I've turned a corner...
I used to think saying NO to things meant depriving myself, punishing myself. I think I've finally flipped it... meaning... that I can say NO to simple pleasures now, for greater rewards later. I think I've been working on learning this for decades. I've made many small steps and some large steps in this regard. And I just keep packing the lessons and resilience in that good ol' pack on my back, and sharing as I go, because... I share. I'm a sharer. If I could benefit from what I learn, so can someone else, somewhere, and we're all in this together, right? Right.
So. Delayed gratification.
I can't help but think about Sawyer from Lost and his "long con:" Get in there, down n dirty, do the work, stick to it, don't make a fuss about it, play the part... and at the end, it will all pay off. The big reveal. Of course, conning people is dishonest and gross, but you see where I'm going with this.
It's about the long game. The long game takes faith, persistence, and a willingness to get uncomfortable and really, really, honest with yourself. it takes seeing your weaknesses, your limiting beliefs, your nonsense. All the bullshit. The long game requires the gift of perspective, the wisdom of knowing how the journey works, and the foresight to keep going, knowing... it's just plateau, a pause, a minor setback, or a distraction. The long game... takes commitment. Investment. Patience. Focus and intention. And purpose. Why do it at all, right? For me? Well, it's to be an example, it's to prove... that people can transform. That dreams come true, that visions can come to pass. For my son, most of all, but for anyone, really.
And getting this into my stubborn head means... I become limitless. In a way. Seeing the circle, the journey-path, the circular nature of growth and working toward any significant goal... understanding how I work, how to manage anxieties when they bounce up, how to navigate around resistance, how to find my own center, my own peace, despite the rest, well... I can put any goal into that circle, now. See? Maybe only one at a time, because, busy-working-Mom, but still...
- time management
- creative goals
- fitness goals
- side gigs
Anything, really. Pick one... get started... and get ready for the circus. It all becomes much more doable and possible... once you get how it works. But you don't get to that level of knowing how it works, without continuously trying things. Again. And again. And again. And again...until you see the patterns.
Easy? Nah. Possible? Yeah. Been off sugar for a few days now and I feel fantastic. I thought I felt great before, but... now I remember why I loved Paleo so much and got such great results. It's just better for my health, and the temporary indulgences... are illusions. I think I had slowly become addicted to sugar again, without realizing it. In any event... no cookies unless I make them myself. With like... almonds and cocoa butter and coconuts or whatever. You know.
SO there it is. My son is calling me away for a transformers parade in the other room, so... SOUL COOKIES. xoxo
The very word makes so many people squirm. (Not you, you just made a rather naughty face, didn't you?)
Laughs aside, I'm not just talking about sex, here. It's much more broad and inclusive than that. As many of you know, I've been on a quest to recover my youthful, more slender, and athletic body. For years.
I've tried vegan (fail). Vegetarian (okay, but cholesterol went up, too many simple carbs, I didn't do it right.) Paleo (success for a year or two, until I quit smoking, and then it stopped working.) Recently, within the past six months, I tried keto. Then to Bulletproof and intermittent fasting. I've officially tried everything.
Looking back, I've been "dieting" since puberty. From the moment my well-intentioned mother noted that my thighs were "getting chunky." I had love handles. I still remember the feeling inside, the introduction of body shame. How rotten I felt, how I wanted to disappear. I don't blame her, that was the culture we lived in. It was the 80s. Thin was in. And she wanted me to be the best I could be. I get it. However...
Here's what I've learned, over the years...
I'd lose about five pounds, quickly, the first week... each time I tried something new. I'd exercise regularly. Each diet called for an uptake in whole foods. Lots of veggies, less processed crap. The rest? It's all just playing with macros. More fats, more carbs, more proteins, whatever. But the underlying principles are all the same: eat more healthy food, move your body, and chill out. That's it. The rest is marketing. And I have nothing against marketing if the product or idea is a healthy and helpful, conscious one. How else do we learn about things that might help us out, save time, point us toward something better? I have no problem with sales or marketing, in general. My point is that there are a myriad number of ways to regain your health. And I'm in it for the long haul. If some diet tells me I'll only eat dolmades every other week on a cheat day, well you can quite respectfully go fuck yourself. Not happening. If some book tells me to cut out coffee, I'll stop reading it. No way.
Diets are repressive. They can be punitive. It means taking away things, to optimize results in a short period of time. They are full of sacrifice and seriousness. Sometimes illness and deficiencies force people into strict diets. I have full respect and admiration for those who make this their lifestyle because it's their purpose in life. They are fitness and health warriors; it's great. But it's just not me. I'm done with extremes. Once I found my inner sanctuary, my healthy middle... I want everything to find balance. Homeostasis is my goal, in me and in my world.
So, here and now... I find myself asking... why diet? Am I healthy? Yes. Healthier than I've ever been. I've learned how to take care of myself. I have hypothyroidism, and I've learned how to navigate that. I can't really claim victim-hood there, anymore. I know what to do.
Beyond that, a few years back, I started to experience anxiety, joint pains, sleeplessness, hot flashes, migraines, acne (!?) and so many other things... that I was convinced had to do with gluten. Or a combination of gluten and hypo, at a minimum. Until I learned about peri-menopause.
Women are very special creatures. We begin as young girls, carefree and learning and absorbing the world. We grow into our bodies and start to become fertile for reproducing. Life! We create life! In our bodies! Goddesses, indeed, and we need very special hormones to do this; so we enjoy PMS and cramps and bloating and all the good things all through our childbearing years. And somewhere around... yes... our forties... our bodies start to change. We lean closer and closer into our non-childbearing years. Now, menopause isn't official until a woman has missed her period for at least one year. (Sexy-face reader is starting to squirm now, I think...periods, what? I've been fooled...)
So, peri-menopause, the time before the change, can last for 10-15 years. And with these slow, subtle changes, deep inside, within our cells and fluctuating hormones... that big change begins. A deep, subconscious anxiety manifests that may take years to name. And it spreads. And it can wreak havoc on our own inner and outer balance. It's so important to see it for what it is, and begin to manage your life, around it. it's real. And it's worth exploring, to get your life back. It's so worth it.
Once I understood what a hot flash was, and correlated it to kundalini and energy and eons of women's storytelling and sisterhood circles... I began to see the patterns. We grow into a different sort of sacred wisdom, as we age. And with that letting go, comes a new wave of creativity. Wanderlust. Art. Raw inspiration. Passion. An innate ferocity rises up. A rebirth, into the life of a cultured and curious woman, leaving the young maiden behind. And the process, as it starts, can be rattling. Life-shaking. it's literally a waking up, into a new chapter of Life. As a new woman. And it can be thrilling and inspired, or moody and repressed. Like anything, it depends upon perspective.
So, that said... I considered that a lot of the issues that I had, might not have to do with gluten. I had never been tested for gluten allergies: I just read the books, and made assumptions. I had a conversation with someone who had true celiac disease. And she salivated at the idea of being able to eat what she wanted, when she wanted. How convenient and wonderful it would be. How she'd never choose to live in such a way, and how challenging it can be. And I thought... here are all these people, on this bandwagon, intentionally choosing to live this way. And why?
I began to research. Ask questions. And experiment with food.
I tried a dish of italian pasta (imported). Bread (whole grain, proper bakery). Sweets. Pizza (drools)... Fine, fine, fine...fine! American boxed processed pastries...not so fine. So, I think American processed wheat has its problems, for sure. I don't know enough to explain it all to you adequately, or why it made me feel gross. You can look that up. But... whole and ancient grains? Especially from the Mediterranean area? I do just fine with them. My body loves them. And they're delicious. Quinoa. Farro. Buckwheat. Couscous. Even some beans, I tolerated just fine. Garbanzo and lentils, do very well. Black beans and cannelini in moderation. Small amounts. I'd read so much about lectins and anti-nutrients and I kept waiting for the discomfort I was supposed to feel. And it just. Didn't. Happen. At first, I felt duped. Then, I felt like celebrating! I CAN EAT CARBS! But I didn't overdo it.
So, I don't have a gluten problem. I have hormone problems, that beg different solutions. I learned that when the woman's body skips a period, for example, estrogen is very low. Estrogen, and balanced hormones, in general, help produce other feel-good hormones. So without that happening, we reach for the fix elsewhere. If we're cutting carbs, we'll keep reaching. This causes stress, cortisol goes up. Weight is retained, for survival. Because I MUST BE DYING to be eating in such a way. I must be starving, so let's hold tight to our water, our salt, our fat, everything... to stay alive. (Listen, this might not be true for everyone. Granted. Maybe you excel on a high-fat, low-carb diet. That's awesome. This isn't about you, so get over it.)
I'M DONE. I'm just done with it. With suffering, with sacrificing, with apologizing for my belly and my love-handles. With hurting myself, denying myself, to fit some stereotypical ideal. I'm done. I'm done suffering.
So, these days, a healthy lifestyle, for me, looks like this:
- daily meditation, sculpting a beautiful and peaceful inner world, first thing
- yoga (sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 30), dancing (sometimes Shaun T, sometimes my playlist while I freestyle with my boy or without, for fun)
- a balanced, Mediterranean way of eating, with proper portions and occasional indulgences without guilt; lots of fresh, vibrant, living foods, much less meat
- I limit my sugar intake to less than 90 grams per day, usually way less, but never more
- lots of socializing, music, art, creativity, activity, fresh air, and beauty
Once I found a way to allow simple pleasures back into my life... even if that means one cookie after lunch, a glass of wine at night, time out enjoying myself... everything changed. Because I'd learned to handle moderation. The hot flashes slowed and seem to have stopped :knocks on wood:. The plateau broke and I began to lose weight again, steadily. I stopped retaining water. I slept through the night. I can focus and get things done. And I'm not a cranky bitch.
My body was crying out for carbohydrates, for so long... while I starved it, seeking a body that I haven't been in for about 20 years. But, listen, I love this new skin. This body. It made life. It finally doesn't hurt, or ache, and I want to care for that. I will never again take a pain-free body for granted. It's a gift. Am I giving up my healthy lifestyle? Hell no. I'm giving up abuse. I'm giving up workouts that feel like mindless torture. I'm giving up outside programming that doesn't meet my needs.
I choose to feel good. To nourish myself with a wide variety of healthy foods, and to enjoy indulgences, gratefully, with pleasure, when I choose to. To enjoy my body, to move it, to practice what it can do, to honor it. To maintain strength, flexibility, and peace of mind. With a current and healthy purpose, that honors NOW and not my past: to keep up with my son, to sculpt a new and exciting life, to make the most of my moments, to live wildly and joyfully, to explore my creativity, while I can.
We've just all got to find what works, for us. As individuals. That's all. Everything will work... for a while. What works for you... into your nineties? For the long haul? Fasting and binging for me? No. It worked for a little while. Hardcore weightlifting and high protein? No. For a little while. But I want to build lifestyle that will nourish, support, and care for me into the next 50 years. At least. I'm building a healthy and long-lasting relationship, with myself. Tasting, traveling, adventuring, dancing, playing, smiling, laughing. Gratefully. Out loud.
Life is for the living. <3
Oh...when truth hits you in the face. Do you know what I mean? You've got your reasons, right? The reasons, all sound and practical and proven, why it won't work, can't work, won't ever happen. And then one day, things get jumbled around: up is down, black is white, hope is all around you...and for a second... you try it, and it DOES work. Which turns all those tried and true reasons...into excuses.
What are you talking about, Stacie? Stop dancing around...spit it out...
Okay. I've had these reasons. Why sticking to a good fitness routine just couldn't work:
- I quit smoking, see, and my metabolism sucks, so...
- Who has time? I work. I'm not a stay-at-home Mom!
- Only when my boy is with his Dad, then I can do it.
- Joint pain. Hurts. Ouch.
- Can't afford to keep paying gym memberships and not going.
- Can't do it at home, my son won't sit still while I work out, it would never work.
- I need to write, there's only so much time!
- I'm healthy, my bloodwork is perfect!
I know, it's getting deep in here, right? Deep with BS.
I do believe that we have to want things...in order to commit to them. I believe we have to have the right mindset, we have to want what comes to us on the other side of our goals, we have to be ready for all of it. I believe in timing. All true. So, I don't know if the timing is just magically right...or if I finally just... stopped bullshitting myself. I like to think it's little bit of both. I mean, we don't intentionally get in our own way... it just happens sometimes. We don't see it when we're in it. And if you're me, you don't listen when people tell you that you're in it. You just say whatevs and keep wading through the lovely river De Nial because it's pretty there and the air smells like jasmine and honeysuckle and you don't have to get uncomfortable and exert effort.
Anyway. I'm outgrowing those bits. Shedding 'em like old skin.
I reached a milestone at the end of last year. It was a tough year in many respects, but also one that was filled with so much growth and expansion. Travel. Wonder. Connections. New experiences. New faces. Change. Pain. Hurt. Healing. Anxiety. Meditation. Massage. Reiki. More healing. So much healing. But... by the end of the year, I was at a good place... physically, mentally, emotionally. The trifecta! I felt as if...it was all coming together. Finally. My trip out west to see the horses really pulled it all together, in a beautiful way. They carry great medicine, these animals, and that's not just flowery talk.
Also, had I passed another birthday. Another year? They go faster and faster, don't they. And I knew that I wouldn't waste more time. I reflected back on 2015, a big year of changes and dramatic weight loss and pushing out boundaries and facing fears, and so many other things. And I always attributed my weight loss (95 pounds) to stress and smoking a few cigarettes every day. But... in retrospect, I remembered that I was doing hours of cardio every night. On top of spending hours packing, moving, repairing things, and walking. And working. And walking. And parenting. And writing. And walking. And writing. I was constantly moving. It wasn't the damned cigarettes. It was me.
I thought about that. And I figured... well... if that was me then, I could do it again. I had a much simpler and more concise goal, then. It was almost... survival... to keep moving. There is something to be said for that primal surge of energy, that momentum, that movement... in search of something or when running from something. That drive, the compulsion, the obsession, in it. And there was the issue... I'd grown too comfortable. I was tucked up in my hammock, relishing on the fruits of my labor, no longer running toward or away from anything. I was still. Being. Watching. Listening. Lazing.
I think everything happens for a reason and that I needed that time. I do. I think...I needed to go through the ups and downs, the trials, the surprises, the spiritual study, the internal healing, the quests, the mistakes and misjudgments, the letdowns and embarrassments. I think they all built my inner strength. I think that time focused and rejuvenated my mind, protected my healing heart, and reconnected me with my soul.
Because here's something I've learned, or rather, remembered: our bodies learn quickly and our muscles remember what we ask them to do. The challenge is in the mind. So it is with everything. Will I do what I said I would do? Or will I give in to quicker, easier fixes? It's not about the actual physical movement; it's not about the sweat. It's about the choice, the follow-through, and the resolve to finish. The mindset.
Every time I press play or lace up my sneakers, now, I hear myself...inside my own head: "how I do this, is how I do anything." I don't run or ride a bike, but I do hike, and it's what I said over and over as I hiked through Mashomack, alone, in cold, harsh November air. Whenever I hike the greenbelt. When I foolishly schlepped my luggage up seven steep blocks of San Francisco streets, when I was supposed to be resting from whiplash injuries. When I walked the northern tip from Embarcadero to the Presidio. When I explored the Pacific shore for hours, along Fort Ord's dunes... up and over jagged rock and sand. When I crept out of Austin's city streets and down to the river, into the woods, to the edge of the park, in unexpectedly stifling heat...without a bottle of water, and then all the way back again. Schmuck. And when I hike...anywhere, really. Yeah, the scenery is different, and nature compels me and invigorates me, for sure, but really...it's all the same. Start, continue, finish, stretch, hydrate. HYDRATE. And replace the negative talk inside my head with positive words. Just keep going. You're almost there. You can do hard things. It's funny...I had to travel all over the country to teach myself such simple discipline. Huh.
Also, here's the kicker: for a hoot, I loaded up a home workout and let my little boy in on it. Just to see...
"Mommy is going to do her exercise now, okay babe? Can you read those books, and do your legos for a bit?"
"Okay, Mommy." He was curious. "What exercise? Like this?" And he did his fancy yoga moves, from daycare. Can it be this simple?
The thing is... he watched the workout. And he watched me. He wasn't playing, reading, building, or doing anything... but watching me workout. He was learning. Imagine? I always say that everything is our teacher... so yeah, that applies to him, too! I even heard some "go Mommy!" And "this is how to be a hero! Yeah!" <---- PJ Mask thing. Honored to be among the ranks of Gekko, Owlette, and Catboy.
I think back to sneaking a smoke behind the garage. Washing my hands afterward, so he couldn't smell it, feeling like a dirty criminal. Vapes and oil and mood swings and more excuses. And how... if I didn't make the conscious choice to change... in so many ways... that is what he'd be learning from me. Smoking. Playing small. Hiding. Apologizing. Giving up. Eating crappy food. Laziness. Excuses. The opposite of what I'd come to recognize as... simple self-love. Nurturing. Replenishing. Nourishing. Strengthening. Persevering.
And here I was, coming through for me... and teaching him, simultaneously. Wow.
He can't wait to get his own little dumbbells and he's already practicing pushups. And PS, loves to box?! He was getting out his Lego-won't-work-angst by throwing jabs and hooks and uppercuts at my hands. He's got some fire in him.
And I said...what? What did I say? It would never work? Famous last words...
What the hell was I waiting for?
Ready or not...just like that, a new chapter begins...
It's been a minute.
I've been doing lots of reflecting, writing, regrouping, lately. As I reflect over the past year, what I've done and seen, what I've learned, where I've traveled, what I've come to see and understand about myself, and about my perceptions of others... I am just blown away, at the process. At who I am now, when I look back at who I was then. I've made another lap around the circle. The absolute truths I knew then, versus the illuminated and ever-changing perspectives that I have now. Oh, these blessed spirals.
And I'm writing through all of it:
Wild Horses and Mistakes: The Year I Followed My Bliss, Accomplished Absolutely Nothing, and How it Changed My Life Forever
(Subtitle is a bit long...it's in progress, but that's the feel of things.)
Meaning, I didn't "do" anything but choose myself, my priorities, my health, my joy, my creativity. I didn't have a list to tackle or a pile of to-dos and must-haves. I followed my heart, my intuition. My wild horses. And that's a concept, in and of itself. It's never just about the horses, is it?
Anyway, I know you'll enjoy getting under the hood, peeling back my chest-plate and seeing my heart and my reassembled guts in this new sacrifice to the Gods of Creativity and Musing. I can't wait to share it and set it free, but I am deep into revisiting, mindfully, each place, chapter, and section.
The Soul writes; the ego edits.
The past year has had me up in the clouds, soaring with birds of prey as they watched the wilds below. Galloping across rugged terrain, not knowing where I was going, stopping at water holes, weathering storms and fire, and just knowing that I'd get there. Somehow. It's had me waking in new places to new faces, smelling and sensing and feeling new things, absorbing new vibrations, and healing on levels so deep that I didn't think I'd ever reach them. It's had me shatter illusions and chase new ones, only to see them disintegrate in my fingers and drip slowly out of my hands, back into the seamless expanse of energetic alchemy that surrounds us. Constantly. And it does. We are, at all turns, exactly where we need to be.
Hold out your hand, take one step, and begin. It really is that simple.
We are sublime players and doers and crafters and actors and creators...who can, at our best, move effortlessly through what may feel like a heavy minefield of pain, disappointment, shattered hopes, dramatic fears, deep loss... and we can get through, easily, with all that we need... when at our best, most true versions of who we are, as living, breathing, dynamic, sensing, beings.
The past year in question began last fall with a trip out to the east end of Long Island, the furthest trip I'd taken solely and purposefully on my own... it was an hour or so away. I stayed in a bed and breakfast and unearthed a sacred chest full of memories, pain, stories, and experienced powerful growth. And that trip began a quest, a Campbell-esque journey of my own. Because I saw that not just solitude, but the allure of the new and strange and unknown, brought the most amazing spiritual insight. In the way of facing our own demons, our most disturbing beliefs about ourselves and each other. Because it's all thought, really. Perception and response.
And I can't possibly sum up in one blog post all the truths I've witnessed, the stories I've rewritten, the deep healing, the pain. The numbing, seething, darkest pain that I never thought I'd see eye to eye again. And meeting it, head on... and surviving through it. And the freedom in that. Finding the most special souls who understood what I was experiencing, as I experienced it. Possibly keeping me in one piece and lending me their strength. Flashlights. Candles and Light and Love and symbolism and reminders and guidance and whispers and hope... and faith. Always faith. Just... keep... going. And the passing of Life before my eyes as we got rear-ended and sent back to the starting gates, at the peak of Bliss and perfection and understanding. Always, the pendulum swings. And the gratitude for those setbacks, for those life-changing illuminating moments: that remind us in such a powerful, unmistakable way... what is truly important.
Self, family, friends, community. And living through to heal. When we take that often painful, scary and tumultuous journey within, to know ourselves, deeply... we begin to heal. In healing ourselves, we heal others. But also, we heal the karmic past, the residue, the eons of pain that lingered heavy in our bones. Women who came well before me and were stricken down and cut out for their wisdom. And the gift that these times bring, in carrying that wisdom forward. In never letting that Light die.
I could write for days about it, and I do, in this new project. I write about a lot of things, though, because really... it's about a divine and very human balance. It's about seeing energetically and intuiting and listening, but it's about using that insight to sculpt the present moment, here and now. It's about meditation and self-love, and also about using your voice and knowing when to let your tiger teeth show, just a little. it's about loving and doting and giggling and cherishing our babies and kids... and knowing that we can also plan and strategize, make the right decisions, and plant our feet firmly in soil, getting it all done, while we dance in the clouds, looking down upon it all in gratitude. It's about a healthy, grounded, free-flying balance of all things. It's about equilibrium, and what it takes to find the right balance, for each of us. Because it's different. That's the key. One doesn't suit all. That's why we do this work. It's why I do. To find what works for me, and to utilize it here, now, in my Life, in my world, for myself and for those that I love. it's about authenticity. Truth.
Wild. It's not about being reckless and obnoxious and surly and crude and promiscuous. Although it can be, without apology, but not always. For me wildness is about nature. That includes human nature. Just as a wild mare runs through a barren landscape, she knows to stop for water when she sees it. She knows to rest. She knows to protect and teach her little ones. She knows when to run and when to fight. Intrinsically, it's in her nature. It's in her wildness.
So, finding our wildness I think, is more about finding...ourselves. And listening.
Good things coming. Wild Horses is writing itself, and I'll not rush it. But it's coming, more every day. Writing it, living it, has changed me. It's brought me back to my natural, wise-woman-wildness in all the most beautiful ways.
Home sick. After two days indoors, riding it out (much like my Florida friends are doing right now, be safe), I had to get out and get some goodies to help me coast through the ickiness. To the right is my arsenal...lovely tea, bee pollen granules on applesauce, Manuka honey lozenges, used some essential oils in my tea and water today... steam... naps...and yesterday's pot of homemade soup. Today, I had to get out of the house. I just saw myself moping in bed...thinking...I am sitting at the scene of the crime. Breathing in the same air, stuck in the same thoughts. GET OUT! So I drove out to Huntington Village.
It's been quite a while since I've been sick, I don't think I've been ill in a year or so. :knocks on wood: And of course, as things do, it's really got me thinking.
Why haven't I been sick? A valid question. I used to get colds constantly, I used be achey and whiny all the time. I used to be obese, too, and still shocked when I fit into smaller sizes. (And I still whine often, don't worry, I am in fact human.)
All I can figure is that I was living in constant stress, in that former life. Not to mention the not taking care of myself part.
Without delving into the past, I just want to say how important it is to tend to one's own needs. And to get to a place where we know how to discern what those needs are. And there isn't one stock answer on how to do this. And why is this even a thing? Why is it so hard for some of us...to allow that? Why are we so driven to push and pull and deplete and exhaust ourselves? Who are we trying to impress? (Newsflash: whoever it is, they don't care.) I know I'm not alone in this: within the past year alone, mostly since I finished the book, I've become a magnet for empathic, sensitive, free-spirited women. Some of them don't know how amazing they truly are, some of them are light years ahead of me. I love that.
Just tonight, at a favorite, new to me, lovely shop, I had a talk with a woman (total girl-crush on her gorgeous red hair...wow). Self-professed hippie. Me too, I said! We couldn't stop gabbing, such a lovely soul she is. We were talking about the propensity for sensitive folks like us to be drawn to head-strong, in-the-box, must-be-right thinkers. The hustle and grinders, the cold, hard, fact pursuers. And why? Why, why, why, are we? They can eat us up and spit us out, why do we go? She seemed to have a good strong sense of boundary-setting and knowing her limits. (Also bought this gorgeous lotion and the softest flannel shirt ever there...because...I decided that I deserve presents as well as presence, today.)
In the past two days, I've come to realize or remember a few things. Balance. I've always been drawn to the old ways and I still am. Back in the nineties, I was on a quest for all things ancient, mystical, and spiritual. These ideas felt more like me than anything that exists today. This quest continues, to this day... although I had quite a pause in the middle. But what I am now remembering and choosing to honor and focus on, is balance. Regarding the Earth as our mother, we can witness miracles, everyday. Just in the simplest acts of nature. The natural world...IS the magic...and we are a part of that world.
The water of Life. Water that sustains us, feeds vegetation and every species on this planet, just about. The water that our Indigenous ones are standing to protect right now. I won't get into an argument about pipelines and so forth, because it's about more than that. The pipeline was the impetus, the catalyst for this epic coming together. Our early brothers and sisters understood the psycho-physical-spiritual connection to the Earth and it's time that all of this comes back, when our Earth mother needs it to. When humanity needs it to. And have we learned? Will we choose profit over humanity...again? Everything comes back until we learn the lesson. Everything. I am still hopeful.
Air, fire, earth, water. These are the basic building blocks of life. Harnessed, utilized, and cherished...through Spirit. These old beliefs, not that old in the scheme of things, helped us to maintain a connection to our environment, our home. We understood how connected we all are...from the microbe to the ocean. From the human body to the universe itself. Insects, animals, people, trees, birds, oceans, dirt, the wind. All interconnected and interdependent. So therefore, homeostasis and balance were the forefront of their decisions and motivations, from planting and harvesting, to their hunt, to meeting other tribes, to marriages and relationships, and so on. Some call old Native beliefs spiritual hocus-pocus, but friends...they were not. The underpinnings of these beliefs were scientific and nature-based and not unique to the U.S. Indigenous cultures all over the globe understood these things. Pagans (which simply denotes any religions that were not Christianity) and other early civilizations understood these things.
Somewhere, as we became "civilized," we gave away this power to controlling bodies: big agriculture, medicine, government, etc... Becoming civilized took away the tenets of our civilization. Ironic. Today, we are completely dependent on infrastructure that is mediocre and utterly flawed (ironically, while the hypocrite types on her Macbook), and which depends upon limited resources. The insanity is that alternatives exist and are waiting to come into play. Energy. How do we provide energy, electricity, power? Read about Tesla, if you haven't. I admit, I have frustrations with this and it's a nearly daily practice of letting go of the stress that it causes me. Why not change, when we can? Why? Sometimes it makes me so angry that we got here and sometimes...that anger gets out and spills onto everything. Anyway, I have to proactively change my mindset to focus on positive ways to work toward a better world...in my own life, as one woman, making simple, everyday decisions. And I consider it to be part of my purpose to encourage others, quietly or loudly, verbally or through example, to do the same.
I digress...the point is...empathic, peacekeeping folks are drawn to their opposites because of an innate desire to find balance. Yin and yang. Light and dark. Moon and sun. If we are more light and seek to avoid conflict and stay joyful and inspired and so on, we are drawn to darkness and mystery and strength to protect our perceived weaknesses. It's about seeking balance. The trouble is, oftentimes, the allure is more trouble than it's worth.
Now, of course, we seek to provide balance within. To find and draw out the dark and love all of it, rather than seeking the dark outside of us. But make no mistake, the end game is always...balance. Equilibrium.
Tending a cold: it's about more than decongestants. Just as our world is made up of numerous systems, working together, so too are our bodies. Gut flora, bacteria, white and red blood cells, blood sugar, hormones, life-force energy, muscles, and so on. Recovering from physical illness has as much to do with our mental and spiritual state...as it does our bodies. I've gargled, taken in steam, rested, ate soup, all of it. And they all did their part, little by little. Time and rest is crucial, to be certain. But also... came the idea that...I could choose not to be sick anymore. Thoughts matter. Intentions matter. With all of the physical and herbal tricks up my sleeve utilized...I meditated. This is where we access our true gifts. And here, I was able to remove all the toxic thoughts that were causing toxic buildup, physically. Make sense? Well, it works, when I get my head out of my ass and remember to make time to do it. Consider the placebo effect...how could the human body have the same healing effects with a sugar pill...as it does with a prescribed medication? Because the control group thought that it was taking the meds that would cure them. Which shows us, plainly, how much power the mind has over our other systems.
So, with a healthy mindset and a recovering body, I needed fresh air... and I have to say I'm feeling so much better overall. No drugs. Passed a new place while I was out, that offered me a free detox foot bath if I listened to a consultation. So curious...they do all sorts of alkalinizing therapies and such. I'll check it out tomorrow. Can't fight free.
Balance, balance, balance. Now, to practice holding and keeping it despite...obstacles.
Time for some medicinal wine. ;-)
Goodnight. Be blessed. xoxo