All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault
you find with another, and regardless of how much
you blame them it will not change you.
I never thought that I would be perfectly content to be in a quiet house reading a book or just alone with my thoughts. My thoughts ran my life and today I’ve learned how to be so still that I’m in a place of “no thought”. Thats my favorite spot. I feel like thats when I’m closest to the God of my understanding. I feel peace and contentment. It’s kind of like a wave that just washes over you and all the scattered thoughts in your mind get washed out with the tide. Silence. Knowing. Now. Empty yet completely filled. These days that I have with a book and a cup of Zen tea are like a precious treasure that only I know where the hiding place is. I grab my book and my tea and go to the place where I can be with me. It is there that I am complete and whole and understood. It is Love. It is well.
Even as a little child I remember feeling pain. My mother said that I was having growing pains and I accepted her answer. Feeling achy and sore seemed to be my norm. Add to that my weight. I have been overweight all my life. I have neverhad self esteem issues because of my weight but I have always noticed that society treats you differently so because I did have the desire to feel accepted I have been on a perpetual diet since I was about ten. My mother first started me on something called the Rotation diet. I’ve tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, Abs diet, Southbeach, Cabbage soupdiet, Syndrome X diet, and now I’m trying Gluten free and Dairy free.
This is more of an elimination diet. One common denominator in all these diets has been my trigger food, bread or pasta. I’m and addict. I love the comfort that comes from a great pasta dinner or a warm piece of homemade bread slathered with butter.
What I don’t love is the pain that I deal with on a daily basis. If they told me to that I had to eat worms at this point I would. I just want to feel better and have energy and not deal with brain fog. Its so tiresome and it makes me willing to do anything.
Worry. The most useless emotion there is. I used to worry about everything from what I was going to eat to how I was going to pay a bill. I thought it was my job to worry. I mean all good moms worry, right? I worried about wether or not my girls were getting enough sleep. I worried about my husband and if he was stressed out or not. Even writing this seems insane. Probably because thats what worry is, insanity. Thinking about something is one thing but worry is quite another. I made my life out of it. I brought people in to worry with me, and they would. The day I had my awakening and came to understand how useless this emotion was might have been the most important day in my life. My mind chatter stopped and I realized every worry that I had was gone and that everything in my life that had ever happened had not been changed by one second of worry on my part. I AM POWERLESS OVER PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS! Ah, Freedom. You mean it’s really that simple, just stop worrying? Yep! Just stop it. Look back and ask yourself, “have I ever changed the outcome of anything in my life by worrying about it?” I know what the answer is. NOPE! Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and just cut it out. Replace worry with Gratitude. Now thats an amazing emotion but its also something you do. If I’m grateful for my life then I show it in my actions and my attitudes. Just pick a day and every time you find yourself in worry mode take a deep breath and think of something you have to be grateful for. I promise you can do it. Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
“If there is no solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem then don’t waste time worrying about it.” Dalai Lama XIV
No knead bread
No Knead Bread Recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman of NY Times who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery. I have adapted it and still work on it every week. Enjoy!
2 pkgs fast acting yeast
1 1/2 TBLS table salt
3 cups warm water
1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a sticky, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.
2. Shape and rise: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump half of the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours.
Preheat to 425F.
3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Bake 25 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes. Best way to eat it? Smear a warm slice with some good butter or make an incredible grilled cheese panini like I do!
What defines me?
What I wear? What I eat? Who my friends are? What kind of car I drive? Where I work? What kind of house I live in? What kind of music I listen too? Wether I’m fat or skinny, rich or poor?
My identity for many years has been wrapped up in what YOU thought of me. Whoever You were. You could have been my mother, father, sister, teacher, pastor, anybody. What you thought about me helped me to decide if I was ok. Kind of like taking my pulse on your wrist to see if I’m still alive. Life for me was measured by the reaction of the world around me. If you were happy with me then I was happy. I would go to any length to make sure that I measured up in your eyes. It really was a job of sorts. It took so much time to fit in and to be all that you wanted me to be.
This is the mental illness of my life. I was insane.
Why did I act in such an unauthentic way? Because my worth was wrapped up in how you felt about me. This makes a person very sick because they go through their entire life never knowing who they are. It’s very sad that it took me thirty-nine years to realize that I had lived my whole life this way. It made me angry. How had I learned to react to life this way? My Mother? My Grandmother? TV or Magazines? Yes, yes, and yes. We are not taught in this society to get to know ourselves. We are taught to conform to the standard. We are taught to be like everyone else or we won’t “fit in”. Children are bullied everyday for this and some mothers are the supreme guilt givers because they look to their children to complete them and make them feel loved. Marriages are ruined because one spouse looks to the other to “complete them”. Thanks Jerry McGuire. I’ve been guilty of this with my own children and in my own marriage. The power of quilt runs deep in our families. How do we change it?
We have to make a bold move and CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK. Oh? That’s easy!
Yeah right. This has taken two years of very intense work on my part. I’ve had to get down right uncomfortable with myself. I attribute the work to change thought patters to someone who has been brainwashed. I had to get to know me. I worked with people who had gotten to know their own selves. Throughout this process I’ve learned some really neat things about me. I like sushi. I like to wear kaftans. I like Opera. I love to read. I like me today and what you think about me is none of my business.
Give us this day our daily bread. I always thought that prayer literally meant “bread” or food. I guess in a way it does but for me it also means anything you require for a happy, healthy, free, and harmonious life.
I have and believe in a Higher Power and on a daily basis make an effort to connect with my HP. I always thought that I believed in God but when my life came crashing down around me, I questioned my faith. I was told that I needed to find a HP in order to stay sober. That was tough because I was very angry but I would have done anything in order to have a better life. I have a very dear friend who is older and wiser than me and she asked me one day that if I did have a HP what attributes would my HP have. I listed a few things and she said “that is your HP”. I trusted her so whenever I talked to my HP I thought about those attributes and a sense of calm came over me and quite frankly it had been a very long time since I had felt any peace at all. I believe today for me God is simply LOVE. I don’t need dogma or religion for me to feel the presence of my HP. My needs are met today by a direct connection I have to Love. The people in my life today are God with skin on. They show me Love everyday and I show it back. I receive my daily bread. Food for the soul. Since I’ve been on this almost two-year journey I’ve learned so many things about myself and one of those things ( I think I always felt this way) is that I love to feed people and really feel that LOVE when I do. Baking always scared me but now that I love myself nothing scares me so I decided to give it a try. A loaf of bread was going to be my first attempt at baking. I know that’s starting out big but go big or go home is a motto of mine. I bought the best ingredients I could find. Patience is something I’m learning and making bread teaches me that time takes time. The quote all good things come to those who wait is so true in this case because the reward of smelling that bread baking is up there in my top smells running a tight race with coffee and cinnamon. Pleased doesn’t even describe how I felt when that first loaf came out of the oven and the ecstasy of that first warm piece with a slather of real butter!! Pure Love was what I experienced and all I wanted to do was share it and I did. Giving my loved ones fresh bread is a great way to give love and receive love back. It fills their bellies and it fills my soul. I will leave you with this quote.
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Gandhi