Monday, August 30, 2010

Busy August - Starting School and Turning Ten!

“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made. And give, give in any way you can, of whatever you posses. To give is to love. To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.”
Kent Nerburn
It's really hard to believe that August is almost over. It's been busy busy busy and hot hot hot!
School started weeks ago and my oldest three began playing fall soccer. Little Scout starts preschool for 3 year olds next week and for the first time in ten years I will be by myself two mornings a week for two hours. I think I will sit in my house and listen to the silence. Oh, and maybe do a few loads of piled up laundry etc. Maybe I should just get out those paints again. Who knows...

Speaking of "ten", my oldest son turned 10 years
old this weekend. I thought my life was great before kids, but the day he was born I went from living in black and white to full technicolor. I did not know my heart was capable of so much love. I feel so blessed.
To celebrate, he wanted to have some friends over for a party. My husband and I sent them on a wild scavenger hunt through the woods in search of sparkling rocks from the creek, and snakes and lizards (purchased at the dollar store).
The party ended after hours of creek stomping with cupcakes and a smoke bomb. Seeing the boys frolic in the great outdoors made me want to bottle up those sweet, joyful and innocent moments. I was nearby taking pictures and smiling for sure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For the Love of Yoga

Thanks for the way you make me feel like I just swallowed sunlight. I hope we're together for as long as that sun shines.

It's been 20 years since taking a Hatha Yoga class my junior year of college. Since then it has always been a part of my life. For over a year I have been fortunate to teach a mixed level Vinyasa Flow class 1-3 times per week. Each week there are usually new students who join the class. I tell them yoga means to join the mind, body, and breath, and to enjoy the hour as a gift to themselves.
The bottom line: It Feels Good!
As we move our bodies in a dimly lit room, we quite the mind. We check in and release any tension or strain. There is no competition or judgement. We breathe and feel ourselves in the present moment. We stretch. Inhale. Exhale.
It Feels Good.
Below is a letter I found written by a women who loves yoga too.
Dear Yoga,
I know, I know, we were just on the mat together, but there's something I'd like to say before we meet again tomorrow.
We live in a world that loves to tell me what to do with my body. From parents to teachers to government to doctors and dentists and personal trainers to television to the backs of cereal boxes, for Pete's sake.
Every day, someone tells me what and what not to eat (yes to quinoa, no to ice cream - thanks for that, when and when not to eat (every two hours, only when I'm hungry), what numbers I have to know (cholesterol, blood pressure, BMI), what behavior is acceptable (don't sing on the subway), what I must buy to be attractive (that is so last year), what hours I must work to prove my worth (lots and lots), what performance I've got to give every day to be worthwhile to someone else (always on, always 100%).
None of this feels like me.

So, yoga, thanks for encouraging me to show up when it feels right, to do what feels wonderful and within my chosen limits (my choice!), to challenge myself when I care to, and to rest in Child's Pose whenever I want. Thanks for encouraging and not demanding. Thanks for the joy you give back, whether I'm with you for five minutes or an hour and a half.
I love the way you make me laugh more easily, like myself more with every pose, and remind me with every practice of the beautiful, glowing-faced wonder I am.

Thanks for the way you make me feel like I just swallowed sunlight. I hope we're together for as long as that sun shines,
Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (about All Things Wonderful) from North Bay, Ontario.
The photo above was taken with my friend Susan as we attended David Romanelli's
Yoga + Chocolate Everything is Sweeter in the Moment workshop. That was a treat!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You are meant to have an amazing life!

You are meant to have an amazing life!
This is the first sentence in the introduction of Rhonda Byrne's new book the Power.
I am a huge fan of her first book The Secret in which she writes about the Law of Attraction; whatever you give, is exactly what you attract back to yourself. Byrne's new book almost jumped off the shelf to me as I was searching for mechanical pencils and cheap gym shoes for the kids.

the Power is all about the positive force of love. I am only 21 pages into the book but I wanted to share a section I circled in red pen.
People who have great lives talk more about what they love. By doing so, they gain unlimited access to all the good in life, and they are free as the birds that soar in the sky. To have a great life, break the bars of the cage that is jailing you; give love, talk only about what you love, and love will set you free!
Nothing is impossible for the force of love. No matter who you are, no matter what situation you may be facing, the force of love can set you free. -the Power
What do you love?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Sweet Escape of Books

Reading will set you free. - quote from my 10th grade English teacher

It has been swirling craziness around here. The kids started school this week, our house had been under construction for months with a few major setbacks and delays and is a tornado inside and out, three of my kids are in soccer on different teams and leagues, I have been teaching and training for more fitness classes, and I am still in the midst of potty training with lots of success yet frequent setbacks.

Everyone one of you reading could write a similar paragraph above with your busy lives. How do you cope amidst the chaos? What do you turn to for comfort and refuge?

I turn to books. The bigger and more intense the stress, the bigger the books I put my nose into. As this crazy time started a couple weeks ago, I chose to dive into a 1236 page small print historical fiction novel, World Without End by Ken Follett. This is the sequel to his epic bestselling dramatic Medieval novel, Pillars of the Earth. I read Pillars more than ten years ago.

One word comes to mind: ESCAPE. How thrilling it is to quickly slip back into year 1327 to experience the hard life in ancient England where life revolved around a great cathedral and and the town of Kingsbridge filled with good, strong, and villainous characters. Desire, Black Death plague, war, passion, and family conflict fill these pages that I willingly get lost in.
Maybe this makes my life seem like cake compared to those hard times of peasants and serfs. As I sift through assignment notebooks and  my overloaded calendar, the Medieval world of Kingsbridge lingers in the back of my mind. Sweet escape. What's yours?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Italian Sausage Burgers

My husband brought home some Italian sausages, sweet onions, and garden fresh peppers and asked me to create something yummy. I always love that challenge! Only having burger buns, I created Italian sausage burgers. They were so easy and delicious!
First, I chopped all the veggies and tossed them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. I placed them in my vegetable grill basket and BK put them on the grill for 15 minutes turning occasionally while the sausages boiled.
We took the veggies off the grill and added the sausages on for 10 minutes. While they were grilling, I warmed some burger buns in the oven to lightly crisp, opened and warmed a jar of marinara sauce, and a package of sliced provolone cheese. I sliced the sausages, placed them on the crisp buns, added a slice of cheese, sauce, & peppers. Yummy Italian sausage burgers! These would be good without meat too.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tomato Mozzarella Basil Salad

My favorite summer salad is simple, fresh, delicious!
Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil Salad
Slice up fresh tomatoes
Slice a fresh ball of Buffalo Mozzarella cheese
Tear fresh basil leaves
Arrange on platter
Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top
Add sea salt and ground pepper