12.01.2010

Brought on by the Urgings of The Rejectionist

Ah, The Rejectionist.  How is it possible for you to bring me such ridiculous joy?  How is it possible you can regularly include subtle allusions to my favorite things (preeminently Sassy magazine, but this morning Dazed and Confused!)?  How is it possible I used so many punctuation marks in that last sentence?  How is it possible it is December already?  When I first read of your pre-resolutions idea, I thought it sounded fun and somehow hazily-lazily in the future.  Alas, December has railroaded me once again, so here I sit considering my participation in this pre-resolution thang.

I don't actually make New Year's Resolutions most of the time, but I did do a month-by-month thing in 2009 which challenged me in myriad ways.  They weren't all self-denial goals, but I did do a month without coffee, and one without chocolate, and one without Coca-Cola, and one without beer.  Good Lord, how did I ever survive?  Anywho, this December, during the season of Advent, I have been playing with an idea that I need to make a formal commitment, so here goes:

Centering Prayer.  My friend Brigitte alerted me to this concept in her blog the other day, and I have been pondering making it a daily practice during advent.  It will involve me finding at least 20 minutes of secluded time to just sit and be empty.  Sitting I can do; it's the emptiness I worry about.  I tried it for the first time the other day, and I don't know how long I sat, but it was definitely an intriguing exercise.  I will look forward to seeing where it takes me. 

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!  I also hereby resolve to finish a Christmas embroidery thing I started - NO KIDDING - 10 years ago.  It has been sitting in a bag for ages, and I think it should finally get out of my flippin' way. 

STILL NOT CONVINCED?  HOW DOES FREE SOUND TO YOU?  I will throw in for good measure one more goal for the month.  I pinky-promise to mail all the old, free, ugly, unmatched Christmas cards I have been hoarding in a box for years.  They will all get gone this year.  Not necessarily as proper Christmas cards, but they will get mailed prior to New Year's Day.  Want one?  Email or comment with your address.  I'll be glad to send some holiday cheer your way.

Thanks for the prod, Le R.  You're the bestest friend a girl could ever have.

8 comments:

  1. Well, even if there were no resolutions, shameless flattery will get you EVERYWHERE!

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  2. Thanks, The Rejectionist! I aim to please. Well, not really, but I ain't mad it worked out this time.

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  3. Really like that Centering Prayer goal.

    When I first started meditating, one thing I found helpful was to picture my thoughts written on a blackboard, or as junk on a table, and with every out-breath, I'd picture the blackboard cleaned or the table swept clear.

    Because it's with every out-breath, you have only a moment to think before you're quieting again. After a while even the black board disappeared.

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  4. I like your resolutions!

    Good luck with the embroidery! I've got a pair of socks that I resolved to finish knitting - if I can just find them . . .

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  5. maine character, that is a great visualization technique. I will definitely try it. I found, too, that if there is a repetitive noise in the background (like the tick of our family cuckoo clock), my mind is able to stay much quieter. It's like it gives my mind something to hold on to instead of wildly scrabbling around for something in the void.

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  6. Good luck to you, too, Sarah W. I know your mom will love them (no matter how tall!). The problem for me is that I know exactly where my project is; I just don't know where the time is to complete it!

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  7. I was just doing some online Christmas shopping and remembered a book you might like. It's A Gradual Awakening, by Stephen Levine, and the best book on meditation I've found.

    It keeps everything simple, and just reading it helps put you in that calm sense of mind.

    And yeah, ticking clocks definitely help, just like those Buddhist bells that are supposed to bring you back to the moment. (They say you can do it when the phone rings, too, but my first thought there is always "Ah, crap, who's that?")

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  8. Thanks for the recommendation, MC. I have been slacking on my goal so far, but I have sat a few mornings in the last week, and it definitely added something positive to my day. I have added the Levine to my wish list, and I hope to educate myself more as December rolls on (especially after I get my grades turned on next week!) One thing I learned: don't try centering prayer first thing in the morning while still in bed. You will go directly back to sleep! ;)

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