Thursday, 28 January 2010

Week of Wellness

So I have decided to take a week off work next month for no particular reason other than that I need some time off. March and April are shaping up to be extremely busy at work, so I decided that the last week of February will be my time for a little space and rejuvenation.

I have dubbed it 'Theresa's Week of Wellness" because I'm going to do all sorts of nice and healthy things during this time off. Sort of like a retreat, but I am going to do it at home. And this blog post is part of how I'm setting my intention of what I'm going to do. (Thanks to EcoYogini who introduced me to this intention-setting concept!) So here are some of the basic things I will be including in my W.o.W:
  • Meditate each day for 20 minutes (this can be in two, 10 minute sessions)
  • At least twice during the 7 days, meditate for one sitting of at least 30 minutes.
  • Do 10 minutes of Tai Chi warm up exercises every day. This would be best to do right before meditating.
  • Practice doing a set of Tai Chi at home from start to finish at least twice.
  • Attend my two regularly scheduled Tai Chi classes
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day.
  • Catch up on my sleep - this works better by going to bed earlier rather than sleeping in later, so I plan on being in bed by 10:30 p.m.
  • Notwithstanding the above, sleep in if I want to (although if I go to bed on time, even getting up at 8:30 a.m. will be sleeping in).
  • Stay at home for 4 of the 7 days - i.e., on these days I don't have to wear anything other than pajamas, and I don't have to put on any makeup or do my hair. If the doorbell rings (which is unlikely but possible,) I just won't answer it!
  • Have at least one warm bath during the week with candles on and nice music playing.
  • Read to my heart's content. I plan on putting my library card to full use, and I have also given in and ordered Noah Levine's "Against the Stream" book, which should have arrived by the time my W.o.W. starts.
  • Listen to some Noah Levine, Gil Fronsdal and/or similar podcasts.
  • Get a massage (this is already booked - hooray!)
In addition to these healthy and relaxing things, I also plan on doing some catching up on stuff that I have fallen behind or which I never seem to get a handle on, and which then stress me out in the background of my mind. Some of these things include:
  • Making a new, Mac-based budgeting spreadsheet that is simpler and less time consuming for data-entry.
  • Doing some cooking of soups, chili, etc., that I can freeze for later use. I have quite a lot of stored beans (dried and canned) and I want to use/eat some of them to keep my 'stores' in proper rotation.
  • Bake some bread again - I haven't been doing that lately and I miss it.
  • Submit some insurance claim stuff I've been putting off.
  • Place my vegetable seed order.
I may end up making up some kind of daily schedule for myself to ensure: (1) that I do what I intend, but still (2) leave enough time for tea throughout the day and week so that I don't have to rush through things. That would sort of defeat the purpose after all.

Anyone else out there planning on a week (or day) of wellness?

Photo courtesy

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Things I've been doing when I'm not blogging...

So even though my energy level is at somewhat of an ebb these (many) days, I have managed to do a couple things. Today for example I finally collected seed from the snack pea and radish plants I've had drying on a laundry rack in the basement since September. I have a new appreciation for seed savers and collectors, because what you see in the picture here is the sum total of seed I collected from three radish plants, and about six pea plants. Now I know why good seeds seem 'expensive' and why you sometimes get what seems like a tiny amount in each seed packet.

I had also collected bean seeds from my 3' by 5' patch of Golden Rocky Beans in September, and I shelled those about a month ago. After setting aside the best of these gorgeous indigo blue beans for seed, I had enough left over to make one pot of soup. Again, a good realization of how much time, effort, and resources (human and earth-given) go into the making of one seed. The soup was delicious by the way - it was almost an entirely local soup with dried kale from the CSA farm, dried thyme from my herb garden, and potatoes from my garden as well.

I've also been corresponding with my local MP's office via email about my unhappiness with PM Harper's decision to prorogue parliament AGAIN! My MP, Brian Storseth, doesn't want to converse with me via email however -- his office staff says this is because email correspondence could be "altered" and then forwarded, and because they can't be sure I actually reside in the riding if I don't give a mailing address. Never mind that if they checked their files they would see that they already have my address because I've corresponded with them in the past. I was hoping for a bit more of a spontaneous and personal exchange with my elected representative this time, but I guess I will have to settle for another delayed regurgitation of Stephen Harper's talking points, AGAIN.

I've been reading a number of books as well - Gord and I signed up for library cards last summer, and we've been enjoying the benefits ever since. I've been soaking up all sorts of Buddhist books, some of which include: "Waking Up: A week in a Zen monastery," "Joyful Wisdom: Embracing change and finding wisdom", "Sit Down and Shut Up," "Finding the Still Point: A beginner's guide to meditation," and I've just started reading "Zen Mind, Beginners' Mind."

I've been getting better at working in a 10 minute meditation period into almost every day - it doesn't sound like much, but from what I've read, meditating for a short period every day is better than longer periods one or two times a week. Both my butt and my brain are slowly getting used to this meditation thing, which is like a whole lotta nothing and absolutely everything at the same time. Who knew that sitting still and breathing could be so profound?

And I think I may have taken the first step out of my depressive funk today, after catching a few minutes of one of my all time favorite TV shows no less: Northern Exposure. In it, there was a scene where one character (Ed) is lying prone on a general store counter top lamenting the soon-to-be end of the world as we know it, and another character (Ruth Anne), the 'wise-woman' proprietor of the general store, tells Ed to just shoo, get out of her store and do something, anything: read a book, go for a walk, make a movie, anything. That advice makes sense: when you're mired in lamentation, just pick something and do it. And I know that of course. But the thing that struck me was how silly the character wailing and moping on the counter looked. That's been me. I've been moping and wailing. And it's time to stop.

So thanks Ruth Anne, I'll get off the counter now and get back to it.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Here is it already January 6th, 2010. I've had this enso circle graphic ready to go for about a week now, thinking surely the New Year would inspire me to write something about the emptiness of the circle, and the potential it represents. How the middle part of the circle, when you reverse the field, looks like a ripe peach, full of juicy goodness.

So far, I still just feel a sense of the big fat zero. I know I should feel renewed, I should feel hopeful, I should feel energized with the clean slate of a new year, a new decade, etc., etc. But nope, I'm still stuck in the state of zero. Zero motivation, zero optimism, blech, bla, yuck. The same state that ground my ponderings to a nearly complete stop last Fall.

I guess I'll just keep watching and waiting, knowing that everything's impermanent, and that this cycle will work itself out somehow, some time, some where.

To anyone who still wanders by here now and then, I wish you peace and contentment.

Picture of enso circle courtesy