I discovered meditation in my 20s and it helped me deal with the immense grief and guilt after my father’s death and focus again on creating joy. During the pandemic, I am so glad that I chose to use the time sheltering at home to sign up for Laughter Meditation for Manifestation.
At the time my creativity was blocked by health issues arising from my hospice work at a nursing home and the resulting grief and complications from severe pneumonia when my relative died. During the pandemic, I relied on the meditation and constant work online with my coach Pragito Dove and other students to create the joy and faith that made the isolation less formidable.
My contact with family was limited and so I concentrated on manifesting the creativity to continue the work I had almost completed a book proposal about my work in hospice. That three week meditation set my purpose and now a second three week program called on How to Thrive when Life isn’t going Your Way is finally resulting in a rough draft of the long-stalled writing in my heart.
It is so good to know that even pandemics can’t stop us when we opt for joy and optimism in dangerous times.
One of my neighbors in my Condo development is also an amazing yoga teacher. Melissa Pini writes about it in Boomer Times & Senior Life and gave me a copy of one of her latest articles on “Yoga for Seniors.”
She writes that teaching yoga to seniors is “one of the most exciting aspects of my teaching practice.” While I seldom think of myself as a senior – I credit my youthful attitude to my conversion to a healthy lifestyle in my late 20s when I joined the Flatbush Food Coop in Brooklyn — I still felt honored that she showed so much respect for her older students. I joined with my friend Bob – and she was always singling us out as special.
In her article, Melissa further explained that seniors “are eager to learn, encouraging and share in what I teach without judgement or ego.” Then she adds that there is more for a yoga teacher to know when it comes to teaching a senior student,” including the physical and anatomical ways in which the body ages.” She concludes that it is important for seniors to find a well-trained teacher who is aware of counterindications of certain yoga postures for seniors and conditions that occur due to aging.
Melissa is no longer teaching yoga regularly in a studio and is focusing on graduate studies. During the coronavirus crisis, I miss our workouts.
You can find Melissa’s posts at http://www.mapkeysyoga.com
I have always loved the Christmas season and was delighted to celebrate it through the years, whether in Michigan, New York or northern California. As a child, I delighted in sliding down hillsides on my sled or skating on Lake Erie with my brothers and cousins.
This year Michigan is expecting a warm Christmas – the warmest perhaps in many years. No snow.
So when I watched part of the classic film White Christmas, one of my holiday favorite films as a youngster, I realized that unlike Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and their buddies in New England, I was actually happy this year for the heat wave (up to 50 plus some days).
I no longer go skating or sledding — and driving through ice and snow is rarely fun anymore. So I am wishing my family and friends all the joys of the season – and don’t worry snow lovers, I hear that there are predictions of more flurries before New Year’s. Happy holidays to all!
My father’s side of the family is Canadian and when the polar vortex hit both Michigan and Ontario hard in late January, I expected similar reactions in both countries. After all, I spent a lot of cold winters as a child in both countries and never noticed a difference in reactions. When Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan, it seemed a wise strategy for temperatures expected to run as low as -14, with wind chills up to -40 or more for two days. Then as the vortex eased, I read an article in the Detroit Free Press noting that our Canadian neighbors had only one modest weather story in the Windsor, Ontario paper, the Windsor Star – while schools and businesses remained open.
Columnist Nancy Kaffer of the Free Press decided to investigate. An expat friend told her “The school has closed once in the 11 years my kids have been going. “ The friend added that buses are shut down for fog or snow, but the schools don’t close. When Kaffer talked to a Wayne County official about the different responses in Canada, he first said “it’s all what you’re used to.” And when reminded that Windsor was just across the Detroit River, he added that “it really would be a great conversation to have with Windsor officials on why their responses are so different.”
I also remembered that as a child, we never cancelled trips either upstate or to relatives in Canada due to the cold, which was sometimes sub-zero. Friends told me similar stories. Guess I also think it may be time for conversations with our Canadian friends!
I was introduced recently to the calming chants of Deva Premal and Miten. This team’s meditative music was the perfect remedy for my high blood pressure spike after a recent surgical procedure. When I looked up the website, I discovered that Deva and Miten were both students of Osho and started collaborating together after meeting in India at his ashram.
I was already using yoga and other meditation techniques regularly in my life – but this duo’s music became a welcome discovery. I also have to acknowledge a special lecture from meditation coach Pragito Dove (www.discovermeditation.com) on the power of music as meditation that specifically recommended Deva and Miten’s magical collaboration.
Now I want to share the website for anyone looking for new music to calm stress during these turbulent times. Just visit http://devapremalmiten.com.
You can also find their music on YouTube.
It’s well into May, the dogwood trees in my neighborhood are blooming and I am able to bike again after a frigid early spring. Enjoying the white blossoms, the green lawns and the chirping of birds as I wheel around the neighborhood brings me amazing joy. It also reminds me of my life-long love of bikes.
It started during my childhood in Detroit, when I was a tomboy and loved to hang out with my older brother Bill and his buddies. It meant that I was always speeding recklessly on my green girl’s bike to impress them and unfortunately that sometimes had disastrous consequences — including the time I fell off my bike in the alley as I tried to execute a fast turn, fell over and badly scraped my elbow as I hit the pavement. I am still amazed that I got through those competitive years without any scars, just exhilarating memories. It also fueled my feeling that I could compete with“the boys” – really helpful when I competed in a male-dominated field of journalism and later publishing.
When I eventually lived in Brooklyn in my late 20s, I took up biking again, racing a road bike around the borough, but especially focusing on riding in beautiful Prospect Park — where traffic was diverted on summer weekends and bikers flooded the roads instead. There was always so much going on that it felt like an amazing adventure. I even took my bike occasionally on the subway to Manhattan so I could have similar fun in Central Park or explore other areas like the Village and Soho.
I didn’t stop biking until after my marriage to a non-biker more than 10 years later. My husband Tim preferred a health club membership and playing racket ball to biking outdoors. I finally gave in, although I still took my bike to California with us a few years later, where it ended up stored away and finally sold.
After my beloved Tim’s death, one of the ways I coped with the sorrow was moving back to Brooklyn and buying a road bike from a neighbor in my condo building– a white Boardwalk Bianchi, 8 speed. This time I have never quit and consider my bike part of my wellness package, along with yoga and meditation. And every spring, I joyfully hit the roads again.