Relaxing Rituals: Candlelight Meditation

I can’t believe it’s already March! Where did the first two and a half months of the year go? I noted last month that a big part of my life lately has consisted of studying and taking certification exams. I’m sad to say I’m still stuck in the worst of it with a big exam coming up in just a few days. Luckily I’ll have a brief respite from testing after this one, but the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t make it any less painful of a slog! To be honest, I’m certain I’ve only survived the grueling cycle of work, housework and studying for this long with the support of my husband (he is a saint!) and because of the habits I’d been working to build up over the last couple years. If I were to pin my sanity on just one factor, though, I would say I owe a lot of the credit to meditation.

Please don’t imagine, though, that I spend an hour each day, eyes closed and legs akimbo, in peaceful contemplation. My days are as full as anyone else’s, so I don’t think an hour a day will ever be realistic, but 5-10 minutes? Too easy! And five minutes is about all it takes for me to really get focused in the morning or get my head straight to settle down in the afternoon. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Little Things

What makes life feel luxurious? I’ve been mulling this over lately and trying to distill some formula for elevating the mundane into the marvelous.

I traveled for work recently and had the good fortune to have a beautiful room all to myself for a couple days. Despite its simplicity–the room only housed a bed, a desk, two nightstands, a television, and a couple chairs on either side of a small table–everything in the room was well-appointed. Each morning I found myself wishing I could linger a few hours longer in the plush, cozy bed, wrapped in a cocoon of soft linens and fluffy pillows. Evenings found me reading in one of the chairs, completely relaxed in its not-too-firm-but-not-too-soft goldilocks comfort. The contentment I felt in that room is a rare feeling for me outside of my own home, but I can’t say that I was surprised. The hotel got right what so many others get wrong: the details, all the little things that elevate the quality of an experience. Continue reading

Finding Happiness, One Latte at a Time

I never like to start things on a negative note, but the last couple months have been a bit rough.  To be fair, I still live in a nice little house in a relatively nice neighborhood, and I still have a job and enough money to eat. Believe me–I can hear the peanut gallery asking what’s so rough about my 1st world life. I’ll tell you:

  • My ill-conceived wish to be part of my neighborhood’s HOA recently came true. I now spend a chunk of my leisure time–already missing 6 hours a week because of a class I’m taking–on that weekly when I’d rather be enjoying time with family and friends.
  • Our cute little puppy has been having anxiety attacks. At least, that’s the only explanation I can find for him eating massive holes out of the carpet and scratching up the walls near our front door.
  • Bonus: Our older dog revenge-pooped all over the house because we gave the puppy so much attention. The carpet is trashed.

On top of it all, I still spend pretty much every day/week doing my best to balance work, school, and maintenance of a household with my selfish goals of improving my physical fitness and finding time for the occasional bubble bath. Despite the hustle and bustle of this day-to-day grind of an existence, I don’t actually find myself stressed at bed time or wishing for a lie in when my alarm goes off on a weekday. I think I may have actually found the cure for being stressed out by a busy life.

Are you ready for this? It’s revolutionary: Continue reading