Jan 162016
 

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If you follow this blog, you already know that 2014 was a year of change and 2015, of reckoning. I spent the first half of this year creating the new spiritual body that would be home to all these now wonderful changes, but the road was full of unexpected twists and turns–an obstacle course of the inner life.

In January, I was glad to be alone and looking forward to what it would mean. Then all of a sudden I was thrust into a heaven I never could have imagined. Just as swiftly, I was pulled out and thrown into an abyss.  I plunged into a level of sadness I could not hold. I cried. Wrote and cried. Lived on Netflix and cried. Ate chips, bacon, dark chocolate (the last to assure myself I was still eating well). And cried. I gave myself that time because deep change often brings grief, which must express itself fully before the new can take hold.  I so wanted to get to that place and I knew it was important not to cut corners. So I let grief be.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:16 am
Jan 022016
 

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It’s day 2 of 2016. Unlike many who met the day with spanking new outfits and freshly fluffed optimism, I spent day 1 in my pajamas, transitioning into the new year with a touch of internal friction. The night before was fitful at best; there were fireworks too close to my once idyllic and quiet home (yes, I’m one of the weirdos who enjoys meeting the New Year quietly). There was haze where once was clear, unsullied sky. I did not have a peaceful sleep and woke up feeling sluggish and unenthusiastic. The only bright thing ahead were my pink polka dot pajamas. So I stayed in them. All day.

Part of me kept playing back a voice from my childhood that said “if you stay in your pajamas, you will rot in them for all of 2016”, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I can hear it, wink at it, and get on with what I choose, despite its persistent looping. I was having a pajama kind of day and nothing would make me struggle against it. The boys were still away and I had the house to myself, so it was clear what I had to do.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:29 pm
Aug 082015
 

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Weekends. When the rest of the world is out doing, I am home being.

I say a prayer upon rising then amble down to the kitchen to make my coffee concoction. I smile at all the jars of extra nutrition I put into it, amused at the potion it has become. More often than not a wistful memory surfaces around this ritual. I let it come. On other days, I am inclined to discipline myself about certain emotions that sometimes threaten to rule. But on weekends, we have the luxury of sitting together until I can send them gently on their way. Then I throw open the doors and windows, welcome air and light into my home, feeling every part of me finally waking up. I sit on the lanai chair that  gives me the best view of my garden and sip my morning elixir. Already I am in a space of gratitude for this home and life I am so very fortunate to have. I walk barefoot on the grass and stand in the middle of my space on this earth. I take in the ground beneath me, receive the sky above me and feel myself right at the center of their generosity. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Jul 262015
 

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My previous post earned a conversation with a concerned friend who thought I might be clinically depressed or suffering from concealed depression (aha, a brand new disease !). Like I said in the post, I am not prone to depression, but this does not mean I have not felt despair, sadness and grief. I have. I am somewhere in that well now, but slowly finding my way back to the surface.

Now, I know myself, but I also like to guard against denial. I went online after we hung up and read several articles on depression, even took a few quizzes, enough to confirm what I already know: I’m just sad, and I know it’s something that comes with my life experiences of late. If I went into detail, you would agree that it is a very sad time, indeed. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:32 pm
Jan 282013
 

My home studio

I know I’ve been very quiet and I didn’t mean for it to last this long, but one of the things I’ve been focusing (intensely) on, is my health. After the holiday indulgences, I just couldn’t look at one more baked anything. I couldn’t see myself eating another morsel of meat. It was as if my body craved for balance and renewal.

In the beginning, my attempts were difficult. It wasn’t until I was struggling through a run that D. pointed out I didn’t much like exerting myself to the point of heart-pounding madness. That made me realize that I did not, in fact, enjoy running the hills of my village. I only really enjoyed the scenery.  I also realized I did not enjoy the PEAK 8 exercises I was making myself do. I truly did not. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:46 pm
Jul 232012
 

I used to be a gym addict, but after I had kids, I just didn’t enjoy being there anymore. It’s a good thing I discovered Pilates and that quickly became my favorite workout.  I liked working with my body weight and the constant stretching and core strengthening. But when I moved out to my quiet space outside of the city, I gave it a rest. The nearest Pilates studio was 45 minutes away and, well, I was hibernating. Of course I regret it. The forties is not the time to rest from working out; it’s the time to move even more.  Well, that’s easier said than done. I am halfway through my forties and dealing with major energy fluctuations. I know it’s all part of it, so I just do my best. There are certain tricks that I employ to get me motivated and here’s one of them:

Activity-defining stickers help me keep track of my workout week.

I had these stickers made so I could put them on my little Moleskine calendar. Each one represents a kind of exercise I do, so I can monitor what I’m doing, just because I want to be able to do that.  On a good week, I’ll have a lot of different stickers on.  When I’m down and unable to workout, there may be just one or two.  I have to tell you there’s nothing like sticking them on and reviewing a good week full of colorful squares. Yay! You know what else I love? Seeing my clothesline full of workout clothes. I know that I’ve been good, strong and disciplined when I have 4 or 5 sets there per week. Double yay!

Another thing I do is get into my workout clothes first thing, especially if there’s stuff I need to do before I am able to exercise. Being in workout gear is a constant reminder of what I need to do. It’s very hard to put them on and then take them off just because you’re lazy. If you’re dressed for it, you’ll do it.

The best thing I did for my workouts is build a little studio in my house just for me.  So now I just go down to my little room and do my thing. I have several dvd workouts and also subscribe to mybarre3 because I love Barre3. I used to love going to the local Barre3 studios to do the workouts, but I felt the airconditioning was just getting in the way of my sweat, plus having to travel to a studio to exercise is too vulnerable to cancellation. With two boys, it’s never easy to keep to the schedule and when things get tight, it’s always mama who gives in. This way, I just need to be home. I make sure I do different workouts so I don’t get bored.

Recently someone told me he could never workout at home; the toned bodies in the gym inspire him. Well, all I need to do is see how the years have crept up on my formerly toned physique and I am inspired enough to hit the room and sweat!! These days I just tell myself it doesn’t have to be intense all the time. If I’m feeling tired then I do a quick one, just as long as I get my heart pumping and break a sweat.

What do you do to keep motivated?

 

 Posted by at 3:47 pm
Jul 282011
 

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I buy my flowers from Flower Depot because they are grown biodynamically and with love! Not only are these blooms beautiful, they are pesticide free and stay fresh and gorgeous for a long time. Each time I walk past them at home, I dive into their soft petals and inhale their life-giving scent. There’s nothing like it. I wouldn’t do that with other blooms grown the traditional way, but with these I know I am inhaling nothing but goodness. And I do it often! I just can’t resist. For many Christmases now, I’ve been ordering my roses from them. They make my tree come alive and fill my home with their incredible scent.

The owners, Paula and Niccolo Aberasturi, are close friends who have since expanded their business to include biodynamic vegetables and grassfed beef and pork. Yay! Isn’t that the best news yet? Check them out at downtoearth. They are also at the Salcedo and Legazpi weekend markets.

Isn’t it wonderful that there are more and more healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound choices for our families?

 

 

 Posted by at 1:31 am
Sep 192010
 
Seriously, how loud does everything have to be?  At a dinner with friends Friday night, we talked about how often we have to ask for music to be turned down everywhere we go–from stores, to coffee shops and restaurants, everything has become unbearably noisy.
I entered a watch store a few weeks back and couldn’t get the attention of any of the salespeople. They were staring vacantly, yet absently moving along with the deafening beat. They were in slow motion. I was trying to ask a question and was motioning to my ears and they still didn’t get it. I finally yelled, “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN DOWN THE MUSIC ?” Yes, it was that loud. Very, very loud. They looked at me as though I were a crazy villainess and grudgingly slow motioned to wherever the controls were. They adjusted the volume so minutely that I just gave up and walked out.
On a recent trip this summer, D. and I marvelled at how nice and quiet the malls were. You can actually think while you shop and enjoy walking without feeling so assaulted. Here, I zip in and out and have learned to stay away from noisy places.  If I’m hearing the music from outside, I know it’s going to be unbearable inside. Forget it.
Really, how loud does it need to be? Until there are laws that protect our hearing, I’m going to keep asking everyone to please turn it down.
TURN IT DOWN!
 Posted by at 9:14 am
Aug 172010
 

I was never one for running. I tried it, admittedly without conviction, motivation nor pleasure, many years ago and just found it too jarring and not my thing. I was happy just walking, doing my pilates, rebounding, doing everything slowly.  But then the forties hit and those who are there with me know what that means for the body. I felt I needed to do more and though I love rebounding, I live in a fantastic neighborhood for walking and, well, running. Yup, I felt the time had come to add that to my regimen.

So I sent an SMS to all my runner friends asking for numbers of trainers. I was going to get into this with proper training. Stories of running injuries abound and I didn’t want that at all;  I wanted to start properly. Well, one text message mentioned Chi Running. That intrigued me so I googled it and got very excited.

Chi Running incorporates core work, proper alignment, body awareness, relaxation and enjoyment into your running technique. It teaches you how to let gravity work for you. There is a wisdom here that I already live by in the many platforms of exercise and movement I continue to use in my life. Danny Dreyer, the founder of Chi Running leads a holistic lifestyle and believes that running doesn’t have to mean injuries. He runs with a focus on the body-mind connection and that really appealed to me.

The best thing about learning Chi Running is there’s a local certified instructor, Lit Onrubia.  We waited a few weeks before he could come out to our neck of the woods but it was worth it.  He gives workshops regularly, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that will fit your schedule. If you’re contemplating running, do this first! I used to pant going uphill and put on invisible breaks going downhill, but a few hours with Lit and I already have a technique that works. Now I look at hills with zero dread–ok–greatly diminished dread.

You guys, Lit makes running a pleasure! Chi Running rocks!

 Posted by at 4:49 pm