Thursday, February 21, 2013

Present and Peaceful.

Lately I've been working on being present.  Sounds easy...but is actually really  difficult for me.  I constantly think forward.  Planning what needs to be done next, what is coming up tomorrow, what type of birthday parties should the girls have in April.  And although I don't do it as often, I occasionally tend to think backwards.  Why didn't I play more with the girls yesterday, how could I have handled a situation better, maybe I shouldn't have said that.  My mind is always going.  This is why I am trying to make a real effort to be present.  Maybe it's being back in yoga or the book I'm in the middle of that is a lot about being present and peaceful.  Whatever it, I think I'm doing pretty well.  Yes, it is a constant reminder.  I think some things take constant reminders before they become a habit and that's what I hope happens.  Focusing on being in the moment and quieting my mind from the past and future has helped me to feel content and with that comes an at peace feeling.  One of many of  my favorite lines from the book Eat, Pray, Love is... 

“The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment"

When I calm my mind and focus on what is happening in front of me, I feel more content.  Something as simple as thinking about breathing.  Crazy thought, but how often do you think about breathing?  Yoga is all about that and when you focus in on the breath it really does calm you and bring you present.  This will be a work in progress for me.  For example, I chose not to be present while sitting at the dentist this week.  I figured it is not necessary to focus on what is going on when it involves your mouth wide open, drool down your chin and gloved hands scraping your teeth clean.  During this moment, I chose to let my mind wander.  


The other thing I have found with trying to be present is it makes me a better listener.  If you are truly in the moment of a conversation...not thinking about what you are going to say or what you are going to have for lunch, then you really get to hear what the other person is saying.  Again...this is a work in progress for me.  As most things are.  

Here is what is making me happy right now.  In this present moment.  

1.  Running after a fresh snow storm. 
Let me tell you, this is not a sentence I EVER thought I would write.  However, running in the cool snowy weather this winter has been awesome.  Running for me is very peaceful.  (As peaceful as running with Kesha on my headphones can be...rock star peaceful)  Especially when this is the view I get to take in as I run...
 
The contrasting colors of the bright blue sky with fresh snow capped mountains is amazing.  If I can't run with sand under my feet and a view of waves crashing, this is the next best thing.  Running is all about in the moment.  You can't forget you are breathing because you can see it fog like with every exhale.  You hear the sound of snow crunching under your shoes (between songs anyways).  You feel your heart beating.  Strong.  Sometimes I have to push myself through a run, or I can't find my wind.  But mostly I just feel peaceful.

2.  Do-it-Yourself Projects.  
I often have big visions of things I'd like to improve or re-do around the house.  PInterest is usually the fuel for this desire.  Recently I have been searching for new curtains to replace the blah, cheap tan ones in our living room.  Nothing has jumped out at me yet and it's been tricky finding the right length.  This morning, after discovering an old fabric dye kit I thought I'd get creative.
  
I imagined the deep dark purple would somehow transform these chintzy curtains to thick, dark more elegant looking ones.  It didn't.  I ended up with Easter egg color still cheap looking curtains.  

The color isn't bad...still a pretty purple.  It's just more suitable for one of the girls rooms than our living room.  Oh well, it was a good try.  It will also now force me to actually go buy some new curtains finally.  And, I know I want a nice dark color to contrast the walls.  Gotta keep the glass half full.

3.  Visions of vacation dancing in my head.
Two weeks from today we will be sitting on a plane heading south.  I know this doesn't go with my idea of thinking in the present since the trip is in the future.  However, I am presently researching restaurants and things to do so it counts.  I'm the type of traveler who likes to know the area before I go there.  I know some people can go blindly and go with the flow once they get there.  I actually used to be more like that.  I wouldn't look into anything beyond booking a hotel and maybe getting a map.  I have found I enjoy it more if I know a little more.  I relax more, knowing we have dinner reservations at a few places we really want to go to.  I like to have our trip "semi" planned.  Meaning I have a general idea of what we should do and eat, while leaving lots of room for spontaneity and change of plans.  This trip will be even more laid back because so far all my plans consist of what beach to play at and what restaurants are on the water.  The other night the girls made countdowns to vaca day.  At Christmas we made Santa countdowns, where each day they cut off a portion of his beard.  We did the same thing this time, but with palm trees.  By the time we get to the green part, we'll be packing up and heading out.  

 

4.  Homemade bread.  
In the spirit of being in the moment, if I think about what is making me happy this very moment it is the smell of bread.  This morning I made some fresh pasta and bread for dinner and as I write, curled up under a blanket, listening to some Mumford and Sons and the aroma of fresh bread in the air, I feel very content.  The pasta will be topped with some pesto bechamel sauce.  It's gonna be good.

5.  My girls funky style.
This is the outfit Layla put together yesterday...

I totally dig it.  I don't tell my girls what to wear or plan their outfits in anyway.  I figure they  both have closets full of adorable clothes thanks to two Grandma's who love shopping for them.  (I literally have probably bought them clothes only a few times...usually an essential like pj's or leggings)  I like to let this be their own creative process.  I love fashion and each day deciding what to wear is fun for me.  I want it to be the same for them, so I let them go for it.  The only time I put my foot down, is when we go to church.  Maybe it's old fashion, but I think it is important to dress up a little for church...no jeans or messy clothes.  I like the idea of wearing your "Sunday best".  Other than that, it's a free for all.  When Layla came out in this wild outfit, it made me smile.  Little Carrie Bradshaw in the making.  

That is all.  Happy Thursday to ya.  

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