My life is full of words. If I’m not writing an article, I’m writing in my journal. If I’m not blogging here, I’m blogging here. If I’m in the shower or walking the dog or cooking a meal, I’m “writing” in my head. Other times I’m reading books (more words) and magazines and newspapers.
Mostly, this is good. I love words. But I realize it’s also important to empty my mind of the 26 letters of the alphabet that are constantly buzzing around in various arrangements in my head.
We live in a world with constant noise: TV, construction, motors, whirring coffee machines – even tranquil spas and yoga classes play music. What’s that about?
Anyway, as part of my home yoga practice, I’m trying to incorporate a time to be silent. I’m not chanting a mantra (more words) or telling myself, “When this is over I need to write that thought down!”
Of course it seems our brains are always full of thought (at least my female brain is…my husband swears he’s thinking of “nothing” if I ask him. Actually, since I’m on the topic, what do babies think about? Can you have thoughts without language?)
Anyway, sitting in silence is an attempt to empty my mind…and to simply experience the quiet. A need that my bloggy friend Kathryn describes as a part of our days that is sorely missing in these times. It’s nice to invite it back into my life.
“Let’s take a meditation walk,” my mom suggested when she was visiting earlier this week.
That sounded neat.
“What is it?” I asked.
My mom said it’s when you take a walk in nature while meditating on a word or phrase. As you walk you don’t necessarily seek out specific things, but you do open yourself up to whatever gifts or lessons nature has to teach.
My mom, dad, and I all piled on our coats and boots and headed out into the woods. When we passed the woodshed, we discussed logs. When we passed the garden, we discussed vegetables. We talked about family and food and the gorgeous day. Before long we had finished the loop. Not exactly meditative. Oh, well. We still enjoyed each other’s company and the crisp air of nightfall. That’s priceless in itself.
Meditation walks are probably best when each individual wanders off on his or her own path. This morning I threw on sweatpants and headed outside. I was still wearing my pajama top. I had yet to comb my hair or eat. But I wanted to be outdoors first thing.
I choose to meditate on the words: “I will rejoice and be glad in this day.” The wind brushed against me with affection. The pines played a rustling tune. The sky offered colors of deep blue. The sun poured forth armfuls of warmth. I don’t know what this day will bring, but good or bad, happy or sad, easy or tough, I rejoice in its beauty.
1 tablespoon avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mozzarella, chopped
1 tablespoon plum tomatoes, chopped
½ tablespoon chives, chopped into ½ inch long pieces
½ teaspoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup arugula, chopped
2 pieces WASA Sourdough Crispbread (may substitute WASA Hearty Rye, Sourdough Rye or Multigrain Crispbread)
Mix together avocado, mozzarella and tomatoes in a small bowl.
Add chives, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Place chopped arugula on WASA Crispbread and top with salsa mixture.
TIP: Substitute mixed baby greens or baby spinach for arugula
Prep time: 10 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
||8% of daily value
For years I pounded the pavement. As a runner, my feet hit the cement over and over as I competed in cross-country, track, and, as an adult, even a couple marathons.
My coaches always encouraged stretching, both before and after the runs, but for the most part, I was on a one-way street toward shortening and tighenting my muscles. Until I tried yoga, I had no idea what it really meant to enlongate them. Running made me so inflexible that because of my inability to touch my toes or do the splits, I thought I “couldn’t do yoga.” Yoga was for bendy people, like gymnasts.
Thank goodness I figured out my thinking was flawed at age 30 and not a minute later. The benefits of yoga for inflexible people are amazing. Yes, it’s true that having shorter muscles means I often need to use a lot of props and adjust my poses in way others don’t, but almost every single time I practice yoga, I find myself thinking, “This feels so good.” After years of heading “one way” I’m finally teaching my body to move in the opposite direction. Ahh.