation, so there's less fear going into it. 

 

On 8/22/2019 at 7:03 PM, juliebarkley said:
  • Crow pose is easier on the grass than on the hardwood floor. Both for gripping the ground and for fear of toppling over.
  • Headstands are fun outside, but the tree roots get in the way and you have to be careful not to flash the neighbours. Still worth it.

 

The visuals that this invoke are just fabulous. :) Glad you found a good place to practice. 

 

On 8/22/2019 at 7:03 PM, juliebarkley said:

One of the side hustles that I was considering is voice acting/narration. I was leaning towards this for my concrete action step, but thought that I should at least list out the various ideas that I am interested in before committing. I still haven't done that, but I keep seeing things about voice work, including a positive article in the local paper about the very exploratory class from the very company that I was thinking about signing up for (no idea why, they do not offer it here -  the nearest location is five hours away!) right when I was wondering if I should take it and if it was worth it. I think that when this sort of thing happens, it is a gentle divine nudge to take that path. I'll make istikhara for confirmation, but it's likely that I am signing up for this class either five hours away in person or from a distance if I can find a place with better internet than mine. The internet issue alone makes me think the in-person option would be best, plus then you have met the people in person and gotten to know them, which can only be a good thing, right?

 

I had to look up what istikhara is, but I hope it gives you the confirmation you need, one way or the other. In my opinion, the online might be easier, but having face-to-face interaction and the ability to ask questions on the spot is extremely useful.  

 

On 8/22/2019 at 7:03 PM, juliebarkley said:

I'm not the only one who struggles with these things.

 

Nope, you are definitely not alone. Doesn't mean those things aren't hard to deal with, but you've got company. 

 

Hope you're feeling better, and got to make some plans reality. 

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