18 March 2013

11 March 2013

a quote to kick off your week

"The early morning has gold in its mouth."
- Benjamin Franklin

08 March 2013

benefits of early rising

I've never been big on sleeping in. My body has never been big on sleeping in. Thank you, Circadian Rhythm! I hated this fact in high school, tried to rewrite it in college, accepted it as a newlywed, and now want to build on it.

"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
- Benjamin Franklin

{found on pinterest. link came back empty}

There are a myriad of reasons I think waking early is great, some more opinion-based, others backed by science...

Waking with the sun is more in tune with most peoples' circadian rhythms. Keeping your sleep cycle in line with your rhythm will lead to better sleep and greater alertness during the day.
Mornings are quiet. Especially where I live. No sirens, few cars bustling about. This peace brings a type of clarity that can only be found in the am.
Mornings provide time to meditate, exercise, plan, organize, study, eat (healthy) breakfast. If I wait until later in the day, I never seem to get to these mood-boosting, healthy activities.
More time in the morning leads to less rush, less stress and more compassion. I don't know anyone who doesn't become at least a tinge irritable when they feel stressed and rushed. With ample time to prepare for morning appointments, I'm able to be more patient and kind to my husband and son.
Morning people are more proactive. In my mind proactivity equates with productivity. I feel much more productive when I wake early. It is so much easier to get going and I can get more done because there are fewer distractions.
"Morningness" is associated with being conscientious, agreeable, persistent and cooperative. Do I want to be all of those things? Yes, please.
Morning people get better grades. If starting my days early can contribute to better academic success where else may I become more successful?
Early mornings lead to more free-time in the evening. I have a bad procrastination habit. I would love to have more time for fun things once my husband is home from work, but I tend to wait until around dinner time to start feeling urgent about work projects and homework.

Are you convinced yet?

I love this list of successful people who wake up early.

04 March 2013

a quote to kick off your week

[available as a printable pdf via]

Check out Doe a Deery, my friends' new blog. You won't be sorry.

01 March 2013

let's start at the very beginning

I've brainstormed a slew of changes I can make toward being more mindful. Just as I became overwhelmed thinking over the myriad ways I'd like to improve, I become paralyzed by the thought of instituting so many changes at once. So, I'll go through them one-by-one, testing them out, assessing how they help me.

One of the first changes that popped into my head was to establish a better sleep schedule for myself (and Baby A). I feel so much better when I rise early. I feel much more grounded when my day has a predawn kick-off.

I am certain it will sound extreme to most, but I like to get up around 5 am. Most days Cody tries to get up around then and A usually feeds at that time, so it works well for me. I can feed the babe, put him back down, then exercise, study scriptures, and plan out my day before he is up again. But, many nights I opt to stay up later than I should, enjoying a sitcom with Cody or trying to cross a few more items off of my to-do list. I sabotage myself and make it near impossible to get going at the hour I'd like to.

I'm changing this.

Mindful Change #1: Establish a healthy sleep schedule. Early to bed, early to rise.

28 February 2013

why mindfulness?

A few weeks ago, I started to brainstorm all of the areas of my life I'd like to improve. Here's a peak at my list...

I'd like to be more productive.
I'd like to be less stressed. 
I'd like to experience less tension in my neck and shoulders.
I'd like to procrastinate less.
I'd like to be more creative.
I'd like to be more engaged in my daily activities.
I'd like to be a better listener and communicator.
I'd like to be a better mom, student, friend, disciple, employee, wife, sister, daughter.
I'd like to be more content.
I'd like to feel my intellect expand.
I'd like to be more spiritual.
I'd like to feel less scattered.
I'd like to "flow".
I'd like to eat healthier.
I'd like to be more tidy and less cluttered.


As this "need improvement" list bounced back and forth between the walls of my mind, I felt myself regressing. In those moments of dwelling on my "should do" list, I felt myself drifting farther from all of the things I wanted to be. Nearing my ideals appeared impossible. My brain flipped through images of my past self, primarily scenes I wish I could change. The burden of hopelessness seemed to push me down.

A brief moment of clarity replaced the hefty load in my mind. "Why are you thinking about yesterday? You have now. You always have now." With that I realized how often I live in the past. I think about aspects of it that I miss, e.g. how free and alive I felt in Tucson. I mull over what I'd do differently, e.g. how I wouldn't tell that lady that I had a prepubescent crush on her son. What about today? My today is filled with so much to be grateful for, so much to rejoice about, so much to find joy in. I miss out on that joy when my mind wanders elsewhere. I want to learn to savor my day-to-day life, and to live it fully.

So, this year I'm working on living in the now. I firmly believe that in working to be more mindful, I'll find myself moving toward my ideals in other areas. I think Mindful Jade will be a more spiritual Jade, a more creative Jade, a more relaxed Jade, and so on. I guess we'll see.

And so, I embark.

25 February 2013

a quote to kick off your week


My absolute favorite.

19 February 2013

i'm embarking on a quest

resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something

Less than two months ago the winter air was full of resolutions. "This year I will..." I'm admittedly a sucker for resolutions. Scattered around my life are lists of things I'd like to do better, lists of changes to be made, lists that start "I wish to be..." I write my lists with intent, but my resolutions are rarely a part of my life come July. I'd feel bad about that fact, but am comforted by knowing that more than half of resolution makers are in the same boat as me.

This year my life is more complicated than ever before. I'm a bona fide adult with bills to pay, mouths to feed, and less time than ever. Introducing my son into the world has made my pre-baby busy-ness look like Spring Break. A list of resolutions would have been shuffled under a mess of to-do's by January 10. So, I decided to redefine my determination. This year I'm on a quest.

quest: a long or arduous search for something

The word quest itself implies a sort of romance. Medieval knights set out on quests to save damsels, right? They fought dragons and thieves, wielded swords and carried shields. They rode smooth white stallions through harsh countryside. They toiled and labored for their end goal.

I like the definition of quest. It fits what I have in mind for my "resolution" this year. I will toil and labor for my end goal.

Are you ready for that unveiling of this resolution? I am.
With more fanfare than necessary... 
I intent to spend 2013 developing and refining the skill of mindfulness

I'm searching for clarity, composure, and peace. I am certain the journey will be long and will be arduous. I know this is something I'll have to work at. It will require continual, conscious effort. I will have to engage myself in constant pursuit of a type of awareness I am not accustomed to. But, I'm thinking it will be worth it.

To raise accountability, I am going to write about this embarkation right here. Stay tuned.