Tuesday, September 2, 2014

" Temper Temper ... "

This time you'd better bite your tongue
Think twice before you open that mouth
Take a breath, hold it in your lungs
Being from rage, will it overcome?

I feel the tension rising high
I feel a hump down in my chest
Nothing is strange, I see in red
Can't hold it back
Here comes my...

Temper temper, time to explode
Feels good when I lose control
Temper temper, time to explode
Chamber's empty, time to reload

~ Bullet For My Valentine ~ Temper Temper ~

So you think that temper tantrums only apply to children?  Well I just proved otherwise ... today.  Yeah, not a proud moment I might add.  Downright embarrassing to be honest.  And I know that I am not alone ... 

You see as a child when I threw a tantrum, my Mother wouldn’t wait patiently until I calmed down.  She would confront me upfront and in a stern, no nonsense voice of imposing authority, inform me that there was no way she was going to up with my drama act.  I could scream, stomp and even body-slam fits of rage, she would have none of it.  And I love her for it.  Because she knew, as a toddler, I wasn’t a master in effectively communicating my feelings or solving problems.

Sure needed that no nonsense tone today ...

Okay, rather than beating myself up for the entire day, I get that anger manifests when the demands we place on ourselves, others or on the world are not being met to our expectations.  So the question is ... are my expectations realistic and fair?  

We are conditioned by society to believe that we should have what we want when we want it, that we deserve only the best and should not deny ourselves, and that we shouldn't have to work hard to obtain possessions, success, health, or love.  So we carry on with life, trying to find quick fixes for every possible need.  And when life doesn’t go as planned (almost always), our inner child may ... ahem, bloom.

So I check my ego and ask ... do I consider myself more important than others (no) ... do I feel my rights trump yours (no) ... are my needs greater than the other person at this moment (no) ... 

darn, sadly no excuse for bad behaviour ... i’m sorry

I am realizing that when we are denied what we are seeking, personal and spiritual growth have a chance, because it enables us to prioritize what is really important.

I know better ... I have better tools ... I know I can learn from this ...
Do no harm ...

Letting your raw emotions out is important so they won’t leak into the rest of your life ... as long as you project to an inanimate object.  Dealing with anger effectively, in the moment, is golden.  The key is finding a safer way to deal with it,  allowing a full release, without making an a$$ in the process.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

" Purpose ... "

I saw an angel hit the ground
Fly to nowhere above sky
Cross another cold state line
Purpose almost hard to find
Climb a mountain reach the sun
Face the storm and lightning thunder
Seem I never found it one
Purpose really hard to find

Another time to stay
Almost fine the way

You believe of what you say
You believe of what you learn
If you fine these one
Many life will come into you
~ Stand Up ~ Purpose ~

I believe that once you have served your purpose, your time is up.  Regardless of age or circumstances, I believe we are all here for a reason.  And some may feel that reason  is connected to God, or to do God’s work ... so what is your purpose?

Not really a question that is asked in a daily conversation ...  
Soooooo, how are youuuuu? and whaaaaaaat’s your purpose?

We don’t usually think in this way and thank goodness, most of us don’t talk this way.  Yet we don’t think about purpose, we think about the things we need to do, the things we have done, the things we may miss out on, and the people we do the things with.  Does that about sum it up?  So where in all those thoughts does purpose fit in?

Well that is entirely up to you.  You can take ANY opportunity ... abandonment, death, illness, loss ... and ask what is the blessing in this ordeal?  And is it really an ordeal or is it an adventure?  And does this line of questioning annoy you?

Probably ... because I have had some say, it is easy to write inspirational thoughts when you are in a good place.  But here is the catch, we can be in a good place because it is available to us, always.  Period.  But we have to want it … leading you to your purpose ... trust me, from experience, it happens.  

Having had to attend a few funerals this year, as well as say goodbye to all but one fellow “patient” from the Gerson clinic in the last three years … accepting ANY death can be, well, unbearable.  When our loved ones pass on, sadness amongst other emotions, is natural.  But I know what that sadness is for me ... for what I will miss in that person.  I also believe that as difficult, tragic and overwhelming the loss is, there must be some purpose that had been reached.  I don't have to LIKE it but I trust the process and have faith in the journey we think we control, but don’t.

And that is the power of purpose.  It is what gives us strength to carry on through transitions and changes.  This shift is towards our ultimate goal and the path that fits ...
So the next logical question may be … how do I find or know my purpose?  Well it seems that the more we dedicate ourselves to a cause greater than ourselves something happens … we can add our values, strengths and passion to figure out how combined can be put into service … purpose.

I use to believe that there had to be a grand gesture to signify my purpose.  And still working towards meeting a purpose, at times, my thoughts change on why and how and where I am, what I can share and how it impacts, anyone.  

Yet, I’ve realized that the gesture doesn’t have to be grand.  It is possible to experience small adversities that provide opportunities for progress.  And within these small adversities, my purpose lies ... because suffering is an opportunity to reflect on the mistakes of my own mind and to reform myself.  

Perhaps that is when our purpose has been fully met …  

Monday, August 25, 2014

" Charity Case ... "

Give, give, give it away now ...

I don't know what matters to you at this moment
But that's all that matters to me
How are you? (How are you?)
Knock on wood ...

Oh can't you see, oh can't you see
If I help somebody, baby there's mercy for me 
Ahhh charity! 

Charity!! You better give it to somebody

~ Gnarls Barkley ~ Charity Case ~

With the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fad, you can’t seem to get away from someone throwing a bucket somewhere.  Thanks to the ALS Association, who had their first press release on August 13 about the phenomenon, by August 24, $70.2 million dollars has been raised, amazing.  So it seems that this fad has outlasted all expectations.  I imagine the celebrity endorsements doesn’t hurt.  And even if you think it is silly or dangerous, or both, and you don’t want to pour ice water all over yourself, you can still donate to ALS.

Just a simple question ... how will the money be spent? 
(ALS association ... no comment, yet)

With that in mind, I will not be participating in the challenge and those that know me, know why.  As my friend Marcia said, I am more than happy to write a check, which is what I am doing, to individuals, or families of individuals, but also continuing to help people understand it isn't the amount of years that matter, it's what we do in those years that matter.”

With my own personal health journey, I have not benefited from ANY Cancer foundation and nor will I.  Why?  Because my treatment of choice is not the “approved” protocol.  Bottom line:  unless you follow the standard, approved protocol, regardless of lethal side effects, your treatment will not be approved ... therefore NO MONEY avail ... gulp!!  PLUS: I have volunteered for a specific cancer foundation in the past and from what I’ve learned, I cannot, in good faith, donate.  Sadly, I am suspicious of most large charitable foundations who are not transparent ...

So where does that all leave all the millions of people we see, including family and friends who are participating?  With a good sense of charity.  This marketing scheme is brilliant considering the number of cases every year that are diagnosed ... in comparison to heart disease, cancer, MS.

It is in us to give ... and when we give, we get so much more in return.  So many may not care about the money that is raised, or the celebrity that is soaked, or the way the challenge is done.  They may only care about raising awareness.  Awareness to a dis-ease that has either effected them, or someone they love.  And for that, I humbly applaud them ... all while staying warm, dry and fully aware of the challenge any one of us may face, any day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

" No Harm ... "

I'm the true recluse, 
Blissful as a loner, 
And all that we have left
Is never lied for

Delivered on a word
Never near the target
Seen for what it was
And never eye to eye 

Baby there's no harm, 
There's no harm ... 
So watch what you say, 
There's a beast that's in me

~ Boxer Rebellion ~ No Harm ~

The more and more I hear the statement “do no harm, but take no shit”, I identify with it.  I realize that I am not that important, but what I do, matters.  And every single thought, intention or action has an effect.  Always.  

I always knew that life was too unpredictable to create bullshit, but learning not to take it from others is entirely different story.  And it is not about being a rude, inconsiderate, insensitive, impatient, angry ... ... it IS about choice.  

We equate peace with passivity and conflict with violence ... but how do we bring assertiveness within our peace and then how do we bring peace to personal conflicts?  How do we pause and wait out reactivity?  How do we give ourselves the opportunity to explore the infinities of other choices?

... practice non-action, remaining silent, taking a pause and letting things settle.  This may appear to be passive but it actually requires huge assertion, because it intercepts the expectations and anticipation of the outcome and focuses on the essence of what is ... 

A moment of hesitation, a moment of stillness, a moment of truth ... when you may respond avoiding regret.  We’ve all been there when as soon as it comes out of mouth, we wish it was still back in there. 

When our intentions come from a place of compassion, love, integrity and truth, no harm is possible.  This purity provides us a glimmer into the true essence of human nature.  We have it in us to do no harm when we operate from our higher self, rather than our ego.  

Plus there is always an opportunity to observe ego, yours or another, in action.  Indulgent feelings of righteousness as well as overbearing beliefs that “their” opinion must be shared and forced onto others.  Ironically, they don’t see this negative trait in themselves because they’re too focused on their belief that they are somehow justified and allowed to act that way.

Personally, I’d rather than be happy than right ...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

" Chocolate ... "

This could be the very minute
I'm aware I'm alive
All these places feel like home

You're the only thing that I love
It scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer

Goodness knows I saw it coming
Or at least I'll claim I did
But in truth I'm lost for words

A simple mistake starts the hardest time ...
~ Snow Patrol ~ Chocolate ~


During our recent trip to Costa Rica, we had the opportunity to learn about raw cacao and how to make 90% dark organic chocolate within the rain forest Eco-resort we lodged at.  

What is Cacao ...

The botanical name for the tree that chocolate comes from is the Theobroma Cacao.  The word cacao comes from the Olmec people from what is now Mexico.  History shows that chocolate was passed on from the Olmecs to the Mayans and then to the Spanish.  

Cacao is a top source of antioxidants, and it contains an abundance of magnesium and iron.  Cacao powder has been an important food in South America for thousands of years.  Free of any sugar or fillers, raw cacao powder provides a healthy abundance of antioxidants.  Cacao is usually inter cropped with other plants and trees, such as plantains, maize and spices.  

“ ... Cocoa trees grow to between 12 to 15 metres high, and it is about 3-4 years before the flowers first appear. The tiny blossoms are so intricate that insects have difficulty finding their way inside to fertilise the pollen. Because this vital journey to reach the flowers' stamen is so difficult, out of the 10,000 blossoms produced by each tree, only about 20 - 30 are pollinated and become cocoa pods. Each pod contains about 40 seeds which become cocoa beans. It takes one tree's whole crop for the year to make three big bars of Divine ... “

How Chocolate begins ... 

Chocolate begins with the harvest of the cacao pods. Because the pods grow in all degrees of ripeness and at any location on the tree, most harvesting is done by hand with machetes ... 

The pods are split open to reveal the cocoa beans which are surrounded by the fruity pulp of the pod.  This pulp is sometimes used to make drinks or desserts, as it has a 
pleasant fruity taste with subtle chocolate flavour   

The beans and pulp are scraped from the pods and left to ferment in baskets for two to eight days. This step is crucial, as the fermentation process mellows the flavor of the beans and imparts the fruity undertones of the pulp. Without fermentation, the beans would be too astringent and bitter to enjoy. Many high-quality chocolates undergo a long fermentation process, which can be tasted in the floral, fruity notes of the final product. 

After fermentation, the beans are spread in a single layer and left to dry completely, usually in direct sunlight.Then, they are roasted to bring out the most intense chocolate flavors and colors. After roasting, the shells of the beans are removed and the “nibs”remain which is the essence of the cocoa bean that’s full of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

The nibs are ground to a thick, rich paste called chocolate liquor (a misleading term, since the product contains no alcohol). This liquor is the foundation for all chocolate products, and at last begins to resemble and smell like conventional chocolate. The liquor is pressed to remove the cocoa butter, which leaves a powdery disc known as “cocoa press cake.” 

Press cake, when pulverized, becomes common cocoa powder. At this point, the chocolate process differs depending on the recipe and formulation of the manufacturer. If the chocolate is low quality, the pulverized press cake will be mixed with vegetable fats, sugar, and flavorings to become substandard chocolate. If the chocolate is going to be higher quality, cocoa butter will be re-added to the chocolate liquor, along with other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, and milk ... 

The final step in determining the ultimate flavor and texture of the chocolate which is up to the creator.  Finally, the chocolate is poured into molds and cooled for up to 4-6 hours until set.  

One ounce organic raw cacao powder contains:
Calories: 120, Calories from Fat: 23
Total Fat: 2.5g, 4% Recommended daily value
Saturated Fat: 1.5g, 7%
Sodium: 20mg, 1%
Total Carbohydrates: 19.0g, 6%
Dietary Fiber: 7.0g, 28%
Protein: 5.0g