It’s a “sudden overwhelming fear, with or without cause, that produces hysterical or irrational behavior” according dictionary.com.
I’ve certainly been guilty of it. But it usually doesn’t serve me well. Like the time I convinced myself I had appendicitis and went into such hysterics that I passed out.
I came across this story last week – a construction worker in China was buried alive in the mud with nothing but a gap of air in front of his face (his helmet slid down). He didn’t panic. He practiced meditation and survived two hours on an amount of air that should have lasted five minutes.
I wonder sometimes how I would react in certain situations. What if I was eating in Windows restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11? What if I was in one of the hijacked planes? I don’t think a person truly knows how he or she will respond unless in the situation. God willing, that will never be the case, but if it is, I hope I am like the man in the mud.
I slouch too much.
At times – pecking away on my laptop, eating a meal, relaxing on the couch – I’ll catch myself and try to fix it.
Lately, I’ve noticed another habit I’ve developed over the years: frowning. Well, maybe not frowning exactly, but holding a tense face.
Opening the yoga practice, I am sitting with my legs crossed mid-shin. The teacher tells the class to close our eyes and place the back of our hands on our knees with our palms facing the ceiling. Then she tells us to relax our face.
“Relax your jaw,” she says.
“Relax the muscles around your eyes,” she continues.
“Relax the space between your brows . . . your eyelids . . . and even the skin underneath the eyelids.”
She tells the class that relaxing the face is one way to help quiet the brain.
As we continue the practice – sun salutations, standing poses, and core exercises – she gently reminds us about the muscles in our face. And every time it feels amazingly nice to relax them.
When we lived in California my husband and I had two bamboo plants – one on our coffee table and one in our kitchen. We had an indoor ivy plant above a corner piece in the living room. And we had a peace lily in a large flowerpot by our front door.
We enjoyed our plants. They livened up our space and added a splash of color.
We even named them: Lucky, Frogger, Stan and Lily.
But we weren’t very organized about feeding them. Half the time we presumed the other person had watered them when in reality neither of us had (we’d check and then panic because their soil was extra dry). Other times we assumed the other person had forgotten to take care of the plants, so we’d both wind up watering them and then over-saturating their soil.
We had a confusing schedule with our dog too. Some days we decided to give her one scoop of food in the morning and another scoop at night. Other days we decide to give her nothing in the morning and two scoops at night. And everyday we’d have a discussion about who fed her, when we fed her, and whether she needed to be fed again. When we moved from California we gave our plants away but kept the dog. Our daily discussions over the feeding routine of our adorable mutt have continued.
We’ve often said to each other: “We need to come up with one schedule for the plants/pets and stick to it.” But no plan we thought of worked very well. Right about the time I was making the switch to Clean Eating. I read an article that suggested feeding your pets and plants before you prepare your own meals.
In other words, serve others before serving yourself.
What a great idea. After all, when I was growing up the golden rule at the dinner table was Offer the food dishes to others before taking it yourself. One summer I worked at a camp where we actually served the person to our right – I would put a piece of chicken, a spoon of broccoli, and a roll on my neighbor’s plate. Then that person would serve the person to her right, and so on…
Feeding pets and plants before meals would not only keep all the living creatures in our household on a regular schedule, it would help us transition into the intention of mindful eating. By stepping back and taking care of the needs of others first, we are reminded of how much has been given to us: our health, our bodies, and the food we are about to put inside it.
Peace & Blessings.
2 tablespoons goat cheese
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 slices smoked salmon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mixed baby salad greens
2 pieces WASA Light Rye Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)
Sread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each crispbread. Sprinkle each crispbread with 1/2 tablespoon of capers and ½ tablespoon chopped chives. Cover each with thinly sliced salmon.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice together. Sprinkle ½ of the oil mixture on each crispbread. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Top with baby salad greens and sprinkle with remaining olive oil and lemon mixture.
TIP: Substitute cream cheese or low fat cream cheese or feta cheese for goat cheese.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
|Total Fat||5 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Calcium||3% of daily value|