Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekly Quotes 2014 #3

People in our culture today are more isolated and more alone than they have ever been.  What’s often missing from our digital world is the experience of personal connection and mutual support, of being an individual within a real community.  (134)

Family traditions develop at the confluence of necessity and nurture.  Religious traditions, in contrast, get established when people share a transcendent intention and develop a corresponding way of life.  (137)

The experience of transcendence is most palpable during worship—the hallmark of a religious community:  it’s what makes a religious community religious.  (143)

The elements of an effective worship service need to address four key aspects of human experience:  what’s true, what’s broken, what’s right, and what’s transcendent.  (145)

Choose this day to pursue a worthy purpose.  Choose this day to embody an exemplary virtue.  Choose this day to uphold a noble value.  In worship, we bear witness to what is right and commit ourselves to serving it.  (147)

“The sun of quality,” he wrote, “does not revolve around the subjects and objects of our existence.  It does not just passively illuminate them.  It is not subordinate to them in any way.  It has created them.  They are subordinate to it!”  (215)

Zen is the “spirit of the valley,” not the mountaintop.  The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.  (220)

You go up the mountaintop and all you’re gonna get is a great big heavy stone tablet handed to you with a bunch of rules on it.  (220)

The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans.  The present is our only reality.  The tree that you are aware of intellectually . . . is always in the past and therefore is always in the past and therefore is always unreal.  Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal.  Reality is always the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place.  There is no other reality. . . .  Since all intellectually identifiable things must emerge from this pre-intellectual reality.  Quality is the parent, the source of all subjects and objects.  (222)

In today’s world, ideas that are incompatible with scientific knowledge don’t get off the ground.  (207-208)

When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind tha thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.  (233)

Uncertainty and discomfort need to become normal and natural parts of your life rather than scary possibilities to be avoided at all costs—which is impossible, of course, and makes anxiety worse.  

Courage . . . is when the goal is important enough that you willingly move forward even when you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out, or when you predict you’re going to feel uncomfortable.  

Celebrating courage in little and big ways can motivate and inspire each of you to keep moving forward. 

When we doubt our ability to handle a task, we automatically start looking for support. That’s completely normal and expected. . . . When seeking security becomes more important than exploring—when kids start to hesitate, to become dependent on others, and to back away from adventures—then we have a problem.  

Before you intervene in your child’s struggles, ask yourself, Am I promoting independence? Or am I encouraging dependence?  

If there are gods, they made sheep so wolves could eat mutton, and they made the weak for the strong to play with.

I’m honest. It’s the world that’s awful.

“If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice?” “Because of men like you.” “There are no men like me. There’s only me.” 

Whatever the waste, stupidity, ineptitude, whatever the problems and frustrations of teachers and pupils, something very exciting is going on.  In each of the classrooms, on each of the floors,  all at the same time, education is going on.  In some form or other, for all its abuses, young people are exposed to education.  (288-289)

I had set out to you exactly what happened.  But since I am the one writing this, how do I know what in my telling I am selecting, omitting, emphasizing:  what unconscious editing I am doing?  (304)

[A]cceptance means to embrace whatever arises within us, moment to moment, just as it is.  (11)

The purpose of this book is to teach you the knowledge and he skills to face suffering from a position of strength.  (25)

It’s critical to know when the instinctive habits of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are causing us more trouble than they’re worth.  Usually when we engage in these activities, stress is not far behind.  We suffer when we don’t get what we want, when we lose what we had, and when we get what we did not want.  The ability to see things as they are, with acceptance, gets us through.  (27)

This book is designed to show you how to cultivate acceptance, especially self-acceptance, one day at a time. (31)

[M]aybe you’re practicing “self-improvement” rather than “self-acceptance.”  (35)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weekly Body Check-In, Complete with Boot Camp News

Day 1
If you read my Sunday blog, then you know I was accepted into the boot camp.  Yay!  If you want to know more about it, you can check it out here.

I got the email Wednesday evening, too late for me to actually exercise, so I just looked over all of the information and made note of all the things I had yet to do, like take my measurements (ugh!) and have Rob take my “before” photos (ughughugh!).   I printed out some of the things and I tucked those into my planner. 

Thursday morning, I took off some of my layers, and chose one of the two workouts that were available.  I ended up working out with Coach Erik and surprised myself by keeping up.  The way the boot camp is organized, we do cardio on M-W-F and we do strength training with one day off a week.  All of the exercises are interval training, so we worked intensely for a minute and then took a short break, always moving, and taking the occasional gulp of water.  Yes, I had to modify some of the exercises and, thankfully, Coach Erik always suggested modifications. 

Day 2
On Friday, I was slightly more ambitious.  I made an effort to be one of the 10% of people who actually log in for the live workout.  Coach Jonathan, who is the person who created all of this, was leading the strength training session with 1 minute intervals.  All coaches do a lot of “pep talk” and I have to say that I enjoy their quirky banter.  I don’t know which of them started high-fiving the camera taping the workout but they all do this, approaching the camera and pretending they are giving you a high five.  After two workouts, I was still giggling whenever one of them would do this.

Sometimes something goofy in a workout makes it all feel easier.  My arms were definitely feeling like I had done some work.  So Saturday I thought it would be great to do the yoga workout because I really miss my morning practice.  Unfortunately, I was unable to hear Coach Mahmoud.  I had my laptop turned up as high as it could be and there was simply no way I could hear anything he was saying.  So I switched over to do a strength interval training with Coach Stephanie.  It was a little confusing.  I would start doing what we would do next only to realize she was still explaining what the set would include, the variations and such.  I probably did about half as much more than was actually supposed to be done because I would be 20 reps into something before I realized we were supposed to have even started.  Oops.

Day 3
There was a pre-weekend video that explained what to do on the weekend, with no new workout.  If you had done a workout every day of the first week, then you were supposed to take a day off.  However, I had not exercised six days in a row and Coach Jonathan gave those of us who had not worked six days in a row the green light to exercise both Saturday and Sunday.  YES! 

Remember how I said I missed my morning yoga.  All I needed was an excuse and I sifted through my DVDs.  Sunday, I ended up choosing Kundalini to Detox and Destress with Maya Fiennes because it’s a more dynamic form of yoga and I felt it would be a good complement to what I was already doing in the boot camp.  It felt like a great choice, at the time, although I experienced quite a lot of discomfort in my hips.  I really need to make time for more yoga, focusing on doing hip openers.  It may have to wait until after I finish this editing job.

Day 5
Monday officially began the second week of boot camp but, for me, it was still only Day 5.  Over the weekend, Rob took my before pictures and my measurements.  I am in denial about both.  

But, no doubt, you’re wondering whether I’ve lost any more weight, right.  Well, I did.  I lost another 2.2 lbs for a grand total of 5.8 lbs (2.63 kgs) since I started eating more protein and nearly 10 lbs since the beginning of the year.  That’s right.  I’m finally losing.  I’m not expecting to keep seeing more than 1 lb loss each week, which is my actual goal.  I figure that I’m losing some water weight initially and that the boot camp will result in increased muscle mass.  So it only stands to reason that my body will stop losing the water weight and start gaining mass resulting in a slower weekly weigh-in loss.  That’s okay.  Right now, I’m ahead of the game and the numbers are looking great!

Join me on Joy's Book Blog.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How Good It Is

This has been a lovely, full week.  And there’s so much to share.  I hope you can keep up with all of it.

BCHGREEN BLUE 2 Color 2Boot Camp

If you read my blog post on Tuesday, you know I was told about an opportunity to take a free online boot camp and I submitted an email, then kept my fingers crossed. There were no guarantees I would be one of the few chosen to participate and I was honest about my age and other precluding factors.  I would have fully understood if they chose to bypass my email for another, more likely, candidate.  Then, Wednesday evening, I received an email telling me I was in.  I had only missed three days and I jumped right in.  I started filling out all of the information, had Rob take some “before” pictures for me, and took my measurements.  I’ll post about it in more detail on Tuesday, obviously, or you can find me on My Fitness Pal and keep up with my daily blog over there. 

Snowdoll became the sane
puppy in the family.
  • Some facts about Snowdoll:
  • In the morning, she likes to jump halfway up onto the bed and lick Rob’s face and ears while Rob rubs her belly and scruffs her ears.  I call it the Morning Orgy.
  • In the evening, she sometimes jumps halfway on the bed and lets me rub her belly and scruff her ears.  Occasionally, she will even deign to give me a lick.  On a generous day, two.
  • She has delicate, little paws and hates to get them wet but she still dips her paw into the water bowl.  She’s a right-paw, in case you’re wondering.
  • She rarely walks.  She prefers to trot and you can hear her click-cllick-click on our hardwood floors and through the kitchen.
  • She loves lying in the sun and is a finicky eater.  That’s why we call her Puppy-Cat.
  • She didn’t start having nightmares until Romanov died.

Holly, looking obviously stressed
and uncomfortable in her new home.
  • Some facts about Holly:
  • She has an extra nipple. It apparently didn’t provide any milk because all of her other nipples are distended from her being a puppy-mill dog.
  • Her tail curls “too much.”  As a result, she has two types of wags.  One is a quick, frisky little tick-tick-tick that looks like she’s brushing schmutz off her lower back.  The other is a more sweeping wag that does a beautiful figure eight.
  • When she lies down, she usually crosses her front paws like a little lady.
  • She has a nick in her left ear where it was torn but is now healed over. 
  • She has a more delicate tummy and had diarrhea this week.  She managed to go three days straight without having an accident.  We’re now on day two, with fingers crossed.
  • She has nightmares but they seem to be coming with less frequency.

This week, Holly discovered
Rob's fish tank.

In spite of himself, Rob has fallen in love with Holly.  He calls her Ninja Puppy because she moves so quietly.  He’s noticed certain qualities she has that remind him (both of us, really) of Romanov.  She has an innate gentility.  We think she will be as gentle as he was when she has outgrown her puppy enthusiasm.

And she is Rob's puppy.  He knows this and, perhaps, encourages it. She sometimes gets very anxious when he leaves, although she seems to be adjusting. It’s a good thing. He has been booking more gigs, so many there are even a few as far out as April!  Business-wise, this has been a very good year for him already and promises only to be better as the year goes on.  Needless to say, he's very happy.  

Almost as happy as he is our orchid seems to have sent out a new shoot which means we may have new orchids blooming in Spring!  He truly has a green thumb, something I lack altogether.

Yours Truly
This is one of my favorite
headbands which Holly
discovered and found chewable.

A friend of mine has a sister who has written a book she needs edited so I’ve taken on the job of finding the comma splice, the vague pronoun reference, the tense shifts, and the occasional misplaced word.  I’m pretty excited about having another editing job.  I obviously hope it will lead to more.  I am confident that she’ll be happy with the changes I recommend and that her manuscript will greatly benefit from the extra pair of eyes. 

So, you see?  Lots of stuff happened this week. Nothing remarkable but all kinds of good things.  And on Tuesday, I’ll post more about the boot camp.  I’ll even have some photos to share. 

How was your week?  Any news to share?