Monday, April 27, 2009

Elimination Fast...


There, I said it. Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh.

I hate when I find out information that I don't really want, that I wasn't ever looking for and that could, dang it all, change everything.

I was doing some research for ADHD children and came across The Feingold Diet. I read about it and found that there is a part of the diet that eliminates all foods with salicylic acid - and as a side note mentioned that people with allergies to N.S.A.I.D.S. (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories - asprin, ibuprofen, etc.) should probably avoid these foods too.

WHAT!?!?!? How did I not know this? Don't you think this would be something an allergist (who told me I was allergic to NSAIDS) might mention this say, a dozen years ago when he told me I could die if I ever took Motrin again?? Do you know how extensive this list is? Can you imagine never, I mean NEVER, EVER eat a peanut butter & berry jam sandwich again? Never enjoy another raspberry (my favorite of all time) or a fresh picked strawberry, or living in wild blueberry country, never, ever, ever have blueberry pancakes again? No more almonds, no more avocados, red grapes or cherries.

How 'bout trying to give up cantaloupe, raisins, dates, olives, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes - I will never have pizza again? COME ON!

I almost hope that it doesn't make me feel better when I give it a try. I can't even imagine how I could live like this. I am the girl who lived on highly refined sugars, chocolate and fast food for most of my life and gave that up, lost 14 sizes and enjoys a life filled with amazing fruits and vegetables now. I haven't had chocolate in 9 1/2 years - and now I have to give up peanut butter & raspberries too? DANG!

Shall I keep going? How 'bout mustard, dill, curry powder and Garam Masala - I'll never get to have Indian food again.

This is brutal. I've been avoiding it for over a month now, I don't want this information and I want to give it back. But deep inside me I am suspicious that I am affected by this and my body needs to find out if it feels better without these foods. So I am praying to be willing to be willing to attempt a fast. I can't even imagine what I could eat, there is just so much that I love now that I will lose.

As someone with an eating disorder, messing with my food is a scary and overwhelming prospect. This will take a lot of intense prayer and dedication and I just am not sure I'm up to it. I just really want to know if it makes a difference. I know that I feel better without all of the junk I used to have in my life. And yes, there are times that I miss chocolate, but I don't miss how crazy it used to make me feel. So this will be a journey, and I don't know when it will actually begin.

First I have to find some alternatives, good alternatives for my standard meals and snacks. I have found that creating a vacuum is not healthy for me and impossible to maintain over the long haul, unless I replace what I am reducing with real, live options. If you have any recipes or suggestions I am open to them. And any prayers and encouragement would really be appreciated.

UPDATE - coffee & carbonated beverages too. Is life worth living without all of these amazing foods? I really need an expert - anyone? Maybe Jake's nutritionist can help me here. I'm really getting frustrated.

The Lower Deep

"...every action admits of being outdone
Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn;
that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning;
that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon,

and under every deep a lower deep opens."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles

I took this picture while on the beaches in Oregon, Summer 2007

Friday, April 24, 2009

The business of redemption

One of the best things about living in our community is rubbing shoulders with the undergrads. One of my favorites is a young woman named Nicola. She just returned from the semester travel study in Asia that the 2nd years do here. It changes them all. They depart as North Americans and return and citizens of the world. The travel program at SSU is spectacular. As part of the process the students are asked to write blog posts - one before, one during and one after the trip. I have loved the chance to read their thoughts along the way.

Nicola wrote today about redemption and she said it was okay if I let you read too:

Mind-held Thai expressions tease my tongue. Each essay determinately engaging with the SE Asian sex trade…

I have had a line ringing in my mind since our return, mingling with the leftovers of Asian dialects:

In the business of redemption.

What does it look like to be in the business of redemption?

I am reminded of: plant pots made from painted car tires in the Philippines; a Malay man’s obsession with mundane rocks allowing him to find a wealth of value in his collection of unique stones: singing boulders, growing gems, and petrified wood; in eating meat, Asians use the whole of the beast: even if this meant finding pig snout on my plate in the Philippines and chicken feet in a Malaysian curry; a dollar-store toy that we would scorn in the west has found new value in the hand of a Filipino girl, as does the scrap tin finding its place in the sea of huts within Manila or Bangkok.

In the business of redemption. what does it mean?

Perhaps it means finding value in imperfection- in another’s garbage, setting it free from judgement and compartmentalizing snobbery.

I loved Thailand; I could live in Chiang Mai. I would ride to work on an elephant and guide rafts on mountain rivers for a pitiful living, seeking wisdom from aged monks and taking a master’s in sustainable living or linguistics at CMU. However. I have a problem. I can’t get it through my head- you have to help me.

There are over 2 million prostitutes in Thailand; in Chiang Mai all of them are brought from destitute Burmese villages and trafficked through the village of Ma Sai on the border. I was in Ma Sai. I bought a pen. And a necklace. All Burmese teen girls traveling through Ma Sai leave without their virginity and thus their hope for a future and marriage, and almost half leave with an AIDS death sentence from their first few weeks in the industry.

What does redemption mean to a sex slave in Japan, in Bangkok, in Kuala Lumpur? If I see so much of what we call garbage being redeemed throughout Asia, isn’t there a way to redeem the consequences of societal chastity, idolatry, obligatory merit-making, hierarchical systems, and poverty?

In the business of Redemption.

Thai vocabulary, redemptive ideas, thoughts of the summer, and efforts to summarize my year at SSU swirl around my mind. I feel reminiscient of a Hogwarts student awaiting the next school year, or Arnold buckling his seatbelt in the Magic School Bus. I feel like all my life I have been taught to stand on a gymnasium line or sit quietly without being told why, and now my experience has set my mind free from dictated learning. Let me ask questions, don’t break life to me gently, let me dive in and let me experience both the joy and the pain of humanity. What will I learn next year?

I think redemption would be a good business to get into.
via SSU Travels the World

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boys (Lesson One) Jars of Clay

I just downloaded the new Jars of Clay The Long Fall Back to Earth mp3 from Amazon. It will take a bit to grow on me, the sound is new and very 80's. Not a lot of lyrics and I don't know if anything could have been good enough for me after Good Monsters.

So, it's only my first listen - but the song Boys (Lesson One) stopped me dead in my tracks. Raising a son is an education for me. I didn't have a brother and am finding walking through this has brought a lot of new realizations and learning.

This song is so beautiful and full of grace -

Lesson one, do not hide.
Lesson two, there are right ways to fight
and if you have questions we can talk through the night

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
it's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
you get there in time

Lesson three, you're not alone
But since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run
But this will still be your home

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time, get there in time

In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling, bad things come undone
If you ever love or loose your innocence

There will be liars and thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence, but you are not what you do
And when you need it most I have a 100 reasons why I love you

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time

So you know who you are and you know what you want
I've been where you're going, and it's not that far
It's too far to walk, but you don't have to run
You get there in time, you get there in time

If you ever love or lose your innocence,
just remember....
Lesson one....


If you have a son, you need this song. It is so beautiful it makes my heart hurt.

Not all soul music comes from the church

Say what you will about Bono, he is a man who used the platform he has been given for others. His latest Op-Ed in the NYT is a challenge to look at the financial crisis as a time of lent, carnival is over:

The preacher said, “What good does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Hearing this, every one of the pilgrims gathered in the room asked, “Is it me, Lord?” In America, in Europe, people are asking, “Is it us?”

Well, yes. It is us.

Carnival is over. Commerce has been overheating markets and climates ... the sooty skies of the industrial revolution have changed scale and location, but now melt ice caps and make the seas boil in the time of technological revolution. Capitalism is on trial; globalization is, once again, in the dock. We used to say that all we wanted for the rest of the world was what we had for ourselves. Then we found out that if every living soul on the planet had a fridge and a house and an S.U.V., we would choke on our own exhaust.

Lent is upon us whether we asked for it or not. And with it, we hope, comes a chance at redemption. But redemption is not just a spiritual term, it’s an economic concept. At the turn of the millennium, the debt cancellation campaign, inspired by the Jewish concept of Jubilee, aimed to give the poorest countries a fresh start. Thirty-four million more children in Africa are now in school in large part because their governments used money freed up by debt relief. This redemption was not an end to economic slavery, but it was a more hopeful beginning for many. And to the many, not the lucky few, is surely where any soul-searching must lead us.
ht to Bob Carlton

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Creating space

When you are interiorly free you call others to freedom, whether you know it or not. Freedom attracts wherever it appears. A free man or a free woman creates a space where others feel safe and want to dwell. Our world is so full of conditions, demands, requirements, and obligations that we often wonder what is expected of us. But when we meet a truly free person, there are no expectations, only an invitation to reach into ourselves and discover there our own freedom.

Where true inner freedom is, there is God. And where God is, there we want to be.

Friday, April 17, 2009


My friend from down under Kel has been retrenched and has turned what she has learned through the process into a resource to help others - brilliant & creative Kel!

My favorite was her post on redundancy:
You were not made redundant - the role was. And despite how you might feel right now, you are not the role. You are a person. And you are not redundant.

Resources 4 the Retrenched

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle - The Beauty that Matters

(image credit)

Just in case you've been hiding under a rock you need to watch this, it can't be embedded here by request of the show but trust me follow the link - it is a gift. The blossoming of a rose:

Susan Boyle - Britain's Got Talent

Here's a bit of history:
But then ridicule is nothing new in Susan Boyle's life. She is a veteran of abuse. She was starved of oxygen at birth and has learning difficulties as a result. At school she was slow and had frizzy hair. She was bullied, mostly verbally. She told one newspaper that her classmates' jibes left behind the kind of scars that don't heal.

She didn't have boyfriends, is a stranger to romance and has never been kissed. "Shame," she said. Singing was her life-raft.

She lived with her parents in a four-bedroom council house and, when her father died a decade ago, she cared for her mother and sang in the church choir.

It was an unglamorous existence. She wasn't the glamorous type - and being a carer isn't a glamorous life, as the hundreds of thousands who do that most valuable of jobs will testify. Even those who start out with a beauty routine and an interest in clothes find themselves reverting to the practicality of a tracksuit and trainers. Fitness plans get interrupted and then abandoned. Weight creeps on. Carers don't often get invited to sparkling dinner parties or glitzy receptions, so smart clothes rarely make it off the hanger.
Susan Boyle's mother encouraged her to sing. She wanted her to enter Britain's Got Talent. But the shy Susan hasn't been able to sing at all since her mother's death two years ago. She wasn't sure how her voice would emerge after so long a silence. Happily, it survived its rest.

and now read the whole article here:

The Beauty That Matters

God please keep her from being preyed upon by greedy, heartless souls.

Thanks to Wes for the article in my mailbox this morning!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Caving in

Caved in to twitter a few days ago. Alinea wanted to sign up and I don't like to give permission to things I haven't investigated, so I am now twittering... I know I've been a vocal opponent to it and feel quite like the hypocrite, but you can follow my fairly mundane life at @redemptionjunki if you'd like...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

In quietness

Found this morning at Julie Unplugged and wanted to put a pin in them so I'm marking them here:

Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all that we see is beautiful and attractive. This is undoubtedly part of the reason we flee silence. We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy, our phoniness. We see how false and fragile is the false self we project. We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self. It is a harrowing journey, a death to self—the false self—and no one wants to die. But it is the only path to life, to freedom, to peace, to true love. And it begins with silence. We cannot give ourselves in love if we do not know and possess ourselves. This is the great value of silence. It is the pathway to all we truly want.

--M. Basil Pennington

Silence is the measure of the power to act; that is, a person never has more power to act than he has silence. Anyone can understand that to do something is far greater than to talk about doing it. If, therefore, a person has a plan or idea and is fully resolved to carry it out, he does not need to talk about it. What he talks about in connection with the proposed action is what he is most unsure of and most unwilling to do.

--Soren Kierkegaard

(image taken at Sommes Sound on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, September 2007)