Over the last few months, as the pandemic continues to dramatically change the way we live, I’ve been using this time to develop new skills, build new habits, and homeschool myself in topics of interest like the science of consciousness, physics, and cooking.
This week, I wanted to share my enthusiasm for learning by telling you about a few favorite things in the hopes that it piques your interest and takes you on an unexpected journey.
First, I wanted to offer a quick and easy recipe I made last week that left me feeling like a real chef because it tasted so good. For years I’ve fantasized about cooking more (and becoming good at it), but never took the time to accomplish this goal. Now that I’m cooking nearly every night – simple, healthy meals – I’ve grown to enjoy the meditative practice of chopping vegetables and mixing ingredients.
This week, my friend Ramona shared a recipe for a cold, refreshing soup. It’s healthy, delicious, and so easy to make. This recipe will feed two people:
1 lb green grapes
1 peeled English cucumber
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup almonds
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Cilantro to preference
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a food processer and you’ll have a yummy soup in minutes that will leave you wanting more!
Next is what I’m doing to stick with a daily meditation practice. To keep me on track, I combine housecleaning with listening to spiritual lectures that inspire me to cultivate a calm inner state all day long. A favorite resource comes from Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul. Michael posts recordings of talks he gives two times a week at his retreat center in Florida called “Temple of the Universe.” When I’m cooking meals, cleaning bathrooms, or washing dishes, I usually listen to one of his lectures because it reminds me to be vigilant about staying in the present moment. As a result, housework has become a wonderful spiritual practice. You can find his talks here.
And then, I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks and have been listening to them while driving, when out for a walk, or as I work out. Two favorites this week are Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. Wow, this book was quite a surprise! When it comes to self-care I believe it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to harness the power of nose breathing to sleep better, lower anxiety, treat headaches and chronic sinus trouble, and increase energy and enthusiasm for life. To get a whiff of the magic of his message (????), start by listening to an interview between Nestor and Terry Gross on NPR here. Big thanks to my friend, Sheila, who insisted I check it out.
Finally, I have so enjoyed a beautiful little book called Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw. Shaw is a Mythologist and gifted storyteller and listening to him read this book while walking in the woods has been enchanting. His voice is magic and his writing is soul-stirring. I love the description: There is an old legend that says we each have a wild, curious twin that was thrown out the window the night we were born, taking much of our vitality with them. If there was something we were meant to do with our few, brief years on Earth, we can be sure that the wild twin is holding the key.
Do yourself a favor and download the audio of this book. Then, go out for a walk by yourself and wait for the wild twin to join you!
Have a beautiful week…