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Hatha yoga, so important for my health and peace of mind.

THANK YOU Chris Downie, the VeryMerrySparkGuy, for this incomparable wellness site! (9/26/09)

With Emily Dickinson, "I dwell in possibility." --Photo by Quang Le



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"The trouble is, you think you have time," said the Buddha. And although I've been mostly consistent about daily meditation and pranayama (breathing practices), sadly I haven't been careful about daily food intake.

I have picked up almost 40 lbs. since my return from Ecuador three years ago, in large part due to the med I'm on, prednisone, treating Giant Cell or Temporal Arteritis, which came on strong and suddenly in May, 2017. It is an inflammation of the lining of the arteries of the head, especially those in the temples and the most dangerous outcomes, if not treated promptly, are blindness and development of aneurysms

I am committed to optimal body-mind-spirit health to help attune me to that "still small voice" within that is signalling the way to the next signpost on the Path. In this process, I intend to "have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

The shape my life will morph into in the foreseeable future is a mystery -- I'm trying to "live the questions now" with grace, letting go of anxiety about the future. Oh, and anyway T. S. Eliot tells us,
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Bottom line in all of this is, "Don't take life too serious -- it's all just so mysterious!" (George Gershwin)

And a bit more kitchen table wisdom:

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. ----Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Everything that happens to me is my teacher. The trick is to sit at the feet of my own life and let myself be taught by it. --Unknown

An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

Member Since: 6/2/2006

Fitness Minutes: 52,878

My Goals:
~ know joy

~ no judgment

Reshape yourself by the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.

To those who have conquered themselves, the will is a friend. But it is the enemy of those who have not found the Self within them.
--Bhagavad Gita 6:5-6

My Program:

~ Daily meditation
and pranayama practice

~ Daily gratitudes journaling

~ Exercise at least 10 min./day

~ 20 min. strength training every-other day

Personal Information:
I'm a California native, and I have lived primarily in northern CA/San Francisco Bay Area when not traveling or living out-of-state or internationally.

I currently live near Little Rock, AR. I returned to school to pick up another undergrad degree, in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013.

I've been a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I also volunteer and have worked for El Zocalo Immigrant Resources Center.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my root teacher (Diksha Guru)..

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole, mostly organic, plant-based diet since 1980. I enjoy cooking delicious food with *attitude.*

Other Information:
I love a good movie (e.g., The Visitor; Iris; The Man Who Sued God; Bella) or read (authors Mary Catherine Bateson and Jill Ker Conway are current favorites). I also read sacred texts and other spiritual books, and Swami Satchidananda, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh are among favorite wisdom writers.

As a wimpy Pisces swimming around in the cosmic ocean with lots of air influence, I don't like books or movies too negative, or intense or horrific. My delicate sensibility is easily thrown off-balance. Really.

Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Whyte, John O'Donohue, Pablo Neruda and Rumi are favorite poets. And music! From Angelique Kidjo and Amadeus Mozart to Diana Krall and Krishna Das...and a world in-between!

Read More About VALERIEMAHA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated November 20)

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    I find myself getting irritated with sparkpeople a lot but I love the people here so I stay. Have a great day!
    9 hours ago
  • v ABURRIS2
    Hey! Sandra just clued us in that you've been posting on the November thread while we've been in December. I've missed hearing your voice, that's all. Hope you are feeling better. ~A
    7 days ago
    My mom got R.A. when she was in her mid 40s, a very virulent kind. They tried all kinds of meds without much success. The only one that helped, she became allergic to. So they ended up putting her on prednisone plus other medicines. One of them caused her to have renal failure. She died of complications of that at 65. I don't know the strength or exactly how long she was on it but it would have been for years. It was enough to cause her to have the obvious side effects.
    13 days ago
    emoticon You look great in that outfit.Dawn needs to donate it to you! LOL.

    I agree about the prednisone. My mom had to be on it continuously and she developed diabetes and heart disease from it. It's a 2 edged sword!
    13 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/29/2017 11:47:49 AM
  • v ABURRIS2
    Yes, this beloved garment needs some seriously tender care, after physical challenges and grief fed a wicked appetite instead. I am with you in taking charge with a new program...
    but have yet to make a firm first step. Blood pressure, headache and tight jeans seem like enough motivation, don't you think? The biggest pothole has been trouble with mobility but there has been vast improvement and there's hope for more. You encourage me, Maha, with your never give up attitude! I shall try to emulate. emoticon
    13 days ago
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