Food not of my own making

1.31.2013 Selene's meals

I enjoy having food cooked and served to me, as long as it’s something that will make my body happy, something that tastes good and is healthy. It’s very disappointing to be offered food that isn’t really what I want or need. This past week I was fairly happy with most of the meals I had while away, though I would have liked more choices of protein for breakfast than hard-boiled eggs. Generally, though, I felt supported by the food provided. Today, traveling by plane without the opportunity to prepare or even purchase food for the trip, I was not so happy. Apples, leftovers, honey roasted peanuts, a protein bar, and a caffe’ latte were not really satisfying. I’m looking forward to cooking at home again, and some of my favorites that were not available, like Greek yogurt.

I want to be flexible and adapt to whatever situation I’m in. I want to be able to take good care of myself without that distracting from the experiences I’m having. Sometimes it’s difficult to balance those, and that becomes an opportunity to do the best I can and not get stressed about the parts that are not what I would choose in an ideal situation. But it’s good to be home!

1.30.2012 Selene's meals

1.29.2013 Selene's meals

1.28.2013 Selene's meals

1.27.2013 Selene's meals

1.26.2013 Selene's meals

1.25.2013 Selene

Traveling food

I took the time to prepare food for my flight, knowing that I would leave mid-day and arrive late in San Antonio, where I’m teaching and mentoring with Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine at the residential conference. I made a big salad, a frittata, and a small chopped salad. I ended up eating the chopped salad for lunch, with a bag of baby carrots for a snack, then the big salad for dinner. The frittata stayed in the hotel room refrigerator and made a great breakfast this morning.

1.24.2013 Selene's meals

1.23.2013 Selene's meals

1.22.2013 Selene's meals

1.21.2013 Selene's meals

1.20.2013 Selene's meals

My experiment last week with saving all of my planned indulgences for one day and just eating what I wanted that day was interesting (see 1.19.2013, the next photo). When I’m generally avoiding bread and baked goods, that’s what I’m drawn to, along with high fat foods like halvah and cheese. I’m not sure it works for me to eat that much of those things all in one day. I may return to a more moderate pacing on planned indulgences, though so far this week I seem to be satisfied with just the healthy choices I’ve been making. I will wait and see how it goes over the next few days.

1.19.2013 Selene's meals

A Week of Mindful Choices

I have been careful this week in my food choices and amounts, and I am feeling more energetic and lighter in response. Looking forward to a bit more range in my choices on Saturday–a planned indulgence day! I am pleased to have made an accountability agreement with a friend to check in with each other by email each night about our morning self-care time and our day’s food choices. It really does make a difference to have that connection to support commitments we are making to ourselves.

1.12.2013 Selene's meals

1.13.2013 Selene's meals

1.14.2013 Selene's meals

1.15.2013 Selene's meals

1.16.2013 Selene's meals

1.17.2013 Selene's meals

1.18.2013 Selene's meals

Re-establishing routines

It does take time to pull out my cell phone and take a photo of what I’m about to eat, and to put them all together at night, just before bed. But I have come to appreciate that time; a moment to breathe before taking in food, 15 minutes to review my day, with eating times as landmarks. I really did miss it during the time I skipped my photo-taking, and the sense of “not enough time” affected much more than whether or not my food collages were part of my day. That was symptomatic of a larger sense of squeezing in too much, and finding time to re-establish this ritual is a message to myself that my self-care routines are worth doing.

Quieting Down

Back to my food collages after a month and a half break. Though I have not posted any since spring, I had continued creating them until mid-August, when my busy schedule interfered. I needed to solve a website space issue before I could get back to putting them up on the blog, but I’m back now, and looking forward to the stabilizing influence of this awareness/recording practice. Thank you to those of you who let me know you miss the collages! It’s nice to know that a practice that helps me is useful to you as well!

Traveling and family

My mom and step-dad celebrated their 50th anniversary this past weekend, and family and friends gathered from all over. Pictures from the past filled with family memories flashed above us, stories were told, and different parts of their lives had a chance to reconnect or even meet for the first time. I was struck, watching the slide show we’d put together spanning 65 years of their lives, at how quickly all of our lives seemed to go by. And it does seem that way to me more and more, that time has compressed. Amazing how much seems to happen in so little time!

The essence of ritual

I had no Passover seders to go to this year, so I did what I usually do in that situation: I took care of bringing a mini-seder essence of Passover to whoever I was with. We were with a small group of friends who have become extended family over the many years we have gathered with them (since 1987 for some, 1992 for the others in the group). I made charoset (symbolizing the mortar used for building the pyramids when the Jews were slaves in Egypt) and brought something to cover the symbols on the seder plate and matzo (the unleavened bread, symbolic of leaving Egypt before the bread could rise). There was at least one person there who found my simple introduction to Passover educational, as she had not known any of this. A reminder to me that what I take for granted is not always common knowledge. It was a good day, with a walk through the Berkeley Rose Garden and Cordonices Park before our meal, then a shared potluck after my Passover introduction, then improvisational sounding and singing after. Not the traditional Passover, but I felt satisfied to be with community and share meaningful time together.

The week is gone, time to move on

Both universities that I teach for right now are primarily online (though I just finished spending time with some of them this weekend face to face as we began the Spring Quarter for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology’s MA in Spiritual Guidance). This means we spend one week on each discussion topic; one week to probe a few questions, speaking and listening to the group wisdom and thoughts about a particular idea. It goes by very fast, and I am grateful to the students who post early in the week to get the ball rolling. By Sunday night, as the stragglers get their posts in, I have a sense of frustration that there really is not enough time. In that last rush to get something said before we move on to the next topic, there are openings and possibilities for further conversation, but we are moving on.

It’s like that with my food collages, too. I manage to keep up and then realize I have a whole week’s worth that have not been posted. I throw them all out here, and there’s barely time to look at each individual day or meal. And yet, there are patterns that emerge and something is gained by just looking at the flow of the week. Both in the student discussions, and in my eating patterns. And then we move on to what’s next.

Citrus cravings

I came home with a huge amount of citrus from the farmer’s market today (along with carrots, salad greens, radishes, fennel, cucumbers, apples, celery, cauliflower, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, sunflower seed sprouts, and beets). I trust my body on this – and I’ve been fighting a sore throat for way too long now. The doctor is throwing antibiotics at what is most likely some variety of strep. I will eat citrus. May the combination prove effective!

My current passion: This

My friend Dan asked all of us at dinner at the Conscious Creations Café in Santa Cruz what our current passions are. After I’d finished talking about my teaching and finding ways to touch people in a way that can make a difference in the world, I realized that truly my latest passion is this process of photographing my food and creating daily collages. It has become such a reliably meditative ritual every day. I often have a sense of relief while doing it – there’s nothing else I need to deal with during those times, nothing else I am obligated to do. I am fulfilling a commitment I’ve made to myself, and that is all I need to focus on for that amount of time. Who knew it would become such a satisfying part of my life?