Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lie to me some more, please!

Now, I'm not the person to debate politics or religion.  I leave that to my husband.  I know where I stand on both issues and my 'reboot' of the latter is very personal to me. I am always willing to answer any questions, if anyone shows interest or is confused or just curious.  The door is always open.

This is not a change in subject, just follow along with me on this. 

When I lie in bed, like your average human, trying to go to sleep, I MUST have the t.v. on.  I have to have it tuned to something I've seen before or something I have no real interest in watching or listening to for a reason. 

My problem is that as I lie there, my mind is doing many activities.  I am rehashing the day's activities, the people I saw, what I heard or read, what my daughter's up to, prayers for those I know need them (which is everyone, basically!), plans for the next day, if any, and even plans for future activities.  I think of my husband's plans, how they will impact me. Oh, my!  It's a wonder I sleep at all!

Last night, even WITH the t.v. on a food channel, I was recalling a magazine cover I perused in the doctor's waiting room yesterday afternoon.  I'll describe it, then tell you why it was on my mind way into the night hours.

The cover was of a beautiful blond woman in a designer dress and shoes standing on a cobbled Parisian street outside of a shop.  She was holding a bicycle with a basket of flowers, bread, and the biggest wheel of cheese I've ever seen!  I never got past the cover to read the magazine for the following reasons.

I noted that a) she couldn't possibly ride that bike in those heels or dress, b) she couldn't even walk on a cobbled road in those 6-inch heels, c) she was SO thin that I'm sure she wouldn't TOUCH the food in the basket at any cost, and d) she was on a beautiful street IN PARIS and had this look of disdain on her face, not pleasure. 

Obviously, the photographer was going for something.  But as I learned, one of the rules in graphic design is, is it VALID?  Meaning does it communicate the message you want in a way the viewer can pick-up on?  OK. Now, I'll tell you.  It was a very well known and expensive TRAVEL magazine.  Nothing about that photo made me want to go to Paris (Alright! Maybe the cheese wheel!).

My late-night thoughts brought me a big belly-laugh at the time and were refreshed this morning as I heard the Supreme Court's opinion on the Healthcare Law.  It passed 5-4.  I laughed because (here we go again!) a) I wondered how could ANYone want to deny care to the sick or potentially ill, b) a judge appointed by former President Bush voted FOR the passing of the law (irony noted), c) there is a party running a candidate for President that passed an almost identical law in the state of which he was Governor, d) most people do not understand what it means for them now or down the road but are strongly for or against it, and, yes, there is an e) citizens are as ignorant of this as we are of many issues that happen in our country.

When I use the term 'ignorant' I'm using the exact definition that we just don't know, not meaning it in a derogatory manner.  We are lied to constantly, fed inaccurate information on all sides, and having what intelligence we do have insulted on a daily basis. 

That's how I felt looking at that magazine.  I was having my intelligence insulted.  I was being played for a fool.  I was being pandered to as someone that knows very little about rules of physics and the world.  I wasn't meant to look that closely at that cover. And I was offended.

I am deeply offended, also, by the Republican Party, on this issue of Healthcare Laws.

Consider that we are required by law currently to have automobile insurance, drivers' licenses and have our cars registered by law. Lenders require us to have mortgage insurance, smart people buy rental insurance, and for goodness sake, people buy PET HEALTH insurance.  As I recently, tweeted, why are we so reluctant to have to pay for insurance for our personal health and the health of our families! We didn't and don't fight the other insurances.  Why don't we want to take care of ourselves?  Is our self-esteem that low? Or do we truly see ourselves as immortal and invincible against all diseases and accidents?  Obviously, it's one or the other.

Wait.  There is one more.  Is it because Congress is fighting it so hard and people who follow their logic don't realize that those politicians don't have to worry about such things, personally?  The politicians are covered.  Their families are covered.  Their elder years are more than covered.  And guess what?  They don't have to pay for it!  We do! 

So, we are more willing to pay for them and their families to have good preventive healthcare, receive excellent care when they are ill, and have no cut-offs or pre-existing exclusions, receive their medications without having to decide whether to use their money to eat instead like our Seniors do,  and not have to worry about going bankrupt while sick or dying from a catastrophic illness?  How generous we are!  And, pardon me, but how foolish.

THIS is not valid, in my opinion.

May we all be blessed now and in the future with excellent health, a great craving for the truth, and open eyes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mastering the Cleansing of THIS Body/Mind/Spirit

Being the "foodie" that I am, I surprised myself last week.  I have now forgotten what made me look up the Master Cleanse again.  I mean, the original Stanley Burroughs book is in my library at home.  I tried it years ago without success (Translation-made it 'til noon!).  I know the theories behind detoxing your body and the side benefit of weight loss and was, understandably, skeptical. 

But last Tuesday, I looked at my kitchen and realized I already had everything needed to begin.  I eyed the lemons in a glass bowl on the table, knew I had pure maple syrup in the fridge (ALWAYS), and had cayenne pepper that I use, literally, by the pinch. I have no tolerance for HOT!  I'm a wimp! I admit it. So I began. 

My husband called and told me what craving he had for dinner and it was over by 3pm.

But fear not, my fine blogged friends!  I picked up the gauntlet again on Wednesday. 

For some reason, it was a different day, and a different "feeling" about starting AND continuing.  Yes, I'd prayed for the sustenance I'd need to do it.  I also had a long talk with myself (quietly so my hubby wouldn't commit me to the nearest mental hospital).

I reviewed my days spent either planning meals for us, watching food shows (I just LOVE "Chopped" and Nadia G.'s Bitchin Kitchen, @bitchinkitchen), and the commercials in-between are full of "we deliver/cook this/come eat here/you MUST have this".  I was stunned at how many of my thoughts involved food.  I was embarrassed for myself!

The result was, I decided to reboot how I looked at food.  I considered how many go hungry in the world and with the proper amount of guilt, I began again.

I'd read comments online that indicated that after - Oh, however long people chose to say! - you no longer feel hunger and you don't think of food.  Right.

So here's how it went and no one but my husband knew I was doing it, at first.  I didn't want to hear the negative comments or be influenced in any way.  I wanted to pay attention to my body and see what happened.

     Day 1 - I made enough of the lemon, syrup, water mixture to last the day.  (Tip #1,
                 if anyone ever does this, leave the cayenne out until you fix a glass or 
                 you will be unpleasantly surprised by how hot the cayenne became in the
                 pitcher.  Woo!
                The day went well with drinking, staying busy, and drinking lots of water, as 
                well.  Problem was....I WANTED TO CHEW SOMETHING! I WANTED
                TO EAT! So, I may not have been in the best of moods, I admit.

     Day 2 - Would you believe I forgot about food?  There was a joke a comedian had
                long ago about those women who say, "Sometimes, I just forget to eat!"
                The comic said, "It takes a special kind of stupid to forget to eat!" But I
                did not have the same obsession, and in one day! The fact I dropped 4     
                pounds was a bit of a motivator.

    Day 3-6 Yes, People!  I was dropping weight and so disinterested in food that I
                was able to make 20 chorizo-egg breakfast burritos to freeze, a lamb stew,
                AND watch my husband eat a vegetable calzone without clawing my eyes
                out!  It was amazing how detached I'd become.  I began to wonder for how
                long I could maintain the detachment and the 'de-tox'. (Tip #2 When they 
                say take a laxative and leave time for it to act, DO IT. No need to say more.)

    Day 7 - Stopped.  I had my grandson stay over a couple of nights while we took
               him to Vacation Bible School.  I guess he noticed I would just keep him
               company while he had his meals and was puzzled as to why I wasn't eating.
               Making 'turkey sloppy joes' for him, he asked if I was going to eat, too.
               When I explained what was going on, he looked at me as if I'd grown another
               head! He couldn't IMAGINE not eating and told me as much! I had dinner
               with him. (There's a way to Ease-Out of this that I didn't do.) Being with him
               at the table, sharing a meal and chatting became more important. (Final Tip -
               It's essential to a child, heck, and adult, to sit down with family and/or
               friends and share a meal.  A real meal not eaten in the car on the way to
               soccer practice or in front of the tv.)

I decided I'd proved my point to myself.  The idea that I could detach myself from something as near and dear to me as food was astounding and made me feel a little better in my spirit.  People claim to have this GREAT energy while doing this.  Perhaps if I'd gone longer, but during this ride, I felt a little more tired, which I'm chalking up to the MS. 

I will be doing it again soon.  It's not just because I lost 14 pounds in total, either.  I mean, that doesn't hurt the cause, but it's not the reason.  It was almost like a mini-Lent.  I was actually able to put my mind elsewhere.  As much as I like to create old and new recipes, I was never tempted to dive in.  I did it to feed those I love.  I did it in gratitude that the food was available, fresh, and others enjoyed it.  I realized that I don't need as much as I thought I did.  I'd already accomplished that in other areas of my life in decluttering/downsizing, but this was all new!  And I liked it!

Consider this section of rebooting a success!  Just stay clear of me on the first day, for your own sake.

Just want to add that I don't recommend the Master Cleanse for anybody without you reading the book and seeing a doctor to determine if you can do it safely, as it was just an experiment of my own. 

Now, everybody have a blessed rest of the week and weekend!


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Deepest Need of Man

There are SO many topics in the twitterverse and facebookland that pop-up and spark posts for me!  My head's spinning with the possibilities.  To be honest, my head spins a lot, normally.

Anyway.  @AndreasChoice, of whom I have become a regular viewer on YouTube of her videos, mentioned that there are some "weird @ss things happening in 2012".  I smiled wryly, then recalled an earlier conversation with my cousin.

We were saying that there seems to be an inordinate amount of people, well, "eating" body parts.  Let me say that a different way.  There is CANNABILISM and I'm not talking about in the deepest scariest jungles of Africa or the Amazon!  In one week, there were at least 4 stories of such frightening tales, you'd think you were watching Horror Night at your local theater.

Part of my reboot this year includes being more aware of the happenings of the world around me.  Sounds simple?  Not so much.

Most of us, wake, complete our routine, make our way to a job, complete our jobs, eat a few times in-between, make our way to dinner and tv, until it's time to bed-down and start again in the morning.  We have opinions that we express with co-workers, friends, and family, usually the same as theirs.  We veer on the weekend to include errands and activities we had no 'time' for during the week.  We might throw in a movie we saw an ad for or dine out at the place we heard was good, or that we go to every weekend.  We are alright with that.

What we don't see is what's around us.  What we don't feel is happening on levels that we ignore.  What we don't hear is the bad news or any news, for that matter. 

Now before you start thinking UFO's etc. know that I am, reasonably sane.  As Plato taught, in humans, there is a desire for transcedence beyond what is around us.  Part of it is considered, self-awareness.  Your dog or cat has no self-awareness, but we do.  We are even aware of our self-awareness and this can go on and on.  But also, we must be aware of the group dynamics around us. 

For instance, the U.S.A.'s group dynamic, as individualized and free as we like to think ourselves to be, is actually pretty similar to the rest of human race.  We actually go out of our way to make ourselves different by getting tattooes, piercings, dying our hair, dressing unusually, or being 'artistic' with our lives.  What happens is, eventually, others 'catch-on' and start to do the same thing and we are no longer unique.

We're convinced we want this uniqueness, this way of standing out from the crowd.  What we really want is to belong.  Stay with me now. 

Once the basic biological needs are cared for, what we crave is transcendence due to our self-awareness.  We think we want everyone to just leave us alone to do our thing.  The unknown result of the awareness of separation from the world is that it arouses anxiety in us. 

One day, I'll finish reading The Art of Loving, but I want to take my time and live it as I read it.  In the chapter on the Theory of Love, Erich Fromm, describes the consequences of separateness:

"The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness.  The absolute failure to achieve this aim means insanity, because the panic of complete isolation can be overcome only by such a radical withdrawal from the world outside that the feeling of separation disappears-because the world outside, from which one is separated, has disappeared."

So, the solution to this insanity is a radical withdrawal, to become a hermit. That seems to work really well for those in prison in solitary lockup. (insert sarcasm here.)

This is not a reasonable solution for most.  The point is, we need one another.  The transcending is of our own individual life and finding "at-onement" as he writes. 

Our human condition, our existence, is based on each other and on the planet on which we live.  With that separateness is, as stated, anxiety, guilt, shame, loneliness, all which can lead to, also as stated, insanity (Big jump coming, hang on!) AND CANNIBALISM!

This is what I'm picking up from the news daily.  Surely, others have noticed the increased pharmaceutical ads to "treat" these conditions, the number of self-help books on sale, the increased "bipolar" diagnosis, the number of people hurting each other (emotionally, financially, physically, and spiritually.) 

On the more positive end, we are aware of the love that is needed in our lives to survive.  Of love exists self-love, which is not the same as selfishness, brotherly love, love of God, and love between a parent and child. Unfortunately, there are those who think the only love that is available and worth pursuing is erotic love, and few get that right.

On that note, I'll leave you with what Fromm included in this book, a beautiful poem by Muslim poet and mystic, Rumi.  It describes the necessary polarities in loving relationships:

"Never, in sooth, does the lover seek without being sought by his beloved.
When the lightning of love has shot into this heart, know that there is love in that heart.
When love of God waxes in thy heart, beyond any doubt God hath love for thee.
No sound of clapping comes from one hand without the other hand.
Divine Wisdom is destiny and decree made us lovers of one another.
Because of that fore-ordainment every part of the world is paired with its mate.
In the view of the wise, Heaven is man and Earth woman: Earth fosters what Heaven lets fall.
When Earth lacks heat, Heaven sends it; when she has lost her freshness and moisture, Heaven restores it.
Heaven goes on his rounds, like a husband foraging for the wife's sake;
And Earth is busy with housewiferies: she attends to births and suckling that which she bears.
Regard Earth and Heaven as endowed with intelligence since they do the work of intelligent beings.
Unless these twain taste pleasure from one another, why are they creeping together like sweethearts?
Without the Earth, how should a flower and tree blossom?
What, then, would Heaven's water and heat produce?
As God put desire in man and woman to the end that the world should be preserved by their union,
So hath He implanted in every part of existence the desire for another part.
Day and Night are enemies outwardly; yet both serve one purpose,
Each in love with the other for the sake of perfecting their mutual work,
Without Night, the nature of Man would receive no income,
So there would be nothing for Day to spend."

We need each other, however we find each other.  That one's mine.

Have a blessed weekend!