Saturday, July 20, 2013

Final Post

Repose (John Singer Sargent)
Am I here already?

Ordinarily I would take this opportunity to analyze and reflect on this experience (I haven't re-read a thing; sorry for the typos--however it's an accurate reflection of this experience), but I've elected not to do that for this final post. I do not mean to imply the juicing itself is unworthy of reflection as it absolutely is and this has been an incredibly fulfilling experience--but I can use my energy in what I hope is a more effective direction. So it makes sense for me, at this moment, to let the old things go.

Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
Ray Bradbury

As I've prepared for this JF I've learned the fasting itself isn't truly my focal point for development but the process of repatterning and rebuilding myself post fast is. Because this is the trickiest part for me--it is time for me to go off line.

Will I JF again? Most likely. There have been times I felt I had to leave the DC area because my approach to life can be too intense. In the last few days I've received hesitant but kindly-intended, unsolicited (and accepted) advice from several friends that can be translated into the notion that I still have some rough edges to me. In all honesty it seems I am only fit company for friends and family--and I am grateful these wonderful people are able to handle my rough edges without troubles. So, I still have some things to figure out here.

On a similar note my reading (which came a few days after I accepted my new job) predicted this job as where I have work to do--down to the unusual part of the title. I believe in being cautious in accepting guidance, however once my intuition became stronger I became better able to recognize the right guidance by a certain "click." This reading was very powerful and its guidance has been confirmed time and again. So I will explore that I still have some work to do right here. Depending on how much debris I accumulate in all of this will be a good indication of how soon I may JF again.

My vow of acceptance is something I'm almost unable to speak about--it's too encompassing yet it is now engraved in my being. It was challenging but overall a joyful experience. I can say that even though I now release that vow I intend to honor the spirit of it in those things which came to my attention under this JF and that I have not been able to process (aversion books included). A lot of what I seem to do lately is help people loosen or clear up stuck energy. I've noticed in life there are some things that simply resolve themselves and others that require effort to resolve. It's hard to tell the difference. All I know is right here, right now isn't the right space for me.

What's left to say? Probably the most important thing.

If I have caused any harm, please forgive me.

Be well.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 6

To my vast amusement when I picked my car up today the mechanics told me they sold my car.  Interestingly enough the cables on my stick shift broke. I literally had the one time left in the commuter parking lot to go in reverse then my car could no longer get in any gear. Metaphorically this was something of the purpose of this JF; to not go backwards anymore. Now I'm back being dependent on my car.

Food wise I have eaten the same foods but in different order. It wasn't a thought out decision but maybe I'm just tired of the schedule already. So it was cucumbers and seaweed for breakfast, salad for lunch and aloe vera for dinner.  It didn't seem to make much of a difference on my body--but the choice to vary the schedule was nice.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 5

Food today is still building on the previous days. Aloe vera for breakfast, cucumber with sea salt and seaweed for lunch and for dinner today a salad with young spring greens and herbs, with tomato, celery, cucumbers, black sesame seeds, a dash of apple cider vinegar, hemp oil and a squeeze of lime juice. Even though I'm out of lemons as a bonus in all this hot weather I've learned to enjoy lime water in addition to the juices.

When things slow down for me...well they really slow down. The auto shop didn't get my car repaired today. When they told me this morning they wouldn't even be able to look at it I thought about how having the last two days off to wrap up this JF is probably not coincidental. I even thought about how if I had planned this...well, I wouldn't have planned this even though the time off is a great idea and I am enjoying it immensely. In my day of wonderment I discovered everything looks so differently at this pace.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 4

Today was the same food wise; aloe vera for breakfast and cucumber for lunch. Only I almost forgot to eat my cucumber. I'm happy that eating isn't taking up a lot of my focus. Still, it feels weird to almost forget to eat like that.

Unfortunately my car had some issues tonight and it's currently sitting at the mechanic's. That is partially where my mind is at the moment but a quick internet scan showed the problem may be fairly simple. At least I now have the day off tomorrow. I can say I do not recommend driving 15 MPH in a 45--but I will say it felt so bizarre to be literally forced to move that slow in a fast paced world. It's funny how my lessons come full circle.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 3

Immediately when I walked in the office this morning my coworker (who I practice my limited German on) told me to get settled then come see him--he had something to show me. These guys have been trying to infuse some pop culture into me lately and this morning's treat was so outlandish I could hardly hold myself up from all the laughing. I'm not sure if, like many other things I do, I'm stretching this have more fun, work less advice into some new territory. Nevertheless I can't think of a better way to start the work day than with laughter.

Food wise I am still not feeling hunger but chose aloe vera for breakfast and a cucumber (with sea salt and dulse) for lunch, plus juices. The cucumber...was incredible.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 2

Today was similar to yesterday; some aloe vera and some juices. I am still not hungry but the aloe is fun to chew and the juices continue to keep my energy balanced. 

Tonight I am making sauerkraut and that is going to take some time...but worth it as it is quite possibly my favorite food.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Post Juice Feast Day 1

Earlier this week I decided I wanted to break this JF for one because it's starting to get uncomfortable to sit on my own backside (there's not much left back there) and because it has served its purpose. This was one of those things I had to do; luckily I wanted to. On the first JF I broke it with a green smoothie--which tasted awful to me. This time it seemed a good idea to break it by eating aloe vera--so today I did.

Of course I have to continue on with a few juices each day. I have noticed when I break a fast my body is so accustomed to liquids that it's a requirement for me to drink still more juices. My body doesn't like the shock of a lot of liquids to limited liquids so I imagine, like the last time, I will continue weaning myself off juices and replace them with other liquids in addition to the solids past the fast-breaking days.

As I became aware I was going to break this fast I allowed myself to become more open to sensations I had shut off.  Throughout the week I've enjoyed the scents of a bakery, the rich colors and textures of paintings and even the feel of a lumpy walking escalator under my feet. This alone was a fascinating exploration.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 74 Juice Feast -- Death (not Quite) in Bloom

I find fads funny. I usually don't get caught up in them (but I once had big hair--one day I went a little too far and my grandpa saw my hair and merely said "windblown"). So this morning when I scanned some emails and saw one from a friend I was meeting in a couple of hours and he asked me if I wanted to go see the corpse flower at the U.S. Botanical Gardens--I wasn't too surprised. It's been on everyone's lips in the District lately.

And then I laughed because as it turns out he emailed me before he checked his messages--with one from me asking him the same thing. We went but it hasn't bloomed yet--that's probably a good thing. Afterwards we walked the gardens again then went to see a film. We made a pact that if I fell asleep he'd elbow me and if he was bored he'd tell me. As it turns out he didn't keep his end of the pact--and I still haven't made it completely through a movie for months.

All in all it was a really fun way to spend my last day on this JF.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 73 Juice Feast -- An Ordinary Day

Today can be described in terms no other than ordinary. Contrary to my usual ambitions--this ordinariness was a welcome presence.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 72 Juice Feast -- "Genuine Inquiry"

I am reading The Broken Rules of Ten which is much different from the first two in the series, but I found this gorgeous take on healing from a fictional Lama (but then what is real?):
Genuine inquiry seems to speed up the healing process. Sadly, many people avoid it at all costs, and so are rewarded, for lack of wonderment, with even greater pain.
I love this concept! I recently read a book chapter on how to process emotions and once I practiced the techniques (along the lines of genuine inquiry) I noticed how much quicker the emotions are processed. Really just facing the emotions helped process them quicker too.

On the same note of broken rules tonight in the grocery store some Australian guy came up to me and critiqued what was in my shopping cart. I started laughing and when I turned around he quickly realized he had mistaken me for someone else. Then I laughed some more.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 71 Juice Feast -- Strange Energy

This morning was so peculiar. I woke up feeling very tired. I thought about burying my head under the covers and calling in sick, but I didn't. I got up...and had a really great day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 70 Juice Feast -- Advice from My Uncle

This weekend I had a nice chat with my uncle.  He asked me: What are you doing for fun? I was surprised by his question and gave a half response. I made an assumption that like many people in the DC area he was bringing up the topic because he wanted to tell me what he was doing--even though the question and his response were highly uncharacteristic of him. Plus he is nowhere near DC and insisted on knowing if I speak like "an Easterner." No, sir.

I think I've been in the DC area long enough to be affected in that I am consistently looking for motives--not in a paranoid manner but more of a bottom line fashion, mostly so I know how to address the question. Did I really question my uncle's motive? That was dumb.

Recently I felt maneuvered by someone who is smarter than me (I'm not sure which of these two things--at the time--ticked me off the most) when I took personal responsibility and realized I was bothered by these ridiculous and petty thoughts I started laughing at myself. So what if I don't understand a motive. I found something infinitely more wise in the advice from my uncle.

After my half response my uncle immediately disregarded my response and asked me again: What are you doing for fun? I answered him.

He told me if he could do it all over again he would work less and have more fun.

Work less and have more fun? Yes, sir.

Joie de Vivre (Eduard von Grützner's)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 67 Juice Feast -- Empowerment (Caroline Myss)

I think I need to be more mindful of practicing silence--it was more difficult to come out of than I anticipated. All day I felt languid and wanted to do nothing, so I went with it. And then I had a bucket of ice water dumped on me.

Earlier this week I was listening to Caroline Myss' Finding Your Sacred Contract and for some reason I wanted to re-listen to what I thought was a single sentence with her definition of empowerment. Instead I hear information that is extremely challenging to assimilate let alone digest (and I literally have nothing in my stomach!). Essentially she talks about those who choose to pursue spiritual transformation amidst the distractions in mainstream living.

You've chosen to engage in the most intimate process of spiritual transformation which means you've engaged in the agreement to have all illusions yanked from your life. To live a life where your primary focus of your nonphysical world is to direct you into power struggles, not so you can struggle with power but so that you can retrieve your energy from places it should not be. Because that's the process of empowerment and the more you're empowered the more you can afford to listen to guidance because you don't make choices based on whether or not someone else approves of you.
I'm not sure how to process this information but I'm fairly certain I'm going to stay away from silence for a little while--and although I'm not having an asthma attack, I need to catch my breath.

Moonlight 2 (Maxfield Parrish)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 66 Juice Feast -- I'd Rather be Silent

Yesterday was a peaceful day. There is something about silence that is safe and cocoon-like. I did however break my silence again almost immediately after it started--for some reason, for the first time in her life, my cat decided to walk across my face and jolted me awake. I don't remember what I said but I was mindful I had spoken a few words before I stopped. Other than that it is getting much easier to embrace the wisdom of silence.

With intention, I have been slowly reading Radical Acceptance over the course of this JF but I finished it yesterday. Although I have finished the book and I am closer to applying acceptance in the moment--I still have a noticeable gap (I haven't touched the aversion books yet).  Brach emphasizes "Radical Acceptance is the art of engaging fully in this world--wholeheartedly caring about the preciousness of life--while also resting in the formless awareness that allows this life to arise and pass away." This is a bit easier for me to do in silence. But when I'm not silent she also provides a way to get reconnected: "When we get lost we need only pause, look at what is true, relax our heart and arrive again."  Sometimes this just cycles me back into silence. What I know for sure is that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided this acceptance vow would be a worthwhile investment in my education.

But, as Andrew Holecek expertly advises in The Power and The Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship Into Joy, "Silence often gives birth to spiritual insight, and silence is the way to seal the energy of insight." These words served me well but perhaps the most I need to work on comes from Robert Sardello's Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness "...Silence is necessary in our time, for we not only have to discover lost realms, but also, at the same time, clear away our deeply ingrained desire to live by what others have said rather than discover inner truths for ourselves." Is this why some people know to refer you back to things you've already said? Do I already know these things but find them inaccessible outside of silence? Clearly silence is challenging--yet, at times, it can yield unexpected rewards.

The Shrine (Waterhouse)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 64 Juice Feast -- Independence

Independence is very important to me. Oddly enough 6 years ago on Independence Day I began my explorations with raw food. Of course back then I gave myself a lot more either or's than I do now. I found myself reading a lot about it but I was indecisive about actually trying it. Eventually I got tired of my own indecisiveness and made myself commit to 100 days of it. I did it--and it was an interesting enough experience that the concepts have greatly influenced my life ever since.

From the big picture my raw food experiments have been helpful in that I discovered I was allergic to dairy.  It was amazing how much better I felt when I finally made myself stop eating cheese. I no longer miss it but it was challenging to give up. After that I found raw foods typically help me heal quicker and process the energy from all these scrapes I find myself in--and that I don't seem to have the luxury to avoid.

I don't have a post JF eating plan. There seems to be an unknown--something the Universe may be keeping  a little cloudy right now.  Maybe this is defective thinking or maybe it isn't.  I don't know. For the last few weeks I've been holding the intention to practice another day of silence--on a very important day to me. Silence is rapidly becoming a cleansing tool for me, especially while fasting. So, in reflection, tomorrow I intend to remain silent.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 63 Juice Feast -- An Aversion

Even though I still have bruises from the last time, on the way home tonight I stopped in for a massage. I felt great when I left.

When I came home I had a surprise package from a family member I love dearly. Someone I love so much I have very honest conversations with. When I saw "books" on the box I couldn't wait to open it.

And then I saw the first title and my stomach sank--it was a topic I hold an aversion to. Then another and my stomach sank even further. I lost interest in the other books.

After a moment, my acceptance vow creeped in.

Without question these books were given to me from a loving heart and somehow I must find a way to read them in that spirit.

I can't help but wonder if it will be like the massage and (by some miracle) I'll feel better when it's over.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 62 Juice Feast -- "Longevity Now"

I have to confess the information in this conference was a little overwhelming. Still, as models for what is possible this team embodies the principles I find so admirable in Tara Brach's Radical Acceptance. For instance:
Just as a bright sun causes ice cubes to melt, in the moments when we feel connected and kind, we create a warm environment that encourages others around us to relax and open up. Each time we widen the circle of caring--with a smile, a hug, a listening presence, a prayer--the ripples flow out endlessly. When we offer comfort to the person sitting by our side, our kindness spreads through the world
I am grateful to share this planet with such brilliant souls. 

Sunflowers (Vincent van Gogh)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 61 Juice Feast -- Jumbled Thoughts

It's been an unusual day and I'm not sure what to make of it; I'm not having clear thoughts. Everything is fine but I can't seem to get a hold of my thoughts. For the moment, I'm going to leave it at that.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Day 60 Juice Feast -- Parasite Cleanse

Today is the first day of the parasite cleanse using HealthForce Scram. During the last JF it was the same brand but I think it was called something different; I'm not sure if it's the same formula either. But it's still the same protocol. Day 1: One VeganCap™; Day 2: Three VeganCaps™; Day 3: Six VeganCaps™; Days 4-18: Ten VeganCaps™.

On the first JF, it was the first parasite cleanse I had done. I found out right quickly the power of this cleanse. Thankfully I'm very comfortable sitting Japanese-style because it was an absolute necessity for one day. It proved a worthwhile experience and I've repeated it since the first JF. This time, although I don't mind sitting Japanese-style I'm hoping it's not required.

Seiza (Source)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 59 Juice Feast -- Comfortable

One of my coworkers came in my office and said: "It is so comfortable in here." Often times my life feels anything but comfortable so it's nice to know even if I am driving myself crazy trying to do this and be that, I'm providing a comfortable space for those around me. Maybe I should try and provide that space for myself, too.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 58 Juice Feast -- A Second Look at Cantaloupe

I am a little amazed how much I liked cantaloupe on the first JF since I don't particularly like it in general and then how I quickly disliked the taste of it this JF. I had several juices with it in the beginning then set it aside completely--for reasons of taste alone. Last weekend I picked one up and drank that juice today after work on the way to the store to pick up fresh produce. The cantaloupe, in turn, picked up my stomach contents and left them on the grocery store blacktop parking lot. I rarely throw up (this is one of those things I can count on just a few fingers) so this was rather surprising. I came home and slept. I feel better now but still feel a need for more sleep.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 57 Juice Feast -- Breaking Structure

This morning I was at a loss. I've come across this before--I realize I am where I am supposed to be but I am not sure what to do with myself. Although there are always busy things to do--distractions as it were, nothing I really wanted to do or felt right came to mind. I was present, I was not unhappy and I was engaged in questioning.

At lunch I left the office and all I knew I wanted to do was get some sun.  I was listening to my MP3 player and walking when almost immediately I found a tiny area off the beaten path with sun blasting it and a long concrete ledge attached to a grassy area surrounding a huge metal sculpture. I sat down and went to set my MP3 player to a book I'd started a few days earlier when I stopped in my tracks and selected something new. Of course it held exactly the information I was looking for.

The delightful Natalie Goldberg is one of those few authors I would rather listen to than read. In her recording of The Art of Writing the Memoir I was given a definition of memoir I've never heard before. "It's the study of the mind and the way the mind moves." More relevant to my current situation yet equally applicable to her style of writing memoir, she said: "We have to crack open structure to let go of energy." I'm disciplined enough to continue to JF even if it's sometimes done by rote--but another part of me asks why do something just for the sake of discipline (I'm pretty well versed in this and extra training isn't often necessary). As I was breaking a lunch structure I lived her words "Structures get old if they're not revitalized, seeing things the same way--it's never going to be fresh. We've got to keep breaking it open and refreshing." What happened when the energy leaked out?

A new practice. Slowing down. "We're always running after things, we're always going toward the world. This is a chance to let the world come home to us." This ought to be interesting.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 56 Juice Feast -- An Early Night

I am feeling fairly tired today and decided on caving to an early night; sometimes a mindless night is vastly rewarding.  On another note I am super excited to see David Wolfe's Longevity Now free webcast this weekend--which I'm sure will be anything but mindless.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 55 Juice Feast -- That Which is Indestructible

Shortly after I arrived at my previous organization in one assignment one of my project teammates was someone I spent a lot of time with talking about the work. In the process we started to become friends and talk about our personal and eventually, our spiritual lives. As it turned out I was in the presence of a bodhisattva; a brilliant scholar who in fact, would later be appointed as a lama.

I was grateful for our conversations--he helped me see another perspective on life. As time went on he asked me if I wanted to be a bodhisattva and began giving me teachings on Buddhism. I was always honest that the path of a bodhisattva was not mine (he regularly applauded my internal compass). Still I listened with curiosity to his teachings--although fascinating and useful I honestly figured he could accumulate more merit through his diligent encounters with an attentive heathen. Despite the discomforts that were to come one thing I got out of it both literally and as reinforced by our Contract was the concept of seeking that something inside me which is indestructible.

 However that was not what he needed to learn. We had very little time together before the energy started to become uncomfortable. In Sacred Contracts Caroline Myss tells us how to identify who we have a Contract with: "Think, feel, respond to animation [intuition]. Anytime you feel your system buzzing, you're near something that means something to your spirit. Even if it means nothing to your mind and even less to your heart it does to your spirit." I could feel when he walked in the building in the morning, where he had been in the hallway and when he walked behind me into the break room. I experienced other energetic communications outside the workplace. It was an onslaught of energy.

I held the space for him to play out his lesson. During this time it caused quite a spectacle at work--and I became such a source of gossip that I actually heard about it. He left the organization shortly thereafter and his goodbye included a sheepish indirect communication that his actions were based on delusion.  

Myss tells us we will find our contracts because we are confused, we are questioning, we seek to fill our belly with the unknown. "You know a contract is complete because your belly feels full. That's when you know you've made the right choice."

Although I was initially irritated by the notion of having to play out these difficulties I came here to learn (denial truly is the first step!)--there is little more satisfying than a closed contract and for me, it is ridiculous to try and avoid the unknown, animation and Contracts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 54 Juice Feast -- "Sacred Contracts" (Caroline Myss)

Recently I've been enraptured by Caroline Myss' work on Sacred Contracts. Her website describes Sacred Contracts as:
 I believe that each of us is guided by a Sacred Contract that our soul made before we were born. That Contract contains a wide range of agreements regarding all that we are intended to learn in this life. It comprises not merely what kind of work we do but also our key relationships with the people who are to help us learn the lessons we have agreed to work on. Each of those relationships represents an individual Contract that is part of your overall Sacred Contract, and may require you to be in a certain place at a certain time to be with that person.

When I listened to Sacred Contracts I have to admit I was rather irritated when she mentioned these Contracts could be thought of as pre-incarnated spiritual agreements I am carrying around in a backpack filled with fragments of others' spirits (and mine in theirs). The jerk that I am selfishly thought--my pack is already heavy, now I have to pack others stuff too? I realized what a selfish thought this was but still not wanting this responsibility I thought well I'll just throw out an all-call, up end the contents of my pack on the ground and tell everyone to come get their stuff. However I quickly realized this is likely an equally dangerous idea and highly disrespectful of the trust others have placed in me. So I stopped being a jerk and acknowledged somewhere in me I have to find a way to be much more open to those who enter my life--they may just be looking for something I was entrusted to keep safe.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 53 Juice Feast -- In Preparation

All week I have been trying to squeeze in the things I usually do on the weekends after work so I could try and have one free day this weekend. Why? In the last few weeks during my early morning juice making I've been deeply engrossed in two Caroline Myss audio programs: The Language of Archetypes: Discover the Forces that Shape Your Destiny and Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.  This week things started to click for me and I've been resisting the pull to go into contemplation. It's not that I don't want to face my thoughts but that I wanted to set aside enough time without distraction and responsibilities that I could give it my full attention.

Contemplation (John William Godward)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 52 Juice Feast -- It's Here: Summer

If I am partial to any season it would have to be any other season but summer. Still, there is something magical about summer that I can't resist.  Usually it's something like summer-by-association (and except for a faint liking of Richard III this is the only way I can enjoy Shakespeare too), or that the people around me love summer so much I can't help but love it too.

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (John William Waterhouse)
In other news...a few blocks from the train station every Friday from here until the end of summer is a Farmer's Market. I stopped by today and checked on what was sprayed and what wasn't. Cucumbers were 50 cents each! That is one fine thing about summer.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 51 Juice Feast -- Getting Called Out

I'm going to have to start being a lot more careful about what I say (and think). Yesterday I mentioned not clearly remembering what a work out felt like and this morning my friend told me we were running a Marine Corps 10K this fall. She didn't ask. She said I needed to get in shape! It's true--still it's pretty funny. I am not planning on running while on this JF but I do figure it will be a fabulous task post JF to keep me on the straight and narrow. Things like this happened on the first JF too. At some points I would think things and almost instantaneously--they happened.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 50 Juice Feast -- A Wednesday Night Colonic

Yep, it's pretty exciting around here. Because of this cold which made me produce a lot of stuff from my lungs and nose I thought it would be a good idea to have my fourth colonic on this JF.  I'm even a couple of days before the Summer Solstice--a great time for me to focus on deeper cleaning. Tonight's colonic felt like a work out...or at least what I remember a work out feels like (it's been awhile) and afterwards my whole body felt warm. I'm hoping I'll be less congested soon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 49 Juice Feast -- A Small Bouquet

African Violet Flower (Source)
This morning I was tending my work plants and as I was pinching some spent African Violet flowers I unintentionally took some healthy ones with it. I wondered if I could save the two healthy flowers for a offering. I rummaged through my things and found a tiny glass bottle, no more than two inches high which I re-purposed as a vase, filled with water and gently set the two healthy violets still on one stem in the bottle and set it next to my computer for the rest of the morning.  It was the tiniest bouquet I've ever seen. At lunch I walked to the WWII Memorial and placed the vase on the column of my home state as a small token to thank my grandpas.

When I got back to work I felt so light. I wondered at this feeling and couldn't help explore a little. I found an interesting article by Doreen Virtue. In it she says:

Healing Description: African violets are wonderful for healers and psychics because they are excellent cleansers of old, heavy energies. They’re great at cleaning spaces, such as homes and offices, as well as your own physical body.
 Message from African Violet: “I’ll cleanse away the old and give life to the new. This is a long-overdue process. I can transmute the lower forms of energy within your body and home and return them to their positive state of peace and love.
 Sometimes the tiniest of things have a tidal wave of an impact.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 48 Juice Feast -- Lunch with Elvis

I was born (perhaps pre-conception even) an Elvis fan. Today was really the first day I could get away from the office during lunch and go to one of my favorite places--the National Gallery of Art. I've worked in this area a time or two and whenever I was stressed or my brain was overused I would speed walk down to the gallery and take my time to view a section of the gallery. Today I walked to the gallery but instead of needing to be revived by art I sat in an oversize cushioned chair in the indoor plant room ( I don't know what else to call it and my computer isn't reading my camera's picture today) listening to Elvis.

Elvis is my go-to, rarely fails to make me feel better music. Today I had no need for that--it was nice to be happy and enjoy powerful music with no other motivation. I relaxed completely in the chair and when I had to walk back to work it almost felt like I was coming out of a meditation. I walked back slower than I normally would--still holding that peaceful feeling.

Do I think Elvis is still alive? No. But I can understand why a fan would want him to be. He is an inimitable artist whose genius is profoundly moving.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 47 Juice Feast -- The Wound and the Gift (Michael Meade)

On day 11 I attended a workshop given by Michael Meade on Finding Genius in Your Life. On day 40 I reflected on a big part of why many of us are not in touch with our inner genius. In this post I want to share my reflections on Meade's wisdom on finding our inner genius.

Meade too believes everyone is a genius; that genius is the spirit that is already in you. It's a unique way of perceiving life. He also believes each soul has never been formed as it is now nor will it ever occur again.

What is your genius? Meade says it can be retroactively found by taking a jaunt back in history: around the ages 9-11 our genius first rises, the genius then rests until it resurfaces around the ages 14-16. It's usually not what your family wants for you and it is often what you got in trouble for as a child. Yet your genius insists on presenting itself.

On the other side of this coin is the wound. Deep within the wound is the genius and the genius will keep you alive during times of hardship. This is another way to approach your inner genius--through the wound. What have you done to get yourself out of tough situations? Be advised the more you give of your gift the more wounds you invite unto yourself. You must learn to heal yourself, heal some more and heal again. However in cases of genius we really have no other choice. As Meade says--if you don't get your talent out, it will weigh you down.

How do you sustain your genius and get closer to your gifts in a troubled, negative world? Meade recommends regular creative and spiritual practices to hold and broaden your genius space. This will give your genius some breathing room. This workshop was fantastic but above all I am fascinated by Meade's definition of a meaningful life: "You see things so differently you can't help but help others."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 46 Juice Feast -- Another Raw Juice Bar

I am feeling better today. This head cold seems to be clearing up quickly.

As I was out and about today I saw a MOMs I haven't been in yet--and what good fortune I found Naked Lunch (not the banned book--but the corner deli based upon the freedom of speech inherent in removing the ban)

I ordered a green juice with apple--my first apple on this JF. It was one easy juice to get down.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 45 Juice Feast -- Avoiding Bronchitis

Fortunately excessive perfume person was not in attendance today for the last day of class. Still I went in early and negotiated the doors remain open and an alternate seating position should I need it. As it stands last night this infection was in my lungs and sinuses but now its hold is primarily on my sinuses. My lungs don't feel too spectacular but I'm fairly certain I've avoided bronchitis. Although I still have a little extra weight to play around with--I can't really afford bronchitis. Obviously it sucks but I've had it so many times I've lost count and every time I lose at least 5 pounds. The weather is so nice I wanted to come home and go out in the sun but I sat down for a minute and I woke up several hours later. It's probably best I get some more sleep.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 44 Juice Feast -- Extra Sensitivities

Although everything is going fine with juicing--it's even nice to have extra time to myself while everyone else is eating I am developing further sensitivities to smells. It starts in the morning on the train but this week, confined in a closed classroom, it is lasting all day. I think of it as too close encounters with perfume and cologne. Yikes! My eyes burn, my throat is raw and swollen (every time I breath feels like that blister on your foot) and my lungs are cramping.

I hoped it was a temporary reaction but I feel worse each day and better on breaks from class and when I get off the train. I ordered a personal air purifier for the train and I always keep a mini air purifier and plants in my work space which is usually enough. Typically I request the door stay open when I'm in a room with anyone with scents but I don't have that luxury this week. I've had to drink a lot more water to try and flush this out.

Due to a potential storm we were let out of class a bit early--I will try the sauna tonight and hope to sweat this out of my body. Fortunately only half of work tomorrow is in class. Still, there is always something good in every situation and I like to use situations like these as self-reminders to not infringe upon the rights of others.  Sometimes I may not be aware that I am doing something with the same effect to others--so this helps heighten my awareness to how others respond to me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 43 Juice Feast -- An Interesting Turn of Events

Last night I was so tired I crashed hard and woke up 45 minutes later. Luckily I promptly fell back asleep and slept through the night. I suspect one day this will all make sense to me.

For much of this work week I've been in professional development training.  I'm not sure what my employers were thinking when they hired me but I know the hiring official has been stunned by my knowledge base.  During the break out exercises the groups I've been in have been wrong in their assessment each time. I am a recovering know-it-all (so please forgive this next statement) and I was right--with the exact reasons given for support and explanation by the instructor. This is nothing new for me; people often underestimate me. I don't concern myself with this until they realize they have underestimated me. Oddly enough if I'm not delicate and very humble with the situation it can unfortunately create hard feelings towards me. This has happened much of my life and I usually handle it well. Today something different happened.

On break the my coworkers who are in class with me and were privy to my answers immediately asked me what my glass mug filled with Vitamineral Earth was. How do you describe this to people who eat take out everyday? I said it was a warmed herbal broth that helps me balance out all the green drinks. (By now the whole story is out with this group--they keep asking me all sorts of questions about the JF.) One of my co-workers showed some interest in a green cleanse and I said oh wait a minute you don't want to do what I'm doing! Instead I promised to bring them all green smoothies tomorrow. I had already told them when I'm back on solids I would bring in lunch for everyone. Now they are unbelievably enthusiastic about trying a green smoothie in the morning.

I'm touched and honored by the interest, support and kindness I've received on this Juice Feast both near and far --

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 42 Juice Feast -- Even Less Sleep

Seriously this isn't funny. I fell asleep quickly last night and woke up about two hours later and stayed awake mostly until I had to get up and make juices. I was not in a good mood this morning. By the time I was standing on the platform waiting for the train I began to approach this problem from a different perspective. I began to ask myself: am I supposed to be awake for something? Is this strangeness just a moment of change--transition to something new?  Am I releasing old energy? Old patterns? I felt a lot better when I adapted this gentle approach. Still, most answers seem far off.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 41 Juice Feast -- Light Sleep

I'm not sure if I've made it clear how much I enjoy sleeping but good sleep isn't something I give up lightly. I don't know if it's the new job or new energy from the JF but I have not been sleeping deeply lately--even on the weekends. It stinks. I feel great all day but I'm not sleeping deeply at night. I wake up regularly to go to the bathroom (to this I've adjusted with no more grumblings) but I also just wake up. 

I'm not sure if I like this. I feel refreshed when I wake up. It just feels so foreign. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Day 40 Juice Feast -- When You Are Lost (Michael Meade)

I've spent some time thinking about the workshop lessons from day 11 on Finding Genius in Your Life as defined by Michael Meade. 
The original idea of genius refers to the natural spirit and inner qualities of a person; this includes their god-given talents as well as the way they are aimed at life. In that sense, everyone has a genius nature and something essential to give to the world. However, when neglected or rejected our natural genius can incite our worst inner demons.
Meade has a fascinating outlook on life. He borrows from the Jungian camp that the wound and the gift are two sides of the same coin and genius hides behind the wound. Ok. But his knowledge base had me glued to my chair when he said: "I study all people and all cultures."  My grandpa used to say he learned something from every person he encountered. Sometimes I think I am lost and when I go a-questioning (or on a quest) I find the answers. I know they are the right answers because they are external reinforcements of my intuition.  Meade reminds us: sometimes you have to get lost to get found.

In modern times where old systems and institutions are crumbling and no longer an anchor to maintain the status quo of society, the individual must learn to rely on his or her own inner genius. "Finding your own way in life is the only way." What if you are stuck in this spinning vortex of the modern mesocosm and unable to see who you really are? Meade suggests discarding the notion of fixing the mesocosm and doing two things to reclaim your sense of orientation to claim your inner genius:

1.) Study the macrocosm or basic cosmology.
2.) Go inside and study your soul (microcosm)--it's oriented to the Universe.

The Hidden Universe (NASA)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 39 Juice Feast -- Offerings

I collected more spring water today. For the first time I remembered to make a physical offering. Many years ago I learned the value of making an offering to the source when I am harvesting from nature. For me this represents a moment to focus on gratitude, ask for permission and make sure I am only taking what I need and can use. First Nations have traditionally used tobacco leaves, corn and in a pinch saliva as offerings. Today I took a few leaves from my potted neem tree. The weather has warmed up enough for me to keep it outside (my trigger to remember) and new growth is pushing out. So I figured a few of the old leaves may appreciate the journey.

Neem Leaves

As I was hunkered down and collecting water a woman came up behind me with a plastic water bottle and filled it up from the tube closest to her. We exchanged greetings. Her bottle took very little time to fill and as she capped it she walked in the forested area adjacent and said: "I hope you don't mind but I really need to go." I don't particularly know what would've happened if I did mind because the elastic band was already around her hips at the end of her sentence (peripheral vision is sometimes rough). Of course in my current position I am probably one of the most understanding pee-in-public people you'll run across. Heck, this may even be another form of offering.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 38 Juice Feast -- The Return of a Childhood Nemesis

My showdown? The hiccups.

I've had them sporadically on this JF--and they try my patience to the limit. Today they returned all afternoon and early evening. As an adult they have come and gone but mostly gone from my life. As an adult I have completely stopped trying to suppress them or find a solution to stop them--I just let the hiccups run its course. As I drove home from work I took several deep breaths, this by no means stopped the hiccups but it did bring my awareness back to practicing acceptance and lessened my growing irritation.

When facing my former nemesis if I choose to not draw but practice steely-eyed acceptance the loss doesn't seem so severe. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 37 Juice Feast -- Slow but Steady

The last few days have been a fairly smooth transition. I'm learning new ways to adapt to external changes. For the most part I feel calm and balanced. It's hard to say right now if it's more because of mental discipline or the differences a JF brings to my life are shining brightly. Either way life is progressing happily along.

Tonight I was a little tired so I whipped up a quart of warmed water with a helping of Vitamineral Earth because it has satisfied something in me during this JF. I haven't had even a mug since Friday and the differences in my energy are quite interesting. 

The effects of Vitamineral Earth

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day 36 Juice Feast -- Busy, busy

With the new job I am not able to shop at lunch or run other errands so I have to do them after work. Today, this has left me with the challenge of keeping up. Otherwise all is well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 35 Juice Feast -- I'm not Sure How to Handle This

My new job and schedule are taking my focus to build a go-with-the-flow adaptability. Still, today I found out my co-workers scheduled a welcome lunch for me. My heart swelled with the kindness and my rational mind played pinball trying to find a way to gracefully pass on solids while not offending anyone.

The oblong conference table was half spread with a yellow table cloth and set nearby were matching sunny yellow plates and plastic cutlery. The table was spread with pizza, sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, Hawaiian punch, ice cream and cupcakes--wow, right?  The plates were passed around and one guy declined mentioning his body was not cooperating with him so he wasn't going to eat. The group tried to cajole him to eat but he didn't--he moved away from the food. By the time everyone else had taken a plate and offered me one I mentioned how kind their offer was but I was in the middle of a fast and I was touched by their thoughtfulness. Luckily the other guy took the brunt because I was let off easy--and I had brought a juice.

Luckily the conversation picked up and I had so much fun--these guys are wonderful. I am grateful to have such thoughtful and kind coworkers!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 34 Juice Feast -- Newness

Today I started a new job and with it new surroundings, a new commute and new people. I was not stressed or worried about juicing in a new environment--merely that the thermos tote would crease my suit. However that I fit in my suit was enough to start my day with a huge sigh of relief.  Because my day is so different I've had to rearrange a lot to make things work--and I may continue to for a spell.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 33 Juice Feast -- Sunday Morning

I rearranged my weekend a bit and since I was going to stay local I called in Friday for a colonic appointment only to find all of Saturday was booked. Although I could live with that, Kathy kindly offered to let me come in Sunday morning (even though she isn't open) while she was doing some cleaning. This was my third colonic on this JF.  I feel incredibly clean.

On the way home I did produce shopping in three stores. I don't stop in Whole Foods as often as I used to but when I saw this sign today I may be showing up there more than before. There are so few places in the area that actually make juice fresh that I am super excited!

I also picked up a case of coconuts at the international market and then plenty of celery and lemons at Trader Joe's.  Outside of the coconuts and very few items I just can't get otherwise--everything is organic.

Last night I saw one of my lemons was starting to mold on the tip so I decided to cut that part off and squeeze the rest into enough organic sugar (from the kombucha days--I still love this stuff but I've taken a break with it) to make a scrub. After a trip to the sauna I quickly rinsed in the shower, made the scrub then got back in the shower and applied a full body scrub. I left it on for a couple of minutes (I felt like a sticky caramel apple!) then rinsed it off. My skin has never been softer.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 32 Juice Feast -- (Un)neglecting My Family

Although my family is understanding and supportive in most of the things I do (I can overlook that they collectively ignored my choice to be vegetarian for the first 5 years) I often find myself playing catch up. I intended to go to NYC this weekend to be with visiting family but something else came up. I wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest next weekend to celebrate a birthday but something else came up. The situation is what it is but in the midst I think I may have committed myself (gulp) to a trip to Vegas this fall. Las Vegas really isn't my city...but if I can make it I won't be going to see the city. I will be going to spend time with my family.

Today I talked to my grandma for nearly 2 hours. I can at least say I'm caught up on all the news! Tomorrow I have to buy those June birthday cards--and hope I'm not too late. 

The juicing is coming along great--minus the sometimes stained fingernails from turmeric (yellow--almost like nicotine stains but luckily the turmeric goes away) and the greens which makes it look like my fingernails were mowing a lawn.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 31 Juice Feast -- If not Sleep, then What?

I got to sleep just fine last night but I woke up early. I suppose there maybe some sort of adjustment or balancing act going on. Even though I wanted to go back to sleep (I've been such a sleep glutton lately) I felt well rested and decided to wait out the alarm clock snuggled under the covers.  This has been a strange experience for me to have time when I'm not tired or busy. I am taking it slow and I'm more mindful to not create busyness and to enjoy these moments of awareness.

I had lunch today with a group of friends from work. It is so much easier to have lunch with my friends on this JF than when I am eating solids. I really enjoyed lunch today even though I dined on a glass of water. The wait staff's eyes bulged when I said nothing for me please and everyone at the table had to repeat that I wasn't ordering before she left. I don't know if it was a communication barrier or if not ordering is such an unusual event--but I had to tuck my usual joke (they think I'm fat) away for the wait staff but told it to my friends afterwards. Yes, they did laugh. 

Not eating and not being hungry but simply sitting in the company of my friends is such a boon for noticing eating patterns. I've never noticed how each eats (because I am always chowing down my own food). Some were slow and small portion eaters and some were fast and big portion eaters. I think it's possible to learn a lot about a person by how they eat. But my chief discovery is how much you can learn about your own eating patterns--when you aren't eating.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 30 Juice Feast -- Similar Issues Different Resolutions

Last night I had trouble getting to sleep.  On my first JF I also experienced this and I would lay in bed worrying if I would get enough sleep. Sadly, I also used that time to have junk food craving fantasies about food from my childhood. Only once (dang your homemade garlic bread Mom!) have I started down that wrong road and had to work at stopping and turning my speed walker self back to more healthy thoughts. This time around I've just relaxed into my thoughts not worrying if I will get enough sleep or not. Except for one workday morning when I woke up an hour late I usually wake up feeling well enough to get started. In both situations my focus turns to quickly start making juices.

There are very few things I do every day--primarily because I dislike routines, schedules and such. In fact this mindset is how I initially gave up a deeply entrenched coffee habit. After I gave it up in my daily life occasionally, maybe annually when I would travel to visit family I would indulge in a morning cup around a chat but pretty soon it made me sick and I haven't had any since. During the first JF making juices felt like I was racing against the clock. I am working in different organizations but my commute time is very similar as is my start time. Yet I don't feel rushed this time around. What am I doing differently?

Not only do I focus intently on sending love to my juices but I listen to compelling (so far) books and lectures. I mean the stuff that is so good I'm careful to turn the faucet on only partially while scrubbing and rinsing so I can hear every word.  What am I listening to now? The powerful archetypal teachings of Caroline Myss. Here's one gem from this morning about all things in the universe have a purpose: "From a soul point of view, if you cannot see the purpose, your soul is not stretching enough." I've learned focusing on love is much better than fear as is being engaged in learning rather than already thinking I'm late for work.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 29 Juice Feast -- My Life is Like a Roller Coaster

Last night I felt the worst I have felt not only on this JF or the previous one, but the worst I can remember feeling without a significant injury. I am always seeking patterns yet I can't find one between last night and the one a few nights back where I was hit with a pounding headache. Headaches for me usually come from annoying people (either their energy or smell) and as I try to avoid them, headaches are rare. I laid down and I felt a strange surge of heat, but I was not physically hot. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. I thought for sure I would have to break my JF.

Somehow I woke up this morning feeling great and I have had a ton of energy all day. I even have energy to do some household chores--so I'd best get to them before my early bed time creeps any closer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 28 Juice Feast -- Another Massage

As I finish off the last day of a long weekend I've noticed life is starting to pick up speed.  One thing I remember during the first JF was the first month felt like I was running the entire time. I do get so much done on a JF but I still feel myself pulling back on the reins and trying to enjoy every moment. Today I scheduled in a nice treat--a full body massage and skin scrub. Maybe it's all the sleep and glorious naps (seriously Grandpa I totally get why you took regular naps after you retired--and thanks for not making me take them when I was old enough to not know better) I've taken this weekend but I had no tension today on the massage table.

During my first JF I was completely renewed by massage and now I feel good but not much different. Perhaps my body is catching up to feeling great all the time. I am feeling better with each day--I even felt like running today. I didn't run but found it interesting my desire to had returned.

 Juicing and peeing--that's still about the rest of it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 27 Juice Feast -- The Day After Silence

Practicing silence was much more difficult that I imagined. I started at midnight and broke it within a few hours (who knows what the actual pitch dark time was!) as I grumbled about having to get up to go to the bathroom. I immediately caught myself and stopped mid-complaint. I unintentionally broke my silence several times--maybe a dozen throughout the day and night. Well, it wasn't as if my life was at stake and I had to be silent but it taught me a lot about being fully present in silence. I may need some sort of lip clip or some such reminder to keep my commitment to silence as this is not my natural tendency.

Courtesy of C Nilsen

Silence is beautiful; each moment I listened intently and held a space of silence it made me feel pure. I recognize a need to practice more--maybe or maybe not during this JF, but certainly throughout my life I intend to study silence in greater depth.

In other news most of the excess weight I was carrying is gone. I can no longer pass as plump. This is like most things in life, good and bad. Now I have to be much more mindful of keeping weight on. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 25 Juice Feast -- A Beautiful Day

Today has been absolutely gorgeous. I drove out for more spring water and picked up some more farm-fresh produce. I have never been one to drive for the sake of driving because I find driving to be well, boring.  Today there was enough traffic that I tried listening to music and found it unsatisfying. Lately when I'm driving out of the city I'll listen to classical music because I find it soothing to my mind and it increases the quality of my thoughts--but today is opera day and while I like the opera I don't particularly care for listening to the music without watching the accompanying story.

So, I listened again to my karmic reading from Judy Hall (what a beautiful gift there is in this reading). I picked it up from the post office on the 13th and I've listened to it multiple times already. The drive time, once traffic minimized, was key for deep, life purpose reflection.

I've decided I will explore my first day of silent reflection tomorrow. My graduate school research topic was silence yet I have not practiced it. My intent is to refrain from: speaking, music (other than for meditation or shamanic journeying--but no words) and the computer. I intend to spend the day in silent reflection, meditation, reading and perhaps writing in a journal.  Of course I will keep up with my juices but otherwise try to skirt excessive noise. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 24 Juice Feast -- The Pause

As I learn more about acceptance I find myself enjoying the process--and the results. In Radical Acceptance a precursor is to pause.  Brach says: "When we pause, we don't know what will happen next. But by disrupting our habitual behaviors, we open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears." Is this why a pause feels so wonderful--the exploration of possibilities? "A pause is, by nature, time limited. We resume our activities, but we so do with increased presence and more ability to make choices."

I'm delighted to have a four day weekend ahead of me without excessive responsibilities. With a smile I begin my weekend by embracing the pause. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 23 Juice Feast -- The Fasting Switch

I was invited to join a couple of friends today for breakfast. One new friend I've made is from Turkey and she loves to bake and brought in some home made bread. As we all gathered in the kitchen she apologized to me because she felt bad I couldn't eat her bread.  She is familiar with Ramadan but is not able to partake in it because her body has no tolerance for fasting--it must seem like what I am doing is a tad crazy. I explained for me fasting has an on and off switch. When I decide to fast or Feast in this case there is no struggle, no suffering, no deprivation. I simply do not have any desire for food. However when that hunger urge returns I usually break my fast. It made a lot more sense to her after that.

Fasting has an On and Off Switch (Source)

At the table she toasted the bread, spread it with cheese wedges and drank her strong black tea touched with a sprinkling of raw sugar. I talked, listened and all the while watched her and my friend eat the heavy wheat bread lined with cheese. A fun thing to do when fasting is watch other people eat. I was so focused on enjoying my time with my friends and listening deeply to all they had to share. I heard great stories oozing with love and happy memories of the farmer's markets in Turkey, the fruits that grow there and the lavish weekend Turkish family breakfast platters. She says Turks love to eat. My other friend is from Puerto Rico and he shared with me his weekend getaway plans with his wife, what it's like to learn a second language and jewelry customs for men.  My friend is small and we've lunched together several times and like this morning, he eats very little. What a trio we made!

As I'm drinking my juice all I thought was I'm getting tired of the taste of cantaloupe.  I managed 4 quarts of juice today and as it's nearly my bed time I am feeling ready for more healing sleep--otherwise my fasting switch is still comfortably in the on position.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 22 Juice Feast -- Bump in the Road

I can't even be surprised but last night, instead of enjoying my movie--I fell asleep. I feel fortunate my body usually tells me what my priorities are. Last night I was the party-pooper. Unfortunately when I woke up (just as the movie was ending) I had my first real detox headache on this JF. Yikes! I am not a person who regularly gets headaches and it literally felt like poison was coursing up and down my body and was pounding in my temple. I ended up warming some water for an enema and out came (sorry, sorry, sorry) something that looked like broken up asphalt.

In the face of hospitality I try to accept anything offered that is vegan--but still I can't recall anyone ever offering up asphalt. I have no idea where this stuff comes from!  I decided to leave the castor oil pack on the rest of the night and I immediately went back to sleep. I knew if I felt any detox in the morning I was taking the day off. I woke up feeling well enough to go to work.

Walking Meditation in the Park (Source)

I decided a nice walking meditation in the park would suit me so I drove to the park and walked barefoot in the sun for 45 minutes.  I didn't burn but I did stay too long so I won't be able to take in much sun tomorrow. I thought some sun and clearing my thoughts might help draw anything else out. I was happily surprised when I returned to work and discovered I had an appetite for juice. For the briefest of moments I thought maybe this wasn't a good day to see how cantaloupe spinach tastes together (tasted like cantaloupe to me).  I only had 3 quarts today and I'm debating if I'll make a 4th now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 21 Juice Feast -- Guilty Pleasures

Even though I woke up this morning feeling great I raced home with the intent to get in bed as soon as I could. I love sleeping, I always have. As each day on the JF (after grad school) progresses I feel my energy levels filling back up. Still, I'm in the recovery phase and I know this pattern well. I often feel bursts of vitality and I choose to gather these moments to myself to allow for healing. I know the JF allows for the continuation of life at high speed and I certainly don't knock that--but I have a different approach right now. I try and conserve that energy to let my body and (fried) brain heal.

Resting Tiger (Courtesy of Aaron Hockley)

I'm personally not one to find lounging by the pool (as an invited guest or not) as a guilty pleasure, nor do I think resting in bed is a crime especially when healing. But I decided yesterday evening I was going to indulge in a past time that is hard to say is anything other than a guilty pleasure. I made myself work for it; I accomplished a lot today at work and I took a nice long walk at lunch. Over the course of the day I was trying to process any guilty feelings over my desire to be lazy and I wondered if I could lessen the impact at all by including some other detox tool while I lay inert in bed engrossed in the guilty pleasure. Since my liver is still having a spasm here and there I thought a castor oil pack would suffice.

My vow of acceptance helps me every day and today was no different. Practicing acceptance has helped me clear away any "guilt" associated with what I am about to do. Even if I make choices like these I deserve to experience the pleasure of it--and I choose to do so. I've made a Warrior Juice with ginseng tea and after I wrap on a castor oil pack...I'm dismissing everything else and watching the Arnold Schwarzenegger that came out on DVD today, guilt free!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 20 Juice Feast -- Sending Love to my Liver

I left the house this morning and felt nauseous by the time I made it to my car.  Later in the morning I felt my liver having a few spasms.  It wasn't painful but rather like muscle spasms when an injured muscle of long ago is healing or shaking something out.  I don't know if the nausea had anything to do with my liver dancing about though,  this morning was very humid and strong humidity can sometimes make me feel queasy.  So, I'm sending loving thoughts to my liver.

Body Mud Pack (Source)
Yesterday evening I gave myself a full body mud pack and scrubbed it off vigorously in the shower.  I have been consistently dry skin brushing but that is about it and my skin really appreciated the extra love yesterday.  I think tonight I'll hit the sauna and get to bed. The life of this Juice Feaster is pretty slow these days--but I am still loving my Feast.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 19 Juice Feast -- More on Melatonin and Cinnamon

I took another melatonin nugget last night and I feel great today. Melatonin has been my "secret weapon" since I first learned of it when I was traveling internationally. It is one thing which gives me dramatic visual confirmation of its benefit to my body. Visually, it is highly anti-aging for me. I also often took it during the week break between graduate school classes and semesters for a quicker return of my energy and appearance. I don't take it every night but for me it is something I take as needed. Of course melatonin must be taken with great care; it should only be taken when you can sleep in a pitch dark environment.

Ophelia (Waterhouse)
I seem to have gotten over the hump of having a hard time getting the juices down. It really doesn't feel like eating to me so sometimes when I am not mindful of how my body feels I go too long without a juice. I don't feel hungry but my energy wanes and once I juice up I feel stable.

The rest of my day is some juice-powered (but boring) housework and errands. I do have a French press steeping some of my favorite cinnamon tea.  It takes all day (or night) to get a good flavor out of the cinnamon so I fill the quart press with cinnamon chips in the bottom then add boiling water so it is half full and when I'm ready to drink the tea I heat up some more water and add it so the tea is warm enough. It can be drank cold--but I like my tea warm on rainy days like these.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 18 Juice Feast -- Rest, Leisure and a Nap

Three things I haven't allotted enough time to lately. Luckily they are today's theme. I slept really well last night. I took a melatonin nugget put on my magnetic eye sleeping mask and woke up too early. Usually the melatonin lets me sleep longer than I normally would. I lived in a state of sleep deprivation for so long it's taking my body time to adjust to more sleep. Upon waking I already knew I needed to nap today.  In fact I woke up from my nap a little while ago. I honestly think one of the greatest healing tools is sleep.

Maxfield Parrish
Earlier this week I found myself second guessing whether now was a good time to JF; I can't help but wonder if it wasn't like the ridiculous potato chip craving I had in the beginning or, if in my tired state there wasn't some validity to waiting to start a JF until I was more rested. I decided what better time to heal than on juices? So much less of my time is devoted to digestion that surely my body is able to heal more quickly and deeply. So these thoughts left and new ones came. I decided I am already this far, I'm going to keep going. Besides I am already starting to feel much better--I just look forward to the day those dark circles under my eyes go away.

One good thing about making juices on the weekend is it is more enjoyable because it's only one at a time.  Still, I am working on ways to make juicing more fun. It is a lot of work to juice even if the result is more than worth the effort. It's hard to believe this day is almost over! I'm off to make that one final juice.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 17 Juice Feast -- Friday, Sweet Friday

Something shifted today and I feel great. Yeah, I'm sure it has a little bit to do with the fact that it is a sunny Friday.  I had to pick up a few things at lunch today so although I didn't get in my lunch walk I sunned a little when I came home.

Homegrown Celery Update

I was reflecting on my JF experience today and I was a bit surprised I didn't even know exactly what day I was on--and not because I am so tired, stressed or anything else. The JF just clicked for me and it now feels like a natural part of my life. It's quite different from my first JF where I focused on making it to each day like I was climbing some Himalayan mountain.

Perhaps that will come but my issues are mild this go around. Lately I've noticed I need to brush my teeth more and I'm even considering oil swishing at night too. During the first JF somewhere along the way I felt absolutely nothing on my teeth so I hope this will go away as my body cleans more. Otherwise I'm losing the weight and I feel much better in my body.

It's a great day with a quiet, reflective weekend ahead.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 16 Juice Feast -- Grouchy but Doing What is Right for Me

Coffee Enema Spy
I felt cranky yesterday evening so I hauled out the big guns: the coffee enema.  It's funny how much controversy people feel about what goes up the keister. I do allow some information should be kept to oneself.  Then again how can many of us know the healing powers of alternative medicine if someone doesn't share?  It didn't relieve my grouchiness completely. I've been grouchy in spurts some of the day. I had to take a long walk at lunch today. Fortunately the sun was shining and I felt great by the time I got back to the office.

Last night I also smudged myself with a palo santo stick. It made me feel better but something still feels a little stuck. There are certain times in life when there are no easy answers. This is one reason why I am often exploring alternatives and stocking my arsenal with tools. I'm glad I have them even if they don't work all the time.

One interesting thing about a JF is how it speeds things up--this may be why I'm having trouble processing this quickly. It may be coming at me too quickly. It apparently isn't physical but perhaps emotional. The best thing I can do in these cases is accept and relax into the feeling. By going into the feeling I can free the snag quicker rather than by trying to fight my way out.

I'm still managing 4 quarts of juice each day. I even managed 4.5 yesterday. I'm still not feeling any hunger. I try to make each juice as nutritious as I can yet I think I need to explore some recipe books as I tend to make similar juices over and again. One new leap I'm loving is pineapple parsley.