Song of the Month~
“If we are peaceful, if we are happy
we can blossom like a flower,
and everyone in our family,
our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”
You need to read this book by Thich Nhat Hanh. Yogi, religious person, spiritual ganster, antithesis, this book is for you. So many subtle life lessons. It’s short, it’s a quick read, but it’s powerful. I picked this book up randomly from my acupuncturist’s office and decided to take it home and delve more into it. Even my doctor noticed I was reading it and commented on what an excellent book this is. This book is about finding peace with in yourself, it brings in Buddhism ideas, and talks about the power of meditation. For those that seek enlightenment, or are curious about all this ‘divine light’ stuff, pick it up. JkJk. But seriously, it’s worth your time to read it, and you can probably finish it in one sitting. I think I may even reread it this weekend. This book connects the suffering life brings, with the value of breathe, and imposes it with the power of peace. It helps awaken, to be more at peace. There is nothing more I can say to explain the read, go check it out and explore it for yourself! Live in the present, reconnect, end your suffering, breathe, and find peace with your mind, and peace with yourself.
This passage from the Introduction sums it up pretty well~
“Through his being and his words, Thich Nhat Hanh invties us into the reality of the present. Because he is a poet, his language has beauty, intimacy, and rich texture that illuminate the mind. Because he is courageous, he willingly pierces our great heart of compassion, so that we can bow to burning huts and sea pirates, to the sorrows of the world and those who cause sorrows. Because he is wise, his simple words speak to the most obvious Dharma and to the truly profound levels of Buddha’s awakening, all at one time. In doing so, he simultaneously unites the great Buddhist schools..Hanh has helped us to see the depths of dependent origination in a flower. In the midst of it all he has taught us to breathe, to smile, to live with a free heart. And most importantly, in our troubled world, he makes us no false division between inner awakening and engaged compassion. TO his eye, like his spiritual ancestor Mahatma Gandhi, ever being matters, everything is sacred…” [Jack Kornfield]
“Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that is it possible to live happily in the here and now, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life. We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger, or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, and bu nourishing seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the world of transformation and healing in our consciousness.”
GO read it.
“I believe that those of us who practice yoga have been sent to yoga by our pain. We embarked on this path because we had a hunch that there must be a better way. We have grown tired or our perfectionism, our unhappy relationships with our bodies, our inability to love completely or be loved completely, our endless resentments and sorrows, our sense that we could become greater than we are but that we are somehow blocked. Many of us have had considerable good fortune. We were blessed with the nice smile, the right education, the right opportunities. We may have loving partners, good work, healthy families. Yet we’ve found that arranging our externals in just the right way doesn’t bring us the happiness we hoped it would. The resting place always seems to be just over the next hill. And we have grown tired. We come to yoga in the grip of avidya. We come to yoga having forgotten where we come from and who we are. On our mats we find the truth. We are of God and there are no problems. We are the solution.”
Recently I’ve been loving eggplant. I have a new found love for it actually, and have learned to enjoy the strange thick texture, spongey taste, and the many concoctions you can make with this royal purple vegetable. While many restaurants, including Whole Foods, has mastered cooking with eggplant, I still cannot. So I looked I got curious and looked it up online. Today is Memorial Weekend, and in honor of the traditional American BBQ day, I thought I’d try grilling. Easier said than done; needless to say I’m still working on it.
How do you tell if the eggplant has gone bad?
My eggplant sat in my fridge for two days and when I pulled it out to use, it seemed a little off. The color was fine, but when I cut it open it had some darker spots. This has happened before, I’ve also noticed sometimes my eggplant has many seeds in it. Apparently these are signs of it going bad.This is not a good sign. A healthy eggplant should have light coloration on the inside with little to no seeds Other signs an eggplant is going bad include: a brown stem instead of a nice green one, discoloration on the purple skin- lighter or darker spots, if you are able to press into the sides easily without having the body spring back,
Some more facts and tips:
- Storing an eggplant in cold temperatures under 50 degrees helps it go bad quicker
- Eggplants can be frozen! Just slice it up, boil the pieces for about three minutes, and stick it in a bag, then into the freezer.
- Technically eggplant is a fruit, however it is referred to as a vegetable (like a tomato)
- May and June are when eggplants are in season, thus the best time to buy and cook!
- Smaller eggplants are usually less bitter since they have less seeds, though soaking them in salt before cooking helps eliminate the bitterness.
- Eggplants are known for going bad fast, so buy them accordingly. It’s recommended to store them unwrapped in the crisper of the refrigerator.
- Eggplants can be used for good meat substitutes because of their unique texture, and of course mixed into a variety of recipes.
Grilling Eggplant: Note- I’m no master in this yet, however I believe this is a step in the right direction, but I love to grill, and like simple recipes that require little effort, mess, and measurement
– Cut your eggplant into slices, maybe about .5 inches, or whatever you desire
– lightly drizzle olive oil on each side of eggplant….I say lightly because you dont want to over do it and loose the natural flavor. You can always add more oils after it is cooked, if needed (or at least that’s how I do it)
– Add a tiny bit of balsamic vinaigrette, again you can add more later if needed
– I love putting garlic on all my veggies
– Add any other spices: thyme, oregano, basil, dill, pepper….
Fire up the grill, and place pieces on the hot burner. I’m terrible at timing and typically watch how it cooks and the burn marks. Remember to flip to cook each side. When they look done, and have some grill charcoal on each side, put on a plate, cool, and eat. I would guess about 15 minutes maximum to cook both sides.
Have you heard of SUP Yoga? The new worksout trending on the beach lines of SoCal this summer. S-U-P = stand up paddle boarding, and yoga! I personally think a great combination…water, some breathing, some relaxation, and some breathtaking ambiance to help calm the mind and soothe the soul. Plus the added challenge of balancing on a board adds more core work. You get a workout on the water, peaceful paddle in the ocean, a nice tan, and if you get hot, just jump in. There are more and more companies popping up to learn SUP Yoga, especially here in San Diego. Put it on your bucket list for Summer 2012! I’m going to be teaching SUP Yoga this summer and I’m so excited.
I have a confession, I carry around peppermint oil almost everywhere I go. Yup, I love the stuff. I even offer it to random people when they yawn, feel tired, have allergies, or are congested. I’ve received many strange looks, but so what, people should know about the magical powers of peppermint oil. Seriously! It has soooo many remedies:
– Peppermint helps improve digestion and stimulate internal organs. Just rub some on your belly….Peppermint tea is also very good for this.
– Have a headache? Rub some on your neck, temples, and forehead, soothing.
– Allergies, sinus, congestion, sniffles, asthma, cough, bronchitis? Use peppermint! I like to rub some on my wrist, smell it, and put some on my chest
– Feeling tired, unmotivated to workout? Sniff some peppermint for an instant boost.
– Peppermint also helps with concentration
– Place some drops of peppermint on your belly and chest to relieve travel sickness
– Peppermint is also very cooling, if you are over heated, feeling warm, overly sweating, use peppermint!
– Peppermint can help numb areas on the bodies, stimulate, and help injuries. Lay it on.
– Peppermint can be mixed with other oils to create different concoctions…
– Peppermint also taste good and can have many healing properties by ingestion and tasting. Make sure you have an edible one though (most are).
Those are just a few….so many healing properties! Try it out, test it out, see what works for you. Or laugh, because I will continue to use peppermint daily…
WOW I’ve had one of the best weekends of my life! I spent this past Easter weekend celebrating energy with some fine yogis and learning Reiki (more to come about that). It was just what I needed for where I’m at right now. I’m so lucky I got to spend two glorious days and a night with such loving individuals.Such a magical experience.
Spring is the season of new beginnings….set your intentions, and believe…
On another note, this song popped into my head Saturday afternoon while in the workshop, and would not go away. Then when I got into my car to drive away, it was playing on the radio. Oddly enough, when I got into the car the next day to drive to the workshop, it was playing again…..Keep you eyes open, ya never know what possibilities may come forth 🙂
Another song I’ve heard frequently, so catchy, good message
HAVE YOU FOUND THE JOY IN YOUR LIFE?
A calm night in, after turning down three different invites to go out, I decided to stay home and hang out with me, myself, and my kitty. Ha. I randomly selected the movie, The Bucket List to watch from my small collection of dvds. I’m not a TV or really a movie person, and my sister can tell you, how I don’t pay attention and can’t just sit and focus. Obviously, I was multitasking. Although one of my favorite movies, I don’t watch it that much, but every time I do I feel a sense of renewal and appreciation. So many life lessons in the movie, ending with a moving scene and commentary and the classic John Mayer song, ‘Say what you need to say’, which always brings me to tears. Besides that they are living, while dying, exploring the world, traveling, helping themselves first, living carefree, and being present, the best take away of all is a simple reminder…Have you found the joy in your life? It’s a friendly reminder that at any point in your life, you can do anything, you can change things, and at anytime, dream the impossible, do the impossible, go be, let the waters take you…
The Bucket List Quotes
“Dear Edward, I’ve gone back and forth the last few days……trying to decide whether or not I should even write this.In the end, I realized I would regret it if I didn’t……so here goes.I know the last time we saw each other……we weren’t exactly hitting the sweetest notes. It certainly wasn’t the way I wanted the trip to end. I suppose I’m responsible, and for that I’m sorry. But, in all honesty, if I had the chance, I’d do it again. Virginia said I left a stranger and came back a husband. I owe that to you. There’s no way I can repay you for all you’ve done for me……so rather than try, I’m Just going to ask you to do something else for me. Find the Joy in your life. You once said you’re not everyone. Well, that’s true. You’re certainly not everyone. But everyone is everyone. My pastor always says:” Our lives are streams……flowing into the same river……towards whatever heaven lies in the mist beyond the falls. Find the joy in your life, Edward. My dear friend, close your eyes and let the waters take you home. “
“I believe that you measure yourself by the people that measure themselves by you.”
“You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not. ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’”
“If life has taught me anything it’s that 95% of the people are always wrong.”
” You only live once, so why not die with style?”
“We live, we die, and the wheels on the bus go round and round”
“The simplest thing is… I loved him. And I miss him. Carter and I saw the world together. Which is amazing… When you think that only three months ago, we were complete strangers! I hope that it doesn’t sound selfish of me but… the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life… And he knew it before I did.”
GO Live. Be Bright. Find YOUR Joy.