November 2018 Gratitude Prompt #4

Hollie Holden recently posed this pondering on her blog: “What if the detour is the path?”

Hmmmm…

Yes, Hollie. Good question. What if?!

In my life the detours — those unexpected happenings that took me somewhere I was never planning to go that were sometimes met with kicking, screaming, resisting, being unaware (because if I chose to be aware there was the possibility that I might actually let go of control, be okay with where life was leading me, or learn something along the way), and me just being pretty dang anxious, overwhelmed, grumpy or forlorn — have often been the biggest blessings.

We humans tend to want to line things up neatly. We like point A to point B with no bumps in the road. But life doesn’t happen in a straight line. Everything on earth happens in cycles and swirls. We live on a round planet (at least according to most) that sits a bit wonky on its axis and spins. We orbit the sun in a solar system that rotates. Rather than shine on us with the exact same brightness every single day, our moon waxes and wanes. Our seasons shift and surprise. In an ironic twist of fate, it’s often the winding paths that lead us to the most adventure and beauty.

Fear can keep us from seeing that all is well along an unexpected path, and ego can keep us in a state of stuck-ness and resistance. (I hear yoga is really good for helping with this…just saying.) No “make wrong” for having fear or ego; they’re part of being human, which is a brilliant and worthy adventure! Plus, usually we wake up somewhere along the path and get perspective. Or, once we step off at the end we can see more clearly where it all led. Hindsight gives us deep learning and appreciation. It’s that whole ‘we can’t see the forrest through the trees’ thing.

This week is all about thinking back along the paths we’ve taken so far and feeling deep, deep gratitude for the blessings we’ve gotten from the unexpected twist and turns.

Gratitude Prompt 4 - PATH.png

Maybe you’ve stepped on every path consciously. I bet there were still some unexpected, choose-your-own-adventure moments.

Maybe direction has been forced upon you through no choice of your own.

Maybe you’re on one of those unexpected paths right now and you can’t experience the learning and the blessings just yet. That’s okay. Can you trust that at some point in time there will be a moment when you will be able to?

Sometimes just stating even the most simple thing you’re grateful for along the path can help clear it.

So, this week I ask you to compile a little list of the paths you’ve been gifted with. Joyful and otherwise, there are gifts to them all. Then, make a list of what about them you are grateful for.

Have you grown or learned something? Have you met someone interesting or influential along the way? Have you helped someone?


I’m getting inspired by these prompts right along with you…

The obvious unexpected path along my lifetime so far that has led me to gratitude is
the scoliosis-induced one that led me to yoga and natural living.
This ultimately led me to teach yoga and be in your inbox today.
I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned and continue to learn from this path.
I’m so grateful it has led to me being able to share with others, touch lives, meet people
and have some amazing experiences.
I veered off a professional path I expected to continue on forever and onto this one
when I was forced by my physical body to do so.
I’ve had so much confusion and resistance about that at various points in time because
I’ve worried that maybe I took a wrong turn.
But there’s no way a “wrong” turn led me to a happier, healthier life I love!

I hope every path you step on has blessings.

May there be more apparent blessings, and less blessings in disguise, but when they’re not so apparent, may you always remember to keep your eyes, mind and heart wide open to see the hidden goodness, the almost-missed opportunities, the unexpected growth and newness and joy!

Can’t wait to hear about your amazing life’s paths! And how this whole month of more mindful gratitude practices has gone for you. Thank you for sharing and playing along with me. We’ll do it again next November. In the meantime, as always, feel free to email me or share this blog post with people who might like a little grateful pick-me-up and use #mpgratitudeprompt2018 when you share your grateful musings about this prompt on social media.

It’s been a real pleasure doing this with you!

Be well, happy, and always grateful!

November 2018 Gratitude Prompt #2 -- Gratitude For Nature

HAPPY GRATITUDE MONTH!!!

We have arrived at week 2 of 2018’s Thanksgiving Gratitude Prompts.

I hope last week’s prompt reminded you how amazing your human body is!  I hope you found ways to show your body gratitude, to treat yourself well in health, and to stand for a moment here and there in awe of the incredible systems that make you, you.  YOU are a miracle of nature!

Speaking of nature… This week is all about connecting to nature.  Look around and see what in the natural world you are grateful for.  Make a grateful offering to the earth.

Gratitude Prompt 2 - NATURE.png

The air has suddenly become briskly chilly.  Our fireplace is flickering away next to me.  I’ve just mixed up my first batch of Double Chocolate Cinnamon Cocoa Mix for the season with the promise of a cup shared with my sweet wee girl later this afternoon while snuggled up under a fuzzy blanket watching a cozy show and reading some new books.  Autumn is officially upon me and I’m loving every single second I can get in — and in celebration of — nature!  Where I am the sun is shining brightly during the day and setting earlier and earlier each day, reminding me to tune in, rest, get quiet regularly, listen, let go, and just be.

Even in the midst of a super fun, active week of houseguests and festivities celebrating my husband’s birthday, I’ve spent time in awe of nature and, with the help of last week’s gratitude prompt, staying connected to my humanness in the midst of the natural world around me.  I’m excited for this week’s prompt to inspire more conscious time reflecting in nature.

I’m getting inspired by these prompts right along with you ...

HERE’S WHAT FLOATS MY NATURE BOAT:

I am eternally grateful for fresh air to breathe.  I am grateful for season changes that remind me I am part of a cycle and I am never stagnant, always expanding and changing.  

I am grateful for the pull of the moon, the life-giving energy of the sun, the twinkle of the stars, trees, mountains, waterways, and every light breeze I have ever been outside to enjoy. 

I am grateful that I live somewhere where hummingbirds are still buzzing about a bit, where certain flowers are blooming and pomegranates are pickable, where the sky tends toward blue, and where time outside is invigorating.

HERE ARE 3 WAYS I SHOW MOTHER NATURE I AM GRATEFUL:

1) Use natural cleaners in my house.

2) Grow and purchase organic foods.

3) Go on “noticing walks” mindfully looking at the world around me and getting more inspired to treat the earth with respect.


Please share this prompt with anyone else who might be inspired by it.  And, be sure to share your responses!  You can simply email me, or share on social media.  Remember to add the hashtag — #mpgratitudeprompt2018 — so we can all follow along and be inspired by each other!

Thank you for your brilliance and wisdom being shared in this fun little endeavor of positive energy throughout this month.  Mother Nature thanks you for thinking of her lovingly!

Halloween Loot, Minus the Poot! (that's my wee girl's word for "poop"; maybe I shouldn't have let her name this post)

I L♥VE Halloween!!  With a capital heart!

Since I was old enough to be a greeter for all those excited trick-or-treaters, one of my absolute favorite parts of Halloween has always been giving out treats.

In my house we don't eat chemicals, pesticides, GMO's, food dyes, refined sugars, or excesses of sugars of any kind.  So, why would we give that out to all the sweet witches and ghosts who visit our doorstep?

When all is said and done, kids want to have fun more than anything!  I believe we put too much emphasis on sugary "treats" in our culture and not enough on the treat that is pure joy.  JOY HAS LASTING POWER!!

Soooooo ... many, many years ago I decided to give out toys and useful, fun stuff instead of candy.  MANY years ago.  Like, long before the words "gluten intolerance" or "nut allergy" were ever uttered in common vernacular.  Once they were, it was simply convenient that I was already in the flow of finding fun "treats" to share.

The first year I spent Halloween with my husband and he saw me gathering Autumn themed pencils to give out to kids, he said, "Ok. I'm gonna ask you a question.  I'm only gonna ask it once and then I'll move on, but I HAVE to ask.  Are you SURE -- POSITIVELY, ABSOLUTELY SURE -- that you want to be the lady who gave out pencils on Halloween???!!!"  I was sure.  And he stood corrected as the kids went through our stash, genuinely excited to pick out the pencil of their choice!  Not 1 egg was thrown at our house.  ;)  Now we have our own wee kid with a hilarious pencil fetish and year after year, no matter what else we give out, there are always pencils in the mix.  My husband still laughs and shakes his head, saying, "Pencils!  They really like the pencils!"

Why yes those are monster temporary finger tattoos.  Why yes those do double as tattoos AND monster finger puppets.  GENIUS!

Why yes those are monster temporary finger tattoos.  Why yes those do double as tattoos AND monster finger puppets.  GENIUS!

BE READY FOR FUN!  If you would like to give out non-junk-food items, and need ideas, some that have worked well for me in the past are:

  • Bubbles (small bottles)
  • Stamps
  • Super balls
  • Tiny journals
  • Mini crayon boxes
  • Whistles
  • Rings (big enough to be safe for wee ones)
  • Mini parachute people
  • Mini toy cars/airplanes
  • Stickers
  • Finger puppets
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Glow Sticks
  • Necklaces (especially glow ones!)
  • Mini games
  • Mini activity books
  • And of course, PENCILS!  (Fall ones, sparkly ones, lego ones, monster ones...)

You can find these at discount stores (like, $1/Reject stores), craft supply stores, Target, and online at Oriental Trading Company or Amazon.  Be sure to check locally owned makers and toy shops as well!

Check for environmentally friendly options and always get nontoxic toys!  They do exist, even in the $1 bins! :)

Please consider doing this.  It teaches kids about being healthy, it gives kids with allergies and special needs a treat they can enjoy (and puts their parents minds at ease), and it inspires creativity and play.  Plus, less chemically-laden candy sold sends a message to candy companies to clean up their acts.

Thanks!  Happy Haunting!!

NEW Broadcast ;)

Negativity and violence seem to be the loudest headlines these days getting all the attention. It’s hard to stay grounded with so much fear and anger energy coming at us all the time. And in this day and age of social media on top of media-media, it really is coming at us all the time. Even when we are vigilant about what we allow into our day to day, somehow, it’s there. Sometimes we can just feel it. Sometimes we hear about it through the grapevine. Sometimes we pay close attention to it. How can we as members of one human family not pay some attention? We care!



So I’m here with a little news-reframing love note for you today (and a little recipe gift below...). A simple pop-in to say I feel your caring and I am caring along with you. I see your concerns and I am concerned along with you. I feel your days of exhaustion and therefore momentary indifference and then your rising up again into positive action. I am right there with you. My hope is that you will take time EVERY day to remember no matter what is going on around you, YOU ARE A LIGHT BRINGER! You can be the change you wish to see in the world. You are PLENTY and you are PERFECTION and you make a difference!!



The messages I got in my yoga practice this morning were these: Be quiet so I can hear the truth that there is so much wonder and magic in our world! Be mindful with my energy and my focus! Remember that all is well and above all, even when I wonder why I would bother: I AM A LIGHT BRINGER. It’s my calling. It’s my sacred contract. It’s my responsibility to seek out the good, the joy, the light. To live with as much good, joy and light as possible, and to share the good, the joy, the light.



I could withdraw and just try to live a happy life, hoping that my happy energy would have some radiant effect (and I’m absolutely certain that our happy energy does have a profound radiant effect!), but I feel this deep intention to take action and remind you of your splendor!



So, if you have — or someone you care about has — been feeling a bit winded by world events lately, I want to offer you a few little tips to continue to live your bright life…
 

  • When all seems glum or overwhelming, seek first to understand. Remain positive and hopeful; TRUST!
  • Trust that you are loved and supported.
  • Trust that good things are coming and good things are happening NOW.
  • When you’re stressed, you’re likely future tripping or dwelling on the past and looping in an eddy of wanting that which is impermanent to be permanent. Try for a moment taking a deep breath through your nose and, if only for the moment it takes to breathe one breath, BE HERE NOW. (be sure to breathe through your nose and not your mouth, this is more centering for your nervous system)
  • Trust in your amazingness — you are such brilliant design, capable of shifting your thoughts from negative ones to positive ones.
  • Trust that the world is healing. Even when we don’t see or grasp the healing, there is healing happening now. When we look for that, we either find it, or we create it, so look for the healing opportunity of every situation.
  • Accept. Acceptance always moves things along a magical path.
  • Trust that we are all in good hands. When it comes time to choose leaders, choose from a place of heart-ness — that place where we are all connected and want what’s best for everyone. Or step into your own light of leadership and lead with your heart.
  • Nourish yourself. My little voice is very wise and usually quite amusing. Today she told me, “Whole foods are soul foods!” (she also said, “Tea time is me time” and I had a good giggle!) Instead of reaching for that bag of chips or tub of ice cream, see what happens when you care enough for yourself to feed your soul byway of your body with natural goodness. When we treat ourselves kindly through food and proper hydration, we view the whole world more positively so don’t skimp on this step! You’re so worth it and you’ll be able to shine your light more freely when you're nourished.



Along the lines of “WHOLE FOODS ARE SOUL FOODS” and “TEA TIME IS ME TIME” I want to share a favorite Fall recipe with you. I made this for myself this morning, not having had it since last Autumn, and I was so pleased. I felt truly nourished by this tea latté treat.

 

I hope you make a little time for yourself to enjoy this! If you don’t get around to making it for yourself, I think I’ll be serving this at the upcoming Autumn Yoga Retreat Day on 11/11 where I intend to brighten retreaters’ lives and inspire them to live their light. If you’d like to sign up and join this lovely group of humans connecting to heart, light and gratitude, here’s a link with info: AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT DAY EVENT PAGE You’ve still got a few days to receive Earliest Bird Pricing and get 20% off!



Pumpkin Spice Cha Cha Chai Blender Latte
by Maggie Verderame


INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 Cup Brewed Magareeshi Cha Cha Chai Tea
2 Tbs Pumpkin Purée (this works with any hearty squash)
1 Tbs Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tbs Maca Powder
1 Tbs Chia Seeds
1 Tbs Hemp Seeds
1 Tbs Coconut Sugar
1 Tbs Honey -or- Maple Syrup
5 Ice Cubes (standard size)


METHODS:
Add all ingredients in the order they are listed to a blender. Whizz up until smooth.

For a cool drink, use cold almond milk and tea.

For a smoothie, used cold liquids and add more ice cubes.

For a warm latté, use warmed almond milk and hot tea. Omit ice cubes.

 

CHEERS to your health and happiness!  Namast-YAY!

CHEERS to your health and happiness!

Namast-YAY!