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Monday, September 29, 2014

Difficult People Help Us Learn & Grow

Namaste Everyone,

I recall a family of 3 who arrived shortly after we checked in at the RV park in Klamath, OR. The son, who looked like in his early 20's, took their two small non-descript dogs around the park for exercise. The father, probably in his 60's looked angry. Even from a distanc of 20 feet away, by his gait, by his facial expression and his body language showed he was not a happy soul. He also showed his unhappiness by muttering four letter words to announce to the world know that he was displeased.

When J.J. and I finished taking shower, we ran into the father and the son. The father immediately approached us and asked us how we liked the RV park. We replied that we were glad to have found the place for the night before it became dark. He then asked, "What about the price. They are charging $40 a night. That's a nonsense for this XABDA place!!! We replied that we have paid a lot less for more modern, well-maintained places by a lake or river or in the Aspen grove, but RV owners will charge what the market can bear. We added that without nearby competition, it's supply and demand, and for us, we figure it will all averages out. The father added that he is an ex-military and he can stay in a military camp for $6 a night, if he so chooses. J.J. mentioned that one couple we met said that they tried to use Elks Club's facilities whenever they travel. The father grunted to his son, "Hey remember that. Elks Club."  To which, the son replied, "Oh, so that's another thing I should remember for you."

You can see that the father has a problem and the son seemed at a loss as to what he should do to help his father. My retelling the story is to illustrate that one has to accept the situation that is presented to you. It was not the owner of the RV park's fault that this father found the price exorbitant. Perhaps for the owner, it was the right price to charge to stay in business. For the son, it is not his fault that his father expects him to remember details required to navigate their daily life. Perhaps the father, unknown to the son, cannot really remember things.

And for the father, all he said to us may be right. However, it would have been better for him to be happy then to be right. Travel presents us opportunities to meet different people from all walks of life. Some are inspiring, some are kind and welcoming and yes occasionally we meet difficult people. Difficult people are the best teachers and as Pema Chodron tells us, "Difficult people help us learn and grow." (REF: Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron)

Aloha -- Cathi

Water vs Soft Drinks

Namaste Everyone,

According to one of the studies, Americans are still drinking about 42 gallons of sugar drinks per person, per annum. No one is accusing anyone but this is one of the reason for obesity among American children and adults. Soft drinks are being offered everywhere including in school grounds, office lunchrooms, public places such as airports, baseball parks, football games and yes even in hospitals. When you are seated in a restaurant, the first thing they ask you is what would you like to drink. When you tell them water, they look at you like you said something alien to them.  

If you do not want to drink water, then ask for a cup of hot water with lemon. That's what I do and I have never faced any refusal for my request. From mom and pop cafe to more upscale, candle-light restaurants, requesting for cup of hot water with lemon is acceptable. Your body is made of what you put in. I know so many people who tell me, "Cathi, I have hard time losing my weight." The next time you reach for a can of soda, see if you can refrain from joining the average American who consumes 16 cans every day. Remember that a can of soda is loaded with sugar. One 12-once can contain 10 teaspoons of sugar and check to see how much calories it contains. 100, 150, 200, 450? They all add up.

Be mindful of what you drink, remember it is your body.

Aloha -- Cathi

Yoga Wear Is In, Blue Jeans Are Out

Namaste Everyone,

I am pleasantly surprised how yoga wear has become a basic staple in today's society. Whether you do any yoga or other forms of exercises seems irrelevant as people are choosing yoga clothes because they are comfortable. You can also find some yoga attire to be suitable for dress-up and going out to most public places including restaurants.

Living in RV, comfort is one of the foremost reason for me to choose yoga attire. I have enough yoga pants to last me 10 days plus two jeans and a couple of dress pants which are packed in a suitcase stored with other clothing which I do not need until it starts to snow. Yoga pants also do not take up too much space, easy to wash and dry. It's perfect for our "wash and wear" lifestyle.

Don't forget by wearing yoga attire, your yoga practice may be spontaneous. You don't even have to have a mat. Just a chair or a soft grassy surface with no pebbles to interfere with your asanas and concentration. Amanda Hallay, Assistant Clinical Professor of Fashion Merchandising at LIM College in Manhattan stated, "Everyone wants to look like they are running to the gym even if they are not."

That's okay. Life is spontaneous and so should your yoga practice. So put on your yoga wear and get into the mountain pose. Spread your yogi toes, feel rooted and grounded, tighten your buttocks, lift your knees, elongate your spine,lift your chest. Then bring your shoulders forward, up and back, imagine that there is a golden thread pulling your head up to the heaven, then pull in your chin 1/10 of an inch, stretch your arms, hands, fingers towards the earth. Wear a smile, relax your face and breathe.

Remember doing a little bit of yoga is better than no yoga at all.  Enjoy!

Aloha -- Cathi