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September 2013



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Well. Lovely.

Such a wonderful feeling of well-being this morning!  I love that feeling...I'm not sure what precipitates it, normally, but at the moment I'm going to attribute it to taking some positive steps. 

I've begun eating better again...not ENTIRELY, but somewhat, anyway.  More fruit, vegetables, lean meat, less...um, junk.  I love some of those wonderful salty, greasy, flavored crackers or chips, but...they can't really be great for a body. 

I'm trying to remember to actually TAKE the glucosamine, along with a few vitamins and extra C.  They do very little good up in the cabinet!

I'm continuing to do my exercises in the morning--not every morning, but often.  Usually.  They're sort of a combination of Yoga, isometrics, and the PT I started when I messed up my knee in '99.

And the most recent change is joining Eric Maisel's Ten Zen Seconds group on Yahoo (which started in January and there is NO WAY I can catch up), but even taking the time to do some of the exercises has been extremely surprising to me. 

I've meditated in the past, and I've flirted with affirmations.  I've done Yoga, and Yogic breathing.  I've discussed negative self-talk with myself, ad infinitum!  All of that is lovely, but not--for me anyway--as immediately effective.  As effective, PERIOD.

I've been amazed at how the simple concept of wedding a 10-second breath (to make you stop what you're doing) with an affirmation has really helped.  (Maisel calls them incantations, but they feel like affirmations to me, and I like the word better.  Whatever.*G*)

Life's been stressful lately.  Too much work and illness and uncertainty, too much going ON, too many pulls in all directions, and truthfully, too much to get depressed or angry or frustrated about.  I wasn't handling it as well as I needed to, and so on a whim I joined Maisel's group--or maybe it was desperation. 

He's a writer and creative coach--I'd been getting his newsletter for a year or so, and read about the classes there.  He is writing a book about this, to be expanded into longer periods, and just DOING it has been--well, surprising to me.  I'm a wee tad cynical about this sort of thing, very Western-minded and feet firmly planted on the ground (OK, kateslover, quit LAUGHING! *GG*)

Of course the end result is that you spend rather more than 10 seconds.  That's just the length of one breath, in and out, that you marry with an affirmation or statement.  It can take as long as it takes, depending on how many times you wish to repeat a particular concept, or how many of the affirmations you want to use.  Or if you want to add your own, which I do.  I find myself slowing, breathing more deeply--in itself a positive!--and when I do one of the affirmations usually slips into my consciousness.

The lovely thing is that you can always find 10 seconds, no matter how busy you are.  You can do one or two of these any time during the day--and what is unusual, to me, is that even that tiny bit is enough to make a difference.

I find #1 of Maisel's 12 to be the most powerful, for me...it's simply "I am completely--stopping."   That can mean ANYTHING, whatever you want it to, whatever you need.  I am stopping to pay attention, I am stopping worrying, I am stopping this squirrel-cage of stress,  I am stopping work for the night, I am stopping before I let this get to me, I am stopping to smell the roses (or the hyacinths, at this time of year!) 

Just STOPPING is amazingly powerful.  It allows us not only to look at what is bothering us, but to let go of it.  To step outside, as a gentle observer.  (Yes, that IS rather Zen...)

Of his list, I'm also finding "I am open to joy," "I am free of the past," and "I am equal to this challenge" to be affective.  I've added a few of my own, tailored to my own needs...

Sounds crazy, and simplistic, but I am really finding it freeing, in a much more dynamic and immediate way than anything I've done before--and I've done rather a lot!   Already I am sleeping better.  Already, things that  normally upset me and have me doing that "I shoulda said" thing for hours are just losing their hold. 

Yesterday a friend told me something that got RIGHT under my skin, as it always does--it was unfair, untrue, and soooooooo Jr. High.  I have so little patience for the propensity of human beings to look for the negative and rejoice in it. Gossip irritates the sand out of me. This is the kind of thing that normally could have me enturbulated, as my sis says, for hours, if not days.  And I jumped right on the old squirrel cage, as always...then, before I could make the first turn of the cage, I thought "I am completely STOPPING."  And did.  Almost immediately.  I was actually a bit shocked! 

I simply let it go, took my paints, and went out to the mill.  It was glorious. 

It still doesn't have the power over me--I didn't pick it back up later.  Not that I forgot--I am aware of it, but it doesn't touch me.  I stopped.

Interesting...no wonder I feel better!  Thanks, Eric...so simple, and yet...


Thanks, babe! I'll tell you more about that when we have a chance to talk!


Kate, I post anonymous because I've no OpenId or Live Journal. It's funny to read abot your experience with Eric Maisel. I'm also in this yahoo-group and I've read a lot of his books. We can talk about our experiences later. Martine
Hi Martine! I'm glad I changed my LJ so I can get anonymous comments, then (but thanks for signing your name...)

I've only read one of his books, A Writer's San Francisco, but looking forward to this new one. I'm really surprised at the difference this has already made--I'm used to expecting things to be a lot more difficult!
Thank you for this entry today, - just what I need these days as my and the boy's life are taking new turns for the better.
Looking back can make me feel so sorry for myself, and I don't want that! Life is great in itself and with focus on the opertunities that lies ahead, I know there are many wonderful surprises waiting for me/ us.I've been looking into one of his books lately. but this tip of yours got right to me.

Hello, Merete! I'm glad my post was timely...it was for me, too. There are just things we have to let go of, that we can not do anything about--can't fix them, change them, or change the people involved, so letting go WORKS. I don't want the past--and my past reactions and old tapes--to poison the present, or the future.

Eric Maisel's new book on Ten Zen Seconds can be preordered from Amazon, which I did!



Kate this is a super post and timely for me too - I'm going to give it a try. So glad it worked for you, negative feelings are so destructive and take so long to shake off sometimes.

Re: Well.Lovely.

Hi Felicity! Yes, I discovered that if I just catch them in time, I can free myself rather quickly. Of course sometimes you just feel like a good tussle.*G*

I'm looking forward to seeing how the book turns out...Maisel is using the response of some of the list members to help steer a course, and the responses he's posted have been very interesting.