Hi everyone.. an early Happy Mother's Day to everyone! I will not be able to meet my Mom for Mother's Day. I think the least I can do is send some good wishes her way. At least that is my excuse to start this simple walking commitment this month. :)
Through all of May I will walk 2 miles every week in honor of Mothers everywhere. Through the entire 2 mile walk, I will focus my thoughts on my Mom and mothers in my family, friends and acquaintances and send my good wishes to them all. Good will spreads! I am sure my prayers and good wishes will influence their lives in some positive manner. Simple good wishes are my tribute to all Mothers everywhere!
I decided to do this after seeing Indira of Mahanandi start a work-out vratham. She is doing a work-out, diet and meditation plan for the month of May. And she has offered that others could join her in her vratham. You can check out her plan if you are interested. I felt that her exact plan is a bit intense for me at the present time since I am traveling and have all sorts of dietary menu restrictions already. I also already have my running going. But I wanted to join her at some level. Will also be nice to see what the others in the group do. So I have decided to add this 2 mile walk to my existing weekly running schedule.
Runners need regular cross-training activity. Walking works on different muscle groups than running. 2 miles of walking will be good for my legs. And walking, as I have said before, is something we all can do. The main issue for me is time, but I think I can give about 30-40 minutes once every week to walk 2 miles. The focus on Moms will help me learn a little bit about meditation, perhaps! :)
I will update this post as and how I fit in my 2 mile walks every week throughout the month of May. Anyone who wants to join in, please feel free to comment here. But do also check out Indira's website. Group effort is usually very good motivation to keep up a resolution. I am simply walking and only once a week. You could walk.. walk more than once a week. Or do the diet plan or meditation. You could take up something for Moms, Dads, your family or other people or causes. You could just do it for yourself.. for your own health and happiness. It's your vratham! And don't worry about how little or how much you are doing. I am doing only 2 miles per week! :) It's your intent that counts. At the worst, start out and then stop later. No harm. People at Indira's are doing all sorts of things. And they might all update their progress regularly in the comments. (Not sure how it all works there, first time for me!)
I will update my progress right here on this post and link in on the comments or something at Mahanandi's website as and how I figure out what happens at her end.
Cheers and Happy Mother's Day again!
Week 1: Meditation is Hard
I did get in about 2 miles of walking done. Took me about 35 minutes. And more than the walking, I think the meditation is going to get me!!
All I had to do was walk and focus on my own Mom for goodness sake! One would think that would be so easy! I admit it was quite ok for the first few minutes. I thought about our recent conversations, what's happening with her, what's new.. etc etc. But very soon I saw a wee doggie pulling his owner's leash.. Did you know.. they have these cool flexible leashes that allow the dog to pull on the flex-leash and it goes on extending without dragging the owner along? Wow, this dog was merrily running ahead, but then the flex-portion of the leash ended and he was abruptly jerked back! Yikes! :( That got me thinking about the leash design and the dog's poor throat and his owner, so on and so forth... and I forgot all about Mum.
Finally when I remembered I tried to bring my mind back on the topic of focus. I thought it will be easier if I just pray for her maybe? So the next few minutes were spent in praying for all sorts of joy and happiness and peace in her life. Then I generally prayed for other Moms I knew... women I know who are Moms, new Moms, Grand Moms, Moms-in-law, Step-Moms, to-be Moms, want-to-be-Moms, care-givers, Nannies, foster-Moms. I think I covered everyone! Ok.. I tried to cover everyone. I prayed that they all have love, joy, happiness and peace in their lives.. that all that they wish for may be accomplished... that the families they love be happy. With that I ran out of Momly topics to pray for...
I was done about 1 mile by then though. So I relaxed a bit. And immediately my mind digressed and I thought about all general things around me, roads, flowers, people, my life, my goals, myself... gosh! (Wonder how many hours I spend thinking about myself! Scandalous!) Some more selfish and completely un-Mom related thoughts later I saw a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller.. and was brought back to the topic of focus.
Focus is difficult! How can I proclaim out aloud to the on-line world that I will send out good will when I am not focusing on Moms at all!! That brought me back to thinking about my blog, the blog led to food and finally Mom's food and memories of foodie incidents with her. It's actually quite fun to think about things that have actually happened. Also, incident memories are like stories, they lead you from one incident to another.. Helps to keep our thoughts on track I guess. Well those kept me engaged through most of the second mile without too much distraction. :)
All in all, the prayer and memories worked the most for focusing myself I think. When I get back to general stuff, my mind wanders and I get completely distracted. I think 30+ minutes is probably a bit long for me to concentrate right away. But by the end of May I hope to get better at this. I have more walks to go! In any case some positive thoughts are better than none. ;) It was a good walk! 2 positive miles for Moms are down! :)
I don't know how much good-will my thoughts generated, but atleast I learnt that meditation is difficult! Cheers!
Week 2: It's getting better!
This week I had a lot of time constraints. So it was only today that I finally managed to walk my 2 miles for Moms.I don't know if it's just that after last week's experience my expectations were lower this time.. but today I felt much better about the meditation part.
I had got some advice from Indira saying that concentrating on breathing helps to draw back the mind to our focus. I think that helped today. I do focus on rhythmic breathing while running. But usually walking doesn't force me to do that. Today I consciously kept my mind on the walking-breathing rhythm. With every breath I would remember good thoughts about Mothers. I think it worked out pretty good today. The mind does wander, but every breath reminds one to get back on track. That worked out pretty good for me! So today's two mile walk was a fairly positive experience! :)
Total for May = 2 + 2 = 4 miles for Moms!
PS: For some reason I am getting some kind of error message when I click on Indira's website. So I can no longer get to it and am no longer updating my progress there. Hope Indira reads this. Am not sure how to contact her now. Do let me know if any of you readers have problems when you click on her link here. I can disable them. Not sure if everyone cannot go there or if it's just me. Anyway.. take care and see you around!
Week 3 and 4: Still at it!
Hey everyone..Sorry about the delay in posting last week's update. Just didn't get much time to write up my progress. Being unable to open Indira's site is clearly affecting my motivation to post updates here. Wonder what the bug is! Wonder what everyone else is doing. Anyway.. at least I am early for this week's update! ;)
I did get my 2 mile walk in both last week and today for this week. Much happier with my concentration lately. I found a very nice route that is two miles long and has relatively less activity. So it is very nice and peaceful. Both my walks were on that route. Very pleasant and meditative. Also, if the route is straight and without too many twists and turns I find it easier to get the walking pace in a fast rhythm. That really gets the blood pumping. Walking seems to produce quite a bit of the same endorphins that I get from running. Was very happy at the end of today's 2 miles! :)
Came back, told Mom about it. She is happy that I am happy, but I think she is just humoring me about the focus business! :D
Total for May = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8 miles for Moms!
Only one more weekend to go.. See you around!
Week 5: Last update
Another 2 miles for Moms in the last week of May! That makes it 10 miles for the month of May! :)
I apologize for the delay in this last update. In addition to the scheduled weekly walk, I did quite a bit of general walking in the last week of May. So I had a pretty good time inserting extra segments of "walk for Moms" in most of those walks.
I must say that this experience has been very good for me. Just spending half an hour once a week trying to channel positivity towards someone important actually gave me positivity through all of my week! There are often people who influence our lives in many ways. These walks helped me appreciate not just my own Mother, but many other women who have made an impact on my life and the lives of many others. My most sincere wishes to mothers and women everywhere.
Total for May = 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 10 miles for Moms!
That was the last update. I will think about doing something on similar lines again. Hopefully will be a little better about updating posts next time. Thanks to Indira and everyone who did the Jihva Vratham for your company and motivation.
Cheers and thanks for reading!