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Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

Hi, everybody!

The month is slowly coming to a close… just a few more days! And I’m 7 miles from my running goal this month: slowly, steadily, I’ve been getting there! (Despite our terrible weather–last week’s snow and ice storm–I’ve managed to nearly make it there… and there’s still time! So, I will get there!)

How are y’all doing with your goals? I’m happy to be your cheering section! Aim high! You can do it!

So, no recipes today, but I found a bunch of funny stuff to hopefully put a smile on your face. Even if you’re not having the best day, maybe looking at these sites (and clicking through ’em a bit more, if you so desire) will get your spirits up… and in the mood for a workout that you hadn’t planned on! Or something like that.

1. A shirt only a chemist could love

2. I don’t know what this says about me… but this is something I don’t get. I have a chapstick on my shelf that I got in Switzerland several years ago that I’m still going through (it has French and German on the side, so I know which one it is)… maybe I don’t lose them because I don’t carry a purse? I dunno. I just tend not to lose things… No comprendo.

3. The expressiveness of old cars can be amazing!

4. Maybe this is merely anatomy teacher humor (something I’ve previously done)… but it has me rolling. Hopefully you get a chuckle, too!

5. OK… this one’s just a lame pun. But I like lame puns! And hopefully you do, too.

Laughing yet? I hope so! That was my goal today. I read something about laughing burning 40 calories in 15 minutes… eh, who laughs for 15 minutes straight, anyway? We could always try…

Keep on smiling! And, if you haven’t yet, pick a small goal to get you through to the end of the month! 🙂

Hey, gang!

Hope everything’s well! My theme of the day (week?) is gratefulness. My body has been through so much the past 18 months or so… including two major hip surgeries (the first one didn’t go so well). No one really knew how I was going to recover, but I was given the green light to do anything, as long as it didn’t hurt beyond the usual residual soreness.

Guess what–this former marathoner has been RUNNING for the past two weeks!

(OK, so right now, my definition of “run” is “walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes, repeat to total 30 minutes”–and it’s really hard for me–but after so much time away from running, this is my way to build back up.)

I am so GRATEFUL that my body is able to do this! I had no idea if running was ever going to be an option again. I’m taking it slowly and not jumping ahead toward marathons yet–thinking of 5K’s in my future, in case my body isn’t up for distance–but I’m just happy to be moving the pavement under my feet.

Here are some interesting tidbits for this week!

1. Ah, how stalking has changed.

2. Oh boy. What our pets do while we’re away.

3. Fruit salsa with homemade cinnamon chips–great healthy recipe for a party (or…. to mosh the whole thing by yourself)! I’d love to try this with regular salty chips, too, since I love sweet/savory combos.

4. It’s getting to be that time of year–how about some homemade pumpkin butter?

5. Have you tried oven-roasted chickpeas? If not… you’re missing out. Cheap, easy, healthy snack! Here’s a recipe for an Indian-spiced variety of chickpeas.

Have a great rest of the week! I’d love to hear what all of you are grateful for! It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of our day-to-day lives–let’s think of things to be thankful of in the grand scheme of things!

The only guaranteed moment we have in life is this one, right now. Cherish it, make the most of it.

Ten years ago today, ordinary people like you and me got on planes and went into the office, thinking it was just another day. Maybe they didn’t get a chance to hug their child that morning. Maybe they were too rushed to see the sunrise.

I encourage you to treat each day as a special opportunity. Dance in the rain. Sing in the sunshine. Savor each strawberry. Hold your friends and family close.

Each and every day. Make each moment we have count.

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As practitioners and teachers of bodywork (Pilates, yoga, massage—it doesn’t matter which modality) we frequently remind our clients to enjoy the present moment, to let go of the stresses of the day (can’t change the past) and not to worry about what lies ahead. Though I often speak of this, do I really walk the walk?

Just a few hours ago, I realized how much tension I was holding about the supposed future, about data I don’t yet have. My mind was spinning stories. I was doing everything I tell my clients not to do.

If you just joined in: in the beginning of July, after a bad bout with flu and sinus infection, I completely lost my voice, which has still not improved. In theory, it’s a temporary (on the order of months to maybe a year) nerve injury. My otolaryngologist has sent me for several tests to rule out other problems before pursuing a potential temporary semi-fix. (Yes, lots of qualifiers there. I’m staying hopeful.)

Yet, yesterday, rather than simply scheduling the consult appointment for the procedure to fix me (in theory), which was the original plan, the new plan is apparently to send me for more consultations with another ENT, a neurologist, perhaps someone who specializes in larynx problems……

It suddenly hit me: why the change in plans? Is there something the first round of tests found that I wasn’t told about? Should I be worried? I know the body all too well, and started going through the mental checklist of deadly diseases…..

And then I reminded myself of what I tell my clients: live in the present moment. Right now is the only guaranteed time we have.

The tendrils of worry started to release their grasp from around my brain. If there is a serious problem, I’ll find out in my appointment next week with the doctor. Until then, I’m not going to let the unknown ruin my precious days.

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!

OK… I’m getting toward the end of this writing challenge, and some of the prompts are feeling repetitive. I guess that’s good, since that means I’ve given thought to many of the deeper issues they’re probing? (Dealing with many health issues will do that to you.)

Here’s the prompt from yesterday:

(tuesday 14 june) Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow. (Author: Colin Wright)

I feel like I’ve already answered this before… I must say, throughout the past year recovering from my medical mishaps, I’ve truly discovered mortality. It’s funny, throughout childhood, college, and my 20’s, I always felt “not old enough”, as though I could while away the days without a worry in sight. Then, one day, something changed: I felt as though I was chasing time and had to make every minute count. There was no transition between the two phases. I’m not saying that I feel “old” by any means, just that I very much appreciate the life that I have.

And I’ve mentioned the “one thing” I want to do in a previous post, so I’ll leave it at that.

Now, for today:

(wed 15 june) When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?

Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future. (Author: Bridget Pilloud)

I’ve had several of these, actually, and these experiences are gratifying, exciting, terrifying, refreshing… this is why I seek them out. They are moments of true self-discovery, and ways in which we truly live.

One of my first “self-blossoming” moments (other than acting/musical performance in high school and college) was my first experience as a college professor. Ten years ago, I was a full-time, tenure track faculty member at a community college, in charge of all organic chemistry classes and labs–that’s a lot for a 27-year-old! I was flattered to be given all the responsibility, I was terrified to have the responsibility (as well as a group of students learning solely from me), yet at the same time I was excited to wield the chalk in my own hand and lead the class using my favorite teaching techniques. It was a job where, some days, I was just a few pages ahead of the students–but that was part of the thrill.

I try to be a thrill-seeker in life… moment by moment. It makes us feel alive. (I’d love to hear other people’s thrill-seeking moments!!!)

I posted this about a year ago. But with college and school graduations going on, vacations aren’t far behind! It’s high time we revisit these ideas.

So, you’ve been sticking to your plan—eating well, exercising regularly. Great! But along comes the vacation you’ve been looking forward to for months. What do you do?

Don’t lose hope! Do not abandon ship!

Rather than giving up on your fitness agenda while you’re away, keep your eye on the long-term prize! Here are a few ideas that will keep you going, whether it’s for fun or for work.

1. Take a stroll to see the local sights. When you whiz through the neighborhood in a car, you barely get to see what’s around you. Instead, if you go for a walk or run, you have more leisure time to take in your surroundings. Walking the ‘hood around my hotel is one of my favorite activities when I’m staying somewhere new. And it gets the heart pumping faster, it gets you out in the sun, and it makes you feel more refreshed and alive! (Makes you feel less guilty about that extra ice cream, too.)

2. Do try the local cuisine! But remember that it doesn’t have to be the sauce-laden specialty. Many of us vacation along the coast in the summer, and coastal regions are known for grilled fish. I’m just pointing out that some of the tasty local foods are actually healthy and potentially lower in calories than what you’d have at home. However, please don’t sacrifice trying something local and yummy if you think it will “wreck the diet”. You only live once, and if you’re good most of the time, it’s OK!

3. Please enjoy yourself on the vacation, and don’t stress out about losing weight! That is to say, this might be a better time to focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing. As I said earlier, this may be your only time visiting this part of the world, so live it up! On the other hand, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… right. 😉

When you get back from vacation, your same healthy habits will be there, waiting for you! (They might be jealous that they didn’t go on the vacation.)

How do you all stay on track when you’re on vacation?


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