Today was the beginning of something new for me; I went to kindergarten!!! Really though, my first day of substitute teaching took me back to my own elementary school and right into kindergarten; it was wonderful 🙂 There’s something so refreshing about being in a room full of kids that are so innocent, carefree, and full of life. It really puts things back in perspective.
I have to be honest, at first when I began the day I was a little bit resistant. Why had I given up the predictability and stability of my 32 hour/week job to be called at random (possibly) each morning to substitute teach who knows where? As the day wore on though, it began to click for me. I wasn’t angry or frustrated by anyone or thing here; I didn’t have a heavy heart of a feeling of being down. Although I believe an elementary school cafeteria may be one of the 7 circles of h-e-double-hockey-sticks, I am still in such a better place with a part time job like this than I have been for the last year and a half at my old job. It is such a blessing to give myself this opportunity to re-learn what it is like to work to live and not live to work.
After work I went to the gym, feeling like I wanted to take a little me time to workout and feel good. I did mostly strength training after running yesterday and not having too much time. I have been feeling a bit discouraged lately with workouts and have been sort of all over the place with my fitness. I really truly want to be a runner but I want to feel strong and in-shape, too, and I don’t feel that I get those results from running alone. I am trying to mix things up and stay positive; knowing that change will come with time and dedication. I will keep pushing.
After the gym I was rushing around a bit and needed a quick dinner, enter:
Butternut Squash Risotto with sauteed Balsamic Portobello
(mind you I’ve never had Risotto, but this is my closest comparison)
1 package frozen organic winter squash
1 serving brown rice
1 portobello, chopped and sauteed with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar
Directions: cook each of the ingredients individually. Combine the squash and rice, add a dash of salt and ginger powder. Top “risotto” with the portobello and enjoy!
Not super creative or decadent; but I needed warm comfort and fast. I was rushing around, however, because I had a movie date with my mom and aunt at 5:15 to see Eat Pray Love:
This book really changed my perspective when I read it three years ago. I read it during a year of change; a year when I began to take my body, my fitness, my life and put them first. It was also during this year that I visiting Rome; one of the most amazing, inspiring, breath-taking, and life altering things that I have done:
This last photo was taken in Florence. My best friend, Kristina (2nd from left), was studying abroad there for that semester; we had one free day on our week-long trip and used it to visit her. I cried so hard the moment we ran across the park outside of the train station and hugged eachother. What a beautiful moment to share with her and my two other best friends, Lear (with me in the first picture), and Sarah:
From this trip I learned both to eat, as Elizabeth Gilbert does in her book, but also to pray. The trip was a part of a course, “Religious Traditions of Rome”, in which we learned about both ancient Roman religion and the history of Roman Catholicism (seeing, truly, all the biggest religious sites imaginable in the city if Rome). I found a connection with my faith that, although has had it’s ups and downs, has never left my life.
This was also the year that I began my yoga practice. I learned the moves, the language, and most importantly, the breathing and release that comes with the practice. Although I have my ups and downs with yoga, it has never fully left my life since, and for that I am grateful 🙂
This was also the year that I met Eric, and learned how to love. I had never known love before Eric, I had honestly never loved myself very much before this year. And although, as with prayer and yoga, I have had my ups and downs with loving myself, I have never truly stopped, and I definitely have Eric to thank, in part, for that.
So how was the film? Wonderful; it took me back three years to a place of discovery, learning, and growth. It reminded me where I have come from and what I have become. It also restored my excitement and passion to continue with my meditation practice. I am going to keep moving with it because, I truly believe that healing can come from within.
And with that, I leave you with a quote from Eat Pray Love:
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
Thank you all who read my writing and follow me; hopefully you have had the gift of inspiration in your own life, and if so, I would love to be inspired by you, too.
Lots and lots of love,