I am thrilled beyond measure that I get to welcome Katrina Kenison to lil omm on Thursday, January 17 from 7-9 pm for a magical evening of yoga, book discussion and signing. If you want to be romanced with words, deeply seen, and held softly and beautifully in a community of mothers, I really hope you'll join us. Your soul will be hugely grateful.
To order Katrina's new book, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment, go here.
For more information and to register, visit www.lilomm.com (look under workshops & events) or call 202.248.6304.
Sometimes we look around, and that's what we see. Scattered pieces of ourselves, our lives, a project, a season of our lives. Where is the connecting thread, we wonder? How can we ever pull this together into something that makes sense, something with purpose, something with meaning?
There are pieces to ever whole; yet each piece is complete. Don't worry about how they will all come together. Work Joyfully on the piece that's before you. The piece that's in your life today.
There are many pieces of you, many beautiful parts. The universe will help you bring all those parts alive. It will bring mirrors to you, people who will reflect those beautiful pieces back to you. Look in the mirror of your life. What pieces do you see reflected? Know it's you you're seeing. Then let that part of you come alive.
Pull in the pars of yourself, the many beautiful parts that have come alive. Beckon your warrior, your healer, your playful child. Bring together your professional self, your adult, the passionate part of you, the nurturing part. Let all the parts come together. Don't send any of them away. You need them all. Each is a beautiful piece of the soul, the life, the person you are.
TRUST. Trust the process. Joy is yours, available for the asking and the desiring- even in the developmental stages. Even before the puzzle has been put together. The scattered pieces will come together. The scattered pieces of yourself, your project, your life. The connecting thread is love.
The picture will be beautiful. Wait and See.
-Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie
P.S. *Thanks Pleasance for bringing this lovely poem to light.
Come check out my monthly column, called Just Breathe at the Wishstudio. I'll be offering my take on yoga, pranayama (breathwork), creativity and inspiration.
My friend Mindy has created the most amazing, magical and inspirational creative community online (and will soon be doing it in person!) I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of this wonderful network of women who are living their most passionate, creative lives. Thanks for taking the time to visit me there and let me know what you think!
This past week I did something I've never done before: a cleanse. Yoga Journal showcased a lovely, gentle 7 day detox in the print and online version, and all stars seemed to align for me to be able to participate. We had a "just-right-amount-of-activity" week, where Jonah started his second year of preschool, but our afternoons and evenings were relatively free. This allowed me to actually be home to stick to eating and drinking what they indicated and for me to rest as needed. Why did I want to do this? Well, I have not really felt like my optimal self for quite some time. Mostly I'm depleted of energy, unmotivated and often flightly. (And yes, I do have 2 young children, but they are finally sleeping through the night so things should be shifting.) I have been feeling like I need to make some health changes in order to best serve myself, my family, and the world at large.
If you're like me, and you've never done a cleanse before, you may have no idea what I'm talking about. Basically, I ate kitchari (mung beans, rice, some Indian/ayurevedic herbs) 3 times a day and in between drank some cumin, fennel, coriander tea and had some broth. It might sound crazy, but it was AMAZING. I really wasn't eating a whole lot of food (and at first I was hungry) but then my body adjusted and felt nourished, lighter, clearer and GROUNDED. I was able to get things accomplished and still have energy to spare. I was happy, consistent in mood and did I mention....still happy by the time my husband got home from work? Lots of crazy stuff happened to us during this week: a weird smell we STILL can't identify appeared in our kitchen, our dishwasher broke (are those 2 related?), we received some disappointing news...and yet, I was able to deal with it all with some sense of peace and ease.
Over the past few years, through my yoga 'journey, I've read about all types of food diets but not really experimented. My interest has stemmed from health and curiousity, not weight management. Oh, and taste. Because I LOVE FOOD. Let me be clear: I grew up in the '80s on Little Debbie and Wonder Bread and packaged meat and convenience foods. My mom cooked often (and it was great mom!) but I think it was just an era where easy trumped all (and as a mom, I TOTALLY GET IT!). We are all learning now that packaged is not the way to go.
I am not a vegetarian. Or vegan. But often thought, should I be? Would that make me feel best? And I still don't know the answer to that. But this cleanse offered me some fascinating insight into my own body and I want to record and remember what I learned so that when I veer (as I inevitably will) and begin to feel bad again, I can steer back to a more healthful path.
Here's what I learned about ME:
**What I didn't eat made as much difference as what I did. I didn't eat MEAT, DAIRY, SUGAR (no, really! can you believe it?), PRESERVATIVES, PROCESSED FOOD or GLUTEN (more on this in a bit).
**I need to drink LOTS OF LIQUIDS!! I am probably often in a subtle state of dehydration. I need to focus on water, teas, soups, broths, etc. Liquid is very, very good.
**Smaller portions are easier to digest and give you more energy not less. Stay with me here...I always thought when I was hungry I needed to eat LOTS and LOTS of food to fill up. And I did. And then I would need to take a nap. And I was grumpy because my tummy hurt, or I was distracted. Smaller is better. It seems counter-intuitive to eat less for more energy, but it felt so true in my own body.
What am I taking away from all of this??
---I am going to try to do dairy in moderation. I still love dairy and think I can handle small amounts of it...but I need to be mindful and choosy about my dairy choices and my portions.
---I am going to try to stay gluten-free for a while. Some key pieces came together for me this week regarding my digestion and the way I feel after I eat pasta, pizza, bagels, baked goods, etc. I don't think I have a serious condition, but suspect I might have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. A gluten allergy is an auto-immune reaction, as is thyroid disease (which I've had post-partum) so I think it all might be related. Here's the strangest thing...you'd think I'd be craving these no-no foods after a week off, but my body adjusted and actually I want to avoid them because I know it's just going to make me feel bad.
---I am going to try to avoid or seriously reduce my sugar intake (especially refined sugar). This is the one that scares me the most, since I have a HUGE sweet tooth and we are approaching autumn baked goods season, but honestly, the lattes and the sweets and the chocolate has kept me on this crazy roller coaster, feeling high then low, then crazy, then high strung and stressed out.
---I know I can still fully enjoy life, family, friends and social events eating this way. It just might require a little more creativity, or self-awareness, or restraint. There are so many wonderful products and cookbooks out in the world today that even with some eating restrictions, eating can be an amazing, pleasurable, adventurous experience.
--What you eat DOES MATTER to your body (not to mention the planet, but that's a whole 'nother story). Despite what anyone might say (including clueless medical professionals....).
I am sharing all this to remind myself, but if any of it resonates or intrigues you, I encourage you to do a gentle cleanse as well. You never know just what you'll find out.
P.S. The detox also included yoga sequences, meditation, and other "kriya"or cleansing practices. I mostly focused on the food because I mean, come on, I DO have 2 small children, but I did make it to my weekly meditation class and I did a few more yoga sequences than the norm for me.
Savor Life. Every joyous, messy, exciting, stressful, mundane, crazy-making moment of it. Savor those you love, your body, your everyday choices. Most of all, savor yourself, because you and this present moment are all you have.
Pregnant in DC/MD/VA? Check out these resources...
Birth Options Alliance This site is a phenomenal resource to find care providers, doulas, childbirth education classes, resources, birth stories and so much more. You can also sign up for the listserv to ask questions, learn more and be updated on events and offerings.
DCUM Weblog — DC Urban Moms & Dads This is a huge forum for DC Metro parents to get ANY question answered both prenatal and postnatal. Wonderful resource to get varied opinions, but just beware...some responders are snarky! Take what you need and leave the rest...Good place to find out about local events.