Looking to Ancients, Artists and Antecedents for Answers

Red mushroom growing out of dirt and darkness
Black foamy sea churning
Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels

Contrary news reports on the coronavirus got you feeling confused? Everything changing too rapidly to absorb? Feeling like you’re churning in a sea of uncertainty? No worries (unless that’s what you choose to do.)

Mountain of sand shadowed over, half dark, half light like a Taijitu
Photo by Fabio Rose on Unsplash

Look at the bright side. Yes, there is always a bright side, as the Tijitu depicts and notables observed:

  “Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity.” ∼ Paul Cezanne

“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” ∼ Pablo Picasso

“Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not yet understood.”                                                            ∼  Henry Miller

There is an alternative to the negative energy of panic and hysteria that the media, skeptics, and worriers incessantly project with paintbrushes of gloom and doom. Change the lens of annihilation to burgeoning creativity and watch positive changes explode. Think mushrooms.

“Creativity involves breaking out of expected patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”Edward de Bono

“Order and creativity are complementary.”Lewis Mumford

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” ∼ Albert Einstein

Note:  in seeking creativity, I’m not suggesting you become as reckless as the youth on Spring Break. While we are advised to remain home, limit and distance contact (sounds like most who are usually glued to devices at home anyway), there is another suggestion I like. A fellow blogger passed along the simple and safe greeting of Namaskar.

Anjali Mudra hand positioning
Photo by Veit Zahlaus on wikimedia.org (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buddha_anjali_mudra.JPG)

Namaskar. Hmm. That intrigued me. Years ago I learned in Yoga that namaste meant “the beauty in me sees the beauty in you.” Lovely sentiment, but it felt odd greeting others in my western culture with Añjali Mudrā (hands placed together prayer-like and close to the chest while bowing the head toward the other person). After all, I grew up giving hearty hugs to friends and family then firm handshakes in business.

But now, now that close contact can be downright dangerous, fist bumps are considered risky, and elbow bumping feels like the chicken dance, there IS a better way.  And one that’s survived the test of time and viruses too.

Greeting others with Añjali Mudrā and saying Namaste or Namaskar perfectly solves the coronavirus admonition to physically disconnect. But, it’s the beauty beyond the surface — a profound connecting while disconnecting — that attracts me.

While various explanations exist for the differences between namaste and namaskar, I like the ones best on detechter.com. Either greeting is said to develop a spiritual connection with the person being greeted. More poignant than a casual “Hello,” “Hi,” “Cheers,” or “Ciao,” I love this greeting of respect and honoring the other person. May its use continue to outlast any virus. 

The coronavirus is tragic, I agree. But, here we’ve learned something joyful amidst the corona confusion. Flourishing in the creativity of chaos can lift humanity to another level. The choice, as always, is ours. Let it begin with me.

Namaste Khush Raho (Be happy)

Namaste Jeete Raho (God bless you)

Woman lighting a succession of candles
Photo by Héctor Martínez on Unsplash

 

Mother Nature Made my Lunch Today

I made this salad for lunch. Well, actually Mother Nature made it for me, I simply chose to partake of her delectable edibles that nourish me in boundless ways when I choose to look her way.

Convenience or Necessity — Which is it and What Matters Most?
Too often, I grabbed a bag or box of processed food because I thought it was quicker, easier. But, digging deeper I asked what am I trading off for this “convenience”? Being sold on “convenience,” I’ve found is often a cover up for something that is actually not so healthy like the increased health risks from Fitbit or extended cell phone use.

At one time I bought into the “fast” food trap, thinking it would save me time in meal prep. But when I noticed the long drive-through lines and realized I could prepare a steak, vegetable and salad within 20 minutes — AND relax at my table to consume it, rather than behind the steering wheel at a red light — I began to change my ways. It didn’t make sense to be handed a bag of virtually dead food tainted with GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and any other nasty ingredient that deteriorates good health when I could choose more wholesome and satisfying real “food.”

Thinking Behind the Goods
My thinking was lazy. Naively trusting big business and government I thought if products are allowed on the market they must be safe, right? Right. When the money trail of lobbyists controlling government, health and essentially our lives uncovered that fallacy, my thinking turned circumspect.


Think those chicken nuggets are simply “breaded “chicken”? If you knew a chicken nugget is “made from” 38 ingredients with nearly half of them derived from corn, or that they contain TBHQ which is derived from petroleum, would you still eat them? You may want to think twice before ordering again, or feeding them to your kids for Heaven’s sake.


Taking Time for All of You
There’s truth in the time-tested saying, “If you don’t have your good health, you don’t have anything.” I had to decide what’s more important — rushing to a class or making a deadline by quickly eating bad food, or nourishing body, mind and spirit through Mother Nature’s generous offerings for vitality and vigor? The answer seems obvious, but those “self-imposed” time constraints often get in the way.

Think you’re too busy to grocery shop for fresh produce? To rinse the spinach, red oak lettuce and red raspberries? Not enough time to chop some red bell pepper, and slice golden beets to roast? Too overloaded you say to whisk some strawberry balsamic vinegar with light olive oil while toasting the pecans…then dabbing some Chevre cheese on top and adorning with dried tart cherries? Think again. The benefits exceed the eye.

Creating a salad like this satisfies more than the belly, while a box or bag of processed food harms it. (No coincidence that shelves are flooded with probiotics and OTC remedies for stomach distress these days.) Rampant busyness robs downtime, a necessity for mind and body regeneration.


Still think you don’t have time to support your well-being?

This salad is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein, and nutrients through vitamins and minerals like A, B6, boron, C, calcium, copper, E, folate, folic acid, iron, K, lycopene, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, quercitin, riboflavin, selenium, thiamine, and zinc.

Additionally, pecans which are high in healthy unsaturated fat, help lower “bad” cholesterol. Golden beets also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, decrease heart disease risk, help prevent various cancers, and cleanse the kidneys. Tart cherries contain melatonin and tryptophan which can promote better sleep. Goat cheese offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and contains healthy fats, including medium-chain fatty acids that can improve satiety and benefit weight loss. These are only some of the “physical” benefits. 


Selecting ingredients I thought would work together tapped into my creativity, while preparing the produce was an in-the-moment meditative experience. How divine to then taste each layer of color, flavor and texture. Raspberries and cheese melting in my mouth under the ying-yang, sweet-tart balsamic dressing and crunch of spinach and roasted pecans was far more pleasing — and nutritious too — than any bag of processed whatever I could pick-up. Mother Nature endows us with her riches. It’s simply up to us to accept the gift.


 

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This photo: Pixabay