Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yum!

Fish and Veggies wrapped in a Banana leaf
For a week, I did not have to think about the food I was going to eat.  I did not have to think about what to cook, its preparation, and the timing of it all.  All I had to do was to sit down and be grateful for what had been prepared for me.

It was glorious....
Food, Glorious Food!!!  (Sing along.....)

Haramara Retreat knows good food.
It is just that simple.

It is healthy and 99% Organic.
They will cater to your dietary needs, including my nut issues.  There were over 20 people in the group and a lot of us had specific needs (vegetarian, no dairy, no nuts, etc.)  The staff handled it with great care and attention.

Have I mention how good it all was?
AMAZING!  DROOL WORTHY!!  SPOON LICKING!!!  YUMMMINESS!

Breakfast was buffet style with eggs made to order.
Lunch and Dinner were sit down 3 course adventures in yum.

Grapefruit Ice with Honey

Lentil Ceveche...  I could have eaten a Gallon of it!

Another Yummy Lunch....

Forgot to take the picture, so it is a half eaten Coconut bar covered in Dark Chocolate

They know their Salad Dressings!  All prepared on site.

Twice Baked Potatoes and Mushrooms with Pesto Sauce

Gluten Free Cake (which was light and fluffy) with a fig/rasberry topping
The variety of food served was amazing and inspiring....

Inspired to learn new recipes.
Melissa

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guides and Doubt

A sign along the way

Two days before I left for the Yoga retreat I was going to, I began to doubt whether I should attend.  I was not at 'the right weight' to practice yoga; my muscles were tight and not at my most flexible; and my energy levels were at the bottom of the meter.  I doubted my ability and even my right to go...the only reason I was even considering going was the amount of money I had spent for airfare and the week of accommodations.

Then a guide, in the form of my Mom, told me to go and I would be ok.......

I went with a fair amount of trepidation, but I went.

The first night, at our introductory Satsang, Swami Omkarananda, who was going to be one of our teachers for the week, told us about his doubts as he was at the gate at the airport as he was starting his journey from India to Mexico.  He called his Guru and said he did not think he was going to get on the plane.  His Guru told him he needed to go and that it would be ok......

I was shocked.  

Why would he have doubts?  He looks like he has it all together........
But I had forgotten something important,

We all have doubts......

But more importantly, we all have guides to help us along the way if we are willing to listen to them.

So listen,
and be a guide if you are needed
and listen to one if they are placed in your life.

Thank you to all of my Guides,
whether you have said "Welcome" when I arrived at an event to calm a fear, 
or to the ones who have said "Go" when I needed to leave,
or to the ones who have said that exact word or phrase or sentence that have brought me Peace.

I Thank You All!!!!!!
Melissa


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Return.....

Two years ago, I went to a yoga retreat in Sayulita, Mexico, and it put me on a very good path.....

When the opportunity opened to attend again, I immediately said, "YES!"  It was going to be wonderful to attend with out any injury and my life in a good place.  You can read about my experiences from two years ago, here and here.

In January of this year, life was going well in all aspects, physically, emotionally, and financially.  If you have been reading the blog this year, you know that there have been some big events that have knocked me off of that stable ground.  I had no clue how much I needed to attend until I got there....

So my Return was not only to Haramara Resort but to myself......

The Hammock where I found myself again....
My yoga practice was once again, not in the best place, thanks to tight muscles and emotions held in me, but I learned a very important lesson this time.  Yoga is not all about the asanas, or physical practice, it is so much more.

It is also about being kind to yourself....forgiving yourself, speaking kindly to yourself, and living in the present.  It is also about doing those things to others in your life.  If you are not doing those things, your physical practice will not go well.  It may be a great physical exercise, but it will not be yoga.

As a result, I spent a lot of my time at a yoga retreat not doing the physical practice.  I attended the Asana class almost every day, but spent quite a bit of my time in Child's Pose or another restorative pose.  I had to take my ego out of it and do what was right for my mind and body.  It was no easy task for the first couple of days, but as the week progressed I did yoga by doing a very simple pose due to the fact that I did it with intention and acceptance.  I am so very grateful for the instructors who allowed that freedom in the classes.

I pushed through unsettled emotions and old habits with specific activities and in journaling to the point of my new pen running out of ink...  I asked questions when I was blocked....  I listened and processed a lot of information...  I realized that every person that was there with me was a teacher....

In other words, I returned....
and learned tricks and tips and accepted offers of help to not let it get so bad if circumstances happen in the future, so it does not require a week long intensive to get me back.

I signed up when life was wonderful and had expectations I would arrive at my best....
However, life had another plan to make sure I had learned previous lessons, and to be quite honest, I had learned some, but not the heart of them.  (I'll do another blog about this later to explain.)  I had at least learned enough to go.....

Returned to myself...
Melissa

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Finding my Balance...

I've been a little quiet lately...
in real life and here on my blog.

I needed time to find my balance again after this crazy period.

First of all,
my Dad is on the road to recovery.  It was crazy how fast it all turned around.  I spent a little over a week in Georgia visiting and helping them out.  Plus, I got the added bonus of spending some time with my brother, his wife, and daughter.  :)

I feel like I am getting back to me again....
and that I handled and survived all that was thrown at me pretty well.

I now have a plan for something that I had no clue that I needed to have a plan for....
I now know how I respond in extreme stress situations, and quite honestly, it surprised me.
I now know that I have an amazing support system, not just in theory.  (and not just family)
I now know that no matter what happens, it will be ok.

Life is a crazy adventure...
and in January when this year was just getting going,
I would of never guessed what I would have to deal with all of this,
but I, at least, knew that a Retreat in Mexico would be a good idea in December.

I leave tomorrow....

Thank you for being there for me,
when I'm really chatty or when I'm really quiet.

Melissa

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just Tell Me What to Do....

I, generally, do not have a problem making a decision.  In fact, in my life, I have had a tendency in the past to make snap decisions without realizing all the consequences and then had to deal with unpleasant consequences.   One of the greatest challenges and learning experiences for me has been finding the balance of making a decision in a timely manner, but not without learning and realizing the consequences.

In other words,  I do not need someone to tell me what to do.  I like making my own decisions.

Until a little over a week ago, when my Dad had a major medical event....

I have debated everything in my mind.
To write this blog or not.
What to eat.
When to go back.
To continue my normal schedule or stay home.
Even my energy level seems to be undecided, I am either a hyperactive squirrel on a energy drink or a slug that has a hard time getting off the couch.

I consider getting dressed, making it to work, and getting things done during the day major accomplishments lately.  All I want is for someone to tell me what to do, regarding everything,  and what the right thing to do is,  so unlike me!!!

One of the hardest lessons of life, in my opinion, is learning in some situations, there is no right or wrong answer.  Guilt has to go out the window, which is far easier said than done.

Just do the best you can and realize everyone else is doing the same.

I have written and rewritten this blog multiple times in my mind and while typing it trying to find the right words, tone and intention and I'm still not sure I am writing what I need to or want to say, but a major reason I am trying is this....

I write a lot of entries on vacations and good things going on in my life but have a tendency to clam up when things are not going well or I am scared about something.  I have a friend that calls Facebook "Fakebook" for the reason that everyone is always on vacation and life is always perfect.  I stated when I started this blog that I would be writing about my life, and right now, my life is tough.

It is hard when a parent has a serious health scare.
It is hard when they are across the country, and even harder, when they are not even in the state where they live.
It is hard to find the balance of maintaining your life while not everything is right in it.
It is hard to know what to share without over sharing.
It is hard for me to sleep when I am under extreme stress.

I am so intensely grateful for the words of support and love that you have given me, whether on Facebook, emails, messages, phone calls or in person.  They have given me the strength and support to keep going without losing my mind.

My Dad's recovery is going to be a baby step process and still has some major hurdles, but we are hopeful.

And I am hopeful that my ability to make a decision will return soon
along with a good night's sleep.

Melissa






Monday, October 13, 2014

Finish Strong....

I have been on a rampage lately...
but don't worry, it's a good one.

Unfinished projects and other projects are the only things that need to be worried, because I am getting them DONE!

This has been precipitated by a couple of things,
#1 New Year's Resolution Number 2 which had to do with finishing projects.
and
#2 I have been cleaning and finding things I thought were done and out of the house or in their proper place.

The irony of it all, it has been my love of football that has gotten this accomplished.  Every Saturday and Sunday, if there is nothing planned, I park myself on the couch and watch A LOT of football.  As long as the game is good, I will watch!

However, I start to feel guilty that I'm being a slug, so I look for things to do while watching the game.

The results......

7 quilts delivered to Primary Children's Hospital.
 I found them in my 'storage room' partially completed.  All I had to do was attach the batting, flip them right side out, and then tie them.

2 Christmas Stockings completed!
This project was the reason I came up with the resolution.  I have a tendency to go overboard with projects in the beginning and then burnout. :( The Stockings were a case in point.  I started with plenty of time last year to finish before Christmas, but I would work in fits and starts, then I went on a  binge to finish (which of course, I didn't)..... You can not really tell, but they are cross-stitched.  I have been dealing with this problem in a couple of ways and hope to work in a more reasonable timeline from here on out.

My stocking...

My Mom's stocking...
A bunch of blog posts..
Remember all of the posts about my recent trip to Colorado?  I wrote them all on the weekend, while I had time, then posted one a day throughout the week.

And finally, I have been doing yoga poses to help my hips release (it's an ongoing struggle) and guess what?  They actually feel better.....

I've been wanting to start couple of new projects (knitting items that are actually on my Bucket Lists), but until I have cleared out my unfinished pile, I have to wait...

Finishing a Bunch of Stuff....
Melissa

Friday, October 10, 2014

Multiple Places in One Day

On our final day, before heading home,
we had a few stops to make...

First,
Four Corners Monument

or how to be in 4 states at once...
Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

The official marker..

that's my foot and I'm in 4 states at once...

The photo everyone took!

Had to have an extra shout out to my state.
It does not take a lot of time to visit the monument, in fact it took more time to drive from Cortez, so we headed off to the next adventure.

I also try and visit as many National Monuments as possible.
Hovenweep's structures were built around the time that Mesa Verde was flourishing.  It proves there have always been multiple ways to live.  In high rises, in small communities, or off in a solo home, you can find a way that works for you.
they must of liked the views...

they were all on the edge of the canyon

but still a community
We did a 2 mile loop trail that took us past all of the dwellings of Hovenweep......

All and all, it was worth the stop!

It was time to head home and since I was close to Utah, I did not turn on my GPS and headed north and west.  I ended up on the weirdest road ever!  It alternated in between dirt and paved and was fairly narrow and was in basic disrepair, but I eventually ended up on Highway 191 south of Blanding, and from there it was just a hop, jump and a skip home.

It was nice to meet you, in depth, Colorado....

Melissa