Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Mindfulness’

Being Mindful Saves Time

Posted by terrepruitt on February 7, 2018

There is a commercial on right now that I see often. In the commercial it is appears as if the driver is nowhere near his garage yet the car can shut the garage. So . . . it appears as if this man has driven away and left his garage open and didn’t even think about it until he was miles away. And I say miles away because the home looks like it is in a neighborhood full of houses and they show the car either on a bridge or in a very-city like looking setting. This commercial reminded me of a couple of things I used to do. I used to think that I didn’t have time to sit and watch my garage door close. When I got in my car I was already thinking about my destination and I would be pulling out of my driveway as the garage door was closing, then I would drive away as soon as it closed. Or did it? Yes, there were times I was so intent on driving or paying attention to the obstacle behind me – whether it be a pedestrian or another car – that I wouldn’t really be focused on my garage door so when I got down the street I would have to turn around to make sure it had stayed shut. I would often see it shut but not remember. I wasn’t saving myself any time.

Also I used to waste a good portion of my morning looking for my keys. I used to just set them down anywhere when I arrived home. At one point I got tired of looking for them so I made it a habit to put them in my purse. But that is the Bermuda Triangle and searching in my purse, and sometimes having to dump it out to get to the keys I-know-are-in-there-but-can’t-seem-to-get-my-hand-on – would end up taking even more time. So now I just hang them. I have saved myself so much time. So many times I had been ready to leave on time but then I spent 10/15/maybe even 20 minutes looking for my keys. Ugh. That had to stop. So now I hang them on a hook. I walk in the door and as I am reaching to turn off the alarm, I hang my keys on the hook.

And the garage? I sit and make sure it goes down. I don’t sit and watch it. I am usually doing something else. I pull out of the garage and hit the garage door button, then I put on my seat belt, put on my sunglasses, perhaps plug-in my phone if it needs it. I get settled. Then I look up and make sure it is closed. Then I drive away. I got tired of turning around to make sure it was closed. I got tired of wondering if it had closed and not popped back up. So, it might take a minute to wait, but it saves me a lot of time. And it is not really like I am sitting there doing nothing while it is closing, I am doing stuff. Instead of doing all that before I pull out of the garage, I do it while I am waiting for the door to close. I always make sure I have on my seat belt before I pull out of my driveway. And waiting for the garage door is a great time to put it on.

Society is in such a rush. We all have so much going on, so much on our minds. It seems like such a challenge to just slow down and take a moment. Make sure your garage door is shut.

I am also getting better at locking my car consciously. I used to have to go back almost every time I got out of my car. But now I am better at stopping for that 10 or 15 seconds (I mean how long does it take?) to make sure I locked it. Usually I am juggling my purse, my water bottle, my brief case, sometimes papers, and sometimes my phone so I don’t remember if I pressed the button. But, I am really making an effort. Even if my hands are full, I pause. Even if I am running late, I pause — because that is when I especially don’t have time to go back and check.

These things fall under the category of mindfulness, huh? Being mindful in these situations could help save us time. It makes me laugh because it seems like not paying attention is the faster way . . . but in the end it is not.

How about you? Do you spend a lot of time looking for your keys? Do you ever go back to make sure you shut the garage door? Do you ever take a few steps back towards your car to make sure it is locked?

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Mindfulness On Task

Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2018

Not too long ago I discovered a way to be mindful quite by accident.  This way to be mindful is also ONLY during a specific task.  A couple of years ago I wrote briefly about Mindfulness because I had come across a video on Facebook that represented an entirely different definition of mindfulness than I think of mindfulness as.  In that post I mentioned walking around while brushing my teeth as not being very mindful.  I am not concentrating on the task (brushing my teeth) at hand.  I am trying to save time by doing other things while brushing my teeth.  The result of that is usually me spending way more time brushing my teeth than I need to because I forget where I have brushed.  While I am walking across the room to get my clothes I might have brushed the top front, but then by the time I get to my clothes I have moved onto the top sides.  When I grab my clothes I forget if I did the front.  So I think I end up brushing and rebrushing.  So in effect NOT saving any time at all.  Plus the fact that I am just not being mindful of the task at hand.  Well, quite by accident I found a sure fire way to MAKE me focus ONLY on brushing my teeth.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI don’t like soft tooth brushes.  I like medium.  The last time I went to buy a tooth brush I could find soft or firm.  No mediums.  Every brand, every style I looked at was either soft or firm, but not medium.  Who is the jerk responsible for that?  Well, I decided to try the firm.  WELL, NOW!  That is what is making me concentrate solely on brushing my teeth.  Them bristles are WAAAAYYYY firm.  I am afraid that if I am not giving it my attention 100% I will brush a hole in my tooth.  Not only do I have to concentrate as to where I have brushed because I don’t want to go over any area of my tooth more than is necessary, I have to concentrate on the pressure I am using,

So, for a bit now, I have been standing at my sink brushing my teeth – JUST brushing my teeth.  For those of you that do that normally, I am sure this sounds ridiculous.  But I know there are a lot of others out there like me who do other things while brushing their teeth and it sounds ridiculous, even unimaginable, for other reasons.  Well, yup . . . there it is – FORCED mindfulness.  I think it actually saves me time.  As I mentioned, before there was unnecessary brushing.  Now there is not and so it is much more efficient.

Now, if I could just let this cross over into some of the other things I do.  There are moments with some tasks where I am very focused, but some tasks just don’t seem like they need my full attention.  And then that is when I end up with spilled liquid, a broken nail, a misplaced item, or something else unwanted.

Do you have any tips or tricks for staying focused and being mindful?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Yoga Bodies

Posted by terrepruitt on May 2, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitRecently I attended a yoga class just to observe.  Sometimes just observing is difficult because the desire to get up and participate is often there.  But I thought this class was beyond my level of doing.  I like slow mindful classes.  I am not a fan of the speed of a flow class.  I also know this teacher to be a bit of a tough cookie.  And I have come to the studio AFTER this class – in the past – and the participants are just dripping and wobbly legged, so I had never thought to participate before.  So . . . I thought that observing would be a piece of cake.  There would be no desire to jump to participate.  Now, let me explain this “observing,” it is for me to become a better teacher.  I am not there to judge or criticize the students nor the teacher.  But I am there to gain knowledge.  Observe how one sequences a class.  To observe how assistance is given.  To observe the yoga teacher’s pacing and volume.  To learn by observing.  I have three separate papers for three separate types of notes.  I have POSES, for poses I want to either do myself or bring to my classes.  I have Cues and Things I want to bring to my classes.  And I have just notes that I will refer back to.  While I was doing my best to listen and look without staring at the participants I got a little misty eyed.  My breath caught in my throat and I thought, “Damn!  Bodies are beautiful!”

You probably know I have a tendency to ramble on and on when all I really wanted to tell you is –  if you want to learn yoga stop staring at the Yoga Journal, stop looking at models on websites – GO TO A CLASS TO OBSERVE!!!!!  Look at REAL people DOING yoga.  Look at REAL bodies doing yoga.  Just watch, just observe, don’t judge.  We do this in Nia all the time, we call it witnessing.  We “witness” without judgment.  So just go to a class and witness.  Appreciate what you see.  Notice the strength.  Notice the weakness.  Notice the flexibility.  Notice the stiffness.  Notice the intention.  Notice the determination.  Notice the frustration.  Notice the effort.  Notice the triumphs.  Notice the concentration.  Notice the distraction.  Notice the trying.  Notice it all!

I was struck by it all when I looked up and saw someone in a pose perfectly.  I thought, “Dang.  I will glance back over throughout the class because that is awesome and I want to see more of that.”  Then I looked back a few poses later and I thought the person had moved spots because what I saw was misery.  The person could barely get into the pose.  And the next person was Yoga Journal perfect whereas they couldn’t do the previous pose.  A few of the people I noticed in pose “perfection” in one pose were in the total opposite of perfection in other poses.  The class was full of perfect poses and not perfect poses . . . all at different times by the same and by different people.  And I wanted to jump up and join in!

This was not a beginner class, it was a class of real people doing yoga in real bodies.  Some bodies whose arms are not long enough to hold the foot when the leg is extended.  Some bodies whose hamstrings are too tight or too short to do a straight legged fold.  Some bodies whose bones or bodies get in the way.   Bodies that come to class and do real yoga.

The models in the magazine and on the websites more-than-likely were chosen to do that particular pose because they can.  Their limbs are just the right length to do the poses.  Could also be that the model only did that one pose or was put into that pose whereas in a yoga class there is a sequence and it could be that by the time you get half way through your muscles are tired and so the poses might not be picture perfect.  Yoga is a practice not a photo.

So, while there are correct and more importantly SAFE ways to do the asana try not to get caught up in doing it “perfect” or doing it exactly like someone in a magazine.  Do what you can and keep practicing.  Remember to breath.


Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by terrepruitt on December 17, 2015

Oh.  Recently someone posted a link to a video on Facebook.  So I watched this little video about “Mindfulness”.  It was a cartoon where these animals were talking about being mindful.  The example used was one of the animals was driving in traffic and something made him angry.  Now I can’t find the video to verify, but I thought that the animal, I think it was a cow was advised to not get mad or to not act upon his anger or to just let it go.  So basically what I got from the video was that “mindfulness” was not acting out on your emotions or your “bad” emotions.  Just observe them then let them pass.  I then looked up a few definitions of mindfulness and a few of them said the same thing.  Funny . . . to me, I always thought of mindfulness as being AWARE of things.  Being in the moment and paying attention to what you are doing.

I guess the videos definition and example can be that if that means you just let the moment go and don’t focus on it and stay angry, but still I felt it was a totally different definition and idea than what I think of as mindfulness.  To me the situation he was talking about was just letting things go.  I guess some people could call letting things go mindfulness.

I really think of mindfulness as being present and being aware.  Ya know, not brushing your teeth while doing other things (my prime example because that is what I often do).  Or not walking down the street with your head bent down to see your phone.  Or not texting while driving.  Or one I know many of us do — because I see many people go back — walk away from our cars not certain if we locked it and have to go back to check.  To me mindfulness is giving your full mind, your attention to your teeth brushing, walking, driving, and getting out of the car and locking it.  To me it is focusing on what you are doing.  Kind of like what we have in Nia, called Dancing Through Life.  Paying attention to what we are doing.  Making it a dance.  Noticing our movements.

I guess, mindfulness can have different meanings.  I mean, obviously, because that video said one thing and I’ve heard it defined other ways.

What about you?  What is your definition of mindful?  Or what would you use as an example of mindful?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »