Promises 2012 – January Recap

It’s already the 5th of February and I haven’t given account for my January promises. Shame on me ;-) It’s been a busy month for various other reasons or at least it felt like it. So sometimes I really had a hard time finding time to fulfill all the promises and that made me feel stressed, which was not the plan of the whole “promises instead of resolutions” idea. But maybe it just proves (once again) that I have to work on sorting my priorties. I don’t know. I do know that I will have to make some adjustments to some of the promises and I know that might look like a cop-out or failure, I can justify it to myself. And as it’s all about my physical and emotional health I think I’m the one making the rules anyway ;-)

1. Go to the Kieser Training gym at least twice a month (i.e. every two weeks)
Done! I couldn’t get motivated in the first two weeks, so I went twice within the remaining weeks of the month. Once I was there I right away realized how much better I feel afterwards, even though it’s not a long and/or sweaty workout. But it does make me feel better. I also realized that it works better for me to go there in the morning before work, even though that means I have to carry all the gym clothes, towels etc with me to the office aftewards. But I know that I will not be able to motivate myself to hit the gym after work, so, before work it is. I’ve also already scheduled the February dates in my calender so it should work well this month.

2. Do a short yoga practice in the morning at least twice a week
That’s the promise I have to drop or let’s say to adjust. It all was meant to be more about the meditative and relaxing aspect of yoga as about the exercising aspecte, as this yoga exercises aren’t very complicated to exercise. But I realized that I do have a hard time getting up a bit earlier on regular mornings to do this. I usually postponed it till the mornings on my days off (weekend and such) and that sort of was counterproductive, because I’m calm and relaxed on the weekends anyway.
Throughout the week I started to do some form of walking meditation on some days, when I was standing on the platform waiting for my train and I think I might just replace the 2x yoga with 4x walking meditation (of 5 – 10 minutes) each week. Four times because I’m usually using the train to go to work on four days of the week and I can do the walking meditation on the way to the station, the way from station to the office (or vice versa) or any time I’m waiting for my train when I have to switch trains etc.
I’ve learned this walking meditation in my MBSR class last year and our teacher gave me the idea of doing it while waiting for a train, because she mentioned that she is doing exactly that sometimes. And the walking mediation is basically just “mindful walking”, which sounds so much easier than it is. It’s all about “taking the sensation of walking as the focus of one’s mindful practice. Lifting the foot, moving it, shifting the weight, lifting the other foot and so on. Again, there’s no need to judge, analyze or achieve anything. Simply being mindful of walking is all. Whenever the mind has wandered, one simply returns to the practice.

So the new promise will be 2. Practice a walking meditation (5-10min) at least four times a week

3. Practice the “gratitude and affection” body scan at least once a week
I managed to do that, even though it sometimes got bumped to the weekend even though the original plan was to do it on weekday evening, for the same reasons as the yoga practice. I’m usually already relaxed on the weekend, but the bodyscan/meditation are supposed to help me calm down within the stressful week. So I’ll try to make more time for it on weekdays in February. Starting next week, because this week I did it last night (Saturday).

4. Treat myself to a Thai massage every month
Done that in early January and it definitely was a good thing. Haven’t scheduled an appointment for this month, but I definitely will.

5. Go geocaching at least once a month
Did that, but it felt a bit like cheating. I logged one of the caches close to my office, which I hadn’t found before, even though I tried it twice. I checked the spoilers and photos on the cache’s website and then it was pretty easy to find. The stupid winter/rain/dreary weather didn’t leave much other opportunities for a real geocaching outing and I really hope that will change in February.

6. Go to the theatre / opera etc. at least once a month
Done! A friend and I went to see “Wagners “The Ring” on one evening” which was a very special production. It’s a bit difficult to explain and I didn’t find a decent link (german or english) for it yet. About 20 years ago Germany’s best comedian ever, the late Loriot, wrote the script to this unique production of the famous four operas of Wagner’s Ring der Nibelungen. It includes performances of the most important (in Loriots opinion) parts of the four operas, but the rest of the plot of the four operas are told by a narrator in the typical, very funny Loriot style. Like “and if the Rhine maidens had done their job (guarding the ring) properly, we wouldn’t have needed 3.5 more operas to tell the story”. It was a great way to be introduced to Wagner’s Ring cycle, which is considered one of the most important pieces of German classical music history. I don’t think I would ever sit to any one of the four operas itself, so this version of it all, was perfect for me.

7. Visit at least one museum / zoo / park in the Ruhr region each month
Done! On the last day of the month, I admit, because the weeks before that seemed to have been filled with so much other stuff. I soon have to schedule time for this in February, otherwise it might be stressing me out later on, which wasn’t the plan of it all. And with this I’m back and “having to sort my priorities” ;-). I went to see the Cathedral Treasury in Essen, basically because it’s been the closest to my office and thus most easiest to visit. :-)

So, all in all, I have managed to fulfill all my promises. Some just barely, and that will definitely make me schedule more time for it this month.

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