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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Intentional Lying... this is what is has come down to!

I didn't realize that I had been holding my breath...

Holy SH$T!  He went for it!!!  My son, actually ate it.  And liked it.  It felt like a dream come true.  Like I had won the lottery.

You very well might judge me for what you are about to read...

When Chephren was little he would eat everything.  And I mean everything.  He had an insatiable appetite.

Cute little dude, wasn't he?
And then he turned two.  And he discovered that his locus of control didn't lie entirely outside of himself...  And man did he take that realization to heart... and he continues to until this day!

Now there are some wonderful things about raising a child who is so strong-willed... I think.  There must be.  Hmmm... I guess that I will have to get back to you on this one.

The point being, if Chephren sees some way/shape/form that he can exert some control over his environment, he takes it.  Since the age of two, food has become one of his primary targets.

To say that his dietary preferences are extremely limited is an understatement.  Does he eat fruits/veggies?  Sure.  About 4 different varieties of them.  Seriously.

Remember this?  Hiding veggies under the couch.

As you may/may not recall... I am a vegetarian.  I prepare/consume around 10-15 different varieties of fruits/vegetables myself... daily.  To say that this behaviour of my son's pushes my buttons is also a very large understatement.

Playing with the contents of my Organic Box :)
Until now, I would have said that I had tried EVERYTHING to sort this thing out...  I have tried to take him shopping with me and choose which fruits/veggies he will eat.  I have found and read him children's books about the importance of healthy eating.  I have downloaded apps on the iPad that relate to healthy eating.  I have modelled (and continued to model) the behaviour that I desire to see instead.  In times of desperation, I have even tried to bribe and/or punish him to get him to eat his vegetables.

I know, I know.  This is an age-old (and first world) problem.

Quite a while back, I had heard about Jessica Seinfeld's approach (hiding pureed fruits/veggies in your child's favourite dishes, including treats) from a friend of mine.  I had considered it then but decided that I didn't want to deceive Chephren.  I wanted him to develop a taste for healthy food that would set the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating.

On the one hand, I tell myself that maybe I should let it go and not worry so much.  After all, at his last yearly check-up, it was confirmed for me that he continues to do very well in terms of his development.  He is (and always has been) in the 95th percentile for height and weight, and is reaching or exceeding all of his developmental milestones.  On the other hand, he is currently battling his FOURTH illness of this nasty cold/flu season.  I have him on multi-vitamins and yet, I have to question if he would be more resilient to illness if he ate better.

Extremely frustrated with this last bout of illness (and currently sleep deprived, so maybe not thinking clearly), I have decided to try the Jessica Seinfeld plan.

The first recipe I tried was one for carrot-cake cupcakes.  In the batch of 12 there was a full 1.5 cups of pureed veggies (I used carrots and sweet potato).  The rest of the recipe was pretty healthy as well, not a lot of fat or sugar.

And you already know what happened.  He ate it... and loved it.

Maybe you are saying, "So what's the problem?"

Well, in my upcoming book FIERCE Integrity: A Course in Living Your Truth, there is a section on the subject of intentional lying.  And that is exactly what this is.

In the book I suggest that people do a self-check in before consciously telling a lie.  I tell them to ask themselves, honestly and with Integrity:

"What is my intention?  Is it to do no harm?"

Obviously my intention here is to do what I feel is in the best interest of my son.

I will let you know how some of the rest of the "experiments" turn out.  (I have already screwed up the sweet potato pancake recipe - they all came out raw in the middle).

Despite the failed pancake attempt, I am celebrating the cupcakes.  For now, I am calling this one a win.

If you have any insights/ideas on this topic, I would love to hear them!


Ok, one more photo... saw this on Facebook and it was too cute not to share:

Truth. A light in the darkness.

I feel like starting this post with "reporting to you from the depths..."  Although it wouldn't be completely accurate.  It would be more accurate to say "reporting to you from the surface..." where I have been waiting... not-so-patiently treading water.  

And, I am getting tired.  

If you haven't figured it out, I am referring to my depression.  Actually, if you are wondering where I have been for the past month, I have been kind of waiting to be on the 'other side' so that I could have started this post with "reporting to you from the other side..."

I am not on the other side.

I am reticent to report to you from this place, and yet, I know that it is what needs doing.  As a yoga teacher, a friend, a daughter, a wife, and even more so; a coach, I have always felt like I needed to deny these dips.  To lay low until they passed.  I have felt like I wasn't "allowed" to feel this way.  

This post is an attempt to undo part (if not all) of that story.  

The truth is, they still happen.  Some last longer than others, and looking back, this one has been around since the beginning of December.  

Sure, I know my triggers.  The darkness of the winter months (I suppose that is called seasonal affective disorder), the bitter cold of the climate in which I live, lack of sleep (last night I had about 4 hours because my son is literally on ROUND 4 of this cold/flu season).  

I have come to know the signs/symptoms of these 'dips'... low energy, extreme irritability (esp. on mornings like this), fits of crying - largely spent on the floor of my closet.  

All of this is/has been true on this go around, and yet one thing is for certain, something has changed.  

Looking back on my life, I can see that I have been suffering with depression for most, if not all, of my adult life.  I would estimate that it actually started in junior high school, although I am not sure exactly.  I have been doing a bit of 'light reading' on the topic lately (even though I have a degree in psychology, I had largely forgotten all that I had learned more than a decade ago).  My actual diagnosis is that of 'Post-partum depression' although I know now that it is more likely to be 'Clinical depression' -- meaning a depression that is due to a biochemical imbalance in the brain and one that continually cycles, year after year.  There is no real 'cure' other than medication and I have been there, done that... hopefully never to return.

And so here I am, riding out yet another 'storm'.  

The funny part is, I now know that these periods, these lows, these dips, aren't even real.  They feel real in a very physical and emotional sense, but they aren't.  Somehow I have managed to separate the truth of my essence (the real me) from this experience.  

What does this mean? (This is the part where I can hear my perceived skepticism bouncing back at me)...

Well, let me describe it to you this way... I used to become these dips, this darkness.  I used to allow it to permeate every single thought, every moment, every cell of my being.  I think that on some level that I was addicted to it.  Addicted to its familiarity, taking some kind of deranged comfort as it enveloped me in its grasp, virtually smothering me.  

I can honestly say it isn't like that any more.  My experience has completely changed.  I am no longer debilitated nearly to the same degree by these dips as I used to be.  In the past two months, I have managed to go to work, feed my family, visit with friends, even LAUGH.  You know, live.  

Now, maybe you are thinking, this girl is delusional... she doesn't look/seem/act depressed AT ALL!  And if you think that, that makes me glad.  Not that I am trying to fool you, or myself.  I am simply trying to allow these dips to flow right through me.  I am trying to be present to them as they pass through my life.  I am trying to view them as 'flowers' being thrown at me rather than 'arrows' being fired (see this Buddhist reference here).  I am trying to receive the gifts that are inherent with any trying times.  

And, its working.

You see, I have a few things going for me now that I didn't have before:

1. I know when I am 'in it' and I no longer deny that I am (to myself anyway, and now apparently to you).
2. When I am in it, I access my resources... and I have many.  
  • My husband: God BLESS this man
  • My mom and dad: unbelievable in their unconditional love and support of me
  • My friends: I am truly Grateful and Grace-filled in their loving presence
  • My coach: remarkable, talented and steadfast
  • And the odd indulgence... one of which is below.
One of my 'coping strategies' is to envision myself running away.  I think that it is truly representative of my searching outside of myself for what I know lies within (LIGHT), but on the truly dark days, I completely indulge this fantasy.  Yesterday was one of them and here is a light-hearted depiction of one of these fantasies:

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Dealing with what is...

"It is so basic in us to feel that things should go well for us, and that if we start to feel depressed, lonely or inadequate, there's been some kind of mistake or we've lost it.  In reality, when you feel depressed, lonely, betrayed, or any unwanted feelings, this is an important moment on the spiritual path.  This is when real transformation can take place."
~Pema Chodron

If you're still reading, thanks for listening.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

From Busy to Bored

Happy New Year!

The holidays are officially over in my house - hubby went back to work today and Chephren went back to his dayhome.  I have been in a bit of a 'coasting' mode with just about everything for the past month -- my work, my housecleaning, my cooking, my yoga, my spiritual practice, my writing, EVERYTHING.

Boy am I glad that it is January.

I am fired up to be back into a routine and to 'begin again' on my process of co-creating and manifesting my heart's true desires.

I love to start a New Year.  As I alluded to in my last post on Solstice, I love anything that spells a new beginning: a new year, a new moon, a new season.  One of my favourite times of year when I was growing up was going back to school in the fall.  Sure, my excitement faded quickly as the 'boring' routine set in, but even then, I loved the feeling of possibility that often comes with starting something new.

For me, ringing in a New Year comes with many traditions and rituals.  One of these is to write in my Gratitude Journal for all of the experiences in the previous year that I am grateful for.  I also usually pull some oracle cards and write these ideas/messages down in my journal.  I connect with my family and ask them about their goals/wishes/intentions for our family in the New Year, and I make a list of said intentions/goals/wishes for both myself and my business.

Everything seemed to be 'business as usual' this year in terms of my ritual except for one thing...

One of the items on my 'to-do' list of intentions/manifestations was actually to do less.

You heard me.  I want to do more of 'nothing'.  I want to, essentially, cultivate some boredom in my life.

I realize that this might sound very strange as an intention, especially if you know me at all.  I am someone who thrives on busy (ok, that is an understatement).  I actually thrive on something that probably looks more busy hovering on the edge insanity.  For me, multitasking is something that comes as naturally as breathing.  Actually, often, if I am not doing at least two things at once, I feel like I am wasting time or lacking efficiency in some way.

What I am trying to convey is that I am soooo sucky at being bored.  And I am not talking about the kind of boredom where you get to sit and watch a movie, or play on your phone, or even read a book.  I am about just sitting there... being.

As a society, I think that we completely undervalue boredom.  Even that word sounds negative... I even hesitated to use this word because of its negative undertone, but talking about simply 'being' didn't seem to quite capture what I am keen on creating in my life.

I want to take some time, every day, even for 5 minutes and simply be.  No phone, no lists, no computer, no books, no movies, no laundry.  Nada.

I want to sink into the feeling of simply being.  I want to see what arises.  I am curious to see if and how this will affect other areas of my life.

So, that's it then.  17 intentions about improving, creating and manifesting ... 1 about simply being.

Oddly enough, I don't have to imagine which one will be the toughest for me to commit to...

What are you resolving to create in your life this year?

Much love to you all in 2013!