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.
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.
It’s been raining here, and I’ve been sitting at the computer and working for way too many hours this week. We got out Friday night for a visit with old friends (you can see what we munched on in meal 3 on 3.16). I whipped up a dip to bring with the raw celery, orange peppers, kohlrabi, and carrots:
Goat Cheese Papaya Mango Dip
6 ounces goat cheese
6 ounces Trader Joe’s papaya mango salsa
6 ounces hearts of palm
1 teaspoon curry powder
1. Whiz in food processor until it reaches the desired texture.
Calories 126, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 610mg , Potassium 83mg, Total Carbohydrates 8g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 3g, Protein 3g
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!
I am truly grateful that I have so many places where I can check in – with friends and family and colleagues who I love and respect and who love and respect me, and who care about what is going on with me. Not just the stories of what’s happening, but the thoughts and feelings and struggles and joys that I experience as I go through days and phases of my life. When I am with a group, all of us checking in, one by one, going around the circle to each speak what is true for us in that moment, in our lives right now, and being witnessed and held by that circle, I am grateful. And even more so when I hear from some in the circle, as is often the case, that this may be the only place this person has to speak and be heard in this way.
I am reminded of how much I value checking in even beyond my usual home groups that I rely on for this, having just returned from 2 days with the Saybrook College of Mind-Body Medicine residential conference. At this conference where we hold our new student orientation, and coursework for many of the MS and PhD students in the program, there is still room for check-ins. I am so grateful that check-ins are an important part of our work, along with the serious academic rigor of the research work. The best of both worlds!
I rely on the people in my life, the people in my communities, to hold a space for me that I feel even when I am not with them. Knowing I am held in this way, I can go forth and take action in the world, and I can come into my own center when meditating and/or moving alone, and know that I am not truly alone. This means a lot to me, and I thank all of you who are part of the larger community that I belong to. Just by reading this, just by being someone I have contact with in whatever small way, you are part of the community I belong to. In my meditations, I reach out my sense of community even beyond that, to those I don’t know, those I don’t understand, those I struggle with because of actions that they take that seem to me to be harmful to the earth and to other beings who live here. But what helps me to do that reaching beyond is knowing that I have a closer community to come back to, people to check in with on the simplest levels of what it is to live. Even as simple as sharing the food that I eat every day.
I’ve been so caught up with the whirlwind of travel that I haven’t been posting my photo collages – the days fly by and here I am with a huge amount of them to post! I’ll start with the transition from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health’s deliciously challenging meals to the lovely visit with friends who eat the way I do. I had a wonderful time food shopping with my friend Barby and giving her a guided tour of the grocery store with tips on how to bake gluten-free and what foods are my standbys.