Beauty treatment

Take time to stop and smell the roses.

It’s an old sentiment, but one I’m thinking about as I fly home. I’m above the clouds now, and over my shoulder I spy the warming tones of the setting sun.

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The sight made me want for Florida at first. But on second thought, what I’m missing is beauty. Winter’s cloudy, chilly mornings have kept me indoors on days I’d rather run.

Running outdoors is my meditation. My journal. It’s high fives to the rabbits who line the greenway, and smiles to the rising sun. It’s awe with flowers blooming in spring, leaves turning in autumn. It’s deep breaths in time with my feet – percussion behind a chorus of birds.

It’s been a while.

Sometimes my entire work day is spent in the bowels of a school. Cinder blocks obstruct the sun and the evergreens right along with cell service. “I’m in a bunker today,” I tell Blue.

The moments left before sunset are spent navigating Atlanta’s traffic. If you wait too late to hit 400 from 285, you might as well stay put another hour or two.

Despite an uncooperative schedule, it’s easy enough to experience beauty.

Seek and ye shall find.

Getting back to great

Some runs are just good runs. This morning’s run definitely goes in the books as a good one.  Why?

I found a new route that works well.
Because I’m in a new area, I’m mapping and remapping routes as I run. This morning I found a couple of good stretches without too many turns to memorize. Moreover, today’s route  didn’t take me over too many ginormous hills nor past too many dilapidated houses.

I ran 4 miles. Again.
Although I used to run 4 miles 3-4 times a week, it was all on relatively flat land. I’m building the stamina to run 4 miles on hilly terrain. Although I’ve hit the magic number a couple of times this summer, it’s my first time this year running 4 miles twice in one week. Progress!

I ran hard.
Today’s run was not for punks. I’m no speed demon, but based on my current level of fitness, I really pushed it. I opened up my stride and maintained a nice pace for decent stretches. It felt good to work hard without feeling tired or run down. It’s refreshing to remember what athleticism feels like: VICTORY (that’s my name, by the way).

I welcomed the sun goddess.
Today, during a short breather, I said good morning to the sun (yes, out loud). One of my favorite things about running is the opportunity to be outside and connect with nature. This is especially awesome when I run from first light to sunrise and can see the sky warming as we welcome the morning.  Since I’ve moved away from the Sunshine State, I’ve had to work a little harder to catch the sun’s beauty, but two of my new routes allow just that.

All in all, this morning’s run was fabulous. I’ve been eating more mindfully and resting as much as possible the past couple of days. I’m starting to feel more like myself.  I’m feeling good and getting back to great. Coincidence?

No such thing. \o/

Sunshine and fibroids.

Naturopaths and nontraditional healers often mention the healing properties of sunshine. And depending on where and how we grew up, our parents and grandparents spoke of it, too. My personal relationship with the sun has always been one of respect and admiration… my mood and energy levels often mirror the brightness of the sun. So it pleases me whenever “traditional” research makes linkages between sunshine and good health.

Dr. Donna Baird, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health, suggested that sun exposure of more than an hour per day (Vitamin D) may lead to a decreased risk of fibroids. The results are tentative, and come from a single study of women in the Washington, D. C. area, but plans are underway to survey women in Detroit to see if findings are similar.

As one in a growing number of women who live with uterine fibroids, I’m interested in understanding their causes. Like many complex questions, the more we understand about the genesis of a thing, the more we can do to heal it and prevent it.

Read the NIH press release here.

Dawn and endings.

first light
Dawn at Starbucks Bay.

It’s my favorite time of day – the dark before the dawn. First light alerts the world to the coming sunrise. This morning my cat is snuggled next to me as I write in my darkened bedroom. I have long favored early morning because it’s nearly silent, mostly still. Hints of noises and shadows of movements as many of nature’s beings prepare for the day ahead. Daniel once tweeted his praise for early mornings: the world is quiet, Spirit is loud. Yes. It’s a time of hope and possibilities. Beginnings. Today is also an ending of sorts.

Today marks my 30th post in as many days. I’ve completed my personal challenge. The last time I wrote 30 posts in 30 days I found the process wearing. I was glad to develop the discipline, but I felt it wasn’t a sustainable practice. The daily writing was (mostly) sustainable, but the writing daily for public consumption (while also fielding multiple obligations) was not. This time around, I dunno. The experience was very different and things evolved in a way I hadn’t planned.  I guess that’s reflective of life generally. What’s truly alive is not stagnant.

Tomorrow marks a new beginning. Blue arrives! In a few days, we’ll be heading home.

3 days. #countdown

Sun goddess.

9 p.m.  contemplative. quiet.

slumber soon come and then

morning.

glorious gift.

first light –

stirring.

stretching.

deep sighs.

promises made in silent darkness.

black skies give way to lavender wisps.

daybreak –

salutations.

skies warm and brighten,

heralding crimson dawn.

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I took this photo just after 7 a.m. I had planned to write a short missive on morning, my favorite time of day. Well, the day came and went before I had the chance to write. Here it is, nearly 10 p.m., and I’m looking forward to morning again. 

xoxo

Today’s rainbow…musings from a traveler. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

I.

Today I wore a turquoise wrap. Peacock blue, to be precise. Smug and perky, a bright splash of joy draped across my shoulders, I took in the scene on the airport tram. Shook my head at the stoic wall of black-navy-gray. Oh, what a spot of color wouldn’t do to add a dose of cheer…

II.

Walking through the security line, my eyes spotted a fellow smug and perky. The slight smile on his face framed by a bright red sweater. He strolled, weaving through the stanchions with an air of confidence and a hint of fun. It was the red. I know it.

III.

My window seat afforded me a perfect view of the bay set against the pink-orange dusk. Smug and perky overcome by the sinking realization my time near salted waters and humid air is rapidly coming to a close.

Pass-a-grille Beach