happiness health humor wisdom

day three, new rules

Hi on day three of the five-day meditation in a mirror challenge,

Since today is my birthday I decided there are different rules.

  1. I’ll describe the mirror, provide pictures of the meditation before and after, for your curiosity. (And to prove to my friend that I’m upholding my side of this deal. See post of 3/7).  Update on 3/20: the photos have been removed to protect my privacy.

2. I will make you readers “pay” for the insights and pictures of my life, by inserting advertisements for my products.

3. And you do not get my thoughts today. They’re the gift I’m giving myself.

So here are the photos of today’s event:


Site chosen: master bedroom of our beautiful Riverside historical house.

House for sale. This house will be listed on the local real estate market beginning next Wednesday, or contact Faith Fleming at Cressy and Everett. The mirror is a fine old-fashioned full-length mirror well-affixed to the back of our wood door. You’ll note the crystal-glass doorknobs which are all through the house.

On the dresser behind me is a lustrous vintage golden rayon fabric with a whimsical batik insert, bordered in black and white polka dots. That is the back of a quilt I made for us. I now have a business, Honey Girl Books and Gifts, which allows clients such as you to purchase such hand-made treasures for a modest price: labor ($25/hr) and $100 for supplies. It takes a very long time to make one, because it tells the “story of you”; inspiration takes place! Time and caring: that is all it takes. If you already have a quilt at home, I hope you treasure it. If you don’t, consider contacting me!

My feet are positioned almost perfectly, with heels touching, knees bent, and spinal column feeling flexible, firm and well-aligned.

Two shots to capture the time passing:


And this final shot is how I feel now!

March 10 no 4.jpg

Today is my birthday!  Gonna have a good time and play the Beatles, loud, all day, if I feel like it!



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day two, persistence

Hello on day two of the five-day meditation in a mirror challenge,

Ever since yesterday’s event, I was expecting to do today’s 30-minute meditation in the downstairs hall, where there is a dimly lit full-length mirror. But for some reason, I ended up in the guest bathroom, and the mirror I chose is the one on the back of the door of the medicine cabinet (which is also a mirror), and when closed, faces another mirror behind the various toiletries arranged on glass shelves.

I chose it automatically.

From there, I was warm, enveloped in a pleasantly dim light and protected from behind by the inner wall of the bathroom. A slight turn to the right allowed me to have both a view of myself (as promised) and a view out the window over the river and where I could watch the snowflakes–big fat ones today–blowing around outside. If I turned my head farther to the right, I could gaze upon the nice clean guest room with its brand-new periwinkle blue sheets.

So many things to do before 11:30 when I must go out.

I read a bit of Subhadramati, Not Being Good, and meditated a bit on my best teacher (my mom). I agreed with what she writes about modesty and jealousy.

But I still feel like kind of a jerk for doing this experiment.

Three more days til freedom from the mirror. 90 minutes.

I’ll work now (tons more cleaning and tidying before 11:30am when I leave and the photographer arrives).

A demain.


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day one, limbo but fun

Today I’m in a weird kind of limbo. The cleaners come for whole-house cleaning in about 20 minutes, so why should I clean or even make beds? I could prepare for class, but I’m already prepared. I want to do my Morning Routine, but it takes 60 minutes.

So a quick blog post about the five-day challenge.

Day One of Meditation in front of mirror challenge

3/8/18, 8:46 am

Location: my study, 3rd floor of our house in South Bend, Indiana

Mirror: an ornate white-framed heavy old-fashioned mirror that came with the house. I’ve had it covered up for years with a fascinating print of a woman from an art exhibit I saw in the Marais. I never liked to have a mirror in my back, so it was a relief to cover it.

But today, and with the house showing coming up, I’ve now uncovered it. And here I am there I was and there she is. Pronoun confusion!

Rule: I will take a picture each morning to chronicle this challenge. Here are today’s self-portraits:

I just finished that 30 minute meditation in front of a mirror. Quick thoughts:

At first, I was irritated by having to look at that lady in the mirror, thinking, “I meditate to get away from Mind,” and finding the human appearance too engaging, if you know what I mean. As I calmed down, I noticed how beautiful I am and I started laughing. I realized, “Why did I doubt that it would show? It shows,” and laughing some more.

Later I became so comfortable with that lady that I decided to take her photo. It was hard to angle the phone and I didn’t want her to know I was taking her photo so I could only do it when she looked away. Which was hard, for some reason.

Then I remembered that thing they call a sefie—aha! So easy! And she’s pretty cute! Old-ish but still got it. When the phone beeped 30 minutes, I was surprised. In the meantime, I’d done a bunch of stretches and of course my heels were touching the whole time so my hip bones feel really fluid and comfortable. Maybe my friend is trying to tell me that I’m just as narcissistic as everybody else!  it would appear so, even though I’m not on facebook etc.


I liked that person in the mirror. Overall, she was nice and quiet, easy to be with. She looks like fun.

I guess I’ll see her again tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Time for T’ai chi!

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a challenge awaits tomorrow

Today was wonderful in many ways, but one thing stands out for its jaw-drop amazement value. I’m still reeling and wondering what will happen tomorrow.

First a plug for my Tranquility Pillows, via Honey Girl Books and Gifts! I delivered two to the Notre Dame Counseling Center today, for all those anxious folks on campus to gain some relief. Midterms are this week–a good week to disconnect from those phones.

Speaking of disconnecting, can you disconnect from yourself in the mirror?

I had lunch with a friend who I’m starting to suspect knows me better than I realize… or at least she has rapidly zoomed in on a long-time phobia. After sharing many anecdotes of our various creative processes and projects, I told her about my morning routine and how good it makes me feel etc. etc, and she said, “Could you do the meditation in front of a mirror?”

OMG. Never, ever would I have chosen that challenge. I hate mirrors.

I realize she is forcing me to go beyond the comfort zone. It is true. I read and blab all about integrity, being grounded, being “full and complete, yet empty with nothing to protect” (Ralston). I wax poetic about the sky and birds and trees, time and timelessness, “letting go” and being mindful. But can I bear the simple challenge of looking at myself for thirty minutes?  (Can you?)

Tomorrow is day one. Not only do I detest this idea, it also happens that the five days of the challenge lead right across my birthday. But a deal is a deal, and now I’m getting kind of curious.

I said I’d do it if she would do it. But she actually likes to look at herself in the mirror! (For me, it’s more a question of wondering who that person is. She looks happy and fit, but … well, kind of old.) I definitely look more like the elders than the youngsters in in the beautiful and poignant series “Reflections: Portraits of the Elderly Seeing their Younger Selves,” by Dallas-based artist Tom Hussey.  (I especially love the seamstress).

More to come on this bizarre and disconcerting 5-day challenge.

Do it yourself if you dare!