Sunday, June 4, 2017

Our Dreams and Emotional Detoxing on 30-Day Ketogenic Diet Challenge

Our Dreams, and Emotional Detoxing ~ Our Ketogenic Challenge Continues

In this post, I want to share a recent success, and discuss a little more about emotional detoxing, as per the request of at least one person in our Ancestral Eating/Paleo 30-Day Challenge FB Group.

It may take me down stream-of-consciousness alley, with more personal information, and some things that may border 'woo' (versus full on woo woo.)  Just be forewarned!  I never know where a post like this will take me until I get started.  Even then, it just unrolls, one sentence (or stream) at a time.

Here goes.  

First up, I did measure my waist this morning.  To my surprise, I went from 26 inches to 25.5.  Yay!  Finally a bit of progress.  The scale has stayed just over 100 pounds, down from 102 when the month began.  I am starting to be able to see my abdominal muscles again!  Happy days.

The top three photos were from the beginning of the month.

This lovely close up was following a meal with higher volume of plant foods which lead to bloating.
These two are from Sunday, June 4, 2017.

I feel more like myself.  Not the best angle for facial features however!  Just don't like  photos taken
from a lower angle than my height!

And this is what I've been eating:

My standard breakfast right now is 3 eggs fried in ghee or bacon fat with 2 pieces of bacon.  I also like having a small bowl of bone broth with breakfast, to which I may add a little chopped vegetable, like onion, diced carrot, celery and parsley.  Sometimes we have the broth as a soup with our lunch meal instead.

Our second meal on Saturday (June 3) was this big fat steak that I briefly marinated, then oven roasted, and served with an herb butter.  

I can not for the life of me believe that I am eating steak with herb butter!  That would have been my father's dream dinner!  

The only thing I had between those meals was this refreshing sparkling water to which I added a half teaspoon of Swerve, and the frozen raspberries in lieu of ice.  

Oh yeah, and a taster of coffee flavored cream while at Trader Joe's, where we bought the mineral water, more salami, and lots of cream cheese to make the cheese cake.

On Sunday, we switched things up, and had scrambled eggs.  Woo hoo.  Cooked in plenty of butter!  Still had bacon, but then we had cheesecake for dessert.  Cheesecake!  HOMEMADE CHEESECAKE!  

Just unbelievable.

I think we are having salmon for dinner tonight.  Perhaps with some vegetables.  Although it's been about 5 hours since breakfast, and I'm only hungry for a snack so far, at best.  Having some mineral water with fresh local grapefruit squeezed in it.

We are using up our produce, and will be going into our 'extreme' mode with very minimal to no produce for most meals for at least the next two weeks to a month.  We are wanting to get to the bare basics, in part for the simplicity, but primarily to get to a base line of foods to which we can then begin to add back to see what is nourishing to us, and what isn't.

I know some people who do an egg fast for a week and longer, eating mostly just eggs.  Eggs are so nourishing and satisfying that it appeals to me sometimes as well.  It could be a really easy way to get full on into keto-fat burning mode, and really lose excess fat fast.  Still taking this day to day and week to week.  I may just have to squeeze in a couple days of just eggs.  Why not?

The next post I write I will put up some simple meals with recipes, including my favorite egg preparations.  

Next, let's get watery and talk emotions.

In the last post, I mentioned having realized that I had been experiencing grief for sometime prior to changing our diet.  I really had not previously named that emotion.  As I gain perspective from the passage of time, many little things keep percolating up into my awareness.  While I knew I was not satisfied with certain aspects of my health, it really struck me as to the breadth of how much grief I was harboring, as I can look back on plenty of photos and videos where I seem just fine.

How can this be?

Here's where a little 'woo' comes in.  And, some more background.

I used to go to these psychic fairs when I lived in Colorado.  They were fun.  I have had my astrological chart read more than once, but at one particular fair, I went to speak with an astrologer.  I sat waiting patiently as the person put my chart together ~ the old fashioned way using charts and doing calculations.  After several moments passed, the astrologer suddenly began to shake her head back and forth (it may have been a he, as a couple different people come to mind) and looked at me with troubling eyes.  She (or he) said something to the effect of my having a challenging life.  I have a fire sun sign with other prominent fire features, and a grand trine in water, featuring a Cancer moon (where she is exalted by the way) and Venus in Pieces ~ all refereed (so-to-speak) with the twins (Gemini) rising.  Yikes.  Welcome to my world of opposites.  

Others have said the same.  

A person I knew read palms.  He would tell me how my internal world is very different from what is presented externally.  My left and right hands presented quite differently, reflecting a contrast between what was showing up in my life and the me that I presented to the world versus my internal reality, and what I desired.

In Chinese five elements, I'm actually mostly earth and water.  Nurturing, mothering, care-taking go with the flow sort of person.  Shortly after meeting Don, I asked him to share what one word or couple of words came to mind that best described me in his eyes.  His word?  Nurturing.

Do you know when I heard that I cried.  I didn't actually see or know that about myself.  We don't seem to know what comes most natural to us because it is like second nature, and therefore in our minds 'normal.'

Why does this matter?

I mentioned in my last post that I realized I was experiencing grief for several years, without having fully named the emotion as grief.  I always felt like I carried a sadness around, and never fully understood why.  I've had a mission to emulate what I have dubbed 'Sparkling Radiance' which is a name that came from doing a guided visualization with a life coach that I did in 2006.

Prior from moving out of Aspen, CO, in 2006, I was seeing a life coach.  One of our final exercises was done by phone.  She guided me to meet myself, 20 years into the future.  (Something I now love helping others do, as it can be very empowering to meet your future self having already accomplished your desired outcome.)

That was ten years ago, and that me that I met is just ten more years out.  

The me that I saw was living in a particular property that was surrounded by trees.  The home was comfortable, inviting, warm, and cozy.  She was sitting on a banquet style breakfast table off the kitchen, turning her head to look out at the me doing the observing.  

I knew looking at her she had met the mate I have 'known' I was supposed to meet since young, although I did not catch a glance then of Don, my future husband to be.  When the future me that turned to look over her shoulder, looking out through the glass doors or windows from the kitchen to the outdoors had quite the sparkle in her eyes.  She radiated happiness.  And her home was surrounded by nature.

At the end of the meditation, my coach asked some questions.  The last question was what the future me would have been called if she had a name.  I had no clue.  So she asked me to just say any words that come to mind that described my vision of her.  So, without much more thought, I responded "Sparkling Radiance."  And that name has stuck.

Sparkling Radiance captures the very essence of what I've been on a mission to embody for the last ten years.  She had that feeling of living in a state of full alignment.  I would say that her inner and outer worlds seemed in perfect harmony.  She wasn't desiring something so dearly, that she kept it a secret to even her own self.  She was living her dream.

One other piece to share.

Around that time, I also had a long reading from a woman by phone who shared many important pieces of information with me.  I did the reading as a birthday gift for myself.  She taught me that we often learn more about Who WE Are, by who we are NOT.  She helped me understand much of my recent struggles, and that I "still acted as if I needed to earn God's Love."  

Well, that was interesting, as I was raised atheist.  However, I have always had a spiritual understanding or bent, but I never had an outlet or mentor, until more recently.  I'll get to that in a minute.

She was the first to speak about vibration to me in the sense that we each have a particular tone or vibration.  That vibration, or tone, reflects our gifts, or essence of Who We Are.  Someone may have the essence of being a teacher, a caregiver, a healer, or a dynamic motivator sort.  People in the healing arts are adamant about saying they never call themselves 'healers' because they think that is egotistical.  

Well, here's my take.  You are either a healer as part of your essential make up, or you are not.  Not all healers go into healing professions.  And for sure most people in healing professions are not vibrationally a healer.

If you are someone that uplifts the environment for which you enter, by being a light and a presence that is conscious and aware, or by being someone like myself who is a harmonizer of energy ~ than you are healing environments.  You are bringing in more light by your presence.  It's just who you are, and it's a God-given gift.  Some healers work to help others feel more uplifted.  They help others find their own light.  Yes, the person, or the higher self aspect of the person actually heals his or herself.  But it doesn't take away the fact that you or I are also a natural born healer.

Back to the reading.  She helped me to see that who I was was written into my personal blueprint.  I didn't need to keep making choices and acting out from a need to win the approval of others.  

Of course that would take a lot more time and many more experiences to fully integrate, including a full on break down back in 2007.  I had multiple forces pulling at me while trying to establish my own practice as an acupuncturist.  Since I was newly building a practice, and fresh out of school, debts were piling up.  There is much more to this, but won't go into here.  Suffice it to say, some spiritual friends were encouraging me to move to the Pacific Northwest.  They were welcoming me with open arms, places to stay, and networking connections.   I never hesitated to pack up and move in my past, however, finances and a relationship made this possible move much more complicated.  I felt a bit trapped.  I was in my mid-forties, having a hard time finding any other job to support myself while I built my practice, and finally just broke.  Instead of moving to the PNW, I moved back 'home' to the Midwest where my now ex was also from.

The truly key piece that Bev, the Irish reader shared with me was that there was a piece of land waiting for me.  (At the time, I believed it was in New Mexico, where I was headed shortly after both the reading, and the coaching exercise.)  She said that would finally be where I would heal myself at a deep level as I connected with the land.  It would help me recharge my batteries, and be even more available as I helped others.

That is what I've been on a mission to experience and manifest since.  

I've been on a mission to fully embody Sparkling Radiance, and find my piece of land where I can connect at the deep soul level I crave with Nature, aka the Divine Mother Earth and Great Spirit.

The day after I wrote the last post, where I mentioned realizing I was in grief as I watched my life force seem to slip away, having never fully recovered from much of my past challenges ~ the grief came out.

It spontaneously was triggered at some point while Don and I were in an embrace.  Like someone turned on the spigot, and out came the watery flow of held in emotions.

No wonder my waist size shrunk by half an inch!

This is emotional detoxing.  When it finally surfaces, it's actually on its way out.   If emotions are coming up, consider it a good thing.  It means you are doing enough work to get out of the way, and allow them to surface.  We keep ourselves stuck by being busy, or enslaved to limiting mindsets.  When we make any kind of shift ~ including a radical change to our diet ~ it topples our steely need to always be in control.  The mind doesn't know what to expect.  We become more vulnerable, and emotions surface.  It's a good thing.  Repressing them isn't healthy.

So, if emotions are surfacing while doing this 30+ day challenge, let them.  It's beautiful, natural, and it takes courage, so feel good about yourself, and keep tapping into your inner world for guidance.  Let your inner and outer world be in harmony.  

Drop the masks.  Don't try to be anyone you think you need to be to be accepted.  Don't try to be anyone you think you need to be according to what you believe others want of you.  Just Be You!

Don't fear life.  Let those parts that were created as a means of coping when younger when you had fewer resources know that you appreciate all they did to help you cope when you had no other outlet.  Thank them for their hard work.  Then send them on a well deserved holiday.  

We don't need to be so darn analytical, or in control, or whatever.  Let life guide you.  Let your heart guide you.  Let yourself live from your true nature.  Be Sparkling Radiance!

So what all, you may ask, do I grieve?

Many things.

I grieve that I was convinced that living in a city and having a 'career' was more 'worthy' than being a stay at home mom, which I was wired to do.  When younger, what drove me were two main things:

  1. I didn't want to carry on the baggage and dysfunction I grew up with.  Not just in my family, but what I witnessed nearly everywhere.
  2. I wanted to be able to have some sort of profession where if/when I would have kids, I could be home with them.  I did not want to send them off to daycare.
  3. I wanted to find my special mate.
  4. I wanted to create and have a feeling of an extended family or tribe.
I grieved how much I went against my own nature in my life, and how it cost me much of my life force.  I strayed from my path, which led to much struggle and suffering.  I looked everywhere for something that resembled what I knew in my heart ~ but couldn't name ~ that made more sense.  A life where we thrive.  A life where people are encouraged to be their best.  Where we can enjoy the comfort, safety and support of extended family ~ those people you can always rely on to have your back.

I didn't have much of that.

Our family was small.  There was a lot of fighting growing up.  My mom was an orphan.  Her relatives were much older.  My favorite Uncle Harry died while I was still pretty young.  Her own parents died while she was young, during WWII.  

The caption feature wasn't working.  Below is a picture of my beautiful mom, and I believe my father's mother at a younger age, the second photo are a couple photos from our wedding.  The last photo is another of my mom, and my high school graduation photo.  My sister is the photographer for all but my graduation photo that made us all look great! 

My father and I had a rocky relationship.  His brother had a big extended family, however, we were pretty estranged.  My dad was very atheist, and his brother was a minister.  They clashed.  My father resented his mother since he was pretty young.  So, I never really met my grandmother, except once.  She visited us, but it was a Saturday.  The Sabbath.  So, she couldn't do anything with us, and spent the day in her room.

My father's father was interesting and funny.  We met with him a few times when young.  My mom's brother came out to the states from Europe onto Ellis Island when they were kids, but he returned to Europe early on.  I did get to visit my Uncle in Europe when I was 16.  He and his wife had a daughter, (my cousin) who sadly died just prior to giving birth to what would have been her second child.  We did get to visit with them in the states on a couple of occasions as well.

The relationship I had with my father caused me to spend too many years trying to win his approval, although I really didn't know I was doing that at the time.

I was grieving for the relationship with a father that I never had.  I would often ask other men that I liked ~ like my bone doctor when I was six and broke my arm ~ if he would be my father.  My dad was a nice person in the end, but while I was young, he was very opinionated, and authoritarian.  I ended up becoming everything he wasn't.  He was very conservative.  So I became very liberal.

And that I understand now developed into a mental disease.

So many ways that I began to view life were twisted, forged from the crap we've been indoctrinated into believing.  

As one small example, we've been guided away from living in small rural areas, preferring the city life as the only way.  We were once a farming nation.  We were healthier when we raised animals and food.  We were healthier before the food pyramid, and USDA suggestions about what to eat.

I grieve because the innermost core of who I am has always been a bit shy and introverted, however I quickly learned that I needed to be more outgoing to cope.  To be accepted.  So I adopted many extroverted ways to 'fit in' ~ often at the cost of my own happiness and health.  However, I also did a lot more than I would have as well, like mountain climbing and backpacking in Yosemite, mountain biking in Colorado, climbing many 14,000 foot peaks, etc.  

I lived in cities because I didn't think I could live in a small town on my own.  I needed to find a partner first.  But, as you begin to cultivate a life in a more urban area, living in a smaller city or town seems ever more removed.

I grieved for my own piece of land and home, and the ability to plant and raise my own food.  Imagine growing up in a city, and never having a sense of connection to where your food comes from.  We are so far removed from these activities that are still fundamental to our existence.  We are not being raised with important skills, like building a home, creating your own pottery or clothing, fixing a car, doing the plumbing, etc.  

I don't think I can explain how much that separation burns in my heart.  It seems to me to be the very reason to be here on this Earth ~ to connect, create, build, and grow on her soil, while immersing ourselves in her glorious beauty.  We've just been indoctrinated into believing climbing up the ladder, and obtaining material wealth were more worthy pursuits.  For women in my generation, the message was beginning to emerge that implied being a stay-at-home-mom was selling ourselves short.  

Crazy.  Farming and motherhood, what more noble pursuits exist?

Most of us are not connected to the very essence of life.  Myself included, or so how I feel.

I yearned to be digging into terra matter, the earth, and reaping the benefits of my own labor.  Building and creating a productive life.  To me, creating a livelihood is more about how we use our own skills and labor to actually support ourselves ~ as we once used to.   I was told that was nice to fantasize, but it's a 'hard life.'  It may be, but it felt more real to me.

Perhaps that type of 'hard life' leads to cultivating worthy traits like strength  self-reliance, and resourcefulness.  The self confidence in knowing you can take care of yourself ~ to the best of your abilities ~ despite the circumstance.  We really come alive, and realize what we are made of when facing the elements.

I yearned to have the time to live life on MY own terms, communing with Nature and life.  Creating what seeks expression in an organic unfolding experience of the Presence.  That is where my heart is.  I've grieved feeling disconnected from that existence for far too long.

And now it's time to finally create my dream.   My dream has become our dream as low and behold, as I broke free of a situation that had me feeling really really stuck, I drove a couple thousand miles, and met my soon to be husband.  And, he happens to have had the same dream that he has been carrying in his heart since  he was a kid.  And he was on the verge of giving up on that dream himself, when, thankfully we met.

I grieved from all the ways I did things, or ate things that were against my nature.

And this next half of my life, I'm reclaiming it ALL BACK!

I'm on a mission to fully embody my Sparkling Radiance, and find our piece of land to finally create our little homestead.  And, it scares me.  I fear having been so used to being in these urban environments that living on a piece of land, and raising our own food is beyond my grasp.  I watch videos of people doing it, and I think they are really living the good life.  They are raising healthy happy children.  They are in control of their food supply.  They are sustaining themselves, and they will better survive the upcoming storms.

Can I/we create that at this point in our lives?  We won't be having our own children.  I grieve that quite a bit.  I will never have the opportunity to raise children into productive and happy human beings.  

The lie of feminism.  That women should want to have their own career and be paid as equals and have all that men have and blah blah blah.

Women are different than men.  Period.  It's how Nature designed us, and for good reason.  Women should honor who they are, as nurturers and caregivers.  Careers are fine too.  But one isn't better than the other.  If you are young reading this, and have any inclination to have children, do it!  It's the most natural biological drive.  To raise healthy families and carry on your ancestral lineage.

I grieved feeling like I wasn't connected to any sort of lineage, or place in time.  I didn't have any sense of my roots or heredity.  We, of European descent (for which my sister and I are first born on my mothers side, second on my father's)  collectively have been deprived of our spiritual heritage.  It's been hijacked, stolen, destroyed, burned, and buried alive.  We have a rich cultural and spiritual heritage, and a profound connection to the land.  And few of us know it.

I am now finally learning that all that made sense to me IS WHO I AM AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, and never knew it.  We have a rich legacy that united all of us at one point.  We honored the Earth, we were good stewards, and we celebrated life.  We encouraged our young to become strong, proficient, wise, and loving.  

That is what I grieved for the most.  The right mentoring, love, and guidance.

I'm so glad that somehow this change of diet has changed all of that!

Here are some videos that showcase some of the great things people are doing by going back to a simpler existence, and raising their own food and homesteads.

By the way, this family raises sheep and goats.  The sheep that was milked (I believe they milked some sheep before the goats) walked right up to get milked.  It didn't at all appear forced or not desiring to go through the process, contrasting what many may claim.

This guy has a great permaculture orchard growing in Canada.

And this guy is really living a great life.  He grows all this food, in two different states, and doesn't own any of the land!

In this video, Stephen discusses the Assatru Folk Assembly, and our native European spiritual tradition and practices.

Well, I shared a little more of myself, and do so in hopes of it having some meaning to someone.  If I can do anything, I hope to inspire others, especially those that are younger to break free of mainstream cultural programming, and find a spiritual mentor.  Get the support you need from somewhere to Live Your True Nature.  

Make a family.  Connect with the family you have.  And learn about your lineage and heritage.  It's much more important than you may have been led to believe!

Here is one more fun, uplifting video of a couple making their dreams come true, off grid in the woods.  

Europeans are the people of the forest after all.  No wonder I've been grieving.  It's time to get out of the desert.  It is just no longer where we belong!

By the way, we just finished eating at 5:15.  Our breakfast was at 9:30-10.  We were plenty content to go without a snack.  Just a refreshing glass of mineral water, this time with a squeeze of fresh local grapefruit juice.

Here is our salmon.  I broiled it with some of that herb butter, and a squeeze of the grapefruit.  I used up the last of our spinach, quickly cooking in the pan with this morning's bacon grease.  We had it with a little bone broth with potassium salt and chopped parsley.  

And, we had some more cheesecake for dessert!

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