On the Cheap, a List of Ways to Have Thrifty Fun!

I wanted to do one last quickie post before writing my long adventure story about Ireland.  Two months ago I thought that I had my whole next year planned.  I quit my job to do some adventuring in Iceland and Ireland for a couple months and then had a job lined up for me to teach in China starting on February 9th.  Well, as I am sure all of you have experienced before, sometimes plans don’t always go as they’re supposed to.  In my case, I am still awaiting papers from the government that I need to get authenticated before I can even adventure down to San Francisco where the nearest embassy is located to try and apply for a visa.  At this juncture, the government can’t even give me an estimate of when my papers will be ready as they said that they are 14 weeks behind, so even when they do get to mine….it could still be weeks before they send them back to me.

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In the last three weeks, my meditation practice has centered me full force.  I have definitely had some anxiety and stress as bills are piling on, but my daily 20 minutes of meditation has kept bringing me back to the present, to the breath and to the reminder that there is always something to be grateful for.  With my savings dwindling down and my days being filled with job hunting, I have reached panic-mode a few times in my head. Thank goodness I have found two temporary jobs until I figure out my next move.  I have figured out a multitude of ways to still have fun, despite the fact that I haven’t been able to spend money the last few weeks.  I wanted to share this list because I remember with my post Never Underestimate the Healing Powers of…. I got a lot of feedback from readers who shared their ideas too…so please, if this resonates please share creative ways to enjoy life without moola in the comment box below!  I listed some of my favorites below.

broke–YouTube videos and/or Meetup for free yoga work outs.

–Attending group meditation sits that are strictly donation-based through The Vipassana Meditation Website

–Walks in the park.

–Hiking these gorgeous Oregon mountains (best done when you can carpool with others to save on gas money).

–Cooking and baking at home, I have discovered that I suck at making stir-fry and sweet potato burgers, but I am pretty good at black bean with beets burgers :).

–Inventing new NutriBullet smoothies every morning.  I have come up with some of the weirdest concoctions, but my favorite is: spinach, mixed greens, carrots, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, mango, peanut butter, coconut flakes and cashew milk……..pure yummmmminessss!

–Inviting friends over, they bring over wine/beverages, I make us snacks, and we watch movies or talk about metaphysical subjects all night long…..this soooooo beats going to the bars


–Running/walking outside, because let’s face it folks….gyms are freaking expensive, ayeeeee yi yi!!!!!!!!!!

–Movies and popcorn at home, yeeeahhhhhh!!!

–Doing trades with friends, sharing our skills with each other

–Checking out a crap-ton of books from the library.  🙂  Current read: Love Hurts



Day One.

Photo by TravisAndersonPhoto.com

Hello World!  We’ll see how long this lasts, but basically I have decided to dedicate a blog strictly to document anything and everything that comes up in my daily practice of meditation.

I started meditating a few years after being an avid yogi.  I always got somewhat timid when I heard the term “meditation.”  In fact, I mostly thought it was strictly for New Age hipsters or for all the “woo-woo” people out there.  Once I started practicing it though, I couldn’t stop, life just started to flow so much more smoothly and I didn’t feel such a strong need to control it as I had in the past.

I had fallen out of practice or would only meditate once a week for a while and anxious thought patterns seemed to drift back during this.  I am now currently back in practice, going to one meditation group here in Portland, OR once a week and then meditating for 20 minutes every morning in the comfort of my own bedroom.

I have noticed lots of interesting things since practicing every day, mostly that…well, my old destructive thinking patterns do seem to occur still, but I am able to hold them at a distance and in a space that I have never found before.  I have had such a clearing of the mind that no substance, no person, and no anything has ever given me before.

Somewhat of a way to hold myself accountable, I have decided to document at the end of the day anything that came up throughout the day after my 20-minute morning meditation.  So here it is…..my first day of documentation:

Today I had the day off of work, so I was able to get to meditating a bit later than when I usually do.  Because of this, I noticed I put it off until the very last minute….closer to noon than to the morning hours.  Either way, when I did get to it, I found it incredibly difficult to follow my breath.  I had an intense stream of thoughts and worries that didn’t want to calm down.  Instead of pushing them away, I finally just embraced them, along with following my breath and they seemed to drift away.

Throughout my day of errands, everything seemed to flow so smoothly, even if it wasn’t as smooth as “normal” standards.  The day never had any sunlight, the rain wouldn’t stop pouring and the drivers wouldn’t stop excitedly throwing on their brakes unnessicarily, but I didn’t care.  I had a lightness to my body and an extreme feeling of joy in my mind.  Every stoplight was fun to me, it gave me a minute to stop driving and enjoy the scene around me: the man with the overly big black jacket running across the pedestrian crosswalk splashing through the puddles, the tall Pacific Northwestern fir trees lining the golf course, and other small treasures I wouldn’t have noticed had I been in a rush or mad over a red stoplight.

As I left my gym, my friend called me and I stopped to sit in front of a pizza parlor to chat with her.  Even though I had a sense that I had a “bunch” of stuff left to do, I realized instead that my friend caught me at just the right time and connecting with friends is more important to me than errands.  As we chatted, a mother and her young boy stopped directly in front of me to zipper up their coats, the boy was staring me down as he sang a song.  I smiled, waved and said “hi!” to him, his eyes lit up and he reciprocated the hello.

I am realizing that as I take care of myself and center my mind, I am bringing my joy out into the world to be reverberated.  Or maybe today was just a really good day and I wasn’t tested enough?  We will see how my day at work flows tomorrow.

Anyhow, I hope you join me in my journey!