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Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

Written by:  Stacy Kamala Waltman

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Having been away from San Diego for a long period of time I have seen it grow from a small charming Navy town to a large urban city. Its quaintness has been replaced with savvy smooth restaurants and nightclubs yet there is still a small sliver of small town appeal. As with all change, there is both good and bad with the new and many faces of evolution this city displays. My mom has been living in San Diego continuously for some time. She loves the town and its transformations except for the one she says is most glaring: the weather. She claims “June Gloom”, a phrase used for the marine layer which turns any summer day into a cold foggy soup, is no longer just one month out of 12 but rather lasts for longer stretches of time.

My mom and I were talking on the phone a few weeks ago and she said, “San Diego has now become the new San Francisco!” I ponder this statement and funnel it through my lens of observation; the level of sophistication the city now exhibits. “Yes, I say to myself, San Diego has become more of an international hub.” And in the course of my conversations with others, I repeat what my mother said, “My, how things have changed! San Diego has become the new San Francisco. It’s now so sophisticated.”

Several days later my mother and I were having lunch and she says again, “San Diego has become the new San Francisco!” I think I know what she is talking about. This time she adds though, “You know I don’t like the fog!” And I then realize she never intended to make a commentary on the level of sophistication the city now wears but was simply making a statement about its change of climate. Ha!

How many times do we think we know what the other person is intending to communicate? Sometimes we check in with them for clarification and at other times we just go along thinking we understand and are being understood. Our filters sift through information on a regular basis; categorizing and evaluating experiences based upon what’s in our consciousness at any given moment.

Keeping the mind open to alternatives is a skill developed with practice. Meditation is a useful tool to help train the mind away from this tendency to limit and categorize as is Yoga Nidra.

Join us for the next Yoga Nidra telephone series on February 8. There are still four spots left.  Click here for more information and to register:  http://www.integrationcoaching.com/YogaNidraLevel1February8.html

Blessings ~

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Limited ediiton Jamaican chocolate bar 

Author:  Stacy Kamala Waltman

A group of us were bathed in chocolate aroma last week as we toured the Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Factory in San Francisco.

Our tour guide was an interesting man who had been with the Scharffen-Berger company for many years and had a lot of provocative stories to tell.  To me, the most interesting tidbit he shared was right before passing around the first of three plates of differing chocolate samples for us to savor.

Our guide encouraged the group to indulge our taste buds and experience how each chocolate bite blossomed into varying flavors.  He reminded us that our stomachs don’t have any taste buds and that by letting each chunk completely melt into our mouth before swallowing we would experience the truest and richest flavors of these tasty morsels.

I was grateful for the reminder.  I might have missed the full intoxicating experience of each chocolate piece because instead of being present, I had been living in the future – rushing the occurrence by wondering how the other chocolate samples on the plate were going to differ from one another and how long it was going to take before he passed the next sample around.

My mind was also observing the entire process:  how the company was marketing its business, our tour guide’s skill at remembering details, how adept he was at delivering jokes, and more.  If left unchecked, my mental chatter might have dulled the full sensory enjoyment of each individual chocolate mound only allowing the first delicious layer of sweetness to register before swallowing so that I could resume my mental analysis.

But with my mental prattle now quieted, I returned to the lesson of chocolate and was amazed to find that the rich thick goo in my mouth actually tasted different the longer it remained on my tongue.  And as the treat oared through my mouth, there were a variety of different flavors that blossomed – just like he said they would.  I am forever in our tour guide’s debt. 

We miss so much by rushing through our lives and allowing our minds to overtake the rest of our being.  Whether it’s a morsel of chocolate or slowing down to enjoy our children, the rewards of life are found in taking the time to experience the richness of each and every moment.

Where can you slow down?  Where can you turn up the quiet?  How will you savor the day?

Enjoy a virtual tour of the Scharffen-Berger Chocolate Factory in San Francisco:  http://www.scharffenberger.com/vtour.asp

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