Community connections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some friends and colleagues of mine held an open house Friday for their new counseling center, a lovely remodeled cottage with room for groups, and a kitchen for cooking, and a garden out back. Diana Elwyn and Barbara Christie and I all met when we worked at Star Lodge Hospital’s eating disorder residential treatment program back in the early 1990s. I’m so pleased to see them manifesting a dream, along with Lauren Mari-Navarro (who I met when she participated in a SoulCollage Facilitator’s training we hosted at Skyote Mountain years ago). I had a wonderful time there, reconnecting with people in the therapist community here that I know and making new connections as well. Best wishes to you Diana, Barbara, Lauren, and Cottage Counseling Center!

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?

Time is flying, while I take small steps

When days fly by and I feel like I am barely keeping up, I especially appreciate the wisdom of keeping a practice like this food journal going. It has become routine, something stable and reliable that I have committed to. On weeks when I can hardly track how I got from there to here, I have this visual accounting of the process of feeding myself to remind me of the basics. As I put together these collages from almost a week of eating, I am invited to reconnect with the momentary awareness that occurred as I took each photo and the daily awareness of putting together the collage. I have instituted a structure on which to hang my self-awareness, and I am grateful to that when my awareness feels like it could easily wander off. Right now, as I struggle with a relapse of the cold I thought I had finished with, pulling together a post with 6 days of food feels comfortable, a pattern I have established that I can relax into. The serious cognitive work of reading and responding to student posts and papers is next on the agenda, and something about finishing up this process of posting feels like a good foundation. I can feel more ready to think about other things when I have taken care of this small ritual.

When people ask why I am doing this, I usually refer to the accountability of presenting what I eat so publicly. But I know that the ritual of self-reflection that I have established in doing this is very stabilizing and reassuring, in the midst of many commitments that might leave me feeling fragmented. So to those of you seeing this, thank you for being witness to my process and providing such an anchor in my day-to-day life.

 

Rebalancing

I’ve been eating too much – time to really tune in to how much my body needs! Got out for a walk through the woods today, felt good to be outside getting some exercise again. I know those two things are connected for me – the more consistent my exercise, the more tuned in I am to what’s good for my body. I will make an effort this weekend while I’m off at the ATP/ITP conference (Spirituality & Psychology: Promises & Pitfalls) to make sure I still get exercise daily!

Reconnecting in Seattle

We’re here for just a few days to do some further packing up at our old condo (anyone interested in buying a wonderful condo in Kirkland with a view of the Olympics?), and reconnected with the folks we met almost monthly for dinner when we lived here. Had a lovely dinner at May Thai in Wallingford – I had passed their building many times but had never eaten there. It did not seem like 9 months had gone by since we’d all met and eaten together. Lots of hugs all around, and we look forward to next time, whenever that might be!

Meanwhile, I will be creating meals from what I have on my pantry and refrigerator shelves here, along with some fresh vegetables, dairy, and fruit that we picked up last night. Always an adventure to see what can be put together out of what’s on hand!

$20 at the farmer’s market

I had only a twenty dollar bill and some change, and we are heading up to Seattle in a few days anyway, so I knew I didn’t need much and could restrain myself at the Santa Cruz Wednesday downtown Farmer’s Market. This is what I came home with, all organic, $20.75. Onions, romanesco broccoli (it looks and tastes like cauliflower), fuji appleas, and celery from Pinnacle Farm, salad mix sprouts from New Natives, and cara cara oranges and tangerines from – well, I’m not certain who these come from – Lone Oak Ranch, perhaps? They have pomelos and blood oranges, too, but I was at the end of my cash by that time.

Finding rest when my body insists

I am fighting a cold, and wishing I had a few days of nothing to do. I am imagining laying in bed and reading fiction – it’s been way too long since I’ve done that. Today had too much going on, so I struggled through what needed to be done, snuffling and foggy-brained. Tomorrow has work to do as well, but I am looking forward to a quiet day on Wednesday. Maybe not enough to read a novel, but enough to luxuriate in a day of rest.

Tea in my hotel room

I don’t take photos of the tea I drink, but I do drink a lot of tea. I usually start the day with green tea, then have a yerba mate based tea later on, and sometimes something herbal. I bring plenty of tea bags when I travel, so I can have the kind I like. Here in the hotel, I make use of the coffee maker in the room to heat the water for tea in the morning before my movement practice, and at night as I’m winding down and putting together my food collage. It’s a simple ritual that helps provide a structure for quiet time with myself in the midst of a busy schedule.