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Here and Now

Today is another rainy one, and while I love the rain, I’ve found myself bemoaning the absence of the ample sunshine Colorado is known for. I’ve lingered for more than a few moments, thinking how much lovelier the days would be with golden sun to brighten up the dull gray of clouds and rain. What struck me, though, was that when July brings me 30 garden-scorching days in a row, I’ll be wishing once again for the weather we’re experiencing this week.

This recent round of spring storms is teaching me to appreciate the moment, maybe, and to stop wishing my life away by hoping for whatever isn’t happening in the here and now (for instance, praying for heat when it’s cold and wet outside). So, in acknowledgement of the lesson, I will spend today loving the rain and the overcast skies, knowing that the heat will come and I will have to love that, too.

PS  Has anyone registered for the Hay House Summit 2017, besides me? I hope I’m not alone – it’s free and the only issue I have is choosing which recordings/videos I can fit into my day. So enlightening, so uplifting…it’s absolutely worth the time!

Groovy!

What a wonderful weekend! Lots of shopping (bought a new JGC Overland), lots of family stuff (parties, visiting, more shopping-as-sport), lots of yard work (tres zen!) and… at my daughter’s baby gender reveal party, we discovered she and her hubby are expecting…wait for it…a GIRL! Hooray! Two grandbabies in one year, one of each…my cup truly runneth over. 🙂

I don’t have oodles of sage wisdom (lol) to impart today, but wanted y’all to know I’m still alive and kicking, and currently riding the joy-wave of all things baby.

What could be better than that??

Girl Power

I’ve been on a more of a Girl Power binge than usual for the past few months, from my “Feminism: the radical notion that women are people” t-shirt to the books I’m reading “Pussy: A Reclamation.” I figure, being a chick and all, it’s in my own best interest to have my own back. During a conversation I was having with a gal pal at Starbucks a while back (about the aforementioned t-shirt), some uneducated, uninvited troll actually interrupted us (a COMPLETE stranger) to ask me if I planned to stop shaving my legs, because, “That would be a shame since you’re hot.” Ummmm…WHO are you, exactly??? I didn’t hit him, but I wanted to. Instead, I told him in a slightly impolite way to mind his own business and perhaps his attitude was reason for feminists like me to exist (nothing that would get me punched, I hoped, since you never know with some guys these days, but at least enough to leave said troll with his mouth agape, in what appeared to be genuine surprise).

First off, I am not a f*cking ornament. I do not care if you think I’m hot (or not). Wanna know why? Because I do not care about you at all. Until that very moment, you did not even exist in my world. You. Were. Vapor. And once this post is done, you will be vapor again – that is how little you and your tiny…er…opinion…matter to me. Second, you don’t even know me – maybe I ALREADY don’t shave my legs! Maybe my leg hair is dreadlocked with beads that match the shade of my Birkenstocks.

I mean, if a woman decides to go full-on, leg-hair-braiding hippie status, that isn’t necessarily about feminism (though it could be one of her ways of projecting her devil-may-care feminism to the world) – I would imagine it’s about wanting to have soft, furry legs or about wanting to save time/resources or just not really feeling like shaving, or maybe it’s even about nonconformity in general. I do, in fact, shave my stems daily but, if I did decide to stop shaving my legs, what the fcuk business is it of YOURS, buddy? It’s beyond obtuse to assume that saving on my razor bill MUST be what feminism is about – that it’s not about wanting to not have to carry car keys like a weapon at night, or to take a walk without having to map out my safest path, or to just tell a man “no thanks” and not have to worry about being attacked verbally or physically for it. It couldn’t be about having my health care cost the same as what men pay, or having birth control be finally fully covered by insurance in 2012, whereas  Viagra was completely covered from the very first day it was on the market. Surely it isn’t about how if I wear makeup and a short skirt, I’m “asking for it,” but if I wear jeans and no makeup, I’m a lesbian (but probably still “asking for it”). Or hey, maybe it’s about the right to have a conversation with a friend without being effing interrupted because as a woman, *I* don’t have the keys to the kingdom where it’s socially acceptable to interject my opinion into a personal conversation with two strangers that clearly does not include me and fully expect that my unsolicited opinion be quietly accepted. I love being a woman. Love, love, LOVE it. But saying that doesn’t mean that I’m not fully, painfully aware that there are some rather egregious inequities in this supposedly enlightened country when it comes to being born female.

I’m still me, for chrissakes, and I happen to enjoy smooth, hairless legs. But the thing is, THAT isn’t about anyone or anything BUT me. I’m sure my gorgeous husband appreciates the silkiness, but that’s a positive side effect, not a guiding principle. At my age, I wear what I feel like wearing, and I’m altogether TOO tired of feeling like my appearance on any given day determines my worth…to anyone. I say what I feel like saying, and as I have (somewhat) jokingly told my spouse, “I do what I want.” I don’t know how long I have to live this life – maybe 50 years, maybe 3 days – but I plan to make sure that every single time I have a chance to speak up for what every fiber of my being feels is right, I will do exactly that. And if that makes any fellow uncomfortable, he might want to ask himself why any woman would decide she no longer cares about his comfort over her own.

And lest we get any boxers in a knot, I LOVE men. I really do. Ask around – there aren’t many women who love dudes as much as I do. 😉 Pro-woman does not mean anti-man – the two ideas are not at all mutually exclusive (the enlightened Jacks and Joes out there totally get it already). That’s like saying if you like chocolate chip cookies, you must loathe strawberry ice cream (which is just a stupid notion, if we’re thinking in terms of analogy). All feminism means is that I am a person, and I shouldn’t be molested/raped/beaten/murdered/talked down to/discounted simply because I might be “someone’s daughter,” or “someone’s mother,” or “someone’s wife,” but because as a human being, it isn’t the right way to treat me – and I am done, done, done, making myself small or inconspicuous so any small-minded person can feel big or important.

If this sounds a bit ranty and pissed off, well, at least I wrote it correctly. 🙂

Reboot

This morning, my 4am wakeup call felt just a teensy bit too early. I woke up at first, resorting to my previously-normal, “OMG this is early. Ugh,” train of thought. But that was promptly replaced with a mental shout, “YOGA!” I hopped out of that bed like it was on fire. 🙂

I will say that despite my enthusiasm for yoga in general, today I was just not quite feeling up to a difficult practice. Instead, I opted for a restorative practice, designed to quiet my mind (tricky, but genius!) and to gently stretch out muscles tired from heavy-hitting asanas earlier in the week. This is the first time I haven’t gone all-out in typical, balls-to-the-wall fashion, so it felt a little like slacking at first. But the deeper into the motions I got, the more relaxed my body, the more energized my mind became. 45 minutes later, I was rejuvenated and ready to face another challenging day – fearless, dauntless, and actively participating.

This all got me thinking about how in life, we tend to run full throttle toward just about everything, and how exhausted we probably all are without even realizing it. Without setting aside time to rest and restore (and I’m not just talking about a good night’s sleep, though that’s necessary, too), we end up feeling depleted. Our brains get foggy because there is simply too much “stuff” up there that doesn’t ever get turned off and reset. Heck, even our PHONES need to be rebooted regularly to keep them running at maximum power – if Samsung knows this, why don’t WE?

Today, I ask you to consider what it would take for you to make time for yourself to recharge your inner batteries. What will allow your mind/body to slow down? How can you build some down time into your day/week/month, in order to “reboot?”

Lies.

It’s no secret that I make a TON of juice these days, usually about twice a day. It’s an easy process, but the cleanup can be a bit of a chore, so if I know I have a bunch of 5:45am commutes to my office 45 miles from home, I tend to make juice the night before and put it in the fridge. I only get grumpy about cleaning the juicing filter if it’s still dark outside and a commute is looming before me. Hey, it’s a method that works for me, and the best juice is the kind you’re actually going to make (and drink). So, I’m not really sure WHY I bothered with buying two bottles of juice this weekend to supplement my juice habit, other than they were there, the bottles were pretty, and they said, “Raw” and “Organic” on them. I figured, hey, how nice that if I end up in a tight spot, I can just crack one of these bad boys open.

So, time warp forward to today. I grabbed my homemade pineapple/spinach/ginger/cilantro juice from the fridge, saw one of the bottles of store-bought behind it, and I grabbed that one too – you know, for elevensies. The homemade juice was so amazing, I was bummed to have slurped it down so quickly. Seriously, it was that good – I wasn’t halfway through my drive and it was, sadly, gone. 😦 But, I reminded myself, I did have an extra juice for a snack midday. Hooray!

Skip ahead to just now. “Hooray” has morphed to “damn it!” because the “raw, organic” pineapple cucumber juice was mostly apple and pineapple juices, made from concentrate, with a bit of cucumber puree mixed in. Quel dommage! I mean, this slurry was basically sugar, masquerading as “health food.”

My point here, is that paying attention to ingredient labels is vital if you’re planning to avoid any particular items in your diet, regardless of what the big, flashy front label might say. Because the big, flashy labels tell lies.

Argh. Lesson learned, moving on.

 

Hipocrisy

I’ve reached a point where purchasing non-vegan items for my spouse (or anyone else) is rapidly coming to a screeching halt. It isn’t that I’m saying, “Hey, YOU cannot do this,” but honestly, using my money and time to buy things that cause me significant struggles with my conscience seems foolish. Doing anything that makes us struggle with our conscience is foolish.

The thing is, I’m not good at hypocrisy – it leaves me with a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I tend to live and say the things as I mean them, in line with my beliefs, and believing as I do that all creatures matter every bit as much as I do means that using them as commodities, or supporting their use as commodities (even on behalf of others) makes me a hypocrite.

I figure if I have to pull the “VEGAN” magnet off of my car every time my spouse drives it (because he tends to land in places like McDonald’s), means that the word is either being completely misunderstood by anyone who reads it OR it’s looking a whole lot like a joke to anyone who already knows what “vegan” means. Either way, it is something that’s been bothering me a lot and something that will take me some thinking to figure out exactly how I’m going to be breaking the news to family members who are used to me making their lives easier.

*le sigh*

I’ve run into a few uncharacteristic, “Open mouth, insert foot,” situations recently – while I’m typically hellawicked good with PR, I occasionally have those days where my mouth is waaaaaaay quicker than my ability to check myself. What can I say? I try, but sometimes I still fail.

So, what’s a girl to do when she’s found herself in self-inflicted hot water and the villagers are coming with pitchforks and torches?

First, listen to the whole grievance. Even if you want to jump in and tell them they’re crazy/wrong/ass-hats/whatever. For now, just…listen.

Next, ask yourself, “Is there any foundation to this complaint?” Be honest with yourself – I know it’s hard sometimes, especially if you haven’t listened very well and believe the whole thing has been blown way, way, WAY out of proportion. People aren’t generally angry for no reason, so acknowledge your part in this situation, if you played one.

If it’s warranted, apologize (and really mean it). Ask what you can do to resolve this issue, so the other person knows you’ve heard them, that you’re still listening, and that their hurt matters to you. Assure them that you will not do/say XYZ thing again (and then really don’t do/say XYZ thing again).

If you have searched your soul and don’t see where you’ve done anything wrong, THEN (and only then) can you state your rebuttal. Breathe. Be kind. Remember times when you’ve been mistaken and someone wasn’t very nice to you.

You’ll either be forgiven by the other person, or you won’t. There isn’t much you can do about that part, aside from what I’ve said, above. But if you’ve done your very best to make amends, forgive yourself, move on, and try not to repeat the thing that landed you in ankle-deep crap in the first place. 😉

 

It’s been 52 days since I started this “cleanse,” where I started paying MUCH better attention to what I fed my body and my soul. It’s been long enough that I don’t cringe at juicer-cleaning duty, and long enough that I virtually hop out of bed thinking, “Yo-GAH! Yo-GAH! Yo-GAH!” It’s also been long enough that the cravings for things that make me feel crummy have all but vanished. Donuts hold no power over this girl, no siree. It has, in fact, been long enough that I have stopped referring to this as “a cleanse” and instead, “this is how I live now.”

52 days ago, my intention truly was to merely jumpstart a few healthier habits, and deep down, I probably assumed I would revert back to at least some of my less-enchanting habits (sugar addiction, skipping morning workouts…). I *thought* I was going to run with about 2 weeks and then sort myself out from there. Clearly, plans change: today, when I wrote the number “52” in my bullet journal, it occurred to me that I haven’t, not once, wanted to backslide into patterns that once left me with sallow skin, flabby biceps, and drained of energy all day.

Do I still occasionally wish I could eat a whole loaf of fluffy white French bread? No, not really – see, I “can” have all of the tasty food-like things out there if I want to. I honestly don’t want to anymore. I can still get my bread/olive oil fix from really great artisan breads from the farmers market, if I’m feeling frisky. I spend so much time these days thinking happier thoughts, acting in kinder, more helpful ways, and eating foods that bring me such great health, I feel frisky a LOT. Bread, then, is nearly always on the menu (lol) – it’s just quality, sprouted grain bread these days. Why tamper with what is clearly working for me, right? 🙂

I’m still a work in progress (aren’t we all?), but every single day, I feel myself growing stronger and more resolved than ever to live this life to its fullest. I have always been a smiler, but I believe that I smile more now (which to some folks could be downright creepy…I dunno). My skin glows, and at my age, that isn’t often true for folks, without a lot of makeup. Every day feels like an exciting new adventure, even if the plan for that day is going to my job.

Yep, this cleanse turned into something so much more. This is how I live now, and I am grateful.

 

Sorry about yesterday’s somewhat downer post. For a solid hour, I was doing The Hustle in the “Who in the hell am I to need a $50 coffee cup when I don’t even drink coffee?” nightclub, complete with a sparkling guilt-disco ball. It’s never a good place to be, and a spot I do not boogie down in often (or for very long).

Later yesterday afternoon, my better self shined through and spoke up, softly at first. She said, “Who the hell are you to NOT buy a (ridiculously) expensive mug, simply because you wanted it?” She spoke again, louder this time, “Revel in the bliss of not only finding, but of also buying art that is meaningful to you. Oh, and stop your whining.” She and I figuratively high-fived after this, because THAT, my friends, is Abundant-Thinking kicking Stinkin’-Thinkin’s ass.

Everything we want or need, the Universe intends for us to have. Not only does the Universe want us to have our heart’s every desire, It works hard to deliver those desires, if we just put forth the effort to assume all good things are coming our way – put good out, get good back. Knowing this, and having fully believed it for my whole life, you’d think that I would react with more grace, but even full-time believers like me hit a part-time brick wall now and then.

I woke up this morning, feeling nothing but stoked to have located this mug out in the wilds of the internet, with nothing more to go on than a verbal description of a photograph. And in a mere 2-3 weeks, the mug will be created especially for me, and then shipped to my wide open heart and arms. Coffee be damned, I’ve got a pound of matcha in the freezer, waiting for warm hemp milk and agave. Healthy hippies need hot drinks, too.

I know I have been promoting this whole zen-ish, “less is more” lifestyle, and about 98% of the time I totally feel/live/breathe it. But then WHAM! I see a mug on another blog I read that was posted 2+ years ago, spend a day searching the internet to find the exact same mug, finally see it on Etsy, stew over it for 24 hours, and end up ordering it from the artisan. It honestly just spoke to me (and not in a subtle whisper).

And now here I sit, slightly queasy for spending $50 on a MUG (it’s not the cost, it’s the principle), and thinking that perhaps someone should hide my debit cards (except I have all the numbers memorized so it wouldn’t stop me anyway).

It’s totes not a zen place to be, and I’ll be working for the rest of the day to let go of the pointless shame-sequence. Hopefully before too much time passes, I’ll talk myself into believing that such a random search being fruitful must surely have been a sign so that once the mug arrives, I can put it all into perspective and simply enjoy how utterly, unbelievably beautiful it is.

 

 

 

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