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Hatha yoga, so important for my health and peace of mind.

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THANK YOU Chris Downie, the VeryMerrySparkGuy, for this incomparable wellness site! (9/26/09)

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With Emily Dickinson, "I dwell in possibility." --Photo by Quang Le

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VALERIEMAHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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May 3, 2020, beginning yet again!

We're in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in earnest around March 1. Since my last SP weigh-in I'm up 17.6 lbs. and feeling very uncomfortable and bloated.

My eating has been purdy much non-stop. My first action in the current weight loss strategy was to eliminate buying all trigger foods, a biggie for me. Next is moving toward potion control as I begin logging my food intake.

Exercise-wise, it's bike riding, qigong, and yoga. I'm ready for some positive change.

And the beat goes on.

"The trouble is, you think you have time," said the Buddha. And although I know the importance of daily meditation,
pranayama (breathing practices), exercise/movement, and moderate daily food intake, sadly I haven't been consistent. I am, though, committed to optimal body-mind-spirit health,and will start over as many times as it takes.

I intend to "have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

The shape my life will morph into in the foreseeable future is a mystery -- I'm trying to "live the questions now" with grace, letting go of anxiety about the future. Oh, and anyway T. S. Eliot tells us,
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Bottom line in all of this is, "Don't take life too serious -- it's all just so mysterious!" (George Gershwin)

And a bit more kitchen table wisdom:

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. ----Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Everything that happens to me is my teacher. The trick is to sit at the feet of my own life and let myself be taught by it. --Unknown

An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

Member Since: 6/2/2006

Fitness Minutes: 52,878

My Goals:

~ know joy

~ no judgment

Reshape yourself by the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.

To those who have conquered themselves, the will is a friend. But it is the enemy of those who have not found the Self within them.
--Bhagavad Gita 6:5-6

My Program:


~ Daily meditation
and pranayama practice

~ Daily gratitudes journaling

~ Exercise at least 10 min./day

~ 20 min. strength training every-other day

Personal Information:

I'm a California native, and I have lived primarily in northern CA/San Francisco Bay Area when not traveling or living out-of-state or internationally.

I currently live near Little Rock, AR. I returned to school to pick up another undergrad degree, in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013.

I've been a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I also volunteer and have worked for El Zocalo Immigrant Resources Center.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my root teacher (Diksha Guru)..

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole, mostly organic, plant-based diet since 1980. I enjoy cooking delicious food with *attitude.*

Other Information:

I love a good movie (e.g., The Visitor; Iris; The Man Who Sued God; Bella) or read (authors Mary Catherine Bateson and Jill Ker Conway are current favorites). I also read sacred texts and other spiritual books, and Swami Satchidananda, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh are among favorite wisdom writers.

As a wimpy Pisces swimming around in the cosmic ocean with lots of air influence, I don't like books or movies too negative, or intense or horrific. My delicate sensibility is easily thrown off-balance. Really.

Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Whyte, John O'Donohue, Pablo Neruda and Rumi are favorite poets. And music! From Angelique Kidjo and Amadeus Mozart to Diana Krall and Krishna Das...and a world in-between!

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    My hubby takes lots of pictures. I need to learn how.
    45 days ago
    Love Bob Marley and . . . not worrying about a thing!! Thank you, and thanks for the anniversary congrats!!
    45 days ago
    That is a beautiful prayer! Thank you.

    So the thing about what we think about food is this: Most of us eat because we are hungry but if we choose something that all of society has been telling us is bad or fattening, then mostly what we COULD feel is guilt while eating or remorse after eating. Some people have the ability to be okay with everything they eat, and those are probably the people who "can eat anything and never gain an ounce."

    If you are eating a piece of chocolate cake (for example) and your dominant thought is "this cake is gorgeous, delicious, and someone made this with love for me to enjoy and I will enjoy every single morsel and savour it, and know that it is nourishing every cell in my body while making my palate sing," that is a very different vibration than, "Wow! That looks amazing. It's going to go straight to my hips but I'm going to eat it anyway," and if you proceed to eat it while feeling 100% guilty about doing it, that vibration is going to affect how your body reacts to that food.

    If we just eat all things that are deemed "super healthy" there is little chance of guilt or remorse. But chocolate cake HAPPENS! And you DO want to eat it and be happy about it, because to feel otherwise means you aren't lining up with your decision to eat it, or enjoy it, and then your body (which is intelligent beyond belief!) feels that vibration and reacts to your feeling about the cake, which then brings about the result you THINK it will bring about. That is basically the message I get from AH - you get what you think about.

    I hope that makes things a little more clear.
    45 days ago
    *enjoying the quiet! Lovely to not have noise going on constantly to “hold it together”.

    I thought you might like my pre-edit version, before posting today.

    *enjoying the quiet! Lovely to not have noise going on constantly to “hold it together”.
    Yes, Maha, I’ve been a Buddhist for over 40 years who couldn’t stand quiet! Hah! Let’s say I was of the “karma yoga” and mind training in daily life type, who couldn’t “sit still”.) Double Hah!
    51 days ago
    52 days ago
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