I have succumbed to the kindle

It was probably just a matter of time.  I held out for 7 years.

kindleA surprising benefit for me is that little “4 hrs 35 mins left in book” at the bottom of the screen.  That kept me from reading into the wee hours of the morning last night.  It is a stark reminder that if I kept reading, I wouldn’t be finishing the book until 2:30am, which does sound ridiculous.  Of course, I never set out to stay up that late… it just seems to happen.  :)

I know I am not the first bibliophile to write about this, so I’ll keep it short and simple.  I still don’t know if I will ever stop reading actual bound and printed paper books.  I love so many things about the experience of reading them.  But this could be good as an additional way.  Mr. B pointed out that it’ll be great to reclaim the space in our suitcase previously occupied by loads of books and magazines.  We shall see…

Do you use an e-reader? Do you use the Kindle app or have a Kindle or Nook?

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Playing with backlighting

Heart leaves_kkenlightened with textYesterday morning was rainy… with dreamy lighting coming from our kitchen window.  It was the perfect opportunity to experiment with the back lighting prompt in Kim’s Be Still class.  I applied her kk_enlightened texture at 70% soft light.  (It was my daughter who noticed the heart shape.)

 

Posted in Creativity, E-courses, Photography | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

What makes you happy?

Enjoy the little thingsSometimes I get stuck in a blah mood.  Particularly toward the end of my monthly cycle, I am tired and just want to curl up by myself and eat chocolate.  I certainly could use some reminders of things that pick me up and delight my soul.

An assignment from the Mama Happiness course I’m taking:

“For 10 minutes today, make a list of things that immediately change your state of being. That spontaneous hug or and “I love you, mommy” from your little one, a move or time with a special friend. Write about things, people and activities of every day life that make you happy.  Keep an eye out for the next time you are brimming with happiness over something delightful or simple and add it to your list.”

Here’s an inspirational post with the lists from 17 writers and creative leaders.

And what makes me happy?

  • Connecting authentically with a friend.
  • Taking photographs of nature.
  • Spending time near water.
  • Singing.  Music.
  • Listening to my daughter’s giggles.
  • Laying in bed and reading.
  • Traveling or planning a trip.
  • Looking through the photo books I’ve made.
  • Looking through craft magazines or creative books.
  • Going out to brunch with my hubby.
  • The hilarious comments that my daughter sometimes makes.  I’m writing them down now.
  • Being recognized as an artist.
  • Pure milk chocolate.
  • Craft supplies.  Organizing all my goodies or buying more.
  • Peaceful quiet and space.

So what makes you happy? Do share!

Posted in Creativity, E-courses, Mindfulness | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Mama happiness

“Happiness is our nature… We have done so much to move away from our natural state that we now need to walk back to that place, slowly and steady, with utter gentleness and compassion.” ~ Aarathi Selvan

A friend told me about this e-course, Happiness is Your Nature: 30 Days to a Joyful Motherhood.  (You’d think she would know about my addiction!)  Anyway, it is a wonderful exploration for mamas who are looking for mindful awareness (Hello?! My middle name!) to live intentionally, overcome guilt and our inner critic, and purposely embracing the happiness that’s always inside.  It’s about really being with our children, embracing what is, and finding joy in their delicious chaos.

Happiness QAs part of a pre-course contemplation, Aarathi asked us to answer these questions in a journal.  What is a blog but an online journal right? I had recently answered a survey with these answers:

Becky survey

 

When I read that this course is for moms who are seekers, who love to be introspective, who want to “take a chance and leap into a world of inner work to receive honest answers and discover the voice of happiness within them,” who love challenges to open to new perspectives, and for those who truly believe there is more to life than running from one goal to another… I knew it was for me.

My intentions: find the calm in each moment, remember to take care of myself and know I don’t have to do it all, appreciate the now.  I would like to infuse more joy into the time I’m with my daughter because I want to marvel at her instead of be exhausted by her.  I want to allow her to make messes and be loud and crazy (sometimes).  I think I try to contain her because of my own need for quiet.  And I desperately want to be ok with not having everything crossed off my to-do list at the end of the day.

I wonder if one class can do all that???

* * * * *post concentric

You know that feeling of accomplishment you get when you have completed a goal? You feel good… you are happy.  Apparently, we can feel that way all the time! It’s a matter of allowing ourselves to.  

When I feel that, I feel like I’m almost floating, like I am limitless.  It’s when I’ve been truly seen and loved.  That feeling causes me to want to give anything and everything, to do a Gene Kelly routine down the driveway, to smile and hug and lift up everyone else.  I am breathing deep breaths, looking for the good in people, and feeling like I could take on any challenge.

Well, we can choose some of those characteristics and behave as if.  Smile at people, take deep breaths, think positive thoughts.  See what happens.

* * * * *

One challenge thus far in the course has been to say YES no matter what, two days in a row.  The first day, I really just fought it.  Everything was a struggle for me and I didn’t feel like much of anything.  But the second day… I had fun with it.  I said yes to spending my time playing guitar and doing other fun projects, yes to going with my daughter to paint pottery, yes to pizza for dinner and more silly games, and yes to me going to bed early so I could do it again the next day.  It was awesome.  My favorite part was just enjoying my daughter without being preoccupied with other to-dos.  I think part of my willingness came from a good night’s sleep and from being nicer in how I treat myself.  An excellent lesson!

Posted in E-courses, Mindfulness, Motherhood | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

For the love of paper

PL logo.49 AMI have always loved notebooks and stationary and sending hand-written cards and notes.   I keep sentimental old letters that mean the world to me.  There is just nothing more fun than popping into a paper shop! Some day I hope to have time to participate in the mail art and post card swaps I keep hearing about too.  And remember when I told you about the magazine, Flow, full of paper goodies? 

I love paper, so it was sort of a no-brainer that I signed up for the e-course, Paper Love, a tactile, creative experience celebrating the personal possibilities of paper.  It’s taught by Rachel Hazell, whose English/Scottish accent when she speaks makes me smile.  (She says “pay-pah,” for example.)  She says, “As you read, please imagine you are sat at my kitchen table with a steaming cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.” She is just delightful!

So there began our papery adventure!  I have to admit that there is a world of information about it that I had no idea about, and I love delving into unknown worlds. I tried my darndest to get interested in the daily content, but while I enjoyed reading about how paper is made, the art of collage, text, handwriting, books, and stationary, and the history of the postal system and stamps, I just couldn’t get excited about doing any of the assignments.  The amount of information in this course is mind-boggling.  And as you read last week, I don’t have time to spare!

Paper Love class logo.16 PM.png

However, I’d like to share some fun resources with you:

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Creating room for possibility

Naomi shirt.PNGSome of you wrote in the comments for Monday’s post that I am living a whirlwind and you don’t know how I do it.  I’ve been feeling that way for a while now too and you are convincing me that it’s totally unnecessary! (I know, I keep writing this same thing and not doing anything about it.)

Yesterday morning, we all overslept because my sweet girl didn’t finally fall asleep until 10pm the night before, not for lack of trying (and I still have to be right there next to her), and the morning was ridiculously hectic.  I have jammed so many things into my calendar that it’s impossible to get things done if I miss a beat.  I’ll spare you the details.  The feeling of rushing all the time, of finding value in every single moment, is just too much pressure!

Self-care has been a focus lately in several of my classes.  We are talking about making sure we prioritize and do things to replenish ourselves.  Well, I must simplify.

  • I will schedule my to-do’s with a max of 3 per day.  There is very little reason I can’t put off that trip to Costco or file papers a different day.  Also, I will break tasks down into manageable chunks.  “Review finance website and set up online budget” is something that is going to take hours, so I will be nice to myself and spread it out.  No rush to get it done just to get it done quickly.  Hopefully just knowing that I already have time set aside for a task will allow me to let it go for now.
  • I thought I was treating myself to something helpful when I asked our housekeeper to come every week rather than every other, but I see now that rushing around to straighten up and reminding others to put their things away, waiting for her to arrive so we can get where we need to go in the morning, having to move around the house to let her do her work… it’s actually stressful for me!
  • I will say “no” more often.  In order to be able to say “yes” to song leading at synagogue or teaching Sunday school, I have to have space in my schedule to do the preparation those things involve.  So I can’t join that book club or take another class.  Sometimes it seems I have time but then I realize I definitely don’t.  I have to proactively create space in my days.
  • I am doing some deep spiritual development over here, which means I also need time to daydream and journal, to stare out the window and get in touch with my inner voice.  I need to ponder what I’m reading, learning, and discovering.  Rushing around leaves zero time for that, so I am really doing myself a disservice by not letting it all sink in.
  • I will list all these classes and figure this out.  Even if something sounds absolutely amazing, I will NOT sign up for more.  (I’m taking a 30 day mama happiness class, so that doesn’t count, ok? I realize this is hypocritical.) I’ve been letting myself slack on some of them too: not doing anything at all with Paper Love or Soul Food (shouldn’t have spent the money, I guess); behind on Art Society; I have a full Evolving Wisdom class in my e-mail inbox I haven’t even started.  Nobody is knocking on my front door to arrest me for slacking, so I guess I should stop beating myself up about it. :) Maybe at another time I will be able to do some other things, but not now.

Do you get the Brave Girls’ daily emails? They are awesome.  Here’s what popped into my inbox just when I needed it:

Brave Girls

OK I’m off to schedule time do some tasks that are hanging over my head: renew a passport, make some store returns, work on my teaching curriculum, and I am going to put fun things in there too like reading a book during the daytime.  Ha!

PLEASE please share how you tame your inner perfectionistic over-doing-it self if you have one! I probably need a support group.

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