February, Intentions and a Calendar

February, Intentions and a Calendar

Phew! January went fast and looking back now on my January intentions I got through most of it but three quarters of the way through my intention to walk a good distance everyday faltered. I tried my best to do little bursts of walking and those days I felt markedly better than on days I didn’t.

I’m off to a good start though with the calendar for February ready earlier hehe.

What are your intentions for this month?

I’m going to stick to my walking and switching out coffee for tea. A few other work things as well but these are the main ones for me.

January Intentions and 2023 Calendar

January Intentions and 2023 Calendar

Edit: it is now TWO WEEKS LATER AHHH but let me just post this and you can tell me has January flown past you as well having fun or is it dragging along for you.

To be perfectly frank, I have been STRUGGLING to wake up at my usual 5.30 or 6 am time. More amazingly my alarm clock i.e. my 5 year old has not been waking me!

Not newsworthy for some but everyday is a slow news day in this household thank goodness hehe.

But with waking up late at 8 or 9 has left me without the extra hour in the morning I usually rely on. It makes a difference for me even if it is a weekend. I have been meaning to finish up designing a few things (including a calendar) and without those morning hours I have struggled. And in a chicken and the egg kind of story I felt like I could not plan out things I wanted to work on in January (it’s almost a third of the way through the month) and January is just flashing past. You would think it would wait for me but nope hehe.

This morning in an astounding (I told you this is a slow news household) turn of events, we are up at 7. Oh my goshness, what a thrill. Made coffees for Mum and I, brought it over to her she was in the middle of a web meditation event (I didn’t realise she was so quiet, understandably as she was meditating), prepared food for little one in case it felt hungry (fruit salad left from yesterday and a babycino, took seconds) and got on with the calendar designing.

espresso machine

I’ve decided on a minimalist design, well, minimalist for me… featuring things I saw that stopped me in my tracks on my walks. There is a space on the side to record intentions for the month.

There is a moving version of it and the variations of light and colours was lovely. I’m looking forward to looking back at the end of the month where I got to with my intentions.

Wishing you a lovely January!

Last Minute Christmas Sweets Platter

Last Minute Christmas Sweets Platter

Hello! What a rush the last few weeks have been. I’m back in Sydney and we need to head over to a cousin’s house for Christmas lunch. It’s a potluck lunch and I thought lawd… what can I make that will travel well and be you know, nice to look at? Luckily I’m doing dessert which is easier than say, a whopping great big turkey which is certainly impressive but you probably want to make that inhouse.

A cake would be nice although, by the time you eat a huge meal, how much cake does one need? More pleasant might be a small nibble with a coffee.

I’ve been seeing these very fanciful platters but until now I have always felt timid and unsure how to do one. For my kid’s birthday I had my friend make one. She’s veryyyyyy good at it. We both wept a little that we didn’t take photos of that one haha.

She’s not here with me in Sydney so I’m on my own. Here is what I came up with. I had to go to the supermarket but you might have things in your cupboard you can use?

from this
to this
and just go from there

If you have anything last minute coming up give it a go. Even if all you have is a box of chocolates, with some fruit sprinkled around, it’s pretty to look at whilst you sit around having a chat (or putting your feet up). Also I’ll paste my recipe for egg nog. If I remember rightly, it’s vegan… it’s one of my most popular posts (?!?!!!!) but here it is again in case you would enjoy ithttps://ourzenaissance.com/2016/12/24/nog-vegan-egg-nog-in-less-time-than-it-takes-to-say-bah-humbug-a-christmas-miracle-recipe/

If you have some remember to drink loads of water! Hehe… and I wish you a beautiful day everyday xox

Tidy Space Tidy Mind

Tidy Space Tidy Mind

Clutter is a real mind messer arounder. I get it now. It is so easy to fall into a trap thinking you need a bigger space for all your stuff. To some extent yes, of course we need a cupboard to put things into but a penthouse? A five bedroom house? Probably not.

One of the things about our living space is the lack of cabinetry, so I bought some to make up for the lack of storage space. But how about that, I still had a crap load of stuff all over the place that needed to be put away, yet there was no where to put it. What now mighty mind?!

Obviously it was a case of me not using the space I had intelligently and also there being WAY TOO MANY THINGS. It has been very obvious what needed to be done but it was a case of finding the time to do it and overcoming the sensation of overwhelm that left me feeling too exhausted to get started.

Over the last month something overcame me and it was a funny time that I suddenly felt this urge considering it was one of the busiest months in our life yet I was just brimming with energy ready to tackle things.

Today I tackled a small but pretty important space, the kitchen counter, specifically the space above my little toaster oven and just next to it, and the spice cabinet above it.

One of my goals is to clear the dining table and have enough counter space to do things on it. I don’t have a proper workspace so the dining table is my little art studio/office space. So every meal time we have to shovel everything off down one end so we have enough space for our elbows. Yeesh. B is very kind and doesn’t say a word about it but how much better would it be if we had a clear table. Also my altar faces our dining table so it would be good to clear the clutter.

Looking into the spice cabinet I can see I haven’t used the space properly, I tried with those little Ikea metal shelves but it wasn’t organised enough so I couldn’t fit alot of stuff in and things overflowed out onto the dining table and kitchen counter.

Let me show you, I hope you feel the same physical relief I felt after getting this done! It’s incredible how clearing clutter can affect your mental state. It felt so wonderful that now I might even bake some banana bread! (It felt like a pain in the arse to clear things out the way and get things out of the cabinet to do any baking. And I used to sell baked goods so how hilarious is that?)

I highly recommend it if you also have clutter hanging around that you have been meaning to get to.

Hi there friend

Hi there friend

How are you?!

I’ve seen a guy address his audience “Hi there friends and lovers”. Can I pull that off without people thinking I’m serious? Anyway, I missed being here! The last couple of years have been busy and the last year has been a lot of growth. Every year we grow but the last year I have done things like tidy up and organise stuff. I mean…. that’s GROWTH. Place still a mess though but there are spots of tidiness.

I’ve been teaching quite a bit too (for someone with no promotion and unattached to any studio), people have floated towards me and it has been such a blessing.

In fact, it is now almost 10am on a Monday and I just finished teaching someone. How good is it to be freshly showered after yoga?!

Now ready to cook some soup for the day whilst listening to Louise Hay.

How good is it to feel happy?

I wish you a blessed and happy day.

xox

Weekend Things – Yoga, Qigong, Meditation

Weekend Things – Yoga, Qigong, Meditation

I burst out laughing yesterday afternoon when I saw my phone alert. I have a meditation app as do many of us these days (an app for everything, no?!) and on the dot at 3pm it pinged me.

There are two mistakes along the way to mastery: Not starting and not going all the way.

Buddha

I wasn’t laughing at the quote, more that I had just seen another video from Shaolin Temple about discipleship, quite a funny video in which the proposed disciple was constantly evading his master (Sifu) and his upcoming haircut. I had been thinking about how when it is time to practice, just practice don’t think about excuses and I had confirmed with myself that 3pm was afternoon practice time. That was when my phone pinged me and I saw the quote which is the same one used by Sifu too. It just all seemed very … oh never mind, stop thinking just go practice.

(Do you know what I mean though?)

Here is something I am working on in my yoga practice. Trying to improve my flexibility, if you intend to try, please warm up first with sun salutations or something similar. The aim in this is to keep the upper body in the middle, and to creep the hand holding the strap down the strap to the ankle. Honestly I find manouvering my hand down in this fashion quite confusing because up is down and left is right and where am I who am I hahaha. But it’s a pretty groovy experience all the same, I kind of… enjoyed the strangeness? Give it a try!

What are you doing this weekend? Something? Nothing? Everything? Haha, here are some suggestions, let me know what you enjoyed!

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

Mornings for Practice, No Thinking – Qigong 气功

In my last two posts (here, here) I have been writing about my recent adoption of 气功 practice and I mentioned a video which was available, and then unavailable, now it is available again. Below is the updated link for the video.

No more talking, time to practice!

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

Update to Qi Gong Daily Routine – A Quiet Place on the Inside 八段锦

I have been doing Qi Gong everyday following the videos uploaded on the channel I mentioned in the last post, by Master Shi Heng Yi. I noticed that the video I linked in my last post is not available now, hopefully not gone forever. In the meantime here is an alternative one you can use. I do this when I am very short on time many things to do, at least 20 minutes were for my practice, then I go take care of my tasks, practice some more later in the day and evening. There are many minutes in 24 hours!

Please try and let me know what you think. How wonderful if we are all practising qigong, yoga and meditation around the world.

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

Motivation and Dedication; aha!

It has been a long time and it shows. For one thing, what is grammar how does it work punctuation what is that.

A lot has happened for many of us. Some terrible and some wonderful and some terribly beautiful happenings. If you would ever like to share your past year with me, I’d love to hear from you. For now I will just leave a note on this concept about the relationship between motivation and dedication that was a moment of revelation for me.

You don’t have to be motivated but you do have to be dedicated.

In the midst of struggling with motivation to maintain healthy practices, do you ever find yourself searching for inspiration to stay motivated? Has anything been helpful in keeping you motivated for a sustained period of time? If you asked me that, I’d do the comme ci comme ça hand (or meh) gesture and shrug. Apparently Aussies are famous for habitually saying “yeah, nah1 and I’m guessing it was probably in answer to this line of enquiry.

It makes sense that we run out of motivation but what does it matter if a person is unmotivated but remains dedicated. Committing to the doing of the thing will win out in the end. Yes, perhaps I won’t be enthusiastically throwing myself at the task at hand in the beginning but if I gave myself my word that this task would be done over time, like the way waves lap at the rocks near the edge of the water, the stone becomes polished. It may take a long time but it will be more progress than before.

The last few weeks I have made a commitment to be unrolling my yoga mat at 10am (this was the gap between online school for my 4 year old) and whilst the 4 year old pranced around me and performed rain dances or played with all my yoga props (I had to ask they please leave me my mat), I would do yoga, Pilates or some combination of both. At times because of distractions I would only end up doing 15 minutes but it was more minutes than none at all. Months before that I had been working out in a frenzy in my living room, leaping about to aerobics videos, hopping on the spot for HIIT, performing squat jumps oh the squat jumps, lunging this way and that, the burpees and the burping (sometimes).

Hand on my heart, I feel like I saw more results these last few weeks of plodding downstairs with the yoga mats (I bring one for each of us but somehow we wind up squished together on the one mat) for a bit of yoga and Pilates than I did with all the other things I was doing. I’m stronger, calmer and I’m happy. I have energy leftover for creative pursuits.

I’m no longer motivated to work on things, I’m dedicated.

Tell me, did you already know this little secret? x

  1. https://outbackdictionary.com/yeah-nah

Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Happy New Us – Possibilities await in 2019

Just like that another year is over. I made a lot of great lists and plans, very little of it has been ticked off. Some were very small things I wanted to do and others were ginormous whopping overwhelming ideas that were extremely vague. Surprisingly more of the huge vague ideas came to fruition than the small things like “print out photos for photo album” as opposed to “new home – bigger, nice space”. 

*shrug*

Tell you what, I know I’m way more excited to be moving into our new place next year with an empty photo album than if it were the other way around. But it goes to show really amazing shifts can happen it just depends on your attitude going from an “I’m stuck” to “I dunno how but I’m excited about …”.

Here are some very vague ideas that I am excited about and going to try to flesh out in the new year:

To write more and turn this baby into a space!

To learn more

To dance more

To transform

To RADIATE with great energy

To create

To be grateful every day

HAPPY NEW YEAR! xx