Swim with the Turtles

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I’ve been on Vacation in Maui. I’ve lived in a sleepy part of the island in a condo with my favorite person and for the past 2 days we’ve spent time swimming with the turtles. All the while my life has some chaos back home but luckily my head and heart are grounded, by what I’ve seen under the sea.

What I learned from the Turtles is when the waves crash hard into the reef and waters get turbulent the turtles take a deep breath and dive down deep. I wonder if we can in daily life find a habit that lets us hear the silence of the deep water? What does quiet feel like for a few moments under a reef? Distracting yourself with food or libations isn’t going to keep you safe from the turbulence anyway. Take a big breath and dive.

9 habits for taking care of yourself

It’s hard to eat lighter if you aren’t well cared for. But…. you protest, how can I do one more thing with my schedule? Or what does THAT mean, I take care of myself, I think!? What I mean by care for is care for yourself like you would for someone younger, weaker, sadder, or older than you are. When you do, you’ll have a really good day, almost like magic! On a day that I feel my best – self nurtured – most grounded I’ve generally included these ingredients:

1. Meditate: I get up 10 min early, have a glass of water brush my teeth (this means I’m really up not just lying in bed snoozing the alarm) and sit with a quiet mind, or just appreciate the upcoming day, or go for a brief walk with no agenda (or a simple one) in my mind.

2. Exercise: whether I have exercise in the calendar in the morning or the evening I need to know at some point – I am going to move. I’m going after gross motor exhaustion or nearly that!

3. Light breakfast: It feels nourishing but not filling. For me it is 1 simple protein source (an egg or a few nuts) and usually a honey latte.

4. Notice my job like I’m selling it to someone else: for example I get to address interesting and sometimes complex problems with people who care. Every person who comes to see me is happy and motivated to be with me and by the time they leave they feel better because of our time together! It’s worth working hard for.

5. Cherish the people: I kiss my children even though they are old enough to object and remind them every day that I’m glad they are in my life. And that sentiment goes for parents, spouse/special person, friends and neighbors, whomever I sincerely love.

6. Time for my home: make space a finite time (30 min?) to tidy the house, move the laundry along, do a simple chore or 2 to invest in my space but do not get consumed by it.

7. Feed myself lunch and dinner thoughtfully: whether I go out or stay in for my “cups” each day, I decide what I’m hungry for. I choose those ingredients in what I order or prepare. I take the supplements I think I need, a multivitamin vitamin B, C, calcium, melatonin and fish oil are in my recipe since I am now middle aged. (I typed and erased and retyped that term twice but it’s true – I’ll leave it.)

8. Self care: After the work the exercise the giving to all the people the eating well just take time to have a bath or shower or use a nice lotion or condition your hair. Make time to be with your own skin.

9. Read or meditate or hold someone close to finish the day. Get quiet before you crash into your pillow. Enough said.

Your specifics for nurturing yourself may be different than mine, that’s good, take time to identify exactly what habits nurture you and do a little of each of those, and you WILL have a good day!

What nurtures you? What fills your cup?

Building / Being a Superhero!!

How do you love and support someone well enough that they can be their best and brightest self all the time? As a mother of three boys I learned early on (by trial and miserable error) the trifecta for a winning day with little boys is gross motor exhaustion, steady caloric intake, and sleep. When I have my children (I am recently divorced) I work hard to keep their little bodies in balance because with balance, they are in their best nature, pleasurable to be around and not nearly as hard on the drywall. I remind my guys: “Your energy is fantastic make it healthy, run, climb swim and avoid tearing your brother’s arms off!” or “Your words are clever and organized don’t use them to hurt his feelings.” In a general sense, “use your powers for good, super kid!!”

How do you love and support your self enough to be your best and brightest all the time? What is your personal matrix of well-being? How well do you find balance? What is your formula for bliss amidst the entropy of daily life? I asked all those notes of a dear friend since he doesn’t blog here are his comments:

My thoughts are somewhat mathematical in nature. It takes three points to define a plane. For your boys, they are food, sleep and exercise. When one point is moved for one boy, the planes are no longer in alignment and become askew. This leads to lots of interesting intersections, some of which are constructive, some not, some of which are positive, some not. The interesting thing is that the whole plane and it’s intersections change based on the movement of one point. This lends credibility to your argument about life balance, where the three points may be parental, personal, and professional. Get one point out of whack, and the whole plane orientation shifts.

What are your three primary needs? What are your points for balance? sleep, work, exercise, or eating, moving, thinking, or loving, resting, producing. What key points make up your perfect average day, not holiday, but daily life day?

Life Lessons from Pilates: Be diagnostic not judgmental. (Sometimes the difference is merely tone of voice.)

When you are conscious of your self or do you diagnosis with a clear view or do you interpret you own actions with moral difference? Do you give yourself a thumbs up or a thumbs down or can you just notice where you are today?

In a roll up we que students to differentiate their vertebrae bone-by-bone. In becoming aware of the bones we strengthen the deep core muscles that align the spine. In your roll up if one spinal segment just won’t move, you may notice tightness and maybe soreness in that spot. As you take note what dialogue begins in your mind? Do you say to yourself “Oh, no that’s because I haven’t been coming to class, I’m so bad at this, I never stick to things, pilates is so hard, why cant I just…” Or do you just observe it? “Hmm, that bit is tighter. OK little breath, more support, and greater attention into my body.” If the voice in your head isn’t that verbal and it simply asks “what is that?” Notice your own tone, Are you judging like, “What is THAT?” or inquiring thoughtfully “what IS that?”

With your diet can you interpret without criticism? For example: My cup was more like 4 handfuls and I left that lunch appointment feeling stuffed. Does your mind disapprove harshly? “How come I can’t stick to anything? Why did they have to order an appetizer?” or can you cut the commentary and be constructive? “Ok that was too much. How can I give myself more space in my body? Maybe I’ll eat less or no dinner, or go for a long walk tonight before bed”

Try it. With out the negative vibe of your own judgment hanging over you -you may have more energy for happiness, bliss and all the goodness you really deserve! Fill Your Cup.

Come to Truth

“Coming into truth is a matter of subtraction not addition” Adyashanti (a Buddhist who transitioned to enlightenment.)

My friend sent me this quote over a year ago and it resonates today. With out negative influences, our lives feel lighter, brighter, and happier. I am not suggesting burying your head in the sand when negativity arises but face it and find a solution. Extract the darkness in a clear concise way.

Subtraction takes away what isn’t essential. After your clearing is complete, what you’re left with is your essence, out in the open, loud and clear. With your essence unobstructed, you can appreciate what you really value and who you really are.

Feel like cleaning the pantry? Or better …. Your thoughts?

Fill Your Cup

SHINE!

Tough times force us to face our part, own our truth and become more responsible. Whether it’s coming clean about what, when and how much you really eat or the personal pain you hold underneath that snacking or stuffing if you decide to take the challenge and face it – it will change your life.

Once you begin filling your cup, eating only what you want and what nourishes you. Once you hold dear only people and experiences that enhance your life, you’ll find space to meditate. You’ll have space to be and see yourself. Your own honesty provides humility, strength of character, and deeper commitment to life’s meaning.

“Meditate. 
Live purely. Be quiet. 
 Do your work with mastery. 
Like the moon, come out 
from behind the clouds! Shine!” -Buddha

Extraordinary Life

“In time the wound will heal, the scar fades, and when the clean bill of health comes you realize that the rest of your extraordinary life has continued unabated” – Joe Thompson

The glorious gift of a difficult change is a new format for life. You get to move toward your dream (thanks Joe) unabated. You will live unencumbered by whatever diminished you before.

We may know intellectually we need to change. Maybe it’s an unhealthy addiction, an unsupportive relationship or a toxic job – whatever it is; the “thing” isn’t working for us. We know that impulsive snacking makes us fat, the unfulfilling jobs feels depleting, and an unsupportive relationship is depressing. Why is it so difficult to shift our lives once and for all?

Because we are good at what we already do. Our habits have one thing in common they are what we do. And like my Dad used to say, “Everybody does what they’re good at.”

We have practiced that “thing” so much that we’re good at accommodating it in our life even if we resent it and feel miserable about it. What feels “natural” is what we’ve trained consciously or unconsciously to excel at. To change we have to train twice as hard in the new life format.

The only way I’ve found to stay determined and practice my new life format is to keep my eye on the prize. My extraordinary life aligned with my dream. What’s your prize? Is it worth it? YES!!!!

Tough Times

Tough times force us to face our part, own our truth and become more responsible. Whether it’s coming clean about what, when and how much you really eat or the personal pain you hold underneath that snacking or stuffing if you decide to take the challenge and face it – it will change your life.

Once you begin filling your cup, eating only what you want and what nourishes you, once you only hold dear only people and experiences that enhance your life, you’ll find space to meditate. You’ll have space to be and see yourself. Your own honesty provides humility, strength of character, and deeper commitment to life’s meaning.

“Meditate. 
Live purely. Be quiet. 
 Do your work with mastery. 
Like the moon, come out 
from behind the clouds! Shine!” -Buddha

Sovereignty vs. Empty

In King Arthur’s Tale of Sir Gawain’s marriage (see full story here: chivalrynow.net/articles1/gawain.htm) we learn that what all women (and probably men) want in life is Sovereignty.

I am newly single and the spaces I feel in my life vacillate between sovergnity and emptiness.

I’ve learned that it’s all a matter of perspective and sometimes how much sleep I got the night before weither the space in life is liberating and empowering or hallow and gnawing.

The appetite for comfort from a steamy bowl of comfort food can feel quite similar to the appetite for a warm embrace from a person who loves you. So whether you are struggling with space in your life from being alone or space from eating less or another life change that hits you in the gut, here are the best ways I have found to maintain a positive perspective. Go back to basics:

• Go to sleep early – it’s amazing how well this works.
• Exercise every day.
• Meditate every day.
• Eat light healthy foods: something grown from the earth and something that lived on top of it work for me.
• Keep company with those who enjoy life.
• Keep interactions with people who drain you, to a minimum.

My goal is to nurture myself with balanced habits and learn to embrace space and see it as sovereignty rather than emptiness. Oh yea, Fill Your Cup…body mind and spirit.

Finding your balance in twisted times… Divorce Diet 5


So everyone has stress and sometimes stress feels personal and crushing and sometimes it feels anxious and un-nerving but all of it pulls you, way out of your ideal headspace.

One moment your life seems relatively typical with the perfect cup of coffee, smiles to co-workers or successful school drop off, then a conversation, txt or email can send your mood into the abyss. Unexpected emotional punches, twist your stomach into a knot and leave your skin clammy cold (even when you are standing in the sun.)

Now what? You know in your head that staying grumpy all day isn’t an option, you also know, consciously that a cookie (or any snack) will not make it better. Often people unconsciously justify “a new taste on my tongue will change the physical part of my emotional sensation, for a moment.” Our emotional sanity always supersedes our vanity and goals. For a brief moment the snack my satisfy but it isn’t lasting and you will likely feel worse than you started if you add food guilt on top of the emotional punch.

It’s critical to have several ways to balance out life’s dark spots. Where do you find light, levity, serenity or happiness? Where do you go to find your inner balance and feel better? Do you read a book or magazine? Re-read a sweet text from a friend? Do you sit in the Rocks? Meditate? Watch Sports? Hike? Run? Walk? Breathe? Go to a Yoga class? Cycle? Pilates? Swim? Do a quick Handstand? Call a friend? Wander in an antique store? Feel the wind? Hug a friend? Kiss a child? Cook? Chop vegetables? Take a bath?

Write down 10 things that help you come back into your ideal headspace? These things will take the place of snacks while you learn to Fill Your Cup.