City Life

The Goodness of Gardens

The Goodness of Gardens

I went to Trent, the hairdresser, in town today, and he gave me a pretty ‘do’. In my old life as a city girl, my hairdresser would say, ‘I hope your husband is taking you some place special for dinner tonight.’
Instead of a glamorous outing, in my current incarnation as a country girl, I took myself and my new hairdo home to work in the garden. Specifically to muck around in the compost, a job that’s needed doing for some time. […]

How Elders Thrive and Not Just Survive

How Elders Thrive and Not Just Survive

Ten years ago, almost to the date, we six seniors held a meeting with flip chart and textas with the intention of generating a vision of another way of doing retirement and old age. Let’s face it – prospects of living in retirement villages or moving to the country sans old friends are less than appealing.
So, today is a very auspicious anniversary because our dream has been realised.
Not that we are old yet. Oldish. […]

Don't Blink – You Might Miss It

Don't Blink – You Might Miss It

Sometimes you have to wake yourself up so that you realise you are living your Dream.
When I lived in fast-paced Sydney, I was too busy to get out into Nature because of running a city yoga centre. I desperately wanted to be living at the beach, to walk on it every day, to be surprised by what washed up from the surf or down from the river.
Here I am and there are truly wondrous sights at our mid-north coast beaches.
Today at low tide at Old Bar, there were these boys and their construction. […]

A Sutra a Day: II-4 – Plant Now, Harvest Later

Source: flickr.com via Katherine on Pinterest

 
Did you enjoy a gloriously sunny winter day today? I did. It called to me to get into the garden and weed and plant.
I’m a metropolitan girl from places like Chicago, New York and Sydney. Gardening is not my first language. What does that matter, though,  when Nature calls?
There’s rocket, lettuce and dill in the dirt now. I’ve checked the weather report and it will be cold over the next few days but not frosty. […]

Essential Shopping

Essential Shopping

I’ve never complained about it. Maybe it’s even a sort of restraint. But here is the thing: it’s no good trying to do retail therapy in Taree. 
Maybe I’m just a snob, but what’s on offer in our small burg is déclassé, outmoded, and el cheapo.
So, when I go to the big city, some craving emerges from deep down in me that I guess is related to being a shopaholic.
It starts out as simple window shopping but inevitably something catches my eye – a pretty lure seducing the trout to bite. […]

This Moment

This Moment

My housemates have gone off to our community choir practice. I opted to stay home. I’m tired and didn’t think I could generate upbeat energy this evening, despite the general cheeriness of the group.
I thought I’d listen to a new download of an MSIA meditation practice and that might help me rebound. Instead I was seduced by the sunset occurring as I write, so I’m sitting on our deck with my iPad and a drink. I’m telling myself this is just a different sort of spiritual activity. […]

Yoga and the Silly Season

Yoga and the Silly Season

It’s the height of Australian summer and I’m convinced that this is such a crazy time because the end of year vibe is so expansive. The morning daylight wakes us up earlier and earlier each day. The evenings, even with rainy, cloudy, cool conditions we’ve experienced recently, still feel compellingly summery. We want to get out and socialise and clink glasses with friends.
It’s part of Nature’s estival conspiracy of abundance which we see illustrated everywhere we look by lush vegetation. […]

Unity in Everything

Unity in Everything

I’m going to be in Sydney for the next 4 days, mainly to present at and participate in the Divine Feminine Conference.
More and more I now find it difficult to leave the beauty and peace of our country place for the city. […]

What to do with excess energy

What to do with excess energy

You would think that would be a good problem, having so much energy that you have to invent crazy, wonderful and awesome to utilize it.
That’s what kids and adolescents do, isn’t it? Sometimes scaring the oldies to death!
Here’s an example of someone jumping out of their skin (and leaping everywhere imaginable) for you to enjoy:
http://www.safeshare.tv/w/VTrkMqeFUk
Quote from Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, writer and accomplished track athlete:
Now that I’m old. […]

The Yoga of Stress Reduction: Slow Down, You're Goin' Too Fast

The Yoga of Stress Reduction: Slow Down, You're Goin' Too Fast

Think of just one thing you could do to turn your life around, or as a yoga teacher encourage your students to do. Might it be to slow down?
Of course, learning yoga relaxation techniques is a crucial part of knowing how to slow down. Every time you practice savasana, you enter into a process of re-discovering your own rhythm.
Unfortunately, the hurried, harried pace at which most people live is the air we breathe. We’re probably not designed for constant rushing around, but “the urgency addiction” has become something like second nature to us. […]

Yoga = Stress Reduction

Yoga = Stress Reduction

Is yoga really the same as stress reduction? Well, perhaps not according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, but according to popular understanding it is. Doctors recommend yoga for helping relieve tension in patients.  The general public read articles in the newspaper health section every week about the calming influence of yoga, then go out and sign up for 10-week courses. Research resources go toward studies to prove the positive effects of yoga relaxation on the body’s systems.
Not everyone wants less stress in their lives. Some thrive on it. They worry less about burning out than “rusting out”. […]

Cattleroo

Cattleroo

I may have just tipped the balance towards being a true country girl as I noticed this weekend on our trip to Sydney that I couldn’t get my heart into the city lifestyle at all.
Well-distracted by seeing the musical, “Jersey Boys”, taking in a excellently reviewed film, and dining on artisan breads and barista coffees, I still felt homesick for our forest and gardens. More so, for the simple life.
And, the surprises Nature dishes up here. […]

Getting Familiar with Family

Getting Familiar with Family

The refinement of yoga practice isn’t necessarily the perfection of an advanced pose like Dwi Pada Viparita. For my money, mature yoga practice derives from the expression of yama and niyama – the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”..
Nowhere is the practice of concepts like “ahimsa” (non-violence) and “aparigraha” (generosity) more challenging than when we are relating to our families.
The original meaning of family goes back to servants/household/domestic. […]

For the People

For the People

An ex-pat Filipino friend who has lived in Chicago for many years took us to see his favourite thing:

A sculpture by Anish Kapoor, “Cloud Gate”, is made up of 168 highly polished steel plates with no visible seams. It weighs 110 tons; think gi-nor-mous. The sculpture is situated in Chicago’s beautiful Millenium Park.
More important than any of its vital statistics is the way the public is drawn to this shiny feature, like latter-day Narcissuses trying to discover themselves in warped reflections. […]

Chicago: late 19th c. Yoga

Chicago: late 19th c. Yoga

It’s hard to imagine Chicago, “that toddling town”, the Windy City, inspiration for the glitzy dance-musical, as being a place where Vedanta was showcased in the United States.
The stage was the Parliament of World Religions in 1893, and the inspiring presenter was Vivekananda.
“The eloquence of Swami Vivekananda and his introduction of eternal values of India…has been identified by many to mark the beginning of western interest on Indian values – not as merely an exotic eastern oddity, but as a vital religious and philosophical tradition that might actually have something important to teach the West. […]

You Can Go Home Again

You Can Go Home Again

And I did yesterday, “home” being a two-story brick dwelling on the edge of fashionable Oak Park (Chicago), which my family moved from in 1959.
The current owners, Mr. & Mrs. Comancho, answered my door knock, and, remarkably, let us strangers into their home. They are an elderly Mexican couple, Chicagoans since the 1920’s. When I was growing up in this neighborhood, it was multicultural, but upwardly mobile, populated by lawyers and doctors, like my dad.
It’s a true experience, that one’s childhood home looks small compared to the memories we hold. […]

Sunday – A Rest Day

Sunday – A Rest Day

When I worked through the week in the city, I had the weekend for “home work”. You know what I mean – doing wash loads, gardening, grocery shopping, catching up on correspondence, cleaning. Maybe there was a little time left over for sparking friendships that may have needed rekindling, or being a culture vulture. […]

Big Wet

Big Wet

I’ve got to put my foot down with our choir director so we stop singing the “Rain Song”. It’s a great melody, and the lyrics are cleverly syncopated and percussive, like rain drops.
We’ve been singing the song weekly. Much more than rain drops have been drawn to our part of the world,  more of a deluge in the last while. […]

Home Again

Home Again

Don’t get me wrong. I loved being in Melbourne. The Conference was terrific. I especially enjoyed socialising with old and new friends before the Conference started. I even saw a new release art house movie, something that is impossible to do on Mitchells Island.
But I was homesick almost before I left Sydney. I found the pace of the cities took me away from a quiet, peaceful, internal space I’ve come to cultivate here in the country. […]

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