Never in my life have I felt so simultaneously busy and at peace. I have chosen to put a lot onto my plate right now and I am managing it well. I have taken on 2 doula clients due in April and June, and I am awaiting the birth of my good friend’s baby in May. At Brightmont Academy we have had an influx of students and I have been working around 35 hours per week consistently. I also have 2 private tutoring student’s who are keeping me busy with 3-4 additional hours each week. Add to all that my monthly Mindful Queers and Allies Reading Circle (even though it does focus on meditation and mindfulness), planning a fundraiser for SPIRAL Collective, and hosting guests for 2 nights through AirBnB, and I’ve really had my hands full this month.
Managing my calendar, my sanity, and my home life have required immense focus and vigilance on my part. Even though I tried to take care of myself by sleeping and eating well, I still ended up with mild cold symptoms by the end of week two. With a full weekend of rest I am feeling myself again today, and I have vowed to take it a little easier moving forward. My Midwestern American upbringing urges me to work hard and work long, so I can have trouble truly relaxing once it’s time. That’s where meditation comes in.
Once you’ve completed your work for the day – and this isn’t defined by when your to-do list is complete necessarily, but by when you decide to call it quits for the day – try sitting in a quiet space and consciously reminding your mind to let go of your (busy, stressed, recurring) thoughts. Each time you are reminded of an idea, or something you should have done, simply try to let it go. If imagery is helpful to you, imagine this: each time you have a thought, place it on a cloud and watch it float away. You can also observe your breathing if this helps you direct your thoughts; think to yourself, “In, out, present, moment” with each in- and out-breath. As you watch your thoughts, try to watch them as a mere observer, not a judge. If your mind keeps returning to your work or your day, don’t get frustrated. Meditation isn’t the lack of thought, it’s this continual return to being the observer of your thoughts.
So what have I accomplished in this busy month? Many things!
Perfect #13 Recipes and Go on dates with friends #26 times
I was asked to bring my famous Sausage Puff Pastry to Queer Vegan Thanksgiving, after my friend E.G. and her girlfriend Jenn were over for dinner at our place! I wanted to impress them, so I picked one of my fanciest cookbooks: Vegan Junk Food!
Everyone at dinner loved the sausage puff, which is simply veggie sausage, Vegenaise, herbs, and onions wrapped in a puff pastry roll! I was so happy when everyone asked for the recipe. Not only did our Thanksgiving centerpiece follow the Buddhist principle of “doing no harm”, but it was ad decadent and delicious as any Turkey I can remember from my childhood! If I’m going to enjoy the nostalgia of my childhood foods, the modern equivalent better damn well be delicious!
I also was…
My Unabashed-Self #22 Times in Public…
At an Ugly Cookie Party in December! Once again my friend E.G. was gracious enough to host us for a food-related event. I am so #grateful to have such wonderful vegan cooks around me that love to share their home and recipes!
So E.G. supplied the Ugly Cookie materials – everything from the cookies to the frosting and sprinkles. All we and her 12 closest other friends had to do was make the worlds nicest – or more likely ugliest – cookies in the world! It was a great opportunity to show my complete ineptitude at making frosted sugar cookies! And ugly or not, they were still Mmmmmmmm-rific! If you’re in the Twin Cities area and you’d like the invite, hit me up on Facebook!
I hope you enjoyed my long-overdue somewhat-holiday update!