Carpe Diem? Carpe Momentum Temporis!

So, for those who don’t dabble in Latin, don’t just seize the day, seize every moment… While this is the core principle of mindfulness, examining just how to put yourself in the right mind is as simple as framing your day with a good sleep and a morning full of routines.

I’ve blogged about routines in the past and creating habits, so I won’t go into that again, other than to urge you to read back to much of the other stuff I’ve shared.  I suggest this purely because there is a bit of a progression, each post lives on its own, but is also a form of building block that ends up today.

mindfulness-poster

Thanks to the Therapy Change and Technology blog for this wonderful poster (which is now my laptop wallpaper! I particularly like how they included my dog in this picture! http://psykologprojekt.wordpress.com/)

I’ll admit that over the last couple months, I’ve gotten a bit carried away with meeting new people, and getting lost in that newness.. It’s easy to prioritize these new friendships and to stop looking after ourselves and our goals. I am happy to report that I am back to regular sessions on the mat, and that exercise is firmly entrenched in my routine again.

Returning to daily sitting was more excruciating than I figured it would be. I hoped that my previous habit would prove simple to slip back into, yet that was not the case.  Even ten minute sessions were predominately filled with trying to sort of my thoughts out into a state of tranquility. It was only through perseverance and daily 20 minute sits that I was finally able to return to a vaguely calm sense of Zen again, and this is after a sporadic bout of semi-daily sessions over the last couple weeks.

What I wanted to share with you today was my morning routine, and how I am able to approach every day with the optimal perspective.

And what would my blog be if it wasn’t a blend of technology and meditation?

So, without further ado, my morning is bought to you, in part, by better living through apps!

90 Night

90 Night

The first is a new app called “90 Night“, which sounds lots like “Nighty Night!” It is a mobile version of the website “sleepyti.me“, which helps you plan on the best time to wake up based on your bedtime, and then will set an alarm for you based on your sleep cycles.  I’ve recently had issues with my sleeping patterns, and even when I’d sleep over 7.5 to 8 hours a night, I’d still wake up groggy and have a tough time getting out of bed.  With this app, I’m going to bed later, waking up much earlier, but still feeling clear and wide awake the moment I open my eyes.  Sounds like magic, but this is the real deal. I got exactly 6 hours of sleep last night, got up at 5 ready to meditate and then even had enough energy to exercise! Again, this is the link to the free app, but there is a paid “Plus” version that removes ads, and will soon include other extra features.

MeditationAssistant

Meditation Assistant

The second is Meditation Assistant, an app that I have been instrumental in testing and proving feedback on how to improve.  This nifty app will let you login using Open ID, Google ID, or a couple other choices.  It will let you time your sitting sessions, mute all notifications while you are sitting, and sound a gong when you are done.  It then saves your progress, lets you post a blurb about anything you might have gleaned from that last session, and even maintain a streak.  The developer, Trevor Slocum, is fast to respond to requests and bugs, and is an overall amazing guy.  If you like this free version there’s a paid option as well with a few more features.

ddpyoga1

Ok, so I’ll admit it. DDP Yoga isn’t an app, but I’m surprised that there isn’t a tie in app available that would let advocates of the program track their progress, average and peak heart rates for the workouts. An integral part of the program involves wearing a heart rate monitor and staying within your optimum fat burning zone, and I grabbed this one off Amazon.ca since the price was right and the reviews stellar.

But this program is effective, efficient, and really flexible. As long as you can push past the vague cheesiness that is the man himself, aka Diamond Dallas Page, that crazy wrestler from the 80’s, you’ll explore a deeply effective workout regimen that combines muscle resistance with cardio, eschewing weights for bodyweight exercise.

Even 20 minutes every morning is a sure fire way to wake me up and kick up my heart rate, waking me up better than any coffee or other caffeine can. I was doing this 3x a week for about a month, and then daily for about a week before I started my new job. I’m now back on the wagon, and whilst perhaps I should not have jumped back into the workout I used to to at the end of my regimen, I’m glad to be back in the habit.

Here’s my vlog that accompanies this entry, and as always, if things get overwhelming, just remember to breathe..

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Amaryllis

I have never re-shared anything, but this prose is simply too evocative not to

Intensify It

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‘I don’t want to tell you who I am,’ she whispers just as I’m thinking how much I want her to keep talking. I want her to talk to me until I know enough to make her the main character of a novel I’d never even thought of before her.
‘You don’t have to,’ I say, ‘but I would love to discover you.’
‘Create me, then.’
She takes my hand and wraps it around her waist, and as I hold her I think that maybe this girl shouldn’t be out there. I shouldn’t think of her as a character, artistic as that might be. She doesn’t need to belong to the world. She doesn’t even have to belong to me. Some paintings aren’t meant to be exposed, they’re only meant to express something. To keep flirting with God’s masterpiece feels almost embarrassing. I just want to capture her essence and remember it forever; but…

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