My butt, January 2009

My butt,  January 2009
(who could miss it)

My butt, January 2010

My butt, January 2010
photos by Tom Peal

Welcome to You and All your Brilliant Parts!

In 2009 I lost 40 lbs and I got a new butt. How? Diet and exercise, that's the short answer. But all of the things I learned that made it emotionally possible, that allowed me to succeed when I had failed before - that will take longer. This blog celebrates the intelligence of the body. Please leave me a note to let me know what you think of this writing, if it's been helpful. I welcome your input and experience.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mermaid Salad

Hello, fellow transformation specialists!  Here's a seaweed salad recipe I promised some of you awhile back.  It's still good!

Mermaid Salad:
Mix together, then mix in dressing:
3/4 oz dried wakame, arame, or hijiki, soaked in cold water according to package directions
1 inch piece ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 1 carrot all grated together
2 green onions (scallions), sliced up to the green
2 T fresh cilantro

3 T rice vinegar
3 T soy sauce or tamari
1 T sesame oil
1 T sugar
1 T toasted sesame seeds
red pepper flakes or hot sauce (I use Sriracha chili sauce) to taste

Okay, so this has lots of sodium and some sugar, so go easy on it, but remember that sweet and salty tastes are part of a good diet too.  Seaweed has lots of minerals - pour your soaking water on plants or add to broth.

Later, Jenni

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The food that I need ...

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that I need,
or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, "Who is the Lord?"
or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.
- Proverbs 30:8-9
Later, Jenni

Monday, April 26, 2010

Costly occurrences ...

Hello, Transformational Specialists

Here's the skinny.

I most probably have gall stones.  Since Thursday night four days ago, about three hours after a rich meal,  I've had persistent sharp pain in my right mid abdomen, under my ribs, especially after I eat.

So, I've occupied myself with full-time pain control and energetic self-healing for the last four days.

When I saw my doctor today (Friday: had to give it at least 12 hours to make sure it wasn't gas; Saturday: lost two performance dates (love to my band - they're such pros) still wondering if it was muscle cramps but treating me as if I had gall bladder disease; Sunday: lost another show, but what's the point in sitting in an emergency room on a Sunday?), she recommended that I get a sonogram right away, she'll look at it as soon as she can, and if it shows stones she'll recommend surgery as soon as possible.

The deal is, these stones won't dissolve or go away.  They're already causing me pain, and will likely get worse if I don't remove them, causing additional danger of jaundice and life-threatening septic states.

You need to know that rapid weight loss is an indicator for gall stones, as is obesity and being a woman. The onset of an attack is usually after a rich (high in fat) meal.  Here's a good online source of info  from the U.S. gov.

Since there are psycho-spiritual aspects to all bodily events (file under "poetic justice" and cross-reference with "karma"...), I'm taking this as a loud and clear signal from my body that, no, I can't go back to eating like a teen-ager, like I don't care about my weight.  No boomerangs allowed in this parlor.

In the research I've done online, I haven't seen anything about what to do right now, how to manage an attack.

So here's my contribution to the on-line literature about gall bladder attack.

My gall bladder attack "let's stay out of the emergency room" pain management strategy has been: 1. finding stillness with meditation;  2.)  restorative asanas that create space in the abdomen; 3.)  gentle slow movement (I went on a short walk today), 4.) drastically simplified diet with no fat of any kind; 5.)  rest, 6.)  breathing with the pain, and 7.) cold packs.  As well as some special Peal family remedies.

And release of the frustration, of the embarrassment, of the disappointment of these last days and this costly occurrence.

It seems like my body is needing to release a lot these days.

Later, Jenni

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

intelligence, the mind, the body, and thanks

"All cravings are the mind seeking salvation or fulfillment in external things and in the future ... a substitute for the joy of Being.  As long as I am my mind, I am those cravings, those needs, wants, attachments, and aversions, and apart from them there is no "I" except as a mere possibility, an unfulfilled potential, a seed that has not yet sprouted.  In that state, even my desire to become free or enlightened [or healthy, or beautiful ... JMP] is just another craving for fulfillment or completion in the future.  So don't seek to become free of desire ... Become present." Eckhart Tolle The Power of Now
 "The intrinsic knowledge of every life form refines itself as the planet sheds and produces because of the self-constructing intelligence of the universe."  "Intelligence is the natural order of all life."  Maya Tiwari  Ayurveda: A Life of Balance:  The Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Nutrition & Body Types With Recipes

"The Ruby-throated Hummingbird stores enough fat to fly 26 hours non-stop at 25 miles an hour.  This is enough to span the Gulf of Mexico." Shackelford, Rozenburg, Hunter, & Lockwood Migration and The Migratory Birds of Texas (Fourth Ed., 2005; Texas Parks and Wildlife pub.)
So, I wonder if the birds' pituitary glands, which are  triggered by seasonal (and un-seasonal) changes, prompting the birds to gorge themselves prior to and during long migratory flights, cause the ruby-throated hummingbird to "crave?"  Would that be the experience of mind to a bird, Eckhart?

Conversely, is what I experience as my mind, when I, as my mind,  identify with my cravings (building anxiety, guilt, frustration and despair around them, co-creating that personal story alongside my ego) simply the squirtings of my pituitary gland?  Or some other glands ... or organs ...

Fellow transformation specialists, I seek the wisdom of my body and the faculties of my mind to heal my body and my mind.  This will only work if I trust the intelligence they possess, a part of the universal intelligence that we share.  I want to experience the vibration of that intelligence, in myself and all creation.

Thanks, readers, for sharing ways that you are tapping in to your inner wisdom, and that spirit that is the way we experience universal intelligence.  Gwen, would you post about the "Healing Sounds" events you've experienced - I can't find your note to me.  That sounded great - like a de-frag operation on the obsessive mine.  Bekah, thanks for sharing your thoughts on food with us - not being a renunciate, I constantly have to re-negotiate my relationship with food and your words resonate with me.

Later, Jenni

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's what you do with it that changes it ...

Hello, fellow transformational specialists

I've had some digestive problems in the days after the juice fast.  At this time, I have my last planned juice fast scheduled for July 2010, starting July 1 with the pre-pre fast as in March.  So, since I know that topic will come up again, I'll put it off for now, because that's not what I want to talk about.

I want to talk bicycling!

The number one thing I've done to reshape my butt is bicycling.  I love it!  Tom and I have cruiser bikes - one speed, brake in the pedal.  Like kids' bikes.  It gives me the same happy feeling I had biking as a child.   I never really got the hang of shifting gears, and didn't like the angle of the seat on the "adult" bikes I've had through the years.  So I haven't biked much as an adult - until now.

We got our bikes in late March last year, so I've been riding again for a year.

The results have made my current weight-loss period significantly different from my last one (1988-89: lost 70 pounds after having a child) in that I'm hardening up more.  I also feel that I've lost more fat from the inside of my body (around my organs, etc.) than just the fat on the outsides of my muscles.  But what you do for your muscles (reduction of fat, toning, stretching) helps your bones, helps your organs.

Yesterday we took our bikes out west to Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway, where we biked twenty miles from the town of Mineral Wells (the trailhead is the old rail yard behind the fancy depot in view of the imposing Baker Hotel) along rail bed to Weatherford.  Nothing but countryside and the tiny town of Garner.  Then we stretched our legs, drank about a half gallon water apiece and rode back.

That was my first forty-mile ride, brothers and sisters!

Who said you can't teach an old dog new trix?

How are you using your brilliant bodies these days, gentle readers?

Later, Jenni

Monday, April 5, 2010

And now it's Monday ...

The 3 Days to Vitality juice fast and break-fast are over.  I weighed 5 pounds less on Saturday (from a week's program.)  But this morning the scale gave me two back.  Well, it wasn't the scale - it was all the food I ate yesterday, and the fact that I hadn't pooped in two days.  Since we're sharing our lives here ...

Anyway, I had no business weighing on a Monday morning since Saturdays are my weigh-in days.  I was curious.  Saturday was my break-fast, and I followed it by the book, easing into solid foods with fruit and cooked veggies during the day and some protein that night.  But Sunday held three high-energy professional commitments (and the Deep Ellum Arts Festival), and I was famished.  Gyro, including bread (gasp) for lunch and late night restaurant food.  And a martini (with great jazz.)

Oh well, I don't live to eat, I eat to live.  I've heard that used as a complaint: "They live to eat ..." ; it meant somebody ate too much, at the expense of their health or manners or good looks.  But now I see it works both ways.  I can't hover over my plate forever as I have done on the juice fast.  In fact, I think that obsession with food and eating can take many forms.

All is well today, I don't care about the scale - I feel strong and light from the fast and Major Poop came to save the day right on schedule.  I did some good journaling and meditation during the week and got all my work done.  Thanks for walking with me.

The last of three of Serure's journalling exercises I did was "I choose."  I just listed things I want in my life from the perspective of a person in control.  Like I can just choose anything.  And it's more than words on paper.  I keep remembering them during typical awake brain moments - - transitional thought moments that so often can be occupied with worry, obsession, emotionality, comparing ...

Here are some of my choices.  I choose to trust myself and accept myself every day.  I choose to be present with people and accept them unconditionally.  I choose to dis-associate myself from my pain body.  I choose to choose.

It's funny how that thing about people kept coming back to me yesterday, mixed with the idea from The Power of Now of simply being present.  Accepting the moment and people in the moment just the way they are is more than a feel-good psych fake-out.  It helps me find my place in the world and be happy.   That's what's meant by "peace of mind," I think.

Let me know how things are going with you, dear fellow Transformational Specialist.

Later, Jenni

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gaining and losing

Journaling is a big part of Pamela Serure's 3 Days to Vitality program; in fact, she calls it "essential journaling.  So, now on Day 2, I have picked up my journal.

One of her topics for journaling is, "What do you want to gain?  What do you want to lose?"  These questions, of course, go beyond such answers as "health" and "weight" and even "high cholesterol."
They have to do with the way we approach our lives, the way we want to live our lives every day.

Having overcome my resistance to writing something somebody asked me to write, and having warmed up on the previous topic "what increases your faith?",  I was able to make a couple of lists.  Reviewing them, I found them sound.

Then I called my adult son and left a message on his cell phone saying I wasn't planning lunch for us this week, that I was on a juice fast and my days are regimented, plus I'm doing a lot of music work ... would make a date next week ... invited him to my show on Sunday ... didn't really call for any reason except to say "I love you ..."

And then I was sad.

History:  Andy's dad and I divorced when he was two after ten years of marriage.  We planned our divorce for a year - we were never angry with each other and were never ugly in front of Andy.  We decided it would be best for Andy to live with his dad, who had the close-by support of his own parents, had a better paying job than I would ever have, and, to my mind, was more likely to be present if he was custodial.  Plus I figured my ex could and would accommodate me as an absent parent better than I could accommodate him, considering I was venturing off into an uncertain future as a musician.

Our son is now 21, and our time together has been consistent and regular through the years.  We love each other and Andy shows me respect and affection.  His life is largely dark to me, and I've had to trust my ex over the years for Andy's primary parenting.  My ex has been a good parent.  For a few years when Andy was a teenager that trust was violated, as I was left out of some important events in Andy's life and stood by impotent as he went through troubles.  But he's an adult now, and bears more responsibility for our relationship.  He doesn't lead a troubled life, as far as I can see, has a good take on his present and future, has friends, gets the help he needs, and is getting an education.  He's smart and good-natured, though somewhat obsessive, serious and mind-driven, as I have tended to be.

So here's the deal.  I've always been sad about losing out on Andy's primary care as a child, about not getting to share his daily life as a teenager and young adult, about not knowing his friends.  I'm sorry he didn't have an in-home mom to fix him meals and teach him housekeeping and hygiene.  I've felt guilty and  worried that Andy's problems with anxiety and some other issues stem from my breaking up our home.  I've felt secondary in his life, like a grandparent or aunt, behind his own grandparents in supporting his emotional needs; my own parents are even farther off in relevance.

And so, every time I think about Andy I get sad.  Even when we're together, our time is tinged with sadness inside me, though I try not to let it show.  I want to grasp him and hold him, keep him and know him.  Andy doesn't like to be touched, and I try to touch him little.

I now realize I have something else to put on my list of things to lose.  It has been given a name by Eckhart Tolle, in his book The Power of Now.  It's called the pain body.

The pain body is part of how the ego identifies itself.  My pain body identifies me as "a guilty run-away mom with a sad little boy."  Among other things.  Pain, pain, pain.

But here's the truth.  My boy is not sad or little - I am.  And being sad now doesn't justify my behavior then, or make me more responsible, or do anything positive.  It's just how the ego recognizes itself.  The ego builds and perpetuates these stories so that it doesn't cease to exist - the ego is very fearful of ceasing to exist.

Thanks, ego, for trying to keep me alive, a "person" with a "story."  You don't have to do that - I am what I always have been - God's own child, a being "no less than the trees and the stars ..."

I will work to dissolve my pain body.

Later, Jenni