Saturday, January 23, 2010


I began practicing yoga this month.

According to my teacher, the day you begin your yoga practice you are reborn. What gives - I thought newborns were flexible?!

Surprisingly, I am able to do more than I thought. Despite my innate ability to walk into walls and an overwhelming desire to test gravity, my balance is fairly good when I can keep my focus. The Boy has been telling me I should try meditation, or maybe tai chi or yoga. This opportunity presented itself and I took it.

It's all about keeping promises this year - remember?

I first attended a beginners workshop two weeks ago. This was squarely in the middle of my fourteen day fast. I was concerned about doing a workout when I wasn't eating, but it was actually the most wonderful experience I could have had. All of me could concentrate on the poses and the strength just flowed through me. The studio I attended is Cleveland Yoga and Tami Schneider, the owner, does an excellent job of talking through the poses. I returned today for a level II class and learned even more.

I was able to take advantage of some free sessions in between the workshops which were wonderful as well. I'm glad I took advantage of several different class leaders as I see that their different styles have a different effect on my practice. For example when I am very stressed and really need to relax, as I am practicing my ujjayi pranayama (ocean sounding breath) and trying to achieve a softly focused drishti (gaze) a leader reminding me literally every 8 minutes during the class to let go of internal busyness and instructing me to be calm is not beneficial. It is as useless as a massage therapist laughing at me and saying relax! Seriously, if it was that simple, I would not need to be in either place! Each time the words were spoken, my stress level rose and eventually I was in tears... ah well - as I practice I will be able to tune out such foolishness (I hope).

Other instructors were wonderful, infusing the practice with the right amount of guidance and positive energy - these I will return to.

I think I can see a difference already, if only in that I am more aware of my posture, and check frequently throughout the day to see if I am in alignment. Am I in tadasana?

The fancy sounding words are a swell benefit too!

I am looking forward to more sessions with greater balance and peacefulness through my practice.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Out With The Old

Image from "Another Day In Paradise Postcards" by Ann Taintor

As I begin the new year and try to live up to my promise, I am taking some steps to improve my health. The first of which is a cleansing juice fast which I started a few days ago. As I begin Day 5 I am feeling less toxic already!

Do not fear for The Husband's ability to provide for his own food as indicated in my image above - he is pretty self sufficient! Although when he jokingly asks when I am going to make his dinner I have thoughtfully offered him up some of my "special potion"! Surprisingly he has declined? Hmmm.... Perhaps he would not find the combination of fresh squeezed lemon, organic grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and purified water as tasty as I do?

The particular cleanse I have been using is the Master Cleanse. It was developed in the 1970's by Stanley Borroughs and has been used successfully by countless people looking to free themselves of toxins and improve their health. I did it first for ten days last April. It really did have an amazing effect on me.

I discontinued my oral asthma medication when I started that time (don't worry - I kept my inhaler handy just in case) and found that when I came off the fast I no longer needed it. I admit that recently in times of some extreme stress situations, I have used my inhaler but rather than go back for another prescription for the daily pill, I will first try the cleanse again. I am a firm believer in scientific research and the further development of modern medicine - but we must understand that with every drug we take there are risks. The only difference between a poison and a cure is the dosage. Common sense and caution must be taken into consideration. I am well aware that if I continue to take my asthma medication to prevent symptoms it will shorten my life. Of course the symptoms of asthma will also shorten my life - breathing being kinda vital and all that... But if I can eliminate the need for the medication all together why not do it? I am anxious to see what other chronic problems I can eliminate from my life with this round to cleansing.

There are of course critics out there who pooh, pooh the whole cleanse thing but as I have seen first hand what it did for me. If you are curious about it, I encourage you to read the data found on a message board developed by Peter Glickman, a proponent of the Master Cleanse and raw food diet. It details important information and research done to demonstrate the effectiveness of the process. His website, "The Raw Food Site" overall is a wealth of instruction and resources.

Although it is not the main reason I am completing the cleanse, a very nice byproduct of the process is that weight loss is involved. If one sticks to the healthful eating after breaking the fast virtually all of the weight should stay off; Maybe even further weight loss as the body continues to cleanse itself naturally on mainly raw foods.

Because of this, I will not go back to all of my bad habits once I break my fast. That was my problem last time when I let poor judgement cloud my thinking. Caffeine is already banished, but I think that refined sugars are gonna have to go as well. Maybe even most of the meats I eat. I'm not ready to go 100% raw vegan or anything - but changes will be made. As I study on it, I'll keep you posted! I like to say these days, "May your day be easy, peasey, lemon squeezey!"

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Promising New Year

Another year comes to a close and a new one begins.

It seems that every year we are bombarded with images of Janus - looking back looking forward - reflecting on where we are. I guess that's okay because if we do not study our history, what went right and what went wrong, then growth really isn't possible.

For the past two years I have selecting a touchstone word to guide me. In 2008 my word was FIRE. I really believe that it gave me an extra edge as I moved through the days. I was not perfect by any means - but I was more aware of what I wanted. In 2009 my word was FOCUS. I made some really great progress in the last year: I started back to school the Monday after Ian graduated and have racked up 4 classes and 4 "A" grades, I reconnected with many friends through the technology of FaceBook and feel amazingly blessed because of their place in my life, and I made it through a 10 day cleansing fast that no one but me believed I would complete, and I gave myself a huge gift of my new car hobby.

This year I am selecting another word:


Promise can be defined as one's word that something will be done or an indication of future excellence or achievement - hope or possibility.

I could achieve so much more if I followed through on a fraction of the things that flicker on the edges of my mind. I often work through entire projects in my head - the beginnings, the workings, the completions - but I do not act on them. Even when I think I really want to make them happen. Ask any one - my Mother for example - and they will tell you of the great promise I had as a child. Promise they will likely also tell you I have not fulfilled. When I pledged my sorority in 1983, one of the advisers came up to me at the reception after the ceremony and showed me an article from the local newspaper she had been holding onto for some months. It detailed my high school achievements and my full scholarship to the University of Toledo. They had been hoping I would go through rush and were so pleased that I had found Chi Omega - I had great promise. Things did not turn out exactly according to Hoyle... Mom is still trying to figure out why I am not a doctor. (Um - duh? Holding someones life in your hand is scary!) And reminds me periodically that I am not living the life she planned for me. (Thanks Mom.)

I make promises to myself all the time and break them. I drive myself to the brink of failure over and over again, pushing myself further and further toward the edge just to see if I can pull myself back. It can be exhilarating saving myself time and time again, and the stress of the deadline often does inspire creativity, but this cycle is not healthy.

I often do not take risks - what if I fail? (So maybe Mom is right and I should have become a doctor if I wasn't a wuss?) Sometimes I just "decide" I didn't really want something in the first place so therefore I need not complete it or ever even start it.

This year will be about keeping promises to myself. Finishing school will be a big promise kept. (Not to mention I get a nifty new outfit AND a sweet certificate suitable for framing!) But there are hundreds of small victories that are possible each day. Not hitting the mental snooze button when the alarm goes off... Tackling the to do list at work based upon priority and not the noisiest gong... Getting my tail up off the couch and moving...

Mr Newton told us in his First Law that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless a force is applied. (Okay he ripped that one off from Galileo - but who's really keeping track?) I need to stop being the force which stops the motion and just keep moving forward and not sit still. Inertia!

This is not to say that I do not need true relaxation and restoration in my life. But I've been procrastinating on that as well. I do not sign up for the yoga class, I do not read the book on meditation, I do not seek inner peace. I did sign up for a monthly massage package this year though so I guess it is a start! I also started reading some really great books to give me guidance if I chose to listen.

So it is time to promise to make some changes. To live up to expectations - the ones I have for myself. To fulfill the promise I have to do something big!

Maybe I should have taken the extra step of telling Zoltar all of this instead of just taking his picture! Worked for Josh!

What's your word for 2010? Need some more inspiration to help you select one? Check out this post by Ali Edwards or Christine Kane's Blog during the entire month of December for more on the topic!

The word will work wonders in your life - I promise!

Rose Bowl

Mom at Rose Bowl Stadium mid-1950's

Ah yes.... watching the Rose Parade is a tradition I shall never give up. Wonder how one gets to be a part of volunteering to assemble a float? I know it takes hundreds to folks to make it happen. They are just so amazing. I think that is going on "The List."

That and New Year's Eve in Time Square. Just once!

I'm gonna try not to think about the senseless murder of all those roses... Since they mainly only clip the blooms it is sustainable use right? I suppose the seeds will never germinate... but the grasses and such are okay right? Right?


Let's see some serious Duck hunting - not that I normally go in for that sort of thing!

Make us proud.





don't leave me hangin'!