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Year Three, Day 21: I Am an Overthinker!

It's a glorious day today in Portland ,Oregon,  USA!

Sun is shining. Sky is blue. A gentle breeze is blowing.

I am relaxing at the corner Starbucks before I teach piano classes.

I like Fridays. I have time in the morning to workout, have a leisurely breakfast and then do some grocery shopping.  Which is exactly what I did today!

I got my favorite new Starbucks drink - Iced unsweetened passionfruit/white tea and a yogurt parfait.  I have been having horrible carb cravings lately.  I almost caved in and got the "Bistro box" - cheese, fruit, turkey and crackers.  But I said no and I am a better woman for it!

I did not do any real exercise yet today.  Besides the normal walking.  But I really felt the need for a day off.  I walked 3/4 mile to the corner bus stop and rode the bus up to Larry's Restaurant. My new favorite breakfast joint.  I had black coffee, two scrambled eggs, three pieces of bacon, home fries and fruit instead of toast. I really wanted toast. I went to bed craving sourdough toast last night.  I can't remember when the last time I had a nice piece of sourdough toast was. Many moons. Sigh. But I know from experience, that I get depressed and bloated when I eat gluten. So I overcame!!

After breakfast, I met a friend of mine at Wal-Mart. He is having a bit of a hard time. He recently was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. But after a successful surgery, he is cancer free!  But he is also out of work. So I bought him an iced tea and gave him a bit of money for a bus pass.  I bought a new prayer journal at Wal-Mart and some good charcoal pencils. I plan on incorporating sketching into my daily journaling practice.

I was heading to the bank after Wal-Mart. My friend asked if he could walk with me. It was nice. We chatted about his recent relationship and job search. He even came to the produce store with me after the bank.  I bough a bag of fresh fruits and veggies and headed home to make a cucumber salad.

I was thrilled to find an package on my doorstep when I got home!

My weight hula hoop!

My story about how the brain learns best in small repeated increments the other day inspired me.  I ordered a hoop online that evening. I can't believe it got here already. I immediately put it together and tried it out. I didn't have much time, but I easily got 75 rotations in!  It is heavy.  My hip bones might be sore tomorrow.

But something has go to give. I have been pretty faithful to my eating plan (except for, errr, that potato chip incident on Monday), and I have been exercising daily. But my weight is stuck about 188. And my bully is still poking out like the Buddha (please don't rub it for good luck!)

So I am adding daily hooping to my life.  I hope it makes a difference.

Speaking of making a difference, at breakfast I read a bit out of a book about Henri Nouwen I checked out from the library.  I have read some of his work before. I find it feeds my soul.  He was a priest and a teacher. He studied psychology in Holland. He moved to the US and taught at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard.  I first became familiar with him when I began reading about monks, particularly Thomas Merton.  Henri Nouwen also worked with Jean Vanier at the L'Arche Community in Trosly, France, where people with developmental disabilities live with their assistants in community.

But today, I was needing inspiration.  I am still battling negative thoughts and feelings, that sometimes all but paralyze me.  I have been accused of being an overthinker.

Guilty as charged!

I broke out in goosebumps when I read the following in The Essential Henri Nouwen:

"Our minds are always active. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. you might say our thinking is 'unceasing'. Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for awhile; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love. Let's break out of our isolation and realize that someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that preoccupies and occupies our minds."


I felt like this man was talking directly to my soul. And we never met. And he unfortunately has passed away.  

But still!

I wrote it in my journal.  And I practiced it all day.

It made a difference.

A huge difference.

I am familiar with the scripture that says to "pray without ceasing".  ("Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians: 5: 16-18 ESV")
It is one of my favorites. Yet, I have not been able to come close to that type of connection with God.  But today was different. But turning my worries and negative thoughts over to God, I felt like He was walking by my side all day long. Holding my hand and listening to me.  

Like my friend that walked with me to the produce stand today. Just walking with me to enjoy my company.  

I feel like a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

As usual, I have so much more to say, but it is getting late.  I plan on yet again trying to get up early to jog in the morning. 

And tomorrow will be a good day. I am meeting my mother for breakfast and then teaching all day.  And practicing giving my worries up to God!

On that note, happy Friday!

Talk to you tomorrow.




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