REFOCUS – New Minds, New Mantras

 

On Sunday, i decided this week, when i had most of my days/mornings free, i needed to start something different. The mantra that sprang into my brain was “More Reading and Music, Less TV.”
I’m one of those people who doesn’t actually “watch” tv; i just have it playing pretty much consistently in the background, because my mind doesn’t like being left alone. I’m also a little absent-minded too, and having the same tv programs on all the time helps me know what time it is.
But there’s also other things that i’ve noticed that aren’t so good…i can literally feel my brain rotting out of my head at times, and i have a hard time tearing myself away to do creative things i do like. That freaks me out a bit, because i don’t want to lose the skills i do have.

I also have more books on marriage and home life than you could shake a stick at, thanks to so many people who have given me these wonderful resources in the light of my upcoming wedding in two months 🙂
So all that said, i really just needed a reshift and i wanted it to last.
I forewent all my usual weights and resistance training thru BeachBody and have been under the virtual guidance of the lovely SarahBethYoga as i made this week specifically dedicated to yoga for my physical exercise. Usually it’s just about half an hour of Power Vinyasa but today i really focused on my very inflexible hips. I created my own practice and ended with a quicky heart-pounding-sweat-dripping Power routine.

I pretty severely twerked out my neck and right shoulder weird last night so i started with this, just to loosen up a tad.

Note : Notice the difference between a routine and a practice.
Routine = a short segment or flow that is meant to be a part of a longer session.
Practice = A stand-alone yoga session. Usually 30 minutes+. 🙂 

I started the practice with this beginner routine, because my hips are just that bad haha. Just to ease myself into it

This third video, Sarah herself actually recommended to me, because i mentioned i had finally gotten half-pigeon, which i normally have to modify because my hips don’t allow my weight to be distributed evenly.

The props are SO helpful and this was the bulk of my practice. Modifying is okay. The more you do it, the better you get. I enjoy looking back at certain poses and stretches that i previously wasn’t able to do at all, and now i do them like they’re nothing. 🙂 Stick with it.

Just to pick it back up a bit, while my legs were all stretched out and ready to do some work, i did this quick lower body flexibility routine.

 

I had this last one on the back burner in case i was feeling strong (i was, and i’m so glad i did it!)

This was PERFECT; just enough to get me sweating and working without throwing in poses i didn’t know or being overwhelming.
My focus in these practices is “The more you do it, the better you get.” No matter what, just do something, every day.

Alot of thing are like that. I’ve been struggling with some things recently; alot of fear and pride that has kept me from making proper decisions, as well as anxious thoughts that have kept me from being the most productive i could be. But no matter what, if i can counteract one bad decision with a good one, each day, or squash down one anxious thought a day, i’m making progress. It will get easier. 🙂

I’ve missed you all.
It’s good to be writing again. 🙂

Looking forward to a full week of prayer and study next week.

Shoes vs. Bare Feet

feets

When i was growing up, in the woods, in Maine, as soon as May rolled around, and there was no snow except for the huge chunk of half-ice, half-crystalized pellets, we stopped wearing shoes.
All day, every day. No shoes.
The neighbors teased us about getting roundworms, and we were those kids who showed up to Walmart or the grocery store with no shoes on and had to wait outside or sit in the cart at 8-10 years old.
It was my Easter tradition for years to play violin on stage with no shoes on.
We also had lofts for beds growing up, so we climbed a rope ladder for years to get up and down from our beds. (That toughened up the balls of my feet like you wouldn’t believe!)
In 2012, i was constantly in trouble with the camp nurse and handyman at Word of Life Ranch because i would do things like ride on the back bumper of the maintenance van when we went off-roading and run around with no shoes on. Hint :New York State law is not very keen on stuff like that!
In 2013, i became a lifeguard. Now i finally had permission to strut around campus with no shoes on, ever!

Of course, like normal kids, we got slivers, glass and one brother even got a nail in his foot, but it wasn’t anything some peroxide and a band-aid couldn’t fix.
Kids are going to get boo-boos; physically hurt one way or another, and it’s important to teach them not to be afraid of that.

Over the course of all those years, i noticed i personally walk on the outside edge of my feet; my weight isn’t completely evenly distributed, naturally, and i also have tough callouses/cracked skin on my heels. I don’t know if those are really problems or “cons” to not wearing shoes, as it were, they’re just something i noticed.

Other things i did notice, are definitely positives, no questions about it.
I have impeccable balance. I’m a klutz with an astigmatism and depth-perception issues, so it’s definitely not anything to do with my eyes or my ears; i strongly believe it has to do with my feet. i’m constantly tripping over, and bumping into things, but i never actually hit the ground and i regain control quickly.

I also have excellent arches. I just purchased my first pair of heels in the past year, so i never wore those my whole life, and i can stand on my toes for as long as you’d like.
My joints and the balls of my feet have excellent support and i can jump off anything and land without my ankles hurting or buckling.

All that said, I’m super excited for the summer and the benefits that come from not wearing shoes!! While i know it doesn’t work for everyone and some people need the extra support (i’ve found even i need some more in my “old age” haha), I’ve seen all those benefits, especially in my ankles and balls of my feet, that even my peers don’t have.

I also plan on going barefoot for my wedding! ^_^

Q of the Day – What are your personal opinions about shoes? Do you need the support or are you worried about germs?

 

Mother’s Day Thoughts – I’ll be Honest. I’m Frustrated.

I was reading some articles about Mother’s day on a mummy/wifey blog and very many articles, and comments, revolve around the how much people hate it!
I never realized so many people are so up-in-arms about Mother’s Day. I always thought perhaps it was hard for some people who didn’t have their mums with them anymore or who lived too far away to celebrate together.
Turns out, people are flipping their lids because apparently celebrating motherhood is degrading to those who aren’t mothers. Who knew?
Humanity. You’re killing me. Can you just realize for one moment that life isn’t about you??? And this “painful and terrible day that you refuse to be a part of” for a variety of reasons is just not justifiable?
Let me first say that anyone who has ever lived thru a miscarriage or lost a child in any way is already stronger than me; that is one of my greatest fears in life.
But, to me, you are a mother, your child just isn’t with you anymore. Don’t make a lost child (either in the world, or to the world) less than a real child.
I just don’t understand why fellow women would insist that the hardest job on earth isn’t worth being celebrated because it’s “too painful” for you.
And people who are in their late 20s-30s either single, or childless (have never carried or adopted a child) and just can’t handle sitting in a church service where the pastor asks the mums to stand up….and you “just can’t handle it anymore” and stand up?? what??! I don’t understand the pressure to do that…It literally makes zero sense to me.
The struggle of wanting children is real. I understand; I’m a girl too. But why do you have to degrade the greatest responsibility on earth, just because God hasn’t given it to you (yet? Or not in the way you imagined?)
“Real women” don’t have children. “Real women” do have children! Why does that have to define us?? Why do we desire to remove the holiday alltogether because the memory of our children and the love and plan of God isn’t enough for us??
….I guess that’s what it boils down to.

Shared from my Tumblr, @meyla3839

Caring for A Sick Body

Hello all 🙂 I’ve been nursing along a bugger of a cold recently, and i’ve been doing alot of homework, reading and study about ways to care for and prevent common ailments without immediately running to the doctor or buying meds.
So here’s a few things i’ve been doing the past couple days that have helped considerably in my fight against the changing seasons and my weakened immune system!

1. Echinacea Tea by YOGI

This tea is wonderful! I’ve been drinking 1-3 cups a day, and it really is the shot in the arm to your immune system. Echinacea is a plant that has been used for centuries to fight infections. I’ve been adding some raw honey, and a lemon wedge to it as well.

2. Gargling warm salt water

This is good for if you have a sore, scratchy throat or feel a sore throat coming on. Salt is antibacterial, the heat soothes, and a mucousy nasty throat is just a museum of bacteria and infection just waiting for opening day! Gargle the stuff, spit it out and cough up whatever else will come out too! Once a day should suffice. 🙂

3. Raw Honey

According to what i’ve read, this stuff is better than over-the-counter cough and cold medicine, and after yesterday, i believe it.
I scooped up some on my way out of Wegmans yesterday, and downed a spoonful as soon as i got into the car.
Honey is also a centuries-old antibacterial and soothing agent, and my throat felt better after that one bit!
It is QUITE sweet tho, for me, so today i’ve just been mixing as much into my tea as can possibly be absorbed (about 2 TBS) and drinking it that way.

4. Breathing Peppermint Oil Steam

I turned on my teakettle with about 2 cups of water and about 4 drops of peppermint essential oil, and let it steam. I lean over it and breathe it in, plugging one nostril and then the other. You can feel the fumes on your throat and it really does make everything loosen up! I’d blow my nose frequently inbetween.

5. Garlic caplets
Marth’s mum gave me about a hundred of these little guys, and it’s just garlic, in pill form (also an infecticide) I pop about three of them a day when i’m sick.

6. Water!!!!!!!!
I know, i know everyone says stay hydrated when you’re sick, but it’s so true!! Drink at least two quarts of water a day (which you should be drinking anyway, but its easier said than done.)
Drink water, until your eyeballs are floating, and then drink some more! it helps flush all the bad stuff out of your body and it needs that hydration to fix stuff up inside.

7. Orange/Citrus Juice and Fruit
Vitamin C it up, my people! Your body needs all the help it can get when it’s fighting infections or your defenses are weakened. I drink about 2 glasses of orange-pineapple juice and/or eat at least half a grapefruit or orange a day when i start feeling a cold coming and when i have it.

8. Restorative Yoga
Working out honestly is the last thing i feel like doing when i’m sick, but i don’t want the week or so to become a complete and total loss. Today i did about an hour of SarahBeth Yoga’s Deep Stretch Restorative Yoga, that’s mostly just lying/stretching into positions, not so much of a physical challenge. It’s kinda like running in place or speedwalking; you’re doing the motion without straining or committing your body to as much work, just to keep it tip-top and on it’s toes. 🙂

9. SLEEP.
Seriously tho. Your body needs to heal and repair itself, and it does that during your sleep cycle. It becomes even more important when you’re sick to allow the body the time it needs of rest. 8 hours or more a night, ESPECIALLY when you’re sick, but every night is best, really.
Something i really struggled with as i’ve grown up is seeing sleep as something lazy; it’s one of those things you just have to do to stay alive, as little as you can stand, because sleeping more than 6-8 hours/ past 9:30 makes you lazy. That’s just not true! Especially when you’re sick, just because your eyes snap open at 7:30 because that’s what you’re used to, doesn’t mean you have to force yourself out of bed then. If you can afford to fall back to sleep until 8:30 or quarter to 9, to round off an even 8-8 1/2 hours of sleep, go for it. it’s that important.

Now if you end up with a seriously struggling throat or no voice, some times some drugstore meds aren’t a bad idea. My immediate go-to is…

10. Hall’s Menthol Cough Drops
They come in a blue package and they taste like antifreeze, but they do wonders for a dry, sore or painful throat/cough! Good for on-the-go to have in your pocket at work, school, the like. 🙂

So, that’s what i’ve been doing this whole week! ^_^ While i feel bad for not blogging, writing or painting as much as i usually would, i have listened to alot of music, and worked about 43 hours, taken care of my house and slept alot!
Speaking of sleep, because i just preached on how important that is, i should be practicing it… 😉

Q of the Day – What are your go-to survival techniques for seasonal sickness/allergies?

 

Little Thankfulness Sparks from Today

Each day, no matter how bad, i always have something to be thankful for. A rough Wednesday afternoon? At least i got to be with my adorable preschoolers in the morning. An AWFUL day at Hobby Lobby on Tuesday? At least i got in some good yoga in the morning and ate a pint of ice cream while talking with my manager, Matt, at Wegmans until 10:30 at night afterwords.

Speaking of Wegmans…
I was chilling and just doing my job this afternoon, when one of my other managers, Mike, asked if i was free tomorrow (Tuesday). I told him not really, because i had to be at Hobby Lobby, 1-9ish.
He said morning was exactly what he was looking for, and would i be willing to come in around 7:30-8. Because it’s Mike, and i know he loves me and appreciates my work, I agreed.
We talked for a minute, and he finally cocked his head and asked if i went to school; basically what i did with my life when i wasn’t there. I said i didn’t go to school; I just worked two jobs, and had my own apartment…and a cat. (“haha. ^_^ ” )
He nodded and asked if i was interested in getting full-time.
“Here?” I asked
“Anywhere.” He laughed.
I nodded about six times and said absolutely, I’d love to work full time here.

Something about the grin on his face and the light in his eyeballs made me smile too and i asked what was up. He just said “Good to know…good to know.”
I asked if he had a full-time job for me, and he shook his head and said “No…but i’m gonna push you along. I’m gonna get you full-time here.”

I know he was serious. I have no clue what kind of time-table he’s talking about. But it just kinda made my day; the realization that i have someone at work, who’s watched me, taught me and been there for me, who wants to see me go far there.
It’s exciting, its encouraging and it’s really great to see a company living out the values they claim to have. I love my new job, and i love my friends there so much. Who’d have guessed i’d move to a new state out of nowhere and find my own way, at work…in a grocery store?

I’m stoked. And thrilled to be coming in to work at 7:30 tomorrow morning for one of my favorite managers 🙂 Who wants to see me do well.