Finding the Path to a Simpler, More Mindful Life
My feature photo for this post is a representation of the elephant headed Hindu Deity Ganesha or Lord Ganesh. I happened across it on Creative Market on the shop of photographer and designer, Kaushal Jangid. I was fascinated by it and purchased it without any clear idea of where or how I might use it. The more I read about Ganesha, the more apt it seems that he has come into my life just now. He seems like a good being to have on your side. Representing learning and intellect, he is also recognized as a remover of Obstacles, both physical and Spiritual. This son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati represents the traits of generosity, acceptance and protection. The qualities of effortlessness and wisdom are also associated with this good-natured god.
I am quite taken with both the deity and this photo. The depiction of Ganesh seems to emanate comfort and good will, causes me to feel good just looking at it. And the things he represents—generosity, effortless existence and acceptance, as well as wisdom— are all traits that I wish to cultivate. I am ready for life to flow, to quit creating more complexity than living really requires. I am attempting this year to streamline my life, my home, my work and my consciousness. It is my Intent to live more Mindfully, to pay attention to what is needed rather than just wanted, to organize my surroundings, and to listen to my guidance, to the small still voice that so often gets drowned out under the chaotic dialogue of daily living.
I’m not certain that it is a profound transformation I’ve experienced since setting my mind in this direction, but I have been making gentle inroads for some time now. I take at least a few moments a day to Meditate—and that is being a very good, very centering thing for me. This past month or so, I finally quit using my old “as soon as I have time” excuse and began setting aside time for yoga almost every day. Since then, I have become part of the #YogaEveryDamnDay Club. It seems that the feelings and energy engendered by the yoga postures are habit forming. That is a good thing also.
A few weeks into my practice, I tried a Kundalini Yoga class on a whim. In short order, I was hooked. I feel as though this is the discipline I’ve been searching for. I’m still a novice, but every day I feel stronger, healthier and more in touch with my body. This ancient technology appeals to me both physically and spiritually in ways I am just starting to understand. The use of the breath in powerful and dynamic ways is awakening aspects of self that have remained mostly dormant for years now. As difficult as it was for me at first beginning to use Chanting and Mantras, I see clearly now that I have been in deep need of using my voice in such a way. My throat chakra or Visuddha has long been a weak point for me.
Open and aligned, the Throat Chakra is characterized by inspired creativity, seeking after and the sharing of truth. It is open honesty in speech, the ability to stand up and speak forth what you know and believe, and unabashed self-expression. Somewhere along the line, I became hesitant about saying what I thought, unwilling to share my truth or speak up for myself. I’ve known this for a long time, but was unable to Do anything about it. I am finding my Voice these days, and that is a little scary, but very satisfying. I will continue to follow the Path that Kundalini Yoga opens for me with interest and I think, delight.
We Are What We Eat
Feeling better and healthier are the result of more than just doing an hour or so of yoga every day. As a family, we are working toward a healthier diet and lifestyle. We have been eating lots of vegetables, salads with most meals, winter favorites like broccoli, cauliflower and beets have graced our table often, and we are doing poke or Buddha type bowls at least one night most weeks. We purchased an Instant Pot recently, and so far at least, would heartily recommend this versatile kitchen accessory.
As for myself, I discovered the books by Anthony William, the Medical Medium a few months ago and my intuition perked up. I was certain that this man had valuable information to share with me. I initially bought his book Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits & Vegetables, and more recently, Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal. Both have been eye openers for me. (These books are available at many booksellers and online from Amazon.com) Like so many of the people who have read and taken to heart his books, I recognized patterns of physical problems in myself that he speaks of. Earlier this year, I did a modified version of his 28 Day Detox Plan. I didn’t try to force anything. My very nature struggles against ultimatums, and I know this about myself.
I didn’t stick to it stringently, bu I did radically change my familiar patterns. I gave myself a day off on the weekend, worked the evening meal into something for the whole family, and adjusted to my schedule and routine. At the end of it, I was feeling refreshed, ready to work the new eating habits into my life, and three or four pounds lighter. I have become a fruit fan like never before in my life. While I have always loved vegetables and liked fruit well enough, I never seriously considered how much nutrition and healing I could get out of it.
I will say quite honestly that while I am currently doing the morning Celery Juice on an empty stomach regimen three days a week, I still don’t like it. However, that said, if I continue to feel better as I have been, I will probably do it even more often. Sometimes I am one who has to ease into things. I’m not the only member of our household to make major changes.
Partner and Daughter Gaia has, over the past year or so, wowed everyone who knows her with her own transformation. She has been plagued most of her young life with indigestion and other stomach issues. After doing extensive research into various views on nutrition and her specific problems, she has completely changed her own diet, eliminating almost all processed foods and sugars, cutting out lots of high carb food and completely giving up bread. She continues to eat three substantial meals a day (various raw greens and vegetables make up a part of all three), feels much better and has far fewer issues. And without trying, she has lost more than fifteen pounds. She exercises daily and looks fantastic. I will have to say that while I don’t have her Will Power, I felt inspired to follow her lead.
Removing More Obstacles
If you have any questions about what I have covered today, feel free to ask. In the meanwhile, I will try to continue with Lord Ganesh’s influence on our lives in a week or so, on the more mundane subject of increasing peace and happiness through simplification around the household. We are in cleaning out mode here. Again, Gaia takes the lead. I’ll explain in the next part.
I will say that, being a collector and reseller of vintage goods, I don’t mind a bit of clutter (particularly in my work room apparently ) but I do like cleanliness and organization. Working on getting my house, and my life more organized eases my mind and puts me in a state where I truly think that many obstacles to peace, and both spiritual and physical progress, can truly be removed. Thanks, Lord Ganesha, for the inspiration!
Still working on:
Procrastination (more to come)