We had such blast in Nepal. It was a great learning experience for me. I imparted wisdom each day on the journey and posted it to Facebook and Instagram. I only had my phone and I was not able to get the blog post and newsletters to work. So I want to repost now the daily post from my trip. I really did pour my heart and soul into sharing each day. I hope you enjoy these, and can relate to the learning that showed up for me!
Bodhi may not remember his journey to Nepal, yet I know it was a great learning experience for him as well. It has shaped who he is today, as do all of our experiences in life.
Yesterday and the day before we flew from Nepal to Hong Kong, to LA and then to SLC. We had a 12 hour layover in LA from 7am to 7pm. We were dreading this and thoughts it was the worse schedule ever. We tried to change the flight and could not. So we got a hotel room. We went swimming in the pool and hot tub, then showered and took a nice long nap. We all crashed hard. It was so rejuvenating. Then we continued on home. Once home we were still plenty tired enough to fall right asleep and into rhythm with local time. It was so much easier than the journey out there. We were amazed! What a gift! How often is it that was looks like a problem or catastrophe is really exactly what we need. Now we are thinking that is a better way to schedule our flights next time for a long journey!
Sometimes you can’t be roused! This is one of those moments. After a long journey home and a 12 hour time change Bodhi slept all day and partied all night.
Day 1 in Khumbu
Today was a great day. It was so easy to find special moments all around me. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here. Bodhi is turning eyes left and right and getting lots of attention. On the flight out the attendant stopped to greet him. He winked at her and she was surprised and delighted. She invited him to come sit with her in the back where he proceeded to charm her the whole flight.
The short flight to Lukla is gorgeous over treacherous steep lushly green mountains. It is mind blowing to see little villages all along the way on precariously steep hillsides. The plane lands on a short steep runway perched on the mountain side. The terrain drops steeply below to the raging Dudh Kosi river.
In Lukla, all the kids were astonished to see Bodhi. They don’t see many little white kids up here. They wanted to play with him but he was a bit intimidated.
By the time we stopped for lunch he was ready to play with the two kids that lived there. It was so sweet to watch them share and play with each other.
Many people stopped to take photos of us bringing our little one up here. We took turns carrying him. He walked lots of the trail today and had a blast running along.
My goals on this trip are about having fun, being present, and connecting soulfully with my family and those around me. I will look for what lessons life has for me to learn along the way, and how I can uplift others around me.
Yesterday I found myself irritated after being cut off in a conversation. After contemplation I realized that it was my ego that was attached to what I had to say. Then I imagined the person as a 5 yr old. From there compassion was so easy to access and everything made sense. Why do we get defensive? To defend our image that we have of ourselves. When I stop to feel into the moment and recognize what is there, then I can see that I am as vast as the ocean. I have space for all the human emotions and experiences. Yet I am not defined by them. They come and go like the ocean waves. This is how we gain freedom. We feel what is already there.
Day 2 Khumbu
What a great day. Rain threatened all day keeping it cool. It held off until evening after we arrived at the Panorama lodge. I receive such a warm greeting from Lakpa and Sherap, the owners, who I have known for 12 years. I have stayed here up and down over 8 trips to this area. They immediately embraced Bodhi and loved him like their own grandkids, some of whom are Bodhis age. Lhakpa told Bodhi to call her Momma Gaga (grandma in Nepali).
The hike to Namche was fun. We all felt great with no issues with altitude on the jump from 8500′ to 11300′.
Bodhi hiked quite a bit. Traveling with 4 adults (me, Todd, Lillian, and Ang Norbu) he is getting unlimited attention. He also gets lavished from everyone on the trail tourist, porters, and locals alike. He is a very happy kiddo. He also has mom and dad with no distractions. We don’t have to cook, clean, or do any work other that moving through the mountains.
When he is not hiking Todd and I take turns carrying him, which we love. Ang Norbu carries 2 packs. I told Bodhi that he gives us super powers when we carry him so that he would want to get on my back. He did let Ang Norbu carry him a little as well, a sign that he is warming up to him. We just make it fun. He walks on the rocks, balances on roots, and plays tickle when he is on my back.
As for my character building goals, they are a fun. Staying present, having fun and celebrating each moment are going great. I was easily able to hold space with love for Bodhi when he had a few crying spells. In this way I give him permission to fully free whatever is already arising inside him. We don’t choose the waves of life. We can choose to be present with them or to try to push them away (which never works). I want to teach him to be present to them.
I recognized my accountability for the first one in my mind and recognized how I could have prevented it. It went like this. He didn’t want to clean his hands before breakfast. When trying to convince him didn’t work, I grabbed his hands and just wiped them against his will. He cried and cried. I realized in that moment that I did not need to force him. Instead I could have just held the boundary of ‘you can’t have breakfast until you clean your hands’. That’s it. Easy!!! So then I visualized my new behavior in my mind 3 times to create a new nuero pathway. This is a Powerful tool to use. What we often do instead is rehearse in our brains what we did that did not work. Perhaps we then lament. We may feel guilt, blame, or anger. Which is fine! Feel them, they are part of the human experience. Recognize that they do not define you. Rehearsing what did not work will reenforce the old behavior. Visualizing the new behavior is way more supportive and effective for creating change.
I practiced finding new ways to connect more deeply yesterday and say things to uplift others. I pushed myself out of my normal boundary into more creativity. I have a lot to learn and practice. It is so easy to just want to talk about me, and that builds up my ego. When I reach out to others with deep listening and presence, it is a deeper sense of connectedness. And when I have a conversation beyond ego and attachment to my stories that is even better. So I will keep exploring how to create that.
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Day 3 Khumbu
Such a fun day yesterday. Bodhi woke up at 3am wide awake. So we had an early start to the day. He and Todd watched Word worm as I tried to sleep a little more. Then he and I watched part of Mary Poppins as Todd took a nap. As the earth turned into the sun we celebrated and got up to play. The early morning offered us delightful views of the high snowy covered peaks around that we had not seen due to clouds and rain the day before. We quietly ran around until the lodge opened. After breakfast Todd and Lillian went for an acclimatization hike and got views of Ama Dablam before the clouds moved in again. Bodhi cried for dad not to leave until Todd gently explained that he had to go to work for a few hours and he needs Bodhi to understand if he wanted to come on more work trips with dad.
Bodhi napped and this gave me time to do my morning meditation and workout. Then I took a warm shower and finished my art project. I am doing 108 of these as gifts to others. I got the idea from a friend who gave me one, and I expanded on it. I brought some beautiful red colored maple leaves and yellow oak leaves from Ferguson canyon that I collected before I left and I am taping them to the artwork. They do not have these trees or many fall colors up here.
After lunch we ventured out into the rain with our umbrellas that Mellissa Arnot’s clients gave to us on their way out of town. Bodhi loves umbrellas. He wanted to hike by himself all the way down the steep hill with it. He did great with the big rocky steps. Then we found him some green trekking poles so he would not steal Lillian’s. Mine and Todds are too long for him. He loves them and cruised all he way back up hill on his own. We went to the Sherpa museum and the Sagamartha National park visitors center. The day before we saw some animals crossing the old Namche bridge as we were on the higher new one. They were so cool. At the visitors center we determined it may have been red pandas. Though later we found out they were Martins. We also saw Himalayan tar climbing on some steep rocky cliffs.
Mindfulness practices from yesterday:
1. I often slip out of being present. When I catch it, I come back. As I was showering I started thinking of the future and feeling rushed to go get something done. So I shifted to fully enjoying the luxury of a hot shower and feeling the water run down over my head. When I first came to the Khumbu there were no showers. Then when I got out and was drying my hair I noticed I was rushing again. So I slowed down and found joy in rubbing my head as I leaned forward and stretched my legs. So subtle and so profound these little practices. When I do it I can feel the tension melt out of my body.
2. Parents: Sometimes I motivate Bodhi out of fear. Like yesterday when he didn’t want to put on his jacket. I said, “Do you want to have to go the the doctor and get a shot?” He said no and put on his coat. As I thought about it, I realized that I really prefer to motivate from a positive place than from fear. So this morning I asked him to play Dr and put oil in mine and Todd’s ears. We talked about how we were making our immune system super strong (instead of how we were doing it so as not to get sick). He was then perfectly willing to let me do his.
3. Honestly, this works with our own self talk too! Being positive instead of negative feels better. Yet, sometimes negative comes up. Feel instead of resist! Then choose! Resisting feeling fear or negativity comes with tension and stress hormones. This sends a cascade of responses through the body includes using our amygdala instead of the prefrontal cortex. From here we are in survival mode. Often the rebel in us will come up and say no or get defensive. So deeply acknowledging ourselves is an act of love and compassion. Pay close attention to your self talk today. Pause, Listen, Breath, and be present. When we are present to what is there, and allow it all to be, then we can more easily let go of judgement and attachment to the stories that we tell ourselves. We have the capacity to feel it all and then know that it does not define us. When we catch the negativity and just notice it and feel it, then we can choose to fed that or step out of it. The sooner we catch them and shift the better.
From constipation to relief!!
So I experienced some constipation yesterday. This gave me a chance for introspection and learning.
Here were the causes:
1. The other night after my belly was content, I tried Bodhi’s Tibetan bread with honey. It was yummy so I keep eating it as he was done. Then I had eaten too much.
2. The next morning I drink some protein powder. It tasted good so I had two cups. Perhaps not a good idea.
3. Bodhi waking at 3am, I did not get my normal routine in of drinking lots of warm water, meditating and moving. I got it in after breakfast. Not as effective for elimination.
4. Traveling and 12 hr time change can lend to constipation as well.
1. At lunch and dinner I just had soup and veggies.
2. I drink lots of yummy fresh ginger tea.
3. First thing this morning I drink lots of warm water!
4. Instead of protein powder I went back to my beet powder and green powder mix.
I am happy to report great success with this treatment plan.
My plan now to avoid this:
1. Keep on with the water first then beet and green powder.
2. I have had a great visualization session this morning imagining myself being content at 80% full and not eating more.
3. Lots of soup and veggies (so far easy to get as they have beautiful gardens here in Namche)
4. Ginger tea and good hydration.
Day 4 Khumbu:
Yesterday was another great day up here. We traveled from Namche to Thame. It is a beautiful hike through the lush forest emerging into serene high mountain valleys. We covered probably 5 miles and 1100′ elevation gain. The trail was fairly easy hiking yet the terrain around is steep and dramatic. We crossed one memorable bridge were the water rages underneath. There are large painting on the wall of the Buddha and one of the Rinpoche. We tossed sticks down to watch them get devoured by the crashing waves.
The ergo carrier has turned out to be great. Bodhi slept on Todds back for 1.5 hr yesterday while we hiked. It works great if he gets cold as well. Toward the end of our hike it got windy and he snuggled on my back and kept us both warm.
The day started out cloudy and misty. Bodhi is in a very independent phase and with his new poles he wanted to do it by himself. And he did, big steps and all. Before his nap was over it got clear, warm and sunny. So we enjoyed scrambling on some rocks, a picnic in the sun, and hiking along at Bodhi’s stop and go pace. One minute he is running and the next exploring.
It is easy to want to keep hiking at a steady pace and want to just get to the destination. So at first I was trying to keep him moving forward. However, it is really not that far. We have all day to get there. So when he wanted to stop by a stream and play we did. For about an hour, he built rock towers, played music with the rocks, and tossed rocks down the hill. It is a cool thing to see how nature naturally can entertain. We really don’t need so many toys. I see the kids up here making up game with rocks. Like baci baIl where they throw one rock and then see who can hit it with another. It was the nicest warmest part of the day. I am so glad I let him play there because we still got to Thame by 2. No reason to hurry up and then just sit in the lodge. It’s about the journey not the destination right? So important with kiddos to remember this.
Bodhi had a great bonding session with Lillian last night playing for hours on the big bed we constructed by pushing two together. I joined in and we played gymnastics, puppets, hide from the monsters, etc.
I thought long and hard about what toys to bring up here. I decided on puppets. We have lots of finger puppets to give away and share with there kiddos up here. We have some hand puppets too. They work great for talking to Bodhi to get him to walk, eat, drink or put on clothes. The animals talk to him or try to steal his food. I did not want to bring plastic into this environment or candy, or anything heavy because our porter would have to carry it all. So the puppets are perfect.
Thame and the earthquake:
This village was completely flattened by the earthquake 1.5 yr ago. Every house!!! So the people lived in tents for 6 months through the monsoon season while to was rebuilt. It is a poor community up here of people living so remote. Much of the community is in there 60-70’s. Lhakpa Rita Sherpa who I have worked with lots over the years is from here and he helped 300 families rebuild homes from Alpine Ascents. The Juniper Fund also contributed a lot. Many of the workers up here left for Annapurna after the earthquake and Lhakpa sister said it is hard to get help. These hardy people are survivors. We are looking forward to seeing Lhakpa’s parents tomorrow as well as Ang Norbu’s mom and sister.
We will head up to the monastery today. It is about 500′ up on the hillside. We are excited to meet the 4 yr old Rinpoche. We heard that he recognized his wife from his past life as she was walking by one day. He said, “that’s my wife”. So they sat and played together. Then he said he wanted his jacket, so they brought him another monks jacket. He said no this in not mine. When they took him to the monastery he goes everyday to visit his wife and sit with her. They asked if he wanted to go see his parents down valley and he said no that’s okay.
We hear there are lots of young monks there right now. Hopefully Bodhi can meet some of them. Then Todd and Lillian will climb a peak up above.
No one has had any problems with the altitude. Bodhi is adjusting well. Many life skills are become more important up here. We are teaching Bodhi how to take care of himself with eating well, drinking water, staying warm, putting on sunscreen and oil so as not to get burned or dry.
It’s an amazing journey with so many opportunities for joy and learning. ?
My character building goal today is to catch judgement, pause, breath, and invite in gratitude and compassion. It is my ego that really wants to judge. So easy for the mind to run crazy. Pausing and breathing bring me back to this moment!
The animals below are Himalayan tar.
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Day 5 Khumbu:
Another lovely day of living in these gorgeous mountains. We awoke to clear skies and the best views yet of towering snow covered peaks. We listened to the monks singing Tibetan prayers and playing the drums, symbols, and horns. Bodhi was dancing to the beat.
Then we had apple pie and cinnamon rolls at the bakery. So different than what you find in the USA. They don’t use much sugar at all. Still delicious. Then we went in the lodge were the young monks were studying. They took a pause to let us visit and we received a blessing from the 4 yr old Rinpoche. He put the Kata scarfs around our necks and shook Bodhi’s hand wishing him a safe journey.
Todd, Lilian and Ang Norbu continued hiking up to Sundar peak while Bodhi and I meandered down. He loves to hold my hand and run and jump over the rocks. He stopped to do an art project putting sticks into some yak poop. I used it as an opportunity to get him hydrated. Every time he drank water I would fetch more sticks for him. When Todd and crew came down they had a big laugh immediately knowing who must have constructed such an expression.
Bodhi watched a show while I cut his nails, and did oil in his nose and ears. Bargaining ground if you know what I mean moms. Then he feel asleep around 3:30. He slept for 13 hours. I guess he will be energized today.
Daily habits and morning routine:
Ayurveda teaches us about daily routines and habits that help us align with natures rhythms and maximize our potential. I find these habits so helpful and just as important to maintain when traveling. Here are a few that are supporting me well.
Big Lunch, Earlier Lighter dinner, and Early to bed:
Yesterday I had a big lunch with boiled veggies, veggie spring rolls, fried eggs, and nuts. Then for dinner I had veggie soup and a few momos (veggie dumplings). This lighter dinner helped me to get a deeper nights sleep and awake rejuvenated. If we go to sleep without having to digest a big meal then the body can perform its deeper healing functions and access REM states more easily. I was asleep by 7:30 and awoke at 3:30. This gave me lots of quite morning time to do my morning routine.
1. Hydrate and Eliminate:
I drink a liter of warm water and fully eliminated so that I am not carrying and reabsorbing toxins throughout the day.
I used to think I would not be the type of person to enjoy meditation. Now I love it and it is the keystone habit for me. I highly recommend it. This morning I sat for a while and just let my mind do whatever. Then when I wanted my mind to be more still I did a gratitude practice for family, extended family, friends, all the people we have met over here, and for anyone reading this!! That’s you!! Thanks!! Then I moved onto my JOY practice where I invite in deeper amounts of joy with each inhale and each exhale. There is no right or wrong way to do it! Just sitting and being still you will be relaxing your nervous system. It doesn’t matter what your brain does so much you will still get benefits. Forgiveness is one practice that shifts your brain the fastest. You can also just pay attention to the breath!
Moving first thing in the morning boost our energy for the whole day. I did 20 min of yoga and then 1 min push-ups,1 min. sit-ups, and 50 one leg squats on each leg.
I have been doing these habits daily up here and loving it. Pick one and add it into your routine if you desire. Start small and get the routine in there. Then you can add to it. Example: Meditate for 1 min and then add a minute a day.
Day 6 Khumbu
Yesterday morning we visited Ang Norbu’s moms house. She was smiling and loving. She had potatoes drying on a tarp outside along with another root of which no one knows the English translation. It keeps you warm in the winter Ang Norbu explains. Such hard living up here. I wonder what it would be like to spend a whole year up here trying to live like they do.
Then we stopped by Lhakpa Rita Sherpas parents house. Bodhi liked their prayer wheel. Such amazing people. Lhakpa use to walk 5 miles both ways everyday to Khumjung to go to school. The trail has lots of up and downs. Many kids use to do this before Thame established a school. We met one professor in Thame from Switzerland who was going around teaching all the teachers computer programming so that they could teach the kids. So cool.
Bodhi did lots of hiking, playing, running and jumping over rocks along the way. After lunch he napped on my back all the way to Khumjung. Last night we had a dance party. Todd posted a video of that. Clearly he is adjusting super well up here.
I have been on a powerful learning journey with Ayurveda. One of the concepts I have embraced is loving and honoring the physical body. This body is the exact vehicle I need to fulfill my purpose on this planet. When something hurts now I send so much love and gratitude to that area. Then it softens and can heal so much more easily. We hold tension in so many ways. This can prevent healing and keep us stuck. I have shifted my perspective to see everything as a gift. Every injury and every event are opportunities for me to expand my consciousness.
Parents: Here is how I share this with Bodhi. When he bangs his knee or head, I coach him to say, “I love you head/knee”. Then tell him that helps it heal faster. I kiss it and say the same. In this way he learns to love all his body parts even when they hurt.
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Day 7 Khumbu:
Yesterday we hiked from Khumjung to Phortse. Phortse sits at 12,500′ on a ridge in between the valley that goes up to Everest and the Gokyo lakes valley. This prominent perch has an amazing view and leaves me feeling as if I am on top of the world.
We had great views of Ama Dablam all day. This is one of the most aesthetic peaks and the objective of Todd and Lillian. Todd and I climbed it 14 years ago together.
We hiked up 1000′ ft yesterday stopping along the way for Bodhi to play and explore. Then we had a big relaxing lunch with gorgeous views. After lunch we descended down 1000′ where we crossed the river that goes up to Gokyo. Bodhi had a long play by the river. We foraged for wild edibles finding wild strawberry leaves, sticky weed, wild ginger, and several types of berries that Ang Norbu showed us. I have also found clover and dandelion up here. If the locals utilized these if would improve their availability of nutrients a ton. It would be easy to dry it and have a green powder for the winter. So my wheels are spinning on how to teach that one.
Bodhi is doing great and having a blast. His O2 saturation was in the 90’s and higher than some of ours. We are spending 5 nights in the 12k’ range making a an easy adjustment. We are flexible too and Bodhi and I can go down at anytime if we need too. So relax grandma. All is well. Lean back and trust!!! The days are hot and sunny and the nights are cool but manageable.
Gratitude is so easy to access when the country you are in has so much less. We really have it good. I appreciate our advanced sewage system. We often don’t even think of it. Some people don’t even have outhouses up here and just poop in the yard. They don’t have toilet paper or soap as far as I can see either. Most do have at least an outhouse. Most lodges have western toilets now and showers available. Appreciate your tap and the water that pours from it. We are lucky to have clean drinking water right to our homes, or filters we can put on our sinks. In Kathmandu this is a big problem as well as clean air. Up here in the mountains they are blessed with clean air and water.
Our government works so well. You may be doubting this often and feel some heightened discomfort during election time. Consider this, we have great roads, everyone can go to school, we have work available to us, we can buy a house, get loans at a reasonable rate, we can vote for who we want in office. Nepal struggles so much with establishing a system that can provide the basics.
Gratitude for our toothbrushes and education:
The other day when we visited the 4 yr old Rinpoche for a blessing, we saw that he had only a few teeth and they were black stubs sticking up. That night Bodhi and I talked about it. We explored why that might be so. Maybe he doesn’t have a toothbrush. Maybe no one taught him how to brush or helped him do it well. Likely he did not eat many veggies and ate lots of sugar and sweets as well. They do not have much education on nutrition here. The kids low on the trail ask for chocolate from the tourist. Processed foods are all around. Since then Bodhi has been keen to brush his teeth and have me help him do it well. It is challenging as a parent to hold boundaries around junk food, candy, and the like. And to me it is one of the most important things I can offer him. We have a lot more challenges these days as there is so much more exposure to unhealthy processed foods. Were there is a will, there is a way! We play games all the time to get the veggies down!
Day 9 Khumbu
Yesterday we hiked from Phortse to Pangboche. It was a shorter day and we arrived before lunch. Bodhi made friends with lucky the dog and a baby yak that he got to pet. We had great views most of the day especially of Ama Dablam. Bodhi was energetic and jumping up and down in the lodge. Everyone is feeling well.
Ayurveda tip of the day:
Drink warm water when you wake up to hydrate and fully eliminate!!! 1-1.5 Liters. This will set you up for success and get rid of the toxins in your body.
Today we are hiking up to Dingboche to spend 2 nights. We will be 1500′ higher.
Namaste! Thanks for following our journey!!
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Day 10 Khumbu
Yesterday we a fantastic day. We had a short hike from Pangboche to Dingboche with a 1500′ gain on sleeping altitude. We had a blast. Bodhi played with two healthy sweet dogs on the way that just roam as they please and tag along with trekkers. They look like they are taken care of well. Ang Norbu told us a story about a dog who made it up to camp 2 on Everest and hung out with the climbers. This may be the dog Willie Benegas brought home. Very hardy dog to make it through the ice fall.
We crossed a fairly flat grassy meadow area with lots of single track trails on which Bodhi loved to run. He found a mud hole and a stick and made us all mud cakes. We generally just let him play as long as he wants on the trail. Then we came across some horses grazing. I pulled some longer grass out of the bushes and Bodhi fed and pet the horses.
After crossing a bridge Bodhi played on rocks near the stream. Then he rode on my back and fell asleep just before we arrived. All the lodge owners are so excited to have him here. He had a good nap and then we had lunch. Bodhi and Lillian snuggled and watched a movie, and then we took a stroll that looked like 4 adults chasing a very fast and agile 3 year old. Don’t worry grandma we hold his hand when it is steep and rocky. He found some rocks on which to climb, and then tried to hide in a juniper bush.
In the lodge we stayed with many friends. Bodhi really enjoyed playing with Mellissa Arnot. So fun to reconnect with her here. Our friend Tom Bennet, who always lets us stay with him in the Tetons, is here. Missing you Dede! And Jeff Witt is here who we have known since 2001 and guide along side in the Tetons. As well as sweet Jim Williams who we know from the Tetons and various other places. Small world!!
Mindfulness and Ayurveda corner:
Todd asked me why it was important for me to have a big lunch and not just snack. This is a very good question. In the mountaineering world and in our culture in general we are often told to eat lots of small meals everyday. Ayurveda shares with us how this is really not very good for our bodies. And in my journey of healing it has made all the difference to change this.
After eating it takes 1-3 hr for the food to leave the stomach and go into the intestines. There is still lots of digestion and absorption of nutrients that happens in the intestines and the colon. We will experience a feeling of emptiness like we can add more in, but not deep hunger. If we add more in then the valve to the intestines must close stopping digestion in the lower track. The food in the intestines begins to ferment causing gas and then rot causing stinky gas. This leads to undigested food in the blood stream and acidity in the body. Our bodies will then draw calcium from the bones to try to balance the acidity. This depleted us. The undigested proteins, sugars or fats can cause sluggish blood, uric acid crystals, and all sorts of negative health consequences.
For me, I was able to look at my blood, as I was trained in how to analyze blood, and see the uric acid. I could see Ama on my tongue as a think white coating. I also consulted with an Ayurveda Dr who said I had pockets of acidity all throughout my body. This explained the joint pain I was feeling in my wrist and knees.
Here is how I got rid of the acidity:
1. Plant based diet – greens and veggies are more alkaline. I did not totally cut out meat, I just reduced meats and grains and increases greens and veggies. I use alkalizing green powders in my green smoothies as well.
2. Eat 3 meals a day with lunch as the biggest meal. Avoiding snacking was a big habit to shift and it took me a year and a half to really get solid with this. We have the highest digestive fire when the sun is he highest in the sky. We can absorb the most nutrients. I feel so much better the next morning when I have a big lunch and an earlier lighter dinner. We eat a 5 pm and I go for veggies, soups, salad, etc.
4. Eat sitting down, relax, and chew my food. This was also a hard one to break. We can’t digest if we are in a stress response. The blood goes to the periphery. Any undigested food becomes Ama or toxins in the body.
Day 11 Khumbu
Yesterday Todd and Lillian climbed Chukung Ri from Dingboche. They went up to about 18000′. It was an 8 hr journey. They did great and had wonderful views.
Bodhi and I stayed here and played around town. We roasted pretend marsh mellows under the solar cooker, played on the stream and mud with sticks, had apple pie at the bakery, and watched ‘the sound of music’. Rhey use solar cookers to boil water. It will boil at pot in about 20 min when sunny. All electricity above Pangboche is solar.
Ram and Doma Sherpa the older owners here love Bodhi. They have a granddaughter the same age. Doma fed Bodhi his soup at lunch and then Ram took us for a hike and showed us the Seabuck thorn berry bushes. Bodhi loved them and ate tons. Then down by a small stream Bodhi had a project. He said, “Mom I am making you something very special and you can’t see yet and you must be very quite.” Haha. So I told him I could not see through my sunglasses. He proceed to place rocks in the stream like he was building a rock path on which to walk. He was very determined to finish his “work”.
We again had a dance party last night where Bodhi showed off his moves to Doma making sure she was watching.
Today we have a short easy day back down to Pangboche. We will meet up with Namgya and his crew who are on our permit for Ama Dablam.
Bodhi and I will go up to Ama Base Camp with them the next day. There is a lodge up their now and it is only a little higher than we are here. Bodhi is well acclimatized to this altitude and has not complained of a headache or feeling bad at all on the whole trip.
Health tip of the day:
Be grateful for your body!!! No matter what shape it is in or how much judgement you have had in the past. Send lots of love and gratitude to any injuries and every part. Even love it if you are overweight, ill, too short, tall , hairy, toothless, etc.
Think of it this way. If you are in a relationship, and you cultivate love, compassion, gratitude and appreciation into that relationship it will thrive.
It is no different with our bodies. We are in a relationship with this body. Adopt this belief, “this is the exact vehicle I need to express my unique gifts on this planet!” Cultivate love and see how your body shifts and changes for you. Negative thoughts release stress hormones, cause constriction, and tension to build in the body. This makes it hard for it to heal and thrive.
Recognize self talk, recognize tension in your shoulders, face, hands, hip flexors, wherever you hold it. Then choose to take some deep breaths and soften.
Forgive yourself for any harm you have caused your body. Then invite in the deepest gratitude and love.
Happy hormones heal!!!!
Visualize yourself now offering positive self talk today!! Visualization is so powerful, you are creating a new nuero-pathway. Otherwise we stay stuck in old patterns.
My goal today is to shift my ‘Do not’s’ to ‘Do’s’. I find myself saying, “don’t throw those rocks off that wall someone has built, don’t do this or that’. So instead today I am going to say, “Let’s leave the rocks on the rock wall and throw these rocks over here instead.” So, I have just visualized in my mind 3 times doing the positive request instead. Please try it and see for yourself!!
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Day 12 Khumbu
Yesterday we had a super fun easy day descending back to Pangboche. Bodhi rode on my back and pretended I was a dragon and he a dragon trainer. I had 2 big leaves for wings. He had a stick for a magic wand. He kept turning Lillian into a walking rock, or a frog or a bunny. We played by the stream again throwing rocks and then he ran through the meadow. We saw another family from France going up to base camp with a 3 years old boy and 9 year old girl. The boy was asleep on the moms back.
We also ran into Vern and Carol on the trail with their group. It was great to see them. Todd married them on the summit of Mt Vinson. I was there too. I also got to see Gopal (the cook and super sweet guy) and Kami (Lhakpa Rita Sherpa’s brother who is so strong). I worked with them for years.
We arrived in time for lunch and met Namgya Sherpa who is our dear friend from working in Antarctica. He has stayed with us in the States and dearly loves Bodhi. He has two daughters as well who we got to play with in Kathmandu. We are on a permit with him and his group from Australia for Ama Dablam.
The porter with their bags dropped them in the river yesterday. He set them down after crossing the bridge and they toppled over. So they had to go in the freezIng cold water and get the bags. Then spent the afternoon drying everything out. No one was hurt and all was recoverable.
Today we will all head up to Ama Dablam base camp. It is a 3 hr hike or so. Camp is already set up there waiting for us. There is a lodge up there too that we can stay in or hang out in if it is cold.
My goal yesterday of using Do’s instead of Don’ts with Bodhi went well. Feels so much better for me. I’ll keep that one whenever I can.
Years ago in my relationship with Todd, I would try to change him. It didn’t work. And it caused tension, distance and negative feeling on both sides. Then I realized what worked better. That was to absolutely love him exactly as he was. And to see the good and praise and give gratitude there. And to work on changing myself because that is where I have control. We have always had a great supportive relationship and this shift took it to a much deeper more open level.
Recognizing character traits like judgement, pleasing, and victim role and how they show up in my life has given me the opportunity to create something new. I have choice and can shift old patterns. So I invite in these traits instead: love, compassion, openness, curiosity, creativity and serving instead of pleasing. It’s a practice!! Everyday I get opportunities for awareness, shifting, and choosing.
What shows up for you? What may serve you better?
Life will give you whatever experience you need for the highest evolution of your consciousness. Everything is a gift!!!
Day 13 Khumbu
Yesterday we hiked from Pangboche to Ama Dablam base camp at 15k’. It took 2hr and 20min. The weather was not great. We were in a cloud all day with a cold wind. Bodhi got to finally wear in new snow pants and jacket over his puffy. We put on his snow boots and warm mitts too. Then he rode on my back all the way up. Todd kept feeding him his fiber gummies made from fruits and veggies to keep him going. We didn’t want to stop to play in the cold and wind. At base camp it was not windy and the sun came out. Todd and Bodhi and I are sharing a tent with thick foam pads covering the bottom. It was boiling warm in the tent with the sun. We played trick or treat picking toys from Bodhi’s hat. Here’s the game he made up. You have to look in the hat and think real hard with your finger on your chin saying hummmm! Then you pick your animal. Then we moved outside and dug in the sand and played trucks in the sand.
Namgya had an amazing set up here in camp. Top notch! We have a big dome tent with a padded floor and heater in it where we dine and hang out. Bodhi can strip down and kick off his boots and play. There are flowers on the table and an assortment of drinks and snacks always available. The food is amazing and fresh. Better than in the lodges.
We have a shower tent and a poop tent with a toilet that they hauled up here. They carry all the poop down to preserve the environment.
They have solar panels and a charging station.
Todd, Lillian, Bodhi and I all piled in the tent and watched Chitty chitty bang bang before dinner.
Everyone is doing well!! I will cruise to the lodge 5 min away to buy a wifi card and send this to you.
Our plan is to stay here amd play if we are having fun. Todd and Lillian will be going up and down. When they go for the summit push around the 25th we will head down with Ang Norbu and take a fun slow journey back to Lukla. When Todd and Lillian come down they will zoom back to Lukla in 2 days.
The fix lines are not up yet because the snow is so rotten. There is a crust on top of sugary snow. The Sherpas estimate the earliest they will be ready is the 28th. They were wallowing in snow up to there waist up there. Namgya’s crew already has tents set up at camp 2 so we are in line to be the first group up. There is only room for 3 tents on that beautiful perch.
Summit or no summit we are all happy. Lillian has the best attitude and always says she would rather live to climb another peak than push it. If conditions don’t allow then she is content with the amazing journey we have had and are having. She has been so loving and cute with Bodhi.
To worry or not to worry?
If you find yourself worrying ask this question? What is in my control? If you can do something then do it or put it on your calendar to get it done.
If you can not do anything then let go. Send love instead of worry. Why is this so important? Worry and fear are not good for our bodies over a long time. If you need to run from a lion or lift a car off your child then the stress response is great. If we are in a constant state of stress, worry or fear then we get elevated levels of cortisol. This can cause disease, poor sleep, lower immune system, weight gain, and increase likelihood of injury to name a few.
Worry is a habit, so tools like awareness, deep breathing, meditating, and shifting beliefs can really help.
1. Recognize when you are stressed, worried, or feeling fear
2. Pause and feel. How does it show up in your body? Shoulders tight or forward? Feel it in your gut or throat?
3. Take 3 deep breaths and relax.
4. What are your thoughts and beliefs behind it? Are these thoughts the most useful and supportive that they can be?
5. Shift your beliefs!! Here are some I like:
Lean back and trust.
Every person in your life is on the exact right path they need to be on. Their challenges are their gifts.
Hold space for others to experience their own challenges without taking it on yourself. Think of opening your heart and holding a Big Heart Space.
The universe provides us with everything we need!!
Do what you can and let go of the rest!!
Khumbu day 13
Yesterday we had a rest/play day here at Ama Dablam base camp. There is a sandy beach by the little stream just behind our tents. We built a sand castle and a track down to the river for Bodhi’s little truck to race down to the river. We hiked up the river and visited others in camp. We also hiked over to the lodge for a wifi card which sometimes works here in base camp.
Lillian and Todd did an acclimatization hike in the afternoon.
The food has been amazing. Last night we had pizza and apple pie.
It is a beautiful day. Today Todd and Lillian are heading up to camp 1 for a night. Then camp 2. And back down to base camp for 2 rest days before there summit push.
Bodhi and I will stay here until they go for the summit push.
Eliminate toxins from your skin care. We absorb directly into the skin and into the blood stream. All I use now is organic sesame oil. Love it. Avoid putting anything on your skin that you would not eat.
Apply oil before or during your shower and then use a towel that you don’t mind getting oily. Oil doesn’t fully wash out. I use oil on my feet at night with some cotton socks.
The oil gets into every nook and cranny and dissolves anything foreign. It kills harmful bacteria and leaves the good ones.
Khumbu day 14
Todd and Lillian headed up to camp 1 yesterday. It is a gain of 3300′ to 18,300′. They carried most of there own gear and had full packs. Ang Norbu carried gear for them too. They made it up in 6 hours in good form.
It was a beautiful sunny warm day so Bodhi and I played and played. We walked in and up the stream. His snow boots are rubber on the lower part and he can walk through the shallow parts. Inevitably he gets in too deep and ends up with wet but warm feet. We then changed shoes and went bouldering on the rocks and exploring behind camp. We also played hide and seek in camp and he enjoyed high altitude running with ease.
We took a nice afternoon nap in the warm tent with the sun beaming down.
At dinner Bodhi kept wandering into the cook tent and wanting to hang out there. So we ate dinner in there. Luckily he doesn’t like chocolate because they kept trying to give him junk. Instead he wanted a tomato, which he helped me slice. Each slice was a different person. First he ate the baby tomato, then the mom and dad, then And Norbu and Namgya tomatoes with a little jingle we made up. Making healthy eating fun works so well!
After dinner he played with Ang Norbu and Namgya while I took a little hike. Taking a jaunt after dinner is great for digestion! It was the first clear night and the big half moon and stars were out. Without the blanket of natures clouds it was much colder. We stayed warm all night though and little man is still sleeping. He was a little cuddle bunny last night. One of the joys I experience with him.
For any of my friends on the fence about having kids like I was, being a mom is the coolest experience of my life!! It is the best adventure, the biggest learning curve, and provides me with countless opportunities for joy! It has brought deeper love into my life and my relationship with Todd.
The last two nights I went in a hike after dinner. I noticed something interesting. It was easy for my mind to wander to a place of fear or worry. It was cloudy out and getting dark. I was within shouting distance of camp and I had a light. Yet I found myself thinking what if I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle or hit my head on a rock. Then I caught the fear thought pattern and decided to breath deep and invite in joy and peace. That worked so much better. I was more present and surefooted. Our fears can manifest that reality!
Here is how our thoughts effect us based on the yoga philosophy.
We have different layers of being:
1. Physical body
2. Energetic body
3. Mental/Emotional body
4. Intuitive body
5. Bliss body
They are all effected by each other. If we think a thought consistently it becomes manifested in the physical body. Fear or worry thoughts are contracting. They will create tension in the body and can get stuck there showing up as pain or injury. This effects our ability to feel Bliss if we are constantly in a state of fear or worry.
So it helps to perceive hazards to prepare for something like a mountain climb to make sure you know the risk and set yourself up for success. And during the moment it helps to stay alert, relaxed and positive. What the mind focuses on continually it creates. Subtle energy manifest eventually in the physical.
I recognized that if I played fears over and over on my mind, I would more likely create that reality. We always have a choice to shift! We absolutely control our thoughts.
Try this too!! Any physical pain you have send loads of gratitude to that part of your body. Feel it soften and relax a little.
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Khumbu day 15
Todd and Lillian moved from camp 1 to camp 2. Namgya was the first to send a Sherpa crew up there so we already have 3 tents set up which is all camp 2 can accommodate. It is a small snowy perch. Really it is an amazing place to camp with stunning views. We are expecting them back in base camp within the hour. There is a Lama hiking up from Pangboche to do a puja (blessing) for the climb. So preparation are in way with prayer flags going up.
Yesterday Bodhi and I relaxed around camp. We walked up stream looking for ice on the banks. Bodhi would then chop it with the ice axe. Then we find a rocky brook where we could jump from rock to rock crossing back and forth over the stream.
Namgya has a yogurt maker and yogurt powder he purchased in the U.K. Bodhi is loving that. A treat for sure and something not available from Nepal.
It snowed a little last night and today is a bright sunny day. We are looking forward to seeing Todd.
Bodhi has been dancing and singing this morning!!
Thanks for following our journey!!!
After a meal rest for 10 min and then take a 10 min walk. This will stimulate digestion. You can even lay on your left side for that 10 min rest and this helps send the digestive juices to the belly!!
‘Anything we digest is nourishment, anything we don’t is poison, and anything that aids digestion is medicine.’ – Ayurveda philosophy
There is no need to live with indigestion! Something is our of alignment with you diet, eating habits or stress level! Check out my Higher Health Program and get in good alignment!
Day 16 Khumbu
Yesterday the group got back to base camp around 10am in time for an early lunch and a puja ceremony. There is a traveling Lama who comes to Ama Dablam base camp and Everest base camp to do the ceremony. It took him over an hour to set up and get everything prepared. We had many offering of food and beverages for the ceremony. We burned juniper leaves, had butter lamps, and a dab of butter on everything to bless it. The Lama read a whole prayer book while ringing a bell and turning his necklace of Bodhi tree beads. There are a couple of short videos here of the prayers and the prayer flags going up during the ceremony.
Bodhi enjoyed the ceremony and reuniting with dad. I enjoyed going for a nice hike an hour up the trail. When I got back we had a family wrestling session in the tent. Bodhi likes us to lay on top of him and then he throws us off like a strong man.
Dave Morton heard his little giggles and popped in the tent to visit. It was great to catch up with him. He is a good friend since we started guiding 16 years ago. Jeff Witt and his client also came up today and we had a big gathering in our dining tent with popcorn, crackers and tea.
The plan is to rest 2 days here and then Todd and Lillian will start up. Bodhi, Ang Norbu and I will start down taking really short playful days and meet up with them in Lukla on Halloween. They don’t know what that is around here so we probably won’t dress up.
I felt great hiking up the trail into the rising clouds around me. Visibility was low yet I cherished every moment in those clouds. When I reached my high point on a narrow ridge that dropped in all directions, I stretched my arms wide to give the whole world a big hug. The wind was blowing toward me as if it lift my willing wings and allow me to fly. It is easy to forget to celebrate life sometimes. This gesture reminds me to do just that. To enjoy this moment whatever it is, right now, this breath, this experience. Try it today and see what shift you feel!! Imagine holding a big heart space for all people and experiences in your life.
On the way down I was running. I was thinking how when I was here climbing this peak years ago, we sprinted down this trail as fast as we could with Eric Larson (who always has taught me how to access deeper levels of my potential in the mountains). And I thought of my friend Allison telling me how in her endurance races the girls sprint down the hills so fast. And for a second my ego encouraged me to do that. Then I thought, that is not me in this moment. In this moment, I am Winslow Passey whose gifts are compassion, grace, and deep listening to my body. So instead of pounding down I sauntered in a light gingerly way. Landing softly with each step. And listening. With no backpack or kiddo on my back I felt light and free.
Invite in more joy!
Here is an intention I like:
“I intend to create more joy, gratitude, abundance and success in my life today. “
Day 17 Khumbu
Yesterday we had another rest day in base camp. In the morning Bodhi chopped ice in the stream. I went for a hike up to the ridge just before ABC (Advanced Base Camp). It was a gorgeous morning and from up there I felt like I was right in amongst the snowy mountains.
In the afternoon Todd set up a rope for Lillian to practice ascending. Bodhi carried the rope. So cute. Bodhi helped by stretching out the rope and giving a fireman’s belay.
Tips for High Altitude Acclimatization:
1. Eat your biggest meal at lunch. If possible this is great. You have the highest digestive power when the sun is the highest. You can absorb the most nutrients. This is easy to do in Nepal with all the lovely tea houses along the way. This also helps slow your ascent giving your body time to catch up.
2. Eat dinner before dark. Schedule dinner for you or your group around 5pm. The earlier you eat the easier to digest. It is so much better than eating a big meal late and then going to sleep. At altitude digestion is already compromised due to the lack of oxygen available. We are not made to eat after dark. In our evolution it was dangerous as animals would come get you. Eating early and having time to digest will help you sleep and acclimatize better. Digestion takes about 60-70% of the bodies energy. We should be doing other deep healing functions instead of trying to digest. You can reach deeper sleep if the body is not trying to digest. Trying to digest a big meal at altitude will decrease your respiratory rate at night leaving you feeling crummy in the morning. Soups are great at night.
3. Drink lots of water. I am sure you know this. Take a pee bottle so you can easily pee on the night and then drink more water right after. Listen to your bodily urges of needing to pee or being thirsty and don’t ignore them.
4. Drink warm water especially if it is cold out. Cold water is constricting and shocking on the system. It is harder to drink enough. Drink water in between meals. Lots of water and food don’t go well together. Too much water with a meal dilutes our digestive juices. Drink 30 min before a meal to hydrate the stomach lining. Then sip during the meal. Drink more a half hour after the meal.
5. Avoid constipation. First thing when you wake up drink a liter of warm water to eliminate. If you don’t get good elimination you will likely be gassy all day. Common at altitude. Take smooth move tea or other gentle laxatives in case you have troubles. Having a back up off poop makes us toxic, lethargic, and uncomfortable. Having a clear colon is so helpful for acclimatizing.
Day 18 Khumbu
Yesterday the team took another rest day. Now they are raring to go. Todd and Lillian just left camp with light packs as they cashed most of their gear already at camp 1.
I had another beautiful day hike while Todd played with Bodhi yesterday. We are thinking waders would have been good to bring to Ama base camp for him and he loves to stomp up the stream.
Bodhi woke up this morning with the giggles. He was eating snow off the inside of the tent and laughing his head off at 5am in the morning. He is in sync with the sun right now sleeping at first dark and waking at first light.
Today Bodhi and I, along with Ang Norbu, will slowly pack up and head down to Pangboche. We will take our time getting back to the Lukla airport and meet Todd and Lillian there on the 31st or 1st.
Their plan is to go to camp 1 today, camp 2 tomorrow, summit and back to camp 2, and then down to base camp. They have radios and will be in contact with Namgya who will be in touch with us by way of facebook and phone. There are 3 Sherpas going up between the two teams. The communication potential is amazing up here with wifi in base camp and cell service 20 min down trail. Namgya gave us local SIM cards so we can talk through out the Khumbu.
On my hike yesterday I noticed a vibrant fragrance in the air. Namgya showed Bodhi and I some of the sweet smelling alpine tundra flowers up here. Bodhi and I like to smell the juniper, sage, and flowers at home while hiking.
When we are in tune with our senses this helps bring us into the present moment. It is through our senses that we experience the world. If we could not see, hear, smell, touch or taste then we would have no experience of this world.
It was like aroma therapy enjoying these smells. I rubbed the leaves in between my fingers and took a deep smell to relish it even more. Natures aroma therapy is the best!
Try this next time you are on a hike. Experience the flowers and leaves around you to see what smells nice. I sometimes put a little sage on my nostril for a moment to enjoy its powerful smell.
Just like our thoughts cause a cascade of hormones to release, so do smells. A pleasant smell can be healing and uplifting. It can release happy hormones in you body. And it helps you tune into this one moment!!
Sometimes we think we can not be happy on this moment. We seek to obtain something that will bring us joy in the future. The only moment to experience it is now. When we stay in the future or the past we lose this moment. Find joy NOW!!! If you can in this one moment, then you can in the next!! Gratitude is a great place to start.
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Khumbu Day 19
Bodhi and I had an easy journey back down to Pangboche. Bodhi slept most of the way on my back. We passed another French family with 12 and 14 year old boys. They crossed the 3 high passes already and were looking strong trekking to Ama Base Camp.
Bodhi gets lots of attention. More than he wants. He is shy and often won’t say hi to all the people who say hi to him. He did warm up to the group from Turkey finally this morning and gave out some waves and smiles.
(Heather, Kate would be in heaven with endless amounts of attention up here with her gregarious love)
Todd and Lillian are heading to camp 2 today. They will head for the summit from there tomorrow. It is a beautiful clear day!!
We are now in Debouche back into the juniper, birch and rhododendron forest. We have been exploring and playing in the woods. It is a lush moss covered forest with green moss hanging off the trees.
We enjoyed running down the trail just in front of a group of yaks using our super powers to keep ahead.
Bodhi got introduced to hard candies at Ama Base Camp and quickly was addicted wanting to eat them non stop. Anytime he cries the kind locals want to give him candy. This is something I try to avoid. How many of us use eating to avoid emotions? We get upset or anxious and we go for the candy bar, ice cream, sweets, breads, or any kind of food when we are not hungry. When we are eating we can’t feel the emotion. And when we are done eating, it comes right back. It is still there. In cultures around the world, none of us like to hear a little one cry. Giving them a treat usually gets them to stop. Let me offer awareness around this, and just say that it is okay for them to cry. I believe letting Bodhi cry and holding him in my arms is much healthier than offering him a treat to make the feeling go away temporarily. I try to guess what he may be feeling and get him to nod yes when I get it right.
So yesterday he cried and cried when I told him no more candy. In my experience it only takes once or twice of letting him cry it out before he no longer cries when I say no. If I give him the candy then he learns to cry harder for it next time.
1. Allow them to cry, hold a big heart space for them and know that they are okay. The most supportive thing we can do is to let them feel their emotions. Kids are taught to suppress their emotions. They naturally will express them if we don’t try to make it all better.
2. Stay calm and trust, take some deep breaths to avoid reacting. Then choose to be open and present.
3. Listen!! What is it they are upset about? Can you help them verbalize it?
4. Revisit it later to help them understand the bigger why.
So later we talked about sugar and what it does to teeth. We also talked about diabetes, his pancreas and enzymes. Amazingly he understands even at 3 that too much sugar is not good for him.
When we are born we have a certain number of enzymes in our pancreas. If we use up all the Amylase that breaks down sugar then we will become diabetic. People use to not reach this state until much later in life like 60/70’s. Now the rate amount 18-25 yr old has been rapidly rising. Processed sugar is like poison to the body and highly addictive. Our kids are exposed to so much of it. Advertising certainly doesn’t help for all the processed sugary foods.
I use to never see overweight people in Nepal 7 years ago. This time around I have. In Kathmandu I saw overweight kiddos surrounded by Pringles, cookies, juices, and candy.
I heard a great suggestion from a Thich Nhat Hahn book saying to write to the big companies like Coca Cola and ask for drink options with less than 3 grams of sugar per 12 oz. Companies respond to consumer demand. He also said studies show that just one 12 oz sugar drink a day led to 60% higher risk of diabetes.
Sugar from fruit???
…is different. Fresh fruit will contain in it all the enzymes necessary for digestion. Fruit juice, if raw and unpasteurized, will too. Likewise, raw milk has its lactase enzymes in it. Pasteurized milk does not. Enzymes are destroyed at 118F. That is warm to the finger. For Salt Lake locals Winder Farms uses cold pasteurization to preserve the enzymes and delivers to your door. When we use up all our lactase enzymes then we become lactose intolerant.
The closer our food is to its natural state the better.
I teach Bodhi which food have nutrients and proteins. When he has a pancake we eat eggs too and he knows the pancake has little nutrition and that they egg has protein to make him strong. When he eats fries I tell him they have little nutrition and have him eat a bite of veggies in between.
Teach your kids young so they have the knowledge they need to make good choices.
Namaste friends!!! (May the light in me recognize the light in you.)
Day 20 Khumbu
Yesterday was a fun day. We arrived in Deboche early and played in the forest and stream, climbed in trees, pet some baby yaks, and played with another 2 year old running around in a grassy field. Bodhi is playing well with Ang Norbu now too.
Todd and Lillian are headed for the summit!
Before leaving for Nepal I was talking with my sister. She was telling me about a great TED talk about kids, sports and competition. Why is that? He suggested that the only thing we should ever say to our kids is, “I love watching you play!”
75% of kids quit playing sports by highschool. This is due to the competitive nature and feeling bad about their performance. The emphasis is on winning instead of playing and having fun.
So out here I have shifted how I communicate with Bodhi around this. Instead of saying, “your so fast.” I say, “I love to watch you run, walk on rocks, climb in the tree, etc.”. This does two things:
1. Helps me enjoy this present moment more fully with the joy of being with him.
2. Puts the emphasis on having fun and finding joy instead of going faster or beating someone else.
Up at Ama Dablam base camp he and Todd would wrestle in the tent. He said to me, “Am I winning mom?” I asked if he and dad were having fun? They both said yes and I said they were both winners then. This happened several times and he would smile when I put the most important thing as them both having fun.
Day 21 Khumbu
Bodhi, Ang Norbu and I stopped in Laushasa for night. This is half way to Namche.
Yesterday we hiked up to Tengboche and played there for hours. There is a beautiful monastery there and great views. Is was a warm sunny day. We fed a horse some of our dried apples. He liked us a lot. The horses here are amazing. They use them to get people to the doctor faster in Khumjung if someone gets sick. They have birthing kits they give out and nearly everyone has home births. The kids from Laushasa hike an hour to school everyday. Same for other villages where they may even travel farther.
Bodhi had some fresh apples from the bakery as we baked in the sun on the patio.
It is a big hike down to the river after that. Bodhi took a little nap on my back. At lunch we stopped at a small Sherpa home and they let Bodhi explore every nook and cranny. He played with flash lights and a radio in their bedroom, hiked up the steep stairs to the prayer and storage room, and did some pretend cooking in the kitchen.
After lunch we crossed the river and Bodhi was running up hill. Just below our lodge there was a group of kids playing soccer. They waved us down and we played with them. The field was a small tiered grassy patched. They only kicked the ball one way or it would go way down hill. The also had a small dirt patch with a stick over it for volleyball. Several of the kids spoke English and go to school in Kathmandu of Khumjung. They are home for holiday. They said the other kids in their school in Kathmandu do not treat them so nice. They were gregarious and engaging. We played hide and seek until the sun set.
Bodhi found a little backpack here that belongs to a little boy his age. He went to Khumjung so he was not here. Bodhi pretended he was going to school and carried it everywhere.
Today we will continue to Namche. The biggest village in the Khumbu.
What do you think of first thing when you wake up? I used to wake up thinking of my to do list. I would jump up and start doing and not stop until I went to bed. Now I like to breath deep saying ‘greatest’ on the inhale and ‘love’ on the exhale. Let your first breaths of the day set the tone for what you want to create.
Day 22 in the Khumbu:
Yesterday we continued to Namche after breakfast. It was a cool morning and Bodhi was refusing to wear his jacket. Finally he put it on when Ang Norbu offered him his phone to listen to music if he did. So he went on my back and and held the phone playing Nepali music as we hiked the busy well established trail. As we walked into Namche Bodhi saw many things he wanted to buy. However, when we got to the panorama lodge he changed his mind about going into town for shopping. Lhakpa Doma and Sherap, his Nepali grandparents (gaga), played and entertained him. They showed him a play room with toys from their grandkids and he was in heaven. He played with a helicopter, boat, back hoe and dinosaurs. We played all afternoon.
Before lunch though, we met some friends. Such a cool community across the planet. Bryce and Sunny are here who I met in 2006. They are doctors from Canada. They come here nearly every year for climbing. They got married right in the Panorama lodge by the Lama Geishe. Bodhi showed off if dancing skills as we played many songs and ran around dancing. Later Vern Tejas showed up with his group and we got to visit with him. Bodhi showed him how to do oil in the ears to protect the sinuses and boost the immune system. Then we did his ears.
We are going to stay here another night or two and meet up with Todd and Lillian coming from Pangboche. I guess we will be playing toys, exploring town and dancing again today.
I talked to lots of people yesterday dealing with chest colds, reoccurring lung infections in the cold and altitude, and GI problems on the trip. So I want to offer some tips on how to prevent this both in the mountains and at home. Check out this Blog on preventing colds!
1. Avoid antibiotics:
My Med kit this time around was much different than what I use to bring. I use to bring antibiotics for both lungs and GI. Cipro was the one for GI problems and at first signs of an issue we recommended taking 500mg to kick it in the butt. I would never advise this now. Antibiotics totally wipe out all the good bacteria in our gut. My advise is to avoid antibiotics as much as you can. Sometimes they are necessary and save lives. They have their amazing uses. Generally though we over use them. Truly, avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Once your gut is wiped out you have lost your biggest defense system. Your probiotic lining protects you from foreign things getting into your body cavity. Allergies, asthma, ulcers, heartburn and many other illnesses can occur without the good bacteria there for protection. If you do have to take them bring probiotics to take after. It can take a while for it to build back up.
2. Avoid hand sanitizer and antibacterial soup:
I use to use this like crazy over here. I got sick at least 50% of the time. Hand sanitizer has now been proven to be more harmful than helpful. It is the same concept as antibiotics. It wipes out our natural defenses on the skin by killing the good bacteria. The skin is our largest organ. Use mild wipes and natural soaps instead.
3. Don’t put anything on your skin that you would not eat. It absorbs straight into the blood stream. I use organic untoasted sesame oil. I use it on my skin like soap. Ayurveda says that the oil gets into every nook and cranny killing anything foreign and protects the good bacteria. This is how it evolved to thrive in nature. Lotions are a mixture of oil and water. Oil and water will go rancid very fast unless there are preservatives which are. It good for us. So use oil instead.
4. Lower Stress: stress is contracting leaving our capacity to breath deep lessened. I recommend daily meditation.
5. Drink water to fully eliminate in the morning. 1-1.5 L of warm water first thing. Toxins building up in the system leave us more susceptible to illness.
6. Eat an earlier lighter dinner. Then you will get better sleep and the deep healing the body is capable of when not trying to digest at night. This keeps your immune system at its strongest.
7. Don’t dry out: Put oil in the nose and ears daily, oil in your feet at night, and stay hydrated. Our lymph system gets compromised when we are dry. It can’t do it’s job. Cate Stillman says the best thing we can do to keep our kids healthy is to oil them!!!
8. Get a good nights sleep. We need 7.5-8.5 hrs. The best most healing sleep is before midnight. Go to sleep earlier. After 10pm your energy will start to go back up. The adrenals rest from 9-11pm. Sleep at that time and you will have more energy!!!
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Day 23 Khumbu
Yesterday we decided to stay and wait for Todd and Lillian. We are not in a hurry so we can still take 2 days to get to Lukla. We surprised them by being there. Todd heard a little voice saying ,”boo!” Right when he walked in he door. He and Ang Norbu and I were playing catch in the hallway. He was so surprised. They were both so glad to see us.
We had a great day in Namche. In the morning Ang Norbu and Bodhi played in the play room while I went for a hike. Then we all walked downtown. They have built a beautiful cascading water flow through town with a fountain at the bottom. Below that is a place to wash cloths. We watched the locals for a while as Bodhi was fascinated. The water is cold mountain water. It is certainly a lot more work than our washing machines.
After lunch we hiked out toward Pangboche a ways to see if we could see Todd and Lillian. We didn’t so we ran back with Bodhi jumping all the rocks. We bought a ball and went back to play catch. A few minutes later they showed up. What a fun reunion.
Today we are hiking to Phakding. We were sad to leave the Panorama. We have had a blast.
Take a look at your goals and the things you hope to accomplish. Complete this sentence. When I (do that, get that, have that), then…
When I climb Mt Everest then I will be good enough, I will have time for my family, I will be happy, I will feel accomplished and confident, I will be recognized, etc.
Example 2: (more personal for me)
When I make good consistent money on my Yoga Health Coaching then we will have less stress around money, then I will be good enough, then I will be pulling my weight, then I will be relaxed and happy.
What are the beliefs you have about your accomplishments and what they may bring?
Questions: Who can I become along this journey toward my goal? What character traits can I develop? How can I experience all I hope to gain, now?
It really is about the journey and this moment. If we think we will gain anything in the future then we are always chasing. The future never comes. It is always about this moment.
I can choose to feel less stressed now. It may take practice. Our patterns are habits. I can shift my limiting belief to say, I am absolutely good enough, now. I can practice every moment feeling peace and joy. Then I create, live into and manifest the reality I want. One moment at a time.
When I come to Nepal with the goals of learning each day something new, practicing being more present, enjoying every moment, being more loving and compassionate, increasing my creativity as a parent, playing and having fun, then my experience is totally different than if I am focused on reaching some high point, proving something, or impressing others.
So what character traits do you want to build?
Let your journey toward your goals be about being, learning, improving and becoming your Best Self!! Who are you when you are being your best self? Who do you admire? What qualities do they have?
Be Now what you hope to find!
Feel Now what you hope to feel!
Every moment is a chance to practice. Each breath is an opportunity to be present. With kindness and self compassion let go of judgement and keep coming back to this one moment.
See the Good!
If we do not have mindfulness then we will habitually plug along creating the same results while hoping for something different.
Day 24 Khumbu:
Yesterday I felt so grateful for Lakpa Doma and Sherap from the Panorama lodge as we departed. They are such loving people. Bodhi had a great time there.
We had a casual hike down. Bodhi walked a long way. He ran down the 2000′ descent to the river, holding a hand in the rough spots. He walked all he way to our lunch spot in Jorsale.
In the morning, Bodhi and I had a snuggle and talked about spreading love in the world. He can be shy and sometimes when people smile at him and say hi he gives them an evil eye, a fist in the air or a scream. So, I wanted to do a little visualization with him. We talked about how we might spread love in the world by smiling, saying hi or namaste, giving hugs to his Nepali grandparents as we left, waving to the kiddos, winking or blowing a kiss. Then I asked him to close his eyes and see himself saying hi to others and waving to the kids to spread love instead of grumpiness.
He did do it a lot more yesterday. He even smiled and agreed to take a photos with one guy on the trail. That was a first. At lunch he played really sweet with a couple of kids sharing his ball and giving them some puppets. He still had some moments of giving the evil eye. I just asked him if he felt uncomfortable and tried to understand his feelings around it.
This morning I recapped the day before and all the times I saw him spreading joy and love. It was cute last night as. Osborne kept trying to get Lillian to come have a sleep over with us in our room as we had an extra bed in there.
Visualization works!! Try it for yourself and with your kids. Any behavior you want to shift, first see yourself doing it differently. Often when we make a mistake we lament about it and replay what happened over and over ibn our minds. We may feel shame or blame. This reinforces the nuero pathway for this behavior. Instead visualize what you would have liked to happen 3 times. Then you are set up for a new behavior to happen.
This works with sports too. Visualize yourself making that tight turn that gets you every time on your mountain bike and see what what shifts!! Visualize yourself doing your morning routine the night before. Visualize how you want your day to go and what you want to feel. Feel it Now!
Day 25 Khumbu
We had a nice journey yesterday from Phakding to Lukla. Bodhi found a pile of gravel he wanted to play with on the way down and we stayed there for a hour. He made us pretend lunch with the rocks.
Bodhi seems to be good luck for seeing animals. We saw a mongoose the other day. We also saw a bright blue pheasant that is the national bird. He played with a cricket for a long time with a few other kids.
When saw a lot of dancing yesterday for the Tihar festival. From young kids to adults, they dress up and do dances for money. The masked guy gave Bodhi a sucker and a high five. Bodhi had some interesting questions trying to understand the mask and the person behind it.
Today we are flying back to Kathmandu. We have 3 days before we head home. We will have a chance to visit friends and do some Christmas shopping.
Ayurveda tip of the day:
Exercise in the morning!!!
The morning is the best time for all body types to exercise. It helps boost our metabolism for the whole day. The body is the most durable in the morning too. If you can not get in your main workout in the morning then at least do a shorter morning workout. Start small like 1-5min and work up to 20 min. Don’t let time be a barrier. If you are short on time do a minute of jumping jacks or 3 sun salutations.
Avoid hard workouts in the evening as this will boost your energy and make it harder to sleep at night.
Want to up level your health and mind? Come join my next program! We have a blast over here and people love it. Please read the testimonials! How did I not know this stuff before!
Day 26 back to Kathmandu:
We had an interesting day with a scheduled flight departure at 10:15. However, we are on Nepal time. The Kathmandu airport was closed several times throughout the day as the Indian President is is visiting for 3 days. The roads were closed too at times. We finally flew into town around 5pm and had a 15 min window of the roads opening so we were able to get to our hotel.
Bodhi was the best entertainment for the locals on the runway. We sang songs, played the hokey poky, and did tricks. One guy gave him a ride in a hand cart up and down while no planes were coming. The pilot bonded with him before getting on the plane and told him to ride up front so he could watch him fly.
We saw some good friends Leighan and Tucker who we know from
Alaska. So fun to see them. They are headed up to Ama Dablam as well.
We have had a relaxing day here. We are staying near Bodnath which is a bit less hectic than Tamel. Bodhi plays at every shop so one lap around can take half a day.
We went to Kami Rita Sherpas house today. It was so fun and nice to be there and meet his wife and daughter. We had tea and cookies. Bodhi explored and played. Kami gave him a nice dragon tea cup to take home.
Catching and shifting perspectives!!
I noticed my mind lamenting about 3 days in Kathmandu with poor air quality. When I noticed this, I took a pause. I shifted my perspective to see the opportunities and to stay present. This practice is subtle yet it makes such a big difference in my experience. My hormones are different, I feel more relaxed, less anxious, and lots more joy!!!
Catch yours today!!! Go fishing!!!
Another day in Kathmandu:
Yesterday was lovely. We met Ang Norbu and he took us to his house for breakfast. It was really fun to see his place. A 3 year old can make somethings challenging, but overall Bodhi brings such a fun level of playfulness to it all that is very entertaining. Never a dull moment as the saying goes. He played and played at Ang Norbu’s. Ang Norbu gave us these amazing Tibetan rugs. Really so touching. I am always blown away by the giving nature of my Sherpa friends. It is so thoughtful and kind of him.
Then we went back to Bodnath and walked around. Ang Norbu and Fur Kancha helped me with some shopping. So nice.
We met up with Dave Morton and went to Tshering Dorji Sherpa’s house for lunch. He has such a beautiful place. We met his wife and daughter and had a delicious meal. Tshering had a stroke guiding on Cho Oyo last fall. He nearly died and was paralyzed temporarily. He is making a truly remarkable recovery.
He can walk and talk so well now. He is such a sweet gentle soul. I always felt so supported and connected with him while guiding. It was so great to be with him and his family. I am so glad he is recovering well. He will likely get back to trekking guiding though not to the big ones like Everest again.
Bodhi and I went and met Dave at the Hyatt and went swimming in the pool. After, Bodhi took a warm bath in Dave’s room. We only have a shower at our place so that was awesome.
We then met Jiban, Dave and some others for dinner. So nice to see Jiban. Love that guy!!!! He is another great Nepali friend who has his own business, Sherpa Shangri-La, in Kathmandu organizing treks. I have worked with him for years and he has visited us in Utah several times too. His son is getting married and he is staying busy organizing a 500 person wedding. What impresses me about Jiban is how he takes everything in stride. I never see him stressed, only happy. He rolls with it all holding the space that everything will always be okay. It will always work out. Patience is a strong virtue for him, as so important in Nepal and his job. Every time I see him he is healthier and happier. Such an inspiration.
Today’s our last day. We fly home tonight at 11pm. I think we will try to swim today again and say our last goodbyes to friends.
We as humans have free will. We can absolutely choose when we want to eat, sleep, and move. We have the ability to acknowledge our thoughts and emotions. We can then choose our actions steps from there. . And if we choose to have habits that are out of sync we can survive for awhile. We likely will suffer consequences sooner or later though from being out of sync. Ayurveda says there is no such thing as night owls, only people out of sync. There is no such thing as a sick person, only people out of sync.
Often when I talk with people about the habits of Ayurveda there is lots of resistance internally or externally.
It sounds like this, There is no way I am going to…
…go to bed at that time
…eat at that time
…be able to do that in the morning
…use oil instead of soap
I felt lots of this too. I had all my reasons why I could not move my dinner up from 8:30. It just wouldn’t work. Then I kept learning how important it was and I let go of the resistance and shifted. The benefits have been so amazing for me and my family. I am so grateful I did it.
We can keep our schedules how we like. Then we may wonder. Why do I have this autoimmune condition, cancer, high blood pressure, back pain, colds, low energy, thyroid problem, extra weight, depression, anger, anxiety, the list goes on and on. Or why do my parents have Parkinson’s, Lupus, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.??
Start getting in sync now and feel the difference!!! Keep your health for a lifetime.
When you buy a car there is directions on how to care for it in the best way to extend the life of the car. Maintenance schedule, type of gas, oil changes, how to care for the tires and brakes, and how to drive that help it last a long time with few problems.
Ayurveda offers us this manual for the human body. As I learn this stuff more and more, I am amazed at how well it works, how much sense it makes, and how crazy it is that we don’t know it already.
Ayurveda gives us permission for self care and a detailed description of how to make this body last for a long time, avoid dis-ease, and thrive in the highest way.
Email me if you are interested in the next online Higher Health course.
I would love to help you learn these powerful tools of alignment. Warning: you will likely experience greater joy, lower anxiety, better sleep, healing, and higher functioning.
Lots of love!!!
Thanks to all of you who have followed our journey. We had an amazing journey. Below are pictures from our last days in Kathmandu with friends. It was so nice to visit our Sherpa friends. They are so giving, nice and thoughtful.
It’s all a gift! Our suffering came from our expectations. We suffered because we thought it would be bad! Then it turned out great! We had a 12 hr layover on LA that we were dreading from 7am-7pm. We thought that was the worse schedule ever. It all about perspective. Next long trip I will look to plug in a layover. We got a hotel room and went swimming and hot tubbing. Then we showered and took a long nap. We were so refreshed. It made the transition much easier. At the airport we ran into some friends Mark Fisher and Trevor and got to hang out with them. Such a treat.
The next night at home Bodhi was up all night. Todd and I tag teamed. Last night to bed at 2am so much better. Slowly we are getting back in sync with nature on this side of the world.
What causes suffering? When we want or expect things to be different than they actually are. The truth is when we are present in this moment, acknowledging what is here now, then we gain freedom. Expectation is about the future. Worry comes from the past and future. We really only control this moment. We only have this moment. Be present to it.
Lots of love!!
Want to up level your health and mind? Come join my next program! We have a blast over here and people love it. Please read the testimonials! Money back guarantee!