My version of peace

My version of peace

Friday, September 9, 2011

And along came a spider...

Right off the bat, I woke up this morning to an unexpected visitor perched on my bedroom ceiling.  As my sleepy eyes cleared, I saw Mr. spider gingerly making his way to the space of ceiling that is directly over my sleeping area.  Fighting off the urge to close my eyes for a few moments more rest, I continued to eye the spider staring down at me from the ceiling.  There I was, locked into a staring contest.  In a horrified fascination I kept my eyes glued to his position on the ceiling.  Through my mind various thoughts tumbled.  I argued that he needn't pull any fast moves on me; I pleaded that he stay where he was; I wondered at how he had found his way to my room.
If anyone has ever had a staring contest with a spider, you cannot deny the pure adrenaline rush that occurs during the game play; the anticipation that builds as you and the spider hold your respective stances.  Primal reactions kick in.  Muscle tension builds, as both parties prepare themselves for fight or flight.  And as is naturally to be expected, the human typically loses his patience and goes in for the kill.  I have never been very clean when it comes to this step.  I usually create more excitement for myself by missing the spider completely when I get brave enough to get a good run at him.  And then of course by the time that I regain my composure to try again, he has backed into an impossible corner and has scrunched himself soooo small that my attempts to finish him off are in vain.  
For all you spider lovers out there who keep a jar by your bed in order to gently "trap" the spider and set him back outside amongst your tomato plants, I understand that you might hold an opposing view to my assertions this morning.  You may argue that the spider didn't choose to have his space invaded by man, that we have developed his natural habitat for our own benefit, that we didn't ask him for permission.  You may make excuses for the spider's behavior, claiming that spiders are on the receiving end of our brutality; that they are merely acting out of fear and that we assume the worst in their behavior.  Before this morning I might have agreed with those valid points.  
As I contemplated my morning visitor, I waited to see what his intentions were.  I had my suspicions, but I kept them to myself and waited.  I didn't have to wait long however.  Suddenly he dropped.  Just let go.  There was no gentle repell on a silver single thread of webbing.  He broke our stare down and made a break for it.  Before my eyes, I witnessed Mr. spider attempting to jump me.  I say attempted because my primal muscle reactions quickly sprang into action.  Sleep suddenly had no more hold on me.  I was awake.  There was no doubt that I was now completely in my day.  No turning back.  
So what do you have to say for yourselves spider activists?  Drat, I didn't catch the whole thing on tape...however I don't know if there are any excuses that can be made for my spider the stalker's behavior this morning.  As far as I'm concerned, that is about as pre-imptive as you can get!  That sneaky son of a gun got himself into prime position and tried to take advantage first thing in the morning, folks.  I was not ready with toilet paper in tow for that one.  He knew what he was doing.  And I rest my case.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to catch curve balls

Human adaptation.  Bones that grow and heal themselves, perhaps morphing into a different shape or outgrowth, but none-the-less repairing themselves.  That is what I keep telling myself that my toe must be doing.  It's up to something down there.  Probably no good, but I like to think that I can be my own doctor.  I'm not eager to pay a visit to the ER for my pinky toe.  So I'm deciding to wait it out.  And the song runs through my head singing, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone..."
It's amazing how far you can get in a conversation with someone by mentioning that you have broken something.  Even if it is just a pinky toe.  Yesterday a few members of the group that I was hanging out with misheard and thought that I had broken the big toe.  The misinterpreted information was corrected near the end of our gathering, but I think it made the conversational part of the interaction much more engaging.  Think of it...the big toe!  And there I was describing how I had done my own buddy taping and everything, and was not going to get it checked out!  What an exciting life.
So I return to the topic that has captured my thoughts for the past few days.  I'm recalling the frame of mind that I was in yesterday because once again, I have changed today and it's hard to remember  where I left off.  It's like trying to find your place again in a book that you didn't use a bookmark to mark your place.  Plus the weather is entirely different today and that changes everything.
So...let's check in with Christina this morning.  I'm feeling hopeful...slightly anxious...fighting the drop effect that the coffee I decided to drink is providing me...I'm working to hold onto inspiration...  This is because I crave the "flow" feeling that only occurs when I am engaged in a task that takes all my attention for that moment in time.  When "flow" occurs, I am not focused on those "feelings" that take up  brain space and leave little room for productivity.  At least that is how I observe the impact of my feelings to be from an objective standpoint.  And it is here in this moment as I write that statement that I realize that I am judging the presence of those feelings.  It's funny.  I hear people refer to themselves as rational...logical thinkers...in control of their feelings...but when it really comes down to it, am I not still basing the decisions that I make on how I feel or don't want to feel?  When I hear a person say that they don't let their emotions get in the way during times of stress or sadness, are they not still basing their decision on the presence of emotion?  They change their behavior with the intent of avoiding the experience that they associate with the emotion.  Hmmm...  A lot of the time when a person is considered "emotional," automatic judgements come to mind about the person's strength of mind or stability...  I might insert here another way of looking at the idea of "letting emotions take over."  It could be considered instead as an act of bravery.  An act of heroism that confronts the feelings that a particular situation evokes and allows them room to exist.  Rather than negating the presence of emotion, and in a sense running away while standing still, the so-called feeing person demonstrates their skills in the midst of the battlefield.  In the presence of loneliness, anger, sadness, and despair, they wrestle with the giants and find clever ways to insert happiness into their existence.  I'm just saying...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mind games

I've changed my mind several times since April 12.  I don't even think I'm the same person anymore.  Consistency is not my middle name.  (I would not want to admit that on a job application...)  It occurred to me last night in the midst of conversation between friends, that I've been on auto pilot.  This is evidenced by several symptoms.  One of them being that I have utterly failed to keep up my blog writing habits.  Although, technically I didn't pass the 21 day minimum for habit formation and therefore I can blame human nature for that one.
It's funny to me how (and anyone is free to correct me if I am wrong,) as human beings we spend so much time thinking about what we need to change about ourselves.  This has been on the forefront of my agenda for an unspecified amount of time.  For example, I made a goal to myself that I would eat RAW for an entire year.  I have long since fallen off that wagon.  So much so that I have swung to the other end of the spectrum...experimenting in the meat department.  I did not see that outcome coming.  I suppose the larger the risk you take, or change you make, the more dramatic the fall back can look when the momentum declines. I've tried not to put an agenda on my goal setting, because life changes all the time and I want to keep my adaptation skills sharp.
In the spirit of moving on and shaking off the dust from my sandals, I would like to leave old forgotten goals behind and take on the heartier challenge of embracing myself as I am.  This proves to be a most daunting task all of its own.  Stripping off all the would be's, should be's, am trying to be's...  It is here that we see ourselves in our present form.  Just quietly observing what we are.  Not putting any expectations around it.  (whoops...this is turning into a "mindfulness" session...)
What a natural way to live.  I'm going to have to return to this idea of observing myself, rather than trying to change myself.  There are several ethical, spiritual, and philosophical questions that it poses.  How does that effect my overall spiritual view?  How does it effect my view of myself as a Christian?  How does it effect my view of people's ability to change their behavior and become either better or worse?  And so the questioning continues...so the mind ponders...so the story goes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forgetting

Sidewalk walking, street side searching, mumbling and bumbling along, amidst other members of the population.  I decided to have an opinion this afternoon.  And the conclusion that I came to was this.  I will share the ending at the beginning of my story.  Because I want to have answers.  I want it all to make sense before I start.  That way I won't have to step out in faith and trust that "it will all work out."  I don't mean for that to sound snide.  It just seems to be my trend lately.  God himself said that he would "heal their faithlessness," back in the day when Israel had lost their self-respect.  I forget to hang onto faith.  And everything that is pure gets muddled really quickly.  And so I become focused on whatever makes me feel better and before I know it I am trapped in the downward spiral of cravings that control me.  I can't tell the difference between the real and the fake.  My efforts to remain unaltered by false assertions don't prove very fruitful.  And that is the raw truth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TEXAS

"Everything is bigger in Texas."  That is the catch-phrase of the land down under.  I've never really said to myself, "Man, I think that I really want to go to Texas."  Now that I am experiencing the scenery and the people, I have much more to base my judgements on and I find that I am becoming less and less judgemental by the day.  That may have something to do with the fact that I am in a tourist saturated portion of the state.  However, none-the-less, there is an easy going vibe here that is a mix between Disneyland and Venecia.  Yes, I am comparing Texas to Europe...the most altrusitic of American states.  The state that seems to breed those that stick out like a sore thumb in other parts of the world.  I mean that with the utmost respect of course.  It's just a fact.  Coyboy hats and boots are something of a novelty.  Those with a true sense of identity wear them.  Texans wear them.  In fact, I can't think of a more fitting place to play the cowboy part.  Leather boots and good manners seem to go hand and hand.  When a person passing by on the street asks how you are doing, they truly seem to want to know.  It is a little un-nerving.  Imagine that...someone asking how you are and honestly displaying interest in your reply.  I'm taking notes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rain at night

It's quiet.  I feel my heart throb in my stomach.  I ate too much.  Underneath my eyes it aches. And behind. My eyes are begging me to close them.  My mind was a whirlwind today.  I put myself on auto-pilot and just drove.   I'm tempted to just keep driving through the night.  It's a strange sensation to experience an over-riding blanket of tiredness, yet feel a steady drone of hyperactivity that creeps and kicks within my chest.  It surprises me that it is raining this evening.  Every so often several raindrops pelt the window, providing subtle accompaniment to my thoughts.   I'm thankful for the company.  I like the rain at night.  It adds texture to the darkness.  Nighttime can feel drab at times.  It felt heavy when I drove up to the house tonight after being out for the afternoon.  Lonely.  Though not so much now, as I listen to the rain.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I actually like Salad :)

I was so thankful last night that I could harness my melancholy spirit and take it out on the guitar.  I am really good at getting into these moody mentalities.  They sneak up on me and cover me like a blanket.  Ugh.  At the end of my jam sesh, I could feel the evenness of a more uplifted mood coming up over me.  And I felt like I could speak again.  My family knows that if I am in the side room with the door closed, I am brooding, and they won't get much of a response from me.   I sit in the room; in the plush, red leather chair, contained in the delicious stew of angst and creativity.  Tasty.  I chew on those thoughts for awhile, mulling the words over in my mouth and in my mind.  Throwing out phrases, taking them back.  Scratching away at a paper that resembles the layout of my brain.  Haphazard snippets of thoughts that flow across the page, in no sort of set fashion.
I think I just described the inner workings of me.  Regarding the reference that I made towards my lyric writing methods, I find myself eager to jump into experimentation, but quickly withdrawing my bid once I hit a glitch.  The events that have transpired over the past few months have led me to make this observation.  I'm still trying to make out what I think about that tendency.  It causes me to ask myself questions like:  "Am I setting the bar too high?"  "Am I living outside of my means?"  "Am I just too weak-willed?"
A very blatant example of this type of flakey interaction is the inconsistent way that I have approached my "promise" to myself to adhere to a completely raw foods diet.  The first thing I want to know is this...it is worth it to make such a strong assertion without any insight into the events that could unfold and cause me to stumble in the process?  Is it acceptable to make such a firm resolve and then fail in front of the whole world?  Of course, that is me assuming that the world is even remotely interested in my life.   It feels a bit presumptuous to say that the whole world is watching...when in fact I remember that I only technically have three followers.  And I must remind myself that the whole point of this blogging exercise isn't to toot my successes, but to record the reality of daily struggles and my humanistic tendencies.  That is real...that is RAW.  I don't feel guilty that my original goal has evolved into a different journey.  I merely want to be observant and mindful of my life through out the process.  If I take nothing else away from this experience, at least I can claim that I am a huge fan of salads.  If you had asked me that 2 years ago, I would have told you that lettuce was the most boring food on the face of the planet.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

By nature...

All my thoughts are a whirl.  I just realized today how much I have tried to make my life my own.  I'm trying to control and failing miserably.  I feel out of control...I might as well hand over the reins to Jesus anyway.  What's the hold-up little lady?  The curse of discontentedness has a grasp on me.  It's interesting to note how the effects of apathy seep unsuspectingly into my bones and before I know it, I'm numb.
I mentioned previously that I discovered something rather revolutionary for my little mind.  Here it goes:
All this time I've been trying to act like a grazing cow and it turns out that I am a jungle cat.  A JUNGLE CAT!  The very animal that I have never claimed much of an attachment to nor appreciation for.  The domestic version anyway...  This insight into my animal personality has challenged just about everything that I've grown to hold as truth in the recent months.  It all stems from discovering that I am 0+ blood type.  Anyone who reads that statement is entitled to furrow their brow and ask why that has any relevance at all in the scene of things.  Science holds a very different opinion.  The significance of this discovery effects my decision to pursue a raw/vegan lifestyle.  I thrive on irony.  I enjoy interesting and unexpected twists in the plot.  Well, I certainly have been blessed with an ironic circumstance to throw my hands up over.  0 blood type...drum roll please...of all the blood types, requires meat to meet its nutritional needs!  And all this time I was pursuing a diet that is complete opposition to that philosophy.   A carnivorous creature by nature, I am.   According to my blood.  That genetic footprint that makes me the person that I am today.  I am a tied and true hunter and gatherer.  My attempts to mask my true identity as a cow have been exposed.  And I'm left disoriented and at a loss.  And it also makes me laugh.  The saga of the human yo-yo continues.  At the end of all this, I will either become a tied and true meat connoisseur, or be fully committed to life in the raw.  So to anyone who has read my previous blog entries and noted that I was on a raw kick, please let me say that I am grossly biting my tongue at this moment.  This is an evolving journey.  I put myself in the way of possibility and possibility threw me a curve ball.  Upping the stakes are you Destiny?  Ok, I'll play.  And I'll keep everyone posted in the process.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I am ridiculous

It's official.  I should just accept my status forever more as a languishing yo-yo.  I'm having an identity crisis.  I have a lot more ingredients to add to the pot of irony.  So when I started out the beginning of the year, I gave myself a steep challenge.  I knew that it was a hardy portion of self-discipline, and at the time I was on fire with resolve.  I was resolute in my goal to myself.  To spend an entire year exploring the world of raw foods.  As I look back, I admire my fortitude, but also see the potential that I provided myself to majorly fall off the wagon.  But I began this journey, I intended to be open minded through out the process, available to a change in mentality whatever that perspective might entail.  Little did I know what I was opening myself up to.  And little did I realize what a humbling process it would prove to be.  Even though I haven't adhered to a completely strict RAW diet since the first month of the year, I will say that the raw foods theory has still captured my mentality and it is often at the forefront of my food making and tasting decisions.  The influence of raw foods is sprinkled all over my daily nutritional intake.   I let myself cheat and pretend that it didn't happen.  That's the power of making the rules.  And I'm not trying to desecrate the RAW foods movement in any way shape or form by admitting that I haven't been adhering in a purest fashion to the law of the living.  Oh, it was my intent to, back in the day, on that fateful day of January 1st.  Time is really good at numbing resolve, making us forget what our first epiphany was.  But I don't count my efforts in vain.  I only remind myself that my true resolve for this year was to express myself in a real manner.  To get back to the basics of life.  To not be afraid to simplify or try something different.  I am saying all this because recently I have once again had my thinking broadened and challenged.  I think I may save the story for my next entry.  It will hold a much more humorous tone.  Let's just say it has something to do with a jungle cat and a grazing cow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sundays

Sundays have a particular feel to them.  It's my official frump day.  Those types of days actually happen for me more often than not, but Sundays receive intentional recognition.  I was launched into Sunday in a haphazard manner this morning.  I rolled out of bed to the wake-up call of my cellular phone, forgetting that the time change had occurred.  I allowed myself time to do my typical morning stretches.  If you are envisioning a little old lady who does her shoulder rolls and neck stretches, then I would say that you are not far from the truth.  I'm tight, alright?  I decided recently, after careful deliberation of my ancestral qualities that my body structure can be likened unto that of a jungle cat.  Let me explain... This is a subject that will warrant further exploration, but for the time being, I will just say that taking the time to decide what kind of animal you are most like can be a very helpful and insightful tool.  Yes, a jungle cat.  I'm learning to embrace the concept.
I can't say that I've ever had any previous ties to this notion of appreciating this specific feline species.  I've never been thrilled with the idea of domestic cats.  I find them rather boring and apathetic.  I'll attribute this attitude to my experience with the family cat.  A fluffy fat thing, that stares blankly at her surroundings.  And instead of smoothly and coolly bring herself to the ground to stretch and lay, her dismount to the floor unfolds in a jerky, graceless manner.  When she wants to lay down, it's as if she has suddenly given up on standing.  She allows the pull of gravity to overtake her rolli-polli being and sort of rocks to her side with her paws all outstretched in front of her.  It's like watching a toddler who has been bundled up in a snowsuit attempt to get off the floor after the mother has stuffed the young thing into his boots.  The child bounces back and is helpless on the floor, the snow suit material unyielding to the his attempts against it.  This is the example of a feline that I have had at my disposal for the past several years.  P.S. Cloey, deep down I love you.
Anyway, I'd like to go back to my discussion of the nature of Sundays.  It's a strange phenomenon to experience predictable feelings that occur like clock-work simply because of the particular day that it is.  It creates a ritualistic predictability.  This occurs with Saturdays...it occurs with Mondays... It's like a rotating menu.  As I think about tomorrow, I can predict how I am going to feel tonight as I prepare for bed.  It will be a slightly anxious feeling.  And that anxious feeling drives me to want to organize myself more for the next day.  Once I'm in the week however, that anxious feeling isn't nearly so acute.  And more times that not, I am not even close to completing or carrying out all the items that I was anxiously anticipating on Sunday.  And as I think critically about this, I realize that I have come to expect that I will be anxious on Sunday night.  In the words of Decartes, "I think, therefore I am."  I have already made up my mind to be anxious, and lo and behold, those feelings occur without fail.  How do we break those cycles?  Those patterns that become second nature?  These feelings that I come to depend upon as part regular experience.  And then of course, in a more positive light, I think about the feelings that I associate with Saturday, or my Sabbath more specifically.  Friday night always brings a sense of calm.  Even if I am wrapped up in activity that hasn't allowed me to realize that Friday evening has ascended, I still receive a distinct sense of stillness that rests and encapsulate the rest of my thinking.  This feeling separates Sabbath from the rest of the week.  If that isn't a powerful play on feelings, then I don't know what is.  I get to experience this phenomenon on a regular basis, with a clock-like effect that is dependable.  So, I asked the question:  How do we break these cycles?  I'm not sure I want to break that one.  I want to pick and choose.  It's mere observation at this point.  I don't necessarily feel the need to do anything about the anxiety that I experience on Sunday nights.  To observe that it is there is helpful.  And to be absorbed in my Sunday afternoon, enjoying my frumphood to it's fullest.  That is what I have come to expect from my Sundays.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What joy is this!

Oh death, where is your sting...Oh hell, where is your victory...Oh church come stand in the light, our God is not dead, he's alive, he's alive!  This melodic message by Matt Maher spurts from my computer and I can't help but be effected.  The song "Christ is Risen."  That is pure truth right there.  That is pure, healing balm that outshines anything that this world tries to sell as satisfying.  As I think about the impact of the message that proclaims that Christ lives and that we are one with Him, there is little room for discouragement.  It reaches down into my being and excites my heart, deep within my soul because it is what I choose to believe.  Jesus lives in my soul.  I do not fear tomorrow because He has already provided the victory.  That is amazing truth!  Anything that we are fearful of, anything that we are afraid to do, anything we feel that we cannot accomplish, He has already done.  And he is continually faithful to see us through trails that we endure on a daily basis.  My fear of saying the wrong thing to a client, looking foolish in front of my co-workers, forgetting an important piece of information, failing entirely in front of a group of people...all those things stem from insecurity with myself and how I "think" that others see me.  The truth is that even if I do "fail," I can rest peacefully knowing that God works in spite of me.  In spite of my screw-ups.  I can fix my eyes on Christ and focus on how I can participate in his great love.  That is exciting and that allows me to look forward to tomorrow.  I have no idea what is in store, but I can't wait to find out!  I can't wait to see how God is going to move, and how Christ is going to cover me and touch another person with his love.  That is what I pray for.  I need to start praying harder for that.  That is the raw heart of the matter.  I'm tired of living like I am the master of all that is my life.  It's not my life.  Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death, come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave!  I'm pretty exuberant this evening...what joy!

Loop Holes

I break a lot of promises.  To myself.  I make them all the time and I break them ALL the time.  I'm really good at finding loop holes in the contract that allow me to make excuses and justify whatever action I am taking.  That action that counteracts the so-called promise that I made myself.  And before I know it, I am so far from the set goal or standard, that I can't even remember what I felt like when I decided that it seemed like a good idea.  At the time, I had myself fully convinced that no line of logic could deter me from my quest.  Oh fickle female.  I gave myself a pretty good talking to the other day.  I sat Christina down and told her point blank that she needed to start making some commitments if she wants to see consistent progress.  She asked me something.  She wanted to know how I define progress.  And of course I'm thinking...I see your game...the ol' answering the question with a question trick.  Very tricky indeed.  I'll take her up on it though.  It warrants exploration.
I have grown weary of making goals and treating my life like its a checklist.  My life view doesn't include some structured formula that I have to measure out precisely in order to get the desired effect.  Of course, anyone could make that observation if they observed my time management and organizational strategies.  And supposedly I'm an OT that is highly skilled and knowledgable in these matters...I go to work everyday to give people recommendations for how to manage and spend their time.  The irony.
As I continue to think about what is important to me and what I want to pursue in my life's endeavors, I do often reference the concept of time.  I believe in a God who sees outside of my concept of time.  He knows what will make me the most happy.  He is willing to supply me the means to participate in those things that will fill me with satisfaction and life joy.  It becomes an act of faith to ask God to cultivate those talents and interests that I have.  Anyway, those frustrations that creep in when I feel like I am back peddling, aren't as bothersome at the present moment.  It's pretty difficult to be annoyed when I remember that in all things God longs to draw near to me.  With all the things that occur in my day, in the midst of all my plan making, He looks down upon me and says, "Just wait Christina, you have no idea what I have in store for you.  You have just scratched the surface.  Nothing that you promise yourself can outdo the promises that I have made to you."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear self...

In your own quiet way you can change the world.  As I reflect on the concept of "changing the world," I feel myself get caught up in all the exciting things that I want to achieve.  The places I want to go, the things I want to do, things that I want to be recognized for, projects that I just NEED to start.  All of those ideas start to jumble themselves in my brain, colliding into a heaping pile of various odds and ends that I soon call the miscellaneous drawer.  With this analogy, you see me in the process of examining "my inner self."  (If you can imagine the deep robust voice of your college history teacher speaking, then this is the voice that will suite the dialogue of the "inner self."
Dear self,
Upon further reflection, I find you to be dissatisfactory of late.  You are not measuring up to the qualifications that I have set as the standard for your appropriate level of functioning.  I don't know how to put this any other way, other than to say, shape up.  Come on then, chin up.  Really...if you want to achieve your dreams, then do it.  Quit batting around the bush already.  No one is waiting around for you, to see if you are going to do it or not.  NEWS FLASH:  It's all on you.  I realize that I am taking a rather chiding tone with you, but I can't hide my frustration any longer.  I've been noticing for sometime that you've been sitting on the fence. That fence post is going to get pretty uncomfortable, very quickly, if you don't climb down onto the other side soon.  If you don't watch it, some curious cow is going to come up beside you and butt their head right against your thigh and send you flying.  Head over heels, backwards toward the ground.  I can see it right now.  Hmmm, that visual makes me chuckle.  Sometimes it just takes a good head butt to knock some sense into the human awareness of things.  So, enough with my lecturing.  All I will leave you with is simply this:  If you don't take the time to cultivate what you claim to value, then something else will cultivate you into something that you might not even recognize the next time you look in the mirror.  That is all...
Sincerely,
Christina

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blueberries make me sneeze!

I don't use the word "silly" very often, but I feel that it is a very fitting word to use considering the circumstances.  The fact that I had a sneezing fit in the car this morning, of which I attribute to the blueberries that I put in my cereal prior to the incident, just seems well... silly!  Plain and simple.  I don't like to admit that sugar has such a profound effect on my ability to keep my eyes on the road, but I would be denying my body if I said otherwise.  Let's just say that I've never been a good multi-tasker...and I didn't prove very successful with my endeavor to pay attention to my surroundings behind the wheel while attending to my sneezing fit.   If anyone figures out how to keep their eyes open while sneezing, please make an instructional demo video so that we can learn from your freakish-like techniques.  Thank you.  This whole sugar business is ridiculous!  Must I give up the fruit?  I'm going to go home and make a salad.  I'll console myself with avocado.  Technically it is considered a fruit.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Realizations

I've entered into a creative realm this evening.  It started just as I arrived home.  Sometimes meloncholic creativity hits me and sends me into a flow of surrender.  I really enjoy the process when it happens.  And it always surprises me when it does.  I can tell the difference quite well.  I can sit down at the piano one day and just play the same tunes that I've already been working on, and on another night, have three different ideas all come to me at once.  And the problem becomes a matter of dividing my attention accordingly.  Just like creativity arrives in waves, my spiritual consciousness seems to have an ebb and flow all of its own as well.  I have this song stuck in my head...it's actually a rather poppy, christian ditty, but it's sticking.  "I just want to be closer to you, I just want to be closer...I am yours, you can have anything,  everything...all of me, I just want to be closer."  And I'm glad that idea keeps popping up.  I have really felt my sense of clarity become tainted this last week.  Because I've experienced spiritual joy at various times,  I know that I am missing out when my focus is askew.  In the same way, I have become so much more in tune with the foods that give me life sustaining energy as opposed to a clogged head.  There's no going back.  I have had a genuine experience and to go back to old ways is like giving up the truth after becoming converted.  That is the battle that I am fighting.  I know what it is like to experience life in a pure form.  Sensing God in my life and feeling him intervene has effected everything.  Nothing can substitute that.  I don't want to forget the impact that God has had in my life and the ways that he has changed my perspective.  Satan is really good at convincing me that I am getting by just fine. He keeps life sustaining thoughts from entering my mind.  Pursuing a life that follows after God is not an easy task.  It is an everyday battle.  This battle continues to rage inside of me and I can feel my fingers digging into the side of the cliff, as I try to scramble back up onto the path.  I have decided that I am ok with it being difficult though.  It helps me realize that I believe faith is valuable enough to fight for.  That a relationship with God that saturates my everyday life is worth struggling after.  In those moments when I am so discouraged with myself I will remember how passionately God loves each one of us.  He doesn't give up on me.  I choose not to give up on him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The ups and downs

I learned today that the only neurotransmitter that exists in both the brain and the stomach, is serotonin.  I think the world just about makes complete sense now.  I can clearly see the connection.  Serotonin, that feel good hormone, that gives me a feeling of satisfaction.  That feeling that creates a sense of inner calm, euphoria, even.  Perhaps it not sugar that we crave in the end.  Perhaps, we are searching to entertain that feeling in our gut that helps us feel better.  I know what it feels like to have a pit in my stomach.  That feeling I can imagine quite well.  And I can understand wanting to avoid that feeling.  Keeping this in mind, it isn't so hard to understand why someone might continue to fuel their bodies with sugar; boosting their serotonin level quickly when they feel their stomach start to drop.  It's like an, "Oh no you don't, I'll solve that problem..." reaction.  It isn't that far fetched to understand why people become addicted to soda.
A few months ago I conducted an experiment upon myself to see what the effect would be on my body if I minimized my intake of sugar as much as possible.  It was amazing to sense the evenness that carried me through out the entirety of my day.  I slept better, woke up with more energy, didn't experience my morning headache...it was a bubble experience.  Let's just say I popped it when the holidays rolled around.  And boy did I come down.  There was one Saturday in early December I decided that I would break "lent" and enjoy some rain-deer poops.  I've thoroughly confused you by now I hope.  Just to clarify, the randier poops were vegan chocolates.  Did I get a reaction?  Anyway...I popped them like peanuts and to sum it up, ended up sleeping very little that night.  But the euphoric feeling of chocolate!  That feeling of complete satisfaction.  The stomach sending a message to the brain that says, "Mmmm, mmm."  It's hard to stop.  And I had the opportunity to observe within myself the stark contrast between existing with minimal sugar versus putting myself into overdrive.  What a show!
No wonder people with bi-polar disorder say that they miss their manic state at times when they come out of it.  To be brought down into a pit of depression is an awful wake-up call.  In a less extreme sense, I deal with a mood disorder.  The tricks that my tummy plays on me can directly effect my mood.  The sugar swings that send me on a rampage at night, browsing through the fridge, looking for something to distract, something to comfort, something to feel better about.  And then the morning after experience that leaves me empty, with a sigh caught in my throat.  And I tell myself that I will do better next time.  That it isn't worth the after effects for a short time of pleasure.  Hmmm...that statement could seriously warrant discussion.  Whoever reads this, I am sure that you get the picture.  In the end I am amazed at how far I am from understanding my body and how disconnected I am from the signals that it tries to send me.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Watching sprouts grow...

It's amazing how quickly clarity can go out the window.  It's amazing to me how much of our time is filled with stuff, stuff that we think we need to do in order to have a "put together life."  This thought causes me to pose the question to myself:  If I was to create a life recipe that was only made up of basic raw ingredients, what would that look like?  I bet you noticed how I snuck raw in there :)  That is what I am in the midst of attempting to decipher.  Food has caught my attention because it comes up on a regular basis.  Food has such a profound influence on how we interact with people, the ambiance that it creates for social gatherings, the way that we feel about ourselves.  I want to think very carefully and experiment a lot before I decide what my food philosophy is...or lack thereof.  I think it's safe to say that I believe in simplicity however.  I have found with my raw concoctions that skipping the pots and pans process has cut out the middle man.  I may have to soak or dehydrate, but that process doesn't require very much attention from me.  I suppose I could sit down and watch my sprouts grow...if I really wanted to be present at all times through out the creating process.  It's a different way of looking at how I put food together.  Food to be consumed, translated into a substance that either energizes or depletes.  And that is the balancing act that I find myself juggling right now.  I heard the quote said recently, "If you are going to pollute, then you better make sure that you dilute."  For example:  One soda pop requires 30 cups of water to balance out the effect that the sugar of the pop has on your body.  (I decided to throw that in for shock value!)  I think that I should like to approach my life with that framework in mind.  Does the way that I am spending my time energize or deplete me?  Do the relationships that I form supply my soul with nourishment, or leave me drained?  Does my nutrition feed my brain or make me stupid?  Am I willing to take a hard look and be honest with myself?  Am I willing to give-up things that aren't good for me?  To get down to the raw material of the matter.  That seems to be the question.  A question that I intend to continue to wrestle with.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Struggle of the flesh: Part 2

I'm trying to remember why I felt compelled to write this entry in two parts when I posted last night.  Inspiration is a tricky little guy to nail down.  He comes and goes as he pleases.  When he decides to stick around, I am quite pleased to have his company.  However he runs to and fro, pell-mell quite often and keeps me on my toes.  I have to be ready to receive him, otherwise I miss out.  If anyone was looking for an in-depth sequel to last night's blirp, I am sorry to disappoint.  I seem to have forgotten my insight.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Struggle of the flesh: Part 1

I'm reminded of Paul's words, those words that I have read somewhere in the new testament.  He talks about fighting against the flesh...how he does the very things that he doesn't want to do.  I'm totally with you Paul.  It's been sightly more tricky than I anticipated to get back on the RAW wagon.  One of my friends suggested that it was like I was standing on the high dive, preparing to jump in again.  I like that analogy.  It feels like I am trying to regain my composure, take a deep breath and begin again.  It's kinda like those exercises that you do at the gym, where you know it is going to hurt so good.  You take a breather and then jump into it again.  Knowing full well that when you come out on the other side, you will pat yourself on the back for following though.  That is the place that I am in right now.  I want to follow through because I want to keep my word.  Because I know that it is worth the energy.  Because I know that it is good for me.  And I'm making it harder than it needs to be.  I am learning countless object lessons from my experiment with food.  I am learning the depth of my attachment to certain "things" or "foods" that I think will bring me security, or make me feel better.  I have gotten pretty good at watching myself from an outside perspective, almost in slow motion, going through the mental process of deciding whether to eat the food that I crave or not.  It's rather humorous.  It usually goes something like this...


Set the scene:  There's Christina driving home after work in her car.  She thinks to herself, "I don't need to eat anything else tonight.  I have been snacking all day.  I will just make myself a green drink and drink a lot of water this evening.  Yes, that's what I'll do.  (Scene changes and Christina arrives home)  Oh wow!  Mom made dinner!  I can't turn down the meal.  (Christina enjoys the home-made dish...)  But she doesn't stop there.  Oh no, she is on a roll once she starts.  The bread longs to be toasted, the ice cream in the freezer screams out her name, the chocolate cravings set in...Long forgotten is the plan to drink water with some lemon squeezed into it.  (Exit stage right.)


Yes, that about sums up the struggle.  The here and now and quest for instant gratification squelches any opportunity for exercising my self-control.  That is the dilemma.  I'll have to make this entry a two parter.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Talking Bones

It feels late.  The bedtime mood is overtaking me.  The whole droopy-eyed, deliciously tired feeling signals to me that I have thrown my body into today, forgotten myself, and now everything is catching up.  I feel several aches through out my body, the kind that make you feel like you worked out at the gym.  I didn't, just to clarify, work out today.  But bones and body structures are shifting around and I judge that my body is trying to figure out what to make of the invasion of chiropractic maneuverings that I have subjected myself to.  Sometimes I feel broken.  Literally.  Sometimes I just want to crumple to the ground and stay there for awhile.  Just allowing my being to linger in the balled up, awkward position that the floor allows.  Laughingly, I cringe to think about doing that.  I know that my body would talk to me and that kinks in my back and neck would speak up and I wouldn't be able to stay down for long.  Ironically, the aches push me forward, challenge me to keep going.  I can't stay still.  I'm not allowed to stay down.  My body complains when I withhold movement.  Crumpling to the ground and abstaining from engagement in the world around just isn't an option.  Why?  Because my bones say so.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dazzle me Razzle

And I'm making pancakes for breakfast!  I realized as I ate my breakfast this morning, that I had the perfect opportunity to shape the cakes into hearts, in honor of you know what..however I forgot.  The bright pink raspberry sauce sits atop flax seed pancakes held together with coconut oil and molasses.  Pretty in pink.  Pink is my favorite crayon...Pink, it's not even a question...Pink, like a deco umbrella...Oh Arrowsmith, somehow you work yourself into just about every life scenario...I could be your flamingo :)  And that's all for my Valentine's Day tribute.  Just gonna get it out of the way.  Heh.

SnackTime

Nothing like a good dose of broccoli to perk up the senses on a lulling Sunday afternoon.  You can just call me broccoli teeth.  I feel like it is becoming the norm for me to do double takes whenever I walk by a mirror.  With all the greens that I consume, it requires a little more consideration to make sure I'm in the clear before I start smiling at strangers.  Thankfully I have friends who are helpful in the "food in your teeth" department as well.  They are also forgiving when I sporadically spew mid-chew at the dinner table.  I will give you fair warning that if you make me laugh during meal times, you are risking the onslaught of whatever I may be consuming in that precise moment.  I am not very good at multi-tasking.  I can't laugh and chew at the same time.  It's either one or the other, and if you happen to be in the way, hope that I miss you.
It's been a swing day.  As this experiment continues, I take notes of my energy level through out the day.  I had a lot of sugar this morning.  And it wasn't necessarily the typical kind of sugar that you might suspect.   It was fruit sugar, and the natural sugars of agave sweetener and dates.  It took me down with vengeance.  Add to that the small cup of coffee that I couldn't resist during my afternoon rounds at Trader Joe's, and you have got a killer combo for energy depletion.  I feel like such a light weight to admit that fruit sugar took me out, but it called for a drastic intervention.  I solicited the sound substance of broccoli to rejuvenate my lethargic state.  I feel stronger just chewing the stuff.  And my head clears.  And I resolve not eat sugar until the next temptation rears itself.  

Star of the Show

You know those days you sometimes have,
The kind that leave you feeling sad. 
It’s hard to say why you feel that way,
All you know is life is lame.
I don’t purpose to know just why,
A certain song can make me cry,
Or specific word can make me cringe,
Make me want to flip a lid.
Who knows why some days shine the sun 
And other ones forget to have fun.
The clouds come in and steal the show, 
Confusing me, I do not know
The way that I should try to go.  
It gets tricky to navigate
without a light, or good shipmate.
A trusty compass is hard to come-by,
And I easily buy into the lie
That I can read a map just fine, 
That I’m all right, I’m getting by.  
It’s funny when you realize,
That you’ve been shrunken down to size.
Maybe you didn’t have it just right,
It needed more salt, a smaller bite.
Back to the drawing board I go,
Devising a plan to steal back the show.
I’m trying to be the star in a play,
That was never mine, even back in the day.
If clouds are the key to staying humble
Then I won’t fight the distant rumble 
Of howling winds and stormy weather.
I know my rope could start to severe
Leaving me without a line,
My only hope, the true Divine. 
Divinity, reveal to me
The part that you would have me be.
The role that you would have me play,
Yes, I'm thinking that would make my day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Morningtime

Hmmm...sore throat.  I swallow to overcome that classic feeling at the back of my throat that feels like it is creeping toward the roof of my mouth to take over my swallowing function.  This morning, since technically I am still on a "break" from strict rawness, I decided to take advantage and have a mocha coffee.  It is amazing to notice the direct difference that this liquid has on my overall well-being.  This morning I attribute my sore throat to having an acidic drink.  And so the experiment continues.  That being another reason why I have decided to pay closer attention to the effect of food on my body.  I'll make a note this morning that mocha's may contain the risk of causing sore throats.  (Pete's mocha's specifically...I'm sure the franchaise will appreciate my evaluation of their products.)  Yet, somehow I continue to perservere through the slight discomfort and continue to sip the sugar-laden delicacy.  You can't keep a good man down.  I recently attended a RAW foods lecture and the speaker made the assertion that our bodies tend to crave the foods that we are in actuality allergic to.  It's called the mechanism of downward spiralization.  A very technical term mind you.  Even if something is causing me to feel awful, I will continue to stuff my face with the stuff because my sugar craving is in full swing.   Sugar feeds sugar.  In the broader scope of life application, habit gives way to habit.  Whatever I spend my time doing, my tendency will be to seek those activities automatically.  Old habits die hard.  Yes, that is one lesson that I am learning very well.
I've never written for anyone but myself.  So I'm still getting used to the idea of having a potential audience.  It makes me somewhat nervous.  Yes, I am feeling slightly jumpy...although I will attribute that to the caffeine.  I do however, feel that writing is a strong means of expressing myself.  I am grateful to those who have decided to graciously donate their time to pay attention to my ramblings.  I'll sign any logs for volunteer or community service hours that anyone is looking to earn credit for.  You've done your duty for society and I thank you for it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ironic

I think it's funny that I'm starting my little dialogue corner, dedicated to expressing my exploration of RAW eating, during the week that I actually decided to take a break from strict rawdome.  Ok, I am going to do my best to keep away from the play on words.  I can tell that it could get old quite quickly.  And although my thoughts about food will assert themselves on a regular basis, this is a space that will lend itself to whatever "raw musings" I happen to have on my mind.  The term RAW has struck a chord with me because it represents a way of approaching life that is in touch with real emotions, our real struggles, our pain, our glories...reality.  Approaching life in a raw way is about experiencing relationships in a pure form, owning and really learning from our own personal experiences, cutting out all the excess that is pure distraction and finding joy in simplicity.  That's what "going RAW" means for me.  And yes, I am learning a lot about the effects of food on my body all at the same time.

That's all for my little introduction.  The following is a stream of consciousness that I wrote earlier today...Welcome!


I could make a metaphor for life out of any object that you would hand me.  This bowl of soup that I am holding in my hand right now represents my desire for warmth.  In my soul.  I am looking to fill that need today in the form of a soup, a warm liquid that I can put into my body.  Something that I can feel.  Something tangible that effects me.  Some thing that fills my mouth with a very satisfying coating, and then gently slides down my throat in a very pleasing way.  It doesn’t assume to be the answer that I am looking for, however none the less, it does for the time being.  I could feel myself sliding into a state of disgruntlement.  I’ll chalk it up to the fact that I haven’t eaten enough today.  Enough RAW that is.  I’ve been over a month into the process of this journey of rawfullness and my awareness has been changed.  I don’t think I will ever be able to look at the food the same.  And I don’t want to.  I want to think carefully about the things that I put into my body.  That is why I am choosing to incorporate different eating habits into my lifestyle.  That doesn’t mean that it is easy though.  I’ve slipped, stumbled and struggled along the way.  I got sick this weekend.  It threw me and I didn’t trust the way that I had been supplying my body with nutrition.  I’m on antibiotics.  And I’m bummed.  So much for trying to cleanse my body of all unrighteousness.  Therefore today I am eating soup, soup that in no way fits the RAW criteria.  But it is comforting and I am taking it easy this week.  It will take me a little bit to get back on track with this business.  This business that I am attending to...