Keeping A Journal While Traveling Through Wellness

Happy Mothers Day!!  My traveling companion, Mama Duck, is still sitting on her eggs. I have added her first picture since she refused to pose this week and I didn’t want to make her move.  Last week I said that we would be delving more deeply into journaling.  In The Way of the Traveler by Joseph Dispenza , it is suggested that we keep a journal  as we move from one place (the old) to another (the new).  mamaDuck_4687This journal should be a record of your feelings. Let it be a record of how you feel about the people and things you encounter along your path.  What feelings will your journal reveal?   Dispenza states, “a journal of your feelings gives you the opportunity to trace the movements of your heart as you make your way…It becomes a journey of self-discovery.” James Pennebake, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, suggests that regular journaling strengthens immune cells.  Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them. I can totally agree with this as writing about the accident has IMG_4746helped me understand my feelings, even when I was denying them, and the whole life-altering situation.  Maud Purcell , for PsychCentral, wrote about all the health benefits of journaling.  She states that journaling will clarify your thoughts and feelings, reduce stress, and help you solve problems more successfully.

I can look back at the time since September 23, 2014 and see lots of questions, fears and doubt in my journal entries, but they are mixed in with hope and the desire to get back to “me,” which includes finding ways to deal with my capabilities today. I felt uplifted by my physical therapists who gave me hope that I would be able to live more IMG_4753normally. I felt anger and disappointment at those who wrote me off due to my age. I also enjoyed drawing and adding photos to my journal. When I look back at my journal and see my progress it gives me such hope. In Week 11 after the accident I wrote, “Week 11 and I still can’t do much with my left arm. I can barely type and I can’t lift more than a couple of pounds. It is difficult to get my arm to do anything on its own. I am practicing reaching for things, but do most of the work with my right arm. Another pound was added to my weights at therapy and this week they started the therapy for my neck as I have started headaches again and I am having more pain in my IMG_4767neck.” Looking back I can see how far I have come which gives me even more motivation to continue working on getting better.

Exercise and New Directions

I had my second Ta’i Chi Class yesterday and I loved how it made me feel. Using the walking meditation I found I could walk on uneven surfaces without having to hold onto someone. I really felt thankful to my “Laoshi” (teacher) for the handouts she sent last week as the practice has helped me raise my left arm a little bit more without helping with my right arm. Are you doing any exercise? You can do chair yoga or water yoga or Ta’i Chi even with physical disabilities and it will help your flexibility and growth. My Mindfulness course had to wait as last week was grading week.

speech 2My second speech at Toastmasters last week went well, although I did speak a little fast and gave a few umms when the first time card was shown. A lesson for next time :). My next speech will be on the benefits of being a vegetarian and we will discuss that topic next week.

This Week’s Favorite Healthy Recipe

Because two of my granddaughters and my daughter are Vegan, I have taken many of my recipes and converted them so everyone can enjoy them. They were already vegetarian as we have been vegetarian for a long time. I started as a vegetarian in the 70s when my children were young. My daughter continued and was a vegetarian when when she was pregnant and three of my granddaughters have never eaten meat. This recipe takes a family favorite, banana bread, and converts it to Vegan (I am giving both regular and vegan, which is in parenthesis). We can’t tell the difference. This recipe was my grandmother’s originally and she got it from a friend who was the wife of a President of a small college in the midwest. She would make all her own breads and freeze them and then make all the little sandwiches for the teas for the opening of college.

IMG_4778My Banana Bread
Yield: Makes one large or two small loaves.

Cream: ½ cup shortening (I use Earth Balance Margarine)
1 cup sugar
Add: 2 eggs, slightly beaten (I use Red Mill Egg Replacer and follow the package, it is 2   Tablespoons of the Egg Replacer and 6 Tablespoons of water which I beat together.)

Add:  2 bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup nuts (optional, I don’t use them as my family does’t like them)

Put batter in greased loaf pans and bake for 35 -45 min at 350 degrees. They should not be runny or too soft in the middle.

The secret of good banana bread is the use of very ripe bananas
I make enough to freeze so I always have banana bread when someone comes over to visit. Enjoy!!!

IMG_4766The Road to Self-Discovery

What are your questions about Wellness? Are you dreaming of new things? Are you still making new plans?  Do you take the time to dream or meditate? Have you finished everything you wanted to do? If not, why not? Share with me! Do you have any favorite healthy recipes?  Next week we will be looking into the benefits of being vegetarian from three focal points:  health, the environment, and animal rights.  We might also look at healthy ways to garden. And I will continue with the next steps I am taking as I did this week.

I also will be taking the  time to stop and smell the roses or tulips and magnolias, and enjoy today, as I hope you will.  Since I planted all my flower pots this weekend and vegetables, I will have a lot of flowers and new plants to enjoy.  I included some of the photos I took this week as I planted my flowers and vegetables.

We can learn from yesterday, enjoy,  grow, and be mindful in today, and dream and plan the future. Safe journeys until next week :).  I really like the fact that I am becoming a mindful traveler and gardener.