Happy winter! This fall list is difficult because I get mixed up with all of my end-of-year reflections, so I’m going to send my end of the year what I’m learning list to newsletter subscribers. Make sure you’re signed up here. Here’s what I’ve been learning and loving over the last season…
What I’m loving
HelloMind. Jess Lively has talked about experimenting with hypnosis on her podcast, so I was already intrigued after hearing her talk about it several times. I saw HelloMind mentioned in several lists recommending technological tools to help with mindfulness, so I signed up for the free month back in November. I liked it so much that I winded up paying for December too. I am taking the month of January off, but I plan to use it again as I need it – and can put the necessary time to it.
Each treatment focuses on a different issue (some examples include: starting a new habit or quitting an old one, anxiety with a specific situation or a person, family problems, and much more. It gets really specific about many different types of issues that you may be facing) and includes ten sessions of 30-45 minutes.
I chose self-compassion (more about that in my what I’m learning for the year newsletter!), and listened to the ten treatments over the course of several weeks. I mostly fell asleep by the end, which the creators of HelloMind say is fine. Read more here, or just sign up for a free trial and try it for yourself!
Yin yoga. I registered for a yin certification at the end of January, but I started practicing and learning more about it after finishing my yoga teacher training because I was intrigued with the premise. Basically, yin focuses on holding poses for a long time (typically five to seven minutes in a single pose), which strengthens and stretches our connective tissues.
In preparation for teaching a winter solstice yin class (which was SO fun by the way), I did a ton of yin during November and December. I often talked Grant into doing it with me – and we both loved it. It is great for our bodies, but we noticed maybe even more benefits for our minds. It is uncomfortable at first holding poses for so long, but we quickly adapted and enjoyed the mindful benefits of the practice.
P.S. Locals, I’ll be teaching a monthly yin class at Shine Yoga Wellness on the third Friday of each month. Our focus will change with the seasons, so each practice will be a bit different based on the season of year.
Spindrift. I am completely addicted to the blackberry and strawberry lime flavors. I (obviously) serve it in a wine glass to up the “special treat” quotient in my brain. We get it at Costco, but I always drink up my favorite flavors first. Fortunately, Grant likes the other flavors, so it ends up working out.
No plans plans. I’ve mentioned this elsewhere here over the last several months, but Grant and I got a little burned out in 2017. Or maybe we just recognized that we were on that path to burnout. Whatever the reason, we become more intentional about planning for no plans in 2017 – and we loved it. Maybe it’s just a season, but we really needed more margin for just our family at home without any plans other than to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Grant and I typically try to have a date night on the last weekend of the month, even if it’s just at home, to go over our calendar for the coming month. As a part of those conversations, we have now started penciling in nights where our plans are to have no plans. I don’t see this practice changing anytime soon.
New board games. I looove games (some favorites here), and our kids are starting to love them too. One thing Grant and I have decided that we love about games is that it is a way of showing/telling your kids that you just want to spend time with them. It isn’t like most games serve some higher purpose; they’re just fun and an easy way for us to enjoy time as a family without distractions. Plus, it has been freaking cold here lately, and we needed some indoor stuff to do that wasn’t running around like crazy people (the kids, not us) or parking in front of screens for hours on end.
Some of our recent favorites:
Monster Factory. We just got this one for Christmas, and it has already become a family favorite. It’s easy enough for the five-year-old to understand, but also entertaining enough to keep Grant’s and my interest. It’s also just plain silly and plays differently each time, so it keeps everyone’s attention.
Sleeping Queens. We all love this one and probably play it a few times a week, although Maeve sometimes needs some help with the math part. I’m about to buy another set to keep in my purse because it’s perfect for those times when you’re out somewhere and need something to fill 10-15 minutes.
Goblet. This is like tic-tac-toe on steroids. Grant is a master at Connect-4, so I’ve only beat him at this three times (seriously). Jazzy can play it, but it is a little difficult yet for Maeve. But it’s one of those classic games that we will have forever.
Kingdomonio. We got this for Christmas, and Grant and I sometimes play all by ourselves after the kids go to bed. If we play as a family, Maeve usually plays with one of the adults, but I bet she will be able to play on her own in another month or two.
What I’m learning
The second no. I heard this articulated on the Kate and Colby Show (go listen to ALL of the episodes), but it is something that I’ve been realizing over the last several months. Colby explained it like this:
As a kid, our parents put up boundaries for us by telling us what to do and what not to do (the first no). Then, as we mature, we are left to make decisions for ourselves, saying yes to whatever they want. But often, we have to decide to come back to the second no, in which we decide what works for us individually.
So for example, let’s take sugar. Right now, I’m pretty strict with our kids about limiting their sugar intake. One day, they’ll be off on their own, and they will be able to eat as much sugar as they want. They will probably gorge themselves on it, maybe even making themselves sick or overweight. But then (one can hope), they see the wisdom of their mother’s rules from growing up and decide maybe they should place some limits on themselves and their sugar intake – the second no that they come to and own for themselves.
We all have to do this, right? But for me, as an Enneagram 7 who really doesn’t like people telling me what to do (even myself) and restrictions in general, I really appreciated how Colby reframed this issue for me. It puts the power back in my hands, even if it is only a mental distinction.
Self-care sometimes often looks lame and boring. Playing off the second no business above, even though I know that self-care ≠ self-comfort, I still at times have a hard time motivating myself to do the things that I know I need to do to be the best version of myself. For whatever reason, over the last few months, telling myself that these things I need to do are often boring and lame, but they help me to respond to life’s ups and downs instead of react to them. Somehow, just accepting that they’re not exciting has been a breakthrough in actually doing them and helping me with my tendency to fall into all-or-nothing thinking.
YOUR turn – I want to hear what you’ve been loving and learning lately!
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