Monday, March 21, 2011

Zen Habits- Be Mindful

Today I am exhausted. I was up late last night and only slept five hours, but I still went to the gym and worked out. I am proud of myself ;-) Skipped yoga and decided to come home and take a super hot bubble bath instead. It felt glorious.

Today I read Zen Habits on mindfulness. I am organizing and cleaning today and getting things together. I have posted them below.

Thich Nat Hahn  Click this link for a short video on him if you can't see it below.

9 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Day Better
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk

Post written by Leo Babauta.

Are you simply moving through your day, without fully living?

I did this for many years. It was as if life were just passing by, and I was waiting for something to happen. I always felt like I was preparing for something later.

But today isn’t preparation for tomorrow. Today’s the main event.

Fully live today by being mindful. I realize this is easier said than done — mindfulness is a habit that’s not easily picked up. And so I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite mindfulness rituals to help you appreciate every moment.

You don’t need to do all of these, but give a few of them a try to see if they make your day better.

Mindfulness Rituals

Ritual isn’t about doing a routine mindlessly. It’s a way of building something good into your life, so that you don’t forget what’s important. Done mindfully, a ritual can remind you to be conscious. Done mindlessly, a ritual is meaningless.

Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Sit in the morning. When you wake up, in the quiet of the morning, perhaps as your coffee is brewing, get a small cushion and sit on the floor. I will often use this opportunity to stretch, as I am very inflexible. I feel every muscle in my body, and it is like I am slowly awakening to the day. I’ll also just sit, and focus on my breathing going in and out. I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to meditation, but this always starts my day right.

2. Brush your teeth. I assume we all brush our teeth, but often we do it while thinking of other things. Try fully concentrating on the action of brushing, on each stroke of each tooth, going from one side of the mouth to the other. You end up doing a better job, and it helps you realize how much we do on autopilot.

3. Eat mindfully. Turn off the TV, put away the computer and mobile devices, even put away the book or newspaper. If you eat with any of these things (most people do), eating without them will seem boring. And yet, unless you do this, you are not truly appreciating your food. I like eating my oats (with nuts and berries — see my diet) mindfully, paying attention to each bite. It makes the food taste better, and I eat slowly and with gratefulness.

4. Wash your bowl. When you’re done eating, wash your dish immediately. Do it while paying full attention to your washing, to the water and suds. Read more.

5. Drink tea. There’s something ancient about the tea ceremony — and when you drink tea as a mindfulness ritual, you’re connecting with millions of others who have done so over the centuries. Make your own tea ceremony — prepare the tea carefully and mindfully, pour it slowly, sip it with thoughtfulness. See if you can set aside one time each day to do this, and it will transform your day

6. Walk slowly. I like to take breaks from work, and go outside for a little walk. Walk slowly, each step a practice in awareness. Pay attention to your breathing, to everything around you, to the sounds and light and texture of objects.

7. Read in silence. Find a quiet time (mornings or evenings are great for me), and a quiet spot, and read a good novel. Have no television or computers on nearby, and just immerse yourself in the world of the novel. It might seem contradictory to let your mind move from the present into the time of the novel, but it’s a great practice in focus. Also, I love a good novel more than almost anything else.

8. Look at someone gratefully. Each day, find someone you care about. Instead of just seeing what you always see, really look at the person. Try not to do it creepily. See this person for the miracle that she is, and be grateful for her existence. If you’re feeling generous, tell that person how thankful you are for her.

9. Work with focus. Start your workday by choosing one task that will make a big difference in your work, and clearing everything else away. Just do that one task, and don’t switch to other tasks. Single-tasking is a great way to find focus. Increase your Monk Mind.

These rituals aren’t the only time you should be mindful, but they’re great reminders. Today, try a few of them to fully live and fully appreciate this wonderful day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dinners from Appetite for Reduction!

Hey Curry Chickies!

I have been studying, cooking, cleaning, organizing, and working out. Busy as a vegan bee. I have been trying to create balance in all areas of my life and am thinking of downsizing to a smaller townhome. That meant interviewing the principal at the new school and securing a smaller townhome. Check and check.

Only problem is...I am not sure I wanna move. It is such a pain in the ass and I have to give up my garage :-(

What do ya think?

On to today. The full moon is out and it is closer to the Earth than it has been in 18 years make your way outside!

Yummie curry Saturday!

I am making 2nd Veggie Korma and Lentil & Eggplant Chili Mole from Appetite for Reduction! Oh goddess. It is so amazing. My house smells like a dreamland. If I weren't so exhausted I would cook the other two recipes that I am tackling tomorrow or on Monday.

P. 226

Look at how the light is streaming in!

Spice it up!

Cauliflower and carrots

Bright and colorful

After adding the coconut milk. Creamy and delicious

"Oh yea smells good"

Quinoa's about to boil!

Quinoa for the week and several servings of Veggie Korma for this week.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras! Back from the Flu

Kennedy and I both had the flu! Back to back and then at the same time...yuck. It has been Hades around here. We are finally really creeping back up out of that hole and into the world again. She missed one week of school and I missed one week of my entire life. Phew. It took a big blow out of me.

Watching a sick child is amazing. They don't want to eat. Just drink and rest. Why then did I think it necessary to wash the dishes, clean, etc??? Aside from the obvious that "If I don't do it, it won't get done", I had to remind myself to slow down and to sit down!
Of course being sick reminded me of how much I love my health and couldn't wait to have it back. Drinking green juice, doing tons of smoothies, watching movies and getting rest. I just "checked out" for a second.

I mentioned a while ago that I had a few great things in the works. Well, the BIGGEST is my possible move this Summer to New Orleans!!!!!!!! sssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh Fingers crossed it will all work out. BUT, I have to find medical and educational care comporable to Kennedy's care here in PA. It is tough. I've been working on this for months now. I am on the fence about it. Thoughts? New Orleans is home and I miss having Kennedy around family/friends and warmth. She isn't fitting in out here and is having a tough time. Oh I dunno! Here is a video on alternative remedies to the flu/cold:

Alternative Treatments to Cold/Flu Symptoms

I have spent so much time in reflection while ill about what it is I want out of life. I look around sometimes and I see people who appear to have "it" all figured out. I am sure that is uncool to say or should I say admit, but it's honest. And honesty and authenticity are the spaces I am living in right now. And I wonder if I should be in the same place at 30 years old...then I remember...that I should be right where I am. And girl oh girl am I in a glorious position right now. I feel like all the bricks have fallen and I am rebuilding this amazing life. This amazing vision of myself that I only dreamed about years ago. Why has my road been so tough? I am not sure. I am grateful however, for lessons learned. I mean truly learned.

So, in the wake of this illness and my ever returning health, I'm reminded of how fantastic the human body is and I am honoring her with water, plant based vegan good food and This week I want to dive back into my fitness plans starting tomorrow with a little walk/jog as I get back to running (why oh why after the three year old and the pine cone you might ask? I have been dreaming about it. Literally. So, super slow and steady I will make my reentry...injury free...walking more than running/jogging if need be. As an uninsured American I can't afford to be racking up the ER bills anymore...oh no. And I don't love the idea of ANY exercise so much that I'd hurt myself on purpose just to do it. So walking races will be done the place of RACING races. LOL.

Things I Remembered This Week:

*green juice ((any juice)) is glorious and amazing when dehydrated

*i miss resting...just lying in bed reading and writing...ahhh

*there is NOTHING that can't wait until tomorrow if I am ill

*i don't like sitting on the fone for long periods of time

*kennedy is doing so well that a bad cold/flu is my biggest concern right now ;-)

*i miss painting

*i am the master of my fate

I'm off to eat an orange (or 3) and get Kennedy from school. Enjoy your Mardi Gras!


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