30 Day New – Day 16 & a Weekend Challenge for You

“30 Day New” – Day 16 – When folks ask me how they can tell they are “in the moment” I often tell them to start by  focusing on the water and soap when they are washing their hands. This simple task draws you into the moment and out of your head.  For yesterday’s “New” I decided to be in the moment each time my hands touched water.  I truly thought I had this one, no problem. 

IMG_1189Surprise!  I think I remembered to focus on the gentle and comforting sensations of washing my hands about 20% of the time. I was so often in my head that I didn’t even remember my commitment until much later in the day, even though I started the day off reminding myself of my goal. I was amazed at how many times I finished tasks involving water before I remembered what I was supposed to be doing.

So my “New” today is replay of yesterday to help me develop my awareness. I have already failed at least 4 times, which means I am on auto-pilot way too often; I have my work cut out for me.

Day 16 Results – I am now committed to further exploring my auto-pilot dependency for the entire weekend. I am giving myself today, tomorrow and Sunday to refocus my attention on this task.  Wish me luck and, please feel to join me.

All you have to do to accept this gentle mindfulness challenge is to commit to trying to fully focus on being in the moment each time your hands touch water this weekend.

Here are a few of the ways I plan to be more mindful . . .

  • Be aware of the water, the way it looks and the intensity of the flow, how it feels as it cascades over your skin.
  • Pay attention to the way the soap glides over and suds up on your hands. 
  • Watch liquid soap drip. Notice its color, the way it reflects in the light.
  • Pause for a moment after washing your hands and notice how they feel when they are wet. Slowly reach for the towel to dry them.

Post it (2)I have posted notes by my sinks to remind myself I want to slow down and redirect my thoughts. (After yesterday and this morning, I know I need all the help I can get, and that is okay. )

Mindfulness matters – moment to moment, minute to minute. Each and every time I am successfully “in the moment” the rewards are amazing. It feels like a taking a deep breath outdoors on a cool morning, a mini vacation or the relaxation of a comforting spa treatment. It’s refreshing and a great way to center myself and my thoughts and to give my brain a much need break.

Let me know how it goes for you! Don’t worry about doing it right, any time we savor the moment we are ahead of the game. Enjoy.

 

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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“30 Days New” Day 14, Day 15 & More

“30 Days New” – Day 14 & Day 15

I woke up feeling terribly guilty that I was behind in my “News” and also in posting about them. I was feeling embarrassed that I started the project and wasn’t keeping up with it. I also was beginning to find ways to justify my lack of follow through. (Step 2 in the rationalization process – Step 1 one is to admit a problem/situation has occurred, Step 2 is to figure out a way to blame circumstances or someone else for our failure!)

When I realized I was ruminating ad nauseum about the situation, I decided to occupy my mind elsewhere for a bit and began creating a mental to-do-list for today. The minute I switched gears I felt lighter and after making a few mental notes, I started to laugh at myself.

I had solved my own problem. I know beating-up on myself leads to no good end, and if I kept it up I would simply fall further behind and probably begin adding other lapses to my life to confirm to myself that I really had “failed”!  Misery loves company and I had to admit I was already inviting imaginary and very unlikable guests to my personal pity party. (You know, those voices in our heads that never have anything nice to say, but we listen to them anyway.)

I decided that instead of filling my head and my heart with my real and imagined failings, I would simply get started planning what my “New” would be for today. It took me less than a second to come up with it. Stop back tomorrow to read my results.

Day 14 & Day 15 Results – A kinder, gentler me – to myself, and an increased ability to swallow a good dose of humility to soften my judgmental rough edges.

Forest for the trees

awareness that I could not see the forest for the trees. I had done lots of wonderful things on Day 14 & Day 15, including re-doing some of my “News” and expanding on others, but I was so focused on the project that I discounted the benefit of those things, simply because they weren’t “New” enough.

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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30 Days New – Day 12 & Day 13

“30 Days New” – Day 12

Easy peasy, second day of new qigong practice! I am counting it as a “New” because it is the first habit I have chosen to create as a result of “30 Days New” practice. That’s a first, which is just as good as a “New” to me.

Day 12 Results –  Sense of peace and calm while doing the practice, and curiosity as to what it will add to my life.

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“30 Days New” – Day 13

Day thirteen turned out to be very lucky for me. Today I meditated for an hour.  It seemed like about 3 hours, but no matter, I did it!

I have been wanting to try meditate on my own for an hour for more than a decade. (Who knows why it took me so long, but seriously not important at the moment.) I use a variety of 25-30 minute guided meditations, including Yoga Nidra and self-hypnosis, both are very satisfying and I will continue to use them, but excited that today I took the leap to 60 minutes on my own.

I can’t honestly say I loved meditating for an hour and it was not an earth shattering experience, but it took commitment and a great deal of patience. I like that. I also like that since I have meditated for an hour, 30 minutes on my own is much less daunting. I know I can do it regularly and that makes me very happy.

Day 13 Results –  Sense of accomplishment, mixed with pride and the overwhelming urge to give myself a sticker of some kind! Woo-hoo, I gave it a try and I did it! 

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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30 Days New – Day 10 & Day 11

 

I have fallen behind in my posting, but happily not in doing my “News”. I am double posting today to catch-up.

Day 10 – “30 Days New”

A few weeks ago I was watching a repeat of the Rachael Ray show featuring Sue Hitzman, the founder of the MELT method for pain relief and body rejuvenation. Sue was demonstrating a 50 second face lift.

I used her method while watching the show and made a mental note to follow up on her techniques. On Day 10 of my “30 Days New” I remembered that note to myself and looked up Sue’s videos online, I could not find a video of the Rachael Ray episode, but redid the facial from memory and info from Sue’s other videos. The facial was easy, felt great, and sparked my interest to explore other hands-on, face lift options, including this acupuncture based technique – no needles necessary!

Day 10 Results – I loved them all! Who knew I could have been giving myself free, relaxing, and refreshing five minute facials? A group of “News” I truly enjoyed, and have been using the past three days. Whether or not my new habit will give me a more youthful appearance remains to be seen, but learning about and using the methods really was a treat and they are something I will do more often.

Day 11 – “30 Days New”

My research on the facials also led me to a short video on a four minute daily Qigong practice that I tried on Day 11, which was amazingly relaxing and easy to do, as well.

Day 11 Results – I liked The Qigong practice so much, I am going to do it everyday. I have even created a 21 daily tracking sheet – what gets counted, gets done – to get myself in the habit of my new daily Qigong practice. The Qigong video I found is short, nothing fancy, but the practice makes sense to me and I love the centering effect it produces.  Ahhhhh. Namaste.

To read more about why I am developing my “30 Days New” habit, click here.

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MELT on Rachael Ray

30 Days New – Day 6

Day 6 – “30 Days New”

Today is the sixth day I am posting about doing something new everyday for 30 days. (Click here to read how I got started, here to read about what I did yesterday.)

I realized this morning that while it is becoming a little more difficult each day to think of a “New” thing to do, any discomfort I am feeling from having to find “News” is completely offset by the fact that the challenge of seeking out a daily “New” is making me feel stronger in general and also bolder about what I choose to post.

IMG_1119 (1)Today is proof of that. I am posting a poem I wrote in 2011. I have a tendency to write my thoughts on 3 x 5 cards. I have filed away hundreds of note cards – in both organized and random fashion – that are covered with reminders, ideas for projects, stories and posts, and quotes and original thoughts that matter to me.

When I recover one of my mini-journals of sorts, I am always surprised by what I have jotted down – either because I don’t remember writing it, or I do, but can’t remember why I didn’t integrate the comments, plans or advice into my life! 

Day 6 Results

I found peace today.
Rolled up in an unexpected moment in a newly discovered place.
I sat soaking up the sounds in the safety of the shade.
I remembered who I was and why I am here.
T
hen stepped gently back into my life.
Knowing what I needed.
Grateful for giving it to myself.

Do you have written ramblings you seldom share? Do you need a few minutes of reflection or a brief respite? Do you wish you were bolder, or perhaps, more reflective? Whatever your answers, considering the questions means you are on your way to wherever you are going!


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30 Days New – Day 5

“30 Days New – Day 5”

This is an easy “New.” As of today, I have posted five days in a row. I post often, this is my 560th post as a matter of fact, but I don’t think that I have ever posted 5 days in a row since I began the Wishful Thinking Works blog in February in 2010! 

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Day 5 Results – A nice sense of accomplishment. I am truly enjoying the feeling of a job well done. When I started my “30 Days New,” it never sunk into my sweet little brain that doing so would mean I would be writing 30 posts in a row. I was so focused on doing new things, somehow I missed the fact that I would be blogging about them everyday.  Good news is, I am enjoying it – the discipline and daily sense of accomplishment – feel good. It’s invigorating and rewarding, like sticking to a new exercise plan.

What can you do today to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment? What tasks need tackling? What calls need to be made? What plans need to be put into action? What “News” could you try? Go for it; I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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“30 Days New” – Day 4

Day 4 of my “30 Days New”

My Day 4 “new” involved taking a new risk in the direction of my dreams. I am working on three totally different projects at the moment, and today I was reminded that taking a risk on one made it so much easier to move forward with the others. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was following through on plans I had long considered, but not completed.

Yesterday was one of those days when everything worked – my avocations blended seamlessly with my vocation, which left me feeling refreshed and fulfilled. I decided to celebrate by spending the late afternoon relaxing in the shade on the patio with a good book and picked up, “Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership – Ten Practices For Leading Consciously”, which was written by Paul Ward. The book is informative, intuitive and inspiring.

IMG_1078 His chapters on purpose and possibilities are my favorites. Paul included the story I am now sharing with you; it has taken up residency in my mind and is working its way into my heart. I think it is a great reminder about what really matters in life. Let me know what you think . . .

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.  Author Unknown

Day 4 Results – A deep sense of satisfaction and balance knowing that risks in the direction of our dreams are always rewarding in and of themselves, and they can also free us up to relax and explore new ideas and insights or to simply sit and think about what really matters to us.

I hope you make time this summer to take a risk in the direction of your dreams, and then to sit back and savor the moment.

If you would like to read more about why and how I started my “30 Days New” click here. You can follow along each day with us here  or on Facebook at Wishful Thinking Works.

 

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

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