Tuesday, 27 November 2007

"Every day in every way, my a** is getting smaller."


This is the mantra recommended in the book Skinny Bitch. I love it! Here's the lowdown on how to be a skinny bitch:

No smoking.
No booze.
No sodas.
No coffee.
No meat.
No dairy.
No over-the-counter remedies for every sniffle.
No conventional beauty products.
No conventional junk food.
No sitting on your ass.

Hey, who are these nazi vegans and what have they done with all the fun in life? Well, they're not that bad. You can have:

Organic red wine, if it's free of sulfites and additives, occasionally.
Herbal teas.
Every fruit, vegetable, whole grain and other edible item that grows up from the soil of the good earth.
'Healthy junk food'. (More on that later.)
Your body's natural healing process.
Natural, organic beauty products.
Exercise.

So see, what's wrong with that? According to the book, the perfect skinny bitch day would start with fresh fruit and herbal tea for breakfast, continue with a giant salad of fresh greens and raw vegetables for lunch, and finish with a dinner of a vegan protein source, whole grains or starchy vegetables, and of course more fresh vegetables in a rainbow of colours. Any snacks in between would consist of whole, natural items or a product made of organic whole ingredients. The second mantra of the skinny bitches is 'Read the label.' If it's got any sort of refined sugar, animal product or chemical in it, don't eat it. There are no restrictions on the use of cold-pressed, organic oils, such as olive and coconut oil, or of eating nuts and seeds. Of course, you'd want to keep those balanced because of the high calorie content, but I seriously think if you ate this clean even most of the time, you couldn't help but lose weight even if you ate oil and nuts fairly liberally. Since the authors aren't 'perfect skinny bitches' their book makes recommendations for a heartier breakfast with grains, etc, and bigger lunches, plus snack ideas. And they have a new book coming out (which I've already ordered) 'Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.'

So that's the skinny bitch plan. I'm sure they won't mind if I help spread the word!

May all beings be at ease.


Sounds good to me!

Monday, 26 November 2007

We Wish You a Jari Christmas


Here's the 'Merry Jari Christmas' rotation that I mentioned in a previous entry. There will be a check-in for this rotation at the VideoFitness.com Challenges and Check-ins Forum at the beginning of December. This rotation does not show rest days. It will be up to you to decide when and where you need a break. I use Jari, The Firm and Ravi & Ana's kundalini yoga exclusively in this particular rotation. You can sub your own cardio and yoga choices as needed.



MERRY JARI CHRISTMAS!

1 Get Ripped
2 KY for Beginners & Beyond
3 Super Cardio Sculpt
4 GR Slim & Lean
5 KY Bliss Hips
6 Super Cardio Mix
7 Burn & Shape
8 KY Ultimate Stretch Workout
9 GR to the Core
10 Bootcamp Maximum Calorie Burn
11 Get Ripped
12 KY Dance the Chakras
13 Complete Aerobics & Weight Training
14 Cardio Sculpt Blaster
15 GR Slim & Lean
16 Ultimate Calorie Blaster
17 GR & Chiseled
18 Yoga Beauty Body
19 Ultimate Fat Burning Workout
20 Total Body Time Crunch
21 KY for Beginners & Beyond
22 GR to the Core
23 KY Ultimate Stretch
24 Low Max (a little Cathe thrown in there for a change!)
25 Get Ripped
26 KY Journey thru the Chakras
27 Express Cardio
28 Cardio Sculpt
29 KY Beauty Body
30 GR Slim & Lean
31 KY Warrior Workout

There it is! You could always take out a cardio or yoga and plug in a third Jari workout each week. The simplest way to get a rest day would be to drop one yoga per week. You'll also notice that some cardio days are actually cardio+sculpt. It's good the keep the body guessing. I would love to see other people's versions of a Merry Jari Christmas rotation and hope to see lots of people at the check-in!

May all beings be at ease.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Long and winding road



I've nearly reached the end of my list of goals that I set when I moved to the UK five years ago. I got my UK citizenship and passport in July of this year, and the next goal is to get the UK driving licence. The driving test is a big deal in the UK. It is very strict,and lots of people fail it several times before finally earning their licence. Personally, I think this failure rate is not so much in the interest of public safety as it is to earn the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency)more money. Every time you retake the test, of course you have to pay the exorbitant fees again. And people fail for small reasons, like not looking over their shoulder enough when joining a dual carriageway from a slip road, then the next test when they try to improve in that area, they fail for looking over their shoulder too often. They fail for bumping the kerb, hesitating, not having their hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, not checking their mirrors enough, checking their mirrors too much, going too slow, all sorts of excuses. Some people are even told by the test examiner that they are good drivers, but they have to be failed anyway because of one or more of these picky points. Which is why I think examiners have a quota of failures they must achieve because they're working to a financial target for the DVLA.

Anyway, I've got my provisional licence and intend to call around and find a driving instructor who can coach me in the proper performance for this wretched practical exam, so I will know precisely what unnatural behaviours my examiner will scrutinize me for. Then when I get my licence I can drive like normal people. I'm not looking forward to it and will not be surprised if I fail more than once, even though I've held a clean US license since I was 17 years old.

On the upside, once I get the darn thing (which I fully intend to do before 2008 is out!), it will be nice to have a car. At the moment we like the Toyota Yaris:



It's not amazingly sexy or anything, but it has favourable reviews from consumer magazines and seems like a good choice for us.


May all beings be at ease.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Bitches are Back!



Oh boy! I just found out that the authors of Skinny Bitch have a cookbook coming out in a few weeks! I have preordered in at Amazon and can't wait to get it. I was browsing for an image of the cover of Skinny Bitch because today's blog entry is about my plan for December. Serendipity!

Having read that the lovely Jari Love is the same height as me, two years older and has had two kids, I was gratified to also learn that she is only 13 pounds lighter than me. This has steeled my resolve to kick this plateau/maintenance phase that I've been in for the last year. I'd like to lose 10 pounds by next April and be a similar weight to Jari Love. Just look at her:



I didn't realize I was so close to her weight. I can't be that close and not go for it, can I? So I have been looking around trying to decide on which food philosophy to try. Eat to Live? I've read it. It's vegan and low fat, but I am not a raw fooditarian and couldn't stomach so much salad. McDougall's Maximum Weight Loss? I haven't read it but I know I've read something by McDougall. It's vegan, too, and heavier on complex carbohydrates, which I love, but can I really go so low fat? Is it something I can live with? Not sure.

Then I remembered I've got Skinny Bitch on the shelf and there's a month's worth of daily menus in the back! So I'm going to follow those. (To be honest, most of that stuff is what we already eat, it's just the breakfasts are a little better balanced and of course having something set will help take the pressure off.) I've made out shopping lists for weeks one and two, and when I've finished those, it will be about time to get the new cookbook and then I can make things out of that! Perfect timing!

So I'm starting on Monday 3rd December with a target of 10 pounds gone by 1st April. My December rotation features two Jari Love workouts per week and I'm calling it 'We Wish You a Jari Christmas.' (The basic pattern is a Ripped workout-kundalini yoga-cardio-Ripped workout-kundalini yoga-AWT-kundalini yoga). I will post both my menus and my rotations closer to the time.

Today I did TLT Strength in Movement in the AM, and this afternoon I'm going to do Rodney Yee's Power Yoga Total Body. DH has gone to see his parents, so I've got a pot of soup on the stove and my workouts to keep me busy.

Here's what's in the soup:

Kale and Bean Soup with Garlic

1 large onion, minced
1 leek, minced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 package of chopped kale
15-20 whole cloves of garlic, skinned (basically, one head of garlic cleaned)
2 cans of cannellini beans, or whatever large white beans you have on hand
vegan bouillon
marmite
salt and pepper

Water saute the onion, carrot and leek. Add the garlic cloves. Add the kale, reduce heat and simmer with lid on until the kale is quite limp. Pour in plenty of water. Add vegan bouillon to taste, salt and pepper. Simmer on very low heat for 2 or 3 hours, until the kale is soft and tender like spinach. (Kale is a tough leaf, so this takes a very long time). Add marmite to taste to make the stock richer. Salt and pepper and serve. (Don't worry about the garlic, it goes soft and mellow and looks like one of the beans until you mash it around in your mouth and think, whoa, that's garlic!)

This soup has no added fat and no grain, so you can eat bowl after bowl with virtually no consequences. (Which is a good thing, because we ate a bag and half of doritos last night in the form of vegan nachos! Doh!)

Edited to add: Jari Love's been featured in The New York Times! And I also found a cute article about Cathe Friedrich. Click to read:

The Fonda Factor

Hard Corps: A Weekend of Workouts

May all beings be at ease.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

OH ARGH!


I had a really rubbish day at work today. All my Buddhist notions of calmness and breathing fell by the wayside. In all honesty, it wasn't that big a deal, but I just hate making errors and I never know when to talk and when to shut up. I also have no ability to disguise my emotions, particularly stress and frustration. I have to remember the philosophy taught me by a more senior colleague when I first started this: 'At the end of the day, it's just books.' Or in this case, DVDs.

There are times when minutiae really get me down. Details, details, bean counting and ticky ticky stuff. It seems that lower down the totem pole you go in my organisation, the more details you're expected to be able to think about and perform all at the same time. And I'm right down there at the bottom. It's particularly galling when you think a plan is coming together, that you've got a task licked, and then some problem rears its head and you have to go back and do work over again. Another problem I am having at the moment is people listening in on what is going on and interfering. While my teammate and I were discussing the problem we'd encountered, people all over the workroom stopped to listen in. People come out and have something to say about what's going on when they aren't even meant to be involved in it. Someone tells me it's my boat, then the next thing I know there are 40 people in there with me all trying to steer it. I might as well put on my life jacket and jump.

So confession time. Today a member of staff asked me to help her do something with the computer system, but the whole time I was trying to show her she kept interrupting me thinking I was making errors, until finally I asked her, 'Do you want me to do this or do you want to do it?' Then another member of staff brought a customer over with a problem, which I dealt with. Then she came over to find out the resolution and when I started to explain it to her, she interrupted me and contradicted me so I said, 'Do you want to hear what happened or not?' And at one point a senior member of staff--who is NOT, however, on my team--came out to question something I had done, even though a member of staff senior to HER had conferred with me and told me to do it. I tried to explain this to her, but she kept telling me that that isn't the way 'we' had done it before. So finally I said to her, 'Would you like me to copy you into any future emails about this?' And of course she said it wasn't her concern.

Well, I mean honestly! I do feel I was justified in feeling frustrated by all these instances, but I am pretty sure my reactions weren't the best choice. I did not raise my voice or use a sharp tone, I don't think, but still, perhaps I could have done better.

Anyway, between things I'd tried so hard to get right going wrong and then my interpersonal skills being tested and found lacking, it's been a crap day.

I'm going to go exercise now and see if I can work out some frustration.

May all beings be at ease. (Even at work.)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

'Each time we eat, we are creating our future self.'



What does it mean to eat like a Buddhist? What is the Buddhist attitude toward food? Who knows! Some Buddhists eat meat, some don't. Some eat nothing after 12.00, some do. Yogis get a little more specific guidance on what they might ought to be eating. One thing that Buddhism shares with kundalini yoga, and all yoga, is the notion of ahimsa, or non-injury, the refraining from harm to other living beings. It isn't long into your yogic (or Buddhist) journey before it occurs to you that it is a bit harmful to a living being to kill and eat it. This is why so many yogis (and Buddhists!) become vegetarians and vegans. So far I haven't encountered any specifically Buddhist cookbooks, but I stumbled upon this curiosity one day while doing some online searching, so I ordered it and I really like it!

The Kundalini Yoga Cookbook is more than just a recipe book. Its opening chapters contain information on the kundalini yoga attitude toward food ('Each time we eat, we are creating our future self.' Yogi Bhajan), a short introduction to the principles of kundalini yoga, and some details about the philosophies of yogic eating. In the back of the book, after the recipes, there are full color photographs of the authors (presumably) doing tuning in and warm-ups (easy pose, cat cow, forward stretch), close up photos of various mudras, complete instructions for Yogi Bhajan's Detoxification Kriya, Healing the Stomach Kriya, and Kriya for Optimum Health. The book ends with instructions for four meditations: Boost Your Immune System, Self-Healing, Raa Maa Daa Saa Saa Say So Hung, and Conquer Inner Anger and Burn it Out.

The book is a full size, full color, fully illustrated cookbook. The photos are beautiful and inspiring. It contains three vegan diets that you can follow for 40 days, as kundalini yoga teachers sometimes do as part of their training, according the book. The diets are The Green Diet (mostly green foods), The Mung Beans and Rice Diet, and the Fruits Nuts and Vegetables Diet. There is also a chapter called 'Foods for the Chakras', one for hosting a party or gathering, and food specifically for women's health.

While the book is lovely to look at, fun to read, and can provide inspiration for some good meals, there are a few things to point out.

First, the measurements used in the recipes are entirely unorthodox. If you cook by feel anyway, there's no problem, but if you like to measure, you may well be confused by references to 'double handfuls' of water and 'mudra pinches' of cumin. A chart is provided with equivalent spoon and cup measures, but the whole thing seems a bit contrived.

Second, the names of recipes incorporate important kundalini words in a what seems a rather trite way. For example, Ong So Hung Vegetables and Rice, Ek Ong Kar Salad, and Tomato Basil Gobinde Tofu Salad might strike serious yoga practitioners as a bit insulting, or at least uncalled for.

Third, the recipes themselves often incorporate chanting, bandha locks and numbers of significance to kundalini yoga. These might delight serious practitioners, but could seem wacky to someone just looking for a fresh idea of how to use beetroot and mung beans. For example a recipe for 'Solstice Hot Sauce' instructs you to 'stir well, tracing the outline of the infinity symbol whilst chanting Har-Har.' The 'Kundalini Chakra and Blood-Cleansing Salad' asks you to mix the ingredients while 'chanting a long Ong for the infinite connection with the base chakra--this will be balanced by the red vegetables and red apple.' You then marinate the mix for 11 minutes--apparently an important number. 11 and 31 turn up a lot in these recipes, as do sets of 3. One recipe asks you to stir something 31 times while holding mula bandha. LOL I can just imagine my mother doing that. (Not).

Finally, because the focus of this book is fresh, natural ingredients, it isn't as highly seasoned or as salty as foods you may be used to, so may taste bland. You can either spice it up, or remind yourself that this is what real food tastes like. (The book is very heavy on garlic, though. I personally can't help but fall in love with a book that regularly asks for 8 cloves of garlic in a recipe for two people).

Here's a recipe for you to try:

Seven Vegetable Curry

3 garlic cloves
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 beetroots, diced
1 generous handful green beans
2 handfuls frozen peas (fresh if available)
2 handfuls sweet corn
2 large tomatoes, diced
fresh green chile to taste

olive oil
turmeric
sea salt
vegetable (vegan) stock cubes
curry powder

Brown the garlic in olive oil. Add 2 mudra pinches turmeric and fry until aromatic. Add all the vegetables except the chile and 1 small gyan pinch salt. Cover and cook on low setting 3 minutes, stirring once. Add 4 double handfuls water and 4 stock cubes. Season with 1 mudra pinch curry powder. Add sliced chile to taste. Cook a further 11 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Serve with your favorite type of steamed rice.

Sat nam.




Okay, so the above recipe is neither bland nor unsalty. I guess that's why I liked that one!

I have made several recipes from this book, and they are all nice. Last night a I made Sun Polenta with Rainbow Vegetables, a mix of oven-roasted beetroot, sweet potato and celeriac with mung beans, served on polenta that has paprika added to it to make it the color of the sunset. Some spinach leaves added at the last minute the veg mix add some green, and of course it contained 7 cloves of garlic!

May all beings be at ease.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Compassion

I've been re-reading Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs since I recommended it here, and thought I'd share from his chapter on compassion. I really need to apply this wisdom to my daily life. Listen to this:

Notice how the way you perceive people reinforces your feelings about them, and how the way you feel about them reinforces your perceptions of them. The image we have of another becomes a confused mix of objective facts (long nose, glasses, bald) and our own ideas about him (arrogant, stupid, doesn't like me). So as well as being someone in his own right, the person is cast as an actor in our own private psychodrama. It becomes increasingly hard to disentangle him from the emotionally charged image formed by our own desires and fears.

To escape this trap is not to pretend to feel otherwise but to start looking at things differently. We are free to choose how to perceive the world. Upon reflection, we may discover that no matter how strongly we feel about a person, that feeling is often based entirely on an image we have formed of him. . .By suspending our judgments, we are able to look at the person from a fresh perspective.


Batchelor goes on to suggest a meditation where you imagine three persons sitting in front of you: a friend, an enemy and a stranger. He says to contemplate first the friend, imagining her newly born and covered in blood, following through her toddler years, adolescence, what she was like before she knew you; to picture her as someone who has her own values and thoughts and who treasures them in the same way you do your own. Imagine her aging and dying, her whole life span. Then do the same with the enemy, then with the stranger, until you have before you not a friend, an enemy and a stranger, but three fellow human beings, 'equal in birth and death.'

Are you able, even for a moment, to witness these people in all their autonomy, mystery, majesty, tragedy? Can you see them as ends in their own right rather than means to your ends? Can you notice the restrictive and selective nature of the image you have formed of them? Can you let go of the craving to embrace the friend and banish the enemy? Can you love the stranger?


This message is not a new one, obviously. Most world traditions teach us to look at our fellow human beings as equals and to see our common bonds, to rise above our petty concerns. But can we do it? It's so hard to step outside my perceptions, to release this notion of, as Batchelor calls it, a 'fixed, immutable nugget of self at the core of experience.' It's this self-absorbed, deluded little 'nugget' that causes so much trouble!

What I perceive as my self is no more real than my perceptions of others. The self that I so nurture and cherish and protect is in actuality an ever-changing manifestation of a matrix of conditions, cultural and biological. Unique, yes, but not something existing in its own right. So if I am not what I perceive myself to be, how can others be what this self attempts to perceive them to be? It's all delusion, based on craving to avoid pain and always get what we want, to never sicken, or be in pain either physical or emotional, and to never die. We all build up these defenses in our heads, this idea that we are independent individuals, that there are people and things on our side and people and things that are against us. But that's the not the truth of the matter. The truth is, not only are we not independent, we also cannot protect ourselves against any of the things we spend so much energy trying to ward off. It's all a big fantasy.

Other people are no more the beings that I have created in my imagination than I am. The image I have created of others stems from the big fantasy inside my head.

That's a good thing to remember.

Batchelor urges us to 'persistently challenge the validity of the emotionally charged images by which we define others.'

Even if other people are behaving poorly toward us as a result of the fantasy going on in their own heads, that doesn't mean we have to respond in kind, or form a perception of them based on our emotional responses to their behavior. It doesn't mean we have to condone or excuse their behavior, either, or even pretend to understand it.

This is a lot to take in, and I'm not sure I've done a good job expressing it, but I know I need to remember this in my daily life when dealing with people, and thinking about it is giving me a new meaning to the lines from the Metta Sutta: 'By not holding to fixed views, the pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, is not born again into this world.'

May all beings be at ease.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

What the!!!

So now the CDC is saying it's good be 'a bit overweight'. They're classing that as a BMI of 25-30. A 'normal' BMI is 18-24, and underweight is anything below 18. Mine has been 21 for the last few years. When I was at my fattest it was 33. So that means according to the Centers for Disease Control, I had less risk of some diseases and was better off weighing 190 pounds (BMI 30) than 134 pounds (BMI 21)at my height of 5' 7". This strikes me as insane!

Read the story here:

Now doctors say it's good to be fat

And here:

Being a little heavy may have some benefits

Obviously, I think this is not only complete and utter tosh, it's also irresponsible. People are already so confused about what they should do to protect their health and improve their quality of life. I don't understand why journalists grab these studies and oversimplify them then trumpet their own version of them all over the airwaves. And I don't understand why researchers keep crunching the numbers to try come up with something shocking. These odd little studies almost invariably turn out to be untrue, and when a few days later the press announce that study was flawed or in heavy dispute, they're much quieter about it and people don't seem to hear it.

'Let's haul our fat, flat butts out to the Range Rover, kids, and drive on over to Wendy's for a half-pound double bacon cheddar melt. Wouldn't want you sweeties to die of cancer!'

Good lord.

May all beings be at ease. (And in an acceptable weight range. LOL)

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Sunday lunch

I just made a very successful vegan Sunday lunch and thought I'd share how I did it. (Anna, you reading??)

Do you remember those potatoes and carrots your mother used to put in with the pot roast? Maybe you have to be from the Southern US, but every mom I know made this--and so did I before I went vegetarian. The roast was cooked until it was falling apart in tender threads, and the potatoes had a distinctive, almost leathery crusty outside and were more or less caramelized all the way through. The carrots had crinkly skins and were roasted to sugary sweetness while still retaining their shape. Well, I always liked the veg much more than the meat, and this morning I had a bag of potatoes and suddenly really wanted pot roast style potatoes. I managed to recreate them today by peeling red potatoes and leaving them whole, chopping carrots in halves or thirds and leaving the skins on. I coated the vegetables in a bit of peanut oil, a few spoonfuls of vegetarian gravy granules and Marmite, a few tablespoons of water, a dash of smoky paprika and generous grinding of black pepper. I put all these ingredients in a covered pottery casserole, put the lid on and baked for three hours, checking occasionally to see if they needed a few drops more water and weren't sticking. When they were cooked through, I turned the oven off and left them sitting in the oven to continue to caramelize while I cooked kale with onions in a suacepan on the stove. I did my yoga practice while the kale cooked, then I opened a can of mock duck and made a gravy with the liquid from the can and voilĂ , Sunday lunch with old-fashioned roast potatoes and gravy. It would have been good with sprouts instead of the kale, but we didn't have any sprouts. DH said it was like Christmas lunch! And no animals had to die!

May all beings be at ease.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Good news

I just talked to my son and he told me he is on the honor roll this semester! This is the first time in his life, that I can recall, that he has made straight A's. All his school life I've tried to convince him that it doesn't matter how much he knows, if he doesn't write it down he won't get credit for it. He has refused to do his work or conform to the whole school 'thing' since he was in kindergarten. Now at last it seems to have been revealed to him the secret to success. He said, 'All I've been doing is picking up my pencil and writing down what's on the board.'

Well, will wonders never cease.

I am forwarding some money to my parents so they can take him to order his class ring. I feel very happy that he's achieving some success at long last, and he says that he's been told he can go back to regular school after Christmas. (He has been in alternative school for the last few years.)

I've been really emotional this weekend, anyway. Now this. I feel so many emotions; happy for him but also quite sick in the pit of my stomach. I haven't actually spoken to his father in at least a year that I can remember. In fact, I think it's been two years. In actual fact, they don't have a phone, so the only time I get to speak to him is about once a month or so when my parents have him over for the weekend and I get to have a phone conversation with him. Obviously, if there's no phone in his house there's also no dial up connection or broadband, so email is out. So my communication with him is rare. Maybe I should not be disclosing all this so publicly. The nausea I feel is rising now into my throat. There's a burning sensation from the pit of my stomach all the way up my esophagus to my throat. I get this reaction after speaking to him because it is just so fraught with emotion. It's a bit better these days. In the past, I used to go and actually throw up or have dry heaves and cry for hours. Now it's just this shakiness in the hands and a feeling of desolation accompanied by the nausea. I suppose it's a primal reaction, beyond my control.

See, life can be complicated for us mere mortals. Things aren't always so simple. I used to think they were. I used to sit in judgement of people who have been forced to make painful choices or whose lives weren't like mine. It's so easy for people who are married and living with their kids to just frown and shake their heads and say 'How could she, how could such a thing happen?' But the path of life is unpredictable and sometimes fraught with perilous forks where turning neither left nor right is acceptable, yet you have no choice but to go down one or the other. You can almost never turn back. The truth of it is, you never really can go back at all. The past can't be undone or relived. All any of us can do is go forward. We have to embrace the path, such as it is.

It does no good to dwell on things. The only real moment is right now. The past doesn't exist, the future doesn't exist. Right now, my son is not only alive and healthy, he's experiencing success and good times. I've talked to him, it's real. These emotions, these feelings, they're real, too, but they're transient. They spring from my perceptions, my condemnation of myself, my guilt. They aren't based on him, he blames me for nothing. These feelings will pass way. They will leave me only as changed as I allow them to. They will affect me only to the extent that I allow them to. They will mean only as much as I allow them to. He's okay, he's doing okay, his life is okay. It's me who's having the problem, the same old problem, the old wound that doesn't heal, or that I won't allow to heal.

Tomorrow I'll go and buy a card and mail it to him in congratulations. It just so happens I've sent him a package recently. I'll see to it that he gets his class ring, with the help of my parents. And I will continue to breathe through each moment. It's all I can do.

It's good news.

Good news.

May all beings be at ease.