Saturday, July 31, 2010

31 days of meditation

I've done what I set out to do 31 days ago; meditate every day in July. There was never a day that I didn't want to meditate, and I soon found that it was best for me to sit before I left the house for the day. My attention span improved, I was often in a better mood than I would have been had I not meditated, and I was able to come to terms with a lot of stuff over the past month that otherwise might have been more difficult.

I'm happy to say that this will continue on. I can't justify not keeping it up when it has been so beneficial to me, and it is so easy to find 15-25 minutes to quiet the mind. And, having come to terms with the fact that I probably have ADHD, I would rather try to control it with meditation, exercise and diet.

Anyway, it's a beautiful Saturday morning here in Missoula, so I'm off to enjoy it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Photo Friday

The beginning of the week had much better sunsets, probably due to the small fire west of Missoula, but of course, I didn't have my camera for those. Wednesday found me hiking up the side of Mt. Sentinel, not quite to the M but I was ready for a sunset...that didn't quite do much; but it was still pretty in it's own way.

The last picture is from my garden, a green bell pepper plant that for some reason escaped a visiting deer's path. At least I'll have peppers and zucchini!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hangin' in there...

Yesterday found me meeting up with a meditation buddy that I had met last fall, Nick. He is currently between his overseas experiences, having just returned from a two month retreat in Thailand, and is leaving for South Korea to teach English in just over two weeks.

It's kind of ironic that we were able to connect, as I didn't have any way to contact him. While meditating yesterday morning, he popped into my head, and I was a bit disappointed that I would not be able to meet up with him before he left, as he was spending the summer with his family in another town. I put that thought aside and continued with my 25 minute sit. Afterwards, I opened the front door to grab Oliver's chain so I could put him out for a bit before work, and there was a note between the doors...from Nick. He had a book of Justin's that he needed to return and left me his number. We had a nice chat and decided to meet up for a quick lunch before he headed home. Our quick lunch turned into just over an hour of catching up, and to be honest, it was just what I needed. Both of us are dealing with relationships ending, and talking about how we were feeling and how to cope with those emotions was helpful. His insight and hope for the future invigorated me as well. I came back to work sad to see him go, but in very high spirits.

Considering how sad I was at the beginning of last week, I've been pretty good, accepting that everything is as it should be...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photo Friday

Time certainly does go by's already Friday! It seems like this summer is flying by (as it usually does), and I've just made it to Glacier for the second time this year. I was blessed with friends from Iowa stopping by for the weekend, and GNP is a must see. Nate and Jenny brought their two month old baby girl Emma with them, so I was even more blessed to see them as a new family. Their visit was a quick one, arriving late Saturday afternoon and leaving after I had gone to work on Monday.

Glacier was as beautiful as ever, however, the next time I go, I want to go into the backcountry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

21 days and counting...

It's been 21 days since I started my meditation challenge and I have meditated every single day. They (whoever they are) say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, I'd say it's pretty much a habit now, and a good one at that. On Sunday, I wasn't able to meditate until about 11:15 at night, and I had to. I wasn't about to skip a day just because friends were in town.

Some days are more difficult and scattered than others, but thus far, I have to say that last Friday was my best sit during this challenge. That's not all surprising considering that Justin was able to sit with me. I have to say that most of the time, I meditate better when I'm sitting with other people. On Monday, Susie joined me, and overall, it was also a great sit, except that my mind felt like it was spinning clockwise, and everything else was spinning counterclockwise...such a strange feeling.

I look forward to what has now become my time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last Friday, I took Justin to the airport for his trip to L.A. and then Taiwan, thus ending what has been a good romantic relationship. When he returns in August, he will be here for a day and a half, and then on to visit family, and then off to England/India. We've known that this was coming since mid-May but still, there really is no way to prepare for it...

In the beginning, I really wanted to go to India. In fact, before he even got the job, I had been kind of planning on it; to quit my job, ship Oliver back to Iowa, and put everything into storage. What would I do while away and jobless? I had thought of going to Bangkok and working on my GIA classes, being only a short trip away to visit occasionally, or seeing about a job where Justin would be. However, almost immediately that prospect was decided against. I am a people person, thriving with human interaction and relationships. What would I do in a monastery in North central India for three plus months, where everyone is spending all of their time studying, prepping for classes and other such things, or in a foreign country where I know absolutely no one or any of their customs. I would go stir crazy, and we decided it would be best if he went alone.. Even now, I still want to go.

So, as I type, Justin is on a fourteen hour flight to Taiwan, and I am aching inside. I was fine dropping him off at the Missoula airport, with only a few sad tears. And when one is busy, as I was over the weekend, I was also just fine. However, as I told him before he left, it would sink in this week, after he'd been gone for a couple of days. I made it until about noon on Monday before I realized what was causing my foul mood and depressed state of mind.

Of course, it doesn't help that his office is empty, save the desk and chair that I am now using. I need to make it mine now, because that is what this apartment is; mine. I'm not sure I like that. It reminds me of something else that I had with someone else. Something that I have long recovered from and moved on from, but now it seems as though I must move on and recover, again.

I posted this quote a few weeks ago, but somehow it fits here as well. It is from "Eat, Pray, Love"

"The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in one lifetime it's obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same old addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it."

What I must find out is what are my mistakes, addictions, and compulsions. What is it that I am doing to make myself have to go through this over and over again? It must be stated here that I have no regrets, and if given the option to relive the last ten years of my life, I wouldn't change a thing, because I wouldn't be who I am today, or where I am today, without having lived my life the way I did.

I wonder what will happen next...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Photo Friday

This past weekend I was blessed with a four day weekend in Missoula. With no plans taking me away from the city I now call home, I took in the farmers market for the first time this season, choosing only to get fresh carrots and morel mushrooms. After quickly running through two of the three markets, Kimber and I headed up the Blackfoot to float, also for the first time this season.

The view I intend to have next a runner.

The icing on the cake this week is Ronnie's ring. I hate to say it, but we designed it back in early January, and I just completed it on Tuesday. What can I say, sometimes I get lazy. I do have to admit, that even though I love doing custom work, by the time I am finished with a piece, I am usually so sick of it I can't wait to never see it again! This is one of my favorites though, and I hope to enter it into a few design contests. It is a 1.85ct Torus cut Montana Sapphire, a .47ct VS1 L round brilliant diamond, and set within the Sapphire is a .06ct diamond.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Photo Friday

Now that Mother Nature has allowed summer to finally arrive here in Western Montana, I've been out and about with my camera much more. The sun was setting during a little sprinkle shower and we couldn't help but head down to the river to capture the orange glow. We weren't the only ones with the same idea, as one of our neighbors was also down capturing the amazing light.

I played with zoom blur again and got great results at the Northside Kettlehouse before heading to the park to watch Beetljuice with a group of friends. Oh how I love summer in Missoula!

Of course, as an amateur photographer, I was all about the fireworks. Being my first time ever shooting a display, I messed around a lot with ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds. I didn't want to overload this post with fireworks only so I just chose my favorite one.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One week down three to go...

Maybe there shouldn't be a countdown for something that I don't want to end. I'm happy to report that I haven't missed a single day of meditation. The first sit went very quickly (as 10 minutes should) but the following six did slow down a bit. It was hard for me to get comfortable and find my position until about day four, and then it was just there.

Today's sit was a bit difficult, as I had a lot on my mind. I've never had to sit with emotions like I did today, but only hope that it will make me stronger and perhaps help someone else as well.

Tomorrow starts my week of 15 minute meditations.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Photo Friday

Last weekend, Justin and I headed over to Helena for what will probably be the last time before he starts all of his world travels. And while I know that I will probably visit while he is away, it will not be the same, or as frequent. Already in July, I know that I have a lot going on for the rest of the summer and even part of the fall. Time seems to go all too quickly; sometimes that is good, and sometimes that is bad. For now though, I am enjoying all of the wonderful experiences that life has to offer, and summer in Missoula!

While in Helena, Justin's cousin who shows and trains dogs was stopping through, so we took some photos of her dogs. The first is a Malamute, and the second is a goofy picture of Lucy, an Irish Setter.

While out last night for First Friday, I was experimenting with zoom blur. The first is a funky sculpture at the Dana Gallery and the second is one of our favorite bottles of wine at Liquid Planet.