One Spirit Medicine – Day 12

Arrr...

Arrr…

My feelings are leaking out everywhere.  And not just the difficult ones.  When I feel gratitude, or joy, or contentment, or accomplishment, or appreciation… my eyes water.  I can’t hold back the smile.  My skin tingles with excitement.  And when I feel anxiety, or pain, or shame, or disgust, or fear, or anger… the eye watering volume increases so far that the watering takes shape into little droplets that run down my cheeks.  My jaw clenches.  My stomach rumbles and constricts. My shoulders creep up to my ears.

I guess this is what it is to feel.

It’s been a rough couple of days with a few key high points.

  1. I realized… after a day of suffering through feeling my feelings that THIS (the erratic, unmanageable feelings state from the last post) is part of the detox too.  When my joints were aching and I was breaking out into cold sweats on day two I didn’t assume that I suddenly had arthritis or that I was coming down with a fever.  Nope.  I knew that it was temporary.  It was par for the course.  It would pass and I would be better for it.  Yet, when the big nasty ugly feelings come up I immediately decide there is something wrong.  With me.  Or at least with my life.  Right?  And clearly these feelings will last forever.  I mean, who would feel this way if they weren’t a complete disaster doomed to eternal damnation on earth via constant discontent?  Yeah… no.  Feelings are also coming out from the cells where they have been stored for so long and being shed.  They rise up like bubbles to the surface where they explode in little cracks that shake me up and then they are gone.  Magic
  2. I found my place as an advocate today.  Some of you who know me may find this funny not believing that I didn’t already think of myself as a strong advocate.  BUT… I didn’t.  I identify as a complete chicken shit.  With enough of my performance enhancing drug (SUGAR!) in my, I can do anything… or at least pretend to be doing anything and I am a very good at “fake it ’til you make it.”  So much so that sometimes I forget to stop faking and start making.  Without the drug, when it’s just me and my leaky feelings, I am mostly just afraid. I’m afraid that what I have to say doesn’t matter and won’t make a difference.  I’m afraid that someone won’t like me.  I’m afraid I’ll be talked about or judged.  I’m afraid that I’ll be wrong and look foolish.  And I need a lot of outside support to encourage me to take a deep breath and do what I knew was right.  The story below.

Earlier this week my son (The Boy) learned about the Civil Rights Movement in school.  And immediately after he went up to children of color on the playground and said “you’re under arrest because you’re black.”  He was told to stop (by a teacher) and then he did it again.  And these are things he does (after the school was shut down for a day because of a terrorist threat he told other students he planned to join ISIS)… a lot.  He has this beautifully neuroatypical brain that has been described by psychologists to land on the Autism Spectrum and function with ADHD.  Which means, 1. his social skills are crap and 2. he is constantly seeking stimulation.  He’s managed to weave those two things together in the cocktail of “say stuff that will get a rise out of people as often as humanly possible.”  I don’t think he’s done this consciously, but it happens enough that it’s clearly become a habit.

But because race was an issue in this particular incident, the usual discussion about inability to perceive other’s feelings as important and lack of following directions wasn’t at the forefront of the conversation.  Instead words like discriminate and intention were used.

ACK!  My leaky feeling self flipped out (inside and maybe a bit on the out too).  Level one reaction: defensiveness and protectiveness (this is how I always feel, and it is followed closely by…) Level two reaction: realization that this is life, and despite his intentions he caused harm and there were consequences.  That used to be where I stopped, but then came… Level three reaction: become convinced that everyone is trying to vilify son.  Level four reaction: become convinced that everyone thinks it’s my fault that he’s some kind of racist criminal mastermind.  Level five reaction: despair, ready to give up, crying all the time.

Then I realized I had gotten way past level two and started talking to others.  And realized that I wasn’t actually under attack.  And that my responsibility, besides role modeling effective repair behavior, and protecting the interest of vulnerable children who were hurt by his actions, was to advocate for my son.  And I was able to do so.  Without being defensive.  While being vulnerable and self reflective.  While balancing, as much as it is possible, the need for life to teach meaningful lessons and to request compassion for the boy with autism who really had NO idea why everyone is making such a big deal about what he did.

And I felt like I had landed.  I left my head where all the crazy thoughts fueling the rapid escalation through the levels was resourced… and I went back to my heart.  Where I am a mother (and a damn good one), a person, and someone who feels her feelings.

Because thinking about feelings never got anyone anywhere ever.

Bring it on, feelings, I’m ready for you (actually I wouldn’t mind taking a little break if that’s alright by you).

One Spirit Medicine – Day 10

I’ve had a system to keep me at my best lately.  Every day I do a morning meditation of about 20 minutes.  I take my Lexapro and my less poisonous supplements.  I spend 10-20 minutes in front of the Happy Lamp.  I get outside and take myself on walks a few times a week.  I read books for enjoyment.  And in doing so it seems I am able to manage most of what life throws at me with grace.  I don’t usually lose my cool.  I don’t even silently obsess anymore.  I notice something is bothering me.  I recognize it as a trigger.  And I let it go.

Or I should say… I DID.

Apparently, sugar was the secret ingredient that held that whole system together.  Because without it and it’s magical numbing properties I find myself thrust back into the feeling experiences I had before I mastered my own self care.  Today I got completely hijacked by an email from my ex husband.  I did exactly what serves no one–I let it bother me.  And it lasted for most of the day.  The day before I read a work email that had a similar effect (and that person didn’t even have ill intent).  When asked about hesitation I was feeling in a meeting today my answers all started with the phrase “I worry…”

Who the F*CK is this person?  Oh SH*T, this is me.  Well, this is my brain off drugs.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by the weight of my emotions I hear myself saying “I can’t do this anymore.  I don’t want to do this anymore.”  This could be a variety of things: parenting, working, being awake, having a living wasband (aka was my husband=wasband), talking to people, wearing clothing…  This is not new.  This is what despair has felt like my entire life.  But this time I’m committed to stepping into that feeling to get through it to the other side.  So now I hear this in response:

If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now

If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now

Master Shifu is right.

I glanced down at my shoe this evening and saw the sole was splitting off.  I said aloud “my sole is coming off.”  And it felt true.

I’m shaken up.  I knew this was coming, but it hit harder and faster than I expected.  I made a mental note several days ago to do something to take care of myself and process the feelings that are rocketing through my cells… and I didn’t.  So today I had a day full of obsessive thoughts, the absence of compassion in my heart, and a clenched jaw.  Sadness living in my mind, heart, and body.  Sadness that is really fear of not being good enough.

Tonight I eat my eggs and greens.  I don’t shovel a spoonful of avocado butter on my way to wash the dishes (because sanctioned ingredient or not, I would be doing it for comfort not for nourishment), I let JH hold me and actually feel her love, and I do my yoga and sob.  Because I don’t know what else to do.

Space created for feelings: check

—–

What I ate today:

  1. Green drink: spinach, kale, chard, cucumber, ginger, lemon
  2. Eggs & sautéed zucchini with turmeric and chimichurri
  3. Green salad with quinoa and leftover broccoli bean burger patty.  Homemade ranch dressing (goat yogurt and buttermilk made from Almond milk and apple cider vinegar)
  4. Almond butter and celery sticks (my new favorite food.  brings me joy.  like it did in preschool minus the raisins)
  5. Sautéed power greens and olive oil fried eggs, half and avocado

One Spirit Medicine – Day 7 (yesterday) ONE WEEK!

We did it!  We made it one entire week without eating sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine… what else?  I can’t remember.  I  am entertained enough by what I can eat that the list of what I can’t eat isn’t what first comes to mind.

What can I say?  I feel good.  I lost 20 lbs (yes, in a week.  But listen, I am 80-100 lbs overweight depending on who you ask.  And the more you weigh, the easier it is to lose at the beginning.  A LOT of that weight was inflammation from the pre-binge that led up to this adventure.  And, again, this isn’t about weight loss.  So please please please please PLEASE do not try doing this expecting that you will lose 20 lbs–or any significant amount–in a week.  It won’t work, and you’ll be miserable.  If you don’t feel called to do it for a larger purpose… you’re not going to get the results you want.  And you’re not going to have fun doing it).  My mind is clear.  My heart is open (and that hurts sometimes).  My sleep is solid.  My energy level is high.  My creativity is flowing.  I am finally shitting daily (hallelujah).  And this morning I had a killer orgasm (thank you, JH).

SUCCESS.

meyer lemons, ponderosa lemons, unnamed lemons, oh my!

meyer lemons, ponderosa lemons, unnamed lemons…    oh my!

Yesterday JH and I went to a produce exchange in our neighborhood and brought home a huge bag full of lemons and greens (FREE!) in exchange for the broccoli leaves and arugula we brought from our backyard garden.  I made homemade almond milk (have you done this?  it is SO yum.  SO much better than store bought).  We went to a baby shower where we ate salad (we made) with egg salad (we brought) and nuts (we brought).  And then we went to a “float.”

Have you heard of this?  It’s a sensory deprivation experience where in this case you float in 11 inches of warm saline (salinity courtesy of epsom salts) in an enclosed cabin (it’s tall enough to stand up in) that blocks out all light, sounds, and smells.  It’s supposed to be life altering.

And perhaps you can tell from that foreshadowing that for me it was not.

It was interesting, for sure.  And I’m glad I did it.  But I can’t say I’ll do it again.  Shortly after we arrived we were taken back to our rooms (each float cabin is attached to a private dressing room and shower) for a quick how-to.  I noticed the back of the woman’s shirt who was walking us read “EXPECT NOTHING.”  HA!  I thought, yeah right.

I was surprised by the wave of hot, sticky air that hit my face when the door opened.  And then even more surprised to be standing in a small room that looked like a dressing room and shower with no float cabin in sight.  Then I saw a smallish, squarish door in the wall of the shower and my heart started to race.  For some reason I thought we were going to see the float cabin from the outside?  I wasn’t expecting it to be built into the wall.  I had been bouncing off my expectations left and right by this point.

She opened the door and encouraged us to peek inside the float cabin.  Eep!  I couldn’t tell how deep the water was (even thought I knew from the intro video that it was less than a foot), and the whole thing reminded me of Flight of the Navigator (which many of you love but I happen to think is the scariest movie of ALL time.  Besides Leprechaun.  And The Neverending Story).  Then she smiled and told us to have a great float.  ACK!

I kissed JH and walked next door into my identical room and began the essential process of talking myself into believing that I wasn’t going to be visited by a strange alien pilot inside the float cabin and go hurtling through outer space.  THEN I realized that I was hoping that would happen and that was actually why I had come and it all got better.  I showered and got in.  It wasn’t as creepy on the inside as it had been from looking in from out.  I bobbed around.  Found a comfortable position.  Pressed the button that turned off the lights and my float had begun.

I floated.  I breathed.  I noticed that I didn’t put enough petroleum jelly on my scratched arm and it stung like a mother-f-er.  I felt very disoriented.  I relaxed into that hoping that it would come with transcendence, but instead I kind of figured out where I was and which way was up and down (damn analytical mind).  So I just lied there.  I thought a lot of random thoughts (as I usually do when meditating).  I may have started to fall asleep at some point because I jolted awake.  I noticed that I thought I had my eyes closed, but nope, it really was just THAT dark.  Only once did I wonder if the tank was going to suddenly start filling with water and I was going to drown inside it (the door opens from the inside too, just in case anyone is worried).

About 45 minutes in (I’m estimating) I realized I had a headache and I was starting to burp a lot which made my headache and burping worse.  WTH?  I was motion sick.  OHHH, damn.  Yeah, that’s a big thing for me.  So I turned the lights back on and sat up until it passed.  I floated for another 10 minutes or so before the lights suddenly went out (ack!) and started coming back up slowly with music this time (that was the signal it was the end).

And that was it.  It was interesting.  It was painless minus the stinging.  I didn’t achieve enlightenment.  I didn’t meet up with any alien beings.  I didn’t learn the meaning of life.  It just was.

And that’s okay too.

—–

What I ate yesterday – day 7 (got a little more creative being at home and having weekend time to play!):

  1. Green drink: Kale, cucumber, celery, green apple
  2. Quinoa porridge with homemade almond milk, cinnamon, pecans, and thinly sliced green apple
  3. Green salad with egg salad
  4. Walnuts, pecans, cashews
  5. 1 cacao nib (not a fan)
  6. Cauliflower crust pizza (it tastes NOTHING like pizza, fyi) with parsley pesto, and goat cheddar

One Spirit Medicine – Day 6 (yesterday)

I don’t plan to have an entry for every day of this journey…  I might, but I don’t plan on it.  I thought I’d plan to write one for every day of the first week because those days seemed significant, but really I’ll just write on any day that is significant. And so far that has been all of them.

a new montage of things I didn't eat

a new montage of things I didn’t eat

To be completely honest, I haven’t spent a lot of time on the feelings portion of this detox.  I’ve noted to myself and you that I’m having feelings, that they’re uncomfortable or unpleasant, and that I know I need to do something to give them my attention that they may be released.  But I haven’t.  I’m still entirely focused on the food part.  That’s where we are!  And that’s okay.

Let me tell you about yesterday (day 6).  Yesterday was the first day that I was going to have a plate of food that I may not be able to eat in front of me.  I was attending a breakfast event for work where the menu typically consists of some kind of egg dish, asparagus, a roasted tomato, and some kind of cream sauce.  When I arrived I had my green drink in me (I had consumed it in the last 5 minutes of the 20 minute car ride instead of nursing it for 2 hours like usual), a couple safe teabags in my purse, my water bottle, and my resolve.  I was just going to deal with whatever came.

Then I had an opportunity to speak to a server.  As I was setting my things down he asked me if there was anything he could get me.

Oh no, thank you, I’m good.  I do have a question though?

Yes miss!

I don’t eat dairy or wheat, is there an option for me this morning?

Sure, miss!  I will bring you a fruit plate!  How about that!

(and he was so damn enthusiastic that before thinking I said…) Yes!  Thank you!

Except… I can’t eat a fruit plate either.  That’s okay.  Back to plan A.  Deal with whatever comes.  The table was preset with a small fruit cocktail, a platter of baked goods, a million little balls of butter, a cup of coffee, and a glass of orange juice.  The meals were being served and I noticed the expected fare: a piece of quiche, asparagus, tomato, the cream sauce, and a surprise dollop of grilled onions but… THE CREAM SAUCE WAS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE QUICHE NOT EVEN TOUCHING THE VEGETABLES!  I COULD EAT THE VEGETABLES!  (ack!  Why did I even say anything!  I should have stuck with plan a!  Now I’m stuck with this stupid fruit plate from which I can eat two blueberries!  ack! ack! ack!).

Settled down my mind.  Folded my hands in my lap.  Took a deep breath.  Had a sip of water.  And turned my direction elsewhere.  Then magic happened.

Ooh!  A fruit plate!  I want a fruit plate!  How did you get that?  a benevolent colleague asks…

Want to trade?

Yes! (SAVED)

So I ate the asparagus and onions.  And occasionally gazed longingly at the baked goods and quiche.  But mostly drank my water and listened to the presentation.  And what I heard was messages for me.

Most of the time I leave these events wishing I hadn’t come.  I eat something that doesn’t do right by my body, the room is huge and loud and I’m sensitive to those things, there’s small talk in droves (ugh), and I end up bored during both the speeches and musical numbers.

This time, I heard what I needed to hear to keep going that morning.  I live tweeted inspirational quotes as fast as my fingers could fly.  I sang along to “This Little Light of Mine” without care that I was singing (mostly) alone.  And it was lovely.  And I was grateful.

And later, I got to eat.

—–

What I ate that day:

  1. Green drink (kale, celery, green apple, ginger, lemon)
  2. Asparagus & grilled onions.  And a few blueberries and raspberries.
  3. Broccoli, eggs, & chimchurri
  4. Leftover breaded rockfish, quinoa, green salad
  5. 1/2 green apple with almond butter
  6. handful of raw sunflower seeds
  7. green salad with egg salad, smoked salmon and avocado

One Spirit Medicine – Day 5

I have immense gratitude for everyone who is concerned with my irregularity.  I’ve also decided to just stop talking about it.  It’s possible that my condition is a metaphor for “holding on” when what I really need is to “let go.”  Also, JH made a formal request that I stop talking about poop so much.  So there we are.

Turns out the ease of the first 3-4 days was not a predictor of the rest of this journey.

An unexpected bloom on a succulent in the front yard that has been flowerless for the last 3 years.

An unexpected bloom on a succulent in the front yard that has been flowerless for the last 3 years.

Perhaps in the long run it will be, but for right now… I’m still not suffering, but I it’s definitely not easy.  Most of the physical detox seems to be over.  I’m not in pain, my skin looks amazing, and I can feel changes in my body and mind.

Enter: emotional detox… As my brilliant colleague put it “now the drug is out of your system, you don’t have physical pain to distract you, and all that’s left is the reason you were taking the drug in the first place.”

Yep.

Song of the day in meditation was “Because I Got High” again combined with a little “Mama I’m sorry” which comes from Act 20 of This American Life Episode 241: 20 Acts in 60 Minutes (transcript at the link, but really… listen to it).  The song is written and performed by young ladies who have been incarcerated and are emoting about how much they want to come home. Am I sorry to my own mama?  Do I want to go home to the old way of doing (eating) things?  Am I my own mama in this metaphor?  Do I want to come home to myself?  This one is confusing.

I consumed myself with work today and didn’t feel most of my feelings.  I noticed I was hungry in between meals.  I ate my afternoon snack in the morning which left me with nothing but tea in the afternoon.  I researched how to make grain free crackers and then fantasized about making huge batches of them to consume with goat cheese, hummus, and guacamole.  None of those things would be “off plan” but I think it’s a little beside the point.  I can see very clearly that I eat for comfort.  If I’m going to put effort into something it should probably be finding comfort elsewhere, not finding ways to make plant based foods more comforting.  One step at a time.

Tonight we breaded (garbanzo bean flour, egg, almond meal) our fish and ate that with quinoa and kale for dinner.  I made little pancakes out of the leftover breading ingredients.  And it felt like pure comfort food indulgence.  I can’t tell if I’m okay with that or not.  It seems like it wouldn’t be the safe way to go every day.

I feel a burning in my chest, like someone lit a match behind my heart.  My head and facial muscles are tight.  This is what it feels like to not feel your feelings and then not cover up those feelings with food.

I was not expecting this.  Unexpected things happen.

Like I think I may need to go #2.  Wish me luck!

—–

What I ate today:

  1. Green juice (kale, celery, green apple, lemon, ginger)
  2. 2 over medium eggs over steamed broccoli with a big dollop of chimichurri
  3. 1/2 a green apple and almond butter
  4. Green salad with leftover rockfish and zucchini
  5. Breaded (garbanzo bean flour, egg, almond meal) rockfish, red quinoa, sautéed kale

One Spirit Medicine – Day 4

Today’s song was Man in the Mirror again, but then it became a mashup of that and Hold On by Wilson Phillips.  I googled it, but apparently said mashup doesn’t exist (at least within the first page of Google search results–which means it doesn’t exist) so there’s no video today.

i got this close and didn't eat it

i got this close and didn’t eat it

Instead, how about a picture of the cake and ice cream I didn’t eat at work?

I wasn’t clear what the “Hold On” was referring to when it came into the harmony of morning meditation. I’ve been doing quite well.  I even told JH last night that it felt “easy.”  I certainly wasn’t suffering, and ease is the opposite of suffering to me.  I mean, I’m still not shitting adequately (I even drank epsom salts! ack!), but I’ll live.  It will come.

Then the day got harder.  Surprisingly it wasn’t related to the cake.  The cake was a birthday song and celebratory indulgence for a coworker that I was going to opt out of until a teammate lovingly nudged me to consider the possibility of singing and not eating cake.  JH has really been pushing this notion (read: scientifically proven theory) that behavior is contagious and I’ve taken that as a personal challenge to positively influence everyone.  Upstairs we went.  As we were leaving after the song, without cake, I said something in an attempt to stand up for my choices and make it possible for others who wanted to shift theirs to do so as well…  And I ended up sounding super judgey.  As this detox continues I’m noticing a falling away of masks/filters/barriers between me and the world.  JH noted that I’ve been more magnetic which results in extra cuddling (score!).  I noticed that I’m much more authentically in character when The Boy wants to play drill sergeant as part of the morning routine (I’m the drill sergeant in this case, and barking orders hasn’t been something I’ve reveled in much up until this point) and we both have fun (score!).  And… I’ve been a bit more direct (less polished?) with people out in the world (jury’s still out on that one).

But the cake wasn’t the hard part.  Later, in a meeting in a dark, hallway shaped room that should really be a closet and not a room at all I started to feel the desire for cookies.  This is the first time in the 4.5 days that I’ve had a substantial craving.  It was more than a fleeting thought and it was accompanied by hunger.  Not true hunger, but that grumbly stomach that is paired with obsessive thoughts about something in particular.  MUST.  HAVE.  COOKIE.  I noticed this and was surprised.  Why now?  IMG_5008

It’s day 4!  Shouldn’t we past this?

Well, yes, but we should be past the constipation too and we’re not so let’s stop shoulding on ourselves, eh?

Then I realized I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t want cookies.  I was sad.  And I don’t even know why.  Maybe it was the depressing room.  Maybe it was the weight of the world falling to rest on my now more receptive shoulders.  Maybe it was residual emotion from a few triggering emails earlier in the day.  Heck, maybe it even was the cake (I don’t think so.  The nice thing about this new version of me is that not only is she slightly less refined, she is also far less likely to care if others have noticed).

So I sat with the sadness.  And I watched it turn into hunger several more times.  Then it was dinner and I scarfed down my meal without really tasting it and didn’t realize I had done so until I saw myself taking the last bite.  And then I cleaned the kitchen (by which I mean, rearranging everything and deep cleaning the toaster oven so it looks brand new).  While I am certain it’s healthier to “clean your feelings” rather than “eat your feelings,” I think the best thing is to actually “feel your feelings.”  What I’d really like to do is shovel a spoonful of almond butter in my mouth, but I’m not supposed to eat after 6pm so I’ll go try feeling now and see what happens.

Holding on for one more day (and then another… and then another…).

—–

What I ate today:

  1. Green juice: spinach, kale, green apple, double lemon (and no ginger because that stuff is BLECH)
  2. 2 over medium eggs on a small green salad (baby spinach, TJ’s cruciferous crunch, spiralized zucchini, green onion, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, & pepper)
  3. Scoop of egg salad (hb eggs, tiny bit of sugar free mayo, olive oil, seedy mustard, cumin, cayenne, garlic, chives, parsley, salt & pepper) on a green salad (same as above)
  4. 1/4 of a green apple and 1oz of goat brie
  5. leftover rockfish & zucchini on leftover quinoa, kale, brussels sprouts, & cauliflower with steamed broccoli

One Spirit Medicine – Day 3

I’ve been waking up joyful and full of gratitude.  That’s hard to beat!

And I heard a new song in my meditation today!

Sing it with me everyone: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror!  I’m asking him to change his ways!”  It doesn’t get too much more obvious than that, eh?

Today was interesting.  The joy and gratitude lasted longer before the constipation blues set in.  And I had a couple food related events:

  1. Snack Attack: I was walking to the conference room at work in which we store the snacks and I observed a strange and strong phenoma.  My body started to get all excited!  Why, you ask?  Well, because my body is used to us taking a little snikidy snack for ourselves when we visit the snack closet.  A package of mini oreos?  A granola bar?  A bag of pretzels?  Or on a particularly low day… cheez-its?  Oh no, body.  That’s not happening today.  And on the inside my body made a scene comparable to a toddler tantrum.  But it was on the inside.  And the conference room turned out to be occupied anyway and I never made it to the locked snack closet.
  2. Hunger Game: I noticed today that I was able to tolerate being hungry.  Hunger is not a feeling I’m familiar with… and am even less comfortable with.  You see, hunger is a sign that something is wrong.  It means that I’m dying and I will probably cease to exist if I don’t consume something immediately.  Reframed in this new context: hunger is my body telling me it needs fuel.  AND where the fuel this week is satisfactorily meeting the need of the body’s energy, it ISN’T getting me high it turns out to feel far less frantic than it did in the past.
  3. Full House: Tonight I stopped eating my meal (with about a 1/2 cup of food left of my plate) because I was full.  I’ll say that again.  I stopped eating.  Because I was full.  JH laughed out loud in shock because she had never seen that happen.  I’ll just leave that there.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, the lessons ahead, and hearing the next song of the day!

—–

What I ate today:

  1. Green Juice (spinach, collard greens, green apple, lemon, ginger)
  2. Over medium eggs with steamed broccoli and sautéed (with onion and garlic) kale
  3. Green salad with quinoa and leftover rockfish/zucchini
  4. Celery with cashew butter
  5. Poached eggs over a bed of sautéed kale, roasted brussels sprouts & cauliflower, quinoa, and avocado

One Spirit Medicine – Day 2

I went to bed last night without pooping.  I start with this because the matter consumed much of my day.

In my morning meditation, whilst attempting to tune in to and listen to my heart, this is what I heard.

What? My heart speaks in Afroman lyrics? Amazing.

Sugar HAS been my drug of choice so I guess it’s apropos. I recently recognized it more specifically as a performance enhancing drug. Need to get the creative juices flowing? Why not a milkshake (dairy free, of course)! Have a big project to work on today? A few packages of mini donettes should do the trick! If I’ve been high all this time… then I suppose I’m glad to be off the stuff before it gets really bad like it did for Afroman.  By the way, apparently he has rerecorded a  “positive remix.”  I haven’t listened to it.  Maybe you will and you’ll tell me how it is.

I spent most of my morning feeling generally joyful and content.  I think I even remember feeling grateful for the journey I was on.  Then I tried to go to the bathroom again with no substantial results.  Very dissatisfying.

I went home (after buying a Powerball ticket) to work from the comfort of my bed.  And then came the cranky.  Not for any reason, not without gratitude.  Just crank.  The kind that comes when colonies of systemic yeast die off and try to convince you you’re dying in a last ditch effort to save their own lives.  Anger.  At everyone and everything.

But I could see myself, which always makes the experience interesting.  Having a feeling while noticing that I’m having the feeling is much preferred (at least for the “not getting needs met” emotions) to being immersed in the feeling without distance.  And from way up high looking down on myself and my anger, I heard this:

Apparently on day 2, the messages I need will come in song.

Yes, I did poop.  And for about an hour I delighted in the feeling of an empty bowel.  And then my digestive tract kept plugging along and now I’m back where I started.  Come on “Smooth Move” work your magic!

—–

What I ate today:

  1. Green Juice (kale, collards, lemon, ginger)
  2. Over medium eggs with broccoli and sautéed kale
  3. Gigantic green salad (baby spinach and TJs Cruciferous Crunch) topped with tuna (Wild Planet), raw pepitas, and avocado
  4. Apple with almond butter
  5. Baked rockfish with lemon, salt, pepper, & spiralized zucchini over green salad

 

One Spirit Medicine – Days 0.5 & 1

I’ve been off sugar for 22 hours.  You heard about my wellbeing vow already in my last post, and it’s now coming to life.  “It” in this case is coming in the form of a book and a class guiding me through the next six weeks of no sugar (including fruit, root vegetables, honey, agave, etc., etc., etc), no grains, no caffeine, and no alcohol.  I’ll be focused on eating foods that activate the Pineal gland, where the DMT molecule lives in the brain… also coincidentally aligned with the crown chakra and the bridge to the spiritual domain.  For what I give up, I expect to receive so much more.

The shortened version of the progress on the vow to date:

From 1/1/2016 through 1/7/2016 I binged all that I could get my hands on.  I ate any and everything I craved (bean & cheese burrito, mcdonald’s, wetzel’s pretzel with cheese sauce, ice cream, mini donates, more mcdonald’s, more donuts…) as a last hurrah. A Last Supper, if you will, that lasted more than a week and left me feeling completed disconnected from myself and my vow.

Goodbye sugar, it's been real.

Goodbye sugar, it’s been real.

Friday (aka The Last Day: I had Pizza Rev for lunch.  I left work early to buy myself a (dairy free) ice cream cone on my way to pick up The Boy.  Then we had Panda Express for dinner.

Saturday, I had eggs and broccoli for breakfast, and was ready to START.  I went to the first session of my class where we ate salad quinoa, and sole for lunch and were told to officially start our new way of eating/living by Monday.  Oh, cool.  A little backpedaling.  Not completely off the deep end, but for dinner I had a pan fried goat cheese quesadilla on brown rice tortilla, and a bowl of peanut butter and honey for “dessert.”

It’s Sunday, I had green juice, eggs, and broccoli for breakfast.  Squash soup with garbanzo beans and broccoli for lunch, a spoonful of cashew butter for a snack and it’s officially ON.  I am sweating, I have a headache, my joints are screaming.  I haven’t been craving grains or sugar, but intellectually I know that if I had a donut it would temporarily cease all of these detox symptoms.  But I don’t get a donut.  Instead I sit here, writing, and drinking my smooth move tea, waiting to shit so I can kick this wicked headache.

To be clear, and I feel compelled to be crystal clear here… to distance myself from the droves of people who have resolved to get fit for the new year (because apparently I have judgements.  I’ll deal with those later).  I am not trying to “get in shape.”   I am doing this (vowing to choose my own wellbeing) to become holy (aka: whole.  100% aligned mind, body, and spirit).  I have been called to do this.  I didn’t choose it or decide it.  It chose me and I said yes.

So far, and it’s only day one, this is all about food.  I want to crawl into my bed and sleep for a week but I know I’ll get hungry eventually and if there aren’t roasted vegetables ready when I wake up that I’ll be fighting an uphill battle towards raw vegetables and away from the vegan donut shop down the street.

That’s really all I have to say right now.  I’m committed to doing this.  I’m committed to writing my way through.  I’m also committed to my crankiness in a real way right now.

 

 

New Year, New Vow

Making the magic happen

Making the magic happen

I have a history with new year’s resolutions.  Namely breaking them.  And then swearing off them as I prefer not to do things I don’t anticipate will be successful.  In recent years I’ve played with intentions instead.  Feeling less pressure to do anything other than sit back and let the universe take the reigns and make the magic happen.

This year I’m going deep.  I’ve made a vow.  It all happened on New Year’s Eve in a mini meditation retreat at Insight LA in Santa Monica.

A few mornings before the retreat I was in tears about going. I had agreed to it.  Even been the person to initiate the registration after the invitation from JH had been sitting in my inbox for weeks (ignored by me, patiently waiting from her).  Still, there was some dread.  Some fear.  She had just returned from a month at a Modern Zen Buddhist monastery.  I’d been meditating 3 to 10 minutes a day… most days.  Could I keep up?  Was I good enough?  Was it going to be uncomfortable?  Was I going to be judged for my relative inexperience and my obvious lack of skill?  The answers my fear provided in order were: No. No. Yes. Definitely.

I didn’t want to go anymore.

I had already committed, through conversation with my naturopath, purchasing of a book, writing and mailing a check for a registration fee, and many many hours of discussion with JH, to a different relationship with my body in the new year.  I was going to be participating in a group who, along with me, would remove all grains and sugars from their diets and explore the changes to their spiritual body as a result.  My confidence level was high going into this new way of life.  Even though I had NEVER been successful at implementing anything like it before, I was certain I could do it this time.  And I was sure that SOMETHING was going to come up in the silence of meditation that would shake that confidence.  I was dreading it.

We went.

The retreat opened with the teacher guiding us through a ritual.  He explained that the bodhisattvas made vows daily.  Vows to take on the suffering of all.  Something like:

However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them.
However inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them.
However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them.
However incomparable enlightenment is, I vow to attain it.

These vows give them direction.  When repeated daily, and worn with a protective garment (for them, their robes – for us, knotted blessing cords) they provide steady guidance toward the fulfillment of those vows.

And then, without the need to take on any more than what causes our own suffering he invited us to make a vow that will set the compass of our hearts.  With my eyes closed and my breath at the forefront of my attention the vow came easily.  I vow to value, prioritize, & choose (above all else) WELLBEING for: my body, mind, & spirit; those of my family; loved ones; & those whose I may encounter and can impact.

Red strings were passed around and knotted, first for the belief we hold most dear, second for compassion, and third for our vow.  We tied them on and knew them to be for our protection.  Protection from what?  For ourselves of course!  The rest of the evening was spent in silence.  And in the remaining hours of meditation I did not suffer.  I soothed myself when soothing was needed.  I felt my heart take the lead and set direction toward my vow.  I connected to the power within me to live without suffering.  And the new year rang in with a soft bell, a tearful smiling kiss with JH, and hope.

Happy New Year.  May you find what you seek in the silence when you turn your attention to your heart.