Happy Luau

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Loving Someone Unconditionally Doesn't Mean Putting Up With Their Behavior Unconditionally

Don't miss this three minute video of wisdom from Martha Beck. I think I'm going to watch this every day for a while...good stuff. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Share the Joy Thursday: Draft Template

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 


And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

If you are reading this...today...I wish you JOY!

Asking for Guidance

“On this day, where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say and to whom?”

~A Course in Miracles

~Photo by Me (looking quite imperfect)


"New scientific truth usually becomes accepted, not because opponents become convinced, but because opponents die, and because the rising generation is familiar with the new truth at the outset."

~Max Planck as found in "Finding your Way in a Wild New World" by Martha Beck

~Photo by Me

Free To Be...Happy

"If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you."
~Sister Mary Tricky

~Photo by Me

The Crack

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
~Leonard Cohen

~Photo by Me

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Today I wanted to wish everyone a happy Father's Day. I decided to re-post my Father's Day post from five years ago in 2007. These are some pictures of two fathers I love--my deceased father-in-law and my husband.

I am so grateful that I had a chance to have my relationship with my husband's father, who was truly a father to me. I had always wanted a close relationship with my biological father, but had never had one. When I married my husband, I got to have that fatherly-type relationship with his father. He taught me so much in seven short years. I felt like I got to see what other people were talking about when they would discuss their fathers--I got to experience what I'd missed and what every child (and adult) really wants deep down inside. This relationship also changed for me what I thought about God's love (since it had always been characterized to me as "fatherly" I was clueless) and opened up my spirituality to being something very positive and nurturing.

So even though he has passed, I think of him so fondly and with gratitude on Father's Day. Although I deeply miss him, I enjoy celebrating Father's Day so much now, as I have the beautiful memories that I continue to cherish!

So here is the post:

MARCH 14, 2007

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! Today I am missing my dad, the first Father's Day without him (he died a few months ago), but he's with us in spirit---We Love You, Dad!

And a Happy Father's Day to Hubbie, who will get to be with our daughter this Father's Day. All of our children are adults, but rarely get to see their dad, so it is very special for us both.

I also felt moved to wish my estranged bio-dad a Happy Father's Day and to tell him I love him, which I do. I emailed him since I don't have his phone number. I doubt I'll hear back, but it felt good to do. I hope that all of you fathers and all of you who have fathers have a wonderful time celebrating, even if it is just in extending peaceful and loving thoughts.



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sitting in Limbo

I have been incommunicado for almost a month now, mainly because of an as-of-yet undiagnosed foot ailment. It was misdiagnosed in February as plantar fasciitis (for which I've had extensive treatments of all types), and now it appears to be much more, involving other nerves and other connective tissue in my left foot.

After a sudden and alarming exacerbation of the pain, I went to the emergency room. Concerned that I had a stress fracture, they had me immobilize my foot in a boot for the last two weeks. I have had many people supporting me, driving me to and fro, pushing me in a wheelchair, helping me with basic tasks of daily living. In order to go to an appointment it is a big production, with even getting bathed and dressed being challenging when you can only stand on one foot.

I was trying to hold out for a visit to an orthopedic foot specialist in the nearest large metropolitan city, Seattle. Finally this past Friday I had another exacerbation and was concerned that I was making my foot worse by waiting. So I saw a local orthopedic surgeon who is going to get me an MRI next week; however, he has no idea what is wrong. Hopefully the MRI will tell him something helpful.

In the meantime I am going to start yet another course of prednisone. Steroids always make me confused and disoriented and emotional, definitely not myself. So I thought I'd pop this up while I am still clear-headed and make some sense.

I haven't walked outside since Feb 23rd and miss it so much! Our weather is beautiful here, after months of snow and the omnipresent winter and spring rain. Bad timing for a major foot injury.

It is a difficult place to be without a diagnosis. I find myself wondering when I will get better, often IF I will get better, and trying to remember what it felt like to move my body and to walk.

And I hope for a diagnosis soon, so that I can know what I'm dealing with.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

[WLE#3] Staying Well While Traveling

This is another post in my Well Lifestyle Experiment (WLE).

I am going on a trip this week and want to write this to share with you what I'm going to do to stay well and have a sense of supportive well-being while I'm gone.

One is taking along healthy foods. I am going to Dallas, where of course there is healthy food, but my focus is going to be on LoveHubbie's family and not on hunting down healthy foods. And of course I'll be on a plane, so you know what's available there. Here is some of what I'm taking:

Below: These Funky Monkey snacks are really cool organic dried fruits for those hypoglycemia emergencies (LoveHubbie is diabetic and I'm pre-diabetic):

Below: These Tanka Bars are made from buffalo's that are cared for by Native Americans in a proper way. They are a tasty healthy clean meat!

Below: These Organic Food Bars are mostly raw and gluten-free. They are made with superfoods as well.

Below: Some raw nuts that I have spouted, dehydrated, and bagged. I really like sprouting and dehydrating things, in general.

I forgot to take a picture (other than the large spread) of Steve's Paleo Kits. I am new to these and am taking them because I expect most of my meals to be on my own as opposed to in restaurants. I often get migraines while traveling in Texas so having foods without chemicals, preservatives, and most importantly---MSG---will be important to being able to enjoy the trip.

Another way of staying well is having ways of reminding myself of who I am. This is always necessary for me when I'm around people who either don't know me or who don't see me as I am. I always have an early morning quiet time to connect with my Higher Power and to remind me of what I hold to be true and value. Then in addition, I try to have phone contact with people I am close to as well, if I can. And literature that grounds me. Jewelry that reminds me of a central value or concept or of my theme for the visit. Here is some jewelry I'm taking with me:

Yet another way of staying well is having alone time. If I am in a hotel, I can do that easily. Otherwise, if I'm with family and friends, I get up earlier and have a quiet time first thing. It fuels me for the rest of the day. Also, if I need time alone during the day, I take it, even if it has to be in the bathroom or in the car alone. For introverts, having alone time is crucial--it definitely is so for me. 

Lastly, I ramp up my regular fasterEFT practice. fasterEFT is a type of acupressure work that involves tapping on certain meridians at the same time you are feeling strong feelings; it is a system that is a combination of regular EFT--Emotional Freedom Techniques, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), and hypnosis. I used regular EFT as a life coach in the past and when I practice again I plan to use fasterEFT. In the meantime, it is a type of emotional processing I use that helps to ground me. 

How do you maintain a well lifestyle while traveling?

Monday, May 7, 2012

[WLE#2] Lessons from Kikipotamus: Eat Smaller Meals

This is another post in my Well Lifestyle Experiment (WLE), and also another lesson I learned from my visit with Kelly.

Eating frequent, regular, small meals can feel so much better than a couple of large meals. Kelly and I ate three small meals plus snacks if needed while she was here. They were extremely high-quality food and tasty as well. Neither of us made a habit of going back for seconds. And I was satisfied! I didn't feel deprived or hungry between meals.

The Smarter Science of Slim is a research-based book about weight management via regulating blood glucose levels by food choices. Since I'm pre-diabetic, this book has been invaluable to me in summing up in one place everything I know and believe in about healthy eating, stuff I forget half the time, say, when I'm starving and getting ready to eat (more about this in a future post). It recommends that your meals be between 200-500 calories a day (but of foods that keep your blood sugar stable) and when I do both--eat small meals and carefully select their make-up--I feel fantastic.

Meals in restaurants are so huge compared to what my particular body actually needs. In addition, most of the people (not Kelly) that I ever eat with eat so much more than I do that I often feel odd just having a tiny meal. My biggest obstacles in following the "smaller meals" guidelines are:

(1) Fear I'll be hungry too soon.
So for this I take a "food bag" of healthy snacks with me wherever I go, so that if I accidentally eat too little, I will not get hypoglycemic. Or too hungry, which for me eventually leads to hypoglycemia. The trick is being hungry but not TOO hungry.

(2) Peer pressure.
Everyone else is eating a lot and I want to join in! Because it's FUN! That attitude isn't helpful for me and is one of the factors that has helped me to become almost 100 pounds overweight. I am learning that I can eat what my body needs and join in, having something healthy to drink as well, and not focus on the amounts. Other people may be able to handle larger amounts of food. Other people can also perhaps handle huge carb hits to their blood sugar. I cannot! Accepting this and honoring my individuality are going to be helpful for me in becoming healthier.

Have you ever tried eating small meals? Or do you eat them already? What are your challenges with this and what helpful things have you done?

Friday, May 4, 2012

[WLE#1] Lessons from Kikipotamus: Eat Simply

This is the first post in my Well Lifestyle Experiment (WLE), and also the first lesson I learned from my visit with Kelly.

Eating simply.

So obvious, you might think.

But it really isn't. And at first, it isn't the easiest thing to do. I'm more accustomed to opening packages than I am to preparing things from scratch, more used to the microwave than the stove. My palate no longer craves raw foods and green foods. I am ready to embrace eating simply again.

Eating simply can mean avoiding processed food and preparing simple, loving meals at home. Each meal is an opportunity to show yourself love and to express love for others, too. The preparation can be a time of mediation and creativity.

So much love went into the meals that Kelly and I shared, not just the deliberately planned and prepared simple meals like this one pictured here, but even the meals that took almost no time at all. When served and enjoyed in a slow, peaceful, mindful way, a meal can be an opportunity to reinforce self-love and caring instead of a necessary chore, a distraction, a guilt-ridden indulgence, or any of the myriad of other things that a meal might be.

So today I ask myself, "How might I make my meals simpler?" and "How might I show myself (and those I eat with) caring and love with what I prepare to eat?"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: Well Lifestyle Experiments, An Invitation!

Today on Wellness Wednesday I wanted to launch a new series here at the happyluau called "Well Lifestyle Experiments" (WLE). I invite each of you to join in! This series will focus on healthy lifestyle habits, healthy aging, well being, and experimenting with supportive habits. It is an EXPERIMENT--for me, for you. With each post, I'll focus on one thing that I want to experiment with and invite you to consider it too--of course modifying it to fit your unique lifestyle and way of being in the world. In the comments we can discuss this topic and share how it's working out for us as well.

The goal of Well Lifestyle Experiments for both of us will be to figure out which habits or ideas support the lifestyle we want and which ones we want to sustain and incorporate into who we are. And to encourage each other on our journeys to live healthier, feel better, think supportively, and be authentic. So if you are reading this, consider yourself invited!

I have a wealth of ideas to start with. Initially, I'm going to choose meaningful practices from several sources: 

(1) Lessons--incredible lessons--I learned from my visit with Kelly Kikipotamus the Hobo in March. 

(2) Ideas from friends who have embraced a well-being focus, like Kate Iredale

(3) The Radiant Goddess e-course that I am taking, along with my friends Lori-Lyn Hurley and Jessie Marianiello

(4) Stuff I read elsewhere, things that the Universe serendipitously brings my way. 

(5) Great ideas you mention to me in the comments that make me want to blog and share them with everyone, instead of leaving them semi-buried and away from the search engines. 

The cool thing is that as we are going along, helping each other, I'm thinking that others will find these posts and be inspired to create healthier lifestyles, maybe in just one small area--but every small step can make a really big difference over time! Many lives can be changed for the better. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Every Morning

I saw this on kate's blog and knew I had to share it here:

Even though it's been quiet at the happyluau lately, it's been an incubation time for me. More will be coming.

I think I need to watch this, as kate said, every morning. How about you?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sacred Life Sunday: Kikipotamus the Hobo's Visit Winds Up...And She Leaves the happyluau

Finally, just over a week since Kelly left, and I'm finally putting up the few photos I took. I also made a rather silly movie for OTV, but it was representative of the entire visit in that we were having fun doing ordinary things.

The pictures below are of the day Kelly made a special meal for me and LoveHubbie. There are many special memories of that day, including the love and concentration with which Kelly did all of the time-intensive preparations, the lessons I learned about keeping the energy good in my home, and the memories of a lovely meal and great conversation. LoveHubbie used his extensive barbecuing skills to grill our grass-fed steaks and added a special layer of happiness to the evening.

Here is the movie, which is 4:18 long:

This winds up my blogging about Kelly's visit. However, I want to blog a series next about lessons I learned while Kelly was here. Many of them are things we both learned about mindful eating and I'm excited to share them with you. I'm hoping that we can even practice some of them together--those of you who are interested--more about that soon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: Kikipotamus the Hobo and the happyluau Eat Well!

So Kelly and I have been eating amazingly well while she has been here, partially due to Kelly's dietary resolve, and partially due to the easy availability of healthy organic fresh foods here in Olympia and in my kitchen. My eating habits have changed dramatically for the last three plus days and I feel great!

Instead of eating hurried meals of whatever I can grab (healthy, organic, but processed and quick), whenever I can grab it, we are eating meals on a regular schedule. Small meals. Simple meals. Mostly vegan-esque, because Kelly minimizes dairy and gluten and sugar and fatty meats. All of these choices are so good for me. But I also need a lot of protein and healthy fats, so we have been also eating clean meats and good fat sources (like ground up flax seeds).

Kelly is the first person who has visited me who has been excited that I have flax seeds and a dedicated grinder to add them fresh-ground to each meal. Most people think that is weird and kind of crazy. That kind of symbolizes a lot of how this visit has gone food-wise and otherwise, really.

Most people think that I am incredibly eccentric, especially in my food choices, often expressing disapproval. I typically have to modify my lifestyle a whole lot to make most visitors to my home  comfortable. Consequently hospitality can require a lot of planning and effort for me to take care of myself and I usually just forget about that in order to accommodate my guests. Of course, this is not the best idea but it's what I've usually done because I love it when people visit and would much rather take care of them than me. Not that it has to be a choice of course, but in the past, that's what I've done.

So Kelly's visiting has shown me what it could be like to live with someone with shared values and lifestyle--not identical, but similar enough for comfort delight.

Last night we ate out at my favorite restaurant. I had a dish called "Tails & Trotters Pork Ravioli" with wilted cabbage and fennel, roasted artichokes and lemon-vinagraitte asparagus. At first we thought that the "tails" might be a pig's tail or an ox's tail accompanied by some type of foot (like a pig's foot). Kelly asked the waiter and we discovered that this was a brand name, "Tails & Trotters". This is a company that treats their pigs quite well and feeds them hazelnuts only as part of the finishing process so that the delicate pork flavor is infused with hazelnut. I decided to order it and it was the best meal I have ever had there.

Kelly likes to eat slowly and quietly and mindfully and I do too. Unfortunately for her I am a chatterbox at meals because I enjoy so much having someone to eat with. Still, it has pushed me in the direction of eating more mindfully, which has been helpful to me...it is the direction I wish to move towards--not for all meals of course, because many meals clearly are social, but for solitary meals and certain meals with company. I see this as a life practice.

So I have been looking forward to each meal and ended it feeling filled but not full. Left feeling satisfied and nourished. During the day I have felt as though many of my social needs are being met and I do not feel at all interested in emotional eating at night; this is a profound change for me. I do think that the two are connected, a surprise to me as an introvert. I am certain that it is time for this introvert to branch out and seek more like-minded social connections.

So, I am wishing each of you an especially well Wednesday this week! I welcome all of your comments. I am especially interested in if and how you have any special rituals around eating that make this universal activity more meaningful to you.

PS. I have another post from earlier today catching you up a bit on Kelly and my activities...and there is more to come soon...the drums are beating at the happyluau!