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...
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
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...
In yoga and meditation we often speak of "monkey mind." It's as if a monkey is swinging in your gray matter while your focus tries to follow. Good luck following that monkey. All you can do is slow it down because there will always be distractions.
My students created a pollinator garden at our school and when the first butterfly appeared last week I thought of that monkey. It didn't swing from trees, but rather flew from one flower to another very quickly and in no apparent order. The kids were amazed.
Back in the library, we thought of that beautiful, busy butterfly. Could it help us to quiet our bodies and brains?
If the thoughts are a butterfly, and there are so many plants to land on, how do you choose where to rest?
Let's figure it out using this week's prompts.
LUMI SIT: Butterfly Mind
Eventually, the butterfly will settle. It will find the plant with the best pollen, spot...
Before Covid, I taught several yoga classes a week and was either presenting Writing Yoga® workshops or planning them during every second of my spare time. I miss my yoga students! But I had no time to focus on doing the work I was meant to do. Now, I can serve even more people, take time to practice yoga and write more poems too.
Just a few lifestyle tweaks can work big magic. Mothers tend to be major multi-takers who put the self-care task at the bottom of the list. Mothers mother. It's what we do. Teachers, nurses, your BFF might mother you too.
The Writing Yoga® method is a powerful way to connect with your creative self, feel healthy and inspired, and still live a peaceful life. There are many working parts but ANYONE can do the essentials: 1) SIT & relax 2) WRITE in a journal and 3) MOVE the body in some way each and every day. Ultimately, they make us feel LUMINOUS or "Lumi" for short. Aka: Lumi Sit, Lumi Write & Lumi...
Greetings Readers, Teachers, Yogis and Librarians!
Library Week and Poetry Month both fall in April and with all of the yoga classes popping up at libraries over the past few years, you will have plenty of opportunities to sit, write and move! This is the special formula from the Writing Yoga® method that can help you to live a calmer, more creative and compassionate life. Each Wednesday there is a new prompt to help you do just that. Scroll down to get right to it.
When I was a kid, the library was my favorite place to be. It was quiet and calm and I could read all day long without interruption. When was the last time you got to do ANYTHING without interruption? Mindfulness was not in the dictionary back then, but the world moved slower without the Internet. Libraries today still have one of the few quiet public places anywhere. So take time this week to sit and mindfully read in your favorite chair or at the library. Maybe even try a...
Much of the year, most of us live and work in climate controlled environments. Bugs are not welcome. Spring invites us to get outside and create.
In the school where I work as a librarian, the kids are developing a native pollinator garden. I didn't even know it was a thing! The idea is to plant native flowers and hopefully attract native insects and birds to pollinate them. It involves dirt. The delicate among us might complain, but we will work together as a community to make it happen. The majority of my students do not have ancestors who know what the soil looked like 500 years here. Nature returns to Long Island.
Our students are anxious to plant, but the soil needs to be prepared. We are turning over grass and putting down organic mulch. The hardest part of it all is being patient! The ground is ready but the air is not.
What are you preparing for now? How do you stay patient when all you want to do is get close to the ground and plant?