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He dropped his fork!

Another cool artifact hidden in my neighborhood. He looks like he dropped his fork. I wonder what he may have been eating?

Today’s HOP walk was short and sweet. Usually, I don’t eat anything before I leave the house because the idea is to get going as soon as possible from getting out of bed. However, last night was my Yoga-in-the park session, and although feeling less tight in my muscles, I was definitely sore and low in energy, so it may be a good idea to get something in my stomach on post-yoga mornings.

I made a cup of tea, and was out the door. Immediately, I knew that today would not be a Junipero trail day, with its steep inclines.

So a 20 minute brisk walk would have to do, keeping with the intention of creating a new habit within myself. My morning walks are the foundation of my new life. I will build everything upon the consistency, health benefits and spiritual centeredness it creates in my life.

Plus, I will have a pretty amazing photo collection for sure!

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Hour of Power on the Junipero Trail!

Hour of Power on the Junipero Trail!

I decided to challenge myself and go uphill today. I almost reached the top of the hill, but my legs are not ready yet! At mid-top, the height still lent a nice view, and sore hamstrings!

This is one of my best HOP’s yet.

Even though I woke up with the worst headache ever, from battling food sensitivity problems, morning HOP walks are getting rooted into my system and I intend to get all 365 in a row! I am no longer so easily deterred by a little pain. That’s what this thing can do to a person.

So let me take you on a tour of the Junipero Trail in Signal Hill, where I am so blessed to be able to take my walks in safety and beauty.

A emblem on the pavement showing the way.

An emblem on the pavement showing the way.

Part of the HOP is being alive in the moment. That means literally stopping to smell the roses. Well, this ain't a rose and I didn't smell it. But it sure is pretty ain't it?

Part of the HOP is being alive in the moment. That means literally stopping to smell the roses. Well, this isn’t  a rose and I didn’t smell it. But it sure is pretty ain’t it?

This is the mid-hill view. Next time I will post from the very top. But hey, I have to crawl before I walk and this magnificent view was reward for at least not sticking to incline free morning walks!

This is the mid-hill view. Next time I will post from the very top! But hey, I have to crawl before I walk and this magnificent view was reward for at least not sticking to incline-free morning walks!

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YARD SALES!

Gratitude Spark- YARD SALES!

Today is my first weekend HOP walk. It was different from my weekday walks in a couple of ways. One, I could sleep in a bit later. Today’s wake up time? 7am. I know many folks won’t consider that to be luxury-sleep-in status, but based on my circadian rhythm and personal success philosophy, getting up early is the best way to start every day. I have slept in for years when I could and guess where it got me? So…

Monday through Friday, I get up at 6am. I cook breakfast for my husband and pack his lunch around 7:15am, that’s one thing I didn’t have to do this morning! Don’t get me wrong, I love being the cute housewife in my pink oven mitts, serving my husband fried eggs and sausage. Yet, I think I love yard sale shopping even more! 🙂

Second, just as I am beginning the incantation part of my HOP, (Today’s incantation is: “All the courage I need is within me now, All the strength I need is within me now..”) I turn the corner right into what was to be the first of 3 yard sales in a matter of 2 blocks!

Of course I must stop and check out the goodies. Immediately my eyes fall upon a small backpack and a carry-case. Just what I need for my smartphone and water while on my walks. I have been carrying my phone in my hand because I don’t like arm bands (possibly because my arms are too fat to fit them properly..ugh). I just drink the water when I get home. Parched.

Of course I left the house without any cash. So it’s a power walk back home. I tip toe past my darling sleeping hubby, ready to go shopping!

I stop at all three yard sales, chanting my incantations between each one, making sure to keep up the pace. I feel great as I slip my smartphone into the carry-case and it hangs perfectly around my waist.

By the time my Tony Robbins “Warm Down” audio plays, I have purchased 7 t items for $16.

1. A stack of old 45’s to create art with $1
2. Two purses for my decoupage purse art 4$
3. A full box (minus one) of percussion sticks to take to my weekly local drum circle $6
4. Small backpack and carry case $2
5. Label machine with tape still in it (batteries not included…lol) $3

Needless to say, I am grateful for: YARD SALES!

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Gratitude Pic #3: Squirrels!

Gratitude Pic #3: Squirrels!

I was panting up a hill when I heard a fast paced scratching noise. I know what is before I look up. Two squirrels chasing each other up and down a telephone pole. I think they are such funny and cute creatures. They stop to check me out as I move close to get a good photo. Afraid that they may run before I can take the pic, I move slow. But they just stare at me unmoving. I think they were hoping for the almonds I leave in my backyard! 🙂

There are quite a few animals in our neighborhood, many species of birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, skunks (no gratitude for the stinky ones sorry. lol) I really love animals and their presence give me a “close to nature-close to God” feeling. I leave nuts along along the top of our backyard fence and watch squirrels battle the bluejays for them through my kitchen window.

Even though we live in the city, ours is at the bottom incline of a small mountain where plenty of trees and foliage grow. It’s like I live in a leftover area of what used to be completely forest long ago, where modern development hasn’t completely taken over.

Today I am grateful for the squirrels and the habitat that I share with them.

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Gratitude Pic #2- Ancient Stone Art!

Gratitude Pic #2- Ancient Stone Art!

These artsy stones are just too cool. They are on the curbside grass in front of a home just around the corner from me! I had to stop and take a pic.

So now I have decided to share a photo of something interesting, cool, unusual or even mundane that I come across on my morning Hour of Power walks. Let’s call them “gratitude pics.” My goal is to do one full year of HOP morning walks. 365 in a row! So that will be a lot of things to notice and be grateful for! I am grateful to live in a vibrant neighborhood brimming with foliage at every turn. Nearly every home has some form of a garden. But hidden in all the leaves, bushes and strange flowers are happy face rocks and ancient stone art. What else will a stumble across? Follow my blog to find out! 🙂

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Tea Time!

Tea Time!

I am grateful to be able to wake up in the morning and make a hot cup of tea. The brand “Yogi Tea” puts little inspirational quotes on its tea tags, however my camera could not clearly capture the words because they are so tiny, so let me share them with you:

1. Compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy.

2. To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach.

Compassion, learning and mastery. The point of why I am committed to this blog and the HOP morning walks.

I set my tea in the kitchen windowsill to steep while I go out for my Hour of Power walk. Today was a little better, a little longer. 30 minutes, and when I got back home the tea was perfect! What kind of tea you ask? St.Johns Wort. I woke up feeling very depressed because I am in my second day of carbohydrate withdrawal. Go to my other blog to read more about it HERE.  However, the HOP walk really changed my state, and the tea was a perfect finish.