I love rainy days! I know some of my Georgia peeps are sick to death of rain but it takes a long, long time for me tire of rain or snow. Today it has poured from the heavens, all day long. I had places to go and still did not mind at all!
Pazzy got a haircut! And that was the first stop for the day. While he was getting handsome, I walked over to Starbucks for a decaf, quad, venti, soy, no foam latte. I eat very little soy and do wish Starbucks would get nut milks. I think I’ll send them a suggestion. Last week I was talking to my friend Jane in Nosara, Costa Rica about my desire to walk the Camino de Santiago. She said she has a friend who walked the pilgrimage and wrote a book about it. Curious, I bought the book and that was my companion while I waited for Paz. I’m only on page 79 but I’m enjoying Robin’s story. While our circumstances are different, I can totally relate to her experiences. It takes strength and courage to explore the self. As Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” At one time I wouldn’t feel right claiming my own strength and courage but I’ve learned to acknowledge my light as easily as my shadow, without shame. In this instance I can easily say I recognize so much of myself in this book (so far) that it’s an absolute joy to read and I’m looking forward to where the story goes.
Next on my agenda was a super treat! Ginger Marcus is hosting another Levels I and II Peter Hess Sound Massage training here in Baltimore. This afternoon it was my pleasure to act as a client so Ginger could demo the full body massage to the class. It is absolutely amazing to me that even in a class setting, it is so easy to reach deep relaxation once one surrenders to the sound waves produced by the bowls! Recently I observed just how easy it is for me to drop into deep relaxation. I’ve meditated for over twenty years so getting relaxed through breathing isn’t difficult at all. But I’m talking a deeeeeep relaxation – my body will just drop into the chair or the bed or the table and while my mind doesn’t turn off, it slows down – I am fully present in my body (which is also something Robin talks about in her book!). I mentioned that to Ginger today and she suggested it is my work with the bowls. I’m sure it is. And it doesn’t require daily work with the bowls. I believe it can happen for anyone who is consistent, whether it’s every day or once a week or even once a month. It’s like muscle memory. Once we take the body into a deep state of relaxation a few times, it recognizes our process…getting comfortable, closing the eyes, taking a deep long breath (or whatever a person does to trigger deep relaxation).
While I was with the class we talked about my new digs and all the great restaurants within walking distance. We talked a lot about Sweet 27 and Meet 27 and once I got in the car, I knew where I was stopping on the way home. I picked up my favorite Spicy Veggie Coconut Soup, Veggie Tacos, and some delicious sides of Chana Saag and Chana Masala. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen those dishes offered as sides before and I was thrilled. I got it all to go and once home I started getting ready to go eat in front of the TV. AND THEN… I STOPPED MYSELF!
Now don’t get me wrong… I am not one of those people who believe there is something innately wrong with watching TV. Like anything else, the tube can be used skillfully or not so skillfully. I think eating my dinner in front of the TV is unskillful and it’s one of the habits I’m breaking while on this journey. So I pulled out one of my favorite plates (handmade by a South African artist and purchased in Botswana,) scooped a little of everything onto the plate, lit a candle on the table and sat down to enjoy my meal. It was a fantastic way to end my day and a perfect place to give thanks for my many, many blessings.
It was also a reminder of how I used to take care of myself when I lived in Denver. Every night I would cook my dinner, set the table – candle included – and sit down to enjoy my meal. I was recently divorced and needed to know that I could care and love myself as I had cared for and loved my husband. I know that where and how I eat is as important as what I eat and today I am committing to bringing joy back to my mealtimes. No more eating in front of the TV, standing up when I eat, or eating out of take-away containers. According to the Maharishi Ayurveda website, “The act of eating is life-giving. The process of eating, according to ayurveda, is something reverent and important for the development of consciousness as well as our physical health. When we sit down to eat, our stomach is in a relaxed posture and our awareness is on the taste, texture, and smell of the food. This will greatly improve the digestion.”
And speaking of digestion… it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been on this journey. I’ve significantly reduced processed foods and sugar. I can’t say I’ve eliminated processed foods because I’ve had some of those Garden of Life Chocolate Raspberry Green bars and I certainly didn’t make my own tahini when I made my own hummus. But I haven’t had any Amy’s Organic pizzas, chips, or ice cream. And I’ve noticed a big improvement in my digestion – not just in elimination but in how I generally feel. I still get an occasional desire for dark chocolate but I don’t get cravings for something sweet – and that’s a huge improvement for me.
All in all as this week winds down, I’m feeling fantastic in my body and pleased with the progress I’m making to change my daily habits and routines. Life is good – very good!