Early morning

Morning is my favorite time of day…it symbolizes new beginnings, fresh starts, another chance.  There’s always been something about the sound of birds in the morning…their songs make the sun rise.

No matter where I am in the world, I appreciate morning time.  I could be waking up in a tent on a road to nowhere Alaska or in a hotel room somewhere in India, or in a van, compliment of a teenage memory.

When I go to sleep at night, I anticipate the morning time and can hardly wait for the first cup of coffee or tea.  The wakeful state where the mind is not yet full of a day’s worth of memories  is always something to look forward to.  One of the best reasons for life is morning.

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Health and awareness and the beginning of something.

In the early 1960’s when I was about 5 years old, I remember asking my father to help me mash up a One a Day Vitamin in a spoon with some water so that I could take it.  The pill didn’t dissolve like the Bayer aspirin that my mother sometimes gave me and the taste was incredibly bitter, like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  But there was something about consuming a substance that was supposed to be good for my body.  How I knew this could be true by taking vitamins I have no idea.  I don’t even know how a vitamin bottle appeared in our household of smokers and parents who  relished the amazing fast and processed foods that were becoming all the rage in the midst of our industrial and prosperous nation.

And this was really my first indication that one of my prime interests in this life would be consumed with body health.

Fast forward past the deprivation of good foods in my household during my preteen years when I used to have the feeling inside I was starving for greens and foods not laden with sugar–and where  the only drink, besides milk, that was plentiful in our house, Pepsi Cola, seemed to give me the worst taste in my mouth as well as stomach aches.  I hated it but that’s just the way it was or was supposed to be.

I was 16 years old, just a few years, dozens of miles, and an entire culture away from the steel making area where I grew up.  My mother,  my sister and I left our dad for good and moved to a small, mountain community in western Pennsylvania with my mom’s sister and her family .  It was a difficult time getting accepted in a place where generations of families held their own and where none were part of the wave of immigrants like my grandparents who came across the sea to work in America’s thriving steel and glass industries.   Having a Spanish surname and coming to live in a town with a newly divorced woman was met with discrimination far beyond anything I could have imagined.  Yet, I grew to love the people, was eventually very well accepted, and it seemed that my search for something deeper was met in a place where nature was more evident and respected and harsher.   I started to find that something in the wind that blew the leaves in the trees and in the sun coming up over the horizon and in the dragonflies that hovered above a pond not too far from my home.  I loved the land and the woods and it seemed, as corny as it may sound, to  love me back.

One day after being totally acclimated with everything about my new home (and I could never imagine moving back to a city at this point)  I was in an old mom and pop owned hardware store in town..the one that had seeds and wrenches and cards among other items of the general merchandise family.  There, I came across a little book low on a rack in the middle of the store.  The title was ‘How to Get Rid of Cellulite’ or something like that.  I bought the book for cheap, mainly  because it talked of foods and of a series of exercises called yoga–a strange, but intriguing name I thought.  I was fairly happy with my body, as happy as a teen who never sees herself as perfect could be, but I thought the connection between eating apples, breathing consciously and getting rid of lumps that appear on the top of the leg when you squeezed the flesh together was interesting.

And this book changed my life.

“Mom, I’m quitting meat, I’m going to buy myself real orange juice, and find some  yogurt.”

If I would have told her that  I was pregnant with triplets I would have received the same look.

“What you eat has nothing to do with your health! ” she quipped.  And that was the end of the story with her.

But I was working that summer and had the extra cash..enough to buy myself a bicycle, some cool jeans, a few shirts, and the kind of food that I thought would be healthy for me.

And that’s where my story begins.

Dreams of frustration

Life seems to be good, yet I keep having dreams of frustration…someone stole my purse in last night’s dream…and it was in school where most of my ‘frustration dreams’ occur.

In a Vedic astrology reading I had on my birthday, the California woman (who’s been doing it for years I suppose and who has an article coming out in Namarupa magazine this month) told me that she would have advised me to be a healer (doctor, alternative medicines, etc.) early on in life, for that’s all she saw in my chart as far as professions.

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and am realizing now that it wasn’t English or science or history that I’ve wanted to teach (though I do love those subjects) , but something else, something about health and the spirit.  And though I feel  I share some of those things now, however inadvertently, with my public school students, I can see why I get frustrated and burnt out and why I’ve thought for over 20 years  ‘How can I get out of teaching school?’  Or maybe more specifically, ‘How can I not have to be in disciplinarian mode at work when I’m trying to communicate something helpful?”

Teaching kids really has its rewards.  And Lord knows it brings out the fire in me which can be both interesting and exciting to the spirit.  But as time moves on and I get just a little slower, it also gets  more tough–especially with the immediate gratification crowds we have coming in now…wanting to be entertained, and quickly, and wanting everything done for them, for the work ethic is quite low in the states for many  (though not all!)   school children.

I can just be aware of the frustration and roll with it.  Pursuing my goals of sharing and teaching yoga and Ayurveda keeps me going–and the gratitude that I have a job that allows me time off so that I can recuperate and regenerate from the types of kids we have coming in to the system now is a needed plus.    I have to be honest with myself.

Yet, I do have days at school that are not frustrating and I experience many days that can be quite rewarding…making the best of everything is really the key to having a happy life anyway.

And,

I am happy.

Taking time for yourself and regenerating

It’s so important to take time for yourself and recharge.  What a hectic life most of us live…in our heads mostly and separated from nature which is a huge part of our existence.

So take a moment to breathe or look at the sky or look directly at someone as you listen, trying not to interject your own judgments or thoughts .

Cook a meal and be conscious of every ingredient as you touch it, knowing that this is what you will be putting into your body to sustain it.

Or just

stretch and think of one thing to be grateful for as you breathe in deeply.

India

The bag is almost  packed, the back pack ready….looking forward to this adventure, this yantra of the spirit.  Keeping you posted and me on the writing track– thank you for reading this and love to all.

~Par