You look forward to yoga class every week because of the serenity it gives your mind and body. You come home feeling like you’re walking on air and nothing else matters… but that feeling goes away the next day as you take on the world again.
Each Sunday, you and your significant other enjoy the affirmation and renewal you receive at church. You leave feeling stronger and better equipped to handle life’s challenges. But somehow, that energy leaves your mind and spirit during the rest of your week.
You have one of the toughest jobs in the world: being a parent. It’s a very rewarding position, but you look forward to every chance you get to have peace and quiet. Those are your moments to unwind and give yourself some much needed attention…if you could find a place amidst all the toys and games scattered about.
Taking time out for our spirit is as necessary as eating well and keeping a peaceful mind. We have areas of our home designated for specific purposes: cooking, eating, sleeping, beautifying, creating… but how many of us make sure to include a sacred space for regular practice?
Read on for my tips on creating a sacred space or reviving the space you already have in your home.
OK, I just realized this is technically Day 2, seeing that I decided to start this on November 1st. DOH! I’m a nite owl, so it still feels like Tuesday to me.
Tonight, I started my first meditation session in my mission. It last 7 minutes (my goal is at least 5 minutes). I tried to mindfulness meditation then switched to breathing since I can feel a lot of tension inside. Even that was still challenging, as my mind feels all jumbled up right now… which I also feel physically. I ended the meditation with a few yoga stretches to help.
I can’t say I feel anything immediate from having done it yet, but that’s okay.
"Higher Ground," watercolor by Angela Conley, 2009.
Meditation has proven to be very useful tool for me, although I wasn’t always aware of its power. When I was a teenager, I started practicing it as part of a yoga book I’d been given. The book, “Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan,” was my first experience with yoga and actually a book my mother had used herself when she was a teen. In the program outlined by the book, there was a form of meditation that involved staring at a lit candle. Back then, I didn’t embrace formal meditation as much as I did yoga, but the practice seemed to accompany the yoga nicely.
Roughly two years ago, I truly learned what a great resource meditation could be for myself. While at work, I’d experienced a panic attack, unbeknownst to me at the time. I’ve always been fairly healthy and hadn’t been stressed at the time of the symptoms and panic attack, so I couldn’t understand it.
I did some reading on anxiety and panic attacks and learned they can occur without a real stressor. This was somewhat comforting, but I still didn’t like how I felt physically. I also internalized the anxiety and felt crazy. After weighing things, I decided to start taking daily medication.
Because I didn’t want to solely rely on pharmaceuticals, I also looked into what I could do without medication for assistance. One thing I found is that exercise helps immensely and is a great form of relief when I’m feeling stressed. In my search, I also came across a website that described facing anxiety with a mindfulness approach, which led me to the subject of mindfulness meditation. Continue reading →
This piece is taking some time to complete with all the other creative projects (Halloween!) and things I’ve been tackling lately. I’ve realized although I’ve heeded my creative spirit with my DIY and decoration projects, I’ve neglected my goals with my painting. So it’s back to the grind with that, along with a renewed mentality for my artwork.
I’d love to start on a totally new project, but I’m determine to see this piece through. Here’s an update of it so far:
I’ve also started another watercolor, as I’ve found myself attracted to the Möbius shape. Continue reading →
I was inspired to sew a yoga mat bag from this post over at Bored and Crafty. I actually sewed it a couple of weeks ago, but had to wait til after my honey’s birthday to blog it, in the 10% chance he’d actually come here and see it. We both like to do yoga occasionally; I’ve done it off and on since I was a teenager. At the time, I was looking for some stress relief. One of friends bought me this book for my birthday and it sparked my love for yoga.
Enter cheesy anecdote: when I first got to know my honey, I learned he liked yoga. I took it as a sign; while it’s become much more mainstream in our society, yoga still isn’t for most men. I’m not sure why they don’t dig it (too feminine?), but he loves it and embraces its holistic benefits also. Knowing what I know of him now, it makes more sense. He’s a bit of a free spirit, which is another reason we mesh well.
The finished product, in all its hard-earned glory: