Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ooh, Ooh, She's Crafty!

Guess what I got?! A SEWING MACHINE! Not just a sewing machine, but a really awesome, old school, retro sewing machine. A Singer, model number 717, from I think the early 70's. My mother gave it to me when I asked her if I could borrow it. Now, do I know how to sew? Nope. I did take a home economics class in Jr. High, all those many moons ago. I have to admit, if my memory serves me correctly... well, I didn't do so well. But I was young and had no interest. I had other things on my mind, like hating the cheerleaders and listening to Nirvana.

NOW, though. NOW, I am 31 and I want to sew. In particular, I want to make Aromatherapy eye pillows, for headaches and relaxation. I had one of these once, who knows where the heck it is now. I want to make them, in all kinds of pretty colors and patterns. Maybe sell them, on Etsy and at flea markets and craft festivals. I'm getting ahead of myself, now. I can barely sew a straight line.

I went to the library and checked out some books on sewing and sewing machines, I've watched some you tube videos, I'm determined to learn this, and learn it well.

I went to the fabric store, and I fell in love with all the different fabrics, designs, colors, buttons, patterns. I started thinking past just making and selling eye pillows. How about boo boo bags for kids, meditation cushions, throw pillows. Bags, and a really funky quilt.

Here's something about me, though. I tend to get these really awesome ideas, and go all crazy, and I suck at follow through. Within the past year I have spent money that I don't really have on candle making supplies, jewelry making supplies, and a starter kit for selling pure romance. I think I jump into things to quickly, try to do too much at once, not being ready and then getting frustrated when it isn't as easy as I hoped.

I want this to be different. I am going to take my time, learn what I nee to know step by step. Practice, practice, practice. Not let myself get overwhelmed by all that freakin' information! My goodness I had no idea it was so... involved!

So, that is my news. Stay tuned for updates and hopefully, a really cool Etsy shop in the future!

I'd also like to thank you all for your input, advice, and comments. And my new followers for following me. Thank You!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

This morning I tried Mantra Meditation. It still didn't go very well. Sigh.

I don't know what my problem is, but when I try to meditate, I have issues. At best I get restless, bored, and uncomfortable. At worst, I am anxious and out of breath.

I love the idea of Mantras. Excerpts from Wildmind Buddhist Meditation:

"Perhaps it’s best to think of mantras as being a cross between poetry and magical incantations. Many mantras don’t make any real, rational, sense, even in Sanskrit, and so they can’t really be translated in the same way that a normal sentence can..."

"Mantras can help us to develop mindfulness. The sound of the mantra is a mental object, and paying attention to the sound of the mantra can be a form of meditation, just as paying attention to the sensations of the breath is a meditation. By bringing the mind back over and over again to the mantra (getting away from the kind of multitasking where we’re “kind of” chanting the mantra while also thinking about work, relationships, and shopping) the mind can become more unified and less scattered. We become more attentive and present..."

So I did some research, and found one I really liked. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

Om has no meaning, and its origins are lost in the mists of time. Om is considered to be the primeval sound, the sound of the universe, the sound from which all other sounds are formed.

Shanti means Peace. It primarily means inner peace, and the universe knows I could use some inner peace at times. Especially, it seems, while meditating.

Well, I tried chanting this in my head, I tried doing it out loud. What happened was, not only were all the same things going on... uncomfortable, restless... but I also could not get it to match up with my breathing! The website said to make sure you say along with your breathing and not the other way around, trying to breath in tune to the mantra. I tried. My breathing was all wonky, I couldn't get a nice, steady flow going.

I feel like this should be so easy and I might be making it harder than it needs to be. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Well, I'm not giving up. The last 2 times I have meditated, I was barely able to do it for 10 minutes. 10 minutes!!!

If anyone has advice I'd love to hear it. Or a favorite Mantra. Any input at all is welcomed and appreciated! <3

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Day at the Lake

It has been a great week so far! Especially Tuesday, we went to one of my favorite places, Moraine State Park. Now, usually when we go here, we Kayak. I love kayaking. If I had a religion, it would be kayaking. I love it on a spiritual level, if that makes sense. Nothing makes me feel more calm, more zen, more like everything in the world is just the way it's suppose to be that very moment, than being out in the middle of a lake on a kayak, surrounded by trees and nature.

This time, however, we decided to do something a little different and rent a motor boat. Not a very fast one, but it's still a completely different thing than kayaking. Oh, it was fun! Don't get me wrong. Just different. You aren't powering the boat yourself, with your own energy. Nothing very peaceful about the sound a boat engine. It sure was a blast creating waves and then turning to ride over them again, though!

And check out our awesome hats. We bought these hats at a festival at that park last year. They are hand made, great for sunny days, keep us shady without over heating... they "breathe" nicely. Here we are, on the boat.

Of course, we had to let Maya have a turn at driving the boat!

Maya had a BLAST. She loves the water, she is such a fish. Swimming, boating, she even likes kayaking.

After that, we went swimming in the lake. It was a hot day, and there's nothing like being able to veg in the sun and take a refreshing dip in the water on a hot day. Maya is such a fish in the water. She even found some really tiny shells in the sand.

I love summer. This is what we do, and I love being outdoors. Winter is rough for me, because I hate being cold, but I love being outside.

Oh, and in other news, check out these awesome green beans that we grew. They are HUGE!

Can't wait for the tomatoes to be ready. I'm thinking about picking a few while they are still green to make fried green tomatoes! YUM!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Where Are You Going?

I was driving down the road the other day, on my way to work, thinking about anything and everything, when it hit me. An old cliche, for sure... but so true. It really is about the journey and not the destination. I've previously said that I was searching, but... for what? What is my goal here, exactly?

I suck at meditation. I really do. I can't even do it for more than 10 to 20 minutes at a time. My thoughts stray constantly, my shoulders hurt, I'm almost certainly not sitting with the proper posture, I get anxious. And I do it anyway. But what am I hoping to accomplish, exactly? Am I going to do this every day, and slowly improve with time, until one day I have accomplished perfect meditation, some enlightened state, some kind of ultimate goal? No. It's not about that, It's about doing it. However I do it, however I am able, right now. In the moment I am doing it. No matter how my thoughts bounce around, no matter what zen like or anti-zen like state I am in, It is what it is, I am how I am. It's not about reaching any sort of finishing line or becoming perfect. I'm not out to win any gold medals in meditation.

I'm never going to wake up someday and realize I have "found" God, "found" inner peace. Along this journey I am on, there is no finish line with a ribbon and balloons and some pretty little trophy of enlightenment. It isn't about that, It's about the journey itself. Again, I hate to be so cliche, but it is so true.

Wherever you are on your journey, that is where you're suppose to be!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Coming back To (Blogging) Life

I've decided to really get this blog going. I've been posting but not really actively participating in the blogosphere. I should do that.

I'm going to try to find all of the blogs I used to love back when I actually blogged pretty regularly, and also try to find some new sites. If you're reading this, HI! This is a new blog and it's going to take some time to build up more info, followers, links, interesting... stuff, you know how it is. If you're an old follower from one of my previous blogs, I'm starting over. If you're new, welcome! Please, let me know if you are linking and/or following me, and I will do the same! I know I have lost some peeps so If I used to follow you but you don't see you blog listed, don't be offended, just let me know and I will put it back up. Stuff gets lost in the shuffle.

Please note, I don't intend to blog strictly about Zen and meditation. I will be blogging about motherhood, family, books, art, life in general, I will be posting photos and you know, the whole nine yards.