The 90 Second Rule

When I first heard Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor say on the Oprah Show a few years back that if we allow ourselves to feel an emotion in our body, the emotion runs through our body in 90 seconds, I didn’t believe her!  (Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist and author of My Stroke Of Insight who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996.)

Fast forward a couple of years to Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God retreat in California.  Geneen repeatedly told our audience of over 200 women that we need to get in touch with our bodies and FEEL our emotions and that experiencing them in our body takes less than a couple of minutes. Again, I doubted the reality of this perspective. After all, I had gone through a painful divorce years ago which left me devastated for months, not just 90 seconds!

However, one day while at the retreat I was feeling a sadness that I couldn’t figure out with my rational thinking mind. I wrote about it, I did The Work (Byron Katie), I sent out a request to the universe to help me understand my sadness.  The sadness remained.  Finally, I decided to follow Geneen’s suggestion to just FEEL the emotion in my body without having to figure it out. I sat by a little waterfall and brought my attention to my internal body. I felt and saw a shape and color to my sadness, a dark grayish cloud shape as I recall. My gut felt raw, my heart ached, and I wanted to hunch over to protect my heart.

As I watched and experienced the sensations from my observing self, emotion rose and I cried, briefly. Then the shape and color of the sadness changed and moved out of my body. The tears and sadness ended. The body sensation of sadness had moved through and out of my body.  I felt at peace in 90 seconds!!!

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says, “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop. Something happens in the external world and chemicals are flushed through your body which puts it on full alert. For those chemicals to totally flush out of the body it takes less than 90 seconds.”

“We can all learn that we can take full responsibility for what thoughts we are thinking and what emotional circuitry we are feeling. Knowing this and acting on this can lead us into feeling a wonderful sense of well-being and peacefulness. Whether it is my fear circuitry or my anger circuitry or even my joy circuitry – it is really hard to hold a good belly laugh for more than 90 seconds naturally. The 90-second rule is totally empowering. That means for 90 seconds, I can watch this happen, I can feel this happen and I can watch it go away. After that, if I continue to feel that fear or feel that anger, I need to look at the thoughts I am thinking that are re-stimulating that circuitry that is resulting in me having this physiology over and over again.”

So many of my friends, family and life coaching clients tell me they are not sleeping well because they are “re-hashing” or “worrying” about someone or something in the middle of the night.  If the 90 Second Rule holds true, and I believe it does, what keeps us awake (or sad, angry, frustrated….) is our Story and not the actual feeling associated with the person or situation.

Are you running some of the same stories that cause you stress or upset? Would you like to share? How about sitting with the Feeling/Emotion to let it run its course through your body? Not enough time? (That’s often my excuse!) Take 90 Seconds for yourself!

Museli – the Breakfast of Champions!

Museli is one of my favorite summer breakfast foods. I especially love it with fresh blueberries from the Farmer’s Market or with raspberries from my own garden. Yum!!! It’s really good any time of the day. This recipe makes quite a lot so I keep it in the refrigerator for a few days, eating daily this already prepared delicious breakfast. It’s also a good choice for anyone on a weight loss plan because it is low in calories, very healthy, and provides protein which is an important way to start your day along with fruit, dairy, and a good carb (rolled oats). Enjoy!

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup ground almonds

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)

3-4 grated apples

½ cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lemon

3-4 Tbsp milk or cream

Honey – to taste

1 tsp. cinnamon

Add any fresh fruit you desire.  (Blueberries are great!)

Mix all together except fresh fruit.

Let sit overnight for oats to absorb liquids and time for flavors to blend.

Stir in fresh fruit.

(Fresh granola sprinkled on top is also delicious!)

Happiness Isn’t Peace!

 

baby                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A few days ago I read an article by Eckart Tolle on Happiness and Peace. He suggested that when many people are searching for happiness, what they truly desire is peace. “It’s a state of heightened aliveness, when we become more conscious rather than less, and this requires an awareness of the kinds of thoughts that habitually go through your mind.” (Eckart Tolle)

In the past I often made a list of what I wanted in my life, “Happiness” was on my list. When thinking of what I wanted for my children, I wanted them to be happy. Now Peace Of Mind takes priority. Happiness is fleeting/temporary. I am happy that my family is coming to visit. I am unhappy that rabbits ate all my lettuce. When at peace with that inner deeper level inside, the emotional highs and lows do not occur.

Three years ago I was experiencing ecstatic happiness when I received a call that my first grandchild had just entered this world. I hung up the phone with great excitement and joy followed immediately by the thought that I wanted to call my mom to tell her that her first great-grandchild had just been born. I burst into tears and sadness when I couldn’t call my mom because she had passed away one year earlier. Even in the midst of my grief I was aware of how the intensity of my emotions had changed in an instant.

I seek peace of mind. When happiness enters my life, fantastic! When unhappiness enters, I try very hard to accept what it. Byron Katie said “When I argue with reality, I lose but only 100% of the time!”  When my coaching clients are stuck in a repeating negative thought, together we delve into the thought, questioning its truth and how that thought plays out in their life. Often there is a recurring pattern or behavior that a client wants to change yet they are unable to stick with it. Here the old negative thoughts are over-riding the good intention for change. Once old thoughts are released, new behavior is possible.

I had been in the pattern of thinking “I will be happy when (I lose weight, I have enough money, my kids are happy, I have the job of my dreams). My thoughts were taking me away from the present moment, projecting into a future that may or may not match my expectations. This movie, as Tolle calls it, is not reality.”You can’t see the present. You’re too busy with where you want to be next or where you were, which causes stress. The only solution is awareness, awareness that the voice in your head is really just repeating thoughts – no more, no less.”   Thich

The question I ask myself is this, “Am I going to read about, study, go to more courses on being at peace OR and I going to Stop, sit down and BE at peace?” I know how to do it. I know how calming it feels to be still in the present moment. All is well in my world when I sit in peace. So, another question for me is “Why do I often think it’s more important to accomplish tasks than to BE present in peace?”  What pulls you away from BEING in the present moment? What thoughts enter your mind?  I would love to hear!

 

 

 

Lemongrass/Citrus Rice Pudding

I LOVE Indian food!  I also thoroughly enjoy Rice Pudding yet the type served in Indian Restaurants is way too sweet for me. I adapted this recipe to make it healthier with a fraction of the sweetening and sugar.  It’s fresh take on a more traditional Rice Pudding recipe.  When served chilled in small ramekins or dessert dishes with orange, lime and lemon zest sprinkled on top, it’s also a beautiful presentation.

Serves 8  

 

3 (5”) length fresh lemongrass, finely chopped

3 cups 2% milk

3 ½ cups coconut milk, not low fat (a bit less than two 13 ½ oz cans                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (You may also use 4 cups unsweetened coconut beverage and 2 ½ cups milk)

1/2 cup sugar (or ¼ cup Agave)

1  ½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio or Basmati rice, rinsed with cold water and drained

1 ½ Tbsp combination of grated lemon, orange and lime zest. Use more to top individual servings

2 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp ground cardamom

 

1.      Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

2.      Place lemongrass on a small piece of cheesecloth, form into a bundle & secure with kitchen twine.

3.      In a medium size heavy saucepan, add milk, coconut milk and salt. (Also add sugar if using sugar instead of Agave.)  Stir and bring to a strong simmer over medium heat but do not boil.

4.      Pour the hot mixture, lemongrass sachet and rice into slow cooker. Stir well.  Cover and cook on low until the rice is completely tender, about 2 hours. There should be some liquid left.

5.      Remove from heat; discard lemongrass sachet and stir in agave, zest, vanilla and cardamom.

6.      Let cool slightly, then pour into individual serving bowls, cover and refrigerate until cold.

7.      Garnish with additional zest before serving.

The Dirty Dozen

EWG's Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen Plus ListsEach year I check out the current list for the “Dirty Dozen & Clean 15” which rate the pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables. Although I do not eat 100% organic foods, I do only buy organic fruits and vegetables listed in the Dirty Dozen. It’s so much easier to eat organic in the summer when most my fresh vegetables come from my organic garden!  Regarding meat, I started eating only free range organic chicken and eggs years ago. Next on my list to eliminate from my diet, conventionally raised pork. I am not only concerned about the health aspects of the food I eat but also the treatment of the animals. One step at a time…….

EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Eat fruits and vegetables!

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.

Read below to see the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 list.

The Dirty Dozen — 2013

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet bell peppers.

The Clean Fifteen, 2013

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet peas
  • Sweet potatoes

 

 

How Can I Feel Better About ME Today?

   This morning I woke up feeling less than centered; restless, an underlying feeling that something is going on that I need to take a look at. What to do? First of all meditate and BE still. Next, I’ve learned that when I ask myself “What would make me feel better about ME today?” I immediately know the answers. Take time to be quiet. Eat good food. Get outdoors. Also, I am aware of some small tasks I have put off that need attention.  I do these things and I feel better about ME, more at peace with myself and the world. Some days however I make the decision to get overly busy instead of being still; an old and familiar pattern.  I spend the day accomplishing numerous tasks but running away from myself. So now it’s time to meditate.  It’s time to BE with ME!

It Shouldn’t Snow in May!

  Yesterday I was listening to a CD by Martha Beck, Life Coach, reminding us to Question our Thoughts. Are they honestly true?  Byron Katie, Loving What Is,  also comes to mind. I can hear her ask the question “Is it true?”

Snow is falling. It’s May in Wisconsin. I do not recall ever seeing it snow here in May. “It shouldn’t be snowing! It’s May! My daffodils and tulips will freeze!”  Is it true? No. The truth is that it is snowing and therefore it should be. Two days ago it was 81 degrees. As I worked in my yard for a couple of hours on that warm day, I was feeling a little tension while noticing how much (I thought) needed to be done in my gardens, in addition to raking the lawn, cleaning up puppy poop and reseeding bare areas. Today my entire yard and gardens are covered with snow. All looks clean and still. There is nothing to be done but watch the gorgeous snow fall.

Vegetarian Lasagna

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               12 lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
2 eggs
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Couple dashes hot sauce or cayenne
1 zucchini, grated
16 oz can tomatoes, chopped
6 oz. tomato paste
1/3 cup red wine
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Optional:

Broccoli – chopped
Carrots – 2 grated
Spinach – 10oz frozen, chopped

Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles until almost done. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust oven rack to upper part of oven.
Sauté onions and garlic until onions are tender. Stir zucchini, peppers and any other vegetables into the onion mixture.
In a bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 beaten eggs.
In a heavy saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, parsley, sugar, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Oil 9×13 pan. Spread 1 cup of tomato mixture on bottom of pan.

Assembly:

Layer of noodles, overlapping 1 inch.
Layer of ricotta/cottage cheese mixture.
Layer of vegetables.
Sprinkle layer of cheese.
Layer of tomato sauce.
Repeat layers one more time.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top.
Cover lasagna with foil and bake approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove foil, brown under broiler.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving. (It slices better.)