Friday, April 30, 2010

The Necessary Life

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may speak.
-Hans Hofmann

Everybody has something that changes them to an elemental level; if only for a split second in time. There is at least one trigger for each of us that brings us back to our center and simplifies us. For me there is a few and I’ve tried to embrace each of them more and more to combat the spiraling chaos that threatens to choke me.

Cuddling: This is number one on my list. I love being with the man I adore and intertwining our hands together. When we become two individuals sharing one energy field I just melt into him.

I also will cuddle with my son when he needs his “Mommy”. I am honored that he still sees me as a source of comfort even though he will be nine this year.

If our sweet fur Princess would allow it; I would cuddle with her too. But sadly she is DH’s cat and I’m only allowed to pet and coo and worship at her kitty paws. I miss my purry furry that curled up with me and loved to share my space. *sigh*

Water: I have loved the water as long as I can remember. I guess it makes sense since our bodies are mostly H20. I’m not really picky about how I get my daily dose either. I love taking a long hot bath; but a shower will do in a pinch. I listen to the ocean every night to lull me to sleep.

The ocean in itself is such a magical thing. The ebb and flow of the tides is so hypnotic to me; it’s the sweet song of nature itself from the womb of creation.

We used to go more often but as of late our money is a bit tight and it is either fix up the house or go on vacation. We can’t do both and stay out of debt. The adult in me is proud that I’ve learned that lesson…the child in me misses the ocean.

Comfort Food: There are so many foods that will change my mood entirely and sushi is one of them; but it is not what comfort food means to me.

When I was sick and feeling blah Mom made these amazing potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes and they were so good. I’ve always felt that Mom’s food tasted so amazing because of the love she put in it. I try to put that same love into my food when I have the time to cook. I think it makes a big difference.

Unfortunately, those particular potato pancakes are bathed in butter as they cook and are now way too many points for me. And really I’ve tried to make them again and they were good but something was off. I think that they will just have to be remembered as a gift my wonderful Mom made me.

So maybe after thinking it over…sushi is my comfort food…it cycles me back to the ocean which I love. It is good for me and low in points and I get a smile on my face every time I eat it.

Creating: There is something magical about taking something like a ball of yarn and adding your energy and time and ending up with something entirely new.

Yarn calls to me all the time. I’ve been trying so hard to resist but this weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool and I’ve set aside a nice sum to purchase new yarn without guilt and believe-you-me when I leave through those gates I will be skipping like a little child.

I knit, crochet, garden, cook, write and do a lot of creative things but there is this one thing that ties them all together; the moment when I am no longer doing the craft but I am one with it.

In writing I will hear a noise and realize that I’ve been so immersed in my story that I’ve written eight pages. Or when I’ve got a pattern down and I no longer have to look at the chart and the rhythm starts flowing from my soul…that is when the magic happens.

That is when all the unnecessary falls away and this moment; the one I am living is all there is. Past…future…all the could haves or will becomes...disappear.

It is in these stolen moments that I gain my greatest insights. I believe they are a necessary food for my soul.

But one cannot live in this state of oneness for forever; not in the world as it is now.

As I write these words I remember the bank statement I have to fill out and write myself a memo so I don’t lose my train of thought. The phone rings, which sends me looking for a book for a knitter who needs assistance. Back at the keys…my son asks a question which I answer. I check my bank account in another tab to see if I can buy that essence my DH needs. Back to the post…my eyes lift and I see bills that I have to pay on Friday…I tuck them in my bag so they will not be forgotten. I realize after trying to read this and get my momentum back…the moment is gone…the words that I were trying to express have been said. Might as well as get a load of laundry in while I wait for the picture to upload in another tab….

See, that is life as I know it. But if I can take a moment here and there to focus on the necessary things that season my life with spirit and enrich my soul…then the chaos that precedes and follows those moments seems less stressful.

Before I go...I was blessed to receive a beautiful package from Heather. Thank you so much!!! She may not know this but I've never knit with glass needles or owned anything Rowan. So those two gifts are just priceless to me. The clips, magnets and egg cookers will all be treasured here.

I love the lavender sachets she made with her amazing creativity! You should check out her blog to see all the stuff she creates. Plus...she is a talented dyer as well.

So I guess I need to add my friends and family for they are truly the most necessary of all the things I treasure in my life. I am blessed and surrounded by so many wonderful people! From my the people I'm lucky enough to call my virtual the reader that I may never know...thank you for sharing and enriching my life just by being in it. :)

*hugs to all of you*

Have a beautiful weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dear Diary

"The positive thing about writing is that you connect with yourself in the deepest way, and that's heaven. You get a chance to know who you are, to know what you think. You begin to have a relationship with your mind."
-- Natalie Goldberg

Journaling can be like talking to a good friend; only this time the “friend” is you. I often find when creating a post I learn new things about myself. Though I only blog once a week, I find it very rewarding to be able to reexamine myself through the written word.

I also keep a personal journal under lock and key. I have kept a diary of sorts since I was a little girl. Mom gave me my first diary to hold fast to my dreams and to keep a record of precious memories. I remember how awestruck I felt to hold the future in my hand represented by all those blue lines waiting to be filled with my thoughts and recollections.

For WW one of the tools they suggest you use is the daily journal. This allows me to be accountable for everything that I consume. A daily food journal IMHO should be the first thing anyone who wants to make a diet change should employ.

I started out by guesstimating my food before I joined WW. I was shocked to find that things that I thought were healthy and good for me were 8 to 10 points…which is almost half of my daily allowance. I learned that my idea of portion sizes were all wrong. I learned how to accurately judge a serving.

The biggest change was my perception. Once I wrapped my mind around the fact that one piece of pizza could fill me up; I found that that one slice was enough. Through journaling I found out that I felt that I was being deprived. So I found my triggers for deprivation mode and fed them.

When anyone gets fries, I take one. I only need one now. I always have one little piece of katsu…or a pepperoni…or anything else that is screaming at me. One little piece is usually enough to stop the craving.

Figuring out your triggers takes time. Learning about yourself is an on-going and sometimes exhausting process, but well worth it.

Last week I found out that I was guesstimating yet another aspect of my diet wrong. Apparently I’ve gone from mostly sedentary to mildly active and I didn’t even know it. I’ve been eating under my points for about a month now.

With the Pokewalker I’ve been pushing the steps to between 8,000 and 10,000+ a day...(still no surfing Pikachu). Apparently that makes a huge difference in my activity level. Enough that I got back 2 points a day…that is 14 extra points a week!

DH had the same problem and had to readjust his calories.

I find that lately I have more energy and commitment to my life changes. I’ve been working with MAP and found essences that were calling to me. Both modifications to my care program have made a huge difference in how I feel and act.

Victorian Rose

Another thing that has changed is I wanted to knit some challenging pieces. The MAK girls gave this to me for my birthday and I’m in love with the process of watching the leaves form. I still have a little bit to go and it will have to be seriously blocked but I love working on it!

I love Knitpicks because you can get anything as a kit so that is what I did. I also bought this and can’t wait to start it.

I’m getting ready to start my blanket/square drive for the Assisted Living with our talented crafting community.

Spring Fling is around the corner too.

I’m trying so hard to be organized and give a little time to each of these areas so they don’t all hit me at once. But with MS&W around the corner…I tend to get distracted. lol

Bright blessings and happy crafting.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What I Want

Faeries at Play

“Please… tell me who you are and what you want. And if you think those are simple questions, keep in mind that most people live their entire lives without arriving at an answer.”
-- Gary Zukav

I am the kind of person who is trying to do so much at once that it is easy to get lost along the way. Right now I have a bunch of solid goals and I am walking on the pathways that lead to them. It is impossible to think I can do them all at once but still I try.

I want to be a healthy weight and despite certain adverse eating days when I could have just pigged out, I have remained true to WW. I keep losing a bit here and there since now I'm whittling away the hardest weight. Each pound lost these days brings with it a new bout of emotions to sift through. I haven’t let it weigh me down again (pun intended) and I haven’t eaten out of anger or sadness. And to me it not a diet – it is a life change.

I want to be able to handle my full load of overwhelming emotions. These emotions keep building until they attack me with full force. I use the weapons of my trade; Reiki, MAP, Essences, Mantras, Meditation, Ritual, Yoga, Journaling, Prayer and anything else I can think of. But more and more I just want to run away and cry; I want to go somewhere that is separate from my life. So on Sunday I did and it felt good to sit by gurgling water surrounded by flowers and nature.

I want to be able to use my healing more. For me this is easy since I am using it as much as possible in a myriad of ways. But I want more then that. I want to find a place that is looking for someone like me, since creating that place cannot happen right now as we had previously planned. I’m working on getting the money for my Nutrition course and hope to have it all saved up by May.

I want to be able to do a project from start to finish without getting sidetracked. I fear this is impossible. I met a woman at knit group who only ever has one project on the needles at a time. ONE. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t do that. As of this post I have 17. I’m ashamed by that. I know that Aries are not known for endings and completions since they are on the fire, energy side of the chart…but still. It isn’t that I don’t finish things; because I do.

I find it so hard to focus on things. I’ve been trying to find a stitch for the washcloth of my spa set. And this is the one I’ve fallen in love with. I bet you thought I’d just placed my spa idea aside as a flight of fancy. And heck, I would not blame you in the least. But this time my dear readers I have been working hard to make and test the products that were in my head.

The round little crochet face scrubbie I love. I’ve had it now a month or so and it is doing great. I have been throwing it in the wash with the towels at it seems not to mind at all. So I think this is a winner.

The washcloth is light and airy. I wanted a mesh that would hold soap, yet not be so heavy that it took away from the experience.

I have an idea for the actual puff…but I haven’t worked it out yet.

As much as I try and at least cast off one project before I cast on another…I cannot stay focused on one project. At least I do a little here and there on each one and none is totally forgotten. I’m trying to add them all to the side bar so I’m accountable for them.

So what did we learn today? I’m a mental and emotional mess who is on hold for her next phase of healing classes. I can’t seem to stay focused enough to finish anything but I look darn good not doing it. lol

Have a great day,

Note: This pic was made from my new IPad on the Doodle program. The goal is that I can take my IPad with me and be able to put together a post. BTW...I love the IPad. I've already down loaded a book to the reader and I love that I can search through the text when I need to find something fast. I love the big screen that I can embiggen whenever I need to with a pinch.

Friday, April 09, 2010

You are What you Eat

Pink snow
"The spiritual life is a call to action. But it is a call to ... action without any selfish attachment to the results."
-- Eknath Easwaran

If I can be quite honest with you; I’m being called. And the voice that started out in gentle dulcet tones is now up to a dull roar. Since I am clairaudient, I usually can discern what direction I’m being pulled in, but this…this is different.

I thought this was getting back to using my herbs…and it is. I thought this was doing more healing…and it is. I thought this was about maybe becoming a Weight Watchers leader…and it is. I thought this was about eating more local food…and it is.

Confused…yeah, so was I. I really had to focus to understand what would tie all these separate issues together into one cohesive whole.

I have an ND (Doctor of Naturopathy). I am a certified herbalist, Bach essence practitioner and Reiki Master.

Really, if I could practice healing full time…it would be the perfect vocation. But…I just haven’t found a venue that allows me to do what I love and make enough to help support our family.

So when the Goddess started urging me in a direction I was hesitant…as if I know what is best for me? I had to swallow all that fear that comes with branching off of what one knows and listen with an open mind and heart.

It seems that the path I’m on may have many spokes but at the heart of them is the fuel that allows us to exist…food. What we eat determines how hale and hearty we are. When what we consume cannot fulfill the needs a functioning body has, then something within us suffers. Poor digestion interferes with nutrient breakdown, absorption and metabolism; it allows toxins to remain in the body and accumulate; and over-stresses the body

For example, heavily processed food requires the support of more pancreatic enzymes (the enzymes that aid in digestive processes) then whole foods. This causes an imbalance in our systems that we may not even be aware of. Some of the symptoms of this imbalance are: gas, bloating, muscle pain, skin disorders, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn.

This progression steals enzymes from the immune system to help with the digestive process…thus weakening the immune system. If the digestive process becomes sluggish, then the toxic load that it usually filters out, becomes yet another hardship for it to handle. The weakened immune system then has trouble fighting off the excess free radicals (every day toxins)…and then the whole system is compromised.

Okay, so I’m sure you’re like…this is fascinating Ruinwen but what is your point?

I’m going to get my certification as a Nutritionist. I took a class in it for my ND. I’ve learned so much about healthy eating over the years. And it really ties together everything I want to do and hope to become.

Yes, I’m scared about fitting in classes into an already crammed life…yes, it is a bit of money but I have to trust the Goddess to provide and to know what is best for me.

A Nutritionist certification opens doors for me that were previously closed and it only upgrades my ND work. It will come in handy if I become a WW leader. It will only benefit my family and help us in our journey to good health.

I find nutrition fascinating. There are so many parts of this course that I really think I will enjoy. I can’t wait to learn more on the healing power of foods.

So this blog is going to become even more diversified as I start a new leg of my journey.

Finally, an amazing piece of news…Dad sold the house pretty much right after it went on the market. I’m sooo happy that it won’t be there to vex him. I wish the new owners blessings and I hope it is a haven of serenity and happiness.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Note: The above snow is the kind I really love; cherry blossoms scattered everywhere changing the concrete to a hue of pink.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I Am Worth It

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

In Feng Shui one can rearrange elements of a room to change the flow of chi through it. A stagnant space can suddenly become a haven of serenity by moving 27 items. Why 27? Nine is considered the number of longevity in Feng Shui, and multiplying it by three, the number of growth, will welcome in a continuous string of prosperous changes into your life.

We moved our living room around and focused on creating more flow and I am very happy with the results. I feel more relaxed now when I sit on the couch. I actually feel less sluggish and find myself getting in a dozen rows every night on the project de jour.

We’ve decided to not stop there. This summer we will have the room painted in a hue of violet or mauve. We had originally decided on a deep purple color but we think that now that we’ve opened up the space; the color should be full of serenity and light.

It is amazing what a coat of paint and a few alterations can do to bring new life into an area.

This weekend I want to get my hair cut to go with my new modifications. Last weekend I reached my original WW goal and I am in my skinny jeans again! Now I am on to the next goal which is the one the Wii has set for me. It wants me to have a good solid BMI and so do I. And I’m all good with that. I want to be a healthy weight.

Towards that end I started carrying a Pokewalker. This is part of the new Pokemon game. It is a pedometer that you carry around with you all day and you can earn things for the game by how many steps you take. I saw this and fell in love…Pokemon and getting healthy…for me what could be better then that? My sister and son are doing it too. We had to get permission from school and daycare that he could carry it and not touch it during the day. But I think it is a wonderful way for us gamers to promote good health. Yay Nintendo!

So, this week I’ve been working on something I am really bad at…honoring my time. I do a lot of things pro bono. I honestly can say that I get two or three knitting emergencies a week that I help with and ask for nothing. I truly believe that friendship is a gift in itself and hate asking for anything more.

Those near and dear to me think that I should be compensated for my time. They believe that I’m dishonoring myself and the gift that I’ve been given if I give away my services all the time; especially if it stops me from me from completing something that I was working on.

I never really thought about it that way until last week. A friend and student of mine needed help finishing a prayer shawl and in the beginning it seemed a simple task. So I added three feet on it during a movie marathon weekend of knitting and handed it back feeling it was a job well done…only to find that she wanted it to be 7 feet not 5.

So this was okay. I needed to order more yarn (which she paid for) to finish the task and thank goodness for WEBS ‘cuz they had 7 balls of the stuff. The last remaining three feet took a little longer because I didn’t have another entire weekend freed up like that for just knitting. So at the end I had worked 40 hours on the shawl and that didn’t count me actually being the one to start it all those months ago or me ordering the yarn to finish it.

When people have asked to pay me in the past I always have said, “I work for $5 an hour or barter of goods or services.” I think this is fair and I know others who charge more. Fixing a pattern is not always an easy thing to do and many times I have to rip it out and start it over. Most times I just ask that they buy me a drink at Starbucks or something small if they have to do something and it was a quick fix.

Equating my time is a very gray area for me. I found it very hard to tell my friend that it took 40 hours of work to finish her prayer shawl…and at $5 an hour…well that was a lot of money. But after talking to many friends they argued that if I keep devaluing myself I will only hurt my self esteem in the long run.

So we agreed on cash and barter and she was happy to have her shawl done to give to her friend and I felt valued as a knitter. In the end it was a win/win situation.

But it was really hard to get to that end point. I don’t know why I find it so hard to ask for services rendered like I have committed some grave sin. I know if I go into town and ask for advice I will be charged $25 for 15 minutes of instruction at one of the yarn stores. Then my $5 for an hour looks pretty okay. This is just one of those areas I will really need to work on in my personal makeover.

Some actually knitting happened this week and I am in love with the way the dark purples seem to float in the air like lavender fields and the suri adds lightness and soft hues to the deep purple. This fabric is light and different then anything I’ve ever made. Since the yarns are both from Knitpicks; the colors match and flow with each other beautifully. The suri is so unbelievably soft. I really am pleased the way that this is coming out.

To those that celebrate Easter; I hope yours is full of family and happiness.

We are bringing a home cooked meal to the Assisted Living for my Mom and Dad. We are making one of those dishes that my Mother used to make for the holidays. I’m crocking a pork shoulder with veggies so we can be healthy and celebrate at the same time. I’m still working on picking a desert that is mid-ground.

Slowly all the pieces are coming together…how to meld everything so it creates a new reality. It takes work and time but like a beautiful piece of knitting; one day you wake up and there is a flow that wasn’t there before. You realize instead of struggling with every step that there is a give and take that creates harmony when you stop struggling and start living.

May your days be blessed with happiness,
We went to the circus last weekend. This picture really makes me smile. The elephants were really amazing. :)