Speak to me of my heritage

Tell me of the African Diaspora,
So I can learn the spirit of a continent.
Read to me proverbs in Ebo,
So I can learn the wisdom of a people.
Show me the rituals of the Ankan,
So I can reconnect to the ancestors.
Tell me how Ghana took back their land,
So I can see the power of Black hands.
Tell me of my beautiful continent

Carefree With Childlike Enthusiasm

I was recently reminded how powerful being carefree with childlike enthusiasm can be. (Childlike enthusiasm =The squealing, tummy tickling enthusiasm that a child exhibits/feels when they are doing something really fun.) One Friday night I met a few of my girlfriends for cocktails. The evening started out with laughter, a good martini, yummy appetizers, funny jokes, and light banter …then all of the sudden (without warning) the course of the conversation changed and we began talking about much heavier topics; our

So where does the flea come from?

I was really scared today. While taking my customary evening walk I got ambushed and attacked but all sorts of “what ifs” and “then whats”. My life was going to crumble and turn to dust, I was going to crumble and turn to dust with it and, as a result, die lonely and forgotten under some bridge or another.

Now I would be able to explain and justify my fears perfectly, had there been anyone who would dare to question their validity. I have my own business, I generate the business myself, it is possible that the business will die out, it is possible that clients will go away and never come back, it is possible that I won’t be able to pay rent…

I can feel my mind spin faster and faster even now, as I’m writing this.

Today evening I decided not to listen to my mind however. I decided to come back to being the Goddess that I am, and THEN take a look at my fears. What I saw was the frantic little flea I described in my previous post. Running, jumping, moving, trying, doing…

So where does the flea come from? It certainly causes a fair amount of problems, it moves too much for one thing, so why would I even have it?

I believe that the flea (aka mind) is being created as a result of our responses to reality. In fact it IS our response to reality. I believe that we experience something – and make a decision. We decide that the experience was nice or bad, hurtful or pleasurable. Then we decide to either avoid or seek this experience in the future. This decision creates a little tear in the smooth, uniform fabric of reality (see my last post). It creates a division, separation.

And what happens now? We have decided that this was something we didn’t like and don’t want to experience again. We decided that what we are is not that. We have separated ourselves from the experience, put it outside of who we are. But that didn’t make it disappear. It’s out there, always threatening to get us. We have to build defenses now to protect ourselves from it.

Fear shows up, fear that our defenses won’t be strong enough. We start striving to escape the terrible experience more thoroughly – and that becomes the purpose of our life. To make enough money to escape the feeling of lack, to be in relationship to escape the loneliness, to always have lots of food to escape the emptiness… It works the same way the other way around, if we decide that we like something. Now we are in pursuit of it.

With every decision, every definition, every distinction, every preference – we strengthen our mind by defining it, separating it from everything that we consider as being not ME.

And so our mind moves more and more franticly to keep us safe, protected. And so the little black flea never stops jumping.

It is all considered a “good thing”. Consider the expression: “learn from experience” – it is a right thing to do, isn’t it? But what is it exactly that we do when we learn from experience? We decide: “I liked it, I want to do this again” or “this hurt, I don’t want to do this anymore”. We create a separation, we create a mind, we give another reason for the flea to jump crazily around trying to keep safe.

So what’s the alternative?

As I was walking today looking at my fear without engaging in it, I felt my life becoming calmer, more spacious. There was a sense of peace and quiet, and spaciousness most of all. And a total lack of necessity of any kind. I realized that whatever I do is not for any reason, that my experiences are not in order to… anything. There is no “in order to…” at all. I do things. I experience things. That’s all.

In many spiritual systems the way children experience reality is considered an example of the “enlightened way”. Their lack of attachment to an experience, the ease with which they let go. They experience the situation at hand very deeply and fully, and then they experience the next situation very deeply and fully, and then the next one and the next one…

This is how it felt today when I thought about my life and what I do in it – I experience it. I experience it being alert and still.

Tiny Hands

Sam is 2 weeks old and was born 21 weeks premature. His tiny, delicate fingers don’t completely wrap all the way around his mothers one. He is covered with gauze and tubes and wires. What I see, what I notice, are those tiny little fingers. Those fingers will dig in the dirt and throw balls and splash in the water soon. His parents will provide him with a healthy and nurtured life as he grows to be a young man. He is blessed.

How many other little tiny hands are there in the world right now who need that nurturing? What can we do, in our comfortable lives, to help them?

Let us give them the gift of our love, and vow to help them in every way possible. Thank you Sam for your inspiration!

SL Peacefest 08 takes place August 15th through 17th. One of the beneficiaries of the event is UNICEF. This is a good way to start helping the tiny little Sams of the world!

more on the blog: http://slpeacefest.wordpress.com

Eating After Exercise

Q: How long should I wait to eat after I exercise?

A: You shouldn’t wait at all if you can help it. Depending on the intensity of your session, you have a post-workout "recovery window" of about an hour or so during which your body is looking to replenish all the energy that it burned through in order to get your ass into gear. Your muscles are wide open, ready to store fuel for the next time they get called into heavy use.

So for about an hour after you exercise, very little of what you eat is going to be stored as fat. Sounds like a good time to eat to me.

Just be careful. If you get really hungry after exercise, resist the temptation to overeat or eat crappy food. Even though this recovery period is probably the best time to have your largest meal or to "cheat" a little with something you maybe shouldn’t have, a pound of chili fries is still a pound of chili fries. Intensity of hunger is not a reflection of how much food you need, it’s a reflection of how soon you need it.

If you find that eating too soon after exercise makes you queasy, try having something very light to start your meal – a few sips of juice, a small piece of bread, a bite of fruit. This should settle your stomach and allow you to eat the rest of your meal comfortably.

If you aren’t hungry after your work out, then don’t eat. Just don’t let your body go too long without fuel once it does ask for it either.

Thanks for exercising in the first place,
Jay Co

Fasting: The Basics

Fasting isn’t going to completely clean your dietary slate, but it can be a fantastic way to detoxify your body. Though there’s not a whole lot of Western medical research on fasting, it is a huge and central part of many holistic systems that have been around for centuries.

 

Basically, when you fast you give your digestive system some time off. It gets to catch up on some work without having to deal with anything new in the inbox. You’re already doing the same to a lesser degree by following the suggestions in my book, Your Fat. A fast intensifies the process for a relatively short period of time.

If you’re interested in fasting, do some research before trying it. Any good book will touch on a few things:

— Start easy. Fasting can bring about a whole slew of side-effects, especially your first time out. Maybe try a one-day "light" fast (allowing light meals like a cup of miso soup) or a twelve-hour juice fast, then build from there. You have no idea how your body is going to react to not having food.

— Consult a physician if you are taking any regular medications or have any outstanding medical problems. (You should probably consult a physician, period.) Pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn’t fast at all.

— Do not use fasting as a means of losing weight. It is dangerous. Any significant amount of weight you lose while you fast is almost guaranteed to show back up when the fast is over anyway. Do not use fasting as a means of losing weight. Do not use fasting as a means of losing weight.

Realize also that a fast isn’t worth jack if you’re going to be waist-deep in caramel and nougat again once it’s over. You’ll get the most out of your experience if you’re already moving towards making sound nutritional choices a part of your daily life.

I gained 7 pounds over the holidays. How do I get rid of them?

I gained 7 pounds over the holidays. How do I get rid of them? Fast!
-from Jason in Palmetto, FL

I gained 11 pounds in the last three weeks myself. Join the club.

You gained some weight during the holidays. Big Deal. You were celebrating with people you most probably haven’t seen in a long time. There was honey-glazed ham, egg nog, and evil gingerbread men that sung to you while you bit their delicious little heads off. And then there were leftovers. Who can blame you? Holidays happen.

Whatever you do, don’t panic. If you panic, you’re going to start making bad decisions. You’ll adopt some kind of extreme diet or exercise regimen and you’ll be burnt out on it by February. Worse, you’ll try to starve yourself. Don’t do that.

Get yourself back into sound, wholesome eating habits and the weight will start to come back off. They’ll get you back into balance, no matter how far off track you find yourself. If you don

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