Heading into the Sun

Some how we have reached the middle of november. If you are anything like me, you have been fighting off the winter doldrums now for about two weeks, dreaming of warm escapes. By 6:30 you find yourself yawning, and soon you realize your cursing a school bus because suddenly, panic sets in, and you  realize you only have an hour and a half left of day light and you still have to drive really far out of the way to get your wetsuit at your house because there is swell and there is rarely ever swell and you desperately crave the feeling of the water pushing you, flying  you forward..oops sorry, I got carried away..Or you need to do your holiday shopping and you’re  in charge of making the turkey this year for your really food-snobbish in-laws…Cue scary horror movie music.

But wait! it’s not all bad..:)

If you are reading this on the east coast, you have undoubtedly noticed that the sun is setting four hours earlier than it was this summer. Since I have a sunset routine, this has definitely affected the entire scheduling of my day. I also have diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD,  (my dr. agrees),  and well its possible many of you suffer from it as well, regardless of wether or not you are aware of it. Sunlight provides so many crucial benefits that we, like the plants and other living beings in nature surrounding us, depend on. For me, the most obvious two are my mood, and the temperature surrounding me.

Since most of the activities I prefer are warm weather ad ocean based, I bought a really thick wetsuit last year. I realized that I still needed to make time to be outdoors in the sun, especially during the winter. Today, while I was paddle boarding, I thought to myself how easy it is to take your body for granted, and not use it it to it’s full capabilities. When its cold out, its easy for me to want to stay cuddled up inside, but I know, if I push myself just past my comfort point, I will be happier in the long run.

As I paddled and took in the fields and woods, the pond and underwater world beneath me, my muscles moving us along,..I marveled at how wonderful it was that I was able to do this at all. Since having an injury recently forced me to not exercise for two weeks, I really was able to recognize what a difference it made in my overall well being and happiness.

(the fact that it was grey and stormy for most of those two weeks didn’t help much either)

However, heres the one little thing I realized today. Most of us take our bodies and the weather for granted every single day.. But heres the thing, as we get older, it’s easy to get more sedentary. You have a job and your not taking half an hour after lunch to climb the jungle gym; I get it.

But our bodies still need to be used, they crave it, and your mind craves it too. So don’t take your muscles, any of them, including your brain , for granted. Nor the great outdoors.

Go out and try something where you are using your muscles in new ways. And watch how your muscles change over time. It feels really, really cool, and good. Believe me, I’m somewhat of a nihilist, I wouldn’t steer you wrong 🙂 xx

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Bits and Pieces

And one more thing, if you want something in this world, ask for it. And be specific, don’t assume anyone knows what your talking about. Because they are in their own trip. And you may still end up buying your own self flowers.  Thats ok too. Kind of. xoxox

Autumn Equinox Happiness Recipe

So maybe you have realized by now, that we are going through a spiritual and planetary shift of consciousness. Perhaps you have been doing soul and spirit work consciously, or maybe not at all, but subconsciously since we are all connected to life energy. Or maybe this all sounds like hocus pocus. I still encourage you to read on.

Sometimes when you are trying to live a flowing ( read happy, fullfilling) life, you run into energy roadblocks. These can be people, places, situations, and so on. You may find yourself reacting by feeling angry, or upset, or some other negative emotion. Suddenly, your happy day is ruined.
There is an easy way to turn that all around and let it go, so you feel happy again. Here is a simple recipe that I have learned from several wiser women than myself.

First: recognize what it is that is making you uncomfortable, tense, anxious, etc..

Name it. (breathe in, breathe out)

Love it. ( breathe it in, and breath it out)

Accept it. ( with gratitude and thankfulness, even if your not sure why)
(breathe it in and breathe it out)

Release it. ( Breathe in, and big breath out, filled with and focusing on release)

Focus on this, and don’t let your mind wander, focus on your breathing, and you will feel the tension and stress melt out of you.

Sometimes I literally feel my hands open up and outward, as if opening up to the blessings and light of the universe. Other times I just notice that the tension I feel in my neck is melting away.

Do this with intention, and do it with the gratitude that you are able to step back outside of yourself, and recognize why you are feeling a certain way, what your reacting to, and that you can release it. (This is a key part)

You have the power to release all of the negative ideas that hold you back, by addressing them in this way, and making a practice of it, daily, or as many times a day as is needed.

Another tool for changing my head space if I get in somewhere not so happy is to stop, and look around, and find something I am grateful for.
It can be something as small as the leaves being green, or the sun shining, or the fact that you have hot water running from a tap in your house. That you have access to a grocery store with fresh food in it.

The simpler, the better.
In life, humans tend to and love to complicate things more than needed. We thrive on drama to some degree. But overall, to lead a happy life, living with gratitude, and compassion and acceptance for yourself and others around you make every day easier, I have found in my research.

Thats all for now, Happy Fall Equinox 2012, with light and love~
HUL

Retrograde Meditation

The day mercury went into retrograde this month, July 14th,  2012

this is what I wrote after meditating..

 Mercury going into retrograde,

 time to just accept, 

go with the flow,

 with your innermost beliefs. 

Trust your instincts during this time, 

it feels tumultuous but it’s not, 

it’s just growing and evolving human 

consciousness so it feels uncomfortable.

You want to form a plan because it’s

 unfamiliar and may be old feelings you’ve repressed,

 but don’t plan, let it flow,

 let what needs to flow out

of that uncomfortable feeling, flow.

  Once its out

 and felt

 and experienced 

you can

 let it 

go.

 

Mid July Meditation

July 11 2012

Time of growing enlightenment

universe offers us

endless possibilities

your path plus other options

so you can do many things

unlike in the past this is based

on living a life of true purpose

of happiness born out of love

and passion one feels for something.

The Protein/Meat Conundrum and Other Food Issues

Dear Abby,

I found out recently that cooking with olive oil is actually bad for you because when it reaches a high temperature, it burns and becomes toxic. I just got home from work and decided to cook up a piece of chicken in unrefined coconut oil with a dash of toasted sesame oil, crushed garlic and sea salt harvested by my friends in hawaii. ( all organic)

Whenever I cook meat at my house I am cooking for myself, and whatever pets are hanging around. As I have embraced more buddhist viewpoints, I have found myself eating less meat, and more raw veggies and fruit, and getting my protein from raw nuts, and sometimes protein juice smoothies, like the Naked kind. I actually just learned that buddhists don’t eat meat though, so , I wasn’t eating it less due to my beliefs, that I was aware of.

 I have lost a lot of weight this way, also cutting carbs, but I am doing it because my body craves it, and I feel really good. Thats the only reason. Since I work in animal welfare/rescue, it may be assumed that I don’t eat meat, but I have always felt that I needed the protein from it, and since we have so many teeth, we must be omnivores?

 

The longer I work in animal rescue, and the more I stumble across when it comes to stories of the animals at our meat producers “farms”, the less able I am to eat it on a consistent basis. Originally I was turned off by the smell, and I have never been comfortable handling it raw. Usually if I eat meat, someone else has cooked it. The fact that I have been embracing a lot of buddhist philosophy in my daily life, for happiness purposes, and also eating less meat is simply a coincidence. I think. Although I’m not sure I believe in coincidences, the older I get and the more I learn and read.

 I am searching for a balance for maximum healthfulness and energy, but I know that soy is not the greatest option either. It has some weird hormonal effects, and most of it is GMO, which I completely and fervently am against. Having seen firsthand in Kauai the damage Monsanto and others have wreaked on the incredible and rare ecosystems there. It hurts my heart.

 

So, the question then, is, what to eat? they have put electrolytes in water, which is a great step, so we no longer have to drink chemical/sugar laden “thirst quenchers”, but what about protein sources? Anyone have any ideas? Besides beans?

Signed, 

energy seeker

Observations

A spider weaving a web. 

A frog eating a worm.

Birds taking complete and thorough baths in the bird baths.

ooh, the sun came out, I am going to the beach to meditate! 

 

Spring Musings on Cats and Nature

As the sun sets, a fiery ball in this western sky, pink and purple above, the week has slowed to close, and birds are chirping a cacophony of minstrel sonnets. One cannot help but be grateful, with a purring cat by my side. Both of our weekends have been filled with risk and adventure and fun, out in the world,  but we always yearn to come back to our comfortable cozy place. 

My bedroom feels like I am living in a treehouse this time of year, with the windows open, I am at one with the leaves and branches of the apple tree outside my windows. The cardinal who comes every day searching for his mate, which I think my cat may have killed, and the robins, fat and cheerful, yet cautious and sensitive . Birds are much like feral cats in their abilities to sense danger, only they have wings. 

Oh to have wings! 

My Grandfather, Julian Underwood

The following is something I recently found, that I wrote about my grandfather, for english class when I was 12 or 13..Although he passed away over ten years ago, he never really leaves me. I believe the assignment was to describe someone who we could find in our favorite room. I did not change the grammar or spelling,  but I did break it up into paragraphs so..bear with me 🙂

“One person you could find in my favorite room is my grandfather. His name is Julian. But everyone calls him grandaddy. He is a big man with a large belly and tan, thick, worn hands. He has rosy cheeks and blue eyes that are usually sparkling with amusement of some kind. He is bald. except for a circle of spikes around the bottom part of his skull.

He wears glasses occasionaly for reading. He reads alot and he writes alot. Every day in Canada he kept a journal and wrote about everything we did. Probably after he dies and we find them ( there were two) it will be really neat to read about everything we did. grandaddy also paints alot. He used to be an architect. Now he does water colors mostly. He is very talented. A couple of his paintings are in a small museum in massachusetts.

He also likes to make things with his hands. He is a really good cook. Or at least he thinks so! He has a way of putting together the strangest combinations and usually they turn out really well. He loves food. He and my grandmother go to france every summer and rent a houseboat and go down the canals and stop and go to all different restaurants. He loves good wine. He says it’s a good way to enhance or bring out the flavor in a meal.

He also loves boating. He sails alot and rows alot  around the lake in canada. He has a big, beautiful, mahogany rowboat that he takes out early in the morning. Usually he is very calm and sensible. Sometimes my grandmother will aggrivate him too much, but instead of yelling and screaming, he talks to her. Calmly and logically. This sometimes drives her crazy but still its not really his style to cause a scene. Wherever we go, people, especially females, react well to him. He is not so much charming as he is easy going and likeable. He has a great sense of humor and loves a good joke.”

As I get older, it helps to look back and read things I have written, although sometimes I feel embarrassed. Reading and writing has always helped me sort out my feelings and focus on myself and my path when I get too distracted helping others. Anyways, hope you enjoy, if not, maybe you know someone that would enjoy, so share with them, thank you for reading.

Be With Your Natural Self

Today I went for a walk with the dogs and the butterflies. Did you know that just taking 15 or 20 minutes to be out in nature by yourself will put you back in touch with your deeper self? They have actually done studies. Getting in touch with nature brings us back to our purest selves. Don’t deprive yourself, go for a walk today 🙂