Embracing Wisdom

Life, food, wellness and love


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Labyrinth

It has been over a year since I have blogged on this site (I have a more personal blog that has gotten more attention recently) and as I read through my last post dated May 2016, I realized again just how fast a year goes, and how much living can happen in a year!

Much like a labyrinth, my year has taken me in and out, and in and out.  I had another hip surgery late last year, and yet another one scheduled for early September.  During this year long walk through the twists and turns of life, I have leaned into and against the many parts of the path.

Despite all the turns, I have remained centered and for the most part calm.  I have walked with a different pace to my life and have learned to appreciate so much more the little gifts of life.  I am more aware, more mindful and with that, more intense at times.

I hope to be back on this blog offering some goodness and I would love to hear from you all about your own walks this past year! When we grow together some of life’s biggest mysteries are easier understood!

Peace and Blessings!

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(photo taken at Adobe Inn and Pines in Taos New Mexico)

 

 

 

 


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My Brew

I have been drinking Kombucha for years and enjoying the vinegary goodness and its benefit to my body. Kombucha is an ancient elixir that has a history of starting in China.  It is a sort of “tea” that is infused by fermentation with beneficial bacteria, probiotics, and yeast and is great for your gut and overall health. It is made from either using black or green tea, some sugar (which the yeast feeds on), and lots of patience. What I thought would be an extraordinary effort to brew my own has actually turned into the easiest and most exciting project of late. I love watching the process of fermentation and I can even be found talking to the jar of goodness as it does it magic.

The SCOBY (“symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”) looks like a serious science experiment of squishy goodness. This very alive ‘thing’ is what creates the goodness of the tea. The process is super fun and saving $3.00 a bottle is awesome!

Here is how I make it:

1. Two quarts of boiling water and 6-8 organic oolong tea in a large pot for 10 minutes, then stir in one cup of white sugar (the bacteria feeds on the sugar—you must add it).

2. Once the tea is cooled, remove the tea bags and pour into a two gallon GLASS jar (I bought a giant jar of pickles at Costco, dumped the pickles and saved the jar).  Add 2 more quarts of water and your SCOBY with about one cup of the liquid that the SCOBY came in. Cover the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band so it can breathe.

3. Wait and watch,  About 7-10 days.  Listen to the murmurs of the magic happening. 🙂

Step Four: With clean hands, remove the SCOBY and about one cup of the tea, set aside.  Pour the brew into glass jars, used kombucha bottles, or glass bottle.  This is where you add flavoring.  My current favorite is sliced ginger and lemon juice.  I have also added a small amount of pomegranate juice.  Leave about one inch from top of bottle and tightly close.

4. You can refrigerate them at this point, or do a second fermentation that creates more bubbles and a bit more pungent flavor.  I have done second fermentations and also drank after one depending on my level of patience.

5.  Start over with step one for your second batch that will work its magic for the 7-10 days.

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The Journal Tool

Keeping a journal can be one of the best tools in your mind/body toolbox.  Why?

  • Writing down your thoughts can be a place to purge emotions, judgments and all the yuck in your head that has a hard time leaving.  Your journal entries can be as messy and scribbled as you racing thoughts, and that is okay. What matters is that the thoughts–and often worries–are moved from your internal state to an external state which often leads to release and the clarity.
  •  Reviewing where you have been can foster a sense of growth and accomplishment.  Sometimes reviewing what you were feeling during a certain time period can be refreshing to your current outlook.  I find that reviewing my journal a few times a year grounds me and reminds me of my goals and vision.
  • Taking the time to write down what you are grateful can be a wonderful reminder on those days when you feel hopeless or lost.  Simply seeing that on a previous day what you were grateful for can lift your mood and remind you of your purpose.
  • Begin with intention.  I take my time in choosing my journal for the year.  I am mindful about which journal calls to me.  It has to feel ‘right’.  Then at the start of a new year, I sit in meditation and get really quiet.  My intention for the meditation is to find a word that will be embedded into my coming year.  Usually this has little thought and is a much more a heart-centered intention.  Most times I have no idea how ‘the word’ will show up, but upon review of my year it is sometimes startling to see just how it did.
  • Journaling can help to cultivate your dreams and vision for your life.  Simply writing down what it is you desire can help you to bring those ideas into fruition.  Similar to a vision board, a journal can be doodles, words, or pictures of the vision you have for yourself.


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Starting my day

I have found that starting my day with certain ‘habits’ or ‘rituals’ keeps me healthy in my mind, body, and spirit.  These naturally occurring routines ground me physically, clear my head mentally, and nourish my spirit.  What are your daily habits? How do they affect you?

1.  Gratitude.  I review my gratitude for my life, for who I am, and for the day.  Doing this keeps me in the present moment of this breath. I am not drawn into a story of the future or the past.  I am here now, with gratitude. This helps my heart to stay open to all that life is.

2. Review the tasks of the day, and prioritize.  Sometimes I write these down but most of the time I spend about ten minutes per day checking my calendar and reviewing what tasks need my attention and make a list of prioritizing them.  This keeps me grounded and focused.

3. Wake early.  Waking up early is the foundation for the above items.  It allows me quiet space.  Additionally, being attuned to the Earth’s rhythm produces better sleep and research says this can be support one in having a more optimistic outlook.

4. Hot water and lemon.  Every single morning before anything else goes in my body, I drink a large mug of hot water with lemon.  This helps the body eliminate toxins in the body, balances the ph in the body, and nourishes the brain.  This is also great for skin. Every day.

5. Affirmation/Meditation.  This takes less than five minutes and is so powerful.  I close my eyes for about five minutes and I whether repeat affirmations; all is well, I am exactly where I am supposed to be, I am open to anything, I am willing, etc., or if I just sit in the quiet space and watch my breath. This helps me to live in the present moment and know that my life is unfolding just as it is supposed to.

6. Essential Oils. Each morning I apply essential oils to my feet.  In doing this I am not only helping my physical body stay healthy or keep pain at bay, I am taking the time to love myself and give myself the gift of self-care.  I am being a receiver of the love that I give so often to others.  That is a good thing.


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A New Something

We have all had that initial beginning of something. That first time taking a fitness class, embarking on a new way of eating, beginning a mediation practice, or as simple as increasing water consumption. Sometimes the first class, or the first recipe, or the first time you sat with awareness is often the hardest.

If you are embarking on a new something consider these 5 tips:

1. Remember it is about the journeyWhile enthusiasm is fabulous, it can be so easy to jump from your starting point with only the end result in mind.  Whether you are looking to lose weight or increase your overall well-being it is imperative to enjoy the steps along the way.  If your only focus in losing those 20 pounds, I guarantee you will miss the joy in planning, shopping, cooking and eating that amazing meal. The tastes you experience are the end result, but the joy that can come from loving what you are creating is the journey.  Enjoy each step.

2.  Stop and breathe. Every single day find 10 minutes to simply breathe.  Inhale. Exhale with intention and awareness.  This practice will keep you grounded as your life changes.  As you embark on a new way of being, people around you will challenge you.  It is imperative that you have this tool in your tool box.  Breathe.

3. Be tender with yourself. Yes, you will stumble.  And you will miss the Yoga class because of work.  Yes, you will eat that cookie the kids leftover.  Yes you will choose soda over water.  It happens.  Start again without a litany of negative self-talk.  Instead remember that the sun does come up tomorrow and you can begin again.

4. Ask yourself those hard questions. As you begin anything new it is key to get into your heart and know what it is that you are seeking. Are you doing this for you or for someone else?  Are you doing it with the hope that you will be happier? Do you have a goal in mind or are you wanting to just explore the experience?  Are you willing to make choices and changes?  What are you willing to do to make those changes?

5. Be open to a mind shift. Do you notice that you have a series of limiting beliefs about yourself or your life? You know, things like “I don’t have enough time or money”, “I am not flexible”, “I can’t sit still long enough to meditate”, “I don’t like the taste of plain water”.  Consider what might happen if you turned those limiting beliefs into statements of hope—“I have the ability to choose where I spend my money”, “I choose to make the time, because I am worth it”, “I honor my body in a Yoga class and not compete”, “I am capable of sitting for 5 minutes today”, “I am grateful to have fresh, clean water to drink”.  Consider shifting to a belief of positivity and hope.

Why?  Because YOU are worth it.