Upcoming Workshop

Next month I’ll be giving a workshop with Marsha Smith, LCSW at Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery.

I’m so excited present my method to use a journal to build self-esteem and self-confidence, and to hear Marsha present her method of dream interpretation! We’re going to have fun while getting empowered to get in touch with our creativity.

You can find more information and buy tickets through Eventbrite here.

A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate
A bat plant! one of many awesome plants you can find at Cultivate

10K- Hooray!

    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe I had a simple running goal for this year: I wanted to run an 8K before Eternal Winter returned. Imagine my surprise when that turned out to be pretty easy for me. Well, maybe not easy, but I got […]

Goodnight Cellphone

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It’s been a little while since I decided to turn off email notifications on my phone. I expected it would be hard to adjust to after so many years of using them, but I loved it right away.

In fact, I loved it so much that I’ve started to rethink my phone use in general.

I was a late adopter of both cellphones and smartphones. I have nothing against them, in fact, I’d be lost without my phone these days, but I was reluctant to be reachable by anyone at any time.

It got to the point where I was gritting my teeth, or experiencing some other form of displeasure every time that little bell would chime. Then I would pick up my phone, read my email, and most of the time, respond right away. It could really interrupt the flow of my day sometimes.

I guess I just forgot that I had a choice about all that.

Lately, the freedom from email notifications hasn’t been enough for me. I want my phone to be available when I need it, when I want to connect with people near and far, and then I want to ignore it the rest of the time. I don’t want to be one of the people in these photos.*

I’ve been gradually using my phone less and less.

First, I put it on silent earlier in the evening and turned the sound on later in the morning. Then, I started turning it off earlier. I’m now at the point where I turn it off around 8:00 pm, and put it in another room.

For all intents and purposes, my phone has been banned from my bedroom.

I can’t even describe how awesome that has been for me. I feel like I have so much more time in the morning, and I’m much more relaxed and focused in the evening.

Sure, if there’s an emergency I’m unreachable (no landline). I’ve realized over the years that there’s probably nothing I could do anyway. I might as well get some bad news at 8 am instead of midnight.

This represents my phone's feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it's for my own good.
This represents my phone’s feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it’s for my own good.

I’m not alone, unplugging from technology regularly is becoming quite trendy.

Can you do it? What’s stopping you?


*I’m not trying to judge their choices, mind you. I have just found that the more I use my phone, especially when I’m around other people, the more unhappy and disconnected I feel.

 

A Running Slump

My dear friend, clear your mind of can’t. -Samuel Johnson This morning was the first time I’ve gone for a run in a week. I’ve been locked in a battle with my alarm clock (well, I would be if I used an actual alarm clock), and my run has been losing. I’m always amused by […]

My Disembodied Body

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. -Khalil Gibran Remember last week when I wrote out a conversation between “me” and “my hip”? My hip was hurting on a recent run, and before accepting the pain and modifying my activity I disowned a piece of my own body. I do that […]

A Better, Perfecter Me

I have these moments sometimes where the “new” me is so close within my grasp I can almost reach up and touch her. Let’s call her “Finished Margaret”. Finished Margaret’s mindfulness practice is highly developed. She never dissolves into a stressball for up to 30 minutes (or longer!) before stepping out of the narrative and […]

Eye of the Tiger, baby!

  A funny thing happened when I started tracking my runs with Strava: I started pushing myself harder. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I finally saw the full consequence of that little bit of extra push on my run this morning. This run. It’s another interval practice on my 10K trainer: run 15 minutes, […]

Bring Your Own

If you’ve followed my exploits on social media this summer you may have noticed a trend: I got a lot of coffee on the go. Like, a lot.

That’s fine. It’s not a very cost-effective habit for wannabe adventurers, but sometimes a gal’s gotta splurge.

There’s one thing about it that I really regret; I got many these delicious beverages in paper and plastic cups. I’m generally pretty conscientious about my environmental footprint, but I just chose apathy in those cases.

No more! Klean Kanteens are on sale at Whole Foods right now, so I treated myself to one.

Specifically, this one
Specifically, this one

The paper label invites purchasers to “Take the Pledge” and I’m a sucker for pledges. And purple.

For the next 30 days I’m going to refuse single use containers. No more salad bar takeaway, no more plastic cutlery, no more paper coffee cups! Yes to my new favorite companion (name TBD).

How about you? How have you reduced your footprint? How do you grab food on the go?*


*Suggestions especially welcome on that last one!

 

Take a Breath and Get Through It

Most of the time I go through life like I’m in The Lego Movie (well, that one part of it).

Monday wasn’t one of those times, and neither is today. Today has been…[redacted].

I know I’m not alone in feeling like the days when I most need to sit still and be quiet are the days when that’s hardest to do. Days like today, when my to-do list is a mile long and time seems even more finite than normal.

When of course there was a big delay with my connecting train, and the bank teller took forever to help the person ahead of me (and why was there only one window open??), and…

Do you see what I was doing there? I was telling myself a story. An never-ending narrative about why today is horrible and I don’t want to sit quietly and I want to have a beer and take a nap.

I'm pretty sure he's just rolling with today.
I’m pretty sure he’s just rolling with today.

I actually have a lot of appreciation for days like today.

They remind me of how I used to live pretty much every day. Lost in a narrative about how bad things were, just waiting for enough time to pass the it would be “acceptable” to turn on the TV and escape my life.

When I start to feel that old urge to flee, that’s my cue to take a nice deep breath and be grateful for the progress I’ve made. It reminds me that this too will pass.

Now over to you: what do you do when you’re having a bad day? Have you shifted towards healthier habits?

A Challenge I Could Do

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. -Michael Jordan

I am running longer and farther than I ever thought I was capable of, and it’s an amazing feeling. I expected training for a 10K would challenge me both mentally and physically.

The challenge I didn’t expect is not to my lungs, legs, heart, or will to carry on. It’s to my resolve to be kind to myself.

This morning’s run was the start of a new week, and it was tough. There’s a disclaimer at the beginning of the 10K trainer that these runs are supposed to be challenging, and to not be surprised if you have to repeat them before you’re ready to move on.

Intellectually I can accept that.

It presented me with a dilemma this morning. I had just moved into the next round of intervals and it became pretty apparent during my second 15 minute stretch that I was going to have a very, very hard time finishing the third one.

As I pushed myself physically, I was going to have to try to find the line between doing as much as I was capable of, and not pushing myself too hard. I don’t like leaving things unfinished, you see. I am apparently very susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized I was challenging my self-kindness at all. I knew I had reached the point it was time to stop when my form really started to suffer. To run those final 3.5 minutes of that last interval wouldn’t have been kind or healthy for me, it was going to be too much.

I get a lot of satisfaction from finishing a run and making progress toward my 2015 goal. Today I got a lot of satisfaction from finding my limit and not going over it. Today I was testing my capacity for self-love, and I passed the test.

I can’t wait to test myself again on Thursday!

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