A – Z Challenge ~ Z is for Zen

zen bedroom

zen bedroom (Photo credit: evoluc)

Zen is:
1. Chinese, Ch’an. Buddhism . a Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means. Compare koan, mondo.
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2. the discipline and practice of this sect.
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Zen is also:
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The practice of finding complete peace and tranquility within one’s self.  I have a friend with whom I talk to about peace, zen and tranquility.  We have our own views of zen.  But, that is the beauty of Zen.  It is where ever you find peace.
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Your zen is unique.  Maybe your zen is sitting at a coffee shop surrounded by people, or maybe it is sitting on a giant rock in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees.
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Whichever your zen, try to find it at least once a week.  Go to your zen spot (if you can do up your bedroom in a zen-like state, even better) and breath in through your nose, exhale through your mouth and let your mind settle.
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This is the last in line for A-Z posts!  I had a lot of fun with this project.  I came upon a lot of cool blogs and had a lot of cool new commenters (and you old heads rock too!).
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My theme for the A-Z Challenge was mostly about SELF. Things that breed happiness, peace and confidence.
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Have a great week everyone!  😀
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A – Z Challenge ~ Y is for You

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That’s right.  You.  Y is all about you.  You are the most important thing. It’s you baby. You are what you eat. You give love a bad name.

I mean, how many times has it been about someone else?  You are always sacrificing for your family, your job, your pets, your writing… the list goes on!

So today – make it all about you.  If you can’t do it today, do it in the next week or two.

Find a place to go, even if it is in your own back yard, and just make it about you.

Start a page in your journal or online diary (I use Penzu – love it!) and make it all about you.  What do you want?  What would you do if there were no consequences? Where would you live if you had the choice? What is your dream job?

These are questions that should get you on a track to questioning your intent in life and really get your head spinning.  I  mean, there is only one you.  You should be nice to you.  It is so important to value yourself, if you don’t, no one else will.

Every day, I try to ask myself a hard question.

Questions like:

If this was the last day of your life, would you wan to live it this way?

If helping someone out meant a slight inconvenience, would you still help them?

It is amazing how much we get back when we give just a little.

So make today all about you.

Journal prompt for the day:

What does a day ALL ABOUT YOU look like?

A – Z Challenge ~ K is for Kicked Back

Image: salettasculpture.com

Kicked Back. To rest, relax do nothing.  When is the last time you really kicked back?  Like really chilled out and relaxed?  Believe it or not, I am most kicked back when I am driving (and have nowhere to be) and when I am walking in the park.
Sitting on the couch watching television (which happens about twice a week for an hour each time) is not really my idea of kicking back because I am watching something that invokes a lot of excited emotion.
Excited and kicked back are not in the same zip code.
Do you remember the last time you kicked back?  Maybe you went to the beach and kicked back on a beach chair with a great summer read.  Or, maybe you decided to veg all day on the couch watching your favorite romantic comedies.
Whatever the case, kicking back once in a while is an awesome way to recuperate, rebuild energy and find ways to get happy again.

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What are some ways you kick back and relax?

Just For Today

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Just for today is an AA/NA saying, but can be used by anyone in everyday life.

Just for today I will be kind to others.

Just for today I will be kind to myself.

Just for today I will take inventory only of myself and not judge others.

Just for today I will use the tools I have been taught to live my life to the fullest without picking up.

I found a great site while searching for “just for today” information.

Just For Today Meditations

BTW – this is not my A -Z “J” post!  I posted “I” yesterday and found out I was supposed to skip Sunday. *palm to forehead*

Have a great day you shiny, happy people.  Talk About It Tuesday will resume in May.

ROWing Down Highway 80

I love to drive.  Even in the midst of chaotic morning traffic behind people who are too busy texting or yapping to realize the light turned green forty seconds ago, I love it.  The road does something to me I cannot quite put into words.

There actually is a Highway 80 in Pennsylvania.  I have ridden my motorcycle on this glorious piece of asphalt during previous summers. But today I am ROWing down the Highway 80 of writing.

My goals for the week were a little neglected due to life events.  Nothing I can do about that.  Sometimes priorities twist themselves around and writing slides down the scale a bit.

But, I did manage some progress on my current manuscript and managed to read and comment on a few blogs, though not as many as I would have liked to.

In happy news, one of my posts made the front page of Good Blogs. 😀  Yeah.. I got the email a few days ago notifying me of this wondrous happening.  It feels good when someone notices how hard I am working.  I am sure a lot of you reading this can relate to that.

In keeping with the goal list, my goals for the remainder of the week are as follows:

  • Write at least 1,000 words tonight.
  • Read a few blogs (although I may not comment – but if there is a way to covey my liking it, I shall)
  • Take a SHOWER.  Weeee!
  • Call my sponsor
  • Write up a budget

That is it for now…. I want to wish everyone the best of luck in their goals for the week!  I’ll be seeing you around soon.

ROW#80 The First Check In

Okay, so I had high hopes of bashing out goals like I bash mosquitoes, however, today was a day run rampant with chaos and I was only able to get in my walking meditation. It’s all good. If life were perfect all the time, what would we write about?

So tonight I am going to read a few blogs so I can get that under my belt. There is no time (nor energy) to do even a lick of writing or editing. It is 10 pm and I am super pooped.

My fifteen year old daughter is bee bopping in her room, hanging posters and listening to music. If only I could somehow bottle some of her energy and spike my water with it!

I did get to an AA meeting tonight. That was definitely something I needed. I don’t get to many meetings, but when I do I always come away with a feeling of contentment. I should probably revise my goal list and put “attend at least one AA meeting a week.”

Happy writing everyone – and you can only do your best… 🙂

Muscled By Geese

Since I am having a hard time finding pictures online of items, animals, sports teams, musicians, etc., I decided to go out on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to take some pictures.

I didn’t have a huge amount of luck, as I did not travel far.  I get like that.  I don’t really want to be around people sometimes (of course looking like I just stepped off a street corner may have had something to do with that).

I did make myself walk into Starbucks and get a coffee.   I went to the one in Yardley, PA by the lake next to a church.  Both the Starbucks and the church are close to the road.  The lake is overrun with geese and ducks who have no problem approaching someone with a tasty treat.  I ate most of the banana nut bread I purchased.  I looked up to see a pair of eyeballs staring back at me.

About To Get Muscled For My Tasty Treat

Now, a rational person would just chuckle perhaps.  “Aww, look at the adorable geese!”

Not me.

I was bitten by a goose when I was a wee lass.  Now, I am nervous around geese.  And I mean, really.  They have those black hoods that hide their beady eyeballs.  Never trust something or someone you can’t look directly in the eye.

Needless to say, I ate about five morsels of my bread.  The nerves really started to go crazy as the geese approached closer.  There were ducks not too far behind.

I threw a piece of bread into the lake.   The geese careened on it like vultures on a carcass.  I stood and watched, sure I was safe for a moment.   The geese swallowed down the sopping bread.  They hissed at each other.  It was a battle of wills until the bread was gone.  A motorcycle roared by, snapping me back to reality.   Geese were staring me down, waiting for more.   My left arm threw small pieces of bread as far as it could muster.

I made a mental note to get back to the gym and high tailed it out of there.

Meditation for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Learn Something New

As the days whisk by and we’re caught up in all of the tedious moments of meal planning, check writing and that fun task of laundry that seems to procreate all by itself (who wears eight socks in two days?) we start to feel like we are in a dirt encrusted rut that Luke Skywalker couldn’t pull us out of.

Learning something new will add excitement to your life.  It helps build self-esteem, enhances your character, and helps you make new friends.  Plus, it gives you something to talk about to your children and current friends other than crusty Cheerios and Dr. Phil.

There is one rule to learning something new. Make sure it is something that you want to learn.  Taking a jujitsu class is great if you want to learn how to better protect yourself in close combat.  But, if you are only taking a jujitsu class to impress the guy down the street, chances are the warm, fuzzy feeling you had in week one will feel like a crampy ‘this sucks’ feeling by week three.

If you aren’t sure what you’d like to learn about or brush up on, make a list of all the things you enjoy.  After you make your list, circle three that you like the most.  Then go online or go to the library and search for classes or seminars in your area on the interests you’ve circled.  Some may cost money and some are free.  If you feel it is worth a few dollars, treat yourself.

There is a great website called, meetup.com that has a slew of different groups, from knitting to motorcycle riding.  You’ll meet people with similar interests and maybe even make some new friends.

Thought for the day:  Learning new things increases my happiness and potential.

Let Bygones Be Bygones

Meditation For Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When we are young we learn about disappointment, hurt and anger.  As we grow most of us learn tools to handle these pains and letdowns.  Those of us who do not learn effective coping tools wind up holding onto resentments that hurt our own well-being.  Holding onto pain from the past hurts our future.

Emotional pain sticks with us longer than physical pain.  If we fall down and skin a knee, we may cry for a moment, but we get up, brush it off and keep on trekking.  However, emotional pain burrows inside of us.  We sit and we dwell and we think of ways to get even or we manifest misdeeds done unto us, letting it damage us continually until we are full of hate.

In the movie American History X, Edward Furlong’s character says, “Hate is baggage.  Life’s too short to be ticked off all the time.”  When I heard that line a light bulb went off in my head. He used a stronger word.. but you get the point.

When we are angry at others, or full of hate, the only ones we hurt are ourselves.  Most of the people we are angry at long forget that we were ever mad at them in the first place.  Others never knew that they had upset us or maybe they did and didn’t care.

So there we sit, in our dimly lit room, or driving our car, stewing over the injustices done to us by careless people.

Get over it.  When you keep your anger, you give away your power.  You are letting the actions or words of others dictate your well-being.  Why would you want to give someone else that kind of control?

If you are so upset that you can’t see straight, write it down, scream at the wall or punch a pillow.  If you feel you really must let the person know how upset you are, write it down first.  It is important that you do this so that you can read it over a few times and let the situation sink in a little.  Often, we realize we are overreacting and wind up tearing the paper up and never saying anything.

If you feel you must say something, it is important that you get it in your head in a way that will be effective in communicating why you are upset.  Calling someone names and rehashing things that have long been talked about can lead to an argument and more resentment.

Meditation for the day:  Letting go of resentment and anger kindles my wellbeing.

Sometimes We Need To Be Lazy

Meditation for Sunday, February 20, 2011

Being lazy has always been frowned upon.  We call unmotivated people lazy, children who do not excel in school lazy and the unemployed lazy for not pounding the pavement 24/7 looking for a job.  It is painful looking for work when jobs are so scarce.

For those of us with plates so full the tasks are spilling out over the sides, being lazy is a great idea once in a while.

When I say, “be lazy”, I do not mean, “do nothing.” I mean, slow down.

When we are overrun with errands, meetings, exercise, and what to make the kids for lunch on a daily basis, tasks start to blur together.   Before we know it, we open our carefully packed lunch to find a pb&j with the crusts cut off.  Your child is sitting in school scratching her head because she knows that you know she hates veggie wraps.

Being lazy helps us to regroup and realize our priorities.

Rome was not created in one day.  Cliché, I know, but it hits the point home (I’m hoping).

Take your time.  There are a lot of things in life that can wait until you get a few spare moments to tackle.

In the morning, quickly go through your day.  You can do this in your head or on paper.  Check off the things that need immediate attention.  Leave the items that can wait unchecked.  Be honest with yourself.   If it is Tuesday and you have a meeting, the kids have violin practice and the dog has to get to the vet, do you really need to vacuum the entire house? The fuzzballs can wait.

Realization for the day: Being lazy once in a while is okay when we focus on the big picture.

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