• Ellen Harris

#10 Three Blessings – Peace Be Still Inspirations

Three Blessings – Peace Be Still Inspirations aim to inspire learning and practice for healthy, creative and joyful living through postings on yoga, meditation and other wellness modalities. We, especially, hope the African Diaspora finds this a giving, peaceful space.


Even though I’m trying to live by yogic principles, it’s so damn hard. There’s so much chaos in this country and the world. Not that I’ve been so naïve to believe that chaos is always around, my day-to-day world has been somewhat sheltered from it. But now there’s no ignoring it or putting it in a box and closing off the top. The madness is in your face. However, to garner some peace and to maintain self-care, my morning yoga practice and meditation set the tone most days. Everything I'm sharing today reflects how I live my yoga.


Last Sunday after practice I went out to my garden. Some critter is having a field day with what remains of the collards, but the cabbage collards looked gorgeous. They love this cool weather. Inside the hoop house, all was fine with my little crop of lettuce greens, cilantro, carrots, beets, and cauliflower, rutabaga and white radish. I picked some lettuce and cilantro and kale from the outside. Since the forecast is for snow starting tonight, I covered the outside beds with burlap.

Back inside the house, I cleaned my little harvest and laid them out to dry. Next, Jessica B. Harris’s cookbook, “The Welcome Table,” became my go to reference for hoecakes. Growing up Mama always made delicious fried cornbread. I was a grown woman before learning they had a name. Sunday afternoon was spent making some. By the third skillet, they started looking like Mama’s. They didn’t quite taste like hers; but they satisfied my need to go down memory lane and have them with the red beans prepared the day before. Beans and cornbread, yum.

Around 5:00 pm I started to hydrate some fresh fruit; ripe bananas, grapefruit, mango, lemon, lime, blood oranges, pineapple. Keep telling myself not to start so late in the day because I end up checking them all through the night. Most wonderful outcome was I learned that dehydrated ripe bananas are delicious. I can eat them without a gag reflex that the actual ripe banana gives me.

Monday morning woke up to a glorious dusting of maybe 1-2 inches of snow. Walked a bit outside to take it all in. By 1:30 pm, it was practically all gone.

Remainder of the week was pretty uneventful, except my emotional intelligence kind of flew out the window on a work Zoom call. During these days of reflection and contemplation, I’m learning to value my authentic self more and more. In the work world, oftentimes you live a dual life; your work and non-work selves. During work you’re guarded, politically correct and mindful of professional responsibilities. Although I’ve never been one to not speak my mind, it’s becoming less and less important to not speak my truth. Maybe the time to focus on Third Ward Zen fulltime is coming.


At any rate, I survived the week. Friday and Saturday were beautiful days. Enjoyed Zoom happy hour with a friend Friday evening. The sun calmly set. And on this pleasant, cool Sunday, I planted pansies and laid Chrysanthemum seeds out to dry.

As I look out the window, I keep hearing Nikki Giovanni’s words from this morning during her On Being radio interview – “Don’t waste what you know or what you feel.”

Take care ya'll.

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