part of the puzzle

Well, yes! What we do DOES have an impact on those around us. Are you shocked?

Do people squeal with joy when you arrive? Or do they run away to the other room to avoid you? I know that’s kind of harsh, but it can be a cold hard truth that we don’t often want to look at.

I’m not saying that it should be the goal of your existence to want others to like you, or to really even focus on others impressions of you at all. However, taking notice of others reactions to us can be a good barometer, we are all mirrors to each other. My point is: You matter, and your energy and actions affect the world around you. It is up to you what impact you want to leave.

It is true, whether you are happy or sad, joyful or tearful, you are a unique piece of puzzle called the Universe. What you project matters. Have you ever taken a step back to recognize what your presence contributes to the room around you?

Today might be the day to do a little self-examination. Notice, as you walk into a room, how does the energy change? Do people smile and become open and friendly? Or, do people contract and become cold? Does your energy promote peace, positivity and calmness? Maybe you bring an element of humor or happiness. Conversely, you could bring a dose of pessimism or sadness. What do you bring to the table?

This type of reflection can be quite an eye opener to some of us. Sometimes, we have become so unaware of ourselves that we forget how strongly our personality, our energy, influences others. Once you have a better understanding of how you interact with others in a non-verbal way, you may decide to change your ways, or not. Either way, at least you know.

It is now your decision what to do with the information. It is in your power to make a change and a make a difference.

Om,
Renata

self-love and self-acceptance

I began to think about the difference between self-love and self-acceptance. While they seem like they go hand in hand, I’m not so sure.

You see, a person could finally accept themselves, flaws and all but still not have a feeling of love coursing through their body. If one defines love as the source from which all Creation derives then we certainly have a lot to work toward in terms of loving ourselves. Sure, there are certain days when I love this thing or that thing about myself. But to really love oneself, through every cell is not an easy thing to do.

We can see that it is a difficult task just by looking around at all of the self-help books and workshops that are offered. People all over the planet seem to believe that self-love is extremely important, that we must be able to love ourselves in order to do anything else.

Do you agree with this? Do you believe that before all else we must have self-love?

I’m not saying that I have all of the answers but to some extent I disagree with this. I believe if we can tackle self acceptance than we have come a mighty long way. It occurred to me the other day when I was doing a self-evaluation of myself. And, in complete neutrality I realized that while I may not be pleased with every part of myself, my life, my being…I accept it. There is not a feeling or emotion attached to the acceptance, it just is.

Self-acceptance can be a very calm place to be, like when meditating. It allows for space in the mind to cease judging and analyzing. It is a peaceful place to rest and reside.

Sure, having self-love AND self-acceptance is the ultimate goal in many cases, but each sentiment holds a unique value.

What do you think?

Om,
Renata

 

in tune

Have you ever thought about why we grow apart from some of our closest friendships?

I like to think of people as vibrating energetic beings. We all operate at our own frequency, some go slower, some faster, some are louder and some are very faint. We have all had the experience of meeting a person and immediately feeling a connection. We feel ‘in tune’. And truly, we are in tune. Think of it like an orchestra. When the instruments in the orchestra are in harmony it is beautiful, easy and powerful. However, if one instrument is out of tune or off beat it creates a discord. When we are in discord or ‘out of tune’ with someone it feels awkward, weird and like it is work to to remain engaged in conversation.

At some point along our evolution, especially those who are on a spiritual path (which I believe we all are, some people are just more aware of it than others) begin to notice that some of their friends don’t come around so much anymore. For some reason that old best friend that used to spend every Friday night at your house has stopped coming over so frequently. And, this is normal. As we change, so does our frequency and we begin to hum at a different rate. This means, that potentially we could start to transition to a new group of people.

Many people I have spoken with find this transition to be difficult and somewhat painful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you can take a look at your relationships and honor them for what they are, then you have already started the process of creating a new symphony of supportive and loving friends.

If you are having trouble during this transitional phase, take a moment to realize what that relationship offered you; in your heart and mind, thank that person and that relationship for existing in your life. Visualize sending love and peace to the individual and to yourself to allow for any healing that needs to take place. It may take a little while to let your physical body, mind and emotions become in sync. But, with love and acceptance you will open up new pathways to  connections that you never dreamed possible.

Remember, you are never alone. The Universe is full of proof to show just how very important you are to Creation. You matter, your existence matters and your service to the world is important. The connections that you had, and the connections that you will create are merely ways of expressing your gifts to this world. Thanks so much for being alive and present!

 

Om,
Renata

don’t force it

Don’t force it, find it.

I heard this phrase last night while watching my hubby’s ninjutsu class. His sensei said it when they were practicing blocks and punches. As soon as he said it something inside of me resonated with it. YES! I thought…how often do we try to FORCE something to happen when it would be so much more efficient and less taxing to just go with the flow?

When life throws punches do you find the flow that will allow you to move through it with grace?

I think, too often we as humans are so accustomed to fighting that we prepare for war unconsciously. We are so ready, and on guard to block attacks from our enemies that we forget that life can be a beautiful symphony of give and take, ebb and flow.

What would life be like if we could just begin to stop forcing the energy of life into what we believe it should be? Instead, we could find the flow, and ride it out like a wave we are surfing.

So this is the om of the day…as much as possible become in tune with the energy around you and to go with it. Even if your internal human-ness wants to fight it, try something different and find the flow.

Om,

Renata

afraid of the ball

So last night at the gym I learned a new exercise where the objective is to squat, pop up and then throw a heavy medicine ball over a TRX structure (think of a jungle gym about 12 feet high) to another person, they catch the ball, squat and throw it back to you, and again you squat to catch the ball. As I was standing there getting ready to catch the ball from my fabulous and fearless workout buddy I realized…I AM AFRAID OF THE BALL! What?!

Here I am a grown woman and I’m about to tear up thinking that the heavy ball is coming my way, but I didn’t say much I just tried my best. Not only was it a challenging physical exercise, it was an exercise in overcoming fear. I suppose the fear gave me a slight advantage considering that there was some great adrenaline coursing through my body. I was on edge, nervously laughing and anticipating the worst. I’m not sure exactly what the worst was supposed to be?. My guess is I was afraid to get hit and to get hurt. But, you know what? One of those times volleying the ball I DID get hit in the head. And it DID hurt, for about 30 seconds…and then it was over.

So what is the lesson here? Yes, it is OK to be afraid. Yes, you may get hurt. No, it does not last forever. And, each time that ball was tossed to me, I was a little less afraid. Practice makes perfect right? I’m still not fearless, but I’m a little more confident. Now, where is this concept true in the rest of my life. Because, as we know all areas of our lives are mirrors for the other areas of our lives. What happens at the gym, happens everywhere else in life. Or as someone once said; ‘The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything’.

So that’s my lesson for today and I encourage you to look at places in your life where you may feel fearful. Really take a look at the fear, feel it, and do whatever you are afraid of anyway. You may get hurt, but I promise it won’t last forever and most likely it will create confidence and trust within yourself.

Happy Leap Year!

Om,
Renata

looking outside

Today I went to the Center for Spiritual Living, or as I sometimes call ‘church’. I haven’t been in a very long time and I was really searching for a nice dose of inspiration. I’ve been increasingly interested in opening up the pathways in brain for more spiritual understandings.

But, as life would have it…I didn’t really get it. It was a nice service overall, but I found myself nodding off during the talk. How rude right? I mean, here I am sitting in an audience full of people listening to a discussion that is obviously speaking to many of the group and I’m nodding off! I kept asking myself, why did I come? Why did my intuition guide me here today? I was expecting to listen to one of my favorite speakers and get a GIANT dose of LOVE! But, instead I just spent most of the time wondering what brought me there. I was even lucky enough to run into a student of mine that I hadn’t seen in years…

And then it dawned on me, I was looking outside myself for inspiration. Truly, inspiration must come from an internal place. Sure, others can help us to find connections that we were not able to see or feel before, but really I must look inside. So now the question is; how do I find my own inspiration? Sometimes it just happens naturally and sometimes it needs a little coaxing. And how to coax? Set my expectations.

So I’ve set my expectations to find more daily inspiration, instead of ‘wanting’ to find inspiration, I expect to find it. It makes a difference, you know. Expectation is far more powerful than want. So instead of searching and seeking something that I expect ‘might’ be out there. I expect that it ‘will’ be within me. So tell me, what are your current expectations in life? Do you think that any of them could be adjusted to be in alignment with what you desire out of life?

Lots of love -

Om,
Renata

lent

Lent to many people is about giving up something, but what if we decided instead to shift the idea of ‘giving up something’ to ‘adapting something new’?

I read a great article on how to create new habits today and it got me to thinking. What if I decided that I want to create a new habit to overpower a habit that I’m not so excited about?

So, for lent this year that is exactly what I’m going to do. I have so many bad habits to choose from (as do we all, I’m sure) but for me I’m going to change the habit of ‘self-sabatoge’. I know that is a broad topic but I’m going to start with the small things. For example, if I’m having a great day and I notice myself beginning to speak negatively in my head I will shift gears and do something different.  I’ll start a new habit instead…maybe I’ll sing to myself. Oh wait, I can’t carry a tune, maybe I’ll just focus on something pretty :)

Hopefully, by the end of lent I’ll have a much better outlook on myself and the world.

Here we go!

Om,
Renata

an om transition

Well, today is the day! Welcome to the transitioning om of the day. When this blog started it was all about oatmeal, and learning the simple joys of creativity and life through experimenting with my daily om.  And now, it is time for a change.

Exactly two years ago this blog started, and so what a perfect time to have a little birthday celebration! The gift for om of the day is  a little different, however. The gift is about what is happening in the ‘present’. A shift, a change, a transition…

This blog will be so much more than oatmeal. Yes, sure it will still have recipes that I love. But, it will also include a little bit more about life, love, spirituality and maybe even a little humor.

My mission remains the same, and I hope that you will enjoy om of the day EVEN MORE than before.

So here we go…the first goal is to write every day until Easter (since it is the start of Lent today), I think it can be done.  What should we talk about? Should we have pictures, essays, jokes, articles? Who knows how om of the day will manifest over the next year…but I’m excited for the change.

Lots of love to all of you!

Om,
Renata

mcdonald oatmeal & mark bittman

This is a great article on McDonald’s oatmeal…

How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong by Mark Bittman

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/how-to-make-oatmeal-wrong/

There’s a feeling of inevitability in writing about McDonald’s latest offering, their “bowl full of wholesome” — also known as oatmeal. The leading fast-food multinational, with sales over $16.5 billion a year (just under the GDP of Afghanistan), represents a great deal of what is wrong with American food today. From a marketing perspective, they can do almost nothing wrong; from a nutritional perspective, they can do almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates.

click here to read the rest

dietribe on oatmeal from mental floss

Here’s a great article from Mental Floss!

Gotta love the om…

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/82922

 Here’s some of the great info that they point out:

• Though Samuel Johnson wrote in his Dictionary of the English Language that oats were ”a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people,” to which Lord Elibank (so wrote Sir Walter Scott) replied, “Very true, and where will you find such men and such horses?”’

• Oats contain the highest proportion of soluble fiber of any grain (soluble fiber is the kind also found in kidney beans, apples, barley and prunes). It can reduce the absorption of cholesterol, and contains iron, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. 1.5 cups of cooked oatmeal provides 6 grams of fiber, and you can mix it up by trying steel-cut oats or color cereal mixed with cold bran.

• Yeah, I know … none of that sounds exciting. Honestly, without a lot of butter and cream, most oatmeal isn’t something to get jazzed about. But before you buy that instant mix, consider the far healthier whole grain variety and add your own sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup or agave).

• Famously, oatmeal can be soothing to your skin. Some claim it helps with acne (warm it up them cool it down to a lukewarm temp, apply and let stand for one minute before rinsing), and is also often sold as part of scrubs, soaps and lotions.

• Seeing oatmeal in a different light? Just checked your pantry and all you found was that dusty box from a decade or so ago? Not to worry – oatmeal (and some other pantry foods) actually lasts a lot longer than you would think.

• Oatmeal has come back in vogue in recent years as being a quick, simple and very healthy breakfast. Artist Jennifer Rubell took it one step further and turned the concept into art. Her installation of an oatmeal-filled house (or a house dedicated to the production of oatmeal) is not just for looks – visitors are asked to create and sample their own oatmeal concoctions.

• The consumption of oatmeal was also once a patriotic act. With most of the nation’s wheat supplies being sent to soldiers abroad during World War I, the U.S. Food Administration urged Americans to consume more oats. One poster had a message just to for whiny kids: Little Americans. Do Your Bit. Eat Oatmeal. Save the Wheat for our Soldiers. Leave Nothing On Your Plate. And another: Food Will Win the War!

• Though often used interchangeably, the difference between oatmeal and porridge is subtle, and is mostly related to the cutting of the oats in production techniques.

• We just passed oatmeal month (January), but don’t let that slow your consumption! Besides, there are only 7 months before the Oatmeal Festival in Oatmeal, Texas. What once began, in 1977, as an attempt to put the tiny town back on the map has evolved into “one of the wackiest, most imaginative small-town festivals anywhere.”

• I cannot complete a post on Oatmeal without mentioning the well-known Quaker man and oatmeal’s spirit animal, Wilford Brimley. In 1877 Quaker Oats registered a trademark for “a figure of a man in Quaker garb.” Why the Quaker choice? The former owners claim they wanted to be associated with the Quaker’s good quality and honest value. 110 years later, the first Wilford Brimley commercial aired, opening the way, a few decades later, to an infinite number of internet memes.

coach’s oats

I was sent some samples from Coach’s Oats! I was so excited when they came in the mail, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. So I waited, because I knew these little handy-dandy packets would come in handy. And they did!

Ruben and I attended a festival called Earthdance this year. I decided that on our journey we would try out these oats which are quite delicious. I was very pleased with how easy they were to prepare over a camping stove and they sustained me until my mid-morning snack!

These oats are a little nutty and toasted, they are sort-of a cross between steel cut oats and old-fashioned oats.  They are easy to cook and absolutely satisfying and delicious.  Coach’s Oats website says this about the difference of their oats:

COACH’S OATS are prepared in an entirely new way. The groats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces. This patented Cracked n’ Toasted™ process means that Coach’s Oats are never mushy, always naturally delicious and cook in just 3 to 5 minutes on a stovetop or in the microwave.

I concur.  My only disappointment was learning that these oats are not yet available in Northern California.  However, they make it quite easy to order them on the website.

I HIGHLY recommend that you give these oats a try, you will be very happy.  I promise.

S’mores Oatmeal (via Annie’s Eats)

This looks good, perhaps I’ll have to give it a try!

S'mores Oatmeal We tend to eat very, very healthy breakfasts during the week.  Both because, well, healthy stuff is good for you and in my case, because I wake up ungodly early and have little time to do much of anything before running out the door.  As a result, by the time the weekend rolls around I’m dying for something a little more exciting in the breakfast department.  I decided at the spur of the moment to make this on a Sunday morning and I happened to h … Read More

via Annie’s Eats

maca maca! (not oatmeal)

Occasionally, I enjoy baking things other than oatmeal.  I know, you must be shocked!  In these cases I will tag them as ‘not oatmeal’.  I just had to share this recipe from a food blog that I love.  (I substituted Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour and 1/4 tsp. of xanthan gum for the white whole wheat flour.)  

Maca Maca Bars

Maca Maca Bars

 

Maca Maca Bars  

3/4 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour                                                                                                                    1/4 Teaspoon xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons Maca Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 C Plain Soymilk + 1/4 Teaspoon  apple cider vinegar                                                                                    1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract                                                                                                                                            1/2 Cup Macadamia Nuts  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.  

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, maca powder, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk to combine.  

Mix vinegar and soymilk in a separate container and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.   

Separately, whisk together the melted coconut oil, sugar, soy milk and vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and with a wide spatula, stir just enough to bring the two together without too many lumps. Transfer the batter into your prepared pan, smooth out the top so that it fill the loaf pan in one even layer, and sprinkle the macadamia nuts evenly across the top. Use your hands to lightly press the nuts into the batter.  

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing.  

Makes about 6 – 8 Bars  

Source: http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/maca-mania/

first things first

Howdy!

Welcome to om of the day.  To get started, read the about page.  It will give you some tips on what this whole om thing is and how you can have fun with it.  Of course, you could always just jump in and start makin’ oatmeal!

I hope you enjoy these next 365 days as much as I do.

Om,

Renata