.:Meditation:.

More often than not we all get caught up in our worries about the future–whether it’s about our children, finances, or upcoming projects due in the office.  And I think too, we get lost in our regrets of the past– things we didn’t do, forgot to do, or simply things we did wrong. 

That’s why meditation is such a critical component to life.  The reflective parts of our life– is very similar to prayer. It really facilitates awareness in the “here and now” moments.  Enabling us to feel free and relaxed.  And actually (just a side note) meditation is probably more important in this day and age, because of our exposure to technology.  We are multi-tasking now more than ever before and it’s hindering our brains from fully processing and focusing.  Basically our attention spans are down right shitty.  Don’t you think? Mine sure is. 

 

There are numerous values I want McKinley and Cora to learn, but the truth is– I need to practice and refresh my own meditative state on many of these values in order to teach them properly.  So, I’m going to dedicate each day for the next 6 weeks to a particular value or moral idea and meditate about them. I will be writing about my process and reflective states– if you would like to join along please do!  And make sure to comment below on your own journey.

And, If you haven’t already, please check out my mediation cards (made to order) in my etsy shop for your own personal deck of meditation cards by clicking here ThingsByG 

   

~g 

😘The Kiss Box 😘


Many parents work long hours through the week.  And as much as we don’t want to believe it–it’s just hard on our little critters.  They miss us. Constantly.  At least in our household McKinley misses her father day in and day out.

The book, The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg and Henry Cole is a great story that illustrates to children how as parents our love is just as strong even when we’re away.   And nowadays so many parents have to work outside the home.

The story helps initiate conversations about feelings, and in this case feelings of “missing.”   And, it  provides wonderful ways to send each other love, or in the book “kisses,” when being a part from one another.  In the story Mama Bear and Little Bear create “kiss boxes” as a way to send each other kisses when they were a part from each other.

McKinley and I decided we wanted to create our own kiss boxes, as a way to send each other love when we needed it.  This turned out to be a truly meaningful, engaging, and fun project– Naturally, I had to share.


Inside the boxes we put random things.  McKinley cut up fabrics and different textured paper as little sheets to represent love and kisses. I cut tiny hearts out of tissue paper.  When it comes to love the possibilities are endless.

~g

My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox.  I needed a digital detox.  A virtual cleanse from the Web World.  And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a new kind of ‘reality check.’   I swear, you can legitimately lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did.  I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation.  I became more sedentary.  And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started feeling lost.  And NOT connected.  Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become.  I was desperate for conversation and human interaction. I wanted to feel alive again.  So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone.  This way, I wouldn’t have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband.  We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night.  The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’  Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows.  Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,  I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram.  However, I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all…I was able to get back to my roots…back to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise.  Try out some of these methods for 1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time.  What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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Tips to Stay Sane

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Health tip: I know I’ve said this before, but when consuming any fruits make sure you eat a protein with it, like nuts or eggs. If you are looking for sneaky ways to not gain 1,000 pounds during the holidays–eat snacks throughout the day (one of them consisting of a fruit and protein tied together). In doing this you keep your metabolism working and lower the sugar content of the fruit.

Laundry tip: Not only should you make sure all zippers are zipped before throwing anything in the wash or dryer, but hook together those bra straps too! Also, don’t put bras in the dryer, instead hang them up! Otherwise you risk damaging the underwire and shrinking them.

Parenting tip: We all know this one, but sometimes need reminding. Mean what you say and say what you mean. It’s crucial to be consistent! The holidays are a hectic time for schedules, so be patient and plan some extra activities or projects to keep the kiddos engaged.

Mental tip: Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes of your day. Concentrate on your breathing by inhaling slowly counting to 7 and exhaling slowly counting to 7. Repeat and Repeat, and If a thought trickles in bring yourself back to your breath.

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“An Unexamined Marriage”

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A sort of miracle happened today. I was able to watch my wedding.

What you don’t know is that for the past two years, over two years actually, I have tried to watch our wedding DVD’s.  They were in a .mov file format.  I tried watching them on different MAC computers and PC computers.  I tried converting the files and I’ve even spent time talking with professionals. You name it– I’ve tried it.  And, the outcome was always the same.  You could only listen to the audio.

Today I had a thought. I wonder if my wedding DVD’s will work now that I have iDVD on my computer. 

So, I popped in the DVD’s and sure enough there was picture!  I was finally able to watch my wedding!  And do you know what clip popped up first?

My father’s speech.

“The unexamined marriage is not worth living.”
“Live your lives together and try to transform yourself, but the one thing you don’t want to do… is try to change each other.”
“Transform yourself, never try to change your best friend.”  

These words come at such important timing in my life. Mainly because, my husband and I are working on transforming ourselves. Sometimes, it’s not easy.  Actually, it’s never easy.  And as you work on becoming a better person, the marriage is something that needs to be examined. The transformation of a marriage never comes from changing someone else, but changing yourself.

Most of the time in marriages, partnerships, and relationships in general–individuals can always pinpoint and point fingers at what the other is doing “wrong.”  But, true and honest growth comes from within each of us.  To be able to take responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, and behaviors.  To forgive. To acknowledge. To apologize. And, to become.

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