My version of peace

My version of peace

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.