Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Taking the steps...

So first quick up date- the inner excavation class I'm doing is going great!  I'm enjoying journaling, taking pictures, and getting creative with how I am putting my work together.  I'm amazingly blessed with a wonderful life, great family and some really genuine Peeps in my life.  I'm finding that others don't have it so great.  Grateful for what I have and hoping some of the others involved in the inner excavation class find themselves and find that happiness, peace, or resolution so many of us seem to be looking for.

This week the theme for the class is "I seek" and is all about senses and recognizing at any given moment what is happening around you- you remember those five senses: hear, taste, smell, touch, see.  She add a sixth- know.  What do you "know" by those senses- what do they tell you, teach you, help you see. One of the activities is a type of meditation that you think about what you hear, see, taste, smell, see, touch and know.  You can do this meditation sitting in quiet/peace or do it as a walking meditation.

I took my walking meditation "6 senses" walk yesterday morning before work.  I did not wear any headphones and just tried to be present in my walk.  I saw: dew, birds, deer scat, flowers blooming, and bugs.  I heard: birds talking, singing and squabbling, dogs barking, my feet landing on the pavement, and bugs.  I smelled clean, morning air.  I touched my fingers together as I swung my arms, and the fly that kept buzzing around my head in one part of the trail (I touched it because I was swinging my arms around to helicopter this annoying fly away).  I didn't really taste anything but my morning dry mouth (brushed teeth plus no hydration- kind of dry), however when I walked by some hollyhocks I imagined if I was a bee the nectar from the flower would taste like "nectar of the gods".  What I know from this walk was the fly annoyed the crap out of me and I lost some of my presence when swinging my arms wildly to divert it away from my head.  What I also know is that it wasn't that bad walking in the morning and really taking in my surrounding minus listening to my Ipod.  It was relaxing. It was energizing. 

So the inner excavation continues and I'm eager to continue on.

Along with the inner excavate I'm doing a 7 day consistency challenge.  My action steps are walking or some physical activity 20 minutes every day along with having a smoothie for breakfast every morning.  So far I'm doing well.  I'm kind of coming to terms that walking may need to become my new best friend.  I went for follow-up doctor visit this past Monday and everything looks good, but my doctor is really heavily encouraging me not to head back down the running path.  He is concerned that I will just end up needing further knee surgery in the future.  So he wants me to continue to do PT, find other activities like walking, biking and swimming and hold off on running for 2 more months.  I was hoping to hear something different, but I've been reminding myself that 2 months ago I couldn't hardly walk down stairs without discomfort and a horribly odd gait.  So onward we go with walking and hopefully more activities to come with no knee swelling. 

I leave you with something I read today which is so true- sorry don't know who wrote/said it...
"Just like nutrition, the process isn't sexy, but showing up again and again and again (and again)- regardless of how you have to rig the process to make it happen- is what leads to fitness success over time".
Planning to keep it on my calendar/"to do" list to Show Up tomorrow and the days to come.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Two different trips

I'm getting ready to take a trip, well really two. I leave for both of them Monday. I'm totally excited for both. In two days I leave for Vegas with my hubby, my sister and my brother in-law. On the same day I leave for Vegas I start a personal trip that will challenge me physically,mentally and spiritually.

The class is a free 6 week class run by Liz Lamoreux. You do have to buy the book "Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry and Mixed Media." by Liz. I first heard about Liz via Pinterest then her blog. If you are interested in learning more about her go to

Her intro of this book starts with these lovely words, "I am so glad to find you here reading these words because it means you are in the midst of one of the greatest adventures of your life-looking inward and sifting through the layers to unearth who you are as you walk on your life's path"(7).

Sounds right up my alley. I'm constantly trying to understand me, my purpose and all the other questions that come with those two: how, why, when and where.

Liz doesn't stop there. Her 2nd sentence of the book is the call to action. "The journey of doing this work- the big work-of looking inward to figure out where you are, where you want to go,how you got to this moment,is the focus of the book.

It is a closed Facebook group. This is how we will communicate during the 6 week class and how Liz leads us through the 7 chapters of the book. We are sworn to secrecy and so stories and the experiences can't be shared- it's personal. I'm here to say by reading many of the introduction "hello's" thus far am impressed, intrigued and amazed to get to know these classmates better.

Excited to create some new stories and take both these journeys- on to sunny Vegas with some of my most favorite Peeps and the internal journey of discovery.

----- Sent from mBox Mail Hotmail for iPhone and iPod Touch

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Reads...

The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray's Anatomy
The Anatomist By Bill Hayes
I was so excited to write about this great book that I tried sneaking it in on my May Read's Post.  I finished it in June though so saved it for this month's post.  It is the true story or back story of the two men who produced the book Gray's Anatomy: Henry Gray (author) and Henry Carter (illustrator).  The author who wrote this book knows how to write.  He had a brilliant way of weaving current day story with the back story and flashback story of these two men who brought the production of one of the most utilized anatomy books known to health care providers and the general public. 
Bill Hayes set out to get the real story behind the production of this book.  This book, Gray's Anatomy, was not written when digital photography, computer processing, scrivener, or other current day publishing tools are possible.  I found it interesting that most of this book really focused on the illustrator Henry Carter.  His illustrations, attention to detail and knowledge of the body was AMAZE BALLS! 
I also really appreciated the way in which Bill Hayes wrote about his own life and different ways in which this book connected to his own personal life (have to read it to understand what I mean).  Again, well written, easy to read and totally made me want to go back and re-read my own anatomy books and try to remember my own gross anatomy class.  
So glad I found this book on the New Nonfiction shelf at my public library.
Marriage Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
Marriage Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick
This was another book I found on the New Nonfiction shelf.  It was a book that my husband and I both enjoyed.  It was spot on in some aspects of our own marriage.  The first illustration in chapter one couldn't have been anymore true:  Husband lying in bed with no sheets on and asking when, oh when can we turn the air conditioning on.  Wife on the other side of bed huddled up under her pile of covers, trying to find the heat radiating off her husband to keep her warm.
It was a pretty funny book, but not the funniest, not funny like "Sh*t My Dad Says" by Justin Halpren.  The pictures add to the comic relief felt when reading it. It is an easy read and I suggest a good book for any husband/wife duo to read together. 
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
10% Happier ... by Dan Harris
This was our June book club read.  It was a book I likely wouldn't have picked up, but as always with book club I'm so thankful for this group of women who challenge my reading brain. 
It is a memoir/creative nonfiction genre about Dan Harris, ABC newsman, who finds meditation, Buddhism, mindfulness, and becomes 10 % happier.  I think he did what most newsman do researched, studied it, but then he actually put it in practice.  Again don't want to spoil his story, so want you to read it if you are looking for something that could possibly help you: become more even keeled, less angry, more in the moment, really more present.
The topic of being "present" is something I continually struggle with.  Just the other day I was telling someone that this book has made me realize that I need something to change my thinking, and meditation/mindfulness sounds pretty good.  I don't want to wish away time just to hurry up and get to another time.  I don't want to miss some really important moment in my life or my family's life because I'm too busy moving forward, looking forward. 
I liked this book because it spoke to me, but I'm not sure that it was the best written book or that I connected with Dan Harris.  However, it has helped me connect with my hubby.  He is finishing the book now and we have had some great conversations already about ways in which the book  has spoken to us in different ways. 
If anything I can say "thanks" to Dan Harris for bringing to light that "being present" is really besides being "happy" one of my ultimate life goals.  Thanks Dan Harris!

Liberty (The Puppy Place, #32)
Liberty By Ellen Miles
Yep, another Puppy Place. saga.  Appropriate one for this time of year a story of a lost puppy found on the night of the 4th of July fireworks.  Some of you may wonder why I put these type of books in my "monthly read" posts, but these books are just as important as the other ones, because I have read them with one or both of my kids.  My daughter really loves these books, because she loves dogs, and dogs will never be a part of our immediate family.
So as horses, real horses, weren't a real part of my immediate family growing up, I lived vicariously through reading books with my father, and checking out any horse book I can from the library.  Even during my late elementary school days when I thought I'd become a "big animal vet" I'd go to the adult section of the library and check out horse anatomy books.  I know I was a library nerd even back then. 
This is a great series that teaches kids about what it takes to take care of animals and how animals aren't for everyone.  This book even had some teenage angst in it.  Thanks Ellen Miles for letting my daughter live vicariously through the puppy place books to fulfill her love for dogs for the time being.
She and my niece have already figured out that when they are older, after college, they will both have dogs and live together.  Can't wait to see that come to fruition.