To Find Balance

Last night I watched a documentary that spoke to me in too many ways to count. No Impact Man follows a family of three in New York City, as they venture out to consume less, and produce ideally no waste- for a year. Not only was it moving in the environmentalism aspect, but what stood out to me was the message about Community, Family and having a relationship with the Earth beneath our feet.

When Colin Beavan spoke about community, he stressed the importance of it. The lack of community our society has developed is truly linked to sickness, pollution, poor diet, disease and an overall disconnect. It seems that we are farthest away from the things closest to our being- to our very physical location. If you can tell me you know and could rely on your neighbors for anything, I’d say good for you; you’re probably above average. If you can tell me you take part in community events, community gatherings, efforts and projects, I’d say good for you; you’re working towards the heart of the issue.

Criticism hit hard as Beavan’s family began this journey, with many critics saying things like “The Year of no Toilet Paper, but Plenty of Ass.” His response; why does it have to be critical- how about this?

“The year I lost 20lbs. without going to the gym once. Or the year we didn’t watch TV and became much better parents as a result. Or the year we ate locally and seasonally and it ended up reversing my wife’s prediabetic condition.”

Forget analyzing why someone is doing something, accept that they’re doing it and learn to be humbled by their eagerness to grow with an open mind- maybe even grow to take on that way of thinking yourself.

I think within our communities we have become so disconnected from one another that, like Beavan says, we have no one to hold us accountable for our actions. We think I’ll recycle, I’ll eat more veggies, I’ll walk instead of the bus. These things aren’t enough- it needs to start as a front, a front beginning with an entire community. Though focused on diet, Gene Stone in Forks over Knives says,

“Consider this: If the entire U.S. population were to adopt a plant-based diet for just one day, the nation would conserve the following resources*: • 100 billion gallons of drinking water, enough for every person in every home in New England for nearly four months • 1.5 billion pounds of crops, enough to feed the population of New Mexico for over a year • 70 million gallons of gasoline, enough to fuel every car in Canada and Mexico • 33 tons of antibiotics.”

Now this is just to highlight the importance of what Beavan had done. The documentary hardly touches on the fact that with his ‘environmentally conscious’ meals & product consumption, they were able to reverse his wife’s pre-diabetic condition; on diet and consumption alone. How do these things not register with people?! They are stone. cold. facts.

“Unfortunately, the link between diet and health is still not well understood by many doctors, who are not required to take courses on nutrition in school, and who therefore rely on pills and procedures to treat patients.” -Gene Stone; Forks Over Knives

These things motivate me. They make me want to bring the message into the lives of others. I’m only one person, I have only but two hands- but the changes I wish to bring with them, that’s on me. Beavan speaks about the relationship he was able to cultivate with the Earth through this year of sustainability. He said it took that year of “going without” to create an environment for him to foster a relationship between himself and the very dirt he walks on. Though every square inch may be covered with sidewalks and buildings, he fosters this relationship through work in a community garden. Something I will be blessed to work among this coming Summer.

Fostering a relationship with the Earth is a healing journey. Touch the dirt, understand the potentials it holds. Fathom the power of elements and what the could provide for humankind, should we turn our ignorant minds to the possibilities. Now think, with this dirt alone I can foster nourishment for myself and my family, with this dirt, sunlight and water; I can be humbled. 

I have struggled to find humbling thoughts while stuck at this job, in this cubicle, in this ghetto town so full of everything but community. I have struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see my path clear or to understand how I truly will accomplish my goals. I fight every day to push through- despite weary hearts from Family Members, despite “knowing better,” I have to find the balance between reality and the fast-track to my dreams. When I do find this, it is my hope that I will be humbled by my progress and continue to move forward in a way that will put pride on the faces of my Family Members, and calm worries they might have had about my decisions. I want 100% support, but perhaps by not having it; this will propel me forward that much faster to success- that is the hope.

Ask yourself, is it possible to have a good life, without wasting so much?

To Heal

Today marks day 2, and while I’ve been sticking to some healthier choices, I felt it hard to find any gumption yesterday. Jack reminded me- “you still went out and did something, you have to start somewhere.” This is why I need him.

I’d like to focus more on meditative healing, mentally. I found a couple neat articles about the healing power of meditation, and I have to say… I’m a quote fanatic, I have a daily quote feed on my phone and my status on FB is almost always someone else’s wise words… though I’m still trying to polish some of my own.

Only a healthy bud can blossom. In the same way, only a healthy being can succeed.

-http://www.artofliving.org/healing-power-meditation

The Oxford Dictionary says ‘healing’ means to make sound or whole, or to restore to health.

-http://goodlifezen.com/2009/02/25/does-meditation-heal/

 

I’ll share my meditation experiences soon! Happy Healing!

To Health!

Alright, I feel as though it’s been ages. I haven’t blogged- perhaps because I’ve been working on myself and some other things. Take a little time off, from computers, and things seem to unfold the way they are meant. Exciting things are happening, I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to sow my own land, an acre that is. Many would think an acre is a small, quite a tiny bit of space comparatively. They know nothing! An acre is a bountiful lot- I have the potential to do and learn so much from this land. I am graciously accepting it as I gear up for early spring seedlings and transplants- life is exciting.

This also marks Day One for me on my journey back to health. I decided to create for myself a 30-day challenge. I have a hard time sticking to any kind of plan that will change my body & mind. Thinking it would be better to create one myself- I’m digging in.

Now back to health, let me clarify- mental, physical and emotional health are all in order for check up. I am determined to take on a gluten-free lifestyle with Jack, I think this will help with headaches & digestion issues. He has been going steady for over a month now- something I will strive to take on, though, it’s always easier with a partner in crime. (What will I do without BEER!?)

I need to work meditation and journaling back into my lifestyle. Who says I’m too busy for it, no one but myelf. With the help of healing meditation and my library card, I’m going to work my was back to mental health. My emotional health will be a slow process. I need to allow myself to feel emotions as they come. I spend so much time analyzing why I’m feeling a certain way, that I forget to let it happen and become immersed in my emotion. This will take time, but I must be wiling.

Physical health- always a struggle. It’s easy to slip, let yourself have an indulgence every now and then. But if it’s not in the house- then I won’t be tempted. Again, so much easier knowing Jack will be helping. I’m vowing to tackle 25 miles/week: no matter the action- bike, walk, run, stroll, blade- I’ll DO IT. Even harder will be with the cold moving in quickly, its that much harder to get my ass off the couch. But I am VOWING, I”LL DO IT.

In an ideal world I’d like to work on other areas to, you know, arms, legs, abs blah blah blah. We’ll see how that goes. Maybe I’ll try to shoot into a yoga class? Everything is worth a shot, but not if I don’t take it.

Mostly because, I can’t seem to find full happiness until I am satisfied, personally- not to others, with my appearance. I don’t care what others will say- say what you say, you’re not me, likewise I am not you and your words are like air. So here’s to another vow to my future-self. I’ll do it, my happiness depends on it.

Here’s to mental, physical & emotional health! Cheers!

To Feel the Insanities

I feel insanity clawing its way back into my life, this is something I thought I had long since left behind. One simple action will send my mind into a thralling rage. A woman slowly, very slowly making her way through a self-checkout. Someone taking their time parking- while I’m stuck waiting to leave. Yesterday, I actually became enraged over someone who came to a complete stop at a stop sign… So, insanity ensues. I don’t want this again.

Five years ago I felt the wrath of this insanity take hold of my thoughts  emotions, actions and words. I let it rule my relationships and begin to control what I thought I had control of. It is pure rage. How my emotions can go from 0 to 60 in less than 5 minutes I am oblivious- but I wish, to no end, that I could learn to control it. I become irate  I lose my temper. I throw, slam, punch and scream my way through nearly an hour before I can take a breath and realize I am being ridiculous. I don’t want this again.

I remember driving to school my senior year (in the midst of my angst, rage, depression  whatever you want to dub it) I was fine. Driving like a normal morning, sure I was not happy in general- but my CD player started skipping and was eating the CD. I screamed every curse, every explicit- every nasty combination of words one could manage to bind. I punched my dashboard repeatedly  over and over again. I swerved off the road into a marshy ditch. I took a breath and looked up. Between the broken medallion I loved so much, the cracked dashboard and my bloody fist (not to mention looking up and seeing my truck in a ditch) I knew I had lost it. I don’t want this again.

Yesterday, I felt a pang of this angst. As I squealed my tires to get out of a parking lot, blew a stop sign and went 60 in a 35- I pulled into my driveway. I was physically out of breath. My hands shaking, my heart throbbing out of my chest. I look up, I know that I’m losing it. I don’t want this again.

I tend to blame these insanities on the imbalance in my brain. This terror I was in three years ago seemed to be subdued with anti anxiety and anti-depression medication. Match that with 1 year of intensive therapy: I had dubbed myself a new person. Yet now, three years future, I feel myself slipping. I went on and off of those medications too many times (unknown to the Doctor, who will always say, you must ween yourself- it will have side effects if you don’t) Is this a side effect? Is it rage I must now deal with because I have an imbalance? Do I feel happy, sad, angry, irate, depressed, hopeful, dreadful, fearful and lost in the matter of 5 minutes because I am human or because I have tousled my brain chemicals? I don’t want this again.

Things aren’t exactly, looking up. Though last night, post-rage, I made the executive decision to see my doctor again. I am worried, am I causing problems that aren’t there? Am I breaking my cardinal rule; seeing all of the gray, no focusing on the black and white? I have let stressors seep into my thoughts and dig their claws at my sanity. Here I sit, analyzing, adjusting and playing scenarios in my head to pass time; do I go back on medication to calm my nerves- or do I learn to control it. How much control can I have over a chemical imbalance? I just feel lost over what I should do, but this can’t happen again. I don’t want this again.


I want sanity, clarity and independence from angst.

I seek total control and operation of my thoughts.

I need to release the grip of things not in my control.

I decide my fate. I decide my attitude.

I think today, I pray to a higher power that I will gain these things. Or be granted an opportunity to utilize or try developing these skills. I can’t pretend to be in control forever. What better time to try then now. I must learn to lose the gray. I seek only the black and white. I seek clarity. This won’t happen again.