• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Zaphine

A new sprout peeks up....

Recommended Posts

I'm Zaphine -- a long time NFer who's struggled to find my footing off and on.  I'm a middle-manager at a university, central US, and I've been in "safer at home" (working from home, only going out for groceries and exercise) since March 15th.  I live alone and with no family nearby, so I haven't had a hug since then, either.  That's pretty rough, honestly, but I'm doing ok.  

 

Since being home so much more, I've found much solace and stability in yoga and daily walks through my neighborhood park.  I've had the opportunity to watch spring arrive in a way I never have before.  I've also been taking a Coursera course on The Science of Well-Being, and as a part of the final project for that class, I've started a wee meditation habit.  My expectations for myself are pretty limited at this point -- just gotta maintain a foundation of stability, sanity, and resilience for whatever comes next.  

 

So I'm still formulating exactly what my challenge will be this time around, but it feels Druidy to me.  I'd like to walk and meditate daily, to develop a regular yoga practice, to try out tai chi (if I can figure out a good way to do so).  It's about finding my center and grounding in what feels like a very unstable time.  

 

Mind a volunteer sproutling trying out the Druid way?  I take suggestions.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome! Glad to see you challenging with the Druids - watching Spring, well, spring (hee) is a great takeaway from this whole life situation we all find ourselves in. Ooh. Tai chi - we have a few Druids who should be along shortly and have been Tai Chi-ing lately. @Jean? @Tobbe? Can’t for the life of me remember which thread I saw the video posts on, but I suspect it was one of those two. Maybe. Or my brain is misfiring, which is entirely possible 😜

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there, have fun in the Druid groove. Hope you'll find a part of the social links you're missing here.

 

3 hours ago, darkfoxx said:

Can’t for the life of me remember which thread I saw the video posts on, but I suspect it was one of those two.

 

Could have been me. First of, tai-chi is awesome! It does help me to keep balance between my mind and body and to actually take time for myself. There are kind of two schools of it, some practice it as a kind of meditation using movement and some see it as a martial art. I find there's something very valuable in the deliberateness in which movements are made, and it's more physical than I'd have thought at first (standing with knees slightly bent for the whole time makes the legs work and the arms are usually moving too).

 

The best way to try and/or practice it is to find a group near your area. Since that's not an option for the time being, trying to mimic the moves of youtube videos can help. I personally like Jake Mace and am lucky enough to have a cousin who has dedicated his life to travelling the world and learning martial arts. He's started a series of videos to teach a chen style tai-chi form. They're deliberately focused on very small parts of it (one move per video), so it fits my "start easy and build up habits" view of things.

 

Nowadays, I tend to practice tai-chi mostly after running, as a cool-down/stretching/gathering peace of mind kind of time. What works for me is selecting a few moves I like and practicing them whenever I feel like it. In order to build your own moves library, though, you'll probably need to take some sessions with a master (teacher) at some point.

 

Wishing you a lot of fun along the way.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi 👋

 

Welcome back to the forums :)  @darkfoxx isn't wrong. I have done some tai chi, and I have posted a video or two. But it was a long time ago, and I can't say it stuck. Yoga is much more accessible to me, so I've done more of that instead. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, all!  I've been doing the NF yoga classes (water, fire, and yin) a couple of times a week, with periodic dives into Yoga with Adriene for variety.  I'm really enjoying yin yoga, though I couldn't really explain why.  It's just ... deepening somehow.  

 

@Jean, thanks for the video links!  I'll give them a try, and promise to follow up with some in person training once that's a plausible thing again.  

 

As a thanks to you all, here's a picture from my walk last night.  My nature is a little suburban, but I'm still grateful to be able to watch waves on the water of late.

McKee.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I just say that your Rules of Engagement are phenomenal? The second one took me years to figure out, but for me personally, that is the most important one.

  • Like 1
  • That's Metal 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Scalyfreak said:

Can I just say that your Rules of Engagement are phenomenal? The second one took me years to figure out, but for me personally, that is the most important one.

Thank you!   Same here -- one of the reasons I have them in my signature is so that I don't forget them.  One of the great part of getting a bit older is getting a bit wiser.  When I look back on how clueless I was 20 years ago, it gives me great hope for what 20 years from now will be like!  

  • Like 1
  • That's Metal 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very nice photo. Thanks for sharing :)

 

I've enjoyed the Kundalini yoga classes I've gone to. It's more focused on breathing and meditation than other forms of yoga I've seen. It obviously depends on what your goals are with your yoga practice, but I loved it. I like both yoga and meditation, and this was like the best of both worlds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, yeah?  Thanks @Tobbe -- I don't know much about the different schools of yoga, so that's useful information.  

 

Right now, my goals are mostly weathering all this (gestures to the world) with as much sanity and balance as I can.  Mad gainz can wait for some other time.  

 

I'm living alone these days, so I haven't had a hug or a long face-to-face conversation in almost two months at this point.  It does odd things to the brain.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Zaphine said:

I'm living alone these days, so I haven't had a hug or a long face-to-face conversation in almost two months at this point.  It does odd things to the brain.  

 

Adopt a pet?

 

It's a serious suggestion. Animal shelters in the US can't have visitors, but adoption rates of cats and dogs has still gone up.

 

Both cats and dogs are actually good conversationalists, though the dog tends to just smile and nod along a lot more than the cats do, but that's sometimes exactly what I'm looking for in a conversation. Cats will firmly defend their position no matter how unreasonable, but also have this incredibly charming way of starting a conversation just because they want to talk about something. Any conversation initiated by the dog is purely transactional, a means towards an end that always involves activity of some kind, be it play or the magical appearance of treats at an easy munching distance.  And they all excel at showing affection by some kind of touch, and seem to enjoy generously giving that affectionate touches as much as they enjoy receiving them.

 

I lived alone for a number of years in a small student flat when I was in college, and if not for my feline roommate, those years would have been considerably more lonely and dreary. So yes, I'm a strong proponent of living with a pet if you live alone. It's good for everyone involved. :) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following! I also liked your rules of engagement a lot!

 

Have been thinking about the first one a lot. Any time someone makes a mistake around me, or literally falls I say "Well, the only people that don't do anything wrong are those that don't...do...anything." But then I go ahead and hold my mistakes against me until the end of times :D I like the approach of turning it around. You're doing something *wrong* if you're not making any mistakes ;) (I'm not going to think about the Pinokkio dilemma that leads to haha)

 

Such a calming photo, at a beautiful time of day. I tried to do the move in the one move YT video during the walk in the park today, near one of the water falls. It was nice. Thanks for the good influence.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

Adopt a pet?  It's a serious suggestion. Animal shelters in the US can't have visitors, but adoption rates of cats and dogs has still gone up.

 

Yup, and I looked into it at the beginning of all this.  It's a great suggestion, @Scalyfreak.  I'm a former dog person (Siberian Husky fostering), though I no longer have a dog lifestyle.  And I'm tempted by a cat (the purring!), but nervous .  Every new animal I've ever welcomed into my home has taken an initial stage of lots of runs to the store for supplies and toys as I figure out what works for this wee beastie.  That's a bit hard to do now.  I've been kind of thinking that if conditions relax, that might be a good time to leap upon a cat for the future.  (I mean, metaphorically leap.)  I'm willing to be convinced that I'm too cautious here.

 

And as for mistakes ... I peeked my head into parkour video land recently and tried some of the basic moves there.  They SEEM like they should be no-brainer easy, but they're surprisingly difficult.  I'm sure that I looked a right treat practicing a slow Ground Kong in the park.  If you want a giggle, @analoggirl , give that a try sometime!  :D  I figure that feeling ridiculous from time to time is good for me.  Keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

 

Time to actually lay out my challenge goals, I suppose, after pondering and looking at what y'all do here.  So here's my plan:

 

Daily activities (at least 6 days/week)

  • Walk, at least 10 minutes, preferably outside (aiming for >5000 steps/day).  Pause to savor the nature.  
  • Meditate (finishing up the 21 Days of Calm right now, will explore after that)
  • Druid Thang (yoga, Tai Chi, bellydancing -- I multiclass into Bard)
  • Social thang (World of Warcraft with friends, socializing via Zoom/Skype, walk with a socially-distanced buddy, phone call with family)
  • Sing or dance (did I mention that I multiclass into Bard?)

Weekly activities

  • Hobbit Hole improvement (make my workspace more ergonomic, make my balcony a better treehouse retreat, etc)
  • Some bigger clean (take out garbage/recycling, clean bathroom, etc.)

Grasping the Nettle (things I really need to get done but don't wanna do -- and it will feel SO GOOD to have them behind me)

  • Do my damn taxes at some point this month
  • Set up my 403(b) at work

And one more thing.  This is the third challenge I've started in the forums, and ...I haven't officially finished one of them yet.  At some point in both the other two, I've stopped looking at the forums because .... well, the stuff I do doesn't seem very newsworthy, and "Yup, took another walk today" is just a little underwhelming.  So I want to find some way to continue being part of this community, and I'd appreciate your suggestions on how to really make that happen.  

 

What do you think of that challenge list?  

 

And now, your photo reward.  

McKee Sunny.jpg

  • Like 2
  • That's Metal 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Zaphine said:

"Yup, took another walk today" is just a little underwhelming. 

 

I might be a little bit easy to please but I like reading about those things. As a chaser of shiny things, consistency looks so bad ass to me.

 

Picture rewards are a cherry on top :) You have an eye for pretty places.

 

Quote

So I want to find some way to continue being part of this community, and I'd appreciate your suggestions on how to really make that happen.  

 

It took me more tries than yours to make that happen but I think I sort of... kept to my own thread at first, lurked more and little by little ventured out. Partially persuaded by others' encouragement. I wanted to reciprocate!

 

(EDIT: and then I felt inspired/laughed/leadnt and kept coming back for more.)

 

Feel free to experiment with how you participate. Everyone is very welcoming. Assume good will. If no replies follow, don't think you aren't read or aren't interesting. :)

 

(EDIT: this was how it came to me to reply. If you want more concrete suggestions do ask, or maybe someone else will have better ideas.)

 

Quote

What do you think of that challenge list?  

 

I like it! Grab that nettle!

 

I was also thinking I am beginning to sound like a bard although I cannot play an instrument :D I like dancing. Singing voice... is So-so. I am mostly experimenting with vocal exercises every now and then because my projection in larger rooms isn't always great. And I want to be able to keep an audience's attention. 

 

Cool to see you are applying that image AND ALSO have musical abilities!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Cool to see you are applying that image AND ALSO have musical abilities!

 

Oh, you should see me at karaoke....  :D These days, I just sing to myself and with random song cues during zoom calls (hopefully with friends, rather than at work). 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Zaphine said:

I'm sure that I looked a right treat practicing a slow Ground Kong in the park.  If you want a giggle, @analoggirl , give that a try sometime!  :D  I figure that feeling ridiculous from time to time is good for me.  Keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

 

Awesome :D Yesss I am a big fun of being able to laugh at myself too haha. (And also... giving myself reasons to laugh about myself too lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2020 at 3:10 PM, Zaphine said:

I haven't had a hug since

Sending an air hug from Vermont, west toward ya'. Grab it if you want it!

On 5/3/2020 at 3:10 PM, Zaphine said:

try out tai chi

This is the form I learned. Pause and repeat.... a lot!

1 hour ago, Zaphine said:

well, the stuff I do doesn't seem very newsworthy, and "Yup, took another walk today" is just a little underwhelming.

I suffer from this a lot as well. It's so hard to feel success when it SEEMS like what I'm doing is too easy or I don't hurry up and add to it. BUT, I know if I get into increasing stuff and don't bother recognizing that I'm being consistent, then I go hog wild and soon I'm overwhelmed and doing absolutely NOTHING!

I have to really be thankful to myself for my efforts. I hope that helps some.

 

Following!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Zaphine said:

What do you think of that challenge list?  

 

If anything I'd worry it might be a bit much. But if you feel you can do it, that's awesome!

 

4 hours ago, Zaphine said:

the stuff I do doesn't seem very newsworthy [...] I want to find some way to continue being part of this community, and I'd appreciate your suggestions on how to really make that happen. [...] And now, your photo reward.

 

I'm a sucker for a photo. So just posting a photo now and then is going to be newsworthy enough for me :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don’t worry about not ‘feeling newsworthy’. You are. As much as any of us are, at least. 

 

As for keeping engagement - engagement comes and goes; what matters is the journey. In the beginning of my NF career, I found success in making friends and encouraging other people - I found a niche within that group as the tough love side eye disher, and have been able to stick around - if only to check in with my friends and totally Bonk my own challenges (or have challenges like: do 1 thing to make yourself less depressed a day) for 65 challenge cycles. 

 

Tl:dr: Figure out how you want to think about NF. I’ve found success in the ‘ask not what your group can do for you’ direction. Others I know go for more total page counts and try to beat their own high scores in that aspect. It’ll take a bit of experimenting, but go with what works for you! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, darkfoxx said:

Don’t worry about not ‘feeling newsworthy’. You are. As much as any of us are, at least. 

 

As for keeping engagement - engagement comes and goes; what matters is the journey. In the beginning of my NF career, I found success in making friends and encouraging other people - I found a niche within that group as the tough love side eye disher, and have been able to stick around - if only to check in with my friends and totally Bonk my own challenges (or have challenges like: do 1 thing to make yourself less depressed a day) for 65 challenge cycles. 

 

Tl:dr: Figure out how you want to think about NF. I’ve found success in the ‘ask not what your group can do for you’ direction. Others I know go for more total page counts and try to beat their own high scores in that aspect. It’ll take a bit of experimenting, but go with what works for you! 

&1 :)

 

 

 

Cool challenge goals! Lets do the taxes together. I need to do them too! ;)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Zaphine said:

And one more thing.  This is the third challenge I've started in the forums, and ...I haven't officially finished one of them yet.  At some point in both the other two, I've stopped looking at the forums because .... well, the stuff I do doesn't seem very newsworthy, and "Yup, took another walk today" is just a little underwhelming. 

 

This only makes sense to me if the purpose of your posts is to be newsworthy and exciting for your readers.

 

Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't need to be entertained by you or by anyone else here. Whether other people's posts are exciting or not is almost irrelevant. I'm here for me and my own needs, and it is up to me to act in a way that ensures that I get what I need out of this community. Similarly, it is up to you to figure out what you need to get from us, and how to get it. I'll do my part to help provide this if I can, but if it's not within my abilities to do so, I'm not going to lose sleep over it or feel bad about it, because I know others here will fill that niche and give you the support you need. That's the whole point of a community.

 

But you need to figure out what you want and need to get out of this community first, and as you work on that, please for your own sake make absolutely sure that "to entertain others so they won't find my challenge boring" is not on the list. :) 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • That's Metal 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2020 at 5:39 PM, Zaphine said:

Yup, and I looked into it at the beginning of all this.  It's a great suggestion, @Scalyfreak.  I'm a former dog person (Siberian Husky fostering), though I no longer have a dog lifestyle.  And I'm tempted by a cat (the purring!), but nervous .  Every new animal I've ever welcomed into my home has taken an initial stage of lots of runs to the store for supplies and toys as I figure out what works for this wee beastie.  That's a bit hard to do now.  I've been kind of thinking that if conditions relax, that might be a good time to leap upon a cat for the future.  (I mean, metaphorically leap.)  I'm willing to be convinced that I'm too cautious here.

 

One of the big advantages with cats, is that they are very intelligent and adaptable. All they truly need is food, a litter box with fresh sand, and they need to feel safe and to bond with someone so they know they are not alone. I have two cats and a dog right now, and the dog takes considerably more work and supplies to keep happy, than the two cats combined. Cats self-entertain much better than dogs do, probably because they are solitary hunters and are hard-wired for independent problem solving in a way pack animals aren't.

 

Cats also take a lot longer to open up and actively reach out to try and bond with their human, most likely due to not being pack animals, so if you're home all day long anyway, that is actually a really good time to adopt a cat. 

 

Seriously, cats are amazing pets. They are loving, openly affectionate, playful, actively curious about everything around them, and their favorite thing in the whole world is to be a part of whatever you are doing right now. You should absolutely get one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to take a couple of days there to re-cage my head around the forums, because you folks said good, meaningful things here.  Huh.  Wow.  Ponder ponder....

 

I now have a column on my whiteboard that are my dailies - walk, meditate, meds, Druid, sing -- with magnets to indicate which ones I've done that day.  It's surprisingly difficult to remember if I've taken my meds or done my meditation on any given day.  I end up thinking I just did something, and then I realize that three days have gone by!  Showers are equally difficult to remember -- how long has it been this time?  (Well, at the moment, just this morning.  But how long before that?  No real idea.....)  

 

At the moment, today's meds and meditate are marked off.  When I get done with this post, I'll go do my walk, have a therapy appointment, and do some form of Druid thing (maybe today's a day to brave the Tai Chi videos for the first time).  

 

Thanks, folks.  I appreciate the company.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Zaphine said:

Showers are equally difficult to remember -- how long has it been this time?

 

If I didn't believe you earlier when you mentioned living alone, this would definitely convince me :D

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate the pondering that needs to happen after "good" comes knocking at my door. It takes a bit to sink in and become real. If I'm lucky, I find I can do something with the new stuff. Take your time and get a weekly medicine dispenser so you can think less about it. It has saved me more times than I can remember.

 

Cheers

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2020 at 5:48 AM, Terinatum said:

Take your time and get a weekly medicine dispenser so you can think less about it.

 

Thisss. I even got one for my vitamins! I feel so much better in the winter when I take those. So I was not going to leave that to my silly brain to remember haha

 

So glad to hear you are having some good self-reflection time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.