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...)