Friday, September 30, 2011

Football Friday & some other things...

Clemson plays Virginia Tech this weekend. I'm wondering who is going to win. What do you think? 


I'm going tigers!!!


I started making progress towards choosing the program to go to Africa. I started to apply to the Kenya Voluntary & Community Development Project, but I needed my passport number and didn't have it. I also emailed a group that does Yoga in Kenya, Africa Yoga Project, but never heard anything back. This morning, I applied for a program with Global Volunteer Network but instead of choosing Kenya, I chose Rwanda. This whole time, I've been thinking Kenya, Kenya, Kenya, but I remember the very first time I ever even thought about Africa, was in sociology class when we read the book Hotel Rwanda. I also made my husband watch that movie and that's the first time I realized how different Africa is from my world. The program is working in an orphanage and spending time with the children. The children are orphans either from the genocide that occurred between the Hutu's and the Tutsi's as well as parents that have died from Aids/HIV. The program is a little more expensive at $1500 but I think it'll be okay. 

You can read more about it here

Info on Rwanda

I don't know where I'll actually be in Rwanda

such a beautiful country

image #1 was from wikipedia (link is included above)
image #2 source
image #3 source

And just to reiterate the issues Rwanda has had in the past, when looking for pictures to put in this blog, I had to sift through images of dead bodies and militia with large machine guns. If you have not read or seen Hotel Rwanda, you need to. It happened and it was awful but no one recognizes it. 

So... have a good weekend!! Sorry I got a little sad but this is why I want to go help!!!

have you ever voluteered abroad before? 
have you ever been to Africa? 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yoga Scholarship

Last night, a lady from Yoga Training Guide emailed me to mention their scholarships options. I went to their website and it looks pretty interesting.

If you are interested in being a yoga teacher and are not sure if you can afford it, I would recommend visiting this site. It has 200 hour class options and 500 hour class options!!

from their website

Homemade Pulled Pork

My dad sent me a recipe for homemade, non grilled pulled pork sandwiches that I made yesterday. I'm not exactly sure where he got it but it was DELICIOUS!!

Ingredients -

1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp black Pepper 
1 tsp cayenne Pepper 
1 tsp garlic Powder 
1 tsp dried Thyme 
1/2 tsp Salt (I used kosher salt)
boneless pork shoulder 5-6 lbs
1 c water (or cola) 

mix the dried goods together and rub all over pork

Add water or cola and cook on Low for 8 hours

In following my thoughts on Ahimsa yesterday - the pork was from Whole Foods and was a 4 on a scale of 1-5!!

a good photographer, I am not, but you get the point

*I also made home made mac n cheese!! Whole wheat noodles and whole wheat buns! Yummy!
I wouldn't put this in the healthy category but I will put it in the delish category

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ahimsa - non-violence

According to Wikipedia, Ahimsa means do not harm.

Directly from the website -

"Ahimsa means kindness and non-violence towards all living things including non-human animals; it respects living beings as a unity, the belief that all living things are connected. Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi strongly believed in this principle.[3]Avoidance of verbal and physical violence is also a part of this principle, although ahimsa recognizes self-defense when necessary, as a sign of a strong spirit. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences."

I think when one looks at that from a literal standpoint, one may think, we're not supposed to hit anyone, get in a fight, murder, etc. And really, why would that be something I need to practice? Honestly, I have never gotten in a fight, and obviously, never murdered anyone, so this shouldn't be hard, right? 

The thing that we've been discussing in Yoga Teacher Training is how this is interpreted in our daily lives, because most of us do not have to decrease how many people we murder. What kind of guidelines can I develop for my daily life that are guided by the idea of Ahimsa. 

Vegetarianism is a controversial topic as it relates to Ahimsa. As someone who has struggled with eating issues, is it a good idea for me to cut out an entire food group, probably not. Some people don't carry vegetarianism well because they lose too much weight or have other health issues related to not getting enough protein or whatever it is that they need. 

So how can I bring this idea of "non-violence" into my meat choices? The way that I use it is through making a conscious effort to know where my meat comes from. Is the farm local? Do they treat animals inhumanely? Is it sustainable long term? Is the transportation of the meat harmful to the environment? Whole Foods does an excellent job of 1) providing meat from farms that follow certain standards in meat production and 2) use a scale to rate how well the farms meet those standards. The pork I am cooking today was a 4 on a scale of 1-5, so I felt pretty good about the fact that it fits into those Ahimsa guidelines. The same with fish. Is the fish wildcaught? If not, is the farm sustainable because some farms are actually okay depending on how they are treated/handled. This is a great way that I can make a daily choice to be CONSCIOUS of my intention without being straight up vegetarian. 

That's a big one, but to make it even simpler. What about when I'm at the post office, and the lady behind the counter is rude. Am I rude back? Or can I just think, she must be having a bad day, so I'm going to ignore it and give her the benefit of the doubt. If someone cuts me off while driving, am I going to give them the finger? Or maybe I'll remember that I've probably done that before and let it go? By having a mindset of kindness and tolerance for people even when it's not justified in my mind, that's practicing non violence towards others. 

The last big one and I have a REALLY hard time with this - gossip. I love a good story. But by attacking someone's character, especially behind their back, I am actually creating a negative environment for myself. Really, even thinking poorly about someone can automatically take me out of a positive mindset, but to then take it a step further, and discuss that out loud, I am violating this concept. 

What I have to remember is that I will not do this perfectly. No one will, that is part of the process. But if my intention is that of non-violence on a daily basis, what kinds of gifts will God give me! Not because I'm being good, but because I am staying God Centered and I can be aware when He needs me to serve. 

What do you think about ahimsa? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Learning to Say No!!!

Every now and again, I realize that I have spread myself too thin by saying yes when asked to do something. I love to help out -

1. because I like being helpful
2. because sometimes I think there may be an opportunity in a situation that I don't want to miss

but what that means is I get myself into situations like I'm in right now.

like this

I feel really lucky for the opportunities I've been able to be a part of - 

Go Run - 

FAVOR SC and the Gifts of Recovery Festival

And then there are the things that I'm doing because I want to like -

Yoga Teacher Training

Football Season

I'm on the left

Marathon Training

but right now, I'm effin' tired. I've got to scale it back. And what that means, I have to give up on some things that I don't want to. I have to say no to some people and I have to say no to myself. I'm at a point right now where I leave my house at 7:30 am and I get home anywhere between 8:30-9:30 pm. That is too much. I am tired. I can't keep going like this. 

And the thing is, because people know they can rely on me, and because I always say yes, I keep getting calls about doing one more thing. When I try to get some down time, I can't. Because there always seems to be an emergency and I've got to take care of it. It's frustrating. 

And who do I take it out on, my husband. Because I know he won't leave me and I know he'll take it. That is SSSOOOO not fair to him. So I'm about to make some serious changes in my life. The first change was not doing the marathon. I'm not doing it. Period. I do not care what anyone else thinks or says, I am not doing it. I'm going to do the half and enjoy it without having to pour my heart and soul into training because I don't have the time or the motivation. The second thing is that I'm not going to take on any new responsibilities. I am chairing the Gifts of Recovery Festival again (really, co-chairing with about 3 others), and possibly do more with that but as for other things.... no. Lastly, I'm going to take my training down a notch. I may only work out 4 days a week. And that will have to do for now. I am not going to run myself ragged because I'm trying to hold up some ideal that I am a hard core workout person who needs to be active 7 days a week. I just can't. And that might change after football season. And if it does, great. But if I had to cut out everything but yoga, I would, simply because what's important in my life is my husband, my recovery and for now, my job. And those are three things that come before anything else. If I take care of those, everything else will fall into place. 

Have you ever had to take a step back and slow down? 
How do you balance training and your life?