Archive for the ‘mantra’ Tag

Junk Reward   Leave a comment

“Everything in moderation, even moderation.” That’s one of my personal mantras. So this weekend, in reward for meeting my goal to no longer eat in front of the TV, I am splurging in a junk food weekend. Truthfully, I didn’t completely manage to stop eating in front of the TV. Just meals and a significant reduction in snacks. And there’s nothing better to celebrate not eating meals in front of the TV than to spend a weekend eating junk food and having no to-do list or commitments. I used to do this one weekend every year or two, but haven’t ┬áin several years. In fact, I think the last time I did this was when my husband and I were still dating and he was going to be gone one weekend. So it was an entirely new experience for him to put “junk food for Maya” on the shopping list. Not that we don’t ever buy junk food in small quantities. Coming home with Double Stuff Oreos, mint Oreos, shortbread, Chessmen, frosted cookies, dried cherries, crackers, Boursin, potato chips, and Terra chips was a new experience for him. (And I can say that my eating habits have improved because I found that I can’t eat as many Oreos in one sitting as I used to; I might not be up for the challenge of the junk food.)

The goal to stop eating in front of the TV is a goal with many roots. The first is that TV just sucks up too much of my time and makes my head spin. Even though the vast majority of the programming holds no interest for me, there is just enough to keep me drawn in. Time gets lost that I could be using to read, or work on any of the many projects always in progress. Theoretically, not eating dinner in front of the TV means I’m less likely to lose an hour or two in an evening to the magic box. Realistically it means some nights the TV stays off and some nights I need a fix.

The second reason is because I’d like to eat healthier and lighter, which is easier to do when eating without distraction. Food is more satisfying when you are actually paying attention to it. Plus, when one pays attention to one’s food, one is likely to eat it slower and fill up on less. Of course, unappetizing food is best consumed with distraction and in a hurry; but who likes to eat food that doesn’t taste good?

The third reason is that, like many people in decades past, I grew up eating dinner with my family around the dinner table every day. That’s one of the best ways for a family to bond, and I have to say those family meals are very fond memories. I want to be able to do that with my future family. Shutting off the TV and sitting myself down in the dining room is the first step.

Posted February 12, 2011 by mayakey in goals, self-care

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Personal Mantras   Leave a comment

Everyone should have a personal mantra or two. Or more if that’s your style. This week’s Mark and Angel Hack Life post is a mantra for each week of the year. I don’t think I could handle one for each week, but I have found that having a few mantras embedded in my being serves as a very good touchpoint and certainly helps keep me going.

My long-term mantras include:

  • Nothing bad every happens. It may hurt like hell, but that doesn’t make it bad.
  • I am a competent person, and I can do it. (whatever it is)
  • Everything in moderation, even moderation.

The list of my short term mantras is longer, and I can’t remember every mantra I’ve ever used, so I’m not going to try. Sometimes you just need a mantra to repeat for a few days, weeks, or months, and then you are ready to move on.

According to the dictionary, “mantra” comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “instrument of thought”. In practical terms a mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated in order to get some benefit like centering, motivation, or comfort. Mantras, and their use, are also very personal.

In my experience, the definition of mantra could be stretched a bit to include an emotional repetition as well, even if it doesn’t have the same phrase attached. An example in my life would be from back in my teen/early twenty years when (like most teens) I used to think I was really ugly. In order to overcome that I changed my mentality to be positive instead of critical when I saw myself in the mirror, and in short order I was able to recognize my beauty. There wasn’t really a set phrase, but rather an emotional action. The constant repetition forced to me change the way I was thinking overall and had a profound long-term impact.

Posted January 17, 2011 by mayakey in centering, psychology, spiritual practices

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The Opposite Of A Christmas and Easter Catholic   Leave a comment

So if the term “Christmas and Easter Catholic” is used to refer to Catholics who attend Mass one or two times a year, what is the term for someone who attends Mass every week but is NOT going to Christmas Mass?

I personally believe that everyone, of any religious tradition, needs to take time off every once in a while. I don’t just mean skipping a service when traveling or otherwise unable to attend, I mean just taking a week or two off. I took a couple of years off back when I was in high school, and found that my faith was absolutely strengthened by that experience and the joy of coming back “into the fold”. I remember how happy and excited I was when I was on my own in college and could go back to Mass. Ever since I have made sure to just skip Mass for no reason a couple of times a year because then it doesn’t just fade into the background of life, and it doesn’t become something I “have” to do. Take a break in order to keep it special.

One of my many mantras is: “Everything in moderation, even moderation.” In an odd way, I think that applies to the issue of religious traditions. Sometimes you have to do something extreme for reinvigoration, and sometimes you have to take a break for the same reason. Once a tradition looses its meaning, the tradition has lost its soul. I have no time or energy for soul-less traditions. So I come to my decision this Christmas. I’m not sure, but I think I may have missed one Christmas Mass in the last 10 years. But this year since I’m not in the choir and can’t attend at my home parish, and would have to sacrifice family time for church attendance, I decided that it is time for a break. After all, now that I sing in the choir, I can’t just wake up on a Sunday morning and decide that I don’t want to go. My ability to skip Mass for no reason has been severely compromised, so I’ll skip a Mass that I don’t HAVE to attend, and that would be Christmas. Easter, however is a whole different matter.

Posted December 24, 2010 by mayakey in musings, psychology, spiritual practices

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