60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 61,259
See this image larger
Hatha yoga, so important for my health and peace of mind.

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

See this image larger
With Emily Dickinson, "I dwell in possibility." --Photo by Quang Le

go to goodies page
go to goodies page
Yoga Mat
go to goodies page

VALERIEMAHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

See All SparkPeople Motivators
Shared Food & Fitness Trackers
Interact with VALERIEMAHA
Add as SparkFriend Send Private Message Leave Comment Recent Message
Board Posts

I'm now down about 20 lbs.of the almost 35 lbs. I picked up, in large part due to the med I'm on, prednisone, treating Giant Cell, or Temporal, Arteritis, which came on strong and suddenly in May, 2017. It is an inflammation of the lining of the arteries of the head, especially those in the temples and the most dangerous outcome, if not treated promptly, is blindness.

Last November 19, I began the journey back to wellness, vowing to do a weekly weigh-in and record weight and thoughts in a weekly blog. I have been consistent about it since then, although I haven't been consistent about nutrition tracking, which is also a part of the formula for success. In any case, I finally reached one of my milestones, a 10-pound weight loss, on February 13, 2018.

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!

Read More About VALERIEMAHA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated October 1)

Shown if member clicks "Read More"

(Shown after Message Board Posts)
Add a Link
Save Changes
My Ticker:
 current weight: 148.6 
Login to Leave Comment
    I was next door to that horrible clinic today and they had 3 cars there. I don't see how they are staying open. You are so fortunate to have such great friends.
    4 days ago
    I blogged about my experience at the eye doctor under "A Lesson In Not Doing Your Homework". It would be easiest if you read it. My doctor is not real concerned about it but wants me to go to someone else. His nurse was supposed to arrange it.
    11 days ago
    He did marry the girl. He explained his feelings to me and he accurately explained his parents feelings to me too. So he knew their fears and he made up his own mind. I supported him and hope his parents did too. If you did your job well as a parent this is natural. They reach adulthood and follow the path that speaks to them. That path doesn't have to mirror your own. Children are not a little mini-me. Just because someone chooses a different path doesn't make them wrong. His family are all physicians. He tried 2 different specialties and, like he told me, he wasn't cut out for it. I understood. He is a high strung person because he has been groomed for something he is not cut out for. He is a gentle person, a loving person, a person who seeks happiness. Not a pulmonologist or a cardiologist. He became an insurance salesman and a father and I'm sure he is good at both.

    My son got a Bachlor of Science Degree in Science Education. He works at Home Depot in an urban area and likes it.

    The closest urban area to me is St. Louis, Missouri. I like it but don't get there often. The traffic is problematic for me. I have accepted that I am not an urban person.
    15 days ago
    I love the reprieves from the cold weather but I think it is doing a number on my immunity. I'm looking forward to a nice weekend. I hope we can get outside some! It will be warmer for the next 3 days so I don't want to waste it.

    I know exactly what you mean. I live in Southern Illinois which has a lot in common with the South. We are only 100 miles from Kentucky and 80 miles from Missouri. I'm very encouraged to find that many younger people refuse to adopt some of the practices of their elders. It gives me hope. I encountered it with my son's college dorm mate who I really love. His parents were professionals and he had a "gifted" life. Private schools, academies, servants, etc. It was his first time exposed to the outside world. He really embraced my son and his values. He called me mom and would talk about his learning curve. It was his first time to even use a microwave. We encouraged him to be respectful to his parents but also to be suspicious of anything that reeked of prejudice because it is always wrong. We taught him to observe, to listen, to make up his own mind, to seek positivity and good things - love, understanding, acceptance, inclusion, etc. He let us know that he would always be different due to our being in his life. We will be too. I know his parents sometimes struggled with his new views and his mom even called me and asked me to intervene when he chose to marry someone not of his social status. We have to allow our children to make their own decisions, right or wrong. It is sad when people are so selfish that they can't see the bigger picture. What I want should coincide with what is good for the earth and doesn't harm others. It's not all about me. Not everyone understands that.
    18 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/30/2018 12:43:17 PM
    One of the best things about the internet is being able to find other people you have something in common with. In some areas that can be a challenge. Have a great day!
    23 days ago
Member Comments (4754):  123Next >Last >>