Saturday, December 17, 2016

Love People Above Thoughts

I don't know about you - but there seems to be a lot of hurt and pain in the world. For me it became really evident after the US Elections. I felt hurt, I know people who voted for Trump were also hurting and put their hope in a man who said he saw that hurt and wanted to help.

But right now it seems like Trump just conned us all. He is looking out for himself and his interests and we just gave him the power to do that to a higher degree.

Before Christmas I tried to relate my thought process in a blog post titled "Open and Safe Town" but when I sat down today to start writing my follow up explanation posts about these places and how both can be unhealthy places to live I realized this metaphor was two sides of the same coin and I was basically making Open and Safe code words for Democrat and Republican but putting a Christian spin on it. As I finished one part of the post I thought, "I am being mean. I am trying to justify my way of thinking and bash on evangelical Christians and Republicans and validate that how I think is better." So I ended up deleting the post and the consecutive posts I had in draft form because I was being a hypocrite robed in self-affirming armor and frankly no one needs to hear me crowing at how right I am. Cause I'm not and I can admit that (sometimes it takes some reminding).

I think the reason I am so frustrated to see so little being done and so many rights being taken away from people all around me is because I was not raised to see problems this way.

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A few years back in my first year interning with Cru we shared with everyone in the YearOne team our "Life Egg" aka our Life Story. One of the sections of the story we were asked to write out "Family Rules". I had never even thought about what unspoken rules my family might have. There were never mottoes or sayings that we had in our family that implied any rule or norm in our family. After some thinking I realized one very important norm in my family that while never stated openly it was implied and still is whenever we have conversations that might not have everyone agreeing on one point of view.

That rule is: No matter what opinions are expressed on an issue (political, religious, cultural, etc.) we validate not only that person's opinion, but we love that person and what they believe. That every person at the table talking is important and valued above whatever difference of opinion might arise. We can have a heated discussion and share our sides, but we know when we get up from the table to go on in life, we love each other above all else.

Now is this to say the members of my immediate family always take differing opinions on every topic? Not alwas, there were probably conversations where we were in agreement on, but actually there are a lot of things that our family slightly differs on person to person. I grew up knowing that my parents probably didn't vote for the same presidential candidate for almost every election - but my parents would not tell us who they voted for because they explained how it was a personal choice. I also think they did that because they didn't want us to blindly side with a parent's choice for president and not take time ourselves to make an informed decision. Over time we might have figured out if Dad voted for Candidate Y and Mom voted for Candidate Q but at that point we knew it wouldn't change our own views. It showed us that for my parents, they could have different views but they loved each other more than a presidential choice.

In college I remember being so frustrated because a sibling wasn't "on the same page" as I was on an issue and talking with my parents about it and my parents just shrugging and saying "well, that's okay that they think that way". I was so angry, I wanted my parents to be appalled because I thought this issue was so clear, it is about a basic human right and how dare that sibling not see it as such! But my parents, being wise people, showed me that it was just an issue and that each opinion expressed was valid but no more important than the relationship between us. And it was true, in time both our views on that topic have changed and I don't view them through the lens of what they believe, their belief is but one part of the whole person whom I love deeply.

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In an ideal world it would be great if everyone agreed on every issue. As humans I think we crave this, we have a desire to have everyone agree with what we think and believe. Because in some way that would validate our thoughts and beliefs as "right". But when in history has that happened? Sure it would be nice, but it would also make us all robotic like because we would only ever be agreeing with each other and approaching life all the exact same. Creativity might die because we wouldn't think outside of the box because we all would be okay being in the same box together.

I think now more than ever we have to realize that we are forever going to be diverse - God created us uniquely which means we will have unique thoughts and opinions and beliefs. There will be people who prefer turkey sandwiches over ham and vise versa. Is one better or worse? No! And we must expand this embracing of diversity to larger issues.

Sometimes we have to put aside our personal values/beliefs to allow for something to come along that could help others that may think differently. Trump's choices will likely not affect me as a white, heterosexual, middle class woman. I do not agree with much of anything that man believes but his choices won't impact my daily life too much. But Trump's goals/agenda are forcing diverse people to think and act in very limited ways. To throw people out who think differently or look different from me and that is not okay. Our political system right now is focused more on getting people to think "our way" than it is in figuring out how to better all peoples and allow them to think for themselves.

I don't know how we go about helping each other value the people above the opinions like my parents did - but if we don't, we are going to be hated by many because we have taken love out of the picture and the value of humans above thoughts. I found myself doing that with the posts I was going to create and realized that while my thoughts might be helpful to some, people around me are more important and I have to keep loving them no matter if they agree with me or not. Because my thoughts are not as important as the people around me and how they can enrich my life and even my thoughts.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Lament for November 9th 2016

I woke up hoping it had been a dream.
That I didn't see a man filled with hate and scorn close to winning the Presidential Election.
Hope blossomed as I imagined seeing the news that the first female President was about to be in 2017.

I went numb.
I saw that the man no one thought a year ago would make it a few months had crossed the finish line first.
I cried last night, knowing the pain that was to come.

I knew it would come fast, but I didn't think it would come in less than 12 hours.
My sister calls me in tears saying, "How could this be?"
My gut fear had been that the man would win. That progress would be altered, that it would feel like nothing had changed since 2007.
Last night I prayed, "Lord, let love win. I don't know what I will do if hate wins."
But hate won. You may not see it but it is being felt left and right.

I text my best friend to ask how she is doing. She is not only black but a woman so in this new world she has 2 strikes against her. She tells me she cried this morning. That she feels like this is a slap in the face. I sob as I read because this beautiful woman should never have to feel this way. She is wise and she does everything with eloquence and grace and joy. Yet her skin will make her vulnerable to hate. I want to hug her and protect her from the hateful world - but I feel helpless because of miles apart and because a hateful man won last night.

I got to class with deep grief. I know I am not only in a state but in a school that probably doesn't think like I do. That doesn't feel this mantle of grief like I do. People make comments before class but I can't tell who they voted for. Until a woman I have known since Elementary school who is sweet and quiet and smart informs us after class that she had a water bottle thrown at her in the parking lot and told to go back to Mexico. She tears up as she states, "My family has been in this country for 4 generations." The other women looked shock. I walk right up to this beautiful strong woman and tell the others, "This is why I voted against Trump."

I did not just vote for the woman. I voted against that man who has never given hope but only pretty empty promises. No one knows his plans but he keeps saying they are great so why not trust that?

I walk with this woman I have known for years and hear her say in the hallway how she has to explain to her daughter why this man is bad. She tells me how she has to take her daughter out of private school because she is the only person of color there and she fears bullying. "But she's home now." That is the only comfort on November 9th.

As I walk away I turn around because our conversation cannot end on that note. She must know that someone is not only listening but is feeling with her. "I love you, no matter what others say. You are worthy as you are and you are enough. Don't ever think otherwise. I support you." I hope it is enough but I know she will feel pain again.

My soul feels too heavy for my skin to hold in. I want to wrap every person who feels a hint of hatred to my bosom and tell them, "Don't listen. Don't believe those mean words. I love you enough. You are worthy as you are right now. No one can take away your worth in my eyes."

I have to be strong because I go to work. I love work and I know those I work with probably did not vote as I did but I hope they can comfort me or at least give me space to be angry. And they do.

A coworker comes in as the day wraps up and discusses how he didn't know what the man's campaign meant for minorities. He didn't think that way. I know he is learning and listening but I grieve because this conversation should not be happening after an election. After hate has won. It should be happening before we vote. It is not the job of minorities to explain to everyone why wrong is wrong. It is our place for people who have any shred of power to ask, "Why could this be bad? What do others think? This might not affect me, but will it affect others?"

I come home and I am done. There is no comfort. Tomorrow is going to come and I will have to grieve again and fight again. But now I have a purpose. I do not just need to learn but I need to speak. Because not everyone will see or experience what those on the fringes of life experience. I can use my voice to shed light on someone crying out in pain and say, "This is not right."

When the man becomes President I can make sure those around me know that I disagree with his hateful statements and why they are hateful statements. I will not be silent and watch as my friends and family are told they are unworthy or unloved or not enough. I do not care what God you believe in, what sex you are attracted to, what nation you are from, what the color of your skin is; you are on this Earth. Because you are on this Earth you a priceless gem. No one like you has been on this Earth and no one like you will follow. And you deserve basic human respect, love, and celebration.

I walk on hoping that a woman can be elected on day as President and see as superior to this hateful man. I have hope even in the midst of great darkness.

But today I must lament, for my soul is too heavy and those I love are suffering too much because they have suffer at all. Today I cry and today I grieve for November 9th 2016.

Monday, July 11, 2016

When Life Gets in the Way of Goals

It's crazy that two months have passed and I have not reflected via blog. Thought on the other hand, I have found my Year of Trying has felt like it's been put on the back-burner in that time too.

May started well with meditation a few days - then England happened and that just overwhelmed me. (Seems like meditation would have been the best way to combat this...)

England was amazing - it was a whirlwind - but I loved every minute of it. It was a dream come true, and I had the chance to see the Queen!

June was much slower. June's goal was hand lettering quotes each day. The first half of the month was great - I have collected quotes over the years so I had a lot of content and my hours of downloading free fonts to be able to hand letter paid off too! Then Orlando happened and that just blew me away. This city that I lived in and loved for 2 years was hit with a devastating tragedy. My final quote I lettered was from the Tony's "Love, is love, is love, is love" - Lin-Manuel Miranda

Even though June was slow, it was such a drastic change from March-May I seized the idea of being lazy - but also hating how slow everything was! (My brain y'all, it's special)

July was suppose to be reading a spiritual book (and multiple if I completed this before the end of July) but then I suddenly panicked about grad school. I ordered GRE prep books, did exercises on the Khan Academy app, and decided instead of stressing and beating myself up for feeling conflicted I decided to move July's task to November (which had no task assigned yet) and decided July's goal for trying was trying to learn/study for the GRE. Sure, it might be cheating, but it is improving my mind (one of the ultimate goals this year) so I'm okay bending my own rules.

The rest of the year might be a hot mess - with starting to apply for grad schools, taking the GRE, juggling two courses and job - but that is part of the joy of this year. To do new things in the midst of crazy (cause I am coming to terms that crazy will never disappear in life) and see how that brings up emotions, struggle, etc.

So - life keeps going on and I keep trying

Monday, May 9, 2016

Took Long Enough!

I have this habit of being really diligent about a project and then it gets put on the back burner (cough blogging cough).

Though it wasn't because of complete laziness, lots has happened since early March.

For example, I got a part time job which helped my stress levels considerably. It is a great fit for me, love my boss, and it gives me a little activity every day besides the class I take.

So March was prayer, and overall I found myself praying as I went to sleep, so that was a success. I was aware and talking to God on things I don't necessarily have the awareness to do day in and day out. Prayer is a struggle for me when there aren't highs and lows to go to the Lord about. Those little things, those little moments, those troubles that I know I can handle but stress me out, I forget that I can talk to God about those and not just fix them or move through them. I didn't get to study as many different types of prayers as I had planned, but there was a lot of transition with work, school, social balance so I give myself grace and March was a success!

April was the 7 minute workout which was a beast. The expectation was to do it 3 times a week (the recommendation) and I botched it. I did try again and again to be consistent. I found when I did it (and it is really deceptively hard and exhausting) my brain is not wired to like pushing myself physically like that and that was a real barrier for me. Also being sore for days is not a great motivation to want to continue to push my body.

I found myself saying "For England, for England" and that helped push me while I was in the midst of the workout. But man, there is a lot of mental games for me when it comes to actually motivating myself to get up and workout. April was a time when I was raising support to be able to go on a mission trip to England (hence the mantra) which brought out a lot of insecurities and fears from interning with Cru and I had to really just lay it out to God and trust that it would come in on God's timeline and not mine. And it did!

April was an unexpected hurdle because it was the first month where I did not have a habit to try every day, it was only 3 days a week. If you read some of my first posts this year I knew if I did not have an every day expectation I could push things back and end up never (or rarely) doing the task. It's interesting to learn this and be affirmed of this in myself. Not to say I will never do the 7 minute work out, but I need to create maybe more boundaries if I want to continue this habit and be consistent.

Now May is meditation. I have read so many articles on how 10 minutes of meditation can affect a lot of brain activity and specifically addictions that I knew I wanted to try it. I know I have a food addiction and I am needing to address the other hidden depths that brought me to that addiction rather than just focusing on food. And it is a great habit to try since I will be in England and I only need myself (and handy little app) to do this.

I also wanted to do meditation because it helps me become aware of myself and I hope by extension become aware of God being present in my lift too. Being attuned to my needs will hopefully give me clarity to turn it over to God and practice just being in the presence of God.

I will be honest, I have only done it twice (do the math, it's May 9th) but each time I have been really aware of myself throughout the day, I even found myself thinking through food options and what my body needs and what would benefit. That is not a normal thought pattern for me, I just breeze through and pick the most delicious item and then find ways to get excess food. So going to Target and only getting a packet of peanut butter M&Ms while in line was a HUGE success! I know this doesn't mean I am cured and everything is smooth sailing for my food addiction, but this meditation habit might become a norm the rest of the year. We shall see!

I am so nervous and excited to go to England, it is my first time abroad which brings a lot of anxieties for me because I like knowing what to expect and no one can prepare me enough because I have to experience it myself to really know what to expect. But I get to see my brother whom I have not seen in 8 months and see a country I have been dying to see since I read Harry Potter and dreamed of going to Hogwarts.

Now that school is finishing up (sniff) I hope to be more reflective in this space, but whether or not I am typing out my thoughts I know this year of trying is providing me with lots of things to process and think through and that is exactly what my hope had been.

Cheers


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goodbye Yoga, Hello Prayer

Well yesterday I did my final day of yoga.

Honestly - I didn't do it much this weekend. I was by myself most the weekend and I chose to be lazy.

But I did it - I tried something for a whole month!

I love this year simply because while I will not try to bully myself about not doing yoga consistently - I am aware it is something I can do. Like right now my hip is killing me - and my first thought is - I might want to do some yoga tomorrow if it still hurts. Wow! I wasn't thinking that 2 months ago when my knee or hip or back hurt. But since I have tried yoga I know that  while my downward dog is not pristine, I can do it!

Something that I have also found interesting is that through yoga I made myself wear yoga pants and a bra only. I am not a skinny athletic girl. But I knew I was doing this at home and my self esteem is pretty much just ignored by yours truly. Each morning putting on that outfit and even keeping it on was really invigorating. Through yoga I became more aware of my body and how it can move and by not covering up my imperfections I also embraced where my body is right now. My body is still a fascinating thing like everyone else's is! I can't ignore my body until it becomes the ideal size - because then I miss years of appreciating how God has created each bone and organ and how everything mysteriously works together!

Now I move onto prayer for March. I wasn't even really aware that this is the season of Lent when I planned it. I just knew that this is an area I want to engage more with God in.

My history of prayers is either trying to have a deep emotional response - like chills up my spine because I gain insight into something. Or my prayers are just gut retching honesty to God. There is a third - which is starting to pray then getting distracted 30 seconds into the prayer.

My expectations for prayer are only that I engage with God for 5-10 minutes before I got to bed. Some days I might do the above (let's face it, those are my go to styles!) Sometimes that might be literally sitting in bed making sure I talk to God about my day. Some days I hope to go through a new prayer practice or reflect a prayer via Pslam or some other writing.

We shall see how this goes! I'm off to pray!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This Month of Trying

Well, I am on my last week(ish) of yoga.

Some days I succeeded in pulling out the yoga mat and did 10+ minutes of yoga. Some days I didn't. And through it all I have been more aware of my choices and of myself.

This is going to be a tough year. I can see that now. My natural inclination is to not work out. (What a shock since I am out of shape!) It is hard to form a new habit...there's a reason it takes 30 days.

I didn't honestly think 30 days (or for Feb, 29 days) would be that hard to do something new. But I guess that is why it does indeed take so long for something to stick.

My hope is to continue yoga on a semi-regular basis. But I am also allowing myself to do a month of trying and not touch that habit again for a while. My idea of doing this whole year of trying is to create new self care habits. Right now my go to is food and that has not served to help me.

Am I suddenly craving yoga? No, but I do find myself wanting to do it sometimes. Like this morning, I work up with my muscles in my back aching. I don't know if that is because I did a twist and align yoga session yesterday or if sitting in a car for 2 1/2 hours talking with a friend and twisting  to look at her was the cause. But my immediate reaction was "I should do some yoga to help this pain!" rather than my usual "this sucks, let's each Chick fi la!"

Progress.

I like it! Now the yoga this morning didn't completely heal the backache, but when I finished I felt a little better and felt like I could cope with this unexpected turn of events. I hope these last few days I can keep up the yoga, but if I skip a day I will give myself grace rather than shame.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Life Sucks - and that's okay?

My dad sent to me what I thought was a completely random New York Times article titled "Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me"

What the heck dad? Are you trying to subtly tell me you are dying? I ignored the article for a little while but today I finally sat down and read it.

Let me explain to you that my dad has the sixth sense to send personal emails, articles, etc. at about the time I need them. Heck, I don't even realize how much I need them until I read whatever he has sent me.

I read the article which is about a woman learning she has cancer. She has been studying the American church and the Prosperity Gospel - the idea that if you believe in good things you shall receive good things. She calls out the #blessed (which I have always found incredibly silly because you are self promoting yourself then trying to end it on a humble note) because there is an underlying assumption that we deserve to be blessed.

When I read it I thought "Oh, this is just dad helping me see how culture can influence and be influenced by Christianity." Me being open minded and progressive I found this intriguing and moved on to thinking about the coding I need to complete for a lab that is due Monday.

Not five minutes later I am still thinking on this subject. How on Instagram we strive to take the perfect shot. I will give up on a posting a selfie if I can't think of a good shot. No one is ever going to take a really ugly picture and post "This is how I feel. Today just sucks. #grumpy" No! Even "no make up" shots have beautiful natural light that makes one's skin positively glowing. We strive to put forth a happy, joy filled life to the world.

So back to me. This season in life sucks. I am living with my parents (shout out - they have been supportive and loved on me so much I can't believe how much they have proven my expectations to be wrong), am basically broke, and have no idea of what I want to do next.

This is the first season where I have really been adrift. No goal on the horizon and nothing to be passionate about. Can I tell you how I love to be passionate about something? I love that feeling and right now I can't seem to muster up any really joyful emotions.

How easy it is for me to start trying to cheer myself up. "It's okay Elise, you have so much to be thankful for! God knows what the plan is!" I have had many wonderful people encourage me in this season and I am grateful for it.

But maybe I just need to be present and realize that this stress-filled, anxiety driven season just sucks. If I don't acknowledge it I am going to continue to sweep it under the rug and pretend that I see the purpose in this hard season of life.

I am noticing this a lot with yoga. After I got sick two weekends ago I have done yoga maybe 3 times. I push it aside because I don't want to do it and then get angry when I go to bed. Great Elise, another failure - can't even get your "Year of Trying" off to a promising start. So what's the point?

My natural inclination right after saying all that is to offer a positive spin on life. But in reading this article I am reminded of something Dr. Henry Cloud calls the good-bad split. It is the realization that there is both good and bad and as adults we have to learn to hold those two beliefs in tension. Our inclination is to see a situation, event, or person even as all good or all bad. And in maturing one must be able to understand that life isn't all good or all bad.

I think up to this point I have tried to see this season as all good and force myself to see it in that lens only. My dad in his simple way was showing me "Elise, it's okay that this season has bad in it too. God is not all giving or all punishing,"

So, I decided I needed to write a post about the bad. Both in the month of trying and in this season I find myself. Because if I keep up this "look how everything is turning out great" theme in my posts I am not being honest with myself.

Today I did yoga, today I also do not want to code but I'm going to. There is good and bad today and that is okay.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Unexpected Circumstances

Every well thought out plan can be hindered.

Friday I hit a wall - it was 11 o'clock at night and I did not want to do yoga, I was ready to go to bed. But I rallied and did 10 minutes of a guided meditation in the yoga app, felt proud I had done my goal even though I was cranky and didn't want to do yoga so late at night.

A few hours later, I get very sick. I won't go into details but let's just say that there was no way I was going to do yoga Saturday or Sunday because my body was incredibly weak and to force myself to do yoga would not have been wise.

While I was mad that I couldn't do my goal for those days - as I reflect I realize this was a good thing. Because I learned some things:

1. I was mad because I wanted to do yoga! That is amazing that I wanted to complete my goal even while incredibly sick.

2. These months of trying are going to have bumps in the road - if everything went perfectly I would get an ego complex. Or if everything went perfectly and I decided not to do a day of trying I would berate myself for not being perfect - and that a load of BS.

3. Some things are out of my hands and all I can do is adjust and go forward.

4. But trying is a success - and sometimes not forcing myself to try when my body or mind is not in a great place is a success because I am understanding my body's needs.

Sure, I am going to have to push myself like I did Friday night. Trying new things is hard. I am learning from this past weekend though that I can't push myself too hard because that can cause more harm than good. So I call this weekend a success, when unexpected circumstances came upon me I had to decide what would help me the most, and rest was the best answer.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Attempting to be Flexible

So it's day 4 of February which means I am in the month of trying yoga.

My only expectations were that I do 10 minutes minimum of yoga before I go to sleep. I know myself and if I say "Oh Elise, do 30 minutes of yoga 3-4 days a week" do you know when I would do it? Never. I would have woken up February 1st and thought "Oh, I will do yoga tomorrow, I don't really want to do it today." And every day after that I would have said the same thing then frustrated at myself for not doing it.

Small steps when looked back will show my progress. Whereas imagining big steps forward would lead to a great destination, I likely would just stop and give up. I keep trying to remind myself of this.

I am really impressed with myself, cause honestly February 1st came along and I got my period. Forgive me blog gods but I am being candid for a good reason. I was given a great excuse to not even start yoga, because honestly who loves starting a new physical activity while on their period? No one. I could do a poll of every woman and they would have said "Elise, you deserve a little grace, just start yoga when you are finished with your period cause no one deserves punishment like that. And really what is 2-3 days of skipping with 25 days of success?"

But no, I knew that if I did not start yoga February 1st I would likely never start yoga in February and would have tried to move around my pretty schedule to try some other activity this month. Which then means rewriting my lovely schedule I painstakingly wrote out in pretty font.

February 1st came and I pulled out my iPad with my yoga app and selected the beginner's relaxation 10 minute class. (Read: not too many transitions and lots of sitting and breathing - but it counts!) And I completed it, period be damned!

And I have been doing it for four days! I have a history of giving up on exercise regimens after one week so we shall see how my mental warfare is after day 7, but today I only see victory!

Now, is my downward dog perfect? Far from it, I guarantee that the lady in the video looks nothing like me, but who gives a care? I am doing yoga during the day at my house, I doubt a die hard yogi is going to walk by the back porch and look in and say "Elise! You are doing it all wrong! You are a disgrace to yogis everywhere!!! Please stop for the sake of humanity!!"  But I doubt a yogi would ever say that to anyone ever. So I attempt each pose, sometimes having to modify or do a different pose cause my body is not in top shape (which I love and embrace) nor is it flexible (yet!).

Right now I do not detest yoga, though I don't doubt I will have days this month where I curse yoga because I am doing it at 10 pm to fulfill the whole "doing yoga before going to bed" rule I put in place.

But right now, I am stumbling through yoga and I am trying something new. YEA!!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trying New Things

I hate resolutions. Even as a kid I never liked making goals. Probably because I thought resolutions were like people wishing on a star or rubbing a magic lamp - we could wish for big things but by December 31st we realize our wish didn't come true.

I probably became bitter about resolutions because many years I hoped to lose weight. Even when I was younger and not necessarily extremely overweight I wished upon that star. Over the years pounds have decided to love on my body and I then felt I had to try and force myself to feel the need to change my health each year so I became bitter because I felt hopeless in a cycle of dreaming but feeling trapped by my own addiction to food and not knowing how to change my choices and not feel like I was punishing myself.

When asked this New Year's Eve what resolution I had I candidly told those around me that I didn't love resolutions because I would inevitably fail and then self hatred would soon follow. Someone  mentioned how she was considering trying an idea from a TED talk she had listened to - to try (or eliminate) some habit in her life for 30 days. I immediately remembered the talk she was referring to by Matt Cutts. You can google it and watch his 3 minute talk on trying something new for 30 days.

This inspired me. I have a running list of "shoulds" that in themselves are not horrible things but my mind has shoved away because I should do it - rather than I could do it. Like yoga, reading a classic novel, meditating, etc. So I thought, why not make this a year of trying new things? Each month I plan to focus on one thing to try to add into my life in a little way.

January I called my month of Exploring - really that reads "Elise procrastinated putting anything down on paper to actually attempt anything in January." But I see this month as a success. I had told people I wanted to learn Python (a coding language) and I did take considerable time starting to learn it! I have been acquiring coloring books because studies show it can be therapeutic.  So a few times I did some coloring as I was watching Netflix. I mulled over what I wanted to do this next year - focusing on the areas of health - physical health, mental health and spiritual health. So while I didn't plan on exploring in January at the beginning of the month I found myself examining my habits and deciding to add new ones this year.

Rather than make a whole list that I need to implement now to make my life better - I will try one new thing each month. I have hopes that I will attempt to blog at least one entry each month just to reflect and mark how that month was. I might be cussing the whole way through learning the habit - but it will be a success because in the end - I struck with it. I did something new for 30 days and that is enough. That is a success in the midst of potentially failing my way through the month.

We will see how it goes! February 1st, I am going to start yoga. I will do 10 minutes of yoga each day before I go to sleep. I hope to reflect on this journey here but we shall see (cause let's be honest - my record in keeping up on this blog is dismal)!