#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Yoga, Food, and Family.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com.  Of course, we’ll make mine iced, as pictured above, unless you can stand my a/c being set at 72 degrees.  Woo, it’s scorching outside.  If we were having coffee today, on 7/15, I’d tell you:

*It has felt like a busy week, what with Monday and Tuesday being taken up by teacher training on dealing with tough or troubled kids.  It was a serious topic, but the fun was in role-playing that they gave us, the fact that I took this training with two good friends, and the opportunity to go somewhere for an hour lunch with my teacher friends.  (Teachers get 30 minutes for lunch during the school day, but when walking your kids to lunch, something always delays it).  So, I turned to comfort food to make the heavy topics in training more bearable.  We ate at Stan’s one day, and at Olive Tree Mediterranean the next.  I love their gyros!  Since I promised last week that I’d talk about food, here you go.  🙂

gyro-1194724__340  I’m pretty sure I promised last week to throw in some talk about food, so this is the perfect week for it!  I had fries with lunch both days.  Most likely, I’ve gained a few pounds, though I don’t weigh myself.  I noticed gain in the way my clothes fit.  Oh well, summer is a time to relax, so I’m relaxing my diet.  🙂  Then, Weds. night, Mom brought home ribs for dinner!  What could I do but appreciate her offering of dinner.  🙂  Ah, summer is great, but my stomach is delicate, and she is traveling by plane next week, another cause for unhealthy eating, so she and I have a little pact.

*Wow, we’re on the family topic already!  Mom’s been complaining about her back lately, and she broke her arm in late May so she’s not working and not as active.  Anyway, our pact is to eat salad as much as we can until she leaves on her flight to MN next week.  We’ll start with the Loop tomorrow; they have a Gorgonzola Walnut salad that is to-die-for!  I could use more salad, myself.  French-fry-girl is not an identity that I want to keep.  I have to be proud of my mom, though, as she still goes to exercise class at the senior center 2-3 times weekly.  On the subject of family, my son started a new job Weds., and hooray!  It is close enough that I don’t have to drive him.  He seems to like it, too.  It may or may not be long-term, but he is enjoying it right now.

*Family and yoga sometimes go together!  I went to chair yoga with my mom Thursday morning at her senior center.  It was enjoyable and gentle.  I’d just gone to yoga at my usual studio Weds. night which was relaxing and focused on hip-openers.  Chair yoga is just as it sounds, but I could feel the stretch in my legs.  You also don’t have the issue of balance that some of us suffer.  It wasn’t painful at all, and I’m sure you can modify according to your abilities.  I do that in regular yoga all the time.  The class is given by a lovely woman named Jeannie who has a blog at yogafromanatural.com, and she said she reads my blog, so I’m giving a shout out to a fellow blogger and yoga lover!  That’s the only yoga I did this week, so far, but it fits in with my twice or more a week goal.  I suppose I’ll take the dog on a long walk today and get a little cardio, perhaps.

Of course, the book marketing is still going on.   This week I wrote a post about my main characters in Detours in Time.  See it at    https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/detours-in-time-main-character-intro/  I am now listed at circleofbooks.com, and they are tweeting about my book.  Sales have tapered down, but it is vacation time, so who knows?  I do have 5 reviews now!  They altogether average four stars. 🙂  I’m learning book marketing.  In a webinar, one author says to find out which books are selling and write that type of book.  That’s not my creative process.   This is art, and I write what comes out of my mind.  My book is lightweight sci-fi that is not graphic, with a little humor, moral questions, what-ifs, and future curiosities.  Love it or leave it.  I love what I do.  ❤  There is a link to my book on this book graphic and also in the closing signature to this post, if you are interested.

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This graphic is also on the postcards that I ordered, which I take with me to various places like Starbucks and the bank; they make it easy for me to mention my book and my “authorhood.”  🙂  Sometimes it’s fun, and it makes me talk to people!

So, how was your week?  Feel free to share with me, and visit Diana’s coffee share at https://parttimemonsterblog.com/2017/07/08/weekendcoffeeshare-in-which-i-am-back-again/  You can add your own blog coffee share to her Inlinkz button (the blue froggy).  Have a great weekend!

 

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#WeekendCoffeeShare, Feels Like Summer!

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com. If we were having coffee today on July 1st, I’d tell you that:

*I still drink hot coffee, despite how warm it is outside, and that warmth seems to glide through the windows.  Heaven help me though, I cannot thrive in a blacked-out room.  There are some days I’ll put an ice cube or two in my coffee, though.  How about you?

*It’s been another week of book promotion and finding people who will review my book, which means contact numerous book bloggers.  You know, I did a LibraryThing giveaway, and I keep wondering when those reviews will trickle in?  I should not be so hasty, though.  This book is at least twice the length of the books I have published in the Made for Me series.  I just don’t know what to expect, and I felt like I started ahead of time as needed.  Oh well, start sooner next time!  Got it.

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I’ve been doing more visual promo graphics for Detours in Time with Canva, and I posted a few here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/  I plan to make a visual book post once a week here.

Here is one that sets some character background:

DetoursMemeMilt1 look fifty,

Find a few more here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/

*I have not been writing much because of all the promo attempts and writing author interviews.  Okay, that is writing.  I haven’t been doing the fiction writing that I love. I did, however, write a short story for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt.  Check it out:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/fffaw-the-search-ends-at-daylight/

I also wrote an eerie short story last night.  I am not sure when I will drop it on the world, but I had to get the thoughts in writing, and I feel better for doing so.

*Other than that, there has been a lot of family time.  My mother and my son currently don’t drive, but I think things are coming together.  At any rate, I get to spend a lot of time with them and our dog this summer.  I also had a little getaway with my boyfriend for his birthday weekend.  I wrote a short post on these happy glimpses of summer as well:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/summer-glimpses-beyond-book-stuff/  This includes my goal of yoga two times or more a week, which I’m proud to say I am doing!

*I spent an hour yesterday visiting an elderly lady from my church.  I volunteered to do this; I do a few volunteer things through my church.  I was nervous when I first started visiting two years ago, but she is so kind.  She has memory problems, but she is in a really nice Assisted Living community.  When I got there yesterday, one of the directors had been urging a few of the wheelchair bound patients to move down the halls in their chairs.  She had been doing that too, so I continued to wheel her around.  She loved it.  Movement is so good for anyone’s mind.  Then, we sat out back in the shade, just a short while.  She seemed so much happier than usual.  I am glad she has some good days, but I can even tell on not-so-good days that she is so appreciative of my visit, and she offers help to any others there; though I don’t think she could get up and fetch a glass of water, by gosh, she would try.  That’s part of memory, forgetting  certain things you can no longer do.  I learn so much about attitude from her.  I learn a lot about the mind, as I have learned from the nervous breakdown of one of my family members.  I am not an expert on the brain, but I am learning that some things can spark a healthier brain, and I am learning to listen, even when things don’t make sense.

So, there’s my week in a nutshell!  That kind of fits, whith my hazelnut coffee!  How was your week?  Leave me a comment, and go and check out other coffee shares at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-with-a-big-ol-announcement/

Perhaps you will share your own?  Click on the link up button and follow the steps.

Have a great week!

If Yoga Were a Guy… (My Exercise Evolution cont’d)

 

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It’s been over a month.  I don’t know why, but I let stressful times keep me away when there are crises in my family and stress at work.  Then my shoulders get all these knots.  I really shouldn’t stay away.  Yet, coming back is a sweet homecoming.  The music and the essential oils beckon me and make me feel welcome.  Despite my tense body, I never feel guilt.  So I imagine yoga is this sweet guy with a Barry White voice, telling me, “Hey babe, the door’s always open.  So glad you’re here.  You’ll be glad you came back.”

Let me honest, I have no idea what he’d look like, except that he’d be fit and his hair would be out of his eyes.  He’d be wearing a light colored short-sleeved t-shirt, and yoga pants.  Okay, maybe not yoga pants, but those long, lightweight pants that yogis wear.  If yoga were a guy, he would:

*Not notice the few pounds I’ve  gained

*Not state the obvious, that my muscles would not be so tense if I just made sure to show up even during the taxing times, and I would not have gotten sick if I used the yoga to help me destress and stay healthy

*Play a lot of Dave Matthews, you know, for atmosphere.  That, and whatever else he seems to play that relaxes me so.

*Keep those candles lit and the lights dim.  Let’s not make it obvious how off-balance I am. Instead, he’d:

*Lend me a hand for balance when I need it.  Bring me an extra block without saying anything or pointing me out

*Let me linger a little while after savanas.  That’s right.  He wouldn’t kick me out, because he’d understand that I don’t just come here to whip my butt into shape, I come here to escape the outside.

*Invite me to come back in a few days or say something that makes me want to be more of a regular, not because I feel guilty, but because it feels SO good being here.

Truth be told, most of my instructors are female.  However, yoga is neither male nor female.  So I can imagine it any way I want.  What’s most important is that I keep going back.  🙂

While we’re using our imaginations here, I think it would be fitting if he gave me a half hour massage after each class.  I don’t live far from the studio, so I could just cruise home and drift into bed afterward.  What completes the fantasy better than a full night’s peaceful sleep?

Yoga, Stream of Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 4

I like the pained look on this woman’s face in the photograph.  Not because the yoga hurt me, but because my stressed out body was not ready to let go of the stress and relax this time.  I want to be honest, and this photo totally represents my attitude tonight.  I didn’t feel too evolved, but in actuality, I guess I’ve evolved to be able to not push myself too far.

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I hate Triangle.  This is what I was thinking when the instructor told us to set up for our triangle pose.  Then, I immediately felt guilty for my negative thinking.  Sadly, I’ve fallen a little out of tune with my exercise routine, but perhaps for good reasons.  I obviously don’t have the attitude I had built myself up to, and I really need to work to get it back.

I am , however, going to give myself a free pass and just thank myself for showing up to the class tonight.  I knew it would help me, and it did, despite my almost losing my balance and falling once or twice, needing to modify my lunges.  So I modified.  I went easy on myself; it’s been a rough few weeks, with a hurricane passing through, a family friend dying, and the ex-husband in town for a few days.  My emotions have been pulled, and I had cause for anxiety with the ex-husband based on his last visit.  Now it’s all over.  The ex went back home, the funeral has happened, the hurricane dispelled.  Yet I am still at the bottom of the well.  I need to work on coming back up.  I was very mindful to remind myself of that all through class.

On a brighter note, here’s more on the topic of wandering minds during yoga: why do so many instructors use phrasing such as, isn’t that a yummy stretch?  That is mostly used by female instructors, I’ve noticed.  While I haven’t had that many male instructors, there is one most memorable instructor who would say, “Feel that stretch, isn’t that delicious?”  This was said in his beautiful Calypso or Caribbean accent.

“No,” I said, honestly.  It wasn’t delicious as his hand holding my leg steady was, or as his honey dripping accent, or as, let’s say, chocolate.  That’s the part I didn’t say. 🙂 He just chuckled when I said that and let up a little.  I wasn’t being mean, I half smiled when I said it so that he knew, it wasn’t him.  It was me.  I loved having him as an instructor.  But alas, he was just a sub that night, as he normally would teach the early morning class, one I could never make.  At least he wasn’t pushing us to empty our minds.  He must have known the delicious comment was pretty suggestive.  Hey, it made me think of chocolate, or his awesome accent, all things I find very relaxing.  Unfortunately, I no longer attend the studio where this man with the wonderful accent instructs; it is just part of life changes.  I had to choose somewhere closer and I do truly love the new studio I currently attend.

I am not complaining about the wording used by instructors; I love the yoga community.  But calling any of these stretches “yummy” just accentuates the fact that I am not at home eating the goods I am trying to stay away from.  If you are an instructor who wants us to empty our minds, please don’t use the word “yummy!”  I do have to add, though, it always makes my busy mind chuckle while I’m in a resting tree, downward dog, or even pigeon pose and I hear such comments.  Thank you, dear yoga instructor, for giving me that inward chuckle, for coming by with your relaxing scents, and for playing that wonderful music.  I really needed it tonight.

Stream of Yogic Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 3

“Let yourself sink into the gap between your thoughts, they are like chains, linking, but with the small gaps in between,”  the young, calm yoga instructor suggests.  I can’t help it…my thoughts are more like flames chasing each other…You have to appreciate the metaphors, though, and I really love this instructor!  But sometimes, during yoga, a spark appears in my thoughts and it just takes flame, so I watch it, amused.  My worries gone, my thoughts unthreatening, sometimes they represent ideas, and I really should go with them.  They delight me.  I do not want to throw them back.  So, I just pretend I am counting to ten as suggested, and ridding myself of thoughts, all the while, chuckling inwardly at how I am fooling them all.  🙂

I decided quite a while ago to embrace my thoughts, after worthless attempts to empty them.  Sure, I’ve tried.  I read a “Buddha Bliss” book on meditation that suggested visualizing each thought as a fish that just landed in my hands, and letting it go into the pond of …. pond of, relaxation, I guess?  It did help since I was going through a tough emotional time.   In several ways, though, I have become more able to box up disturbing thoughts and realize when it is time to just let go, to just accept that, hey, it is what it is!  Obviously, sitting in yoga class, I can’t get my son a job or get my bills paid, can’t do anything about my ex-husband and his mess or the things in my life that I want to happen.  Might as well let that all go, and I do.  Those thoughts become replaced by higher-level thoughts, more blissful thoughts.  Well, they are to me, anyhow.  Here is an example from a year ago:

*The instructor tells us to count back from ten when a thought pops into the mind and let it go.  IF another one comes, count backward from ten again.  So, I try.  Then, I notice how my yoga towel is the color of sand, and that being on it is like being at the beach, no, it’s like being on Mars!  Isn’t Mars sandy?  If not, it at least has a lot of that sandy color.  I almost chuckle at myself and start the countdown again.  Then I think about a rocket launch countdown, and while we’re on that topic, let’s circle back to Mars!  Matt Damon is going to Mars in the upcoming movie, The Martian.  Oh, I have to see that movie!  I love Matt Damon, he is awesome!  Thinking of which, I loaded that book on my Kindle, I ought to get around to reading it before the movie.  So, this yoga towel is a flat landscape of Mars.  Then I start thinking of the movie, Interstellar.  They are along similar lines, but not the same.  Each unique in its own right.  I am so excited to read The Martian and see the movie.  Then I start thinking of Matt Damon and his movie, Elysium, and the message he was trying to convey.  Back to a plank, and I see the flat, sandy landscape.  Yes, I realize Mars is probably more rocky than that, and I may be quite wrong about the landscape.  Doesn’t bother me.  But I make a note to self to read more about space and the other planets.  Good plan, I tell myself, almost chuckling again as the instructor does another count back from ten.  It’s all good!  I am such a rebel.

So, here I am, being me,enjoying the heck out of my yoga practice and the thoughts it is inspiring.  I’ve gotta be me, right?  And that, my friends, is healthy thinking, brought to you by the benefits of yoga.  Shhh…Don’t tell anyone.  They might find my rebellion disrespectful.  😉

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Staying True to Me, My Exercise Evolution, Pt. 2

YogaBabt4thI am sharing an experience from about a year ago.  It is my intent that I will share a few experiences that inspired me to write, whether a Facebook post or diary entry, and to catch up to more current yoga streams of consciousness.  This one was a turning point for me, because no matter what exercise you choose, you have to realize that you are not like everyone else and embrace that fact, instead of feeling ashamed.  Due to physical arthritis or stress-related issues, Yoga has lately been my exercise of choice, with occasional pilates and barre classes to push myself. Yet my spirit so often begs for yoga.  Think about it; yoga is a relaxing exercise that helps center the mind, but it quickly loses that factor when you are pushing yourself to be something you’re not, or comparing yourself to others in the room who may be a little more, well, limber.  Best is the instructor who reminds you to go at your own pace, modify if needed, stop comparing yourself to others, and yes, “Hang out in child’s pose” if you feel the need!

*I had a yoga win last night! I was not going to let that gal force me into a frog. I’ve been forced into one before and, well, Pam is not a frog. This was probably 9 years ago at a gym that has long since closed.  I recall being amazed that I could actually get into a frog, only, guess what?  I didn’t get into a frog; I was forced into the frog!  Getting out of it was pretty awkward.  I wasn’t having that this time.  I muttered, “No. I have trouble with….” You could fill in the blank, this week. She heard knee, and moved on to someone else. So I did my own pose without pins and needles of pain, because yoga is for relaxation, not pain. I also did not turn my mind off (such a rebel)! There are great things going on; thank God! My mind is working for me right now and I will let it, since I’ve actually been able to write lately. This yoga/exercise state of mind and leading me to healthy thoughts; my mind is not shut off, but I’m not worrying!  Therefore, this must be a good thing.  It was awesome this time to practice something that did relax my body and mind, and still, through it all, I remained true to me.   Sorry if ya’ll expected me to say I’d figured out the headstand…..*

 

 

 

 

Blissful Saturday Yoga Surprise! #haiku #NAPOWRIMO

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11:30 Saturday Yoga Escape Brings a Blissful, Sentimental Surprise Today.  My Haiku:

She is playing Prince!

Purple Rain drives my down dog,

and goosebumps ensue.

-Pamela Schloesser Canepa

#PrinceGoneTooSoon  #musicofmyyouth