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Hello Everyone,

Welcome to The Quest, a newsletter intended to inspire and inform those interested in experiencing optimal well being in body, mind and spirit.

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November 2003

In this issue of The Quest:

1. The Quest Quote
2. The Quest Question
3. Recipe: Cucumber Raita
4. The Basic Practice of Love


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *   1. Quote:
We all share beauty. It strikes us indiscriminately.... There is no end to beauty for the person who is aware. Even the cracks between the sidewalk contain geometric patterns of amazing beauty. If we take pictures of them and blow up the photographs, we realize we walk on beauty every day, even when things seem ugly around us. ~ Matthew Fox in Creation Spirituality

2. Question:
I am a very reactionary person. I blow up quickly at small things and often eat when I am angry. You talk about ‘taking a deep breath’ as a way to get centered instantly, but by the time I get mad, I react without thinking and I don’t use the tools I need to slow down. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Answer:
The best way to learn a new stress management technique is to practice the ‘tool’ when you are not in an angered or reactionary state. Make this breathing technique a regular part of your day and the next time you catch yourself becoming impatient, angry, or rushed you can turn to this type of breathing naturally, and become more aware of your behavior.

Breathing for more awareness:
Take 30 seconds right now and give this a try. Inhale through your nose for a count of six, while visualizing your lungs completely filling. Hold the breath for a count of 3. Exhale through the mouth for 6 counts, visualizing your lungs completely emptying. Hold for 3 counts. Repeat at least 4 cycles. If you do this for a few weeks you'll find that it will become a very natural, easy, calming practice that you can use whenever you need it. This breathing technique can also be used to help you fall asleep if you are having difficulty.


3.
Recipe: Cucumber Raita

This traditional Indian side dish or sauce is cool and delightful especially with spicy curries. The recipe below serves four. It’s only 86 calories per serving, 0.4 grams of fat and a healthy 7.7 grams of protein.

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Black pepper to taste

1. Mix the cucumbers, onion, and salt in a bowl. Let stand for 1/2 hour.
2. Drain off liquid, rinse well with cold water, and drain; then soak in cold water to remove as much salt as desired. Drain well.
3. Add the yogurt, cumin, and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. The Basic Practice of Love ~ Spirituality & Health magazine
Love of self, love of neighbors, and love of God are the foundational stones of the world's religions. Spiraling out from the core of our being, our other loves are also cobblestones on the spiritual path: love of family, of partner, of friends, of community, of animals, of nature, of country, of things, of hobbies, of work. Love is not something that you just fall into, as the romantic songs suggest. Love is a spiritual practice. You can get better at it over time.

Begin by recognizing that you can't love others until you truly love yourself — body, mind, and soul. As you move through a day, be aware of love's expressions emerging from you or coming toward you — attraction, focus, absorption, desire, adoration, security, trust, empathy, caring, harmony, contentment, communion. Practice extending the reach of these feelings. It is through loving that we experience the love of God.

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The Quest for Peace, Love & a 24-Inch Waist
www.deborahlow.com

Please submit your comments or questions by replying to this email at deborah@deborahlow.com I look forward to your feedback.