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

YES! to SERVICE: If you dedicate yourself to service, the doors will open. --Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

I am so happy I was able to help facilitate a beautiful "quinceanera" for my god daughter 12/30/14.

I have 294 pics in my gallery


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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

"It is better to travel well than to arrive," said the Buddha. My nine months in Ecuador drew to a close. I arrived to central AR June 4, 2015. I'm not sure what is in store, but three things come to mind : * a road trip to California to visit beloveds and retrieve my bicycle and other stored belongings (left after selling my camper in CA prior to ...
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

"It is better to travel well than to arrive," said the Buddha. My nine months in Ecuador drew to a close. I arrived to central AR June 4, 2015. I'm not sure what is in store, but three things come to mind : * a road trip to California to visit beloveds and retrieve my bicycle and other stored belongings (left after selling my camper in CA prior to flying to South America); * need for and interest in part-time employment making use of my bilingual skill; *gathering the necessary apostiled documentation required to apply for permanent residence in Ecuador.

My sojourn in Ecuador was dynamic and full of learning and growth. I have no doubt that it will continue.


I sold my camper, bought my ticket to South America, and arrived to Quito, Ecuador, on September 25, 2014! Thus began the next chapter, with my current intention of gathering documentation to seek permanent residency in Ecuador.

May 24 heralded the beginning of the last big journey in my sweet little camper when I drove to California, rendezvoused with my soul sister Diana from Maui and we trucked up the California Coast Highway to San Francisco to connect with many friends in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. My "2014 Trip" blogs have the details.

What elso is up with me?

~ Preparing for my 2014 return to Ecuador in consideration of permanent residence, in December of 2013 I completed a BA in Spanish.

~During my travels, thanks in large part to SparkPeople, I have had the joy to meet, and in many cases stay with, the first 5 rows of SparkFriends, ending with the Venerable Spark Guy, Chris Downie himself, who I met at a Spark Rally in 2009!

~I am committed to optimal body*mind*spirit health to help attune me to that "still small voice" within that is signaling the way to the next signpost on the Path.
An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

~ In the meantime, 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 all 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 here's more "kitchen table" wisdom:

Your personal history is not your true identity. Don't let the past define who you are.
-- Eckhart Tolle
Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music
-- Aulus Cornelius Celsus (50-25 BC), Physician
My actions are my true belongings. They are the ground on which I stand.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Fifth Remembrance
CARPE MOMENTUM! (Seize the moment!)
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
barn's burnt down;
now I can see
the moon
-- Masahide
Usually we think that brave people have no fear.
The truth is they are intimate with fear.
-- Pema Chodron
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
-- William James
Where attention goes, energy flows.
-- James Redfield
Choices are the hinges of destiny.
-- Pythagoras
Self-conquest is the greatest of victories.
-- Plato
Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
-- Lao Tzu
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit
-- Aristotle
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
-- The Buddha
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
-- Bob Marley, Redemption Song
The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
-- Marcus Aurelius
The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.
-- Marcus Aurelius
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato
If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you,"
that would suffice.
-- Meister Eckhart
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
-- Cynthia Ozick
To lengthen thy life,
lessen thy meals.
-- Benjamin Franklin
Never eat more than you can lift.
-- Miss Piggy
It's better to start at night than not at all!
Losing weight is hard; maintaining is hard; pick your hard.
-- Vegetarian Board friends
Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.
-- Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
Read More About VALERIEMAHA (Updated October 3)

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My Ticker:

 current weight: 144.0 

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Recent Blogs:


Member Since: 6/2/2006

SparkPoints: 51,546

Fitness Minutes: 43,804

My Goals:
~ know joy

~ no judgment

~ love and respect body-mind-spirit

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 a degree in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013!

I'm a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I have also developed various service projects in Ecuador.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my primary teacher.

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole organic foods, 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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Member Comments:
10/9/2015 6:05:57 PM

Dropping by to say I continue to enjoy your quotes.

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10/8/2015 12:58:28 AM

Thanks for your kind words, Maha. You have a way of making people feel seen and heard, which is probably why you have made friends all over the world.


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10/5/2015 11:22:42 PM

"Some days expressing thanks is more difficult. That's when it's most important."

Thanks for sharing this, Maha. I'm sorry about your friend, and grateful for all that I've learned from you.


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10/2/2015 6:22:54 PM

Hi Maha! Thanks for the appreciative comment. You are a role model for me linguistically. I hope some day I can spend as much time in Spanish speaking parts of the world as you do. Right now it would not make sense because of family. But maybe some day.

Take care!
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9/30/2015 12:01:02 AM

I'm glad you are feeling more balanced and peaceful. I enjoy reading your input on the gratitude thread.


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