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




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




With Emily Dickinson, "I dwell in possibility." --Photo by Quang Le


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I have picked up almost 40 lbs. since my return from Ecuador three years ago, 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.

So, 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: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=302
6


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:

GOAL

~ 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!




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Comments
  • v ME_HERE_NOW
    thank you for your advice! all this time i thought you were supposed to become your own sensory deprivation tank, haha. good to know you can mantra, connect with your body, or just breathe to transcend the trap of the real world & elevate your soul.
    61 days ago
  • v ME_HERE_NOW
    ermahgerd, maha! so i have been trying to meditate for days & have been thinking about you often! i feel like you probably have some tips for focusing! i am trying to clear my mind, but i don't think you're allowed to think 'clear mind' over and over again & that be a clear mind, haha. are you allowed to count 'one' over and over again with your breaths instead of really counting, i feel like that breaks some sort of rule of being relaxed? how do you really think about nothing at all? inquiring minds want to know!
    65 days ago
  • v ABURRIS2
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    You are an encouragement! Thanks for that.
    66 days ago
  • v CARLI_MAE
    Good intro and outlook. Consistency - who can possibly be 100%? Life has a way of disrupting even the best intentions. The main thing is to not be discouraged by the disruptions and to keep the main goal in sight, I guess. Stay functional.
    67 days ago
  • v MORTICIAADDAMS
    We need people like you to set a good example for the rest of us and you do. We need hope that we can get through this aging process with grace. Those of us who have had the privilege to live to be seniors have an opportunity that many people don't have who don't make it this far. We can change the perception of what it means to be a senior. It doesn't have to be about senility, incontinence, immobility, etc. We are not willing to accept that as our fate. I matter and so do you.
    68 days ago
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