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The art of maintaining wellness


Do you sometimes feel a bit discouraged or out of sorts, but you're not quite sure what to do about it? Here's a solution that worked for me the other day.

Perhaps it was because I’d had a couple of minor procedures for skin cancer on my head and neck, and they set me back a bit. Or perhaps it was because I was frustrated about my blog -- feeling a need to find a new direction but not quite sure what direction I should go in. There were some birth pains going on.

In any case, as I sat idly in my little office, pondering what my next step should be with the blog, an inner voice I know very well spoke to me. "Why don't you vacuum the house," it said. "You know it needs it."

When we give our best into something we feel good

I have to admit that my initial reaction to this idea was not favorable. After all, I had been successfully putting off this little chore (one of my agreed-upon contributions to the well-being of our home) for quite a few days, if not weeks. Did I really want to get on the end of a vacuum?

One of the lessons life has taught me, however, is to listen to the nudges that come from within myself. I've learned, too, that sometimes when something seems counterintuitive it’s exactly what you need to do -- and I've learned that when you give your best into even the simplest task, you feel good.

And feel good I did, as I grabbed the vacuum and began venturing into every nook and cranny with all the energy and enthusiasm I could muster. I don't want to boast but I believe I did one of my best jobs yet.

Good food the base of wellness

It took me about 45 minutes to vacuum our townhouse, which brought me all the way to lunch time. Very convenient.

Good food, of course, prepared with love, is the base of wellness. Unbeknownst to me, my sweet wife, JoAnn, had been thinking for some time about creating a new dish for lunch that would include two super foods, black beans and kale, along with chicken. Kale, of course, is that tough, rather ornery vegetable that is actually a fountain of health -- and gentle as a lamb under the surface.

The crock pot is one of our best friends

What JoAnn did was take a can of organic black beans (we always eat organic as far as we can), and after washing and rinsing the beans, put them in the crock pot along with chicken, kale, a bit of onion and celery, and water.

The crock pot is a wonderful invention by the way. I'm particularly fond of meals that are "liquidy" and easy to swallow and digest. I also like succulent -- and this new dish that JoAnn created was sure succulent.

The ingredients came together like a beautiful symphony, and by the time I was finished my love of life and my sense of wellness and well-being was complete.

I felt relaxed and at peace. I hummed with contentment.

How about I blog about wellness?

Wellness is not a destination. It's a lifestyle. A journey. It's also, I believe, our birthright from time immemorial.

I have found in my own life that while there have been significant challenges, wellness is a flame that cannot be extinguished. Our spirit is unconquerable, no matter what your age. Our human bodies and minds are extraordinarily resilient. And if we are persistent and pay attention to what our own wisdom tells us, and are true to it, we discover that life can be trusted.

I feel an urge to focus my blog on this great gift of wellness that is in us all, and would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you may have on this notion. Blessings to you -- and be well.

PS More about the meal

By the way, here's a bit more info about the lunch JoAnn and I shared the other day. The cost for the two of us for this tasty, nutritious meal was $5-$6.

JoAnn buys natural chicken from Whole Foods in an economy pack of 12 thighs that cost $8.41 – a bit less than $1 apiece. The can of organic black beans was on sale at $1.29, and the organic kale from King Soopers cost $1.69. JoAnn likes to cook the chicken in its skin to maintain flavor and moisture, and remove it before serving.

Picture credit: Picture by lorenzonipr



{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

sheila August 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Good Day Christopher..

One of my favorite quotes… Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience…

Guess thats why one of my most valuable tools in the kitchen,wouldnt want to be without one is my lovely Croc Pot. She is slowly cooking and simmering on my countertop many days of the week, hours of delightful aromas and of course at the end of the day has produced some of the most delicious and delectable meals.

In this day in age of fast foods, premade just heat in microwave eating, I think it would serve a lot of people well if they just gave themselves the opportunity and pleasure of a Croc Pot meal…. 🙂



Christopher Foster August 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I love your quote Sheila. Thanks for sharing. I could almost smell the lovely aroma coming from your Croc Pot all the way here in Denver.Best to you.


Henrietta August 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I’m still finding my voice. My blogs ABOUT page has changed squillions of times while I work out HOW I want to say things. I have an opinion on Everything..lol and I quite often play Devils advocate.

Life changes as we get older thats for sure. Your blog is lovely to read, along with many others like Leo.

I have an artist’s temperament, and trying to find a LEVEL serenity is proving difficult. But I’m getting there by following you and other “Positive” sites.
The Guru of Unrelated Information 😉


Christopher Foster August 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Thank you so much for your kind comment about my blog and for your sharing Henrietta. I know what you mean about an artist’s temperament. It has its pros and cons for sure, like I suppose every temperament does. But we’d better be thankful for it, hadn’t we, because there is surely a gift in it that can bless the world and ourselves too once we really open our heart to our own truth. Every good wish and keep on keeping on.


maria August 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm

You won my heart with this one. Tending the hearth and honouring the vast. Simple truths can be the most profound – and you even included a recipe!


Christopher Foster August 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Thank you Maria. I really appreciate your comment and it’s a pleasure to connect with you again. How is life in NZ? As far as the recipe department is concerned I at least took a small step forward here with my blog didn’t I? A for effort? Have you produced any new cookbooks lately?


maria August 29, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I love the quiet joy of your blog.
Life in New Zealand is great. I have written 7 books on food and health and contributed to 6 others. Now I delight in writing a monthly e-newsletter. You know the thrill!

DiscoveredJoys August 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

We have a 3L crock-pot for when we have friends around, and a 1.5L crock-pot when it is just us two.

Did you know you can produce a very acceptable risotto in a crock-pot without the constant stirring?


Christopher Foster August 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Hey, thanks for the tip. I’ve passed it on to the Chief Cook. Even with a crock-pot as my ally I don’t fare all that well in the culinary department. Very good at British boiled eggs though in case you’ve ever in the Denver area.


Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition August 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I really enjoyed this post. I believe, as you know, in following your intuition so I’m glad to see you followed yours. The result was a post that developed “organically” (pun intended here!) and wasn’t forced. Your post was a perfect “slice of life” illustrating how when we let go and follow those inner promptings we’re led straight to our good – or a good lunch for that matter! 🙂
Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted..5 Strategies to Help You Achieve Success


Christopher Foster August 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Good pun Angela. Didn’t realize this is one of your specialties, look forward to more. I’m a junior level punster myself, I try hard but they don’t often fly. I blame my British background. In all seriousness many thanks for your comment. If Nature functions organically and most of the time very creatively it should be good enough for us, don’t you think? Blessings.


Cathy | Treatment Talk August 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hi Christopher,
It would be wonderful to blog about wellness. I’m sure you would have a lot to share. Your post was great and I did have to chuckle when you mentioned the vacuum. Sometimes when I just get up and do something completely different an idea or two will come to me. But lunch sounds even better!


Christopher Foster August 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

Thank you Cathy. I appreciate so much your support for this notion to blog about wellness. The more I think about it, the more I realize it has been a passion for me for a long time. Don’t you think it has something to do with realizing our full potential? It’s a piece of that, perhaps an indicator of that? Thanks again for stopping by and all the best. Happy vacuuming:-)


Galen Pearl August 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Ha! Didn’t see that vacuum message coming! As soon as I read that, I heard a voice saying, “Weed the garden. You know it needs it!” Why? Because the weeds have gotten taller than the flowers?? So maybe I should get off the computer and go do that! Thanks, I think.
Galen Pearl recently posted..Forgiveness, the Final Frontier


Christopher Foster September 1, 2011 at 9:22 am

Galen, thanks for your words and sharing your delightful spirit. And thank you for your new post. What a terrific title you chose, “Forgiveness: the Final Frontier.” Our world changes on a dime when we open our heart to forgiveness. Send you blessings and love.


Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) August 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Hi Chris,

I love a simple, yummy meal, and yours sounds delicious. I’m off to buy a crock pot!
Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) recently posted..How to Be With Difficult Emotions (audio)


Christopher Foster September 1, 2011 at 9:18 am

Thank you so much for visiting Gail and I take great pleasure in formally welcoming you to the privileged, enlightened group of people (spread all across the globe I have no doubt) who own a crock pot. I can imagine already the delightful aromas spreading thru your kitchen. Actually my mouth is starting to water because I have a sense you’re probably a pretty darn good cook:-)


Phil D. Malmstrom August 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Christopher, my dear friend, you made a statement in this article which may be one of my favorites to date…

“Wellness is not a destination. It’s a lifestyle. A journey.”

Amen my friend… Amen. In your narrative here, you fed your body (the lovely lunch), your spirit (listened to God’s Nudges) and your mind (pondering all of this, and writing this for us)… The true path to wellness if there ever was one. 🙂

I firmly believe that God smiles when you write… 🙂

Have a Blessed Day!
Phil D. Malmstrom recently posted..The Veil of Self-Doubt


Christopher Foster September 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

Thank you so much for your comment and for your kindness, Phil. I’m not quite sure when I first registered a connection with you but it feels like we have been friends for quite a while now, without having to do too much to make it happen. But to come back to this matter of kindness. I feel it every time I connect with you and it reminds me that kindness is not something “weak” or “esoteric” but is actually an expression of strength.

We’re here to make God smile in everything we say, do and think, aren’t we? A better world is only a heartbeat away.


Justin | Mazzastick September 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

I have to agree that wellness is a lifestyle choice and not a destination. I also love using the crockpot in the colder months. Making some chili or pot roast is one of my favorites.
Justin | Mazzastick recently posted..Achieve Your Goals By Seeing From The End


Christopher Foster September 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hey, sounds good to me Justin. Yes, chili and pot roasts, two of life’s good things for sure.


Tess The Bold Life September 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Hi Chris,
Love this! I want to come vacuum your house and get unstuck, then have something delicious out of that crock pot. What time shall I come over? I hope you’re healing. xox


Dr. Robert Doebler January 16, 2012 at 7:13 am

Hi Chris,

I didn’t expect the vacuum coming. It made me laugh but also it made me realize that you actually have a point. Now, i need to go and do my chores.


Christopher Foster January 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hi Robert, thanks for sharing and best of luck with those chores. I really appreciate the comments you’ve been sharing and wish you all the very best as we move into 2012.


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