Building a habit – meditation

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I added meditation on this year’s bucket list. After experiencing journaling and its helping and healing effects and wanted to try meditation as a way of escaping stress and anxiety.

I tried meditation in the past but it was a failed attempt. Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe I didn’t know how to do it. Even if today it became a habit, I still don’t know if I do it right or not. But for now I decided that it’s not important.

I was already a fan of master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, but this year in January, in a nice winter day, I was so exhausted after work and I felt so lost. Like someone who can’t find its purpose. It started to rain like in fairytales and thus I felt like listening something calm trying to ease my mind. I was watching how the snow touches the earth while listening the teachings of master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. I must say, he is very funny and a good teacher. Slowly my heart became calmer and calmer. That day I started meditating. At first, I felt I couldn’t concentrate at all. I felt that all my thoughts waited for that exact moment to come and make my mind a mess… but I tried not to give up this time. I did so the next day. And then I would forget about it a day or two and then continue.

In February I decided to meditate daily even if I was too busy or too tired. And that is how meditation became a habit. Day by day I learnt more about me and it became easier to concentrate, to accept the ambush of my thoughts and the fact that I was still inconsistent concerning the time of meditating every day. One day I would meditate more than the other. Today 5 minutes and tomorrow 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter. Not stressing about it was the bet thing I could do. It was my method of reaching out to me, my method of distressing. Why stress about something meant to distress? No way. By doing this, meditation became my everyday joy. Not only something I do as a habit in order to distress, but something I look forward to doing everyday.

Thanks to meditation I also learnt how to breath and how to focus on breathing. I use breathing technique whenever anxiety kicks and it helps. Why didn’t I find this quicklier? Meditation is also a great way to slow down and to be mindful of your acts and of your thoughts and completing it with journaling is a great combination.

This month’s goal is to increase the time of meditation from 10 minutes to at least 15. What I also do, even if I don’t know is the right thing to do, is to alternate yoga with mediation. I took a break from yoga this winter but staying seated for so long on the chair at work brought me so much back pain. I started yoga again to relax and to recover from back pain, and it works wonders.

I am really satisfied I succeeded starting again meditation and yoga. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer and to start doing yoga outside in the garden or in our front yard.

What about you? Do you guys meditate? If you do, please share with me any thoughts or advice you might have on this. Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Until next time,
Maria

Why you should keep a journal in another language

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As fun and healing journaling can been, you can use the benefits of journaling in more ways than you would have thought. While keeping a journal is totally a person’s decision, you might be tempted to try this method as a way of practicing a language you want to learn.

My sister told me the other days that I used to keep journals since childhood. I think I started to keep a journal when I was 14. I started to write the things I couldn’t discuss with other people, to write my worries and the things I was proud of. I kept that journal for a few months until I got into high-school. Then a new period began and I started writing a new journal. Why? Because it was mostly about my days in high-school and about the guy I had a crush on. And because I wrote only cheesy stuff the way teenagers do, I wrote it in English because I was afraid my younger sisters would find it. You know, when you have younger sisters or brothers, your things are not really yours :))

No matter how cheesy that journal was, it was my first journal written in another language and I was proud that I could do that. I had a precedent. My next journal, the one I started writing during my university years, was written in Korean because I really wanted to learn the language and I did everything I could to become better at it. I have realized that journaling in another language is a very powerful method when learning a new language.

Now I have 2 journals, one in English, a regular one, and one in Korean, a general one. I can’t give up on any of them because they are that helpful in many ways. In English I write not only for practice but also because I am more advanced than in Korean and I also feel more comfortable than I do in my mother tongue. I used to read my old journals from time to time in order to check how much I improved, how I felt then, how I dealt with different people or situations in the past. But keeping journals in different languages made me realize that my language skills were improving too. Sometimes, when I feel discouraged that I am not doing a lot better with Korean, I pick my old Korean journal and start reading. I can easily see how much I have improved and it gives me hope and a positive feeling.

No matter how I look at it, journaling gives me joy and a sense of achievement. And it’s also fun.

I want to hear from you. Have you ever used journaling in another language as a tool to practice and improve that language? Share with me your stories and thoughts on this.

As always stay safe and positive and I’ll see you around.

Journaling – practice makes it better

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It’s been a few months now since I’ve started keeping a journal. And it was one of the best things I’ve done this year. In fact, starting writing a journal was one of this year’s goals and I am happy I’ve accomplished it.

I’ve wanted to change and improve a lot of things around me and about me in 2020 and I’ve searched for methods to do so. I also felt very stressed and frustrated since corona started to spread around the world and journaling was the best strategy I could use to calm my mind and to take over my complicated thoughts.

At first I didn’t even know how to write it in order to be efficient. I started researching about what to write in a journal in order to make it an efficient tool for self-improvement. The research helped me to get an idea of how a journal should look like, but after writing for a while, on a daily basis at first, I started to get the hang of it. Everything got a lot easier and I discovered my own way of writing a journal in order to help me improve as an individual. Continuing to keep a journal helped me to get to know myself better, to organize my thoughts and the things I wanted to get done, so I’ve become a lot more productive and it also helped me to calm my mind.

These days I don’t have the time to write daily, but for a journal to be efficient and helpful, it doesn’t need to be written daily. For me, journaling is some sort of written meditation, so I usually write when I feel I need it, when I want to calm my mind. It could be once a week or a few times a week. There are times when my other activities don’t allow me to write daily or even a few times a week. However, I try to write at least once a week. This way I work on consistency (this is something that I want to improve) and I can keep a more accurate track of my feelings and activities.

I started writing my journal in English even if my mother tongue is Romanian because when writing in English I feel more comfortable and I can portray my feelings more warmly and more accurately. So writing in the language you are the most comfortable with is very important in order to transform the simple act of keeping a journal into a sincere desire of getting to know the real you. When it comes to the language of my journal, I have to admit that I wanted to keep a journal in a language other than my mother tongue because it is also a great method of improving one’s linguistic skills. Being passionate about languages, I chose English not only because I feel very comfortable when using it, but also because I wanted to polish my English writing skills.

I believe that journaling can help people in a lot of different ways, depending on the objectives one sets. No matter the objective, journaling seems to be a great tool in becoming more aware of yourself.