I have used the dark backdrop for my portraits, especially the yoga portraits, creating a dreamy and dramatic effect, working so well for many years. These moody shadows have apparently reflected my temperamental state of mind. Now after an inspiring two-week Cabrillo Photography Workshop, my inspiration flipped. Lightness and brightness is now my norm. I wonder how my taste can change so suddenly. Looking at life with light I am seeing differently as I see my subjects in light and possibility as opposed to darker tendencies. Both are viable, of course, but with the light on the subject directly, somehow clarity evolves. Stay tuned for more light as the season changes.
As I write this post, I currently have a case of the Monday blues. As you probably have noticed, it’s been dreary, with cooler-than-normal weather this summer in the Santa Cruz area, which makes me want to just stay inside, curl up with a cup of tea and stay ... sedentary. Not a good thing to hear from a personal trainer, correct? Well, if you are affected by the weather or even if you are not, sometimes it is hard to get motivated or stay motivated. I am currently pregnant with our second child and while we are very excited, pregnancy is typically hard on my body. And with it being so cold outside, I have no interest in being active while my body hurts. But I must do it. I must get outside, for anything, for my sanity.
Karma (this blog’s namesake), is starting to lose it with this moving thing. She’s howling and meowing to get out … to see this wild-like animal go through these stages of struggle has been an alerting glimpse into behavior.
It began with the collar. After living in the country for ten years, she roamed, howled, and hunted with a familiar freedom and nothing around her neck. In town now, she need protection from the racing traffic, and I must protect her very life. When her collar was fastened, her gait changed to a low slink, like a weight upon her back. Adjustment is coming, I know, but I can only imagine what it must be like to feel shackled, trapped. What happens to people when they lose their freedom to roam, to travel, and to do what we want to do? It must change the psyche and strip one of a certain creativity. As an innately creative person, when a “block” exists, I can feel the collar and the helplessness creep in. My mind goes in circles and the creativity cannot unfold. It becomes stale and boring. This collar as metaphor is coming off, I can feel it. The block is lifting and the adjustment is turning to a blast of original ideas. I’m ready to soar. I hope Karma will soon feel the same way.
I grew up in the heart of the Midwest and so did my taste buds. Church potlucks with scalloped potatoes, tuna casserole, and jello salad were my idea of a good time. My mom was an excellent (and healthy) cook, but leading the charge in the snack food category was my unreasonably thin father. He followed the farming tradition of eating a big lunch (called “dinner”) and having a light “supper” or, his preference, none at all. To this day his favorite meal in the evening consists of popcorn--and I’m talking GALLONS of it—popped, these days, in canola oil with plenty of salt and sliced apples and cheddar cheese neatly arranged on top. He should be a representative for the Stir Crazy corporation as he has run through probably thirty of their poppers in his lifetime.
I didn't go out again yesterday, even though I was game to give it another try, but Mom was still jittery from the nasty "almost lost in a hole" incident. We got a good night's sleep, after Mom took a Valium. At 5:30 a.m. this morning, the garbage behemoths rounded the corner of Jordan Street and just about flipped off my tight pink collar. I shivered under the bed. This guttural jolt amped my nerves, and thus the day began.
Mom had some water with her vitamins .. note to Mom: don't forget the hair vitamins today. I know you're bored with taking the fallen hair out of the tiny drain in that wacky tub. Then came her chai, after waiting a bit too long for the pan to heat on that flimsy stovetop. Stage three of the collar controversy began, especially after Mom cut off the harness with scissors, as I growled and held back my attack instincts because my Mama is the best, just a little misguided right now. So, this morning, Mom decided to take me out on the leash while she fetched her New York Times. Seeing the paper on the front stoop was nostalgic and familiar for her. I shivered again, in the lovely cool Santa Cruz ocean air, still tense from the garbage trucks. I could hear their growl in the distance.
I couldn't walk down the steps ... Those growls were still scaring me, and then the head popped ... there "it" was: Killer Cat is how the neighbors refer to this Manx creature. He found me. I ran in the house, freaked ... then, after a few moments of shivering, I perched myself at the front studio window ... to be continued
It’s June. Six months ago, some of us made commitments at the beginning of the year to start living a healthier lifestyle. For some, it was to quit smoking; for others, become active and eat healthier. For some, we didn't even start for fear of failing in the first place, so we quit before we even started. In January, my personal commitment was to run a 10K this year. I have had some major setbacks though: hip and joint issues that made it so I couldn't run during the month of March; an incredibly strong cold and flu season knocked me off my feet for another month and then last month, knee pain made it so I could barely run two miles. Not even half way to a 10K. I became discouraged and thought to myself maybe I wasn’t made to be a runner and I will never reach my goal of making it through a 10K.
I heated up the kitchari today and savored the warm spices infused into the lentils, brown rice, barley and quinoa. Cumin, garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry combined to warm my insides through this cool spring rain. A number of weeks ago, Shasta Tierra held a gathering at Village Yoga explaining benefits of the kitchari cleanse. I was unable to attend, but was lucky enough to snag the recipe and a little information. This Indian comfort food is now part of my diet, as I experimented with the recipe, spicing it up to suit my palette. The combination of grains and rice are sweet and cooling, creating a balanced Ayurvedic meal, and cleansing! The idea is to have a cup of this great stuff every day for 30 days. It is solid nourishment Sure, you can have other healthy food, but the 30 days of Kitchari is the base. Throughout Indian philosophy, food is considered a high principle, and is defined as divine material. Food is the source and substance of all things “I am the first-born of the divine essence.” (Upanisads) .
Check out this Kitchari recipe, and try this 30 day cleanse. ayurvedahealthretreat.com/recipes.html
Reader’s Request: I have a little jiggle around the middle. Can you suggest some exercises that I could do to tone up my abs?
Ah, yes, the love handles. I think most people feel as though they could tighten and tone that area. And as we gain weight around our middle, our rate for type 2 diabetes and other weight-onset diseases increase. It’s important to work on this area for our health reasons alone, not including the “muffin-top” that can pop up over our jeans.