Saturday, April 13, 2013

30 Days of Meditation

Today I went shopping. I hit the clearance sales and picked up a few new things to wear. I'm in different sizes now which is awesome and validating. I am almost in sizes that I used to wear in middle school and high school. Love, LOVE it!

Each day I find myself doing some things really well (avocado, tomato and cheese for lunch...nitrite free bacon with eggs and hot sauce for breakfast...not in that order). And other things I struggle with (aches and pains from skipping yoga for a month...short tempers because I'm tired and my sciatica is acting up).

I've played around with meditation before. Usually it's been part of a yoga class that focuses on mindfulness. The research on meditation, stress management and overall health benefits is hard to argue with for me. So, tonight starts 30 days of meditation. Let's give this a try and see what happens.

Meditation notes:
When: bedtime
What: deep rest meditation by "meditation oasis"
I first noticed the pain and aching in my lower back. This got better and was mostly gone by the end. Several times my mind raced. At least once, I felt caught up in the moment and my mind felt empty and light. I thought I'd be super tired at the end, but was surprised that I felt only more content.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day One of a...Dog

Me and hubs have a dog. A seven year old, muttsky from a shelter. I adopted him when he was only t-h-i-s high and now that he's full grown, he has lived in two different states, weathered five big moves, and most recently decided to say what no one else will say in the family and bite the crap out of my father in law.

Okay, it wasn't really that bad. My father in law was helping us out at the house when the dog creeps up and nibbles on his leg. Then scurried away. Repeat a few times with growing force and it was not only frustrating for the people involved, but totally not okay for our dog to be doing.

Hereafter we'll call the dog, Monkey. Not because it's his name, but to protect his doggy innocence.

Monkey is a little insecure and is the type of dog to get you before you decide to get him. My father in law can be a liiiiiiittle overbearing and you mix that with a huge new house and lots of change for the dog and... well we found ourselves in a pickle. But Monkey is super smart and we are super determined to find some peace in our house. We are also super aware that we are the problem, not Monkey...because we're super people and life is super. Or something.

 So, we hired a trainer and our first private session was last night. Our trainer uses a tens-collar for the dog so he gets a signal from the collar every time we push the button. We got to try the collar out on ourselves with some interesting results. I didn't feel anything until it was at a level 9. Hubs felt it at level 6. Monkey is good at level 1. Unless there is food involved because, let's face it, food is super good.

If you've ever been to physical therapy with a back injury (or just had chronic pain), you might have experienced a tens-unit.  If not, here's a website that talks about how it works. The concept is that you use the collar to communicate with your dog. You use the lowest setting that the dog notices. You're not using it like a shock collar to tell the dog it did something wrong. Instead, you give your dog a command, you press the button while you're saying the command and the dog basically feels a "pat on the shoulder" when you're giving the command. So then, in theory, when your dog is really distracted by something (like a huge hamburger on the counter that is DELICIOUS or an overbearing father in law that is NOT delicious) your dog feels your "touch" while you're giving the command and it knows that you need its attention.

Monkey picked up on the idea pretty quickly. But he also got a little pissed off that he couldn't eat the hamburger last night during the training session. So shortly after we took the collar off and started getting ready for bed, Monkey decided to dig up our new houseplant.

The houseplant has a new home now. We'll move it back once he's adjusted a little more. Monkey got some extra love and cuddling last night. We've decided to spoil him with love and attention while we're all learning the new house rules. He's a good snuggler, so it's a win for everyone.