Thursday, August 29, 2019

Shake it up!

“The answer, provided in this book, is not to begin with what you put on your plate. Rather, you begin with what is already inside you, with your awareness and experience of every moment you live—what the authors call mindfulness” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh & Lilian Cheung. “Savor.”

I am cautiously optimistic that my exercise routine is getting back on track. Cautious because I've gone stretches as much as two weeks following my food and exercise plans precisely only to have one rainy day, or one take out pizza brought home by my wife, derail it.  To be clear I'm not blaming the weather or the wife.  It's my fault alone.

I did perfect all last week, until the weekend, then I indulged a little more than I should, and didn't walk as much as I should, but I still did moderately ok.  Monday I hit it hard again and have done great all week. The interesting thing is that last week I struggled to get moving in the mornings, and could definitely see all the ways my mind was trying to get me off the hook.  It was a successful week, but not a fun one.

This week, I've woken up early (even by my standards) and been ready to go.  I have felt more energized as I walked, rather than less.  If history is any indicator this is the sign that I'm settling in to the habit, rather than pushing myself to do it.  I hope so, as my walks this week have been energizing sessions of exercise and meditation practice that have really set the tone for my day in a positive way.

Along with all of that, my new morning routine has -- by necessity -- shaken up my morning routine and the results have been surprising. Typically, I wake early in the morning...five or so...and I meditate for 20 minutes.  I LOVE morning meditation as it just seems to come easier.  I fall in to concentration smoothly and I'm refreshed so I never fall asleep.  It's just easier.

With the new schedule, I'm getting up at the same time,or earlier, and I'm hitting the streets first thing.  I guess this isn't my new routine, it's my old routine that I fell out of.  But the part that is different is that I have a teenager now and through a series of conditions, I now get to leave for work super early!  SO, my shake up is that I can now get to work early enough to grab a coffee and meditate at the park near my office.  This is giving me a shorter meditation time for my morning sit - down to 20 from 30 - but means I'm meditating AFTER exercise which means my mind is fully alert and I have more going on.  This doesn't sound good, but I find it's more to sit with, which has a different but not better quality. Also, I get to meditate in nature!  This is especially least right now.  And best of all I walk in to work freshly meditated.

I thought this new schedule was going to be a problem, but even with the reduced time meditating on my first meditation of the day, I find the quality of it is better and my overall day is benefiting greatly from all of this. Can't beat that! 

We'll see how it's going in a few weeks.  I'll keep you posted!

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Photo by  Braxton Stuntz  on  Unsplash "Try to be mindful.  And let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still ...