Be stronger

You can count on me to completely lose my shit twice a year; once in September and once in January. I call it, taking a ride on the crazy train. I know I have arrived at Breakdown Station when every little thing starts to piss me off. When my perspective turns bitter because it seems there is always something more to do and it is all my responsibility. When my usually positive and sunny outlook goes dark.

I mention this now because it is nearly September and that means the Crazy Train is approaching the station.

The September freakout occurs when summer exhaustion meets a new school year and then combines with the fact that my company is about to enter the fourth quarter of our fiscal year and I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish all the goals I set for myself by 12/31/–. These three factors converge to create a complete derailment featuring anxiety induced frustration and rage.

The January derailment occurs when holiday exhaustion meets the second half of the school year and then combines with the fact that my company just entered the first quarter of our fiscal year and I only have 12 months to accomplish all the projects we scoped.

Looking at them now, September and January seem to be two very dangerous and obvious kinks in the the railroad track. However, for the first time since embarking on my career and becoming a parent, I see and understand this pattern. More and more, I see that keeping the trains running on time, for me, is about two things:

#1–Recognizing when I need to calm the fuck down

#2–Knowing what it takes to calm the fuck down

During practice this morning, my yoga teacher said

“Notice if every little thing is pissing you off; then get stronger.”–Anna McLawhorn, Three Dog Yoga

Granted, she said this within the context of Warrior 2 (Virabhadra) which we had been holding for what felt like 3 hours, and we were all a little pissed off. But I heard it within the context of my own life and my own mental state.

“Every little thing IS pissing me off and I DO need to get stronger.” I need to get my shit together and take back the things that make my life work, like yoga and writing and sleep. Those are always the first things to go when schedules fall apart and life gets hectic. I need to calm the fuck down. I need to get grounded. I need to stay on track.

 

 

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

 

Quinoa-Farro Cherry Salad

The inspiration for this recipe came from a vegan cookbook called PLUM: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro. I changed so much about the original recipe that it is no longer gluten, soy, or dairy-free–oops. It is, however, still a protein rich vegetarian salad that we use as a main course or side dish at our house.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Farro ( or pearled farro)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 chopped almonds
8 oz fresh cherries, pitted, quartered
1/4 small red onion
1 lime
1/4 fresh parsley
3 mint leaves

Here’s how to make it:

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Quinoa and farro have very different cooking times. So, really, you should cook them separately according to their individual cooking instructions. However, I am lazy, so I use pearled farro, which cooks faster, and I soak it for an hour or so before I mix it with the rinsed quinoa and cook it together. That gets their cooking times closer. So make that major life decision and while your grains cook, take care of your chopping.
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Pit and cut your cherries. Chop your other ingredients. Toast your almonds in a dry skillet for a few minutes to activate their flavor. Then let them cool before you use them. I go light on the red onion because it seems to stay with me for days, but feel free to increase the amount and use a finer dice. You do you.

Put it all together:
Fluff you grains and let them cook a bit before you put them together with your chopped ingredients. Then, toss it all together, season with salt and pepper, squeeze lemon juice liberally, and garnish with mint. We serve this over a bed of mixed greens, but it works on its own too.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com