Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Road

There's a long way to go before I can kick up my heals and have a rest. Each year I generate strategies and try new techniques to make this crowded little over obligated time of the year a little less hectic. Things that have been effective over the years I keep and each year I try to incorporate other practices to make this period an easier transition as I anticipate the sweet days of Summer. What I have learned is that organization and following a daily schedule is key. Each week I make a schedule and add or amend it daily. I try to start projects a month ahead of time and schedule in regular blocks so I'm not crushed beyond capacity when things come due. This has been quite effective but the down side is always thinking in the future rather than the present moment.
One of the hardest things to incorporate into my routine is a consistent practice. There is so much to do, that by the time I have finished everything the only sane option is sleep. Yesterday after two weeks I finally made my way into a class and unto the mat and the difference in my energy level and attitude is astounding. There is no way for me to have the practice I would like to have this time of year. A home practice is out of the question. Too many distractions, I wont last ten minutes before my eye catches something and I remember a task and should really just do it and get it out of the way. It's better for me to be in a class where I can let those thoughts slide past me and focus on breathing and allowing myself to be present. That's a big piece of having too much to do. Always thinking forward about what needs to be done in the future and not being present in the moment or the day. This year I am scheduling in a small practice, an opportunity to be present and in the moment. A little time to soak up the gorgeous Spring blooming around me. The road can be long, but it doesn't have to be arduous.
Slow and peaceful feeling to everyone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Beautiful Planet

Today was a lovely day. We gathered our things and headed off to catch some sun and sand. Our first day at the beach this season! aaaahhhhh, just wonderful! As we all walked down the beach smiling, giggling, barking, throwing the frisbee and just expressing happiness, I couldn't help but reflect on the beauty of this planet and how dearly I appreciate, love and respect her.

I never cease to be amazed at her beauty, dignity and grace. I am in constant awe of her patience and forgiving nature. I think we are not the brightest race in the universe - At least I really hope not - because we do really horrible things to this planet that hurt not only ourselves but the fragile ecosystem we all depend on to survive. Some in the name of progress and industrialization and the rest out of ignorance and an incapacity to think about anything other than what we want right now. It's just not working, we have to to live in harmony with our planet or we're all going end up in a hand basket complaining about the heat!

I think we need to start by teaching our children how to live with an understanding of this planet instead of thinking of it as an everlasting well which will never run dry. It's imperative the next generation is instilled with a sense of responsibility and respect. If were going to save ourselves for generations to come we have to begin now. A few months ago I was sitting in a restaurant which had synthetic place mats. The kind that debilitate the planet by sitting in landfills for a few hundred years. Three little girls at the table were carrying on about how pretty they were, how good they felt and wouldn't it be nice if they had something like this at home. Not one of the girls understood the difference between natural and synthetic materials or what happens when you throw away materials that aren't biodegradable. They had never been taught and and when I mentioned something I got the your so weird look. They could have cared less. Proper etiquette and good manners were imperative, but an appreciation for the planet and it's limitations, not even a blip on the radar. That's wrong, lets change that. We have to begin to educate our children, for everyone's sake.

I want to leave you on a happy note with this poem. Our dogs were so happy today. It was a delight to see them play and frolic on a sunny warm Spring day. Be well. be happy, and go out and show the planet a little love today.

Happy Dog
I’m a happy dog at the beach
If I had the power of speech
I would tell you all
To throw my ball
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
There are no new tricks you can teach
I’m bouncy and glad
And my tail wags like mad
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
My joy is always in reach
Whatever the talk
It’s the best place to walk
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
As I hear the seagulls screech
I chase and I bark
Long into the dark
I’m a happy dog at the beach

I’m a happy dog at the beach
And I don’t want to start to preach
But if you ask me
The best thing to see
Is a happy dog at the beach

Flying Lemming

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fine Spring Day

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
Edwin Way Teale

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nose Job

Encouraged by Brenda at Grounding Thru The Sit Bones and Michelle at Find Your Balance I was reminded if I'm going to talk the talk, I better walk the walk. I posted an earlier article on ayurvedic health remedies for the Spring and purposefully left out the Neti pot. I didn't leave it out because I think its ineffective as a health regime but because I am a yellow bellied chicken liver wimp. I knew if I made this suggestion I would have to pull out my own little neti pot (see above) and use it. Common sense finally prevailed. I warmed one cup of water with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and set to work. Why I didn't do this sooner is just plain stupidity. My allergies have been kicking my ass. Waking up with headaches and an ache in my left eye has left me surly and sluggish. May 2nd was a nice warm day to reacquaint myself with this little health practice and when finished, I instantly felt better.

Learning to Neti was part of the curriculum in India. At the time we were in the middle of the Monsoon season and the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the pouring rain and add more water to my already waterlogged body. We were instructed and graded and basically you kept at it till you did it properly. I'm grateful now, but at the time I just wanted to get out of the cold and rain.

Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. It has been practised in India for centuries as one of the disciplines of yoga. Some clinical tests have shown that this practice is safe and beneficial with no significant side effects. If you suffer from certain health problems, it is advised that you seek experienced guidance before using a neti pot. These problems include: asthma, high blood pressure, migraines, chronic nose bleeds, known nasal blockages (polyps, deviated septum, etc), chronic sinusitis, and frequent ear/nose/throat infections.

Flushing the nasal cavity with salt water is believed to promote mucociliary clearance by moisturizing the nasal cavity and removing encrusted material, (although there is no clear evidence to support this.) The flow of salt water through the nasal passage flushes out dirt, airborne allergens (dust and pollen), pollutants and bacteria-filled mucus.

Salt water flushing also loosens and thins the mucus, making it easier to expel. Without this build up of mucus, the tiny cilia, or hairs in the nasal passage are able to function more efficiently, pushing excess mucus either to the back of the throat or to the nose to be expelled.

A simple yet effective technique is to pour salt water solution into one nostril and let it run out through the other while the mouth is kept open to breathe, using gravity as an aid. This is an old Ayurvedic technique known as jala neti, and the container used to administer the saline is called a neti pot. (Neti is Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing.") A neti pot can be obtained at any number of stores. The neti pot I was given in India is identical to one available at Walgreen's for $7.95. Individual preference will decide how often someone neti's. Nasal irrigation can be administered daily, seasonally or yearly.

The following is a brief but complete instruction on how to Neti:

Be well, breath deeply and happy Spring!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day

"The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I'll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown'd it."
Robert Herrick, The Maypole, 1660