Going through life, one practice, one breath, one day at a time.

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Burger King was on to something when they started the slogan “Have it your way.”

If you can have it your way at Burger King, why not have it your way at anyother restaurant?

I find that most people are afraid to ask for it their way. When I started being pickier about my food consumption, especially during my days of being a raw foodie, I had no choice but to ask for what I wanted. I became a master at scouring a menu to see what ingredients they had available on various dishes and then combining them to a dish that worked for me.

Take for example a salad. Let’s say you find a salad that sort of works, but then when you take off all the toppings you don’t want, you basically have lettuce and tomatoes. But, search a little deeper, see those fish tacos with black beans and avocado? They can probably put those much more satisfying toppings on your salad.  Or what about the walnuts that are on the ‘other’ salad? There’s no reason you can’t have those too! Or, did you see the sun dried tomotoes that they put on the fish? Why not ask for those to add a bit more flavor to your otherwise seemingly rabbit food?

I can’t say these requests haven’t led to a look of confusion on more than a few servers’ faces, but they usually oblige. Now, to be fair, I also usually give them a bit of warning before I start ordering just to let them know, in a self-debricating way, that I’m going to be difficult. Once they have that warning, they usually go along with my whims.

Even the other morning, I met a friend for brunch. They had an option on the menu that included fruit, yogurt, and granola served with a side of home fries or grits. Well, I just wanted fruit – and my guilty pleasure of home fries. And I wanted more than the tiny bowl that they serve as a side of fruit.

So, I asked. And, despite the server being a bit confused seeing that she was used to people ordering french toast covered in crushed Cap’n Crunch, she ended up bringing me exactly what I wanted and in the most economical way she could surmise.

Of course, I can’t say I have 100% success with this approach and there are times I leave restaurants not completely satisfied, but more than not, I get it my way.

All it takes is:

1. Start with a smile — and a warning doesn’t hurt either
2. Go into it knowing that your special request may end up coming with a nominal upcharge
3. Search the menu to find something close to what you want
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you DON’T want
5. Scour the menu to find what you DO want and ASK FOR IT!
6. The more specific you can be and the more confident you are, the more likely you’ll get exactly what you want

Enjoy having it your way!

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Have you ever noticed how powerful messages that you really need to hear keep repeating themselves?

A few months ago, coincidentally right after I got a speeding ticket, someone at my acupuncturist’s office repeated a favorite – and profound – quote to me about the healing process. She said, “slow down to hurry up.” Meaning if you take the healing process slowly, it is likely to happen in less time than if you try to rush through it in a way your body isn’t ready for. By rushing, you will only cause more damage.

Then, today, the same message repeated itself, and, of course, the timing couldn’t have been more apropos.

I heard Allan Hamilton, M.D., a neurosurgeon and author of Zen Mind, Zen Horses, talking on NPR. One of the questions he was asked was about his quote regarding moving slow to move fast. It was the same sort of idea, telling patients that a treatment or therapy will take potentially a longer period of time than it really is likely to. By doing that, they don’t expect quicker results and they can be more patient with their bodies.

It occurred to me how many places in our lives this can be applied.

I am currently in a situation where I have a particularly hectic month coming up. I oversee special projects at the 24 hour news channel where I work. This includes political coverage. That means 2012, being an election year, would be quite busy regardless of other events. Now, add to it that the Republican Convention is in our city; and, suffice it to say, that ante just went up by a magnitude I can only begin to imagine.

There are plenty of people I work with who are excited about the event and the onslaught of 50,000 people to Tampa.

Me? I really want it over!

Don’t get me wrong, it will be exciting. But one thing I’ve learned about politics is that it can bring out the extremes in people. Politics, for all the good it is intended to do, somehow reaches deep down and finds the most emotional chord possible in people and tugs on it hard.

People get mean. And, thanks to electronic communication which allows for some anonymity – or at least faceless communication – people are not afraid to say what they think… forgetting that there’s someone on the other end hearing it or reading it.

It’s this part of politics that I really struggle with… and I can only imagine what that’s going to mean for the RNC coverage.

This has brought up in me a feeling of just wanting to get it over with. More than a few times lately I’ve uttered the line, “Is it Sept. 1 yet?” (for those of you lucky enough to not know, the RNC is Aug 27-30)

Then this morning, after hearing that interview it occurred to me Sept 1 is almost a full month away! 20-something days now. A lot can happen in 20-something days and by living with this mindset, I am living so far from the present and turning a blind eye to the possibilities and beauty in front of me. Instead, I am so focussed on these 20-something days being over. 

The result of which is likely going to be:
1. A feeling like it’s really taking forever
2. Missing out on what’s happening in front of me
and, most importantly, 
3. A reduced ability to really plan and put attention where it needs to be in order to create a good outcome.

Reality is, I can’t make those 20-something days go faster or slower. There are 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. The more I wish each one of those seconds gone, the less time I’m going to have to set myself up for success. The more I focus on getting past it, the more I’m setting myself up for something less than excellence.

Time is what it is. Every second is a gift and only by being present in each and every second, can we really make the most of it.

Time is fragile. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and you can’t bring it back.

Nobody ever said  being present is easy. It’s why we practice yoga… and then practice some more… and then practice some more, because being present will make the future that much better.