one step at a time

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  ~ Martin Luther King

how true is this?

As I struggle to find my balance in a steady stream (often overflowing! maybe, a wild river?) of papers, data, and deadlines (still May 15th!), love, yoga, teaching, social, and quiet I know that I am moving forward… and that you have to do ONE step at a time!

And when I find I’m making excuses or saying “I’m too busy”…

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

… so what are you waiting for? Make it count! much love.

(www.elephantjournal.com)

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i’m still here

I’ve been pretty absent lately… partly due to that overwhelming feeling you get when things are coming to an end or a change is happening. Somehow my drive to keep up with all my projects is gone. Lately, I’m feeling focused on writing my dissertation (though without much excitement it seems), enthusiastic about my PD yoga class,  but seem to be looking for excuses to avoid writing on this site.

It’s not that I’ve given up on everything and been hiding from the world… it’s more like anything that currently seems non-urgent has fallen by the wayside. Even my desire to get on my yoga mat and practice has been wavering. Yes, the mornings are early, but I know how good it feels to take that time for myself and practice yoga… but lately that is not enough to get my butt in gear. And even simply leaving the house can sometimes make me feel like I have to put on a brave face and a smile.

My wonderful friend Jay reminded me a few weeks ago in her own blog, Grace & Grit Yoga that…

sometimes getting your shit together really means letting your shit fall apart as big as it needs to for as long as it needs to in the ways that it needs to until you realize it’s together in a new and phenomenal way that is beyond your wildest imagination for what together could actually look like for you.

and that it may just be a messy process from the outside, and one in which some things, like this blog, get left behind.

So, what now? Well, it’s starting with giving myself permission. What that means to me is removing the guilt. Permission to sleep in if I really need rest, permission to stay in, permission to take a break. Knowing that everything doesn’t have to be done NOW or all-at-once. I’m trying to slow down and trust that it will all get done. I have a looming deadline for my PhD dissertation (MAY 15!), ongoing yoga class that needs prepping, my own yoga practice, social connections to maintain, teaching assistant duties, and the list goes on. This is where my mono-tasking really goes to work.

cartoonstock.com

And some more great advice from Jay:

There are things that are impossible, things that are possible but better left for another time, and things that are absolutely necessary. Learn to discern what fits into the latter category and give yourself a break when that’s all you get done.

Well, that means giving my full attention to writing, but taking a break when I need it (rest, yoga), and keeping my commitment to my PWPs-who-yoga every Tuesday, because to be honest that is a highlight of my week 🙂

so, just so you know. I’m still here, and in my own way wading through all that life throws at you, and trying to take it all in one thing at a time. much love.

work-life balance / take a time out, caregivers!

I came across a WONDERFUL blog post this morning… Nora Issacs guest blog post on Yoga Journal discussed how work/life balance is achievable… and do you know what point#1 was? STOP MULTITASKING!

I knew I was on to something… hope you’re still with me 🙂 You can check out the post by clicking HERE!

… now, on another note…

caregivers in langley BC, listen up! i’m coming to you! March 15th at the Langley Golf Centre from 1-4pm

what a great opportunity to connect with the local PD caregiving community, learn a few tips and take some TIME OUT for yourself, you deserve it 🙂 much love.

Head to this link for more information Time Out for Caregivers! Langley Workshop | Parkinson Society British Columbia

much love.

it’s that time again…

so, it’s marking time…

Exercise Physiology lab reports (Simple Reflexes)...

it’s marking time every week (almost). It’s not that I mind… it’s just that I’d rather…

drink some coffee

make some homemade soup (… and thanks for the idea pip!)

squash, chard and chick pea soup

or snuggle with this guy.

In other words, procrastinate.

But, I really trying to keep focused and do some “mono-marking”… supplemented with LOTS of breaks 🙂 These guys put a lot of effort into their lab reports, and the least I can do is give it my full attention… plus, any coffee/soup spills mean bonus points! much love.

time to eat! … and mindful kitchen time

As some of you know, we were flooded out of our apartment for TWO MONTHS in the fall

the reflection is due to the 3inches of water on our bedroom floor

We were pretty lucky, insurance covered any damages (minimal!), stored our belongings and paid for our “accommodations” during those two months… Levon got a kick out of the big hotel bed and friendly staff 🙂

We were lucky to have the excuse to treat ourselves to some great meals out in Kelowna (RaudzWasabi! Minstrel Cafe!)

not in kelowna (Seattle, actually)... but one of our dinners (feast?) 😉

… but it got pretty old after a while and we really started to miss our own prepared food… not knowing where the ingredients came from and how it was put together started to decrease how much I enjoyed “meal time”.

Now, typically I’m not the chef in the house…

ahhh Darc's bread

pizza-man

Darc's hand-cut fresh pasta, yum!

but since Darc has been learning some new (financial) skills and has been busy in the evenings, I’ve tried to do my part in the kitchen. I have to tell you, it felt a little bit stressful at first (how would I compare? what do I even want to eathow would talk on the phone? … see “Meaningful Conversations”)

But, with the help of weekly produce delivery (thanks Urban Harvest Organic Delivery!), I’m starting to enjoy the process…

i’m taking the time to chop (though, Darc would agree I’m not so great at wielding a knife!), peel, and be creative! It’s a nice break from my to-do list, school work, and other commitments… I’ve been putting my mono-tasking skills to use (VERY tough in the kitchen!) and it’s been a fun process 🙂 … and the reward you get from putting in the time and energy makes my belly happy (and I think Darc’s too). So grab a bowl, spoon and spend some time in the kitchen, you’ll never know what you’ll whip up by doing one thing at a time! much love.

a plate of spicy cabbage on spaghetti squash and a bowl of carrot/cabbage/beet coleslaw (...yes, we got a big delivery of cabbage we needed to use up!)

meaningful conversations

… so i’m still on the “mono-tasking train”… it’s quite a journey, sometimes I hop off (fall off?), and other times i’m standing at the tracks thumbing a ride… but I’m still working on it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about meaningful conversations…

my favourite (well, usual) time to talk on the phone is when i’m making dinner.

(apartment therapy.com)

… and i’m sure you know the story from here – the pot boils over, I cut my finger, I burn something… and all the while I can’t really listen to the person I care about.

It doesn’t make it easy that a lot of the people I care about are about 3hours ahead of my timezone, but I’ve really been making the effort to give the person on the other end my full attention. Because they matter.

(123rf.com)

and besides I’m clumsy enough, I don’t need any more distractions in the kitchen, but I think that runs in the family … just ask my mom about superglueing her fingers together while making a NewYearsEve mask during our last Skype date 😉

dinner with mom!

so, even though they are not there in person, take the time to connect to those you love, it’s worth it! much love.

eating with myself…

this is me (though maybe not the burger, but definitely the coffee)… or what I don’t want to be anymore …

impactlab.net

studies show that people who eat while “plugged-in”, whether it be work, or the tv at home eat 300 more calories, increasing likelihood of becoming obese and developing related conditions (i.e. type2 diabetes).

do you try to sit and JUST eat your meal, create some time and space to enjoy the food in front of you? it’s hard! i’m really struggling with this one.

I’m not saying that you need to sit and eat in silence (though sometimes it’s nice), but meals are a great way to connect with others, share ideas etc. and often putting yourself in front of the television/computer while eating takes that away. Not that i don’t enjoy putting on a great show and having my meal… just sometimes I don’t think it’s necessary.

and at school is another issue… as we all know, there are only so many hours in the workday (unless those spill over to the evening) and it can be challenging to take yourself away from the task-at-hand (because we are all trying to mono-task and do one “quality” job at a time, right?).

the more you focus on your meal, the more you notice what tastes you like, don’t like, and hopefully you begin to think; when do I feel full? is this the type of food I want to put in my body? does it make me feel good? do I know where this food comes from? is it local? or can I name its origin and even find it on a map? how far did my food travel and what methods went into growing it?  etc. etc. And thereby fostering a relationship with the food you eat and how it makes you feel. I just finished Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope. This story of genetically modified food, destructive farming practices, water supply, over-consumption vs. malnourished parts of the world, and the overall impact on well-being of animals (especially the chimps and farm animals!) and gaia (mother earth) is very relevant. It’s a great read that touches on so many issues…

This is a “big one” for me in term of mono-tasking and all the mindfulness that revolves around it… good thing the year has 352 days to go! much love.

p.s. as I write this a cup of coffee is steaming beside me and a fresh croissant is calling my name… here’s to closing the computer lid and taking a big satisfying bite! cheers!