Friday, Jun 16th


There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

During Wednesday’s mindfulness meditation, I had a sense of the aspect of my mind that constantly checks me over to make sure I’m measuring up to whatever (sometimes ridiculous) standards I have for myself. I’ve since named this bit the Auditor. I like the idea of it as an annoying, far-too-detail-oriented creature, the sort that is viewed by the rest of the world with exasperation and grudging patience.

I also like the idea of subverting its function. If I’m going to be monitoring myself so closely, why not put it to good use? So today my goal is try to use the Auditor’s function to help me hardwire. I want to notice, as much as possible, every tiny nit-picky thing that I do well, and every tiny connection I make with other people. And when I do, I’ll try to hardwire Rick Hanson’s values of “accomplishment and agency” and “feeling valued” respectively.

I’ve no idea if this will work, but the idea of putting the Auditor to this use makes me happy.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, Jun 15th

Express Gratitude

The school year is ending tomorrow, leading me to an obvious opportunity to express gratitude. The school that my boys attend is staffed with such amazing people, who work every day to meet them where they’re at. I try to thank people whenever something special comes up, but today is a great chance to reach out to everyone at the school and thank them for the work they do.

Just thinking about my gratitude makes me feel wonderful. As difficult as I sometimes find it to put myself out there and tell people I’m grateful to them, it’s so worth it.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, Jun 14th

Mindfulness Meditation

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

I tried this as music-only meditation today, which I hadn’t done before, and really enjoyed it. This is not to say it wasn’t difficult — sometimes my mind reminds me of a large, boisterous dog in its ability to stay still — but I remind myself that it is precisely the practice of coming back to the meditation that is key.

Today I had a strong sense of the aspect of my brain that keeps an eye on my behavior and lets me know whether I’m measuring up to my own expectations. I wonder if there’s any way to disable, or at least subvert, that aspect.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, Jun 13th

Find Inspiration

Quite by accident I stumbled across a TED talk today that was so inspiring, I had to stop myself from pausing everything to brainstorm lists. (We had somewhere to be early today, or I would have done.) I love it when inspiration falls into my lap like that!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, Jun 12th

Write A Hope Letter

I have never been much inclined toward New Year’s resolutions, partly because it seemed like mostly people talked about them failing, and partly because January 1st never feels like the start of anything to me. The beginning of a new school year, or of a new job, or moving somewhere new — those feel like new beginnings. January 1st has always felt more like “the end of Christmas vacation.”

But I stumbled across another alternative on the MindTools blog: writing a hope letter. At first glance I’m not quite sure how seriously to take it; however, I know from experience that merely playing with the possibilities of changing my life can be a fun boost. So today I’ll take twenty minutes, pretend it’s this day in 2018, and think about all the great things that have happened in my life in the last year.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, Jun 10th

Repeat and Recharge

It was difficult to choose a repeat exercise today, but I settled on the loving kindness meditation. It was very satisfying last time, and I want that boost again.

I have a meeting today in the early afternoon, so for my recharge I plan to leave the house a little early and have some solitary coffee-shop time beforehand, with a good book I’ve been reading.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, Jun 9th

Reflect On Social Connections

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

Yesterday was a far more varied and social day than today promises to be, so I’m casting my mind back over the past twenty-four hours.. The three social connections that I’m writing about are:

  • A conversation with one of the students at the boys’ school. It was only about exploding whale carcasses, but it was fun.
  • Another conversation with one of the parents at the school, about our tastes in fiction — always a good topic.
  • Talking with my sons about an audiobook (Crenshaw) we’re listening to in the car.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, Jun 8th

Loving Kindness Meditation

There’s a brief description of this exercise here.

I decided to do this meditation unaided today. I’ve gotten so in the habit of using YouTube to find guided meditations that this decision felt daring. Some part of me feels that if I’m using words like “daring” around meditation, I need to get out more. But I think it’s just that I’m in a particularly good mood this morning.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, Jun 7th

Go Outside

I’ve been outside a lot lately, sometimes trying to get ahead of the weeds, which are enthusiastic about spring, and sometimes taking the kids to the park. Both can be as enjoyable as I let them be — like most other things, they can be fun and satisfying as long as I’m not wanting to be somewhere else.

I mention that because I’ve noticed lately that, as outside time has become more plentiful, I’ve started to take it for granted. There’s probably some value in simply being outside, but there’s a great deal more in actively enjoying it. So today my goal is to go outside and really savor the experience, regardless of what I’m doing.

Happy Wednesday!