Monday, January 18, 2016

What am I?

It takes many forms
And tempts my every nerve
The epitome
Of guilt that it does serve

It may be liquid or solid
And either clear or hidden
The haunt
Is real and needs to get ridden

It is never in the plans
And yet always seems to appear
The struggle
I face is not far but near

It is experienced every day
And much to my dismay
The subject
Is so hard to push away

It increases my energy
And only for a minute
The energy
Soars and then does plummet

It tempts my family
And most of my friends
The difficulty
Is making amends

It is necessary to forgive yourself
And each day start anew
The goal
Being to respect you

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Soul: Purification & Transformation

The cards lay strewn on the ground
They say you have to play the cards you’re dealt
The cards were Purification & Transformation
A sense of overwhelming oneness felt

A journey embarked on not too long ago
Robed in purification, encompassing transformation
A reciprocal process and a wide broad path
The change experienced with a cleansing sensation

Few steps had been taken along that path
When a stone was placed on the right hand
Few understood the why including me
But I knew the time had come to take a stand

If you know of a different path
Where nature and man are united and agreed
If you have access to the tools and resources
Should you not tie up your camel and mount your steed?

Do you lead or do you follow?
Many will contend and some may align
Do you rise or do you fall?
Guidance may not always appear on an ensign

It is from within that the flame shines bright
The images are viewed and embraced
Encouraging and inspiring
Change comes with quite a haste

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mind: Creative Valentines 2014

Baha'i inspired Valentines from 2014 -- and no candy!

Mind: Creative Valentines - 2015

Very easy Baha'i Inspired Valentine for Pre-K-3rd Graders

Materials needed:

Template (below)
Foam Shapes - Assorted Colors
Maybe: Pen for writing name

To insert lollipop, fold the foam in half and cut two slits, thread lollipop through -- should be snug. Quote was cut out using fancy scissors and then glued on
Children's names were provided, cut out and glued on. 

For more information regarding the quote -- please visit the online source: Baha'i Daily Quotes


Please feel free to download and use.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

...No Nothing Can Ever Hurt Me

…No Nothing Can Ever Hurt Me
As I stand robed in white privilege
Walking a path lined with a red carpet
With banisters to hold on to
And gold waiting for me at the top
Ok so maybe it’s not quite like that
But as I looked down the stairs
From where I had once come
I saw many barriers and obstacles
Is your staircase built the same as mine?
Is it steeper, does it have the same wind?
One staircase may be built on solid ground
And the other upon that with a creaking sound

…No Nothing Can Ever Hurt Me
Whatever the foundation, whatever the incline
I tell you these staircases, they are quite an ensign
People coming and going and yet the staircase seems to morph
As each person that steps on it is not given equal opportunity
That first step was equal and flat
The challenge though was after that.
The distance, the obstacles, the surprises, the goals, the prizes, the holes
Different. Not equal, not the same, not fair, not a game.
Are you protected from falling down?
Are you protected from climbing too quickly?
Are you protected from competition or neglect along the way?
Are you ready for tomorrow, or are you still struggling with today?

…No Nothing Can Ever Hurt Me
It is hope that sets me free, it is not laughing at your misery
It is holding your hand as we walk side by side
It is realizing that you and I, we have no reason to hide
We were born for this challenge, And together we’ll rise
We’ve heard of the injustice and the homicide
We’ve seen the prejudice that did coincide
We’ve witnessed the rain after the storm
That which won’t let up and people think it’s the norm
That feeling you get when you walk on by
Toss that feeling aside because it is your turn to fly
You better swoop on in when you see it’s not fair

What did you think would be done by just shooting a glare?

Here They Stand

Like homeless flocking to the food shelf
The youth flock to protests
Hungry for change
Thirsty for a belief exchange.

Their individuality, their shelter
Their beliefs, their hope
Their resilience, their protection
Their confidence, their election.

Don’t need a label or a brand
Not children of tomorrow,
But leaders of today
Millennial, if you may.

Attune to progress
Demanding growth
They stand together
The strongest tether

Fighting for unity
Screaming for equality
Calling for justice
Acknowledging all prejudice

Can you feel them beating in your heart?
As they march victoriously
They’ve got rhythm and blues
A steep path with flashy shoes

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Open Channel

The energy flowed freely through the channel
Don't be so open? Opened each and every time connection is made
A hollow reed.

A fire within burns brightly
Not able to resist its heat
No choice but to embrace with resilience

Patience? Didn't know the capacity of that vessel.
Abundance of fuel
A train on the move with no real direction

White noise. A fuzzy picture.
A lock with no key
In darkness, the light shone more brightly

Or can a sloth be seen running in the distance?
Is the path more defined? Is the vision quite clear?
Said one dreamer to her fear.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A gentle weep, A climb so steep.

If whatsoever is bound on earth has already been bound in heaven, then heaven knows of her weeping and sorrow. Heaven knows that soul was her channel from which His light so radiantly shined through. And when that channel was redirected and rewarded, she lost sight of that shimmering splendour. The clouds trembled for many a month and then one morning after they had expressed gratitude for the warmth of the sun, the rains began. Were those rain drops to be that of Fall, welcoming the tests and triumphant difficulties of Winter? Or were they remnants of the refreshing spring showers that would assuredly welcome blossomed flowers? Heaven knows. Yet the faithful will walk with head held high despite the heavy heart and a mighty sigh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Behind Bars

Prisoner to my thoughts
The what ifs and the what if nots
Behind bars with only partial vision
The little rest while lying on hard cots

The free fall atop fluffy pillows
Rise and fall of the highs,
The lows swept up on shore
Laughing joy followed by deep sighs

Inspired by your words
The actions you take
Muddle the feelings
The result a huge ache

The longing for a joy once had
Reminiscent of the faith in the path
The loyalty and the royalty
Fight the battle with a loving wrath

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Body: Weight Loss & Maintenance

I'm often asked how I lost the weight? It's been a while since I started this journey but it's an ongoing road and I live a similar journey each and every day. Losing weight was ultimately an end-result of a lifestyle and perspective change.

In Oct 2008, I was diagnosed with a thyroid disease and provided medication to balance out the TSH hormone levels that could have been preventing me from weight loss (hence step 1). Once this issue was found and I was being medicated appropriately for it, I decided that there was no better time to try losing weight. I had a fairly sedentary/non-active life at the time -- probably the most exercise I would do is going for a walk here and there. I joined the YMCA, was motivated to go 12-times per month as I would get a discounted membership rate (with help from my health insurance), and started just going about 3 days per week for only about a half hour of low-impact cardio (elliptical). By Oct 2010, I LOVED fitness and healthy eating, had working out

STEP 1 - Rule Out Health Issues
Consult a medical doctor to rule out chemical imbalances that may be preventing you from losing weight. You may also want to determine the initial health status of your heart/blood pressure so you can take into consideration in your workouts.

STEP 2 - Energy In / Energy Out
Weight loss is a simple mathematical formula -- in order to lose weight, your energy in must be less than your energy out. There are a variety of applications (My Fitness Pal and Map My Run/Ride if you Walk, Run, or Cycle are recommended) that allow you to track your caloric/energy intake (food/drink) and also measure your caloric/energy output (exercise). I have never used a fitbit but I heard that is also a good way to measure energy out.

STEP 3 - Avoid Discouragement
By setting reasonable goals, one avoids discouraging oneself. Set very slight/attainable goals that you are sure to meet thereby increasing the joy and motivation when you surpass them. Listen to your body and accept it for what it is today. Energy levels ebb and flow and today's energy and ability may be different than a prior day -- embrace the reality.

STEP 4 - Seek Encouragement
Exercising with friends, blogging/logging via social media, tracking progress, guided meditations, and/or daily affirmations are all some of the ways one can seek encouragement along the way. Personal trainers also work well if you feel a personal connection with them also and feel like you'd be letting them down if  you didn't give it your all.

STEP 5 -  Meal Replacements
We all have typical meals that we eat frequently. After some time of caloric tracking, you may find that some meals consist of too much fat/sugar/calories/carbs etc. Try to replace fats/sugar/carbs with protein and fiber which are both high energy providers and very filling. Breakfast was the meal for me that I ended up realizing needed a regular replacement. I went from yogurt and granola in a large portion, to a packet of instant oatmeal everyday, and now that I'm gluten free, I am back to yogurt and chia mix or banana-nut muffins that are packed with protein.

STEP 6 - Portion Control
I also try to eat my dinners in a small bowl that holds about a cup worth of food -- about the size of a stomach. I generally find that as long as the meal has protein and fiber, a cup of food will fill me up but you have to have the discipline to stop after the cup and wait to see if you are full. Serving food into the small bowl and reminding myself that it's always plenty allows for better portion control.

STEP 7 - Varied Exercise
Change your workout routine, rigor, type etc. as frequently as possible and find joy in trying new ways to workout. High intensity for a shorter period of time worked well for my efficient lifestyle. I have tried a variety of workout methods including boot camps, circuit training, personal training, kettlebells, yoga, Les Mills Body Pump, Les Mills Body Flow, High Intensity Interval training...

STEP 8 - Build Muscle
Don't just choose cardio methods -- build up your muscles and allow yourself to gain weight while gaining muscle -- eventually that muscle will work in your favor and burn a ton more calories than you are currently able to burn without the increased muscle mass. You will eventually lose the weight you gain as you tone up.

To be continued as I think of more steps involved in both losing weight and maintaining.