I was thinking this morning about the gifts that lie hidden within the depths of our being, that we so many times want to hide from the world. Those creative gifts that we were told so many times as children and young adults were great pass times, when we weren’t busy doing something “productive”, but that were not really to be given much attention. Heaven forbid we think we might could sustain ourselves in life using these beautiful talents. I see in my own life the creative energy that has stayed dormant for so much of my life in pursuit of things that really “mattered” instead. Those beautiful hidden talents that have been choked out of my life, pushed down and hidden.
I come from a generation that was all about pursing something that we thought would bring joy and success but instead brought a crippled version of self. The career, the money, the big houses, cars and prestige. The life the world thought was valuable, and all the while our true authentic selves being plunged to the bottom of our existence. I have seen it not only in myself but in others around me. The “giving up” of our dreams in pursuit of something that “looked” more promising. There is nothing wrong with pursuing a career and all of the physical things that go with it, but if it is at the expense of allowing our true selves to emerge, is that really success?
I read a story today that a friend of mine started. She LOVES to write, as do I. But that skill has been banished from the forefront of her mind for so long and not only that, been abused by those haunting voices from the past. “You’re not good enough.” “Only the best sustain themselves with their creative talents.” YOU can’t do that!” “Who are YOU to think that YOU could have anything to offer the world, other than HARD work and putting nose to the grindstone.”
When I read the beginning of my friend’s story, I thought, My God, this girl has talent! Why isn’t she writing books and getting published? I see that I need to turn this question on myself as well. I need to ask the question daily, “Why am I not at least trying to get published? Why do I withhold what is within me to express?”
I am starting to see that it all comes down to facing the dreaded fears that we have about our talents. When we can allow ANYTHING to happen in our existence on this great planet, including failure, rejection, and looking stupid, we can step more fully into who we are. When I am not avoiding failure, failure is not so threatening. I then give myself and others permission to see the REAL me and have whatever reaction they have. And it is usually so sweet and beautiful and not near the harsh reaction that I was afraid of.
I am getting on a cellular level how precious our talents and voices are. The voice of the divine speaks to us within our talents and to withhold it is a transgression against not only ourselves but the world. For it is that which lies deep within ourselves that is our gift. When withheld, we are withholding all of the good that life has to offer and we close ourselves off from receiving back from the world what it so much wants to give us.
Failure is a dreaded illusion of the mind. When we bury the voice that is within us, wanting to be spoken, we are lost. So as I face failure, look it dead in the eye and ALLOW it to surface, what I find is success. When we are living authentically, there is no such thing as failure. Only lessons and life itself.
So to my friend the writer I say, GO FOR IT! To myself I say the same. The gifts that we behold and that were planted into our very being are aching to be released into the Universe and it is our responsibility to voice them and allow them to flow where they may, without attachment to where they go, what anyone thinks about it or how it ultimately turns out. I suspect that whatever happens when we do this, it is always good. There is a gift in it somewhere if we only dare to look for it.
Well, today went well. But the question whether to stay on the cleanse or get off was getting stronger and stronger. My 23 year old daughter and my husband were both on the cleanse as well, for five and four days respectively, as of today. They were ready to call it quits. They felt that they were cleansed enough and were very proud that they had made it this far, as was I. I knew I could make it for longer, but why? That was the question I kept asking myself.
I stayed present. I kept checking in with my body. My body felt ready to eat, or was it just my mind? I don’t know but at about 4:00 p.m. I found myself making the luscious wonderful vegetable soup that you are suppose to break the fast with. I did this differently than I normally do. I was content. I made it slowly and paid attention to each vegetable that I cut, giving thanks that it was here. Ironically, our vegetable garden outside had begun to bear wonderful fruits of squash, zucchini, tomatoes and green beans this week. I had appreciatively pulled each vegetable off of it’s vine each day. I had washed it and stored it and loved and appreciated it throughout the fast. I was proud to have grown it and was proud to now be making a soup with clean food that I would break the fast with.
That evening, my husband, daughter and myself stood over the pot of steaming soup and savored it’s aroma. We dipped our ladle in and sat at the table together with our steaming bowls of fresh vegetables and broth. We took our spoons and yum, we ate deliberately and purposefully from our bowls. The flavors were vibrant. The appreciation for what we were eating was great. And we enjoyed every minute of it.
I want to remember in the days ahead to savor the foods that I eat and be conscious of what I am feeding my body. Just as I watch the thoughts that I allow to take root in my brain I want to watch the food and chemicals that I allow myself to consume.
This fast has been good on so many levels. My urge to say “I’m Starving” has diminished. I know now that I am not starving when my belly rumbles and I am grateful for the abundance that is always so readily available in my life. I feel in control of my thoughts and therefore in control of my body and spirit as well. It is such a powerful feeling to be okay with what “is” in the world. It is wonderful to know that I can master the art of joy in each moment and that it has nothing to do with what is going on “out there” or even how my body is feeling. It only matters what is going on within my being.
My goal is to do this fast again in October. Next time, I would like to shoot for ten days. Why? I’m not sure. I feel that I would like the experiment of it. I would like the challenge. I would also like to see how my body responds to ten days on a fast. I have read about so many people that have done it and have yielded great energy and clarity of mind afterwards. I’m not sure if I really need a fast for ten days to gain clarity of mind but who knows, my mind could always use a little more clarity, couldn’t it?
One thing I have learned is that I need to pre-prep my kids meals next time. The cooking of healthy meals for them each day was almost too much to bear. I think if I could just heat things up it would be easier on myself and would elimanate a lot of the temptation and constant reminder of what good foods we usually eat. I think if I cooked ahead of time and froze their meals, I would have a good running start.
Thank you all for reading and following me on this journey. I have enjoyed writing this blog and posting about my experiences. I have loved it so much that I think I will start a new category titled “A Mom’s Quest for Enlightenment”. Ha! What do you think about that????
Today I take my nine-year old son Cameron to the miniature golf course. It’s a day created twice a month to diffuse the competition between he and his little brother, Caleb. He picks the activity. My undivided attention is required. It’s just Cameron, the golf clubs and me.
We choose a golf course nestled in a park, surrounded by trees, squirrels, ducks and a pond. He is determined to get a hole in one, something he has never before achieved. But at the first hole it takes him seven tries to get the little red ball where it needs to go.
“That makes me so mad!” he huffs. “I’m no good at this!”
The second hole is worse. He gets a tight look on his face and then, nine strokes later it finally goes in.
“Why did I pick this stupid game?” His determination turns to frustration and then plain anger.
I’m getting frustrated as well, knowing that I can’t give him what he so badly wants. We continue. At holes three and four it only gets worse. No hole in one, in fact not even a hole in three.
Finally, at the ninth hole, Cameron says, “Mommy, let’s just sit down for a while. I am so mad and I think I just want to take a break.”
“Sure, this is your day!” I tell him.
We abandon our clubs on the dirt walkway and go sit under a big oak tree. Cameron looks up at the tree and is quiet for a while.
“Mommy,” he says finally, “remember how you told me that our thoughts and our mood can affect what happens in our life?”
“Yes, honey, I remember.”
“And remember when we were driving that time, how it helped us?”
“Yes, I do.”
Cameron doesn’t say anything else and we both get lost in our own thoughts.
I’ve learned through much trial and tribulation that our thoughts always manifest something in our lives. No matter the circumstance, we have the power to choose how to perceive it. When my thoughts are good, my mood is good. When my thoughts are negative, my mood reflects that. I instill these ideas into the boys’ minds in hopes of watching them grow into deliberately happy adults.
Cameron breaks the silence to remind me of the day we were driving home after a busy time of helping Pawpaw with grocery shopping and cleaning. It was scorching hot outside and by the time we started for home, the traffic was horrific.
Cameron’s voice boomed. “It’s hot! I want to be home right now! Would these cars move already?”
“We didn’t get to do anything fun!” Caleb added.
The demeanor in the car was pure negative energy. I wanted to be home as well. But I knew that if I changed my attitude, things around me would begin to change.
“Hey, boys, you know what? We always have happiness inside. So how can we find that happiness right here and right now?”
“I’ll be happy when I am at home,” Cameron moaned.
He had missed the point.
“Yes, but we’re not home. We’re sitting in a long line of cars at a red light,” I explained. “We can’t change that. What we can change is our attitude about it. Who knows? If we do, we might just get home quicker.”
“Well . . . we get to be home schooled and don’t have to go to that boring school, Mom,” Cameron admitted reluctantly.
“I know!” said Caleb, always the clown. “I can sing, ‘I’m so happy! I’m so happy!’”
He started singing his happy song over and over and making silly faces in the process. His enthusiasm was contagious and soon there were “I’m so happys” ringing out of everyone’s mouth.
Cameron was now laughing hard. “I don’t even care if the light changes. We can sit here all day because I am happy right now!”.
“Me too!” I chimed in.
“Me too!” Caleb sang.
As we began to enjoy being stuck in the car, all of a sudden the traffic started moving.
“Hey guys, look!” I exclaimed. “The cars are moving. I think we’re going to make this light after all.”
“Keep being happy!” Cameron was wide eyed as the cars part like the Red Sea. “I think it’s working.”
We got through that light but the next light had turned red.
“I don’t care. Let it turn red! We’re gonna be happy no matter what, right Mommy?” Cameron asked.
“Yes, sir, we are!” I answered.
We turned on the radio and sang along. Miraculously, the cars either moved or turned. We had a wide-open street. A drive that was sure to be a full forty-five minutes took us only twenty. The boys just knew that I had revealed some kind of magic. They couldn’t help but think they had moved the traffic with their attitudes. They ran in to tell Daddy all about it.
Now, back under the oak tree, Cameron seems to return from some memory of his own.
“Mommy, I’ve been thinking about when we were driving and the traffic just moved and let us get home real quick.”
“Yes honey, it was amazing.”
“Well, we need to do that right now. I AM going to get a hole in one today, but not if I get mad and frustrated. I want to find my happy.”
“Well, honey, how can you find your happiness right now?” I look into his eyes. We are connecting on some soul level, something beyond the mother/child relationship and onto something deeper and all knowing.
“I am happy to be spending time with you,” he says. “I don’t care if I get the hole in one. Just being out here in this great park, with a mom that is so fun, is enough for me.”
I bat back the tears that threaten to leak. What mother would not love to hear that coming from her nine-year-old son?
“Well, let’s sing the happy song.” I hop up and do a silly dance. ! “I’m so happy, I’m so happy!”
He gives me a sheepish grin and nods towards golf hole number ten, hinting that I not get too carried away. We head to the pathway to retrieve our golf clubs.
“Mom, I don’t care! I just don’t care if I get a hole in one. I am going to have fun playing the game!”
I nod for him to go ahead and aim his club at the ball.
He grins real big, lets out a real quick “I’m so happy!” and pulls his club back. Contact is made. The little red ball spirals down the green, knocks into the side, and oh, it is impossible, but it goes straight into the hole.
We both begin jumping up and down and laughing.
“Mom, you are SO right! It works, it really works!”
In that moment I realize that despite my many faults and worries as a parent, I am teaching my children something worthwhile
Cameron gets two more holes in one. But more than those, he has realized a deep truth that will serve him well. He has learned he always has a choice about how he views his circumstances. He can see the bad or the good. The choice is his. If he can remember to find his happy, I imagine he will move mountains.
May 19, 2011 Day Four
Day four was good. I didn’t have any real problem with my thoughts or body sensations. I felt light, energized and had a good attitude. I wasn’t obsessed with food as I was on day three. I was in a pretty neutral mood and feeling pretty good. Yes, I could eat. It’s not as if I had completely lost my appetite, but I was still able to feel concrete about my choice NOT to.
I did find myself wondering how long I wanted to remain on the fast. Trying to predict my future wants and needs. Hmmm. Haven’t I practiced this before? All I can KNOW for sure is whatever it is that I want or need NOW, in this moment. But I found myself having that internal conversation in my head about the pros and con’s of staying on/getting off of the fast. Trying to set up a finish line. Trying to find my destination. Telling myself things like, “You eat healthy most of the time anyway, you probably don’t need the full 10 days like most people. Let’s get off tomorrow.” and “This fasting is just some hokey, hippy, health nut craziness. You don’t really need this! What are you doing? Get off the cleanse TONIGHT!”
And then of course the fear tactic thoughts like, “You should stay on the full 10 days or you won’t get the energy benefits of the cleanse. Stay on the fast till day 10.” or “You really don’t get much out of it unless you can go ten days. You’ll have wasted these days if you get off early. Stay on it at least 7 days.”
I noticed these thoughts as they came and went though, without much attachment to them. I realized that this cleansing for me is a journey and not a race or destination to “get to”. I remembered to come back to now and make the choice now whether to stay on the cleanse or not. To check in with myself and ask myself how I am doing in this moment . . and somehow I have still not eaten.
I am writing this post as I begin day 5. I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with abundant energy and went ahead and got up to start the day. I feel optimistic that I will make it through another day on this fast. I will continue to choose in the present. And for now I am choosing to remain on it. But, there may be a moment in which my body says, EAT, and I will do that. One of the best things I am getting out of this cleanse is to sync up with what my body is telling me. I am really checking in with what my body needs in each moment and it feels very good. I guess this is what it feels like to be aligning Mind, Body and Spirit. What a gift to myself.
I have told several people that I am on the Master Cleanse and they want to know more about it. I thought I would post a links page that will give everyone the recipe for the lemonade and the general instructions for following the fast.
There are several fasts and cleanses out there, but I think this is the simplest, most straight forward cleanse. It’s a sea salt water flush, morning and evening, at least 60 oz. of the lemonade drink per day and decaffeinated herbal tea if desired. Most people subscribe to it for a minimum of 10 days and some of the marathon fasters can go as long as 45 days. I don’t know yet if I can even hang with it for the minimum 10 days, but I think that no matter how long you stay on it, it is beneficial. Even a one day break from digestion is good in my mind.
Here is the website that I have used for the recipe and general instructions.
This is a fascinating article on fasting:
If you decide to try it, good luck! If I find further resources that seem valuable I will update this post.