Bringing the Body into Balance: My Journey
Today as I walked the labyrinth in the woods I had these thoughts.
Discipline puts our feet on the path. Being present and grounded in our lives is what holds us there.
What if we were to learn to walk with no guilt or regrets. It would be like the sun bursting through this thick, thick cloud that is covering the mountain today. Our lives would be filled with glorious light.
Let us practice anyway.
This day, I am grateful for:
A strong healthy body
This glorious mountain that teaches me everyday
This wonderful loving community
This is the inspiration for the day:
by Mary Oliver
It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Let use sing ourselves into aliveness!
Today I am finding inspiration from Jacqueline Freeman who writes about bees in her new book, The Song of Increase.
I am just learning about these incredible creatures that live together as one "super organism." Here is what she has to see that inspires me so much.
"Each member of the hive communicates 100% effort to all interactions. That's quite an interesting idea to me because I was raised with the idea that 50-50 is the goal for a two person relationship. For larger groups, each giving a little bit carries a group forward. The hive model of 100% effort given to all tasks by every bee is a wild idea that got me thinking, what if we set aside our indomitable nature and put the betterment of all in front? What would that do to our relationships, communities and the whole world."
"Imagine if we woke up each day asking ourselves how could we better the world? How could we sing ourselves into aliveness?
Who would we be if we understood we are all connected, that our individual efforts have have great value when we undertake actions that better the world as a whole?"
Today I am meditating and praying for my friends in Liberia and my new friends who are preparing to travel to Rwanda. My prayer is that we may stay connected and work for the betterment of all.
One cool thing have discovered today is Gaiam TV. It hosts some great yoga videos, discussions on alternative medicine practices, inspirational films and nutrition and health. It think it is a wonderful tool for those of us who are sick of the mindless entertainment that cable has to offer these days. It is available over the Internet.
Today was pretty hard. I woke up feeling grumpy and uncomfortable. I guess my body is releasing something. Letting go of foods that I use as a security blanket is hard. Chocolate is a big one. Here is something I found useful. Click here. It's about letting go of chocolate. I made it through this day without it. Yeah. We will be happy with the one day at a time approach.
If anyone has any good ideas on how to release these comfort foods, please let me know. I hold onto chocolate like it will shield me from anything bad that could happen. It's really pretty silly.
Today I learned to stop trying to do everything all by myself. Today I asked my creator for help. And, you know what? It was so easy today. I started my day, connecting with the source. I sat in meditation with some dear friends. To begin my day like this is such a blessing. Thank you dear friends, for sitting with me.
Today was the easiest day I have had since starting the cleanse. I have no cravings. I made it all day without chocolate, again! And, i didn't die!!!!
Today we made the FINAL payment on the land for the school in Liberia. This is a prayer we began in November 2013. At the time, it seemed an insurmountable task to even try to create a school in a country so far away with so little resources.
Today, I learned not to put any limitations on what you ask for. Nothing is too large, too hard, to expensive, too much to ask for. I am so grateful for all of our community members who have donated to this project. I am grateful to the strangers, friends and family who have donated also. We have been gifted abundance to share. I am so happy to be witness to this miracle!
I woke up with sort of a headache today, which is unusual for me. I just decided to flush it out and it worked. I drank a huge glass of ware and then had my morning Dandy Tea. I think when the liver is clearing it can definitely cause that headachy feeling.
My friend introduced me to some wonderful soup. It is very filling and nutritious. It is also very easy to make.
In a crock pot I put:
I package of Frozen Artichoke hearts
I large can diced Tomatoes
2 Cups finely chopped broccoli
1/2 cup mushrooms
I then poured some homemade chicken bone broth over it. But the recipe calls for vegetable broth. I just did not have any.
I added curry and ginger to mine, but any spices you like would do.
I also ran across this today, which I find fascinating. Click here to view.
I have definitely come to understand the important role that sleep plays in weight loss. This article kind of explains it.
This is a challenging and easy day. I find that I am not driven by cravings, but my energy is low. I guess my body is getting rid of some things.
I find my emotions are raw without my chocolate crutch. But I also discovered that I can live through this and get to the other side and really feel my emotions. I cried today. It was ok.
My energy is back!!!!! I feel free of cravings and I am able to be present and walk this way. Hiking in the mountains brings me to that place. I am so grateful.
I am sleeping more soundly. I find that when I awake in the morning, I feel more rested. This is a nice surprise. My energy has returned!!!! Yeah!
Here is what I have come to realize about
Rhythms are important
There are times to dance in rhythm
Slow, soft, gentle flow
There at times for ecstatic dance
Joyful, explosion, moving me outward
There are times to just
Breathe and Be
All are so good.
This mountain has taught me to walk. Our days revolve around the hours of sunlight, the warmth of the day, and the work to be done.
Winter mornings are quiet and still times. The song of woodpeckers, searching for their morning meals echoes across the meadow.
It is time to dream of this day. I wonder what gifts and miracles it holds? I breathe in.
It is time to write.
I breathe in.
It is time to listen.
I breathe in.
My mind travels to a list of chores
cabins to clean, laundry, laundry, laundry, floors to clean, lopping and clearing, building new trails, preparing the garden.
I breathe in.
All will be done as it needs to be done.
I breathe out
I feel the energy rise up from the earth, through my lower chakras, my root, my second, my third and now to my heart, and flowing out my hands. I feel the energy coming from the sky, the light, flowing down through my upper chakras: my crown , my brow , my throat , and connecting with my heart and flowing out my hands to the world. I offer myself in service to the world.
May I be peaceful.
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be free from suffering.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.
- the Loving Kindness Meditation
I now give thanks fully with my heart wide open.
I give thanks for all my many blessings
Here are some from today
I am thankful to live and love on this mountain, in this family, in this community. I am thankful for strangers who are now friends. I am thankful for sweet memories and this present moment with joy and anticipation for all the miracles to come.
Now I am ready to ask for what I need this day.
I ask for guidance on what needs to be done and what needs to be left undone.
I remember this poem:
Hear, O Humankind, the prayer of my heart.
For are we not one, have we not one desire,
To heal our Mother Earth and bind her
To hear again from dark forests and flashing
The varied ever-changing Song of Creation.
O Humankind, are we not all brothers and
Are we not the grandchildren of the Great
Do we not all want to love and be loved,
To work and to play,
To sing and dance together?
But we live with fear.
Fear that is hate, fear that is mistrust,
envy, greed, vanity,
Fear that is ambition, competition,
Fear that is loneliness, anger, bitterness,
cruelty…. And yet, fear is only twisted love,
love turned back on itself,
Love that was denied, love that was
Love is life ~ creation, seed and leaf
And blossom and fruit and seed,
Love is growth and search and reach and
touch and dance.
Love is nurture and succor and feed and
Love is pleasuring ourselves, pleasuring each
Love is life believing in itself.
Life is the Sacred Mystery singing to itself,
Dancing to its drum, telling stories,
And we are all that Spirit,
Our stories tell but one cosmic story that
we are love indeed,
That perfect love in me seeks the love in you,
And if our eyes could ever meet without
We would recognize each other and rejoice,
For love is life believing in itself.
Manitongquat (Medicine Story) is a medicine
man and storyteller of the Wampanoag Nation.
(2001 Indigo Bridge Cooperative
I am grateful that I have been loved well.
What I have learned is that when the balance of my day is disrupted, it is in sharp contrast with that peace that I feel. To release into the ecstatic dance of joyful play is such a gift! It fills my soul with pleasure and delight.
And it is exhausting.
I re-member mself.
I align with my creator.
I feel a deep connecton with God.
All things shift back into place.
I am so grateful.
Today I am grateful to a few practices that help me keep on track.
- Drinking Hot water and Lemon with a dash of cayenne pepper is a wonderful way to keep away cravings and clean your liver.
- Yoga and breathing exercise are one of the best ways to reduce stress.
- Pulling coconut oil through your teeth is a wonderful way to help your mouth and upper respiratory tract stay healthy.
- Skin brushing makes you skin, the largest organ in our bodies, very healthy and supple.
- Bursting ( Getting your heart rate up to as high as you can for 2 min) is a wonderful way to train your heart.
- Gratitudes raise your vibration levels immiately.
For more information on these health practices, visit our self-care page.
Today I am thankful for Yoga. It is a practice that has reduced my stress level and led me to good health.
Staying on this path is about exploring and trying new things within the boundaries. Today, I discovered pomegranate seeds. I purchased a beautiful pomegranate for my fruit bowl with no idea how to eat it. My dear friend, Gwen, told me to cut it in half and wack it with a spoon to get the seeds out. That was fun! The seeds and the juice are just delicious. Then I put some in the freezer as she advised. Wow! I just love them that way. Also it turns out they are a great antioxidant and very medicinal for your heart. Click here for more information.
I am very grateful today for my dear husband who is so supportive of me on this path. This path is now always easy. Making new food choices makes me grumpy sometimes. Letting go of toxins can be uncomfortable. It is wonderful to have such a loving, understanding partner who is supportive of this journey.
My spiritual path is the path of Christ. These are some helpful words a friend shared with me today.
"Trust is a golden pathway to heaven. When you walk on this path, you live above your circumstances. My glorious Light shines more brightly on those who follow this path of Life. Dare to walk on the high road with Me, for it is the most direct route to heaven. The low road is circuitous; twisting and turning in agonizing knots. There the air hangs heavy - and dark, ominous clouds predominaste. Relying on your own understanding will weigh you down. Trust in me absolutely, and I will make your path straight."- Sara Young
John 14:1-2 - "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?"
Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Also today, I ran across a great exercise for my neck. Neck pain has been something I have struggled with since I was very young. I had an accident that started it, but years of being on a computer have worsened it.
Perhaps you will find this link helpful. Ignore the marketing if you like, and just go to the video on this page. Click here.
Today I am grateful for the pure joy that comes with a fresh snow, and the giggles that come with flying down the hill on my sled. It is so much fun to be a kid again!
One of the most powerful things about cleansing is just letting go of old stuff when it comes up without trying to analyze it to death. I have come to see that by letting emotions just move through me, I do no have to know why or how, but just let them transform. The space that remains opens for joy.
Forgiving oneself is a very important part of this cleansing process.
There are times when I just do not obey my intentions. But, I still have my intentions and I refuse to let go of them just because I stepped of track a bit. Guilt does nothing but slow one down, like a ball and chain.
Sometimes I have more energy than others. This is ok. Yin energy is that soft nurturing energy so present in winter. Reading, relaxing, just being is sometimes so hard for me to do. I am such a doer! But, this is important in the balance. Too much yang (doing energy) without much yin (being energy) really stresses the body out and creates and environment where your body wants to hold on to fat. I am learning to "just be".
I am also learning about cycles. My body does not like feeling closed in. My spirit tends to drop when the cloud ceiling drops. On these days, it is so important for me to take a walk in nature. It clears my energy and makes me feel alive.
This cleanse is about recognizing these cycles. If I don't get outside a bit, I get cranky and want to feed my body poorly. I then start to feel bad and I tend to cycle down.
Walking and breathing deep are crucial to my good health. They are at the heart of my good nutrition, because then I make better choices.
Today we are having another snow storm. As I am called once again to be still, I recognize that boredom is at the seat of creativity. I think of the acorns safely nestled under the ground, waiting with all of their energy and potential to burst forth in the Spring. To sit and feel that energy which is in each of us, I come to know that absolutely nothing is impossible.
I found this great holistic nutrition link today. Its very helpful. Click here to view it.
Cleansing is like cleaning out the cobwebs, digging through those cabinets that I have been stuffing things in for years, or getting rid of the mold growing in the closet. It's not a job I necessarily enjoy. It's important for me to keep moving. Movement is what makes the serotonin (happy hormones) flow in my body. Taking a long walk in nature is what takes my "wa wa blues" away.
Day Twenty One
This is the last day of my cleanse. I am grateful. I am grateful for the process. I have not been perfect and obeyed all the rules, but I do feel I have incorporated some habits that I can continue.
I love living my life with less sugar and carbohydrates.
I love eating whole foods.
I love exercisizing every day.
I love doing yoga.
I love praying and setting my intentions for the day first thing in the morning.
I love sleeping between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am.
I hope to ingrain these habits for the rest of my life.
I am very thankful for this process.
Post Cleanse Thoughts
This cleanse has been about more than my physical body. Although, I have certainly moved some stuff out of my body. I still work to cleanse my mind. It all begins with what we think. I have discovered that it is not helpful for me to fantasize about food. Spending time thinking about nutrition and what is good for my body is time well spent, but thinking about that next piece of chocolate is not all that helpful.
In my Spritiual tradition we say the following during communion, our Spiritual meal. I leave you with this.
ALMIGHTY God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen