Meditation Retreat

I wake every morning at 4:00 am or close to it, lay out my meditation cushion, dress, wash my face and hands, prepare a cup of espresso(1/2 decaf and 1/2 regular) with rice milk and stevia and sit down to practice meditation.

I have been meditating for over 8 years. At first it was just short 10 minute sessions, but for the past 2-3 years I spend about 2 hours.

Initially I started with shamata or calm abiding which means using an object as a support for meditation. The practice is quite simple. You start in meditation posture, relax your body and then listen to a particular sound or observe your breath. Inevitably the mind will start thinking of something else and then you’ll remember “Oops, I was supposed to be listening to sound or watching my breath.”  So that’s the meditation, getting lost and coming back. Eventually, the mind settles, just like mud in a glass will settle if placed on a stable surface. Click here to learn more!

After meditation, I have a breakfast that is both according to my allergy free, 4 day rotation diet. I developed severe eczema while I was studying Traditional Chinese Medicine as a result of too much stress and chocolate chip cookies. Every 2 or 3 years I repeat my allergy test to see which of my allergens have changed and then I modify my diet.  I take vitamins for energy, to help the function of my memory and a natural anti-inflammatory.  My husband is a Naturopathic Physician, and he helps me manage my health. Click here to find out more! I have asymptomatic osteoarthitis, which means I have no pain, just the diagnosis.

We live in an area that is extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. So, clothing is quite different each season. I grew up in Southern California, which meant 1 season. When I moved here I had to buy wool coats and sweaters and huge winter boots, not to mention long underwear. Long underwear is a perfect invention!

Dressed for skiing!

So at this point in the morning, I’ve either on several layers or a summer dress!

Dressed for Summer!

 

 

Then I pack the lunches and drive down the hill.

We live in a small condo at a ski resort in the interior of BC. It is perfect for my husband and me. The condo has been beautifully designed with granite countertops, heated floors, picture windows. It is a 20 minute commute. We are very fortunate to live in such a pristine environment.

View of Red Mountain

Work begins at around 8 or 9. Being self employed means lots of flexibility and shorter hours. I start seeing patients around 9:30, but before this I spend an hour organizing my husbands business which involves making reminder calls, ordering supplies, phoning couriers to pick up lab test samples, printing lab results and emailing new patient forms.

Acupuncture Treatment

We work until noon and then have a 2 hour lunch which includes going to the gym for weight training and cardio workouts.  I started working out when I stopped dancing which is a good fit. Both are specific, controlled exercises. Currently I use Core Performance which is an online sport-specific program. I am using the ski workouts to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

After lunch we work for another 2 hours and then do banking, go to the post office and finally get groceries before heading back home.

Trail, the town we work in, has a large Italian community and our local store, Ferraro’s features Italian products. In the winter there are Italian baked goods. They also provide lots of items for those with allergens.

In the winter I will prepare a hot meal sometimes using an elaborate recipe. Many people think we are vegetarians. But I do not tolerate beans and so we eat a wide range of meats and lots of vegetables.

Recently we’ve made a vow to take a walk at the end of the day  or read. We’re usually in bed by 8 or 9 at the latest.  At night I take an assortment of supplements to improve the quality of my sleep.  Diamonds are not a girl’s best friend, pillows are!  I use a cervical pillow and an assortment of other pillows for laying on my side.