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First off, for some reason the 135 second plank, the day after the flu shot, the day I played wheelchair basketball and tennis and used my arms more than ever was infinitely easier than the 145 second one I did tonight. 

I’m not sure what the deal is with that. Maybe just because it’s day 20? Or maybe the flu shot made me secretly awesome yesterday and today I am just back to normal. My arms are sore as well, my left non-flu-shot and non-tennis-raquet-ing arm more-so than my right, which I am not sure I understand. Seriously, this is the most hardcore DOMS I’ve had in awhile. (I mean, probably a good thing because that sort of means I am doing something.) Can’t stop, won’t stop. 😉

Unlike Google Word Trends and ranting, as I’ve done on the other two Thursdays this month, I don’t have a lot to say. It’s 12:26 am and I should go to bed. I’m doing a presentation with Gerry tomorrow at the Mantioba Teachers’ Society Physical Education Professional Development Day (or #MTSPhysEdDay because duh MTSPEPDD is clearly too much of a mouthful). Our session is called Play With Your Eyes Closed and it’s going to be super fun.

I may have under planned because I thought we had 2 hours and not 2.5, but we can just throw stuff around longer. Or let people go home early. I’m pretty sure nobody will refuse to go home early on a Friday, right?

Challenge Update: Day 20

Plank: 145 seconds, AKA 2:25. Ten(/eleven) days of planking to go. (And then to maintain it. Or keep improving on the planking. I’m not sure I need to plank for more than like 3 minutes though?)

Meditation: Bite Size Exploring Sounds meditation. Because at 1 AM I seem to be unable to do anything more than 5 minutes. Or 3 minutes. And I need to work on my morning meditation routine. Baby steps, right?

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I got distracted by a floor tape roller last night. I am rocking this ADHD awareness month challenge, seriously.

Kind of like mindfulness in general, meditation with ADHD is hard. Even with a guided app. I did a 3 minute meditation just now with Smiling Mind to prepare myself to write this post, and it was all “Count your breaths up to 10 and then start over. If you feel your thoughts pulling you away, start again at 1.”

Clearly I was like Seriously, Smiling Mind? And then started counting again at 1.
And then I thought about going for grilled cheese after my meeting tomorrow. And then I started again at 1. And then once I eventually got to 10, the app man told me now to stop counting and focus solely on my breath. And I kept counting, because seriously, why are you making me switch gears like that?! 

I claimed at one point in high school that I used to meditate, in the days before I had such an app to guide me. I think I honestly did not actually meditate and just did deep breathing until I fell asleep—more of a relaxation exercise than a meditation. They are not synonymous. Also I really liked the blog post I linked there, but I totally missed reading the point where it said to “take a moment now to just notice”. 

For me, meditation is not easy. Smiling Mind (or other guided meditation apps) makes it easier, but it is not easy. But I do know that the more regularly I meditate, the more I feel that I want to meditate, the more I take that second to just notice. I am more likely to incorporate a midday meditation, or early evening like I did tonight before writing this. A couple weeks ago, I did a walking meditation while walking to the bus, which was kind of cool except I did not do the pacing thing as recommended because I was trying to go from point A to point B and not from A to B back to A in six steps.

What am I getting from it? I’m not sure. A pause, at the very least, which is important with the 800 kilometers an hour ADHD brain. I use meditation to help me unwind a bit before I go to sleep. I think I notice more things in my daily life, like the sound of leaves blowing along the sidewalk behind me.

Focus? Yeah I’m not sure if it helps there. In fact, I just realized now probably part of the reason I struggle so much with not letting my thoughts drift too much during my evening meditation is because my meds have worn off. But if it can help with curbing my impulsivity even a bit, or assisting me to pause before I react to something, then hey: the practice is worth it.

And of course, there are reasons it is called a practice. I’ll never master it, especially with this quirky ADHD brain.

And that’s okay—it’s about practicing being non-judgemental about my own thoughts, and then deciding if that’s what, or how, I actually want to think—and having the power to change it, rather than regarding it as inherently good or bad. (Read more about non-judgemental awareness here.) ADHDers can be ridiculously hard on ourselves (on top of often struggling to be mindful!), and I think this is a really important thing for me to be working at… A definite self-care piece.

I think the reality is that mindfulness, meditation, being internally non-judgey is hard
Self-care is hard.

But it’s also extremely necessary. And if meditation can help guide me to those pauses, those right choices…

Well, I’ll keep trying.

 

Day 16 Challenge Update

Meditation: Check.

Plank: Repeat. 2:05. Getting easier (for now), at least with music on ;). 

I love this season.

Even though it was like 13 degrees today. (There’s nothing wrong with it being 13 degrees, AT ALL. It was awesome. It’s just a little less Fall than I’m used to.)

I got some chalk pastels from Amazon on Thursday. (You know how long those sat in my cart for before I got free shipping thanks to ordering 3 iPhone cords? Gerry, thank you greatly for purchasing another phone cord to allow me free shipping. I don’t know why I’m telling you this.) I finally broke ‘em open today—not terrible, given my “severe” level of distractibility per a form my specialist filled out once… Here’s how that went.

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These are a huge difference from the oil pastels. I can’t wait to try ‘em out on black paper, too. (Though I have to acquire some of that, and who knows how long that will take! ;).)

Day 15 Challenge Update:
Plank –  Passed the two minute barrier today–2:05. Halfway there. On Halloween I’ll conquer the post-test challenge (since the app I use is only a 30 day challenge!), which should have me clocking in at least at 3:25. My next “endurance test” (which the app calls a day off ;)) is on the 19th.

Meditation – Did the 3:01 Exploring Thoughts meditation last night. I need to work on getting back at a twice-daily meditation schedule, at least most days. Smiling Mind also has a streak function–I’ve done 16 consecutive days of meditation, which is pretty cool. I’m not sure anymore how long my longest streak was. (There are many features missing from this update and it kinda sucks.)

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I didn’t realize until tonight that Google had little word usage graphs under dictionary entries. When I was searching for a synonym for relax just now (to plug into the Mindfulness Pebble app because I might as well try it for 43 hours), I saw this and was kind of floored.

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Case in point: in the last 2 minutes I’ve forced myself to drop my shoulders three times. Three times.

It is hard to tell with the scale of the graph but to me, it looks like there’s a pickup around the second World War, and then a pretty freaking steady incline from like 1970 onward. 

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And maybe people weren’t as stressed about Y2K as we thought?

Here are some other interesting observations:

worryWe worry more…

happy

And we’re happy less;

We give less…

give

And we need more… 

needIncreasing pretty constantly.

Okay so those are some pretty broad generalizations, but interesting regardless, no? I’m curious to start paying a bit more attention to some of these words in my own world and see where those observations lead…

 

And what does this have to do with ADHD Awareness Month? Well, I was going to write you a post about my whiteboard, and you see where that went. 😉

Challenge Update Day 6:

Meditation: Exploring Movement (not at all following the instructions) on my walk to the bus stop today. Last night I think I did something like Listening Mindfully.

Plank: 75 seconds. I think my form completely sucked, as well. Just putting that out there ;). 
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My friend Mike started this thing called Mirror Mantras, where he puts a positive phrase or quote on his bathroom mirror to focus on for the week. I adopted the idea and kept up with it for a good while, but it’s been awhile since I did a mirror mantra.

So in the spirit of overthinking things and mindfulness, perhaps, here’s this week’s. “Understand that not everything is meant to be understood.”

Day 3 Challenge Update:
Plank:
 75 seconds. Movin’ on up.

Meditation: Twice daily achievement = unlocked. I think meditation is one of those things where perhaps the more I do, the more I want to do. 
Last night I did the 7 minute Mindful Listening: Dreamtime music meditation from Smiling Mind. This morning I continued with the Short Mindfulness Practice one. While it won’t fix my annoying lungs, I’m hoping a quick break with the Studying mediation (because work is like studying?) re-energizes me a bit because I shouldn’t be tired at 7:44 pm!