Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life is not a Dress Rehearsal...or is it?

"God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." ~ Voltaire

First, let me just say it is never a good idea to spill water on your laptop. Ever. I don't know why PC manufacturers don't find a way to make water-proof keyboards, considering all the people in homes and offices who drink coffee/tea/Singapore Slings at their workstation....well, actually I suppose it's because THEY MAKE MORE MONEY that way, thoughtless.

Anyway, if you're like me and happen to knock over a bamboo-filled vase while trying to swat a perversely friendly fly, you want to know your PC can survive a few drops of liquid. Even now, months later, the keyboard gets all possessed and starts typing 'TTTT' on a never-ending loop until I shut it down. Guess that'll teach me not to drink and type.

Another reason I haven't posted is that I didn't have anything interesting to say, so don't get your hopes up too high, but, I recently experienced a second of insanity enlightenment that left me laughing out loud in surprise. Some of you know I can get really heavy in a finger-pointing sort of way with my former Mormon community, and I've realized that I took my religious practice very, very serious, as in, too serious. And then expected everyone "should", too. And then got all judgey when they toppled off my pedestal (really it wasn't THAT high, but still).

It drove me nuts when people didn't honor their word, slipped in integrity, or failed to show up to do something they committed to do, even allowing for the occasional slacker/bad hair day/sugar over-consumption, which by the way, is rampant in this community because they don't drink--a shame, considering it's a much more enjoyable way to get that sugar high. Much more enjoyable than the local popular fetish for green Jell-O.

Because I took it all so seriously, it sucked the fun and humanity right out of the journey, especially for me. My expectations could suck the fun right out of being Buddhist/Atheist/Muslim, not that they're bastions of frivolity anyway, but in my defense, temple-going Mormons are admonished not to indulge in 'loud laughter' (one of my favorite indulgences; just ask anyone) which made me slightly paranoid, given my irreverent nature.

Truly the apple doesn't fall far from the McIintosh tree--and we know how devoted to ancestral details Mormons are. One of my grandmothers--and she wasn't even Mormon--used to pray and weep over the departed at the local cemetery in her spare time, unless I'm remembering the family stories wrong.

One of my dear Mormon friends hangs out at pioneer cemeteries when life gets overwhelming (and since she has seven kids, I imagine that's fairly often) reading the headstones of the dearly departed whose sufferings make her feel infinitely better about her troubles. Who can complain when some epidemic wiped out a faithful pioneer woman's ten children? Or rampaging Indians took Sister Mary Elizabeth Ellswater's husband and firstborn and burned down the spacious one-room log cabin? What's a foreclosure/no healthcare/totaling the family car in comparison to the sufferings of old?

Like Grandma, I was almost sackcloth-and-ashes serious, to the point where religion became joyless, and I expected too much of others and myself. Thankfully, this approach no longer works for me. I'm realizing that spiritually connecting is not just about attaining the ethereal, but embracing humanity as well. So while I may still occasionally take things too seriously (old habits die hard), lightening up is part of the practice today. A big part (no offense, Grandma).

Go Conan! Hindus are hip to enjoying a good laugh too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Watching Aloe Grow

Funny how things change.
Courtesy Arie Van De Graaff at

Sundays used to be a time of great stress, dressing up and corralling four kids and a husband to haul ourselves down to church for three hours of intense brainwashing gathering with our community in communion. Heh.

Not to mention running myself ragged in some calling or other dealing with actual PEOPLE outside my comfortable circle of family and friends. It's one of the downsides to being an introvert. I could write a small cupboard's worth of books on how-to-survive Planet Earth as an introvert in our relentlessly extroverted American culture (not to mention exhaustively social church).

Oh, why wasn't I born in some quiet British corner of the world to raise five cats and a luscious garden while sitting by a cozy fire, knitting mittens for orphans in a cozy stone cottage with a thatched roof covered in roses/hollyhocks/delphinium? (you see, this is the stuff of my dreams, not river-rafting the Colorado rapids or touring the pyramids with Tony Bourdain--well, not these days anyway).

Instead, I get to live the boring staid life right here, in our little condo--surrounded again, by PEOPLE who wake you up at ungodly hours blasting harp--yes, harp--music for some god-forsaken reason. Not that I don't totally enjoy a good harp concerto (I do, kinda) any more than the next person, just not when I'd rather enjoy a few more (please-oh-please) red-hot minutes with Vin Diesel in dreamland...wait, what was I saying? Oh, yes. In my Utah County neck of the woods, where no Christopher Robin resides, alas.

But at least I get to walk past my childrens' rooms, hearing their snores, and open the windows to let some Autumn birdsong in, and visit with my extended blog-family (that would be you) while waking up with a cup of lemongrass green tea and watching the aloe vera growing in the streaming morning sunlight.

No, we may not be saving the world one soul at a time, including ours, but then, it's enlightening to realize we never had to. Now go enjoy the rest of your Sunday in...

Monday, September 20, 2010

International Peace Day

I love how the world is so very, very big

or small, depending on your lens.

Your life is an album and each moment is a photo.

Are you enjoying the development?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Be The Change You Want To See

On the Anniversary of September 11, here's a thought:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Beginnings

August and September, while marking the end of summer, also herald new beginnings for me. I 'lost' two very special people during both who forever changed my life for the better. Each taught me about compassion and humor--two traits I cherish.

August marks the anniversary of the birth of my grandson who was placed for adoption. The last time I saw him he made me laugh and I will always remember his funny little antics, as well as the open and accepting ways of his heart. Children rock like that, don't they? May we all be inspired to be so innocently divine.

September marks the anniversary of the death of my only brother. Truly his own person, he walked through life with a mental handicap and still taught us who knew him volumes of character. He had a good heart, he was nice to people and animals (my gerbil comes to mind), he loved catalogs, Cheerios, car rides, and most of all; to laugh. Our photo albums are full of his smiles.

Although my relationship to both of these dear ones feels like it is ended, of course it isn't. Love knows no bounds, neither time nor space. There are new beginnings, lessons lived, memories undying, that keep us connected. Because of them I am reminded not to take any moment for granted... especially this one.

Leaving heartfelt thanks, hugs and kisses for you both ~ ॐ

Saturday, August 28, 2010

When Rainbows Come

It's been an eventful summer.
For all of us.
You, and I.
You've seen my photo posts;
words are elusive of late.

I've learned a few things
as I reflect
in the heart of the canyons here...

that I have missed you.
I've visited your blogs and
tasted cups of love
and the touch of your hearts.
I'm glad to walk with you
as we travel together. 

that with the many storms facing us,
we are none of us alone. 

that sometimes
after a storm
comes the most beautiful rainbow.

even more than one.

There may or may not be pots of gold,
but the rainbows are gratifying enough.
And riding those rainbows
have brought incredible wild joy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Changes of Scenery

I don't know about you,
but this summer has brought with it 
much change and growth and love. 

Here are some of the ways summer refreshed me:

Flying high in sky...

Dipping into the sea...

Exploring new terrain...

Enjoying natural and man made art...

Absorbing colors...

Kicking back...

Outmaneuvering sharks...
(hint: shopping carts involved)

No, still not Nemo...

Smelling the hibiscus...(pink and peach)

Weathering the storms.

Remembering that life is beautiful.
Family and friends only a heartbeat away,
Connections and re-connections,
remembering how loved we are.
Feeling boundless gratitude and...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We're All in This Together Folks

This is pretty much in my book what religion is supposed to be about. Bringing everyone together. Not dividing us into 'us' vs. 'them'. We are all a family, traveling together. Hugs break through the limitations of mind; they are the uniting of what's inside of all of us. The commonality of love.

Italy. China. Cleveland. Brazil. Samoa. Kenya. Iceland. Croatia...wherever we are, here's to universal peace. HUGS!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Internet Communities

I figured out why I love the internet so much, or more to the point, my internet connections from around the world. Besides being a communications major in college, and having been told my entire life that I talk entirely too much--my parents thought it was endearing as a toddler, and my first husband was sweet about it, but grade school teachers and my childrens father protested otherwise.

When we first moved to the heart of Mormon Utah over a decade ago, I loved being surrounded by churches around every corner. As a convert, it felt macaroni-and-cheese comforting and secure, and oh those beautiful temples, thinking of all those loving spirits watching over us...But what was at first a protective field has become a cage of sorts. I can stand on my condo deck and see not one, not two, but three church spires just in the neighborhood. It can get downright claustrophobic.

I got over the sheer numbers early on, even devising a travel game with the kids which we called, Spot the Steeple; you earned five points for being the first to spot an LDS church, fifteen points for a Stake Center (a Mormon church that comes replete with a satellite dish to broadcast Salt Lake's doctrines worldwide, including, er, um, it's own backyard, which we practically are) and a whopping twenty-five points for a temple....okay what can I say, it fit the tight budget of a family of six--it was free and it was distracting.

Not until a non-member (translate, normal) friend recently passed through the state and got stuck somewhere south of us in St. George, and failed to make her appearance up here, did I get a glimpse of how the rest of the world might view us. She said the proliferation of Mormon churches was creepy, and couldn't bear to venture into the heart of the LDS labyrinth to visit, and the sooner she could get out of Mormon Dodge, the better. Seeing it from an outsider's view, and make no mistake, it can feel like you are dead on the outside of something when it's broadcast in your face so pointedly, as in, "Here I am! Here I am! I AM MORMON and proud of it! Want a piece of me?" Okay maybe a bit overboard, but I'd never considered how exclusive we appeared to someone outside our tight little community.

Over the years I have felt less and less a part of the fold, particularly after experiencing firsthand that religion and love and and compassion don't necessarily go hand in hand. I was amazed to rediscover that perfectly good people don't belong to this religion, often not to any religion, and still have more heart than some who spend their entire life focused on the energy of following rules/beliefs. What a shocker. There are good Mormons, but to me they are simply good people and would make good Buddhists, good Jews, good Atheists, good Muslims--you get my drift. They simply ARE 'good' and don't need to be endlessly badgered into being good which frankly, I prefer to call just being decent. Good is such a judgmental word. People who are genuinely kind, decent, and compassionate who allow their heart to actually guide their actions in how they treat others, not just whether someone is obeying the rules and thereby deserves to be treated well. People who openly embrace humanity as a whole, not just their community of fellow believers.

Which oddly may be human nature after all. I find that though I live in a place mired in the sticky mud of belief systems, some occasionally offensive and small-minded (think small-town mentality with a hint of territorial aggressiveness) I could easily feel swallowed and lost in the sea of judgment. Including, I admit, my own. But I want to believe that goodness, or just plain decency, exists everywhere, including here at home.

So even though my community has expanded to include my neighbors worldwide, of all different beliefs, cultures and backgrounds, I like the feeling of being all in this together. And I love that my 'internets', i.e. Facebook--despite all it's bad press and continued privacy violations, although once you are on the web you have pretty much signed that over anyway, but I have nothing to hide, so why hide?--I love that I can go on the computer and connect, communicate and BE with people with the same, different, or really out-there ideas. Though I am still shy of adopting beliefs per se, because, well, they limit your world. Or at least mine.

Ultimately Mother Theresa said it best, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." So welcome, World, into my very own backyard, steeples and all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Adventures of a Librarian

It's entirely possible that I spend far too much time reading. But one of the things I've noticed is, when I hear words of wisdom from someone who knows me, it can feel like criticism, and I don't hear the message because I'm too busy taking it personally. But come across the same thought in a book, and I am free to ask "Could this be true for me too?" and feel willing to changing things that I wouldn't if it was say, Aunt Bea or my friend Amelia giving the very same counsel.

I recently finished Sylvia Boorstein's little zen book, It's Easier Than You Think, recommended by Julie over at Prarie Thistle. It's only taken me months to get to it, but I absolutely loved it. Sylvia's mind works much like mine; restless and a habitual fretter, illustrated by experiences such as this one:

I am on a street corner in a foreign country where my husband and I have agreed to meet at five o'clock. It is two minutes before the hour. I have the thought, "What if he doesn't arrive in the next two minutes? That will surely mean he has been mugged or even killed! Or held hostage somewhere. Or had a heart attack! I wonder where the American embassy is. If he doesn't arrive, I'll go to the embassy..." This thought takes three seconds, during which time adrenaline fills my body, my heart beats rapidly, and I start to sweat. The adrenaline burst intensifies the worry, and more worries arise: "Who do I know in this country? How can I phone our children?" At five o'clock he arrives. I am relieved, and I am tired.  

I had to laugh, because I did this years ago when the kids were little and we were hiking Montezuma's Castle in Arizona. I have a vertigo-inducing fear of heights, and the descent to the cliff dwellings consisted of a narrow path protected by a few scattered patches of railing (or was it ropes?). I made it down a few feet before the dizziness kicked in, and decided to take our youngest daughter (not yet two) back up while Hubs took the older kids to the site.

And wouldn't you know it, daughter dearest decided to struggle in my arms, wanting to walk by herself, right as we passed the unprotected patches of the trail, and I was sure we would both plummet to our deaths in the struggle, with my last view of her glaring in protest (apparently, the Sinaqua Indian tribe wouldn't be the only ones who mysteriously disappeared here).

I don't know how we made it back, but I didn't stop panting until we were enveloped in the safety of the Visitors Center, overlooking the trail we had left behind. On our way in, we caught up with a group of mentally challenged young adults with their guides, laughing and chatting, oblivious of any danger. This took me so aback, because I couldn't imagine taking my brother, also mentally challenged, on such a hike. Then I wondered if he would have been just fine. I mean, these hikers were, even enjoyed themselves along the way. Maybe it wasn't so much WHAT was or 'could' be happening, but WHO was perceiving it; i.e. who was wearing what glasses that colored the events possibilities.

Meanwhile, there I was, in the safe-zone of the Visitor's Center--while my daughter ran around exploring--imagining that the rest of our family had already fallen over the edge of the cliffs, and how on earth could I drive back home buried in all that grief? And how would we survive without them? (I think after that we acquired life insurance)....when suddenly here came Hubs and the kids and all that worry melted away, leaving me exhausted.

I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I read Sylvia's experience. I was not alone! And thanks to her mindfulness practice, she is a 'recovered worrier'. I'm realizing that mindfulness is an excellent practice for people like me whose imaginations enjoy running amok--to experience instead what Sylvia calls a calm contentedness.

I am grateful for the mentors I've met in books, helping me learn how to experience life more courageously. With mindfulness I don't need to be an armchair adventurer, exploring the world through books, but more like Ron who travels the world with his camera; showing us what's out there. And while I may have missed my calling as a librarian, I can still get out there and explore.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A New Earth

Happy Earth Day everyone. It feels like a day of celebration, so I'm putting aside the blog I've been writing to post something a little more, well, earthy.

A few years ago I was blown away by Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. I had been listening to his CD's for awhile, but must have been ready for the messages in the book because it was one of those defining moments where life around me changed dramatically. Literally; there was lots of flailing about looking for a way to take the next tour bus to Timbuktu because I wanted off of the one I was riding. I liked the way things were just fine, thank you...but of course that's not how it all played out.

If you look around, change is in the air for many of us, and not just on the nightly news. I see it in your blogs, and with my silence you can bet that I'm knee deep in it as well. My changes are not as exciting as fellow blogger Linda Lou  who is leaving her life in Las Vegas heading east (roadtripping with her sister!) for an undetermined while to be with family, or fellow blogger Heather  who left the country entirely to raise her kids in a beautiful part of Guatemala, or even my raw food mentors Matt and Angela who settled down in Vilcabamba (don't you just love the way that rolls off the tongue?) Ecuador to build a home and rural life.

No, my change is much more boring, haircut aside. Still, things are shaking up (and not just our old Maytag washer which gave up the ghost in a dramatic fanfare of shaking and screeching, nor the 4.9 earthquake that rumbled our sleepy western state). What's fascinating is that change can be viewed as hostile--and finding yourself mired in fear; or supportive and friendly--and embraced with love and acceptance. I tend to waffle between the two perspectives, hence my experience of the changing reality does too. As a recovering hermit, change in my life usually involves a lot of kicking and screaming only to get there and look back wondering what the heck was I smoking, and feeling grateful for the new (and usually improved) scenery.

As you know, I've been blogging shamelessly about Geneen Roth's new book, Women, Food and God. Because of her insights, I'm re-discovering Eckhart Tolle's Power of Now as if I'd never read it before. It's resonating so deeply I'm left wondering where I was when I read it before (probably in a self-imposed hell). Insight after insight takes me into parts I hadn't seen before. It's like what my old church leaders used to say about scripture reading--that every time you read them again, you see them with new eyes (only without the brainwashing; more like a brain cleansing, or purging, of beliefs).

I get so excited about Eckhart's passages that I can't sit still. Which kind of defeats the purpose of what he talks about, because stillness is a big part of the inner discovery. Still, I'm finding that it's a process, this practice of evolving as a human, being. And because of Geneen's emphasis on kindness, I understand that the perceived "delay" really is okay; just something to notice. Then too this new spring energy is so invigorating it's hard to sit still when you want to bounce around outside waving your arms like a drunken kangaroo.

In the Power of Now Eckhart shares his insights about spirituality without taking himself too seriously--a major turn-on. He's no Jon Stewart, but he's humbly funny, which is perfect because I can no longer listen to folks who take themselves too seriously; it either cracks me up or tunes me out. So his teachings are a lovely breath of fresh air, leaving me ecstatic to practice what he teaches.

All of which bring me back to the creation of a New Earth, which we are all somehow building, consciously or unconsciously. And there is so much to celebrate, the hope of us getting it, getting that we are all vital parts of a global family and this wondrous planet our home. And as she changes (shifts) so do we.

Yes, change is scary and we can run and hide (my initial hermit-crabby instinct) or jump around outside like a kangaroo excited about the possibilities...I don't know about you, but I'm outgrowing my shell.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Give Yourself That Much

While sipping my morning 'joe' of kale/mango/banana/coconut/lucama (wtf?) green smoothie, my heart is leaping and soaring all at once. Nearing the end of Geneen Roth's newest book (the first of which I've read even though I've devoured her column in Good Housekeeping which my mailman drops by, faithfully), is filling a part of me I haven't touched in a long, long while and it's dangerously close to overflowing.

Now one of my all-time favorite books related to understanding and overcoming food issues, Women, Food, and God by Geneen holds its place beside Martha Beck's The Four Day Win. Both are down-to-earth mind-blowing and both touch the deepest parts of ourselves.

Both explain how the mind works, the power it wields, and since we can't live without it, how to get along with it. Not only does this inspire a heart-thumping sense of loving kindness, it also brings its own measure of  peace. So much of it brings me to that place inside I've touched briefly once during a Byron Katie retreat. A place so spacious, so loving, so everything...I've never gotten over it. And makes me want to leap and soar, again, only this time perhaps, with you. Bon Apetit.

Ask yourself what you love. Without fear of consequences, without force of shame or guilt. What motivates you to be kind, to take care of your body, your spirit, others, the earth? Trust the longing, trust the love that can be translated into action without the threat of punishment. Trust that you will not destroy what matters most. Give yourself that much. ~ Geneen Roth

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Coconuts

'BEWARE FALLING COCONUTS' sign in Honolulu, Hawaii
Did you know in 2007 coconuts were banned from the US? Read article here because we almost lost pineapples too. Thanks, USDA.

No joke, here's the scoop on why you might want to include some in your diet: "Coconut water kefir is a relatively new kefir form, due largely to the popularity and education about coconut water's health benefits in recent years in the United States. I find it to be the best source for patients seeking to address the spectrum of digestive issues - flatulence, bloating, bacterial overgrowth, Candida, insufficient beneficial bacteria -- as well as skin problems and the challenges of sweet cravings that often accompany the digestive issues noted. Why? Coconut water provides nature's perfect hydration cocktail - water, electrolytes - including one of the richest sources of potassium which provides intracellular hydration (takes water "into" the cells) and supports muscle and nerve cells. And as a non-dairy source, coconut water does not create mucus (which can trap bad bacteria) and is virtually non-allergenic (because it contains no protein). Coconut water kefir should come in a glass bottle and be consumed within four to five days of opening as exposure to oxygen can ruin the beverage." Read entire article

Wow, so as it turns out not only was my body trying to tell me I needed coconuts for the electrolytes, but for the potassium as well (previous post)! I'm beginning to have a healthy respect for my body's innate intelligence and not just my mind's idea of what it thinks it knows.

Heh heh folks, just couldn't resist the opening article joke, turns out April Fool's Day is my favorite holiday of the year, and the article completely cracks me up. Almost as much as Avalanches's 'Frontier Psychiatrist', "You're a nut! Crazier'n a coconut!" although it will be awhile before I can get the song out of my head, except when I remember that it replaced my mind's endless loop of Beyonce's 'All The Single Ladies'(thanks ever so much, Alvin and the Chipmunks...NOT)--so THANK YOU Avalanches!

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it, and THANK YOU to Deb Shucka, for the blog title (and you know why...)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Are You Hungry For?

To those of you who have been wondering, I am off The Cleanse as of a week ago Thursday, after spending a fun-filled night at the ER--again--when my cleanse supervisor told me to hie myself there, pronto. I'd called her to say I couldn't sleep because my heart kept pounding erratically and my hands were not only seizing up and going numb, they were endlessly twitching in different directions...and it was distracting. Pretty dense to try to ignore, eh? Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't I doing this cleanse in the first place because I couldn't afford any more ER trips like the one in January? Yes folks, life really is Comedy Central.

As it turns out, I had extremely low potassium and phosphorus levels, which they discovered after some testing, but not before trying to ply me with Zanax because they thought I might be having a panic attack. Well, you'd panic too if your legs and arms took off on their own for no apparent reason. So they hooked me to a heart monitor, and after lounging around until 3:00 a.m. taking potassium and fascinating the kids watching Mom's hands and legs randomly seize up; they let me go home wearing a 24-hour heart monitor for kicks.

Truthfully, I was scared, because although I met up with my doctor a couple of times for lab tests and discussion, and taking potassium/phosphorus; the seizing in my hands and legs turning-into-zombie-limbs (curling and hardening like rigor mortis) and incessant finger twitching didn't cease until this Tuesday.

A chiropractor once told me that in between cleanses, the idea is to build the body back up. I feel good now, heartily supporting my body with green smoothies, raw fruits/veggies/nuts, cooked veggies and baked fish (hopefully not mercury filled) and eggs (cage-free; yay for happy chickens). No processed food, unless Costco hummus is processed...and feeling energized and clear.
This cleanse taught me some things; about family medical history, about how precious--and fragile--life and one's relationships are, and of course, how important proper nutrition is. I suspect I wasn't drinking enough of the green juices (they are ironically, LOADED with potassium) mainly because by the third week I just couldn't stand the taste and could barely get them down. I also learned how little I exercise, my favorite pastimes recently being: reading, a good show, and the Internets...although by the end was actually exercising diligently and constantly on the move (my body was probably in shock just from that).

I discovered my doctor doesn't endorse long cleanses, saying they can cause electrolyte imbalances, so that and the potassium/phosphorus depletion all added up to cause trouble. To be fair, I didn't run into problems until I dropped from three down to one juice a day and maybe should have mentioned that to my cleanse supervisor. Funny thing is, by the last week, loading a Good Earth basket with organic ingredients, I kept wanting to throw in some young Thai coconuts, and had to keep saying, no, you can't drink that silly, you are cleansing right now. Turns out, coconut water is rich in electrolytes, so maybe it wouldn't hurt to listen to the body more, eh? (please pardon my fascination with this delightful Canadian habit--thank you Vancouver Olympics).

But I still find myself constantly thinking about eating (not as much as during the cleanse, when I bored my entire Facebook family with countless photo albums of...FOOD). You are probably thinking, well, that makes perfect sense, after practically starving yourself for almost a month...but I was getting good nutrients (just not enough of them) and having energy and no headaches, so I wasn't altogether heartless.

I was recently struck (figuratively, of course) by an article written by Geneen Roth in O magazine, Women, Food, And God; which really hit home. Here's an excerpt:

"For a variety of reasons we don't fully understand (genetics, temperament, environment), those of us who are compulsive eaters choose food. Not because of its taste. Not because of its texture or its color. We want quantity, volume, bulk. We need it—a lot of it—to go unconscious. To wipe out what's going on. The unconsciousness is what's important, not the food...When you like something, you pay attention to it. When you like something—love something—you take time with it. You want to be present for every second of the rapture. But overeating does not lead to rapture: It leads to burping and farting and being so sick that you can't think of anything but how full you are. That's not love; that's suffering.

Diets are the result of your belief that you have to atone for being yourself to be worthy of existing. Until the belief is understood and questioned, no amount of weight loss will touch the part of you that is convinced it is damaged. It will make sense to you that hatred leads to love and that torture leads to peace because you will be operating on the conviction that you must starve or deprive or punish the badness out of you. You won't keep extra weight off, because being at your natural weight does not match your convictions about the way life unfolds. But once the belief and the subsequent decisions are questioned, diets and being uncomfortable in your body lose their seductive allure. Only kindness makes sense. Anything else is excruciating. You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved."

And all I can think is, wow. This touches me to the core. And I know overeating isn't good for me, I know this. I've experienced it. And yet...I'm hungry for something, something I think food will give me. Probably because I associate so many good memories and feelings centered around food. Until I go back in time and conjure up those moments when I experienced a truly natural high, a happy so big I never forget:

Sitting alone in a hotel room in Heidelberg, Germany, looking out the open window watching pedestrians walk by below, passing the cathedral next door, and wondering if the bees buzzing in the geraniums in the flower box will come in the room to check me out?

Showering under an open window as a kid living in Florida, the birds carrying on in the trees one spring morning.

Sitting on a Florida beach, looking out over the ocean, listening to the waves being pulled up on the sand, scattering the pipers digging for sandfleas (the pipers, not me, though sandfleas are kinda cute looking crustaceans).

Watching fellow travelers on a shuttle bus heading to the LAX airport after attending Byron Katie's nine-day School For The Work, feeling like my heart was going to burst open.

Waking up laughing, from a dream where Paul Lynde, Cher, and I were swapping jokes while standing in the yard of my house in Florida, when I was all of about ten.

Walking the block after a flight to Germany to visit family, relishing the fresh air and feeling my legs again after sitting for so long on a plane and the three hour drive from Frankfurt to our small Bavarian town.

NONE of those moments involved food or eating. And I am left to discover what it is I'm hungry for. Think I'll start with Geneen's tell us folks; what is it you are hungry for?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

When Dinosaurs Roamed...our bodies?

The interesting thing about colon hydrotherapy, is that you get to see stuff you don't ordinarily see. Stuff that will curl your toes. Dr. Oz says 90% of humans carry worms, and turns out I'm one of them. Years ago, I met with a colonic specialist who actually kept jars of various wormy-parasity things in jars for clients to see. Please people, it's bad enough to see your own, why on earth would you want to see some stranger's? It's like living in a pre-historic world where bizarre creatures roam the planet with you, only they're roaming inside you. Although, as Dr. Oz points out, they aren't all bad. Some of them are your friends, like the nice dinosaur in Jurassic Park that sneezed on the little girl. It was a veggie-saurus, not the bad meat-o-saurus kind that wanted to eat your face.

I bring this up not to make you lose your coffee/tea/Margarita, but to say that we might feel better if once in a while we got these things, um, removed (as much as one can, anyway), as I am finding out during this cleanse. The good doctor's article (click his name above to read) goes in great detail about how to avoid parasites, and the symptoms they can cause so you'll know they might be there. Like his article, I have spared you a photo of said critters... because I'm that thoughtful.

Something else I'm discovering as I enter week three of this vegetable juice cleanse (and if I never have to drink something like this again it will be too soon) is that while I constantly think about food, I am not one bit attracted to sweets. This has NEVER happened before, even during other various juice fasting I've done over the years. Normally I eat sugar constantly, even to the point of, confession: considering a Snickers bar and a Dr. Pepper, lunch. You'd think a forty-something-ish person would know better....but, there you have it. So this is new to me, and in a good way. I'm seriously indulging in fresh greens and vegetable soup fantasies, and can't wait to start the eating part of my life again. It has to taste good or I'm not touching it. It's really the simple ones that appeal to me most...

Slicing open an avocado, sprinkling it with cumin, curry and cayenne, drizzling a fresh lime over it, tossing some chopped cilantro on top, and covering the whole thing with fresh Pica De Gallo.

Arranging some sliced bananas on a plate, sprinkling chopped pecans on top, and drizzling grade B real maple syrup--like Shady Maple Farms (forget Mrs. Butterworth's) over all of it. Energizing and yummy.

Downing a green smoothie favorite of one bunch dandelion greens, one banana, one mango, and adding the 'water' of a young coconut to the mix.

Here's a 'green' smoothie recipe I'm dying to try out because it looks so refreshing:

Orange, Yellow and Green Smoothie
1 bunch spinach
2 oranges (peeled with seeds removed)
¼ lemon with peel (seeds removed)
4 dates (with pits removed)
2 frozen bananas
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Blend and drink! Thanks to the Boutenko family for this one. (For more recipes click on their name).

Since I can't eat yet, guess I'll go watch some dinosaurs roaming Jurassic Park to take my mind off the ones roaming in my intestines. And have you ever wondered...what's roaming in yours?