Breakfast as Meditation

Food prepared lovingly, mindfully and with positive energy,  has the optimal ability to nourish us both spiritually and physically.  This is my new mantra .  Whereas I used to begin the day with sitting in a meditative state for a prolonged period, I now practice by mindfully preparing nourishment, carefully preparing the chopping board and contemplating each slice of my blade as it finds its way through the vegetables and fruits and ends at the wood with a practiced *thunk!  I think about each tiny square or rectangle that I make,each semicircle or circle, each random shape.  I think  about the colors and textures of the food.  I focus on its transformation as I cook it and feel thankful as I slowly enjoy every morsel, while I give thanks.

This practice is changing me in ways that I cannot describe.  It not only empowers me and fuels my body and mind. It makes me calm and teaches me lessons each time I cook.

Today’s breakfast was chopped cyklon peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, Tuscan kale, tofu, sweet Hawaiian onion, crimini mushrooms and garlic cooked with a spicy, fragrant black bean sauce with slices of sweet, crispy Asian pear slices on the side.  I ate every bite very slowly and appreciated the honor of having food at all.  I appreciated the complexities of the flavors and noticed every crunch and smooth texture of the bountiful feast.

As I ate, I thought about how fortunate I am on so many levels and for so many things…my family, my friends, and in particular, my best friend. I thought of an ailing family member who is getting better each day, and how events have unfolded around her to reveal the truth to other members of my family.I thought of my husband’s voice over the phone, and of my best friend’s infectious grin.  I thought of the way my grandchild squeezes my hand when we walk and of how my little puppy loves to snuggle with me when she naps. I thought of my other granddaughter, now far away working her first real job.  I thought  of my tiny grandson who is observing the world every day through innocent eyes, and I thought of the ripe figs on the two trees outside my window.

This type of meditation is the best way to begin the day.  It centers me and orders my brain to prepare it for the arduous tasks at hand, the ones that mount daily as I progress through school with my eye on the prize.  It gives me strength and energy and helps me understand the world much better as I sort through the different events that are transpiring in my life at the moment with, perhaps, more confidence than I have ever had before.

I am at peace.

koi

Roy the Koi
Watercolor on paper
© Stacy Alexander – All Rights Reserved – 2014

Attempted Distractions

I refuse to buy into attempts, by means of intentionally orchestrated, false impressions to be distracted from my bliss.  The serene moments of quite are the best times to reflect and be grateful. Awareness best comes with mindfulness.                    Rene Best musician

heart-moon

After midnight….

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When the clock strikes 12 tonight, I will be entering a new decade.  Gifts began arriving two days ago.   Tonight, I am thinking of my mother, in labor, all those years ago.  She is a very sweet woman.  She always said it was a difficult labor, however, and  that the nurses popped popcorn in the lounge, and that she hated the smell of that.  I long to be with Mom tonight, miles and miles away from me, and Dad, too.  I wish I could celebrate this birthday with them.  I almost got to do it, but my school work prevented that.

I have plans for breakfast with a friend in the morning, then dinner with my daughter later and a “big surprise” after that….whatever that means, and my husband promises we will have yet another surprise when he returns on the 22nd, and another is winging its way to me as I write this.   Truth be told, I don’t feel much like celebrating.  I have a lot of work to do, both for grad school and for my job.  Birthdays are just another day of the week for me now.  The celebrations will be more for those people that love me, rather than for just me.  Next year, I am going to book a reservation at a yoga retreat.  I have grown to love my solitude.  The silence.  I like being alone.   I am happy.

Happy birthday to me.

7 Weeks of Work – 1 Day Off

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I woke up early on this glistening autumn morning in Portland, thankful to be alive and happy that this marks my first day off in a long, long time.  ….a little over seven weeks, actually.  Monday will mark week 8.

I have already meditated this morning, and am planning to make my house sparkle….clean, reorganize, regroup….Then, I’m going down to my studio to do the same thing, and to start on a new mosaic, if there is time left over.

Feeling so happy to have this day with no grueling homework and editors ringing my ears off with calls for rush orders and dealing with clients, new and old.  Not going to waste another minute on the computer, but since I had not really updated in awhile, I wanted to check in to say, “Hey!” and to let you know I’m still alive…..and awake…..and so happy & grateful for the opportunities that this day offers.

the meaning of each chakra

 

Hope YOU have a beautiful day, too!