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Earlier this week, I posted about how meditation sucks … initially. In other words, the process of meditating is really not enjoyable in the beginning, but it gets better when you stick with it, and even if it never feels good, you still reap the benefits of doing it anyway.

exercise female fitness foot

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Running is like that too. For me, at least the first half mile, and sometimes the first FULL mile, are really not enjoyable. I think all kinds of terrible thoughts, usually something like: running is dumb, why do I run, why am I doing this, I hate running, Patrick [my running coach] is crazy, etc. But, just like meditation, I keep doing it. And eventually, it starts to feel good. My mind relaxes and my body gets into a rhythm. Sometimes, the entire run feels bad. I can barely put one foot in front of the other. But, just like meditation, even when I “fail” at running, I reap the benefits by simply finishing the run, no matter the time it took or how it felt.

As Patrick would say, you can’t be a runner if you won’t agree to be uncomfortable sometimes. I think that’s true of life too: you can’t really live life if you can’t be uncomfortable sometimes.

If you haven’t tried running, give it a try. If you’re not in a place physically to run, start with walking. Find a buddy. Find a coach. Join a group. It could change your life for the better! xo

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Meditation Sucks… Initially

You may know that I advocate meditation for everything. It may not be the remedy for all ailments and problems, but it can be part of the solution to every issue. So you may be surprised to hear me say that “meditation sucks.” What do I mean?

amazing balance blur boulder

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I told my seven-year-old daughter that I was going to meditate, and that I’d be back in the living room in about 15 minutes. She knows that I meditate (nearly) every day. She said, “You really like meditation. I don’t like it.” (They have meditation starting in preschool at her Montessori school — love that!). And I thought, actually, no, I don’t love it. In fact, I don’t enjoy it most of the time. The process of meditating is painful. It is doing so many of the things that I don’t like: sitting still, being quiet, not working on anything, feeling unproductive. So why do I meditate? Because it’s not about what happens during the meditation, but the benefits that follow after the meditation.

“It’s not about what happens on the mat, but what happens off the mat.” That quote is attributed to lots of people, so I’m not sure who said it first. But that is the point of meditation. The first 3-10 minutes are PAINFUL for me. But I stick with it until I get to that place of calm. Of course, some days, I am a complete “failure” at meditation because I never get to that place of calm. But I do it anyway, and that means that I succeed because I reap the benefits, even when I don’t do it “right.” Try it.

Other posts about meditation:

The Importance of Quieting Your Mind

Be Great: Learn to Relax

Too Busy Not To…

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Tal.Sherry.BDay.Owl

Friends at The Owl, New Preston, CT

I saw a quote today on the pages of my Gratitude Journal. (As an aside, I really recommend a gratitude journal to help you increase your gratitude for the good things in life, especially in light of not-so-good experiences that we all inevitably have.) I like the quote, so I’m sharing with you.

“Gratitude among friends is like credit among tradesmen: it keeps business up, and maintains commerce. And we pay not because it is just to discharge our debts, but that we might the more easily find lenders on another occasion.”

–Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer, moralist

I am grateful for my friends and try to tell them. For whom are you grateful?

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Recycle001.svgI can’t be the only person in my town interested in recycling plastic bags and wrap. In fact, I know that I am not. If you want to start a program in your town, like I want to start in my town, Plastic Film Recycling has a great step-by-step plan called the RoadMap to WRAP.

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So I’m trying to find a place to recycle plastic that cannot go into my curbside recycling bin. I’m having a hard time, and maybe you are too. Here’s what I’ve found:

At Plastic Film Recycling, I can recycle the following things.

Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.

Examples include:how-2recycle

  • Retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags (clean, dry and free of receipts and clothes hangers)
  • Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
  • Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products
  • Furniture and electronic wrap
  • Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)
  • Any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle Label shown at right

I really try to not buy these things, but I do sometimes buy paper towels and toilet paper wrapped in plastic as well as cases of prescription dog food wrapped in plastic. And I have my suits dry cleaned sometimes. So this will be helpful to me, though I won’t be recycling lots of items. I first choose “reduce and refuse” over “recycling.”

There is a location drop off finder at the website as well. I am reducing my waste. Hope you’ll do the same!

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Maybe you read my post on the importance of shifting perspective for happiness. I experienced the happiness that the shift provides last week while traveling in Costa Rica with my 7-year-old daughter.

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Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

One day, we went to a beautiful beach. The water was a clear blue, the sand was soft, the waves were gentle enough for relaxing but also strong enough for a little low-key body surfing. It was a perfect beach, in my opinion.

The next day, we went to a different beach. The water was murky, and the beach had lots of broken shells and rocks. Under the water – where we were trying to swim and enjoy the waves — they sand was littered with rough lava rocks that were scratching my feet knees. And the waves were not at all gentle. I said to my daughter that I didn’t like this beach as much as the other beach for all these reasons. She said, “Yeah, it’s not as good, but let’s make the best of it.” Oh, the wisdom of a child!

So we did. And it was really fun! We couldn’t body surf without fear of being driven into the under water rocks, but we could dive into and jump over the big waves. We had to be careful not to hurt our feet walking on the sharp broken rocks and shells on the beach, but we found several little hermit crabs among all those shells.

I am happy someone is listening to the things I say — my 7-year-old. Thanks, sweetie!

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2018-07-19 09.30.35

Sloth at Manuel Antonio National Park

I was traveling in Costa Rica recently. It was lovely and friendly and wonderful. I highly recommend it, for many reasons that I plan to write about here on various posts. The one that I want to share today is a simple and short quote left on my hotel bed pillow by housekeeping:

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

“Nunca serás demasiado viejo para proponerte otra meta o soñar un nuevo sueno.”

I agree. This is related to still not knowing what I want to be when I grow up. And I think it is wonderful. We are never too old to dream, to learn, to achieve, to be whoever and whatever we decide to be. Dream. Grow. Live. Pura Vida! xo

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