Indie Music, Breathing Practice, & Toddler Insults: A Weekly Wrap Up

What I’m Reading

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I just finished up this book this week, and it blew. my. mind.

Absolutely fantastic writing. I wish I had read it years ago.

What I’m Listening To

I’ve been really loving alexrainbirdMusic on Youtube lately. Their playlists have been the soundtrack to my March days of rain, wind, and poetry.

What I’m Eating

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I’m not usually a meat-eater. Actually, the thought of bacon, chicken, beef, pork, et cetera repulses me more often than not.

But.

I have always made an exception for ethically wild-caught game and fish, because it’s not the meat itself I object to, but rather the morality of the meat industry as well as the environmental implications of said industry. Because Alaska has very strict hunting and fishing regulations, I am partial to individually-caught fish and game from there.

This week, my dad sent me a package of Alaskan moose and salmon. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really, really excited. The day it came in, I thawed a moose steak, sliced it up, cooked it with some onion and mushrooms, and threw it on some Alyeska Bake Shop sourdough bread (he sent me some of that, too–OMG). I was in heaven.

What I’m Drinking

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I LOVE THIS STUFF. I love chai, but have increasingly grown a healthy dislike for the kind with sugar added to the mix–Oregon Chai, Alaska Chai, Zen Chai (forgive me, Alaska) all taste overly sweet to me these days. But THIS stuff, Blue Lotus Chai, has no sugar added. It’s just spicy, spicy, spicy, and I love it. I mix it with some coconut or flax milk, and if I’m feeling crazy I might add a little honey, but I just adore the flavor.

What Spiritual Practice I’m Focusing On

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This week, my spiritual challenge and practice has been simply breathing. I keep noticing how often I hold my breath, and breathe shallowly. I’ve been practicing being aware of my breath and consciously deepening it, trying to turn whatever I’m doing into an opportunity for breath-centered meditation. In Yumi Sakugawa’s book Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe, she talks about how breath tells the Universe we’re alive, we’re here. When I practice breathing, I allow myself awareness of the Universe, and I allow the Universe to be aware of me.

It also really helps when my daughter is tired, hungry, and throwing a tantrum, and I am also tired and hungry and ready to throw a tantrum. This advice may be cliched, but taking a few deep, intentional breaths really does help.

My Parenting Challenge This Week

My daughter has discovered the word Stupid.

I kid you not–she has discovered that it can be used as an insult when she’s angry at another kid. I have no idea where she picked it up from and I have no idea what to do about it. She’s been having a hard time in general lately–lots of tantrums, lots of blatant disobedience, lots of pushing/hitting–but the name-calling took me by surprise. Is 3 just when this sort of thing starts happening? Because I’m at a loss for words. I’ll definitely be digging around parenting sites and books searching for an answer for what to do about it other than the knee-jerk, “No, that’s not okay, we don’t call people ‘stupid.'”

My Parenting Blessing This Week

Early in the week, my daughter touched my hair and said, “Hair beautiful. Like an ocean!” Cue me melting into a puddle of awwwww.

A couple days later, we were walking to Petsmart to look at the fish, and Luna says, “Fish like a whale!”
“Erm…well, whales are really, really big, and fish are really small…”
“Fish like a tiny whale!”
There you have it, people. Fish are tiny whales.

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