What happens when you fall in love with your summer fling?

I know what it feels like to feel like dirt. In more ways than I wish to share. But when the outside temperature is past 103 degrees (as it was today on Oct 1 ) and it has been that way for months,  I accept the fact that I have truly , passionately fallen in love with my summer fling.

Ok …. as you probably know if you read my posts and know me at all I am one of those crazy people that do not give up gardening in the brutal heat of the desert southwest summer. Honestly though by 9am I am drenched in my own salt and wiped out, but really gardening is just not the same as good old outdoor exercise and I do love the outdoors. BUT , I have NO desire to hike or walk and ride or even get in and out of cars in this heat. AND thanks to my husband I have become much more protective of my skin than I did for way too many years. Gone are the days of hiking in shorts and tank tops for me.

But I have a very true confession. This summer I fell madly and passionately in love and although I have not thrown caution to the wind completely  ( I have taken many measures to protect myself  ) I know I am still very vulnerable .

I have grown passionately in love with  doing laps at the Scottsdale City  Aquatic Center!  Not exactly an extra marital affair so what is the big deal ?  Well sadly the  lap lane hours and my schedule have left me having to choose between truly safe swimming ( aka rarely due to the sun exposure ) or throwing caution to the wind and  swimming mid day with protection . Honestly there is just not enough protection ! With a swim shirt on and lubed up with what seems to be 1/2 tube of sunscreen per session I still know I am getting way more exposure than  is wise. AH, but the temperature of my body FINALLY internally REALLY cools down while I find the motivation to truly huff and puff , and  I watch my thoughts disappear into the water. I actually am beginning to think the meditation  and  breath work that goes on in my  40-60 minute lap sessions truly surpass any yoga class , definitely working out in a gym surrounded by the add of all the tv monitors and music and people to relate to as I attempt to find a mindful moment. -swimiming_in_gratitude©_2013_Linda_Enger_Photography7091

SO for now I am totally into my summer  love, and wondering how fickle my love will be. FYI my hiking boots have been getting used in the garden so they are not extremely jealous and get their fair share of my salt.

Meditation and naps and feeling delicious

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For years upon decades I always heard about meditation. I was so aware of the cornucopia  of techniques. I just never felt I did meditate. Well I have grown to see that differently . For some odd reason  the old philosophical question comes to mind “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” . If you fall asleep for an hour when you meditate and wake up more clear headed and relaxed, was it not a great session of mediation?

In all seriousness I can think of many meditation attempts where my head hurt from “trying ” to meditate.  With that said I have grown to find for me moving meditations during walking in nature at sunrise or sunset listening to certain kinds of music and consciously being aware of my breath, or swimming laps where breath is obviously a focus, and focusing my mind while I swim on an affirmation while swimming  have been great. I have also grown to really enjoy working on my meditation techniques using varied forms of mp3 or online support through headphones. Unfortunately many of the ones I tried did not inspire me… AND  I used to think that  it was a cheat, that it was not totally self generated. NOT anymore.  But for some time now I have found  a very special love of my at home meditation breaks during the day with   yoga nidra, Silva Meditation techniques, or now also exploring Centerpointe’s Holosync. I am not going to say it has worked for me to meditate upon waking, like some folks I know.  BUT taking a break during the day …. yummy! When I “wake up”  from 60  minutes of meditation …. I am feeling mighty  delicious! I may be falling asleep during meditation  but for me…. I would say that is not such a bad thing 🙂 How about you?

When are you really most productive?

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The mind is a wonderful thing to use. SO much or so little can be happening in there!

I love love love walking/hiking/gardening/treadmilling while listening to inspiring podcasts, or downloaded awesome brain feed. One in particular podcast I love is GoodLifeProject. Today as I was once again brutally aware of how many things I truly desire doing between the hours of 5 am and 10 am, I am out at 7am  making sure I got a walk in before it got into the 90’s and  I was confronted by Jonathan Fields of GLP as he spoke directly to me ( or so it seemed) concerning the issue of not wasting our personal  precious 5 star creative hours doing the stuff that is so easy to fall into ie FB, emails, news  etc. ( and yes I know that is a run on sentence, get over it. )  AND yet for some of us ,is there not a conflict between when to get excercise and when to let our creative juices/ productivity flow? And what of getting kids to school and the parents that are filled with creative sparks at that time.  SO when I get up  tomorrow and make tea even while standing in the kitchen waiting for that wistle,  I am going  to start writing instead of just checking my you know what.

My first batch of Kombucha Scoby

Kind of looks like beer here, but my scoby is pretty impressive I think!
Now that I know how much sugar and black tea goes into it, I am not really sure I am buying in totally with all the health aspect of Kombucha ye…but it really is a fun science experiment. AND being that I am notoriously not good at following directions…. I let it sit for 6 weeks instead of 1-4 weeks, and got a 3/4 plus” scoby not a 1/4″ one. Now I have my first official batch of Kombucha brewing with that scoby and looking forward to making it into Ginger Kombucha serving it nice and cold wine glasses. A shout out thank you to thekitchn.com for the great recipes!

What if mother nature wore mascara in the desert ?

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Sometimes I feel that my attempt at gardening in the summer is truly some sick joke I am playing on myself. After months of pampering, and after finally getting 5 yummy pickling cucumbers … I have now successfully killed several more plants it seems. Too much/ too little water, gazillion degree heat, too much or too little fish emulsion, etc etc.  Wondering if these will be the last cucumbers I include in my art for many many many months ? AND I LOVE CUCUMBERS!!!! Ironically I have grown to  also love dripping paint, which by the way  is really not a good summer outdoor activity here either.  The paint seems to dry before it even hits the canvas. I have been thinking… ( dangerous I know ) …this paint technique with this color paint makes me think that the desert dweller mother nature’s mascara is running .

The Chakra Healing Project

Well I am starting to test the waters with proposals and researching funding and looking for space (  including checking out creating a Kickstarter and other crowd funding opportunities ) all to make this  project really  happen. If you would be interested in seeing the proposal or more details for this multi sensory healing and research project, let me know. Here is a vignette of part of one wall. Now visualize yourself in a room surrounded by work like this all in this color. Green, the Chakra color for the heart. Just one of several rooms. Much more to the project with smells and sounds and interactive questions with audience. Is Chakra system mumbo jumbo?

How do we respond emotional, physically, mentally to our environment?
How do we respond emotional, physically, mentally to our environment?

 

Personal boundaries keeping you from your dreams?

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You ever have the feeling that the boundaries you keep smacking up against are really the boundaries you have drawn up by yourself to not cross over to accomplish your own chosen goals?

Prickly Pear Cactus Grenades

Between my deep concern about the nuclear deal with Iran and the fact that I finally watched the movie American Sniper the other night....prickly pear Cactus fruit felt even more ominous handling it this week.
Violet is such a spiritual spiritual color, one connected to insightful moments of thought…. and yet there are so many juxtapositions that surround us daily.

Working on the Chakra healing series of paintings does not always result in happy feeling paintings. Between my concern and attention to listening to what varied sources are saying here and abroad about the  nuclear deal with Iran …and the fact that I finally watched the movie American Sniper movie  the other night….prickly pear Cactus fruit appeared much  more ominous when I was handling it this week.

Cucumber triplets

consistent with my mini veggies I harvested my first 3 cucumbers yesterday ( yep finally ) and today it appears the same predator the devoured my one of my eggplant leaves now has taken down several cucumber plants
Consistent with my skill for growing very small veggies , Friday I harvested my first 3 cucumbers. Yeah, go ahead, say it … “really” ? Yep It is almost mid August . Today it appears the same predator that devoured the leaves off one of my eggplants the other day has now done its business to several of my cucumber plants. Sigh. SO , I guess I am grateful to have harvested these yummy small cucumbers!

45 minutes multi- tasking while doing laps.

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I have been “attempting” to have a daily gratitude, meditation  and affirmation  and visualization practice for years and years…. and can honestly not tell you how hard it has been. True ugly confession. I have fallen off those wagons many a time to be run over ( in my own mind)  by the daily meditation wheels of enlightenment.

Intellectually I feel they are all truly wonderful and helpful and blah blah blah!

Consistency . Really does make a difference. That is exactly my challenge. Dirty secret.

Well as long as it is  a desirable temperature for me for swimming  I think I have found a really cool ( pun intended ) way to keep up my practice . 45 minutes doing laps.  I breath really well when I swim, and I am in isolation and then lock my brain in on repeating, affirmations, gratitude list, mantra , rinse repeat , stroke, breath, stroke, breath…. 45minutes later….. ah…..

Please let me know if you try it what you think. Can be the difference of going from dirt to delicious !