Wear sunscreen every day

The sun is always shining which means we always need sunscreen. I live in Seattle and there are lots of clouds and many of them carry buckets and buckets of rain and still I need sunscreen!

Just because the sun is hiding or is only visible from the other side of the planet does not mean it has stopped shining.

The last couple of weeks have been full of clouds, one challenge after another, each one threatening to knock me off my feet. Luckily I know, at my very core, that the sun is always shining, even in the lashing rain.

The sunscreen I choose works for me – you might consider trying these or looking for other options that work more effectively for your skin-type :)

  • Breathing (pranayama) – intentional, deep, focused
  • Yoga – 1 pose or an hour practice, whatever I can manage
  • Juicing – daily ritual that keeps my body physically nourished
  • Walk – luckily I have 2 dogs and they need to go potty several times a day
  • Write in my gratitude journal, even if it is hard to come up with 5 things to write
  • Contemplation – my preferred form of meditation
  • Prayer – constant conversation with the Divine

It’s best to practice using sunscreen when the sun is shining; once you have the habit formed it is much easier to continue during the dark wet days that are bound to show up.

Please share what your “sunscreen” is in the comments.

Namaste

Failure is an option

Do you ever judge yourself harshly? Have you ever beat yourself up over some failing or bad choice? Can you see your own faults and short-comings clearly?

Me too!!!

Life has thrown a few curve balls this past week and I did not have the ability or inclination to post here. I missed 3 days of writing and that could certainly be seen as a failure. I have chosen to see it differently this time.

It feels good to cut myself some slack. It feels liberating to set the (human success) bar at a more realistic level. It feels authentic and abundant to be loving and kind to myself.

What the hell difference does it make in the big picture of my life that I set a blogging goal and failed to achieve it? My purpose in this life is complete surrender to the Divine; I’m not sure blogging or goals play much of a role in this purpose.

What is your purpose in life? And what human shackles can you release in order to fulfill your purpose?

Namaste.

Gratitude saves the day

The only sure way to soothe an aching heart is to start listing off the things for which you are grateful, so here goes:

  • I am grateful for my health and my strong body
  • I give thanks for a wonderful husband and 4 amazing children
  • I am grateful for a home and plenty of food
  • I am grateful to have two furry little canines in my life
  • I give thanks for my sister
  • I am grateful to have such a large loving extended family
  • I give thanks for the education I received
  • I am grateful to be able to read and write
  • I am grateful to live in a democracy (albeit a failing one)
  • I give thanks for friends I have lost and the memories that remain
  • I am grateful for the many options in my life
  • I am grateful I do not live in fear

I could write a list of 100 things in my life that fill my heart and I am grateful for each and every one of them. I am grateful to know that this too shall pass, that all will be well, that all is in fact, perfect in this moment.

Wishing you gratitude on the good days and most especially on the not-so-good days.

Namaste.

You already do it …

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

I love to teach breathing; one simple technique can transform a life in just days.

One of the best things about breathing is that every person on the planet already participates so it does not require any dramatic new habits or time commitments.

I use the following technique throughout the day whenever I think of it but especially when I am “doing nothing” – waiting at a traffic light, lying in bed, staring aimlessly at a website!!

Deep belly-breathing:

  • Exhale as fully as you can, gently squeezing your belly-button towards your spine.
  • Take a moment to let the body be empty of breath, without forcing it.
  • Your inhale will happen naturally – let the belly fill slowly.
  • Once the belly is full, feel the breath expand up through the ribcage, into the collar bones.
  • Again, take an effortless moment to enjoy the fullness of breath in the body.
  • Repeat as many times as you like and as often as you remember throughout your day.

I hope you find this breathing as relaxing, grounding and transformative as I do.

Namaste

 

A most delicious start to your day

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is my go-to when we have a house full of loved ones. I double or triple the recipe, like I had to this past weekend when we were 11 for Sunday brunch.

Baked Oatmeal:

  • 1/3 cups canola oil
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 add in (see below)

 

 

Combine the oil, sugar, eggs and milk and beat well. Add dry ingredients, mix thoroughly. Then fold in the add-in option of your choice. Pour into a greased 8in dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

 

Add-in options:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 peeled, cored and chopped apple with 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 cup frozen berries (Blueberries are our favorite)

Serve the baked oatmeal with warm milk poured over it.

I hope you enjoy it and be sure to share any variations you try :)

Namaste

 

Chinny chin chin…

I made it by the hair of my ….

About 25 days ago I promised myself that I would blog every day till the end of 2014. I have missed one day and did not want to miss today.

A day filled with love, joy, celebration and family.

Today our youngest child was awarded his Eagle Scout award and it was a most fabulous day for all of us who love him.

I feel blessed beyond measure, I love my 4 kidlets more today than I did yesterday. I am grateful for my abundant life.

Namaste.

Abundance in your back yard

Some of the greatest blessings in life are hidden right in your own back yard.

You can take this literally if you have a few feet of diggable earth – you can grow lots and lots of food in tiny spaces and even those of us living in apartments can grow our own herbs, tomatoes and the like.

If you want to be less literal… look around your neighborhood; what do you find there?

For me that list feels abundant and generous – I can easily walk to the post office, library, grocery store, bank, pubs, restaurants. This short list enhances my life in untold ways:

  • At the post office I can send cards of love (congrats, condolences & more) to far-flung family and friends.
  • The library is my favorite blessing because it opens up the world and invites me to explore and grow in new ways.
  • The grocery stores and banks allow me to feed my family and conduct business.
  • At the restaurants and pubs I get to meet the most important gifts in my back yard – neighbors, community members and new friends.

Today I am grateful to live in a community that supports my life and our family. What is in your back yard?

Namaste.