My Apple watch tells me to breathe so I press “dismiss” OR: How do I make time to breathe, much less meditate?

So there. I disregard healthy reminders to breathe. I do self-care, but it seems more haphazard than it had been earlier in the year. The “Breathe” app magically appears with a “ping!”, gently nudging me that I need to take time out of my busy life to remember me, to breathe, to take a time out. One minute. That’s all Apple asks of me – a mere and measly minute. So, of course,  I promptly press dismiss. I do occasionally press “start” when I have nothing else I should be doing. I must take this time out to literally remember to breathe.  How did I meditate for 15-20 minutes once upon a time and now I can’t be bothered to breathe?! Where are my priorities?

Let’s get back to basics. My new years resolution will be to breathe intentionally as much as possible throughout the day. I would like to work up to getting back to meditation, but seriously…how can I hope to meditate when I can’t even take a minute to breathe with purpose and exhale everything toxic and inhale new life.  Let’s take one thing at a time. I’m going to start with breathing with intention at least 3-5 times a day.  Why don’t we begin there and see what happens?

Meditation is a whole other beast and my mind needs to learn to exhale the toxic crap with lists of shit to do and reminders about dry cleaning pick ups and bills to pay. Yeah, I need to exhale that crap before I can  hope to meditate.

Please leave a comment if you have any good tools or tricks to remember how to take a time out, even for a minute!

 

 

FOR MY LOYAL READERS: My series on what my marriage taught me will commence soon! I promise you that and look forward to sharing my experience.

 

 

 

 

 

img_0516

I continue to wear these jeans since my very first post about them. I think they are magical. They give me courage. They also make me cold as you can see the holes!  Perhaps I will shelf them for a warmer season or even a warmer Colorado day! They are the jeans I wear when I self-doubt my ability to get through these next three measly months. They are the jeans I choose when I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. Miraculously, I am usually 99% comfortable as is, but sometimes I need to put something on that makes me feel I can do anything. These jeans are that “something”. Pending snow, I think I will wear them on my next day off. I could use an extra special something this week.

 

Have an amazing week and let this last week of 2016 be your inspiration for an impeccably awesome 2017. Nothing is perfect, but I strive to move forward! How about you?

What do you wear or bring with you to get a handle on comfort?

 

Happy holidays, part deux

So I was asked by someone, with whom I shared my last  post topic : “so what does offend you?”…..

Hmmm. I think this is more dicey. It’s easy to see I am all easy-going with this holiday greeting crap. I am  easy going there and happy to be so. I do get offended, but I think it needs to be more personal. So, lets ponder. If someone says “Merry Christmas” and they don’t know me, I am not offended as no  harm was meant by it. There is no dig, no ignorant slam against a group of people, no attempt to make a joke at someone’s expense. It is simply a greeting of kindness and sharing joy.

There is a time to be thick-skinned and a time to be offended and take action. There is a time to let things go. But when something pisses me off about some joke told by some ignorant jackass (male or female) aimed at a group of   people, it’s hard  for me to shut up. I know  of Asian and Jewish comediennes who make fun of their own and it is funny up to the point of self-deprecation. The problem is the pushing  of the envelope. I am not offended by women talking about sex, graphically, in comic detail. I find it more offensive when men do it. Why is that? So, just to be clear I am not talking bout racist comments and slurs passed off as jokes. I am talking about WHAT OFFENDS ALYSSA?  A proper list should be made! Here we go:

  1. ignorant Jewish and other ethnic jokes
  2. shitty parents
  3. people who cheat and/or lie ( stealing the right to truth from their loved ones, so yes, offensive)
  4. male comedians telling graphic sex jokes (women don’t bother me and I recognize the irony of this double standard)

Okay this is a short list. I am stumped. Things irritate me much more than truly offend me, hence a short list.

One person that has NEVER offended me is John Lennon. I heard a Beatles song during the writing of this post. I am compelled to include a photo I took in Central Park 4-5 years ago.

 

img_0011

 

The “holidays”

I am Jewish, but I’m not religious. Since it’s hard to be a religious Jew with eight tattoos. The part during the “holidays” that makes me cringe is when people assume I resent being greeted with a “merry Christmas” because I am Jewish. How could I possibly resent a pleasant holiday greeting from a total stranger? How could I hate your generosity in thinking of saying “merry Christmas” to me? How could I possibly be offended by goodwill?  Tis the season!

But then there are the people who may be aware that I may not be Christian or don’t care or know and they usually end up saying “happy holidays”; the holidays, being the ones that happen generally at the end of the year and nothing really specific. Okay, I’ll gladly take their friendly holiday  wishes too! They are trying to not “offend” non Christians and I think that’s pretty cool, but it still doesn’t make a big difference; you thought of me and reached out to wish me a great holiday season. Thank you.  I mean that sincerely.

Then there are those few people who know me. They wish me a “happy Chanukah”.  They know me. And that’s pretty cool.

 

Whatever you celebrate, have an amazing end of year! I plan to blog a lot in these last few weeks. I am feeling inspired.  I almost wished you all a happy Chanukah, but I lost my nerve during spell check!

 

Please please please share your thoughts on the holiday spirit and how you express it with others, especially strangers!

 

 

THINK: It’s the wave of the future (we can only hope)!

I have inherited this bit of wisdom from someone who shared this  at an AA meeting. Yes, I thought at one time that I was an alcoholic; I was dreadfully wrong and that’s a completely different post and probably a book. Stay tuned on that!

When we think we are being honest, we can think of brutal honesty: “Your Christmas sweater is kinda hideous”. We think of rigorous honesty: “I think we should return this lost wallet to lost and found”.  Then we have the honesty that comes with trust.  All in all, these are more or less levels of trust that grow with time.  However, the everyday honesty that flies out of our mouth in the name of integrity could use a little help. I know when I heard this acronym at the meeting, I would  never forget it. I have been honest to a fault. And I don’t mean that false modesty honesty…”Oh, I just tell people all my personal thoughts” type of thing that comes with regret.  I share with rigorous honesty here as I do try to keep things anonymous.
This is the deal; THINK before you talk. THINK before you post on Facebook or Tweet on Twitter. Nike says “Just do it” and I think they are on to something!

T: Is it Thoughtful? Have you formed an insightful idea on why this needs to be said?

H: Is it Honest (Is it really?) or something else with other motives?

I:Is it Important? Does it need to be said?

N: Is it Necessary? Will your statement help someone in a positive way?

K: Is it Kind? Do you really need to make someone feel less than with your intended statement?

 

This checklist was invaluable for a former “little miss can’t be wrong” like my self. It is humbling. It creates an idea of pure humility and intention. We think twice and say it once. We think carefully and it becomes second nature.  This worked for me. I don’t take myself as seriously when I know I am not trying to teach people lessons with lectures that are neither Necessary or Kind. I don’t think that my clothes are better than someone else’s choices when I  am being Thoughtful and Kind. It works if you work it: That’s just one more thing I learned in my time at AA.

Just another hopeful cynic?

What happens when you are an optimist who sees the worst and the best in people? Do you get jaded? Do you get frustrated and resentful? Do you just figure their bad day is not connected to you? They are having a bad day and that’s okay because things are generally all good? Are you past your nonjudgmental phase,  resigned to the fact that everyone must have sufficient baggage to sink a battleship?

I think at one time or another I have felt  all of these things more or less simultaneously. Is this a  study in contradictions or just an understanding of simple human nature? Are we  not some balance of both tendencies, depending the day, hour, or minute? Are we convinced the next great thing/relationship/job is out there for the taking? Or are resigned to the fact there is no great thing  or it will turn to shit or sabotage anyway and why bother?  I think this is where we make up our mind and when we flip the coin and predict, it determines our overall general inclination. And I think that is what makes me somewhat optimistic.   I know when I see the next great thing, I  go out and grab it. Because its amazing. Because it’s there.  A Scot once said to me “what’s meant for you won’t go by you” (I am paraphrasing this sentiment, this   Scottish saying). I believe it’s there because I have seen it and it has been tangible and the sensation of  its possession is palpable; I am cynical  with the whole carpe diem  thing, however: I am pretty convinced I may not see anything like it again.  Nothing this good happens twice.

Yep, I am just another hopeful cynic….

Dear America:a love letter

Dear America,

I have no words. I feel we have let you down. You have given my family a new home, a new country. On my mom’s side, my grandmother was the first one born on your soil. Your land offered a new opportunity to our family.

I love you America. Pure and simple. You have given me never-ending opportunities  and challenges. You have provided me with hope and inspiration.  It was always up to me to decide how I’d use your gifts. Thats’s your gift of freedom.  Not all of us want to trash your beautiful land. We don’t all want to disgrace the dreams you offered us on  Ellis Island. I want to do you proud.  I want to repay you and give you hope in our future as a nation. I think the last 48 hours have taught us all you need more of our  help to advance this great nation. To  renew some  hope and faith. You can count on us to  refurbish your great land.

To be grateful for  the opportunities you’ve offered me, America, I want to show my  gratitude in action. It’s all good to SAY we are grateful. Words.are.cheap.

  1. I am grateful for my education, all of it: so I paid off my student loans. I did not default on your generosity.
  2. I am proud of  my freedom of religion: so I stay true to Judaism. I will NEVER stray.EVER.
  3. I am grateful I succeeded and found my professional niche and love what I do: so I go to work and I practice the work ethic my parents instilled in me.
  4. I am grateful for my good wages: so I pay my taxes.
  5. i am grateful I have the choice of automobiles, new and leased: so I bring it in routinely for maintenance and oil changes; I  keep it nice and clean.
  6. I am grateful for health insurance: so I work hard to improve my health, mental and physical.
  7. I am grateful for good parents: so I chose to mentor and showed my path, my zeal for education, work ethic,  and opportunity to another.

The list goes on, America. I hope you remain patient with us. It may take 4 years. Or 8.

 

Love,
me, your faithful follower