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It’s My Birthday Week!

img_0695Okay, this was actually my break. It’s my birthday week and that’s a very special week for me. It’s the week i look back at the last 12 months. i think about what’s been fun and easy, what the struggles were and where the growth was.

This is my New Year’s. My birthday is when I think about what’s happened, but also about what’s coming. this is when I dream.

So, this week as I need to work hard to get caught up for Practices for Peace in Lawrence, develop Nourishing Food Simplified and organize myself for BreatheOnline, I’m making myself taking some good, intentional self-care breaks.

The last few months I’ve been less than great at self-care. i keep thinking I’ll take a break soon. To be honest, I’ve had some health issues and Ive had to have tests and doctor’s appointments and had days that I just couldn’t fit another thing in. I’m embarrassed to say that spending so much time focused on me and having all this overwhelming attention has made me shy away from self-care.

It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m turning it around, though. So, if I can’t do full days of meditating, walking by the water, massage and journaling, all my favorite self-care activities, I’ll at least take little breaks. And I’ll share them. And don’t worry, I’m not sunning, I just spent a few minutes with my eyes closed on the roof in between veggie burgers and breakfast bites and then i snapped this perfect pic.

Expect more birthday pics and even a giveaway over the next 7 days or so!

 

 

 

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Airport Office

img_20161230_092938290.jpgHere’s my office today. I’m back in the Kansas City Airport, where I spent the night just 12 days ago.

Today, I’ve been rerouted to Denver. To fly to Boston.

As frustrating as it is, it’s because of delayed flights and cancellations and it has nothing to do with the people handling my baggage or checking me in. These people have been extremely helpful and nice.

So, I’m here again and it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just one of those little things that life throws at you. You can’t let it ruin your day and I’m certainly not going to ruin anyone else’s day because of it!

Luckily MCI has lots of places to charge and fairly reliable wifi. Terminal B has two restaurants and a Starbucks near my gate, plus at least two of those little deli places to buy overpriced sandwiches

So, whether I’m here or whether I’m in Starbucks in Boston, really doesn’t matter that much. Unless I let it.  Tonight, I see my sweetie, after being away for almost 3 weeks. The change in flights doesn’t delay that at all, cause I was going to sit in Logan waiting for him to get off work. So, whether I’m sitting in Logan on my computer or in the air on my computer doesn’t matter at all. Unless I let it.

Looking at the big picture, this is a little inconvenient, but not all that much. I probably am going to get more work done today than I orginally planned and certainly more than if I were going to be home today. So, this will only become a big issue, you got it, if I let it.

Today, I chose not to let it.

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Pizza Office

It’s a short week and I’m working from Flying Saucer Pizza in Salem, today. Seriously, I think it’s the best pizza in town. Yes, I’m drinking on the job and that is one of the things I love about my work life. I’m so grateful for the flexibility and flow of my life. I love that I can work at 5am at Starbucks, like Tuesday. I can work from my phone on the bus or, because this is my Friday ,at 1:33 in the afternoon at the bar of the nearest pizza joint.  While you may think that seems crazy, sometimes my most creative ideas come with a glass of Citizen Cider and s slice of portabella.

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Breakfast soup

Shitake mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and sliced for Breakfast Soup. I developed this recipe with a client. She is a busy professional and one day only had soup in the fridge to grab on her way to work. She actually loved how she felt with a big dose of protein and veggies in the morning. It kept her till a late lunch. Her brain felt clear and productive. it’s the benefit of eating a lot of protein first thing. It was low-carb so she didn’t have any kind of a slump. She overall felt great! So we created Breakfast Soup, full of a great combo of super-foods. Ground turkey, onions, turnips, kale, garlic, Shitakes and carrots. I added the garlic with the onions first to simmer with the ground turkey as I broke it up and then at the very end to keep all the health benefits of raw garlic. Next time we’re talking about a bit of potato just to help it stay with her just a little longer.

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Thai Tilapia Cakes

I spent last week in New York cooking for a family on the Upper West Side. It coincided with my birthday week. I had the time of my life.  The last dish I made was Thai Tilapia Cakes that I used to make at my restaurant, Nina’s. These are baked, taste super fresh and are both gluten and dairy free. Recipe page coming to the website soon. Gotta a recipe you want? Let me know in the comments! This one, coming soon.

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Why Gratitude Isn’t a Waste of Time.

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I’ve been teaching for 15 years and for 15 years I’ve asked my students to focus on gratitude during their yoga practice in November. November, because it seems natural in the same way that we work on heart openers and compassion in February. Back then budding yogis met it with enthusiasm and expectation.

Today,  with all the blogs and websites asking us to be grateful, people meet the idea of gratitude month and gratitude in general with rolled eyes and knowing smiles. It’s just more of the touchy-feely-hippy-dippy thinking, is what I hear them think.  Whether that’s true or not, gratitude has made a difference, for the better, in my life.

I make gratitude my practice year round. I try every day, but sometimes days go by and I see the word or read a post about gratitude and realize I’ve been a slacker.

Gratitude is the perfect way to be present with all the little things in my life. In November I’m extra-attentive.  This is the month that I might not only notice that my kids did something when asked or something extra nice for me and be grateful, but also I’ll tell them how much I appreciate them and their efforts. I would love to say I do this on a daily basis, and I do try, but November is the month that I’m extra-attentive. It’s when I take a moment to acknowledge the people who mean a lot to me every single time that feeling comes up.

This is also the month that I’m likely to visit my very favorite places, just because. I include parks, restaurants, museums to my outings.I revel in how lucky I am to live in a place with a great exhibit and now that I live 30 seconds from the ocean, I find myself thanking the universe every time I leave my house and walk past Salem Harbor. salemharbor.jpg

My favorite thing ever is spending time near water. Especially in the fall. As some of you know, I grew up in Chicago and spent the summers at our house in Michigan, on the lake. I’m a water baby. I don’t really care what season it is. I think I like being on a shore more in the fall and winter than in the summer. Fall is my FAVORITE season,  so long walks along the beach are perfect…not too hot, not too cool yet. It’s the time when I’m quiet and I focus on how lucky I am to live on the ocean and how much water calms and centers me.

Think what you want about gratitude. Maybe you don’t believe all the studies that tell us how good it is for us. Maybe you don’t think it makes your life better. Maybe it’s just a once a year, go-around-the-table on turkey day kinda thing. That’s okay. You don’t have to agree with me and you don’t have to believe.

For me, it offers an opportunity to be real about what is in my life. There are so many days of the year when I’ve got angst or feelings of overwhelm and focusing on what’s good helps me realize my life isn’t as terrible as I sometimes believe.

It may not be as life-changing as so many articles/blogposts/tweets would like you to believe, but you can’t deny that it’s better than our angst/overwhelm/pessimism. It is, undeniably, a good thing.

If you haven’t spent time focusing on gratitude before in your life, I highly recommend it. Tell me how it goes.