Thursday, March 25, 2010

Loving Kindness Meditation

I confess that this week I have had more chocolate than I have consumed in a LONG time...don't know what is up with that, but it's been a struggle this week, and I just gave in. It's my expression of love towards myself in every moment! ha.....

While I have eaten chocolate, I have not run as much this week.....What's up with that? Well, my shins started bothering me at the beginning of the week, and I opted to take a few days to rest and hopefully prevent any injury. I guess you could say that this would be considered my "break from real life" week since I have given in to both my need for physical rest as well as my need for chocolate.....Ah, it happens.

Overall things are going great. Since Travis isn't around I have definitely been indulging in a lot of steamed vegetables for dinner and smaller evening meals. (Tonight I had a bag of popcorn - again, a treat for myself! - Guess I have felt the need to "treat" myself a lot this week!) Note to self, that the week is ending and so must the indulgence. =) haha.

My approach to running is changing slightly as I am trying to really follow my body and just go where it tells me. I decided that if I am not running a race or something then I shouldn't stress over training. I want running to continue to be fun and therapeutic, so I am just going to follow a "guideline" and let things fall into place depending on how I feel. Taking the pressure off, actually allows for more flexibility and less judgment towards myself.

It's really all about letting go of the judgment and offering myself a dose of loving kindness throughout my week. I am learning that it is hard to offer to others what you cannot give yourself. If you are critical of yourself, you are more likely to be critical of others as well. If you offer yourself kindness, than hopefully the kindness will also flow through to those around you.

As part of my loving kindness meditation I have been using this mantra this week:
"May I be happy just as I am...May I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm...May I be healthy, free from physical suffering...May I live in this world with ease, free from inner and outer conflict." ~ Namaste

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Less Perfectionism

I think I mentioned that I am doing a "Less Perfectionism" workshop at Massey. We meet every Tuesday and we are discussing ways to overcome some of the negative effects of striving to be perfect. While obviously there are some great benefits to striving to do well and setting goals for yourself, some people (such as myself) struggle with balance in this and can take it to the extreme.

We are using a lot of mindfulness/meditation techniques which are fabulous and I have already begun to see positive outcome in my experience. For example, today I took my science quiz online even though I still have until Monday to complete it. My natural instinct would be to study incessantly until Sunday and then take the quiz at the last minute. Instead, knowing that I had already devoted a large amount of time to studying these topics, I decided to just give it a go this morning so I could put it out of my mind and move on to more important things...The result - I got 19 out of 20 questions right! My conclusion - I would have spent another four days of cramming study in with the end result being exactly the same. I could not have done better, and therefore it would have been a huge waste of time.......(the same strategy applied to my Human Development quiz which I also took four days early and got 8.5% - 33 out of 40.) Point proven that this workshop is definitely helping me!!

While I note the positive effect of the workshop, I also acknowledge my continued need for improvement. I obsessed over my essay for almost five hours today before finally deciding that it should be good enough to turn in! ha.....(Okay, so I definitely need work on this area.) It was just hard because I thought I was done with the paper and then the instructor seemed to change his mind a little on what he really wanted our paper to reflect so I sort of had to re-organize the whole thing and it threw me way off....

Anyway, these are just some reflections that I have had today on how this workshop is helping me strengthen my weaknesses. (And hopefully find balance and contentment as I study.) This week I am starting a practice on "Loving Kindness Meditation". I'll let you know how it goes.

My mantra for today is:
"I allow myself to celebrate the positive changes in my life and to embrace the joy of the present moment. " ~ Namaste

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Practicing with my camera I thought I would post a few updated pictures...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


It is so hard to believe that my third week of uni has come to a close. Time is definitely flying by! I am very happy to say that I am finding balance and a certain calmness as I have finally seemed to get a grip on managing my study.

This week I started a workshop on perfectionism which is fabulous. I definitely need the direction and encouragement to manage my tendency to strive for perfection. Because of my past and the way I was raised, it is something that I have really struggled with and it can often become quite an obsession. In order to find balance in my study I joined this workshop which meets each week, and so far I can already tell that it has truly helped to re-direct my focus to more appropriate responses and a much more peaceful approach.

Of course, part of what made this week so much more relaxing is the fact that I got two of my assignments finished and the third one I have gotten a good start on. (I think all the research I did in the first two weeks is partly why I was so busy.) It is quite refreshing to know that there aren't any late nights ahead of me finishing up these assignments as they are already finished way in advance.

My first assignment was on the therapeutic nursing approach and all the various aspects of that - I found this essay to be incredibly interesting and I was definitely diggin' it! =) New Zealand nursing comes from a very holistic view and I am definitely all about that. I can see how I am going to really love these next three years of study......My second assignment was on the nursing concept of advocacy - also another great essay that I was totally getting into. (Again with the therapeutic approach) I cannot wait to have an opportunity to apply these skills to my own nursing relationships.....Just awesome!

I am really learning so much about myself through my study. (Travis thinks my "self-reflection" is totally hilarious, but in all seriousness I have gained a lot through it.) I started a nursing journal in my first week and it's pretty cool to look back on. I figure after year three I will look back and really see how far I have come in my own personal growth....

One of the techniques from my perfectionism workshop was to practice mindfulness each day this week. While I already do this with my yoga practice, I am adding a new dimension of mindfulness and reflection each day as well. This has definitely helped me to stay focused and to keep a calm mind throughout the day. I have been listening to peaceful music on my ipod as I walk to class in the mornings and stuff and it's so refreshing (although I do chuckle to myself every once in a while when it feels as if my life is "orchestrated" or like I am living with a soundtrack in the background of my life! ha....This thought always makes me laugh.) Anyway, I am trying really hard to add mindfulness to my everyday routine so expect to hear some reflections from this from time to time.....

My running and exercising has really been an awesome "brain break" from studying. I am on week 6 of my 10K training and I have been getting in some really good distance runs. I haven't lifted weights as much, but I guess I just haven't been as motivated to do so - I think I just enjoy running and yoga so much more....I am down to 135 now and that's been holding steady for about a week now. I definitely feel great, although I will confess that uni has increased my caffeine intake. AND....confessions - I have had more lollipops in the past two weeks than probably the past 15 years of my life combined! haha....(I suppose that's not saying too much since I'm not really a candy person, but I have had about four a week, and that's NOT a good habit!) The problem being that having a coffee or a lolli just makes a three hour lecture more endurable......Any suggestions for better choices?

Travis leaves on Monday, which is also hard to believe. I know that the next five months will really go by so fast, but it's still hard to believe he will soon be back in Alaska. He is excited for the fire season to start, and I'm excited for him. It will be kind of nice to have my own space while I study too, so I'm sure there will be some perks to that. We will see how it goes......

Each week I have been creating a mantra for myself, and this was what I wanted to reflect on this week -
"Today, I allow myself to embrace all the qualities that define who I am in this present moment." ~Namaste