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On Sunday, May 2nd, I will be a part of a Holistic Seminar, hosted by SOL Pilates FIT. Please join me for a chakra clearing meditation. The event will be held at the Extraordinary Beginnings unit at 5261 Hwy 7 in Markham, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register call 416.948.SOUL (7685) or email lynne.stewart@solpilatesyoga.com

Do you live in the Greater Toronto Area? Please join me for a
meditation class at SOL Pilates and Yoga Studio in Markham. The class will be held at 7 p.m. on alternate Fridays. Please contact me for additional details.

Do you long for a relaxing treatment for your mind, body and spirit? I'm now accepting clients for Reiki treatments. To register for a class or to book a treatment, please contact me. I look forward to seeing you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Relief Fundraiser Event: Meditation Workshop

If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, please join me next Saturday, January 23rd, at 2 p.m., for a fundraiser meditation workshop. All proceeds will go toward Haiti relief efforts. Please pay what you can, with a suggested donation amount of $20.

The workshop will be held at Extraordinary Beginnings, located at 5261 Highway 7 (Plaza is on the southeast corner of McCowan/Hwy 7).

Space is limited. RSVP before Thursday, January 21st by sending an e-mail to katia@naturessecretwhispers.ca

I look forward to seeing you there. For those who are unable to join me at this event, I encourage you to donate money through the various charitable organizations that are taking part in raising funds for this cause. And, as always, your thoughts and prayers mean the world.

Best wishes,

Katia

Eating Mindfully

Photograph: “Golden Treasures” by P. Grodecki


I am certain that many of us are sometimes guilty of reading or watching TV while having lunch. We may, in fact, often feel reluctant to eat alone. I agree that eating alone on a regular basis makes for an insipid experience, regardless of how good the food may taste; nonetheless, when without the company of another person, we are actually presented with a good opportunity to practise eating mindfully.

If you tend to read or watch TV while ‘grabbing a bite to eat,’ you may find it enjoyable to make an event of your lunch hour while also benefiting from the company of your own self. Eating alone is a wonderful meditative exercise that allows us to truly focus on what we eat, why we eat it, and how we feel during and after the meal. This week, I invite you to take your time while eating lunch. Do not answer the phone, watch TV, read, or speak with anyone. Instead, make this your own special time. You may even wish to close your eyes and then focus on every bite or sip, the texture of your food, and every flavour fused together to create a wholesome, delicious meal. Before or after your meal, you may also wish to reflect on how thankful you feel for the earth and the people who have worked diligently, at every step, to provide you with delicious nourishment.

Similarly, I encourage you to choose mindfully the food that you eat. Do you feel you need extra vitamins – especially during the winter season? Choose fresh – preferably organic – fruits and vegetables on which to snack throughout the day. Do you feel like having food with carbs? Take pleasure in browsing your local grocery store or bakery for wholesome multi-grain bread and whole-wheat pasta. If you are experiencing cravings, perhaps your body is sending a message to you. Listen to it, and treat it kindly with healthy nutrition.

Eat when you’re hungry and try to make a true, pleasant experience of every meal, instead of rushing through it simply because you know you need to fuel your body in order to get through the day. We are fortunate and blessed to have a multitude of nutritional choices and it’s up to us to make time to enjoy them and gain the most from our eating experience.

Affirmations:

“I am kind to my body. I choose wholesome foods and ingredients, and make time to enjoy every meal.” “

I am thankful for the wide selection of nutritious choices that are available to me.”


I was pleasantly surprised to find a website with a focus on mindful eating. If you're interested in additional information on eating mindfully, visit The Center for Mindful Eating.

Wishing you a physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually nourishing week!

Namaste!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Enjoying Spontaneity

Photograph: 'Winter Solitude' by K. Grodecki

This Week's Quote
: “We can handle anything when we exchange our worries and fears for alertness and spontaneity, when we focus solely on what is in front of us, and when we leap into the sheer wonder of the unplanned life.” ~ Karen Maezen Miller, Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood


Would you describe yourself as a ‘planner?’ Do you feel out of control when you do not have the day planned to the minute? It’s easy for us to slip into such patterns. I will admit that I had recently ventured into the deep waters of such thinking and started to lose control. Not taking any risks, lest I sink deeper, I have stepped back and am re-learning to embrace life’s surprises. Like many first-time moms, I search for the right method to handle various daily routines, but when seeking the right approach, we often listen and make up our minds based on what others say and implement in their own lives. Our intuition, unfortunately, can then take a backseat. We can quickly start to define what is the right approach, versus one that creates an undesirable outcome, and before we know it, we have become preoccupied with such thoughts and forgotten to enjoy the delicious surprises that the day brings.


This, of course, can be applied to any scenario, including social situations and those in the workplace. When we become overly concerned with planning each and every step in our day, we forget to enjoy the many special moments that present themselves. Those moments slip away, unnoticed. However, when we approach the day with an open mind and an open heart, ready to make the best of any experience, we allow ourselves to live in the moment, our intuitive senses become heightened, and we seem to breeze through any situation that may present itself.


The need to plan, I have come to learn, stems from a fear of the unknown. We worry that, if we do not have a situation visualized in our minds, we will somehow lose our grasp and, inevitably, fail. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Moreover, when we leave no room for spontaneous improvisation, we lose our balance and stand unprepared to handle surprising situations that life may roll our way. An open-minded attitude is essential for success in the workplace, as well as in our personal lives.


As I relinquish my instinct to seize the reins and, instead, go with the flow, I invite you to do the same. This week, release any worries or fears you may hold. Choose to remain alert and focused on enjoying the present moment, with all that it has to offer. Rather than planning every slot in your day, with its many routines, leave some room for spontaneity and revere in what unfolds.


Affirmation: “I surrender my fears and worries and trust in my intuitive guidance to lead me along the right path.”


May your week be filled with Love and Light!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Beginning – Embracing ‘Challenges’

I am certain that many of us have shared experiences through which we expected of ourselves to maintain our regular schedules and routines, but life had other plans for us. What can we do but follow our intuition and focus on what is most important at the moment? Please allow me to preface this post by apologizing for my prolonged absence. I have been on a sort of special leave, if you will.

Six months ago, an incredible event changed my life forever, in ways that, prior to it, I could never even have began to imagine. Early in July, I gave birth to my son and, naturally, took a break from everyone and everything while focusing on my new role as a mother. I planned to be back in a few weeks and to write a ‘comeback’ post. Before long, however, a few weeks turned into a few months. During that time, I was on a roller coaster. Those, perhaps, are the best words to describe my myriad experiences – all beautiful and often nerve-wracking and overwhelming – as a new mom. I intend to write more about those experiences, in due time. But for now, please accept my sincere apologies for having been on a hiatus without much notice.

I hope you have been enjoying the first days of 2010, a new decade filled with opportunities and challenges. Will we choose to see the challenges as immovable and rigid, or as embraceable? Many people thrive by facing challenges head-on and acknowledging the personal growth that results from their personal and professional accomplishments. Others, shy away from trying situations because they prefer to go about their days without bothering anyone and without being disturbed. However, when we embrace inevitable trials, after a while, we may stop viewing challenges as such, but instead, perceive them as simple events that are an integral part of our lives. We see a challenge, and experience Zen. Is that not a beautiful state to be in? When we see anything as a possibility, seemingly difficult situations become mere pebbles in front of us, rather than heavy bricks. This week, I’m going to focus on collecting those pebbles and adding to my stash of experiences on which I can look back and appreciate all that I have learned, and all that I am, thanks to the choices I make today. After all, the Universe only rolls our way that which we can handle. So, we may as well go with the flow… No?

Affirmation: “I embrace this day, with its many beautiful experiences.”

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Namaste and Satnam!