Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nurture your Nature

Okay, so yesterday after posting about loving the body we inhabit... no no, loving the body I inhabit, I decided to make a big pot of vegetable soup. I have always despised vegetable soup, maybe because I really do think I've only had it in restaurants, where, let's be honest, I despise most soup. I AM a soup person, but my mum always made a meat stock for the background, and when I think of veg soup I think overcooked green beans, too much tomato in the background, too much black pepper (to try to cover up the ick, I'm quite sure), and some overcooked bean or grain or noodle. Ick.
But a new leaf has been turned in the vegetable soup department. I followed Tessa Kiros' (my ALL TIME favourite cookbook author) recipe for an idea of what to do and basically she said chop up all the veggies you have, cover them with water and cook for an hour! Easypeasy! So that's what I did. I chopped up: beets, beet greens, cabbage, yellow beans, potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions, chives, sweet potatoes, and carrots, added some parsley and bayleaves, salt and a wee bit of pepper, and oh my GODDESS! the best soup I've EVER had! It's a beautiful pink base (from the beets), the mildest delicious vitaminiest flavour, and with the yellows and oranges and reds and purples... Beautiful!! Who knew veggie soup could be BEAUTIFUL? Even my children lapped it up like hungry little kittens last night! And today for lunch they resisted for just minutes and then I tossed in some of their favourite crackers and they were mewing for more in no time. And it felt SO good to use our own veggies to make the entire thing. Well, I did clean out my fridge which had a few odds and ends leftover veggies from our CSA delivery, and chopped around the rotten bits of the sweet potatoes I'd bought and forgotten about a few weeks ago... But MOSTLY all our own. Step 1 to living a healthier life was yum
yum yum! highly recommended.
Then this morning I read CJ's invitation to "go for a walk" and decided we were starting our daily walk today. So we hunted around for all the gear we needed, kiddies jumped into the jogger and away we went. Part of the Waldorf kindergarten idea book we're using is to take the same walk every day of the year, so my children can see the changes the seasons bring, greet the neighbours, and start to feel like it's their own. I was planning to start in September, but why wait? We started today. And what fun we had! I was puffing a little, pushing them up all the hills, but that'll get easier, and they LOVEd it. We went into the park (parked the jogger at the entrance as the trail isn't jogger-friendly, which is my plan to continue to do as long as we don't get snowed out) and after skipping along at a fast pace (kids felt like fairies in the rainforest -- how lucky are we to live here?!?!) for nearly an hour, we heard a BEAR up the creek! No mistaking those sounds. My wee P sensed it even before I did and before we heard the noises and instantly wanted "up". But when I heard the crashing I picked up my 2 and became the Amazon woman I've always wanted to be and raced out of there with one on each hip. So, step 2? Exciting!!! Maybe too exciting. I might have to plan an alternate route until the bears go to sleep in the Fall... eeek!

So? what are your thoughts on the ethnic body theory? It reminded me of when Marti went to the Ukraine for the first time and said this: "I felt like I blended in for the first time in my life." Interesting, no? We think we own our body and WE are in control... That it only takes a sufficient amount of self-discipline and courage to achieve whatever body we want... and then beat ourselves up when we don't look like the people on TV (who, let's be honest, are actually revolting-looking from a health standpoint). WHAT IF we learned how to WORK with our genes to live in a healthy strong body FOR US. Yes, indeed, what if ??? Comments please?

I must add that my friend also suggested that I hang out with more like-minded people so as not to be faced with body-image-crises in the first place... I agree. But these are my husband's people and I consent to a group party with them one time a year. Mostly I AM surrounded by my own tribe, but you know? It's good to be out "in the world" now and then to really get stetched and get thinking and learn some new lessons. This one will be big for me -- sorting out what holds me back from living in the body I THINK I live in (it's the invention of the camera that does me in -- I know, I know, some of you have mirrors -- they're banned from my house. he he Maybe that should be step 3? Invest in some wall-size mirrors?) hee
But back to the law of attraction. I was thinking of how to draw the energy to me that will enable me to make the necessary changes to transform my mind into accepting that my body is healthy and strong... What do you think of this, um, whatever it's called when you tell yourself the same thing over and over to get it into your brain: "I comfort myself with movement"? Sounds pretty positive and powerful, no? Because it's when I'm feeling stretched or drained or tired or ... in some way in need of comfort that I nurse on a flavoured (read creaminess and sugariness) coffee (and no, I don't make them myself, then I would KNOW what goes into them. eeek!) or race off to buy an M&M chocolate cake (quicker than making one myself! eeek!) or whip up some cream to dip almost anything high in carbs (are fingers high in carbs? ahem!) into...

I LOVE this quote by Christiane Northrup: "What we're all really looking for is the mother that few, if any of us ever had: a superhuman being with two ever-full breasts who is always there for us, meeting our every need and gazing into our eyes with pure unadulterated love, a being so powerful that she can protect us from all the inevitable discomforts and challenges of life, and soothe all our feelings of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-blame. There's no such being. And the sooner we learn how to nurture ourselves, the better we'll be at being realistic role models for our daughters."
DAMN! There's no such thing? That's EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Who isn't?
Nurture myself. "I nurture myself with movement." ?? Will that work? Does it have to be something oral? "I nurture myself with green tea?"
This sounds a bit humorous, but really, it isn't. SO MANY of us are struggling with our weight, our strength, our health on that level. And NONE of us want to pass that onto our children on any level.
Who's next? Use the comments section! xo

It's all in the genes...

So the forum has begun! My friend Karen called to say that she thinks a lot of our body shapes has to do with our ethnic background. Her mum is stout, just like her slavic roots. Karen has an (albeit small) Amazon shape, conducive to the Norwegian roots that she identifies strongly with and has always felt strong and healthy in her body. I think of my mum in her small, fit body and think of her roots -- scottish, irish, welsh, english. Does that fit? I don't know. My dad's side are all Ukranian and ALL struggle with weight in a big way (literally). It's interesting to me that Karen identifies more with her dad's scandinavian roots, and also lives in that kind of body. I wonder what my children will identify with or inherit. My husband's roots are mostly Norwegian, his dad being pure (and has a fit, thin, wirey, strong body), and his mum being half English and being stout and round. I'm wondering if we don't crave the types of foods that we inherit with our genes. I LOVE dairy. Soup without sourcream? What's the point? Fruit without cream? Why? Crackers without cheese? No thanks. My favourite desserts all come with a big dollop of whipped cream. So what is that? English? Ukrainian? German? I had it all sorted out what my ethnic roots were, at one time, I might have to look into it some more.
And maybe by noticing what foods my children prefer, I can help them sort out which ethnic genes are strongest for them -- and hence what kind of bodies that may manifest.
I'm thinking if we KNOW that our roots will just naturally have us craving certain types of food, then we can leave room for those and not fill up on calories that don't satisfy us quite like our favourites. And then if we know what kind of body we tend towards, we can make up for it by choosing activities that will help keep us feeling healthy and strong.
Because here's the thing: I don't care a whit about "looking fine". I truly believe that beauty comes from the inside and it's more about being interesting than beautiful anyway. I truly do. Always have. What I AM concerned about, is that I nurture a STRONG, HEALTHY body that will carry me around lightly and easily and joyfully until I'm ready for the next plane of existence... And that I pass THAT legacy on to my children rather than a legacy of struggle with the physical body. More on this one please...

really love your peaches want to shake your tree

it's peach season. my favourite. we're eating them fresh off the stone, doused in whipped cream, and chopped up with the smallest stream of fresh cream poured over... any other ideas for getting the most out of these delicious specimens? pies are next on my list. yum. i love peaches. and love watching the juice drip off my childrens' chins and elbows... positively delicious...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday morning coming down...

Good Monday morning to you, or whatever time of day or day of week it is where this finds you...
I am feeling in need of a house full of my favourite people today, but my wee P has foot & mouth disease (i'm guessing by the blisters on his feet and in his mouth and his extreme neediness of being carried on mama's hips with her arms wrapped around him) and so there will be no invitations going out anytime soon.
I've been thinking a lot about the law of attraction recently and wanting to leak a little of it out of my too-full head...
Ever wonder why things tend to come in waves? I have. Like just recently I am being inundated with older women's bodies failing them. Not just my beloved Grandma's, which makes me tear up just thinking of her, but women at the gas station filling up their tank when plop, down they go and can't get up for the life of them... I look around at natural mothers... You know the ones, those mums whose primary archetype is the mother, who don't do anything in life as naturally as they mother... And I look at the ones I know well and wonder why it is that so few of them live in really strong healthy bodies. And I look at the mothers I know who struggle with mothering and most of them obviously take the time to care for their bodies in a big way. Do we somehow have to choose one or the other? Mothering our children or mothering ourselves? Last weekend I was at a family beach party where I was the only mothering-type. And while the other moms were doing little olympic size swims and waterskiing and flexing their well-formed glutes on the beach, I was wrapped in a towel with 2 little ones flitting back and forth to my lap, unsure of their interactions with these children they'd never met before. While I was busy mothering them, ensuring that they were having fun and feeling secure and safe, the other women were busy having their own fun and mothering themselves. Yet I know we CAN do both, because I HAVE seen it. Those of you who are reading this who ARE really happy and healthy in your bodies (and I know there are at least 3), can you share with us how you manage it? I know for sure that I want to grow old in a body that serves me. Yet I don't pursue that goal with any sort of passion.
And passion is what the law of attraction is all about, right? Fear and worry are passion. This is the part I'm just learning about. When I first heard this, I thought "oh come on, the universe isn't stupid! it can decipher what we're passionate FOR and what we're passionate AGAINST." But then comes the idea that the universe is just energy, and as such, whatever thoughts are strong are just simply energy put out there, whether they be desires for or against something. And the energy of the universe picks up on the strength and sends more of that through the law of attraction. So while I have been perfecting the art of manifesting the things and people and life I want...You know, by putting up pictures and saying it, and holding it in my mind... Little did I know that I was also manifesting what I did NOT want in the exact same way... By thinking too much about it, worrying, fretting, talking about it, being very passionate about all the things/people/life I did NOT want. So back to the failing bodies...I worry and fret a lot about my growing girth and pains in my knees and am very very sure of what I DON'T want, not realizing that I'm just attracting more of that. The harder I try to lose weight, the more weight I gain (duh! we ALL know that one by now). And we all know that It's not until we embrace our bodies and love every inch of ourselves, blah blah... that we actually get more of THAT -- bodies that we love. Okay, so to absolutely positively LET GO of the images I don't want. Stop seeing my largeness, start seeing the goddessness of my shape. Stop thinking about what I don't want to be doing, and just start doing what I do want to do. Right? Those of you who've managed this? How do I get there? How do I release my fears and worries and disgusts and and and... and hop over to the side of seeing/loving/attracting what I want? It's like I'm on one side of a chasm and it's only one step over to the other side, but the fear of looking down into that chasm is magnetic... So that's the answer then? TAKE THE STEP? and then another... and another... and another... Yeah, I've known that for some time. So let's go one step further. WHY DON'T I DO IT?? Why do I spend more time thinking about it and sorting it out in my H*E*A*D than I do just walking the walk...
Would love a forum on this one...
AND, in closing, before I rewrap my arms around my wee P, if you do nothing else today, DO READ THIS.