My Yoga Mat, My Island

The alarm goes off at 5:15 am. It is dark, it is cold, but I wiggle out of bed anyway. In the blackness, I grab my clothes and head to the bathroom to get dressed. Afterward I will make my way to the door, grabbing my yoga mat and coat on the way. I always take the mat. Clutching it, I make my way to the yoga studio near my apartment.

Starting my days on my yoga mat insures I will breathe today. Deep inhales and exhales through the nose, the air tumbling through the small space in my nasal cavity before it makes its way into my lungs. The rhythm and fluidity of these breaths reflect how I am doing, whether my body feels good or is in pain, or whether my mind is betraying or benefitting me.

This hour allows me the luxury of just breathing, not thinking. So rarely do I focus on the moment at hand — mindfulness — instead allowing my mind to wander to all the other things in life. My yoga mat, which has been with me for at least a decade, is my island, allowing me the solitude to just focus on my body using my breathing as my guide.

My Yoga Mat, My Island

Produce-Lined Streets

I have a dream that every city had fruit and vegetable carts on every corner. Well, every other corner would do. Right now, I’m living in it.

As I rush from appointment to appointment in New York, carts of fruits and vegetables nourish me— basket of blueberries sold for $2 and a pear for 25 cents. Yesterday was the first time in a long while that I ate my seven servings of fruits and vegetable without strategic planning.

By having these purveyors out on the street where traffic is flowing makes it easy to associate whole foods with satisfying the hunger that is occurring. And those hunger pangs aren’t the crazy, ravenous kind either since noshing on these natural fibrous fillers has kept my blood sugar steady.

Imagine a world where each city had the same availability of fruits and vegetables. My hope that it would mean a healthier population.

Produce-Lined Streets

The Beauty of Schedules

I have never been a strict schedule kind of girl. I’m not sure why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. I believe in being on time, but when it comes to me (and even Baby A) our daily events happen around certain times.

During Baby A’s first year, I had a schedule to go to the gym. I would wake up at 4 AM on most weekdays to workout and shower. On the weekends, I would sleep in and, if I went, it was a bonus. This schedule helped me lose 50 of the 60 pounds I gained when pregnant.

When we moved to Los Angeles we didn’t join a gym right away. I decided I would get up early and head to the track for my workouts. Weather, work and waking up got in the way of that plan. Even after joining the gym, morning workouts have proven to be difficult. But now, I have a schedule.

It allows me to go to the gym two weekdays and on the weekends. It gives me a plan. It alleviates the self-imposed guilt I have when I leave Baby A with M. It gives me the balance I need and have difficulty requesting. It’s a beautiful thing.

The Beauty of Schedules

Cough Cough Cough

I haven’t been taking my own advice. M. is definitely not taking my advice. Baby A. isn’t even following it. Sore throats and coughing abound in this house as the second bout of this cold is has gripped our house. Fatigue so great that apparent I slept through Baby A.’s cries. (Thank goodness for M.)

So that’s why it has been quiet here on Thank You Everything, and honestly could be quiet for awhile. I need to rest when I can and lately the debate has been nap, blog or work. None of the above has won.

Cough Cough Cough

A Major DO: Bed Rest

Ahh...The Westin Heavenly Bed. I loved this bed so much I bought one. Aaron Gustafson/Creative Commons

Never underestimate the power of bed rest. Christmas night I was congested so I took some NyQuil and went to bed. I woke up yesterday feeling like a semi had hit me. Lucky for me, I have a caring husband and an active father in law who were determine to let me rest. And boy did I! Honestly, I didn’t have a choice since I couldn’t be out of bed for more than 10 minutes without wanting to crawl back into bed because I felt so weak. So I slept and read magazines all day.

Today, I feel nearly 100 percent. I’m still a little bit sore, but the congestion is gone. I have never been one of those people who takes to her bed when she is sick—unless I physically do not have the strength to do so and even then I’m usually still tapping away on my laptop. I had no idea yesterday that I would wake up today feeling so much better.

During this sickness season, I urge you to call in sick and take to your bed to rest if you sneezing, coughing and achy. Not only will you feel better sooner, you won’t spread the germs.

A Major DO: Bed Rest

Tea: The Natural Soother

Photo taken by Chumsdock

It used to be that every year the week before Christmas I would get sick—really sick. In fact, I would usually spend December 21 until December 27 in bed. Then, I decided to get a yearly flu shot and all that stopped. Well, until now.

I stopped getting the flu shot when I stopped going to an office and even then I haven’t been sick around the holidays for at least three years. Today, I have a sore throat. You know, the kind that hurts to swallow, the kind that usually turns into something bigger, and the kind that is annoying. That is unless you don’t have tea.

I love tea, especially today. Besides giving relief to the scratchiness in my throat, it is calming. Which is another thing I need since I have more deadlines looming before the holidays begin. So I will sip my tea when I can because Baby A still wants to play. Drum circle anyone?

Tea: The Natural Soother

I Challenge You to a Week of Thanks

The countdown to the biggest day of gratitude of the year, Thanksgiving, begins today. And I am throwing down the gauntlet. I challenge you to be thankful for something each day until Turkey Day. Here’s why:

  • People who are grateful are more content and hopeful, according to Robert Emmons, PhD, professor of psychology at University of California at Davis and author of Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier.
  • Thankful people recover faster from illness.
  • Gracious people handle chronic stress better.

So for the next seven days blog, tweet, write or tell others why you’re thankful. (You can leave comments here all week). Consider it a warm up for the big day.

I Challenge You to a Week of Thanks