Friday, April 18, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Vegetarian Dreams

Oh the ironies of life. Last week, I posted about wanting to eat a steak raw with my hands, bloody, and raw. And this week I felt so backed-up from too much meat that I went vegetarian for most of the week. I rarely go vegan. Eggs are a constant in my diet, but aside from the eggs, my diet has been vegan for most of this week. 

I woke up last Saturday morning and I felt so full, like I needed to cleanse my body. After yoga (five hours in the hot room), two teaching and one taking, I drank a green juice then I came home and ate a piece of Ezekiel toast with avocado. That's a staple for me. Afterwards, I devoured some artichoke hearts and finished it with several tablespoons of Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter (pretty much the BEST THING EVER).

It was a meal of necessity. At that point I was drained of all of my nutrients. I took a nap and when I woke up, my plan to eat my weekly Bison burger didn't sound good. Actually, the thought of eating it was making my stomach turn. I am a little bit like a cat--habitual. I find foods that work for me and I eat them at the same time every week or everyday, depending on the meal. Food plagues me. I love it, but deciding what to eat and when has been a long progression for me. If it were up to me, and there were no health (physical or emotional) consequences, I would be such a glutton--truly!

Well, I say that because that is who I was in the past. But, in my heart and in my gut, I don't think that's who I am anymore. We get stuck in these ideas of who we are, but we are constantly growing and changing, evolving. It's so important that we learn to listen to our heart and know who we are versus who we were. I see so many people shoving themselves into the box of what they once were. Growth is hard. Sometimes, it means letting go of things we once loved friends, lovers, t.v. shows, parties, and...food! It's easier to stay the same, but when we grow, and ignore that growth, it can kill us to stay in the place we once were. It's better for everyone and everything if you let go and move forward. It's like a band-aid, just rip it off...Don't worry about who you might be hurting. Trust me, that pile of meat and cheese won't be crying over you.

Anyway, I am no longer a glutton. I've outgrown that facet of myself. 

In my post nap haze, after deciding my bison burger was a big no!, I lay there thinking about my two favorite comfort foods--split pea soup and raw tofu with Brewer's yeast and Bragg's amino acids. I got up, walked across the street to this grocery store called A Matter Of Health, much like a smaller Whole Foods, and I bought these items. I came home prepared my dinner designed for my three year old self and was transported into another time and place.

I was raised on these two foods. My mom used to use soy sauce instead of Bragg's, but the taste is the same. Now-- I know there is some controversy about soy products, but I was raised on raw, firm tofu and I still love it. When I feel clogged, backed up and uncertain about what to eat I go straight for pea soup and tofu.

Not soft tofu. I can't stand my tofu soft. It has to be firm, the consistency of cheddar cheese. I cut it into cubes and douse it in Brewer's yeast and Bragg's amino acids. It's the perfect food. It brings me straight back to being three years old and sitting at the big wooden table in the kitchen of our farmhouse in Mcminnville, Oregon.

I would snack on my tofu while my mom made a big pot of split pea soup (vegetarian, of course) for dinner. These are the items I go to when I don't know what to eat, when my body is rejecting everything else these foods always satisfy my hunger and root me back into myself. 

We all have those foods that bring us home. I am so grateful that because of my amazing mother mine are wholesome and hearty. She knew what the body needs before the whole world was telling us how to eat. My mom is an earth mother, a healer. She innately knows how to heal the body and she passed those traits onto me. 

Staying connected to the Earth, getting out of our heads, off of our phones, and truly listening, not shoveling food mindlessly in, but connecting to that food, to our bodies is crucial to our health and happiness.

I've spent the rest of this week eating vegetarian, primarily veggies, and my body feels much better. I will go back to eating meat, but for now, this is what my body wants. As I said, it is always changing, we have to listen...

Tomorrow, I am off to Hawaii. The perfect timing! I will be living on fruit, the sea, and the sand!!!

Happy Friday...xoxoxo


Monday, April 14, 2014

Meditation Mondays: It's An L.A. Life

Fame--it was one of my most consuming obsessions. I know I'm not alone in this. It's a part of our culture, but some of us have it more than others. I was one of those people. As I've mentioned, when I was young I wanted to be a supermodel. I spent hours pouring through magazine after magazine. I so badly wanted to be the girl gracing those glossy pages. I spent years fantasizing about being in that place. As you know, that didn't happen, but the desire still lived in me. And when I got to L.A. I felt like I might be walking into that dream. Oh, the delusions we create.

I moved there many weeks before Bikram Yoga teacher training started. My roommate wasn't slated to move down until the middle of September and it was the end of August. I had several weeks to live alone and explore. I spent much of my time walking up and down Sunset hoping to see famous people. How lame is that?!? 

I grew up in the woods with stars in my eyes and glamour in my blood. All I wanted was a piece of fame. I wanted to see it, touch it, be a part of it. I had serious allusions of grandeur. Being in L.A. felt like a new start, one that would propel me into the place I deserved to be.

I was writing a screenplay. I would take my laptop to the Coffee Bean, the one where Perez Hilton writes. Ironically, though I was obsessed with fame, I refused to acknowledge him as a valid channel to that fame. I was drawn to the art, not the obsessing and examination of famous people. After all, famous people are just that--people.

I would sit there for hours tweaking out on my screenplay. I had no idea what I was doing, but the creation felt amazing. I spent much of my time cracked out on tea and scanning the room for famous people. Again, so lame!

One day, I made the horrible mistake of drinking coffee. I LOVE coffee. I LOVE the taste of it. I LOVE drinking it. Coffee does not LOVE me.

I ordered it, drank it, wrote for many hours, and then I lost my mind. I walked home from the Coffee Bean spinning out of my head. I felt so dehydrated. I was gnawing on my mouth. It was as though I had snorted an eight ball of coke. I couldn't get my mind under control. I called The Chef. He didn't answer. I kept calling until I was near frothing at the mouth, panting, unable to breathe. I tried to calm down. I made dinner, put on a movie, and tried to breathe through it, but I couldn't. There I sat, in my furniture-less living room, watching some ridiculous dance movie and I was losing my mind. The panic was in my chest, my anxiety was bounding through me. I couldn't remember the last time I felt that way. Maybe never. It was this deep hurtful anxiety telling me that something was wrong. 

Finally, The Chef called me back. He had been out with a friend, a girl, one that I didn't trust. I apologized for freaking out. I felt guilty for losing it and calling him so many times. In my heart I felt that I had a reason to be freaking out, but I didn't trust myself so I apologized. Years later, that same girl would be instrumental in the end of our relationship. At the time I blamed the coffee, but really the coffee only heightened my anxiety. My intuition was screaming at me that something wasn't right. Your intuition will tell you everytime.

During my coffee freak out, I couldn't see straight. All I knew was that my heart was screaming at me that something wasn't right. I haven't had more than two sips of coffee since that night, but the fact is my intuition was telling me something vital about my boyfriend I just wasn't listening. I knew. I could feel it in my heart, but I ignored it. It was easier to ignore it and continue on being ignorant to his behaviors and habits. Ignorance really is bliss, but we aren't here to be ignorant. We are here to learn and grow.

If I had listened to my heart he and I wouldn't have continued forward in our relationship. I would've ended it and went about my life. I didn't have the strength to do that. My anxiety was serving as a tool to tell me what was happening, but it was easier and more logical to explain it away--blame it on the coffee, on my insecurities, on my fears--blame it on the anxiety that coursed through me for so many years. My anxiety was a powerful instrument that I needed to tune. I hadn't yet learned how and so it wasn't time for my relationship to end. I still needed him.

It takes courage to end relationships, even when they are bad, especially when they are bad. The bad becomes like a drug and we are emotionally addicted to the highs and the lows. Bad relationships evoke so many feelings and feeling reminds us we are alive. We get scared of owning our feelings, the real ones, so living in dysfunction becomes the way we are reminded we are alive. It's an addiction to drama. That emotional addiction keeps us attached until we are strong enough to break free and stand alone. Sometimes, the universe saves us (as it did for me), but that too usually comes in the form of pain. It's up to us to transform that pain into beauty.

We fear standing alone, but we are never really alone. Everything we need is inside of us. I didn't know that then. I only really just know that now and it takes constant work and reminding.

I was in L.A. starting a new life, but he was coming with me. His and my journey was not done. It was just beginning.

My L.A. life was the beginning of a new one. Starting with my wardrobe and my disaster of a yoga practice. I had been practicing Bikram for four and a half years, but my practice was just about to begin. I had nice postures and amazing potential, but no focus and no strength. The first four and a half years of my practice were spent in my head. I was about to start the journey of getting into my body. And what a long journey that is...

My wardrobe, well, we will start with that next week...

Happy Monday...xoxoxo 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Foodie Fridays: The Raw Food Detox--Part 2

When I started The Raw Foods Detox Diet one of the first items in my fridge that had to go were my frozen waffles. Now, they weren't really shitty cardboard-like frozen waffles. They were hemp frozen waffles, but they were still frozen waffles. I LOVED them!!! I used to eat them with berries and eggs or with yogurt and berries. Now, according to The Raw Food Detox Diet the food combination of those items was fermenting the berries and making them rot in my stomach. 

This drastically changed my breakfast. Instead, I began making green juice and eating only berries. 

I was still eating eggs, but only with veggies. My base foods became quinoa, Ezekiel bread, avocado--so much avocado, and tons of steamed kale, romaine lettuce, red bell pepper etc....Oh, and dark chocolate. Natalia Rose loves dark chocolate. I was eating half a bar a day.

As I delved into this way of eating, I was reminded of my stepfather telling me that chicken and mashed potatoes turned into glue in my stomach. He was very aware of the food combination way of eating. I come from a very food progressive family. The ways my stepfather taught me to eat stay with me today. He drank a liter of water immediately upon waking up, then he had tea and ate apples, all day. He didn't eat cooked food until dinner. He was always very attuned to how his body felt from certain foods. His eating habits came from a keen intuition about his own body. 

My journey to how I eat started when I was 20 and needed to lose weight and continues still today. Just like anything in life, our bodies change, we need to always be listening to what they need and how we might need to adapt to their needs.

Anyway, here I was, eating raw during the day, eating piles of Quinoa at night. And diving into huge salads with tons of avocado. I was telling myself I felt amazing, but really I was running, rushing, and obsessing about what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, why to eat. I wasn't still, not even a little.

I had started going to acupuncture for anxiety. As you all know, I suffered from pretty severe anxiety and OCD for much of my life. Yoga helped. I wasn't meditating at this time. But, one of my students was an acupuncturist. I decided to go.

My first session I flew in, fidgety, nervous, fluttering energy. After a few minutes of talking, she put me on the table and stuck probably fifteen needles in my stomach. That moment I breathed deeply for the first time EVER!!!

It was this beautiful freeing feeling of actually being able to breathe, truly, completely, and fully. This was in 2009. I had been practicing yoga since 2002 and I had never taken a complete breath. On that table, that day I did. And it was the beginning of my learning how to breathe, which also aligned me with how to eat.

I know, I know, this is Foodie Fridays, it's supposed to be a little more fun, but food feeds our life as does our breath. In 2009, I started a journey towards knowing and understanding my body better. Really, this is a lifetime journey and it started much earlier than that, but it was in 2009 that I really started to understand.

Here I was eating all these grains, nuts, veggies, and learning to breathe. And I felt heavy. I was bloated (so bloated that three people had asked if I was pregnant!?!). I was so tired all the time. I wanted to eat a steak raw with my hands. I was dying for one. One night, I gave in to the feeling.  With one bite I felt the life return to my face. I felt rejuvenated, alive, and free. My bf at the time looked at me and said, "Yarrow, you are like a cat. You need to eat a high animal protein diet. It's just who you are."

It was amazing to me that he could see that and I couldn't. I was searching. I was becoming more yogic and to me that meant I needed to give up eating animal products, but my body was suffering. And if my purpose is to give my unique gift back to the world, how could I do that if I was suffering?

That steak saved my life. It fueled me with life. And it changed the way I had been eating--to a certain extent. I still took some of my Raw Food Detox Diet tips along with me. As I said, it's a journey...And it always changes.

Happy Friday...xoxoxo

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meditation Mondays: And Then I Moved to L.A....

 This is Meditation Mondays: I have had a long journey to the person who I am today. I was once wrought with anxiety, OCD, and a lack of a connection to myself, who I am, and what I want. This is the story about how I came to be the person who I am today. Meditation Mondays chronicles my spiritual journey. Thank you for reading...

Start at the beginning...here

My second restaurant job was a fresh start. I had all of the pieces to my puzzle and it was time to put it together. The first few months were a bit rocky. The Chef had moved back to the city and we were not off to a good start. We ended up breaking up, during which time, I decided to go to Bikram yoga teacher training in L.A.

At this point, I had lived in San Francisco for seven years. I had grown up there. My life literally started the second I set foot in that city. The city was dear to my heart in so many ways. One facet in particular pulled deeply inside my heart and spirit: the rave scene. But, I had outgrown it. Going out and dancing wasn't the same for me that it used to be. I still loved dancing. It made my heart soar, but my life was changing. Dancing was no longer my priority--yoga was.

In deciding to go to teacher training, I also decided to leave the beauty of San Francisco behind and move to L.A. The friend I made when I first moved to SF had lived in so many cities. Everytime I spoke to her I felt so lame, living in the same place, doing the same thing. Even though I was making progress in the career path I had chosen I was still living in the same place. I wanted to experience new places, new cities, and to take on a new life. 

Going to teacher training gave me an excuse to do that. A couple of years earlier, I had toyed around with the idea moving to L.A. I even took a trip there. I got terrible food poisoning and believed it as a sign. Besides, I didn't have a reason to go. "Just cause" didn't seem good enough. This was before I had started writing. It was while I was still working at Barbizon modeling school. I needed an escape and the idea of moving to L.A. and working in public relations sounded like a dream. I think I was simply trying to get away from The Devil, and really, get away from myself. I knew I couldn't escape me so I stayed. This time, it was time to go. San Francisco couldn't offer me anything anymore. 

 Before I made the move, I told The Chef my plans. It reunited us. He basically moved back in and helped me make the move to L.A. We stayed together even though we didn't have plans for him to come join me. Something tied he and I together. It was as though he was tethered to my heart. We weren't without our problems, not at all, but we were strongly connected. I needed him. I hadn't really felt that way for another person before, not in many years. I had spent so many years working on being alone and here I was needing someone. It was unsettling. 

However, I'm not one to be afraid of my emotions. I generally jump right in and experience them fully. It's the only way to grow. So, I accepted my relationship and my need for The Chef, but I didn't let it stop me from moving to L.A. to pursue a dream

L.A. appealed to me. When I first started writing I was writing a screenplay. L.A. was where the movies and the magic happened. I NEEDED to be there!

I never wanted to be a yoga teacher. My practice was so important to me and I didn't want that to change, but when my mom asked me to go to training I couldn't say no. The idea just felt right. I needed to get out of San Francisco and this was my ticket out. It was time for me to go. 

My mom said to me, "You don't have to be a teacher, but go to training. You have such a gift with this yoga. See what more you can do."

So, in August of 2007, The Chef and I packed up a UHAUL and I left my beautiful little dollhouse of a studio apartment on 14th and California. I couldn't wait to get to L.A. A friend was moving with me. My friend who loves gorgeous little things. I had found us a two bedroom two bathroom apartment in West Hollywood. It was all set. I was ready to go and I couldn't wait.

Once The Chef and I had the UHAUL packed, we left. It was midnight, but I didn't care, I wanted to get on the road. He was driving the UHAUL and I was driving my Camry. We were both exhausted and only made it two hours before we pulled over and, nestled amongst the semi trucks, we slept for a few hours. Rest stops along I5 are some of the creepiest places in the world.  Dark spirits dwell there.

After a long rest, and a shudder through our bodies to release what we may have picked up, we were on the open road again. That stretch of road is so eerie, but at night the open sky is really beautiful. All you see is midnight blue and stars for miles. 

When we came down over the grapevine I was so starving I thought I might eat my hand. We stopped at Taco Bell and I ate beans and rice. It was 6 a.m. We fell asleep in the parking lot. After an hour I pulled myself awake, prodded The Chef awake, and we started on the road again. That UHAUL ate gas as though it were a ravenous dog who hadn't eaten for weeks. The whole trip took us 11 hours. It should've taken us 6.

As we drove into L.A. it felt like the opening to a movie. We were stuck in traffic. Cars were weaving in and out of the lanes and then one smashed into the rear of another causing even more traffic. It was a violent accident and it signified the beginning of a new life. I was here. In the chaos of the city that breeds fame. I could feel it in my bones, chills ran the length of my spine--this was the right decision.

I had left the beauty, the peace, and the familiarity of San Francisco behind. I was entering a new world, an unknown world. I want to tell you that during my drive to L.A. I was flooded with memories and feelings about San Francisco, but I wasn't. All I wanted was to get my new life started. I wanted to be in my apartment and to continue pursuing my dreams. At the time, I didn't think fondly about San Francisco and my time there. I just wanted to get the fuck out!!!

Finally, we pulled into the parking lot of my new apartment. The wonderful woman, who had been so kind by sending me pics and renting the apartment to to me over the phone, gave us the keys. We stepped inside, crawled to the first piece of carpeted floor, and collapsed in a pile on top of each other. 

That first day we slept the day away until the sun was setting in the west. It was only then that we unloaded my belongings into where I would be calling home...


Happy Monday...xoxoxo



Friday, April 4, 2014

Foodie Fridays: The Raw Food Detox Diet

Spring time is here. Time for fresh starts, new ideas, and changes to be put into effect. Spring is also a time when we change how we fuel our bodies. I have traveled through many different ways of eating to get to where I am now. One of the most memorable changes for me came right after New Year's Eve in 2008.

I have this bad habit of getting really sick on NYE, like fever, vomiting sick. It's happened to me several times. I don't know if it's my sensitivity to the energy around me, of all of the people anticipating the climax of the end of the year, but I get super sick. When this happened to me at the end of 2008 I took a long look at my diet. I hadn't been eating very well. I'd gained some weight, hadn't been juicing, and was eating really heavily.

These NYE sicknesses never last for more than 24 hours. As I said, I feel like it might be my taking in the energy of the world around me. After all, NYE is filled with expectation, disappointment, regret, and most of all...it is filled with hope. The hope of a new year and what that might bring. Even if on the outside people have resigned to what their life is, on the inside people still have hope. We live on it. 

On NYE all of those emotions come together and create one big swirling cocktail of desire and hope. It's as though every moment that was spent wasted during the previous year will be re-gained on this one disaster of a night.

Not everyone views NYE this way, but many people get super caught up in it. Fresh starts and new years, new you's...

The thing is, creating a new you takes time, effort, and dedication. It can happen overnight, but then it takes effort to maintain and create that new you. And, generally, this new person does not emerge out of the depths of a pile of cocaine and a bottle of vodka.

Anyway, that NYE sent me it fits of vomiting. When I emerged from it, a new me emerged. At least a new way of eating me. You all know how much I love food. LOVE!!! I am an eater and always will be an eater.

At this juncture, I was trying to figure out two pieces in my eating puzzle: Why was I gaining weight? And, why was I sick?

On New Year's Day 2009, I walked up to the Borders on the corner of Clark and Diversey. I was living in Chicago at the time. I wandered into the cook book section, a portion of the book store that despite my love for food I never go into. 

My ex-bf, he spent all of his time there.

I knew I needed to change something in my body. The way I was eating wasn't working for me. My yoga practice was changing and my eating needed to change too. Despite my open mindedness, at times, I am quite stubborn and resistant to change. In this situation I couldn't be. My body was screaming (vomiting) for change!

I found this book called The Raw Food Detox Diet. Now, I had been living in San Francisco when Raw Food became all the rage and I had no interest in eating that way. In fact, the times I had gone to eat at a raw food restaurant I went home immediately afterwards, made eggs and waffles, and devoured them, ravenously, as though I hadn't eaten for weeks. But my body needed to cleanse, I could feel the bulk building up and it was quite literally making me sick.

I spent the whole next immersed in this book. I was obsessed. The author, Natalia Rose, breaks down eating raw into several stages. The body needs time to adjust. I started with eating raw during the day and having cooked food at night, which was level 3. Since I taught and did yoga during the day, I was rarely eating much and eating raw during the day already, which made the transition easier. She also delves into food combining. Explaining the way the body digests and which foods are in battle with one another in the stomach when trying to digest. Apparently, when fruit is combined with anything else it ferments and rots in the stomach. Fruit must be eaten alone 30 minutes before any other food and 3 hours after any other food.

This book was mind expanding. I broke out my juicer, started juicing again, and began this new way of eating--immediately!!!

As I've mentioned, learning to eat right for one's own body takes time and it doesn't stay the same. Just like everything in life what the body needs changes. It's all about listening to its needs. More on my journey through The Raw Food Detox Diet next week...

Happy Friday...xoxoxo

P.s. I don't really eat burritos anymore. They make me feel too heavy, but these last few weeks I couldn't stop craving one. On Tuesday, after walking more than 50 blocks around the city, I went to Dos Toros on Lex btwn 77th and 78th and got a steak burrito. I took it home and devoured it. I didn't feel heavy afterwards, I felt amazing!!! Your body always tells you what you need. All you have to do is listen. What you need is generally not about what you want---there is a distinct difference. Sometimes the two align, but you must be careful, it's a slippery slope...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Meditation Mondays: A Mind Blowing, Ego Shattering Mushroom Trip

 This is Meditation Mondays: I have had a long journey to the person who I am today. I was once wrought with anxiety, OCD, and a lack of a connection to myself, who I am, and what I want. This is the story about how I came to be the person who I am today. Meditation Mondays chronicles my spiritual journey. Thank you for reading...

Start at the beginning...here!

One of the last times I ate mushrooms changed me. It was right before I started working in the radio station office. I went to a club with my bff (at the time) and her bf. We went to see Infected Mushroom, fitting right?!?
As the mushrooms wiggled their way into my system, I felt this very familiar feeling, my ego inflated and my princess alter ego stepped onto the stage. Whenever I ate hallucinogens I felt like I was the smartest, prettiest, most amazing creature in the world. All of my insecurities melted away and I was truly, completely me.  Not that I didn't appreciate the oneness of everything, but I felt like I, and my friends, sat just a little above it all.

Standing in the club, I felt that familiar feeling wash over me. It ran through my body, caressing my skin. I kept getting stepped on while I was dancing. I didn't have the space I needed to dance properly. My heart seized everytime it happened. I just wanted space. I wanted the freedom to move freely. I felt entitled to that freedom. I had never eaten mushrooms in a club before, only at raves. The raves I had tripped at were much more spacious than this club. I felt crowded, cramped, and irritated. Also, I had only ever eaten ecstasy with this friend; we made better ecstasy companions than we did mushroom ones. 

Through my irritation I danced away. I love music and I love hallucinogens, eventually I found my rhythm. 

At this time, I had been practicing yoga consistently for three years and it was the first time I had eaten mushrooms in two. As I danced through the beat and into the night, I stopped, looked around and stepped off of my pedastal. I quite literally felt myself melt into the crowd, melding with everyone else. I shrunk inside of myself, quit dancing, stood very still, and watched the dancing figures around me. In that stillness, I had this great epiphany--they all have just as much of a right to be here as I do!!!
This may sound like a small epiphany, but it wasn't. This was the moment that my vanity, my ego, my "I am the Princess" mentality disappeared and I realized, truly, that we are all one. Every person in that club had just as much of a right to be there dancing as I did. My space was not more important than their space. We all had to be considerate of each other's space.

I stepped back and took in the moment. I felt the walls around me shatter until I was one with everyone and everyone was one with me. We were all one energy moving together to create something beautiful. The feeling settled in my body, a smile overtook my face, one that I shared with the dancing body next to me, he smiled back, and I resumed my trance dance. My heart felt so wide and open. I couldn't believe that after all of the hallucinogens I had eaten I had remained in the dark for so long. This felt clean, pure, and real.  It was a moment that would stay with me forever.
I left the club that night, drove home, and wrote about it in my journal. I was at peace with my new sense of humility. My ego and vanity had fueled me for so long that the peace, the calm, it felt amazing.

This epiphany may have happened while I was on mushrooms, but I know it came from practicing yoga. Yoga and hallucinogens are the same. They both break down walls and barriers revealing our true naked selves. Eating hallucinogens compresses years of doing yoga into one six to twelve hour period. And when a regular practice is combined with the eating of hallucinogens, miracles happen. The next time I stepped into the yoga room I looked into the mirror and saw myself in a different light. Instead of preening and oohing at myself, I saw truth. I saw my spirit shining through and it was from here that I could begin building myself.
I no longer merely admired my postures, I was ready to dive in deep. I was ready to let go of my pride, my ego, and the embarrassment that might come from stepping into the world. I was ready to be me. In order to become me I had to extract the many layers of hurt, ego, pride, jealousy (SO MUCH JEALOUSY), fear, and vanity until I was able to let love shine through. In order to get to the other side I had to go through hell. I had to live through each of my own fears until I was able to let go of fear and be love.

The innate confidence that lived in my spirit would be shattered as I released the bonds that were tying me back. Once I had unraveled the cords that tied me down I would be free. This was internal work. I had been relying on the external and it was time to go inside, to dig in deep, and extract the ego until I was standing in the light.

This journey started when I left the radio station and took a job at another restaurant. It was here that I was ready to begin. I had given office life a final try. And learned that it was truly not for me. I knew I wanted to be a writer and a yogini. This was where the work started. I was in a new place of humility. I had a starting off point and I was ready. And it is here that the discipline began...
Happy Monday...xoxoxo
P.s. This journey is a lifetime one, really it is a many lifetimes one. It never ends. It gets easier. Life becomes clearer, but this growth, it is truly a dedication that lasts forever...
 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Wine, Mozzarella Sticks, and A Bad Kiss?

When I started going to raves I pretty much gave up drinking, entirely. And my relationship with The Devil only furthered that. After The Devil, and my heart was broken by the greatest loss I'd known to date, I stayed sober. I was even more sober than I'd ever been. I was reading, writing, doing yoga, and meditating. I hadn't had a single drink, not even a glass of wine in months. Only a few sips of wine gave me a massive headache. Or, maybe I was simply attaching deeper problems to the alcohol. Regardless, I had no interest in drinking, not at all, not even beautiful wine. I felt like such a disappointment to my stepfather, whose greatest passion in life was wine.

One night after work, my bff at the time, persuaded me to go out. I hadn't been out in forever, I was so depressed and so intent on sorting through my life and unearthing me. However, we all need balance. It's unhealthy to repress what lives in your heart. I'm a social creature. I love to get into the minds and hearts of people and to let loose. It's who I am. I was becoming too much of a hermit.

We started with a glass of red wine--not great red wine. It was dry, tannic, and big, probably a California Cab. After about a half of a glass, the wild hair, that had wound so tightly up my you know what, came undone. I let loose, ran free, came apart, and made out with a boy who had been wanting to make out with me for quite some time. I will never forget that moment. He kissed me and I kissed him back, really kissed him back because, at the time, that was the only way I knew how to kiss. As I've gotten older my kissing has become more reserved. That is, unless my feelings are deep. But, let's be honest, these days I only kiss someone if the feelings are deep.

The guilt I felt kissing another man (boy) when the love of my life was in my heart was unparalleled to any guilt I had ever felt. In that kiss, I believed that I had destroyed any chance of my love and my coming together again. I was nauseated by it. And, it's not that it was a bad kiss. It was perfectly fine and he was lovely, but my heart, it lived with another. After we'd kissed I pulled away and said, "You don't want anything to do with me. I'm a mess."

I walked away before he could respond, back to my friend at the bar, who was in awe at what she'd just seen. Another boy came over to me and he said, "I admire that passion. I wish I had that passion in my relationship."

It hurt for me to hear that. It was a reminder about all the passion-less relationships in the world and how I had just lost the most beautiful man I'd ever known. I believed I'd never feel real passion again.

I shook my head I didn't want to ruin his perception of passion by telling him that that kiss had no passion at all. I felt nothing for the boy I'd just kissed.

After another glass of wine, so that was two glasses of wine total for me, I was wasted. Truly, wasted. I hadn't been so drunk in years. And after only two glasses of wine. It was sort of pathetic. I looked at my friend and said I was starving. She grabbed my hand, herded in a couple of boys, and led me to a Denny's down the block. A Denny's!

It might have been the only thing open. I think it was 3 a.m. We sat in the big plastic booth with the florescent lighting glaring down on us and ordered off of the plastic menus the size of my torso. In trying to stay true to my diet, I ordered a salad with chicken. My friend, she took a different approach--nachos, mozzarella sticks, fried balls of something or other. She loves everything fried. All I remember are the mozzarella cheese sticks with marina sauce.

We were sitting in this horrid booth. Internally, I was fretting over the fact that I'd kissed another man (boy), and the boy sitting across from me was the boy who was obsessed with how passionate the kiss had been. Clearly, he was dissatisfied in his relationship.

The boy sitting next to me, was who would become known as The Chef, and the boyfriend I had for six years. He and I didn't really know each other yet and he was totally entertained by how I had just made out with the other boy as well as by how drunk I was. I sat back and stared at the food in front of me. My salad paled in comparison the the deep fried mess exploding around it.

The Chef grabbed one of the mozzarella sticks. He held it out in front of me, taunting me with it. He had bitten off the end revealing gooey white goodness oozing outside. After some persuading I leaned forward and took a bite of his stick. the gooey, crunchy, tanginess of that stick covered in marinara was the best thing I'd ever eaten. I was flooded with many a memory of nights turning into mornings in Denny's that looked just like this one. 

I took another bite and soon I was cuddled in the bench as though I'd known this boy my whole life. He had cheese sticked me into submission. It was that moment that began our connection, the one that would lead to us being together. One thing The Chef always understood about me, my love for food and what I needed to eat to make me happy. 

Sometimes, you need some bad cheese fried and covered in marinara sauce to make the pain go away. It's all about balance. Sometimes, we need to eat our feelings. Though, today, I wouldn't let that marinara covered motherfucker anywhere near my mouth let alone any other place in my body.

When we walked out of the restaurant, my heart broke. We were right next to this venue where some of my favorite raves had been held. Life was changing. The rave scene was done for me. I'd lost the love of my life, and my bff and I were about to take separate paths. 

That cheese stick night was the last time she spent the night. I hadn't had overly processed cheese since my Cheese and Cocaine night. This cheese stick, it signified something more. I was moving forward into a new future. With that bite, I stepped forward and into a new life...even though I didn't know it yet.

Happy Friday...xoxoxo