Thursday, March 24, 2011

I heart my feet

Day eight: a photo of something you enjoy doing.

I started my Couch to 5K training program today and will run my first 5K ever on my 50th birthday... in about six weeks. So, I have been thinking about my feet and my shoes a lot over the past couple days. Went to Merrell's website, because I have two pairs of Merrells and they are the most awesome shoes in the world. Comfortable and long-lasting, and let me tell you, if there is any combination a Taurus wants in a pair of shoes, or anything for that matter, is it comfortable and long-lasting.

I love the earth. I love running through the woods and dancing barefoot under the blue sky. I love walking in the rain and playing in the snow and wading in the river. I love smelling the ocean and walking in the sand. I love touching the earth with my bare hands and my bare feet.

I don't like wearing heels or getting pedicures. I don't like socks that don't stay on right. I don't like shoes that squish my feet. I don't like panty hose. I despise panty hose. I don't wear make-up or shave my legs because both are just too much time that could better be spent being outside. And the main, sometimes only, reason I don't like my job is that it forces me to SIT all day long, in front of a computer, indoors. It's UNNATURAL.

I love the earth. I love running through the woods and dancing barefoot under the blue sky. I love walking in the rain and playing in the snow and wading in the river. I love smelling the ocean and walking in the sand. I love touching the earth with my bare hands and my bare feet. I love walking in soft grass. I love walking on sun-warmed rocks. I love feeling mud ooze up between my toes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If I were in charge of the world...

Human Rights would be THE PRIORITY.

Day seven: a photo of something you stand for.

Anyone who can't lead without treating people with respect and dignity: you lose your privileges. Early bedtime AND no screen time. Forever.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day six: a photo of someone you love

Someone I love: God in us.
God as in God=Love, God=Peace, God=Joy
The One
The Divine in Each One of Us
That drive for justice that rises up from deep in the core of each of us.
That place in each of our souls that creates
music out of suffering,
art out of hunger,
dance out of nothing,
song out of Hope.

I have been wondering what discipline to practice for Lent. I have a long list of changes I'd like to make. More walking, less junk food, more meditation, less complaining, more breathing. But nothing felt like the commitment I need to make right now. None of my wishes for a better me would have any real effect on the world except that a better me makes a better world in a tiny way.

Someone sent me a link to Stand by Me this morning, recorded by Playing for Change Foundation. I had seen it before. It is my favorite version of that song. This foundation uses the universal language of music and great recording technology to bring people together and to create positive change in the world. So, I decided that each day of Lent this year, I will be giving up something I would spend money on that day, and collecting that money in an envelope to send to this Foundation. Today, it will be the latte that I usually bring back to work when I go out to lunch.

So, today's picture is this video. I love all these people. Especially the dancing children, the little girl in the pink dress, and the little one with hands folded in prayer. I love Tamika in NYC whose voice is the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. And I love the talented hands and ears and hearts behind the scenes, collecting all this video, and splicing it together in layers to make such a beautiful collaborative piece of magical song as if it is the richest treasure in all the earth.

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day five: a photo that makes you laugh.


So, this was the Fall of 2009. The kids came here from Ethiopia - two in March and one in July. They ate everything we let them. Three servings if we let them. Big servings. And since all the books said "let them eat," that is what we did. Together, the three of them weighed only a little more than I did, and between the three of them, they ate about nine times what I ate at every meal. Growing is not the word for it, but I don't think there is a word for it. Making up for lost time, maybe.

Turned out they loved bananas. We easily went through four or five bunches of bananas a week. They would wolf a big banana down in about four bites.

After a few months, we noticed they were asking for food at every transition, and whenever they were bored. Duh. Food for comfort, food to deal with stress, food for power, food for filling up this great big hole in my soul! So, we did some talking about listening to our bodies... and we set some limits. Limits on food, oh my gosh.

We also noticed that they complained like wild. Every time we put food in front of them, whining and complaining. Not liking things they had scarfed down the day before. As if all the complaints they had not been allowed to express for the previous five years of their lives had been unleashed in this new world where complaining was not being punished.

So, we did some talking about gratitude.

One evening at dinner, the story came out that at the children's home, they only got one banana a week. It was on Sunday. And the Sunday banana had strings attached. If you were good, you got a banana. If you were not, you did not. Ouch. And sometimes, other kids would take your banana.

So, it dawned on me (oh my little brain) that whenever I said no to a request for a banana, it was probably automatically felt as a punishment. As a declaration that my child is bad.

Now, I am the parent who read every book on self-esteem ever written when I was pregnant with my first child. And put into practice the very careful practice of distinguishing between the child and the action, of never saying or implying that "you are bad" when correcting my children. So, this whole thing of connecting food and behavior... well, it does not fly here in Barbaraland.

But, it was indoctrinated. And so, the task is to unindoctrinate.

One of the kids asked, "Can I have another banana?"

I said, "Yes, but we are really going to have to limit bananas. Five a day. You are each only allowed five bananas a day."

Great big eyes, very excited "oooohhhhhh!" And a rush to the banana bowl.

(No, they weren't actually able to eat five in one sitting, but they had fun trying.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day four: a photo of a place you'd like to visit

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Not because I wanted to step on the moon, but because I wanted to see earth from out there.

But now, that trip breaks my Rule of Reasonable Carbon Footprint for Sustainable Travel. I really think we should invest our money and fuel and intelligence on reducing our use of limited resources, and teaching people how to live responsibly and sustainably.

So, when I go here:

I would like to be there for at least four weeks to really experience this place, the land of many of my ancestors. I don't want to spend all that jet fuel on the experience of running from here to there to there trying to pack each day with all the sights you just can't miss when you go to Ireland. I want to Be There. I want to know the place and the people, and to do something that honors the green, poetic, dancing, singing parts of my soul that were somehow knit into my DNA long, long ago.

Day three: a photo that makes you happy.

This is Thanksgiving Day 2010. My whole family in my sweet home, plus my aunt and a friend. Tegan made a superb dinner, and even delegated some of the work to others. Everyone was having a good day. This... is the good life.