Sunday Serenity: Finding the Fun

February 7, 2010

This week, I have found so much serenity in relaxing into my own creativity. I realized recently that a lot of my creative energy goes into thinking of ways to enjoy art with my little ones. I think that there is nothing better than creating with our children, but I also believe that taking a little time for ourselves to relax, getting our hands dirty, paint on our faces, and having fun is really important.

Yesterday I gathered together some of our art books to plan a lesson for the boys. While I was sitting there, Tori Amos on (old school Tori), and all of the boys art supplies sitting in front of me, I took a seat on their small child size chairs, and colored. Not exactly stay in the lines coloring, but more, looking through the art books on Monet, soft pastels in hand, coloring.

It was fun, I mean really fun. I was a mess in the end, and the boys thought it was hilarious to see mommy, art shirt on, soft pastels in the hair, having such a good time. I didn’t invite them to sit with me, or to watch me, this was just for me. I really wanted to spend the whole day in that chair, just going through sheets of large paper making new designs.

Having children is such a huge blessing, but remembering and acknowledging our inner child is a wonderful gift we can give to ourselves

My husband had a very hard week, and was exhausted by yesterday morning, and both of my kiddos suffered from the stomach flu, so the serenity was a family affair this weekend.

As the weather is turning colder out again, and everyone is in need of a little comfort food, I decided it was the perfect day to make up some chai rice pudding. I am not really sure that I could get much more mileage out this chai concentrate, but I am apparently going to try my hardest. I love this stuff, it is just so yummy, and there seems to be an endless amount of possibilities to use with it. Yesterday, I had milk, arborio rice, chai concentrate and raspberries in the fridge, so that is where we started from. Warm raspberry chai rice pudding, and a cup of tea. Is there any better serenity than that?

Warm Chai Rice Pudding with Raspberries

4 cups of milk (I used almond milk for this recipe, but anything will work fine)
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup of honey
3 tbsp. chai concentrate
Fresh fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/3 cup of dried fruit

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and rice to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 60 minutes. Add the honey and chai concentrate (and dried fruit if using), and allow to cook until the rice has plumped up, and is tender.

Serve in small cups, and top with fresh fruit.

I have been trying to spend part of each of my weekend with just my camera in hand, and no particular subject to shoot. I have loved playing with photography since I was a little girl (my dad is a landscape photographer), and just using the lens to tell my story on what beauty means to me. As my red mood was taking over, I searched my house for all of the pieces of that great color that I could find. The Amaryllis won out, and we spent the day together, catching the best light, playing with profiles, and loving every minute of it.

Years ago, when I first started teaching yoga, I had a student tell me that she never ended her day without a hot to cold bath before bed. I had heard of other cultures enjoying hot to cold experiences, but I had never thought of using it myself.

Today, it is a weekly part of my cleansing routine, and it is a miracle when my insomnia comes on.

Going from a super hot water bath to an ice cold shower can be tough, but exhilerating. For me, I sit in the bath for as long as I can, and then as soon as I need a cooldown, it is up into the shower for at least 3-5 minutes. I repeat this process at least three times, and I swear I can barely move I am so relaxed when I am through.

On the days when I really need to get every toxin out of my system, I draw a bath with 1/2 cup of dead sea salts, and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. A long soak, a lot of sweating, and a little cold water gives me a very comforting way of heading to sleep. Since salt is very drying, it is a good idea to have a heavy oil to replenish moisture to the skin.

I took to my journal last night to tackle a very basic question, but one that still gives me trouble. What do I need to feel creative? I am coming to realize that there are thousands of things that inspire me, but only a handful that make me a truly more creative person.

What five things do you need to feel creative this week?

I plan to end my weekend by enjoying a candle gazing, like this one that Lisa talks about. It has been too long since I sat in complete darkness, with only a candle to gaze at and take in. Candle gazing is a very warming practice, and one that brings a very needed sense of calm.

I wish you an abundance of serenity this weekend.

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