Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Day 10. Project Begin Again.

I bought two of the best little books yesterday:  How to Relax and How to Love....both filled with snippets of wisdom (meditations of sorts) by Thich Nhat Hahn.  These books are seriously awesome!  Would make great gifts!
I'll start day 10's post with daily gratitude and intentions.  

Again, here  in link is the post that began Project Begin Again.  And below are the guidelines I keep in every post.  

So, here's how this will go. 

  1. I will write something on here every day for 38 days because that is how many days until my 50k.  
  3. I will keep in simple!!! Some days will consist of three sentences if that's all I have.   
  4. I will write for me.  
  5. I will try very hard NOT to compare my old Runninghood self to the Amanda typing today.  
  6. I will keep my posts to daily gratitude, intentions and.... because how can we not feel sad, heavy hearted and powerless at so much happening in our world...I will include at least one small way I can or have done something to make the world a better place (this can be as simple and powerful as helping my child learn a lesson about love and kindness).  
  7. Why am I doing this?  To Begin Again.  Just as with training for a marathon when we put in our daily workouts, I want to get into the habit of focusing on the things that make me happy and my intentions for making my life what I want. Writing helps me with this.  

Day 10:

  • Celebrate progress.  I think all too often I get so caught up in the things I want to do to be better than I forget to notice the stuff I'm already doing so well.  
  • Go easier on myself and others.  
  • Keep allowing my heart to be heard and to let myself feel the emotions that come up.  We are complicated beings and it would be boring to only feel happy all the time.  I'm glad I have a mix of feelings... anger, sadness, elation, calm, happiness, etc.  
  • Continue to work on daily time for mindfulness and meditation.  I don't think this needs to be in stillness.  So often, this comes through trail running.  A moving meditation.  

  • 21 trail miles today!   SLOW!  So many hours on my feet!  
  • My mom came to visit the last few days on her way back from California.  Such a special visit. Yesterday, we hopped around Bend going from bookshops to boutiques to cafes.  It was so cool to see my city from a tourists perspective.  So much I still haven't seen.  Definitely a reason my heart is sad...to have my mom leave.  I know she is only 3.5-4 hours away but still... 
  • During my mom's visit, we found a perfect frame for a piece of art she painted in 2010.  A special story here... I posted and wrote about it on Instagram.  
How have I, or can I continue to play even a small part in making the world a better place (Be the Change):  

  • BE REAL.  Be TRUE.  

I find it funny that yesterday I bought a little book called How to Relax--a book filled with wise words from world renowned zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (see photo at top).  A book about relaxing and calm.  And today, even after completing a 21 mile trail run (which usually would mean I'd be noodle-like-relaxed), I have been anything but relaxed (expect while on run). More like stressed to the max and emotional emotional emotional since picking my kids up from school.  I might have cried more in the last three hours than perhaps I have in the last four months.  Over little things... my kids arguing with me, sibling spats in the grocery store after school, the husband telling me he would be home late... little things that felt so BIG.  Honestly, I think these tears have been a mix of being so exhausted from running so many hours on the trails (I can't even wrap my head around what my 50k on much harder trails is going to feel like), not having much energy to actually be on as MOM after school, knowing I'm leaving by myself to go on a trip for several days (very happy about the trip but have lots to do to get ready), my mom leaving to go back home after such a nice visit, and from having an emotional release of sorts from my long run.  Some of you might know what I'm talking about here with the emotional release.  Think of a time you've done yoga or had a massage... one where your hips are really opened up and you reach a state of deep relaxation... many people claim to experience an emotional release afterwards.  A release that often comes with tears. At least for me.  I can think of several times where I go to my car after yoga and start crying for no good reason.  I think my trail run today did something similar to me.... unblocked some of my chakras big time!  :)  But it's been more than that. My heart just felt sad today.   My sadness mixed with the exhaustion and emotional release from trail running (a zen type experience for me sometimes) meant lots and lots of tears.  I'm actually grateful for these tears in a weird way... grateful for the cleansing... the letting go of emotions... and the fact that I allowed myself to feel what I was feeling without stuffing it.

Speaking of feelings... Yesterday when we went into a little shop downtown Bend, I found a new children's book that I LOVE.  It's called In My Heart, A Book of Feelings.  I love it for lots of reasons.  One, it helps kids understand and explain their feelings which then leads to more emotional awareness and intelligence.  It also does such a great job at describing the feelings of the heart in ways that carry on into adulthood.  Reading it to my kids made me feel more compassionate towards myself even... in the sense that we are surely complicated beings with the many feelings we have.  Our hearts need to be heard.  I highly recommend this book for mothers, fathers, teachers, caretakers, etc.  It would also make a great gift for a primary teacher or someone having a baby, or even a birthday gift for a child!   Here are just a few snippets from the book:

Another great book I bought yesterday.  Highly recommend (see below)!

In My Heart 
by Jo Witek

My heart is full of feelings.  Big feelings and small feelings.  Loud feelings and quiet feelings.  Quick feelings and slow feelings  My heart is like a house, with all these feelings living inside.  

Sometimes my heart feels like a big yellow star, shiny and bright.  I smile from ear to ear and twirl around so fast, I feel as if I could take off into the sky.  this is when my heart is happy.  

Other times, my heart feels strong.  I stand up tall, as if I can touch the clouds.  New people and places don't frighten me.  I can do it!  Watch me go!  This is when my heart is brave.  

When I get really angry, my heart feels as if it's going to explode!  Don't come near me!  My heart is yelling, hot and loud.  This is when my heart is mad!

But other times, my heart is cool.  I bob along gently like a balloon on a string.  My heart feels lazy and slow, as quiet as snowfall.  This is when my heart is calm.  

On harder days, mean words hurt my feelings, and my heart feels hurt too.  It's fragile and delicate, but it can be healed with extra kisses.  This is when my heart is broken.  

Some days my heart feels as heavy as an elephant.  There's a dark cloud over my head, and tears fall like rain.  This is when my heart is sad.  

I'll stop there.  Sad was how my heart was feeling today.   You get the gist of the book.  It goes on to describe the heart as hopeful, afraid, silly, shy, and proud.  Each page also has the cutest illustrations. LOVE THIS BOOK!!  



  1. Good morning you. Good to sit with my coffee and your post this. Gosh, I really understand the emotional release/post long run feelings. I relate to this really well in my own life.....And you've had a very full couple of weeks with spring break, Waylon working a lot, teaching, and your mom coming to visit!!! I personally relate to feeling sad after your mom leaving too. You know sometimes I catch myself feeling almost a sadness even in anticipation of the moments in life that I MOST look forward to(family parties, holidays and down time with my sisters, visits from dear friends).....mostly for the feeling that I know I will have after. Just a very interesting feeling....obvious happiness and fulfillment but yet sadness and temporary emptiness...Anyway, that was just a personal reflection there and I must remind myself to not steal from the present with thoughts of the future!

    I LOVE that book. Perfect gift for my nieces and nephews.

    I hope you wake up feeling refreshed today! And that your body feels that really good satisfying sore, and that you feel emotionally cleansed and ready to take on a new day! I'm sure it's crazy trying to get everything organized when you are leaving town and just a lot on your plate. I'm really really looking forward to seeing you and spending time with you. XOXO

    1. Hi you. As I said in email, I love reading your insights and comments here. Thank you. Yes, I thought of you with the sad feelings with my mom leaving and leaving my family in California, etc. Maybe I was even a little sad in knowing that I will be leaving you to come back home after a short visit. ;)

      Yes, it would make such a good gift for them!!

      My body feels as good as new...like I didn't run 21 miles at all. ha! Ok, upstairs to finish packing. 1 sleep! xo

  2. My daughters are needing that book in a big way lately! I'm going off to look for it! I haven't been commenting but I've been following your begin again project. I am inspired by your honesty and amazing insight! There are days out on the run where feelings just bubble up out of nowhere! Sometimes I push them back down but there are those days when I just let them flow...I probably look like a crazy person but I always end up feeling so much better!

    1. Nancy! So good to hear from you!! Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your words here. I always feel better too... after releasing those emotions!!