I just have to say that I’m really excited for September. Initially I said it was going to be the month of Self Discovery – focusing on my social and spiritual life. Those two areas seem to be opposite to me, though, so I’ve opted to focus on the latter.
It seems fitting that this morning one of the quotes on twitter that caught my eye was “Happiness comes through taming the mind; without taming the mind there is no way to be happy.” For quite some time I’ve often looked at self-improvement/happiness as something external. In August I wanted to read books, workout, organize my room and find activities to join. It was all about adding depth and stuff (for lack of a better word) to my life. I wanted to be doing something. Now I want to take a step back and focus on my mind.
The goals for this month may seem a bit kitschy, but I think it will be a good fit for what I’m trying to accomplish.
- Meditation. I’ve tried getting into meditation in the past. In fact, earlier this year I tried an intro to meditation class to see if that would help. I wish I would have known before hand that “intro” actually meant two straight hours of meditating… Given I can barely shut off my mind for more than a few minutes, the intro class didn’t help in my pursuit of learning to clear my mind. This month I’m going to sit in silence for at least a few minutes every day to see if I can’t make meditation more natural (in other words, I want to learn to shut my brain off every now and again…).
- Journaling. In some ways, journaling is like my form of meditation. I love writing, and in the past year or so I’ve gotten into the habit of journaling every weekend just to decompress and get perspective. I’m going to try to expand on that. During the school year I would occasionally wake up an hour early to dive into readings that I didn’t complete the night before, aided with a pot of strong coffee. It was (surprisingly) a really relaxing way to start my day. I’d get to work and already feel productive, despite an hour less of sleep. At least five times this month (that’s once a week), I want to start my day with a pot of coffee and reading/journaling. I think it will help put me in the right frame of mind for the day.
- Work on my inspiration journal. Speaking of journals… I really want to start capturing my inspiration and DIY ideas that I can potentially work into my happiness project later on in the year. I’m now hooked on pinterest and am eagerly awaiting my first issue of Real Simple magazine. I created the blank journal to use as my idea and inspiration journal but have yet to do that. This month I’m going to to remedy that and let my mind wander with all the possibilities.
- Get out in nature. I love Missouri. I love the trees, the hills, the trails – it’s a nice change of pace from South Dakota where so much is flat. My first semester of grad school I always tried to get out to the state park that’s just a few miles from my apartment. But between discovering Zumba and the crazy head during the summers (the mild winters in Missouri are nice compared to SD, but summers can be brutal!) I don’t get to the parks and trails as much. With (hopefully) gorgeous fall weather on the way, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy nature again.
- Watch a sunset. Maybe even a sunrise. There’s something about watching a sunset that I find absolutely amazing. In Hawaii I tried to catch the sunset every night (but who wouldn’t want to watch the sun setting on the ocean??). I’m not quite sure where I’ll go to watch the sunset this month, but it’s a goal I plan on accomplishing. It’s beautiful, it’s calming, and it will likely get me out in nature as well.
- Find a class to take just for me. Like with my goal of finding an activity last month, I didn’t want to say that I would join something willy nilly just to accomplish a goal. I’ve already got a couple ideas brewing for this one, which helps. I may decide to try another meditation course, or I noticed there’s an intro to memoir writing course offered through community education. Since I love writing and have this idea for self-discovery, it might be a good fit. I’ll use September to explore my options.