A Template For Telling Someone You Want a Yoga Gift Certificate for Xmas

Dear (insert name of friend here),
In case you are considering getting me a gift for Christmas, I wanted to give you a few ideas of what I would really love this year, just to make it easier on you.

First, I would love a shiny red Ferrari (you can insert the name of your favorite vehicle here.) That would be so totally awesome and I would love you forever if a tiny box with keys to this vehicle showed up under my tree.
My yoga teacher always says that material things don’t really make us happy, though. She says happiness comes from “within.” When I go to yoga, she takes me “within” and you know what? She’s right. I always come away from class feeling grateful for all the blessings in my life, and especially for you. I always feel and calm and centered and stress-free, too.

My yoga teacher says that my yoga practice is an act of generosity because when I attend to my own needs, then I have more to give to others. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Maybe you’ve even noticed how I’ve gotten a little calmer since I’ve started practicing yoga. (Or maybe not.)
Anyway, I was thinking. If you can’t swing the (Ferrari) for me this year, that maybe you’d like to support my yoga practice. My teacher is selling Gift Certificates for yoga classes this year. If you contact her at mainstreetyoga@gmail.com she would be happy to arrange for you to send me one so I can keep practicing and become even more calm and centered and happy.

I would love that.

Maybe even more than the Ferrari.

Just thought I’d give you some hints for Christmas, in case you wanted to give me something I’d really love. And even if you weren’t planning on getting me anything, know that at the end of my yoga class, I always feel grateful for you in my life.



13 Things You Should Get Rid of in 2012

I have started thinking about New Year’s Resolutions lately. Not that I am going to make any, but I am thinking about things that I would like to do, or see happen in the coming 12 months. Mostly I think of adding things to my life when I think of changing it, but sometimes it’s more interesting to think about getting rid of things.

I think I have managed to get rid of most of the following 13 things from my life for the most part, but it’s always good to be reminded of what does not serve. I really think that that these things Have. Got. To. Go.

1. The extra 13 pounds you gained during the holidays (and before). Fewer cookies, more cardio.

2. Grouchy people.  Get rid of them. If you are married to them or they are your children or your relatives you are going to have a hard time with this one.  One thing I do with grouchy, negative people is laugh at them.  Yeah.  A grump pretty much hates not being taken seriously and will avoid you or move out of your vicinity if you make light of their situation.

3.  Get rid of dirt, grime, filth.  Clean your space. Throw stuff out. Get a dumpster if that’s what it will take. Do this. It’s important to your mental health.

4. Get rid of your fear of hard work, fear of success, fear of failure, and of all the other scary (non-existent) monsters under the bed. Stop procrastinating.

5. Get rid of the idea that you are going to live forever, or that you are probably going to die at a very old age and that you still have a lot of time left to get your act together.  You don’t.  The days are long, but the years are short.  Make things happen.  Now.  Don’t defer doing what you always wanted to do.

6. Get rid of the idea that only big things count.  Everything counts, and just like Mother Teresa said, we can’t do great things, only small things with great love.  Get rid of the idea that there are “small things that don’t count.”  The smallest little act of kindness or consideration counts.

7. Get rid of the need to be thanked or appreciated for anything.  People don’t write thank-you notes any more.  (When was the last time you wrote one?) So don’t work for the nod. Do your job, or whatever you do, because you want to do it and derive pleasure from just doing it.  Nobody is going to give you a trophy just because you played, or tried your best.  Life isn’t Little League.  Stop expecting praise.

8. Get rid of laziness.  Start by never admitting that you feel lazy even when you do.  Never say the word lazy.  Banish it from your vocabulary.  Don’t call anyone else lazy either.  Lazy does not exist anymore.  Get rid of the whole idea of it.

9. Get rid of bored, too.  Once you’re past age 3, there is no excuse for bored. Once you realize that you are going to die some day, there is no more “bored.” Never be bored.  Bored is just a form of lazy and we kicked that one to the curb in number 8.

10. Get rid of all your slovenly health habits.  Really people, floss.  I’m serious about this. Brushing your teeth doesn’t count.  Brushing your teeth doesn’t do a damn thing except make your mouth feel pretty.  There’s still garbage dumps worth of crap between each tooth.  Floss.

11. Get rid of other bad habits, too. Like eating on the run, or in front of the TV or computer.  Eat as much as you want, just don’t do anything else while you’re doing it and then just watch as those 13 pounds we talked about in number 1 disappear.

12. Get rid of anger.  Stop getting angry. It doesn’t help you or the person you’re angry with.  Ever.  Instead, develop your non-violent communication skills. There is a book that will help with this.  Get it, and start learning how to think in terms of identifying your needs and trying to get them met with the help of others.  And if you can’t?  Give up on them.  Seriously.  Take my word for this.

13. Get rid of complaining.  Complaining makes you a living breathing crap magnet.  Don’t complain anymore and walk away (actually, run) from chronic complainers.  If they don’t have an audience they’ll stop.  They really will. You can even try making a game of this. This book tells you how.

And finally (this one is just for me), Get rid of your need to hand out unsolicited advice or  tell people what they should get rid of on your blog.

It’s annoying.

One Year of 750 Words

Warning: Horn-Tooting to follow

Yesterday I got my Pegasus Badge on 750 Words. This badge marks 365 days of posting without a miss.  Here’s a screenshot of my page as it looked this morning when I logged in:

Pegasus Badge! One Year of 750 words!

I was never a Girl Scout so I never had the satisfaction of earning Merit Badges, but this is what I imagine it must feel like to finally finish crocheting that last damned  potholder, or squire that last widow safely through the intersection.

Holy wow.

The Pegasus Badge.

I must say, it feels sweet. And now, on to the Space Bird! (that will come at Day 500.)

But as happy as I am about 750 Words, I did not win NaNoWriMo. Not even close. I got to about 15K words and bonked.

Spinning plates smashed.  Shards everywhere.

I kind of knew it last week when I posted here, that I had about a snowball’s chance.  All week I have been dreading having to confront the reality of my failure. I have been trying to figure out what lessons could be learned from the wreckage, and what my response should be.

One good thing that came of NaNoWritMo was that I finally learned how to use the software program, Scrivener after a year of having it lie dormant in my Applications folder. I did not learn  every feature of Scrivener lord knows, — that will take years. But I learned a lot.

So what I did yesterday in response to the NaNo failure was open a “New Project” in Scrivener. I created a separate folder for every day in December and I set up a “Word Count Target” for each of those folders, and a “Project Target Word Count” as well.

(See? This is why I love Scrivener. You can do all kinds of stuff like this.)

And I now plan to do in December what I tried, and failed, to do in November: Write 1,667 words a day for 30 days.

I learned a lot about myself as a writer this past year doing 750 words a day, and now I plan to apply this knowledge to this “New Project.”

Here is what I now know:

  • If I think what I write has to make sense, I won’t write.
  • If I think what I write will be evaluated or graded by someone, I will resist and procrastinate endlessly, until I am forced to write at gunpoint.
  • If I think it has to be informative or witty or interesting, I won’t write.

The only way writing gets done for me is if I approach it as an amusing pastime, like doodling. And the only way it can be amusing for me is if I take myself totally off the hook as far as quality goes. If quality happens: Surprise!  But in order to even start, I must give myself carte blanche to scribble (or tap out) complete and utter nonsense.

I will, however, happily write to a specified volume of words, as long as I have time and those words don’t have to make sense or be “good” in any sense of that word.

I will also write daily, and not miss a single day (see Pegasus Badge above) as long the writing is permitted to have the smell and texture of cat vomit.

And as for this blog. I still don’t know what I am going to do with it. I changed themes yesterday to give myself the illusion of a “fresh slate” but I’m not going to make any commitments here yet. I’m just going to see what happens.

Till the next time!