At 6:35 in the morning, the house is quiet. Well, at least, I would expect it to be quiet at that time. This is my ‘me’ time. I wake up at 5 o’clock on most mornings and proceed with my daily ritual. While oil pulling with coconut oil for 15 minutes, I feed our two ever-starving cats — seriously, those two cats have the biggest appetite — and get dressed. I brush my teeth and drink a tall glass of warm water with lemon juice. Then, it’s time for cardio, weights, pilates, or yoga, or a combination of the above. After an hour, I sit down to meditate.

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My body and mind are fully awake, and I’m ready to sit quietly for some time before my day begins. I set my meditation timer app to 15 minutes, and assume my typical mudra of crossing the middle fingers on both my right and left hands over the index fingers. Oh, wait… I sense some hesitation on your, the reader’s part. You’re telling me you’re not familiar with that mudra? Why, that’s the universal ‘Keeping my fingers crossed’ sign, isn’t it? Moving on with my story… Don’t look so puzzled, please. I promise to answer your question shortly.

You see, dear reader, my meditation practice is different every day. Some days, my mind slips into a calm state with ease and satin-smooth elegance. On other days, my brain decides to talk to me. I ignore it, gently brushing it off with a polite smile — no, it’s actually a smirk that hints to my brain, politely, to ‘shut it.’ What does it say when it speaks to me? Let’s see, let’s see…

“Maybe I should have started this meditation first thing after waking up?”

Then I pinch myself and think,

“No way! I’m not awake enough at that point to commit to a meditation practice.”

And then a typical soliloquy begins:

“The kids will be up soon. I need to ensure I have enough time to cook steel-cut oats for our breakfast. And I still have to pack lunches. I should probably prepare the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner, as I will not have time to cook later this afternoon.” And so on…

Thankfully, I do have more calm meditation practices than those soliloquy-ridden ones. And I keep coming back to my cushion.

So, at 6:35 on this particular morning, as I sit on my cushion in my quiet practice room that also doubles in purpose as a ‘TV room’ (the only one in the house with a TV set in it), I am suddenly asked by my younger son to come out of my meditation. I hear his little bare footsteps as he’s walking down the stairs. I can picture him hugging his well-loved bunny with his right arm, sucking the thumb on his left hand. He stops behind me and says, “Can I watch TV… A little bit?” And so ends my ‘me’ time and begins the typical busy morning of a mom. As for the meditation timer? I look down at my iPod and see that I still have eight minutes to go until the lovely bells ring thrice to bring me out of that blissful meditative state. Obviously, that timer has got nothing on my child. Do I wish that the timer app would win from time to time? Heck yes! Hence my crossed fingers mudra! 😉

What’s the moral of this story? We’re busy. There, I said it, and I will not repeat it again because I don’t believe in giving that banal discussion any more time than it deserves. Many people try to start a meditation practice. Many more practice yoga, the kind of yoga that makes us move our bodies to still our minds. But as for traditional seated meditation? How many of us actually make that commitment?

I decided, recently, to treat my seated meditation practice with the respect it deserves. Some days, I will find five minutes to sit, and on other days when I feel like I’ve won the lottery, I hear those sweet little bells after 15 minutes and sigh happily. In any case, the important factor is that I made the time to sit on my cushion and dedicated time to this ever-evolving practice. It keeps me curious.

Here’s my offering to you: a free five-minute guided meditation practice.

The entire video is longer than five minutes, simply because I provide a few guidelines for those who have always been curious about meditation but haven’t had a chance to try it before. I hope the introduction will help to ease any tension you may feel about trying to meditate for the first time.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading, watching and meditating!

Katia

Dharma Wanderlust

I was always the conscientious student throughout high school and university. I would manage all my assignments perfectly, planning for the entire semester after the first day of classes, to ensure that the rough copies of all my assignments would be completed well in advance of the dates on which they were due. That way, I had plenty of time to proofread them a few times and ensure that they were polished and as impeccable as they could be before handing them in. I stayed committed to one project at a time, working meticulously, and took pride in my work.

Several years later, as a crafty business owner, my true scatter-brained artist persona has emerged. I could blame it on my scattered lifestyle. After all, I do spend at least 12 hours a day taking care of two very busy and often rambunctious boys who keep me on my toes. But truth be told, I just decided to…

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Source: bellasartes.blogspot.com

Many knitters will readily admit to having several work-in-process projects (WIPs) on the go at one time. I have been knitting regularly for the past 12 years and before now, managed to keep to one project at a time. Oh yes, I spent many hours knitting and purling while salivating over the next piece I was going to take on. But I abstained from pursuing it until the first one was complete. Perhaps it’s my INFP personality and Vata constitution that make me feel easily overwhelmed. But lately, I decided to set all Type-A organized behaviour aside and decided to let myself work on whatever I feel like pursuing at the moment.

That way, if I get bored of working on something and there’s pretty yarn in the corner that’s loudly calling my name, I can simply leave the original project aside and migrate to the new one.

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A few of my current WIPs.

Sounds perfect, until I start to feel knitter’s remorse, for only a split second. I decided a couple of years ago to not allow myself to feel guilt over projects.

Besides, my straying never lasts very long. I just take short breaks to work on adorable projects, like these mukluk slippers that I knit for my older son. They only took about three hours to make, and he was excited to try them on. Here he is, modeling one of his ‘Harry Potter socks.’

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And then, I get back to my ‘bigger’ projects with renewed enthusiasm. So, perhaps there might be a method to what feels to me like utter crafty madness.

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Pawel also works on many woodworking WIPs at a time, and assures me that he definitely feels a bit overwhelmed with it all from time to time. So, at least we’re on the same page. 😉

We’d love to hear from you! If you’re a fellow crafter, let us know how many WIPs you work on at a time, and whether you also run into similar ‘dilemmas.’ Leave a comment and let us know!

P.S. I do not currently sell the items I knit. However, I am working on an exciting Dharma Wanderlust branch project that involves knitting and other passions of mine. We will inform you of it soon.

Katia

Dharma Wanderlust

July and August are our favourite months of the summer season. Yet, there is that certain something about August, specifically. Perhaps it’s the reminder that the warm, lazy weeks of summer are numbered before the autumn breeze starts to make its appearance, with the turning leaves, inspiring us all to run out and buy new pencils, notebooks, and start new projects. Until then, we remind ourselves to cherish these fast-moving days and make special memories with the people we love.

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We recently returned from a week-long getaway with the kids to Kincardine, Ontario. We spent our days visiting a few other small towns and the beaches along the shore of Lake Huron. And of course, we loved the countless hours of playing on the waves, some outdoor yoga, and evenings spent by the firepit.

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Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of our favourite summer activities. Although we are still working to keep a steady balance on the waves, we prefer calm waters for now. Thanks to Pawel’s parents, who stayed with us for the first couple of days and generously offered to watch the kids, we didn’t miss our chance to get on the boards to enjoy the spectacular sunset, as well as the sunrise the following morning.

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Now that we are back (and missing the beach immensely), we have been stirred by views of the charming lighthouses and beautiful seashells to create nautical-themed jewellery pieces.

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Here are the first few designs:

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We will add these pieces to our website within the next few weeks. So, stay tuned for updates! We will publish our blog once a week, on Tuesdays. To ensure that you do not miss any updates, please take a moment to subscribe to our blog. Also, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for additional updates. In the meantime, we hope you also will have a chance to get outside and enjoy these precious days, regardless of the weather.

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