Saturday, November 29, 2014

One People One Planet

I really struggle to wrap my mind around the idea that in 2014, racial variety is still an issue that some people haven't accepted as just a part of human evolution. Humans come in different shapes and colors with varied languages and traditions. Whaaaaat?! Yeah. It's been that way for a long, loooong time. 

I hear racist comments on a regular basis from all sorts of people. All ages, both genders, many races. It's not just against people of African descent either, as is currently so prominent in our media coverage. It's happening against Native and aboriginal people, Asian people, Latin people, Indian and Arab people and on and on...Basically, anyone who isn't white. But then again, we Caucasians are judged too. By religion, class, career, zip code and everything else in between, even amongst other Caucasians. Why are some humans so unaccepting of one another? It's pretty simple. Fear of what is different than ourselves.

Here's the thing. How did all of our current nationalities come into existence? Interbreeding, of course. The world didn't just appear suddenly with perfectly settled cultures across the entire globe eating sushi and pizza and tacos. It took many thousands of years for each unique culture to develop. We are still developing gradually, as evolution doesn't just stop.

I grew up with a racist father who still makes racist comments on a regular basis. It took me over 30 years to ask him to please keep his hurtful comments to himself. The reality is that it's all he knows and he doesn't see it as racism.

I clearly remember the day my dad called me up to tell me that, to his horror, my younger sister had an African-American boyfriend. I first felt angry at him for the judgement and ignorance. But then I decided to just keep listening. He said "If whites and blacks keep having children together, eventually, in a few generations everyone on the planet will look like Obama!" I laughed to myself and then answered "That sounds great. Obama is pretty good-looking!"
There was silence on the other end.

That conversation was about 4 years ago. Again, a few months ago, he was ranting about mixed races in our family. I felt so furious that I raised my voice (which I very rarely do) and said to him "I want you to listen to me and listen very carefully. I love you, but I will never, EVER agree with the words that are coming out of your mouth. So please do not even bother wasting both of our time on this topic." It stuck for a while, but seems to have worn off recently. I'm once again getting chain emails forwarded to my inbox that are totally offensive to me.

I was recently reminded of a comment that my former step-son made when he was 5 years old (He's almost 12 now). His hair and eyes are dark and his skin is slightly olive colored, as his father is Caucasian and his mother was from Colombia. We were driving in the car and from the back seat he was telling me that he got along really well with a boy in his class and that they were best pals (the boy was East Indian). I told him that sounded really nice and asked why he thought they were such good friends. He answered "obviously... because we are both pretty much brown people." I laughed and told him that I was glad that he had so many friends of all skin colors. He said "it doesn't matter to me about anyone's skin. They're all my friends." Yes! Well said child!

In a perfectly timely manner to me writing this post, I spoke to my dad on the phone today for much longer than our usual quick "hello and goodbye". Sure enough, the topic he brought up was racism. He said that my sister was up in arms about this "whole Ferguson thing" and that he doesn't see what the big deal is. I said "Dad. This is the straw that broke the camel's back. It's not just about this one incident. It just took this one incident to tip the scales.

A year ago, while traveling in the US of A, we went to a movie theater (which is a very rare occurrence) to see 12 Years A Slave. It devastated me. I could hardly watch. I was sick to my stomach. I felt deep sadness and anguish for many weeks afterward. This abuse is still happening in marginally milder ways. Segregation, judgement, verbal and physical violence, inequalities, mistrust, racial profiling and more judgement.

Since moving to Vancouver Island, I have felt deep disturbance after I learned more about how the Canadian government has pushed the First Nations tribes around for generations. Until recently, I didn't quite understand the depth of the pain and suffering that has been (and is being) inflicted upon our native brothers and sisters. 

Our friend, who is a First Nations elder, has been an amazing mentor to us both. He is making huge efforts to heal and strengthen the connections between his people and the paler brothers and sisters. He hosts sweat lodges in ceremony for all of us to give thanks to our ancestors who came before us to pave the way for us to live here together today. It brings all of us closer and helps to wash away the old pain and bring in new, fresh energy. 

It has been so wonderful to begin to learn more about who came before us and how we all have the power to shift human relations for the better. With love in our hearts, we must view each other as the equals that we are. We are all one race. The human race. Therefore, racism against anyone is racism against ourselves.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Road Less Traveled

Writing what my heart tells me to isn't always easy. I often blog about things that feel iffy or risky to discuss. I wonder what some people might think about the topics. I wonder if anyone actually cares what I think and feel. I wonder who is even reading this? Then I remember why I started this blog in the first place...For me.  "This above all, to thine own self be true." Shakespeare was so wise. All that matters is that we are being true to ourselves. It sounds easy enough. However, it can come with some hefty challenges, as I continue to discover. 

I have let go of several dear friends since I started this blog a year and a half ago. Not everyone is ready to read the things that I write. Some have made that very clear to me. It saddens me to have to move forward without those people in my life. Fortunately for all of us, there are 8+ billion humans in the neighborhood and I continue to connect with many people who jump at the chance to discuss the topics that I write about. These are the people who I write to support, so they know they are not alone. The ones who know that we are living in a world based on many false realities, far beyond what many of our minds can comprehend. Those who know that we are all far more powerful and intelligent than we are led to believe. Those who follow their own path and fly their own flag, albeit lonely at times, to remain true to themselves and not conform to the insane normalities that we call society. 

I applaud you all for standing in your power. It's not always rainbows and butterflies. It can feel like trudging through quicksand or like standing alone at the top of a tall mountain, overlooking the world and wishing that everyone could stop for just a moment and see what's really happening. 

Everywhere I go, nearly every time I leave the house and go mingle with the world, I connect with people. Like light bulbs clicking on. Like two Lego blocks fitting together. It is so wonderful and I am so grateful to have this gift. I know that there are thousands, if not millions of us loving compassionate earth angels out there, flitting around sprinkling peace and love dust everywhere we go.

I also have dark moments of sadness, loneliness and frustration at times. It is then that I remind myself of all of you out there who continue down the road less traveled. We give our time, knowledge and gifts to the world, knowing that for someone, somewhere that it's making a big difference. Remaining unattached to the outcome is the secret

Nearly 10,000 views on this site now...

I love you. All of you. Yes, I do. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Open Your Heart with the Magic of Cacao

Whole Guatemalan Cacao Beans
I had no idea that the key ingredient to many people's sweet treat obsession could actually be so incredibly healing!  Cacao is the "raw" ingredient that is used to make chocolate.  In recent years, due to its high content of health-enhancing nutrients, it has been hailed as one of the "SUPER FOODS" and thus, its popularity has exploded.

However, what is not as widely known is that cacao actually has the ability to open our hearts to love and heal ourselves, and to strengthen connections with those around us. It gently guides us to see the truth of who we are and to guide us toward our higher calling. In our family, we also lovingly call it "truth serum". While under the magic spell of this beautiful brown bean, you simply cannot dishonor yourself. It seems to whisper to your heart. It's no secret why so many of us love chocolate. It induces a feeling of euphoria (especially the dark, rich, organic, fairly-traded stuff) that few other purely natural foods can create.  Imagine the feeling that savoring your favorite chocolate bar gives you and multiply that times a LOT!  This is what I feel when I drink a ceremonial dose of rich, flavorful, magical Guatemalan cacao medicine!

Cacao Truffles photo by Anaya Lea

In the past few months, I have attended a handful of these sacred healing Cacao Ceremonies, led by none other than my very special friend / unofficial-mother-in-law, Cori.  She has a beautiful gift with sharing her knowledge of plant medicines and music that when combined, creates a wonderfully warm and magical ceremonial experience. I have learned from her about the plant and it's healing properties. I have also realized how important it is for us to acknowledge the wisdom of all plants as our medicine and to thank the spirit of cacao for allowing us to work with it in such a pleasurable way.  Through the use of cacao, I have deepened my love for myself. I have deepened many friendships and exchanged laughter and tears with complete strangers over a cup of this heart-opening potion.

If the opportunity arises for you to participate in one of these ceremonies, I highly recommend it. There simply is no downside to a circle of loving human beings opening their hearts and sharing the joy of life and the love of chocolate while singing and laughing together! Muchas Gracias Cacao!

Chanting to the Spirit of Cacao photo by Anaya Lea

Monday, November 03, 2014

Clean Your Body, Clear Your Mind

We recently did our first 7-day fast. Sure, fasting is pretty common these days, even trendy. There are huge health benefits, which encompass mind, body and spirit. 

What about urine fasting? You may not know that urine therapy and urine fasting are ancient practices, dating back thousands of years in the Vedic texts of India.

Initially, when I was first introduced to the concept several years ago, my face cringed and my stomach did a backflip. After all, we are taught that urine is a waste product of the body, right? Wrong. Urine has tons of trace minerals and can have a very healing and therapeutic effect on our cells. There are documented cases of UT clearing up many serious illnesses.

Urine fasting is comprised of several parts. Capturing urine in a glass jar, and aging it for several days turns the pH from acidic to alkaline, increasing its healing properties. It is recommended that you massage the alkaline urine into your skin from head to toe. This action not only draws toxins from the skin, but it also results in softer, clearer skin. I especially noticed it on my face. The use of urine as a rinse in hair before shampooing leaves hair softer and shinier too. Sounds too gross or strange? You may be surprised to learn that derivatives of urine (from various critters) are common ingredients in many beauty products for their youth-enhancing, rejuvenating properties. (Personally, I would rather use my own urine.) Many leather conditioners also contain urea to soften and preserve the leather (aka skin). 

The second part is using urine packs, or cloths soaked in the aged urine, and placed for a length of time on any part of the body that needs extra healing and TLC. Organs, skin rashes, wounds, burns, etc., can benefit greatly from the sterile soaking in these packs. 

Urine can also be used to balance our hormones. Pregnant mare urine (PMU) is a main ingredient in medications used to balance hormones in menopausal women. 

In order to receive the full benefit of urine cleansing, drinking your urine is crucial. Consuming urine cleans out all aspects of our bodies. First the digestive tract, and then all of our cells get a flush. Urine fasting has also been used for deep detoxing purposes. I, myself, have been seeking relief from a candida overgrowth in my body for several long and uncomfortable years. I tried so many medicines (traditional Rx's and natural) as well as cleanses, diets, and various regimens to try to clear up the candida. So exhausting. After a week of UT, I am feeling better than I have in nearly a year.  When compared to the suffering I have faced in the last few years, drinking urine seems like a small price to pay.

We began and ended our fast with a couple of days of fresh-pressed organic juice from our bountiful garden harvest to ease our bodies into and out of the fast to and from a solid food diet.

We both kept detailed notes about how we felt, any changes, any discomforts etc. I made notes of the tricks that my mind kept trying to play on me. We both also dropped to body weights that we hadn't experienced since our teens. A fascinating side effect.

A few crucial notes if you are considering a urine fast:

1.  Drinking fresh water is important if you feel like you need extra hydrating. 

2.  Fast when you have a BLANK schedule. Any extra exertion is not recommended. Your body needs rest to fully cleanse and heal itself. 

3.  Listen to your body. If you are feeling any severe symptoms, ease back out of the fast very gently. 

4. Consider retreating to a place that isn't home so that you can completely relax and be present with the magic of fasting.