Tag Archives: peace

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec


Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you the peace, love, joy and hope of this season. Let’s remember, too, those less fortunate or who may be struggling this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

What do happy people do differently?

21 Nov

I love how the universe works. I’ve been all cranky pants lately, and then I saw this on Facebook. Of course, it made me think but in a good way. Mainly because it says in black and white things that I’m not doing. And not doing them leads to the thinky place. And cranky pants. Boo.

1. Express gratitude.
Something I really don’t do enough. I am so grateful for so many things in my life. And I take them for granted. I have some close, amazing friends. I have my health. I have a good job I like. I have dancing. I need to remind myself of these things more frequently.

2. Cultivate optimism.
Ha. I think we can all safely say that is not something that I naturally do. Hello, I’m Irish. Optimism does not come naturally.

3. Avoid overthinking and social comparison.
‘Nuff said, right?

4. Practice acts of kindness.
I think I actually do this a fair amount. I try to help others and do little things for people.

5. Nurture social relationships.
I kinda do this. But when I get thinky, I go inward. And become a little anti-social. When what I really need to do is reach out and be social. Counter-intuitive, but there ya go.

6. Develop strategies for coping.
This, I can do. I have strategies. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years about how to cope. I just need to remember to use them.

7. Learn to forgive.
I’m really good at forgiveness except for forgiving myself. I have such high standards for myself, and I totally beat myself up when I don’t meet them. (See also: dance.) I need to work on forgiving myself.

8. Increase flow experiences.
Have you read Flow? It is an amazing book. My dance teacher asked me once to describe how it feels when I’m dancing and performing. I told him to read Flow. Dance performances, for me, are flow experiences. I need to learn how to make dancing anytime more like flow.

9. Savor life’s joys.
See optimism above.

10. Commit to your goals.
That would mean that I have defined (aka “smart”) goals. I should think about those. Figure out what they are…and how to get there.

11. Practice spirituality.
Well, I’ve been doing this lately since I joined a church. I really felt like a spiritual piece was missing in my life. So I’m happy to be in a church again.

12. Take care of your body.
OY. See also: do not emotionally eat a bunch of crap. I’ve been pretty good about the gym lately, so that’s good. I just need to watch the food thing.

Thanks, universe, for putting this in front of my face today. I needed it. No more cranky pants!

Alone in a crowded room

1 Nov

It’s been a long week. Very busy at work. Which is good, but still tiring. And I think I’m fighting some sort of bug because my energy’s been super low.

I mentioned before that I had to take the week off last week from the gym to rest my shins. I went today and tried to take it slow. I think not going to the gym has affected me. I learned a while ago that working out is an excellent way for me to stay at an even keel and not go thinky. Well, maybe just not go thinky as often.

I say all that because I’ve had a moment tonight of doubting myself. Of feeling alone in a crowded room. Of not feeling adequate.

And I’m not sure exactly why. Could be the tiredness. Could be Showcase is in a week and I’m starting to get excited about that. Could be a cold. Could just be the phase of the moon. I don’t think it’s important to know WHY (although that certainly makes it easier to push through it); it’s important to just realize it and start to pull myself out of it.

Just a few more minutes of wallowing and feeling sorry for myself, and then pull myself out of it I will. I’m going to bed (early!) after I post this. Tomorrow night, I’m getting together with a bunch of ladies from the dance studio for a girls night. And then I’ll sleep a lot.

And then this weekend: dancing, getting together with friends, and relaxing. I need to set some time aside for ME to just relax: read, knit, maybe watch a movie, go to the gym.

You know, take care of me.

Starting yoga

4 Oct

I started to do yoga in the mornings.

I only do 20 minutes, because I’m not willing to get up any earlier than I already do. But instead of hitting snooze for 20 minutes, I get up and do yoga. Last week I did it on two days, and I’ve done it every day this week so far.

Yoga places are so expensive, and I knew I wouldn’t go to enough classes to make a membership worthwhile. But my friend KB told me about a great website that for only $18 a month, you can use the videos anytime and for as much as you can. They had a 15-day free trial, so I tried it last week. The videos are great! I tried a video that was probably a bit above my level, but I did OK. Kinda like when I did the yoga class with KB before. I have a Facebook friend who is a yoga master, and she said this was a really good website too.

Why am I doing yoga, you ask? Well, I like the stretching and increased flexibility you supposedly get from yoga. I also like the centering and peacefulness it can bring. Plus it will be really good for me as I get old. But mainly, it will really help my dancing. Same reason I work out as much as I do. Which isn’t that much but is much more than I used to do.

So far, it’s going well. I know it will get easier over time – not easy but easier. Let’s hope I can stay with it!

I think I found a church

30 Sep

I tried a new church today, and I think I found the one I want to go to. What a relief.

I’ve been trying a few here and there although not too many to be honest. I wanted to go to one that was in my neighborhood and was Episcopalian. I talked before I think about why I’m not comfortable going to a Catholic church anymore, even though there are a few progressive parishes here. Episcopalian is the close relative of Catholicism, so I thought I’d try that.

I went to the 8:00 service (service? mass? I don’t even know what they call it in the Episcopalian church) today. Right away, I was greeted at the door by the pastor who was very welcoming. The church itself is very old (1881 I think?) and is beautiful. The service was very similar to a Catholic mass but slightly different. The sermon was fantastic and really gave me something to think about.

I’m anxious to try the 10:00 service which has music and is a bit more modern I guess? I’m not actually sure of the difference, and Google is letting me down and not giving me a clear answer on that.

Overall I was very pleased and happy to be there. I left feeling that my soul was fed, which is a great feeling and one I haven’t really felt in a while. I actually can’t wait to go again and take care of that side of me which I’ve been neglecting for a long time.


Perspective through rainbows

22 Jun

It’s been raining a lot here in Minnesota lately. In fact, there was a pretty bad flood in Duluth on Monday. (For those of you not from here, Duluth is about 3 hours north of the Twin Cities. So luckily no flood here.)

Tuesday night, as I was driving home, I was tired. And a bit cranky just from being tired. And still overwhelmed with all the crap to do this week. And there was road construction on the highway, so the last mile of my commute was stop-and-go – mostly stop. At that point, I just wanted to be home.

And I happened to look to my left. And saw this.

The picture doesn’t do it justice.

It was a stunning rainbow. You could see the whole arc over the horizon. Apparently it was a double rainbow too, although I didn’t see that.

And it made me stop (not literally, I was driving) and just observe nature for a second. How beautiful it can be. How peaceful. And how little my problems seem in comparison to the giant thing that is nature.

I felt better.

I don’t mean to belittle mine or anyone else’s problems. But just watching nature…you realize how small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things in the universe. So I’ve tried to take that feeling with me the last few days. Trying to remember how I felt when I saw it.

And then last night, I danced. It’s the first time I’ve danced all week. And I tried to not think, not worry, not overanalyze. And I tried to let the joy in.

And it worked.

Lazy Sunday

8 Apr

It’s amazing how much better life is after almost 12 hours of sleep.

I still have traces of my feelings from yesterday, but for the most part, I’m feeling pretty good. I also met JF for cocktails last night, which contributed to my feeling better.

All of which goes to show you that this is really true:

I didn’t do much today except rest, relax, and try to get my energy back up. We’ll see tomorrow if I did that.

I need to refocus my eating too…it’s gotten a little off the meal plan. So that, with so much sleep today and working out tomorrow, should continue the progress I’m making in feeling better.

I’m keeping this one short because Masterpiece starts in 5 minutes.

The power of words to unite

3 Jan

As many of you know, I’ve struggled the last week with how I matter in this world. I still don’t have any answers, but I’m becoming more OK with that.

What I haven’t told you is this struggle was actually a major depression. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t recognize it as such at the time and also because it’s hard to admit you struggle with depression. It rarely rears its head in my life anymore. Anxiety is mostly what I deal with, and even that is greatly less than it was. Depression rarely shows up in me anymore, although I’m realizing that it happens more than I thought it did. It tends to happen around major events with my family (like Christmas) and it tends to happen to around major events that lead to natural let-downs afterwards, like Showcase.

Tonight, I didn’t go to the dance studio for group class because I have a cold. I think I’m still in the contagious phase, so I didn’t want to go breathe on everyone there. When I got home, I started to check a lot of the blogs I follow since I didn’t get a chance to do so yesterday. I saw this post from The Bloggess. She is normally one of the funniest, irreverent bloggers out there, and I laugh out loud at her every time I read it. But her post yesterday was about her struggle with depression.

READ THIS POST. She articulates so well what the struggle is like. Thankfully, mine isn’t a physical manifestation like hers, but it is a mental manifestation in a way. Mine results in me being super-hard on myself and wanting to just crawl in a hole and stay there and not do anything and not talk to anyone and eat bread. Like most people who struggle with depression, I’ve learned to hide it from most people when I’m going through it. Consider yourself a very good friend if you’ve ever seen me in tears in the lowest depths of it.

The Bloggess talks about how cancer survivors are celebrated for their bravery and survival, because they deserve it. But her point is also that people struggling with depression should be celebrated for their bravery and survival. We don’t do that as a society, and we should. Because living with depression is a battle too.

Read her post. And then look at the over 2000 comments she got in response, most of whom are from people like me who found her post to really resonate.

And in reading those 2000 comments, you’ll realize that there are a ton of people who go through this. If you’re one of them, those 2000 comments will help you see you’re not alone. Even when it seems like you are, and you’re afraid to talk to your friends about it because you don’t want to be judged or have it change how they see you, you are not alone. Many, many, many others struggle with it too.

And there’s power in those numbers. It helps immensely to realize that when you feel the most alone, you’re actually not alone.

Recognize that there are probably people in your world who struggle with this. Let them, and all of your friends and family, know that you’re there for them and you love them. Even if you think they’re totally happy and healthy. They may be, and hearing those words out of the blue is great. And if they’re not, those words will be powerful and incredibly helpful.

And for every place above that I talk about depression, substitute anxiety and reread it. The message is the same.

Help spread the silver ribbon movement and be a warrior against the stigma of mental illness. You never know which of your friends you may be supporting.

Weekly roundup

27 Dec

In the last week…

*Check-up at the dentist. Still no cavities!

*Girly dance lesson with Amy. So fun and learned some stuff. It’s nice once in a while to get a girl’s perspective on dance technique.

*Played Santa and dropped off presents with my friends. I hope they like their presents. But really, it’s just about wanting to do something nice for them.

*Realized that I have a share in the responsibility of the awkwardness with my sisters.

*Survived Christmas weekend with my family. (More on that to come, I promise.)

*Worked out yesterday at the gym!! Yay me!

*Realized that my desire to stay in the background is actually a family trait.

*Made tea-ring for my family.

*Realized that I’ve not been going to as many group classes for dance as I used to, and that means less exercise. I’m going to try to go to more again to keep getting exercise (in addition to working out) and to keep practicing.

*Delighted my readers with a list of the awesome blogs I read.

*Thought about those that are in pain this time of year and hope they realize others care about them.

*Added a bunch of new followers on my blog. Welcome!! And thanks for following!

Peace, love, hope and joy

25 Dec

Merry Christmas to all my dear blog readers!  I especially am thinking of those of you and everyone in the world who is alone, frightened, feeling unloved, or dealing with any kind of pain. Know that every one of you is loved even if you don’t feel it sometimes. YOU ARE SPECIAL.

I wish for peace, love, hope and joy for each of you.

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