Monday, March 15, 2010

mindful monday

wisdom from an unexpected source
you know, it's funny -- i critique self mag just days ago, and then finished the march issue only to find not one, but two articles that i found interesting and very pertinent to my own life.


the first one was hate to wait?, a short article written memoir-style about the author's struggle with impatience. she describes several vignettes of practically going postal while waiting in lines or watching a Subway employee s-l-o-w-l-y make a sandwich (the author should be glad she doesn't live in the south!).

after seeing her outraged face in the mirror of a checkout line, she wonders if perhaps this was negatively impacting her health and well-being. to investigate this and learn about ways to change, she then visits a psychologist who diagnoses her with "time-urgency impatience", or TUI for short.

the psychologist (rightfully) brings up that people with TUI often are that way because of narcissism -- a sense that they are special and shouldn't HAVE to wait/deal with life's little annoyances. this seems to resonate with the author, motivating her to want to change.

later, at a zen center where she went for more guidance, the author is told that "patience is a practice . . . the best way to cultivate it is to remind yourself constantly that every moment is the only place that your life is occurring."

BAM. so true, and nicely put! the rest of the article is humorous, chronicling the author's attempts to put this into action -- my favorite line is when she tells her husband that she's "trying to live in the friggin' moment."

i really liked the article as a whole -- both the author's voice and her message. and it was an excellent reminder of the role that mindfulness can play in everyday life, really all the time. it also drives home the small but very important point that freaking out while waiting really only has negative effects. as someone with intermittent TUI (especially at work), i took the advice in this piece to heart.

the nine rooms of happiness is the second article that caught my attention. not necessarily for the whole happiness concept (that the blueprint for your life's happiness can be represented by rooms in a house -- as you see below, a whole book is based on this concept) -- but for the opening section.

in it, the editor of self magazine (successful, much?), who is a thin blonde triathlete and mother to boot, describes the start of her day. she goes through the motions of a typical morning, mentioning the thoughts that come over her as she moves through her routine:

upon seeing her clock first thing: "i should have gotten up earlier."

upon seeing her sleeping son: "i don't spend enough time with my kids."

glancing at a pile of bills: "ugh, i have to catch up on those."

walking into the kitchen: "i should have loaded those dishes last night."

and finally, coming back from a run, directed at her butt: "still my biggest feature . . . some things never change."

i immediately connected with this article (online version found here). i didn't even realize it until i read it, but I DO THIS TOO. every single day of my life. i curse getting into the shower because of 'how late' i am. i beat myself up in the car (again, for being later than i want to be). i often spend more time and energy thinking about 'should-haves' and 'need-tos' than i ever get to devote to just being and doing.

don't get me wrong -- i'm not a miserable person! at all. but i would really like to stop this bad habit/way of thinking. i've written about flow and focus before, and i really think these things are the antithesis of the mindset above. however, i also realize that perhaps a little conscious behavior modification (ie, STOPPING myself when i hear the berating voice in the back of my head) might be important as well.

what do you think? anyone else read these articles and have similar thoughts? and, any sage advice as to what to do to combat these detrimental (but perhaps ingrained) patterns of thinking?

HL week comes to a close
here's the final day of my visual food journal to round out the full week!

breakfast: english muffin with almond butter & honey, plus an apple. are you tired of looking at these pictures yet? i am! [but i'm not tired of eating this for breakfast!]

lunch out: at brixx -- josh wanted to go somewhere we could hang out and watch duke play. i picked the mediterranean salad with shrimp and josh got a whole wheat rustica pizza. we did a little exchange, as you can see.

get glo-ing: i ate this in 2 halves -- 1/2 before my 10 mile long run, and the other 1/2 immediately after (glycogen replenishment = important)

pre-dinner snax: i had a mad craving for these veggie chips after seeing them at whole foods on my weekly shopping adventure, and accompanied them with a duck rabbit (local brew) to tame my post-run hunger while i cooked dinner.

dinner: i whipped up this super-easy vegetarian pasta recipe while sipping my drink and singing along to wilco.

dessert: a coconut mini ice cream sandwich from so delicious that i picked up on my WF excursion. cute size and delicious flavor!

sunday playlist
does anyone else do this?

put a word into your itunes so that it churns out a library of songs with that word in it? it's a way of creating eclectic mixes that still have a common theme.

yesterday, i was thinking that having music on actually has a powerful effect on my mode of thinking, bringing me more 'into the moment' (sorry, i had to go there one more time) and making even mundane chores more fun.

cleaning the bathroom = bah.
cleaning the bathroom with lady gaga . . . a different sort of experience, indeed.

[anyone else catch the video for telephone? i was mesmerized and horrified simultaneously! it reminded me of thelma and louise and pulp fiction all rolled into one glittery, highly explicit off-the-deep-end package. still love her!]



workout: 10 miles in chapel hill, average 8:44/mi. i started slow and finished FAST -- 7:06/mi barreling into my apartment complex (just for the last 0.1 mile or so though . . . i was pumped :) ). i'm ready for my half next week!

project report: i still have some work to do to tie up loose ends -- and i need to practice more! but i think it is going to go okay tomorrow. i am just looking forward to being done.


da said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My favorite bathroom cleaning background listening is Rush Limbaugh.
L, da

Jessica @ JJsVinBlanc said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really enjoyed reading your prospective of the magazine articles. Happy Monday, be mindful :)

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So speedy!!! Haha I love the idea of picking playlist songs like that!

Kristina said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sounds like the visual food journal was an interesting experiment. Sometimes I feel like people who do record every meal, every day rely way too much on the images and then the content is lacking (not everyone, it's just a general observation). I also wonder about the idea of making a "brand" out of oneself. There was an article in the NYTimes about the mommy blogs which discussed the whole "branding" thing.
I don't know - maybe I'm just envious because I'm not a brand?!

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

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Jess said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I liked your Healthy Living Week. Your food looks so good.

marathonmaiden said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i haven't read the self article yet (it's sitting on my desk though waiting to be read) but i think i'd totally relate to it! i'm constantly thinking that i shouldn't be doing something because of "how late" i am!

i definitely need to start practicing some mindfulness or something

sarah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I read the waiting story too! At the gym, no less. I identified with it, but more in a "oh, I been there" way. About half a year ago I began chanting to myself, in antsy situations, "I am a sea of calm." It's super hokey, but somehow it works.
(My parents, incidentally, do NOT call me James F. Collins. That would be weird.)

BroccoliHut said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hmm I guess I need to take a look at my latest issue of SELF--I continually struggle with impatience, so it would be a worthwhile read, I think!
Excellent eats!!

Susannah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Haha I like da's comment a lot. I really enjoyed this post--this is why I like your blog--always interesting reflections!

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Did you hear? ..Lady Gaga is coming to RBC Center in Sept for the last stop on her US tour !

atilla said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i've become ridiculously patient...also I never think of myself until I'm actually late that cuts down on the anxiety..i.e. 7:30 case and I'm still in the shower at 7:29 I'm technically not late (yet)

pen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ok, I'm going to go buy that issue right now. I think I definitely can relate to both of those articles!

Also, I'm a big proponent of listening to musicals while doing house work. Dancing + signing + vacuuming = actually fun.

Jenny said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mmm, the ice cream looks good!

Re: European Runner's World magazine, the one you would understand (UK version) is probably the least representative since the UK is the "new" USA when it comes to obesity and fried foods. That one also still has the models in tights on the cover.

Have a good start on the week and good luck with the presentation!

Kristen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We always have Duck Rabbit in the house - it is a good choice AND local, as you mentioned!

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