Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy Thanksgiving!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
- Melodie Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Between our inevitable over-indulging today, let's pause for a moment and remember what we are grateful for.

I am thankful for...
my beautiful (and growing) family... Mom, Dad, grandparents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters-in-law, 2 nephews, and 2 nieces born this year!
friends near and far
opportunity and possibility
my job, which to me is more than a job... it's my life's work
waking up to beautiful mornings, like today!
dark chocolate
the gift of movement... our bodies are amazing machines
the journey ahead
... and this mysterious, confusing, yet joyful and incredible thing called life.

Nischala Joy Devi, author of The Secret Power of Yoga, wrote about yoga philosophy according to  the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Here is her translation of Sutra II.39:

Acknowledging abundance (Aparigraha), we recognize the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose of our wordly existence.

Such abundance in this life!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

when the body says "enough is enough!"

I'm sure you've all had those caffeinated, running-around-like-a-headless-chicken kind of days.

Between working and going to school, traveling to attend and present at a conference, and just keeping up with the demands of each jam-packed day, my body finally said, "Enough." I got sick two weeks ago, and was pretty miserable in a self-imposed quarantine for a whole weekend plus the following Monday and Tuesday. And the fact that I've fallen off the exercise wagon for the past few (ok, several) weeks doesn't help my immune system one bit.

If you (or the people around you) are dropping like flies with the cold and flu, here are some remedies I swear by:

Warm saltwater. Mom and Grandma were right. At the first sign of a cold, gargle frequently with a mixture of warm water and some sea salt. This can reduce the swelling in the nasal and throat passageways (which happens when you have a cold).

Avoid dairy products. Dairy products can increase mucous production in the body. And excess mucus = breeding ground for bacteria. This is why having a cold can pave the way for a bacterial infection.

Apple cider vinegar. First thing in the morning, I mix a tablespoonful or so of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg's) and a couple of teaspoons of raw honey into a cup of warm water. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar soothes a sore throat, and honey has antibacterial properties. Sip slowly. This worked wonders for me, especially since I hate waking up in the morning when I have a cold and feel all this gunk in my throat (sorry to be descriptive). Another bonus? Apple cider vinegar is like a detox drink, flushing out toxins. Now that I think about it, I should drink this more often!

Vitamin C/citrus fruits. This one's a no-brainer. And of course, lots of water, hot soup, herbal tea, and plenty of rest. Mmmm speaking of citrus... I look forward to winter's blood oranges! They are almost too pretty to eat, but sooo good.

(How easily distracted I am about food. Back to the topic at hand.)

I decided to call in sick for two days. Despite my worries about falling behind my work and school schedule and my unease with the idea of "doing nothing", I was so glad I did it. My body wanted me to put those brakes on, and I listened (I learn the hard way sometimes). I think I recovered more quickly because of it.

I have to say, I think I got pretty good at the art of doing nothing.

P.S. Disclaimer: I have no medical training, and these are just "my" remedies that work for me... when in doubt, contact your physician or health care practitioner!

tea set photo by cyberlaundry

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My poison of choice: soy dark-chocolate-orange mocha. Not in a teeny-tiny coffee cup, but in a mug as big as a soup bowl.

Start with some fair trade whole coffee beans from your local coffee roaster, and grind according to your coffeemaker specs... warm some soy milk, and add melted dark chocolate, and a few drops of orange extract.


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Saturday, November 15, 2008


Deep peace of the running wave to you;
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of the shining stars to you;
Deep peace of the gentle light to you.

- Celtic Blessing

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