Good Natured Mom

We are all just walking each other home. -Ram Dass


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On Morning Rituals

My morning routine goes like this:

Wake – around 5:30

Start the coffee pot

Grab my phone and begin Headspace, my meditation ap

Read the daily Mass readings

Pray

 

But today I decided to change it up. I flipped the order of the last three. The meditation is last, so that I can think about the Bible readings and pray during the 15 minutes I dedicate to clearing my mind of clutter.

I go through my prayer requests in order of urgency.

For healing from cancer

For strength

For healing from colitis

For justice and truth – and an open heart

For protection

For relationships

We have some serious crap going down in my family right now. Its crazy. I take stock of the  troubles and think “this doesn’t happen to normal people.” And I’m straight up normal. But life is flowing, it all its weirdness. And I’m swept up in its current.

So I pray for resolutions, for peace, for and end in sight. I know that God is in control and I surrender the outcomes to a higher power. That whatever happens is part of the divine plan.

And I expect miracles to happen. There will be miracles. Life will unfold according to God’s amazing plan. A plan I cannot begin to imagine. And the craziness, the illnesses, the loneliness, the scariness will evolve into experiences that shape me and the people I love. And everyone else they touched.

And life will go on.

I like this new order to my morning routine. I believe its been out of order for a while and that I’ve got it all straightened it out now.

Time to run some intervals for 50 minutes.  And then … get ready for work.

Let’s see if I can get there on time today.

Have a great day people!

 

 

 


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10 Habits of an Optimist

Did you see the movie The Martian? Its a story about an astronaut who is left behind on the planet Mars and how he copes…how he attempts to survive. I connected with the main character. He was brilliant and clever… but more important to me, he was confident and optimistic. And he didn’t give up hope.

My default setting is optimism – I believe that, no matter what else is going on around me, no matter how dire the circumstances, or grim the outlook…that everything will ultimately be okay.

Because I always expect a favorable outcome, some think I’m out of touch with reality. Others think I’m naive. For me, optimism has nothing to do with either reality or my lack of experience with a situation. It has much more to do with a gut feeling… intuition. Optimism is an internal, preset in my brain that always directs my thoughts toward confidence and faith in the good. And there are a few beliefs and habits I’ve developed to maintain a healthy sense of optimism.

  1.  I believe that love always wins and good is stronger than evil. It may only occur on a micro level, but you can always find the essence of good, in any situation, if you are open to it.
  2. Along the same lines, even when bad things are happening, there is a simultaneous, counteractive force for the good. Think of a situation, like a house fire or car accident. First responders arrive to help. By standers reach out to assist.  Let’s face it, bad stuff is going to happen. It’s part of life. Having people around you to mitigate the loss or help you through it in some way…that’s a very good thing. See the essence of good in everything.
  3. Stay mindful. Stay present. Stay aware. Don’t allow worry and fear to take hold in your brain. Realize that we only exist from one moment to the next… not in the past or the future. The only life we have is happening right now. Keep the anxiety and worry at bay by keeping your focus on the here and now.
  4. Cultivate a heart full of gratitude. For me, waking up each day, putting my feet on the floor and having coffee in the coffee pot are at the top my thankfulness list. I’m grateful for my husband, parents, children, food, colleagues, meaningful work, the ability to move, a warm bed, a car that starts when I turn the key…I am blessed and I know it. I will not lose sight of that.
  5. Take care of your self, mind, body, and soul. Eat whole foods, mostly plants, which are unprocessed and nutrient dense. Move your body; stretch, bend, lift heavy objects, run, swim, dance… whatever it is, keep at it.  Pray, meditate or sit and be quiet every day. Make these part of your daily routine. You will feel better physically and your mind will respond with a better, more positive attitude.
  6. Be a giver. Think outside of yourself and reach out to someone who needs your help. Giving of yourself does as much to help mankind as it does to foster your own sense of humility and gratitude. Give freely without expecting anything in return.
  7. Smile. You’ve heard it before. Smiling rewires your brain to create positive thought patterns. Smile often and retrain your brain to be happy.
  8. Live a balanced life. Don’t give in to pressures or people (real or imagined) that throw your life out of balance. Stay healthy (see number 5) and happy  to avoid burnout. This will help you maintain an optimistic vibe.
  9. When problems arise, look for solutions. Don’t consider a problem a roadblock. Rather, consider it a speed bump. Slow down,  review your options, think creatively and figure out a new plan.
  10. Give yourself a pat on the back and rest in the knowledge of a job well done. When you’ve accomplished a task or met a goal, don’t rush right on to the next project. Take time to recognize that you’ve done a good job. You will find that your day is made up of many small successes.

These days optimism is a survival technique as much as is it a mindset. What do you think?

 

 

 


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Recovery and Restlessness

My triathlon racing season ended in mid August. I was done, done done.  After a full year of training, with only a short, two week break I was ready to give it a rest. A good, long rest. I needed to stop thinking about how I was going to fit in long work outs around my job and household responsibilities. I needed to be able to eat without thinking about how it was going to affect my running. And I needed to get the chronic ache out of my bones. I was tired. Mind, body and soul.

Here’s the thing about triathlon… I realize it is my choice, and an amazing privilege to be able to afford this sport and to have a strong enough will to compete. I get that I pay money to be coached so I can  be as prepared as possible on race day. That I pay for this kind of pain and suffering…it makes me humble. And I’m aware that there are plenty of people on this planet who suffer for reasons far more important than this. My complaints are nothing in comparison.

But even though I really needed a break, it took me about six weeks to settle in to the new routine. I was anxious and restless. I felt guilty about sleeping in. Like I was skipping a workout or something. I wondered if I’d lose all the fitness I’d gained. I was a little bit lost.

One night after work I came in the house and announced to my husband that I was ready to punch somebody. He told me to go out for a run.

My aim during this time off was to rest more, drink more water, give weight lifting another try, to stretch and bend the ache out of all of my joints and to gain a little weight. Doesn’t sound like much, but all were challenging.

Sleeping – at least 7 hours most nights
Water intake – 72 ounces (usually a fail, but better than before)
Strength training – two days/ week and no sloppy burpees allowed
PiYo and Yoga – core baby, core
Weight gain – didn’t happen

I think I’m ready to get back at it. I’m excited. I’m dreaming about long bike rides and half marathons. I’m planning my vacations around destination races and looking forward to giving it my best. The break in the action has done it’s job. The reset button has been pushed and I’m ready to go.

Monday, December 7. I can’t wait for you to get here.

Joan090912

 

 

photo (1)

This guy was so sick the day of my A race. He drove me 800 miles so I could race it. He went with me to be my Sherpa, support me and cheer me on. He got a nasty, nasty virus the night before the big day. Chills, fever, dizzy, dehydrated…but he managed to get to the race and keep it together from the early morning wake up until the we left the post race party.

This is just one example of the many times he has put his interests aside to let me pursue mine.

Who do I appreciate? Who am I grateful for? This guy.

 


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When is a bowl, not a bowl?

Life is funny. Or maybe I’m just really tired. But whatever. Thinking about tonight’s dinner makes me giggle.

Tonight for dinner I ate a bowl…you know, a”bowl”.  Quinoa, purple cabbage wedges glazed in balsamic vinegar, broccoli, black beans and cilantro, roasted beets, and salsa. On a plate. (lol)

Let’s just say my palate has changed.

And I’m totally fixated on @runningonveggies Instagram account. She makes these little chocolate cookies with black beans and I don’t know what else…but I’m thinking about trying them because they sound so good. (Who eats black bean cookies???) Here’s the recipe. You decide.

Plus, I’ve subscribed to Matt Frazier’s website No Meat Athlete  and now I make a green smoothie everyday for breakfast. And eat a salad for lunch. Because Matt said to. Geesh…

These are only two examples of people I follow on social media who eat clean, healthy, no junk,  plant based food.

I’m not a nutritionist, chemist, certified health professional… so I’ve really got nothing to go on when I follow these experts and decide to eat plants, plants and more plants. I don’t know how it effects my body, cells, gut biome, or head space.  I just do what they say. I’m a sheep. Baa…

Except that I feel amazing. So whatev’…I think I’ll keep it up and see if I’ll live to be 200.

 

 


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Transformation – Part 2

Every veggie in the fridge...for dinner tonight.

Every veggie in the fridge…for dinner tonight.

Yesterday I wrote about transformation…the kind that takes place through the process of parenting. I’ve been through another kind of transformation in the last two years. It started with a desire to have cleaner, healthier eating habits.

Somewhere, probably Facebook, I read about the Whole 30 Challenge. I purchased and read the book It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I jumped at the chance to weed out the excess sugar, processed foods and really take a hard look at what was going in my body. As a triathlete, I had become keenly aware that if I wanted to perform at my peak level, I needed to eat better.  The Whole 30 Challenge (W30) provided the opportunity to get serious about my food choices and to see if what I ate actually did make a difference in my performance. For 30 days, I followed the Hartwigs plan. No sugar or sweeteners, no grains, no dairy and no legumes. All of these foods can be associated with allergic reactions of various kinds such as inflammation and gut issues. I wanted to find out how I would feel if I eliminated these things from my diet. And I wanted to find out if my athletic performance would be affected.

Simply put, I felt great. Better than ever. My energy level increased, my aches and pins decreased. And I was confident that I was onto something good.

The problem with W30 style eating was the enormous amount of meat it included. I’m not much of a meat eater to begin with, but around the same time I reset my habits with the W30, I was also learning more about the negative effects that animal agriculture has on our health and environment. Eating meat became less appealing.

Around the same time, my youngest son came home from college and announced that he was eating plants, plants and only plants. In order to make sure he was eating a diet that included all of the essential nutrients, I set out to learn how to cook plant based meals. I found blogs dedicated to plant based recipe testing, Instagram accounts where I could look at the picture and figure out the food combinations to try myself, and podcasts, (OMG – thank you Rich Roll and Julie Piatt)… if there was a plant powered reference, I was all over it like whipped coconut milk on chocolate chia seed pudding.

I’m loving cooking with fruits and vegetables. I’m experimenting with interesting recipes that are delicious and make me feel good. Probably the biggest part of this transformation is that, now, I actually like to cook! Thanksgiving will be amazing this year with some mouth watering dishes. Recipes and pictures to follow…


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Team

I had a very full work week; made more full by the fact that I took Monday off. An already busy five day agenda was crammed into four. And I haven’t been sleeping very well. Too much coffee during the day has a payback of less sleep than I got the night before. Perpetual, ridiculous cycle. But it’s done. Moving on. The end result is that I’m very, very tired. Mentally and physically.  And blogging is the last thing I want to do right now. I want to go to bed. But I’m blogging for 30 days straight and so…

Even though I was out of my mind tired, Tim and I drove to see some of our triathlon friends/ teammates. Some we haven’t seen since August or before.

How is it that meeting up with folks who share your passion; who love to talk about their upcoming race schedule; or their crazy popular Instagram account; or that they watched a football game together on the tv in the bathroom because the kids were watching a movie on the tv in the living room; can be so energizing? From the moment we sat down together it’s all talk and laughter…

I’m putting words to this moment because I’m so tired I might forget how wonderful it felt to see these guys after such a draining week…and to reconnect with them away from the race circuit. Away from the stress of competition. This team is special and I want to remember how good it felt to see Team Migonis Multisport tonight.

No less sleepy than before, I’m headed for bed. G’night Matt, Ryan, Scott, Emily, Matt, Dana, Greg, Travis and Randy! Until next time…

migonis