VALERIEMAHA
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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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VALERIEMAHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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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

May 24, 2014 heralded the beginning of the last big journey in my sweet little Toyota Dolphin camper when I drove to California, rendezvoused with my soul sister Diana from Maui and we trucked up the California Coast Highway to San Francisco to connect with many friends in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. My "2014 Trip" blogs have the details.

After selling my camper, buying my ticket to South America, and arriving to Quito, Ecuador, on September 25, 2014, my nine months in Ecuador seemed to overnight draw to a close. I returned to central AR June 4, 2015. It's hard to believe that it has been over two years since I returned! Thoughts of my first trip to Ecuador in 1997, with ensuring trips most every year thereafter, surface often...and I WILL return in latter 2017 or early 2018!

"The trouble is, you think you have time," said the Buddha. I've maintained a daily practice of pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation, but sadly I haven't been careful about food intake. I have picked up THIRTY POUNDS since my return, in some part due to the med I'm on, prednisone, which is to treat Temporal Arteritis, which came on strong and suddenly in May, 2017.

What else is up with me?

~During my travels, thanks in large part to SparkPeople, I have had the joy to meet, and in many cases stay with, the first 5 rows of SparkFriends, ending with the Venerable Spark Guy, Chris Downie himself, who I met at a Spark Rally in 2009!

~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.

An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:
http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=3
026

~ In the meantime, 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 all 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 here's more "kitchen table" wisdom:

Your personal history is not your true identity. Don't let the past define who you are.
-- Eckhart Tolle
******
Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music
-- Aulus Cornelius Celsus (50-25 BC), Physician
******
My actions are my true belongings. They are the ground on which I stand.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, The Fifth Remembrance
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CARPE MOMENTUM! (Seize the moment!)
******
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
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barn's burnt down;
now I can see
the moon
-- Masahide
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Usually we think that brave people have no fear.
The truth is they are intimate with fear.
-- Pema Chodron
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If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
-- William James
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Where attention goes, energy flows.
-- James Redfield
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Choices are the hinges of destiny.
-- Pythagoras
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Self-conquest is the greatest of victories.
-- Plato
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Strength does not come from physical capacity.
It comes from an indomitable will.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
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He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
-- Lao Tzu
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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit
-- Aristotle
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We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
-- The Buddha
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Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
-- Bob Marley, Redemption Song
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The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
-- Marcus Aurelius
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The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.
-- Marcus Aurelius
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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-- Plato
******
If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you,"
that would suffice.
-- Meister Eckhart
******
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
-- Cynthia Ozick
******
To lengthen thy life,
lessen thy meals.
-- Benjamin Franklin
******
Never eat more than you can lift.
-- Miss Piggy
******
It's better to start at night than not at all!
AND
Losing weight is hard; maintaining is hard; pick your hard.
-- www.WeightWatchers.com Vegetarian Board friends
******
Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.
-- Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
******
******


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:
GOAL

~ 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 a degree in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013!

I'm a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I have also developed various service projects in Ecuador.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my primary teacher.

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole organic foods, 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!




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Comments
  • v GOANNA2
    Hi Maha. I am in the village in Rhodes till the end of September. Still tossing up
    whether to retire here but I have my DS on the Gold Coast and he is still
    studying...I am taking Symbicort for my Asthma and my appetite has also
    increased. Still, I walk a kilometre to the beach and back and swim every day
    in the beautiful Mediterranean, so I try to be healthy.

    I hope you are looking after yourself. Where are you living now? I might come
    to Canada/US next year, so it might be possible to catch up.

    It is heatwave conditions again and am looking forward to a trip to Switzerland
    and some cooler weather in 3 weeks. I will visit some friends From Canada days.
    Take care my dear and stay well.

    Hugs
    Anna emoticon
    11 days ago
  • v GOANNA2
    Hello from Greece Maha. I hope you are keeping well. emoticon
    13 days ago
  • v HOMEBODY4EVER
    emoticon TO ....CALLING ALL SPARKPEOPLE MOTIVATORS TEAM

    You will LOVE THIS TEAM! It's amazingly positive and supportive. The members here are always willing to lend a hand, an ear, or a shoulder. They have done it for me and they will do the same for you!! We are here to support and encourage you on your journey to success. We would love to have you join us on the Forums for some fun and challenges.

    Leader
    HOMEBODY4EVER
    Marj.
    18 days ago
  • v JIBBIE49
    emoticon The Motivator of the Day.

    Reading all your quotes made me ask "Is this a Pisces." and had to laugh when I got to the bottom. The Pisces child was somehow the Scapegoat of the family getting the blame for the problems, even if no one actually used those words, and sensitive little Pisces picked up on it. I've studied astrology for over 50 years and there is always more to learn since it is about the Self. Pisces has to take care of her feet.
    When I was in high school back in the 60s one of the girls in our class spent a year in Quito with an American missionary doctor's family and she went to a local high school. (I think they were actually friends somehow of her family) and Linda said she learned so much Spanish since almost no one spoke English. She had finished 2 yrs of Spanish at high school. I regret I didn't go spend a year there through a student exchange program.
    20 days ago
  • v NEVERORNOW
    emoticon Congrats on being chosen as Motivator of the Day! emoticon
    20 days ago
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