Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daily Rituals - What's Yours?

Mr. Rogers swam daily and kept his weight at 143 pounds, because those are the numbers that align with the words "I love you". Gertrude Stein would sit in her parked car everyday and write poetry. President Barack Obama, starts every day at 6:45 am with a workout and no matter how long his work day is, he always stops to have dinner with his family. Daily Rituals.

As a long-time work at home mother, I have been very much about daily rituals. I wake at 5:15 and practice Kundalini Yoga with the sunrise as my only light. I follow that with a 30 minute meditation, then have a three fruit, green smoothy while sitting with my husband for his breakfast before we both head off to our work. This is daily ritual helps me to stay focused and balanced and ready to begin my day.

As comfortable and reassuring as daily rituals are, sometimes they get a little shaken - like mine are now. As welcoming as growth and the changes that I have in my life are, I am having to re-think my day. Re-design the work portion of my daily ritual.

My balancing act is now a little different with only one child remaining at home - and he is only here part-time - so I can focus on me. What a concept! Now I can write! I can run my business, be a leader in our Women on the Verge Community and garden. Wow!

Here's where I need your help, my sisters in business and life. What are your rituals? If you're a writer, how do you incorporate writing into everyday? How do you incorporate your passion into your daily living? What times of the day are you most creative and alive? The age old question asked to women since the beginning of time.: How do you do it?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grasping at Straws

Yesterday I had a discussion with my husband about an article I read regarding eating right for hypothyroidism, which is something I have dealt with for about ten years.

The article titled, "Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?" , contains a list of goitrogens, foods that hinder the absorption of thyroid medications.  This list includes: soy (which is in everything), strawberries, pears, peaches, broccoli and cauliflower, among a long list of others - all usual visitors in my weekly digestive tract.  I am supposed to avoid these otherwise healthy foods, because they apparently tax my already tired thyroid gland.

Come on!!  I already eat a vegetarian diet (have for years), practice yoga daily, use natural products on my skin, hair nails and teeth, floss daily, don't drink coffee, grow an organic garden, volunteer as a court advocate for a child, am a mother of five and run my own business.   Wah!!

This latest news of so many of my favorite foods being goitrogens has brought out my inner whiner and knocked me for a loop.  What the heck?  I try so hard.  Is this the reason that my weight stays the same, like it's embedded in concrete?  Is food so important to me that I obsess over these details?

Yesterday I was feeling rebellious and mostly sorry for myself, so I decided to eat the most delicious meal I could think of that is vegetarian (not vegan, which I mostly do).   Let me tell you, those chile relleno, salad, black beans and glass of cabernet never tasted so good.

Please feel free to join my pity party.  We'll be sure to have non-goitrogen veggies and dip - with plenty of wine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Once Upon a Meatless Monday

About five years ago, our family started celebrating Meatless Monday. None of us were vegetarians, none of us had heard of the campaigns started by Paul McCartney or John Hopkins University.  We only wanted to improve our diets and health.

For the first two years we planned weekly for our one meatless day - breakfast lunch and dinner - may no flesh cross our lips.  We had roasted veggie lasagna, portobello mushroom burgers and asparagus tarts.  Best of all?  No one complained.  No one missed a beefy Monday.  The result was healthy weight, blood pressure and improved energy across the board.  And, less after-dinner bloat.

However, different from the rest of the family, this experience affecting me more strongly.  I increased my yoga practice from two-three days a week practice to daily Kundalini Yoga and meditation.  Around this time, I also read (and took the online classes) A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  I suddenly got very sick - and it lasted for two weeks.   I am not  a doctor, but my gut tells me that I was detoxing.  I couldn't possibly consider eating any flesh of any kind.  I completely lost all desire for it.

Since that two weeks of presumed detox, I have not partaken in consuming anything that had a face or a mother.  No fish, no fowl, no four-leggers cross my plate or palate.

And you know what?  My family did not join me.  They have been content in the weekly Meatless Monday celebration and living the life of an omnivore.  And that's okay.  They know that if I am cooking, chicken is NOT for dinner.  In lieu of having to cook for themselves, they typically end up eating the vegetarian dinner I prepare.  Since I always make enough for everyone, as sharing fresh fruits and veggies is a joy - that is cool with me, too.

We are living proof that herbivores and omnivores can co-exist peacefully.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman - book review

CeeCee Honeycutt spent the first twelve years of her life taking care of her mentally-ill, has-been beauty queen mother, who spent her rollercoaster days in their small town, Ohio, streets adorned in goodwill prom dresses, red shoes and tiara with a face of smudged make-up.  Ostracized by her classmates because of her notorious mother, CeeCee found solace and friendship amongst her books and studies.

One fateful day, CeeCee's life made an abrupt change.  Her mother was knocked right out of her red shoes by an ice cream truck and killed.  Great-Aunt Tootie got wind of this tragic event and drove her vintage convertible from her lucious, historic home in Savannah, Georgia, taking CeeCee under her wing.

Thus begins CeeCee's journey to the healing warmth of a Savannah summer, surrounded by a gaggle of nurturing, wise, no-excuses women.  CeeCee's life soon becomes filled with the fragrance of lush floral gardens and hilariously real moments in what seemingly appears to be a town run by strong women. 

The author, Beth Hoffman, does such an excellent job with her character development, you can literally smell the wine on neighbor, Thelma Rae Goodpepper's breath, hear the cackle of Miz Hobb's nosey questions and feel the warmth and love of a big bosom hug from Oletta.

Southern hospitality reins in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt as you will feel welcome and charmed to enjoy every last morsel.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Believing in...

Some people might have wanted me to have my head examined when I started an online community with Women on the Verge (WOTV).  But, I HAD to do it.  It represented too many things that I believe in - Women, Community, the Internet and Free.

I believe in Women.:

I was raised and surrounded by strong, wise, out-spoken women.  My female friends have known me through decades - child birth, bad dates, marriages, divorces, bad hair styles, trials at work, and as travel companions -always there, making me laugh, crying with me, a glass of wine, an open hand, reaching out.  We support and uplift each other.  It is my belief that these characters represent the core beauty of women.

Women on the Verge, even though it is a very young community (less than six months old), seems to be attracting this very type of person - passionate, open-minded towards others viewpoints, yet unafraid to state our own and supportive.  The members never cease to amaze me with their ability to share, open their hearts and let all of us be the beneficiaries of their lessons.  They talk  to each other, they blog about very personal experiences and they become more beautiful to me every day.  Everyday of sharing, their light shines brighter.

I believe in Community.:

A a previously single mom (for fifteen years), I practiced and believed that old adage, "it takes a village to raise a child". Problems in our family were not secrets.  We talked about it - sometimes ad nausea - to coaches, teachers, friends and extended family.  Community helped me raise college graduates, solid adults and really good people that I am proud to call my children.

I believe in the Internet.: 

No one entity owns the Internet.  No one entity governs the Internet.  The Internet is global and infinite.  The Internet is information and in my opinion, our current day version of the Industrial Age.

I believe in Free.:

The first time I dialed into the Internet via a browser, in 1993, I was in awe.  Free?  I registered domains - free.  I got a site hosted - free.  I marketed websites - free.  Everything was free and I felt like I had found buried treasure.  Many of the Internet's treasures are still free - and I still get excited about it.

We're not alone.:

Currently, approximately 5000 followers and members combined share the WOTV community, still in it's infancy.  I would say that we are not alone in our thinking that community and sharing on the Internet is a wonderful place to be, grow and believe.