gratitude #8/10

I am grateful for my body today.

So, I started a dance class a couple of weeks ago and I am pretty crap at it. Now my brain is a perfectionist – If I’m not immediately good at something I pack up and go home, but my body is a completely different beast – it just loves to move, it loves to try and fail and try again and practice the moves while washing up, watering the garden, carrying a shopping basket up and down the aisles at Aldi… Wherever, whenever, my body loves to MOVE. And eventually this joy is contagious and I find myself laughing with total joy and abandon as I flail about enthusiastically in class, and even more when I realise that I am moving in the opposite direction as everyone else. Hahaha!

What is not to love and appreciate about this marvellous joy machine that I have been blessed with?

being part of a ‘thing’: global corporate challenge

So, at work a while ago I took on the role of Wellness Ambassador. Immediately afterwards, I was seconded to a very busy position so have relied on my wonderful teammates to step up and do most of the organising: wellness walks, picnics in the park, gallery visits… they do lots of fun stuff 🙂

Anyway, partly because I felt I ‘should’ and partly because I felt guilty for leaving said teammates in the lurch, I agreed to participate in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).  This is a 100 day wellness competition that advocates taking 10,000 ‘steps’ per day, with options to track calories, engage in an online community and some other stuff that I have not yet explored.

Why I was reluctant: Stuff that annoys me about the GCC

  • 10,000 steps per day does not acknowledge that people come in a wonderful diversity of shapes, sizes, abilities and preferences. Not all of us can step, or find stepping to be a great way to exercise. Yes, there is an option to convert other activities to steps but I would love to see ‘steps’ replaced with something inclusive.
  • Also, personally speaking, I need a day off now and then to just be and do nothing more strenuous that a little pottering about. Ten thousand steps after a day of 29,000+ steps was too much for me yesterday and I just had to take a little nanna nap. Luckily I was not at work… Yes, averages are tracked, but the emphasis is on 10,000 steps every day.
  • This is a team competition, but I have not come across any guidelines for the teams and teamwork – I can see whether my GCC teammates have not entered steps, and (If they forget, or are unable to change the privacy settings) their average and PB steps. Workplace bullying anyone?
  • The nutrition stuff drives me nuts. The ‘calories in calories out’  + regular weigh-in model has failed several generations now – maybe it’s time to encourage people to do their own research and experiment with some new ways of being with food that will work for them – I can think of hundreds of small and large things people might like to try ( calorie counting is just one possibility).
  • There is no mental health component. Sleep does get addressed, but not mental health. Why not? I have an awful suspicion that some corporations may be reluctant to participate if their employees become more informed and start questioning things like work-life balance, allocation of shift work, workload and such.

Things I am unexpectedly enjoying about the GCC

  • I have been motivated to do some things I want to do but never get around to (see goals below)
  • I am enjoying the online community aspects
  • I was pleasantly surprised to find I am more active than I thought

Things I am doing to make the GCC work for me: my personal goals

  • be the first person to get chucked off the rink for skating too fast in the Friday night ‘beginners’ speed skating session. This will never happen, but it has me up and having fun at the rink more regularly
  • get all the things checked that I should have checked but never get around to: I am off to the dentist, optometrist, gp, physio, hearing people (don’t know what they are called yet but suspect I will soon be able to spell it well) … and my car is going to the mechanic too
  • keep my Sundays free. Starting next week… hehe
  • go paleo again. Yay!

I think that is quite enough for 100 days 🙂

my 2015 to come

Ok, this is a ramble by the end I get to my intentions and how I made them – that’s probably the interesting bit, but I liked the rest too so left it in anyway 🙂

The 2015 intentions setting (not resolutions) all started in the stress and hubbub of December 2014, when one morning I noted that instead of doing an online yoga session and feeling balanced and awesome, I had (once again) got diverted to facebook and was feeling scared, angry, hopeless and had a headache too. I knew it was time to Slow Down With the Social Media and after thinking about it for a few days I …

  • put facebook on holiday with no time limit or immediate plans to reinstate
  • started reading my personal email just once a week, and
  • took a holiday from blogging while I figured out what I want to accomplish and what I want to invest.

I got some pretty immediate results, some being…

  • I excised for at least an hour every day (and lost a kilo over Christmas)
  • I walked and caught public transport to work (and reduced my carbon footprint)
  • I sewed 5 dresses (and am well on my way to wearing only clothes that are made equitably and mindful of the environment)
  • I caught up with a neighbour I love but hadn’t made the time to see in months and also with some other old friends, in person – so satisfying! And,
  • I created a new vision for me and my blogging

So, my new intentions are

  • to connect
  • to contribute
  • to be fully self-expressed
  • to experience ease, and
  • to have some fun and play

I like intentions better than the usual ‘I will do this,’ or ‘I won’t do that’ resolutions stuff. Intentions allow flexibility and are thus more likely (for me) to be accomplished. For example, I once set the resolution that ‘I will run every day’ but then got stumped when I got really sick, had to have an operation and wasn’t able to do any real exercise for two months. So I got depressed and angry, hurt myself trying to get back into running too quickly, became a burden for others for longer than necessary and comfort ate and put on a bit of weight. But if I had the intention of ‘valuing my health’ I could then have come up with an alternative, like resting and doing the very gentle exercises given by my physio until I was well enough to ease back into walking then running. Dammit, I could have even bobbed about in a pool for a bit. Sigh…

The other thing I like about intentions is that they are a bit magical, in that they often start appearing in unplanned and unexpected ways, and all I have to do is say ‘yes.’ Like when in Kuranda I set an intention of ‘community’ and almost tripped over a habitat group while walking to the library a few days later. Following intentions may also lead to unexpected and magical results – like the time when I set the intention of ‘being considerate’ and so slept on the verandah lounge instead of waking my family in the middle of the night when I forgot my keys and woke to a beautiful sunrise and serenade by magpies – an unforgettably magical morning really.

How I made my intentions (probably the good bit)

I made the intentions using a list of universal human needs. You can find such a list here. I highlighted the needs that were important, then of those kept the ones that seemed most important (while reassuring myself that they are all important) until I got to just five. And these five make me feel warm and optimistic and content too. All good feelings to be having 🙂

With thanks to the New York Centre for Nonviolent Communication who are responsible for the needs list – and many other awesome things 🙂

I used to write lists

Yesterday, I picked up an old notebook to start a post for this blog on the morning train. Sitting on the train, I flipped through the notebook to find some clear space and came across an old ‘to do’ list.

*Sunday – PEM
*Monday – walk
*Tuesday – sprint
*Wednesday – pilates
*Thursday – X
*Friday – skate
*Saturday – walk

I cannot remember what PEM is and I have never attended a Pilates class in my life. But I know that all of my old notebooks will be chockers with these exercise lists  – most of which were probably forgotten before I put the pen down… and now I wonder – just what was the purpose of these lists – and what was I communicating to myself?

I suspect something like…

*Sunday – hey you great sloth get up and do some fantastic P-E-M!
*Monday – hello fatso – get moving
*Tuesday – do this and you won’t get oooooold and ugly
*Wednesday – OOoooOOoh…tuckshop arms are on their way
*Thursday – ok, full time work, study, and sole parenting is a bit tiring – rest
*Friday – get out on the rink and burn off some fat – and NO snack bar
*Saturday – get up lazy bones – no work today – no excuses

Sound familiar? Kinda like an episode of Biggest Loser? Today I doubt anyone could get healthy with that crap running around inside.

I also notice that my lists are all pretty old… This is not something I feel the urge to do any more. I think maybe it’s an impact of nonviolent communication – years of practising getting to the heart of feelings and needs rather than being preoccupied with what people might think, with what people might say – getting more and more gentle… some days I can still be a bit rough on myself, but my week is much more likely to sound like this…

*Sunday – Oh! gorgeous morning – how about a cuppa outside in the birdsong?
*Monday – what can I pack for lunch – something yummy and filling…
*Tuesday – oh dear – feeling shitty? Wanna try some gentle yoga?
*Wednesday – to the garden with the birds and the bees!
*Thursday – a walk across the river today…
*Friday – mmm – how about I get off the train a stop early and explore a bit?
*Saturday – hey lovely – do you want to sleep in or get up and wander round the neighbourhood for a bit …

It isn’t perfect, but my head is a much nicer place to be now C:

when I accepted it really is just over for her and there is nothing I can do about it and that I was going to be ok and probably was ok already

When my partner and I got back together after years happily apart most of my family had the shits and one of my sisters just dumped me. I kidded myself for a bit that she would get over it and then got mad and sad when she didn’t. And mad at myself for caring about it anyway. And sad with my family because they wanted us to get over it but I didn’t know how. And sometimes scared because I was going to see her at some family thing and when I did see her I always felt like I was going to be sick. This went on for years, about five years actually. And one day after practicing nonviolent communication for quite a while I actually thought to use it and I asked myself – what is it that I want from her anyway? And the answer was so clear and beautiful – love and acceptance and a little fun. And in that very same moment I knew I had all these things already – with my partner and my daughters, with my workmates and with my friends and I just felt all warm and loved up just walking to work in the morning sunshine on a daggy concrete path, with a straggly jasmine vine climbing over a crumbly wall alongside

small comforts when I am sick with a cold

tea
really soft tissues
napping
a soft hug
sitting in the morning sun drinking tea
gentle voices
being able to say no thankyou
people popping in for a wee visit
my dressing gown
a steaming hot cup of tea
another nap

a few things I have recently accepted…

my badass middle aged lady beard

the desire to carry tweezers everywhere

no caffeine after midday

waking up in a sweat at 2am after drinking caffeine at 3pm

the dog is incontinent

i still love the dog

the steam mop given to me by my mother-in-law really is the best present ever

Gratitude day 4

for the little brown dog who has trotted beside me for most of my life through years across the state across the country – valiantly I have pushed her away, stopped being so damn sensitive, drank the concrete, changed my thoughts, words, my mind… but every time I say I’m ok she nips at a heel to trip me up, brushes her damp body against mine causing the hell-rash, or pounces on me in my sleep to wake me terrified, screaming or weeping

for yesterday when I sat on the train with the water from yet another job ‘no’ leaking from my eyes wondering again what was wrong with me that I couldn’t just appreciate what I had and think of the starving children and be goddamn grateful for fs sake

for when I found her damp and smelly right in my lap. She poked her wet nose into my ear and whispered safely and she left me

for when I finally contemplated safety and what and where and who and when and why safety is and how I might as gently and sensitively as I please go about finding myself some more of that safety

for now – I spot my little friend sitting just outside the back door. I sit with her a bit, content, and throw her some scraps. She leaves them for the chooks, and stretches out in the sun, dry and warm basking

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