I realize my most recent post was quite… open, honest and vulnerable. Obviously, those types of posts are very therapeutic for me. It makes my day though, when I realize that being open has inspired others to be open and honest. Receiving messages and emails from you guys, letting me know that you enjoyed reading what I had to say and that some of you relate to certain things I said- that’s what it’s all about for me!
One of my most meaningful values that has always been a part of me, is building community. Staying close to family, supporting small businesses, keeping intimate relationships with the earth and the animals- and being open with one another; that is something that is very important to me. So please- if you feel like what I write may help a loved one/friend/family member/associate; I would absolutely love for you to share what I have to say with your community/network. I write for myself, first and foremost, and through my blog I have found that I may be able to help someone too by sharing my story.
I’m on week 2 here at Square Butte Ranch. I am settling in quite nicely, I must say. It’s funny- because when I first arrived here, I got quite discouraged when I didn’t do everything at once! It was like by day 2 I expected to be eating perfectly, on the best/longest hikes with Ollie, feeling amazing, and riding like a complete pro 2 times per day. It’s all a part of it. Letting go of those expectations and harsh perfectionist ideals of mine. One thing that I’ve noticed that I do (probably a result of when I used to work out so strictly and frequently) is that I tend to count my achievements (and my ‘failures’). In the past, when I’ve come out– I’ll count how many days in a row I go riding, or take Ollie on a long hike. I count the miles I walk with Ollie. I count the amount of glasses of wine I’ll have in a week. It’s all about counting, tracking & keeping myself in check, control. Letting go of this control is something that I’m bringing awareness to, and slowly easing into. It’s becoming more comfortable. When I feel the urge to check something off, or think that I’ve done “good” or “bad”, I witness that it comes up, and peacefully dismiss it. This is not to say that I never count these things anymore. I do. I’m not perfect. The point is to bring awareness to habits/behaviours/controls that don’t seem to be serving me. It won’t fall away immediately. However, the control that it has over me may slowly lose it’s power.
The goes the same for eating– counting the amount of meals I have per day, the amount of carbs I eat in a day, the amount of calories I eat per day. This doesn’t really happen with me anymore, and when it comes up I practice that same effort in witnessing it and letting it go.
I’m sure that you all know about this practice- it’s one that you can use with anything, really. It’s about thoughts, and the control that we allow them to have on us. Where does your mind tend to go when you are bored or in a moment of stress? If I am stressed out but still have the space in my mind for thought– my mind will go to self-attack. For me, this self-attack manifests in the form of ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you’re not beautiful’, ‘you could be thinner’, ‘you ate too much today’. Notice where your mind goes, and ask yourself if those thoughts are serving you. If they aren’t- witness them. Don’t fight them. Just witness. Recognize that they are there, and bring some awareness to what happens in your mind’s stories.
I’m really enjoying my time with the horses out here. Especially my boy, Legend. I haven’t ever spent this much consistent time with him. Man, he has some amazing character. He is so funny. He is constantly cracking me up. Legend is in the “skinny field” right now- because he has gained a bit too much weight this summer. He tends to put on weight in his neck, which if you think about it- can be dangerous. & go figure– he has a thyroid problem. So, long story short– Legend gets pretty hungry in the mornings, waiting for us to feed him. After all, the “skinny field” isn’t exactly an abundance of delicious green grass. It’s more like shrubs. Poor chap! I decided to go for a ride in the arena today, with my English Saddle– and let Legend ride the way he was traditionally trained. He really knows how to show off. It was amazing, so much fun. He collects so well, his stride is so strong and beautiful and controlled. It’s a dream to ride him in the arena. You can imagine though, once he was done showing off- he was ready for his already delayed breakfast! Feeding him has been very therapeutic for me too. Feeding him, grooming him & loving him- is something that is so natural for me- and I am passionate about. Indirectly, I am noticing that this is having an effect on the way I treat myself.
It is also the beginning of fall & you can definitely feel it out here. The days are absolutely beautiful and quite hot but the evenings and early mornings are definitely crisp and slightly chilly. I love it. Fall is BY FAR, my favourite season. By far. With this change of seasons, our bodies will definitely start to crave more warming, cooked foods. Another thing that comes with fall & winter is root vegetables and beautiful greens like kale. Vegetable soups and stews really are my favourite too. Expect a few soups and stews in the following months!
* This recipe is inspired by the beautiful Sherry Strong, a dear friend & teacher.
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 leek (I use the whole leek), diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, diced
- 4 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 can black beans (1 cup dried, rinsed, soaked)
- 6-8 talks of green kale, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- Prepare/dice your onion, leek, garlic & carrots and add to a large soup pot with your coconut oil. Cook at medium heat, stirring- cook till onions are translucent- 5 minutes
- Add the diced sweet potato & cumin, stir- cook for 5 minutes
- Add the filtered water- cover and cook for 10 minutes
- Add your black beans & kale, cover and cook for another 20 minutes
- Just before serving, add salt, black pepper and garnish (add salt at the end because you are cooking with beans b/c the salt will make the beans tough/hard)
- Optional: Serve with brown rice/wild rice or quinoa