The intuitive healer had several excellent reminders for us: when you start to tense up, breathe slowly in and out; when you feel hurried and rushed, slow down, be mindful, take your time, instead of playing into the time pressure. Most things that we imbue with time-pressure won’t actually derail if we take 1 or 2 extra minutes of mindfulness (using stoplights as a chance to breathe and regroup instead of panicking and freaking was one good example).
Now, all these prompts are great to hang on to as often as we can, but the thing she said that I knew right away I wanted to chew on with you guys was her reminder that we are essentially beings-in-training. Most of us set personal ideals for ourselves that we aspire to (and, believe me, I do think goals and dreams are important), but we also beat ourselves up if we “fail” to achieve those goals on any given day.
Take the epiphany, for instance: let’s say I finally realize that I always expect—provided I do the “right” things and work hard—that everything will go the way I’ve strategically planned. Of course when they don’t, I get all stressed and upset. And so I decide I have to break this debilitating habit. Full of newfound self-awareness, I assume I will never fall into this negative cycle of expectation/disappointment/stress ever ever again. Until I do. And then I beat myself up for never ever learning from my mistakes. And so I’m twice bummed. Bummed once because my plan didn’t work out, and bummed twice because I let myself get bummed again when here I’d gone and decided I was going to turn a leaf.
So this concept that I don’t need to change in an instant (like, c’mon, Barb, the switch has been flipped, so now SHINE!!) was quite a relief for me—because what I truly am is a better-person-in-training. Epiphanies are grand and essential but only the first step in a long marathon. I’m practicing every day, not failing, not even “succeeding”, but making my best efforts.
I’ve never been an athletic person, so maybe this idea that a part of me is doing something essentially athletic—getting up every morning, pulling on my resolve, stretching my faith in myself, warming up my epiphanies, and then running!—is simply … liberating.
Deb: Barb, this is a wonderful reminder that we are pepes in progress. Lovely image, really. If we are open and lucky, we will keep learning until we die. I am pretty good at the baby steps concept. If I learn the lesson and then find I have to relearn it, I always find lurking a piece of the previous lesson learned to build on. For example, when I am doing last-minute Christmas shopping and things are crazy paced, I employ what I call “work against the energy!”. Like your instructor said, if everyone is rushing, I stroll, if everyone is pushing, I back up. But I do love the idea of the traffic light recharge. Great advice. I will start employing that baby tomorrow. Great advice during a busy time of year!
Barbara: I was only going to publish this recipe next week, but we’re getting so near the holiday rush that I had to share this with you as soon as I could because not only are they so delicious, but they can be whipped up in a few minutes with minimum fuss and mess and—served in simple canning jars—they make amazing hostess gifts. And they are butter-free (and so also vegan)!
|As pecans can be expensive, you can also use a smaller jar to nice effect.|
I serve these with cheeses as well as sweets. The cumin makes them smoky-good.
2cups pecan halves
1 tbsp water
1/4cup brown sugar
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp coarse sea salt
Put the pecans (or almonds) in a glass pie plate and douse with water, mixing well. Combine the rest and then mix it with the nuts.
Microwave (uncovered) on high for 2 min, then stir, then follow with another 1 min of cooking and, if necessary, another 1 min, until glazed and syrupy (I've made it where they don’t end up "glazed" and they're just as good). Be careful not to burn them.
Spread the nuts on parchment paper to cool, breaking apart occasionally. And voila! They should be ready to jar in about 20 minutes. A hostess gift you can whip up while your rollers (or whatever) are setting…