Trying to Decide…

I just got an email from the poobahs at WordPress.  They are challenging bloggers who use this platform to commit to blogging every day in 2011.

I am sorely tempted…

Confession: I get totally STOKED around New Years.  I am a hopeless resolution maker.  I love to make resolutions and then buy tracking equipment: calendars, software, stickers, etc. to keep myself accountable.

When this email came, I was SO ready to jump all over this.  After all, tomorrow I will complete the December challenge at 750 words and earn my Albatross badge.  (!!!) Last year I did Holosync for 436 days without a break.

I am a complete streaker, love stacking up the days.  But EVERY DAY here???   What it will mean is some decent posts, but a lot of just showing up for the sake of showing up.  It might mean just a picture some days. It might mean a paragraph.  It might mean less than stellar content.

What do you think?

Since you check here in and read this blog, should I just continue here as I have been doing, being fairly consistent, albeit with longer breaks here and there?  Or do you think I should take the bait and try for 365 days of posts, regardless of content?

I’d really appreciate your input.

Thanks!

Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions

And it’s not even Christmas.

But I saw this on Facebook this morning and I think I will try to do all 101 of these things this year.  (Doing so might also give me some tasty blog post “food.”)  Check it:

101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy | RevolutionaryAct.com.

One of the things I would also like to get better at is WordPress, this blogging platform I use.  I just discovered a tool called “Press This,” which allows me to capture things I see as I travel the length and breadth of this here ether-world and put them here, presto-chango!

I am trying it out for the first time today.  I think it has the potential to make me a more consistent blogger.  (Hope.) So I have my fingers crossed that the link I added comes out just the way I saw it.  It’s tres cool in its design, not only graphically, but if you hover over each of the items, it reveals more info and/or a tip for implementing it.

I am planning on printing it up and framing it so I will have it to look at every day.

On an entirely different note, I have just started reading Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Body.  And whoa.  This is an extremely weird book in a totally cool way!  I am only in a few chapters in, but I think it is going to revolutionize the way I exercise and think of my body.  He has this idea of “recompositioning” in which you don’t think exclusively of losing pounds, but of changing your fat to muscle ratio.  Doesn’t sound so revolutionary, but trust me, it is. So stay tuned.

It’s a few days before Christmas and G’s parents are newly arrived back from their month-long travel adventure through the southwest and Hawaii. Our fridge is completely full, (like things fall out when you open the door, full) and I ate a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast (!!) which is so totally wrong for me, I cannot even tell you.

(Clearly, I have started to cave to peer pressure and that has to stop.  They are big carb eaters and I want to make them feel happy and at home, but doods, I simply cannot do white food.)

I think it is time to go hunt down a broccoli spear and steam it up for lunch.

Ciao!

 

 


Happy Solstice

Badges, Baby! (750 Words)
Image by randomcuriosity via Flickr

So clearly, the #Reverb10 thing is not working out.  I do get the prompt everyday via email, and I dutifully paste it into 750 Words and then proceed to write whatever is really and truly on my mind, which usually has nothing to do with the prompt. (750 words, if I haven’t mentioned it before, which I think I have,  is TOTALLY working out; I have not missed a day yet this month, and that Albatross Badge?  So close.  I can practically taste it. (Yum.)

How come I am always drawn to challenges when it is least likely that I will be able to meet them?  Answer me that, will you?

And on that note, how come it is, when it is THE world’s worst time for a getaway, I NEED one? Like the week before Xmas??

I don’t really celebrate Christmas. I don’t mind Christmas, and I do actually like some of its rituals, like a lighted tree in the house ( I really like that), and I like an excuse to get out my cookie press and make spritz cookies.  But what I really look forward to is the Solstice.  I want to feel my ass hit that deep, depressing, dark pit of gloom at the bottom of the year, and then start noticing as my ass begins floating up, and up, and up, as the light increases, even if it’s just a nano-second each day. 

So to celebrate the Solstice, G and I booked a little getaway this weekend (did I mention it’s the WEEK BEFORE XMAS?) to Ellicotville, NY  in the hopes that there would be some snow there to cross-country ski on.  And by golly, there was!

Here. Look.  (In the narration I mention that it’s December 2011 but it’s not, obviously, it’s 2010, but I am apparently already practicing so I don’t mess up any checks come January.)

We rented a chalet about 5 miles out of town with enough acreage around it to ski.  Vacation Rentals By Owner is the way to go!

Ellicotville chalet
Inside chalet with tree
Inside chalet with fireplace

And perhaps best of all, the place had no TV (just a DVD player) and no wireless (!!!!!), so I was disconnected (*gasp*)–except for the coffee shop in town– the whole weekend.

After this little interlude, I am now ready to rejoin the Happy Holidays!!  I just needed some time to watch the sun rise and then to watch it set and, as Rod McEuen would say, to “Listen to the Warm.”

 

#Reverb10: Remebering 2010, Body Integration and Kicking 11 Things to the Curb

Yosemite Falls afternoon
Image via Wikipedia

Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Watching the sun rise over the ocean on Rehoboth Beach.

Staggering home after dancing like a thing on fire at Frog Pond all night.

Climbing the rocky trail to Upper Yosemite Falls.

Feeling my mortality on the Panorama Trail in Yosemite and being fine with it.

Feeling amped up and finally “identified” while reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin.

Dropping deep into my body during Yin Yoga.

Ending a 434 day streak of Holosync and being okay with it.

Running 10 miles along the Landrus Rd., listening to my breath.

Meeting Vince Horn on the street in Asheville.

Watching Emily and Scott fly a kite in Portland.

Getting into Scorpion Pose (with a wall assist) at the Asana 4 training with Yoganand.

The musty smell of the inside of an empty dumpster. The beautiful sight of a full one.

The feeling of freedom and happiness at the sight of a clean basement.

One word: Mouse sander.  (oh, that’s 2 words, isn’t it?)

Having an extra seat between us and free wireless on the flight to Portland.

Eating fresh produce all summer thanks to the Mansfield Grower’s Market.

Posting my 300th entry on this blog and officially becoming a “blogger.”

Figuring out how to make a podcast, and then making one.

Doing not just one, but two cleanses.

Crying watching the Chilean miners get pulled from the ground one by one.

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

If you practice yoga regularly, the state of body integration becomes fairly commonplace.  The same holds true of meditation. That’s why people do these practices and love them.  They’re not all that hard to access really, if you know some tricks.

Pranayama, particularly kapalabhati or bastrika with kumbaks can get you focused and integrated lickety-split.  It’s not that big of a deal.  Whenever the ego is allowed to drop away, and the division between self and other can dissolve, even a little bit, bam.  Integration.

Cool, huh?

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

1. Guilt: over decisions and actions in the past that have no relevance anymore.  Why am I still carrying this bag of garbage around? Remedy:Call for dumpster.

2. Fear: of the unknown, change, looking foolish, looking pathetic.  Fear of operating heavy machinery, mice, the stock market,  and my inability to understand tax laws, or what an annuity is, and a lot of the basic concepts of economics and banking. Remedy: therapy and research.

3. Procrastination: Resistance!  What I resist the most is what I need to do most urgently.  I know this intellectually, but I can’t seem to get over it.  Ack. Remedy: Re-read The War of Art everyday.

4. 50% of the books on my shelves. (Oh, but that one has such beautiful illustrations…etc.) Remedy: Stop buying books, download them instead onto Kindle, then donate rest to Library sale.

5. 50% of the clothes in my closet. Remedy: Goodwill

6. More gray hair, more wrinkles, more signs of aging. This can all stop anytime now.  Thanks. Remedy: Equanimity and highlights.

7. Any and all injuries and disabilities and pain, including sore toes and periodontal disease. Remedy: Care, Dr. Conte and foot doctor.

8. Lean to fat ratio.  This could be much better. Remedy: Weight lifting.

9. Weak muscles. Remedy: Push-ups.

10. Complaining people (including me.)  Remedy: Laugh at other people who complain.  (They hate that.)  Make a “No Complaining” resolution for self for this coming year.

11. Laziness.  Remedy: Make things happen.  Every day.  No excuses.


#Reverb10-Catching Up

Cover of "A Million Miles in a Thousand Y...
Cover via Amazon

How the hell did I get 5 days behind in #reverb10?

No matter.  In the next few days I’m going to see if I can catch up.

It’s funny about these prompts.  I read them each day and my mind goes totally and absolutely blank.  But then I open up 750 words, (which, by the way, has turned into my very favorite “Resistance Dragon” slayer lately), and I start  rambling about how the reverb prompt isn’t doing it for me, blah blah blah and before I know it, I’ve sussed out something on the topic.  (Miracle.)

Like today.  The prompt is to write about one thing you’ve come to appreciate most in the past year.

It didn’t ask for a list of all the things I appreciate, (thank god, because that would have been one hellava list) but rather, something I’ve come to appreciate, meaning, I have never appreciated it before, but now I do.

And the thing I came up with is TRAVEL.  I started to really like travel this year.  I’ve always been a reluctant traveler in some ways, preferring the comforts of home, preferring to spend money on fixing up the house rather than on hotels and airfares.  But this year, traveling to Asheville and then to Yosemite ignited something in me and I’m now I’m dreaming about learning Spanish this year and then traveling to a country that speaks Spanish someday and having …adventures.

I think I can trace this new-found appreciation for travel back to the book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Miller’s idea that a character is what he does. To make a more interesting story of your life, he says, you have to go out and do things, and have experiences, and make things happen. It made me aware of my root-boundedness and my need for a bigger container.

It also planted the seed in me that I may have a bigger mission in this life, and in order to find out what that might be, I need to to have more, and more varied experiences.

I think it’s variation more than anything else that I crave now.  It’s not that my life or my experiences are bad, it’s just that I seem to be on a REPEAT mode. The same thing(s) happen every day, every month, every season, every year.  And unless I make a concerted effort to break it up, to change it up, I could continue playing this same song until the day I die.

For me, travel is a surefire way to break things up and get out of my cozy little comfort cocoon.

*********************************

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

Before I talk about my NEXT STEP, I want to talk about my trip to New York City this past weekend.  Two weekends ago I was sitting on the couch, in my pjs, chin-deep in the Sunday NYTimes, when I saw the MOMA ad for the Abstract Expressionist show.  I screeched, waking and alarming G, who has never really gotten used to these unpredictable outbursts whenever my “enthusiasms” get triggered.

Anyway, what for me was just a pie-in-the-sky, albeit verbalized “wish” to see these paintings, became for her a mission: “We need to plan an adventure!” she said, and immediately started Googling hotel rates in NYC.

But we did not drive into the city and stay over (Plan A), but rather, took a Benedict’s bus which departed the Beiter’s parking lot at 5 AM on Saturday, setting us loose on the city by 11 AM. (Plan B)

We hoofed it over to MOMA, ate lunch in the cafe, and then for the next hour I sat and visited with my old and dear friends: The Motherwells, the Barnett Newmans, the Rothkos, and the Pollacks.

I sat in front of a Barnett Newman painting called The Voice for a long, long time, listening to it, communing with it, falling in love with it.

I sat in front of my dear old friend, Pollack’s One: Number 31 and allowed myself to get sucked down into it once again.  Deep, and deeper  into the rabbit hole I went.

I have loved these paintings since I first saw them, a young, 20-ish woman, no knowledge of art, or art history at all.  Back then I was squired around many museums, taught what to look for, and how to appreciate.

But from the first moment I laid my eyes on these paintings, I knew them.  I didn’t need to read Clement Greenburg, but he helped. I understood immediately that these paintings were meant to evoke a spiritual response in the viewer, in me.  Later I would sit Zen in austere zendos and experience this same feeling, but back then, I got my first taste of a meditative state in this museum, in front of these paintings.  MOMA was my zendo.  And now, after many, many years, here I was, back on my “cushion.”

This prompt is about making ideas happen and I was encouraged by these paintings to do just that.  The audacity of these artists to paint a vast canvas with three shades of black, and another one all red with just the narrowest of lines to slip through…This audacity has fueled my bravery to make things happen, even if my ideas seem impractical or ridiculous or audacious.

This year I intend to learn Spanish. I have asked all the relatives to donate towards the Spanish version of Rosetta Stone for my Xmas gift this year.  It is my hope that my journey into a new language will open the doors to new places, and new and varied adventures. It will be a start.

 

(These next prompts are for tomorrow:

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?)

#Reverb10: Day 9 – Party

A view of the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delawar...
Image via Wikipedia

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

This is the prompt that I’m going to use my “free pass” on.  (There is no “free pass” I just made that up.)  But this is the prompt I’m going to just say this about:

“What happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans.”  You can substitute for “New Orleans” any place you want: Vegas, Atlantic City, New York, New York, L.A, even Rehoboth Beach, DE.

I was half-tempted to lie in this post and say: No party knocked my socks off in 2010, but then I remembered staggering down Wilmington, past La La Land after a night of wildness at the shore, and thinking: “Oh man.  That was quite the night.”

But it’s not for public consumption.  No, no.  C’mon over some night, I’ll pour you a glass of Pinot and tell you the whole story, k?