Driving home from Taos on Monday afternoon, I stopped in Espanola.  Not my favorite town in New Mexico, but the only place I know to buy fresh roasted Chimayo red chile powder. The best !!!  Every October I make the trek for a year-long supply of this incredible spice that makes my taste buds dance on everything from scrambled eggs to butternut squash to steak.

Makes me wonder about how we spice up our lives.  What ingredient do we add to daily life that creates zest?

A friend of mine plays “beat the clock” every day.  She jams more activity into her schedule than is humanly possible to accomplish, then finds herself overwhelmed as she races for the finish line.  It doesn’t matter whether she wins or loses, the adrenaline spice is all the same.

Another friend takes a long walk every morning into the foothills of the Sandia Mountains on the east side of Albuquerque.  As the sun crests over the peak, it spreads a pallet of pink and yellow shadows across the sage on the west mesa – spice for the soul that carries her throughout her day. 

I used to have a lot of drama in my life. Every day a new crisis to address.  If not mine, then I had plenty of friends who needed help putting out their fires.  (Probably no coincidence that I knew a few firemen at the time.)  It made me feel important to be that useful.  It also depleted my energy over the years and kept me stuck, too exhausted to move my life forward.

Thank goodness breast cancer came along and jump-started my shift forward.  It was a surprisingly effective tool for moving me into using a new spice to enhance my life – a good stretch.  Not my body, although that’s good, too.  But a long stretch of my soul.

I began this practice by hauling off to Africa alone to teach in a Zulu school.  A bit extreme? Maybe.  I was just coming out of the Drama Period.  But no regrets.  The entire experience – everything from planning the trip to living with the Zulus to writing Ruby’s World  – opened up new avenues in my life that I didn’t know existed.

My stretch this month is to write one blog post a day during my 21 day Ruby’s World “Blogosphere Tour.”  It feels a bit like baring my soul to the world.  A challenging stretch for an intensely private woman.  We’ll see though.  I might grow to love this stretch.  And it might lead to an entirely new spice that I’ll learn to use.