FTY: The Muppets

June 10, 2011

Orignially this post was going to consist mainly of the “SouthPark Test” which is analogous to The Daughter Test they have been writing about over at Feministe. Instead of flogging myself for failing the “SouthPark Good Parenting Test”, because I caught kiddo watching almost a whole hour of South Park. <<<While I snoozed and dear Kryten took his “I got clocked @89 mph but was framed” defense and safe driving class to show the judge “I am a good driver certificate”>>>. <My younger judgemental teacher self head would have almost exploded upon hearing eight year olds watched SouthPark.>

Instead I bring to you Muppets!

From Mindful.org: Embrace the Monster in the Mirror

Our furry old pal Grover’s got good advice for us all.

Here’s a little Friday fun for the young and the young at heart.

About this Sesame Street video, Scientific Mindfulness blogger Brian Thompson, PhD writes, “I discovered this Sesame Street clip after a therapist posted it on a professional listserv. As the poster noted, it’s a clever illustration of the ease that can come from accepting parts of us that we experience judgment towards.”


Skating and Biking

October 23, 2010

I’ve been not so patiently waiting for my roller skates to come for my Halloween getup. I wanted to be a roller girl for Halloween last year but I could not find skates to use. So this year I ordered the skates. Now I am not sure if they will make it in time for the big day. My grand plan is to get Moshie so excited about getting her own pair of roller skates that she will forget about her fear of riding her bike. So the bribe is I will get her a pair of skates if she rides her bike several days in a row, with her daddy!

Because I am a most wonderful and mindful mommy I put her outside on her bike with helmet, on a hill and told her to peddle. Well we had not covered the art of braking and whooooosh-crunch. Off she rolled gaining speed and smack right into a mailbox head first. Have I told you how grateful I am to bike helmets.

How I’m feeling about this bike incident…like a Creep. I’m sure this is psychologically worse on me then it is on her.


Wandering Weasel

October 14, 2010

This post was inspired by Garbage and today’s rain.

So yesterdays post was supposed to include three books, ha. Well at least I got a post up there. I like to wander or as I see it explore all possibilities. If there’s a crack under that door, I could weasel my way through. It’s why I love ferrets.

Today was a back to basics day. I cooked one of my favorite meals. My thoughts went in circles while I tried to avoid asking people for things I need. I found myself consistently not wanting to be fully present. Since certainty is an illusion there is no permanent reference point I can cling to. I try to bring myself back to breathing, sights, sounds, smells, and sensations. (Hey, I’m good at breathing! I was called a champion breather when I was in labor with the Kiddo.) In a way I feel like I am trying to have all new senses. Much like Marcel here says we must have new eyes.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

I’ve made some real progress over the last few months in discovering new landscapes. In fact just a few months ago I would have not posted today because of frustration with my computer, which has a bit of mouse/ keyboard lag.


Bilbliotherapy and The Church Lady

October 13, 2010

Lately amongst the chaos that is normal I have been becoming my own therapist with the help of books. I’ve read and perused a few prior to this one. Three authors are on my mind currently. The first is Pema Chodron. What I gathered briefly was that she is a former first grade teacher turned Buddhist nun. One reason I like her so much is that she states Buddhist teaching in such simple ways while using it’s terminology.

The first of her books that I read is Comfortable with Uncertainty. I really wish I had bought this book instead of the more traditional meditative book Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind.  Comfortable with Uncertainties writings would bring me comfort while I read them as well as remind me of my goals. It is a text I found myself thumbing through on a daily basis, always opening to something that brought comfort. While Daily Meditations has many very useful meditation activities,it felt like more of a chore to read. And then I felt guilty when I didn’t jump right into a meditative exercise. Perhaps reading itself is meditative for me, and I need to have more of an open mind while reading through Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind. Uh Oh Nit-Picking-Ninny-Teacher me came out there for a minute and said “You must always follow directions”

Bibliotherapy Lesson 1: Don’t be a Ninny-Nitpicker/ Recognize Your Inner Ninny-Nitpicker

The ultimate Ninny-Nitpicker IMHO is The Church Lady.

Created and played by Dana Carvey, The Church Lady is an elderly woman named “Enid Strict”, who is the uptight, smug and pious host of her own talk show, Church Chat. Enid is a spoof of “holier-than-thou” Christian churchgoers. She is known for always wearing a purple dress, a sweater, visible knee-high stockings, and a pair of cat’s eyehorn-rimmed glasses. She was known for the catchphrases, “Well, isn’t that SPE-CIAL?!”, “How con-VEEN-ient!”, and “Could it be…SATAN?

So friends if you recognize me going all Church Lady on you, please let me know. It’s harmful to me and those around me.


The Three Posts

September 23, 2010

Becoming a witness to my own thoughts through meditation has been quite interesting. It is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. Realizing that the mind is like a foot or a hand and must be “trained” for use is certainly a new concept for me.

I started three separate posts in three days, and then wrote one letter under two of the titles and a half of sentence under the other title. Two of the titles are things I am trying to become more aware of because when I do them, its not really helpful.

Spinning Out

Whenever I see this phrase I think of a car spinning its tires in the snow and/ or doing donuts.

This is when I spend to much time thinking of “other people’s problems” and what they or I could do about them. Most of the time I end in some kind of comparison/ judgement which is not helpful

Comparison will leave us uncomfortable, either on the side of pride or of inadequacy. -From More Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Because reality is the only person I can help is me.

Intensity Levels

I’ve been told by *some people* that when I speak really passionately about something I sound angry. When it comes to educating children I want them to have the best and I do get angry when I do not see that happening.

My mind jumps to conclusions extremely fast and I can feel it in my body. Lots of times these conclusions are false.

Gifts

Getting what I want is not always what is best for me. Through two losses I realized I already have everything I need right now.


New Directions

September 14, 2010

I took an 8 week meditation class and wow! My meditation practice is changing how I look and think about the world. The class is based on implementation of these 7 attitudes.

The Seven Pillars of Mindfulness:

  1. NON-JUDGING: consists in taking the position of an impartial witness to your own experience. It requires that you become aware of the stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experiences and step back from it. This habit of categorizing into good and bad or positive and negative locks us into mechanical reactions that we are not even aware of and that often have no objective basis at all. Tip: observe over 10 minutes how much you are preoccupied with liking and disliking what you are experiencing.
  2. PATIENCE: it demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things unfold in their own time. Practicing mindfulness give us the chance to give time and space to our own unfolding. Why rushing to the next “better” moment when after all each one is your life in that moment.
  3. BEGINNER’S MIND: practicing mindfulness means to take the chance to see everything as if it was for the first time and not allow our illusion of knowing prevent us from being present to our experiences. Tip next time you meet someone you know well try and see something new in this person.
  4. TRUST: developing a basic trust in yourself and your feelings is an integral part of meditation practice. Do not get caught up in the reputation and authority of your teachers. It is impossible to become like somebody else. Your only hope is to become more fully yourself.
  5. NON-STRIVING: almost everything we do is for a purpose. Meditation not! Actually this attitude can be a real obstacle in meditation. Although meditation takes a lot of work and energy, ultimately it is about non-doing. It has no goal other than for you to be yourself. The irony is that you already are! Do not sit to get relaxed, enlighten or sleep better. Sit to learn to carefully see what is happening and accept it.
  6. ACCEPTANCE: often acceptance comes after we have gone through intense period of emotion turmoil and anger. Doing that uses up our energy in the struggle instead of using it for healing and change. You are much more likely to know what to do and have the inner conviction to act when your vision is mot clouded by your mind’s self-serving judgments and desires or its fears and prejudices.
  7. LETTING GO: when we pay attention to our inner experience, we discover that there are certain thoughts, feelings and situations that the mind seems to want to hold on to. If pleasant, we try and prolong our experience, if unpleasant, we try and get rid of them. In meditation, we try to intentionally put aside the tendency to elevate some aspects of our experience and reject others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn (2005)

Realizing how much I do not practice these attitudes has been quite a shocker, it’s given me incentive to keep trying and not to give up. I am so proud of my friend for going to her very first meditation class at The Kadampa Center.

Meditation 101 is a free class that the center offers. I loved seeing The Moody Cow on their bookshelves.   The Moody Cow has a great activity for making a “mind jar” in the back of the book.  I will take some pictures of our “mind jar” and post about the activity. Teaching kiddo these things so early, when her brain is spongy and malleable may make a world of difference for her.


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