Archive for the 'life' Category

Enduring Discomfort

Whenever we make the effort to free ourselves of an addiction or a habit we no longer need, we are often surprised to find ourselves missing the old pattern as we would a familiar friend. This sounds counterintuitive, because we think we should instinctively gravitate toward that which is good for us. And yet, it makes a lot of sense when you consider that we humans are creatures of habit. This is why we gravitate to people and places—and patterns of behavior–that make us feel comfortable. Therefore, many of the habits we form are not conscious and are based instead on learned behavior from role models who were not always making the healthiest decisions.

Most addictions begin as a way of avoiding feelings that are extremely uncomfortable, so it makes sense that stopping the addiction means, for a time, a fair amount of discomfort. The same, of course, is true of habits that we have developed over time that we are ready to release. Just knowing that this is hard, and having compassion for ourselves as we work through this process, can help us to stay the course when we feel the urge to backtrack. It’s also helpful to remember that in time we will establish new, healthier patterns, and the yearning for the old ones will disappear. Eventually, we will instinctively reach for things that are good for us, and the longing for positive change may form the basis of a new habit.

The only way to get to this new place is to endure a time of difficulty, which is a challenge we can confidently handle, if we remember that it will lead to the change we seek in our lives. Our bodies, hearts, and minds always need time to adjust to a new way of doing things, but they will adapt, and even become our allies, if we remain true to our vision of a new way.

DailyOM

Foodie Friday: Chickpea Curry, Southern Style

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 x 165g jar Madras paste
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1cm piece root ginger, finely chopped
3 onions, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
200ml light coconut milk
100g baby spinach
Handful fresh coriander leaves

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are tender but not browned.
2. Add 450ml water, the tomatoes and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
3. Pour in the coconut milk, add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve with naan bread, if you like.

The Kaleidoscope of Life

different-togetherWe tend to gravitate toward people who are the most like us, at least in the ways that make us feel comfortable. But life has its way of bringing us into contact with people who challenge us with their differences. It may be an obvious difference reflected in their outward appearance or an invisible but powerful philosophical stance, but even in our closest circle of friends and family, there are those that confront us with their different ways of experiencing and expressing life. We can choose to resist , but we can also choose to learn from them and appreciate that they too have a place in the kaleidoscope of life.

As much as we may say that we want peace and quiet and a life without struggle, the truth is that human beings are, at this time, thriving in a world of dualities and challenges. It is how we choose to approach these hurdles that determine if we sail over them, confirming our agility, or trip and end up face down in the dust. And each of us absolutely will and must stumble, and then get up, brush the dust off and carry on. This is how we learn and grow, developing depth of character and shades of understanding. In a world of dualities, we have trouble defining ourselves without something opposite, and can’t discover who we are. Without challenge, there is nothing to do and nothing to discover. That leaves us either in a state of non-being or the state of pure spirit, but as humans, we are spiritual beings experiencing the physical world in all of its startling contrast and beauty.

No matter how spiritual we are, our lives will have challenges. We will always run into people that are different that we are, but the true challenge may be in finding ways to be at peace with this process. Rather than give in to the fight or flight response that comes from our animal nature, we can find new ways to evolve together into higher more beautiful expressions of ourselves, realizing, embracing and celebrating the beauty of diversity and the strength it offers for the future.

DailyOM

Foodie Friday: Greek Pasta Salad

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
200g chunky pasta (penne, rigatoni, fusilli)
1/4 cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
75g pitted Kalamata olives
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 tbsp low-fat dressing
Diced feta (optional)

1. Boil the pasta in a pan of salted water for 10 minutes. Put the cucumber, pepper, olives and tomatoes in a bowl.
2. Drain the pasta and tip into the other ingredients. Add the feta (if using) and dressing, season and stir to combine.

Cleansing Nature

watchtherainThere are times when we might feel the need to wash away all of our troubles and call forth freshness into our lives. Since perhaps the most cleansing substance on this earth is water, we can think of the joy rain brings as an energetic bath, rejuvenating our minds, bodies and souls. Just being able to spend a few moments every time it rains to become aware of the healing powers water brings to us can renew us in so many ways. As we do this we will find that the more we appreciate the universe’s gift to us in the form of rain, the more we can see that a gentle rain shower is a strong reflective tool that has the ability to cleanse our entire being.

The next time it rains might be a good chance to experience the rain through all of your senses, allowing you to truly understand just how truly important each and every drop of water is. First, take a few minutes to look outside and notice how each individual raindrop seems to come down in a continual stream. By noticing this you can contemplate how it takes many small accomplishments to create the whole of your existence, for nothing exists in isolation. Then you might wish to focus your attention on the sound of the rainfall, letting the sounds of drops penetrate into the innermost recesses of your self. Listening in this way may bring you a greater sense of connection with nature and the world around you, knowing that the sounds you hear are an integral part of not just the physical sustenance you require but also nourish your spirit as well.

Consciously using our senses to feel nature’s healing energy as it comes to us in the form of rain is an act of internal cleansing. Just as the rain physically washes over the earth and rinses out any impurities and imperfections, so it also bathes our spirit in the joy that comes from knowing that we are in fact one with the world around us.

DailyOM


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