Tag Archives: walking

Mindfulness: Not just for monks and yogis!

We’re all wondering if quarantine will ever end, but until it does, we have some prime time to get to know ourselves.

When someone says mindfulness, what do you think of? Do you think of monks in a temple wearing robes in silence, or people sitting in full lotus position meditating for hours on end? It would be understandable if you did. 

However, mindfulness isn’t just for ancient religious practice, it’s also a secular therapeutic method designed to settle our thoughts and reduce everyday stress and anxiety so that we can better focus. Regardless of what you’re into, jogging, debating, or being a lifestyle blogger; mindfulness can help support you and improve your potential. Think of it this way – driving a car is much easier once you’ve had a few lessons. Before that it’s almost impossible. 

But on the road of life, the vehicle you’re driving is not a car – it’s yourself, and mindfulness is the way you learn how to skillfully read the signs of the road and perform tricky maneuvers. So how does it work? Your mindfulness practice can begin as you read this blog post. You’re reading the words and you’re thinking about what they mean. So you’re doing two things. Bringing awareness to these two things is mindfulness. You are aware of what you’re doing. 

Another way to practice is to bring awareness to your breath. You are slowly breathing in and out. The very fact of that is amazing, but your awareness of it? That’s mindfulness. 

Here are a few more ways to practice mindfulness in your everyday life…

Walk in nature 

Take some time to visit  nature near where you live. Try out some mindful walking, that is, bring awareness to each step you take. Find a rhythm that suits you, then turn your awareness to other things. What sounds can you hear that you might have missed if you were lost in thought?  Impressions you encounter in a mindful state are more likely to resonate with you and others. 

Apply it to a craft 

If you already do a craft like knitting, model making, or paper folding then you probably use mindfulness all the time without realizing it. It’s that controlled awareness you bring to your subject. If you don’t do a craft then taking one up can be a great mindfulness practice. Not to mention, you can always feel satisfied with achieving an end product – something you have made yourself. But now you know that the process to achieving that final product is just as rewarding.

Use it in conversations 

Mindfulness is very effective in conversations with people, because mindfulness doesn’t only mean being mindful of yourself. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, why not reflect on what has been said already – then respond. Bringing awareness to your conversations is a wonderful way to improve your interactions, and relationships, in a fun, creative way. 

When do YOU practice mindfulness? Do you find it difficult or rewarding?

P.S. Hobbies to try if you’re a creative soul.

(em)POWER(ment) WALKING

My current fitness line-up involves a healthy mix of yoga, body-weight strength and flexibility training, ballet, and pilates. But my favorite way to get in a little movement has, and will always be, a good ol’ fashioned walk.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my walks as EMPOWERMENT sessions. Here’s how:

For about the first two-thirds of my outing I listen to a podcast that gets me fired up. It could be about politics, business, or holistic health. (Call Your Girlfriend is one of my faves and I totally recommend it as an empowering walking companion!) Then, for the last third, I pump up the jams and my pace and just STRUT. IT. OUT. Think: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Fergie feat. Nicki Minaj. (Go wild, do you, etc.)

What streams through your earbuds when you go for a walk (or jog)? Do you like to get in a little learning with a podcast or do you prefer carefully curated playlists? Leave some recommendations of favorites below!! 

P.S. How to ditch your gym membership and how to make your own fitness challenge (for totally free).

On Catcalls and Miami

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After weeks of disbelief, this afternoon I thought to myself, “Oh! Of course. Of course our country didn’t elect a woman as President.” 

Of course we didn’t. Because there are men in this country who can navigate a roundabout with their head completely stuck outside the window of the food service delivery truck they’re driving, face turned 90 degrees away from the road they should be watching, all to make disgusting, slurpy kiss noises at a 31 year old woman (Read: me) carrying a library book about the Holocaust and sporting a 3-days-since-last-washed top knot.

Of course.

The catcalling in Miami is pretty brutal. You’re probably not all that surprised by this. I can’t say I was either. But the salt on the wound is that it sucks ass to drive anywhere in this city. If two of my stops are a few blocks apart, I’ll often leave my car at one, brave the “pedestrians be damned” style of driving the cars all seem to follow here and walk to stop two. So, I put myself in the line of fire in more ways than one.

Vehicles will buzz past and narrowly avoid clipping my appendages in blatant disregard for red lights. I find myself wondering if I should look into the best ways to take a hit to my body from a car without dying.

Yes, this is maybe a little dramatic. But CAN I LIVE?! 

And the catcalls incite the same question. Just in a less bodily harm, ACTUAL life & death sense and more in a “Can I just get from the library to the pharmacy without anyone propositioning me? That would be such a welcome change of pace! Thanks y’all!” -sorta way.

Despite what’s detailed above, I don’t feel that unsafe walking the streets of Miami. Maybe it’s naivete. Or maybe I’ll always be someone who prefers travel by my own two feet.

(See: The summer of ’09 when my top money-saving scheme was to leave my gas tank on empty for the duration.)

Maybe I’m just willing to brave a lot to avoid jumping behind the wheel.

(See: Every traffic-heavy commute home when I fantasize about getting out of my car, setting it on fire, and walking the rest of the way.)

Walking will always make me happy. I won’t let a few crude assholes in Miami (Read: everywhere) take that away from me.

But. Of course. Of course we didn’t elect a woman as president.

P.S. I know, I know. This is about Miami and the picture above is clearly of NYC. Beggars who use free stock images can’t be choosers, ya know?

P.P.S. The Power of Self-Care and that time I stopped paying women compliments.