Funkytown: Just Passing Through

I’ve been working really hard this past year to combat mild depression and anxiety by adhering to a self-care routine that includes healthy eating, exercise, yoga, meditation, minimalism and a creative outlet. These lifestyle changes have made a big difference in my outlook on life, and have essentially changed my life.  I’m more present and less regretful or anxious about the past or the future. But I am not without moments that I veer off my positive path and into Funkytown.
Sometimes, a thought may trigger a past situation or I might get caught up in the “what ifs” ahead. My glorious, soul quenching summer is coming to an end and I’ll soon be back at work, waking up to the cold, dark mornings (yuck)!
I could easily dwell on these things and get myself into a funk. But I’ve been to Funkytown and I don’t like it! So I’ve decided that I don’t need to stop in Funkytown, I can just pass through. I can notice my feelings, but I don’t have to dwell on them, and I have developed the coping skills to help me do just that!
I’ve found that just being out in nature helps me get out of an imminent funk and that my overall self-care routine keeps me focused on the present on a daily basis. The more I practice, the easier and more natural this becomes.
Have you developed a self-care routine? If not, it’s never too late and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time! My (almost) daily meditation and journaling take about 15 minutes. You can listen to a guided 5 minute meditation in my last post:
I would love to hear about your self-care routine!
Thanks for reading!  Please comment and share freely.
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Passion for Presence!

I’m excited to share my passion for presence with you and I’ve changed the name of my blog to reflect this passion.

After my last post, I realized that I was very passionate about what I had learned over the last 10 months, and I wanted to share it here with you. I have been writing this blog for a few years now and it has been about many different things in my life.

All along I was searching for something that I could offer you, a way to be of some help to others. Little did I know that in helping myself, I had learned how I could help others.

I think we all strive to be present in our everyday lives. The busier we’ve become, the loftier that goal may seem, but I’ve learned that there are several ways to Be All There for our families, our friends and ourselves.

There are many pathways we could take to being more present, but for me it’s been a gradual process of integrating several different things into my life. You can read about what I’ve been doing here https://beallthere.net/2015/06/20/be-all-there/.

What I’ve learned from personal experience is that it can be done and it feels great! I’ll share what works for me (and what doesn’t) as I continue my journey. I hope you’ll join me!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment and share your experiences with what works for you to Be All There.

Jeanne

Be All There

I see a lot of my parents in me. My dad was loyal, forgiving and compassionate, and my mom was loving, kind and supportive. What I’ve learned in the past 10 months is how to be all of these things to MYSELF.

As some of you may know, I lost my dad suddenly in August and experienced several months of debilitating grief. As I look back on this sad time, I will be forever grateful for what I have learned.

A big part of my grief was the realization that I was no longer a daughter, a role I had known my entire life, since both of my parents were now gone. I was confused and I felt lost. I had to rebuild who I was.

What actually happened was better than I could have ever imagined. Instead of rebuilding who I WAS, I became who I wanted to be, the best version of myself.

Since I was working with a blank slate, I only put back the pieces of myself that I wanted and put aside the rest. This left a LOT of open space for me to Be All There. I continuously strive for this presence each day.

Here are some of the things I’ve found that make me feel happy and healthy and like the best version of myself……so far! Since I’ve written about all of them in previous posts, I’ll just list them here. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on any of these if you’d like more details.

  1. Minimalism
  2. Yoga
  3. Meditation
  4. Nutrition
  5. Fitness
  6. Nature
  7. Positivity
  8. Creativity
  9. Gratitude
  10. Intention

Are you the best version of yourself? If so, that’s awesome! I’d love to hear about what works for you!

If not, it’s never too late (and so worth the effort) to retool who you are, and I seriously don’t think you have to experience what I did to get started. I’d love to use my experience to help you if I can, so please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you on your journey!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe, comment (I’d love to hear from you) & share.

Be All There!

Jeanne

Honoring Myself

I’ve been working on paying attention to my feelings and not dismissing them. It’s one thing to be sensitive, yet it takes some courage to really feel what’s going on, in an investigative sort of way, rather than just label and dismiss strong emotions.

While on this emotional journey I realized that I was ignoring how was feeling physically, as well: MY KNEES HURT. Rather than push through these feelings, I needed to honor these feelings and take some of my own advice.

In one of my previous posts, “Rock It!” I discussed the fact that sometimes we have to readjust our goals, yet they can be fulfilling, nonetheless. I reached my goal of becoming a runner (by my standards) and I was not even entertaining the thought of stopping.

I’ve been running for a few months now, consistently, 2 miles, every other day. I even ran in California during my vacation. I am particularly proud of a run I took a few weeks ago with my daughter and her boyfriend, since I was able to keep up with them! It also felt good to be able to bond with them through this activity.

Honoring myself 1

I worked so hard to be able to run for an extended time that I was determined not to lose my momentum. I feared that if I took too much time off in between runs, that I would have to start all over again. So when my knees started to hurt  I pushed through the pain and continued my regime.

After a few weeks of constant pain, I grew concerned. I didn’t want to cause irreversible damage or do anything to my knees that would require surgery.

I bought new sneakers. My knees still hurt. I spaced out my runs more and more and my knees still hurt. Today marks one week since my last run and my knees are finally starting to feel better. Instead of going on a run, I went on my elliptical machine.

By identifying what I was feeling and honoring that feeling, I created a space for another activity.

I ran less, so I had more time to get into yoga, something I always wanted to do. Once again, my original goal (running) was redefined (fitness) and the end result was just as satisfying, perhaps even more.

If I Can Do It, So Can You!

And if I can do it in one aspect of my life, I can do it in another. As I transition my next phase, I am redefining my life, my relationships and my goals. I seemed to have way more goals, dreams, and ideas for how I can make an impact in some small way, that it all became overwhelming to me and I didn’t even know where to start.

I began to get a little more clarity and success when I decided not to do too much at once. In addition to simplifying my life, finding my purpose (see Courtney Carver’s, bemorewithless.com for some great tips) and working on my writing, one of my goals is fitness, so I decided to try something I have always wanted to do, but NEVER attempted: RUNNING.

I began very, very slowly, running for 1 minute, and then walking for as long as it took to catch my breath (and get up the nerve to continue). As I shared my method with others I encountered, they told me this sounded like the Couch to 5k Running Plan (coolrunning.com). I just did what felt right.

Each time I run, I try to increase the amount of time that I run and decrease the amount of time I walk. Since my daughter recently started running, I would check in with her from time to time for encouragement.

Over the course of about 4 weeks, I went from running for 1 minute, to 2 minutes, to 4 minutes (I was stuck here for a while), to 7 minutes, etc. I stuck with this method of gradually increasing my running time and I run/walk every other day for 2 miles, running about 1.5 miles of that distance (about 20 minutes).

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

Me, tired, but feeling good after my run

This method of building endurance is really a good metaphor for how I can target some of my other goals. Start off small, remain focused, work at it consistently (even when stuck at some level), ask for support when needed and share successes with others.

There may even be some added bonuses along the way. This morning, as I was running by a man crouched over weeding his front lawn I said, “They never end, do they?” He replied with an unlit cigarette in his smile, “No, and thank goodness, this is my therapy!” I got a good laugh and a warm feeling from this interaction with a stranger. As I continued running, I reflected on the fact that running has been therapy for me, as well.

What have you been meaning to do, to work on, or to finish? Do you have so many things on your plate that you feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you even begin? If so, pick one task, one that is doable and perhaps seems the easiest to complete. Focus on this one goal and write down each day (or every other day, etc.) what you will do to see it through. Small steps are OK and you will build momentum and confidence as you check them off!

Be consistent and share your journey with a supportive friend (or me). This creates a feeling of accountability and it’s nice to have a cheering section.

Good luck and feel free to comment and share your successes here!