Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wake-up Call

Lately I have been reading Awake At Work by Michael Carroll. The short chapters are thought provoking and take a couple days or weeks to sink in and take hold. It is so appropriate that I should read chapter 14 'Be kind to yourself'. "We want to be seen as competent and capable--and then we have to live up to our own aspirations. Tight timetables, complex challenges, risky decisions, and much more can keep us going at a pace that is just asking too much." It really brought to light something that Kathy Cooper had said to me when she was here in the spring, to be kind to yourself and not confuse willpower as prioritizing practice; realize that you need your sleep.

Seventh quarter in chiropractic school is very demanding. I think the whole point of this quarter is to see how many balls you can juggle at once without collapsing. I asked my boyfriend how I could practice daily, fufill the demands at school, eat, and sleep. He replied that he didn't know, that I'm pretty much maxxed out. I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

After just about 3 weeks of this schedule I came home today and collapsed on the couch without taking my dog out to pee...for two hours. Talk about crashing. I have been barely practicing at all, getting very little sleep, and beating myself up for not practicing 6 days a week like I did in Philly and not sleeping enough. This is not productive. It leaves me too drained to even practice on the weekend, when I actually could enjoy yoga, sans timer, pehaps even make it to the studio!

Clearly this is not the way. The first limb of yoga is the yamas, the first of which is ahimsa. I have not been kind to myself. I DO need to get through these 10 weeks, successfully. I will do what I can to make that happen. But perhaps I should stop beating myself up about literally making the choice to sleep. Cut the "mandatory" practice to the weekends/holidays. At the end of these ten weeks, I can go back to a daily practice over vacation.

Yoga has many parts, not just asana. I think my weekday practices will change to something new for now. I am contemplating meditation on a daily basis. Perhaps after the dog's after-school stroll.

Has anyone else ever felt like this? What did you do to get through it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

When God Says Wait

When I was in Sunday school as a kid my teacher one day told us that God always answers your prayers. God always says yes, no, or wait. Well, for the people of Portland praying for strawberries in May, God said wait. At last, the strawberry crop is ripe for the picking. Talk about independence from a "fruitless" existence! The apples from the CSA stopped pouring in weeks ago.

All the waiting has basically turned the U-Picks on Sauvie Island into a bit of a scene. Today I saw too many people in very nice outfits showing up with five gallon buckets. Sundresses and pretty white capris abounded. I sat there in my clothes that are meant for getting dirty...literally sitting in the dirt for three and a half hours. Picking the juicy bundles of early summer sunshine for a total of 7 1/2 pounds. The pretty clothes people walked about bending every so often to pluck a berry, commenting on how low the bushes were. They left with maybe a quart in their buckets. Strawberry picking is dirty work, as well as the rest of farming. Come prepared and reap the rewards!

I picked Hood Strawberries. A local favorite. These berries remind me of the field of wild strawberries across from my parents' house. Delicious and tiny. The only difference is they are bigger, but not by much. They are much smaller than the average berry you find in other varieties.

Seven and a half pounds of strawberries will keep me busy after my shower. Tonight I will make strawberry-rhubarb jam. I will tart freezing berries...hoping for a gallon to make treats throughout the year. The rest will be for us to eat in their most simple form throughout the week.

At the farm they mentioned blueberries and raspberries will be ready next week. This summer is moving right along. It looks like another batch of jam will be cranked out within a week or two!