Monday, March 27, 2017

The 32 Minutes

During Sunday's yoga class, we were congratulated for the 32 minutes of meditation that we have under our collective belts.

What I remember about Sunday's meditation was the advice to treat your wayward thoughts like salespeople who come to the door: Look them directly in the eye and say, "I'm not interested."

Everything and every move about Sunday yoga was on point and I hope that Gloria will continue with the meditation before practice.

I have been reflecting on how I had been going, going, going to the yoga studio and now I am doing gym yoga again. I have moved away from extremism but going to one place at the exclusion of another felt and feels extreme but I guess that there was something that I was getting from the studio and, because it was reasonably priced at the time, it felt good to go for a number of reasons, including that I didn't have to carry a single prop with me.

The gym  yogis are serious but it can be a bit annoying to have people walk into class, say, 10 minutes after it starts...and that's something for me to work on too -- being less annoyed.

On another note, I recently read Song Yet Song. Sometimes, I stay away from historical pieces because I find it hard to stomach them but James McBrides' book is stellar.

I am currently reading On Living which is really good but it's a short read and I'll need another book soon. I had no idea until a few days ago that Goodreads had swallowed up Shelfari. I wanted to recommend a few genre-specific books to someone but it was hard to do with my Shelfari bookshelf gone...

Talked to someone today who said that they'd been battling some bug for a month and then it had returned which is not an uncommon story in The Lou right now.

Not sure what I have but I'm glad that I feel better...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What Works

Went to Zumba for the fourth time this week.

I don't normally go on Monday but Grace was subbing and since I'm not going to 7:30 p.m. yoga on Monday for the time being, that time slot worked.

Grace also subbed on Tuesday and since I haven't been swimming since the great mucus invasion, it was back to Zumba again on Tuesday. I also went Wednesday and today.

On Thursday I went over to Gloria's for a vegan dinner again. Maybe I should start calling these sessions Thursdays With Gloria...

Last time I contributed by making the Chickpea Artichoke Salad but since Gloria had to go to a meeting, she prepared the Quinoa Taco Mix which was very yummy by itself but even more so with red onions, lettuce and salsa on top. For dessert we had Aquafaba Strawberry Ice Cream. I had never heard of aquafaba...

Quinoa Taco Mix 

Aqua what?
Had another wild Friday night. Jessica, a former climbing partner, had a baby shower and, apparently, books are the new greeting cards so I went in search of a Mo Willems book but went with the Spanish version of  Good Night Moon (Buenas Noches Luna) since Jessica speaks Spanish. I also made a impulse purchase by the cash register. When I saw the Keep Calm... easel, I knew that I wanted it for my desk at work.

Speaking of calm, I saw a meditation for kids linked on Twitter and really enjoyed it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Super Calming

Went to Gloria's yoga class on Sunday. I am totally digging the eight-minute meditations we are doing before class. If there's a "downside," it's that the meditation exercise makes me super calm and long for savasana right away.

Practice was sweet too and I particularly liked how Gloria took us slowly through warrior I & II, reverse warrior and triangle poses...

In congestion news I mixed peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oils together with olive oil and rubbed it on my chest prior to bedtime and slept better last night than I've slept in a long time. Also bought raw honey hoping that it will help with allergies...

Walked as exercise for Sunday and listened to part of a Yoga Revealed podcast and the Julia episode of Heavyweight which I found intriguing...

Went to Zumba tonight and this teacher likes to throw all kinds of elements into the mix. Toward the end of class she offered us a choice between two songs. Who wants to do the plank song? One person answered and her friend ratted her out. She was like Shawna said "yes" and she is the only one who wants to do planks.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Short List

Consulted a doctor by phone and he said that it sounded like I'm experiencing hay fever and called in a prescription for a nasal spray and also suggested a 24-hour antihistamine.

Other stuff, Benadryl and decongestants, haven't been doing anything except for making my breathing feel even funkier. I was hopeful about Claritin and also suspicious. What could be in that little royal blue pill?

Took the pill on Wednesday at 9:15 p.m. and at 3:00 a.m. on Friday woke up itching like a madwoman. I've taken Claritin once, about 10 years ago, but it was not the 24-hour version but I'm adding all versions to the list of things that I'm allergic too...

Went to Gloria's on Thursday and she made Polenta Puttanesca and had also bought ingredients for a Chickpea Artichoke Salad which I put together when I got there. I didn't think that I would like the chickpea concoction but I did.

Chickpea Salad on Bed of Spinach

The Puttanesca

Fast forward:

Went to Zumba today and I felt just fine. One of my Zumba buddies told me that she'd had the flu for two weeks; lots of nasty bugs in The Lou...

I'd been wondering if I should cancel the massage that I had scheduled over a month ago. Yesterday, I felt pretty decent and thought that I'd turned a corner, wrong!

Ever had a massage while congested? It is not relaxing at all and there's something about having your head in a face cradle that makes the congestion worse.

I must have had about six cups of water during the first part of the day plus coffee and tea. The congestion would not ease up but it was too late to cancel the appointment.

Talked to therapist to let her know that I didn't have a cold but...

She was so cool and told me that she'd gotten sick right before vacation and started using essential oils etc. She discussed ways that we could deal with the congestion and told me if I needed a "nose break" not to worry and she also gave me some essential oil (peppermint and ?) to rub on my chest; it helped immediately and me start thinking about the theme song to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. ...It's a miracle.

Ended up not needing a nose break but I did need a bathroom break because of all the water that I had been chugging.

Looking for a diffuser is on my short list.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

But I Moved

Went to 11:00 a.m. yoga on Sunday -- not because I couldn't get up but because it took me a significant amount of time to clear out all the mucus that I'd accumulated during the night...

Gloria usually reads something before yoga class and her latest book is a meditation one. I don't ever remember doing a guided meditation in Gloria's class. Start meditating and the guide will appear?

If there were a superhero that produced massive amounts of mucus, I would be that person. I have a sinus infection or something. Thankfully, I haven't experienced any headaches or pressure but the itchy eyes are back. Plus, my skin itches a bit and my hand contact dermatitis is active.

So, yeah, no swimming tonight. This is the second day that I've had to put together a workout. I wanted to go to the gym for a group fitness class but Tuesday classes are weird.

I took the plastic off Dance Julianne and did several routines then did more 10 minute segments from other DVDs. Don't feel like I push myself enough when I workout at home but I moved my DNA...

Went to Sam's Club tonight and saw many interesting things, including a Segway, Gingerzingi -- all yours for the price of $599.00 (original price $799.00).

As I was checking out, the clerks were taunting each other and one said to the other: We're not the same person. I like that sassy sentiment.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Speculated that I had chemical congestion the last time that I blogged. Still congested but it's not a cold. One of my uncles is taking Benadryl. My brother took some while visiting and my mother was also experiencing congestion. I took Benadryl one night. Slept like a rock but it wasn't the solution...

Even though it didn't snow a lot today, there was the energy of the snow in the air so I had to convince myself to go to Zumba. Had so much fun when I got there.

I only know about popular songs because of Zumba. My coworker who sometimes goes to Zumba had to let me know that Rihanna is the one who sings Rockstar. I also like Fabulous by the Empire cast. Again, clueless about the origins of the song until I looked it up. Looking forward to watching Empire one of these days...

Haven't been going to the studio for yoga so I ordered a DVD from the library but was disappointed because even the gentle part of the DVD was not accessible for me so I did Tara Stiles' eight minute gentle routine and also tried the one minute meditation later on. There's also a short class on Do Yoga With Me that I like and, today, I did a 23-minute practice, Yoga with Adriene, that I also liked. 

I keep seeing things about meditation but maybe it's the same phenomena as buying a car which makes you notice all of the other same models on the road.

A post shared by Karin L Burke (@coalfury) on

“I’m bipolar. I’ve been in a psych ward more times than I would like to admit. I’m also in recovery. It’s been a few years since I’ve had a problem with either one. I’m not taking any medication because I didn’t like the way it made me feel. But since I am not on medication, I am high risk. In order to feel comfortable, being on no medication, I have to do certain other things: meditation, sleeping right, eating right, talking to people, doing leisure activities, and really just checking in with myself. I try to write every day, read every day. So, it’s a lot of different habits that guide my life. Sleeping, in particular, is a big part of my life. Some people think, ‘Oh, I can just stay up for a few days.’ Not me. I have to get a certain number of hours of sleep every day. And I can’t get over a certain number of hours of sleep every day.  It simply got to a point where either I was going to let my illness rule me or do whatever I had to do so it doesn’t. I’m very ambitious. I act and dance and I want to start a non-profit. To do that I have to take care of myself.” "Which of these things do you think is most important?” "Meditation. It brings me to all those other things. I might be running all day. I take time to meditate and I realize that my stomach is rumbling. ‘Hmm, I’m kind of tired. Maybe I need to take a nap.’ ‘Or ‘I have all these thoughts running through my head. After this, I should write.’ I focus on posture. Just mindfulness. I can’t imagine life without meditation.” "What kind of non-profit do you want to start?” "Mental health services for the homeless. Especially here, at Central Square, if someone is off their medication or is having an episode, the first called are the police, and the second is the EMT, neither of which has extensive mental health training. My big audacious goal is to create a program where you have some sort of a mental health professional, or even a mentor, either be there when the police come, or be at the hospital to calm them down. You can check the stats: the criminal justice system is the number one provider of mental health services in the US. It's sad in so many ways and it doesn't have to be like that."
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Monday, March 6, 2017

It's Okay

I'm getting over a two-day bout of chemical congestion. Went swimming on Friday and the second time in the pool was too much. Don't think I'll be swimming tomorrow... :(

My brother is visiting for a few days and I went into overdrive tidying up -- doing stuff that I should have been doing all along. I am not the world's greatest housekeeper...

The last time that I went to Gloria's house, I had an eye-opening experience. She had about 15 items of clothing in her closet and it made me realize that I don't need half of the things that I have in my closet and it's okay to not have an extensive wardrobe. In fact, there are some things that I haven't touched in over six years. It's time to let go of stuff....

Wasn't sure of what I would cook on Sunday but my eyes fell on a recipe for mushroom quesadillas and it seemed like an easy recipe and so I that's what I cooked and I also took care of my craving for spaghetti squash.

Quesadilla Filling

Saturday, March 4, 2017

When Parched

I miss Salzberg's Meditation Challenge and had I known that lessons would remain active for a month or so, I would have not deleted most of them.

We take an intentional posture... Lesson #21

For the peeps (meaning Gingerzingi) who are missing the meditation challenge, here's a lovely one...

Went climbing on Wednesday and Patti told me that she needed to do more stretching and was looking to take up yoga again but wondered if her husband would join her. Patti did say that her daughter told her: He climbs because of you. He swims because of you and he bikes because of you. He'll do yoga too. Her daughter's words made my heart melt.

On Thursday I went to Gloria's again and we roasted fennel, beets and carrots according to a recipe in Thug Kitchen 101. I excused myself to go to the bathroom at one point when I heard a noise so weird that I reversed my direction and called out to Gloria to see if everything was okay. The verdict?

The oven door had shattered into hundreds of little pieces. Gloria calmly sent me back in the direction that I had gone. When I returned, she said I'm glad that I do yoga then we cleaned up the mess. I've only heard of shower doors shattering like that. Prior to going upstairs, I had been sitting right by the stove.

I'm getting better at making decisions and not second-guessing a situation. For example, one of my Zumba teachers forgot his water bottle. At the end of a routine, he encouraged people to grab water then said but he wouldn't be able to because, wahhhh, he had left his water bottle.

At first I discussed "the situation" a bit with a friend and she belongs to the same tentative club that I do but then I thought about how much I enjoy this teacher's class and how nice he is and so what if class was almost over with; I went and got the water, a small act for a teacher who is not leading Zumba classes for the money... I also know how it is when you start a workout and your water is, say, in the car. It's no fun to push when parched.