Racing Towards What Exactly?

“Can you tell me, who called the race? / Can anyone stay in one place? / And when you get to the finish line /

Will you wish for more time?” ~ Katy Perry, This Moment

I remember listening to this song the very first time.  I was stressing out because my daughter, partner and I were behind schedule which meant that we weren’t going to get to Great Wolf Lodge as early as I had planned.   As part of my daughter’s birthday gift, I got her an overnight at the hotel, along with Katy Perry’s new CD Prism.  We were listening to it on the drive to Niagara Falls and needless to say that when this song played over the speaks in the car, it put things in perspective. I realized that I was in a race with myself and from that time onward, for the rest of the weekend, I was present and did not let my mind race ahead.  I made sure to be at my daughter’s birthday weekend.  We ended up having an awesome weekend.

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Then a few days passed and I kind of somewhat lost the message.  I let life take over again and sometimes would get lost in the day-to-day routine and life would seem mundane but stressful at the same time.

Then I went away for the weekend down south.  I totally decompressed and really unwound. My biggest decision of the day would be where to have lunch and dinner, and if an afternoon nap was called for.  My eyes were really opened to the simplicity of the place, and I was able to get connected again, truly appreciate what was surrounding me.  I realized how blessed I truly am, and this brought forth a great deal of gratitude.  I was really present the entire time!

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Then a few days passed and I kind of somewhat lost the message.  I let life take over again and sometimes would get lost in the day to day routine and life would seem mundane.

Since then I’ve been running around trying to be a superhero and get as many things checked off my to-do list as possible.  I find that I’m being short with everyone, and have a sense of anxiousness in my chest.  I get really frustrated that people can’t read my mind and do things the way I don’t like.  I don’t like disorder of any kind and can’t rest if things aren’t put back in their place.  For example, if the dishes are on the counter, and not in the dishwasher, I feel that I can’t enjoy the movie I’m watching in the daughter, I feel them pull me towards them.  Or the emails seem to call me, tell me to write them to the people who are awaiting them.  Or as I’m laying in bed, I can’t seem to get my mind to slow down.  Am I being present?  Hell no.  But I can feel the conflict between my heart and my mind.  My heart is yearning to be present, begging me to slow down and be with things and people who bring me joy, that these things can wait, but my mind keeps telling me “get this out-of-the-way and then you can enjoy whatever it is you want to enjoy.”

So what is going on?  At times, I can master this being in the moment thing, and at others, I may as well be in a different galaxy than everyone else.  What the heck?

Then a few books came across my path and lo and behold I could see that there was a lesson that I needed to learn at this moment.  I had lost what it meant to live in the moment.  For the most part, I had stopped seeing the beauty in everything.  I didn’t take note of what was in front of me.  I forgot to look for the miracle in everything.  I forgot to    s l o w   d o w n.  My body was here, right now, but my mind was elsewhere.  I was constantly always trying to find ways to make more time by making myself busier.  What an oxymoron!

Slow Down!

Mark Nepo said it best in “Exquisite Risk – Daring To Live An Authentic Life.”We often feel compelled to sacrifice or postpone the seeds of joy in favor for a practicality that we hope will insure a secure future.”  Totally true!

He then went on to say “…reduced to Now, some deeper part of me began to live, holding nothing back.  It is a moment that changed my life.  And through that deeper part, I began to see that we are delivered through all these gifts and tensions until we are honed by experience into something more and more vulnerable and beautiful.”  Yep, totally true!  I had forgotten this lesson which was handed to me years ago.  This enabled me to get through the darkest times of my life.  And I forgot it.

Am I going to beat myself up over it? Nah, that wouldn’t be much helpful.  It would only make me feel crappy about myself, and I don’t want that.  I know better.  What I am going to do is I’m going to be compassionate and forgive myself.   There is an ebb and flow in life.  We make progress, then we regress a bit, and then make more progress.  I’d like to believe that I have just come out of the regression phase and I’m now entering into the progress phase.

So tell me, while reading this, how many times have you left me, or where you with me the entire time?

What Have You Savored Lately?

“Did you ever stop to taste a carrot?  Not just eat it, but taste it?  You can’t taste the beauty and energy of the earth in a Twinkie.” ~ Astrid Alauda

I hate carrots.  Really, I do.  And I feel guilty and like a huge hypocrite when I lecture my daughter in the importance of eating healthy when she returns from school with that little snack bag of baby carrots not eaten.  So I eat them, and hate every bite.

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Lately I haven’t been feeling my best.  I’ve been tired, drained, bloated and my complexion hasn’t been so great.  Although my skin hasn’t broken out in zits, it isn’t smooth and it has lost its glow.  I knew that I had to do something but deep down inside I didn’t have the will nor the want to start a new “diet.”  I’m so over diets.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I’m very much a believer in synchronicity and love all things awesome.  Last week I was speaking with a couple of friends and they both shared with me how they are now changing their eating habits in order to gain a more healthy life style and feel good again – for once and for all.  I thought to myself “good for them” and wished I could do the same (yes, I was off my rocker).  Then I had a dream last week, and in that dream I was eating.  And I was enjoying what I was eating.  I mean REALLY enjoying what I was eating.  I was making my own breads from scratch, and I was savoring every bite of my meal.  It looked like it was orgasmic!  I woke up that morning knowing what I had to do. I was on a mission.

The next day I decided to make my own french bread – gluten-free french bread.  I found a recipe online which looked good and simple to make.

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Then at lunch time, I turned to my partner and told him that I haven’t been feeling ‘right’ and that I was returning to a gluten-free lifestyle and I wanted him to join me. You would have thought that I must have said something really horrible by the look he gave me.  He thought I had gone mad.  You see, he’s a HUGE bread lover and it is a big part of his diet.  He was dead set against what I was saying and didn’t even want to hear another word about this.

Then the unbelievable happened, while having dinner with him and my daughter, I received the news that I gifted with two tickets to attend a seminar.  This seminar was on Wheat Belly (the author of this book was in Toronto to talk about the effects of eating wheat on the body along with Julie Daniluk who spoke about meals that heal inflammation).  We were having dinner when I received the news and it was a sealed deal for me, I knew this was pointing me in the right direction.  Thankfully he agreed to come with me and have an open mind.

The seminar was mind-blowing and I learned A LOT.  I’m not going to go into it, if you’re interested you can read up on the books by clicking on the links above.  What I did learn was to really appreciate what I put into my body.  This is now a lifestyle change for me, and the few days which I have changed my eating habits I’ve felt like a new person.  It’s amazing when you are really aware of what you’re putting into your body.

So this afternoon I decided to do a little experiment with my salad and soup.  I moved away from the table and especially made lots of room between me and the computer and phone.  I sat in my rocking chair and took my time with my lunch.  I really paid attention to every forkful.  I tasted each bite.  I found it amazing to feel the thick richness of how the olive oil coated each leaf of kale and lettuce, how the balsamic vinegar was sweet and tart, the nutty flavor of the sesame seeds and the coolness of the peppers and found it odd that although the bocconcini are bland, they really do have a subtle taste to them.  And surprisingly of all, I found out that I can really learn to enjoy carrots – I just have to make sure that I really chew them enough.  That bitterness will turn to sweetness if you really chew them.  Who knew?

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While sitting there, I realized that this is what “they” mean by being present and savoring the moment.  And you can chew your way through the bad stuff in order to reach the good stuff.  All this I learned from a carrot.