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6 Nov

 It’s Friday, the eve of the weekend, one of the most fun and anticipated days of the week. Why not go on a retreat without going anywhere. After all, there is no place like home. According to an article in the November issue of Yoga Journal, an at home retreat would involve no costs, no times to adhere to,  and no one else’s agenda to accommodate. This rare luxury could be for a day or a weekend.

An essential component of such a retreat is solitude. Solitude means turning off the telephones (all of them) the computer(s), television, and notifying your friends and family you are taking a time out. Clear away the responsibilities and to-do lists so you have the open space to turn inward.

Time appears to move more slowly. Practice yoga, meditate, read, drink healthy teas, or prepare nourishing meals. Taking a long bath, riding a bike, taking a walk, or picnicking in the park, all can be a part of your at home retreat. As noted in Yoga Journal, “when approached with intention and a quite inward focus, all of your activities can be nurturing.”

 If not this weekend, how about the next one. We deserve it. To see the entire article go to http://www.yogajournal.com.

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Celebrate our Laboring

4 Sep

As we embark on our Labor Day weekend, celebrating our days of laboring, I’d like to share an ideal way to work. 

I’m sitting under a tent on the beach, laptop in hand with my feet buried beneath soft, crumbly ivory colored sand. I really am working, I’m just doing it to the accompaniment of the rhythmic sounds of a summer ocean. I’m using technology in a way that is advantageous to me; I’m not allowing it to use me (at least not at the moment). My cell phone is near by, as are the sandpipers and ruddy turnstones with their punk rocker hairdos. (Seagull relatives)  

Let’s face it, most of us have to work. Work can take the form of office labor or the labor intensive responsibilities of being a parent or other responsible adult. Whether we are filling out those endless beginning of school year forms for our children, paying bills or typing on our laptops, do one thing that makes it all more pleasurable. Maybe your scenery isn’t a turquoise ocean, but it still could be a garden, a lake, or a breeze on your face. Our parents taught us work first, play second. If you can and when you can, perform your tasks/ work in an environment that is aesthetically pleasing. It will qualitatively improve your production. And besides, you might not mind doing it so much.Labor Day

Bike Your Way through your Weekend

28 Aug

 It’s Friday, the eve before the weekend. The sweet anticipation offered by Friday sometimes has that Christmas Eve feel to me. It’s a culmination of days of work, stress, chores and obligations. Weekends are kind of like taking your retirement a little bit at a time. So, what is something you can do this weekend that might be a little different and fun. How about forgetting the car for the weekend. You’ve driven to work all week. It’s boring and fraught with hassles. Why not ride your bike wherever you need to go. Put saddlebags on your bike and only buy as many groceries as will fit into your bag..biking makes everyday chores more fun. Take a ride on a bike trail. You get the triple benefit of exercise, being outdoors, and actually getting to a destination. Ride to a nearby park and have a picnic.

Bike riding is one of my favorite activities. I feel youthful and free like I did when I was a kid and my one means of individual transportation was my bicycle.
 
Write and let me know where you go….Park it; Plant it; Pedal it; Preserve it!
 
 

 

 

 

 

The Jeremiah Project

21 Aug

 Each Friday I like to post tips/suggestions for ideal ways to live your weekend. This week it’s about doing good works.

I founded a program called The Jeremiah Project which is an after school and summer pottery, drama, and digital arts program for at-risk middle school aged kids. Last Friday was the culmination of a summer of artistic and theatrical activities. A musical performance and art exhibit was held at the Walt Disney World Boys and Girls Club in a predominantly lower income community near Orlando, Florida. Kids lip synced and moon-walked to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Beat It; they tumbled and stilt walked under the direction of Cirque du Soleil instruction, and exhibited the ceramics and photographs they created in our summer Jeremiah program.
 
The pride these kids experienced as a standing room only crowed cheered and whistled at their accomplishments, was palpable. One little girl, who has been in five different foster homes this summer, cried when she beheld the beautiful ceramic tray she had painstakingly glazed, saying “I can’t believe I made something this beautiful”. Another eighth grade girl said, “You know when you compliment me it helps my self esteem”.
Not all of these kids are going to pursue art as they grow older, but the experience has expanded them in ways they did not know were possible. They never knew they could throw a bowl on a pottery wheel or walk upright on stilts. One boy commented as he manipulated a digital image on his computer, “You know, I’m thinking I might become a doctor when I grow up.”
Yeah, I think helping kids think bigger, is a great way to spend a weekend.B&G Club pottery

 

 

 

 

Friday Escape

14 Aug

We have been spending time at our beach place this summer. It’s really the perfect way to endure this sweltering season. A beach escape should be on your to-do list this weekend. Escaping the heat and your incessant to-do list is your Friday prescription.

Once there, sink into your brightly colored beach chair and feel the stillness of not rushing. Allow yourself to become mesmerized by the sound and sight of the waves and the play of the light on the water.  With little or no effort this seaside retreat will quiet your chatter-brain…try meditating in the midst of this stillness (taking into account, of course, the squealing children near by.)Beach Retreat

What would your perfect beach day look and feel like?

Beauty and the Beach

7 Aug

 We have a beach place in a little town on the East Coast of Florida. Every time we visit, I’m struck by the unbiased nature of the beach. The beach offers a place of acceptance and equality regardless of size, age, income level, color, or species.Beauty and the Beach

Imagine you are driving across the bridge to the beach. Feel and smell the humid, salty air as you allow the ocean breeze to penetrate the schedules, to-do lists, and deadlines that live inside your overworked brain.

During your time in the sun, envision yourself…

*reading a novel (non-fiction not allowed)

*frolicking in the water, delighting as you dive into the foamy washing machine waves, like you did when you were a kid

*scouting for seashells and sand dollars

*walking along the water’s edge at low tide

Now, since it’s Friday, why don’t you go from imagining this scene to acting on it this weekend.