Yoga for Bloggers: Now Take a Deep Breath…

Before we begin, the tip of the day here is to clear your mind…

.

p90x yoga

P90X like? Well, I’m no photographer.

I’ve never been into yoga.

.

of all the garbage prior to starting…

.

Bending my body at awkward angles and listening to an ocean wave replicated on a CD have never really been activities of choice for me. Though I’ve tried, I’ve never quite mastered that calm, weightless relaxation that generally seems to don the faces of practiced yoga-doers. I always imagined my face looking more like a showcase to my pain as I struggled through yet another sun salutation and floated less-than-gracefully back into downward dog.

.

and all the things that you’ve got to do after you’re done.

 

But I must admit, there’s something about slowing down your breathing – taking at least three times longer to inhale and exhale than you normally would – that really calms the mind. Or maybe my brain was just oxygen deprived.

.

I want you to focus on the present moment.

 

I’ve been trying to slow down a lot more lately, as you all know. It’s been almost two weeks since my last real post, and I can’t say that I haven’t missed you guys. It felt odd to let Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays pass without writing my customary post. But at the same time…I really liked it.

.

Stay in the moment…

 

I won’t lie and tell you that it’s been the most productive two weeks, but it’s been two weeks of fewer deadlines and more free time. Blogging is important to me, it really is. As are all you readers. Without you…well, there’d be no point to the blogging. I made the choice to slow down this blog in order to prepare myself for the life I want to lead, and to treat all of you with more quality posts (even if my subtitle does say “moderately meditated”).

.

and clear your mind…

 

But I haven’t been completely slacking off while I’ve been away. As you’ll notice, I’ve made a few changes to the look of my blog, and I hope to continue making a few more until I’m happy with it. This look is a little cleaner than before, a model for how I want my life to feel: low stress, clutter-free, fresh, and gorgeous. I also posted a collage of photos I took on a recent bike ride. I was thinking of continuing that series with more photos and little snapshots of my life (let me know what you think). I don’t want blogging to feel like a chore anymore. I want it to go back to how it felt at the beginning, how I would write because I had something to share. I need to let this blog blossom in its own time. I have no reason to hurry. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned during my time away, it’s that life can be difficult to write about when you’re too busy rushing through it.

.

and it will feel like a ride like you have never had before.*

 

 

*Tony Horton, P90X Yoga

Advertisements
Relaxing Ride

Relaxing Ride

Redesign: Knowing When the Time is Right

So I’ve made a life-changing decision just now.

.

Not life-changing in the shave-my-head-get-a-pet-alligator-and-move-to-Brazil kind of way, but in the I-hope-this-has-some-sort-of-impact-on-my-life kind of way.

.

And I made this decision because I’ve noticed something:

.

My room is a mess.

.

This is odd because I’m normally a cleanly person. But because of my recent move back home for the summer, my room is more a storage closet and less of a place to sleep. I can’t handle the clutter. My brain is just…nope.

.

I think the clutter and the mess has clogged up my brain and caused it to malfunction, because I can’t seem to keep on track with what I want to accomplish. My environment is affecting my actions. But is my environment just my bedroom? No.

.

It’s also how I spend my time, which now seems to be mostly comprised of rushing. I’ve been racing around so much that blogging has become more of a chore than a pleasure. My work has suffered.

.

Lately, I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in my number of views and rate at which I gain readers, and I’m attributing this to my lack of quality content.  I haven’t had the time to create really good writing or think of these rich ideas that spark other ideas in my readers. I haven’t been treating my readers fairly.

.

I got so caught up in trying to build a following faster, posting as much as I could to get the most views that I forgot what was really the point of this writing. My whole purpose when starting this blog was to talk about life with those who wanted to listen. I wanted to discuss how we go through life, what we think about, and how that affects the people we become. I wanted to discuss dreams, goals, and things that are funny or irritating. I wanted to talk about the things that are important.

.

This blog was supposed to be my outlet for my brain, not its destroyer. It’s time to redesign:

.

I’ve decided to blog only once a week.

.

This post is on a Monday, but starting next week, I will post every Friday. My topics and categories will still be the same, but hopefully the content will be less scatterbrained and more enjoyable for you all. Considering I should have more time to write and edit my posts, I’m looking forward to more posts  I’m proud of.

.

And with a little extra free time freed up, maybe I’ll clean up my room a little.

.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Alright…cleaning’s done.

In addition to this redesign, I’ll also be experimenting with the layout and design of my blog a little more. So if you’re a consistent reader of mine, don’t be alarmed if you see a few changes (though feel free to shoot me a comment and let me know what you think).

.

So maybe this blogging thing wasn’t going as smoothly as I had first hoped, but I’m trying to be more adaptable to change. A little redesign never hurt as long as it’s for the right reasons and at the right time. Hopefully this change will leave us all a little happier.

The Mind of a Frazzled Future Author

Right now, there are about 44 unread novels collecting dust on my bookcase. On my nightstand there is a pile of The New Yorkers, one for each week since mid-February. Accompanying these are 70 “to-reads” on my Goodreads list and another 20 on my Barnes & Noble wishlist.

And I haven’t had time to read a single one.

Even now, I’m trying to scramble together some form of coherent thought while planning what outfit I’ll be wearing to this ceremony in an hour and a half.

Yet I somehow found the time to count all those books.

Anyway, lately it’s been feeling like I’m always racing, racing, racing. And all I can think about is how I want to go back to that time when I felt like the world couldn’t move fast enough, and I had ample time to relax, relax, relax.

But that’s not the way of life, is it?

Yet somehow authors are expected to be well-versed in all manner of books and genres. We need to be eloquent in our replies and have that sophisticated air about us that just reeks of cool collectedness.

But who has time for that when there is life to be lived?

But who has time for life when there are books to be read, worlds to be explored, and art to be created?

It seems to be a generally accepted rule in the writing world that the more a writer reads, the better a writer writes. Yet I would like to meet a writer who has time to juggle family life, personal life, and the writing life, who has mastered this balance so easily.

I would like to ask how they did it. I want to ask because I want to be them. I want to sleep all day and read novels and write novels and get lost in my head and attend fancy dinner parties with other like-minded artists and I want to live.

I want to be immersed in the kind of world only book characters have the pleasure to live in.

But I can’t. I can’t because I’m the writer and I create them. I create their perfect world and their perfect lives because I can’t but I need to. Somehow.

But who has time for that?

Not me.

Not now.

(Note: Click here for more Mind of an Author)

The Diet Beast: Lee-Green Smoothie

So here’s where I’m at right now.

.

Dieting is hard.

.

But not as hard as you might think.

.

For those of you who read Monday’s post, you know that I’m trying to get back on the fitness wagon. I haven’t quit yet (hooray for two days!) despite being tired and sore. The exercise is just as hard as I remember, if not harder now that I’ve been exercise-deprived for a good few months. But the workout isn’t near as difficult as the diet.

.

I think it’s safe to say my diet is probably what has derailed me the most when it comes to losing weight.

.

And while I’m sure I can excuse my way out of eating the wrong things (I’ve already come up with three excuses while writing this sentence), there’s no excuse for not learning to eat the right things.

.

That’s where Pinterest comes in.

.

Though it’s probably not the best go-to site for all things healthy, at least Pinterest is a good way to find millions of recipes for foods you never would have thought to put together.

.

And I found the perfect healthy meal replacement:

.

The Green Smoothie.

It’s become fairly popular lately as the smoothie that lets you drink your vegetables. As a vegetarian who isn’t the biggest fan of vegetables (wait…what?), I can appreciate that concept. So after trying various Pinterest versions – and disliking them all – I made up my own. Here it is.

.

The Lee-Green Smoothie

  • a small handful of ice
  • a cup of skim milk (today I used organic soy milk)
  • two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
  • one medium banana, cut into slices
  • four medium strawberries, tops cut off
  • two to three cups of spinach
  • a scoop of protein powder

Add ice, milk, yogurt, banana, strawberries, and spinach (stuffing in as much as you can until the blender is completely full — around 2-3 cups), and blend.

IMG_0487

Add protein powder and blend until the spinach leaves look like tiny green specks (if you leave it too leafy, the texture will completely turn you off from this smoothie, trust me).

IMG_0488

Now pour and enjoy.

IMG_0489

Mmm.

Now, I guarantee if you make this smoothie properly, you will not be able to taste the spinach at all, just the strawberries and banana. If you’re wondering about the calories, this smoothie packs a healthy punch. It gives you all the nutrients of almost all the main food groups for only 434 calories. That might seem like a lot to you calorie-counters out there, but for what you get, it’s really not. I even made some soy chicken nuggets and I still have 768 calories left to eat for dinner. But if you’re worried that it’s too much, you can always vary the ingredients to lower the calories or to satisfy your taste.

These smoothies are a regular staple for me when I’m doing P90X, and I can honestly say that I craved them while I was away at college. They keep you full for a long time and taste delicious. So for right now I’d say Smoothie – 1, Diet – 0.

Resolutions Revisited: Wow, I Suck

Let’s be honest here.

.

How many of us have kept our New Year’s Resolutions?

.

Let’s get a show of hands.

.

(Now, this is the part where you all raise your hand and make me feel less horrible about completely failing at my goal this year.)

.

Oh good…none of you.

.

Now that that’s out of the road, let’s talk goals.

.

While losing weight and sticking to P90X this time wasn’t really my New Year’s Resolution, I did mention it in my second ever post as one of the goals I had for this year.

.

And whether P90X meant P90X or just a whole lot of hardcore exercise, this goal hasn’t seen a whole lot of progress. School this past semester was a lot more exhausting than I had first imagined, and the stamina and will power I needed just wasn’t there.

.

But before I continue to justify myself with excuses, I just want you guys to know that I’m not beating myself up about this.

.

No, really.

.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be very easy to hate myself right now. Just look at the title of this post. But what I’m really trying to focus on is not how much I’ve failed, but how easy it will be to try again.

.

In fact, I’m starting today.

.

Yes, this very day is going to be the start (again) of a new phase in my life, a phase where I start to take control of my health and happiness, do my best, and forget the rest.

.

I can’t focus on tearing myself down if I’m trying to bring myself up.

.

It’ll be hard. I’ll be out of shape again. I’ll probably want to quit after my workout tonight. And maybe I will. The point is I’m trying.

.

And I’m going to try to try harder.

.

For myself, for you guys, and for that results post I so badly want to blog about and you all probably don’t want to read.

.

Too bad, because for the next 90 days, I’m going to bring it. And so should you.

.

With your goal.

.

Not mine.

.

Unless your goal is the same…

.

You get the point.

Just look at that motivational sunset…

.

Paige’s Pages: A Literary Work #2

Wake Up

Wake up, Master.

I’ve been sitting at the end of the bed

waiting for you to

 

wake up.

It’s 4 a.m. Time to take me outside.

Green carpet is not grass.

I remembered to

 

wake up, Master.

It’s time to roll out of bed.

You can get clean

while I search for cold crunchy bacon

in the garbage can

 

you wake up, Master?

It’s time to eat your breakfast.

My empty bowl is on the floor

still from a week ago.

Not today, you’re late again.

I bark and I yell and you never

 

wake up.

It’s time to leave for work. I’ll watch you go

in that machine that smells like hospitals.

Don’t worry, I’ll protect

the house while you

 

wake up, Master.

It’s time for me to nap a while too, dreaming of

when I can leap up, lick your face,

but I forgot: no jumping when you

 

wake up.

It’s time for you to come home so I can

drop my lamb at your feet, the one you bought me once you

 

wake up, Master.

It’s time to pat my head and,

when you do, that’s all I’ll need.

 

But until then, I’m still sitting here,

waiting for you to open your eyes,

wake up,

and see my smiling face.