Monday, 30 June 2014

Superhero - Day 25

Today I rested. I think resting is holy. I mean really doing nothing on purpose. 

It's amazing to see that I can't spend a day where I do nothing. I still get up and eat, drink, walk, sit down, look out the window, go outside, look at clouds and so on. I don't think I planned any of it. It just seemed to happen on its own. I do have one thing to do tonight and I put a note on the kitchen table so I can remember. I like to keep the mind empty. And rest. 

I receive creative ideas when I rest. I receive insight. I receive joy and peace. I receive energy. To rest is to receive. 

In yoga we always do a final relaxation where we lie down and do nothing. It's a difficult thing not to do anything. It's said to be the most important part of the class. Where you reap the benefits of the practice. 

Activity. Rest. Activity. Rest. 

Resting shouldn't only be done so yiou can do more and more activity but rather resting for resting's sake. Don't you think?

I lay in the swing under my birch tree. My place of choice for resting. 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Superhero - Day 24

I don't know if being a superhero is as important as having moments of single heroic actions. Maybe it's the same thing. A single heroic action may make us original. Telling a better story. By telling the truth. Aren't we all original? Don't we all have a song to sing? I think we teach conformity in our society. Even though we like to think that it's not true. And it's hard to stretch to be ourselves. And if we don't bring our gifts and talents forward then won't they be lost forever? I think it's sad to die with your song unsung. For anybody.

Today I ate sugar, wheat, lots of food. Yesterday I had a beer and a coffee.
Thank goodness I have a re-set button. I can always begin again!

This guy shows how I feel today!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Superhero - Day 23

I attended a meditation workshop today. I wasn't teaching. I was listening. I noticed myself starting the day wondering if I would have said it that way, or if that was true, or if this was correct. I finally sat back and sat still. Just witnessing this marvelous happening. People talking about what is close to their hearts. How to be accepting. How to be loving. How to be peaceful. What IS love anyway? What does it mean to be peaceful? I felt a hunger for truth. The truth of all truths. What is the most important thing for me to crave? What a great word - crave! What must I have? I crave to be real. Myself. Something like the Velveteen Rabbit who gets more real as he gets loved and worn. 

It's not easy to be myself. There seems to be a mask on when I am around other people. As if I am on display. I don't know why that is. And when I notice I was natural I look back and think -oops!- was I okay? Good grief! I want to just be who I am without any of that. I am happiest alone. I'm okay with that. I like my own company. I always say I am self entertaining. It hasn't always been this way. I'm glad I can say that now. I think a superhero has the capacity to self regulate. I think a superhero has a deep craving for something.

What do you crave?

Friday, 27 June 2014

Superhero - Day 22

I did the same bike route as yesterday. I feel so pleased 2 days in a row. 

I made a frittata for breakfast because we had company. I did something new with the crust. I boiled 4 potatoes in jackets and when they were a little cool  I gently squashed them into a fry pan for the crust. And then put the eggs and other veggies on top. Baked for 20 minutes. Voila! So easy. Goat cheese dollops tasted good on it too. 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Superhero - Day 21

I biked for 10km this morning. It was fun!

My stepdad's mom was a superhero. I only met her once in Finland. She was a head shorter than I and I'm not tall. Feisty. In her mid 80's she rode her bike every day from her own home on a country road, to feed the old people in a seniors' home. She passed away peacefully a few years ago in her own bed still biking the previous day. 

This photo is taken at the creek near my house. These stone people have just appeared in the last while. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Superhero - Day 20

I took my new bike out for a ride in the 'hood. I am glad the weather is cooperating for biking. I thought I might have to use that broom after all. 

I used to bike a lot but half gotten wobbly. I can't turn corners well either. And because of that I bought the helmet. I feel like a dork but apparently I look like a bumblebee on the way to a picnic! Look at what it says on the front. So much for superherodom 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Superhero -Day 19

Someone asked me today if I had a superhero outfit. Hmmmmmm. I'm not sure what it would look like. I found this awesome broom in Home Hardware today. A man saw me holding it and laughed and chuckled. I said it looks like a witches' broom doesn't it. He kept laughing and said I need to buy it.  I did and tried it out. It works well. Way better than a corn broom. A superhero could have a broom, no?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Superhero -Day 18

Commitment is a prerequisite for depth. For passion. For joy. The capacity to be committed makes progress possible. If there is such a thing as progress. Maybe it's just unfoldment in a particular direction. Commitment means you show up even when you're not in the mood. Commitment is easy when you are in the mood. When you love something. Isn't a superhero someone who commits and follows through, especially on the days it isn't fun or easy or there doesn't appear to be time? The word commitment has such baggage with it. It seems tedious and hard but I don't think it has to be. 

There is one thing I do that manifests commitment for me. I have to have either a pure love of doing something that is as natural as breathing such as reading, so that it doesn't really require commitment or - I have to understand something. An understanding that is self evident so I don't have to wonder if it's the right thing to do. It's a knowingness. Sometimes I contemplate on it first. Why do I want to be healthy? Is this important? And I do this with oomph! It's not just a thought that can change. Once I understand I can no longer not understand. When you know - you know. 

There are the days that I falter and even fail. That is such an important moment. To just start again. Take the next step forward no matter what the mind spews out! Momentum kicks in sooner than I expect. Follow through gets easier and easier and easier. To begin anything we just have to pick ourselves up by the scruff of the neck.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Superhero - Day 17

I have been feeling remarkably well. Even though I ate cookies (non gluten free too) late last night. They were homemade and delivered with love. Yummy!

When I was a kid we ate meat and potatoes mostly. I was 14 years old when I first tasted lasagna. And I loved it! You mean there is different kinds of food out there? Through the years I've been a big meat eater, a vegetarian, and maybe now I am a flexitarian. I became anemic with the vegetarian diet. I think I needed more dark green veggies and a more focused approach. Who knows. The last few years I've been looking at how to eat best. Good grief! The information swings wildly from one side to the other on any issue. Everyone claims to have the right answer on how to eat for optimum health. Baba Hari Dass, the spiritual head of Mount Madonna, California, where I studied first to be a yoga teacher says that in North America we think too much about food. He advocates no meat unless that's all there is. He says to eat what you can digest. Great wisdom in that!

A while back I read Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He is a journalist and good writer who was as confused as I was, about what to eat. His first paragraph of the book is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." That pretty much summarizes what he found on his food journey. He looked at numerous studies and has a huge source index. Anyway, that book helped me to stop reading for a while and figure out what I can digest.

Everybody has to figure out what works for them. This is what seems to work for me right now. I'm sure I will modify all the time since I've been doing that forever. I start the day with fresh squeezed lemon juice in warm water. I eat breakfast about two to three hours after waking because I have my morning practices. I have a big lunch and a smaller supper, though in summer when I don't work evenings that may reverse. I eat in an 8 hour time frame, so there is about 16 hours of fasting. I eat 9 to 5 pm or so. I eat mostly vegetarian but I eat meat very week. I don't eat gluten (except if someone dleivers homemade cookies). And sometimes whole rye bread even though it has gluten, it seems okay to digest. Very little grains. I eat very little sugar. I eat lots of eggs. Lots of vegetables. I love lentils. I drink coffee a few times a week, no more than one cup a day. I drink mostly room temperature water. I have fun with the water, sometimes it has mint leaves, orange slices, lemon or lime, frozen grapes or raspberries in it. I drink water with a pinch of salt (see I fry with good quality coconut oil. I eat butter. I drink green tea. 

Before day 1 I've tried to do all this for a while in a hit and miss kind of way. But as I said on day 1, I want to live a long healthy life. I feel too heavy for my bones. This last week I have felt much more energetic and healthier than I have for a long time. This helps me to keep going on this superhero mission. We are not a preventative society so I feel like I am going against the grain and becoming one of those crazy health nuts. We usually wait until we have to, because we are sick. Sick and tired. And even then we prefer that someone gives us a pill.

It's all about commitment. Nothing happens without it. And I need both will and grace. That's why I need to be a superhero. Commitment. Willpower. Surrender. Grace.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Superhero - Day 16

I like playing house. This started when I was very young. I loved playing with dolls. They were well cared for. I especially liked designing their living quarters. My mom and dad used to cut our old clothes into long strips and roll them into big round balls. When they had enough they brought them to a woman who wove them into rugs for us.  I played with these balls on the lawn every summer. I unravelled them and made rooms for the doll family on the lawn. Like drawing design on paper. Sometimes the dolls had a bedroom of their own, sometimes they shared. Sometimes there were long hallways but I prefered spaces with none. Now I like to arrange my stuff. And the garden provides even more area. 

Learning to be a superhero must be learning to be oneself. I can only be myself, but I think I have spent most of my life being what someone else wanted me to be. I try to be interested in going out more - to concerts, museums, parties. But I'm just not. I'd rather putz by myself. And play house. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Superhero - Day 15

I have a much reduced schedule for the next two weeks and I woke up with excitement to get things done. I wrote a pile of lists: things to do at home office, things to do in garden, things to do in house, etc. I love checking things off lists. I feel so accomplished. However, it's late and I've done only a little meditation today, and ate rhubarb crisp late this evening. Oh well, I can always begin again tomorrow. For me, there can only be one day off track and I have to hop right back on or I am done for. I don't think well after 9 pm. Nothing more to say. Superhero?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Superhero -Day 13

I hung old CDs into trees and bushes to scare the birds from the black currants. I'll know soon if it works. That is the most interesting thing I did today. 

I've thought about what how is it possible to analyse anything when the analyser and analysee are one and the same. If I am observing myself being irritated and questioning why, it makes no sense. The irritant noticing the irritant as herself. That makes my mind go into a loggerheads situation.

The lilacs in the yard are divine.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Superhero - Day 12

I've had a busy day outside of home. I find on days like this I am way more organized. (If I don't have too many days like this in a row.) I got up early enough to do yoga on my deck. It was glorious doing sun salutations in the cool morning air with the warm sun on my face. And I did my whole morning routine as usual before that - neti pot, lemon juice and water, meditation, and a few pages of reading.
I ate like I have planned to eat for the next while - the freshest and simplest food, no coffee, very little sugar (had to upgrade that from none so I could eat my rhubarb compote), no wheat, very little grains at all. This is my experiment with eating. I am always experimenting. I will talk more about that another day. So, the day included all the little bits of my new routine. Oh yes, I even weeded the garden for 5 minutes. And I just flossed my teeth. I feel like a superhero because I succeeded at maintenance.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Superhero - Day 11

I think a superhero is someone who has a goal and everyday remembers the direction of travel. My goal is consciousness. To know who I am. I am told that I only need to look within. I am already free and whole and infinite. And yet I have this body I travel with. It needs warmth, food, water, touch and movement. How do those needs get so complex? Why does that seem to take all my time?
Why do I want to garden with plants that don't produce any of those things? Well, maybe movement. Why do I prefer beautiful things rather than just utilitarian items? Divinity. Sacredness. Beauty. Isn't life all this? If I am this infiniteness then wouldn't I naturally create? Wouldn't this part of my beingness be the most important thing - the nurturing of exactly this infinite being?

My shady places:

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Superhero -Day 10

I already went to bed and remembered that I hadn't posted anything. So here I am. I've had a full, rich day. A good day of getting things done. Getting ready for the week. I have overnight company and we shared a lovely evening meal and chat. I don't know what's superhero in it. I did no yoga postures today, though I thought about it many times. I did floss my teeth.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Superhero - Day 9

Last post was day 9 too.  :)

The dogs were no help in dealing with the bird problem. 

Superhero - Day 8

Ahah! I've watched my black currant bushes for years.......lots and lots of bundles of berries coming along fine and then one day - not one left! Last year I thought they dried out and fell off because there were many on the ground. Now I saw the birds. They are sneaky. They go in from the bottom and sides so I don't notice them. I covered the bushes tonight with the only netting I had, some old sheers. Tomorrow I will hang old CDs on the trees to shine and sparkle so the birds will be spooked. I feel like a superhero!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Superhero - Day 8

II made a rhubarb compote. I kind of made it up. I have lots of rhubarb and since I don't want to eat sugar I thought of stewing it rather than making a jam or cake.
It turned out better than I could have imagined.
I put chopped rhubarb in a 3 quart pot, almost full. I added 2 handfuls strawberries that I had in freezer,  grated rind of a lemon and the juice, 1/2 cup organic cane sugar, and a dash of cloves. (I think an orange would have been better than the lemon). I simmered it over medium heat until just soft. That's it! This is very tart but tasty. I think I will serve it with plain yogurt.

I have so much energy today. I've continued with gardening. Yes, and did my own yoga, meditated, and flossed my teeth. And still drinking lots of water. I feel much better than I have all week. I think I am over the beginning slump. I find that the first few days are the hardest when I start something new and if I can persevere and even get excited about what I am doing, the going gets smoother. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Superhero - Day 7

Superhero things I did today:

I voted in the provincial election.

I started a new way to eat - fasting everyday for 16 hours - that means I only eat in an 8 hour time slot. Today I ate breakfast at 8:30 am and supper at 4:30 pm and I had lunch in there too. I read that it can kick start the fat burning mechanism. It can take months to take effect. I hope not. I may not last that long. However, the amount of water I've been drinking is really feeling good. I already thought I drank enough but I have drank way more and my fingers and hands feel skinny. I never knew that I was holding so much water.

Have I said that I am drinking no coffee, eating almost no sugar (just dessert on Sundays), and no wheat ( and very little grains). This is my way of eating. I don't know how it's going to go. I'm just experimenting.

I helped a little spider that was sitting in my bathtub. I took him outside. At least I hope it was helpful.

I did everything on my calendar.

I unsubscribed from many emails.

I made a super healthy and delicious soup.

I went to Starbucks and had a green tea instead of a latte.

Don said I was a dynamo today!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Superhero -Day 6

Wednesdays are busy days for me so I don't add extra onto my calendar. Today I got everything on my calendar done and a few extra items from tomorrow. That's a funny thing - I complete everything on busier days and that includes my yoga and meditation and flossing my teeth. I'm organized from the get go. I keep on task. I remember what I am supposed to be doing. But on slacker days or days off with seemingly infinite time I don't get the daily tasks sorted out and am rushing or leaving it undone. I do everything else except the daily set things. 

That's what people say - if you want something done ask a busy person. 
So - is there a way to live like a busy person and not have the stresses of busyness? 

I drank lots of water today with a little lime juice and a dash of salt. I feel remarkably good. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Superhero - Day 5

What to say? I've eaten very well today. No sugar, no coffee. Fresh home cooked food.  At the meditation meeting tonight I spent half the time holding back, yep, you guessed it - flatulence! If it was a yoga class I would have let 'er rip and said "awesome", but during the silence of meditation? Couldn't do it. 

Otherwise, I've mused a lot on "order".  When life is over full there can't be order. When I can't finish what I start there can't be order. Order needs spaciousness. Direction. 

Don says I'm a superhero with my thumbs as I blog away on my iPhone. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Super hero - Day 4

The superhero thing isn't going too well. I started the day sleeping in.....just a bit, ate a pretty good breakfast but had a piece of chocolate cake with was gluten free and had a whole orange in it. I hope that redeems it. I napped during my break this afternoon. Walked to work and back. Did yoga. Meditated. Even doing these activities doesn't qualify as superhero membership. It's something much more. Krishnamurti talked about having order in life. I will read him tomorrow to muse again on what he said. I always thought I understood but couldn't explain. It seemed a visceral thing. I do feel disorderly. 

Nonetheless I am noticing my personal yoga practice has slipped. I seem to be planning classes while I'm doing yoga rather than focusing on what I need in the moment. And I wish I could say I do it daily. I would like to start with this. Yoga poses for myself everyday, 7 days a week. Starting tomorrow. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Super hero - Day 3

Today was a garden work day. I bent and straightened and bent and straightened. My sit bones are tender. The weather was the kind of day that Is perfect, sunny, breezy, 20 C. I moved plants around and I think that is the best part of gardening. I'm never afraid to dig a plant out and move it into another location. I'm always amazed at the hardiness of plants. Maybe it's because I got the best advice from a master gardener. She told me to plant what grows well in my region. Plant what grows here. Such simple advice. 

So, I think I worked like a super hero: one task at a time (almost), and kept on going to the next task and the next. How fun! It was hard to come in to make supper. It was my turn. I've had two guests (roommates, Ayse and Andre) for 5 weeks and they leave early tomorrow morning. 

I don't know what a super hero is, but I look forward to finding out. Maybe doing what you plan to do. Getting a job done? Knowing what is a priority? To know what I've come here for?  To live beyond the limits I place on myself?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Friday, 6 June 2014

Super hero -Day 1 photos

Super hero - Day 1

I was reading an article this morning on the possibilities of having a stroke. I have a number of things that indicate that I might have a higher chance of getting a stroke than others. I've had preeclampsia during both my pregnancies, when blood pressure and protein levels rise very high. I've had migraines, though not anymore. My father had a stroke (and he was skinny, no high cholesterol either). My blood pressure was high during menopause. And I've gained weight. So, I was feeling hopeless about my situation. I recounted all this to Don, who said, I guess all you can do is become a super hero.

Alright then. That feels right to me. If I really want something - like being really healthy because I want to live to 96 years of age and die in my bed peacefully during sleep, then I have to stop playing around. I know what I should do but I don't do it. I'm missing will. What to do?

What would a super hero do?
I think she or he would eat a good breakfast. I did that. I had a big salad of greens and other bits of veggies, half an avocado, cashew dressing, two boiled farm fresh eggs. And I didn't have coffee. I enjoyed a dandelion coffee substitute. Then I left my car in the yard and took a bus to Petrie's bike shop on the other side of town. I bought a beautiful vanilla coloured three speed bike. And since I love my brain, I bought a snazzy helmit too.

I biked half way home and had lunch at the Organic Garden Cafe. A healthy rice bowl!

By this time I am feeling high on the idea of being a super hero. I feel great! And it's a beautiful day and since the garden is planted, Don and I decided to drive to Grand Marais for the rest of the afternoon. Not by bike. By car.

Don's favourite spot to have a bite to eat is the Dock Market in Grand Marais. They serve the best fish and chips. I knew I should have had fish and coleslaw as the young girl even suggested it. Hmpf. I went with the fries. I think a super hero would have had the coleslaw. Nonetheless, we wandered around the streets, poking our head into some shops, and enjoying the gorgeous day. Since it's a few hours to drive home we thought a snack might be in order before we left. And then the PIE! A pie? A super hero pie? We even decided on pie before we walked into the restaurant. There was no stopping me. Ice cream came with it. And so did whipped cream. I ate it all.

Okay. Heading home. We couldn't remember where we left the car. And when we found the car I realized that I didn't have my keys. We backtracked. Partway I remembered that I had left them at the counter at the Birchcraft or was it the Birchbark bookstore. I got to the door and it was closed. 40 minutes ago! I poked my nose into the window. I saw a woman talking on the phone. I knocked on the glass. Whew! With keys and car we headed for home. 

Looking back at super hero day 1, I have to say it started very well. Maybe I will leave it at that.