Today, I’ve been thinking about how humans can get used to just about anything, bad or good. What prompted this post…I think I might be “used to” being call Mama. I respond to it, and it doesn’t seem weird so much anymore. The flip-side of this? One of my friends (male, needless to say) in high school briefly experimented with getting me to respond to “moron;” guess what? It worked (then I got REALLY screechy about it and he stopped).
Building good habits is ultimately about building a new routine, then growing accustomed to it, right? Then again, once we are attached to an unhealthy habit (or way of thinking or relationship dynamic), it can be super-hard to let go of it…even if we know it’s not good for us.
I guess I’m reflecting on patterns of behavior AND negative/positive thinking (which, are of course, inextricably linked). How can we shake the bad and move towards the good? How can we accept new identities (e.g. Mama) without losing what we liked about ourselves before (sharp tongued and witted Gemini, just for an example). Or how do we let go of a “safe” relationship when we know, deep, deep down in the recesses of our soul, it’s time to move on? I’m using relationship loosely here – with a person, with food, with a substance.
just try. Just accept. Just cry. Just say it. Have a snack (if that’s what your afraid of…just me?), try running around the block if you’re sure you can’t, tell you boyfriend or girlfriend the truth and see what happens.
Today I tried something new, playing with the young one. I don’t like to play. I like to do things like read novels, drink coffee, go for walks, and lesson plan (which, FYI, I’m writing a blog post instead of doing). But, today I played. Not gonna lie, it got old. BUT, I persevered for longer than I thought I could (I ate fake food for about 20 minutes).
Now you. Tried anything scary lately? Thinking about it? Nothing like writing it down to motivate you…reply and explain!
One of my yoga teacher trainings incorporated a gratitude meditation as part of our coursework. I rarely took time to do it with my classes when I taught and in retrospect I don’t think it was a time issue, but more of a “I feel kinda dumb coaching you through this” issue. Lame because the time or two we engaged in this excercise, response was super positive.
You know what’s coming, shall we?
1. Find a comfortable seated position (could be easy sit pose, could be in a chair, could be some funky pretzel lotus action)
2. Close your eyes and spend a couple of of breaths just listening to your inhalation and exhalation
3. Now form a cup with your hands in your lap
4. Imagine something you are deeply grateful (here’s what I’m thinking about and, actually, what inspired this post):
5. Try to see every detail of this person, thing, or event. Spend several breaths filling in the details
6. Experience the joy this person, thing, or event brings you (let your heart, literally, fill)
7. Now imagine that your thing is gone. You can no longer see it in your hands. It’s been snatched away (I had a student say when she did this her eyes actually filled, and she’s not much of a crier)
8. Spend several breaths with your feeling of loss, really sit with this
9. On an inhalation, allow your cupped hands to hold your “virtual” gratitude object and again be filled with the beauty of that thing
10. See, aren’t you lucky?
Did you do it? What did you think? Share!
Want to read with me? I’ve chosen the first book for our virtual book club endeavor. It is “Once Upon A River” by Bonnie Jo Campbell. Campbell was a national book award finalist for a short story collection she wrote and this novel centers around a 15 year old girl with mad survival skills growing up in rural Michigan in the 1970′s. Due to some difficult circumstances, she is forced to forge out on her own into the woods…
I picked this one because I think it is quality literature (“think” key word as I haven’t actually read it yet) AND it seems to have some intrigue/mystery AND it might be a great read for adolescent girls too – so for your students or children or nieces etc.
Wadda think? Interested? In three weeks I’ll post some questions for thought and then two after that, we’ll “discuss.” Sound good?
Happy Friday! Glad it’s here? To celebrate, why not ditch the meat for a meal and try out this recipe? Here’s what your gonna need…
Ingredients (makes two tostadas):
1/2 cup sweet potato, cooked
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
Lettuce (any kind will do)
Pico de Espruce
Taco size tortillas (two)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbls lemon juice
Salt to taste
Cook sweet potato in microwave until soft
While potato cooks, drain and rinse black beans from can in a colander (you can, of course, soak and cook your own – go ahead and do that if you can plan ten hours ahead – I am currently incapable of doing so)
Mash (or mush) together black beans and sweet potato
Squeeze in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice – to taste
Add cumin, chilli powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mush a bit more
Turn oven to broil
Brush both sides of the tortillas with olive or canola oil
Place on cookie sheet and broil (with oven door slightly cracked so you can eyeball this) until just barely browned
Flip, repeat on the opposite side (you can also fry the tortillas in oil on the stove-top, makes the tortillas crisper and easier to cut…a bit messier, though)
Spread your potato/bean mixture onto the tortillas and return to broiler, for about 1 minute
Top with lettuce and Pico de Espruce (or any salsa you may have around)
Salsa de Espruce
I was going to making straight up pico de gallo and realized I lacked both cilantro and white/red onion, so I improvised. Here’s what I did…
Green (salad) onions
Flat leaf parsely
1 clove (ish) Garlic – minced
1 – 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Chop roughly even portions of onion, tomato, and parsley
Add minced garlic, salt to taste, and lemon juice
Did you make it? Did you like it? If you go the broil vs. fry route with the tortillas, consider rolling up your sleeves and picking these mothers up. Share, share, share (your thoughts, and your food)…
“You know who you look like? Sarah Jessica Parker!” It’s like every person who told me that, and there were many during the hay-day of Sex and the City, really believed they were the first. She is fantastic, don’t get me wrong. The comparison just got old, especially because of my complicated relationship with my nose. HOWEVER, like many actresses who are “non-traditional” looking, she has got SPARKLE. And boy, did she light up the Met Costume Gala this year – like any good fashionista, she embraced the punk theme and made it work for her…here she is, in all her glory (thanks, Fug Girls, for the photo):
And you, what do you think of Ms. Parker? Do reply and share…
I’m participating in a blog for wise-grandmother-types event. Bloggers were invited to write about their own grandmothers, wise elder women they had learned much from, or grandmothers however you might interpret them. Nana and Abuela, our girls grandmothers, are so modern and cool that I thought to celebrate them through a yoga lens.
Enjoy and be inspired!
My mom (Abuela) would not consider herself a yogi, nor does she practice yoga. However, one of my favorite teaching yoga stories comes from her. She was visiting us (before CL and Poppy were in the picture) and I convinced her to come to the yoga class I was teaching that day. We were yoga-ing away, with a class of about ten. I “invited” my students to take a pose a bit deeper (I probably said “consider”). This prompted my mom to snort and say, “yeah, right.” I looked over at her, arms akimbo, forehead crinkled in concentration, smirk on her face, and lost all control; meaning I was OVERCOME with laughter, as was she. The other participants didn’t know why we were laughing (they didn’t hear the snort nor the snarky comment, nor understand that said snorter was my mother) and so with tears streaming down my cheeks, I tried to explain I would never laugh at them…just at my mother.
My mother-in-law (Nana) is a yogi – in my assessment, anyway. She takes time each day to pray and to link her movement to prayer. While prayer is not a yoga requirement, the commitment to connecting intention and action is fundamental to a yoga practice. Plus, she really does postures! Not to mention, she has long been wise enough to take days to herself to retreat…sometimes at a retreat center, others, literally, on top of a mountain. Yogi, right? Did I mention she plays the harp? Right? I always tell her she fast-tracked to heaven.
So what can grandmothers teach us? More specifically, what can Nana and Abuela teach us about yoga (dare I say life)? Practice (live) with intention and commitment, but remember to laugh. Also, snort if you can work that in.
Wanna blog about a grandmother? Go here, to learn how and to read some more…http://www.taramohr.com/join-grandmother-power-blogging-campaign/
Just want to talk a little about an older lady in your life? Reply to this blog and tell us all about her.
So, I know many of you are already in book clubs; HOWEVER, I’ve found from teaching that sometimes the most fruitful discussions about books and ideas can happen online. Here are a couple ideas I’m thinking about for bringing some book discussion to this blog.
1. Choose a young adult and/or children’s book that our kids may be reading (or might eventually read). Discuss important themes/concerns regarding this book. Plus YA lit can be REALLY fun to read
2. Choose a book that one of you are already reading for your book club and extend the discussion here (we can even start today, suggest your book by replying!)
3. I just pick something I’m excited to read and see if you all want to drink my kool-aid
Thoughts on my thoughts? Do share!