I am being unfaithful to my blog at the moment as I am creating a blog of my week in Assisi (that’s where I am, physically, at the moment). If you just can’t live with out my great wisdoms this week, feel free to pop over to the Assisi blog. Once I recover from the trip, I’ll come back with photos of cute babies and more wisdoms…
When I was a vegetarian for 8 years, I didn’t often eat imitation meat. I didn’t stop eating meat in order to eat crappy imitations of meat (which a lot of imitation meat products seemed to be), so I would just eat something that vegetarian with not resemblance to a meat product at all unless the occasion called for a tofu sausage or veggie burger.
So, now that I am not eating wheat-based food, I am coming across a similar issue. I am eating gluten-free processed stuff here and there to fill in the gaps in my meal plans that I haven’t sorted out yet. I can get almost any imitation of wheat-based baked goods and pastas, but I want to move away from imitation food toward whole food as we ease into this life style. I am used to the wheat-based staples of the western diet, so I am giving myself some time.
Dinners are pretty easy because we had a larger selection of dishes that are naturally gluten-free or use easily substitutable ingredients. Lunches are generally left over dinners or awesome salads (I am good at salads). I am struggling with figuring out a whole food selection of breakfast ideas.
For me, breakfast was usually something with bread or cereal. Those are both out in the long term, and I have to say that I can only take so many eggs in my life! I need some inspiration for whole food, non-egg breakfasts!
So, I know i mostly post about the kids these days, but there really are some other things happening. Some of them are even kind of interesting.
1) Sick! (OK, not really so interesting)
After two weeks of barely sleeping thanks to two sick kids, I finally caught one of the multiple viruses floating around here and it took me DOWN! At first, it was just a regular cold. By Wednesday (or was it Tuesday?) afternoon, I found that I was way to cold to even get out of bed with my two blankets over me, much less pick Clair up from Kindergarten or stop Lily from destroying the bedroom. It must have been the 39 Degree fever (that’s 102 for you Americans).
Thank God, my friend Penny called me in the afternoon to see how I was doing AND offered to pick up Clair and bring her to my door (before I even had to ask – I was prepared to beg). THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Penny! Matthias, who couldn’t get out of some afternoon appointments got home shortly after and took the children away so I could suffer alone. The fever carried on into the evening but it dropped a bit.
I figured things would get better quickly after that. Well, it’s Saturday, and I still needed a few hours in bed today, but I have to say that tonight, I am doing decidedly better. Matthias, being the loving spouse he is, decided to join me for the ride, and is about a day behind me in this cold. He got to skip the horrible fever and body aches though. We were quite the pair of pathetic parents today, switching back and forth between the kids and bed. Luckily, the girls were really great and handling the boredom.
Let’s hope this distraction is coming to an end.
So, Matthias created an App. He taught himself the language and came up with a nice tool for engineers interested in filtering signals. That sounds a lot simpler than it was, but it kept him entertained for many evening and weekends. It has been many years since he learned a new programing language, and come to find out, he really likes that kind of thing.
So, I designed and put up the website, and he published it last year. I am completely impressed by the whole thing!! It has been really fun to create a product and put it out there. Which leads me to…
3) more Apps
So inspired, we are now working together on a new App idea! This one is a lot more complicated, but we are doing it together from the beginning. He is pushing is boundaries with the coding, and I am pushing my boundaries with some content development and also web design. Well, if I ever got more than two minutes in front of a computer with a coherent thought (has not been happening a lot lately).
it should be a nice challenge, and maybe we will even get a cool App put there. In the mean time, I need to figure out how servers work. Here, all this time, I just used a server for storing files (like these blog posts). it turns out, servers can talk to other servers and share data and stuff!! Who knew? I wonder how a server talks….. I have a lot of work to do.
4) Speaking of work..
So, I have taught six Yoga classes recently. It has been wonderful to get back to teaching again, and I was happy to see that my teaching has improved a bit despite the time away. I think I am finding a style that works for me, and that helps tremendously.
I also decided to take the plunge and rent a room for the entire year, which means that I need to plan more Yoga classes in the coming year. I think starting late April/early May, I will do a ten class series on Yoga cleansing as a celebration of spring/summer. I haven’t decided what to do after that, though I have at least one idea for a Yoga workshop.
Also in the Yoga teaching area, I bought my plane ticket to Italy for September when I’ll be assisting one of my teachers in a workshop she offers in Assisi. It is a fantastic retreat, and I am so grateful not only to get to go back but to help run it and even teach! I also promised to lead an evening of astronomy and star gazing, which I haven’t done in years! I am looking forward to it.
A few other things are bubbling up with Yoga teaching as well, but they aren’t as well developed yet. It all seems to come at once, which is quite alright with me!
aside from that, we are trying to plan some travel for the coming year. Which means, we may actually travel this year! The trip to the US was the reawakening of the Travel bug. We need to check out flights tomorrow, but if things work out, we are going to meet up with friends in Sardinia in August! Then, we need to sort out end of the year in the US plans. We were thinking a lay over in DC for a couple of days could make the trip a bit easier, and also give us a chance to show the kids our favorite museums (and see an awesome friend, of course, Brian).
OK, that is the laundry list of life outside of the cuteness of our adorable children. It may sound exciting written on a blog, but really, it all looked very much like me being trapped at home with sick kids and a sick self for a few weeks now. Really need to get out of the house. Let’s hope the wheezing is finished tomorrow!
Once again, my kid is showing me up.
In recognition of the beginning of Lent last week, I led a Yoga class focusing on discipline and a short discussion about the practice of selective renunciation (like what you do during Lent – give up something for a period of time to help strengthen your will). Some people in the class mentioned what they were with holding in their lives during Lent, and I gave a broader example of this kind of practice to help build discipline in the mind.
I got a nice taste of the benefits of this kind of work recently with having to give up gluten (and also dairy, as it turns out). Without having done a lot of crazy experiments in giving up certain food items in the past, I think cutting out gluten and dairy would be a lot more stressful.
So, here I was thinking I was pretty skilled in this game, and then Clair got into the game. Two weeks ago, she pronounced that she no longer sucks her fingers. Aside from a couple of habitual slips, which she quickly corrected, she has completely stopped sucking her fingers! Just like that!
Perhaps she is just demonstrating how aptly she was named. Her name translates to “clear Truth”. In one commentary of the Yoga Sutras, the concept of Truth (Satya) in her name means not only one who literally tells the truth. When someone is strongly rooted in the practice of Satya, whatever they say is, by definition, Truth. So, my little Satya proclaimed the end of a powerful habit and POOF, it is done. Amazing.
We have asked her why she decided to stop sucking her fingers. She hasn’t really given us an answer. I know something happened at Kindergarten, but she doesn’t seem to be stressed about it. I don’t know if she just noticed that no one else sucks their fingers (there are some thumb suckers). I am going to inquire with the care givers there to see if we’ve missed anything, but she seems quite happy about it so after today, we won’t make a big deal out of it.
Today, however, we had cake. I told her that since it was hard for her to quit, I thought she deserved a cake. She agreed (Elmo cake pan was requested, and mama got a glutin/dairy free cake mix!). The cake sucked, but it was covered in Betty Crocker icing, which is essentially sugar and fat (no gluten or dairy!) so it tasted just fine. Lily loved it as you can see in th photo below. Also, in that photo, you will see her first posed smile! I pulled out the camera, and she put on a smile for the first time! She is getting so big.
Matthias was in the mood to do some nice cooking tonight, so we get some healthy meals for the next few days! It is nice when a bunch of vegetables are about to expire and he has energy to make something good out of them.
I feel like the California sunshine is calling me lately. I keep dreaming about it. Last night, it moved a bit inland and I dreamt about a train ride from Vegas to Phoenix with my friend Brian. My friend Juris, from SoCal made an appearance as well, so there was a bit of California in there too. There has been a lot of sunshine in many of my dreams lately. Maybe it is the distinct lack of sunshine around here lately and our quick transition into winter darkness.
I woke up at 5:30 this morning and meditated on an image similar to this one. It was a fabulous Yoga practice. So good that the sun actually came out this morning in Regensburg. I take full credit!! I need to do that meditation more often.
Summoning artists to participate
In the august occasions of the state
Seems something artists ought to celebrate.
Today is for my cause a day of days.
And his be poetry’s old-fashioned praise
Who was the first to think of such a thing.
This verse that in acknowledgment I bring
Goes back to the beginning of the end
Of what had been for centuries the trend;
A turning point in modern history.
Colonial had been the thing to be
As long as the great issue was to see
What country’d be the one to dominate
By character, by tongue, by native trait,
The new world Christopher Columbus found.
The French, the Spanish, and the Dutch were downed
And counted out. Heroic deeds were done.
Elizabeth the First and England won.
Now came on a new order of the ages
That in the Latin of our founding sages
(Is it not written on the dollar bill
We carry in our purse and pocket still?)
God nodded his approval of as good.
So much those heroes knew and understood,
I mean the great four, Washington,
John Adams, Jefferson, and Madison
So much they saw as consecrated seers
They must have seen ahead what not appears,
They would bring empires down about our ears
And by the example of our Declaration
Make everybody want to be a nation.
And this is no aristocratic joke
At the expense of negligible folk.
We see how seriously the races swarm
In their attempts at sovereignty and form.
They are our wards we think to some extent
For the time being and with their consent,
To teach them how Democracy is meant.
“New order of the ages” did they say?
If it looks none too orderly today,
‘Tis a confusion it was ours to start
So in it have to take courageous part.
No one of honest feeling would approve
A ruler who pretended not to love
A turbulence he had the better of.
Everyone knows the glory of the twain
Who gave America the aeroplane
To ride the whirlwind and the hurricane.
Some poor fool has been saying in his heart
Glory is out of date in life and art.
Our venture in revolution and outlawry
Has justified itself in freedom’s story
Right down to now in glory upon glory.
Come fresh from an election like the last,
The greatest vote a people ever cast,
So close yet sure to be abided by,
It is no miracle our mood is high.
Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs
Better than all the stalemate an’s and ifs.
There was the book of profile tales declaring
For the emboldened politicians daring
To break with followers when in the wrong,
A healthy independence of the throng,
A democratic form of right devine
To rule first answerable to high design.
There is a call to life a little sterner,
And braver for the earner, learner, yearner.
Less criticism of the field and court
And more preoccupation with the sport.
It makes the prophet in us all presage
The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young amibition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.
In case you were wondering, a little video here and an interview with the author of “The Story of Stuff” on Stephen Colbert inspired the name change on the blog.
Westerners who do practices from “Eastern” traditions tend to try to create a persona around that practice. “I’m a Yogi” “I’m a Chanter” etc., but it’s not like that. We are always who we are. We are not what we do. These practices will give us the strength to love totally and completely — to offer ourselves to Love wholeheartedly and sincerely. But we have to let them work in our psychological and emotional bodies, to create pathways for the love to flow to our own hearts. If we don’t love ourselves, who can we love? How can we love?
There is a nice article by Krishna Das here. For those of you who have never heard of him, I discovered his music by accident during grad school. it was totally out of character to be astounded by traditional Hindu chanting, but his music truly moves my heart. It happened from the first time I saw him play. He showed up at an important time in my life. His chanting got me through writing my thesis (if for no other reason than the other scientists left me alone when I had the crazy chanting playing in my office), and he gets me through every gym workout. I still love his music, though I am interested in his new album, which is in English. Should be interesting.
You get three guesses to figure out who said this (I used this quote as part of a Yoga practice in remembrance of this day in 2007):
I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.”
I have an itchy head and some sore spots where the latest Laser burns are healing, and I am getting impatient with feeling sore in my body. Then I remember that I felt like my body was never going to heal from the shattered wrist found myself with just over 8 years ago.
This is me after just having earned my shattered wrist (note the legs on the ground just in front of the kneeling EMT).
Then, less than a year later (about 11 months), I was doing this:
That recovery time seemed to have lasted forever, but in the end, a year doesn’t seem like that much time to go from shattered bones to supporting my body weight. Must remember that when I feel impatient with this body. The body’s ability to heal is amazing.