Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Be Kind

“Drench yourself in self kindness.
Women  are very good at shining kindness outward, yet if you ask how kind they are to themselves, they often cry.
Turn the spotlight inward.
Before we can move to healthier ways, we must be where we are.
Radical self- acceptance is a connecting, soft, slow,
compassionate way of being.  We can help each other. When you see a friend beating up on herself, take her weapons away and just hold her.”

                                             From succulent wild woman by Sark

We are way too hard on ourselves sometimes. Me included. I guess it comes from wanting to always be perfect or not make mistakes. More so not wanting to make mistakes.  But sooner or later we all make one. Not intentionally. Sometimes we think we have a situation under control and discover we don’t.
The one thing a person can be in control of is how they respond. Saying I’m sorry, listening compassionately. These are things we want for ourselves. So we should give them. 
I have learned to step away from my computer when my son wants to talk to me. so that he sees I am focused and engaged in our conversation.  This is not always easy, I am sending email, checking balances and handling business. But he is also important.  I am learning to be a better listener.
The words above are inspiration for me.  I forget about being kind to myself.
And I know many women who also do the same thing. It a one day at a time thing, but definitely worth working towards. Be kind to yourself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Little Backsliding – it doesn’t do a body good - Day one again

Ojai Foundation

I recently backslid on the eating better program.
It started with me being tired on a Friday night. Instead of dragging my behind into the gym, I said “doesn’t some fried fish and French fries sound good while I watch Fashion Police?” dreadful mistake.
Cause then the next night, it was wouldn’t a little rice dream frozen treat taste good? 
Well, it wasn’t much, but it was too much for me and it made me sick and weakened my tired immune system and triggered my allergies. So then I was sneezing and feeling bad and like I was going to descend into the old terrible eating patterns. 
My schedule has been very busy with all my new changes and going to the gym sort of slid onto the backburner…..but not too far.
I am picking myself up, dusting myself off and getting back on track. I have to acknowledge that sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad.  I was eating so well and so in charge that I had to see how bad I would let myself get.  And really I didn’t do anything really, really terrible that I can’t recover from. 
But it made me aware that I have to pay attention all the time.  I have to have my food prepared ahead of time and do the shopping and meal planning that has helped me be successful.
There is a saying that “you can’t rest on your laurels”.
I have made substantial progress in my eating and caring for myself plan: I can’t think that life is all good and I don’t have to work anymore.  I do. I do.  I do.
This reminds me I am human. Having a human experience. Food is my weakness. And I have to plan some treat days now, making sure I work extra hard in  the gym on those days.
I love the eating program I have become accustomed to. It helps me organize one of the most important aspects of my life: taking care of my body.  

Note: I will say the fried fish did taste good. Was it worth all the bother? No, not really, I was curious about how it would feel to eat something off limits, as anything deep fried should be.
The other stuff I ate, that I am not telling about, was it worth it? No.  And I won't do it again soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fashion rules or fashion mistakes

Like most people, I have rules that I follow, strange though they may be.  Mostly they involve being kind to others, you know: treat others the way I want to be treated.  The rules I am specifically talking about are my fashion rules. 
Recently I was in a store that had a sale on long sleeve t-shirts.  I was buying one and had to decide on the color, was it red? Was it orange? White? Or black? Or green?
This is where the rule thing comes in to play:
I don’t wear red and green together: too Christmassy.
I don’t wear red and black together: just don’t like for me. 
Thus my conundrum.  I left without a new long sleeve t-shirt, because I wasn’t buying 2 and I couldn’t decide.  It made me realize about my fashion rules.   Sometimes I think I am so easy going about stuff and I am not. For example:  I am OCD about my workout shoes, I only wear them in the gym.  And gym clothes only in the gym. 
This made me come home and empty out my long sleeve t-shirt drawer to see what was in it and why I feel like I don’t have anything to wear.  I counted at least 4 grey  long sleeve t-shirts, a few black ones, three green ones (different shades), one orange one, one blue and white striped one, one red one (new) and one white one.  No wonder I feel like I have nothing, I have several shades of the same THINGS.
Back to the rules, my wardrobe used to consist of black and white and grey.  It worked.  Now I want to break out of that mold and be in living color.
Like Rome wasn’t built in a day, my wardrobe change won’t be either. 
I am experimenting.  Trying to be open to new possibilities and get myself out of the box. The rule box of choosing what colors I will wear together. 
I guess the first step in changing is taking inventory of what I have.  And then adding and playing with that.  Now that I know I have so many grey long sleeve t-shirts I won’t be buying any more.  I don’t think I will wear black and red together, why? When black and pink and black and green look so great together. Oh, new note: I don’t wear black and orange together either.  Just a thing.  It isn’t going to change.  I also don’t wear yellow.  Just doesn’t go with my skin color.
I am going to be more mindful of my color choices: actually gray goes with black, red, orange and green….. I might be on to something.
Colorful collage

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You know it’ good when your son asks to learn the recipe

“You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Julia Child

clay food

This summer I had the experience of having my son want to learn how to cook one of the dishes that is a regular in the rotation in our house. 
It pleased me beyond measure to have him be interested in learning how to prepare a meal.  It meant that one day he could cook this dish for his friends, that maybe one day this might be a dish he prepared for his children.
I was so excited, I thought I would burst with joy and happiness.
He actually went shopping with me to purchase the ingredients.  And then when it came time to begin the cooking, he balked. He wanted to watch.
I said I would walk him through; the best way to learn was by doing.  I pulled out my cast iron dutch oven, poured some olive oil in it, put the onions in the pan and then he took over.
It was weird telling him how to prepare the Bolognese sauce that he loves so much.  I always make it the night before so the next day it is delicious, all the spices and sauce melded together.  I now pass on this tradition to my son.
It is the first one. And thus makes it special in my heart.
We cook for our children. Painstakingly preparing dishes we hope they will like: the pasta mama, the chicken curry, the teriyaki salmon, etc. These were popular dishes in our house.  It always cracked me up when there was a complaint that it wasn’t just right. And of course they wouldn’t eat it (another topic).
Food is an important memory of home and family.  Sitting around the table talking at dinner.  This was a bonding time with my sons, checking in, reflecting on the experiences we had each had in the day, telling jokes, the latest sports mishaps. 
And now, here I am, beginning to pass the recipes on. It was summer and thus too hot to bake so we didn’t get into making cakes or cookies, also his favorites.
But there is Thanksgiving Break when we do a traditional
dinner and dessert.
Back to making the Bolognese sauce, during the preparing time my son did get a little grumpy with me about the directions.
I have been making this sauce for so long, I do it by a pinch of this and little of that. How to pass that on?  Demonstrate.
Put the spices in his hands and let him feel it.
It doesn’t get any better than that. Teaching my child, my son, my young man person how to prepare a dish he has loved.  Now it is his. Like a giveaway, I have given him something that he can have with him forever.