Sunday, May 17, 2009
I was successful in my food and exercise efforts this week, little by little chipping away at the poor eating habits that have been established over years of living on Easy Street.
Strength of will and perseverance are definitely my weapons in the Battle with Easy Street. On Easy Street I eat what I want in abundant quantities whenever I have a notion to and the senses of course win over the higher faculty of discriminating will.
Plutarch's wisdom below really resonated with me today. And Easwaran's commentary is, as always, useful. As a body/mind/spirit being, I always find that acknowledging the spiritual dimension in this process makes it more *real* for me.
Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
With every thought, we are working on our destiny. When a sculptor creates an elephant, each touch of the chisel shapes the stone. While carving an eye he barely strokes the stone, but those light strokes are as vital as the rough shaping blows. There is no such thing as an unimportant blow.
Similarly, every thought shapes our lives. There is no such thing as a little thought, no such thing as an unimportant thought. It may be heavy, it may be light, but it always should be well-directed, with discrimination and precision.
-- Eknath Easwarn
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to
follow its path.
Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.
-- John O'Donohue
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
Each day, I do some things well, I mess up royally on others. Each day is nonetheless full of abundance, full of so much goodness. It's there for me to "celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention."
Ya' know it all comes down to PRESENCE. It's the only way to truly experience the sacred gift. I was driving home from the fitness center feeling very tired and wondering if I could do it again tomorrow. Then I remembered I had thought the same thing yesterday, but today I "received encouragement when new frontiers beckoned"...and I DID IT. So it's about -- just this much...only this moment...only this day. Instead of expectations, I wish to have PRESENCE. Instead of disappointment, I intend PRESENCE. Instead of distraction, PRESENCE. Instead of anxiety, PRESENCE. Instead of procrastination, PRESENCE. I want the way I live my outer life to exhibit an "inner dignity of soul."
Yesterday I *put out.* Besides a strenuous vinyasa yoga class, I completed 20-minutes of cardio and some knee strengthening exercises. I then went on a two-hour bike ride, which almost did me in. It got up to 86 degrees yesterday...and I got so hot I thought I would never cool down! So the body is slowly acclimating to *movement* again. But it's not what I love to do...it's a constant challenge, conversation with myself, looking to my higher self for direction. And each day it begins anew.
This daily accountability blog is taxing, and I'm not sure I'll continue, but it has helped me thus far. And the scale announced this morning that I have released 1.4 pounds over the last five days. I'm still working the kinks out of the Trackers. I'm moderately comfortable with the Nutrition Tracker, thanks to Stephanie's able phone training session. I'm less comfortable with the Fitness Tracker, because Stephanie hasn't yet trained me in it (hint, hint)!
I'm blogging late (we had no electricity for 12 hours...it just returned this afternoon), so I have already ~~
~ completed a Pilates class
~ completed 20 minutes of upper-body strength-training
~ completed 5 minutes of sit-ups
~ completed 20 minutes of cardio
~ completed knee-strengthening exercises
Now I intend to finish the day with PRESENCE, "consoled in the secret symmetry of (my) soul."
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A person is full of sorrow
The way a burlap sack is full of stones or sand.
We say, “Hand me the sack,”
But we get the weight.
Heavier if left out in the rain.
To think that the stones or sand are the self is an error.
To think that grief is the self is an error.
Self carries grief as a pack mule carries the side bags,
Being careful between the trees to leave extra room.
The self is not the load of ropes and nails and axes.
The self is not the miner nor builder nor driver.
What would it be to take the bride
And leave behind the heavy dowry?
To let the thin-ribbed mule browse in tall grasses,
Its long ears waggling like the tails of two happy dogs?
-- Jane Hirshfield
Well yesterday was purdy much a "wash," as we say. And I don't really want to go there...because I'm here...and this PRESENT is my gift, my "tabula rasa," the blank slate to choreogrprah the day ahead.
I went over my caloric recommendations even with corrections in certain foods. But, bottom line, I tracked. And knowledge is power. I'm learning so much about my intake and my triggers and my will in this process...and THAT, my friends IS progress!
Today I intend to ~~
~ creatively monitor my intake to stay with caloric guidelines
~ meditate, do pranayama and attend yoga class
~ do 20 minutes of strength training
~ do 20 minutes of cardio at the fitness center
~ limit media time
~ enjoy being in this bag-of-bones!
I take this inspiration from His Holiness the Dalai Lama with me as I go forward today:
The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one's life. Through a difficult period you can learn; you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problems.
Monday, May 11, 2009
The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.
The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.
The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.
O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever
Slide unconsciously by us like water.
-- Kenneth Rexroth
(One Hundred Poems from the Chinese)
Feeding the spirit and soul definitely frames me for creating a day of grace and beauty.
First I want to reflect on what I did well yesterday, my first day of renewal of loving self-care:
~ strength training
~ hatha yoga
~ moderate eating
~ started entering foods in Nutrition Tracker (I plan to enter more foods in the NT each day until it's up-and-running)
Where I need to improve:
~ I didn't do any cardio...my excuse is my plan was to hop on my bicycle and head out into nature. With the torrential rains (AGAIN!) yesterday that plan fell by the wayside.
Lesson: BACK-UP PLANS are essential! I could have used one of my many cardio DVDs or SP's many cardio videos.
~ I finished input for yesterday's meals, and it indicates I went over on calories. I need to get back into awareness and planning on food intake.
~ I want to research protein and fiber dietary needs further --SP says I went over on fiber and that I need more protein and calcium. I have no problem with increasing calcium, but I want to get further data on fiber and protein needs.
Today I intend to ~~
~ hatha yoga
~ attend tai chi class
~ do 20-min. of cardio at fitness center
~ spend at least 1/2 hr. hour entering data on NT
~ investigate dietary protein and fiber needs
~ eat mindfully
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