Tag Archives: Home

We Only Get To Do This One Time…

Take A Risk

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about every tiny move I make. It seems as if the effort to find focus and direction in life has left me a little keyed up. I have been second-guessing my instincts. I have been letting worry get the best of me. I have found myself afraid to ask for the things I want most.

Fear is not an emotion I have a lot of trouble with, usually. Okay, yeah, sure, I have that thing about the dark. But other than that, I usually make a decision, for better or for worse, and I don’t let fear stop me from going after it. Sometimes I have gone after the wrong things. Sometimes my lack of restraint has pushed the thing I wanted further away. But wisdom and restraint don’t seem to be the issues I’m grappling with today.

Today I have been feeling afraid.

When I was a little younger and someone asked me if I thought they should, or should not, try this or that, I would ask, “If you do this, is anyone going to starve to death?” That may be a simplistic litmus test, but you get the point. We often censor ourselves, or keep from taking risks because of how we think other people are going to react, or how we think our actions will affect those around us. But really, most things aren’t life or death. 99.9% of the time, everything works out just fine in the end. You’ll live. I’ll live. They’ll live.

This train of thought reminded me of an essay I read, many moons ago, that inspired me to take up the “no one’s going to starve to death” attitude…

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

–Nadine Stair

I have no doubt that I will find the balance between planning and discipline and spontaneity and risk-taking. And when I find it, I promise to share.

For more wisdom from the elderly, Check out this blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On

How to Tell the Truth About Tricky Things

Dad and Me

I love my Dad!

Over the last 72 days of this 101 day project, I have had a lot of opportunity to reflect on what it means to tell the truth. A big part of this Excess Emancipation project is the letting go of old baggage that no longer serves me. The biggest step I have made in that direction has been deciding to say, out loud, what is true for me. About everything.

I was taught, as I am sure you were too, that we should keep some things to ourselves in order to spare others’ feelings. While I think there is merit in that for some cases, I also think that in most situations, it is not helpful.

Let’s look at one of my stories. When I was 17, I had an argument with my dad that escalated into a full blown screaming match and ended with me standing on a chair, in the middle of the office, crying.

That statement is just a statement of fact. The argument happened. It escalated. I ended up standing on a chair in the middle of the office, crying.

What I do next with that fact is where it gets tricky. My experience was, that in that particular incident, I was standing up for what was right and got ridiculed for it. Who knows if that is actually what happened? Who cares? That is what I experienced, and only by telling the truth about our experiences can we move past them.

But how can I say that out loud? I have no desire to cause him any pain. How can I say what was true for me without hurting my sweet father’s feelings? Maybe I can’t. Would my dad feel bad if he read the paragraphs above? Perhaps. Would he agree with what happened? Maybe. Maybe not. Would he think I was just being a silly girl? Probably. But maybe not. Does any of that matter? I assert that no, it does not. NOT if I am simply telling the truth about what I experienced.

And this is why:

My dad is a grown man. He raised 10 kids. He is a great man who has helped many people. He loves his kids no matter what sticky situation we manage to get ourselves into. I promise, he has weathered far greater storms than me saying we got in a fight once. He knows I love him. I know he loves me. Do either of us have any illusions that the other is perfect? Absolutely not. I have enough faith in our relationship that I can tell the truth about it. And I have enough faith in him that he can handle it. After all, I am simply stating my experience, and that is the key.

If I had claimed that, “My dad provoked me because he hated it when I wore blue,” then that would not be my truth. That would be a wild guess about him. We have to be careful not to try to state “truths” about other people. We have no idea what they are. We can say what our perspective was, what we know our experience was, but anything more than that is conjecture.

I assert that if we freely state what is true for us, if we speak our truth, without name calling or judgements, it will, indeed, set us free. I have found that no matter how difficult the topic, if I stick to how life has affected me, the people I care about have not only accepted it, but have been very supportive.

Having said all that, I am lucky. I do not suggest anyone go around boldly speaking their truth directly to people who are emotionally, mentally or physically abusive. They will not hear it. No good can come from it. You put yourself in danger and are “casting pearls before swine.” Take care of yourself first. Make sure you are safe. Then, find your voice and shout from the rooftops.

2 Comments

Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On

Almonds and Berries Make a Fast and Easy Raw Food Breakfast

Sometimes I wake up and think I might be starving. Most of the time, this is not the case. Most of the time, I have to leave notes to myself to put food in my bag to eat throughout the morning and early afternoon. This morning was one of the starving mornings, though, and I made something super delicious, easy and filling.

This is a great cereal substitute. You need:

All I did was throw a handful (or two) of almonds in my blender for a few seconds. I kept it going until I couldn’t see any big pieces anymore, but stopped way before I had almond flour. Then I dumped that in a bowl, added a little less than a cup of blueberries and goji berries, a little bit of almond milk and some agave syrup. Voila! It was so good.

I don’t haven’t yet made my own almond milk. It looks like an easy process. I just need to get my hands on a nut-milk-stainer-thingy. <– Don’t be intimidated by my fancy jargon. “Choosing Raw” has a great recipe and directions on how to make your own Almond Milk.

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.” — Thoreau

Walden Pond

Image via wikipedia

Thoreau‘s final paragraph of Walden includes the line, “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.” I am sure he meant this both metaphorically and literally. I feel like I have a fairly good handle on the metaphor. I’m conscious of and grateful for this precious bit of life I’ve been given. BUT, I have been slacking off on the other part — getting up early. These excerpts from “Walden” always reignite my determination to “make-up with mornings” and even learn to love them.

…All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, “All intelligences awake with the morning.” Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me…

…We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour…

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Honing my Habits

God Would Let Me Live In His Poolhouse

I feel like God's pool house will have a very Frank Lloyd Wright vibe to it.

I have spent a lot of time, over the last 20 years, ruminating on my reasons for leaving the Mormon church. I had many. Some were big. Others, admittedly petty. But the main reason was because I grew up feeling like shit. There was always a part of me that knew I was going to hell and tried hard to convince the rest of me that I was a monster. At the same time, the bigger part of me was constantly trying to calm down. I would whisper things to myself during particularly offensive sermons things like, “don’t panic,” and, “this guy can’t possibly be right.”

I should add that I DO think that a lot of the “crazy” I was exposed to was because of the radicalism in the tiny town I lived in, and not actually a part of the larger Mormon church.

My leaving the church was based entirely on my gut. For many years, I wouldn’t let myself read any of the many well-documented, historical accounts of Joseph Smith’s time that clearly dispute everything I was taught. Reading of any facts that are not church-sanctioned is forbidden. I was still so indoctrinated that I hadn’t yet realized that no one should shy away from any truth. I don’t just choose not to learn about any other subject out of fear it might change my mind. So, the fact-finding phase eventually came. In the end, it made no difference to me. I knew what I knew. It did, however, spark a fair amount of rage that I was ever subjected to such crazy-making. I wish I had no anger, but there it is. I am, for the most part, over it.

It was my daughter who helped me get over the “hump” about being okay with my choice to leave the church. I would look at my daughter and think, “There is nothing she could ever do, or not do, that would make me withhold my love.” I knew, from the second she was born, that even if she turned out to be a carnival madame, I would never stop loving her or wanting her with me. I knew, that as long as I lived, she would always find shelter in my home.

Knowing this truth led me to the greatest breakthrough I would ever have. I realized it was simply illogical to believe that a supreme being, like the Mormon God (who is said to be all-powerful, all-knowing and who loves us more than a parent loves a child. In fact, he is referred to as our “Heavenly Father” almost exclusively) would have sent down a list of requirements which, upon failing to follow, would result in our not being able to live in his neighborhood. As I watched my sweet daughter sleeping one night I realized that not only was the aforementioned completely irrational, so is the idea that in order to remain in our family units in heaven that there are a bunch of other “to do’s” on God’s list for us.

I used to play out the scenario of me dying, in my mind, and going to God for judgement. I would hear Him saying to me, “Now Rebecca, I told you that if you didn’t get married in the temple to a nice Mormon boy that you couldn’t live up here in our section of heaven and furthermore, you are now stripped of your family.” The whole idea, to me, is completely, totally and utterly preposterous.

I do not base my love or support or affection or shelter or help or anything on a sliding scale of Hannah’s obedience to me. It would be crazy to do so. And if it would be so ridiculous for me to do that, then why does it seem rational that God would do that? It just doesn’t jive. (As an aside, I know there are a bunch of you saying to yourselves, “You just don’t understand the nature of God,” I must interject that, no, I do not, but neither do you. And for those of you who are now adding in, “It is not ours to understand, all will be revealed,” I have to say, I totally agree.)

Nowadays I see others like me everywhere. They shuffle listlessly around Salt Lake area malls with blank faces and bags bursting with RC Willey bric-a-brac. They are good people. They don’t know why they are so depressed. They feel trapped. They double-down on the depression by seeing their sadness as further evidence of their failure to be the perfect mormon. They believe that “living the gospel” perfectly is the ONLY way they will ever feel peace. They are people who are wracked with guilt and who carry the heavy burden of knowing they haven’t gotten God’s To-do list done. It breaks my heart to see their needless suffering. And make no mistake, they are suffering, and it is needless.

Don’t get me wrong! I LOVE MORMONS. Maybe not the dogma, but the people, in general, I like. They are my people, after all. I do not doubt my Mother’s sincere love and belief in the mormon church. I do not judge her faith. It is a pure and beautiful thing. For her, I actually hope it is ALL true. She deserves a house right next to God’s in the hereafter. I am happy for the thousands of mormons out there who find their happiness through the church. I am grateful for their generally positive belief system. I know that one of the reasons I love it in SLC is because a large percentage of the population has taken 2 years out of their lives and given it to the service of humanity across the globe. I think “the church” is, mostly, a force for good — no matter what it’s based on.

But, for those of you who have read this missive and thought, “How sad for her that she missed the message,” or, “She must have read some anti-mormon literature,” or, “God loves us, he just hates certain behaviors,” or, “Women can’t hold the priesthood because they already have the gift of childbearing,” or any other common platitude, let me bear you my testimony:

I know that there is truth in all things, but no one thing can contain all truth. Just as you know, with all your “heart, might, mind and strength” that the mormon church is the only “true” church, I know with equal vigor that, if there is a great white God who sits on high, he and I are good. He loves me. In fact, He loves everything about me. He thinks I am earnest, hilarious, sweet and sincere. He cracks up at my hijinks and cries about my many failures. And if, when I die, I meet Him on the other side, I know He would let me live in his pool house if I wanted to. He would find all my family who had gone before and they’d throw me a party. He would just be glad to see me again. Period.

1 Comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On

I’m Too Sexy For My Outfit

Dansk: Juice af appelsin, æble, gulerod, rødbe...

Delicious Beverage? Or, Unintended Biological Weapon?

I love Mondays. Most Mondays are reserved for homework and house projects. I make it a point not to leave the house. Or, rather, I don’t force myself to leave the house (except to go running in the mornings!). Usually I throw on my only pair of jeans that fit and my old AC/DC Tshirt, but I never actually got dressed today. I have on the clothes I slept in and left on under warmer running clothes this morning. I did throw on a spectacularly bright, short, silky pink robe, with someone else’s initials embroidered on it, at some point today. It looks so hot with my grey and black sweats.

It has been an especially glamorous day!

It’s a good thing I dressed up for it, too.

After my run, I went into the kitchen to make smoothies for everyone in the house. Everyone was in a good mood. The teenagers were gearing up to haul bins full of items for the Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity to the garage and move some furniture around inside for me.

I made the smoothies and everyone loved them. Apple, banana, blueberries, strawberries, coconut water and bee pollen! I was feeling like pretty hot shit until Hannah pointed out that I’d apparently poisoned her boyfriend. I’ve never seen hives like the ones he was covered in today. It was terrible. He threw up three times. One time all over the bathroom. Each time, I was pretty sure Hannah was going to throw up, too.

The only “un”common denominator in the smoothies was the bee pollen. I called Hannah’s “Otha Motha,” (also known as her step-mom) to see if she thought I should take him to the hospital (It’s handy having a nurse in the family!). She said, among other things, that as long as he was breathing, he was okay. I think that’s a pretty fair statement about teenagers in general — As long as they’re breathing, they’re okay.

Today’s efforts to cull the crap were thwarted, but all homework went as planned. I have felt a sense of ease all day, despite the accidental poisoning. I feel like it’s a “win.” After all, that’s what this whole Excess Emancipation project is about — letting go of enough stuff so I feel freer to roll with the punches. I guess I’ve made more progress than I realized.

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Going Raw

Awesome Raw Alfredo Sauce and Cacao/Pecan Brownies

I tried a couple new recipes tonight. They were amazing! The first one was a raw pasta alfredo dish for dinner. I got the recipe from The Rawtarian. It is so simple. You just put 2 cups of unsoaked cashews in the blender with 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 cloves of garrlic, 1 1/2 cups water and a teaspoon each of sea salt and thyme.

I bought some truffle salt the other day at Liberty Heights Fresh that I’ve been dying to add to something, so instead of the thyme and salt, I added about two teaspoons of the truffle salt.

I don’t have a spiralizer yet, so I just used a potato peeler to make zucchini “noodles.” I know that that doesn’t sound very good to 99% of you, but I swear, zucchini noodles are surprisingly good. They have totally cured my pasta cravings.

I tossed the zucchini into the sauce and it was awesome! The recipe makes a LOT of sauce. I think I’ll freeze the leftovers.

After spending a couple of hours pricing a bunch of stuff for the Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity, I went back to the blender to make brownies.

This time I turned to a new favorite source, Betty Rocker. I tried out her recipe for Raw Almond-Cacao Energy Bars. I forgot to  do things in order, though, so it was pretty rough on the blender. You are supposed to grind a cup of almonds ALONE first, then add 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder and 1 1/2 cups of pitted medjool dates. I forgot to add salt and instead of cacao nibs, I covered the top of the chocolatey goodness with pecans.

Because I didn’t follow the instructions, I had to use extra water to get the almonds ground up. I have put the pan in the oven on “warm” to encourage some dehydration.

I ate plenty of the “batter,” though, and it was delicious.

That’s a lot of nut-based food today for me. I didn’t have a green smoothie this morning, either. But I did nosh all day on broccoli, cauliflower, celery and carrots. I also had three cups of green tea. And a spoonful of almond butter. I’ll make a point of drinking a giant green smoothie in the morning to balance things out.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw