February 28, 2010

Snippets of Illumination

I am cleaning my desk, a forever task, but always done just when it most needs cleaning up.

Today I ran across some quotes of mine; never before made public, previously kept only on the scrap of paper used to capture a moment of illumination, imagined illumination.
Here are the snippets:

You are a part of God
and without you,
the Universe would not be whole.
April 18, 2001

Communication is one of the most difficult things humans do, and it's often done exceedingly poorly.
(date unknown)

There is no perfection in human contact. It is always a series of explorations;
if this isn't your idea of fun, then you'll be stuck wanting perfection.
(date unknown)

We are all learning to be more loving, compassionate and graceful humans. In this life or some next.
(date unknown)

As in human geography and trade, so too in human nutrition/food intake:
Convenience and cost trump almost all other considerations, with the exception of taste. Taste, dictated or hopefully, not, trumps most all most of the time.
June 15, 2009

Look for our common Human connections. Look for the nod of recognition.
(early February 2010)

We've got to make taking care of ourselves, our beings, our bodies, easier. Convenient, cheap, everywhere we can have, can have the food which takes care of our beings, our bodies, our Selves. As we have it now with food which creates our pain, our disability, our diseases. It has GOT to be easier. It can happen in your lifetime. It must happen in your lifetime.
(fall of 2009)

I do believe that people can be attracted to the negative; who in fact relish, even find highly sexual, evil doers.
(date unknown)

Your pain means that you are not getting something. Either literally such as adequate sleep, or at least adequate nutrition; or emotionally/abstractly you're not getting something you need.
Thus its so very very easy to feel ourselves lacking/not enough/not good enough, always. Ahhh, but of course. We lack in our basic body needs....then why oh why wouldn't we also lack in the things which help our mind stay whole, filled, not always half. We lack in seeing our whole beauty.
(date unknown)

My prayer to Amma Ji right before being hugged by this Divine Woman: Let me come to you with Laughter.
(June, 2009)

February 25, 2010

Deep Friendship

I think often about the many many dear friends of mine who I love. I realize that the friends who I love the most, who I will ALWAYS love, are the ones who teach me, who allow me to see them, who allow me to be vulnerable with them, who are vulnerable with me. What sacredness, what wonder This Dear Life has to offer.

February 21, 2010

Inflammation

It is all about inflammation. We hurt, our body hurts. Times are stressful, work is hard and getting harder with increased productivity, co-workers getting fired, increased pressure, no job or looking for job/work, not resting enough, rush, rush, rush. Bills and worry about money; when will I, when can I retire, how will I make it. How will I be able to continue to just function, I hurt so. And all of this body hurt can too quickly become mind and heart and soul hurting. Daily pain is so very destructive and can make a body give up. Can cause depression, emotional giving up.

The inflammation causes immune cellular release (our immune system is called in to help quell the inflammation) and this actually makes the burning and pain worse. And makes us feel terrible. More than half of why we feel so terrible with a cold/flu/virus is because the immune system throws out funky molecules which cause us to feel bad. The same process happens with chronic inflammation. With chronic inflammation, our immune system is always actively engaged, thus always releasing, spitting out pain, and fatigue causing molecules.

The immune process is costly. It keeps us alive, but often at a very dear price: dreadful pain. And when the immune process is continually turned on, with chronic inflammation, it is dreadful, daily pain. Oh, it's so very much a vicious cycle.

Inflammation causes our immune system to be hyper-vigilant, to fight, and release those substances which make us hurt more, burn more; make us feel weak, and sick, and not want to get up out of our chairs. So we sit. We become less active. We buy the Snuggly to allow us to sit more in warmth, and stay. Often for hours. Often watching TV, and eating.

And guess what we're eating? Yes, but of course. We're eating the very thing which causes the inflammation in the first place. Oh my Goddess Divine! No! I'm eating the thing which is causing the inflammation which is causing my fatigue, my burning, my pain, my need for pills, and my not wanting to do much of anything, 'cept sit, and watch, and eat. Sex is not even considered, and the fatigue makes true effort at communication with my partner, spouse, love of my life, a chore. It means being present, and oh I so do not wish to be present. Cause present hurts. Real physical pain. Not to mention the pain of worry about money, bills, job, no job, rejection, rejection, lots of worry. And the pills don't help, at least not for long enough. There's always that place of wearing off before the next one/two/three kick in. So the watching, and eating is a wonderful way to not be present. To not be conscious; of my body, of my worries. If I am a Margaret, I use my out of body time to watch, eat, and to create. She would always create, always create art, in its deepest sense. Layered with meaning, as my new friend loves to say (thus notice when it is so layered). So you may be a Margaret type, and create your passions as you sit, and watch, and eat, and create. And tune out your pain of inflammation.

Know that this inflammation, this pain caused by inflammation leads to the sitting, not moving, not moving much at all, the pills, and watching, and eating and lo! outgrowing our clothes, our chairs, our lives. We outgrow our lives; our lives get shortened. The more we do not like to rise from sitting, the more we have arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gastro-intestinal disorders, all pain, pain; and the most dreaded, cancer. Oh, and more Alzheimer's too. If we don't die from a "lifestyle disease" exacerbated by, caused by inflammation, we may not have our mind. We have learned in the last twenty or so years that inflammation is the true, the primary culprit in all of the diseases which make us hurt, make our families hurt, give us pain, give us pills, more pills, then even more pills, and not want to move, thus sit, and watch, and eat. And need more pills.

Now wouldn't one think that we'd try to eliminate this inflammation, and its etiology (its cause) in the same way we eliminated polio and smallpox. We saw illness, pain, suffering, and we found out how to release it from our world. (Goddess please, allow us to have the collective will to eliminate the other scourges which plague the developing world.)

One would think. Wouldn't one. A rational, reasonable one would think so. Would think that we'd figure out how to eliminate it/release it from our world. For the common good, for compassion for those who suffer tremendously from its ill effects. For better quality of life, for less costly medical care, for saving money, for saving lives, for saving lives.

Sigh. Big sigh. We do know what causes this plague of inflammation (thus what causes the plague of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, gastro-intestinal ills, Alzheimer's, and the most dreaded, cancer). But we have not as yet the collective will to truly create change. And it will take the same collective will, public effort, tremendous effort to effect a decrease in inflammation as it took to create a decrease in tobacco smoke in the public environment. It took, what, easily fifty years to create a world where smoking a cigarette in a public, enclosed environment is seen for what it is: deadly.

Inflammation's cause is in the food we have created in the past sixty years, the non-food substances (Thank You Michael Pollan) which are our food. Have become more and more our food in the past sixty years; because this non-food, or highly refined food, or too salty food, or too sweet/sugary food, and certainly much much too fatty food has become our staple. This food because of it's too much refinement, salt, sugary, fatty manner is what is the cause of our inflammation. Yes. No kidding. The research is in. Has been for at least the past twenty years.

What causes inflammation is common knowledge (common for the people in the medical industry, and the pharmaceutical industry). In fact the pharmaceutical industry has worked lo these many years to bring us pills which can quell our fire; help turn down the heat, the pain of our inflammation. Advil, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen, cox-2 inhibitors (Celebrex), Aspirin, Tylenol, oh so many pill ways to get rid of our pain, caused by our inflammation, caused by what we eat. The food which we've made cheaply; made filling; easy to get; easy to find; this everywhere food. It lures; it calls. It tells us we can feed and have FUN, and a SNACK, and more FUN, and HAPPY, and TAKE A BREAK from our oh so very stressful lives. We can feed and have a secret pleasure. Feed our secret pleasure. And cheaply. What FUN.

These folks know that the large amount of omega 6 fats used to make this cheap, fun, filling, highly refined, oh so very easy to find food, combined with the excess salt, sugar, the saturated fats, the trans fats, all this, in the food we eat, regularly, routinely, most every day or more; this cheap, ubiquitous food, so convenient, so engineered for company profit, company profit, is exactly what causes our inflammation.

Yep, it's this very food, this everywhere food, this ever-lasting/long lived, highly engineered food which causes our inflammation, our pain, our disease, our pill taking, wall street's portfolios to grow, entire industries to flourish, employ people, pay professionals lots of money to prescribe more pills, cause no one pays them to tell the truth. No one pays the doctor to tell people to not eat the regularly consumed cheap, highly refined, too fatty, salty, sugary food which causes our ills. They get paid to tell us to take our pills. Take our pills. And the doctor is not even trained to talk about food. Where would she begin? Eat more fruit and vegetables. Yes, we all know eat more fruit and vegetables. Ha! Exactly how's that done? When the fruit and vegetables are not cheap, and Oh My Goddess, this way to eat is so expensive, and not convenient. Not at all convenient. And people don't want the truth about their food.

I want to eat what I want. No one's gonna tell me what I can eat. It's my choice. It's my right. And I sure as heck like that it's cheap, and easy to find, convenient. I like that. And it tastes good. They've got the right combination of refinement/fat/salt/sugar, artificial flavors to keep me coming back. Engineered to keep me wanting more. Wanting more.

But I don't want this pain of inflammation. I'm tired and hurting and growing old before my time, and fat. I can't move like I used to.

But I certainly don't want the pain of that healthy food that must be cooked, isn't easy, is hard to find, and I've got to learn to cook it, then clean up, and Oh My Goddess, shop for it. And watch it rot in the fridge cause as well meaning as I was, I never ate it.

What's a girl to do?

February 18, 2010

A Call for Reason Regarding Our Food

Thoughts after teaching tonight.
Everyone, all seven souls, embodied in flesh blood bone which they all wish to change. They seek guidance, support, help to comprehend and have success with this change. They all know, inherently, in their gut, in their heart, of course their minds, what is reasonable. They understand at a very deep level that what they eat is as important to their flesh blood bone as is the air they breathe, the water they drink, the needed rest they must take. They understand their need to eat 'better'. Better than, than what they presently eat. They know, they've 'got it', 'got' the need to change, all the right reasons, they understand; and truly want to change. But it's so hard, so very very hard to eat 'better.' God, it is so very easy to continue as is. The food is fast, convenient, all over/ubiquitous. And it's so cheap. Hell, you can almost gorge on just $5.00. And the other stuff is so expensive. And who knows how to cook it anyway. And the bother of not just the cooking, but the cleanup. It's really the cleanup that is hated the most; so the whole thing is skipped and so much easier to eat out. Fast food for lunch, Applebees or somesuch for supper. It's quick, done with, no mess, and affordable. And there's no food shopping. The awful food shopping. The hated food shopping. And so hard for just one.

They want the change for their flesh bone blood, which often hurts, or doesn't feel good, and even the over the counter nostrums don't really help anymore. They want to feel better. They KNOW that part of the secret to not just getting, but holding on to a body which feels good is about food, their food, what they eat, routinely, on a regular basis (even when they say "oh, I never eat the same way two days in a row; and I skip meals; it's never regular or routine....."). It's so much all the same, a basic intake of the fast, convenient, ubiquitous, and so very cheap food that surrounds us all. It is so much a part of our lives, it is EVERYWHERE, these food like substances (thank you Michaell Pollan) that have lives of years. Almost everyone eats from this well of disease. It is so very very available to all. It is our mainstay.

And we all, even the fifth grade class I asked, know what food to eat for health. Food to eat to feel better. Food to eat to not get disease. Those killer things which have taken so many of our families, that live in our lives and haunt us with the dozens of pills we or a loved one must take. Those dozens of pills that routinely pollute our water ways, not to speak of our bodies. One is used to counteract the effect of another. And they multiply over the years. The sorting, boxing, taking, remembering gets longer. And longer.

We know that what we eat can change the pill taking, the condition, the fat, the shape, the way our flesh blood bone feels. We know this just as we know that the air we breathe, the water we drink, the rest we take will keep us healthy, or not. We know this at a very very deep level.

And we ignore this knowing. We somehow collectively let go of our knowing the truth of our flesh blood bone. This body which serves our mind, our family, our work in the world, our Divine. This body which we can not live without, which allows our creativity and best humanity to flourish, to overcome the worst. This body is wasted from the fast, convenient, ubiquitous, and oh so very cheap food we have made too available.

Thus this Call for Reason Regarding Our Food. We have made so much of our life better. We have cars which make our transport of ourselves and our goods so incredibly easy. We have drive-up windows which mean we don't have to leave these machines which make life easy. We have so much ease that we can sit for hours at computer, or tv, even book; hours, with enough light. Enough light. Amazing to have enough light. Such a premium for those before us. Such a nothing, not thought of, not considered part of our lives now. Such change in so little time. Our lives have become so much easier than even the lives of our parents. But it is not easy, it is so very very hard; so very very difficult and expensive and inconvenient; not at all easy, to eat 'better.' The way that even the fifth grade class understands to eat. The way we all understand to eat. We know that there is too much sugar, sodas, candy, cookies, chips, salt, salt, fat, fat. Oh so very much. We know. We've been told. So many times. So many times we have tried, and always always always fail to change. We always go back to eating to hurt our flesh bone blood. And then take more pills.

Isn't it time to Call for Reason Regarding Our Food. We can do so much better. This is doable.
We can create food which creates health. Make this food which creates health easy, convenient, ubiquitous, and cheap. It's got to be cheap, else people won't buy it, no matter how available it will become. Must become. Cheap and so readily available, and fast, and ubiquitous. This food which creates health can become the norm. Our standard. Our best for us. Just as we prize so much else which is best for us. Our best humanity. Our best for all.

We can call for all food which creates health to be subsidized instead of food which creates disease which presently we subsidize. We create disease with our tax dollars. Given freely, abundantly to a farming industry which supports a medical industry which both support a phamaceutical industry. They support each other to hurt our flesh blood bone.

We can change this. We can Call for Reason Regarding Our Food.

We can mandate (as we presently mandate all food fortification, as we presently mandate how our roads and bridges and buildings and public safety function, we mandate for the greater good. Thus seatbelts, thus shoes off at airports, thus the percentage grade of our roads, thus the construction material in our bridges, thus so much of our life which we allow to be micromanaged, we allow to happen to us) change. Mandate change. We do it all the time as regards safety. Why don't we consider our health as safety? Why is everyone allowing this pollution of flesh blood bone, and we long ago passed legislation, for the greater good, mandating standards for our water, the air we breathe. More to do, so much more, of course; but we demand certain quality in our water, the air we breathe. And the food we eat, the food we eat, on a regular, even routine basis, the easy, fast, convenient, long lived food we eat. We demand no quality here. We allow disease formation and disability to come into our lives. This is not abstract. This is so very very real. This hurts us. I have seen the hurt, the scaring, the pain carried in flesh blood bone of people who hurt deeply. Daily. Their daily finger pricks, the pills, the appointments, the procedures hurt, eat into their flesh blood bone. And always more pills.

But no. No. I don't want anyone telling me what I can or can't eat. Hell, I'll eat what I want. When I want. What I want. What I want.

Ha ha! Think again. Think, not even very hard, without even thinking even a little bit, think about who tells you what you want. Who lures you in and traps your taste and tells you what you want. Who makes what you want so very very cheap. So very very easy. Oh what you want. You only think you want. You do want it, no doubt. But truly, not what you want, truly. You know better. The part of you that cares for life, that is happy, and loves others. You truly know. But you cling to What I Want. No one's gonna tell me how to eat. What to eat. Not me. I eat what I want. Ha ha! Think again! More truly what they want you to want. What they want you to want.

The taste of real food is delicious. You know. You would rather, oh yes you would rather the real food. Always. Of course. But.....but.....who, pray tell will make it fast, convenient, ubiquitous, inexpensive if not cheap for our flesh, blood, bone.

Who will do it?

February 11, 2010

Fat, Fat Stores

We like to store stuff, keep stuff, even hoard stuff. We're real good at it, and we like to do it. Makes us feel good, feel rich, feel important, feel whatever that thing is for each of us that sparks us, gives us even a twinge of excitement, and hopefully fun. That true human need for relief, respite, even euphoria, from our extremely stressful, difficult lives.

So eating in surfeit we've learned, produces, at least for a brief time, that same spark, that excitement, even euphoria, maybe fun. For many. For far too many.

Eating in surfeit is still a very affordable pleasure. Five dollars worth of fast food will surely fill the emptiest belly. This is cheap. This is obscenely cheap. Hey a ticket to see a good flick to create that excitement, that euphoria is at least ten bucks. And there's the popcorn. Ain't cheap to see a new film. So five for a pig out is a bargain. Obscenely cheap.

Enough of these belly full of cheap pig outs will get you fat. The calories get hoarded. The fat's just hoarded calories. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not bad, it doesn't mean that you're bad, that there's something to feel bad about. It just is. Like alot of things in life. It just is. Neither good nor bad. Truly. Any bad feeling comes from your beliefs/your perceptions about you and your world. About your fat. How you think others think about you. How you think others think about your fat. How you think about yourself, and your fat. Women suffer the most. They have the most bad feeling about themselves, from the bad feelings about the fat, about their looks, about their bodies. More women feel this. Fell bad. Than men.

And I hate when women suffer. It will always mean that children will suffer. The girl children will learn to hate their bodies, feel bad about themselves, think bad about themselves; and pass this on to the girl children they birth.

Women, the surfeit in eating causes suffering. Yours. Not even to speak of the body stuff you've been already told will happen, or has happened. Your mind, your heart, your pain, your suffering, your self reproaches and recriminations. The defeated heart. The pained soul. The self sabotage. These are what truly hurt.

And if you're past the pain, past any hurt, you're still told by a medical one, a medical person, about the fat. About the fat.
And especially the belly fat, abdominal fat, omentum fat. It's there and gets in the way. More than you'd like.

I had to address fat. Here. In full view. I am presently facilitating a group of adults who have not been adult with themselves. They are adults in most all other ways. Cept for food. It's been OK to not take care of business, not be adult, not care about their body. And especially with food. And I know all too well the reasons why. I know the reasons intimately. Money, time, money, time, fatigue, self loathing, abuse, time, fatigue. I know the hearts and minds of the ones who hoard fat. I know your deepest fears and desires. You have been kind to me; you have allowed me to peer inside your being. You have shared your deepest fears and desires, and self loathing with me. You have given me that deep priviledge. I love you. I love you. I love you.

The group is Your Body's Grace. My play on the words of the wise Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The Body's Grace is his defense of homosexual love, physical, deep, touching,
significant, meaningful love. As is all love. He is a wizard of the highest order, able to create gold from mere words. So my play on the title of his essay is my way of declaring my view of this body. My body. The thousands of bodys which I was priviledged to work with in my 25 years as a dietitian. Your body. Her body. Her beautiful body. I do care especailly for her body, rather than his. Because she suffers more. In every society, she has it worse. She is less than. Regardless of what you protest. (And of course I understand karma and the fact of her maybe being a man in her past life. All karma. Of course. But it doesn't negate her present suffering.) The suffering is all too real, too tangible. Evidenced by lab tests, procedures, self poking needles into your flesh, withdrawing blood, testing your sugar, testing your pee, your blood. The fat is too real and the pain it inflicts is terrible to bear. And terrible to witness. I was this pains' witness for 25 years. I was allowed to see and hear her suffering heart. Her suffering body. She let me in. She told me. I heard. I honor her and what I have heard.

My view of this body, her body, my body, is that it is our only vehicle for knowing the Divine. The Divine Mystery of this dear life. It is our ticket to consciousness. Our brain is our body is our mind, is our heart, is our soul. They are one. Could truly only be one. As we are all one, as we represent the One who we co-create our life, our world with.

Antonio Damasio, the neurologist and neurobiologist writes in Decartes' Error: "...the body, as represented in the brain, may constitute the indispensable frame of reference for the neural processes that we experience as the mind; that our very organism rather than some absolute external reality, is used as the ground reference for the constructions we make of the world around us and for the construction of the ever-present sense of subjectivity that is part and parcel of our experiences; that our most refined thoughts and best actions, our greatest joys and deepest sorrows, use the body as a yardstick."

Heavy stuff. If you didn't finish that last paragraph, don't worry. My first reading of it took me maybe three, maybe more times to get. And I don't get it on the level that Antonio does. But I get it. Of course. I've spent my whole life looking and learning about the body. And hearing.
Hearing pain. Her pain. Her body's ground reference which doesn't work, doesn't function like it's supposed to. Like it did in the past, when she was younger. This very painful body, this ground reference which interprets her too hard, too painful world.

There isn't one person in the group who is devoid of fat issues. Even the several 'skinny' ones. There are six to twelve any given week. They all need aid to deal with their hoarding, deal with the too many things they've taken on. The too many things they have to do. The people they must please. The lack of time. The lack of care for themselves. Going on, doing, caring for, others, others, others. Never herself. She is always left behind.

Except for the spark times, the excitement times, even times of euphoria. Ahhhhhhhh. Then she can truly relax. She relaxes with food. The food is familiar. Oh so very familiar. Such a dear friend. Ahhhh. The relaxation, the comfort. The comfort. The comfort. So dear, so very sweet and dear.

And then the reality.

And then typically the pain, guilt, feeling bad, suffering, again.

It is for you I write this. It is for you because I love you. I love you. I love you.

You must know that it can change. It does not have to stay locked and tight and safe and permanent. Even rigid. Oh the rigidity. The tightness. The inability to be fluid, to be flexible, to move. You must know that it can change. You must know this. In some place deep inside, you know all of this. Of course. And now to trust. The next step is trust. Yourself. The next step is trust that you can change. It is possible.

So I write these words for you to see. To know. To understand that it is your mind which locks you in. Tight. On a schedule. The evening schedule. The evening routine, nay ritual. The time alone. The time for yourself. All to yourself. Always with food.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

eldermuse.net

And I hate that you hurt.

February 10, 2010

Human Gifts

Who are the gifts in your life? I am naming mine as I write this. I have many human gifts, people who I love heart and soul, who I have often 20 or 30 year relationships with. A flush of love, warmth and sweetness comes over me as I contemplate the many family and beloved friends who feed me, feed my heart, mind and soul.

They gift my life with their love, their ease of sharing their hearts with me, my ease in sharing mine with them. They gift my life with wonder and curiosity, new things to learn, study, know. New things to see and experience. Playing dolls with my 4 year old grand niece and my soon to be 2 year old grand nephew smiling gleefully at me. My 12 year old grand nephew letting me kiss and hug him as he feigns revulsion. My sister gifting me with Greek yogurt and saying: "Don't even ask!" when I begin to want to pay her. A friend telling me that Patti Smith would visit a local bookstore and waiting nearly 2 hours with me to see her. A son who visits and takes delight in talking about his life. Planning a long trip and traveling with another friend. Another calling me to cry about her lost wife, knowing I will understand.

I am able to call them at any hour and they will only give me kindness, understanding, acceptance. And they know I will do the same.
Humans in my life who I can count on, who give me advice, caring, love, ideas. Who complete me.

A new soul has come into my life who also feeds me well, in many respects. Oh how lucky, how very lucky and blessed am I.

February 03, 2010

In Acceptance

Each sunset is unique and beautiful. Each eye sees what they especially love in the uniqueness and beauty. Sunsets. People. Place. How wonderful to be at peace with our world, inner and outer. Total acceptance of what is. Certainty that what is, is our truth, our reality, and have peace with it. What is meant to happen, does indeed happen; often easily, almost gracefully. Feel complete and whole in feeling fine, in gratitude for what I have, in feeling perfect in what I know I create.

I also realize that truly, at its core, I am but a co-creator of my world; I work with Divine forces beyond my wildest conception. And I love that I am here, in acceptance.