I Beat Myself Up for Beating Myself UP

All I can think about lately is how bad I am at this meditation thing. While I’m meditating I’m thinking about how I’m glad I’m doing it, how I get to send my little group a “done!” text, and that hopefully with time I’ll be the meditation guru that I’ve hoped I would become. I try to remember to pay attention to what I’m doing, like Andy says, be present when you stand. When you sit. Remembering to do this twice or even once per day is a huge success! I fail all day at that. I remember only when I sit down the next day to meditate and scream “DAMN IT! I was supposed to do that!” And then I think about how bad I continue to be at this whole ‘mindfulness thing’.

Managing Anxiety is the package I’ve chosen. Andy tells us that we have to learn to re-frame our relationship with anxiety. Instead of letting it define us, learn to work with it. (Damn, Andy sounds a lot like my old therapist…) But instead of saying “I am an anxious person”, say “I am someone that deals with anxiety”. Don’t let it own you, you are not anxiety.

During my meditations I beat myself up, a lot. Then I beat myself up for beating myself up–it’s a terrible vicious circle and it doesn’t really seem to work. But I continue to do it, I continue to try and learn and take these lessons to heart, and I guess by writing about it I want you guys to know that a little bit can and does help.

I’ve started to notice a few things:
-after a long day at work I had plans. Plans that involved a sick kid, decorating a Christmas tree, and whatever else goes along with that. But I NEEDED a minute before going from smiling barista, to smiling girlfriend… So I laid on my couch, boots, jacket, scarf, and hat all still on and I laid there and took like 20 deep breaths. Those few moments were for ME. Well, and for them because without those moments I think I would have snapped, gotten mad, or annoyed.
-often times at my retail job we have less than pleasant customers; I have yet to beat anyone up, yell at them back, or walk out on my shift–I’ll attribute some of that to meditation, some to my amazing ability to hold myself back from stupidity.
-I ran long and hard yesterday… my 4 mile trail run turned into almost 9 miles of bushwhacking and being lost in the woods. I was going to go run, lift, or both this morning–however, my body HURTS. So instead I did some slow moving, deep stretching yoga. That in itself was a meditation.

Anyway, long story short–meditation is never perfect. It’s not stopped me from wanting to drop kick the puppy that lives in the apartment below me…(I haven’t and I WON’T–but the barking, so much barking…) But it is helping in some small, slow ways. And for that alone I’m going to keep it up.

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Here’s a photo before I realized what kind of adventure I was going to end up on… It’s called Top of the World and that is our beautiful Lake Superior there!

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Hashtag 100 Days of Happy

Writing hasn’t come to me. I fall asleep when I read. My journal is no where to be found. I force myself to run, lift and yoga–when I do I’m always happy. Always. I’m trying, still trying, to get out of this funk and get back to doing what I love. I find myself on Facebook and InstaGram way too much, being jealous, pining for the days that I was on the road, wishing I was in the mountains or with those friends I met so many years ago. Today that changes.

Today I move. My car is packed and I am literally sitting in the spare bedroom at my Mother’s house on the bed that is stripped of sheets, freshly vacuumed and void of everything mine. Finally, I’m moving home…home will now be Chicago and I’m planning on enjoying it, being who I am and becoming who I want to be. But right now Facebook and InstaGram are flooded with people Hashtag-ging (#) 100DaysOfHappy and writing about what they are thankful for, happy about, excited about RIGHT NOW IN THIS DAY. So I’m jumping on the band wagon.

Since I can’t seem to keep up with blogging, journaling, reading or anything else I’m giving myself the task of Instagraming and Facebooking #100DaysOfHappy every day. Starting with today. By adding a new status or a picture everyday brings accountability to my ‘writing’ but also forcing me to recognize that every day there is something to be happy about, even on the most horrible days we can all find something to be thankful for.

Day ONE:
#100DaysOfHappy #Day1 Today I move to Chicago and I’m an incredibly happy and thankful for the people in my life that have been so outrageously supportive of me the last six months. (You know who you are, I don’t need to list you)

Here’s the plan: Follow me on IG @Sloanderr to see pictures of #100DaysOfHappy or I’ll be updating them on here as much as I can and feel inspired. I have a feeling the next 100 days is going to be an intense emotional roller coaster and I’m nothing more than excited!

Don’t Be My Friend

Don’t be my friend. I’m searching for a friendships that will leave me guiltless when I leave after six months or a partner in crime that will come with. A circle of friends that will give me community for a short time and let me belly laugh and smile mischievously as we plan adventures. Hang out with me if you’ll let me tell my stories and inspire you to make stories of your own. Most likely if it’s winter I’m dreaming of the year I spent hot and sweaty climbing Buddhist Temples and praying at the foot of a thousand year old statue, drinking warm beer and hot coffee on the street. If it’s summer I’m cursing the tourists who come here for a week and forget to notice the enormity of the Lake, the power of the Waves and the beauty of each Sunset and Sunrise we can witness each day.

Don’t be my friend if you expect me to not make a game out of mundane activities and to not connect with the people I’m surrounded with. Please remember that community is important and an interesting conversation can be had at the bar, at the beach or on a bus tumbling through a far away land. Don’t be my friend if you don’t want me to question you, I expect to be questioned in return–because I like to talk and share and most of all I like to listen. Don’t hang out with me if you can’t handle hard questions.

Don’t be my friend if you don’t want me to encourage you to try yoga with me tomorrow morning before work, or after work. If you don’t want me to try and spur up your deepest dreams or suggest you download that flight searcher app and play hooky with me to go try a new brewery. Don’t hang with me if you don’t want to be pushed into a diagonal weird direction you never though you’d go.

Don’t be my friend if you don’t want to hear about my confusion of ‘life’ and how I might be ‘missing out’ by not being ‘somewhere else’. Don’t be my friend if you can’t attempt to reel me back in, calm me down and remind me that where I am is where I’m supposed to be for the moment. When I freak out could you remind me that there is a huge, incredible, beautiful Lake down the road that just by looking at it lowers my heart rate, softens my eyes and brings on a true smile.

Don’t attempt to be my friend if you don’t appreciate those kind of moments because those moments, those small seemingly insignificant moments, are the ones I live for. They are the times in life that we look back on to appreciate. Those moments are the ones we call upon when we’re in a bad place, in a physically or mentally dangerous situation that we think about to lower our blood pressure and remember that there is something that you can come back to. Coming back to the breath and the seemingly small moments are the ones that play a huge roll in life. Don’t be my friend if you don’t understand this.