Aloha Lovely Reader,
“Like a wet washcloth, the mind takes the shape of whatever it rest upon. If you routinely rest your mind on the self-criticism, anger, or anxious rumination, your mind will take a negative shape”
I am in Los Angeles, West Hollywood to be exact, staying in a rented house near Cedars Sinai. I am here to be seen by the wonderfully expert and caring, Dr. Terrance Kim, who first discovered the tumor that was removed from near the base of my spine last year, in the hopes that he can help me recover the full use of my leg, and repair the damaged nerves in my spine. I won’t know anything until next Wednesday. That is when the results of the nerve conduction testing and the MRI are in and I see Dr Kim again. Waiting, and especially not knowing, isn’t easy. It’s bloody hard actually, particularly on the days when I am experiencing a lot of physical pain. The mind, as you know, loves to travel to the past and the future and often to imagine the worst- especially when uncertainty is involved. So when I read the quote above from neuropsychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, Rick Hanson, I knew I needed to be more mindful than ever to engage my senses so that my mind took on the shapes of Beauty– not those of fear, anxiety or despair. To that end, I hobbled out to the rather amazing, Trader Joe’s and picked out these plants and flowers to look at and smell (the white Stock has a heavenly scent) during the sometimes long, grey afternoons. (We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in Hawaii, so perhaps I am more easily impressed by the low prices and variety than you lucky mainlanders.
Anyway, I’ve been working on the book as much as physically possible lately, and as such have been compiling a fair bit of research about the power of flowers on mood and well-being. All of which confirms what I know intuitively. They are good medicine! When I am able to walk, my beloved and I saunter slowly around the neighborhood looking at the wide variety of trees, and the architecture of the charming old and modern new houses. We’ve also loved looking at the menus of the local bistros and cafes. So much to choose from and almost all of it sounding delicious. I can’t wait to come back again when I am 100%. Last night we brought home and ate a delicious Paella Marinara, savoring the aroma, color and flavors of the golden saffron infused rice and the fresh seafood. It was the perfect warm and filling meal for the cold, wintery night. I wish I had taken a picture of it to share with you. In the meantime I hope you enjoy these….