And the journey continues

Here it is, January again, with resolutions and intentions abounding. I am not different from others in that I like to use the new year as a time for new beginnings. I also like to look back at the past year, and it is always with some amazement.

I have traveled more this year than I think I ever have, and in doing so discovered how big and how small the world is. Big in that there are so many beautiful places to see and small in that it is so easy to hop on an airplane and go hundreds of miles in just a few hours. That is amazing to me.  I went to Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Nova Scotia, and North Carolina!cows by pond

I made a few short weekend excursions, finishing up 2015 and beginning 2016 in a one room cottage near New Ulm, Texas. I had purposed after attending a New Year’s Eve party last year that this year would be out in the country, stargazing. The cloud cover unfortunately prevented that, but it was still lovely. The cottage was warm and cozy, the houses and people were few and far between, the sky was big, the walks were long. The house next to the cottage had a great porch we were invited to sit on, and I enjoyed my coffee there both mornings, looking over a pond and communing with the neighboring cows. It was all very head clearing.

The other big thing for 2015 was my decision to study Ayurveda, and I have completed two of the three terms in the course of study through New World Ayurveda. I love the subject material and already have been able to apply what I’ve learned to my own life as well as sharing some of my new knowledge with a few others who have shown interest. My hope is to be able to establish a practice and be able to truly help others find health and well being for a better quality of life.

On New Year’s Eve, we made a big deal of leaving behind old outdated ways of thinking that no longer serve us well. The biggest thing for me, and surprisingly hardest, was to leave behind, for good, “I can’t”! I do alot of stuff, but I was constantly second guessing myself, doubting my abilities, telling myself I’m too old, etc. No more! I can, and I will.

For 2016,  my main intention is to have more compassion, wherever I go, and with whomever I meet.

Looking forward, I see another beautiful blank slate, with shadows just beginning to take shape on the canvas. I anticipate continuing my studies, with two trips to new places for hands on intensives. I look beyond completion of this course to possibly deepening and continuing in the fall.  I had thought a year ago that I would stop my day job in June, but now I see myself continuing on for another couple of years at least.

I look forward to more reconnecting with my grown kids, more time with my growing granddaughter, more music, more long walks, more yoga, more coffee, more good books, more love, more compassion.

What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me. –Helen Keller

 

September!

This is one of my favorite months! I live in the south so it is still hot, but the promise of cooler weather is there – although not for at least another month!

wpid-wp-1441467245884.jpegLife shifts and changes, and I haven’t been here so much lately. After my two  out of state trips in May and June , I felt a bit unsettled for a while. Taking a weekend road trip to Austin in late June capped off the summer travel, and left me wanting to move there! My son has lived there for five years so I’ve visited quite a bit since then, and every time I go I want to stay!

July was very hot, and my spare hours were filled with finishing Term 1 of my ayurvedic studies. The term concluded with a Nutrition Intensive, so I spent extra time in the kitchen. A major change that has happened since I began these studies is that I have become much more particular about what and how I eat. I prefer fresh food, and have learned that it’s not hard to prepare simple meals of grains and vegetables. I haven’t eaten meat since April, and over all feel much more balanced. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain prana, or life force, and it just feels better inside.  So one of the things I hope to do is develop ayurvedic cooking classes to the end of better health for more people.

Carol Nacogdoches Aug 2015August was hotter than ever, getting up around 100 degrees in the early part. I took a day trip to Nacogdoches for a visit with my youngest daughter, and found that it has a great oldtown shopping center. Carol and I had a great time shopping and cooking and getting her more ready for the next school term at Stephen F Austin University where she will continue her vocal performance studies.

David and RoniLast week my oldest son, David, got married. I have to say that when he announced his engagement earlier this year, I was surprised, but not surprised. He and Roni have known each other for 13 years, and it was on again, off again, and they finally decided to take the leap. They got married on a Carnival Cruise Ship before taking off on the cruise ( I didn’t go!) and it was very nice, lots of fun, and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with people not often seen.

Now I am looking forward with great anticipation to Sept 28, when Robert and I will leave the heat and humidity and fly north to spend three weeks road-tripping from western New York through Massachusetts and Maine to Nova Scotia and then back down to the Boston area before flying home. I have been wanting to do this for years, and am very excited! We don’t have a real fall here, so the timing of it is to experience peak fall foliage.

In the midst of all these experiences, I go to work, I watch a movie, I take a walk. I meditate, I do yoga. I visit my granddaughter, I try to stay connected with all my seven children. I meet new people, mostly only in that moment, then we each go on with our lives.  I occasionally write and paint. I ponder the meaning of life, but less frequently than when I was younger. I look for ways to practice kindness and compassion every day. I embrace uncertainty.

 

April Already

She refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring.                                           – Zelda Fitzgerald

I certainly can’t say my life is boring. There is always something going on, something new to learn, to experience, to try. “I’m bored” was not allowed by my mother – she would find me something to do!

March was full of experiences! The biggest surprise, even to myself, was that I enrolled as a student with New World Ayurveda. I’m 3 weeks in, and loving it! As a result of that, I dropped out of Photography 101 and haven’t been here at WordPress as much.

 

Doily!
Doily!

I spent  a couple of days connecting with nature at the Attwater Prairie Chicken NationalWildlife refuge. Apparently the prairie chickens are extremely difficult to find, but it was great getting up before dawn and seeing the stars and the sunrise, and just connecting with Nature. There were dewy spider webs everywhere, and at first glance it looked like my grandmother’s doilies had been scattered over the landscape! I saw a coyote, a jack rabbit, and various small birds, but none of them wanted to pose for a picture.

 

 

I finished another great book: Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Yes, the book that the recent movie was based on. What an amazing story! I became emotionally invested as I read the book, and when I was finished, had a good cry. I highly recommend this read, made me want to trudge 1000 miles through the wilderness! I’ll see the movie, but the book is always better!

Here’s my latest painting:

Desert Sunrise
Desert Sunrise

Plans and goals for April: Keep learning. More yoga. Spend time in nature. Don’t get overwhelmed, rather, stay centered. Take time out to digest my experiences, and only do one thing at a time!

 

Following my passion

 “Let the beauty you love be what you do.”   -Rumi

For about three years I have been on a journey of the soul, seeking what is next for me, in how I live my life, and how I will spend the majority of my hours. For the last year, as part of my meditation practice, I have been asking myself three questions: Who am I? What do I really, really want? What is my dharma, my purpose?

I have made conscious life changes during this time, the only constant being that I go to my job consistently. And this has been, and is, a good thing. Besides being my bread and butter, I made some very good friends. I plan to continue going to this job for at least another year, in spite of major workplace changes, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

tridosha-symbol

I am very happy to announce that I have enrolled in a course of study to become an ayurvedic practioner. I have looked into life and health coaching programs, but nothing spoke to my soul until I came across this program. I believe in looking for signs, synchronicity, clues from the universe that some might call coincidence. I “met” Melissa, whose blog is Sattvic Life, after I posted about my experience with the Hot Belly Diet. She blogs about her journey learning ayurveda and her joy in life. She has been an inspiration to me.

My entire adult life I have embraced various schools of thought regarding what is healthy, from studying medical nutrition in nursing school to growing my own food and making everything from scratch, and quite a lot in between. I realized that my passion is in promoting wellness, and what I know already about ayurveda is that its focus is on balancing that which is out of balance – mind, body, and spirit, as opposed to western medicine’s focus of focusing on only the physical and providing a pill for every ailment without addressing the root cause.

My dream is that in pursuing this course of study I will learn more about how to promote good health, using what I already know as a Registered Nurse, and integrating the new knowledge I will acquire. I want to have the abilities and credentials to establish a business in which I can help those who seek perfect health.

So here I go, continuing the journey. I am quite excited!

Dreams

Time Marches on

March is upon us, February now another memory.

Winter is my least favorite month. Having been raised in the south, where snow is a rarity and cold weather a bother, I don’t own very many winter clothes. I think I have 5 sweaters and I only have one coat that I use on a regular basis. Two weeks ago it was up in the 70’s, then the storm that dumped snow on the north brought temps here to the 30’s again. I look forward to seeing the flowers blooming again, very soon.

My baby girl, my youngest, turned 19 in February. Young mothers, take note. Enjoy your babies and your young children, for they grow up very very fast.

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”               -author unknown

I wrote 4 blog posts in February, and posted 2 pictures.  Not as much as I had been doing, but I feel like I had a turning point in that I quit focusing on stats and writing just for the sake of writing. I journal a lot and decided to return to writing longhand for awhile, to see if it changes the flow. I read some of my journal from the past year, and what kept coming up was – “I want to” – write, paint, study, exercise, eat healthier, travel.  I’m determined to get rid of the I want to attitude, and just do it instead of putting it off.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.              – Steve Jobs

I added 3 pages to my blog – paintings, fav fotos, and my reading list. I read  A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler, the first fiction book I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I started the year with 5 titles, and now have 10 on the list. I’ve cut back on Netflix to make time for reading!

I’m on the verge of enrolling in a course of study to be an Ayurvedic practiioner. I’m 99% sure I’m going to do it. The only drawback is that I might not get to read as many books as I’ve been planning.

I painted this picture, my favorite so far.

between worlds

I have signed up for Photography 101 in March, so you will see photos here, primarily. I have ideas for blog topics, but they have been getting lost between my brain and my pen!

And I started a facebook fan page. 🙂

Goals for March:    Keep showing up!  Take pictures, read, write, paint.   Practice being nonjudgmental. Follow my heart.