Healthy habits, healthy lifestyle

the long commute
What a week! I was sick as a dog with the stomach flu and didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Whether that involved eating, yoga, working or reading. Surprisingly, what did feel good were my shoulders! A week’s reprieve from strength yoga moves seemed to work wonders on their integrity and mobility. Now to maintain a sense of strength and flexibility in my shoulders without causing further injury is my goal. I do want to start skydiving again this summer and that means I need injury pain-free shoulders.

Because of my departure from work, the week zoomed by! How is it that the rhythm at home flies and the tempo at work, at times, drones and drags with painful melody? I often miss the freelance lifestyle where my work time was my time to be cre8tive and carefree. However, the pull of a regular paycheck and interaction with lovely friends has been integral into my staying employed with the Calgary Health region for the past 18 months. Soon enough will be our return to freelancing …. Calgary isn’t forever. Speaking of endings, next week will prelude my typical commute when our department and floor at Centre 15 moves to Southport. On Tuesday our old department ‘Healthy Living’ and myself will seek out the most efficient and traffic-free route to cycling down to Southport. For me, the newly involved distance in my commute will determine my desire and willingness to stay on in my current position with Community Oral Health. As most of you know, currently I have a 6 minute door to desk lovely stroll 5 days a week, with the same for my lunchtime workout at the local Talisman fitness centre. This summer, not only will I have to find alternative means of getting to work (local transit or biking are my only options of choice) but I’ll also have to allot an extra 2+ hours to my day to accommodate this shift. I think the latter is the greater travesty. But I’m trying to look at it positively … putting a health twist on my newly acquired workout: cycling 12 kilometres to and from Southport. I’m looking at the cycle as quality time to think, move my body in an energetic fashion, developing my sense of switching off and just being. With glorious weather, this can be a welcome reprieve. But as soon as inclement weather moves in, I’m wondering whether I’ll choose to rethink my options? With my current skills, quality of life will win out in looking for satisfying work closer to home. The main benefit of my employment? Spectacular co-workers who have become gentle loyal friends, many of whom are dedicated students of my lunchtime yoga classes. This opportunity to teach and develop myself as a Yoga Instructor has been invaluable. Where else could I build hours without having to pay for a space within 2 minutes of my desk? I’ve currently logged 35 hours of instruction!!! To say that my style and confidence has improved is an understatement. …. a mere 7 months ago I quivered at the thought of standing in front of a group, guiding the breath and body like a symphonic director.
thinking outside the cubicle
Here’s to living, loving ♥ and breathing in the quality of life that exists around us.

Live it, love it, kick it (© Katherine Weishar 2008)

Sex and The City

I’ve been waiting, it feels like, FOREVER for this movie to finally come out. Where are my best girlfriends when I need and want them most?? Why in New York, in fact (and California — I miss you)!

A signature cocktail in honor of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex & the City’s character, Carrie Bradshaw.

cosmO!The Bradshaw
2 oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz. X Rated Passion Fruit Liquor
3/4 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
3/4 oz. Cane Sugar Simple Syrup

Shaken, served straight up in a martini glass rimmed in hot pink sugar, garnished with a lime wedge.

Thought of the day: on journalling

Journalling: inspiration stationI think that journalling can be such a wonderful and insightful cathartic release at times. At one stage in my life, I kept a journal everyday when I was travelling. I actually miss those days, where the hand flows freely and there is no fear in unravelling that which is contained within. A private viewing of sorts into the unknown and the often scattered.

This blog has been wonderful in a sense, allowing me to explore my inner depths, but there is only so much that I am willing to share with my loyal fans (bless you all!). The road of self-discovery and learning will continue to my grave. And with a journal, I can fully give of myself, without fear of criticism. It’s my safety net, my divulgence sanctuary, my refuge from the bitter and cold places within. A space to escape from the fear-mongering, regretful, critical, perfection-seeking, busy cavity a.k.a. my brain … I can scream, be silly, vent, cre8tively explore feelings and beliefs that I am unable to or uncomfortable with sharing, even if I appear as ‘anonymous’. It truly can be magical.

So why have I stopped and / or avoided the process and physicality of journalling? A very good question indeed. Laziness, I believe, has a lot to do with my decision, my choice. That and accountability, to myself, of actually ‘locking in’ the most private depths of my being. A scary place to be if discovered by another. And oddly enough, I’ve had thoughts of what would happen when I die to my captured secret world within? Of course, and would it really matter at that point?

Project sKYlog:

Each morning, ask myself, “What do I really really want?” List the 5 things that are most pressing for me right in that moment.
In the evening, recording my gratitude – 5 things I was grateful for that day.

Voices from the Street 2008

Last night was an eye-opening experience. One that I will never forget (I pray that I will always remember). ‘Voices from the Street’ … the volunteer opportunity of my lifetime.

What started out as a noble gesture to reach out and provide an opportunity to serve, turned into a life-changing experience, recounted through the eyes of 7 different narrators. Homeless souls on the ’empty’ streets of Calgary.

The Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre has a blog {I highly recommend this as a notable read} which is updated by individuals who work there and this entry sums up last night very well ….

Last night I was part of Voices from the Street 2008. A group of social service agencies and volunteers conducting a homeless street count in Calgary on the night of May 14th. Over the course of two to three hours, one hundred volunteers wandered the city streets identifying how many people were without shelter, sleeping rough. Each group had a specific geographic area to walk, a clipboard with census sheet to mark off how many people were ‘visibly homeless’ and a shopping bag full of ‘goodies’ to give away to those willing to engage in conversation.

The purpose of the count is to identify trends — the count has been conducted by the City every second year since 1992. Homelessness has risen by 32% every two years since the first count. Is that continuing? Are more people sleeping out? Are more people drifting into homelessness? The count helps project forward what facilities will be needed. And, helps identify what’s working. What’s not? Where are the gaps?

One thing that this entry didn’t note was this year was the first time the City of Calgary has taken a homelessness census by talllying numbers at the shelters only. Hence, the need for volunteers to go out into the community last night and hear the voices from the street.

copyright of http://www.citynews.caFrom my volunteer experience with the homeless, there are few voices from the street that have the resources and resilience to overcome their addictions, loneliness, mental illness and turmoil that many experience on a daily basis. Thank God for the help of outside institutions who support those living on the street (such as the sponsors of last night’s event: The Salvation Army, The Seed, CDIRC, Alpha House, CUPS Housing Registry Network and the Calgary Homeless Foundation); homelessness is an incredibly dire urgent social human dilemma that goes beyond the tallying of numbers and the rallying of voices.

All of the stories from our conversations with the homeless stick out poignantly in my mind. However, what really burns a vibrant image of remembrance was the sentiment which resoundingly came through with each and every person …. fortitude, honesty, integrity and friendliness. Of course, these are all judgements based on my perspective of what I saw / heard or perhaps wanted to see or hear. But with the fading of the sun and the warm night bearing down on us like a thick fog blanket, I saw light gleam in a few people’s eyes …. pride in strength and resilience seemed to shine through.

Dennis was a perfect example of the unexpected truth to my evening … he was a surprisingly fit, smartly dressed 54 year old First Nations Aboriginal from Saskatchewan pushing a shopping cart [holding what I deemed to be his worldly belongings, carefully bound up next to a scattering of bottle depot returnables]. Dennis was freshly showered with a beautiful bright smile, clear eyes and a curiosity that left me both inquisitive and breathless. His story of being on the streets for over 12 years (his grown children also somewhere displaced in the night), working occasional to full-time as a construction worker for PCL, was typical of the homeless males we encountered in our walkabout of Fort Calgary and the riverbanks. A common thread … seems that there is plenty of work here in Calgary, with money to be made. However, the housing situation is way out of control and hopelessly beyond the means of someone with addictions and / or mental issues that fuels the inability to maintain a stable and supportive lifestyle. Addictions tend to bring out the tragedy in humankind …. instant gratification is a reality of our society, especially prevalent with those that live moment to moment for their next fix. Stability for those on the street is not a common denominator in the lifestyle which I often take for granted.

Life on the street is a tough, rough, cold environment reflected in the pavement the destitute travel and sleep on. Homelessness is often overlooked, hidden and ignored. But last night, I was proud to be a part of this census, helping to support the often unheard voice of our people, our brothers and sisters.

Friends = angels

I’m feeling uninspired lately … that and oh so weary. I’m finding myself completely exhausted, utterly busy and often dragging around a sore aching body. I have neglected my Flickr project 366, my blog, my friends, my cre8tivity, my healthful diet. At times I feel negligent and unworthy. BUT, daily and with purpose, I remind myself that I am very worthy … and very blessed. Just really really tired.
Friends are angels

EnCana

It was quite the sight to see the Men in action over the weekend in slaDE~s world of concrete and steel. Currently my husband is working on another huge project with Harris ReBar (The Keynote), but he has worked at ‘The Bow’ on several occasions, as Harris has taken on the mammoth EnCana building.

This spiel was put out by ctv.ca:

Massive concrete pour runs all weekend
Let it pour. A huge concrete convoy is in downtown Calgary all weekend at the site of EnCana’s new office building. The Bow Project is between 5th and 6th avenues, and between Centre Street and 1st Street.
A long convoy of trucks is continuously pouring the foundation for the 58-story high rise. Talk about a base. It will be 10 feet thick. The Bow Project involves the biggest concrete pour in the history of our country, and the fourth largest in the world. The pour will continue throughout the entire weekend at a pace of 50 trucks an hour.

What I found incredible in watching the pour was the tremendous amount of noise and the overwhelming smell of diesel fumes (an unending procession of cement trucks, running non-stop in an enclosed area over 48 hours; a constant flow!). Also, the depth of the hole and the magnitude of such a project is mind-boggling.

Big concrete pour at EnCana building
EnCana hole in the ground
Cement trucks a go-go!

I found this photo posted below on Spooof’s flickr blog, just to give you an idea of the massiveness of this project.
Big EnCana hole

Interesting Wiki tidbit … more concrete is used than any other man-made material in the world. 15000 tons was being laid this weekend. EpiC!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is such a magical day to remember all the fantastic Mothers who play such an important loving role in my life, supporting me as I am guided down the tricky pathways of life. I am truly blessed to have my birth Mother still alive, happy and well. This is such a beautiful grace to have a loving relationship with a Mom who loves and believes in me unconditionally.

And then I have Barbie June, who has and always will be, my #2 Mom in life, just as I am her Daughter #3. A flowing magical friendship that has blossomed and grown over the years, with beginnings and endings that have solidified the bond that we share.

And then Mama Dawson … slaDE~s Mother. Such a positive caring influence in our lives. So wise and magnificent. We miss her daily presence in our life.

And then I am grateful for the family and girlfriends in my life who are Mother’s, who nurture our friendship, as only a Mother can.

i give you my love, my all, especially on this day, dedicated to yoU!
Happy Mother's Day