My 30-Day OM Challenge

Sometimes conversations between strangers can be so enlightening. The layperson psychoanalysis I received in passing  is that I’m a fixer. Ha! It’s true. In trying to achieve it’s very easy to get bogged down. When we have goals in mind and lists, coupled with a sense of urgency,  it’s easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come when you’re thinking about how far you still have to go.

This is where an imbalance may occur. Or at least it has with me, so I’m on a mission to get my zen back.

I’ve been receiving gentle reminders and nudges in unlikely places. From smiles, to sharing reading materials, etc. there’s been encouragement even amongst the challenges. I’m reminded that I can’t control every aspect of the course, but I can decide whether to embark and remain on the journey.

So, recognizing an imbalance exists is key. Having the imbalance occurs from time to time and is part of navigating life. This is why it’s so important to reconnect spiritually.  I’m not necessarily referring to organized religion. One of the main reasons why I’ve enjoyed listening to the podcasts of someone like Rev. Dr. Della Reese Lett for example, is the inclusion and acknowledgment of the metaphysical.

So amongst the options I’m exploring is to read Eat, Pray Love (admittedly I thought it was going to be trite fluff but it’s more engaging than expected). I’m also going to attend a series of yoga and meditation classes.

The benefits of exercise and employing stress relievers is well-documented. I’ve chosen a private yoga studio that offers several yoga disciplines beyond the type you’d find at a gym as an add-on. I’ve noticed how I’ve been struggling with my food choices due to stress the past six weeks. 

We’re not going backwards on any level, though. Since I’ve been feeling as if I’m dragging unnecessary baggage while still maneuvering around obstacles, it’s time to be more flexible mentally and — physically. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I decided to immerse myself in a restorative/meditative yoga session yesterday. It was equal parts invigorating (to open your body and your heart) and relaxing (to give yourself an affirmation and sink into a comfortable pose).  I’ve already noticed a difference! This is going to be interesting! I’m looking forward to reviewing where I’m at in the next few weeks and months.

Insight or Mindfulness Meditation is the simple practice of paying attention on a moment-to-moment basis to our own direct experience. This practice of mindfulness allows us to see more clearly our patterns and habits of holding and resistance, and to accept more fully the pleasure and pain, fear and joy, sadness and happiness that occur in life. As our insights deepen, we develop greater peace and equanimity in the face of change, and wisdom and compassion increasingly become the guiding force in our lives.  

What steps do you take to balance, replenish and center yourself?

7 comments to My 30-Day OM Challenge

  • Formavitae

    Faith,

    I wanted to say, since I stopped running WITH music, my pace has actually INCREASED. I realize listening to the tempo of the music was actually slowing me down. I now feel comfortable calling myself a “runner” (though I’m running at the slower paces).

  • HI Faith,

    I have started to institute a practice of contemplation. It helps me to destress and get a better perspective on the events of the day.

    Also, I didn't know where to post this, but I just found out a woman from Angola is now Ms. Universe!!! Exciting.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/13/miss-uni

  • Formavitae

    I've been working on establishing a healthier lifestyle via healthier eating and consistent exercise, since last December. I've been losing the weight. And, I've found that once I get to a certain number, I have a hard time getting below it, due to self-doubt. Anyway, I've been in that numerical area for the past few weeks, and I haven't gotten below that number. I've risen slightly above it, but not too much. This is not a plateau nor my body's way of telling me I'm at the weight I'm supposed to be. This is a psychological block. I've been accepting and adapting to the fact that I CAN weigh less. Several people in my family weigh MUCH more than I do, so it can be hard to believe I can be trim and slim like JHud. :) But, I'm getting more comfortable with the idea that my body is actually SUPPOSED to be slimmer than what it is. I'm not destined to remain "big boned".

    Anyway, I started an outdoor jogging program, this past spring. I did very well. However, as the season changed, the temperature started increasing into the 80s and 90s--MUCH TOO HOT for me. My runs became unpleasant. So, I decided that it would be better to halt my running program until the temperatures decreased than to continue pushing and just quit all together. I personally prefer 50-60 degree weather (70s at the HOTTEST), and I enjoy running in the 30s and 40s (which surprised me). Since I halted my running program, I continued working out to home videos. I feared that I might lose my aerobic conditioning that I'd developed as a beginning runner.

    Well, the early morning temperatures have returned to the 60s, where I live. I decided that I would try running again. I wasn't certain whether I would be able to complete my normal course (approx. 4.2 miles). Guess what? I DID! I started out a pace a little slower than the pace I ran before. But, by the time I completed my run, it was at the pace I was running before. I was elated and relieved to learn that my home video workouts WERE sustaining and building my cardiovascular fitness. I completed the run feeling pleasant, like I could run harder, if I wanted to.

    Before, when I exercised outdoors, I would just listen to the birds, crickets, rustling leaves, and mild buzzing of the traffic in the background. Once I started my long runs (approx. 8.5 miles), I started listening to music. I then began listening to music on all of my runs. This morning, I ran without music, listening to the birds, crickets, etc. I found that I had a more therapeutic experience. I felt so calm and at peace. I also felt a renewed commitment to focusing on controlling my calorie intake (a wagon I've fallen off of the past few weeks). And, other thoughts that were plaguing me seemed much smaller in scale. I'm glad I didn't run with music today. I think I am going to continue running without it (even when I resume my long runs), because I felt less tense, happier, and more connected with nature (which is central to my happiness).

    I've tried yoga, but holding one position for an extended length of time drives me mad. Lol! I much prefer pilates, because there is continuous motion. However, I find yoga to be visually beautiful. And, I admire the flexibility developed through consistent practice. But, I'm a motion girl. And, running seems to be the way I achieve my daily "OM".

    Keep up the GREAT work!