A Mother’s Love…..

Yesterday, while giving my car a bath, a very small bird came to watch.  Soon after, another.  They looked like babies, and after a while I realized they were probably either just learning how to fly, or practicing.  Their mom was probably not too far away, and I found myself thinking a lot about my own two “birds,” because as parents, one of our biggest tasks is to teach our birds how to fly and I believe, one of our greatest gifts, is watching them do so.

The more we watch animals in nature, the more we see that we really all have the same basic needs and wants.   Food, companionship, a safe place to rest, a little attention and offspring that learn to fly.

Wishing our youngest bird, KyleZipp, the one that made our little nest complete, a very, very happy 29th.

Wishing everyone a day filled with all the best that Mother Nature has to offer.

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Strong IS the New Skinny!

If you are looking for some good fitness inspiration, tune into NBC on Thursday nights for the show STRONG.   Average women partner with male trainers in some physical challenges that all involve muscular (and mental!) strength.   The word (body) weight is only mentioned in how it relates to the challenge.  Instead, the entire focus is on getting physically fit.  While I cannot say it holds a torch to Biggest Loser (in my book), it is fun to watch and still brought a few tears to my eyes, watching the transformations!  http://fitbottomedgirls.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/strong-show.jpg

While most of us won’t go out there and do the kind of training involved in this show, it’s pretty great inspiration.  And on a side bar, both the trainers and the contestants are pretty easy on the eyes.  J/s!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

 

Plugged in yet Still Unplugged………

While I have been a bit unplugged from social media, we have been back in town since last Wednesday and I have been back on my regular work schedule since Thursday.  So yes, I will be at the gym for all my regularly scheduled classes this week and for as far as I can see!  It is definitely Ellen’s turn to take vacation next (though that is not until May).

Whenever I am on vacation or spending real quality time with friends/family, I try to unplug from almost all technology.  My photos suffer from this choice, but everything else benefits.  I have noticed that people seem to look at at their “devices,” and then often are annoyed.  Whether it’s an email from work, a voicemail that could wait, or a post on Facebook, our “device” often alters our mood, even if just for the moment.

So if I have missed your birthday/anniversary or a special Facebook holiday–(as if Hallmark holidays weren’t enough!) I apologize and send you lots of love and good wishes!

One thing I have not detached from is the 21 day meditation challenge.  While I am a couple of days behind, I have managed to stay on it and today my centering thought was “I find myself in a world created by love.”  I am not sure exactly what has happened in our world to cause some to think ANYTHING is more important than love.  I do know love begins in our own hearts.  The quote shared on the meditation site is timely—

“This world is in deep trouble, but it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.”  RUMI

 

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So as you go through your day, and I do understand that we have become dependent on our “devices,” notice how you feel or what you see in others after they check their messages, or catch up on social media.  Awareness is EVERYTHING.  Whatever doesn’t serve you—let it go!  And above all else, remember that love IS the answer!

I admit to being conflicted about the importance of un-plugging, yet still opting to blog.  So please read or don’t read……whatever makes YOU happier!  Namaste

 

The Answer is YES–They ALL Can

After a great visit with Derek and Jolene and their animals, we are back.   Great adventures, great food and great fun with the animals.  For those that wondered, the racoon is not very interested in the puppies and they are figuring out how to co-exist, quite nicely!  I tried to post a pic of the 3 of them roaming around the yard together (supervised) but I am technology challenged today.

After seeing Kyle and Nicole and Chase just a couple of weeks ago, and then the Vegas family, we come home feeling very happy, very proud and very grateful.

I absolutely love having Lulz, Chase, Nibbler, Pheebs and Lil Dude in the family.  Animals bring so much into our lives.

If they had cows, pigs, ducks, turkeys–I would feel no differently.  They are all so special and all deserve equal treatment.

As we travel through this Vegan (Feast) Thursday, let’s try to keep in mind the following:

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I am back on schedule today, and plan to be at all scheduled classes and sessions for months to come…

See you there, or here.

Remembering Lori….Today and EVERY Day!

https://sp.yimg.com/xj/th?id=OIP.Mc5480f114dff7ca5ab39ef56e9d690f8o0&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300Today marks 4 weeks since the sudden passing of our niece, Lori.  We were asked, at her service,  to “remember Lori.”  Every day, in her honor and memory, I try to fill in my “dash” with a little more than I might have before this tragic loss which was a HUGE reminder that there are no guarantees in life, and I remember Lori.  We often say “tomorrow is another day,” but I don’t say it anymore.  I am sure Lori expected to wake up on Saturday morning and have a regular weekend with her family and friends.  In life, we really do only have NOW.

So for now, I am off to class.  Then I will be taking some time off to be with Mitch, Derek and Jolene.  YAY!  Tomorrow there will be NO 9:30 class.  Monday Ellen will be holding up the fort, subbing at 8:30 and 11:30.  Tuesday night both classes are cancelled.  Wednesday Ellen will be pinch hitting again at 8:30 and 11:30.  I will be back on schedule Thursday, Friday and Saturday so on.

Thank you all so much for your support.  I am so lucky to have the most amazing people in my life and I am grateful for that every single day.

Enjoy your day.  Make it special.

Because all MEALS Matter……

People would be surprised to see how much VEGAN food they really eat–but somehow when you attach the word VEGAN to food, most people just imagine tofu and lettuce.   So I am positive the word VEGAN denotes negative thoughts to many non-vegans.  This really needs to change.

If you like peanut butter, bagels, salads, pasta, hummus, fruits, potato chips, popcorn, oreos, rice and beans, french fries, hash browns, chick peas, vodka, coffee, pretzels, nuts, raisins, ghiradelli chocolate chips, english muffins…I can go on, but I think the picture is clear, then you already are eating many naturally VEGAN foods.  I just had a peanut butter and banana sandwich on nice grainy bread–absolutely NO sacrifice there!

My intention is not to try to convert people.  It’s simply to bridge the gap between the animal eaters and the non-animal eaters.  So many people ask me what I eat…my simplest answer is I eat most everything you do, except the foods that came from animals.

We all have so much more in common, that what divides us.  Peace out and if you can look at the above list and put together an animal free meal today, that would be an amazing way to help so much more than the animals.  The earth and YOUR BODY will both benefit….from even just one meal.  Because ALL MEALS MATTER (and so do ALL animals)

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Does this look like sacrifice?

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These are the Important Questions

Well, it took a full week, but we are all getting into the 21 day meditation challenge now, here at our home.  This morning Roxy made it to savasana and even stayed in position for quite a while after Mitch and I were done and out of the room.  This is a real reminder for all of us…routine and repetition go a VERY long way towards forming new habits!

https://chuckieb123.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/negative-and-positive.jpgI have gotten a few great tidbits out of this meditation challenge.   The one I will be focusing on today, and tonight in 7pm class, is the concept of positive and negative input.  In short, Chopra says that our days are filled with a lot of negative input (stress from work, finances, family, injury, illness, world news, just to name a few)  This input wreaks havoc on our physical, mental and spiritual health!  The only way to combat it is with POSITIVE input.  This is found in the things that bring us joy!  Many of us have to go out and find and make that positive input happen.  Whether it’s holding a baby, bonding with nature, a great workout, playing an instrument, painting a picture, watching a sunset (and I could go on and on) there is MUCH positive input for all of us IF we take the time to seek it out.

For the past few weeks, we have been repeating 4 important questions during yoga class.

Who am I? 

What do I want? 

What is my purpose

and most importantly,

What makes me happy?

Letting images, thoughts and words come freely after asking those questions, helps us answer them HONESTLY.   Learning what makes us happy allows us to fill our free time with POSITIVE input, hence counterbalancing all the negative input.

Chopra also suggests at the end of the day we ask ourselves what was the BEST part of our day, helping us to focus even more, and end the day, on the good stuff!

Whether you are at home, at work, coming to class tonight, participating in the meditation challenge or not–try giving some quiet time to these important questions and I promise you will not only learn more about who you are at your core, but also bring more joy into your life, which will make you healthier!

THIS, is just one of  the quiet ways in which meditation enriches our lives and improves our health and well-being.  Always, but especially during these crazy times in our world, we need that more than ever!

NAMASTE