Saturday, 31 March 2012


I love words. They are magical for conveying feelings, images, ideas, and essences. Once spoken or printed you can't take them back. They come forth and linger in the air and in the space of our minds. How cool is that!
Here are some of my favourite words:
voi (as in voi, voi, voi)

Friday, 30 March 2012

Saddest thing

I forgot to blog yesterday. Nope, that's not the saddest thing! Hee hee. I didn't have any time yesterday to think or sit. I was in a tizzy about setting up a table for a "spring into fitness" event at a local hotel for the Royal Lepage women's run which is a big event here.

I haven't done one of these table things for a long time because I hardly get anyone to come over and talk to me......most people already "know" about yoga (usually that they can't do it or they tell me where they do it and how much they love it there), and there is not much to display, and well, I don't know why. However, I landed there yesterday. To fill out their entrance ballot for the prize draws, the women had to come over to each table and ask a question so I wasn't lonely at all. Though most still told me their experience with yoga elsewhere. Funny thing that. And I met the most lovely Bollywood Dancer at the next table and I think she belongs to my "tribe".

The keynote speaker was a man who does all kinds of different therapies. (They couldn't find a woman to talk for the women's run?) My sense was that he spoke "down" to us about things most women know about. Like what causes stress. And if we weren't scared about the environment, our food supply, our health, our death rate......well, we are now.

Health, to me, is about health. Not disease, not death - health, health, health. Wholeness and holiness and healthiness! Now, it's no one's fault there last night. This is just how we talk about health nowadays. Our statistics, our cancers, our heart disease and how we need to take care of ourselves by overindulging in more "fake" things to do. Extra vitamins, extra tests, extra treatments, extra drugs and all to "combat" our stressful world. What a negative and difficult and scary view of the world.

The contrast was huge. Here we were all there for people who "are" doing something "positive" for themselves. They are running and walking and strolling outside in the fresh air. They already know at least one really good thing for health. They are proactive.

Life and being healthy can be really fun. And I mean really fun. That's actually the fun part - being healthy.

We are all in some place on a scale of healthiness. We all have some since we live and breathe. Let's allow ourselves to be positive about that healthiness we have. Let's eat the best food as we know how and as we can afford. Let's move in enjoyable ways. We can all find something that we can love. Walk, run, dance (lots of fun dancing out there), work out at a gym, swim, yoga, tai chi, garden, shovel snow (my dad absolutely loved shoveling snow), etc. Let's start with what needs to be done. Bodies need to be fed and they need to be moved.

When we talk constantly about the lack of health and the scariness of our world situation and the infinite number of bad diseases that we can get and well, I am out of breath........ hey! Our bodies can hear all this. Our brains can hear all this. They take in our talk, our thoughts as the truth. Ourselves are the ones that are in charge here. Our minds. The body does what the mind tells it to do. And it is infinitely capable of bringing on to us what we think about most. The body can't distinguish truth from falsehood. It's the servant. The mind is the master.

The saddest thing is that we don't believe or know that life is wonderful. The saddest thing is we think we are somehow broken and need fixing. Good grief! How can we be broken? Dig deep and find the truth of You! Tell the body what you want it to hear. What you want it to be like.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


I have a little bit of time this afternoon before I go back to work. I could get all kinds of little things done and even start on some bigger things. But I am restless. I read a bit. I finished answering emails. Ate. Petted the dog. I thought about doing something about the piles of papers in the office, and the pile of clothes that had appeared in the chair. My mind is tired of thinking and planning. It needs a rest. I feel too tired to meditate or I might end up doing the resting frog pranayama again. Okay, I guess that means I am tired and could use a short nap. It's funny how difficult it can be to let myself just nap. I seem to have become a "doing" rather than a "being". If I am thirsty I drink water so therefore if I am tired I should nap. And then hopefully find myself back settled into the rest of the day with usual curiosity about it's unfoldment.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Inside my fortune

This was in my fortune cookie:
Those who wish to sing always find a song.

Monday, 26 March 2012

A funny thing happened while meditating.

I taught a course this weekend - Ishayas' Ascension - the most wonderful, simple, easy and joyful teaching for consciousness. Check out: The teaching is a great technique for meditation and am feeling relaxed and well today.

However, later this afternoon I felt a wee bit chilly and tired and went to lie in the bed to meditate. Pffffhp, pffhhhhp, phphfffffffff, pffffffphf. What is that sound disturbing my meditation? It was so annoying! And then I heard this big one, like a big bubble of soup bursting from the pot. And I started to laugh. It was a burst of air out of my very own mouth, relaxed lips flapping against each other. The resting frog pranayama!

Sunday, 25 March 2012


May we grow
into true understanding,
a deep understanding,
that inspires us to protect
the tree on which we bloom,
and the water, soil, and atmosphere
without which we have no existence.

John Seed

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Simple appreciation grows

Praise, or simple appreciation, is saying and seeing what is good in our lives. It amplifies itself. Praise in its highest expression is gratitude, which in its highest expression is love. Gratitude returns energy to its source. the giver and receiver come into closer relationship and love flows between them. Love draws us into greater relationship with our source.

Friday, 23 March 2012

When more is better!

Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours.

Swedish Proverb

So, just keep on loving>>>>>>>>

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Red Hawk (March 21 to April 19)

Those born between March 21 to April 19 in the period of the Budding Trees Moon, have the fire opal as their mineral totem, the dandelion as their plant totem and the red hawk as their animal totem. Their colour is yellow.

Like their mineral totem, Red Hawk people can often be found near hot spots or places of pressure either in the literal or figurative sense. Red Hawk people like the sun and warmth, and they also like to be in active situations which can utilize their intense mental, physical and emotional energy. Like their stone, they are porous, and their spirits can be easily stained if they associate themselves with the wrong ideas or people. They are usually open people, willing to listen to any new ideas. They can sparkle constantly with small pin fires of energy, or they can be ones who only flash sometimes when the fires of vitality spring up in them, or they can be harlequins, with regular fire formations that glow constantly. This type of Red Hawk person is very valuable, as they can not only begin projects but also keep them going with strength of their energy. They also have a direct connection with the sun, and with fire because they are also of the Thunderbird clan.

Like the dandelion, Red Hawk people have the tendency to pop up all over the place, since they are usually flying from one project to another. All of the energy of the Red Hawk people, like all the parts of the dandelion, are a treasure house of useful things to those who take the time to understand them.
They are forthright and sincere, and often right in what they see.

The dandelion can be of great benefit to Red Hawk people. It can clear congestion in the head, as they can be "headstrong".

Like the red-tailed hawk, these people can be large people, in spirit if not in body, and they have the capacity to spread their wings to a great width. They are hunters, hunting out new things to do, new projects to begin, new philosophies to explore.

They tend to be fearless, often going after what they see as the rattlesnakes of the world with little regard for their own safety. They have no patience with people they see as hypocritical or unjust. They can attack, and their talons can truly sting. However, when in flight, they are truly amazing.

The sky is the realm of the Red Hawks. They see how things should be on earth. They are natural optimists, strong-willed and energetic in their determination to set things right. They are independent people, and thinkers, and they are always sincere about what they think and feel. They make good leaders.

Yellow is the colour of the sun and the dandelion. This colour helps the Red Hawk people to to turn their thinking into wisdom. More than other people they must guard against burning themselves out, so the fire within them can always bring warmth and light to the things they touch.

As people from other places on the medicine wheel travel through this position, they will find new depths of energy and leadership within themselves.

The Medicine Wheel by Sun Bear and Wabun

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Postponed peace

"If you really want endless peace, how much of your day was consumed with finding endless peace? Do you know why you weren't 100% in seeking endless peace today? Because we are a population of postponers. We postpone. We all have a reason for postponing and it sounds legitimate. We're waiting until we get a better job, we're waiting until we get a house out beyond suburbia where it is quieter. We're waiting until the kids grow up and then move out of the house so we can find peace. We're waiting for something. We're waiting for something on the outside to change: something has to change for us to get this ultimate prize. And it's not true. It's a trap.

Nothing on the outside in your life has to change for you to experience peace and joy. Nothing.

The experience has to be an internal one. It has nothing to do with the outside at all. Peace is on the inside."

Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya
who is my teacher.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


I love to walk in the spring and this early warm weather seems like such a gift. Lake Superior this morning was all fog and etheric and beautiful. I couldn't meander because I had such a "spring" in my step. I was more like Felix darting here and there. There is such a spaciousness in nature and I really feel that spaciousness in spring after the long days and nights indoors. I feel like I'm out of the box I live in and out of the box I work in and out of the box I drive around in. The pure, clear, air is so divinely uplifting.

Even though I walked swiftly there was no rushing from one thing to another. I think we rush too much. I would like to be like a cat, very quick and swift when catching a mouse, but not rushing from one thing to another incessantly. The difference is small and huge at the same time.

Tea time after the walk :)

Monday, 19 March 2012

100 day challenge

We are doing a 100 day challenge at the yoga studio. Join us!

Choose a sadhana, a sanskrit word for a spiritual practice, and do it for a 100 days. Consecutively. If you miss a day you start from day 1 again.

Your sadhana could be meditation or some yoga postures, tai chi, humming, chanting, walking (alone), or some breathing practices like nadi shodanam and kapalabhati. Pick something you can do every day, work days, weekends, even when a little tired. It's better to do something everyday than a long thing once a week.

It is wonderful to commit to something daily. It is empowering. It is what discipline is all about. It doesn't need to be difficult and hard. It's a decision to do "this" and follow through.

I did a 100 day challenge once. It turned into 200 and 300 and up to 700 days and then I put an end day to it. I stopped at 2 years (730 days). I hummed for 30 minutes everyday. Looking back, it was very satisfying. I took a vacation during that time and managed to do it. The plane was easy. No one could hear me. Relatives got used to it. At the end of the day if nothing else seemed to have worked out, well, my sadhana was completed.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


This is Heidi Swanson's granola. Lovely, fragrant, and good for you.

4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
1 cup walnuts or macadamia nuts, cut into halves, or quarters
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups assorted dried fruits, chopped
Grated zest of 2 oranges
3/4 cup cup raw mild-flavored honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Combine the oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, coconut, and zest in a large bowl. Heat the honey and coconut oil in a saucepan and whisk to combine, then pour over the oat mixture. Mix well.

Place in large pan into oven.

Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until toasty golden brown. Remove from oven and add dried fruit.
Cool completely and store in airtight containers.

Makes about 10 cups.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Hurray for St. Patrick and St. Urho

St. Patrick's and St. Urho's day are such fun spring celebrations. Laughter, joking, dancing, and drinking is what I see. It is good to celebrate. I don't need to know what exactly I am celebrating to celebrate. Life is meant to be joyful and whatever brings that is wonderful.

Here is a wonderful idea for a celebratory St. Patrick's Day drink:

Guinness float

Pour some Guinness beer into a tall glass and add a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Pour some chocolate syrup over top. Enjoy!

There is no photo..........too early in morning and no ice cream in the house - yet.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Big Curry Noodle Pot

This recipe was quick and fun to cook and of course to eat. I didn't have fat noodles so I used soba. The recipe is from the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson.

8 ounces dried whole-grain Asian style wide noodles like udon
2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
12 oz extra firm tofu cut into thumb-sized slices
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp shoyu sauce
1 tbsp natural cane sugar
juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup slivered shallots
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook the noodles until just tender. Drain and set aside.

You can start making the curry as the noodles cook. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then stir in the garlic, onion, and curry paste and mash the paste around the bottom of the pan a bit to distribute it evenly. Cook until nice and fragrant - just a minute or two. Add the tofu and gently stir until coated with the curry paste. Stir in the coconut mile, stock, turmeric, shoyu sauce, and sugar, bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice, and add the noodles.

To serve, heap piles of noodles into bowls and top with a ladle or two of curry. Top with peanuts and a sprinkling of shallots and cilantro.

Thursday, 15 March 2012


I have a love relationship with chairs. I've been told I have a chair fetish. I have to get rid of one or more and I have wandered around the house today looking for a way to keep them all. Could I put one outside? Maybe one here right beside the bed......oh no, can't climb around it to get into bed.

They have all come to me, one by one. One from the Salvation Army, that's the bluish one, one from a wonderful vintage shop, the teak and white-cushioned one, and the nursing rocker I brought home from an antique shop somewhere on the highway between London, Ontario and Barrie. I have another chair I negotiated for at a yard sale. The other buyer said it's too much, $20 for the chair, and you would have laughed to see how fast I pulled out a twenty dollar bill and shoved it into the seller's hand. And it's one of the most comfy wicker chairs I've ever sat in.

Well, it looks like it's not the day to get rid of any. I found a spot for all the chairs, for now. Maybe tomorrow I will know which one has to go. I wish they didn't have so much character.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


This is Buk. He is an amazing dog. He is my brother's best friend. They go everywhere together. Work. Rides in the car. They enjoy long walks together all over the trails and roads of northern Ontario. Buk is also Felix's best friend. Actually, he is Felix's only friend.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

This moment

Just this moment is so rich. The sunny warmer day helps to kick this off......sitting outside with a blanket tucked around me, and just sitting. Each sense is a rich bringer of experience. I closed my eyes and opened the ears hearing the wind, the birds, traffic, the snow falling off the roof, the dog in my lap scratching his ear, the far off sound of a child shouting. I closed my ears and opened the eyes seeing blue, blue sky, birds, snow, a squirrel, a neighbour shaking a rug. I closed ears and eyes, and opened the nose, smelling freshness, the warmth of melting water, my skin, the dog's breath, the flat mounds of melting dog poo nearby. I opened my pores and felt the clothes on my back, the wind on my face, my hair flapping on my cheek. Each moment can be such a symphony of experience if we can stay present to it. What else is worthy of this much attention? Nothing. The most worthy thing we can do is be truly present to this moment. It doesn't matter if you are sitting outside, washing dishes, drinking tea, scrubbing the counters, or typing on a keyboard, or planning the next day's work. Just do it with your whole being. This takes practice. At least it did and does for me. It's sounds so simple and it is simple yet it takes a commitment and a willingness to let thoughts and opinions no longer be a barrier between You and the experience.

Monday, 12 March 2012


I'm running out of time. I have no time. I don't have enough time. I can't find time. I lost track of time. Where is time anyway? It's a concept in my mind and your mind that we all agree upon. Time goes left to right; past to future. Hmmmm.
I notice that when I am not rushing it appears I have time and when I am rushing from one activity to another then I feel the lack of time. There is a difference between doing things quickly and rushing. A cat quickly jumps when it sees a mouse but doesn't rush around from one activity to another. I think I want to try and live more like a cat.

Sunday, 11 March 2012


We are always making adjustments. Nothing is static, nothing is still and non-changing. Isn't that wonderful. Change is everywhere. There is something about spring that is all about adjustments and change. The earth is sprouting from it's winter slumber and there is struggling to get out from under snow and ice. We humans are sprouting from under the silent spaces of our homes and buildings and venturing forth to make rivers from melting snow so it flows away. We are sprouting new ideas for spring, for work and for home........and it's tax time and the roof needs can be overwhelming. It can be easy to adjust when we know that it's a given to always be adjusting. That there is no final destination. There is no final good health. It's all just the state of something, one state flowing into another, endlessly. We need to jump in and flow too. Nothing is either good or bad. It just is.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A poem about Percy, the dog

Percy (One)

Our new dog, named for the beloved poet,
ate a book which unfortunately we had
left unguarded,
Fortunately it was the Bhagavad Gita,
of which many copies are available.
Every day now, as Percy grows
into the beauty of his life, we touch
his wild, curly head and say,

"Oh, wisest of little dogs."

This poem is by Mary Oliver (the best of poets).

Felix, another wise dog, is checking out for spring!

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Grocery Store

The grocery store on a Friday night at 8 pm is not the place I would like to be. Don and I picked up what we needed and were standing in the check-out line. I noticed that I was looking at everything close to me.....the things for sale right in front of me face, the batteries, the magazines, the candy, and the dental floss in little packets. Since I resisted all those things I looked further to the back wall of the store. The back wall was a beautiful terra-cotta colour and funky posters were hanging from the ceiling, and I noticed lovely colours of food cans and plants and fruits in the distance. How nice I thought! A change in perspective and I really "saw" the store as if for the first time. I felt good and chatted and laughed with Lizzie, who was our wonderful smiling check-out woman. We have the choice to be bored or not to be bored and notice something new.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Om, or Aum: the primordial sound of creation, the sound of God.
This sanskrit syllable is comprised of three sanskrit letters which stand for the three gunas: rajas, sattva and tamas. Everything in the universe is composed of these three essential qualities. Rajas is the quality of passion, action and creation. Sattva is the quality of balance, light and purity. Tamas is the quality of resistance, inertia and destruction.

Om is the sound of yoga. Om's begin and end yoga classes like a package. Om is the first happening from source, from the infinite. Whatever follows Om has power to manifest.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The make-up story

Yesterday, I took a late day shower before my evening yoga classes. I was buzzing around having a snack and getting my clothes ready and hair dried and forgot to put any makeup on. I was already in the car and noticed my blank eyes in the rear view mirror. Oops! Now I don't wear makeup all the time but it was a first class with new students and winter white skin, and I had worn at least mascara, eyeliner and lipstick all winter. I chuckled and went to work. I was so tempted to go back and put some colour on my face. But I resisted on purpose.

I wore makeup at 14 years of age whenever I was leaving the house up to somewhere in my 40's. Then I took a whole summer to play with going out of the house with absolutely no makeup. It started when I saw my friend, an esthetician, in a grocery store with no makeup. I had never seen her with no makeup and she looked soft and beautiful. (She is beautiful with makeup too!) She looked wonderful. And I thought couldn't I look wonderful too? Why do I have to wear it?

I stopped little by little, going out occasionally without any until finally I wore none, ever, for about half a year. I needed to do that. I needed to know that there......I don't know........I needed to do it just to see that I was still okay and could feel pretty.

Now, I wear it but there is no obsession, though I was tested on that yesterday. I love the idea of putting on "eyes" and "lips" since I am fair in colour. I feel that I look more alive and it's worth the little time it takes. I love decorating myself and feeling that it's okay. That it's not any less holy or wholly to wear it than people who don't. We are all in this world to play.......with clothes.......with makeup........with cooking..........with decorating and making our surroundings inspiring to look at ...... to touch...... to eat and so on. It's all a great big celebration to be alive.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A little bit of spring

Spring is coming! It's really coming! It is 6 C this afternoon and I wore my rubber boots to go walking with the dog. I was dry and warm and Felix, the white dog, was half brown and gritty with soot and cold. He loved his warm sitz bath afterwards. I feel so rejuvenated by the fresh air and the experience of the clean blue sky and the birds pecking the red berries off the mountain ash tree. I notice how this little bit of spring in the air gives me life and uplifts my spirits. I feel like organizing or cleaning something now. Of course after the cup of tea I've brewed and the blessing of bread that I received from a friend early this morning!

Monday, 5 March 2012


I love magazines!
The paper, the photos, the ideas, the newness, and most everything. My favourite right now is Country Living from the United States. It's style is shabby chic. It feels green without the buzz words. It doesn't tell me I need fixing.
Today I received Canadian Living in the mail. I remember being a new wife and mom when it first came out. I loved it - it was fresh! Now, though, it seems pretty similar to many other magazines: it's about weight loss; going green; think positive & live better; spring beauty; shoes & clothes. Weight loss info and a decadent cake on the cover made with mascarpone cream! I don't know - I think I would like to see the new, fresh magazine that it was and without the feeling that I have to 'do' better or to fix myself. Something new. And I don't know what that is......but I am sure it's coming my way.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I wrestle a lot with busy-ness. This afternoon I felt overwhelmed with the feeling of busy-ness. It started when I looked at the things I need to do, the things I should do (and who says?) and the things I want to do. It's really just how I think about all the things. There are infinite things to do everyday but today I felt it was all too much. I thought about not doing anything at all. What's the worst that could happen? Hmmmm, more work tomorrow. Someone might not like me as much. Someone might think I'm lazy. It's amazing what comes up. All this conditioning. However, the bottom line is - I just can't do anything right now. This blog is happening only because I wanted to share this with you. So allow for just being sometimes. It's a necessity for survival. It's a mental health moment, or whole afternoon, or whole day.......or whole week. I think everyone has a different tolerance for busy-ness. It's good to prevent total burnout by being alert and aware to know when you require rest - and allow for it and give it to yourself before you need, really, really, need it. Whatever happened to Sundays being a day of rest?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Moist Chocolate Cake

No one will believe this chocolate cake is made with cooked quinoa - no flour!

2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to sit for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 8 inch round or square cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add the quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth.

Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.

From the cookbook Quinoa: The Everyday Superfood 365 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.

As you can see I didn't put it into 2 pans, just one bundt pan. And I served it with raspberries and whip cream. Delicious!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Speedy coffee cake

Company's coming and you have nothing to serve with coffee! This may not be a dilemma for everyone but it is for the Finnish Mama. So, here's a recipe that is quick to stir up and takes only 1/2 hour in the oven and it even tastes good warm. I learned it from Ninni, the woman I boarded with when I lived in Finland.

Speedy coffee cake (Pikapulla)

75 gr butter
400 ml flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamon (I use whole cardamon peeled and then pounded in a tea towel, so it's like coarse pepper)
100 ml sugar
200 ml milk
For topping: 10 almonds chopped and coarse sugar

Cut butter into bits in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well with a fork. Add milk. Pour into a greased cake pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Cool slightly and lift out of pan.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Graceful movement

For the last few days I have been practicing getting up off a chair gracefully. Just standing up without using my neck or leaning forward. It's tough. First of all, chairs are too high for me.......or they lean back. I need an old-fashioned chair that is completely straight. I have a table that I've been using. I've tried using my legs. Hmmm, seems too difficult. The best so far is using my arms to push  into the air as I stand and sit back down again. I read from a Feldenkrais book about properly getting up off a chair. I had no idea I was getting up in a way that used unnecessary effort. I will keep you posted on how to move gracefully from a chair to standing and back down again. Graceful movement is when I am efficient and at ease.