.: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 

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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“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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Elimination.

Day 3: Elimination.  No nuts/seeds. No rice or grains.  No more stevia. No milk substitutes.

I woke up this morning feeling energized.  More clear. I even noticed that my pants were fitting looser around my tummy.

I went to the grocery store to pick up more fruits and vegetables. I let McKinley ride in the Car Cart (they only had one). She loved it. She was screaming “beep beep” through the store, waving hello, saying goodbye to everyone. I got some stares.

Day 3 lunch idea: black bean and vegetable soup.  And I’ve been snacking on celery and olives with hummus.

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I added strawberries and blueberries to my shake.  It was not as tasty as the one with almond butter…

I still feel the soreness of my muscles, but I am determined.  At this point, I don’t really have any “cravings” for anything.  Meat, is not hard to give up. Trust me, I love a juicy burger, medium-rare steak, or just some curried chicken… but I don’t miss it.

Day 3 Dinner idea: Meatless Chili over yukon gold potatoes topped with cilantro and avocado.  It’s amazing. Even if you are not doing a detox.

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*Please note that if you are planning on doing a detox you should speak with a nutritionist or your physician first.

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Ready? Set. Go!

I used to work at a nutrition center and cleansing was a part of our philosophy for healthy living.  Cleansing, or detoxing, is a great way to clean out those allergens and toxins we consume without even knowing.  In the process of cleansing your body, you find that you are more stable, happier, more energized…and the list only goes on.

My last detox was before I got pregnant with McKinley.  So, It’s been awhile. Naturally I’m excited to get back to my normal way of doing things.  HA!  “Normal.”  Okay, there will never be anything normal about my way of doing things 🙂

Obviously there are thousands of different detox programs–elimination diets and candida diets.   I’ve actually done multiple, but I prefer– ones that are to the point. I’m doing a Clear Change 10 day detox.  I figured I’d write about this particular detox process for other people who have heard about, or thought about doing it—and perhaps I can lend some insight.  The writing process is highly recommend during detox programs as means to understanding how certain foods react to one’s body and mind.  And, just so you know–doing a detox is something everyone should mentally prepare and gear up for in advance.

No, I am not on crack.  Rest your suspicions.  Although, the thought, “How can I do a detox with a toddler?” has crossed my mind…several times.

10 days.  Short enough that it’s easy, but long enough that it will do something lasting. My kinda thing.  The particular detox I am doing comes with an UltraClear nutritional beverage, that tastes like powdered crap, and provides nutritional support.  Mmmm. Ready? Set. Go!

Day 1 & 2 No artificial anything.  No sugar. No dairy products. No soy. No meat. No caffeine. No wheat or gluten.  (There is actually  a list of foods to avoid and foods that are recommended, but there is no way I am typing that up).

Uhh yeah, “Holy Crap”  is what I say for day 1 & 2 too.   What can I eat?  Pretty much(with exceptions), all fruits, veggies, beans, nuts/seeds, milk alternatives (almond milk), stevia, quinoa, brown rice, all dry/fresh spices and herbs, oils, herbal teas, and fish.

Day 2: You add the nutritional beverage. 1 scoop twice a day.

For me thinking of meal ideas was extremely easy, but the caffeine headaches?  Not so much.  Oh man, yesterday day 2, was a nightmare.  My whole body was aching.  My head throbbed the entire day.  I had no energy. And, I was really spacey.  Yup- that’s the detox doing it’s job ridding my body of all those toxins.  So, if you experience these symptoms…it’s normal.

I do want to mention, that I slept like a baby night 1 and night 2. I’ve needed sleep for the past couple of weeks, between McKinley screaming, and tossing and turning from my lower back pain.  So, I fully enjoyed the rest.

Below are some meal ideas from day 1 and day 2 of the detox: 

Day 1 lunch idea: Quinoa burgers packed with onions & herbs

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Day 1 Dinner idea: Spinach salad with sunflower seeds, walnuts, strawberries, avocados, drizzled with white balsamic, pared with fresh Halibut, and an olive chutney.

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Day 2 lunch idea: Gluten free- almond butter sandwich with banana, almond butter, almond milk smoothie.

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Day 2 Dinner idea: Stir-fry with Bok choy over brown rice, and Thai spiced Salmon.

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Stayed tuned for the rest of the detox… Day 3 tomorrow.

* * Please note, if you are planning on doing a detox, you should speak with a nutritionist or your physician first. * *

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