Happy New Year 2014! A plan for the present moment


Happy New Year! My New Year’s started off on a great note. I fell asleep after putting the kids to bed, and didn’t wake up until this morning! Gah!!

So much for planning to celebrate with my hubby by the fireplace at the stroke of midnight!

Having children has taught me to really let go of set schedules and imperfections…even when events which disrupt my plans initially produce feelings of disappointment or discontent. Like any other major life change that requires our full attention (a birth, a death, a separation, an injury or illness, etc), raising young children requires a considerable amount of effort that we often neglect to acknowledge when we’re still in the midst of it all.

The last week brought many unexpected surprises that completely through our Christmas plans for a loop. First, most of our city suffered a power outage after the ice storm that hit just a few days before Christmas. We were so fortunate to have a gas stove and fireplace at least which we willingly shared with our neighbours. Then, a few days later and still in the dark, we braved another misadventure. Under a fantastic little headlamp, we cleaned up projectile vomit from our 4 year old and later our 6 year old that hit the blankets, beds and walls. Even our 1 year old was not immune to this virus, but thankfully she didn’t start until 36 hours later. The dinner we had planned for Christmas Eve? Pouff! Gone. Christmas Day dinner with family at a friend’s house? Also gone. We ended up eating cold pizzas under candlelight and wishing the holiday from $%^*& would just end. When not dealing with sick kids, the days were spent cleaning out the fridge, and cleaning up debris from all the branches that had fallen outside. There were nice moments as well that made the experience less trying….like friendly neighbours helping one another or coming into chat by the fire (before the kids got sick!); and also the beautiful yet tragic aftermath of the ice storm that left tree branches bent over or on the ground, coated in a thick clear, impenetrable ice.

And then, after 3 days without power, the electricity and heat returned, and a good 5 days after that, our children’s health finally returned. So things eventually turned out ok, after all! But it did made me realize how very dependent our plans are to our surrounding environment and situation. Pushing to achieve what you’d planned on a certain day, may be spinning your wheels needlessly. Sometimes you just have to accept the situation you’re placed in and get down to the real business at hand!

So this year, I still PLAN to:

a) get back in shape with a former workout routine involving qigong, running, cycling, swimming, and skiing

b) get back to healthier eating: eat less, drink more (and whenever possible choose whole, simple foods whose production is easy on the environment and our body)

c) be more fun around my kids (less work, more laughter and play!)

d) be a better partner (listen with a soft heart to my husband, and create a supportive and nurturing environment for us both to grow professionally as well as a  loving couple)

e) be present for my extended family (set aside time to help my mum and my siblings more)

f) create the practice of my dreams (this is a biggy, but I’m working on it!)

But if things don’t fall into neat little time slots or events, I will not spend more than is necessary to dwell on it. I will simply MOVE on :)

May this year bring you all that you could wish for and more and may the little things make you truly happy.

Love,
M.

 

 

 

Out with the Old, In with the New


As 2013 comes to an end, many of us are inspired to start the new year with a fresh perspective. We are usually ready to let go of ‘things’.

Letting go of material things such as used or unwanted clothing, toys, gadgets, furniture is often the first thing we are motivated to do. And with a bit of will power and time reserved for this, reducing clutter in our lives from a theoretical perspective, is a simple task.

For some people however, taking stock of what material possessions we no longer need is tied up to more complex associations with actual experiences and their resulting emotions. It becomes difficult to let go of the physical objects when the mind associates this act with letting go of things that no longer serve us from an emotional level.

Implementing new strategies such as a new workout or diet strategy are inspiring as they promise us a new body, a new way of being that we can be proud of.

But what of sad memories, physical discomfort, or emotional trauma? Have we truly identified the less tangible items that block us from transforming into the truly powerful beings we have the capacity to become?

This year has been a very reflective one for me. Despite my preference to live a more organized and scheduled life, life has thrown my family a few setbacks. Nothing major this year thankfully, but frustrating nonetheless.

What are some of the things that you are most excited to change? What are you looking forward to trying or accomplishing this year?

 

 

New Goals for a New Year


This year, I challenge you to take inventory of everything you have already accomplished in your life and see how these things can bring you to a new level of understanding. This year, I challenge you to not rely on others as much or sign up for the latest program, course, and/or scheduled class to get you where you need to go.

What great things can we accomplish if we trust the knowledge we already possess to help navigate any challenges in the New Year?

This doesn’t mean you should not seek help from those people you know and trust already. Or that you shouldn’t actively search for new resources that may help you accomplish your goals. It does mean highlighting your own efforts, achievements, and the person you know the best…yourself, to take YOU where you need to go!

As we enter into a new year, with renewed hope and inspiration for accomplishing our dreams, I wish you all the very best!

 

Stone Soup for an Ice Storm


This week was a physically, mentally, and emotionally trying week for us as an ice storm, the likes of which our beautiful city had not seen in forty plus years, descended upon us. Despairing tree branches creaked and groaned under the heavy weight of an inch plus of seemingly innocent ice, as their weakest members fell with dread. The only other sounds were the whispers of sparkling red berried bushes, and tall grasses that crisped and crackled under the lowered rays of the sun. Animals and people alike, scattered to look for other means of shelter.

The first few nights without central heat that took down power lines and destroyed vehicles and homes, were devastating for several and inconvenient for most. Yet neighbours, friends, and family all joined in and found ways to help one another, lending strong arms to lift heavy branches off the streets, checking on one another with offers of food, clothing, light and shelter and through hopeful verbal exchanges.

As we were one of the fortunate ones to have a gas stove and fireplace, we opened up our home for communal comfort and warmth. Our visitors, many of whom had to cancel holiday dinner plans, brought what they had and we all joined together sharing stories under natural light by day, and later, candlelit dinners by night to create our very own “Stone Soup” experience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Soup

I wish you all the very best this holiday season, and as you navigate the experiences of the coming year, the ability to cherish new and beautiful moments, and the fortitude to move forward with light when there is dark.

 

Super Easy Rice and Vegetable Noodle Soup


If you’re looking for a fast and tasty lunch to warm up little tummies in the cold winter months, here’s a healthy recipe that’s tried and true in our household:

Ingredients:

2 cups rice pasta
6 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (or prepared vegetable stock)
125g of firm organic tofu, diced
1/2 cup of organic broccoli/ peas/ edamame
1 tbsp of sesame oil

Optional: Add 1 tbsp of tamari sauce, dried seaweed, and/ or sliced ginger to taste for more adventurous eaters!

Directions:

Add pasta and vegetable bouillon cube
to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium and add in the rest of the ingredients for approximately 5-8 minutes.

Serve in soup bowl. Enjoy!

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Enhancing Fertility with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine


Several years ago, I wrote an article on fertility for Vitality Magazine called:
Acupuncture and Herbs for Enhancing Fertility

As fertility enhancement and reproductive health is one of the top reasons people seek the advice of a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, I thought it would be helpful to re-post this information. It is my sincere hope that those who are currently having concerns over their reproductive health and/or ability to conceive, are educated about what options exist for them.

I will be posting future articles on other topics related to reproductive health. If there are any particular concerns you would like me to address, please feel free to comment in the comment section below.

Meling

Letting Go of the Past, Living in the Present


Today marks a special day for me and my family. On this day, August 20, 2009, I was a very pregnant woman on her due date. I was also a daughter who was about to lose her father after a relatively short yet intense battle with cancer.

Our story of a family going through the daily challenges of watching a loved one first become very ill, and then eventually pass away is not unique. So many, many people will endure this difficult process. Yet, there is so much to be learned from it…so much of our experiences that we can share and learn from one another. In the face of adversity our strength, our endurance, our spirit are tested. Decisions that need to be made over a person’s health and well-being, and also their eventual passing, are ones that no one can ever sufficiently prepare you for and will challenge your core values like nothing else.

There are many things that are said to one another over the course of a lifetime. There are many ups and downs that we as a family have weathered together. Storms of mistrust, separation, financial distress. And then there are the rainbows and pots of gold that come like a gift from the heavens: birth and prosperity and renewal of vows, renewal of love, renewal of spirit. All things are not black or white. Perspectives change, we grow, we unite, and we learn to care…once again.

Our family happens to be very close despite all our differences and so a lot has been shared over the years…it is surprising how life circumstances can bring a family together in ways they never thought possible. My father became closer to us in his last few years knowing that this was the only chance he would get to impart his vast knowledge to us, to share his beliefs, and to show us time and time again how much he really cared. I miss him now but am comforted by the thoughtful words, the warm embraces, and the daily expressions of love and hope we were able to exchange with one another. Love is so very healing.

These small yet beautiful exchanges are possible if we can really accept that the present is all we really have and learn to let go. Let go of past dreams that no longer live up to our present dreams. Let go of painful experiences and hurtful words that have no importance in the now. Let go of wants, needs, desires. Allow love to enter in all its beautiful ways and fill the void of emptiness and despair.

A wonderful blogger and former classmate, Leigh has this to share about letting go of the past in her August 19th post on Lost Causes

A part of me feels infused with the energy and spirit of my father today. I see him sometimes as a fluttering Monarch butterfly, light and free; a sweet singing songbird stopping by for a nibble of bird seed. I see him in the eyes of a passing stranger, older yet wiser. I see him in the eyes of my baby, whose smile and bright eyed innocence is so clear and strong and true. Our loved ones still exist for us in these daily happenings. I will savour these moments. They are my father’s presence in my every day.

With hope and love,
Meling