Death and Rebirth

Death and Rebirth

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The Life/Death/Life nature is a cycle of animation, development, decline and death that is always followed by re-animation. This cycle affects all life and all facets of psychological life. Everything – the sun, novas and the moon as well as the affairs of humans and those of the tiniest creatures, cells and atoms alike – have this fluttering, then faltering, then fluttering again.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With The Wolves

I look at an empty page, a blank canvas of possibility. I bring my fingers to the keyboard and they tap tap tap nervously as my mind grasps for a sliver of inspiration. All at once it occurs to me – I haven’t written a single word in over 18 months.

Much of the time I’ve spent away from writing has been spent swimming in a deep sea of pain. It’s the most profound pain I’ve felt, the deepest sense of loss I’ve known. Some feel pain like this and they shrivel up; they stop relating to others; they hide away and try to make sense of it. What the fuck does it all mean? How can I give of myself when I feel so destroyed and lost inside my own heart, my own mind? Others use that pain as fuel for a bottomless well of creativity. I’ve always found myself to be a part of the former category. Even now I find it difficult to express wounds into words. What I think I’ve come away with in this dark hour of my being is this: death begets life. All that pain – all that suffering – it was simply deeply ingrained parts of me falling away. It was mind numbingly painful. At times I didn’t think I could withstand it. I nearly lost one of my most important relationships in the midst of the anguish. I see now – it was a great blessing. Today I feel new -reborn. From that desolation I’ve learned an incalculable lesson that will guide me in my journey until my very last breath.

I am becoming keenly aware of life’s intrinsic need for death. I have a gorgeous banana plant in my home – browning leaves need to be removed in order for new growth to sprout. The plant as a whole is much healthier for the pruning. Mature flowers on a rose bush need to be picked to make way for new budding life, berries need to be plucked, and so on and so forth. To hold on to the dying parts of our selves is a useless practice in vanity. I fought that truth for along time. No more. Shedding that old, dry skin has left me lighter and more able to see my own divinity – my own bright light.

A few of the most important things I have recently released:

  1. My need to be perfect – I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. All of my flaws, all of my short comings are perfect opportunities for reflection and a deep dive toward inner knowing – a step on the path of realizing myself as a fully embodied human. If I can get cozy in my quirks and learn to love ALL of me then I can really begin to release that which does not serve me. Fighting against something is the surest way to make it bigger and stronger. Until that sweet moment when you’ve really learned and moved through a life lesson and integrated it into your life – you are presented with the same challenge over and over and over again. This will always be the reality. Bottom line? Stop fighting myself and embrace it all. The utter shit, the pure bliss and the monotony.
  2. My need to be right – My ego sure loves to win. She fears losing (being wrong) so much that she will go as low as to hurt others, just to save herself from the agony. I am getting to know my ego on a more intimate level and realize that I have endless compassion for her. How sad to be constantly measuring yourself against others, to feel so insecure that you are always trying to prove your worth. In the past I have fought against my ego. I’ve even tried to disengage from it entirely. I told myself that If I could just let go of my ego I could achieve enlightenment. I know now that is impossible. If I am to be a human being on this earth then my ego will always be a part of my journey. Without it I am not an individual, I become a part of the whole again or in essence, I die. So to be alive and to be human means to dance with the light and shadow sides of the ego. So, today I welcome her AND yet – I do not let her control me. Because when does stubbornness and being right help the spirit to shine and grow? I choose to be open to the possibility of the moment and to the truth that I still, and always will, have A LOT to learn.
  3. My need for everyone to like me – I need to like me. That’s it. If I truly accept myself then others will accept me too – and if they don’t? They will move along down the road and so will I. Life in this vessel is too short to waste precious moments trying to prove my worth to anyone. I can’t even begin to express how good the integration of this truth feels. It has taken over a decade of work to get here. Not sure what clicked exactly – but I’m grateful it did. LIBERATION!!
  4. That I have nothing of value to share – I am unique. There is no other person on the planet that is my exact equal. No one else has lived my life. Everything I have to say is special simply because it comes from my unique vantage point. I do not need years of schooling and accolades from others to measure my worth. I have been so scared to speak my mind and share my truth in fear of it not being interesting enough or backed by enough degrees. FUCK THAT. I have much to share and I am done waiting.

So here I am world! Get ready to hear more from me. I hope to hear from all of you too because our ability to connect, understand and empathize with one another is one of the most valuable aspects of being in this human body. I LOVE YOU!

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes and Cheesy Herb Bread. 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes and Cheesy Herb Bread. 

Hi, my name is Sam. I’m 30 years old, married, have a 2 year old daughter and I am living with my in laws. This is a reality I could not have guessed for myself. Weren’t you supposed to have your life figured out at 30? Seems the older I get, the more I realize just how clueless I really am. Life is one big experiment and we’re all trying our best to thrive in each moment while dodging the inevitable catastrophic explosions. I won’t get in to the long story with you now but I will say this, my thyroid has been acting up and we had to rule out cancer. For those of you who aren’t familiar with that process, it’s an expensive one. Fortunately, very fortunately, I’m in the clear. Yay!! 😊 UN-fortunately, I’m down nearly 10 grand. Add that to the debt we were already nursing and you’ve got many thousand really good reasons to move in with your parents

As uncomfortable as it can be to share a space with your in laws, especially my in laws, there are enough perks that I think I can overlook the pitfalls for a few months. First, we’ll be saving nearly 3,000 dollars a month. Can you believe that? California, you are so obscenely expensive… good thing you are so effing purty. Secondly, living with my MIL means more help with my daughter. Get this – I was able to just up and drive off to my dentist appointment this morning. I didn’t have to bust my ass finding a sitter I didn’t trust or have to bring her along for a sweaty, traffic filled, hour long car ride. Nope. I.simply.went.by.myself. Gah! It was almost like I was a single unattached adult human again. Aside from the 10 minute tantrum she threw as she clung to my leg, begging me not to go of course. Trivial details darlings. Point is, having G-ma in the same house is granting me daily slivers of much needed freedom. I’m grateful to say the least. Thirdly but arguably most importantly, my MIL is a phenomenal cook. She is of Armenian descent but was born and raised in Turkey. Her cooking is fresh, vibrant, flavorful and I can taste her heritage and her love of food in every bite. She passed along this bread recipe to me yesterday. We baked together for nearly 2 hours. At the end of it I had dough in my hair, flour on my clothes and a belly full of cheese. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, even if it is with your MIL. 😉

Gluten Free Cheesy Herb Bread 

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour, I used 1 cup buckwheat, 3/4 cup white rice and 1/2 cup garbanzo
  • 3 eggs
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup grated manchengo cheese
  • 1/4 cup dill, finely chopped
  • 1/3 bunch of italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks of green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Process

My favorite part of cooking with my Mama in law is watching the way she does things. She moves quickly, she makes a mess and she rarely measures anything out. She made a loaf with gluten – I watched her every forceful move and then copied her, sans gluten.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Throw eggs in a bowl and using either a fork or an electric beater, beat until nice and frothy.
  3. Add in herbs, onions, oil and salt and mix together until combined – I used my clean hands. It’s more fun that way. 🙂
  4. Add in flour and baking powder and mix again until well incorporated. Since this recipe is gluten free you don’t have to worry about over mixing! You want to avoid over mixing wheat flour as it activates the gluten and can make your finished product firm, not fluffy and moist like you’d want. 
  5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool, slice and savor.

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Happy cooking loves!

XO ~ Sam

PS- Here are some of the pretty things I get to look at every day now… Maybe moving in with your in-laws isn’t all THAT bad after all. 😉

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Inspiration Station

Inspiration Station

Inspiration comes to me in many forms. Sometimes it’s a gentle whisper that I nearly miss, sometimes it’s a screaming fire in my belly that insists I act immediately and other times it’s a sweet nudge from a wonderful friend. This blog post was inspired by such a friend, her name is Aurore and she has nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

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I’m honored to accept and share the love with other inspiring bloggers. Thank you for the nomination sweet friend, as I’ve said to you before, being recognized as an Inspiring blogger by such an inspirational person means a lot to me. Aurore writes a truly awesome blog, Pamplemousse, where she shares her wholesome recipes, her workouts, (she’s a badass personal trainer who has lovingly kicked my ass on more than a few occassions) and her insights on raising three children the healthy way. She is an incredibly beautiful person, in body, mind and spirit, who inspires all who has the good fortune of meeting her. She’ll inspire you too, I’d just bet on it.

So here are the rules,

1. As the recipient you should thank the person who nominated you by linking to his/her blog and displaying the award logo;

2. Nominate up to 15 other blogs. Link to their blogs and inform them about the nomination;

3. Share three things that inspired you the most this week.

I only began my journey in this blogoshpere a brief 5 months ago now, so I haven’t become intimately involved with too many blogs just yet, although I am working on broadening my horizons. 🙂 Here are 4 that I have come to love in that short time…

Story time with John – If you like to laugh, John is your man. This guy is funny, like make sure you aren’t eating while reading his posts or you may choke funny. I know this from personal experience. Fortunately I live to tell the tale. If being hilarious isn’t enough to inspire you, John also seems to be a genuinely good guy. He is a grade school teacher and you can feel how much he cares about these kids through his writing.

Bubbles and Booyah – This girl is just pure awesome sauce. Her upbeat energy is completely contagious. I’ve never met this lovely lady but I feel like I know her through her candid and detailed accounts of her awesome life as a vegetarian, champagne lover and self proclaimed running addict. Along with sharing her fun and fit lifestyle, she also shares recipes, ideas on how to best pack your carry on and her awesome workout playlists. She is pure fun and I just love reading her blog, I think you will too.

The Migrant Chef – I get hungry every time I peruse through this chef’s insanely delicious looking blog posts. He apologizes for his unprofessional looking photos but I heartily disagree. His photos are beautiful, they are well lit and nicely showcase the beauty of his food. If a photo can make you drool, then it is doing it’s job and his photos do just that. His recipes are vast and varied. With dishes ranging from minestrone soup to a decadent looking lamb shank, you will be sure to find something to suit your tastes.

The Friendly Fig – I actually just came across this gorgeous blog about a week ago. The authors are two women, Bianca and Sara who share vegetarian/vegan recipes, (vegan cherry donuts anyone?) cruelty free beauty products, fun playlists and photos of hip fashion that they love. Their pictures are high quality and visually captivating, their vibe is young, fresh and forward thinking. They are totally my style and I am thrilled to have found them. Follow them, you’ll be happy you did.

Now that the love has been spread, onto my weekly inspirations. My week has been full of inspiration so I happily have much to share with you.

Inspiration #1: Sprouts!

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I am so excited to report that I started sprouting! I’ve been wanting to do it for years and I finally got down to it this week. Sprouted food is higher in enzymes, fiber, vitamin content and essential fatty acids than it’s non sprouted cohorts. Sprouts are also alkalizing to your body. An acidic body can be a host to all manner of illness, so sprouts help to bring the body to a healthier place of alkalinity. I got this really nifty sprouting tray that takes any guess work out of the process. I soak my seeds, place them in the tray, water them three times a day and within 2 days, the sprouting had already begun. By day 7 my sprouts were completely finished and ready to enjoy. Since I have so little counter/storage space in my home this upright tray makes more sense for me than having a few mason jars sprouting at a time. I love this tray, I love my sprouts and they are happily inspiring my insides as we speak. 🙂

Inspiration #2: My little Marvel.

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This girl has blown the lid off of me. Sometimes I don’t know who I am anymore. Sometimes I don’t know how I ever breathed a breath without her. Forever I am head over heels in love with this funny little girl named Marvel. Our connection has gotten stronger this last week. With every personal stride she makes, our bond seems to strengthen along with it. She looks at me these days with the knowing look of an old soul. She runs into my arms and holds me tight, cooing as she squeezes. Sometimes she just holds me like that for 2-3 minutes, which is a veritable lifetime for a wiggly toddler. I’ve never known such heart expanding happiness. As hard as it is to be a mother, the joy that is possible in a single moment has the power to wipe all of the other bullshit away.

Inspiration #3: This gorgeous piece of art hanging in my dining room.

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I love art. Who doesn’t right? It can capture about a million emotions in one frame. It has the power to illicit completely different reactions in each observer. It is timeless. It is the beauty of the human spirit translated into something tangible. This gorgeous piece was painted by my great friend, Ruby Lee. She is a work of art herself. This girl is my friend, my sister and she painted this just for me. In fact it is me, a modeling shot I did a few years ago. She painted it per request of my husband for my 30th birthday. The fact that she spent hours and hours creating art just for me brings tears to my eyes. It’s perfect and it inspires me everyday. This reminds me of the love of a great friend and of the infinite creative possibilities that live in each one of us.

Inspiration #4: The sun. (Because I couldn’t pick just 3!)

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This past week the Bay Area has been enjoying absolutely perfect weather. The sun has been offering up it’s delicious rays while a slightly crisp coastal breeze has been cooling us off just when the heat gets too intense. In this sun I have been playing outdoors with Marvel and my camera, I’ve been hiking with great friends, I’ve been outside so much that I’m even sporting a little sunburn. Hello summer in February! Nothing inspires me more than playing outside in the sun. Now if I can just get myself to the beach to breathe in that ocean air, I’ll really be winning! 🙂

 

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