Saturday, December 31, 2011
Hi, healers! I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for a few days now, but if I’m not feeling inspired, I just can’t seem to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I’ve been focusing on my healing – coffee enemas, juicing, yoga, meditation, etc. – and coaching my girls, which is incredibly fun and rewarding. Yesterday, we took them to two NCAA girls’ basketball games. Here we are with some of our eighth grade players. I’m in the white sweatshirt (I look like an eighth grader) and Billy is on the far right.
It is fantastic to be involved in athletics again. I feel more like myself. As you all know, I was quite the little Tom boy/athlete my whole life so losing that part of myself was profoundly tragic for me.
Christmas was quiet at my house. I was raised Roman Catholic but am non-denominational now. More New Age Mystic than anything else. I ate the usual vegan healer cuisine, and my favorite gift from my parents was my Tiny Devotions Turquoise Mala Beads. They are beautiful!
Shorter and Me:
My brother and me (I just woke up here. Scary!):
My Christmas meal:
Shorter in a food coma:
Tiny Devotions Turquoise Mala Beads:
Since time is a man-made construct, and I partied hard and enough for an entire lifetime my first year in Miami (hello, hottest clubs on South Beach and pent house parties!), I don't do the New Year's celebration thing. I'm home in my fleece PJs watching college basketball games, which is how I like to spend my free time. I will, however, reflect upon the progress I have made recently by saying that I'm beyond thrilled to have finished my Master's Degree, to have passed my board exam to become a licensed professional, and to have gotten off of all RSD and Fibro medications in the last 6 months. A year ago, I was doped up on ketamine and struggling to finish my Master's degree. These are welcomed changes.
My intentions for 2012 are the same as always - to continue to heal myself and to consistently grow personally and professionally. However those things happen is up to the universe. I will keep my eye, ears, mind, and heart wide open to receive whatever lessons I need to learn (gently, I hope).
Be safe tonight and Happy Healing!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Hi, healers! I'm so glad you enjoyed my last post centered on how to deal with criticism from family and friends surrounding your alternative diets and lifestyles (namely veganism and Gerson Therapy). It was inspired by several requests from you to write about the topic because I have not received criticism from family and friends. I've received another spin-off request to discuss the topic of unwanted and unsolicited comments concerning your specific health challenge. Have you seen a handful of doctors and several specialists? Have you spent days upon days researching treatment options? Have you tried several medications and interventions? If so, you may be one of the individuals absolutely repulsed when someone you know, who also knows nothing about your particular health challenge, attempts to diagnose you and offer treatment options as if you have been sequestered from mainstream society since your diagnosis. It can be infuriating, especially when the unwanted comments are aimed toward you as a parent and caregiver of a sick child.
Here's the deal, most people mean well but their best attempts at "helping" often fail when done without compassionate contemplation before speaking. Most people have NO social CLUE how to interact with someone who is ill. Often, they say and do all of the wrong things because they don't know any better. How many of you have been on the receiving end of the, "But, you look so good," comment? Or how about the, "You're too young to be sick," brain fart. Or what about the, "It can't be THAT bad," blunder? Believe it or not, those clueless comments are often people's attempts at being supportive when all someone who is suffering wants to hear is a simple, "That must suck! Can I do anything to help?" Acknowledgment, validation, and offering a helping hand can go a long way in maintaining and strengthening relationships with the ill.
Then, there are those people who lack proper social etiquette, clear boundaries, and the ability to empathize. Their comments can be relentless and insulting, so it is important that you bite the bullet immediately and set up and communicate clear boundaries from day one. If they continue to violate your set boundaries, you may have to remove yourself from the relationship for the time being or for forever. That is your choice. In the end, your health is priority number one.
This can also be a fantastic time to go within and examine why it is that these individuals press your buttons. Deep down, do you agree with their comments about yourself? Is your self-worth compromised? Do they mirror back to you something you need to change about yourself? Remember, every crisis is an opportunity for growth, so if something has you feeling uncomfortable, that is a cue to look for the lesson. And if every crisis is an opportunity for growth, every person we come across is a teacher. Allow yourself to sink into the lesson being shown to you before you jump to feelings of anger and frustration. You'll miss the sacred moments if you spend all of your energy blaming others for your perceived misfortunes.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I've never been an individual susceptible to peer pressure. In high school, unaffected by the need most teens have to conform and be a part of the “in crowd,” I focused much of my attention on my academics and sports, and whatever time I had leftover went to socializing. Today, when it comes to my diet and lifestyle choices (raw veganism, yoga, meditation, New Age spirituality and mysticism, and Gerson Therapy), my last concern is whether or not the masses agree with the way I live my life. I have the ability to drown out critical comments from the peanut gallery and continue to follow my inner guidance system (or intuition) as I live the lifestyle choices and practices that feel right to me. I live MY own truth, and that is good enough for me. But for some, especially new vegans and those of you just beginning to embark upon a healthier and more stable you, criticism from friends and family can strike like a knife in the back and a dagger in the heart. Why would the people who I thought loved me not want to support me? This is a common question swirling around the new vegan’s head as he/she dodges the bullets of criticism aimed his/her way.
Let me start by saying that you will certainly find out who your true friends and family are during a crisis and/or during a time of great change and life overhaul. Those who were in your corner from day one, your tried and true intimate relationships, will support you one hundred percent in your transformation. At the very least, they will give you the space you need to grow and change and allow you to personally develop and grow into your authentic and healthier self. At the most, they will show curiosity in your new lifestyle and become inspired by your dedication and the results you are obtaining, making changes in their own diets and lifestyles to mimic what they see. Those who do not support you, the superficial relationships in your life, do not deserve the energy that you should be devoting to breaking old, unhealthy habits and creating new, healthy ones. This could be just the push you need to reevaluate your interpersonal relationships, to gain perspective, and to reset your priorities.
Hear this and take notes - most people are so profoundly misinformed when it comes to health and wellness in our society because they have been exposed to, believed, and never questioned the propaganda spread by the very companies that stand to profit off of their unhealthy lifestyles and ultimately their future illnesses. One "plan of attack" is to educate them in a docile, non-threatening way about why YOU have made changes in your life to better your health and wellness and focus less on why THEY should jump on board, too. Trust me, they will jump ship instead. Lead by example. Since becoming vegan almost four years ago, several of my close friends (and Internet friends) have followed suit. At the very least, dozens of individuals who have crossed paths with me have tweaked their diets and lifestyles to add more plant-based foods and stress management techniques. This all occurred just because I stayed in my own lane and let others watch me drive off into the good health horizon. When they see the results you are experiencing, they will want a piece of it, too. It's easy to preach and become overzealous when you first begin cleaning up your act, but try to remember that if you don't want to be criticized, others sure don't either. If they ask, inform. Otherwise, silence is golden.
Also, when certain individuals in your life (and you know who they are) watch you evolve into a better, more balanced, and healthier you, an undercurrent of jealousy and guilt can fuel their critical comments as they continue down the path of self-destruction. Ever heard the saying "misery loves company?" Well, so does a diet of burgers and fries. Change is scary for most people. As a former goal-oriented athlete, I've always welcomed change because it has meant becoming a better version of who I am right now. Just as obstacles are opportunities for growth, so are changes, and we need to begin to view them in less threatening manners. Routine is safe, and those people in your life who love routine will be particularly uncomfortable when you start refusing cocktails and sugar and begin suggesting you hit up the local organic and vegan joint instead of your neighborhood pub or McDonalds.
When it comes to conflict, YOU have to engage in it for conflict to exist. If your conversations with particular individuals have become caustic surrounding your diet and lifestyle, say to them, “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to discuss my diet and lifestyle with you anymore. If you would like to talk to me, we are going to have to focus on a different subject from here on out.” Stand your ground. If they continue to fan the flames of your frustration, it may be time to temporarily or permanently cut ties with them so that you can focus on your health and well-being. Arm yourself with information, but also arm yourself with compassion and understanding. A majority of the people on this earth will go through life stagnant and asleep, and they will leave this world the same exact way, un-evolved and unexamined.
If you are feeling particularly vulnerable to peer pressure, try to remember why you decided to embark upon this diet and lifestyle overhaul. Was it to feel healthier? Was it to reverse a chronic health condition? Was it to take a stand against animal cruelty? Was it to truly live your values of compassion, mercy, non-violence, love, and non-judgment? Reminding yourself of the important moral, ethical, spiritual, and physical reasons you changed the way you eat, drink, think, and live can be a powerful tool in assisting you in renewing your commitment to veganism in the face of critical comments. Remember, you can always make new friends who share the same lifestyle choices that you do. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will allow you to feel connected to a sense of community during a time when you can begin to feel isolated from mainstream society.
Last but not least, be proud of yourself! Give yourself a pat on the back for all of the amazing life changes you are making. It isn’t easy to break old, unhealthy habits, to rebel against mainstream society, to differentiate yourself from family and friends, to take a moral and ethical stand each moment of every day with every action you take, etc. And, please, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Veganism is a beautiful, all-encompassing life practice that is rooted in health, beauty, love, compassion, intuition, the interconnectedness of all organisms, non-violence, mercy, non-judgment, and personal and spiritual growth and development. And, food, delicious food. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Veganism is not a death sentence. It is a movement toward an abundant life.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Hi, healers! The four winners of the NuNaturals Stevia giveaway are:
1. Stacy in Mali
Please e-mail me your addresses to email@example.com so I can pass them onto the NuNaturals people for your prizes.
Thanks for entering!
I had a question on my formspring page asking what my juicing routine looks like in detail. Remember, I've been a juicing vegan for almost four years now, so I have different combinations that I find work for me. My disease is not malignant, so I have some wiggle room.
THIS IS JUST WHAT WORKS FOR ME.
I juice approximately 75oz of juice a day.
50oz are green: kale/spinach/collard greens, green apple, cucumber/celery, lemon
25oz are of a carrot mixture: carrot, green apple, lemon, cantaloupe
I add a potassium powder to all of my juices.