Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing: Renewal

I am an avid list maker.  I make lists for practically everything I do.  I started this behavior years ago when I felt overwhelmed by so many responsibilities.  With working full time, going to school and taking care of two small children I would constantly forget things and felt as though I weren’t accomplishing much.  By taking ten minutes each evening to make a list of all the things I needed to do for the next day, I found list making to be my saving grace.  I also realized that by having a list and being able to cross things off as I completed them proved that I really was getting a lot done!  Even if I didn’t complete everything, having items marked off on the list gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Today I chose to make a different list.  Instead of charting an abundance of tasks like picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping or paying bills, I list the things that I want to do for myself; for relaxation and renewal.   I encourage you to take time out for yourself.  Replenish your heart and soul and renew you mind.  Namaste~
Dar’s Renew Day List:
ü  Sip tea while enjoying nature:  Watch the breeze blow through the trees; listen to the birds, breath fresh air.

ü  Meditate:  Quit moments of listening to the sounds of my breath. Clear my mind of all thoughts.  Be still.

ü  Find a nice little bistro with outdoor seating to have lunch.  Try something different on the menu.

ü  Write a hand written note or letter to someone.  Send a get-well or encouragement card to someone in need. Reconnect with a friend or loved ones far away.

ü  Explore a thrift store.  Look for hidden treasures.

ü  Find a new nail polish (a color I wouldn’t normally choose) paint my nails.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Doing Something Different

I love cookbooks.  I collect them from a few of my favorite chefs as well as a few cooking magazines.  When Martha Stewart launched her Everyday Food magazine, I was determined to update my routine menu with new and exciting cuisine.  It never happened.  While I would pull out my cookbooks during the holidays for new inspiration, I neglected to totally transform my ‘everyday meals’ as I’d plan when I began investing in this magazine.

This morning I felt inspired. I had this insatiable desire to do, see, or eat something different.  So, I set out with the task at hand to put my collection of forty-plus Everyday Food magazines to use.  The first magazine I’d picked up had a sticky note posted on one of the pages.  Flipping to the marked page, I found what I was looking for, “Sweet Potato Biscuits”. 
Baking has never been my forte as it requires too much precision; precise measurements are essential in baking for accurate results.  I’m more of a ‘free-style’ cook.  I flow with the rhythm of what feels right and arouses my taste buds.  However, this recipe didn’t require a lot of ingredients –all of which I had on hand and there weren’t a lot of steps to take to get to the finished product.
As I completed the preparation and slipped the pan of biscuits in the oven with a sense of accomplishment, I turned to notice that my kitchen was in complete shambles.  Flower was everywhere and the sink was overflowing with dirty dishes.  I set the timer for 24 minutes and commenced to cleaning up.  By the time I’d finished cleaning and had made a pot of coffee the aroma of butter and sweet potato wafted throughout the house and my biscuits were done!

Ok, so they aren’t the prettiest biscuits I’ve ever seen, but they were truly delish!

In the photo in the magazine you can see how these biscuits should look—light and fluffy as they should rise.  Mine did not rise as much (I may have added too much of the sweet potato puree), but they were still quite tasty.
So, I’ll practice this recipe until I’ve mastered it and hopefully I’ll be serving sweet potato biscuits on Christmas day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

“This year I will plant many things that will grow. I shall reap extensively form my harvest.”

When I wrote this statement in my journal back in December 2005, it was my intention to plant a garden in my backyard in the spring.  I never got to plant that garden, but as I look back through my journal and reflect upon that past six years of my life, I can see the yield of so many mental, spiritual and emotional seeds that were planted have harvested.

As a mother, I did my best to instill life sustaining morals and values into my children.  At times I thought that they would never see the light, but continue to rebel against anything that I tried to teach them through my words or actions.  Now that they are living on their own, I am beginning to see the fruits of my labor revealed through their choices.
I have also been able to see great growth within myself.  By journaling for so many years I am afforded the benefit of holding a mirror to myself.  Oftentimes, what was reflected back to me was not easy to look at or acknowledge.  But I have learned to be honest—if with no one else—to myself.  This is the first step in changing the behaviors that are not productive in your life.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”  This is a quote I once read in a Wayne Dyer book.  Basically, this means that if you don’t like what is happening in your life (job, relationship, environment) you should do something different. Change your game plan.  Make another choice.
All in all, I am grateful for the wisdom to see myself and to be open to change.  And as I look back over the past several years up to the present day, I am grateful for the mental, spiritual and emotional growth because this harvest has been more beneficial than I could have ever imagined possible.