I woke up super early today for west coast Amanda time. I guess I'm still on Minnesota time which actually works out so nicely for the first few days back. I head to bed earlier and wake up earlier. This makes me feel a heck of a lot better than when I go to bed late and struggle to wake up with enough time to do much of anything before starting on lunches and getting kids out the door. I need this time in the mornings. I crave it. But at the same time, it's hard for me many times to get myself up early enough to make sure I actually have this quiet stretch of time. I'm beginning to think that this time for myself in the early morning is as important to my well being as any of those other good habits I form for a healthy life: exercise, healthy diet, setting goals, being intentional about my marriage with date nights and trips together, hydrating... I don't always get up early. But when I do after a good night of sleep? Gosh, I can HEAR so clearly. I can hear my heart, soul... my wisest, most loving voice. I feel wrapped up in so many good things at once: hope, love, understanding, clarity, resolve, and the feeling like I'm not really alone. I think being up early with my thoughts and dreams...this time before the sleep wears off and the BUSY of the day fills the forefront of my mind with noise and agendas (distractions)... is essential for me in being the most deeply connected with myself. And God.
Anyone that has known me for awhile knows I'm a spiritual person. I've often struggled with where I stand or what I believe on a religious level (currently not religious at all really) due to some of the experiences with religion I've had as a child and on into adulthood (crazy!!). Despite my difficultly in knowing what to believe or where to stand with religion, my faith in a God of the universe... an ultimate source of LOVE... has never ever changed. I've never for a minute doubted in this Love...this powerful force in my life. No matter where I've been with religion, I've always seen God in the same way. God has always been love. I remember praying as a little girl at the age of 4 at my dad's funeral...(that's for another blog post) and I remember the prayers of deepest sorrow and greatest joy as a young woman in college and the prayers I prayed as a new mother and wife and on and on through life. I find it so beautiful and comforting to know that no matter what my stage in life or what religion I identified with (or not), the God I turned to... the God I listened to and felt... this God...my God... this love... it has always been the same. A universal power of love. In me and around me. Everywhere. A love and power that can be found and heard wherever we are if we listen and look. It is on a trail run or when I'm up early enough with the morning stillness, a cup of coffee and my own thoughts where I hear and feel this love and wisdom and presence the very MOST. Having this time to myself truly does set the stage for the day. So, here's to more intentional morning time and lots and lots more trail running time!
Oh, what a ramble.... The above, if written for another purpose other than my own online journal, could be broken up into several different posts. :)
And now I'm out of time but have much more I want to say with gratitude and goals and even reflections on the Boston Marathon three years ago. I'll come back here in a bit to finish. First, I must get a move on with a getting kids to school, etc.
Ok, I'm back to this many hours later. Still feeling the positive charge from having my morning time to write and sit with my thoughts. I even had a good trail run on top of this! Always a good way to start the day. I doubt I'll ever come to love early morning running though. That's good though... early mornings are for sitting with coffee and a journal. Running is for AFTER I'm awake and when I need to clear my head again. :)
- I didn't register for the Boston Marathon this year. However, with it being that time of year, I'm starting to get excited for everyone that IS running. I'm also missing it a little and thinking I want to go back again in the next few years. I've thought a lot today of how thankful I am to have run it 5 times. Definitely my favorite race EVER!
- I feel so good after a 5 mile trail run followed by a speed workout on the treadmill.
- To be alive and inspired and settled.
- Again, another blog post but I'm feeling glad to be on the other side of some harder years of my life. It's weird how the same years of 2012-2014 are both some of my very greatest and treasured years of my life and some of my hardest. I'm thankful for the lessons I learned and darn proud of myself for doing some big mental work as I faced fear.
- It's family Survivor night! Wednesday! Our family rarely, if ever, watches t.v. We watch movies together on Fridays when we can but as far as having the t.v on during the week? RARE due to our schedules. But Wednesday nights are our nights to cuddle up together and watch Survivor. It's one my favorite times as a family.
- Thankful for waking up after some very strong dreams and being able to sit and reconnect with myself in journaling. I know that the wisdom or insight I gained from this time wouldn't have happened if I would have had to wake up rushed to get going right away.
- 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. I used this one with day 8 and using it again!
- Continue to nurture my friendships that mean most to me. Check in with friends. Take time to tell people what they mean.
- I used this one in day 8's post too: 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.
- Continue to LISTEN to my deepest, wisest self and in turn, loving her. As I believe God does.
How have I, or can I continue to play even a small part in making the world a better place (Be the Change):
- Tell our stories.
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.
- I will write something on here every day for 38 days because that is how many days until my 50k.
- I will keep in simple!!! Some days will consist of three sentences if that's all I have.
- I will write for me.
- I will try very hard NOT to compare my old Runninghood self to the Amanda typing today.
- 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).
- 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.