Monday, February 21, 2011

Meditation week

     Meditation week was a big success. I tried several different kinds of meditation: zen, smiling, guided and free form. Zen was the hardest for me because during practice you have to sit in a specific posture and keep your mind clear of all thought. I set a timer for 30 min (which was the minimum meditation time each day). I made it 17 before getting too antsy and checking my phone.
     Smiling meditation was my favorite because it is so uplifting.  The basis is that you smile with every part of your body. Smile with your liver. Your heart. On  top of smiling, I went through and thought of WHY everything was smiling, too. This did me a lot of good because I have been struggling since surgery. Certain organs are not wanting to do  what they are supposed to which leads to frustrating side effects. It was exhilarating just to smile and be glad about what is good in the moment.
     At the end of the week I dropped my sitting pulse from 110 bpm to 80. I really had to work at it, but I got it there. My heart is not exploding this week. I think it would be good for me to continue practicing so it continues not exploding. Plus peace of mind, relaxation time, clarity of thought...'n stuff.
     This week: Cartoon week. Drawing, not just watching.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate week: not as satisfying as hoped

     What is made from a mixture of cacao parts and coco butter, originally drank by Mayans, and made me gain two pounds in one week? Chocolate. All of these things are true. It was a learning experience, however. Did you know that the difference in Hershey's milk chocolate that is good and Lindt's milk chocolate that is amazing is largely the amount of time that they "mill"  the chocolate concoction before hardening? Hershey only uses 4-6 hours of "milling" because it is cheaper that way. Higher quality chocolates do it longer which makes the chocolate smoother. Ta-da!
    I have not mentioned the effect of the caffeine. I had a little trouble sleeping for the first few nights because of all the caffeine I ate that I don't normally eat. Eventually my body got used to it. Now, I'm pretty sure my love handles are at least 33% chocolate.
    During this experiment I ate chocolate from Puerto Rico, Switzerland and the U.S.A. I ate it with 31%, 64%, 77% and 99% cacao. Don't eat 99% cacao- I died a little on the inside.  Plus I ate it with strawberries, potato chips, bacon, filled with caramel, toffee and chilies. It still amazes me that chocolate goes with almost every type of flavor: sweet, salty, sour and spicy. Would bacon count as salty or umame?
     My advice is not to try this. Do a small tasting. Enjoy occasionally. Don't fill a week with it.
     Next week, well, this week is meditation week. After a week gaming and another eating chocolate, I need to try and calm my heart rate. I don't want this year to result in my untimely end because of high blood  pressure. So off I go to get in a few Oms before work.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So ends video game week.

     This week I spent way too much time with Mario. I am now seeing bricks and coins in my head. I dream of castles where you have to escape the rising lava while avoiding flying turtles. Plus, I'm pretty sure that I need glasses and blood pressure medication now. Despite all that, I enjoyed the week. I could come home, veg out and play games without shame. Ben (BF) helped by also playing video games. His game of choice was Worms. He is more skilled than I am at games.
     In the middle of mad gaming I had to take a day off. I was getting so frustrated at being stuck that I had to take a day and cool down. My thumbs were sore and I was jumpy in real life. It  was like an owl was gonna come out of nowhere and kill me in real life.  I had to be vigilant. After my day off from Mario, I got much better. I easily beat the level I was on a progressed several more.
     So did I beat the game? Sadly, no. I got to world 8-6. I had one more world, one castle and then the big end battle to complete. So i feel overall good about my accomplishment. I hope that it helped my hand eye coordination (but I doubt it). Will I finish the game anyway? Yes, after a week or so off. I'm afraid that my brain would explode if I tried it now.

Next week: In honor of upcoming Valentines day it is going to be chocolate week.