Saturday, June 13, 2009

Away from Home and Out at Sea

           The Hallmark quote card on my desk this week reads.....
"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."    Andre Gide

I've been wanting to write for awhile now but just couldn't seem to put pen to paper. I suppose you can say that I feel as if I've left the comfort of my home as I continue to journey into the unchartered waters of myself and that I've had some difficulty translating my new thoughts, experiences and ideas. As I surface here I'm writing quickly to document some of what I've
come to learn.

Making lifestyle changes is a real commitment. Some changes are easier than others and require a small shift in thinking while other changes take larger amounts of effort and can be quite challenging. The style of life that we choose for ourselves should ultimately bring well being on all levels...a sense of being in your "power" up to your true potential-feeling healthy, vibrant and strong in body, mind and spirit. These feelings of well being often don't just happen...especially when life with its inherent difficulties and problems pull at us in all directions and stress threatens to swallow us whole and sometimes it actually does. Our resolve is challenged, we give in, it's too hard. We crumble, we succumb, then we rest, we wait, we regroup....we gather our energy once again. What does it take to get back up again? It is of course an individual journey. For me it's a constant dance of learning the balance between giving to myself and giving to others which ends up touching all aspects of my lifestyle. For instance, if I'm sad or stressed or feeling resentful, I may start making poor choices, eating too much or too little and  it can really throw me out of whack. But then  I  realize I need to take the time to check in with myself and see what it is I truly need.

Doing things the way I've always done them is sort of like living on autopilot or in the default mode. This does feel safe but I know I must go outside my comfort zone to really change and it takes courage to find new ways to live, to react, and to be. And in this process alot of feelings come up.....Can I really change? What if I fail? What if I never get there?.... there being where I want to go, who and how I want to be? How long will this take? Can I be patient and trust? Can I get through the ups and downs along the way? Who can I ask for help that I may need along the way? Do I have a good map to navigate the unfamiliar I have an anchor? Do I have faith?

Making dietary changes can bring up alot of issues as we often eat to comfort ourselves, to relieve stress and dispel negative emotions. We all have alot of "comfort foods". Of course some comfort foods are perfectly fine....such as soup on a cold wintry day for example. Some comfort food recipes can be adapted to healthier versions and of course new comfort foods can be substituted...and other things can be used to comfort and soothe such as a hot bath, soothing music, a favorite comedy show, meditation or prayer. Comforting activities center us and bring us home to ourselves and provide the anchor when we find ourselves lost at sea.

Just recently I made what I call Lisa's Comfort's a salad I make when I really want something extra special....some comfort food...I used to put all of this on a french baguette back in the old days when I used to eat alot more bread and to be honest I don't even miss the bread anymore.

Lisa's Comfort Salad
serves 1

1-2 handfuls of mixed baby greens and spinach
1/2 can of tuna
1/4 avocado, diced
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
3-4 calamata olives
4-5 strips of roasted red pepper
slice of crispy red onion
1-2 tsp olive oil
2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar

Arrange the greens on a plate. Sprinkle tuna and the rest of the veggies on top.  To make crispy onion heat up a small frying pan, drizzle a tad of olive oil and place the red onion slices in and turn the heat up high and cook quickly stirring till crisp. Garnish the salad with the onion, drizzle olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle salt over everything.   Feel free to add any other veggies you may have on hand like steamed green beans, chunks of cooked potatoes and even hard boiled eggs would taste great as well.  Serve and enjoy!