Sunday, February 20, 2011

Common Senses

When I left the corporate world, I stumbled into a new profession as headmistress of a Montessori school.  It was a wonderful experience.  I was very familiar with the Montessori methodologies as my children were educated in this manner.  My husband and I selected Montessori because we loved the idea that our children would  go to school in a calming, non-competitive environment where they could learn kinesthetically - using all of their senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing.  I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to "give back" as our children flourished and did very well.  Thinking back over my years at the school, I thought, "Wow! this experience is no different".  Light bulb moment!  Use common sense!  This experience of learning new ways to prepare food would be easy if I used a sensorial-based approach in the same manner the Montessori method teaches young children:  practical hands-on material that focus on the use of your senses to stimulate and awaken.

A Tommy Moment

In 1969, the great rock band, The WHO, released the rock opera, "Tommy" about a mute, deaf, and blind young man who becomes a leader influencing millions..  One of my favorite songs from the opera is (hear/play:) "Listening to You"©1969.   Tommy silently pleads "see me, touch me, feel me, heal me".  He finally gets attention, by using the only senses he has left: to touch and to feel, ultimately becoming brilliant influencing millions:  
"Following you  I climb the mountain, ...On you I see the glory, 
From you I get opinions, From you I get the story."
~ excerpt from "Listening to You

Some days in this journey are harder than others.  Some days I wake up energized, excited to try new recipes and tastes, while other days I feel defeated.  The difference is always the same:  motivation or lack thereof.  There was nothing palpable to encourage my way.  Have you ever felt this way?  If so, you like I, need a "Tommy" moment.  Something that will allow you to use your senses commonly, to enable you to climb your mountain and to see your glory.

Palpable Reminders

palpable coffee pot replacement
Realizing the need for common sense, and determined to make things physical, and tangible.  I purchased a basket and made a pact with myself to keep it stocked with fruits.  I placed this basket on my kitchen countertop in the same location where my coffee pot used to be (since becoming vegan, I have no taste nor use for it any longer).  Now, each time I enter the kitchen, I  can see, smell, touch or even taste the fruit.  The  physical being of the fruit reminds me to stay on track. It inspires me to be creative, to "get the story", to inquire, "seek opinion" and advice from others which then leads to success - "the glory of climbing the mountain" - a personal Tommy moment.   My initial success was to use the fruits and a few leftover greens to make this Simple Citrus Salad after I thought I needed to go to the market on a snowy day.  It became my sunshine as the sight of the fruit sparked a little ingenuity:

Tommy moment: unexpected sunshine on a snowy day
Simple Citrus Salad
Green Apple
Navel Orange
Grate cabbage and carrots (slaw style).  Peel and dice orange and apple. Mix ingredients.  Squeeze fresh lemon over the top.

The salad was very delicious.  The smell and taste of the lemon cleansed the palate allowing the combination of  tangy apples and sweet, juicy oranges to supply an explosion of fruity flavor. The roughness of the carrots and the cabbage provided the right texture against the softness of the fruit.

When you make things elementary, it's much easier to stay motivated and to learn.  Create your own tangible, sensorial,  kinesthetic, practical reminders that will awaken or heal you and bring you to your senses.

Yoga:   Third Eye (to feel and to see)
In Yoga, it is said that meditation gives you peace of mind, calmness, and a sense of well being. There are several types and methods of mediation each focusing on a different energy center of the body, one of which is the sixth chakra, the point on the forehead just above and between the eyebrows.  This location is called the Third Eye or Mind's Eye.  When the eyes are closed, this point is considered the seat of "concealed wisdom". It allows you to see and to feel, enabling you to retain energy and strengthen concentration.

To awaken, hear, see and feel your inner wisdom, using your third eye:
  • Sit cross legged (lotus pose-if not possible, sit comfortably on chair or bed)  
  • Keep your spine straight
  • Close your eyes
  • Inhale and exhale deeply three times
  • Concentrate on the middle of your forehead around the area which is a few centimeters above the middle of your eyes.
  • Keep your eyes closed and draw both of your eyes towards this center point of third eye (just look upwards with your eyes closed focusing on the point between your eyes).  
  • Once you have achieved this state of stillness, you will feel as if you can see your thoughts...just like a screen appearing before you.      (source:
Om Shanti (all peace)

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