06 January 2019

The power of meditation

I feel like a new age guru. Some recent convert who is all gung-ho and extolling the virtues of some new thing. But the fact of the matter is that I am noticing some amazing mental changes and the only thing I can attribute it to is my meditation practice. Today I have been meditating for 71 days straight. And for the past week or so I've been noticing some serious changes in my mental state. I am much calmer and clearer in my thinking. I am able to focus more on what I am doing at the moment without a 1,000 other thoughts running through my head. I can make decisions and stick with them. In the past I would make a decision, like restarting AltShift, only to 'forget' and slip up. I haven't forgotten once this whole week. That is huge, really huge, especially since I've been home which tends to make me more unfocused. And being at home these past 2 weeks has been different. I'm not near as bored as I usually am. I don't feel that whole why bother thing that usually happens. I can focus on what I want to do and actually do it. It's amazing. I can start something, put it down and come back to it later and pick up right where I left off. In the past, I would restart it and begin again. Not this time. I imagine this is how 'normal' people are. I am getting things done. I am making plans and following through. I am feeling much happier and content. It is amazing. And the only thing that has really changed in my life is the addition of regular meditation. I always knew that our mind was a super powerful tool. It could believe or overcome anything at all I just never knew how much control we could have over it. Once you have your mind under control and not have your mind controlling you, nothing is out of reach. It is amazing. I wish I could get everyone to seriously try it for a period of time because it does take time. But it is sooo worth it.....

05 January 2019

5 days into the new year

and things are going well.

I have not had one deviation on AltShift these 5 days. Not one. Granted this is not a contest to see how long I can go without deviations, there will be some in the future. But I want them to be deviations for good reasons. I haven't had any reason to deviate this week, so I haven't. It's been that simple. I went out to lunch twice and didn't have alcohol either time. Didn't really feel like it, but more important there was no reason to have a drink. At least not a reason good enough to deviate. Hubby has been awesome making great food for 5 shift. I'm drinking water like it's my job. I even went to workout class on Thursday. The local CrossFit box is adding a new class that is more of boot camp type class instead of CrossFit. No heavy weights or crap like that. I tried it out and it was Tabata style; 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest. I liked it. I will probably give the month of January a try. I really like working out again. It's been like 2 years. I was so sore the next day. Even today, my legs are killing me from the squat pulses we did. But it felt good to push myself again. I will give it a go for January and see how that works out. It is $100 a month which with my financial diet is not what I want to do, but I have canceled a bunch of things and that almost makes up the $100. I get a perverse joy in not spending money. I check the bank account every morning and I get a little thrill when I see that it hasn't changed. Every time I go to spend money I think about it hard. Do I want to spend this? How will this help me? Do I really need this? I love it. This is so much better than spending like a drunk sailor and collecting things. I have plenty of things, I don't need more things. Well, this has rambled all over the place. My original intent was to write how good I feel after 5 days of AltShift. I don't feel bloated. My clothes seem to fit a bit better. I put a bra on this morning that was tight and uncomfortable last week. I wore a t-shirt that was loose but had been a little tight a couple of weeks ago. I can feel my energy levels increasing and my focus increasing. It just feels amazing. This is how I want to feel. I don't care what size my clothes are. I just want to feel good and I do. Okay, that is enough, I'm going to go play with my diamond dots.

02 January 2019

It really all comes down to

It is that simple. And that hard. Yesterday was my first day back on AltShift. I made a conscious decision in the morning that I would not eat any junk all day. I have been living on junk the past 2 weeks. But I was making a fresh start yesterday and I decided there would be no junk. Guess what? There was no junk. I looked at it a couple of times because there are bags of chips and pies sitting on my counter, but wasn't even really tempted. Ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner and was good. Had a talk with Hubby about wanting to get back on track and back to feeling like I did last summer. He's good and on board, all he wanted was a list so he knew what to cook when. So it's all good. I felt really good yesterday. I didn't feel stuffed or bloated from eating garbage and I wasn't hungry. So it's off to a good start, I just need to pay attention to my reasons for doing this. It's not to lose weight, it's to feel really, really good again.

Same with the finances. I blew it last week because I wasn't paying attention. The last 5 days, I've been paying close attention and we are back on track. It is going to be tough for a while, I'm thinking we have to cut out going out so much, but we can do it and once things get straightened out, I can keep things on track if I just pay attention.

So I need to learn to compartmentalize my time, energies, and thoughts. I need to pay attention to lots of things during my days, I just need to focus on one thing at a time. So mornings are given to meditation and getting ready for the day. Middays are working. Afternoons will be Mavy time. And evenings will be for finances and fun.

I just need to do the things I need to do. I need to pay attention. I know from past experience, anything that I don't pay attention to generally goes to sh*t. I don't want things to go to sh*t. I want things to be easy and to make them easy I need to pay attention. Pretty simple.

The other thing I want to pay attention to is the organization around my house. I came across Marie Kondo and her Konmari method of tidying and organizing. There are a lot of things I like about that, especially the idea of not keeping anything unless it brings you joy. I love that. How many times have I moved something saying to myself, 'I hate that' but I keep it?  Time to start purging from the heart. Her idea is to start with clothing as that is the hardest for most people. I'm going to start there, but unlike her, I'm not going to pull everything out of my closet and pile it on the floor, I did that not too long ago. I am going to ask if every piece gives me joy as I put things away though and I'm going to use her folding method because it looks awesome.

Okay, time to get moving.

01 January 2019

Another trip around the sun

Another 365 days complete. The beginning of a new year, a new calendar, a new book with empty pages and it's up to us to fill them well. It's time to start again.

I know that many, many people are against new year's resolutions and I completely understand why. I look at it as a place to start. Everything has to start somewhere, it might as well be here and now. And I'm a lover of new beginnings. So let's use that to my advantage and start again on the first day of a new year.

So I am not so much starting as picking things up again. For the last 2 months at least, I have not been following AltShift well at all. There has been food outside of shift. A.  Lot. There has been food I shouldn't eat ever. A. Lot. There has been not enough steps during the break. The 2 things I have been doing really well is the meditation and the sleeping. I got those down. I am currently on a 66-day streak of meditation. And it's break, so I've been sleeping. I need to dial in the food and to get off my ass more. So that's where I'm going to focus my energy on starting today. Today starts 5 Shift, which is perfect, new year, new shift. So a focus on health this year. I also want to focus on Maverick. I need to get him his Intermediate Trick Dog and his CGC. I also want to get him to stop reacting to other dogs so violently. That I will need to work on. There is also finances. I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck, so I'm going to work very hard on breaking that cycle and that mindset. I have realized in the past that much of my problem with money is the way I think about it. So I'm working on doing better with it and changing how I think about it.  And then there is school. I have made huge strides this past semester to becoming the teacher I want to be and that will continue into the new semester. By the end of this school year, I want to have my systems nailed down and just work on refining them as I continue teaching.

So actually that's not too bad. I don't have any huge, monumental goals, I just want to keep on getting better and better. And I think that's a good goal anytime.

29 December 2018

Sometimes things have to get worse.......

Because when you think about it, it is really all about mindfulness and not doing things automatically. Which I haven't quite gotten over yet. Let me explain.....

Last post I talked about having a goal of paying down my debt. Excellent goal and something I absolutely will achieve, but it's going to take some time. In order for this goal to be achieved, I need to be mindful of every single penny we spend. And I'm not there yet. I sat the other day and paid off a couple of cards, paid my bills, and had a little bit of money left over. I thought that will get us through to next payday. But then I made some purchases without thinking. Only after the fact did I consider what this would do to my financial state for the rest of the month. So I am moving money around to prevent an overdrawn charge, but it may not happen quick enough. Side note: how come they can take money immediately yet it takes a couple of days to put money back???  So that is what happened. It's my own fault, I made some automatic purchases without thinking it through. My budget for December is shot to shit, though I did start in the middle of the month. But I guess this is going to be a learning curve. It took me a long time to not eat things mindlessly, so I guess it will take me a while to not spend mindlessly. So I'm going to pay the overdrawn fee if my transfers don't clear quick enough and I'm going to look at this as the cost of learning. I have got to think before I spend anything. Ever. Lesson learned.

26 December 2018

Money Issues

After my last post, I did something I normally do and stood back and said bullsh*t. I can focus on more than one thing at a time, I just need the right mindset and a program or routine to do it. I have successfully meditated for 60 days simply by putting it in a place in my day I knew would work and sticking to the routine. I get up, make coffee, empty the dishwasher, meditate. Easy. So I need to just make walking and financial stuff easy too. When in school, walking is easy as I walk to and from school. Now that I'm on break it's a little harder. I've been walking Mavy back from the park and that helps a lot, but I would like to get more steps. Just need to add the routine of taking him out in the afternoons. I would like to do that when school is in any way, so that's something I need to work on. As for the money......... 

I realized yesterday that my view of money is a little skewed. It's not unlike my view of working out and eating. Let me explain, I will have a goal. It will usually be an unfocused, not very specific goal. Such as, I want to walk more or I want to eat better or I want to save money. Not very specific and therefore easy to fool myself that I've met it. For example, when I started AltShift I generally felt like crap. Everything hurt and nothing fit. I started with the goal of not only losing some weight but to feel better. Well, I've reached a point where I feel pretty darn awesome and so recently (especially since break started) my eating and walking have gone to shit. And I justify this by the fact that I feel good and that was my goal in the beginning. This leaves me very unfocused and easy to fool myself into thinking I've reached my goal. Well, the same thing was happening with the money. I had a vague goal of saving money. So I set up my paycheck to send some money to a savings account every paycheck. Awesome right??? But what was I doing that for? What was my goal with that? Just to save money? I once read something that said basically that losing weight in and of itself was not a goal. Well, that seems to apply to money too. Just wanting to save is not really a goal. So I looked at some things more carefully and realized that I did have a goal in mind. I wanted to be rid of all my debt except for my student loans. We don't have a ton of debt, but I really do want it all gone. So I am using that money that I am putting in the savings to help pay down my debt. I realized that having $1200 sitting in an account was nice, but having $8,000 in credit card bills was not. Using that savings to pay down those bills seemed like the best idea ever. So I used the savings and paid off 2 cards. Woot Woot!!!!! Next paycheck I will pay off 2 more and then start tackling the big ones. This makes more sense to me. I have a solid, definable goal that I will know when I reach. I also think this will help keep me focused on not wasting money because I do have a solid goal. So when I want to spend money, I can think will this help me reach my goal of being debt free? If the answer is no, I don't spend the money. And face it, I blow a whole lot of money in a month. So I have a goal and I have a plan to get there. I think I will be all good with this. Now, I need a goal and a plan for my health and fitness.....that's up next.

22 December 2018

Break is finally here

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. Even the weekends were packed with things to do. But now break is here and I get a couple of weeks to relax. Yay!!!!  The last few weeks have been interesting. I'm focusing on organization in my classroom and I've been working really hard on that. Unfortunately, I haven't been focusing on anything in my personal life. Just getting through the last few weeks of school has taken almost everything. Ugh!!!

Sticking to AltShift has proved to be somewhat difficult. A lot of which has to do with the way I feel. I feel good. When I feel good I don't feel it necessary to stick to any particular structure. Which is ridiculous since it is that structure that got me to feel good. I did, however, realize something the other day. In the last 2 years, I have gone the longest I've almost ever gone without working out.  I stopped everything when I started AltShift because he said walking was all I needed at first. This was true. But I'm feeling like I need more now. In January Laveen Crossfit is starting up a LaveenFit thingee that is not like Crossfit but more like a workout class. I'm going to give it a try for the month of January and see how I like it. It will be from 6 -7 on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so it's worth a shot. I don't want to do Crossfit again, I get way too competitive with myself and I don't like that at all. But I would like a workout class, something regular that I can do. It just dawned on me that I could workout at home. Yeah, that's probably not going to happen with these dogs.

But I find myself with a dilemma that I've had before and still don't know how to overcome. I can't seem to focus on more than one thing at a time. So for the last few weeks, I've been focused on school and so my financial and personal life has been left to fend for themselves. I don't know how to focus on more than one thing at a time. Maybe if I devote times to certain things. If I can spend the time this break to get school set up for next semester, maybe then I can keep school at school and use my home time to focus on things at home. Anyway, I have to figure this out because I cannot let parts of my life just flounder. One thing I have learned over the years is that if you don't pay attention it will fall apart. Whatever 'it' is.

The power of meditation

I feel like a new age guru. Some recent convert who is all gung-ho and extolling the virtues of some new thing. But the fact of the matte...