Tonight was one of those “there is no way I am making dinner” kind of nights. It just wasn’t going to happen. This is not a regular occurrence as I typically enjoy being in the kitchen, but the couch was my best friend at the end of this long day. We decided on Chinese since we could have it delivered. Trust me, I wasn’t up for moving an inch. Little did I know that I would gain such wisdom from this take out dinner.
I know what you are thinking: Chinese? What can you eat that is clean from a Chinese restaurant? Or maybe you weren’t thinking that, but it leads me to my next discussion, so forgive me for my inability to read your mind. Anyway, I have a really good compromise when we get takeout. Most restaurants will have a selection of steamed dishes. They will throw a sauce on the side for you as well. So I typically order steamed mixed veggies and some sort of protein. Tonight, I took this to a new level. My favorite blog that I follow, My Whole Food Life, has the EASIEST Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe that is unbelievable. The best part is that there are only 5 ingredients. So while I wasn’t cooking tonight per say, I was still able to easily whip this up for my dinner. Dinner arrived unusually fast, so fast that I was a bit skeptic as to whether it was actually cooked. I guess we will know sooner than later about that! Clearly my exhaustion rubbed off on the hubby because we even ate together perched side by side on the couch. Hey, you only live once, right?
At the end of my very tasty meal, my husband tossed me my fortune cookie. I always comment that I never get the good fortunes or that they are always super abstract or could apply to anyone. Tonight, I actually read my fortune several times. It read, “A man who whittles himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.”
“A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.”
Let’s hear that one again. “A man who whittles himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.” Now THAT is one wise fortune. And I am certain it was meant for exactly one person: ME. I was quite intrigued by this quote and went to search for who was responsible for such enlightenment. I found it’s source to be a man named Charles M. Schwab. I learned that Schwab was an entrepreneur of the early steel industry in the United States. He served as president of the Carnegie Steel Company and United States Steel Corporation and then later pioneered Bethlehem Steel into one of the nation’s giant steel producers. Long story short, he was an extremely wealthy man. As I did further reading, I was intrigued by the latter part of his life. This man whose wealth was over $200,000,000 (during the time of the depression) died a completely broke man. It was mainly due to his lavish spending habits and the Great Depression played a role as well. It seems that Schwab did in fact whittle his fortune away.
There was a time in my life when that is exactly what I did. I trimmed myself to suit everyone else. I was constantly seeking the approval of others and felt that my own perfection was necessary to have such approval. I would look at my body and find its faults and look in dismay at them. I had no love or connection to my body. I worked so hard day after day to find this “perfect body” and yet, day after day, I felt more exhausted, more alone, and completely defeated.
Like I have said in previous posts, it was yoga that allowed me to start to break myself of such awful patterns. It was my journey with my breath that pushed me to connect with my body in a way like never before. Every time I came to my mat, I stepped away from the judgement and the self critic. As I sat down and began to breathe, the pressure I put on myself for “perfection” became more and more distant. The more I practiced, the less I cared about what my body looked like and more about what my body could do. I felt my own personal strength. I became connected to parts of my body that I once loathed and started to find peace. That’s not to say I don’t ever look in the mirror and think, “I wish” this or “I wish” that, but the need to be what I called “perfect” slowly became less and less of a priority. Yoga saved me from myself.
There are several books out there now that talk about the connection between yoga and positive body image. One of my favorites, by a quite well-known yogi, Cyndi Lee is called May I Be Happy: A Memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind. Cyndi says, “I was always getting mad at my body but, in fact, my body has been fine. It’s my relationship to my body that is hurting me, and my mind is the real troublemaker.” Yep, my mind was the culprit here. I had an unsettled mind. I was not calm. I was not connected. So since yoga is considered to be “the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind,” when my mind could slow down and get away from the rat race, I could slowly begin to reprogram the negativity.
“Yoga, like meditation, offers a method for coming together after you’ve come apart.” -Cyndi Lee
So stop and think, are you whittling away? Are you “trimming” yourself to suit everyone else or are you being exactly who you are, which is exactly who you should be? Now it’s yoga time. Take a few moments today. If you can breathe, then you can do yoga.
When working with my girls in True Body Project, we practice Tadasana or Mountain Pose to get centered and connected. Give it a shot when you are feeling flighty or when your inner critic starts to get the best of you. Take several deep breaths while standing tall with your feet hip width distant (and be honest, so many people I see in class think their hips are twice as wide as they really are!) and feel your feet connected to the ground. Pull the belly button in and up. Lift the shoulders to the ears and then draw them back down allowing the shoulder blades to settle on the back. Lengthen your spine and allow the chin to be parallel to the ground. Now stand. This is where you are, this is who you are and you are perfect exactly as you are right here and right now. Stand, breathe and tell yourself this. Stand there until you believe it.
Do not trim yourself. Do not whittle away. This is good fortune.
Don’t miss this recipe from My Whole Food Life!
Thai Peanut Sauce
A homemade sauce that tastes just like the restaurants!
- 1/3 cup unsalted creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup orange juice (I juiced an orange for this)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos (if gluten free)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 clove of garlic minced (optional)
- Whisk all ingredients in a bowl very well.
- Store in a covered glass jar in the fridge.
- I used a small mason jar for this.
This sauce should be kept in the fridge. It will last a couple of weeks. You may even be able to freeze it. Enjoy!
Read more at http://mywholefoodlife.com/2014/04/01/thai-peanut-sauce/#r93DoSFOgkUsAqT6.99