All or nothing revisited

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All or nothing revisited

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

Last week I accepted a 30-day hot Yoga challenge.  In addition to attending practice each day for 30 days, I omitted a few things from my diet (caffeine, alcohol and sweets).  Plus, I went vegan.  It may sound like I tackled too much at one time, especially since 30 days of Bikram is already quite a test.  However, I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl.  That doesn’t mean I would quit the challenge if I indulged in a cup of coffee.  I simply desire to get the most out of the full 30 days.  Which means it also gives me greater impetus to succeed.  Add in a three-hour trip to the dentist for oral surgery only four days in, and I really should be a basket case.  Instead, I’m feeling better than ever, both physically and mentally.  And the discipline I’m practicing can be used long after the month is over.

If you can’t give something your all, do you choose to do nothing?

Word-of-the-month: tangential (adj.)

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[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

I had something else I wanted to ramble about this morning, but then I realized that over the course of 2012, the last Monday of each month unofficially became my “word-of-the-month” day.  And I also noted we’re nearly 1/12th of the way through the New Year.  With a slight stretch, these two topics may be somewhat tangential, and serve as a segue into this month’s vocabulary booster (compliments to one of my Words With Friends opponents).  Tangential is an adjective — pronounced \tan-ˈjen(t)-shəl\ — and describes something only partially related to a main point, or something that verges slightly off-course.  Synonyms include digressive, divergent or diverging, extraneous and unrelated.  A sample sentence includes: The characters’ relationship is tangential to the book’s main plot.  Another example of tangential is when you’re discussing a topic like government spending and you veer off into a conversation about other political matters that aren’t directly related to government spending.

Are you the type to keep the conversation on course, or do you favor tangential tendencies?

Staying in the room

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Staying in the room

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.
~ Thomas A. Edison

In Bikram Yoga, one of the mantras the instructors repeat (particularly to new students) is to “stay in the room.”  In 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity.  When the going gets tough.  When we feel like we’ve got nothing left to give.  It goes beyond the physical to the mental.  And it also holds true for life.  We can either manage the uncomfortable conditions that we’ll inevitably face, or we can throw in the towel.  Last week tested my patience big time on more than one level.  It would’ve been so easy for me to make excuses to walk away from the setbacks that kept threatening to pull me off course.  But I pushed through the discomfort and, sometime toward the end of the week, things began coming together.  Because I stayed in the room.

Is there something you’ve given up on too easily?

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Don’t be afraid of the white space

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Don't be afraid of the white space

[Image credit: anankkml]

In my post New Beginnings, I talk about not wasting the white space on the blank page of each new day.  This past week, however, I was reminded during the editing process at work not to be afraid of the white space.  What does this mean, exactly?  In publishing, it suggests that stuffing as much as we can onto a page is visually overwhelming to the reader.  Similarly, stuffing too much into each day is also physically and mentally overwhelming to the doer.  So how do we balance it out?  By making every word (action) count.  This way, the white space (free time) complements the overall publication/day’s design.  I talk about this often — taking periodic time-outs to rejuvenate.  But I just as easily forget and then find the demands on my time at a record high.  Consequently, it helps to pick a few priorities and work in the rest as time (and white space) allows.

Do you handle the white space by trying to fill it all in?

Growing flowers … or weeds

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Transforming your mind II

From the moment I set my bare feet on the cold tile floor yesterday, I wanted to climb back under the covers.  An hour and a half of writing went nowhere and I had a good cry before I’d even made it into the shower.  I tried on at least four different outfits including jewelry, scarves and jackets, and I still didn’t dress warmly enough.  I was 20 minutes late for work and, once there, I noticed I forgot to wear earrings.  My IBS was acting up, I didn’t like my hair and my pants were too tight.  When I finally made it home for lunch, I remained tense and irritable.  But then I read a response from a fellow Yogi (instructor) on Facebook to a post I’d written about being crabby: “…it’s all in your head…”  Obviously, she was right.  So for the rest of the day I purposed to plant a garden where I’d want to linger.

Is your garden primarily filled with flowers or weeds?

[Image credit:]

Overcoming resistance


Overcoming resistance

[Image credit: meepoohfoto]

What you have to do and the way you have to do it
are incredibly simple.  Whether you are willing to do it
is another matter. ~ Peter F. Drucker

In my recent post, Taking the first step, I mentioned I’m writing a book.  Recently, a friend of mine turned me on to a study guide by Victoria Lynn Schmidt called, “Book in a Month.”  It includes a plan on how to — you guessed it — write a book.  In 30 days.  Schmidt includes steps for overcoming resistance, which make sense for anyone with a goal.

  • Create an outline.  From start to finish, how are you going to get where you want to go?
  • Break your goal down into small, realistic tasks.
  • Hold yourself accountable; gather support.  Join a writer’s group, fitness club, weight loss program.
  • Visualize the entire goal from start to finish.  Stay focused.
  • Create a deadline.
  • Celebrate your successes.
  • Make it a habit.

What are you willing to do to get where you want to go?

Taking the first step

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taking the first step

[Image credit: arztsamui]

It’s always too early to quit.
~ Norman Vincent Peale

New Year’s Day came and went and I could easily use a do-over.  It’s called “too much of a good thing.”  But, thankfully, every day is a new beginning in itself.  So the next day I began with my goal of writing that book I’ve been dreaming about for longer than I can remember.  I wasn’t necessarily ready to get up earlier to write.  And I didn’t log in as many words as I had planned.  But I started.  I took the first step.  And then the next day I took my second step.  And so on.  That’s all I can ask of myself because life will inevitably happen.  I’ll have to work late, my daughter will stop by unexpectedly to visit and I’ll need to make an unscheduled stop at the store or doctor.  I need to be able to accept these detours and move on.  Or I’ll never reach my destination.

What is your feel-like-quitting remedy?

New beginnings

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New beginnings

[Image credit: Sujin]

“ … the old has gone, the new has come!”
~ The Bible (NIV 1984)

Old habits die hard.  But as the quote states, the old has passed.  Finished.  Completed.  2012 has left the building.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we forget all the bumps and detours along our journey toward Someday.  It just means it’s time for a new beginning.  I love the feeling of a blank page.  It can be scary to some, but to others it’s a chance for redemption.  An opportunity for improvement, deliverance, recovery.  As one wise Yogi stated: Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again (Bikram Choudhury).  If it’s not January 1st, it can be January 2nd or March 3rd.  As long as we have breath, each day is a new beginning.  Fill each page from top to bottom.  Go ahead, start now.  Don’t waste any of that white space.  And Happy New Year!

What’s a new beginning in your life?