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Monday, May 16, 2016

Running

I run. Therefore I'm a runner. Right now I frequently have the feeling that I NEED to run. It's how I cope. I get uncomfortable with the feelings that come up negotiating the grief related to losing our family dog, or feeling stuck in my business and it's like I have an actual itch- I need to run.
I think running is fun. My personality is primarily motivated by FUN! I like to move my body and be active. Cute running clothes are fun! New shoes are even more fun! Races, where pretty much everyone is happy and motivated are so much fun!
My preference is to run with someone- I'm a social type. I could run all day every day if I had someone to talk to. Some of my best friends are people I run with. There really is nothing quite like putting in the miles with someone to allow you to bare your soul.
My secondary motivation is a challenge. For me, when running stops being fun it becomes a challenge. There you have it, it's perfect for me! When running alone or during my OrangeTheory Fitness classes, it's fun to focus on speed, and it's always a challenge. How fast and how far can I go? That's more or less how I ended up running the 2016 Austin Marathon even though, at best, I trained for the half- with hamstring and hip injuries. I hobbled through a good portion of training, and wondered if I really was doing the right thing. A LOT of chiropractic care, Airrosti, and massage, along with taking the best possible care of my body through good nutrition and hydration, supplements, and essential oils allowed me to recover enough to run safely. Still, I wasn't feeling super confident about how fast I could run the half, so I wanted a different challenge. How fast could I run the full without proper training? My long run partner and I were following a plan her triathlon coach had given her, and the long runs seemed long. It didn't feel like a huge stretch. I ended up completing the race with a personal best of 4:06:15. Yay!
Remember how I like a challenge? If I can run a marathon is 4:06:15 without training properly, it's only natural that I can challenge myself to run one in less than four hours. And, if I can run a marathon in under four hours, then I am probably capable of running one in the 3:45 minute time I would need to beat in order to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. Enter my new goal: to qualify for the Boston Marathon in the next five years!
Yay, sounds like a fun challenge.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Easy Foaming Soap

Did I say easy? Yes! It's SO EASY! It's so easy that I can do it! I have been doing it- for two years. You can do it too!
Why would I want to make my own soap? I don't know about you, but I read about all of the chemicals that were in the products I was buying at the store, and it freaked me out. I have three children and I didn't want them exposed to the stuff in that soap. Did you know that anything labeled with the word "Fragrance" can have up to 300 chemicals in it. Yuck! They don't have to tell you what chemicals, but the number one chemical in "Fragrance" is formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a know carcinogen, and it's used to embalm people at the morgue. All I know is that I don't want to breathe it in or put it on my skin, and I FOR SURE do not want it on my kids!
I did a little research and experimenting and we have happily been using variations of homemade soap for everything in our house for over two years now.

HAND SOAP:


What you need:
Foaming Soap Dispenser like this one bit.ly/foamingsoappump

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I use this one because it is fragrance free, and the one gallon size has made hand soap for our bathrooms and my children's classrooms, dish soap, shampoo, and body wash for a year. I literally just bought my second gallon: bit.ly/CastileSoap)
2/3 cup Filtered Water
1 ounce Thieves Household Cleaner (I get mine here: http://bit.ly/ThievesPSK)

(Alternatively, you could replace the household cleaner with 20 or so drops of Thieves essential oil, or even another essential oil like lavender, peppermint, tea tree or lemon. The best way to do that is to get started with the Premium Starter Kit- do that here: http://bit.ly/ThievesinPSK)

Directions:
Pour the Castile soap and the household cleaner into the soap dispenser. Fill the container the rest of the way up with water. Screw on the top and pump away!
How easy was that?

DISH SOAP:

I use the Foaming dispenser from the dish soap I used to buy and I make my dish soap the same exact way I do my hand soap!
I have also bought the Thieves Dish Soap which I love, but sometimes it's fun to make your own!

BODY WASH

What you need:
Foaming Soap Dispenser like this one bit.ly/foamingsoappump

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I use this one because it is fragrance free, and the one gallon size has made hand soap for our bathrooms and my children's classrooms, dish soap, shampoo, and body wash for a year. I literally just bought my second gallon: bit.ly/CastileSoap)
2/3 cup Filtered Water
20 drops of the essential oil of your choice! In my last batch of body/hair wash for my kids I used 10 drops each of geranium, lavender, and Melrose for healthy hair!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roller Coaster


Shared grief. It's a thing. The last major loss my family had was when Grandma Judy died in December of 2011. It was a big loss for all of us, but I don't remember sharing grief with my sweet nuclear family. My kids were ages three, one, and one. I think my husband was affected by the loss. Maybe due to the circumstance of our lives at the time, I felt like I grieved and we moved on.
On Saturday, we said goodbye to Keeffer. Keeffer was a 13 year-old goldendoodle- 13.5 if you want to get specific. He and I have been together longer than my husband, R, and I have been. I have joked that Keeffer picked R. They loved each other from the beginning. R never had a dog as a child. The two of them were quite literally "a boy and his dog."
Sometimes it seemed like Keeffer had nine lives, like a cat. At least twice his osteoarthritis seemed so bad that I thought we would need to have a difficult conversation with the vet. He rallied. We made him comfortable, supported his joints. He went on to be well. Saturday was a different story. When I think about it now, there were signs that he was declining. Maybe I should have seen them, or perhaps it's easier that I didn't.
Over the past two years, I'd thought some about what it would be like when the time came for us to say goodbye. Just as quickly, I'd pushed it out of my mind. I like happy. I prefer to live in the moment. It didn't seem to serve anyone to focus on what we couldn't control. I wouldn't do it differently. We enjoyed all of our time with him.
I wasn't prepared, though, for what this would be like. I didn't have any context for living in a house with people I love and sharing and balancing their feelings with my own. It's- NOT EASY. It's hard and its sometimes frustrating and sometimes beautiful. I never would have imagined how much or how deeply R would experience this loss. It makes me love him even more. I remember 11 years ago, when it was just Keeffer and me, and we welcomed Ryan into our family. I can feel the love and connection we felt then. It's beautiful.
I don't always know what to say to a sad kiddo. They had so many questions, so I asked if they would like to ask our rabbi their questions. They all said yes. I took them to talk. And they had no questions. In general, I worry about screwing my kids up. This loss is the first time I have really wondered if the way I have handled it could have or should have been different and how this will impact their development, their relationship with love and loss.
And then there is all the "Do we get a new dog?" "When do we get a new dog?" "What about this dog?" "Hurry, this is the perfect dog even though it's in another state and the adoption fee is insane, we could lose this dog that we don't have and we have to act fast," stuff. It's a roller coaster.
I don't know if we are really ready for a new dog. Or if we should be without one.
I don't know. What I do know is that this is not a tragedy. This is a life event that will bring us closer together if we let it. In the 13.5 years Keeffer and I were together, he taught me an unbelievable amount about how to love genuinely, without bounds and without expectations. He was always kind to everyone and he was always excited. About everything. He showed us how to love everyone, expect nothing, and always be cheerful, ready to love, and excited. It's our responsibility to practice what he taught us. His work here is done. My first family member will be missed SO much, but he gave endless love to us, and our three children. His pawprint will always be on our hearts.
What I do know is that when we attended Shabbat services at our synagogue on Saturday morning  there was a set of twins having their bar and bar mitzvah. Their nine year-old brother is a three year cancer survivor and their father has terminal cancer. They knew how to be happy in the moment and celebrate life. And, a client unexpectedly lost her husband on Thursday. Ours is not a tragedy. perspective and choosing joy are the priorities here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ashtanga

I went to Ashtanga today. Ashtanga is a yoga practice of synchronizing breath with movement through a progressive series of poses that remains consistent. Go to any Primary Series Ashtanga class and it will look pretty much the same. I remembered that I love it.  It was humbling. Being on my yoga mat is always humbling these days. I was a yoga teacher, or, I am a yoga teacher who doesn't currently teach. I don't know. What I do know is that I had a yoga practice, I let it go, and I need to have one again.
For me, movement is a necessary part of the yoga. I require movement to quite my mind. It's just how I am. I have two speeds: top and off. An asana (moving through postures with breath) practice  helps me find the on-but-not-million-miles-an-hour that often works better for just about everything.  
I remember how it felt- what it felt like in my mind and to be in my body when I was dedicated to practicing yoga most days of the week.  I'm ready to reclaim that. I thought I was before. For months I have thought I was ready. I clearly, obviously, was not. 
What makes it so clear and obvious? The fact that months later I do not have a regular practice or it's benefits. Plain and simple: I have not wanted it badly enough. Now I think I do. It won't just appear, though, because I want it. I won't all of the sudden find myself with no objections or excuses to keep me off my mat. 
At the root, what keeps me off my mat is ego. I let my practice slip away. I focused on other things. Some of them were in and of themselves an expression of yoga. Now, I go to a class or get on my mat, and I remember how I used to move. What my body used to feel like. I become impatient with myself. I feel ashamed that I am a yoga teacher with so little connection with my body. That's ego and it's getting in my way. Coming to my mat, embracing where I am,  celebrating advancements, and honoring myself and finding joy in the setbacks- that's the practice I am ready and needing to commit to.  Evidence suggests that putting it on my mental to-do list and continuously allowing it to fall to the bottom isn't working out all that well. In truth, that's not a tactic I'd recommend for anything.