Friday, Oct 13th

Loving Kindness Meditation

Feeling pressed for time today, I managed just a ten-minute unguided meditation. But it’s good. This is what I want to feel like every time I look another human in the face. I know it’s impossible, but that doesn’t mean the aspiration isn’t a good one.

Remember: Take pleasure.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, Oct 12th

Three Good Things

Today’s three good things:

  • I had a day free of my three-year-old, for logistical reasons, and it felt wonderfully productive.
  • I took an utterly delicious walk through the first crunchy leaves of the season.
  • My boys played long and hard today, and seemed very happy at the end of it, which is always fun to see.

Remember: Take pleasure.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, Oct 11th

Go Outside

Sunshine is no longer quite so guaranteed, but I don’t care — I love fall. Since school has started, though, I notice that I hardly ever step outside. It’s just too easy to live my life indoors, with my only breath of air on brief walks to the car.

That’s why this reminder is so valuable. Today it’s time to pick tomatoes, cut down corn stalks, and prune the raspberries for next year. It sounds like work, but the truth is that the part I’ve started has felt great.

Remember: Take pleasure.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, Oct 9th

Just One Thing: Take Pleasure

This week’s practice strikes me as being similar to the Most Moments Are Positive exercise, but perhaps a little more active. The idea is to look for pleasure and open ourselves to it, to soak up all the rich, delicious experiences of life. These pleasures might start (but not end) with your senses, and can also include savoring thoughts or ideas.

On a quest for pleasure this morning, I have been listing out a few:

  • The sense of strength in my body during a quick run, and then the pleasure of being done, stretching out my legs as my breathing slowed.
  • My three-year-old’s small voice explaining why her toy kitten needed to jump on her brother’s back.
  • The taste of an apple, made especially potent because I was very hungry.
  • A cluster of late orange roses on an otherwise bare bush.

There will undoubtedly be many, many more if I can remember to look for them.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, Oct 7th

Repeat and Recharge

I think that while I’m working through Just One Thing, I’ll use my Saturdays to check back in with the week’s practice. I found that this week, the most natural way to encourage myself to Be For Myself was to invoke the sense I have of “being for” my children. Sometimes I even took Rick Hanson’s suggestion to envision my younger self, to create a feeling or protectiveness toward myself.

To recharge yesterday, I joined with the family in watching a movie. Most often I skip movies so that I can do other things, but not this time.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, Oct 6th

Three Good Things

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

Today’s three good things:

  • My best friend took the kids out for lunch today, giving me that rarest of precious gifts, time alone in my own house.
  • I rode my bike again for the first time in ages. I was afraid I’d be pathetically weak, but apparently those brief morning runs have helped, because it was fun.
  • After a long break from fiddling, I started learning a new tune today.

Remember: Be for yourself.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, Oct 5th

Take A Vacation

When I try to think of a vacation for myself, I nearly always toy with the idea of indulging in a project that I haven’t gotten to. Which begs the question: why do I have such a long list of creative projects that I want to do and yet am not doing? The standard answer is, of course, time constraints. But what am I spending my time on instead? I guarantee I find time for plenty of meaningless tasks.

I feel a journal entry coming on.

For today, I decided to remove one of the barriers to a project, by getting out the materials and arranging them in an easily accessible (but above child-level) space. It was not entirely easy to find this space, but I once I worked it out, I discovered that making the project just that much easier made it almost inevitable that I would do it. And it was satisfying.

Remember: Be for yourself.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, Oct 4th

Gratitude Meditation

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

I have always avoided gratitude practices that focus excessively on myself. This week, inspired by the week’s Just One Thing, I decided to take the plunge and try a gratitude meditation on an aspect of my own personality.

I chose the aspect with which I am most comfortable — my creativity — and spent fifteen minutes trying to call to mind the feeling of being creative, my own enjoyment of it, and all its positive consequences in my life.

Remember: Be for yourself.

Happy Wednesday!