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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If to say it once
And once only, then still
To say: Yes.

And say it complete,
Say it as if the word
Filled the whole moment
With its absolute saying.

Later for "but,"
Later for "if."

Only the single syllable
That is the beloved,
That is the world.

-- Gregory Orr
(How Beautiful the Beloved)


Slowly ever moving forward YES
Learning from each passing day YES
Letting go of negative self-talk YES
Practicing metta in the process YES
Appreciating the support of SP friends on the journey YES
Paying it forward at each opportunity YES
Watching the vital, vibrant me emerge once again YES

BREAKING NEWS: I've figured out that I'm assigning too many calories to polenta in the Nutrition Tracker. By adjusting that I'm well within moderate caloric consumption for my first two days -- Praise Be!


Today I intend to ~~

~ enjoy nature on my bicycle and sneak my cardio in in the process
~ do 20 minutes of strength training
~ meditate, do pranayama & hatha yoga
~ continue monitoring my intake
~ practice contentment

May it be so!

Blessed be!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBCCA 5/12/2009 3:11PM

    Yes, yes, yes!!! emoticon emoticon

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SLASALLE 5/12/2009 12:45PM

    So how did you figure this out, my friend? I find there are OFTEN several entries in the SP database for a food. It can be difficult to be PRECISE unless you have the nutritional information for the EXACT thing you're using! Glad you're having success!!!

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MADANNIE71 5/12/2009 11:45AM

    Hooray for misjudging the polenta!!! And, as always, thank you for the poem. And I love your plans for the day, can I come along (at least in spirit)?

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MAZZYR 5/12/2009 10:08AM

    Hello Dear Maha,

Thank you for this inspiring blog.


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Another spring, another day, another opportunity for conscious self-care

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:

~ meditation
~ pranayama
~ 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 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 ~~

~ meditate
~ pranayama
~ 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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHATAGRL42 5/12/2009 12:15AM

    Wonderful! It's amazing how much more wholesome it feels, when we bring all of the aspects of loving self-care together! This week, for example, I feel gleeful for having signed on to have weekly deliveries from a certified organic local farm! I am really going to try to eat more healthily. I've been doing well with my daily meditations, my weekly Iyengar sessions, and now, additional cardio and strength classes. Pranayama, is missing, however, unless incorporated in a yoga session.... I should do more of it. Breath of life! When I get an angry feeling or frustration with someone, I try to quickly replace it with empathy. Consistency is what is hard. Some days, life just gets in the way!

Loved the poem, by the way! Thanks for sharing. Don't get too down on yourself for the missing cardio session. It's the big picture that counts; the rain will subside, the sun will shine, and you'll find something to do in no time!



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OREAD_1 5/11/2009 7:30PM

    Hi and thanks for the stop by on my blog. I have been using the Nutrition tracker as a very important element of my health path. I too am short. And recently learned I am getting shorter, lost about 1 1/2 in. Though I have to see the bone doc to check what is up.
About the levels on you Nut. tracker. I kept having trouble with reaching the values SparkPeople have as goals so I researched the values for my age, height and weight and reset them. They are much more attainable now. I also have many medical issues so have included the "other" values of vitamins and minerals. Sometimes I take a multi others times I add separate support when needed. Like Folate and Omegas. It took me a lot of math and cross checking to get to the right balance for me but it has been well worth it since I am feeling pretty darn good considering the trials and tribulations my body goes through. If you would like any ideas on any of this please ask. I don't keep my meals available for the public since I have a very tailored diet for my own needs and they don't jive with SparkPeople so much.

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MADANNIE71 5/11/2009 6:26PM

    As usual, your choice of poetry sings to me. Thank you. And you did great on your first day of renewal. I'm really impressed and proud of you for accomplishing so much that you intended to do. (Hey, what's a little cardio--you can pick that up tomorrow). I'd like to follow your example and start using the nutrition tracker again, but over and over I choose not to, my resistance is strong and controlling my choices. Best to you,

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DRAGONFLY7149 5/11/2009 2:50PM

    YES! pleased to see you accomplished much of what you wanted to yesterday. Darned rain...(*^(*#$&*).... has really messed up my plans here too [I'd much rather garden than do housework.]

The nutrition tracker on SPARK is a powerful tool...glad to hear that you're 'onto it'. I pay a lot of attention to the "Daily Report" graph (near the bottom of the report page) -- a quick look gives me an indication of whether or not my protein intake is where it needs to be to help keep my blood sugars in check.

Hope you're meeting all your goals today too!

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KUZINKEITH 5/11/2009 10:30AM

    It is comforting to know the universe will get along just fine without my "meddling".

Keeping positive helps "our little world" a better place, however.
Thanks for the good vibes.

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GBOOMER 5/11/2009 9:43AM

    Hiya Maha. Your positive vibes can be felt across the continent! Spark on!

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PEACEFULONE 5/11/2009 9:22AM

    Good morning Maha, Amazing how your Chinese poem brings up memories. Sounds like you have a good plan. Hope that you will have a great day with lots of

Comment edited on: 5/11/2009 9:23:24 AM

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Pickin' myself up, dustin' myself off...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

...and startin' all over again!

Last night's Scorpio Full Moon provided the *kick start* --"If your goals require a change of mind, of heart, and/or of action, this is the night to successfully tackle fears that could impede the ability to fully embrace change. Scorpio seeks deep truth by peeling back layers of lies and half-truths within us and without us. This is a Full Moon to see things as they truly are, not as you wish them to be. The intense planetary configurations on this Full Moon will be a great help in this regard."

I like this paragraph from the "Today's Feature" article today by Dean Anderson, one of my SP heroes : "In the long run you'll do better if you acknowledge that the choice is yours to make. You can choose either option, without making excuses or inventing a theory like 'lack of motivation' to justify it. Then, pay attention to how you feel about the choice you made, and decide whether that is how you want to feel most of the time."

Yikes! It's all about my CHOICES...taking responsibility for and being aware of the consequences of each of my choices.

It's simply a cop-out when I say to myself that I'm not motivated. It's about CHOICES. And "as long as you and the world remain less than perfect, you will have to struggle with this conflict between immediate and long-term gratification. No amount of motivation will make it go away."

So we're back to the basics...ONE MORE TIME:

~ have a plan, simple though it may be, for daily exercise
~ measure everything that goes into my mouth

It's nothing mysterious, but neither is it glamorous or fun. It's simply the reality of responsible self-care...and it's time to get back ON the program, since I'm UP 4 more pounds. Though it wasn't at all hard to swallow that Haagen Daz Butter Pecan Ice Cream the other day, it's indeed a hard pill to swallow that I've picked up 14.7 pounds over the last eight months.

Yes, it's time for brutal honesty with myself and my SparkFriends. The scale fairly BARKED at me this morning -- 144.3 pounds. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that I've let this happen, but I REALLY want to be healthy in this unhealthy world of instant gratification and lack of consciousness, so it's time to quit making excuses to myself and *Just do it!* already.

I'm dropping out of the Bootcamp. I got off-track and I think I need a simpler approach for now. Wish me luck! Check in with me if you want. I'm not going to set myself up for failure, just move ahead slow and easy...and CONSISTENTLY.

Here goes!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
-- Bob Marley, Redemption Song

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOOLANDWOOD 5/10/2009 7:12PM

    What can I say but... I know JUST how you feel, fellow fishie. I've started logging my food and making big batches of veggie stews. Yoga twice a week and yard work (at last) but I haven't lost any weight.

My clothes are looser and I am noticeably stronger so I'm counting on muscle weighing more than fat.

I'm looking forward to the farmer's markets opening up. BUT I do have to make the decisions. Everyday. With out the "brand new thing" enthusiasm that I started with last year.

I'm still groping a little. And trying to remember to make the decisions for my self with a loving heart not a punitive one.

emoticon emoticon gail

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MADANNIE71 5/10/2009 3:16PM

    I, too, really like the quote from Coach Dean and remember hitting myself upside the head when I read it. I realized it was time to stop hiding, rationalizing, and whatever else it is I do to avoid taking responsibility for my choices. And for failing to make the connection that my choices make me feel the way I do, positive or negative.

I admire your new start and wish you well. You go, Maha.

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LIZARDG7 5/10/2009 2:05PM

    "I hear ya!" We've all been there. I'm starting over today, too. I think the greatest tool for me is my set of measuring cups. LOL Starting today, I'm using them for EVERY meal. LOL

Best of luck to us. Lizzie emoticon

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CAROLYN4033 5/10/2009 1:00PM

    It is all about choices..funny though how I preach to my children that there are ALWAYS consequences for your actions, good or bad.....I guess I should listen to myself more, because I too have been off the wagon, I realized this weekend that I am an emotional eater.....beautiful!

Don't beat yourself up how I would love to weigh 144...I do understand, better than most the instant gratification "thing".

You are special and I love ya!

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MAZZYR 5/10/2009 10:17AM

    I hear you, dear Maha.

My new approach is to simply pay attention, eat mindfully and balance my food choices. Today I released another pound of flesh. I'm overwhelmed by the number of pounds I'd like to release so my challenge is to practice patience in addition to paying attention. LOL. Oh, Well.

Wishing you an extra nice day.


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Rising, Falling (& How the Swine Flu Figures)

Monday, April 27, 2009

I know my blogs are often unrelated to wellness issues in the most literal sense. But because of my belief that we are a body-mind-spirit entity and that all parts affect all others, I firmly believe that my sadness about what I see around me impacts my total state of well-being.

The tie-in between factory farming and the swine flu is sad and scary... and makes sense really. The runaway violence of the planet is no better characterized than in our treatment of animals over which we have the power. It says very little about our development as a species, but the karmic retribution for this treatment is unfortunately just in a cause-effect reality.

I'm especially aware today of the world's social, economic and environmental plight. Our inhumanity to one another and to the earth is beyond understanding to me...and my own unloving and unconscious behavior is very disturbing to me. I practice daily to become more conscious, and present, and filled with kindness and compassion.

The world is rapidly spiraling downward and not the least of the critical concerns is the manner in which we treat Mother Earth, Gaia. For some reason the devastation of Gaia has been especially on my mind today. One of my teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, has written an amazing book about the crisis:

Here is an excerpt that encapsulates where I'm at today:

"The life of a civilization is like the life of a human being. This is birth and there is death. And this civilization of ours will have to end one day. But we have a huge role to play in determining when it ends and how quickly. If the human race continues on its present course, the end of our civilization is coming sooner than we think. The way we drive our cars, the way we consume, and the way we exploit and destroy the planet's natural resources are swpeeding up the end of our civilization. Global warming may be an early symptom of that death. If we continue consuming in the way we have, the majority of the planet's human beings may die and our ecosystem will be damaged to such an extent that it will be difficult to support human life as we know it. The world has known many other civilizations before ours, and many civilizations have already perished. Everything is impermanent."

I feel like I do so little to aid dear ailing Gaia. Today I promise Her that I will continue my efforts to find new lighter ways to *be* on Her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLY7149 5/7/2009 4:25PM

    Maha, I can't imagine at all you doing little to aid ailing Gaia, though can relate entirely to the sense of there being an aura of futility surrounding what is happening to the planet and our civilization [is it really *civilized*?]

As we become increasingly conscious of these almost unimaginable challenges, how can we not make efforts to make a difference? That includes continuing to learn, being open to knowing how little we actually know, making informed choices and decisions, supporting wise or wiser choices in a myriad of ways.

These matters have weighed heavily on my mind of late as well. How bittersweet awareness is, and how challenging to see and maintain focus on the sweetness when too often it seems the whole world's gone mad!


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GBOOMER 5/6/2009 1:56PM

    Maha, even if you (or anybody, for that matter) were single-handedly responsible for destroying the environment, YOU ARE 100% COMPLETELY GOOD! And life is still good.

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SUSANLUSAN 5/6/2009 11:09AM

    You and I share ideas and feelings. It is all one with the opportunity for many lessons, joyful and otherwise. Thank you for your connected and expanded blog.

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LIZARDG7 4/30/2009 2:20PM

    Thanks, Maha. I was walking my dog this morning and the woods were filled with garbage bags, tissues, and other dog messes. I cleaned up what I saw and prayed for the woods, that people will see it as a living entity and entitled to respect. By the way, I also saw 5 deer, so God was very good to me. Lizzie

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COSMIC_ENERGY 4/27/2009 8:05PM

    You are a caring soul--Thank you--Jude

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The Will

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I have wrestled with control of the will for as long as I've begun to lead a more conscious life. It is definitely at the crux of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This "Thought for the Day" by Eknath Easwaran is really juicy in the way it gets at the heart of the matter --

Thy desire is thy prayer; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. . . . The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.
-– Saint Augustine

I once had a physicist friend who would gladly discuss electric power; but harnessing the power of a passion or a craving – well, that was not dynamics; that was poetry. “Power,” he told me sternly, “is the capacity to do work. Work is the energy required to move a definite mass a definite distance. No movement, no work. No work, no power.”

Day or night I had never seen my friend far from his desk. Then late one evening I came out of a movie theater and saw him striding along like an athlete, several miles from his office. “What got you up from your desk?” I asked. “You’re breaking the habits of a lifetime.”

“Coffee,” he muttered. “I ran out of coffee.”

“Here,” I said, “a very definite mass has been propelled at least three miles, simply by one little desire for a cup of coffee.” He got my point.

Every deep desire is a prayer. Every desire also contains a certain quantum of energy – energy to grasp the desired goal.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKOPACK 4/1/2009 9:38PM

    Hi there,
I read "The Will" and you have the ability to bring more insight into my thoughts. Thanks Maha. I hope all is well in your world.
Laura K.

Comment edited on: 4/1/2009 9:40:38 PM

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JUSTDUCKY1405 3/26/2009 3:45PM

    I read this last night, and followed your link and got very lost along the way... lol! Great Blog! Go check out my blog, you will know which one, about my evening last night, and what it has to do with you... lol!

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LIZARDG7 3/26/2009 10:49AM

    I read Easwaran first thing every morning. It's a wonderful way to start the day. Peace, Lizzie

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KUZINKEITH 3/26/2009 8:32AM

    Strange how the lessons can sometimes come in the most ordinary and daily "tasks" -- if we are open to observing.
Some of my desires could use a little more attention. But, gratefully, some fade away as quickly as they appear.

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