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Hatha yoga, so important for my health and peace of mind.

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THANK YOU Chris Downie, founder of SparkPeople, this incomparable wellness site! (9/26/09)

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-- truth:

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VALERIEMAHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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May 3, 2020, beginning yet again!

We're in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in earnest around March 1. Since my last SP weigh-in I'm up 17.6 lbs. and feeling very uncomfortable and bloated.

My eating has been purdy much non-stop. My first action in the current weight loss strategy was to eliminate buying all trigger foods, a biggie for me. Next is moving toward potion control as I begin logging my food intake.

Exercise-wise, it's bike riding, qigong, and yoga. I'm ready for some positive change.

And the beat goes on.

"The trouble is, you think you have time," said the Buddha. And although I know the importance of daily meditation,
pranayama (breathing practices), exercise/movement, and moderate daily food intake, sadly I haven't been consistent. I am, though, committed to optimal body-mind-spirit health,and will start over as many times as it takes.

I intend to "have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

The shape my life will morph into in the foreseeable future is a mystery -- I'm trying to "live the questions now" with grace, letting go of anxiety about the future. Oh, and anyway T. S. Eliot tells us,
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Bottom line in all of this is, "Don't take life too serious -- it's all just so mysterious!" (George Gershwin)

And a bit more kitchen table wisdom:

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. ----Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Everything that happens to me is my teacher. The trick is to sit at the feet of my own life and let myself be taught by it. --Unknown

An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

Member Since: 6/2/2006

Fitness Minutes: 52,908

My Goals:

~ know joy

~ no judgment

Reshape yourself by the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.

To those who have conquered themselves, the will is a friend. But it is the enemy of those who have not found the Self within them.
--Bhagavad Gita 6:5-6

My Program:


~ Daily meditation
and pranayama practice

~ Daily gratitudes journaling

~ Exercise at least 10 min./day

~ 20 min. strength training every-other day

Personal Information:

I'm a California native, and I have lived primarily in northern CA/San Francisco Bay Area when not traveling or living out-of-state or internationally.

I currently live near Little Rock, AR. I returned to school to pick up another undergrad degree, in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013.

I've been a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I also volunteer and have worked for El Zocalo Immigrant Resources Center.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my root teacher (Diksha Guru)..

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole, mostly organic, plant-based diet since 1980. I enjoy cooking delicious food with *attitude.*

Other Information:

I love a good movie (e.g., The Visitor; Iris; The Man Who Sued God; Bella) or read (authors Mary Catherine Bateson and Jill Ker Conway are current favorites). I also read sacred texts and other spiritual books, and Swami Satchidananda, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh are among favorite wisdom writers.

As a wimpy Pisces swimming around in the cosmic ocean with lots of air influence, I don't like books or movies too negative, or intense or horrific. My delicate sensibility is easily thrown off-balance. Really.

Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Whyte, John O'Donohue, Pablo Neruda and Rumi are favorite poets. And music! From Angelique Kidjo and Amadeus Mozart to Diana Krall and Krishna Das...and a world in-between!

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    Thanks for that additional info!! She absolutely glows: with intelligence and with heart.
    5 days ago
    Gee, I dunno about those CD and DVD binders. Ours are not as posh as in the 1st link you sent. It just depends on the look you want, the size you want, etc. JF bought ours and they are big, white, cheap looking (ugly) and when full of DVDs too heavy IMO. When he gets an idea he just goes for it without consulting me. LOL!! Often my choices are very different because I look at it from the user end. Maybe it's my design mind as a potter.
    The last link you sent of the zip up case that looks cloth covered is my fave.
    11 days ago
    And, me too!! Thank you!! I often think of my "wild and crazy life . . . ". It was great to hear her reading Wild Geese herself!!
    26 days ago
    YOU, dear Spark friend, were first to introduce me to Mary Oliver!! Although I studied literature at university, that was a LONG time ago when she would have been a contemporary American poet just not on the radar of my Canadian professors (who did teach Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams . . . but of course they are MEN!!)

    Thanks for the additional Mary Oliver!! Somehow she seems to me to be the literary sister of Mary Cassatt!!
    26 days ago
    We'll form our unity unique/from our diversity"!!
    29 days ago
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