Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Hi there, hoping you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends! How did day 1 go? Did you recognize how many little things can make a huge difference to someone?
Here is my DAY 1 Reflection:
I'm hoping you also realized how your state of mind was and how it may have been more meaningful by taking to let little things be gifts. In fact, this world could use a little less spending and a lot more sharing of gifts. I know I get carried away during this time of year.
One of my love languages is gift giving, I don't do it to make people feel that I want something in return... I do it because these items I get remind me of you or I feel may influence your life whether to make you smile, to help you, or just to let you know I'm thinking of you. I get it from my Mama. But I also recognize, I put myself in a short term financial crisis because I don't realize what I'm spending because if it's not about me, it is easier to spend the money. I spent a little money because something things are needed and some people are harder to buy for but I was particularly excited about my parents gift this year.
It was an item... (so I know it doesn't really fall into "Day 1") but it was also something they already own and its intention was about preserving time, sharing time, and reminiscing. I spent the last couple of weeks staying up late and using most of my free time or sleep time to learn this software to convert old family VHS home videos so they could be kept in a usable and storable way. Before even starting, I didn't realize how perfect it was, Dad had gotten rid of the VHS player, so there was no way to enjoy them anymore.
I wanted to give a gift of time - I wanted to give my parents (who are about to become grandparents) these beautiful memories and to be able to look back (in a more accessible way). But beyond that, watching the videos with my family is quality time together sharing something special, close to the heart... there is a LOT of laughter. I wanted to also highlight the gift that they are to me (and Jess and Dylan/Laura). Mother's and Father's Day are assigned to recognize that parenthood, but I wanted to note it especially with this next epic chapter of home videos to come with Baby Thor (name TBA when he arrives.) I genuinely hope my Dad resurrects the camcorder to keep that alive, but well see. Anyway, this gift also gave me an opportunity to look at my parents then as an adult and just appreciate all they have done and continue to do. It had me nearly in tear laughing at some points making this gift, praying they'd be as touched as I was excited to do this.
Anyway, I was able to give a item gift with a bigger purpose by thinking of little things like putting my phone away and really listening, looking at the person and giving them my undivided attention was. It was an enriched conversation. By us kids helping my Mom cook and get things ready, we were hopefully able to alleviate some chaos for her. Cleaning up after ourselves and putting away the leftovers made hosting easier on my parents. They were able to sit back and enjoy everyones company and get out of host mode. Actually before I left, my mom pulled me aside and thanked me for putting everything away, asked if anyone helped? I was like don’t worry about it Mom. She commented on how she didn’t have to worry about putting it away and store it all then wash everything when she came into the kitchen at one point and just turned around to go spend more time with people. That was the hope of doing this and that truly did give and fill me more. Also she couldn’t stop talking about the gift which made the Labor feel less like it didn’t come together and more like the gift I wanted it to be.
Day 2: Take a Moment of Stillness
We are challenging to stop moving. Yes you heard me, to be STILL. Now if you know me at all, this is going to be a really challenging one for me. I'm a girl on the go., sometimes because of work, sometimes to fulfill the social life balance, but sometimes I don't realize it until I'm emotional, irritable and burned out. Now that the chaos of making, buying, hosting and the works is on a slope towards normalcy, you may find yourself anxious to begin the "NEW YEAR" or not ready to return to work or your normal life. Today we challenge you to find stillness. The crazy time is slowing and you may feel a plethora of emotions, erratic levels of energy... wired but exhausted, this is why we are dare you to find a way to find stillness. It doesn't have to rock statue stillness, but stillness in mind, body, and soul. We want you to be able to digest. To rest. In any successful life/work/workout balance, REST IS KEY. (coming from me, that's rich I know, but its not for a lack of wanting to or trying.) Now I'm not necessarily saying, sleep all day. Stillness can be active, an engaging of the mind and minimal energy to stay awake. Stillness can be allowing naps. How will you find this today? In what way? How does it feel?
Stillness doesn't need to be long to be effective either! If you are like me, find 5 minutes to try this. There are many ways to find "stillness" but a couple ideas for those of you not sure how you want to approach this include:
- Mediation (why not to try find a comfortable position and quiet place to sit, close your eyes and just think about the non-material gifts you received yesterday... how did they make you feel? Allow yourself to feel again that warm embrace or the soreness in your abs from laughing. Let it fill you.)
- Talking a solitary, technology-less, walk and listen to the sounds of life around you. Walk slow and intentionally, observing the space and sights.
- Take a moment to pray. If you are a religion person, find a time to sit and talk to your Creator (whomever that may be) Express gratitude, concerns, this prayer can be formal or a conversation. I'm a talk in the car out loud to God kind of person, I'm sure I look crazy but who cares. T. S. Eliot says, “If we really want to pray, we must first learn to listen, for in the silence of our hearts God speaks.”
- Find a park bench and just observe people. Nothing more. Be passive to the space around you.
- In your yoga practice, through breath and intention, try not to fidget in poses, especially uncomfortable ones. Come back to the breath and allow the body to release into it.
Stillness comes in many forms. I'm not sure how I'll approach stillness today but I do know I'm very sore and finding stillness in my "favorite" (dreaded) poses will be very difficult - so I am going to try to find that. I teach the class before I take, I am going to find a way to surround the themes bringing us to find stillness and allow it to fill us. My intention is try to this. I'll let you know how it goes.
Another thing I don't often have time for is stillness in bed. I am going to allow myself to sleep in. I'm not setting an alarm, (especially since its 1:45am right now) and I'm going to allow my body to decide for itself when it is time to get in gear. I'm always so scheduled and tomorrow... I have the morning to myself. If I wake, I'll get moving. If I don't, I will not gripe at myself for letting part of the day slip away as my body needs this kind of nurturing right now. If I find other really stand out ways, I'll pass that on in my reflection Thursday.
How will you find stillness? Do you have a routine that includes this? What is your favorite way to reset and restore? Tag @sierratraining @mrawls55 and @hannahyogareiki and tell us about your journey and how today's challenge is going for you!