Perfect Start

I have started my week perfectly.

I woke up in my own time without an alarm clock and eased into my day.  I eventually turned on the television and watched coverage of the Libya fiasco and, even in that, found inspiration for my week.  While watching State of the Union, I heard the following with regards to Libya:

“We know what we’re trying to prevent. That doesn’t mean we know what we’re trying to achieve”.

How true is that for so many things – even how we live our lives every day?  We wander, often aimlessly, through life relatively clear of the pitfalls we hope to avoid but negligent to be clear on our intention for being here and to create the life we want to experience.

So, instead of complaining about not having the time or the money or the energy to do this, or that or the other, I went about the business of finding and enjoying things that bring me joy.  If you expect something deep to follow immediately — sorry.

First, I went to the kitchen (because that’s the center of my joy!) and recreated the sweet fuji apple and Gorgonzola sandwich a friend of mine had at dinner last night.  Yes, food is joy.  I am not ashamed!  I had whole wheat artisan bread, fuji apples, cambozola  cheese and fig spread instead of the exact ingredients and the end product was…heavenly. Who knew raw apples would make a great sammy?!   I brought the sandwich back to bed and ate it while watching the first of 3 episodes of the House marathon.  Again, I determine my joy.

By the time I noticed the sun peaking in my window (an indication that the clouds where clearing), I felt a little motivated to get moving.  So off to the store I go to buy kale for the soup I’ve been wanting to make and a pot, some soil  and some herbs to start my herb garden.

The energy that began to build in me as got closer and closer to manifesting my herb garden dream was surprising.  I was so excited and somehow in tune with something bigger.  I feel a natural inclination towards earth-based systems of spirituality and planting herbs on this first day of spring became a compulsion and not just a whim.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands in the soil and give my babies their first drink of water.  It was a humbling realization to be choosing to be a tender of life.  It was more than just, “I wanna grow my own herbs ’cause it’s cheaper” and more of an honor to take care of plants that were in turn going to take care of me.

See, I’m having some health issues at the moment.  Doctors have proven themselves useless once again and said, well, “what’s going on is noteworthy but not treatment worthy so let’s just wait six months and test again and see where we are.” Well, hell no!  I’m not going to wait for damage to occur so that you have something to cut out or kill — all allopathic practitioners seem to know how to do.  I’m taking my health into my own hands and that means supporting my body’s ability to do what it’s meant to do anyway – heal itself.  I feel tremendously connected to the whole of creation by bringing these plants into my home, into my life, to support my life.  It’s kinda beautiful – I take care of you and give you what you need.  You, in turn, take care of me and give me what I need and neither of us is destroyed by the reciprocity.

Yep – it’s more than just free rosemary to me!

When I got to the organic  market they had huge bags of organic potting soil out front! This is my lucky day.  Everything is lining up perfectly and just inside the door – yup, awesome rosemary plants.  I grab one and my kale and head next door to pick my pot.  I get one and head off to another store because I want to grow more than just one herb.  I get to Trader Joe’s and they have an OK looking thyme plant.  I grab it.  And two sad looking, limp and wimpy plants – mint and Italian parsley.  I take them both.  Here’s my challenge.  Can I revive these babies?  Although I’ve never kept anything green alive for any respectable amount of time —  these babies are going home with me.  We need each other.  The clerk told me to keep my receipt in case the don’t “come back”.

I went to the pot store and bought another pot and back to the organic store for another bag of potting soil.

I came home and it was time to let spring into my apartment — all the windows open, blinds drawn.

I went to work potting my new babies and giving them their first drink of water.  I talked to the parsley and mint and told them I had great expectations of their potential.  I swear, not an hour later, I saw one sprig standing up.  Thinking it was my imagination, I waited.  A couple of hours later both plants had most of their little lifeless limbs erect or on the upswing.  They are on their way back.  Yay!

Then I started cooking for the week.  A good week for me means having wholesome meals already prepared or within a couple steps of being prepared when I come home from work — otherwise, it’s PBJ and hemp milk for dinner and lunch I have to buy out.  Today I made 2 dishes cannellini bean and kale soup and my version of thai red curry with chicken – homemade with lemongrass and coconut milk and this amazing roasted Sri Lankan curry powder I got at a specialty shop in Baltimore (where I also landed the delicious fig spread).  And brown jasmine rice. My house smells amazing!  I am so excited for the week.

I sit down to eat dinner and turn on the TV to hear that the Gaddafi compound has been bombed.  Why does it have to be this way?  Is violence the only answer we can come up with?  Have we even tried anything else?  Consider Japan – what a society?  Not one incident of looting.  Recognizing where the collective consciousness is and considering how to add to it in a way that brings harmony to our life and times — a joy of my day.

And now I am sitting to write about it all and to consider not what I hope to prevent this week, but what I shall achieve.

May your week be lived on purpose.  You are who you say you are.  Your life is what you say it is.

So let it be.



Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

I’ve been away way too long. Sorry about that guys. Here’ what I’ve been up to:

  • Bellydancing
  • Samba
  • Hand dancing
  • Salsa
  • Yoga
  • Chiropractic
  • Work (too many hours)
  • Trying to fine tune my whole foods lifestyle
  • Trying to adjust to Katrice and Kwesi abandoning me

So let’s take it from the top. After my dad got sick my workout schedule took a nosedive. Instead of going straight to the gym from work, I would go to the hospital to see him. Two weeks off is enough to kill any routine I have established. I am not a creature of habit. It takes time for me to develop a routine. I have to be very intentional about it for it to take hold. If I get off track, it’s hard for me to get back on track. Now, I enjoy weight lifting and jogging when it’s nice outside. I like the way they make me feel but I wouldn’t exactly say that I love it. It feels like work. It feels like something extra that I need to do to be healthy, but not like something I love to do that just happens to be a healthy part of my life. So I decided that I need to find a way to get exercise in a way that is less of something else on my “to do” list and more something on my “I can’t wait to do” list –hence, bellydancing, samba, yoga, salsa and hand dancing. And would you believe that I found a place where I can do them all at the same place? I know!!! Me either!!! So, I’m thrilled about my little home-away-from home studio. It’s a place that teaches a holistic, naturopathic approach to caring for oneself. It teaches the ancient healing benefits of the different dances and disciplines and encourages a healthy, whole foods lifestyle. It’s a place where one can pursue the mind, body, spirit connection with like-minded people who are, by the way, working out and having a good time. Yay!!! I spend lots of time there and get really annoyed when I have to work late and miss my classes. Which brings me to the next thing I’ve been up to.

Work. One morning at about 3am, while sitting on my couch still working, I realized that at some point I lost my boundary concerning home and work. I have notoriously managed this boundary very well. If I need to stay a little later or get in a little earlier to get things done, I’ll do that, but home is supposed to be my sacred space. No work here!! I lost sight of that recently and I need to find my way back to prioritizing my life appropriately. The thing is I enjoy my job and don’t mind doing the things I was working on, I just need to keep it out of my sacred space. I’ll figure it out in the coming weeks…with help. I’ll tell you about that soon.

Chiropractic. I never really thought of my chiropractor and massage therapist as holistic healers until this weekend. I noticed that western medicine isn’t big on referring people to chiropractors or massage therapists. They rather send you to physical therapy. I’ve concluded that taking care of my body is more than considering it in isolation from the rest of me and therefore I choose to exhaust alternative medicine before I turn to my physician. I’ve been having crazy neck and shoulder pain. I know it’s stress and the position of my monitor and spending too much time working and using my laptop on my couch and all this other dumb stuff I’m doing to myself. But I needed it fixed. I had options. I went to my massage therapist first. 90 minutes of pure ecstasy, I tell you. I could have married that woman! I felt like she worked out a lot of the tension, but quickly realized that I was just out of alignment. Off to the chiropractor and when I tell you I almost kissed that man when he hammered my little neck vertebrae back where they belong I am not kidding you. I don’t know how long I was out of alignment, but my weekend was so much better having had things put back where they belong. I still have major neck problems that will take 3 months of aggressive treatment to fix, but I’m good for now. Unfortunately, my freaking commute to work makes it almost impossible for me to take the time I need to go get fixed. My work and chiropractor’s hours are not compatible and my chiropractor is about 20 miles from work (which in DC traffic time means 1 hour away). Even when I tried to schedule appointments this week I had to cancel because of last minute meetings. I’ve got to figure this out. Don’t fuss at me. I’ll get it together.

My whole foods lifestyle. Trader Joe’s has finally moved to my neighborhood!!! My local organic market is as expensive as, if not more expensive than, Whole Foods. I was so glad to see TJ’s open up just up the road. I could stop by the TJ’s close to my old job on the way home from work, but now I don’t come near the place. I bought groceries this weekend and got double the stuff I can get at my local organic spot for half the price. I can’t get everything I need at TJ’s, but I’m saving money so that I can finance my dance habit. Good stuff!! I have had some ups and downs with trying to eat well. I still haven’t touched fast food or meat in 5 months, but football season has had me jonesing hard for chips and dip and beer on Sunday afternoons at 1pm. I’d make a meal of it, I tell you. I’m over it though. I think.

And last but not least, Katrice and Kwesi have moved to Texas. 😦 I was such a wuss that I left a note on their car to say goodbye. I couldn’t bear doing it face to face. Well, they showed me. They conveniently didn’t leave while I was at work that day. I got home from work just in time to watch them pack the last things in the car and drive away….all the way across the country. I still look for their cars when I come home from work. It sucks. BUT, I’m going to see them December 6-9, for the 1st Annual Corny Convention in Dallas. I can’t wait. I miss them already.

And, since this post isn’t as long as I thought it would be 😉 , I’ll tell you about figuring things out in the coming weeks with help. My new theme for self is, “when I know better, I do better”. I am learning a lot about other cultures, spiritual disciplines and ways of life through my quest to re-evaluate my belief system. In the process I have learned a lot of things that make more sense to me and feel more right for me than the norms of the culture to which I was born. I came across this passage in a book I am reading. It says it best:

We are all subjects–and victims–of our time and our perspective in history. Truth, or our perception of it, is a function of our limited, culture-bound understanding and is often as fluid as a change in custom…The best we can hope to do is rise above our culture as much as possible to see our biases, challenge them, and willingly allow our view of the world to shatter as our biases knuckle under the blows of scrutiny.

This is what this blog has always been about. I am re-thinking everything at once. It is so exciting and fun. I feel free of the guilt that came with shaking off the norms of the Christian community that guided my life for so long and now I feel like I can judge each new idea on it’s own merits. It has taken some time for the “Christian voice” in my heard to quiet so that I can think through some of these new ideas. But I’m far enough away from that voice now that I can evaluate new things for what they are and not what Christians say they are. Does that make sense? It makes perfect sense to me. I may need to rework that sentence when I edit. Anyway, I’ve hired a holistic health consultant to help me articulate my goals for this journey, create a plan to meet those goals and to teach me more about my body and the foods, drinks, etc. that are best for my optimal health (mind, body and spirit). It should be fun. I start on the 13th. I’ll let you know how it goes. I might be writing about all of that more on Fine Tuning, but who knows. The more I see the connections between mind, body and spirit, the less I see a need for 3 blogs. I’m realizing that I can’t separate these things as neatly as I once thought. I’m considering a merge. Who knows? We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just feed content between the blogs when it’s relevant.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ll be catching up with you guys soon.

Any thoughts on any of this stuff? What do you think about that quote?