Just about every day since I have moved to Lindsborg I have walked the Valkommen (welcome in Swedish) Trail either as I was on an errand or just needing the exercise.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I discovered that there was much more to the trail.

Following direction I veered from my normal path and discovered so much more.  The trail follows what was once a railroad line leading into McPherson.  As a kid I remember seeing the bridge that was used by the train to pass over the Smoky Hill River.  For the first time I was able to cross as a pedestrian.

It was evening when I found this portion of the trail so I didn’t get that far.  I have something to look forward to as I travel farther on the path.  It’s so beautiful!

All it took was a suggestion, a slight variation, and courage to move into the unknown.

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In this life we are presented with challenges.  They may bring us to the point where we admit “I don’t know”.  This is great because then and only then are we open to help from an outside source in order to free ourselves from anxiety and fear.  Finding the solution to a problem does not free us.  What frees us is the being open for help.  Over and over again humility brings release from the anxieties of this life so that we can experience joy.

Last night I woke to the sound of the weather station going off.  A thunderstorm was on the way to Lindsborg.

I have been drawn to live in a place that is real and not manufactured.  I have always felt a  a need to live large and exposed.

So I opened the shades and curled up under the covers to watch the clouds explode in a light show.  Weather in Kansas is a panoramic, epic cinema that unfolds before me.  Ever changing, it expresses to my eyes and ears the ebb and flow of the Universe.  It never fails to impress and delight in it’s realness.  It is a constant reminder that I am, and this world is, alive.  There is a power greater than myself that directs the show.

I’m beginning to find myself adapting to a Kansas lifestyle.  It’s a bit different from what I had living in Las Vegas for 50 years.

For example, I did not move here with nearly the amount of clothes that I now need.  I have never changed clothes so much in my life.  In Las Vegas I had two styles of clothing.  I had yoga clothes and casual clothes with the occasional shawl used to dress up or for comfort in air conditioning.

Kansas is a whole different ball game.  I get up in the morning and dress in long pants and a long sleeved shirt.  If I am going out I will need a jacket.  Wind breaker or fleece, it all  depends on what is going on outside.  I return an hour or two later ready to change into shorts and a tank top.  The sun is out and it is absolutely beautiful.

Then the clouds begin to form, the wind picks up, the air grows colder, and I’m ready for an afghan to cover me.  Its nap time!

It rains and later sitting outside means that the sweatshirt goes on and socks and long pants again.

Sleeping attire?   Well, it all depends on what is happening outside.

There is a lot of time spent changing clothes.  Then there is footwear.  Rain shoes, sneakers, sandals, and all kinds of socks.   And this does not even begin to address the “opening and the closing of the windows” routine that I am falling into.

Now to some this might be a challenge, but for now I kind if like it.  I’m never bored  and there is always something to do.  I only find that I am a bit intimidated by all those around me who have mastered the art of apparel.  Perhaps in time I will be capable of making it through a whole day in comfort.  Of course, there will always be, as  Kansan, a jacket in the backseat of the car.

 

 

When I began sharing with others my upcoming move to Kansas several were responding with “…and what about the tornadoes in Kansas?”  Part of adjusting to the move involves changing my attitude towards weather.  In Las Vegas it was hot with the degrees of hot being reported.  That was it.  Only occasionally were we exposed to a change in the weather.

Living in Kansas is a whole new ballgame.  I know it’s crazy but I have been looking forward to what this country can produce weather wise in a rapid fashion.  In a space of several hours (and this has already happened in the week that I have been in Lindsborg) I have lived sunshine and clouds, dry and wet, hot and cold, windy and calm, clear skies and fog, and everything in the transitioning one to another.

I grew up in this place.  The weather and exposure to it is ingrained in my DNA.  Recently I was reading a book about a pioneer family who came to Lindsborg and homesteaded creating a life and being exposed to the same patterns of weather.  They begin their life in Kansas in a dugout home and their very life depended on the weather.  There is a strength that comes from living in this country; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  The weather here inspires a testing of the mind and the very soul of a person.

Returning to Kansas I no longer have to wonder why I have the strength and resilience that I find when meeting challenges.  Now I know.   This body and spirit has been shaped by the very weather that others could not or cannot wait to escape.  Instead of resistance to weather today I will embrace its variable forms.  I will appreciate the wind, rain, clouds, and sun because it is all a part of my spiritual journey today.

 

Little did I know when I started this blog that I would be living in an even smaller space and hundreds of miles from the small condo I had in Las Vegas. So when I spread out my mat for the first time in Lindsborg, Kansas I thought of this blog page.

The furniture in the living room surrounds a space for my yoga practice and has views of grass, trees, flowers, intensely blue sky, brilliant white clouds,and with the windows and doors open I have a cool, fresh air.  I am reminded of past mornings when I have done yoga in the mountains, on the beach, and even on the roof of the YMCA in Las Vegas.

But yoga in a small space means more to me that the physical practice.  Yoga in a small space means inviting into the space peace, serenity, gratitude, joy, selfless service, gratitude, and Love.  Today I strive to live the spirit of yoga every minute of the day and bring that spirit into everything that I do.   Namaste

 

I woke this morning with the realization that pretty much everything that I have is in a container in the parking area and tomorrow it will be moved out.  The realization can take me one of two ways.

I can go into a state of fear with my ego telling me that I will soon be homeless and spending the next two months living with what will fit into the trunk of my car, or gratitude for all that God has given me.   I have enough useful and beautiful items that I appreciate and enjoy to fit into a large container.  In a couple months it will be opened like a Christmas present.

I think today I will appreciate the freedom of living with my life distilled into its very essence.  True necessities for me are a few clothes, my yoga mat, and a bit of reading and writing essentials.

I’m currently into my annual reading of Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  “…a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”  In my case it is “afford to let go of”.  Simplify  Simply  Simplify!  My heart goes out to those who have what our culture thinks of as very little.  But my heart of heart knows that there is great freedom in not being burdened with the trappings of life.  Where there was once things there is now room for a lot more Love.

 

 

We already have the answers within us

Be quiet enough to listen

Courageous enough to change

Humble enough to admit wrongs

Grateful enough to recognize blessings.

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I did it. I took the plunge and purchased a box of Hatch chilies. The advantage of a whole box is that Smith’s will roast them for you. At least I thought that this would be an advantage.
It just happened to be 107 outside in Las Vegas when I decided to take the plunge into this gastronomic adventure, but undeterred by the heat, I carted home the treasure; a fragrant box of butter soft, black as coal, seeming benign,mass of chilies. I had no idea of what I was getting into next.
I began pulling them out of the heavy plastic bag into a bowl thus beginning the process of removing the blackened skin and opening them to take out the seeds. The idea was to end up by cutting them into small pieces for use in omelets, soups, adding them to any kind of Southwest dish that I might be making, or just wrapping a warmed, cooked chile around a slice of Monterey Jack cheese. A perfect appetizer!
Inexperienced, novice that I am with roasted Hatch chilies, I was not expecting my body’s reaction to this endeavor. My nose started to run. I began to cough, sneeze and feel a tingling sensation in my hands and fingers. I turned on the kitchen fan. I started up the garbage disposal thinking that running water over the chilies would aid in relieving my discomfort. I took a break from the cleaning and seed removal process. Now I’m stuffing the chilies into plastic bags straight from the box. Cooled, these will go into the freezer. Enough with the cleaning process!
Five freezer bags and three large containers of cleaned and chopped chilies later I am resting with my nose stuffed up and hands still tingling.
But this morning I put together a wonderful roasted Hatch chili and Cheddar cheese omelet. On the side I had fried mini-Yukon Gold potatoes and a watermelon smoothie. Awesome. (For my diabetes prevention folks or in the process of losing weight friends, I will eat half of this plate.) And I think I have enough Hatch chilies to last me a very long time. If anyone else wants any give me a call.
I’ve done some crazy things in my life and this surely makes the list. Bottom line- I now have great respect for those in the food industry who work with chilies. My hat is off to you.

I have spent tens of thousands of dollars for yoga training. (And still continuing that training, by the way). The majority of yoga teachers are certainly not making the big bucks. I wonder if it is all worth it.
Then I remember how much money I have saved in doctor, hospital, medical, and therapy bills and it brings it all into balance again. So to all those who are out there working on healthy bodies/healthy minds keep it up. You are rich beyond belief.

“Any devoted action offered up without desire for reward, but with the entire mind focused on the action for its own sake, is in the true spirit of scripture and is a our sacrifice.” The Living Gita 17-11