4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Balance

Learn to bring balance into your life: eat well, move your body with pleasure and routine, and quiet your mind. Ahhh.

A Calm Within the Storm

A marvelous occurrence: 5 + inches of rain has fallen within the past 72 hours. It’s not so much the ferocious storm that has made this time special, as it is the calm and slow pace that I gave myself permission to create and enjoy in the midst of the storm.

Friday’s plans for a snowshoe outing were canceled due to weather and suddenly, on Thursday night I realized that I had a weekday looming–without commitments!

Admittedly, my mind went to all the work-related items I could accomplish! Eight hours of unexpected and suddenly available time can create the space for many To Do tasks to be checked off the list. I thought about it for just a moment when my next thought was NO! Just hang out. Take advantage of the day and of the storm and stay warm, dry, and quiet–right at home.

At that moment, I gave myself permission to just be.

For the past 72 hours, I have not gone out of the house, except to take Grace for a walk. Twice a day for the past three days, I have donned my rain-gear and enjoyed a 1/2 hour of bliss–walking through the storm, cozy and warm in winter clothes, experiencing the fierce wind and rain, senses stimulated by the sights, sounds, and smells of the storm, and I’d return home with a joyful heart and a smiling dog.

I’ve sat quietly and have felt grateful for that quiet. I have baked dozens of mini-loaves of cranberry and coconut-pumpkin bread to be shared next week as holiday love. I have savored the aromas wafting from my kitchen. I have watched the flames in the woodstove. I have made soup and roasted squash. I have had fun on FaceBook and yes, I have even answered a few emails. I have watched the great trees bend and sway in the powerful winds. I have enjoyed seeing the birds braving the elements to stay well-fed from the feeders. I have slowed down.

I gave myself permission to be calm within the storm.

Free Hugs…

The farmer’s market at the Embarcadero in San Francisco is spectacular! Anytime we are visiting the city, our Saturday morning includes a round-about walk that lands us in the midst of the the most dazzling display of organic veggies, fruit, breads, flowers, cheeses, nuts, and so much more…and today we sampled all of it, including free hugs.

We saw these two young adults coming towards us on the crowded sidewalk, and the young man caught my eye and smiled…and asked, “Would you like a free hug”? There was only one answer, and yes it was a yummy hug, during which he told me that he and his friend were simply sharing the love. Simple, joyous, and oh so sweet.

After the Rain

Were there a way to capture the splendor of the forest after the rain…

An unexpected summer storm–cooling down the sizzle of August, dousing the dusty walking paths of my daily excursions, and bringing all of my senses alive–

Dressed in long leggings and a jacket (in August!), I ventured out with my sweetie and my sweet dog to savor the post-storm beauty on a walk through the woods. Immediately I was intoxicated by the smells! I am almost at a loss for words to describe the richness of the varied aromas permeating the cool, fresh air. Mountain misery, wet and sticky, released a pungent sage brush-like flavor; damp Madrone leaves, knocked to the ground by the wind, now gifted me with deliciousness; wet earth smelling so rich and fertile…

And the visuals, oh my, so dazzling. Water droplets clinging to Cedar boughs and catching the sunshine to create prisms of color; dull, brown bark of the Evergreens now vibrant as sepia, burnt sienna, and caramel; pristine white clouds, full and fluffy, against the deep blue summer sky; and the moss, the iridescent greens of which exist only in nature–so luscious and inviting, that I felt compelled to reach out to feel the texture, which was as soft and wet and yummy as it looked.

Speaking of touch, the tactile stimulation was spectacular. Fresh, clean air, cool to my skin, ruffling my hair with the gentle breeze; soft earth underfoot; my hand cupped warmly in my sweetheart’s hand; feeling love and sharing in this miracle of nature.

The sounds were just as delightful–birds singing from their hearts, seeming to celebrate the storm’s end; water droplets falling to the ground; tree limbs swaying in the breeze; dogs barking from afar; and Grace’s charging feet chasing her ball…

I felt as refreshed by our walk than did the forest seem–after the rain. Home again, heart filled with gratitude and a quiet joy for the simple beauty of life.

Sit and Strengthen for Man on the Go

Stretch Away Business/Travel Tension

HeartMatters for Man on the Go: Healthy Travel Tip Tuesday.

Notes from Glacier National Park

I have seen more wildflowers today than on perhaps any other day in my life. Reverence is the word I can use to describe my emotional response to the exquisite natural beauty I witnessed today. As I was immersed in the splendor of Glacier, sharing the marvelous scenery with my husband John, I ran out of superlatives to describe my wonder. What a truly mindful experience. Pure sensory stimulation. And what a gift to slow down enough to smell, to feel, to listen, to observe…I wish I could find words to share the quality of the smells in the air, but alas I cannot. Suffice it to say that the freshness, the green-ness, the sweetness, was so raw, so new, it was divine beyond description. The tactile stimulation was also virtually indescribable: warm sun on skin, cool shade bringing goosebumps, gentle breeze ruffling through my hair, cold water on my toes… Oh, the sounds–birdsong the likes of which I have not heard, rushing water, swaying trees, and silent forests–all of it joyful in my ears. And, the visuals: now I am back to the flowers, the meadows, the rivers and lakes, the steep hillsides, Rocky Mountain goats, Bighorn sheep, all living in the incredibly thick forests. How blessed I am to be here, in the midst of the beauty of life.

Food for business travel

Yes, take those few moments to pack healthy snacks that will sustain you while traveling for business…or pleasure!

The best thing I did when I discovered I had Type 2 Diabetes was to call Robin Mallery. She coached me to craft a plan to turn this condition around, and the encouragement to believe that I can.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I am managing well, using Robin’s program of small steps, achievable goals, and positive reinforcement.  She’s not only a fountain of knowledge and experience, but a loving teacher and motivator.  For the first time in years, I don’t feel helpless about eating and weight gain.  Thank you, Robin!

—GC, Austin

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