The "Brave New World" is emerging slowing by little bit in a most fabulous way. I heard recently a distinction between bravery and courage. Probably provided by The Book of Joy. I don't remember the details right at the moment. Maybe it will come by the end of this session or I'll change the title and ditch the idea of it completely for now.
The way to figure out the world is and can only be moment by moment, right? You can spin grand ideas in thought in your head but until it hits the pavement that good old reality check in the moment it's not viable. So I'm spinning plans about how I might like to eat in the future. I've had no problem fasting these last three days. Realizing that truly food is largely optional in my current body form. I may choose to eat only fruits and veggies in season. They do have a farmer's market here year round. It may be sparse in the winter but I don't have to be concerned with that for several months yet. I'm free to indulge in the present summer season!
I do love to prepare food and cook so that would be good... Will this become a recipe blog for awhile? Sure, why not?! I can do whatever I want! It IS my blog =)
Pickled beets... the last of the beets but they were there at the farmer's market. I also found kohlrabi... spelled like Kohl Elementary School in Broomfield, CO where I attended K and 1st grades. I found a recipe for Kohlrabi and Cauliflower mash... courtesy of The Lemon Bowl
I'll let you know how it goes
Roasted Beets:Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Place into a foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
I watched a PBS American Masters episode on Julia Child last evening. I have also seen the movie Julie/Julia. I find some particularly inspirational in her story. She had no idea how to cook prior to her attending culinary school in France. She had to work hard, it did not come naturally but she was passionate about it nonetheless. Right there... she was passionate but it did not come naturally. I always assumed that what ever your passion was it would then come naturally, once you found it, of course. How to put that?
1. Your skills and natural abilities may not necessarily support your chosen passion, exactly... She did not have natural skills towards cooking itself but she had amazing talents when it came to making it accessible to anyone... teaching it, writing about it...
2. She also started later in life. Cooking for the first time when she was 32 but not attending the Le Cordon Bleu until she was 40 and then Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn't finally published until she was 50. If memory serves, she spent 7 years just writing and re-writing that book. This also provides inspiration and hope, starting later in life is OK!
3. She followed her passion and did not apologize. She also did not have children.
These are my comments on someone who inspires me. I've heard it said that we are shy of proper role models and mentors not to mention modern saints and heroines to emulate and look up to. I guess I beg to differ. I found this life story perfectly moving and heroic, pertinent and relevant... and right under my very nose!
"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." Julia Child
I was shopping for a great birthday card at Witt's End last week and came across some amazingly funny options. There's a whole card company called That's All Greetings.
I guess that's not what I'm suppose to be writing about right now because their website is down and other than a few silly sayings I can't remember any...
So it's Memorial Day weekend and I am fasting for the weekend. After the recent breakthroughs around food and eating I need to do a little reboot. It's hard to hear my inner body speak when there's so much habitual chatter and hunger and, quite frankly, addiction to various short term, immediate flavors, tastes and textures.
The fast is easy so far... I've had a mint and coffee. I'll give up the coffee tomorrow.
I feel torn about an appointment I made with a client for tomorrow. I really want the entire three day weekend completely to myself. No obligations to anyone at any time. The other part of the torn conversation is that she finally feels up to it after being sick, I'm not available during the week as often now and I should just get it done. Don't be selfish... I say to myself... but I want THREE fucking days to myself!! Is that so selfish? I'm wasting my fucking time just writing and thinking about it for even a moment more so... what's the decision?
Is the fast and the work mutually exclusive? By tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm I may not feel like going at all and I'm ok with it now. It will make them feel better. Chances are I could power through it either way. I'll earn brownie points in my own mind as long as it's not an excuse to go off the fast! I also promise not to promise any time on Monday. I'll keep that to myself.
So, given those rules... I will agree to go and not think about it any longer. I will go tomorrow at 12:30 and stay until 4 or 5. I will sort and label and possibly pack. I will buy boxes on the way so I need to leave around noon. I will have an invoice ready and collect a check for that day and the last two visits. I will take a photo of the floor plan and plan the next visit which will include Shirley and packing. I will not go off my fast. I will not complain. I will take aspirin if necessary. I will not promise to work again until the following weekend. I will take the ancestors with me and agree to drop them off at Kinko's or UPS and I will add that hour to their invoice.
When you are fasting and your mind is fuzzy you need to write down every little thing. I am also considering the option of working / reading the Girl Scout's SOPM document this weekend. If I feel like it, great, if I don't, no pressure!! I also made plans to go shrub shopping with Chris and then subsequent planting. I will do that. Tomorrow is also his birthday. No going out to dinner, no special celebration at least not tomorrow. I have a card for him and "That is All."
I will go to Eddie Bauer when I'm done here and buy him something. He always seems to like the clothes I get from there... I don't want to not get him anything... not a good precedent to set for my own birthday. Interesting that my motivation is boarder line selfish! =)
I have a ton of fun books to read at home. I can go home and read them. I also do want to plant the plants I've already bought. This is good, I have a plan. I'm still resisting going to Tom and Ruth's tomorrow... that thought is still spinning. Maybe I do need to reschedule. It cramps my style of going shopping with Chris tomorrow and celebrating his birthday... I keep coming up with reasons not to go... then maybe I shouldn't go!
In closing, a quote from a daily email I get from Mike Dooley:
First, close your eyes and think of the MAGIC. Its unlimited power. Its inescapable presence. See it bending and banking and rolling all around you. Inhale it. Exhale it. Feel it beating your heart, massaging your back, tickling your toes, reaching out beyond to every star in the heavens. Then, intermingled with these thoughts, remember the sole reason it exists is to serve you. And see it doing just that, as images from the life of your dreams parade before your mind's eye.
I have a journal that has the sayings of Buddha on each page. Nine times out of ten... well eight at least... the quote is appropriate in some way. Two that came up today:
"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it."
"To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."
So there are entire worlds to explore in each of those and yet I will bridge to another game, the game of joy and some fascinating personal breakthroughs I became aware of yesterday.
I've written it out in the journal, now to write it again is splendid. It gives me the opportunity to become even more clear and concise in my thinking. The source of the inspiration is The Book of Joy Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Chapter 6, in the Audible version, is a discussion of food and eating and sloth and hedonism, and different levels and experiences of joy. I have intellectually understood the difference between long and short term gratification. Obviously habitually siding with the instantaneous short term side of gratification... keyword... habitually... The Dalai Lama has a different way of describing essentially the same thing... the way he communicates it... conceptualizes it is so much more resonant with me. The distinction is around the type of experience and the depth and length of the experience of joy. There is no denying that the instant gratification is joyful... it just doesn't sustain. It's quick and over and done for the moment. It also tends to be very physical... grounded in the body's experience of pleasure. An option is a deeper joy which is more mental and sustainable, consider the deeper value of nourishing the body... for me the lasting satisfaction of feeling proud of myself for wise choices.
The shift provided is the acknowledgement that both are joyous and fine... that it is a choice to abstain or treat food as medicine rather than a tool for reward or hedonistic style immediate gratification. It's provided a way of being that is non judgmental and choice driven. It's not bad or wrong to go for the immediate pleasure... it is just a deeper, different option to choose the serene confident path. To notice that my attachment is only habitual and not a moral flaw! To pay attention and make different choices... that is the only plan. Not only protein, no carbs, 500 calories every other day or some other complicated list of rules I've been trying out and trying on without lasting success.
The shift is the awareness of choice without judgement. I have to write that again because that seems to be at the heart of it. That there is no loss or drama or good or bad... only joy on many levels and it is MY CHOICE!
Tibetan Buddhist prayer before meals: "Viewing this meal as medicine, I shall enjoy without greed or ANGER. Not out of gluttony or PRIDE not to fatten myself but only to nourish the body."
I found this book "randomly" through Amazon... Apparently I was finally ready to hear with my soul. Go Girl!! =)
That word is a mouthful in more ways than one, for sure! Let's just throw down a few synonyms and see how they feel...
Impotent, ineffective, incompetent, failure, inadequate, frailty, lack, shortcoming, weakness, unfit, incapable...
Sign ME UP!! Seriously! It's just a little bit counter cultural... just a wee bit!! However, it is an absolutely required acknowledgement if you're interested in a new way of life. I had the opportunity to review step one today. "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - " (I dig the "WE" and the past tense that is used in all the steps, BTW). Anyway, I really have never looked long and hard at the first step, really. I spent about 15 years spinning around in that step before I got it... BEFORE I came into the rooms. And I knew I had it and that's how I happened to show up... that's me.
I do know that I'm powerless over alcohol and nicotine. Thank God... I KNOW that... I'm not questioning it and it's simply not spinning around in my brain any longer. I'm powerless AND I'm better off. What totally slapped me in the face today is that I am FUCKING powerless over pretty much everything... I occasionally control my thoughts if I can manage to focus for any length of time... I can interrupt and re-direct... yadda yadda... there's obviously a lot more wondering and pondering to be done on this topic... but I didn't want to miss this magic moment of paradox!! I control absolutely nothing and (if thought creates reality) everything at once! Shit!
I just posted a couple of entries on the Look Back page from time I spent near Corpus Christi on Padre Island back in 2003. Curious how fucking wise I was! If only I could be present to all that I already know at once! Some actual epiphany may appear! I seem to be repeatedly realizing the same shit. I do like the way I put it ... perhaps the writing of a book would be the best way to do just what I just said... be present to all that I know. By bringing it forward, revisiting and sifting through... there's a new thought worth having, again! =) I discovered also a poem on Bravery and posted that to the Poetry page here... Life is Good! (I just don't know what to do with it!)
"Only that which reveals me to myself
can be a message to me;
only that which gives me back to myself
can save me;
only that which leads me
to the God within myself
can reveal God."
The banner photo is a Black-Throated Blue warbler captured in Western NY near Salamanca.
More shots below... all provided by Christian Moynihan! Go HONEY!!
Thought for living:
If you speak at all.
Carve your words
Before you let them fall.
Oliver W. Holmes
Below is a Hooded Warbler and a Blackburnian Warbler... (almost looks like wallpaper!)
Dealing with feelings is messy business. I guess, more especially so, for anyone not accustomed to it. When I had unruly thoughts, spinning and run amuck my survival instinct said "KILL IT!"... "KILL IT NOW!" As reasonable as that seemed at the time it is curiously and completely impossible. You cannot kill a thought and the more you try the stronger and more insistent and insidious it becomes. Shit!
So you can't kill a thought, this is true, but you can try by killing off the person who triggers the thought train. I've done this.. a family member with nothing happy to say, an old friend with very bad timing who has a tendency to be difficult on occasion is... They are no longer "on my radar." A nice way of saying I disowned them. It seemed a bit drastic at the time but worked for me. The thoughts I had such difficulty processing were easier to shuttle off to a dark quiet corner when the person wasn't staring me in the face or calling or emailing or texting.
That's given me time, I guess, to become a bit more confident and practiced in dealing with emotionally charged situations a bit at a time... little by slowly. I was journalling yesterday and listed out the emotions/feelings that I was experiencing in regards to a specific person/situation I cannot avoid or shut down or move off to the dark corner. As I went down the list in intensity the experience shifted significantly...
**Wary & Protective
**Cautious & Fearful
**Annoyed & Angry
*Grateful & Appreciative
**Excited & Confident
Of course I've heard that you should just "feel the feeling" then let it go.. as with so many brilliant and wise sayings it might as well be Greek until I manage to figure it out on my own. Here you go.. I followed the feeling/thought rather than trying to stuff it, which wasn't working anyway, and came to the strange conclusion that I was feeling grateful, excited, confident and empathetic. Quite a development and transformation from where I started with defensive, wary, fearful and angry.
What do I do with that? Let the thought/feeling play out each time it crosses the conscious mind or body theater? Perhaps skip to the end or at least remind myself at the beginning that it's going to turn out fine in the end. I HAVE NO IDEA... That would be what's up next to play with.
I do know it feels like progress. I have a method or path or way to begin to process the seeming amuck stuff inside my body/mind. Perhaps I'll give that family member or old friend a tentative call and reconnect... I do know I will be more understanding whenever anyone tells me they need "space." Yikes!
Cool word for the day... amuck
adjective 1. mad with murderous frenzy.
noun 2. amok.
Idioms 3. run / go amuck,
Laurie Anne McCauley
Did that make you feel better?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!