Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 1 of Conscious Living

I was faced with a pretty incredible challenge last evening that created a great deal of stress and anxiety such that I was not able to sleep more than an hour. I actually had the thought, "Oh no! How am I going to Live Consciously tomorrow when I'm literally going to drop over UNconscious." And yet Providence shone upon me. I drank a big glass of water, I walked the dog a brisk mile, I got the kids to school without screams or curses. Faced further with having to confront last evening's challenge further this evening,  I found inside me, bolstered I know by the songs of Ash Wednesday, a strength to remain calm, to speak from a place of support and to see many sides beside my own. I am indeed very tired now. But I am confident I can chalk Day 1 up to very Conscious.

Here's one of the songs we sang tonight:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

40 Days of Conscious Living

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday marking that time of year where Catholics "give up" everything they had already given up as a New Year's Resolution but didn't quite get it right in the preceding 10 weeks. What better time for me, then, to actually DO something since I don't really ever make New Year's Resolutions.

As I thought about what I wanted to do I recalled something I once heard a lawyer say in a mediated conversation I was in. My husband and I were becoming legally separated (we're back together now, so, yay for mediation over litigation everyday!) and the lawyer made us make a list of all the expenses we had every month all the way down to hair care products and toothpaste. This proved a bit hard for my husband as he could not recall the price of even a sandwich he had bought hours before the meeting. And I will always remember the lawyer saying, "So, you are an unconscious spender." It was that word "unconscious" that really struck me. That idea of being fully aware and awake in one's actions seemed to really resonate with that word. And I thought, wow. I do a lot of things unconsciously, too.

So I thought of that word again as I wanted to formalize my Lenten plan. And it seemed to fit so well with what I wanted to make sure I'm doing: being aware, being purposeful, being conscious. So here goes with the plan:

because that's what Lent is for

To God
I will greet each morning with a fully aware and heartfelt, "Thank you, Lord, for giving me each day." Knowing that waking up every morning is a gift.
To My Family
I will choose words carefully and make sure that what I am saying is not born of stress or anxiety, but in the light of truly conveying a message. I will choose positive over negative. I will let people know I love them both in words and deed.
To My Friends
While I am not "giving up" Facebook, I will be a much more conscious Facebook member avoiding being sucked into useless hours, when minutes can certainly suffice.

I will make sure that what I put in my mouth is first and foremost fuel. That means I will eat when my body is hungry, not my mind bored.
I will drink water before my body asks for it, remembering that hydration is the key to alleviate many problems.
I will buy only what is needed not what advertisers have designed and manipulated me into wanting. 

I will exercise with purpose. While I am training for a 1/2 marathon, I will not only run, but I will do weight training, knowing that cross-fitness is the best fitness. When I feel I do not have ample time for exercise, I will do at least  40 somethings-- crunches, push-up, lunges--whatever it is, I need to do 40 of them.

I will write, rather than just think about writing.
I will read, rather than just have books by my bed.
I will go to live music, theatre, dance whenever possible.

Ok. Let me just say as I finish my unconscious Dunkin' Donut-- it's time to get real, be aware and come to Consciousness.  I will report on my progress.