Recharging This Long Weekend

I swore I would not check email this weekend but can't help but share this with all of you.

An academic peer of mine, Dr. Caroline Barratt from the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex, UK  created this short program for anyone who is seeking to add some contemplative practices into their lives.

Below is her description.

“Through the use of short meditations, poetry, and other activities she hopes to help educators find some spaciousness and renewal in the midst of everyday busyness.

The program is designed to be followed over three days (perfect for this long weekend). Each day you are invited to take part in three activities at whatever time suits you.

One will be a meditation; one will be reading some poetry and the third will vary depending on the focus of the day. If you were to do all three activities each day they would take you 30-45 minutes.”

I for sure will be taking advantage to invite some contemplative space into my life this weekend. I urge you to do the same.

Social media detox: Day 4

Yesterday was day 4 of my social media detox. I think I fell off the wagon since I went on Pinterest.

Do not remember why I opened the Pinterest app yesterday but I did. I then found myself being sucked into a world of infographics of teaching strategies, baby food, and healthy living. This lasted for about 30 minutes.

This morning... Instead of reading my (very heavy) book, I decided I needed something lighter. Went on Pinterest.

Twenty minutes later pins on Spanish class motivational strategies, how to talk to your kids about mental health, and best purée recipes for a 7 month old were added to my boards. 

#fail 

Some would argue that Pinterest is not really a social media network but I think it is. So I deleted the app.  

Day 4 looked like this:

Yoga in the morning. Hiking with Tony and Lyra in Watchung Reservation. Read. Listen to my audiobook. Help a friend with her resumé. Be Lyra’s mom (ongoing). Garden. Meditate, twice. 

Feelings

Boredom, restlessness. A little anxiety that I am missing out of stuff (but not sure what *stuff*). Annoyance. Craving connection with people. Wanting to reach out to folks I know and care about and realizing: I don’t have their contact information, I can only reach out to them through Facebook! #grrr

Most favorite thing: none.

I miss the stimulation and the excitement social media gives us. With Instagram, I miss the feeling of curiosity you get when you take a peek into people’s lives. With Facebook, I miss the articles and group posts (like my MOMs club and Fulbrighter groups). Don’t really miss Twitter or LinkedIn. 

Don’t miss worthless memes, quotes, pictures of people I don’t know/pets/food/houses/other nonsense. Don’t miss all the political commentary or news. 

Moving forward... 

Today is day 5, and I’m struggling. Feeling the itch. Need to refocus and regroup. Need to remind myself the reason why I am doing this. 

Perhaps I need a different book. Perhaps I need to connect more with people. Maybe spend more time gardening. Find a project. Clean the house again?...

Please note that although you are seeing this post on social media does not mean that I am using it. I am still doing the detox. This post is shared automatically via my blog settings.

Why I Love Early Mornings

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When someone finds out that I wake up extremely early (anywhere between 4 and 4:30am), they want to know why. This morning I was up at 4:07 thanks to the Sleep Cycle app that wakes you within a half hour range when it detects you being in the lightest stage of sleep. 

So, why?... Why wake up so early? 

1. The silence.

I simply love how quiet it is at 4:30 in the morning. Mind you, it’s not a deafening, scary kind of silence but more of a calming, centering kind: a sound of a distant train here and there, sounds of the heating system, house settling and cracking. 

2. The productivity aspect.

Such early mornings allow me to focus on what matters the most: writing, reading, meditating, learning, or simply being. 

3. The feeling of being ahead of everyone else.

When the rest of the world climbs out of bed around 6 am (on average), I have been awake and enjoying life (in my own way) for about two hours. 

Has waking up at this "ungodly" hour made a tangible difference in my life? Yes.

I feel more centered, organized, reflective, productive, and more aligned with my life values.