Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Drop in the Bucket....

You can mock, and you can laugh, but a few months ago,  I created a Bucket List...

Yes, a cheesy, cliched Bucket List.

"Why?", you may ask, well,  I'll tell ya why...

Life is a series of opportunities and decisions, both big and little, and if you have not taken the time to figure out what you really want out of life, you may miss a once in a lifetime opportunity that in hindsight you might regret.  Bucket Lists can help you avoid that.....

So, where is the controversy and mocking coming from?

In a nutshell, the internet.

The reason, I believe, that Bucket Lists have gotten such a bad rap is a majority of the items that are being put on lists that you can find on the internet are expensive.  Will your life be a failure if at the end of your life, because you were fiscally responsible and could not pay for a trip to China and as a result you did not stand on the Great Wall of China because it was on your list?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!  Items left on your list are not failures, in my opinion, but dreams not yet fulfilled.

My friends and I had been talking about things we want in life lately and my bucket list grew out of that.   A lot of my items have to do with travel, as it is something I LOVE TO DO!, but others will require nothing but love and time.

I am not going to post my entire list; for one thing, it has 106 items on it, but the main reason is I believe Bucket Lists are fairly personal.  My list is a representative of  my hopes and dreams for my life, not shallow thoughts.  If at the end of my life, I still have items on my list, I will be ok, because that means I am still a dreamer.  My list is also not complete.  I expect to add to it as my life continues.  Dreaming, both little and big, should never stop.

Here on my blog, you will see a few of them, as I discuss them and I will let you know when I attempt an item and how it goes.  Some of the ones I have already accomplished did not go so well, like learning to surf, but I am glad I at least had the courage to try.

This blog post came from an item I checked off yesterday--Take a Photography Class.  I found a groupon for an all day workshop for $35. 
bokeh effect on a plant
Why did I post this photo of a leaf?  I learned how to create this effect at the workshop.  I thought I needed a different lens with aperture settings not on the lenses I currently own.  If I had not created my Bucket List, I might of missed an amazing opportunity.  Bucket Lists rock!

The main thing I'm finding after creating my list, I am more aware of opportunities and in a weird way, there seems to be more of them presenting in my life.   Awareness is an amazing thing.

It took me almost a week to come up with my list.  I searched the net for lists that I liked and thought about things, experiences and service I wanted to have in my life.  While I won't be sharing my entire list, I will share a few to maybe help jumpstart yours and see that it does not have to cost a lot of money to be a Bucket List item.

                ----See the Northern Lights
                ----Watch the AFI 100 best movies
                ----Learn to say 'no' without feeling guilty
                ----Help someone fulfill a goal

I hope you still dream and dream BIG....
and from that, put it to paper and make a Bucket List or whatever you want to call it.

Melissa



Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Resolutions...

It's time...
for my 2013 Resolutions to be revealed.

Are you breathless with anticipation?
or just really tired from all of the posts from the last few days?

Drumroll.....

#1.  Meditate every day

       Why?  You may ask...good question.  In November 2012, I participated in a 21 Meditation Challenge sponsored by Deepak Chopra and LOVED it.  I had been toying the idea of meditating every day for a year when the challenge presented itself and it cemented the idea.  I've downloaded guided meditations from iTunes, purchased the Challenge from Chopra and 2 others, and am planning on doing Buddhist Zazen meditation, well.  I'm three days into to it and have learned a couple of things....
                1.  Don't meditate right before bed.  I am very relaxed right after, but then the energy build happens and it takes FOREVER to fall asleep
               2.  This is going to be really cool.


#2.  Swim a mile, then decrease the time by the end of the year.

       Oops, this is a re-resolution from 2012.  :(  I got in the pool 3 times last year.  My inner fish is gasping for air and is severely dehydrated.  The goal for this year--GET BACK IN THE POOL, build up to a mile again (it shouldn't take me too  long) and then decrease the time.  I have a plan this year and will update my time, here on the blog, and then my goal time.

#3.  Communicate more.....

       With my friends and family; with my journaling; and with my blogging....  I noticed in 2012, when I got busy, stressed or overwhelmed, I turned inward and stopped calling and writing.  I even stopped journaling, which helps with my stress and funkiness.  I blogged inconsistently and then overwhelmed myself at the end of the year....

#4.  Be fearless!!!

       I want to do stuff that has in the past that has scared me.  I'm not talking about my logical and completely reasonable fear of snakes.  I'm talking about singing lessons (January 8th)....I'm talking about being the first one to sign up for something.  Live without the inner dialogue that stops me from doing things I really want to do.  I know it's a little vague, but it's a mindset.  :)

#5.  Continue...

       with the progress of the last year.  Keep eating healthy and maintaining a balance.  Keep running and making progress.  Keep my emotional stuff in check.  I do not want to look back at the end of 2013 and then do previous goals again....  At the end of 2013,  I want to see progress and keep on moving forward.

Here we go 2013...
Melissa

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Stairs of Haramara...

During my stay at Haramara, documented here, I mentioned the natural state of the retreat.  One of the quirks that I encountered everyday and multiple times a day were the stairs on the trail from my casita to just about everywhere (both yoga pavilions and the dining room).  The stairs were made to fit into the hillside and meant not to disturb nature as much as possible.  Beautiful, yes....  Equal and level, not so much.



The first couple of days, the stairs drove me nuts.  They bugged my ankle.  I could not find a rhythm on them--1 wide step, 2 short ones, then a half..and on and on...  With the humidity, I would be glowing (haha) by the time I got to the top.  My complaints were endless, and yet the stairs remained.

I started to realize something....
Life, like these stairs, is not meant to be perfect and even.
You need to focus on what you are doing in the moment, i.e. be present, to successfully navigate it.

When I let the stairs be as they were, not as I wanted them to be, I was able to make it up and down without incident.

Life lesson in a flight of stairs.....

Melissa




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resolution Recap...

Remember in January when I posted my 2012 New Year's Resolutions?

If not, here is a little reminder.

Now that it is January 2013, it's time for an update.....

#1. Run a 5k.

Yes!!!  This was my most documented resolution here on the blog, with one, two entries about it.

#2.  Take singing lessons

This was the hardest for me, by FAR!!!!!  I wimped out, I got scared, and I delayed.  It started off well enough in January when I put out a plea on facebook and in real life for a voice coach.  I was full of enthusiasm and had little fear.  I did not find a vocal coach until about June when a friend and my research came together in the same name.  Did I call then?  Nope.  I lost her number.  I put it off until about September when I reread my resolution list and asked my friend again for the number again.  Still did not call.....
fear had set in.

December rolled around and I thought, 'Now is the time to call' and actually did, but got the voicemail of the vocal coach.  It turns out that December with all of the Christmas concerts and other activities  is not best time to schedule a lesson.  I have since talked to her and have scheduled a lesson in January.

So, does it still count?  Not sure.....

#3.  Take 10 minutes off my 1 mile swim time.

Nope.  I can count on one hand how many times I got into a swimming pool this year.  I think my mistake was doing two resolutions that had fitness goals attached.  Running dominated my mind and exercise time this past year.  I am going to re-resolve this one and actually make a plan to make it happen.

#4.  Get up earlier on weekends and my days off.

I did ok on this one.  I am not a big napper, so when I am tired and overstressed, I recover by sleeping in a bit.  I learned with this one to listen to my body and rest when I need it.

Not a bad result, I think.  There is a lot of talk about how resolutions do not work and set you up for failure, but I have always like them.  I do not always succeed, but when I don't I always try and see why....  Sometimes, it was just a lack of a plan, like #3, but others, it's a lack of overcoming a fear (#2) and you still end up making progress.

I'm still forming all of my 2013 resolutions, so I'll be posting them later this week.  It was really nice and encouraging to get  the comments on the blog and in real life.  They kept me motivated and honest in my resolutions, so THANK YOU!!

Melissa