Do you ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? Or do you ALWAYS feel there aren't enough hours in the day. If time is a human construct, can we find better ways to shape our days?
Over the years I have tried a lot of different planning systems. As a librarian, organization is my thing. The problem is that sometimes I spend too much time organizing!
So about eight years ago, I developed a system to track my time and goals. It became a planner and for 2024, I have fallen in love with it again. The video explains how it works. Basically, you do the three things each day that research shows will improve health, focus, and mindset: Sit, Write, Move. The calendar helps you remember to follow through.
Use the chart below to check in with yourself each day. Did you make time for self-care? Did you take care of your bills? Did you spend time with the ones you love? Give yourself a pat on the back and check the box.
Writing Yoga ®...
What happens when you hold a rock in your hand? Go ahead, look around your house and pluck a rock out of a flower pot or decorative jar. No rock? Take a walk in the park and choose your pick!
Hold it. I’m not talking a fancy crystal, just a plain rock, so don't go nuts.
Whenever I need to feel centered, secure, and focused, my most immediate tool is to grab a mindfulness rock. I use it with my young students. For anyone with attention issues, it’s really helpful. Children are able to sit longer for a story while holding the rock in their hand. It can keep adults anchored too.
This is the actual box of rocks I use in my library with children. I ask them to notice the temperature and texture of their rock. Of course it goes from cold to warm. The texture is smooth and uneven. The students are experiencing the benefits of mindfulness in school.
For a child who feels different (and many kids do), a rock is a great metaphor...
This year, I am taking something away. Let's call them subtraction goals.
Rather than adding new tasks, a weight loss regimen or a grand wealth building plan, what if you took something away this year?
Can I subtract an old story that has been defining my identity?
Can I subtract the need to strive for goals that no longer reflect my values?
Can I subtract any judgement, biases or preconceptions?
Can I subtract feelings of lack and striving and become comfortable with a state of presence?
Can I subtract the need to be right?
This year is a good one to focus on dreams, work toward peace, and dive deeper into ways our small voices can make the world a more compassionate place.
What will you gain by taking something away?
Let go & let me know how it goes!
Remember to sit, write & move each day for a calm, creative & more compassionate life.
Book a free consultation to learn more...
Holidays are fun, but can be seriously stressful. There is so much that we can't control, but we can control our mindset, our minutes, and our energy. By focusing on the people and things that matter most, and by honoring what we are good at doing, we can live a life that is calm, creative and compassionate. It happens bit by bit and it takes practice, but it can be done.
Did you ever notice that when you are relaxed, ideas flow and it's easier to focus? Did you ever notice that when you are feeling confident, your body seems strong and energized?
What I know to be true is that when we Sit, Write, and Move, each and every day, magical things can happen.
I have been sharing this mantra with my students since 2007 and it goes like this: Sit, Write and Move to SWiM through your day feeling calm, creative and compassionate. Take it 5 minutes at a time, each day at a time.
When you combine certain poses, writing prompts and seated relaxation activities, SWiMing can...
Finally, the weather cooperated and New Yorkers were able to get outdoors and not get soaked. We've had many weeks of rain on the weekends so whenever the sun appears, we go to mountains, beaches and parks and welcome the warmth.
We go to the trees.
Weekends indoors were "productive" for us. We could catch up on reading, laundry, and cleaning out the garage. We could reconnect with creative projects: write, paint and slowly cook a meal.
I made a tree: https://linktr.ee/stefaniemaura
The Bryant Library in Roslyn, NY planted a Linktr.ee recently and introduced me to online silviculture. Share your tree with me if you have one!
Anyway, thinking of trees, which I do a lot, my attention goes to the roots. They grow in winter when the trees are bare. They live under our schools and houses. They do the unseen work.
This week's prompt is all about the roots.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2022: The Opportunities of Rooting
Last week we wore winter boots. Today, I jumped in my 10 foot wide pool. Good thing I didn't close it early.
Over the weekend, there was a street fair that had not been held in years due to weather and well, the pandemic. You saw everything from ski jackets to tank tops and no one really got it right. A few people fainted from heat.
Having a summer day in the fall is a gift if you love warm weather and annoying if you don't. We expect seasonal changes but lately the weather has been even more unpredictable. How do you deal with it? I will pull out the flip flops and just pretend fall never happened. I will sit by the beach and enjoy the sunset. Others will keep wearing fleece jackets even if it makes them faint. I wonder, can you avoid unexpected change by pretending it doesn't exist?
Not if you are truly mindful. If it's 80 degrees in October, please leave your winter coat at home.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2021: Write about the Unexpected Reversal of Seasons
There is a...
By some good fortune, I found myself working in the library. I didn't know librarians needed a degree in Library Science. I just thought anyone who liked to read could be a librarian and they can, but it takes some studying.
A compassionate reference librarian told me the deal. She was not condescending. I thanked her and years later when I got my MLS, I wondered if I would have been that kind to my younger self. I'd like to think I would be, but in any case, I'm glad to be surrounded by books in work and life.
As society gets busier and more stressful, the library becomes a sanctuary. If you are reading this, you probably agree. But why? Here is my list of reasons libraries are good for your mental health. If you have more to add, I would love to hear about it.
TOP 7 REASONS LIBRARIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
1. It's pretty much the only place you can go without a television blasting
2. You can find books about uplifting things...
For much of history, it has been tradition to burn journals of loved ones when they pass over to the other side. I would like that to happen with mine please. But what if you didn't have a choice?
I recently saw Eileen Miles speak about having her journals housed in the archives of Yale University. We were at the electric Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side of New York City. Apparently she didn't fully realize that once they were in the archives there would be no more edits! Oops. Her words would be preserved as is, like it or not.
Have you ever lost a journal? It can be pretty unsettling. Your precious words are left exposed on the café table, the back pocket of an airplane seat or buried in sand after rushing to leave the beach in a sudden storm.
It happened to me this week and I have no idea where it went. Will someone read it? Will they try to find me? I hope they respectfully toss it into the fire. But not counting on that...
It's never too late to go back to school! I took two graduate courses this summer, even though I have been an educator for over 20 years. Learning and teaching are inseparable practices. Plus, we all must stay current to thrive.
I became a librarian for the love of books and reading but there is little time for sitting quietly at the desk and reviewing new acquisitions these days. Librarianship sure has changed since I first learned manual cataloging using the Dewey Decimal System. Some change is for the better. No one gets shushed and we can practice yoga between reading to stretch our bodies and minds.
At the start of the school year we had district faculty meeting led by a yogi, business owner and Speaker, Regina Smith. “Take a breath; begin again," was her refrain. It resonated with us because we had learned to breathe while teaching through Covid. She was a stellar speaker. My work with teachers using yoga and mindfulness practices had been reinforced and...
What does it mean to live a luminous life? This question has been tossing around my mind for many years. Being luminous is a state of being, a way of life, philosophy, health care routine, presentation powerhouse, parenting energizer, and teacher motivator. It also can put us on the fast track to healing.
When the days get shorter, it is more important than ever to be in touch with our inner light. Think about the things you love to do and make sure to schedule time to make it happen. If you are short on time and money (and who isn't these days?), make a plan and put a date on the calendar. Having something luminous to look forward to can be a game changer.
WRITING YOGA® PROMPT #2017: What is one simple thing you will do today to feel luminous?
Choose an activity from the diagram (breathe, dance, be kind etc). Go do it! Write about how you felt before you started and how you felt afterwards. What shifted? Write in your journal for at least 5 minutes. There's a new...