I've created Imagine Balance to help document my journey to a more balanced life.
In yoga, balance is much more a state of mind rather than a physical ability. I want to imagine balance so that I can achieve it.
imagining balance to achieve balance
(the hubs and I captured by Shultz Photography)
I thought I was impressively improving my patience and ability to let go of negative feelings…. then the hubs took a whole day off work. He usually works 12 hour shift overnights seven days a week. This means I’m alone a lot. In the brief hours I get with him each day, things are going great. He takes advantage of my better mood and in return is being sweeter than usual.
Not that he wasn’t sweet this morning… he was just grating my nerves. Playing his music loud while showering (when I’m used to being able to practice my yoga in silence or to my own music). Spraying his cologne in the hall (which has now spread to every room in the house). Eating my cereal. Getting the cat riled up. All things I would be used to if he were on day shift.
I will say (proudly) that I didn’t say anything to him. I took deep breaths (prior to the cologne incident) and I kept my mouth shut. I guess it’s all about baby steps. Today I was acting like it didn’t bother me. Perhaps if I keep working on it, eventually it really won’t bother me.
I was feeling and acting super positive thanks to my renewed yoga practice, reading positive-thinking encouraging books, meditation, and even my 21 Day Yoga Body program… And then I had to work with the uber passive-aggressive co-worker who happens to be the other shift manager (opposite days as me). Since that day last week, each time I’ve worked he’s either been there or left a message on the common board nit-picking me. At first, I was OK. I knew not to take it personally. I’ve been told by many other people who work there that it’s obvious he is intimidated by me. Which is silly because quite frankly, I do NOT plan on making a career out of waitressing or managing a restaurant.
However, after the most resent episode I was shaking with negative emotion. I was angry and I can’t help but take it personally. I have no idea how to deal with this. I obviously need to talk to the owner about him leaving notes on the board since it undermines my authority and to instead to come to me directly and discreetly if there is a problem (like the coffee maker not being shiny enough – yes, that was worthy of a note on the board).
I think it bothers me so much because I know I’m damn good at my job. I say to myself “Tara, really?! You’re upset about what he thinks? Everyone else knows better and YOU know better!” and then five minutes later I’m stressing again. It ruins my whole day.
How to you avoid taking negative comments personally?
My greatest challenge is staying present. My mind is constantly wandering. I think about the past. Mostly I worry about the future. I didn’t realize how much this affected my daily life until I began to focus on it during yoga and meditation. While it is insanely frustrating during those practices, it’s even more so while I’m reading, working, talking with friends, etc. While I probably noticed being distracted, I did not realize how much it was taking away from my life.
My favorite aphorism (so far) from A Year of Living Your Yoga is “Suffering comes from our unwillingness to be present.” From what little I’ve begun to read about Buddhism, it also focuses on living in the now.
Yes, my yoga and meditation are helping. Realizing you have a problem is the biggest step, right? I also want to do small things in my day to day life to help get me on track. First up, listening to a full song and only listening to the song. I sat in a comfortable seated position and put on one of my favorite songs. I let my body sway or move however it wanted while trying to not notice. I focused on the notes. When I felt myself drift, I came back to the music much like I do with my breath in yoga/meditation. I’m not planning on doing this every day, but at least a few times a week. Aside from working on my attention span, it’s also really relaxing.
Song for today:
Having made it though the first week, I’m about 5 days further in than I made it last time. Go me! I’m still unsure of how I want to summarize things on here so I’m just going to post a brief description of what we learned that day and what I journaled and see how this goes…
01 –Introduced the Basic Minute. Get in a comfortable seated position with a timer. Focus on your breath.
- went by really fast / mind wander quite a bit
02 –What to do with your mind? Clear your thoughts and continue to come back to your breath.
- again went really fast / is OK to use yoga breathing (ujjayi)? / don’t do right after yoga again
03 –What to do with your body? Sit in a comfortable position. Don’t let your legs dangle so that they can sway if in a chair. Sit up straight without feeling stiff.
- felt long today / can I use mantras?
04 –What happens in a minute? You relax a little, improve your ability to focus, and you are clearing some space in your mind.
- recalled something I had forgotten to do and let it go
05 –Warm-up and cool-down. Stretch or shake out tension prior to getting into position to set your intention. Take your time coming out of your peaceful minute.
- made Shane practice with me
06 –Nothing. Striving for nothingness during your meditation.
- had problems letting my surroundings sink in without dwelling on them
07 –Silence. How to deal with the sounds around you. “The point of this is that we can experience the sound around us not as interference in our lives, but as an expression of the life from which we are not separate.”
- mind drifted, but was able to come back to my breath
On to Week 2!
Any suggestions on how I can better do these posts?
I know for a fact that I’ve rolled my eyes when a teacher has told us it is OK to cry in Savasana. I didn’t understand what about lying still for 5-10 minutes would make you cry. And then I had an emotional breakdown a few nights ago while in corpse pose.
As you may know, I’ve been working on meditation and being present. This is extremely hard for me. I’m a planner. I feel like I’m constantly thinking “Oh I need to write that down!”. The other night as I was doing my finishing sequence, I was thinking about what I was going to write in my next post. Once in Savasana, however, I was more mindful of my thoughts and began to get upset with myself for wanting to get up and make a note. I didn’t trust myself to remember what I was thinking ten minutes later? Why couldn’t I just let it go and come back to it when I finished? If I didn’t trust myself to do what I intended, how could anyone else trust me to do what I say I will?
Of course this got me thinking back to the one session I had with a counselor a few years ago. I seem to have the opposite of ADD. I read books front to back. I start a project and need to finish it or I won’t come back to it. Things either have all of my attention or I’m wandering on to the next thing. I don’t trust myself to come back to things. I don’t believe if I put a book down that I’ll be able to pick it back up. If I don’t clean the entire kitchen today, it won’t be cleaned.
While I don’t think I’ll be able to break myself of this completely and I have no intention of abandoning my treasured to-do lists, I am attempting to stop and think “make a mental note and come back to it later”. I’m starting projects when I have a little time and learning to trust myself to come back to them later. And I’m no longer rolling my eyes at my yoga teacher when she tells us it’s OK to be emotional during our practice.
Back in April of last year when I was getting this site put together, I came across an amazing program called One-Moment Meditation. It is a 30 day course based on the book One Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go by Martin Boroson. Luckily all the sessions are still up on Oprah’s site! So today I’ll being doing Day 1: Introducing the Basic Minute. My general plan is to post the links to the next week’s sessions in the beginning of week and sum up how the previous week went.
Want to join me?
I came across this amazing month long class via Everything Yoga. As someone who isn’t great at sitting still for long periods of time, the idea of being able to relieve some stress in merely minutes is very appealing! The 30 day course is based on the book One Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go by Martin Boroson. So I headed over to Oprah’s site and checked out the welcome page. Each day they will load a new post about either technique, tips, or some philosophy behind it.
You begin with the task of setting aside one minute to meditate at the same time each day. Just to shut down, relax, and let your worries go. This sounds easy enough, right? So I’m starting today… I’m going to attempt to update once a week to let you know how I’m doing!
I’ve been working towards practicing yoga at home without being led. I’ll be sure to post about what podcast and DVDs I use in the near future. However, this week I wanted to introduce you to an iPhone app called iRelax Melodies. You simply click on the types of sounds you want to hear to add them together into one beautiful melody. You can save favorites, set a sleep timer or alarm, shake to shuffle. My favorite mix is flute, orchestral, zen, and melody. However, they also have piano, waterfall, thunder, night, fire, river, ocean, rain, wind, music box, lounge, and birds that call all be mixed together how ever you want.
Here is an online review I came across of the Premium app that also includes images of the app. (there is also a lite app that is free)
Need a mini-break during work, while stuck in traffic, right before bed? Try this one minute meditation.
It starts with pumping oxygen into your brain, and it ends with a breathing technique called Ujjayi breathing, which is a kind of nasal breathing, deeply in through the nose and out through the nose after we pump prana, or life force into your nervous system. You start with about 30 seconds of bellows breathing, and follow that with about 30 seconds of silence and calm Ujjayi breathing. Often times this pumps enough energy into your nervous system to give you the ability to be calmer and settle your mind.
So you breathe for about 30 seconds using a Bhastrika or bellows breath. Then breathe for the next 30 seconds doing an Ujjayi breath.
Sit comfortably, sit up straight in your chair. Do bellows breath as deep in and as deep out as you can for 30 seconds and follow this with 30 seconds of silence breathing through an ujjayi or ocean breath.