So, 95% of this blog normally revolves around food.

Okay, 80% food. 15% cats. 5% miscellany. That 5% is going to expand a bit.

I am participating in 21.5.800, which is 21 days during which folks all over the internet will be practicing yoga 5 times a week and writing 800 words per day. About anything under the sun. Why am I doing this? For the discipline and accountability. Because I’m a sucker for projects. And because it sounds fun! 800 words a day will be a challenge, if for no other reason than setting the time aside to make it happen.

So, I have no idea what will be striking my fancy over the next 21 days, but I’m pretty sure that the food will only be part of the 800 words. You might be learning some new things about me, if you are so inclined. Perhaps this will open up a new dialogue and I’ll continue with some non-food posts after this project. I have been contemplating creating a non-food blog for awhile now, but have been uncertain if I would be able to sustain it. New and fun stuff in nom! nom! nom! land! And if you come just for the food, no worries. There will still be tons of it, just bear with me and my deviations.

So, my yoga for the day was 50 minutes of vinyasa, practicing my own talk-through, as I am teaching my first yoga class this Thursday through our Wellness program at work. Eep! I’m feeling pretty good, though. We shall see.

I recently added a “namaste” sticker to my car. Unlike most stickers, I did not apply it to my bumper or my back window. It is on the inside of my windshield, at the top of it near the visor, facing me.

For those of you whose only exposure to the phrase “namaste” has been through the show LOST, let me provide a little back story for you. Namaste is a common greeting, going back to ancient Sanskrit, which roughly means “the divine in me recognizes and respects the divine in you.”

Oh no. She’s getting a metaphysical on us. I just came for the cupcakes!

It’s okay. :) I’m not here to wax poetic on the universe and yogic philosophy or my own, ever-changing, views on religion and spirituality. Let’s take namaste back to it’s most basic form: respect.

Total disclosure here- I do not like to drive. Blah. But, I don’t work close-in in Portland. I have to cross the dreaded river into Washington to get to work each day, so it’s a necessary evil.

Due to my level of displeasure with this particular activity and surrounding circumstances, I can be a not-so-nice person when driving. Like, make-your-mother-blush, (well, maybe not my mother), who-is-this-foul-mouthed-freak unpleasant.

Let’s face it, none of us want to be in traffic. And we all have moments when we are less-than-perfect drivers. We get distracted, change the radio station, space out, or rubberneck (don’t judge, we’ve all been guilty at one point or another!). Sure, there are some people who are bad drivers or are careless, certainly, but as a whole we all have the same goal. Put in a day’s work to provide for ourselves, our family, and get on to our time, our sacred off-work time to do the things that we cherish and anticipate, even if it’s as simple as going home to veg in front of the telly with the family, to go the gym, the bookstore, meeting friends for drinks, whatever.

Yet, when someone is doddling along and I can’t pass them, or they change lanes in front of me without signaling, I can have a hard time keeping my blood from boiling. I want to get home, see my husband, kiss my kitties and start dinner, dangit! My new mindset for driving is to remember the following:

1. I don’t know who this person is. I don’t know what they are going through, what their day was like or what they are going home to. Maybe they had a great day and are just being flaky. But maybe they have recently been given some bad news, lost a loved one or are experiencing some health problems. Maybe they are in a rush because they have a sick child at home. Maybe they are distracted because they are worrying about a loved one. A little compassion goes a long way.

2. While I may dislike driving, having been the victim of several car accidents, I am grateful for my ability to drive, my car, and my overall health. Those are things that can be taken for granted and are not givens for everyone.

So now when I drive and I’m ticked off, rather than mumbling a long sting of curse words that ultimately only impact me, I have my reminder to center myself looking me straight in the face and I try to send some good vibes, mojo, love, blessings, whatever, to that person and instead I whisper, “Namaste.”

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2 Responses to off the beaten path

  1. Josiane says:

    You’re teaching your first class tomorrow! Yay! I’ll be thinking of you. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed teaching my first Shiva Nata class.

  2. Courtney says:

    Yay for more posts–I will be looking forward to the next 21 days :-) Good luck with teaching the yoga class! I am sure you will do great. That is exciting!

    Haha–we sound like very similar drivers, lol. I HATE driving, and luckily don’t have to do it much (I bike to work throughout the spring/summer/fall and run errands on foot), but when I do…watch out. I get pretty ticked off pretty quickly too. I will have to learn from your example and try to stay calm :-)