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Kudos to the parents of little Jessica for teaching the power of positive affirmations. Have a great day everyone!

Photo By D Sharon Pruitt

For Mother’s Day my wonderful husband surprised me with an iphone (he must have read my earlier post…thanks honey!). I had been interested in using a phone with a calendar that links to my home computer as I had started to become more forgetful of appointments and hoped that technology would help my overtaxed brain.

Technology IS amazing. The iphone almost makes having a computer unnecessary. I can write and retrieve emails, read blogs and websites, find directions, look up recipes and have the ingredients immediately appear in my grocery list. I can check off to do lists, find out what song is playing on the radio, watch a movie and read a book. Those are just a few of the unbelievable things that this little piece of wonderful can do.

This fragile piece of equipment begins to hold one’s life together. It transforms into a new appendage suspended from the ear or hanging near the hip. The attachment one gets to this object is almost immediate. Apple is genius. Just look around the next time you are in a public place. Many people will have their phones out checking this or that in restaurants, stores, school plays and waiting rooms. It is amazing how many opportunities we miss relating to one another while we obliviously type into our devices in a transparent bubble of private space.

Non-attachment is a crucial element in Buddhism. The ever-changing path that our lives are on creates a need for non-attachment to find happiness. Non-attachment allows everything to roll off one’s shoulder. When you begin to form attachments to objects, people or ideas, disappointment and unhappiness follow when those elements change.

If you have transferred your life’s contacts, notes and schedules into a device that can fall, get lost and broken then you open yourself up for some major (and probably inevitable) unhappiness.

So in this day of amazing technology how can we stay present and mindful?

  • I am a huge fan of the website thankfulfor.com. I get regular email reminders to be thankful. This site brings me back to a state of gratefulness and mindfulness.
  • Believe it or not, but Facebook and Twitter help us to stay mindful. They have allowed us to connect to people in our lives that because of distance or circumstance may have disappeared. It has made us all more aware and giving by reminding us of special events and birthdays. FB allows us to share the happenings in our lives that not everyone would have heard otherwise—opening the door to more personal connections and interactions. It has allowed us to expand our world giving us an easy way to find others with similar interests. Facebook and Twitter both allow us an opportunity to acknowledge what is happening in our lives on a moment to moment basis.
  • Our phones now beep and buzz with every email or call— interrupting conversations or projects with reminders of potentially more urgent matters. Next time you hear your phone’s cue that you have a new email, take a cleansing breath instead. Instead of rushing to retrieve the new message, take time to focus on the moment at hand with a breath. (I have always had issues with the idea of caller ID or call waiting. It seems to go against good manners. It forces us to interrupt a conversation to take the call of the interrupter… I wonder what Emily Post would say!)
  • Instead of talking on the phone in the car (which is proven to be as bad as driving drunk), when the phone rings instead of answering it, use the ring as a reminder to focus on the road and what you see around you as you are driving. Find three things that you are passing by to bring you back to the here and now.
  • Lastly, when playing with your children, leave the phone in your car. It is the same idea as leaving your work at the office. We can take our work everywhere these days. It is important for our children that we be fully present while with them. Picking up the phone to look at new emails undermines the time we spend with our children as it sends the message that whatever is on the other end of that phone is more important.

Technology will continue to change the way we live our lives, but we must remember that it doesn’t replace the air we breath or the people with whom we surround ourselves. Don’t forget to take time to turn off technology and connect to your life and those that truly make it important.

Photo by Terry Langhorn

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics disclosed a study that linked pesticide ingestion to ADHD. In studying 1139 children ages 8 to 15 years old, the children with higher urinary levels of organophosphate metabolites (found in common pesticides) were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Here are the 10 worst offenders. Write them down and carry the list with you to the store. Ignorance doesn’t equal safety (as said so well on the foodnews.org website).

  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Potatoes
  • Cherries
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Celery

Here are your top 10 with the least amount of pesticides:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant

For the full list, click here.

So, dear readers, I have to apologize for my absence. I was not on vacation. I was not taking some week-long yoga training. I was wallowing in my own misery a bit.

I will refrain from whining and  boring you with the details… but I was not feeling well. Nothing serious. A cough that kept on coughing. It’s going on 5 weeks and I am STILL coughing. So, as I said, I will not whine further. I see the light at the end of the tunnel though the tunnel has been ridiculously long.

I decided to break this inertia with a small list of things that I am grateful for:

1) Delicious and healthy cookie recipes. I was reminded by Mandi, the author of the blog Trainermomma, of a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses chick peas. I had read it in the Deceptively Delicious cookbook, but never tried them until this week. They are amazing and guilt free! Whole wheat flour, applesauce, oats, chickpeas and dark chocolate. You can eat these for breakfast and feel like you’ve done yourself a favor.

2) Trail running with good friends and our beloved dogs. After being sick for 4 weeks and stuck to my couch, I realized that the majority of my social life revolves around being active with people who I adore. I am lucky to have joined a great running/fitness group called Moms in Motion. These inspiring ladies are motivating, fun, supportive and so generous. I started as a 4 mile neighborhood runner to running half and full marathons in different cities. I started to swim and bike again after a 15 year lapse and began participating in triathlon. I started exploring local parks—hitting those trails for running and snowshoeing. I am blessed to have such an amazing network of women in my life.

3) Some of my down time these last couple of weeks has been spent online. I found myself hitting the Sunrose Yoga blog for some yoga inspiration. I pulled some muscles internally from all of my coughing and have had to curtail my regular power vinyasa classes. Kelly at Sunrose had a 30 day yoga video challenge that I have been following. I find her yoga style and her perspective very uplifting.

3) Vegetables to plant in the garden. I am attempting to grow vegetables this year in containers around my patio. We had to chop down my husbands favorite pine tree last year to build our patio and now have much more sunlight. I am ambitious and hope to grow herbs, tomatoes, peppers… and corn. I know… I think I may be crazy. It is corn heaven here so I thought why not try a few stalks.

4) My dog Daisy. Even while I was feeling my most miserable, my lab got me up and out the door for a daily walk. Her visits with her neighborhood dog friends always make me smile. Seeing her run and chase and tackle her friends with such joy makes me happy. She also started to lie on me while I relaxed on the couch. She was a giant breathing buddy. Her breath, though faster than my own, created in me comfort and her heavy head resting on my chest helped me to relax and to calm down my cough. While everyone else was avoiding me—afraid that I’d contaminate and spread my misery —Daisy stayed by my side.

That’s all for now friends. I hope this will catapult me into a writing frenzy. I have been getting out finally to run with friends again this week. There is hope and sunshine and so much for which to be grateful.

Life is a constantly shifting set of priorities, needs and wants. I find that creating harmony in one aspect of life causes another to fall by the way side. One’s career may be in a good place, but then one’s social life is off kilter. The kids are soaring academically, but then extracurricular activities have created hectic and turbulent afternoons. The scale may precariously rest in balance for a negligibly short time until it tips again toward one need or goal or priority. I am envious of those who seemingly do it all and do it all well. I secretly hope that their closets are messy or their cars have liter from the kid’s snacks just to make me feel better. Does anyone really have it all together balanced perfectly or is it just an illusion?

I love balance poses. The challenge to focus and remain steady while balancing on a leg in tree, dancer or eagle pose or on one’s arms in crow pose or a handstand always exists whether you are a newcomer to yoga or someone who has practiced for years. Finding that point of equilibrium helps satisfy our need to find balance in life.

Check out Yoga Journal’s balance sequence.

Here is a past post that I wrote on the subject of balance.

Current Classes:

MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB

Mondays:
6-7:15am Power Vinyasa (H)

Thursdays:
6-7am Power Vinyasa

Story Time Yoga
1-1:45pm

Sundays:
5-7 year olds
9:45-10:30am
8-11 year olds
10:45-11:30am

STUDIO MOVE!

Wednesdays:
10:30-11:30 Power Vinyasa

Fridays:
Yoga for Athletes
9-10am

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