Coming back from Toronto, at the gate, a friend met me. Not literally, mind you. Touching down in the morning after a thirteen hour plus ride (got stuck at customs for two hours), I found myself choosing not to go home. I went to a local café and set up shop until my afternoon jam session with a friend began.
Home that day would have been triggering. In my first post, I shared my goal in this blog is to:
"Share my own personal journeys with transforming chaotic spheres of my life (multiple commitments, poor diet, disembodiment and sparse home care) through building health and wellness deep within," (7/18/11).
In flashing red lights: “Sparse Home Care. Sparse Home Care” and the laborious work ahead to transform both my internal and external home after months (maybe years) of neglect must have been ringing at a subconscious level. I knew if I went home, I would become unhappy with what I saw, feel like a failure and fall into slight paralysis.
Encountering, during my trip to our northern neighbor, the awe-inspiring way people have worked to create space and home for themselves really made stark how poorly I was making space for myself. My sadness around this was not immediately known to me on a conscious level; something in me did not want to go home—not yet.
I bought cherries (in season!) and spinach to share with my jamming artist friend. They were expensive, but I wanted us to enjoy and eat well. There was another layer: I ate them every day while on mini-vacation and had a taste for them similar to a taste for smooth transition—smooth landing.
Artist friend and I talked about chosen families and how meeting—friends, family, soul growers, lovers, etc—are miracles. In the universe of infinite possibilities, for two people to deeply encounter one another—who as it turns grew up near each other the whole of our youth without knowing— is miraculous.
This was so important for me—one who wanted to spend the rest of 2011 traveling to find similar kin across borders, for I believed my current destination barren.
With crystal profundity, I opened my eyes to the marvel of meeting—to the marvel of whom I met. This was not up in the sky somewhere—or north of the U.S. Those that ground us, that are kin (chosen or otherwise) to us, that help us make home and place on this plane are abundant and before us.
Jamming artist friend and I went to eat really good Mexican at El Fuego in Philadelphia. This was unplanned. In front of us: Rice and beans, guacamole, tortilla chips, peppers, onions, salsa.
Before arriving, cutting through Rittenhouse Square, I detailed how rice and beans have always provided a feeling of home and rootedness. And that those with a history of eating disorders will always view and experience food different than the masses. It pierces and at varying levels; thus, while our food settled me, it also was an unadorned reminder of how I interrupted and brought dis-ease to home space.
We walked back to artist friend’s place. Saw the small ways—stones on the rim of the bathtub, nesting pottery by the entrance way, affirmation books by the bedside, cloth and crystal spread—my friend made home in spite of, what my friend later revealed, a surfacing displeasure at the spatial dimensions of the place. I saw how that the place shined with my friend’s touch. I saw and believed in that moment that I could touch—my place—that way, too.
In a car ride earlier in the day, jamming artist friend shared a poignant statement: “It takes control (discipline) to let go of control.” Striking! One has to do some work to support the letting go and letting of light.
Making the transition to both literal and metaphoric home care will need support. That is why it had been feeling so laborious.
It was not enough to do a great job eating well and conditioning my body. I have to work just as hard in conditioning my heart and spirit—to find and enact kindness unto myself—to affirm—to carve out space for my creative imagination to roam—to step out of the way so much and shine, simply shine.
I have to ground.
Full Disclosure: I did in silliness take this quiz on About.com: Are You Adequately Grounded? http://healing.about.com/library/quiz/ground/blgroundquiz.htm
In searching for grounding techniques, I stumbled on this wonderful site. What I liked about it was that it addressed grounding in terms of ascension.
There is a general elevation occurring on multiple layers in the energetic realms right now. There are those of us who are currently ascending. Usually grounding exercises are for those who are getting introduced to energetic practices. Fewer pieces out there consider those who are and have grounded but get turned around from time to time. The following blog in its intention does that. Read around.(http://www.bigsparklylife.com/energy-update-ascension-grounding)
The following exercises are not new for me; in fact, I do them often. It was a nice little reminder nudge to fall back into the practices that I know root me. Hope you enjoy the nudge as well:
5 Tips for Grounding During Ascension
Spend time in nature: Sitting under an old-growth tree, working in a garden, sitting on the grass and watching the clouds go by are all great examples of ways you can easily spend time in nature and help ground your energy.
Take a sea salt bath: Sea salt helps to clear energy and balance the chakras. Place some sea salt into your bath, set your intention to ground your energy and then allow yourself to soak in the tub for ten minutes or more. It’s a wonderful remedy for ungroundedness.
Eat dark leafy greens: Kale, spinach, chard and other greens contain minerals and vitamins that allow the body to better calibrate with the wisdom of Mother Earth.
Take short naps: You are acclimating to a higher vibration. Resting gives your body, mind and spirit the opportunity make the shifts necessary to optimize to the higher realms.
Journal: Writing is a wonderful way to connect with your experiences, your innate wisdom and to reflect upon your journey. As such it is a powerful tool in grounding your energy.
My mom always had sturdy and thick journals with the pre-written calendar dates lying around the apartment as well as her “special notebooks”—usually dollar store, spiral-bounded, lined paper—where she doodled, scribbled to-do lists and wrote letter drafts she never planned on mailing.
I’d always admire her regularity with journaling, with calendars, with marking things down. When she would allow us a look or two into her entries, I noticeably would feel that I had missed something by not registering where I was or what I was feeling on paper (or electronic device) for future references. This reaction would soon dissipate; in it’s a place would appear the pattern of sharply shunning journaling as a practice that does not work well for my type.
“I am just not a detail-oriented person.”
“I cannot remember to write every day or week? That is just not me.”
Today, I watch reactions such as the ones above as signs clearly displaying a learned aversion toward looking myself squarely in the emotional mirror.
Our body is a well-integrated system. If there is turbulence in the emotional realm, there will be turbulence spilled over, for example, in the mental or physical realm. Daily awareness regarding our actions (or lack thereof), eating habits (reasons for eating), and mood around all of this is key to more conscientious living.
Now that I have made clear choice on standing squarely in front of that emotional mirror, I cannot go without frequently using my home journal, small “To-Do” list notebook and my purple, edgy food and fitness journal. This is because deep down I saw, in my mother’s life, the priceless benefit of recorded reflection. However, to make the practice stick, I had to be clear about what I wanted and would need in a book.
Food and fitness diaries can be great ways to add some seriousness and reflection to your budding fitness routine.
Multi-layered journals (perfect for today’s texting, emailing, Facebook-ing working professional) function more successfully with me by providing layouts that allow me to list not only what I eat but also my feelings or motivating forces.
The journal that I am using is pictured below. I adore it. It is a well-matched fit. I picked it up at a community fair in Chester and been glued ever since.
It is not the stickers or tons of pages for writing notes that makes this journal a well fit for me per se. It was the care crafted into the design with the aim of making accessible for young womyn this vital practice of writing down nutritional shifts and weight management plans. Other reasons include but are not limited to:
- Playful colors and design as a subtle reminder to have fun and be lighthearted in the process
- The section for notes, mini-journal entries and to-do lists
- The fill in the blank calendar weeks (I never understood my mother’s penchant for the pre-filled out calendar dates)
- Mainly, the spaces for writing down one's mood at each meal
There is one bit of a blemish with Best Journal Ever!: My Food and Fitness Diary. (And, yes, I will just come clean with it and share that my journal was intended for teenage girls and not for presenters sitting next to display tables passing them out for free. It still rocks!)
The only blemish is that there is not designated space for calorie counting—although there are places with conversion charts, food pyramids and places that let one look up the nutritional value of some meal combinations.
All and all, find something that works for you. Journaling can work for most people; however, most people will have to do the work to find out which journal is the best fit.
My mother excitedly called me yesterday five minutes after our earlier call ended to share she was interested in picking up something she had just heard about from a close friend called a daily nutrition journal. I chuckled lightly to myself as she began a litany of reasons as to why this kind of journal would be good for her wellness plan—one reason being that this is what she has known to do; she just did not know one could apply journaling to food.
I said nothing about the journal I was using—well at least not yet; for, sharing my multi-layered (teenage girl) purple, edgy food and fitness journal as a way to get folks excited about using a journal everyday would have been superfluous for womyn who just discovered the possibilities of fitness journaling and who has been in the practice of recorded reflecting her whole life.
Who would have thought that, fast forward, my mom and I would be in the same place with (fitness) journaling. Synchronicity
Journal Best Journal Ever! My Food and Fitness Diary
The spiral-bound Best Journal Ever! provides bone health tips and information and includes stickers and lots of pages for girls to journal their food and fitness habits and thoughts.
WebMD Printable Food Journal
This Wellness blog is to share the author's trials and triumphs in becoming more present and centering her daily routines around health practices that build from the inside out.
It is her hope to spark dialogue and resource sharing as well as encouragement for those newly embarking on their journey toward healing all over.
(This is a personal blog with resources for educational purposes only.)