a girl and her boy

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Tag Archives: mindfulness

Rules to Live By

12 Rules to Live by Robert Louis Stevenson
Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

Make the best of circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow.

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Don’t let criticism worry you. You can’t please everybody.

Don’t let your neighbors set your standards; be yourself.

Do things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than actual ones.

Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about places.

Don’t hold post-mortems or spend time brooding over sorrows and mistakes.

Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

* * *

Just a little something extra for today. I hope you are having a fantastic day!

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Accountability and a few Thank You's

Blogging, it seems, is mostly about keeping oneself accountable. When I wasn’t blogging, I felt no “obligation” or “motivation” to do the things I enjoy doing and then talking about, y’know, running, knitting, crafting, reading, adventuring; in other words:  being mindful and observant and engaged.

Since dusting off the blog I’ve already found myself perking up some and looking to my big pile of UFOs (for non-crafters/knitters, that means unfinished objects) and half-read books and reflecting on my recent shenanigans out and about in the greater Boston area. So much stuff to take note of and talk about! So much stuff to appreciate.

Speaking of accountability, there are some big things I’ve done that I’m very proud of that I’d like to share:  I’ve almost been in the north shore area for a year (it’s been a full year since I started visiting, July will be my 1-year anniversary of living here) and I’ve managed to keep afloat financially. When I moved down here, it was after leaving my teaching position in Maine and leaping into the dark hoping to land on something solid. Now, I don’t have a teaching position (yet), but I have been able to earn enough to keep my bills paid and pay off my minor medical debts from last spring. Granted, I have had help from friends along the way with small floating loans, but I did it. I did it!

Last spring when I was meditating and sending out my intentions and asking for help, I asked for a teaching position, but knowing it takes a while to get established, I also asked for just enough income to meet my needs and to be of service to others. Whelp, I certainly got what I asked for. My current position is all about service to some of the neediest students out there. And I’m making just enough to make ends meet and set some aside for future months. I’m feeling my teaching position just around the corner, too. This fall. C’mon, cosmos! Let’s make it happen!

I’m almost done getting my Massachusetts certification. I’ve paid off my non-student loan/car loan debt. Stayed current (mostly) on my bills. Built a solid social and professional network. All while having a helluvalot of fun at the same time!

I want to thank the people (not naming names, but you know who you are) who have helped along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you! Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me and giving me a stern talking to when needed.

One Goal. One Purpose. One Mind.

I spend a lot of time thinking about self-improvement, eco-ethical decisions, and how to best make every day better than the one before for me and those in my life and community. This past month, starting on my birthday, I began meditating and journaling on the year past and the year to come in preparation for my new year resolutions. And this year, I have just one goal. Just one.

Be mindful.

Of my emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well being. Of my relationships. Of my impact on my community. Of my impact on the planet.

One goal. Multiple beneficiaries.

This one goal breaks down into many little steps. I am taking one small step in January that I hope will be the foundation:  to meditate and stretch every morning before I do anything else. I haven’t thought out the steps for the rest of the year. I figure that will come with the meditation and daily mantras.

Something to Think About

There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.

—Lyndon B. Johnson
(1908-1973), 36th U.S. president

On the Bright Side

It’s often hard to focus on the good in the world, especially when our own lives are full of challenges and the news fixates on the troublesome and shocking. Fortunately, there are some sources out there for finding out what’s going well in the world and to gain some strength and inspiration from it.

Some of my favorite places to go for positive news and inspiration:

Daily Good:  Each day they focus on a person or event, attach an inspirational quote, and a suggestion on how you can harness the positivity in your own life. I used these articles as daily writing prompts in the classroom.

Happy News:  This one is new to me but looks good!

Help Others:  A place to gain inspiration on how to be a positive force in the world.

The Foundation for a Better Life:  Focuses on value education, inspiration, and positive action.

Daily Mantra

image from Mangtacio on Flickr

image from Mangtacio on Flickr

One thing I have done for myself is develop a mantra. I’ve been working diligently to cultivate the positive, create an upbeat attitude during these trying times and the mantra has been part of the routine for about three weeks now. Each morning when I wake up, I say out loud to myself:  “Today is a great day, and all is right in my world.” Yes, I have many difficulties, many of which I’ve revealed here on this blog and others I have not yet shared due to the sensitive nature of them, but that makes each day no less great or full of potential. Each day has vast potential.

[Mantacio’s Flickr Stream]

Words of Inspiration and Encouragement

photo from magdalengreen on flickr

photo from magdalengreen on flickr

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

Reflecting on Wise Words

One of my favorite people online,  Amber from Berlin’s Whimsy, has the following quote on her sidebar and it struck a chord within me. Not only do I have a profound respect and admiration for Buddhism, but I really needed these words right now:

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. Buddha

I have definitely been doing a lot of this lately. I constantly live in the shadow of my experiences and in fear that I have messed up the future. I am going to make a concerted effort to work on this.

Balancing Act

I’ve been working on preparing materials and lessons for school since I got home at 5 pm today. I feel like I don’t have enough time to preview the texts, develop essential understandings and interesting lessons for every class when they need to be done, ie, NOW. I know everyone says that new teachers work long and hard hours, and I know I got a lot of the thinking done last year, but really? Is it really this much work all the time? Of course it is. I’m in a profession where I am responsible for training my students for life beyond their diploma, for life when they walk out the doors of school, or for that matter, when they walk in.

Life for a high school student is hard and my goal is to find ways to, through my teaching, help make their lives better and easier.

It’s so hard to get everything done. I have been working on preparing essential questions, lessons, reading notes, and other such things since the day began and I feel like I’m not making significant progress in light of my growing task list.

Personally, there has been little time for me and Allan in my busy school schedule. I get home, spend a little time on the couch talking with Allan, and then I sit down to work. And I sit there until it’s time for bed. He supports my career and the time it takes to do it well, but I know that the lack time spent together doing Jen and Allan things will wear us both thin over time. I have to strike a balance.

It’s late and I’m tired. I have to get up early tomorrow to make some photocopies. It’s time to put these thoughts to rest and start fresh tomorrow.

Remind me to take knitting in to work on during lunch tomorrow…