The Body-Mind-Spirit Project

2 Jan

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It is January 2nd.  I’ve been vague about this project and now I must write some details and explain what it is I am doing.  I admit that to being a shy blogger as well as a procrastinator.  But… I’m trying and I will continue to try.

2012 was a okay but I was ready for it to go.   I spent much of the year completely overworked and zoned out.  While I accomplished a lot professionally, I admit that I wasted a lot of time.  I watched a lot of Netflix, ate a lot of take out and slept a lot but didn’t necessarily sleep well.  I also got sick more times than I have in years, marked by an especially brutal flu during the last few weeks of December.  Now that it is over I truly feel things are changing, both inside and out.

Now that I have the luxury of more free time (more on that later) I am hoping to get back to basics and then go deeper.  I loved the many projects my pal Jessica wrote about in her blogs 360 Days of Adho Muhka Svanasana and Operation Consumption Liberation and she is a huge inspiration.  I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, another source of inspiration.  In her book, she lays out her intellectual and systematic approach to finding happiness.  She takes this approach because, as she writes, she is an organized and somewhat rigid person.  I am not that way.  I am not disciplined and I am not very organized unless I am at work.  Deep down inside, I will always be that messy art student with paint all over her hair.  At home and in my personal life I tend to start projects and not complete them.  I rarely finish a knitting project.  I go to my book club meetings despite not having read the book (yeah, I’m one of those).  I work on things in a frantic manner- cooking, painting or cleaning about 5 things at once.  It is not very mindful.  While I don’t endeavor to change myself into a completely different person than who I am, I do really want to stay focused on things that matter to me and I’d rather not feel frantic.  So I’m starting with the most simple approach I could think of by delving into the yoga trinity- the Body, the Mind, the Spirit.  There seems no better way to improve health and my overall well-being than to approach all of these aspects.

  • Body: to be healthier, to move more, to reinvigorate my yoga practice, to understand my body more, to have more energy.
  • Mind: to be more focused, to spend my time doing things I love, to learn more, to rest my mind when needed, to take in the benefits of a regular meditation practice.
  • Spirit: to maintain a regular spiritual practice, to find a spiritual community within which to practice, to consider various benefits for increasing spiritual awareness, to have a larger view of suffering and happiness to hold for myself and for others.

Here’s the rundown:

  • For each month of 2013, I will focus on one aspect of the Body-Mind-Spirit trinity.  I am starting this month (January) with body, next month will be mind and the following will be spirit.  Then, come April, I will return back to body and start all over again.  My hope is to go a bit deeper each month and also to really integrate practices into my daily life.  The things I truly absorb are those that are learned in a circle, so I return to the topic over and over again.  So that’s what I’m going to do for all of 2013.
  • I will set concrete goals and track them daily.  Each month I will also have certain goals that I aim to accomplish sometime over the entire month.  These are not going to be very huge or tricky goals, rather it is about getting a bit of meaning every single day.
  • I will blog regularly (at least 4 times a week) about my progress, challenges and insights.  I will try to be honest, realistic and keep a sense of humor about this whole thing.  I will mainly be blogging to keep myself accountable, but I also hope to reach out to other bloggers for inspiration and feedback.
  • I will read and research so that I’m expanding my horizons about these topics.  I have read a lot of books already that have informed this project and I would like to return to some of those as well as take on new topics.

What this project is NOT:

  • This isn’t about simple self-improvement such as losing weight or something like that.  
  • This isn’t a short term effort to find happiness.  Although I am inspired by the happiness project, I am not trying to find happiness. Instead, I’m working on being focused, disciplined and healthy.  If an increase in happiness occurs, it will be as a result of the practices I am taking part in. Happiness is elusive and ephemeral.  I imagine it would be frustrating to just simply try to increase my happiness as so much of life is out of my control.  Instead I will focus on being present, mindful and aware.
  • This project is not about becoming distracted by little goals and tedious tasks.  Rather, I hope to keep a view on the big perspective.

Overall, I am doing this so I can live a long and healthy life.  I want to be fully present as much as possible.  I want to prevent illnesses in any way I can.  I want to be ready to have kids.  I want to be a better member of my family.  I want to be better therapist.  I believe focusing on all of these things will help with my various roles.  By taking better care of myself, I will be better equipped to take care of others.

So what do you think?  Are you working on any of these things?  Will you help me stay accountable? 

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2 Responses to “The Body-Mind-Spirit Project”

  1. Jessica January 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Yay, you! I will totally be your cheerleader for this and help hold you accountable. Let’s go for a snow shoe romp or something this month!

    • blinddogmegan January 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Thank you, Jessica! You were definitely an inspiration as I’ve been working out the details of this project. And yes, a snowshoe romp sounds great. We had a fabulous time near Granite Falls this past weekend- so beautiful and sunny and lots of snow. The dogs went crazy, but that is nothing new 🙂

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