Tag Archives: meditation

Motivation Monday

So – a goals checkin. The month is 3/4 over – how am I doing?

My goal for the month was to work on my movement. I’m happy to report that I’m doing decently well, considering the shoulder injury, etc.

My shoulder is doing so much better! So much! I’ve been keeping up with my PT (gooooo me!) and have been cleared to do any kind of exercise I want, as long as I don’t push through pain.

I’ve been walking a lot more, and have doubled my daily walking average over the last month.

I’m hiring a running coach starting next month so that I have someone to be accountable to as I make my way to my first 10K in May. I am planning my triumphant return to yoga this week. I’m not sure when I’ll be back in the pool – that’s a lot of stuff to balance with everything else.

I am not doing this. Nope.

I’ve doubled my weekly average meditation time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes!

I have started a new medication and taken it every day since. I’ve also done really well at taking my vitamins, drinking plenty of water, drinking next to zero amounts of alcohol, and have done much, much better at getting to bed earlier. I’m still not doing well at getting up earlier, but as I’ve been so sleep-deprived, I’m just trying to catch up at this point.

The beer guy & I have booked all our hotels in Europe and have tentative schedules while there. I have also – and most importantly – ordered new shoes for the trip. They will arrive today, and I will share the magic with you tomorrow.

All-in-all? This month has been leaps and bounds better than the last couple. I’m still struggling with some stuff, but I’m working on things rather than just burying them. I hope.

Have a great week! I hope you’re on track for all your goals!

Gotta Have Goals (October 2017)

At the beginning of September, I set 19 goals for myself, and I thought it’d do more towards accountability if I actually shared how that went. (Plus, then, NEW GOALS!)

September Report

  1. Pick my son up from his very last day of preschool ever. Take a picture. Don’t cry. (9/1) – SUCCESS! I didn’t even cry
  2. Finish all my last pre-editor edits on The Ruby Blade and get that sucker to my editor. (9/2) – SUCCESS! I totally cried here, though
  3. Drink champagne. (9/2) – SUCCESS! (No tears)
  4. Make an apple pie with the Bean, because he wants to make one for the beer guy’s parents who are visiting. (9/3) – SUCCESS! Kinda, we made a crisp instead
  5. Drop my boy off at his first day of Kindergarten. Take pictures. Don’t cry. (9/5) – SUCCESS! More or less. I maybe got some dust in my eyes. It was really smoky from the fires.
  6. Edit a book for a new client (early Sept) – SUCCESS! (And it is SO GOOD!)
  7. Get my skin checked to make sure there’s no suspicious activity (9/11) – SUCCESS! All is well with my soul skin
  8. Meet with new personal trainer and get new workout schedule set up (9/12) – half SUCCESS! I met with the trainer, but have not yet gotten the schedule set up. 
  9. Write 45K words on Eleanor #4 (sekrit goal is 60K – which is 15K/week and my current average, but see all busy-ness) – big ol’ fail…I’m waaaay behind on my ambitious goal, not to mention the sekrit goal, but still on track to finish by 11/30.
  10. Write 2 chapters on my Raj novella – oops. Totally did not do this. 
  11. Survive the beer guy’s 2.5 week trip to Belgium (I mean, obviously, I’ll survive, but, you know…) – SUCCESS! I ate and slept and only broke the house a tiny bit! 
  12. Keep on top of my day job stuff – SUCCESS!
  13. Write outlines for the first three books in my new series coming out about this time next year and conspire with my cover artist – SUCCESS! I have a long synopsis for the first book and shorter ones for books 2 & 3, have started conspiring with my cover artist, and am working on a marketing plan.
  14. Turn around my article edits SUPAH FAST – SUCCESS! 
  15. Write 4 chapters on SUPER SEKRIT PROJECT – oops. Totally forgot about this.
  16. Actually sleep? I guess? – SUCCESS! I averaged more than 6.5 hours/night in September. 
  17. Start meditating in the mornings again, which means – oops. nope.
  18. Start getting up at 5:30 am again, which means – hahaha. nope. (I am getting up regularly at 6 now, though)
  19. In bed & asleep by 10:45 on school nights – SUCCESS! 
  20. I really want a 20th goal, but couldn’t think of one…

Honestly not bad at all. So much successing. The places where I didn’t completely succeed, though, were all things for which I had not external motivator. Writing my own words with no editor deadline (see sekrit project, Eleanor #4, Raj’s chapters), meditation, getting up earlier, getting the workout schedule down with the new trainer (although, to be fair, I’m waiting for her to get back to me at this point).

I’m not going to set 20 goals in October, but I have five big ones. I’m not going to include things that I know I’ll get done, like finishing up the book I’m currently editing or “have a good time in Mexico.” Instead, these are actual things that I have to work at.

  1. I signed up for a thanksgiving 5K. My goal – to finish it without hating myself, whatever that means for me that day.
  2. I need to be mostly done with Eleanor book 4 by the end of the month.
  3. Stay on top of book marketing and don’t back out because of “hard” or “fear.”
  4. Find a way to forgive everyone who made me angry cry today due to the colossal fuck-up that happened with my Bean’s after-school care situation. Note: this might be the hardest. Note 2: I think everything’s figured out. It was only two hours of Wednesday panic on my part.
  5. Continue to eat 3x/day and get to bed by 11 on work nights. Work on popping out of bed a little faster in the morning. Meditate (with the bean). Moisturize. Self-care.

 

 

Motivation Monday

Today is a very high-anxiety day. Chest-crushing anxiety. (I don’t know why. That happens a lot.)

Thanks to last week, in which I hit 85% of my exercise goals, I know the proper ways to start treating this anxiety.

I have my swim stuff in my bag (and, unlike last week, I packed a comb, flip flops, am charging my swim watch, and brought my goggles instead of the Bean’s). Tomorrow, I will run. Wednesday, I will yoga. Thursday, I will run. Friday, I will swim. And Saturday, I will run.

If I hit 5 of those, I’ll be happy. Even if I don’t get to my time/distance goals on each one, I’ll still be happy to get out there. (Friday, I didn’t hit my swimming goal, and was extremely frustrated until I remembered that it was my first time in the pool in a year and swimming 500 yards was better than all the swims I haven’t done. Some is better than none. I should probably get that tattooed on the backs of my hands and my forehead or something.)

Other things I am doing in the way of self-care include:

  1. Eating healthy and regular meals
  2. Getting back into the habit of meditating
  3. Reframing my life into positive “I am” statements.  (“I am a runner” NOT “I used to run more.” “I am an author” NOT “I write but still have to have a day job.”

Since I have trips planned to Mexico (October) and Spain (March), I also need to really dig into my Spanish refreshers again. I minored in Spanish in college, but haven’t kept up the practice. I could probably skate by with my limited skills and the fact that people everywhere speak English, but I’d rather make the effort – and since Bean didn’t get into the dual-language school, I want to start doing more Spanish at home so he at least has a shot at a foreign language while his brains are still malleable.

(Speaking of brains, I was texting with my PSM this morning and we decided that it was monumentally unfair that one person could have both a defective brain and a defective reproductive system. You should really only have to be stuck with one of those. Although, I guess since she and I are both graced with both breath-taking beauty and dazzling intelligence [well at least one of us is…], maybe this is the trade-off?)

I’ll leave you with a picture of my adorable Bean who’s been at the coast with grandma since Thursday. 

Moving Day!

I have been in the process of moving my website from one place to another for a long time. I’ve been blogging at gazellesoncrack since 2006 (although I’ve owned amycissell.com for just as long). Today amycissell.com is live. There might be a few broken links or broken forms, so bear with me as I get through them, but overall, this should look just like home.

My ex-husband gave me the inspiration for gazellesoncrack and I fully embraced it. I am not graceful. (In fact, in college, there was a person who regularly just called me Grace.) This is not an untruth. For 11+ years, my entire online identity was wrapped around gazelleosncrack.

But in the past 11 years, I’ve become so much more–this space has become so much more. It started as a place to share my clumsiness and book reviews, became a place to share my clumsiness, book reviews, and shoe pr0n. Morphed into a place to discuss clumsiness, book reviews, shoes, and my health & weight loss journey. Then it skidded sideways into a pregnancy tracker and half-hearted mommy blog. All of this while doing my best to hide my real name from the internets.

And now-this is where we are.

There’s a lot less focus on the awkward (although that still exists), I never talk about shoes anymore (my interest in pretty shoes fell to the wayside about the time I had foot surgery), and my posts about my kid are getting fewer and further between as he gets older (and so much bigger, omg, he comes up to my chest now!).

It’s book reviews and writing and health (physical and mental).

I was doing a meditation this morning (seriously guys, if you haven’t read Rebekah Borucki’s You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, get on that) and realized that the last two years have been nothing but attempts to breathe out the bad and breathe in the good.

I breathed out the job that I hated with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. The job that made me have panic attacks and high-level anxiety. The job that caused me to stress-eat and stress-starve (and may have fucked up my entire digestive system semi-permanently). The breath maybe wasn’t as controlled as I’d have preferred, but it’s gone, it’s out, and this is better.

I breathed out a marriage that had been weighing me down for longer than I care to admit. Letting go of a relationship that doesn’t buoy you is harder than it ought to be. Adding a kid to the mix certainly doesn’t make that process easier.

I breathed in new possibilities. I published a book (soon to be two). I’m taking control of that part of my life.

I breathed in a new job that, although not as exciting as it could be, still pays me with real money and affords me the time and energy to continue to work on my writing.

I breathed in a new relationship with a wonderful man who continually surprises me with how much he’s willing to give to me and my son, just because he loves us.

There are still things that I need to let go of and still things I need to pick up. I need to be bolder, more brazen, more confident. I need to be less anxious, less self-deprecating, less willing to put myself and my needs last. More movement, fewer excuses. More running, less sitting.

I started meditating – started being a person who meditates – when things were terribly, terribly bad earlier this year. I’d just turned 40 and was broke. Unemployed. So anxiety-riddled that I couldn’t tell where my brain was anymore. The one meditation I did over and over and over was (again, from the aforementioned book): “Your situation may look like a mess. That’s real. But you are not that mess.”

That got me through March. I started this job the end of April. I’m sleeping better. Eating better. And (and hopefully the beer guy will back me on this) being an all-around happier, more relaxed person.

I’m not saying that mediation got me a job and fixed my crazy, but there is evidence to show that mindfulness and mediation have a positive effect on anxiety (and a whole host of things!). And less anxious = all around better everything.

I’m still not meditating every day, but I’m definitely getting to “more often than not.”

Which brings me back to moving. Moving on. Moving up. This is one more letting go. Letting go of the gazelle that I so identify with “ten years ago Amy” and “Amy who was married to the architect” and “Amy who was too scared to really live.” (My spell check suggests I mean “Amy who was too sacred to really live…interesting…)

Now, instead of taking a name someone else gave me, we are here. At amycissell.com. (Yeah, I know that technically someone else gave me that damn name, too, but hey! It’s very me. 40 years of me, in fact.) I might never achieve the level of fearlessness I’d like, but I’m going to stop letting fear hold me back from what I want.

I will no longer be a dreamer of dreams. I will be a doer of things.

So welcome. Welcome to Amy Cissell Writes. The past is all here – I don’t want to start fresh because the lessons I’ve learned have been invaluable, but let’s move forward with fresh goals, shiny new intentions, and a courage that belies the fear.

 

Here goes something…

I am at work. Probably. Unless I got lost and took the wrong bus and ended up in  Gresham or something.

That seems unlikely, but you never know with me. When I first moved to Portland, I would occasionally get on the wrong light rail line and not realize it until I was pretty far away from where I was trying to go.

Anyway, not the point.

I am starting a new job today. I’m a wee bit nervous. This is probably not surprising. Also not surprising? I wrote this Sunday night, because I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to blog today.

I went to the new place o’ work on Thursday and got my employee ID number, found the building in which I’ll work, and selected my office. Today, I’ll get my benefits information (oooooh! Health insurance!), my employee ID, and my transit pass (ooooh! Trimet annual pass!).

It’s weird starting a new job. I was with my last employer for 8.5 years. I was promoted twice and switched departments once, but I still knew what I was doing and where I was going.

I am unaccountably nervous about today. Last night, I prepped my coffee, made breakfast, packed a bag (including my special Doctor Who mug), made the Bean’s lunch, set my alarm, picked out my outfit (none of my work clothes fit. none. ZERO.), double-checked my alarm, had a very serious conversation with the Bean about the extra-special double importance of being a really good listener in the morning so that mama wouldn’t be late to her new job, triple-checked my alarm, laid out my jewelry, found my shoes, poured a beer, and quadruple-checked my alarm. (Which is funny, because I bet I didn’t sleep a wink last night.)

Stress makes my already less-than-spontaneous personality even less flexible. Starting a new job is not as stressful as wondering if I was going to have enough money to feed the Bean in early February, but it’s pretty damn stressful. And I need routine to survive stress.

I’m hoping that after a few days, I’ll feel a bit more comfortable–I know the work, just not the culture and specifics. I’ll develop a routine–both for my new job and for my writing/editing/working out.

It’s going to be hard at first, and I’m prepared for that. I know what I need to do to combat that.

  1. Sleep
  2. Self-care (saying no is good)
  3. Move (now that I have to leave the house most days, that should happen easily)
  4. Eat regularly. This does not mean I can eat a Kind bar every five hours and call it meals. Apparently. Or at least so I’ve been told.
  5. Read – I know that seems like an odd thing to add to my list, but when I get stressed, I stop reading much. I’m not sure why, but I will sit and play stupid games on my phone for hours, which just gives me a headache. I love reading, it’s stress-relieving, but apparently when I’m high-anxiety, I’ll do anything to avoid feeling better (including sleep, exercise, eating right, and reading).

So – I’m probably surviving, right? WHO KNOWS!? Not you. I could be lying in a ditch in Gresham, and you would think I was learning all about my different dental insurance options.

Cross your fingers that all is well with me…now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to finish up my future post and go check my alarm. Again.

Hmmm…maybe there’s one more thing I should add to the list. This is in the first-thing-in-the-morning slot now.