Today I am a guest on Nili and Sue’s 1000 Day Journey. Come on over and read about my miracles!
I keep encountering the word power and different discussions and pretty posts urging me to take back my power, or step into my power. Power can be a loaded word. I never thought of myself as powerful, and it’s easy to see situations where power means control over others. I’d like to explore power as my freedom to choose, my will to choose, the idea that I have choice, and so does everyone else. With this perspective, as I watch the news and listen to conversations, I’m struck by the observation that “we”—all of us, the big collective we—have given away this power in so many ways, and then we complain about what “they”—the big, imaginary monster we created—do for and to us!
Somewhere along the way, in big and small, gradual ways, we have said to our leaders, please take care of us. We have said, we need doctors to fix us. We said to government, protect us and educate us. We said, please guide us. We abdicated responsibility, over time, as a collective. And so “they” are trying. But what if it is time to share these tasks and take responsibility again? What if “we” truly becomes all of us, working together? What if it starts with gently taking back responsibility for ourselves?
Take food. This example is clear to me. (Yes, you know I like to eat!) Someone came up with the idea to decide when food would no longer be fresh and when it would no longer be edible and to put those dates on the package! When I think about it, I imagine a meeting at a food company where someone is called on to present his or her new idea, and he or she says, “let’s put dates on our packages so people know when food will still be good to eat.” And so, you can imagine, begins the discussion. How do WE know? What will this help? Oh, right, if someone eats something past the date and gets sick, it’s not our fault! And if we are conservative with our predictions, we might save people from getting sick. That’s good, right? Underlying all this is the idea that people want us to protect them. It’s our job to decide for them. But we also know that if something goes wrong, they like to blame us, too. This can help!
How did it come to this? What happened to our noses and eyes? What happened to our taste buds? And yet, I have experienced people who just go by those dates. They don’t trust themselves to decide. They are afraid to eat something past its date! I grew up with food without dates and mostly without packaging!! We had to decide for ourselves. And I don’t remember us wasting very much, or getting sick from our food.
Life is not one size fits all. We each have our own experiences, even our own experience of experiences that might appear to be shared. Think of siblings in a family. All raised together. And yet, each would tell their own story, their own experience of the family. And to keep the discussion on food, two of us could sit down and eat the same food just one day past its expiry date, and have two very different experiences for many reasons. One of us might have a weaker immune system that day, and get sick, while the other doesn’t. One of us might have a cold and not detect a slightly off smell, while the other does. One of us might have put ours in the freezer while the other one was left out on the counter. One of us might believe in expiry dates on food while the others doesn’t! One of us might enjoy the food with no worry, while the other might be looking for symptoms all afternoon, wondering if it was ok to have eaten it. One of us might be in our own power, trusting our judgments and instincts, while the other might still be giving it away.
The good news is, I’m sure that in big ways and small, gently and clearly, we can take back our power. This power is the power to decide, to know, and the willingness to take responsibility for ourselves and what happens to and around us. I’m going to decide it’s ok to eat this, and how I feel afterwards is my responsibility. I will blame no one! Go on, try it, but know that there is help available if something goes wrong. Then try it with other areas of your life. What do you know to be true? What feels, looks, sounds, and tastes right to you? What if that is all that matters?
Yes, we are here to help each other and to support each other, absolutely, and I agree that this is powerful and can be empowering. But when we say, fix me, protect me, or decide for me, we aren’t using our power or sharing the responsibility. Instead we are giving it all away, sometimes even forcing it on another. And it leads to resentment on both sides, because we all really want to have some say in our reality, in our life, and we don’t usually want to be totally responsible for others. We all want to feel like we are taking part, not just being led or doing all the work. Let’s walk together. Let’s remember this, whether we are the helper or the one asking for help.
Would you like to go deeper? I recommend…
My Healing Vision for Claiming Power (a meditation with music and affirmations)
My Healing Vision for a Heart-Based Society (a meditation with music and affirmations)
Zero Limits by Joe Vitale, Ho’oponopono Healing (this one goes really deep, into 100% responsibility!)
Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon, exploring radical choices and success with alternative education
The Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, choosing to live consistently with your deepest desires
Dying to Be Me, by Anita Moorjani, her discovery of the benefit of living true to herself and full of love
Yesterday was quite a day. As many of you know, Lee was taken to emergency with trouble breathing. Thank you for your emails asking how he is and how I am. Each email sends even stronger positive healing vibrations to our family. We don't quite have a diagnosis yet. There are a range of thoughts that only bloodwork and cultures will give a diagnosis.
I love when someone (through a book or a talk or a YouTube video or a Facebook conversation) helps me go deeper into something I’m beginning to know and remember. This Christmastime Marianne Williamson is doing just that. I was nudged to pick up The Gift of Change that the receipt inside says I bought in 2009. It has been on my shelf all this time, and yet I knew when it was time to read it. In her words, I am finding so much that is speaking to me, that is confirming and deepening my understanding, right now.
As I started the book, I imagined sharing it with a friend, passing it along when I was finished, but as I went on, I knew I would not be parting with this book. I began to underline and note important passages. I paused to reflect, share and pray with ideas in the book. I still plan to share the book with my friend, but I will buy another copy for her.
Marianne Williamson is a teacher of A Course in Miracles, which somehow I didn’t realize until reading this book, and so it is part of the perfection that I was not nudged to read this until this time, when I have begun to take in and resonate with ACIM, myself.
She has a way of sharing her truth along with stories that illustrate her points beautifully. She is talking about change and pain and how to not bury it and not gloss over it and not pretend it isn’t so bad, and yet, she also guides the reader out of wallowing, looking for pity or being the victim. It’s about responsibility and love. It’s about change and growth. And for me, right now, it’s perfect.
From the introduction
“Who we ourselves become, how we grow and change and face the challenges of our own lives, is intimately and casually connected to how the world will change over the next few years. For the world is a projection of our individual psyches, collected on a global screen; it is hurt or healed by every thought we think. To whatever extent I refuse to face the deeper issues that hold me back, to that extent the world will be held back. And to whatever extent I find the miraculous key to the transformation of my own life, to that extent I will help change the world. That is what this book is about: becoming the change that will change the world.”
I don’t want to necessarily recommend this book to you, but I do want to encourage you to let books and teachers and videos and pages and blogs find you. I want to encourage you to read what you are nudged to read and to enjoy the inspiration of others when they appear in your reality. This is important to your well-being, and to the well-being of us all, for when you are inspired, enthused and aligned with Life, you give that out to all of us.
In the quiet of the morning, with plenty of time, I began to work the cold dough. The gingerbread, dark with molasses, fragrant with ginger, was ready to be shaped and baked. While the oven warmed I kneaded and rolled, cut out the gingerbread men and stars and enjoyed the feel, smell tastes (of course!) and memories, because I could. Because enough of what used to send me into a frenzy at times like this has been released. I am revelling in this realization to mark the importance of this. I don’t want to call it an accomplishment. Maybe evolution fits, maybe not. All I know is it is where I am now and I like it.
You might recognize yourself in this story. In the past, additional activities or projects were such a double-edged sword. Saying yes felt good. Planning my contribution felt good. Imagining the scenes as I shared and presented my offerings felt good. But fitting it into my normal routine and around my other responsibilities often left me frazzled, frenzied and irritable. Details aren’t important, especially if you are nodding knowingly with a wry smile on your face right now, but if you need some amusement or confirmation, I can easily think of scenarios involving gaggles of gingerbread men, batches of fudge, knitting projects and homemade cards.
Each started with a lovely intention. I really wanted to do all those things and all the other things, and really, I wanted to enjoy them along the way. I just didn’t know how.
I didn’t know that hurrying doesn’t really work. I didn’t believe that I could pick and choose and decide to enjoy the process. And I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry for all the stress and discomfort my frazzled, frenzied states caused others.
But now I know differently, because I have experienced it. I found a way. I eased into a new way.
This week I managed to prepare my jewellery collection and gingerbread cookies for the craft fair, and create a new banana muffin recipe, while continuing at a steady pace on some knitting that I want to be a Christmas present—on time. In a week sprinkled with news of deaths and the usual household responsibilities, I enjoyed these creations, these holiday preparations. (I even have a vague memory of mopping the kitchen floor, really?)
I just want you to know it is possible. I want you to ease at reading my story and let go of some of what en-frenzies you this holiday season so you can open to the enjoyment of more moments, the process, the interactions and the memories.
If you pressed me, asking how, I might talk about meditation and Ho’oponopono and mindfulness, but I wouldn’t be able to give you a step-by-step, it wasn’t like that. We could talk about Law of Attraction, Abraham, Conversations with God, inner peace and affirmations, but like the best recipe, it will have to be adjusted for you. Maybe desire is enough. Ask and it is given. Ask for what you truly want—peace, understanding, ease, flow, fun….whatever! And enjoy the way God-The Universe-Law of Attraction brings it to you. Open with positive expectation and revel in the moments, inspirations and opportunities that appear. Trust me—it gets really fun!
Click here for the recipe!
The title feels kind of like a “men at work” sign to me. Look out, something’s happening, and while it might look messy now, something better is coming, we promise. I’m a bit like that at the moment, depending from which angle you would observe me.
I wouldn’t want anyone to come to my site thinking I have all the answers and live an easy, healthy, unflawed life. Far from it! It is a journey! I’m on the trip, sending postcards and journaling along the way. And sometimes it does get messy.
Here’s the story….I’ve had three cold-sinus events in the last six weeks, after being surprisingly fatigued for nearly six months in the summer, and yet in between all this I have returned to running and enjoyed some really amazing yoga classes. Most importantly, through it all, I have been more at peace, more accepting, and more loving towards myself and my body than ever before. Now, that’s still a work in progress, mind you, but it’s definitely improving. Through all the physical bits, which might not look so much like well-being, I have been finding deeper and more meaningful peace, more ways to share and learn and listen and write, and enjoying the coming together of so many ideas and practices which really brings meaning to all of my experiences. Yes, I’m being vague, because the details don’t matter. You don’t need to do it my way. My way is only that, my way. One way, in an infinite variety of possibilities. And yet I’m compelled to share.
I want to share that the more I think about well-being, the more I am reminded how it has no short and simple definition for me, how it encompasses so much, and can be so beautiful, even in the face of labels like illness or disease. I have also been reminded that I find it much easier to take care of myself when I’m feeling good, which is a shame, because when I need it the most, I’m most likely to revert to old ways of soothing and coping. But, I’m also reminded, it’s never a true return, I never go back to where I was, and this time I have brought back a practice that I’m sure will benefit me again. I’m always in this new, now place, wherever I am at the moment.
More and more, well-being is not around the corner, through that door or over a goalpost and definitely not set in stone. It’s defined however I want to define it, and that changes. Well-being is things like feeling good (emotionally) about myself, feeling connected (spiritually) and feeling healthy and well (physically). If all three were at a 10, well, look out! Maybe that is the goal. Or maybe not. Maybe one is more important than another. Maybe not. Maybe being at a 10 physically isn’t what I think it is. And at this moment, I’m ok with that. Maybe that’s most important. Really.
At this moment, I’m criticizing myself much less. At this moment, I’m loving myself more, as I am in this moment, no matter what came before or what could come after. And the beautiful thing of that is that I’m not so bothered when my physical body is feeling less than 10. And I’m not as quick to criticize others. And I’m more apt to listen, easily listen. And I’m slower to respond and answer. All this feels good.
And at this moment, my understanding is that if I take care of this inner well-being, the outer will reflect it. I can let it take care of itself. I can enjoy what I have, and look forward with positive expectation. I can forgive myself, over and over, in every moment, to clear the path of peace.
And as I do this, as I find peace, then things start to bubble. Ideas are floating in that seem easy to take action on. Opportunities to rest present themselves at perfect times. It’s easier to be honest about what I’m feeling and what I need. I’m interacting with others more easily and peacefully. And well-being seems easy and natural—right now.
I have read this book twice now. I loved it the first time, and consulted some underlined parts since, but recently was prompted by a very nice conversation with the author to put a review on Amazon. I have, and I’m sharing it here, there and everywhere, too, because I just love this book! The second time, I started to read with the view of writing a worthy review, but I really got drawn into the story again and was newly inspired and moved all over again.
Barry Durdant-Hollamb in The Breaking of the Shell shares a communication model through what feels to me like a very authentic personal story. It is so authentic, in fact, the first time I read it, I really thought it was an autobiography, and even tried to look up the father and asked my husband if he remembered this man, who was well known from his shows on BBC! The communication model is about allowing discomfort, listening, not rushing to fix, and holding space. It is beautiful, and spelled out clearly enough to start using it. And I have! The story is very well written, with the teaching interwoven into examples that feel relevant and real. I found it easy to extract beautiful teaching from the story, and yet it’s presented so naturally in the story, that it goes down easy. I find this book to be similar to the Celestine Prophecy series of books, which I also enjoyed, and Barry didn’t mind the comparison. The Breaking of the Shell is a bit more edgy, I guess I would say, but never over the top.
In the book, Barry lets us see how Alexander’s life became one of achieving at any cost and avoiding thinking about things that were painful to remember, including difficult relationships with his wife and children, while at the same time letting the reader see him go through the opening up and learning this new way to communicate. Along the way he learns how to face things in his own life and he eventually even sees his parents—each of them and their divorce— in a whole new light. It’s touching and real, and the communication model is spelled out with examples that weave perfectly into the story. And it has a happy ending!
I just love the story and I love the teaching that the characters share with each other. Barry has presented a real, workable model for meaningful and peaceful communication and I’m using it myself! I highly recommend this book!
Amazing Kindle prices right now!
As I near the end of this book, I am beginning the review, because I don’t want to lose the enthusiasm I have for this man and his research and presentation. The book is Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill By Udo Erasmus. As I write this, I’m also eating homemade muesli with fresh ground flax seed and nuts.
I have known about this book and much of the general information for a long time, but recently the book fell into my hands, nearly literally, and so I took the opportunity to read it. There is too much detailed information to share in a review, or even take note of, so I will be getting my own copy for reference very soon, and recommend that if this interests you, you get a copy, too!
The bottom line is not all fats (in our foods) are equal. And for me, this was important to remember. I have fallen in love with grass fed beef and lamb and organic butter, and along the way neglected things like oily fish and flax seed and oil. But I’m back! Back on track, with a balance of both.
Udo Erasmus’ work is backed by tons of time, effort and serious research, and yet it’s easy to read. I skipped the technical diagrams, like he said I could, and it was fine. But if you have a science mind, it’s all there for you. He speaks, in depth, about fats and oils, but also relates them to the whole picture of well-being and health.
I wish he had included a bit more differentiation between saturated fat from grain-fed animals versus grass-fed, but I’m not going to argue the point here. Bottom line is grass-fed saturated fats are good energy, but the omega 3, 6 and 9 in oily fish and flax and hemp contain the essential fatty acids we need for so many processes in our bodies.
I love his attitude towards total health and his easy assurances that you can adjust how you eat and live and be healthy and even heal from serious illness. He clearly explains the need to balance good protein with good fat, and the destruction of nutrients in modern food processing.
I’m just going to leave you with some of his more general statements, and let you dive into the details when the time is right for you.
“When we were told not to play with our foods, we got bad advice. When we were told to eat what was on our plate, that too was bad advice. Instead, we should play with our foods: experiment and pay attention to how different foods affect our energy levels, moods, and body. We are feeling machines. Our body continuously generates feeling information that signals our biological condition.” (p 176)
He suggests that you use some expert guidance, “your own ability to feel, think and act, your capacity to experiment and observe, and a little patience and common sense, to arrive at the individual diet on which you feel and function at your personal best.” (p 177)
And with regards to our own health care, he says, “Become an ornery patient if you are unsatisfied, or take charge of your health yourself by becoming better educated about it. Insist on natural treatments for degenerative conditions, before accepting drugs, surgery, radiation and other invasive procedures, except in life-threatening crises.” (p 182)
“It is important for individuals to take charge of their own health. Since our entire body is made from food, water, air (and light), primary health care cannot rest in synthetic drugs and high technology, but must be built on appropriate choices of what we eat, drink and breathe. Primary health care through the proper use of food, water and air to build a properly functioning body will always remain the personal responsibility of the one doing the eating, drinking and breathing. We carry out that responsibility (for better or worse) with our knives, forks, spoons, cups, and plates.” (p 184)
“Major causes of degenerative diseases include nutrient deficiency, food pollution, and imbalance. Essential nutrients have been removed from the natural whole foods eating by our ancestors by processing, by nutrient losses occurring during storage and transport, and by unbalanced framing methods that leave soils depleted. They have been poisoned by the addition of artificial, non-natural, toxic ingredients to our food supply. Our food choices have been influenced by a constant barrage of advertising.” (p 185)
“When we eat foods containing all essential nutrients in optimum quantities, avoid contaminating our body with toxic substances, and live active life-styles in harmony with nature, most of us can forget about cholesterol. Blood cholesterol levels take care of themselves if we eat fresh, nutrient-rich, toxin-free, fiber-rich natural foods. Animals in nature and human generations, until the last two or three, took no measurements, yet had few cholesterol or cardiovascular problems.” (p 201)
Speaking about chickens and eggs, he says “Like humans, chickens in concentration camps don’t perform their best, because they are not in a healthy situation. Like us, healthy chickens require sunshine, whole fresh foods, fresh air and room to move. Then they lay healthy eggs.” (p 234)
“If what we hear and read is suspect, we can still put our trust in nature.” (p 248)
“It is difficult to resist the temptation to prescribe a single diet for everyone—you know, the one that works for the person who wrote the book. Many so-called ‘experts’ do just that and, in so doing, mislead many people.” (p 310)
“The consumption of refined, processed, nutrient-impoverished foods whose EFAs [Essential Fatty Acids] have been systematically destroyed, removed or altered during processing brings about physical degeneration and degenerative diseases.” (p 329)
“Life and life’s energy are facts They are less controversial than new drugs and organ transplants; they have been around far longer than both of these high-tech inventions, and will still be around with both have been abandoned for something not yet imagined by medical scientists. Life’s energy is within everything that lives. While it is present, so much is possible. We walk, talk, eat, work, heal, digest, think, reproduce, feel, laugh, and play. Without it, nothing! We might as well have a look at it, get to know it, maybe even make friends with it.” (p 418)
“If we expect to succeed in our quest for wholeness, we need to get to know, to respect, to trust, to love, and to merge in our own nature. And this is really the basis of health in its wider sense of wholeness – trust in life, in nature, and in human nature. In our ‘transformation’ to wholeness, we do not change ourselves. We simply discover more and more of the wonder that is always present within us, the wonder that is our life. Wholeness is achieved by discovering our own human nature and harmonizing with it, to all the way deep inside.” (p 423)
Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill at Amazon.com (when I checked there was a used copy for $0.01!)
Edo Erasmus online (I love his reading list!)
My husband introduced me to Leslie Kenton about five years ago. Well, not like that, but she is now my friend on Facebook and very kindly answered a message I sent her. He had her book Raw Energy Recipes and from that I learned to make proper muesli and tried some other interesting things. Then I saw her book, Passage to Power. I thought, oh that sounds good, someday I’ll be old enough to need to read about menopause. Well, that day has come sooner than I imagined, and I wish I would have read this book the day I bought it! But I do believe in perfect timing and I’m very grateful for this book at this point in my life. But please don’t think you need to be a certain age to read this book. It’s always a great time to learn more about your amazing body!
“A time of death and rebirth, menopause offers a woman approaching it or pasting through it an unequalled opportunity to regenerate and rejuvenate her body and, in the process, to transform her life both physically and spiritually.”
Inside the front cover, Leslie is described as “award-winning writer, television broadcaster and author of numerous bestsellers.” She’s also the daughter of Stan Kenton (for all you jazz fans). She has been described by the press as “’the guru of health and fitness’ and ‘the most original voice in health.’” She was born in California and settled in the UK after attending Stanford University. She’s even written a novel about Beethoven! (I haven’t read that, yet!)
Passage to Power is about menopause, what’s happening and why it is not a disease or unnatural occurrence to be dreaded. I am so uplifted by her approach and attitude. The technical, chemical and biological information reads as easily as the inspirational history, stories and personal bits. She gives advice about easing into new life with diet, exercise, herbal remedies, and a positive outlook for life after childbearing years. She carefully explains the drawbacks of HRT and offers alternatives.
“Menopause is also a time to take stock of what works in your body and what does not; a time to begin listening to the rhythm of your body and your soul.”
I read the first part a few months ago when things seemed to be a bit too off balance in my body, despite the fact that I’m taking care of myself better than ever before in my life. After reading the first half or so of the book, about what is actually happening in the female body as we age and why doctors only labelled it a disease to be treated in very recent history, I did some other reading, which confirmed Leslie’s findings, and found a source for natural progesterone cream. I’ve used the cream for nearly three months now, and I am noticing improvements! I finished the book last night, and have decided not to go vegetarian (it’s just not for me!), but I’m going to keep exercising, drink more water and try miso soup and some sea vegetables, ok, yes, I mean seaweed. It’s really good for you! And I learned that all this sage growing in my garden has great healing properties. I’ll be brewing some sage tea today! (It will be good for my husband, as well!)
Now, I know things happen at different times for different women, but if it helps, I will be 42 this week. Leslie offers hope and natural solutions for symptoms of menopause, PMS, endometriosis, and fibroids. I now understand that there were a lot of things going on in my life up to this point, nutritionally and environmentally, that contributed to my struggle with PMS over the years, and so, better late than never, I’m finding balance and feeling better again. I’m also feeling very positive about my life for the next 42 years, at least!