I am so glad I went food shopping with council member Tony. Already I was justifying items that, in hindsight, were outside the boundaries of the food items I designated for this fast. It is amazing to me how easily I will toe the line, even straight up tight-rope it, and push boundaries. As I sit here typing this, it occurs to me how in so many other areas in life I toed the line and tripped over it only to fall flat on my face, sometimes to some lasting consequences WAY outside the scope of this post. Walking down the aisles, I felt a surge of stupidity – “Tony, is this stupid? What I am doing.” Tony “you never asked me before for my opinion, you just go ahead and do it. It’s impulsive.” Me, “But I’ve been thinking about this since November.” Tony, “you don’t always communicate what’s going on in your head. I think the spirit of what you are doing is awesome.” I thought about what he said. I realize that I am brimming with thoughts and ideas and don’t share them with those closest to me. He is also concerned because of all that is going on in my life – I just put an offer on a fixer upper today, am running 2 businesses, working a job, homeschooling a 16-year-old, caregiving my mother and helping a 10 year old try and work out fractions. So maybe, just maybe, this venture will get me to open up more and share what is on my heart and in my head. I wonder what all the benefits and consequences of this “impulse” will bear fruit too. I will begin to have more clarity of my actions – even good ones – and how I clutter my life by busyness and actions. After the shopping experience, which took a bit longer than anticipated – due to meticulously reading labels of the more “complex” food items, such as the bread, the apple butter and apple sauce, I realized how fortunate I am to have people joining me in solidarity. I know I cannot do this by myself. Oh; I forgot to mention the deal on council members – Jen H. had one and it turned out to be pivotal in her journey as I will be in mind. I will introduce them to you them at another time. My thoughts are racing faster than I can type.
This morning, I proudly laid out all my groceries – all 100% organic, farm-raised, kinda pricey investment – and took a picture. I was actually excited to cook (I am sure the novelty will wear off soon) and made myself and my mother some breakfast of a spinach omelet, bread with apple butter. Unsweetened hot mint green tea, water with orange Fiberwise and some vitamins and minerals. It looked so pretty that I took another photo. I am like a crazy teenager snapping selfies and texting my friends with them. I am not in the pictures though, well except for the one picture with “my last meal” yesterday of beef tips in brown sauce and a beermosa – BUT it is not a selfie…Tony took that picture; okay at my request, but there. I am STUFFED. I may not have as much a challenge as Jen Hatmaker, because my basic diet is kind of bland with flavor shots, and I have the tendency NOT to eat regularly because when I am in the zone I actually forget to eat. So, I am anticipating awesome things to happen over the next several weeks. Jen H. missed coffee. I miss honey.
Today I prep for my Seven Fast. I read a book by Jen Hatmaker called “7: an experimental mutiny against excess” and realized that this is exactly perfect for where God had brought me to last November – to a place of decluttering. For a while I have been feeling stifled by STUFF, being distracted from having to always organize, and reorganize and reorganize. I have also had horrible digestive issues; partly due to processed foods I have been consuming, partly due to the stress of all this stuff. I was all but crying out to God to help me. I have a tendency to be fatalistic and impulsive, and although most of my friends think I am this super organized gal, they don’t know that it is painstakingly difficulty to remain as “organized” as I present. At heart I am sanguine –creative, flighty, easily distracted, witty, loving and scattered. It is through only through YEARS of practice in mindfulness and the YEARS of being a Nurse- grounded in the nursing process, which is basically critical thinking with the PDCA process, or in other words using SMART goals and action plans- that I have come to my current “success.” I am perceived as successful which I do think I am, but I know if I had an earlier start at crazy gluing my head to my neck, I would be farther along. If I hadn’t had such emotional issues and addictive tendencies which were coddled by the media and dysfunctional relationships, I would probably not have so much material stuff and have been a basket-case for so long. So, when God and I had a heart to heart it was revealed that most of my current anxiety comes from earthly things that have robbed me of my freedom and joy. I have been robbed of simplicity. I am a slave to excess, to the flesh, and to things that in the face of eternity really don’t matter.
So, here I am today. I have read, and reread Month One of Seven: Food. This is apropos considering I know everything spiritual should start with a food fast. I have had embarked on several fasts in the past which have rewarded me with GREAT spiritual insight and astounding health! I have cured myself and my family of diseases that doctors were baffled by…all by diet food choices. More on that later. According to Jen Hatmaker’s plan, she chose 7 ingredients that will provide holistic nutrition. Maybe I should re-research her choices, but I trust that the ingredients are solid choices for these next 30 days based on my own extensive knowledge of food, processing and nutrition. The ingredients she chose were chicken, eggs, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados and apples. I am modifying whole wheat bread to whole grain bread. I will use salt, pepper and olive oil as she did. But I will drink water, and unsweetened tea (she only drank water.) I HATE the taste of water. Water has a tasteless taste that I can barely tolerate. I barely drink any water because of this “problem” of tasteless taste which I am certain is also part of my digestive issues, but if I don’t have some faint flavor I will turn into a prune for sure. The other difference to Jen H.’s fast is that every morning I will use a dietary supplement/fiber full of probiotics with an orange flavor, and vitamins and minerals as nutritional supplementation as well.
The general fast as Jen H. laid out in her small masterpiece is as follows:
Month one: Food
Month two: Clothes
Month three: Possessions
Month four: Media
Month five: Waste
Month six: Spending
Month seven: Stress
As each month goes by, I will document my experiences and share them here. I wonder if anyone cares, but hey – maybe someone will and be inspired somehow. Right now I have to run – I have an appointment to see to potential homes. More on this later as well….
I started a blog a while ago to track my personal growth and progress. I have not been consistent in documenting my progress here but it is not to say that I have not grown. In fact, my personal growth in several areas of my life have been so significant that those around me have witnessed not just a change but a transformation. I have documented my growth in journals so in the next several weeks I will share snippets, insights and examples of this transformation, but today I wanted to share my biggest takeaway from my journey: that if you TRULY want to grow and change, it will happen; BUT it takes HARD WORK, COMMITMENT, PERSEVERANCE, CONSISTENCY and COMMUNITY. I would not be here today, a moxie phoenix with gumption, had it not been for God’s direction, my friends and family’s support and a strong dedication to myself, my vision and my mission. I welcome you into a vulnerable place – my heart, as I share my joys, strengths, fears, weaknesses, disappointments, flightiness, flakiness, wit, humor, anger, despair, happiness and blessings with raw (sometimes poorly grammared) intensity. I warn you I am NOT politically correct, you will often not agree with me, nor even understand my quirky ruminations, but what I do hope you take away is that the process towards self-actualization can be paradoxically possible to those that want enlightenment bad enough. Mostly; I want to convey the LOVE I FEEL for MYSELF – I did not even really like myself as early as 2 years ago. Successful personal growth comes from a place in our core where we begin to feel agape-love for our-self despite our-self. Once you accept and love yourself – including your flaws, trash, vulnerabilities, junk and all - and see that you truly are fearfully and wonderfully made by THE CREATOR and MASTER of the UNIVERSE and He yearns for your well-being and loves you like an unconditional parent loves their prince or princess, you will begin to bloom wherever you are planted, wherever that is. You no longer have to strive to be loved or accepted by others, because you will understand that YOU ARE ENOUGH AT THIS MOMENT, and as long as you always do your best, that is enough trouble for the day. You are free to rest and appreciate each moment for what it is – even the tough ones. I pray my transformation becomes a catalyst to inspire you to love yourself and rise from your ashes as a beautiful phoenix as well.
About the Blog...
We have heard the wisdom that we should love others as we love ourselves; but many of us do not even Like ourselves let alone Love ourselves. My mission is to help people learn to truly love themselves so that they can then love others as themselves.