Self-Care Diary: Saturday, 11/23/2013

Retro 49This is Day Six of my experimental series, Self-Care Diary. For seven days, I’m sharing the things I’m doing to maintain my health and well-being. Then, at the end of the week — tomorrow! — I’ll offer some observations on how things went. Now that the weekend is here, do you have plans for rest and renewal? Thanks to all of you who have been commenting (click on Comments, above) or emailing me: mabarton01 [at] verizon [dot] net.

Saturday, 11/23/2013

Breakfast: The usual brown rice with soy milk and spices; 3 c coffee.

Social and spiritual support: I called my Overeaters Anonymous sponsor for our twice-weekly check-in. OA is the 12-step group that has been so helpful to me in coming face-to-face with my worst fears of public rejection, and moving through them into moments of relief and grace. “I know this rose will open,” says Mary Grigolia in one of her beautiful songs, “I know my fears will burn away.” As I learned on her web site, she had in mind a song for her own memorial service; the result, like my happiness today, is exquisite.

Singing: 15 minutes of chanted prayer in the tub. Later in the day, I made a test recording of my chant on mindfulness, “In This Moment, with This Breath.” I’m using a Zoom Q3HD pocket camcorder, and plan to post a video when I’ve got the image and sound quality up to a reasonable level.

Meditation: 30 minutes of my own version of a body-scan meditation. I visualize drawing my breath from deep in the core of the earth, up into the soles of my feet. One breath after another, I draw the breath up into my ankles, into my calves, thighs, hips, torso, my back and shoulders. I’m breathing all the way up into my neck and my head. I visualize breathing in from deep in the core of the earth below me, all the way up through my body, and then breathing out through the top of my head. My whole body is filled with breath. Then I visualize reaching way up above me with my breath, breathing rich, refreshing air in through the top of my head and down all the way through my body, and finally out through the soles of my feet. It feels very restorative. For a sample of an outstanding body-scan meditation by a famous teacher, visit this Sounds True page: Guided Mindfulness Meditation – Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Lunch: My husband Steve’s Enhanced Spaghetti Sauce on whole-wheat ziti. He sautes ground turkey, onions, mushrooms, poblano peppers, and plenty of garlic, and then adds a jar of bottled sauce (today it was Newman’s Own Sausage and Pepper) plus Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle seasoning. Simmer to blend the flavors.

Companion-animal love: Petting, brushing, talking with, and just watching my cat Ginsberg are all ways to deepen and prolong the good feelings that come from being with a beloved animal.

Dinner: 5-cup Big Bright Salad with minor variations, as usual. (See Monday’s diary for details.)

Planning self-care for the holidays: On Monday, 11/25/2013, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson — one of my heroes — is giving a free video talk on Truly Happy Holidays. Rick is very pragmatic as well as deeply inspiring. Sign up by clicking here. Time: 5 pm PT/ 8 pm ET.