Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meditation Insight

So, sitting still is hard for me when I am in my own home. So much to do, so little time to do it in before something like work or play or workouts pull me out of the home environment.

Up until this past week, the meditation has been a challenge for me. Who would have thought that? I was sure it would be the running that I'd balk at - instead it's sitting on my butt and being present to the moment. 

Anyway, I started out doing the Counting Meditation that Chris has suggested. Never quite relaxed into that...and during it, I found myself overly conscious of how much time had elapsed. So, I was trying to ignore "time" while I meditated, yet there I sat, meditating while counting numbers, which is how we precisely how we express "time". "Don't think of how long you've been sitting here - just count and breathe, Sherri - one, two, three - has it been three minutes yet? Or only two?" You get the picture.   

So last week, I said screw the counting method and instead I simply concentrated on my breathing alone, just like it was a yoga class.  And, wallah, when I opened my eyes, fourteen (14) whole minutes had gone by and it felt like nothing ( I must admit I did have 2 head bobs during this session too, like I was about to fall asleep ). I had great luck this week meditating too and for over 14 minutes.  One thing I am also doing differently is wrapping myself up in a large soft blanket before starting - not sure if that has anything to do with it, but it might.

I think I'm on to something but I don't want to think about it too much lest thinking get in the way.  

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Smack Upside the Head

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have 
in trying to change others.” - Jacob Braude

This quote totally encapsulates the past couple of weeks for me. It came to me in a mass email 
from a woman I barely know, but how timely her message was -- the universe knew I needed 
to hear and reflect on this...lots of dimensions to this quote for me. In some ways I agree with it 
and in other ways I want to challenge it.

On a different note, fellow recruit Rad joined me for a trip to Indiana Women's prison this past 
Wednesday to see the nonprofit I work for in action. Rad, you rock - thanks for coming and offering 
to lend a hand in the future.

Tomorrow is Saturday, yoga day - and they are calling for snow. I'm hoping for a light dusting so class 
isn't cancelled (and so I can get my car out of my long rural driveway!) Yoga with the large group and then 
meeting with all the BTWG recruits really energizes me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Ok, so I have your attention now.....

A lady I know has a friend, Scott Barnes, who she says is an amazing photographer. He's currently working on a series called Habits of Male Primates. It is a series of photos of guys doing everyday activities, 

but in the nude. Yep, in the buff. Doing the full monty. Letting it all hang out.

He's looking for four more men plus a male yoga instructor (hmmmm...who could that be??) to be photographed in the warrior position, nude.  Not sure if this is Warrior I or Warrior II or Warrior 3...the type of Warrior, I realize, could influence your decision to participate.

My friend assures me that the photographer is an artist, so his nude photos are done very tastefully. And I quote her when she says, "This is in no way pornography, rather it is a celebration of the beauty of the human body."

So, if you want to celebrate the beauty of your human body, his phone number is: 317-446-9359.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Well, I not only fell off the wagon a couple days this week, but I damn near got run over by it too.

And, I have only to go to the mirror to find the culprit who was driving the out-of-control rig.

My exercising this week was fine, but my eating! OH MY GOD, my eating!  How can this happen when the first 3 weeks I stayed the course pretty well?

Word of warning: NEVER, EVER make your famous coffee-chocolate chip cookies (or whatever you are known for in the kitchen) when you are in wellness mode -- you end up sampling the entire batch to ensure its quality.  Weird thing is that sweets have never been my big attraction - although this week they were!

Recovery week seemed to start okay, but as the week came to a close all my good food stashes dried up in the house and office. That would be Clue #1 that I ignored.  Then, I went to a Valentine's Day dinner at the local winery, a lovely madrigal dinner....I didn't eat too poorly there BUT I drank two glasses of wine, the sweet grapey kind, not the dry, less sugary kind.  Oh, they were delicious. BUT......

....somehow I think that sugary nectar turned on my "must-have-sugar" switch!  That's when the mass consumption of cookies began.

After yoga tonight, I am going by the store to stock up on healthy foods again and am going to recommit to the program eating guidelines for the week.  HOLD ME TO IT, FOLKS!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Video to Make you Laugh

I have been the anti-blog this week and let myself get so busy that I lost my sense of humor. I needed something to happen that would lighten my spirits. I found it at work as an 11-week-old puppy (that we are training for service work) started snoring after a long day of work and play. Enjoy the video below and be ready to giggle!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Love After Love - Derek Walcott

The time will come when, with elation,  
you will greet yourself arriving  
at your own door, in your own mirror, 
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Head Tilt?

Odd question to pose but....does anyone else ever find that during meditation his or her head starts to lean more prominently to one side than the other?  About 5 minutes into any meditation session and I gradually become aware that my head has tilted with my right ear moving toward my right shoulder. I return it to center and then, wallah, it's leaning again like the tower of Pisa toward that right shoulder.  What's with that???  

Is this because it's the side of my body that had the most trauma over the years, a broken clavicle and nerve damage in the right arm and right side of my shoulder? Sciatica issues several years ago?  

Any ideas?  

I end up feeling a little crooked by the end of the session.   Sidenote: Very cool happening down here in rural Martinsville area while meditating tonight. Every so often the hoo-hoo-hooooo of an owl could be heard...always the same pitch, the same length of sound.

Brown Rice, Cauliflower, Apricot, Raisin, Cashew Salad

Who ever knew you could combine all this stuff and it would come out tasting yummy?! 

Makes 8 servings; 151 calories per serving; 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 78 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber.

1 medium head cauliflower, cored and split into small florets
Olive oil for coating florets, plus 1-1/2 tablespoons
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1-1/4 cup unprocessed brown rice (Lundberg Wehani from Whole Foods is suggested and you can also use red rice)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unroasted, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup seedless dark raisins
1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (or more)
¼ to 1/3 cup coarsely chopped mint (or more)
Juice of ½ lemon (or more)

Put oven rack on upper level and preheat over to 450 degrees.

In large bowl, toss cauliflower florets with just enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt. Dust florets with cumin and turmeric. Spread on rimmed baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, turning florets once or twice to prevent burning. Let cool.

Make rice according to package directions. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine the florets, rice, cashews, raisins, apricots, cilantro and mint. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil (optional). Pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.