My version of peace

My version of peace

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...