2018 Resolutions: Week One Update


I was able to sample what life is like with my 2018 resolutions for an entire week. I think I will keep them. :)
  • I went to the gym twice and tried a new yoga class.
  • Found time to do some projects around the house that I've been procrastinating on, for example, organizing the entry closet.
  • I found it interesting that on Saturday, when I was allowed to be online for any purpose whatsoever, there was not much that I wanted to check. As if I got it out of my system and it is not so interesting anymore.
  • Time is limited on weekday evenings and there is that tendency to feel like a hamster in a wheel. I have to remember to pause and savor the things that I am doing, no matter how mundane. I should try to remember, that I don't "have to do" these things, but I "get to do" them.

Moments of Joy



Some moments of joy from this week.
  • After I put my contact lenses in early one morning, I felt that something was unusual outside. When I looked out, I saw the above. A beautiful path created by the moon. It was stunning and the photo does not do it justice.
  • Another morning, a big snow storm was promised. As I was getting ready to go to work, the first snowflakes started falling. By the time I headed out, there was a good amount of snow on the ground and barely any people around. Oh, what joy to be the fist to step on the snow. No other footrpints yet!
  • New year's resolutions are going strong! Worked out this week as promised and am in pain here and there from sore muscles. However, also noticing the stronger core. That area that tends to "collapse" when tired, stressed, carrying heavy bags, not mindful. This week I felt that it is back - my core, my center.

2018 Resolutions

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Hello, the first morning of the new year! Before I do my first meditation of the year, I want to reflect a bit on 2017 and make some resolutions for 2018. I just reread my prior resolutions posts - again, I am glad I have this blog so I have a record of those. It is interesting to see my "evolution" over the years.

So, 2017. Great year, amazing year for me. The main reason is because I have accomplished something I've aspired to for decades. I meditated every day starting with around January 10th of last year. I have not missed a day! (Here is a link to my meditation related posts.) Now, I would not think of not meditating. It is like brushing teeth - essential. This showed me that I can stick to something, if I put my mind to it and gives me great inspiration for 2018.

2017 was the year when I did not have a single cold. That was probably for the first time in my entire life. I credit meditation for that. I also stopped consuming refined sugar in May so that might have helped.

Meditation brought up something that I was not aware of before - internal energy and ways in which it manifests. I got so curios about the subject and so inspired by this fascinating account, that I booked a session of my own. That was at the end of August. The session itself was amazing (I could not believe what my body was doing), but even better was the feeling I got afterwards. That evening, I felt such a profound sense of equanimity. I really want to go back to that feeling. I was also fascinated by the fact that the therapist can do remote sessions too - the other person can be across the globe. Wow!

Right away I felt that this is what I want to learn. Ways to help people by working with internal energy. I am planning to attend the teaching this spring, but meanwhile, I've figured that I should find out what Reiki is all about. Or more like, I was on my computer one day and there was an ad for Udemy class on Reiki and I felt this strong pull to click the button and register. Prior to this, I had no interest in such things and always thought of Reiki as something questionable. Well, fast forward few months, and here I am - doing Reiki sessions on my family and friends. :) (There are some aspects of Reiki tradition that I do not subscribe to - symbols or repeating symbol names. I can see how they can be useful to concentrate energy, but I find that there are other ways to accomplish the same. Turns out, I am not the only one. As for Udemy course, it has some amazing guided meditations. For example, on meeting and consulting your guide or creating your space - that stuff is so powerful. And, of course, I love the Reiki principals.)

As for 2018, there are still some areas in my life that I need to get a good push for developing better habits.

One of the Buddhist vows for lay practitioners listed on The Mind Illuminated author's site, is "I undertake the precept to refrain from activities and behaviors that cause dullness of mind." Originally, the vow was probably referring to drugs such as alcohol, but I think these days it is applicable to such things as procrastinating online. My mind definitely gets dull from spending time on the Interwebs - I get tired, scatterbrained, forgetful and lazy.

I really need to do something about it. It's been better in 2017, but nowhere near ideal yet. So, my resolution is to stick to a routine that I came up with after reading The Artist's Way. One of the exercises in that book is one week without reading - any kind of reading. I had an amazing week when I tried that. I was unable to procrastinate online or with books. I had all this time on my hands and that left me with nothing else but to do things that I should be doing. So, I want to do a "No Reading" year with few allowances:

  • Instagram feed for 30 minutes on the 1st of the month, reddit for one hour on 15th of the month
  • No reading (online, books, magazines) on weekdays, except for studying (Italian, etc.)
  • Ok to read books for one hour on Friday evening and weekend days
  • Ok to spend time online for one hour on Saturday
  • Ok to devote time to my blog but for 30 minutes a day only
  • Ok to check e-mail twice a day

I've been pretty good about staying away from news. I plan to continue this year. No news sites whatsoever.

My second resolution is exercising. I've been really bad about about that. So, in 2018, I resolve to go to the gym twice a week (for 30 minutes minimum) and take yoga classes twice a month.

I think that these two resolutions will make a big difference in a way I live my life.

Happy New Year!


Whether you are celebrating, reflecting, or doing nothing this New Year's eve, may it be full of joy and peace! And thank you for visiting my blog this year.

As a token of appreciation, I want to share this printable calendar. I found it attractive and helpful in tracking family activities. It hangs on our entrance door. (I got brown paper for it at Paper Source.)

Veganuary


Anyone participating in Veganuary? If so, that's awesome! If not, never to late to start. For extra help / inspiration, see this community.

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А вы планируете попробовать веганство в январе?

Moments of Joy / Маленькие Радости



These cheap but freaking cute decorations for sale in the pharmacy window were giving me joy all December.

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Дешёвые рождественкие декорации в витрине CVS Pharmacy приносили мне радость весь декабрь.

Moments of Joy / Маленькие Радости


Photo: Recent snow storm in Milan (as captured by my Milanese friend).

I've been meaning to keep a journal of recent moments of joy. Those moments that are so easy to forget the next day. I would like to share those with you and hope you can do the same. I will exclude those related to my family (too personal) or to shopping (as I want to remember more authentic moments). Hope you will comment and share yours so we can experience joy together.

My first moment of joy is that warm feeling when friends are there for you unconditionally. You see, I have this big dream and when I verbalized it to the world, my friends started helping me in small ways to make that dream a reality. I am actually pretty amazed by that. My one friend did something to help my dream this week and it almost feels like she helped push the first domino and the journey towards the dream has begun for real. Oh my!

Please share your moment in comments.

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Друзья, давно хотела вести дневник маленьких радостей. Попробую здесь, в блоге. Не буду грузить радостями семейными (слишком лично) или радостями от покупок (ради цели определить более подлинные моменты). Очень надеюсь, что вы тоже будете делиться, чтобы мы могли радоваться вместе. Что ж, начнём?

Моя мальенкая радость на этой неделе это то тёплое чувство внутри которое дарят друзья. У меня есть большая мечта и как только я её вложила в слова, то мои друзья начали безвозмено помогать этой мечте осуществиться. На днях, подружка написала что узнала важную деталь насчёт моей мечты, и сделав это она как бы толкнула первое домино на дорожке к цели.

Расскажите о вашей мальенкой радости в комментариях. Будет очень приятно узнать и разделить!

David Hockney

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I feel like I can go to the Met every weekend and still not get enough of it - it is such an incredible place. For example, the museum is currently featuring David Hockney. The only association I had with his name was something about him painting the landscape near his house in Britain in different seasons. Due to such limited knowledge, I figured, that I should attend a guided tour. Tours are given by volunteer curators (so can vary in quality), but I do find them worth it if just for the fact that you would learn about something that you otherwise would have strutted by without paying attention.



Turns out, there is a painting by David Hockney that I have definitely seen in the past, maybe even growing up. Is it possible that an image of this reached Soviet Union somehow - in a magazine or some art book? And - those outfits, that hair!

Mr. Hockney is very prolific and the galleries of the exhibit are a time machine of his artistic development. It is fascinating! I loved the room with double portraits, especially that of his parents. He painted his Mom with so much love in her expression.



His drawings of friends are incredible. Here is his self portrait.



And, I loved the displays that show his process of drawing on the iPad. Apparently, Apple updates the drawing application just for him.

Great exhibit if you want to dive into into the world of David Hockney.

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Movies That Do Not Suck: The Note


This documentary is an opportunity to meet a fascinating and talented human being. You will feel inspired and elevated after spending time with him. Russian version above; English version is here but requires a subscription.