Avo & Egg Toast

June 25, 2014

This recipe comes from my brilliant sister (also a brilliant nutritionist) Emma! As many of you know by now, I am about four months pregnant and still struggling quite a bit with morning sickness (also know as all-day-all-night sickness in my house). The nausea has left me with little appetite but I’m doing my best to eat as much as possible to help this little one grow. At the advice of my doctor I try to eat high-fat, high-protein snacks throughout the day; my sister recommended this gem and it has become a favorite:

Avo & Egg Toast

1 slice toast

1 hard boiled egg

1/2 avocado

salt, pepper, lemon to taste

Mash the avocado onto the toast. Slice the egg into rings and layer on top of the avocado. Top with salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice. Soooo good.

Side note: hysterically, I eat this with a couple pickles on the side. The salt just hits the spot!

July Book Club

June 25, 2014

For July’s Yoga Book Club, we have selected Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices From the East and West. We are meeting July 22 at 8 p.m. for discussion – this group is open to anyone who is interested. Contact me for location details!

About this book:

In this luminous collection, Daniel Ladinskybest known for his gifted and bestselling interpretations of the great Sufi poet Hafizbrings together the timeless work of twelve of the world’s finest spiritual writers, six from the East and six from the West. Once again Ladinsky reveals his talent for creating profound and playful renditions of classic poems for a modern audience. Rumi’s joyous, ecstatic love poems; St. Francis’s loving observations of nature through the eyes of Catholicism; Kabir’s wild, freeing humor that synthesizes Hindu, Muslim, and Christian beliefs; St. Teresa’s sensual verse; and the mystical, healing words of Sufi poet Hafiz—these along with inspiring works by Rabia, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mira, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Tukaram are all “love poems by God,” from writers considered to be “conduits of the divine.” A spiritual treasure to cherish always.

One of the highlights of my week each week is a class I teach for those recovering from substance abuse and PTSD. Each week I am continually moved by the enormous effort these students make in their steps towards recovery. As I was preparing for class last week, I came across a beautiful story by writer Portia Nelson.

This is titled, Chapters of My Life:

Chapter 1: I walked down the sidewalk and fell into a deep hole. I couldn’t get out and I couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t my fault. It took a long time to get out.

Chapter 2: I walked down the sidewalk and fell into the same hole again. I couldn’t understand. It wasn’t my fault. I really had to struggle to get out.

Chapter 3: I walked down the same sidewalk and fell into the same hole again. This time I understood why and it was my fault. This time it was easier to get out.

Chapter 4: I walked down the sidewalk and saw the same big hold. I walked around it. I didn’t fall into that hole.

Chapter 5: I chose another sidewalk.

As I read this, I thought to myself, this so perfectly describes the work we do in our yoga practice. The “hole” doesn’t have to be substance abuse; it could be anything – depression, a repetitive argument you have with a parent, sibling or spouse, any habitual response that we wish we could change but so often happens before we even realize it…

Far too frequently, our responses and reactions are knee-jerk and seem to happen “to” us rather than “from” us. We continually travel the same path, making the rut in the road or the hole in the sidewalk bigger and bigger each time we pass through. Our yoga practice, the work of breathing and staying present through the first and 10,000 Warrior II pose is the work of pulling ourselves out of the hole. It is noticing, here I go again… This feels the same, but I HAVE THE CHOICE how I am going to react. Once we build the skill to notice, we will quickly find the needed strength to change the actions we wish to change.

So, this week can we strive to stay present in our yoga practice and in our habitual reactions? Join me at Atlanta Hot Yoga or Sacred Thread Yoga for more discussion and practice!

I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’m a huge NPR junkie. It is the only thing I listen to in the car, and I rarely make it through a day without saying, “I heard the most interesting story today…” My favorite show is Marketplace – not because I love business news and stock markets that much but because I love Kai Ryssdal’s voice. I’m telling ya, he can make anything sound interesting…

Last week, Kai shared an interview (it was actually a re-play from an earlier story) in which a politician was promoting his book and offering some of his “rules to live by” and the first one he shared was this –

“It is easier to get in to something than to get out of it.”

Now, I am removing all the politics behind this and just taking the words at face value, but this is great right? Can you imagine if you actually lived by this rule? What if we thought so clearly and honestly before making commitments that we never had to backtrack and apologize for needing to change plans? How often do we lie to ourselves about the realities of interruptions and delays so that we are unable to meet all of our commitments for the day.

After co-teaching a workshop on the Yamas & Niyamas at the Dirty South Yoga Fest (what a spectacular time!), the tenet of truth (Satya) has been on my mind all week, and I think this is a beautiful example of Satya – of being so truthful TO OURSELVES that we never have to go back and make a new plan. It is easy to think of truth in terms of the lies we tell others but what about the lies we tell ourself? About our time availability. About our energy level. About our wants and needs.

This week, let’s live with this daily reminder: “It is easier to get into something than get out of it.” Go slowly. Think honestly. And, then act. No matter how big or small the commitment, let’s honor Satya.

Humility

June 13, 2014

“Be Humble, for you are made of earth.
Be Noble, you come from the stars.”

~Serbian Proverb

Many months ago, a student and friend sent me the link to this blog post about humility. I absolutely loved discovering the root of Humility from this post:

“Imagine my surprise to read that humble, and hence humility, comes from the Latin humus, earth. Every gardener will share my thrill. Humus is not dirt, gravel or rocks. Humus is the life-filled, life-giving layer of soil that supports us all.”

Humility isn’t about false modesty or debasement. It isn’t thinking we aren’t worthy or good enough. It is simply seeing that in truth we are part of something much larger. It is taking off the “I, My, Me” glasses and looking through the lens of the collective “we”, the shared “us”.

With Humility you can still recognize and appreciate your special talents as an individual, but you also understand that you didn’t get here alone. As Maya Angelou said, “someone came before me, and someone already paid for me.”

What does it mean to bring Humility to your life? How does it feel to move from a self-centered focus to one that acknowledges that I am no different from you who is no different from the next person. We all share the same foundation and we will all wind up again as humus…inseparable and indistinguishable from one another.

“All streams flow to the Sea because it is lower than they are.

Humility gives it its power.”

~Lao Tzu

Every month I receive my subscription to a beautiful gardening magazine. This isn’t because I’m a beautiful gardener but because I aspire to be a beautiful gardner one day. This magazine profiles gardens all over the country with stunning landscapes, water features, perfectly placed potting sheds… Colors are coordinated. Weeds are pulled tirelessly. Every space is carefully evaluated for the perfect companion.

In contrast, our little garden (which is about the size of a postage stamp) is chock-full of violent color contrasts, plants that constantly outgrow their dedicated space and spill onto our walkway, and pots full of things that we shouldn’t even try to grow in our climate. In short, it is a tangled mess of color, leaves and mulch.

And, yet, there is something about our messy little garden that I love so much. Even if I knew how to color coordinate plants and create a landscape plan, I don’t think I would. I’d stick with our own gorgeous mess because isn’t that exactly what life is?

Don’t we all see the picture perfect images of wives, mothers, daughters, husbands, and sons and think, “yes, I WILL start alphabetizing my DVDs and arranging my closet by color and sleeve length!”

In truth, how many of us fail to get the dinner dishes done every night? Or get our clean laundry folded and put away? Are anyone’s DVDs really alphabetized?! I’m willing to guess this is more of us than not. And, this is exactly what our yoga practice is for. Our practice is teaching us over and over again that there isn’t someplace better we need to get to. There isn’t a better version of ourselves that we need to find or create. The practice is continually showing us the beauty and joy in the RIGHT NOW. Exactly as things are.

Messy gardens and all.

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