Friday, June 20, 2008

Meet the Littlest Bird

I have successfully combined this and my previous blog into a new and permanent space called The Littlest Bird. I realize this seems like a lot of jumping about but I feel good about this new move. My apologies to any who were just settling in here, but being adventurous and wanting to appear somewhat professional: I have cut through the jungle (yeah, real professional) and created a new little village for myself. All my posts are there in their entirety: All. New and previous. So please (again, sorry) update your bookmarks, RSS feeds etc. and come on over to the LB! Look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Look At All That Ethanol

This is footage from Iowa. I was still living in the state during the '93 flood-year. And so this is a familiar site.

Tragic and yet a big whap! upside the head from mother nature: Stop doing what we're doing, in all cases where it just ain't working. And Corn is definitely one tower of US Gov. glory that needs to come down.

My heart goes out to all the farmers who have lost their crops and to those struggling (as we all are) with rising gas and food prices... but this is an opportunity to think how to go about these things differently and better. We all deserve better than this.

Just What I Needed Today

Sorry All (if there are any even out there, who knows...) for I have been amiss-ing lately. I have 6 weeks until I get married and that has been taking up my time. Also. I don't know what to write. It's sad. And I always seem to drop off the planet when I get stuck in cooked food-ness. This was such a little pick-me up this morning:



Yay Dave! He's definitely a hero of mine: he gets me so excited and inspired to live better.

I made more of Penni's Jalapeño Corn Chips (forgot the jalapeño: that was my blonde moment for the week. They still taste wonderful, I just prefer the little kick) and I really need to like triple the recipe because they just go too fast; so good.

How does one bite the bullet with raw? I don't know if I can do the slow transitioning -- I know full raw is a little bit (understatement) hard on the body but what do or did You do (out there) to not slip-slide into the cooked food doldrums?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Confessing Jacob

Of Isaac’s two twin sons: Esau’s name means hairy – and Jacob came out clinging to his heel (his Achilles’ heel, the weakest point on the hero’s impermeable immortal body). Esau was First Born and slated for inheritance and blessing, whereas Jacob’s name means deceitful, thief, or usurper: one who grasps at his desires by his own power at whatever the cost through his own individual will and might. Now as twins, they were conceived together so how are we to understand this – To me (if Torah is meant to be used as a teaching tool; not just history but more about the nature of the human soul then) this is a story about the consequences of the first stage of returning to God and our divine co-natures after the Fall, e.g. one must recognize that the Ego (the twin activate present in a material body) clings to the physical, it’s twin reality and usurps the birthright of the Soul to “know” the Father.

So what do we see Jacob, our thief, our Ego do? He tricks his father Isaac to bestow the blessing on him, and Esau, being likewise angered wishes to harm his brother and so Jacob flees. We know he marries, we know that over the course of years Jacob becomes father to 12 sons. He has achieved all that he has desired through his wit, through his cunning, and because he did this without divine solidarity, he finds that this life of his has become a struggle; we often think of Jacob as a survivor, and marvel at his consequence and his accomplishments but we must remember that survival is not a word that connotes a sense of God’s majesty or the highest goal of living a good life.

Remember, the Ego toils under its own weight. All desires (save one) produce an element of suffering. There is only one true desire that can fulfill the longing of the soul … and we see Jacob come to this point (Gen. 32) in the wilderness. He is waiting for Esau, now years later. His actions are now coming towards him, he is at a moment of judgment, of being held accountable to his higher nature and his family and his life for all the scheming and usurping, he is his choices. And so he has arrived at a moment of Crisis. He has sent his wives, his belongings and all his children across the river ahead of him to hopefully appease his wronged brother (should he ever be able to follow), and he stands alone in the desert. Where non can be save for testing: in the Bible, one is always sent into the wilderness to be tested. For there are no distractions and it symbolizes that point of no return, when you have hit the wall or the bottom of some spiritual impasse, and you may not move from this spot until you have mastered your choices.

Now Jacob has, at this point, already had the Dream of the Ladder moving Angels up and down from Heaven – so he has glimpsed his future and seen that the Lord has approached him, he vowed long beforehand to participate in this moment but a promise is much different that following through. And it is only in the Wilderness that the Ego (our Jacob) must confess his actions and allow the Soul to be transformed into something beyond the mere physical.

He is told in Gen 31:13 “I am the God who appeared to you in Bethel, where you anointed a memorial stone and made a vow to me. Up, then! Leave this land and return to the land of your birth." Leave this land that is full of things densely foreign to you, return to the land of your fathers, the land of spirit, who made you. Do not cleave to the material, come back Home. The Prodigal son is a story told over and over in the Bible, it is here in the Torah and is the same in the Gospels. We (the collective Human soul) are The Prodigal Son.

Here in Gen 32:25 we read that, “Jacob was left there alone. Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn, [and] when the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob's hip at its socket, so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled” (and it continues through Gen 32:28). Now this is an interesting thing that just happened. And more interestingly, there is no description of the man with whom Jacob wrestled actually was. Some say he was an Angel (very popular interpretation by fine artists
over the years) or Jacob’s shadow, an ordinary man or even God himself; here he is alone in the Wilderness, he has arrived at a point of crisis and he knows he can no longer go on doing what he has spent his life doing, because it never comes out the way he planned exactly. Something is amiss, missing, ill fitting, incomplete.

So he has arrived at this moment and the next thing we read about our Jacob is he is wrestling with some force that the Book does not decisively name. And then the man says, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
And what is good to note here is that neither could best the other. They were in a stalemate, they were equal somehow, but this is Jacob’s only hope, he says: “Not until you bless me.” And this is what the Man/Angel/God replied: “What is your name?”

As if to ask: who are you really? I don’t think he was asking in the same manner as someone signing an autograph: “er—who do I make this out to?” But who is asking for the blessing?

In this Jacob has to be honest. He has done everything up until now on his own cunning and it has left him at this convergence point…

When I was in Jackson a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend church by M’s mother, and the Pastor was speaking of this same passage, and he says that at this moment Jacob, here, must confess who he really is. And I agree. Jacob must come clean to himself if he wants to transform, he must be sincere in who he has been until now: The thief, the usurper. In order for us to be free of our Ego, we must not only confess, but recognize that we have let it rule our lives and thoughts to this point, and ask for Blessing from the Man, the shadow or the Angel so that we may move on, evolving into what true Humanity was created to be, soulfully Free.

And so with Jacob’s confession we come to verse 29: “Then the man said, ‘You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.’” Now, the word Israel or Yisrael if often translated at “wrestling with God,” and we see this interpretation in the verse, but, it also names the one true & correct human desire: to go straight to God. It is a verb and a path, both. And so Jacob, or the Ego is purified and corrected by Awareness and Grace. And this is a bright story for us on our travels if we seek or rather find ourselves in the Wilderness, that we must not look at ourselves as victims of circumstance but a soul brought to the edge of opportunity for transformation. Like any other moment in the Torah (and even later on, in the Gospels), all we need to do is ask with all our heart, for when we do then we will find the Wilderness Transformed and perhaps we find ourselves not in a place but a state of mine: imbued, alighted, and filled, our mission and our humanness appears: “Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over/surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:5).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Eating According to Our Nature

I have to apologize for stealing this from A Waxing Wellspring blog from this past January: but I thought it brought up a brilliant avenue for discussion and I wanted to share it:

Rav Azulai in Hesed l'Avraham explains that our role in this world is to perfect ourselves in the service of HaShem, as well as to perfect the world to the same end. Adam HaRishon, through naming the animals, raised the animals up to such a level that he wasn't permitted to eat them, they were so holy. He had no tikkun, no rectification left to perform with them, and so there was no reason for him to eat them.


After eating from the tree of knowledge [of good and evil], all the animals ate as well, and they were brought to such a low extent that Noah and his sons were permitted to eat as a means to raise the animals up once more. Through eating animals, they become part of the human body, as they nourish us, and so they are raised from the level of animal, of living, to the level of man, of speaking.

However, because of our lowly level, eating doesn't completely rectify the animals back to the level of Gan Eden, for our bodies are on a lower level than the animals of Gan Eden. Which means that we must try with all our might to use the energy and life we get from consuming animals to do HaShem's will, perform mitzwoth, learn Torah, pray, and think holy thoughts. Only in this way can we return the animals to their original level. Otherwise, when we consume animals we become more animal, rather than turning the animal into man, we turn into animals ourselves.

I find that this is an interesting take, and I have heard it alot -- But I just don't think that eating animals is the way to go about it. I don't know why filling ourselves with death is a way to rectify the Fall into death: but uplifting life with kindness and peace; to strive (instead) to attain the levels of consciousness before the Fall -- then according to Kabbalah, the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms will be pulled into ascension with the collective soul. I think it is best to cultivate love and peace and life. As he writes, when we consume animals we become more animal, "rather than turning the animal into man, we turn into animals ourselves"
_____________________________

On a separate note:
I can also report that I have tried Penni Shelton's Jalapeño Corn Chips of Real- FoodTulsa, and admit that there's not much left: and that they were excellent with a mango-pineapple salsa! I promise I will take pictures next time (soon). I was able to finally perform this great feat because my Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator arrived this past week and I currently have Ani Phyo's Black Sesame Sunflower Bread un-cooking away in there!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Mad Cowboy Speaks

Ladies & Gentlemen: Mr. Howard Lyman

A Farmer's Redemtpion

Ye shall cherish and protect the weak, and those who are oppressed, and all creatures that suffer wrong. Ye shall work with your hands the things that are good and seemly; so shall ye eat the fruits of the earth, and live long in the land.





thank you to Compassion in Action, for bringing this beautiful and sweet story to my/our attention.

MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE DOCUMENTARY "EARTHLING" Narrated by Joachin Phoenix.
is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers."

It is this kind of thing that makes many uncomfortable... because it challenges their ideas of responsibility, accountability and ethics. It is important to remember, there is always karma... for every decision. There are consequences (good or bad) for ever action AHIMSA. AHIMSA; be harmless.

Other links for more information concerning Religious and Spiritual ethical approaches:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Botany of Desire Says "Corn"



also check out Al Gore's most recent update on Climate Change, watch it (if for nothing else) the geographical comparison of missing arctic ice and the landmass of the US.

AND Mark Bittman's: What's Wrong with What we Eat?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Puppetji

I have just discovered the "wizdumb" of puppetji, thanks to Beth of Bunny Berry. She has been on a 100 day Raw Food Challenge and is nearly at day 40! Huzzah! I just wanted to give her the

Because she truly is an inspiration and is so gorgeous, so sincere, so present in her experience and so I feel that this award must be hers, and frankly, am astounded she has not received it already. And so Bunny Berry! This one's for you, keep your chin up; you are wonderful and amazing, and brilliant and all those other good and glorious things! In honor of you, I am stealing your post from yesterday. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti: Puppetji!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Reason to Go Vegan


These days you have to do more than closely read labels to keep from poisoning yourself and family. From the New York Times:

A federal judge has ordered Tyson Foods to withdraw advertisements claiming its chickens are “raised without antibiotics that impact antibiotic resistance in humans.


Two competitors said the ads were untrue because Tyson injects it eggs with antibiotics and used antibiotic molecules in its feed.


Tyson maintained that its claim was truthful, and intends to appeal the decision.
The claim we’re making is ‘raised without.’

And our consumer research would say that ‘raised without’ in the consumer’s mind, is from hatchery to when they buy the chicken in the store,” said Dave Hogberg, senior vice president for consumer products at Tyson.


The New York Times April 23, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That's what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain -
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

-Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know

So, question: What has the rain been saying to me (and it rained for two days here, so the poem and theme is justified)?

Answer: My body likes juiciness, it likes rawness much better than cooked-ness.

What has been so interesting is the anger. By Day 4 of juice, my emotional detox had begun... and it continues. For those who don't know, I am one of those few who actually has a thyroid condition. I have blogged about this before ... and so, no matter what I have done for the past year, my weight doesn't really budge much. The juice makes me feel lighter and more flexible but weight is slow to move. And it's very frustrating. Here's why: I eat better than anyone I know. And there is a fury in me that wants to be normal, to eat whatever I want (cooked or not, meat being entirely excluded on all accounts) and be happy and healthy. But my body, which has always been sensitive and spiritually inclined is pushingpushingpushing to raw and the energy of Mother that I am so good at pushing out. And the raw thing, I know is good, I know that raw is good for me, and even Gabriel Cousens' book Conscious Eating, says that being a Kapha/Vata person (which I am and he is himself, actually), do best on 80% raw. And when I read that, I KNOW it's true and correct, but...

it doesn't mean that the addictive emotional turmoil of past food foibles surrenders easily or even willingly. It's hard. And the anger and hurt I am feeling, I KNOW is emotional because all I want to do is just stuff my face like I have in the past to quell emotional pinches that I would rather numb out, than deal with. Well, now I am having to deal with it. It's hard, but I also know that it's good. It's just hard.

As soon as I have some cash, I am booking it to the Tree of Life and get my RAW on.
*sigh.

Here's to dreaming of Patagonia.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Come As You Are


Come, come, whoever you are.
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

~ Rumi

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Our Space

** The following quotes the opening passages of the book, The Place Where You are Standing is Holy: A Jewish Theology on Human Relationships, by Gershon Winkler & Lakme Batya Elior, which has got me thinking...
"Make me a sacred space, and I shall dwell amongst you... Exodus 25:8.

In the creation myth of ancient Judaic mysticism, God creates the universe by a process dubbed tzimtzum, which in Hebrew means a sort of stepping back to allow for there to be an Other, an Else, as in some one or something else. The Judaic notion of a world of Free Will (Babylonian, Talmud, Berakhot 33b) is deeply rooted in this concept, in the understanding that in creating life, the Eyn Sof or the Endless One, subdued the omnipotent, all-embracing Presence for the sake of realizing the Divine Will that there be other beings (Etz Chaim 1:1:2). Our world, then, is the sacred space that the Great Spirit gave as a gift to us, a space in which to be as human as divinely possible and as divine as humanly possible. A space to err, to fall, to believe, to doubt, to cry, to laugh. Our space, created by the simple motion of stepping back, the humble act of honoring the separate reality of an Other."

I guess this related to the idea I blogged about yesterday, re: HaMakom -- or The Place. That one of the ways to understand God, is "The Place." Now, here we have God's Place and the space He/She made for us by withdrawing his presence from it, with-held the glory to make a space where God's presence wasn't. Is this what you are understanding from the above, too?


It also makes me reflect on a blog my Rabbi did (yes my Reb blogs, how cool is that??) about the Progression of the human soul, which I have lifted, nay Borrowed: indicated below. He says that according to the Jewish Path, there are five levels/aspects tot he human soul:

"1st* NeFeSh
is the physical soul that returns to the earth with the body. It becomes one with the spirit of the earth as our body becomes one with the matter of the earth. Some might refer to this as becoming one with the ‘Gaia spirit’.

2nd* RUaH, the wind spirit aspect of our soul. My reb says his father spoke of this as anonymous immortality. Imagine that you share some important life lesson with a friend. That friend is moved by your teaching. S/he shares it with others in your name. They share it with others and so on. But during the passing of the teaching, your name disappears from the story. The story lives on and in this way you live on in the realm of RUaH but your name does not; anonymous immortality. The stories and lessons that we share regarding our parents, our teachers, our ancestors keep their RUaH, their wind spirit alive in our realm. This is why tribal folk keep an oral history. The tribe lives on in the oral history and in the actions based on that history. When I tell stories of my parents and grandparents, or when we tell the stories of Sarah and Avraham, Moshe and Miriam, Ester and Mordecai, their RUaH feeds us, feeds the tribal RUaH.

3rd*NeShaMaH, which is the breath of our soul. I envision a tiny, invisible silver thread connection to the Wholly One of Being. Since all humans have this connection, the picture is of a spider web of inter-connection between us all and with G. Our joys and sorrows strengthen the web connection of NeShaMaH. Each of us from the greatest Tzadik (righteous one) to the most mean spirited Rasha (evil one) is part of the web. On our computers we see WWW/World Wide Web but that is a pale shadow of the greater WWW that connects us to the Wholly One of Being. Ignore it if we will, it is always there. I remember a story of a Bar/t Mitzvah who said: “I don’t believe in G!” The Rabbi’s response was: “Don’t worry about it. G believes in you!” The World Wide Wholly One of Being Web (WWWOBW) is always connected and no virus can create a disconnect.

4th*HaYah, which can be translated as life and sometimes as a hungry wild beast. But here it refers to longing. We may long for more money, more stature but this is a deeper form of longing. This is a longing to elevate ourselves into a oneness with the Wholly One of Being. “Oh G, how I long to be with you, to feel you in my life!” HaYah is the holy longing. “Oh G, I am hungry for your presence!” In prayer we are in Hayah. We are, as Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel might say, in longing to be part of that which is greater than the self. We are in preparation and in longing for the final level of soul, of soulfulness (which leads to the fifth...).

5th*YeHIDaH refers to being in total oneness. In Hebrew there are 3 words having to do with ‘One’. There is YaHaD in which I am one with… My belovedest and I are one. We are one made of parts. Indeed everything that is of matter is one, made of parts. All matter can be broken down into smaller parts. The next level is EHaD as we find in the Shema. EHaD is one without parts, impossible to dissect into aspects. Maimonides speaks of G in this way. G has no parts, G cannot be separated, broken down into components. G is the Wholly one; G is the Wholly One of Being. And the third level of ‘one’ is YeHIDaH. Not only is it one without parts, it is one alone. There is nothing else. There is not even a ‘nothing else’. The image is of G before creation. YeHIDaH is the oneness without parts and without ‘the other’. My mind has trouble wrapping itself around the concept. And yet that part of our soul is us yet not us it is a part of the One Who has no parts. On this level of soul, we do not exist as other than G."

So what happens Aharei Mot, (after death) after the passing of our physical? My Rabbi wrote that, "according to this paradigm, our NeFeSh returns to Gaia spirit. Our RUaH lives on in the souls touched by us in our journeys in this realm. Our NeShaMaH is wound back to G; our HaYaH disappears completely. For there is no longer longing as we become YeHIDaH, enfolded into the total oneness of the Wholly One of Being."

So what is my question?

Here: If the beginning quote is correct, than we exist in a space uninhabited by God... he had to make space for otherness, meaning he could no be there, which, frankly: is not my experience or "belief" (I hate that word) about the Nature of God and our human connections. I am more drawn though to my Reb's progression of the soul -- because it describes the manifold process of being as "human as divinely possible and as divine as humanly possible." We are, after all, both at once. Otherwise, how could we exist and continue on being?

I had a Prof. in undergrad who took that same quote above in Exodus, re: the tabernacle in the Sinai desert erected for God to dwell... but he also mentioned that the Hebrew word for amongst (I think this is right... its been a few years) is also within -- which, with this interpretation means that if we build for God a sacred space within our body-soul-heart i.e. our space, our human Other-ness; he will then dwell inside of us, too.

Somehow that just feels heart-ful, spiritual, and very real... to me. That "the Place" where God is, is Me.

Juicy Day #1

Yesterday I did Juicy Day number one. Huzzah!

The first two days, I find are always the hardest. It takes the body (at least, mine) about 3 days before it gets used to using liquid as the energy source. But what's also amazing is that I feel the urge to have some sort of energy boost every 3 hours or so. By day 5 I am feeling wonderful and amazing: body feels light and limber and invincible.

I am what Gabriel Cousens describes as a Fast Oxidizer. I require more protein, less sugars and smaller more frequent meals.

So whenever I feel the hunger urge, I just go make some more juice: and wow! This juice just tastes soooo good! And it's been so warm up here in the Rockies the past few days, in the high 60's and 70's... sunny days and juice feasting, what could be better than that? My last juice feast was in October -- half a year ago: I can't even believe it...

In October I was 100% new to juice feasting and did it for 10 days. This time I am going to at least double that -- maybe triple and maybe longer... We'll see. I am really trying to get out the habit of setting limits for myself. And I am notoriously out of touch with my body. I just need to set my ego straight, and if need be -- put it in the corner with the dunce cap on facing the wall. No, not today Ego, sorry: you need to learn to play nice.

I also know that when juicing you should be simple with your combinations. And last time I started that way -- I started out (since I was a rookie) doing high fruit based combos. And after 4 days my body was dreaming about green things. So I added in the green and the rest took care of itself. This time, I am only doing fruit for 2 of my 5 juices a day; more so I get enough calories than anything else. I am a celery-cucumber juice lover, and they may be full of water, but not enough energy to live on.

But since I have been enviously following the
Global Juice Feasters, I have seen so many wonderful concoctions that I hadn't ever thought of. And so I have been a bit more adventurous and a bit more complex (already) with my combos. But I don't find it unusual that at the beginning, one craves more complex flavors, but gradually simplifies over the course of the entire Feast.

So you must be wondering: What did she have??
Well, I'll tell ya :

JUICE # 1 (8am)

Watermelon
Cucumber
Cilantro
Ginger

very light and refreshing, and no too sweet. The Cucumber diluted the Watermelon nicely.

JUICE # 2 (11:15)

3 Carrots
Fennel
Cilantro
Garlic
Basil
Celery
Cucumber
Udo's Omega 3 Flax Oil
Kelp Flakes

This was a nice and savory lunch-y drink. I try not to do more than 3 carrots ever, because of the sugar, and always make sure to dilute them. Plus things like fennel (which also makes a very light flavored juice) garlic or ginger help encourage proper digestion.

JUICE # 3 (1pm)

1 small shallot
1 Large golden and juicy Heirloom Tomato
Cilantro
1/2 sm. r. bell pepper
Lime
Celery
2 garlic cloves
Cucumber
Basil

This was my Homage to Penni Shelton's blog: Real Juice Daily, most specifically her "Italian Day #63" where she made bruschetta juice -- and so I was inspired by the savory fresh idea of really taking something to the next level, and Boy! Was it yummy! Fantastic and filling: I recommend highly. Mine was probably more sympathetic to gazpacho than bruschetta, but ehgn: What're you-gonna do, eh?

JUICE # 4 (5:30p)

2 Valencia oranges
1 handful of raspberries
a small handful of cilantro
16 oz. fresh coconut water

Oh.my.god. By far, my favorite juice of the day!
It was absolutely divine...
I recommend high beyond high-highly.

JUICE # 5 (8pm)

Red Leaf Lettuce
Romaine
Cilantro
Baby Kale
Escarole
Lemon
Cucumber

Very light and clean tasting... I think I need something to spike this up though, maybe more lemon or more cilantro, or maybe 1/2 a tomato. Very nice though.

And that was my day. I will say that my theme seemed to be cilantro: it ended up in everything yesterday. Which is wonderful apparently because cilantro is an excellent form of
oral chellation therapy; meaning -- it detoxes heavy metals and mercury, in particular, from the brain and spinal cord. Plus, it tastes really good.

Stay tuned for Day 2, already in progress!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Into the Woods

Here I am.

So much has been happening and so little. I am getting married in roughly 90 days and spring is here and we had our first official thunderstorm and downpour, last night! And yet...

Something is amiss.

I feel completely unwound by it all. I can't seem to get my head clear, I feel like I have a lot of repenting to do -- and so I am going to begin my own little Juice Feast beginning today, I will finish up with the March 92 day-ers and may go a bit beyond them. We will see how the body fares, but I really regret not starting the feast; considering the emotional download I was dealing with I didn't know if it (
at the time) more detoxing was something I could handle. But I am having non-buyers, no -- coward's remorse. And so I posted this lovely little bit of Art by Alan Lee, mostly because I can't tell where I am in the picture -- am I still in the tower? Am I the tree encircle by the salamander? (Heaven forbid, the Old Man??)

What's that line in the Torah, where God asks the whereabout of Abraham? And he answers: Here Am I. Here, no where else. I want to be Here. Even whern there is fear. And there is fear in me absolutely. I have been told that t age 27, I still don't know who I am. My rabbi says I am on a Spirit Quest... Oh! I almost forgot: I have started taking Hebrew classes. That's new. So is the fact that my doctor told me that my health issues stem from a waaa-aay (!) under-active thyroid and the fact that my adrenal system is taxed out; that I have been surviving basically on adrenaline fumes for the past six years. No wonder I feel stressed out. So I am taking things to remedy that. Other than that -- he says I am in great health; I have a fantastic heart (as in organ)!

But back to Being. I have a problem with being Present. I have heard it as a mantra almost my entire life, and I often espouse the benefits of Being there... But I rarely make time to do so myself. I rarely pay attention to my breath any more -- I call myself a spiritual person and rarely make time for being in Spiritual practice. Oh shame, shame, indeed. What I am learning in Hebrew (besides the alphabet) is the metaphorical complexity of an ancient language and it takes my breath away. It's beautiful. Besides Sanskrit (at least in my opinion) there is no language I have encountered that has anything on Hebrew. The actual relationship to God is powerful and there is a concept within the language that has me reeling... that is HaMakom, which is a title for God (like Hashem, Adonai) but it means The Place. God is a place. A landscape of Being. And for some reason, that has really put me into a perspective I can experience. Its not any place I can go -- but it is somewhere I can arrive. Here Am I.

So today, I am packing my bags; going on a Juice Feast. I start today! Hurray! Thanks in advance to David & Katrina Rainoshek for their bountiful information, check them out here!

What do you all do, to regain your sense of "Here Am I?"

P.S.

I have finally bought a 9-tray Excaliber Dehydrator! I already own an Omega juicer (the good kind) and a Vitamix (all purchases since October of last year). I have also purchased books for recipe ideas, including: Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, RAWvolution, I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude, & Everyday Raw. (I am a very good Amazon customer *wink).

I am finding it hard to transition slowly in Raw. I find that I keep backsliding and am notoriously hard on myself -- any tips for someone looking forward to high-100% raw?


Friday, April 25, 2008

Experiental v. Experience

In the wake of the Pennsylvania primary election, I feel compelled to share this video of a speech made by Obama, pre-Iraq 2002. What I keep hearing about the measures of experience from the Clinton camp, their preparedness to take up the reins immediately because she's been standing up or taking on (as she says) Republicans for over "a decade" -- is very use of language and approach we need to change. We don't need more division, we need Unity, across all parties and ideologies. Obama is the only person talking in this manner. That's why I voted for him in my primary in Colorado earlier this spring. More experience does not dictate proper action or capability: case in point -- almost the entire current Administration cabinet began as a who's-who of previous term participants, many stemming from George Bush Sr.'s presidency. That cabinet is chalked full of experience, so much so that there have been countless jokes since the very beginning about Bush not even being the one running the country, but a puppet to other masters. So where has experience gotten us?

As Einstein said about the nature of Insanity, it is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Experience in the methods of the old world does not guarantee success, or vision or anything capable of ensuring a better future. To begin, we must begin new: new ideas, new ways of doing things -- to drop our stories of intolerance and finger-pointing. In the end, we all have to pick up the slack. The buck stops here and now: this is a Generation of Hope. And hope is empowering, because it provides strength and determination. It is the quelling of silence, it is the roar of many, too many voices, which for too many years maintained indifference, for lack of any spark of Truth; the truth that goodness is inside us. And not a lofty goal that must be reached by tackling mountains, or waging war or instilling fear... but instead the experiential fact that change is a house we build together.

This is not about race or gender, and yet it is. But both are illusions. And at this time in American history, illusive angles and puffed up "experience" claims do nothing when the call is made for Character. For Integrity. For Purpose. Obama has been "standing" up to iniquities far longer than Senator Clinton, who swerves and wavers in her stance based on who shares her company and takes no responsibility for the divisiveness she portrays, but instead trumps it like a good hand of cards. The problem is, this is no game.

This is the age when Ethics shall trump Power. The powerful and the egoic impulses of commerce and greed shall fall away, as darkness from a blinding light. I see in Obama the hope of a united country, the coming full circle with the malice and constitutional ignorance of humanity's power and depth of being, and transcending all odds, because it is the Will of the People that it be so. He is the perfect symbol of the body-nation: shackles removed, no longer torn by slavery and indecent politics.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Myth of Protein

I know, I know: I have been a very bad blogger. It's been 11 days or so since my last little post. I haven't even written regularly since creating my new blog, and this is shameful. And I'm sorry. It stems from a lot of things; one being that I feel I do not know what to write. I haven't been feeling particularly insightful and had backslid into cooked food oblivion for a few months. I was all set to do the juice feast in March, and didn't juice the whole month (guilt, guilt).

So what do I have too offer now? A new and clearer perspective. I have been feeling that my life too date has been a series of reactionary efforts and rarely (I realized) did I make choices based with any kind of authenticity of intention. This time off from school -- as I withdrew for the spring semester, been a whirl-wind of emotions and discoveries: I really had to throw wide the closet doors and clean out the stuff that's been causing the distress, the stuff rotting in the corner since age nine or ten or eleven. (I started having memories of abuse...which have been) The single throttled event that I had conveniently misplaced into some back alley of the brain and yet still the stage I performed from ever since. I will not go into ANY of that here... but it has led me to a realization of how and why I act the way that I do. And remembering, is healing. Even if it feels like you're going to die first.

So, that is my excuse for not writing. *smiles. It has made me more inward and less apt to share or express for fear that it would all come tumbling out. Whew. So that being done. Onward me beauties, onward!

I have really been falling in love with Raw all over again, its like this amazing love affair; the most uncomplicated and freeing relationship, because it suspends you in blissful certainty and unravels decades of pain and sore muscles. I have been enjoying an abundance of coconut water, which I usually charge with a pinch of Celtic sea salt -- I don't know why I am compelled to do this, as coconut water is like the top top for electrolytes, but it tastes good, so I do it. Lovely. It's so hydrating. If you haven't wacked your way into a young coconut yet, and I will admit it was daunting at first, trying to predict the fell of the knife into hard shell (Thank god I have good knives that won't chip of dent), but please try it. It is different than dried or sweet coconut, or coconut milk even-- so unravel expectations: they only work to deminish joy.

However, what I wanted really to share with you today was this short video about the myth of Protein. And I don't know why I never thought of this before, but he is absolutely correct. Even taking a college nutrition course (where they are grossly misled anyway) they tell you that the reason you need protein is the construction of amino acids... so you can build body tissue, what Tim is describing: "taking out the middle man" -- This video is speaking an exceptional truth. Enjoy.


Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm Back, Baby!

I'll explain that title later, but I do feel that I must pass on what We Like it Raw has already posted this morning -- the Truth. Now in a new documentary called FOOD MATTERS.



On the
We Like it Raw site, they write (and thank you for doing the work for us about this):

What is Food Matters?
Food Matters is a documentary film informing you on the best choices you can make for you and your family's health. Helping you save time, money and effort.

In this day and age with so many companies interested in profiting from our misfortune and ill health this film will help keep your money in your pocket and your health in your hands

In a mission to uncover the truth we have tracked down several of the world’s leaders in nutrition and natural healing from around the globe in order to provide you with the most up to date information on curing disease naturally.

When can you watch it? The film is coming soon and will initially only be available through foodmatters.tv so make sure you’re the first to know by registering your name and email address here

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Excerpts from a Love Letter


Just a quick thought for the day:


"You see, I want a lot. Maybe I want it all: the darkness of each endless fall, the shimmering light of each ascent. So many are alive who don't seem to care. Casual, easy, they move in the world as though untouched. But you take pleasure in the faces of those who know they thirst. You cherish those who grip you for survival. You are not dead yet, it's not too late to open your depths by plunging into them and drink in the life that reveals itself quietly there."

~Rilke

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Last of March Day!

It snowed here on Saturday night. Then melted on Sunday. It snowed again last night. Ah. Spring in the Rockies. I mostly got on here to post one thing, but I feel like I owe more to the post than just a " here, enjoy" which I know that I do regularly, and you must know: I am always ashamed when I do so.

I spent the morning till now in bed. Waiting for the sun to peak through the cloudy mistiness and then I will go for a walk. But I will probably end up at the gym. Today is a new day.

Things I am grateful for, today:


a) The birdsong. The birds are back and I love to hear them in the early house of spring, in the first light of my morning.

b) the tiny red buds on the crabapple tree that grows by the side of the house and shades the back deck.

c) That winter, for all intensive purposes, is already over. That despite mountain slush storms, the energy has already shifted.

d) finding the SouleMama blog, this morning. Eve though I am not yet a mother myself, this woman is absolutely inspirational, and has crafty hands: she makes beautiful things.

e) also, finding the M.Writes blog, too. And she is where I found the inspiration rocks picture, which I snitched to put here. But I guess it's not really snitching if you tell everyone where you got it.

and so now I can post what I wanted to: "Human Thing" by The Be Good Tanyas. Enjoy! *wink.



Friday, March 28, 2008

Light is Light

Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, "More light." Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light. ~Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider

I was told sometime ago, and again recently about our false perception of the dark universe. Namely, that it isn't dark at all. Physically speaking, there is so much light (star matter, light bodies) in the galaxy, there is no "real" room for dark matter. The darkness appears to be so because the "body" is "facing away from us" and so it seems to the human eye to be dark. If we could actually perceive the light of the universe, it would blind us.


When I see photos like these, I get a sense of the majesty that is this world; that any sense of darkness is but a perception of being "turned away". A shadow cast because of the light.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways - by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul. ~ Plato

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hey Zeus Commentary: Annunciation (3/25)

(I know this is a little late for Annunciation, which was on Tuesday... but better late than never.)

When we are told to take something on Faith -- it doesn't mean that we must or should blindly accept as Truth whatever it is that's being asked of us. But, seeing as what is called "faith" actually relates to our perceptions of the Light (G!d, etc). Then, an act of faith is a reaching out, a seeking of the Truth as a sensation within us -- not based on an intellectual idea or belief, but an inner knowing, a perceiving.

Perceive
means: to obtain, to gather, to take in entirety and literally to receive or collect. Faith means to take into us as a whole -- to grasp it thoroughly -- There is no room for mindlessness, or passivity. Faith, like G!d, is a verb. It is active.

And this is why Jesus tells Thomas {in John 20:29} "Because thous hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed be those that have not seen and yet believe."

The interpretation of the word Believe did not come into practice as related to Creed or I believe in _____, until the 16th century. Before that, it meant one, or any combination of the following three things: 1) To hold dear, to love, 2) to be like, to be in like desire to, or 3) to have trust in G!d. * Notice, none of these are a mental practice.

So when Jesus says blessed are those who without seeing, believe, he is saying to us: to trust fully in the Christ and the Father... thereby seek to be in like desire (or Will or Intention) to G!d, even without your senses, but in Faith (actively, sensing the Divine Presence which lies beyond any capacity of the corporeal senses) Be -- in full perception of the intention behind the request.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rav Michael Laitman



I am newly enamored of Rav Laitman. His understandings of spirituality touches me so deeply. Hear him speak of the 5 Principles of Kabbalah.

and more on the Historical Kabbalists from the past:

The World Should Take Sips

In addition to being Easter Sunday, yesterday, it was also World Water Day 2008. And as I was looking through my RSS feeds this morning I found this article on Treehugger.com

And I suddenly found another instance where my life is at odds with the day to day experience of most of the world. Case in point: as I was reading the article at 8:20 this morning, I did so as I was feasting on a breakfast of leftover meringue cookies, fruit salad and custard. Whew. Yeah.

So if you can't read the little color key (as it is in French) the orange means that less than 65% of the population has access to drinking water... How's that for perspective?

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Nature of Sacrifice

Today, according to my calendar, is Good Friday. Having not been raised in a church or with any real historical religious sensibilities -- it wasn't until I was ten years old that I even knew what Easter was really about. And I was in my late teens I think or even later before I realized the significance of this particular Friday in the Lunar calendar... as well as the Christian one. Today is the day when the Christ is crucified. This is a day of death leading into resurrection. Following on the heels of mythologies galore, most notably, the end of Holy Week is the last few footsteps leading out of the darkness of Midwinter Solstice; we are officially coming into the season of the resurrection of the Light. Easter (later on Beltane) or Passover (which is still a few weeks away, isn't it? I don't know why Passover and Easter are on different time tables, really...odd.) celebrates the first fruits and blush of the Spring. The quickening of the spirit and the hearth fire and the warmth as the soil is washed from its cold darkness and roots, shoots and blossoms push forth.

Rudolf Steiner in a lecture about the esoteric Nature of Festivals writes on the Blood Relationship and the Christ Relationship indicative of this week's end:

"{...} It is impossible to make any progress by perpetuating old conditions and least of all is it possible by means of compromises — which are always dangerous because the new that is trying to come to expression is itself compromised. {...} When men looked out at nature in olden times, they perceived the divine and spiritual in everything. And this perception of the divine and spiritual passed over into the views that were held concerning the social order, the configuration of life that ought to prevail among the masses, from whom individuals came forth as rulers, and priestly leaders. We will not at the moment consider how this configuration of the social life was regulated by the Mysteries, but it was respected and was administered in accordance with something bestowed upon man without action on his part, as a gift proceeding from the unity of nature and spirit.

A man who through the circumstances and conditions obtaining at some place or another, became the leader, was recognised and acknowledged as such, because the people said: Divinity itself speaks through him. Just as the divine and spiritual was seen in stones, in mountains, in water, in trees, so too was it seen in an individual man. In those past times it was a matter of course to regard the ruler as a God, that is to say, as one in whom the Godhead was manifest. If people of the present day were a little humbler and did not drag in their own opinion about ancient usages, those usages would be far better understood. To-day, of course, there is no such concept as: a man is a God. But in ancient times there was reality behind it. Just as men saw not merely a flowing stream but the divine and spiritual astir in it, so did they perceive the sway of the divine in the social life, as immediate reality. As time went on, however, this vision of the direct presence of the divine and spiritual grew dimmer and dimmer.

Possessing this ancient vision, how did man conceive of his own being? He knew that his being was rooted in the world of the divine and spiritual; he knew that the divine and spiritual is present wherever sense-objects, wherever human beings themselves are, on the physical earth. He knew that he was born out of the divine and spiritual. Our of God I am born, out of God we are all born — this was a self-evident truth to man in those days, for he beheld its reality. It was the outcome of sensory vision."

And this got me thinking, and rightly so, about the ancient vision of divine being, of humanity, and what is the actual stuff of our substance... Light. I think.

And when I think about sacrifice, crucifixion, atonement -- I often wonder what our day to day, ignorant and material thoughts sever us from concerning the great gloriousness and beauty of the complex simplicity of divine presence. And what I'm talking about is not something you can just assume is recharged every Sunday. It is much closer, intimate, it takes precedent, it is immediate and hopeful.

I could speak about a lot of things, war, environment, politics, love, faith and all could embrace a theme of sacrifice on this day and on this hour of the Death of the Son. But instead I want to at least offer this too:

And I didn't even write it, it's by Pia Jane Bijkerk and was written on the 18th of March. I believe that it needs more than one read, for that, you may click here. I would say more, but I don't want to spoil it, but the Nature of Sacrifice is well present in the underlying truth and not just the pact, but why the pact was made, I think it beautiful and precious and pertinent.

And then, some more Steiner, because I can't help myself, I recommend reading the whole thing, from "The Spiritual Bells of Easter I".

" [the] Christian festival of Easter is only one of the forms of the Easter festival of humanity in general. What the wise men of old were able to say out of their strongest, deepest convictions, out of the very ground of wisdom, about life overcoming death — this was woven into the symbolism of the Easter festival. In the utterances of these wise men we shall everywhere find the foundation for an understanding of the Easter festival, the festival of the resurrection of the Spirit.

A beautiful and profound Eastern legend runs as follows: The great Teacher of the East, Shakyamuni, the Buddha, has endowed the regions of the East with his profound wisdom, which, drawn from the fountain-head of spiritual existence, glowed with infinite blessing through the hearts of men. Primal wisdom flowing from divine-spiritual worlds brought blessing to human hearts in times when men were still able to gaze into the spiritual world. This has been saved by Shakyamuni for a later humanity. Shakyamuni had a great pupil, and whereas the other pupils grasped to a greater or lesser extent the all-embracing wisdom taught by the Buddha, Kashiapa — such was the name of the pupil — grasped it fully. He was one of those most deeply initiated into these teachings, one of the most significant followers of the Buddha. The legend tells that when Kashiapa came to the point of death and on account of his mature wisdom was ready to pass into Nirvana, he made his way to a steep mountain and hid himself in a cave. After his death his body did not decay but remained intact. Only the Initiates know of this secret and of the hidden place where the incorruptible body of the great Initiate rests. But the Buddha foretold that one day in the future his great successor, the Maitreya Buddha, the new great Teacher and Leader of mankind, would come, and reaching the supreme height of existence to be attained during earthly life, would seek out the cave of Kashiapa and touch with his right hand the incorruptible body of the Enlightened One. Whereupon a miraculous fire would stream down from heaven and in this fire the incorruptible body of Kashiapa, the Enlightened One, would be lifted from earthly into spiritual existence.

Such is the great Eastern legend — unintelligible, perhaps, in some respects, to the West. This legend speaks, too, of a resurrection, of a transportation from earthly existence, an overcoming of death, achieved in such a way that the earth's forces of corruption have no effect upon the purified body of Kashiapa. Thus when the great Initiate comes and touches this body with his hand, it will be carried up by the miraculous fire into the heavenly spheres."

Some of you may say that I have gotten away from my original intention. So I will sum up; the question is this: what are you sacrificing? What are you giving up? I don't mean, in regards of the greater good -- but what are you choosing as your priority and does this sever you from Lightness from I AM-ness?

"In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle and shine, and everything you once thought sinful now will be reinterpreted as part of Heaven. How beautiful it is to walk, clean and redeemed and happy, through a world in bitter need of the redemption that your innocence bestows upon it! What can you value more than this? For here is your salvation and your freedom. And it must be complete if you would recognize it" (~ A Course in Miracles).

Again, what are you choosing to sacrifice ...? and I don't mean boiled potatoes so someone else can have them mashed, or a seat on the bus/subway/tube. I mean, are you sleepwalking? Are you aware of what you are intimate with in thought? Are you aware of what you are distancing yourselves from, on purpose, or on accident?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Want to Be


Now that I am transitioning from being Lindsay B. into Lindsay Young , I get to completely reinvent myself. What I will leave behind is my depression, and arrogance. What I will take with me is my original, strong, healthy and athletic, slender body, my compassion, my art, my endurance and spark for life, my education on all levels, my heart and every other aspect of myself that is in my highest good.

I will be a new person. And it has already begun. This is why I am fearful, because my ego and attachments know that when I change my name, like every good magic, I get to choose what I want to take with me and build into a newly birthed & begotten Self and also what I may leave behind. Aha, the wonder of transformation…

Further, I would become a preserver of stories, of people, places, & spirit, indigenous cultures, Diaspora, & displacement, rectification, & religion. (India, Maya, Guatemala, China, Thailand, Japan, Aborigine, Maori, Hawai’i, Mexico, Hopi, Navajo, Lakotah, etc. But also, Ireland, England, France, Amsterdam, Americas, Tibet, Nepal, etc.)

I want to be a writer – thereby capable of making commentary on anything. Life-stories, travel, spirituality, environment, education: like Annie Dillard or Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Bryson, Emerson, & Thoreau, etc. Or write stories for children or tell tales about faeries or giants or mountains… or about me.

I will continue to learn about herbs, light, spirituality, and living naturally. These are all things that I want and imagine Lindsay Young to be.

A More Perfect Union

Barack Obama offers a true discussion on the issues of race. He is the first and only person who speaks to both sides of the divide. He requests openness, faith, and responsibility from the American people. And he speaks beautifully, with integrity and hope. Hear what he has to say and be open to practicing what you say you believe, be your brother and sister's keeper. Hold tight to the global family. We need to take care of each other.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still Here

Hello all,

I know I have been away for awhile, but I will be back shortly. Lots to share.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Only the Gods Are Real"



The most wonderful and brilliant Neil Gaiman (if you're a comic book or graphic novel fan, you may know of Sandman; he also co-wrote the screenplay for last year's Beowulf), has had Harper Collins put up a full length e-copy of American Gods online. You can find it here. Please spread it widely around the internet, as it will only be available for approximately a month. It is by far, my favorite Gaiman novel so far. I love Stardust and am eagerly awaiting The Graveyard Book, but if you haven't ever read him before, go in with an open mind and a sense of adventure. And remember, only the Gods are real...

It Must Be Felt

I, along with my mother and millions of others, am reading Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It happens to be Oprah's new Book Club Selection. Not that this is the reason I picked up, nonetheless, I am currently within the first fifty pages.

This book is the inspiration for this space of mine.

First let me explain what is Soma.
The word soma means Body. You have probably seen in use in terms of the Somatic. But, furthermore, it is the degree of being-ness when the material or the physical turns into God. In kind with the final desired outcome of Alchemy, it as a state of conscious- ness. Soma is also the name of the Vedic God of Bliss. *Bliss is: blithesomeness; gladness; the now, the highest degree of happiness; blessedness; exalted felicity; heavenly joy. And the way that these two identifying definitions combine in mind is the outcome that I am looking for.

I have spent the last (nearly) nine years struggling with The Body, it's physicality, it's spirituality, the trust it demanded from me, the faith in my intuition that I was unwilling to give, as well as an obsession with purity and health (not that purity and health are inappropriate things to be desirous of, but anything that becomes obsessive has already crossed the line of both). What I did not realize was that I was missing a sense of connectivity to my own life. I abused my body with food and thought and then would become malevolent with it for doing what I was (indirectly) telling it to do. I detested the fact that I was girl... in fact I still have trouble admitting to myself that I am a (gulp) woman. I was afraid to be because I was afraid of being myself. I have done everything I could to try and stack the deck in (what I thought was) my favor... but for all the "winnings" and accolades that came with that path, it has only further severed my ability to recognize who I truly am, and furthermore: I'm exhausted. Thus, I have named this new space: Somatique (a french version of somatic, or the body) because I intend it to be a documentation of a new understanding into a journey of seeing and experiencing My Body with a blissful attitude.

Aha. Back to Tolle. On page 38, he begins to tell the anecdote of "The Lost Ring" and it goes as such:

"When I was seeing people as a counselor and spiritual teacher, I would visit a woman twice a week whose body was riddled with cancer. She was a schoolteacher in her midforties and have been given no more than a few months to live by her doctors. [...] One day,
[...] I arrived to find her in a state of great distress and anger. What happened? I asked. Her diamond ring, of great monetary as well as sentimental value, had disappeared, and she said that she was sure it had been stolen by the woman who came here to look after her for a few hours everyday. She didn't understand how anybody could be so callous and heartless as to do this to her. She asked me whether she should confront the woman or whether it would be better to call the police immediately. I said I couldn't tell her what to do, but asked her to find out how important a ring or anything else was at this point in her life. You don't understand, she said. This was my grandmother's ring. I used to wear it every day until I got ill and my hands became too swollen. it's more than just a ring to me. How can I not be upset?

The quickness of her response and the anger and defensiveness in her voice were indications that she had not become present enough to look within and to disentangle her reaction from the event and observe them both. [...] I said, I am going to ask you a few questions, but instead of answering them now, see if you can find the answers within you [...]. I asked, Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss? [...] When she started speaking again, there was a smile on her face and she seemed at peace. [She said] The last question made me realize something important. First, I went to my mind for an answer and my mind said: 'Yes of course you have been diminished.' Then I asked myself the question again, 'Has who I am become diminished?' This time I tried to feel rather than think the answer. And suddenly, I could feel my I Am-ness. I have never felt that before. If I can feel the I Am so strongly, then who I am hasn't been diminished at all."

Tolle goes on to say that this is the "Joy of Being." And that you can only "feel it when you get out of your head." He says: "being must be felt."

The woman then says, "I now understand something Jesus said that never made sense to me before: 'If someone takes your shirt, let him have your coats as well.' [Tolle then says:] That's right. It doesn't mean you should never lock your door. All it means is that sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on."

I have for too long held on to things that are not real. And when I say that they are not real it is because I have created them out of fear. The old saying, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself" is powerful. Because fear is the great immobilizer, it clings to irrational rationalizations and convinces you that there is no hope, you are alone and ultimately you are about to die (more on this topic in the next post). A wise man in my life recently took apart that word for me: rationalize. And by doing so, we discovered that the word ration is tucked in there, slyly in plain sight. To rationalize is to do things or place things into portions. In other words, you are never able to see or experience the bigger picture, the kit-and-caboodle, the whole enchilada.
Fear removes you from seeing what is true and real about you in any particular moment.
I have fought the present moment for years, even when I know better.

Tolle does say that there is one thing we do know, that: "life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."

So there it is. This new journey you are embarking on with me is due to the realization that Being must be felt. And so I intend to do so. I intend to Be.

I highly recommend reading the book

*If you are interested in more of the background to all this, although I'm sure pockets will get filled in here or there, you can visit my old blog Somewhere in the Body-Life.