Aug 012012
 
The world is pulling too much from me right now.
It’s time to re-adjust, re-align, re-configure, re-group, and reflect. Definitely reflect.
I mean, I always reflect … it is a big part of who I am and is a big part of the structure of my day. I spend time each and every morning in quiet contemplation on my yoga mat — some might call it meditation. Each evening I also pause before I go to bed, too, to process the day’s events, though not in as regimented a manner as I do in the morning — at night I typically do it while washing my face or as I close the book I’m reading. I try very hard to consciously make that time reflective rather than worry about or inventory what will happen the next day. I’m not always successful, but it is an active goal.
But lately, I can’t shake the feeling — an intuitive, gut, CORE feeling — that what I’m doing is not enough. This, my “normal” regular balance — plus yoga and other exercise — isn’t enough.  And quite frankly, it’s driving me crazy that it isn’t enough. (“But it’s been fine up till now! I was balanced a few weeks ago!” These are the arguments I have with myself in my head.) Indications are that I need more reflection. And wayyyyy less extroverted energy. I feel like my Vata dosha is tipping the scale a bit too much. 
This might surprise people who know me well, as I am a classic extrovert. I gain energy by being around people. I am very social — too social, some might argue, for my own good (right, Mum?). Well, this is one of those times, I guess. They are rare in my life, but not unheard of. I don’t typically do all-or-nothing. And I don’t typically cut out social activities, either. But from time-to-time I do need to re-focus. The last time I took such measures was probably 3 or 4 years ago. 

I suspect some of this has to do with my being rather unhappy about a handful of Very Specific Things happening in my life at the moment. Unfortunately, I’m not able to go into more detail about these Things right now. (Hey, you know me — as soon as I can, I will. 🙂 )  Also unfortunate is that these Very Specific Things are things I have little control of. I do know that waiting for things to change is just not working for me. And thus … rock—>me<—hard place. I don’t do so well with life stasis in general, and this kind of stasis is my least favorite. 

So. I need to re-evaluate and re-configure, and maybe just spend more time spending time. I do sense that being active on Twitter and Facebook is not making things better right now. I am not sure it’s making it worse, either, mind you. These two networks are my favorite networks for several reasons: I have close friends and colleagues in both places, I feel comfortable in them, and although they have completely different modes and I use them very differently, they both fulfill a need for me to be connected to people and to learn and to grow. I am tremendously attached to these networks and the people who connect with me in them. However, these networks demand energy from me (there’s that Vata again), and as I said earlier, my intuitive sixth sense is kicking in to LOUDLY tell me that I need to redirect that energy. It needs to be better spent elsewhere at the moment. I’m not sure where, exactly, but I do know that lately Twitter and Facebook have been feeling like they are sucking energy out of me. It is NOT normal for me to feel this way. Hence, the decision to withdrawl for a bit.

Earlier today I decided to read my monthly horoscope. I try to stay up-to-date with Susan Miller’s posts (thanks to Rae Rae for putting me onto her!), but I often miss a month here or there. Anyway, today I thought, “Oooooh it’s August 1st. I should see what’s what.” And here was the first bit:

A big, tender full moon will brighten the very start of the month, August 1. It will fall in your privacy sector, Aquarius (9 degrees), so you may simply want to sit back and enjoy your own company. You’ve not had much time to simply take it easy, sleep a bit later than usual, and simply think about your next moves, but this full moon will allow you all the time you need.

🙂

I guess I’m on the right track. I have not been 100% myself lately, and I really want to be.
Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding as I renegotiate my balance. 

I will still be reachable on Skype, email, Instagram, Flickr, my blog (remember when I used to do that?), GChat, SMS, and … old-fashioned phone. I’m not disappearing. Just disengaging from the networks that demand interaction from me — interaction that I greatly value and normally thrive on. I want to be in that headspace again, and I will be, in good time.  

I’m going to try this social network fast for a week, starting Monday… and might go longer. We’ll see. Oh, and if you’d like to join me, that’s cool too. 

[Edit: 2-Aug-2012] I decided I will respond to DMs within Twitter. At least for now. So there ya go. 

 

Oct 312011
 
Teach the tools that will teach kids to focus, avoid distraction, and judge what to pay attention to as they’re exposed to a slew of diversions.

At first I was just going to tweet about this, not post about it. But I have a bit more to say about it than can fit in to

What I have to say is based on my own experience.

I have been practicing meditation for the last 4, maybe 5 years. Inconsistently, but still regularly, if that makes sense. I meditate on average about twice a week. Sometimes, I practice daily. Then I go for long stretches where I don’t practice at all. And I come back to it wondering what the hell I was thinking by leaving it. Then I settle into a “rhythm” every few days. And then my cycle starts over again. It’s irregularly regular. (This is, for the record, also how my yoga practice began 6-7 years ago, and now I practice daily, so I do anticipate that I will eventually evolve into someone who meditates daily too. These things take time. Baby steps.)

Anyway, I did not begin to practice meditation *because* I wanted to learn to focus and multitask better. I began to practice meditation because I wanted to clear my head and be more mindful in my relationships. However, what I can tell you is that since I began meditating, my ability to focus and multitask has improved across the board, in all activities. I can tell you that when I *am* meditating semi-quasi-consistently, I am more focused and less distracted and more productive all around. It’s this incredible fantastic side effect bonus that I was never looking for or expected, and I love it.

In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking, “dang, I really need to meditate more often.”

Anyway, I think what Levy’s saying in this article is incredibly important for any 21st century educator or school. How are we teaching our students to focus? It’s not a matter of just telling them. We have to teach them. Howe do we teach mindfulness? I’m not (necessarily) suggesting we teach our students to meditate — though, hey, why not? But I am suggesting that we all engage in some kind of mindfulness training so that we can model it and teach our students how to focus, balance, and pay attention to what’s important.

Reasonable, no?