2011 Practices to Enact

Now that we’re nearly two-thirds of the way through January, it’s probably time to commit to some practices to enact for 2011.  Benjamin and I discussed several joint practices which will hopefully hold us both more accountable, but I have several personal practices to include as well.

Shared Practices
1. Find a spiritual community.  Both Benjamin and I have been out of the spiritual community loop for a while.  Last year I went to meditation at Common Ground off and on, and church at OSLC once in a great while, but never really committed to a particular place.  Though our schedules don’t allow for it now, Ben and I are hoping after we get married to make intentional space for attending some sort of spiritual community on a weekly basis, likely one of the Quaker meetings in the Twin Cities area.

2. Spend more time on friend relationships, both hanging out with people in the area and calling people that are farther away.  I am especially atrocious at maintaining phone contact (as Caleb and others will attest to) and really want to make an effort this year to dedicate time to all of my relationships.

3. Have an awesome, simple, sustainable, beautiful and quirky wedding.  This is well underway, with locations chosen, food discussed, and invitations to be printed and sent within the week.  Details are still in process, and I am finding it difficult at times to explain why many of the consumption-based and/or patriarchal traditions of status quo weddings are not for Benjamin and I (ie having and throwing a bouquet, formal table settings, etc), but will persist in accomplishing our wedding mission statement.

4. Undertake many weekend bike-camping trips.  I printed a map and drew a 30 mile (ish) radius circle around my house, and lo and behold an amazing number of interesting destinations fell within that boundary.  Afton, Stillwater, and the MN Arboretum are among them, as well as some sort of pre-wedding retreat and a weekend out at Living Song farm in Howard Lake.

5. Tour houses in a variety of South Minneapolis neighborhoods.  Though we likely won’t be buying a house until autumn (at the very soonest), touring houses that we find on this great website never hurts, and just might be fun.

Personal Practices
1. Go on more walks.  As amazing as biking is, when I really need some centering, nothing beats walking, particularly when I’m going nowhere in particular.  I’m lucky enough to live just a few blocks from a number of amazing places to traverse, and this year will commit to visiting those places at least once a week.

2. Write write write write.  I didn’t quite reach the December pre-goal of writing every day, but I’ve already begun writing quite a bit more.  From poems in my little journal that I carry everywhere, to blog entries, to letters on handmade cards to friends (if you’d like one, comment here!), my writing has expanded exponentially and hopefully will eventually become as natural of a practice as my morning yoga.

3. Cook more, eat out less.  Though there are a million and one scrumptious places to eat out in the Twin Cities, many of them featuring local ingredients and entirely deserving of my dollars, I need to commit to cooking.  It relaxes me, saves money, and makes lunches at work that much easier.

4. Cut my alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption.  I’ve tried going cold turkey on all of these and it has NEVER WORKED.  So I think small steps is the answer.  I’m already on to tea in the mornings rather than coffee, but the pastry habit is hard to break.

5. Commit random acts of kindness.  It’s relatively easy for me to think and get worked up about big ideas/issues, but I have found that I forget about the little actions that are oh so important and soul uplifting for both the giver and receiver.  A craft project on this is in the works (details to be released later when my silly camera starts working again so you all can have photographic evidence of my cutesy projects).  More Bookcrossing, anyone?

What are your hopes and practices for 2011?

~Lauren

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3 thoughts on “2011 Practices to Enact

  1. Let us work together to accomplish this stuff. Funny, even your ‘personal’ practices are ones I can see myself involved in. I really appreciate how you’re able to articulate such thoughts and feelings, and it encourages me to examine myself more thoroughly. Good stuff.

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