nature

Adding More Water As a Metaphor For Life

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  I had an experience with my new fountain recently that made me think about adding more water as a good metaphor for life.

I got this new baby a few weeks ago to add some ambiance to my office and my life. I love the soothing sound of water running and I have to admit I fell in love with this thing the minute I saw it. I got it to the office, figured out the setup and plugged it in. I immediately noticed the submerged motor was a bit louder than I'd expected so I added water as needed but the sound was still pretty loud. I tried a few more combinations and finally decided it was good enough. Let it be.

But then I went back and looked at it more closely. And then I closed my eyes and listened carefully. Have you ever tried using all your senses, as you are able, to solve a problem? It's amazing what stands out.

When I listened carefully, I heard the motor fill up and reengage and then I heard it sputter and choke. It occurred to me that maybe there wasn't enough water. I added a bit more slowly at first and then I poured probably four times what was in lower bowl.

Guess what? No more noise from the motor. All you could hear is the trickling water. Turns out, adding more water was the solution.

I think adding more water is a good metaphor for life.

A lot of people struggle with drinking enough water. It's something I hear time and time again as a health coach.

During the winter or in cold climates, it's especially a challenge because of the weather. In hot weather, we're more present to dehydration or we associate water with refreshment and "cooling off". When we are cold and freezing, we don't necessarily associate cold glasses of water with refreshment. Ironically, it's during the winter where we may need water even more because we're eating denser, rich foods and probably more sugar, salt and fat than we consume during the summer. The air is also more dry and we are inside in environments running heat all day. Dehydration contributes to a myriad of symptoms like fatigue or chronic pain and stiffness which we then cover up with foods like coffee or sugar or lifestyle habits that don't serve us. Netflix binge, anyone?

Water represents fluidity and movement. We often attach meaning based on whatever is happening in our lives. I've been watching (and re-watching) this recorded seminar with Pema Chödrön lately where she speaks of water. She talks about the river and how some people cling to the edge and get tossed about and the people who relax and let go and float down the middle of the river. Naturally, things like currents and rocks and stuff appear in the middle so it's not like floating down a lazy river in an inner tube like I did when I was a kid. It's still scary and hard sometimes.

But it's less scary and hard to go with the flow of things as they are, she explains, than to cling to one fixed point on the river, clutching for permanence and security. While it provides some sense of comfort, the water keeps rushing past and we have to keep clinging to hold our place. Clinging takes a lot of effort.

Flowing is scary but perhaps less so than clinging, with the right mindset and with enough practice.

 

So, consider if you're listening to your body the way I listened to that fountain to troubleshoot how to fix it. Are you paying close attention to what you actually need or have you made a decision that what you're doing is good enough?

And notice if you're clinging to the riverbed in your life, attached to outcomes and certainty, or are you flowing with things as they truly are?

 

Some Good News About (Good and Bad) Moods

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  I love music. There's a track on the Piano soundtrack titled, "The Mood That Passes Through You." I was always struck by those words put together. And then, I began to experience how it happens--how moods pass through us.

Moods do that. They pass. I didn't always realize that and quite often, I'd get stuck in a panic when a bad mood hit. Come to think of it, sometimes it would happen (and still does) when something good is happening.

Fear and excitement feel the same way in the body. Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, said that during my training to become a health coach and I loved it.

When I began to study Buddhism and learned the concept of impermanence, I came to know that nothing was permanent--or final. Nothing lasted forever. It goes for feelings that DO feel good. Those are impermanent. And it also included feelings or moods that didn't feel so good.

That's good news, I think, to anyone struggling with difficult feelings. It was for me, anyway. I relied on this during moments of depression, anxiety and when I battled strong thoughts of suicide several times in my life. I remember sitting and feeling so horrible, with a hopelessness that left me paralyzed. It scared me, because I don't usually feel that way on a regular basis. 

I felt that way the other day. I was struggling with a difficult feeling, wanting control or to know a certain outcome. It was also raining outside, it had been spritzing all day and suddenly there was a downpour about 15 minutes before I needed to leave my car. I wasn't late or rushing and I had no umbrella or boots on, so I decided to wait it out and see if it passed.

I sent a few texts, checked my facebook and instagram account and saw some loving comments and notes. Minutes passed. It was time to leave my car and I realized the downpour had passed.

My bad feeling had, too.

I got out of the car and felt the connection so strongly, I figured I'd share it with you. Next time you feel something that is uncomfortable, see if you can remember to sit it out and wait until it passes.

Because the moods pass through you, like a bird crossing the sky or a rain shower, if you just give them a chance to do it. 

What's there for you to see once they do?

 

 

Fresh Quinoa Salad

YO! I posted a picture of this awesomeness and peeps were like, "can we get the recipe?!!"

Between chews, I typed up what I did super fast. Since it's easy as heck, if I can type it up while eating, you can make it.

Get lots of fresh, young greens and sprouts in your body now since it's Spring. Think what's coming up from the ground and coming out the ends of trees---align your body and spirit with the new life coming through in NATURE!!

Here you go!

Fresh Quinoa Salad over Spring Greens

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa cooked 1 large cucumber, sliced and diced 1 medium, ripe tomato, diced 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced SUPER thin 1 cup fresh alfalfa or bean sprouts (you'll find these near the salad in most grocery stores, especially Whole Foods) 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil a pinch of sea salt 1 small onion, diced 1 handful tamari-roasted almonds 1/4 cup raisins

 

*You can eat the first round of this warm with some turkey meatballs like I did, and then use the leftovers for the dish I made in the picture I posted for lunch the next day. Cook once, eat a few times!*

Instructions

1) Cook the quinoa in a large pot. (Generally, one cup of raw quinoa needs about 1.5 cups of water to cook but I stopped using recipes a while ago, so check this on Google.) 2) Once the quinoa is cooked, set it aside and chop up the tomato, cucumber and mint. 3) Toss in a big bowl and drizzle on the olive oil and salt. Add sprouts and mix them in. Eat warm.

 

the next day...

Serve over mixed spring greens and add almonds and raisins for garnish!