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 :-)