Archive for the ‘relaxation’ Category

Building My Wings On The Way Down

A friend/client messaged me earlier this week asking what I had planned for her personal training session. My response?

“IDK.”

Yep. Twenty four hours prior to her arrival for her personal training session, and I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with her or for her. Now, before you freak about how unprofessional this was, keep in mind I’m doing it for free. She’s my guinea pig for a personal training class I am taking…er…uh…I mean….teaching myself. I’ve sorta been dreading it because I feel so unprepared, and since the instructor is requiring it, yet has refused to prepare us with anything other than “read the book”, I have few options besides “winging” it.

It seems like I am doing a lot of “winging” it lately. I don’t know that I ever feel fully prepared for anything anymore.

I have lots of good information to share, and I know I can lead/guide in lots of situations, yet I am really hesitant to jump into something when I feel inadequate.

Lately, however, it seems as though I need to lose the control freak thing about being fully prepared and just jump. I need to trust that the knowledge and skills I already possess, combined with the ones I am continuing to acquire are sufficient to meet the needs of the people who are choosing to be served by me.

Teachers always have to live through being a dreaded “first-year” teacher. There is always the “newbie” stage at a new job during which time “lost and confused” seem to reign supreme.

And now, I find that after months of talking about what I’d like to do, and after a few attempts to prepare myself to do it, it is time for me to jump off this cliff and build my wings on the way down.

So, Thursday evening, October 7th, you are invited to watch me do some cliff diving. After months of talking about it, I have actually decided to open up my space to all who are interested so that we can begin to explore the benefits of a yoga-type class. I say “yoga-type” because I am no expert in yoga, yet I have lots of good information to share, lots of great feel-good stretches, and oodles of awesome energy exercises. We are going to throw it all together in a big pot of togetherness and see what kind of gentle deliciousness we get.

I trust you will join me if your schedule permits. I also trust you’ll throw me a life jacket if I get in over my head.

It will be fabulous, because my mid-air wing construction projects always are.

Up, up, and away!

10 Things

1. Coffee without whipped cream out of the spray can just isn’t the same at 5:30 AM on a Saturday.

2. Cats aren’t the only mammals with 9 lives. Apparently some humans have that many, too, and save them for years 80-90.

3. Roller coasters are made of many different substances. In my case the emotional kind seem to be my coaster of choice lately.

4. The unknown really messes with my control freakish planning.

5. It’s fascinating watching practical, laid-back males calmly deal with the circle of life.

6. I now want to bust into songs from The Lion King with a full chorus backing me up.

7. Children were created so that reasonably neat individuals could experience the feeling of being a total complete house-cleaning failure.

8. Maintaining three houses, three kitchens, five bathrooms, and three sets of utility bills isn’t much fun unless at least one of them is either creating significant income or is located somewhere vacation-y. Both would be nice.

9. Vanilla exterior stucco paint needs a trim/accent color other than white. I’m open to suggestions.

10. It’s hard to watch America’s Funniest Videos when I have a kitten/puppy rodeo going on in the living room. I can’t decide which funny show to watch, the videos or the live production.

Amazing Morning

Fall is here. The calendar says so. My pansy butt goose bumps say so. The cars that park up and down the street in front of the wellness center every Thursday and Friday night say so. The lazy sun who keeps sleeping later and later seems to be saying so, too.

This morning was one of those amazing mornings that could go on forever and I’d be okay with it.

At 6:30 AM, I took my freshly showered, bathrobed body, a cup of coffee and the two maniac, desperate-to-pee canines out back. The fog was rolling in. The full moon glistened through the filmy sheers of mist. There was an energy that begged me to breathe it in deeply, for all is well, even if it isn’t.

At 7:30 AM, I took my rugrats to school and noticed the fog-filtered rising sun-ball to the east, and the slightly smaller, yet every bit as beautiful sculpture of a moon to the west. The air was thick. Damp. Cool. No photo can do it justice. Simply Amazing.

Add to all of that the sound of the THS marching band practicing just across the street from the wellness center, and there is no doubt fall has arrived.

I think it is my favorite time of year. Temps are moderate. Wind is minimal. Moisture occasionally finds us. It is gorgeous.

Yep, this is an amazing morning.

Permission Granted

Are you tired of always doing “it” the “right” way? Have you always wanted to march to the beat of your own drum instead of to the beat of other’s expectations?

Here’s what you’ve been looking for:

Danielle LaPorte’s Permission Slip from the Universe

Permisson granted. Now go live.

Lessons Learned from a Wild and Crazy Week

This week has been full of enlightenment. Several lessons have come about as a result of my adventures.

1. Religious beliefs can really mess with a person’s ability to accept new ideas for personal improvement.

2. My home is perfect even though Martha Stewart would be appalled.

3. My children are fabulous entertainment for company. I believe the term “reality television” was used more than once this week.

4. I have emotional baggage. The Samsonite version. Without wheels. Bleah.

5. It is possible to add wheels to emotional baggage and roll it right on out. Thanks, Andrea, for helping me with this.

6. Getting a kid to the airport is easy. Getting her off the ground can be a bit more challenging.

7. Hurricanes affect more than just the coastal regions. They can also ground planes and wreak havoc with connecting flights out of the country.

8. It rocks to have family who live 15 minutes from the airport where my kid is locked in a grounded plane that is stuck on the tarmac with weather and mechanical issues.

9. Delta customer service is much better than I ever anticipated. Two hours and 15 minutes after the panicked “what do I do” call, we had a plan and a new ticket.

10. Thirty-five year old single German-speaking guys who don’t have children don’t place much urgency on notifying receiving end parents that their kid-for-a-month won’t be on the plane as expected. Note to self….just make the dang call myself.

11. The guilt of knowing said parents were probably freaking out with stress because their kid-for-a-month didn’t get off the plane as expected sucks rotten lemons. Note to self….just make the dang call myself.

12. Never allow a child to experience any place more beautiful than home if you wish to see her reside in your part of the world ever again. Just don’t do it. They tend to send you messages from abroad that say things like, “It’s beautiful here. Think I’ll find a man and stay forever.” That’s okay honey. Just be sure you build the mother-in-law quarters, b/c I’ll be coming to visit. Is that really what you want??????

13. Having everything calm down and return to quasi-normal rocks. I’m going to take a nap for a few days. Don’t bother waking me.

This is Me

Summer vacation is here, and this time, it is here in a very big way. My job with the school district is over. Ended. Done. That should mean time to relax, plan, create, enjoy, and did I mention relax?

Relaxing probably isn’t going to happen at this point. The rest of the month of June is scheduled and slotted and booked with this or that,  none of which truly lend themselves to relaxing.

The day after I left what was my job for the last time, we packed up our things and headed for New Mexico to visit relatives and get my oldest to her college orientation. It was fun, but it was stressful and tiring. I worry when I visit and stay with other people.

I worry about whether I’m helping out enough. I worry about how my kids are behaving and what rules they are breaking or how they might be corrupting someone else’s nice orderly lifestyle. I worry that they might make a mess or accidentally tear something up. Even with the reassurance of the host/hostess that everything is fine, I worry about what the hostess might be thinking…about me, my kids, and how we live our lives.

It doesn’t lend itself to much relaxing.

Now back at home, I have pretty much booked my week. I’m helping with a local foods day camp. We are having a garage sale this weekend. Guests are arriving on Sunday for a class I am teaching in my house next Monday-Wednesday.

And I worry some more.

I am worried that I haven’t promoted enough. I am worried that my house isn’t clean enough and won’t be. Actually I’m not worried about that one. I’m pretty sure on that one. I am worried that the guest bed won’t be comfortable enough. I am worried that ugly six legged creatures that love living in old neighborhoods will introduce themselves to my guests and reflect on me. I am worried that there is no way to get the bathrooms in a respectable condition and keep them that way for a week. I’m worried about what they will think of me if they see the real me. It’s just not very pretty by typical middle class standards.

And then I see Ronna’s blog post about how she’s not in charge of the damn thermostat, and once again I realize that this is me and I like my life…most of it anyway. I’d like for people to feel comfortable around me, but I will probably not ever please the Martha Stewart clan with my house keeping skills and guest accommodations.

I want to have the confidence of the beautiful lady with whom we stayed over the weekend. She has her way, she has her reasons, she’s realistic in so many ways. It is what it is and everyone else can take it or leave it, but she’s fine with it. I want that.

I want to be okay with me.

I want to be okay with whatever others think of me, of my family, of my living conditions.

I want to be able to relax and enjoy my space and my life without feeling like I have to jump through hoops to be acceptable.

Yes, folks, this is how we live. It’s not elegant. It’s not even sanitary most of the time. But it’s me. Kids are always happy and content in our space. They know they can’t mess anything up.

Why can’t adults see my world that way, too?

So now it’s time to get on the stick, so to speak. Much to do this week to get ready to impress.

Ugh! This isn’t fun at all.

Intuition + Self Care + Intuition + Intuition = Perfection

Yesterday, I took the day off. I had good reason, but I could have easily pushed through and gone to work. Munchkin would have been fine at home by herself resting.

But I didn’t. Something inside of me said to stay home. Rest. Be with my kid. Read. Write. Rest. Cook. Rest. Eat. Rest.

I listened.

Wow! That’s a little A-Typical for me.

Plus, as 4:00 PM on Tuesday afternoon rolled around I typically would have donned yoga garb and headed to Amarillo for class. But I didn’t. I really didn’t want to.

Again, I listened.

And it was a good thing.

At 5:50 PM, a very nice lady called me. She was in significant pain. She was desperate for some relief. Any other day, I would have been in Amarillo, unable to help her.

But I wasn’t. I was here. I was rested. I was nourished. I met her at the wellness center and helped her body find some relief.

Intuition heard. Perfection achieved.

We wrapped things up and I sent her on her way, noticing storm clouds getting quite close. I quickly changed the massage linens, threw some things in the massage washer, tidied up, and headed back to the house as the lightning danced across the sky.

It was absolutely beautiful and majestic and powerful. Sacred energy from above.

Back at home, my preteen weather monitors greeted me with the current radar information. Intense rotation and tornadoes spotted from Happy to Amarillo.

I would have been in the midst of that had I gone to Amarillo. But I didn’t. I wasn’t. I was safe at home.

Again….Intuition heard. Perfection achieved.

Then as I was reflecting back on my days activities, I remembered an exchange on Facebook with a blogger whom I follow. I read her post yesterday, which was an unusually long one for her. I don’t know that I’ve ever commented on her writing. I’m more of a lurker. However, I left my comments for her on FB, and pretty much forgot about it.

Then I got a private message. She responded to me that my comments had been absolutely right. She shared the details. She was excited. I was excited for her. We exchanged some information and more encouragement.

Yet again….Intuition heard. Perfection Achieved.

Note to self: Listen to intuition more often. Especially when it says take the day to just chill out. Cool and amazing things happen when the space is made available for them.

Simple Changes: Good for You and Good for the Environment

This morning I stumbled on an article by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen entitled 4 Green Moves That Help You, Too. In the article, the docs identify a great starting point for implementing simple changes that could make a big difference. Hop on over and see what they have to say, then check back here for my thoughts.

I’ll wait………

It’s okay……..

Now would be good………

GO ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, now that you are back, here’s my take on it.

I agree with them for the most part. They suggest you say no to receipts at the self-serve gas station and ATM. Some are dusted with a substance that is toxic and has been linked to everything from birth defects to diabetes and heart disease. It’s an estrogen mimicking substance called BPA. Nasty stuff. Plus, by nixing the receipt, you save oodles of trees. No argument from me there. If you need a record of your transaction, keep a small notebook in your car. Besides, those receipts just clutter my car. I’m over it.

The second change they mention is skip the red meat. They cite several “ill” effects of red meat both environmental and physical. I would put forth that the “ill” effects can be countered by choosing meat that has been raised in a sustainable way. No one can argue that the mass production model of the feedlot is probably not the way to ensure production of meat that is healthy for both the individual and the environment. But that applies to non-red meats as well. Has anyone toured a commercial chicken facility lately?

Where meat is concerned, I believe the solution is two-part. First, choose pasture raised red (and white) meats. It won’t be the tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth steak that you are used to eating, and which entices you to consume large amounts. It will be much more gamey, a bit tougher, and WAY more nutritious. The omega 3 to omega 6 ratio in pasture fed meats is something like 1:6 whereas in grain-fed mass production (feedlot) meat, the ratio is more like 1:24—way out of whack. Prices for pastured meat is a bit more expensive, but not nearly as bad as you may have been led to believe. In our area, there are two good sources for pastured beef: Paidom Meats, and David Horn, both near Nazareth, TX.

Part 2 will probably take care of itself once you commit to eating pastured rather than commercial meats. Eat less. In this part of the country, beef is so pervasive in our diets that in some families, hardly a meal goes by that doesn’t include beef. The tougher texture of pastured meats will go a long ways toward reducing the amount you WANT to eat. But keep in mind, that texture can be overcome with a good marinade and/or a killer crockpot. You’ve not had a brisket unless you’ve had a slow cooked slab of meat with some Claude’s brisket marinade on it. Marinades break down the fibrous tissue and leave a tender, juicy treat.

And if the chewiness doesn’t reduce your consumption, your budget might. Prices are slightly higher, but still very reasonable from the two local sources mentioned above, however, a trip up the road to the health food store will reveal a price tag that will slow your consumption of any meat to a crawl.

That’s all I have to say ’bout that.

Idea #3 suggested get outside more. I heartily agree. We’ve been told for decades that we need to cover up to hide every bit of flesh from any sun exposure and slather on sunscreen every 30 minutes. Quite frankly it’s easier to stay inside that go to that much trouble. And yet as sunscreen use has increased and people have received less sun, the related heath problems associated with sun have continued to increase. Studies now indicate that some of those sunscreen chemicals are in fact carcinogens (cancer causers instead of cancer preventers) and avoiding the sun deprives us of crucial vitamin D which is in fact a cancer preventer and a preventer of lots of other illnesses. Plus being outside just does something on an emotional level that boosts your positive outlook, nourishes and oxygenates your cells, and gives you a glow that lasts for days. No, I don’t mean the sunburn. No one says you have to stay outside in the direct sun. Find a shade tree, grab a glass of iced green tea with a spoonful of  honey mixed in, and take in the negative ions of nature. It rocks!

Finally, these guys said to start an organic garden. To that I say, DUH!!!

ABSOLUTELY!!! There’s not a person within 50 miles who can’t grow something. No one says it has to be a five acre spread. You’ll hate it if you do that. Start simply. Get a kiddie swimming pool. Poke some drain holes in the bottom. Go get you some good dirt if you don’t already have a supply, then plant something. You’ll be surprised by what you can get from one tomato plant, one pepper plant, one or two squash plants, maybe a few herbs….whatever makes you happy. Just take some action toward controlling your food supply. And be careful what products you choose as your soil. Some of the stuff you get at the discount store is nothing more than a chemical factory, which will be absorbed by your veggies and thus your body. Good dirt is just that…good dirt….good animal poo….good mulchy stuff…..mixed together and cooked up by Mother Nature herself until it’s just right for your plants and your body.

Once things start rocking for you and production starts overloading you, consider taking your excess to a local farmers’ market and swapping out some of your bounty. You’ll be glad you did.

Simple baby steps to wellness. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  Let’s get to it and make a difference.


Celebrating Life, Spring, and My Hunky Farmer Boy

It’s Easter Sunday morning, and for probably the first time since I was conceived, I won’t be at an Easter church service.

It’s been almost a year since we went to church….any church. It’s nothing personal at this point. I’ve just got better things to do. That used to really bother me, and I guess on some level it still does. Yesterday, I mentioned it to my Hunky Farmer Boy, and he suggested (rather tongue in cheek) we could instead have Sunrise Services at the farm. I followed up by noting that it probably would be more like a high noon service, because I seriously doubted anyone in our house would be up by sunrise ‘cept me.

“Worship” at the farm and wellness center has become something I look forward to more than any church assembly. There isn’t typically a Bible to be found, nor is there a schedule for announcements, singin’, prayin’, preachin’, and fellowship dinner. There is sunshine, God’s beauty, gratitude, new life, and loads of love. There are usually two or more gathered (most likely me and Hunky Farmer Boy), and there is no doubt whose name we credit with giving us such peace and amazing blessings. And while tiny cups of grape juice and stale, pasty cracker pieces are no where to be found, communion is absolutely, positively happening.

Instead of a baptism, we’ll walk around layin’ hands on our new fruit trees, saying a prayer over them and sending divine light energy up through their roots. We’ll feed, water, and otherwise care for God’s creatures including a couple of old horses, a whole lotta chickens, and some overly lovey-dovey cats. We’ll even partake of God’s blessings by gathering eggs and picking deliciously fresh asparagus.

Then, after a long, sweaty, and dirty day of our style of worship, HFB and I will sit together and watch as the sky turns to the most incredible shades of orange, purple, and pink while the sun sets on the horizon.

Just before heading back to “the house”, if all goes well, I’ll catch Hunky Farmer Boy alone and we’ll appreciate God’s gifts just a bit more. If he’s really lucky, we’ll add our own chapter to the book of Song of Solomon.

Yep, it doesn’t get much more spiritual than Song of Solomon, even on Easter Sunday.

The Prayer is the Feeling, Not the Words

When I was a kid, say about ages 6 through….oh….37, I had a relationship with prayer that was….uhm…..less than spiritual. Actually, me and a girlfriend would usually sit together during church and (forgive me Father for I knew not what I do-ed) <embarrassment ensues> time them….with a watch….with a second hand, which wasn’t necessary because they were never seconds. They were eons. Brother X held the record during my timing career for the longest prayers ever. He was followed closely in second by Brother Y.

We had sermons shorter than those prayers….at least after Brother Z retired (who by the way was quite capable of challenging Brother X on the time thing, but since he was preaching, he only occasionally shared his prayer prowess with us….usually right before a fellowship dinner when my tummy was ready to reach up and rip out his vocal chords. :-). (God bless you for coming to us, Trey.)

Needless to say, I never really got the whole prayer thing. To them, I am certain it was a deeply moving spiritual link up to the Big Hard Drive in the sky. To me it was a contest to see who could cover every last sick, poor, aching, tragic person, situation, or sin the world has ever known, while thanking the Almighty for every good, right, law-abiding, finance-boosting event that had ever or would ever occur. Nope, I never got it. All I could see were the precious minutes of the last day of my two day weekly vacation slipping ever-so-slowing out of my grasp…er…watch.

To make matters worse, I had this screwed up belief that I was some how not Christian enough because, a. I timed prayers, and b. I couldn’t (or more like wouldn’t) spend a good three hours a day on my knees in a closet running down the list in hushed whisper tones, and c. if Iclosed my eyes and sat in a closet, I might miss what little social action was going on around me a gillion miles out in the boonies.

All I have to say to about that is I don’t think it was very nice of God to torture me like that for most of 40 years waiting on my slow, but trouble-making self to figure out how that prayer thing really works. Seriously? He could have enlightened me a LITTLE sooner and saved me all that horrible stress and guilt and grief that I spent three hours every day acknowledging on my knees in my closet. (Just kidding on that last part. See paragraph above, item c.)

Anyway, to make a long story longer and more tortuous (I learned it from those praying dudes), I think I am finally on the road to recovery. I have been reading about yogis lately, and I keep stumbling on quotes that say things like, “The prayer isn’t about what I say or chant or dance or whatever. Those are just the actions I take to get to the feeling that is the prayer.” Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, that was an exact quote from a really spiritual yogi dude exactly like he said it, complete with the “whatever” part. (Ok, maybe it isn’t a DIRECT quote, but one of ’em did say something sorta kinda like that.)

And of course, I still hadn’t figured out how to get to the FEELING part of prayer. But at least I sort of knew what I was looking for.

Then I read this woman’s Harlequin Romance Meets Green Acres: High Heels to Tractor Wheels story. Then I read most everything else on her blog…(except the cooking stuff….I’m just not ready to embrace the cooking thing right now. We’re dealing with spirit matters currently, and that’s all I can handle). But yeah……can you say STALKER??? I’d be really scared of people like me if I were her.

Anyways….I pretty much stalked the chaps off of her website (you gotta read it to figure out what that one is referencing), had some…ahem….special time with my farm boy (he loves it when I read/watch romance stuff), and then realized how calm and happy and giddy I was feeling having been reminded of my own love story and the back-to-the-land direction my life is taking.

And then it hit me…….that un-drug induced high I was on…..that stress-free-peaceful-easy-feelin’, the-sun-loves-me-and-the-moon-does-too, I-can-have-be-do-conquer-anything-in-or-out-of-this-world, (I could probably add “runners-high” here, but that does not and may not ever apply to me) feeling is what the yogi was talking about. Because in that state of being, thinking, feeling, every ounce of negativity, every speck of what-the-hell-have-I-done panic, every thought of not enough was gone. Only a peaceful gratitude remained.

Then it hit me….THAT is prayer.

People spend their whole lives searching for it. Some get addicted to drugs to experience it. I just stalked The Pioneer Woman for two days straight to get mine.

Okay Ree, you can add that to your list of expertise you didn’t know you had.



PS: For the record, Brothers X, Y, and Z were some awesome men who loved their Jesus with all their hearts. No disrespect is intended whatsoever in referencing them in this post. They taught me much in my lifetime, for which I am truly grateful.

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