I'm here in my brother Mick's apartment, thinking about new intentions to be set for the New Moon...
What came up for me yesterday, while my sister and I were walking through a beautiful cemetery in the trees on a very green hillside, was Reverence. I was looking around us, in awe. I had decided that the day would be devoted to finding my new intention, and Reverence kept coming up.
It's easy for me to feel gratitude and appreciation, deep respect and love when I'm out in Nature like we were yesterday in the cemetery. Nature is my 'church.' But I started recalling feelings of reverence while thinking of our travels here. The plane ride, airports, shuttles, buses, food, luggage, different languages. The complexity of it all. The people here... the flight attendants, the train station workers, the shop owners and employees, cooks, servers. The way they smile and bow to one another, and to us. Respect. Kindness. In the way the graveyard memorials are maintained. Brooms, flowers, gifts. I feel it for the trees and the rain, the park we're going back to today to enjoy a picnic lunch. I can see it in everything.
And something else came up for me this morning. I was on the apartment balcony, looking out toward the cemetery we visited (behind Mick's home). A small, white cat slinking through the maze of stone aisles and stairways. There are lots of cats here, wandering around. Meg and I often wonder whether they're street cats or have families to go home to. So when I saw this kitty, initially a smile crept up on my face (I love kitties). And then a bit of sadness. Why? I imagined this little cat sad, alone, traipsing along, with only the resting souls to keep her company. But then, inspired by a movie playing in the other room (The Labyrinth. Jennifer Connelly plays a dramatic young lady who dreams up fairytails of goblins and princesses in her spare time), I imagined a new scenario. An adventurer of a free young kitty, whose favorite place is the mysterious cemetery near her home. Chasing butterflies, napping in the shade, leisurely conversing with the cicadas and the wise spirits of the old place. This version felt better. And that's when it came to me. I clarified my intention. I choose to see Reverence paired with Magic, in everything. Better for my Soul. Better for this world...
"We are what we think. All that we are arises from our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create the world"
Magic and Reverence for you, in everything you See, Dear Friends...
I remember hearing this somewhere along my journey...
That in this life, there is no need for us to attach ourselves to a belief system, philosophy or religion (etc.), unless that is your desire. A better way would be to pick out your favorite little bits of information and inspiration from everyone you meet and everything you learn. Choose what you like best and allow all of those little bits and pieces to build your own philosophy.
I've found this to be particularly helpful when I come into a new practice like yoga, or way of eating. I've decided that I have a better chance at "success" (input your own definition of success here) when I tailor a system to fit my unique situation, rather than thrust myself into a practice that was designed by and for someone else (or rather for a generalized type of person).
Something else that I find to be beneficial when I find a program that I'd like to start incorporating into my life, is to simply get excited about it and enjoy the practice. Sometimes when we try a 21 day juice detox cleanse, or decide we should 'go to the gym every day this week', we are setting ourselves up to not enjoy the experience. How? By "forcing" ourselves to commit to an activity or belief system rather than allowing our excitement to guide us. And why? Why do something we do not enjoy ... when we can enjoy it?
I've had a few eureka moments lately, when I embrace the "no-no's" (things or behaviors I'm moving away from) and simply allow myself to be motivated by my enthusiasm for my new found love. Yoga, clean whole foods, simple living, surfing, gardening, writing (etc, etc.), all hold special places in my heart. In the past, if I missed a day of _____, I was hard on myself for it. Why? Because I thought it was a discipline thing. I'm now learning that it's more empowering to focus my energy on having fun with my goals and passions. This way I naturally continue on my path rather than fall into the "yo-yo" curse (you all know what I mean right? ..."yo-yo" dieting [eating a strict diet for x amount of time and then bingeing, then dieting, then bingeing again]... no good. I'd rather embrace longevity and sustainability with my new practice). And this way, we are treating ourselves better. And that is the whole point of new challenges and goals, isn't it?
Try it on for size. Maybe you already do. It feels wonderful.
One of the things I love most about Integrative Nutrition (where I'm currently studying holistic health) is that we are taught that every one of us is a beautifully unique individual. We are encouraged to tailor programs to fit each of our clients and their personal journey.
Meet Robby. He makes his own rules. He is a type 1 diabetic fruitarian. Follow him on Instagram at MindfulDiabeticRobby. Great guy, blowing peoples' minds with his lifestyle.
So let's remember to not be hard on ourselves when a diet plan, or workout regimen doesn't work out for us. Let us remember to create our own program, to make our own rules, and to be empowered rather than limited by them. If you need help designing your own program, maybe you need a health coach ;) Wink Wink. Your first health history consultation is free!
PS... My new website is in the works! Stay tuned ...
My daily life is guided by the seasons. From what kind of food I'm eating to what type of activities are lined up for my day. Some might argue that we experience less seasonal influence here in Southern California, but I beg to differ (and wrote a blog post about just that last fall).
There are times when the heat is unbearable and I just want the tourists to not be at the beach for once so I can enjoy it in peace ... but most days I think to myself, summertime is the best!
Why I Love the Summer
Warm nights, Walking the dogs at twilight
The Fair, its lights, the weirdos (including yours truly) that come far and wide to eat odd things and play games for big purposeless stuffed toys. I could people watch for hours.
Small amounts of clothing.
Frequent showers and how pleasant water feels and tastes.
Camping, Beaches, Hikes, Bonfires, BBQs, Vacations, Family time.
Summer storms, if we're lucky.
Memories from childhood, of playtime and feeling free.
Comin to ya from the wagon, in Susanville, Nevada at the moment. Aiming for Reno, where we'll spend our fist night of the trip in a hotel. Yay shower!
We've spent hours wandering through lush forests and breathing the cleanest, wet air. Tonight we move into drier terrain, more open skies. I took a quick (& silly) little video this morning before we left our campsite...
I'll do a proper van tour sometime in the future :) We're having lots of fun. I feel like I could live like this, I tell you ... being outside every day, not sure what to expect, without possessions ...
I will tell you this too, I fell back into a few old habits (coffee & road food to name a few), and am remembering why I moved away from those things the first time around. I'm struggling with my sense of control, and in turn, feeling like I cannot trust myself. When these situations sprout up, I journal, I write up a new game plan, find my inspirations again, and start tweaking my perspective to see these moments as opportunities for learning, growth, and reestablishing that trust with myself by tuning inward and listening to what my body and my deeper knowing have to say.
It's awkward to be out about struggling with addictions and/or bad habits, but I don't want to only share about the highlights of my journey, I want to share and bond over what it's like to struggle and be down, also.
Let's support each other in our journeys - all the ups and downs, and in betweens. Bon voyage!
Fruit is a magical food. Coming from a tree, its harvests maintain the mother plant and promote proliferation. The food is water rich, mineral and vitamin rich, full of antioxidants, and energy. Enough energy to sustain us. And enough variety to always keep us excited! Each fruit has it's own taste, texture, and relationship to each of us, memories. Doesn't eating fruit take you to a childlike state? I always feel like a lIttle me when I eat strawberries, watermelon, grapes, oranges...
As it gets further into warm weather seasons, fruit becomes more appealing to us, and more available. Let's go visit our farmers markets, health food stores, fruit stands, or wherever you find yours, and make an effort to get more fruit into our body temples. Supplemented with greens, herbs, veggies, nuts, seeds, water, sunshine and sleep!