Sunday, October 30, 2016

From Debbie Ford's book on Courage

"Every day we have choice: succumb to fear or overcome fear with love, faith, and courage. We all have the power to choose which inner voices will guide us."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Seasonal melancholy

Because I was born and raised in the Northwest's gray winters, I don't suffer from seasonal affective disorder, those who get depressed when there isn't enough sunshine. I love the fall and winters here for the most part. It feels natural to me.

However, October is sometimes a difficult month. I don't mind the dark mornings. I don't have to get up and drive to work. But the early dark in the evenings and having the house closed up all day, those take some getting used to. The past week or two I have been melancholy and it took me a couple of days to recognize that this is my version of seasonal shift. Lots of sadness and both loving and chaffing at the solitude I live in.

I know it will pass. I know I will relax into the coziness and deep reflection of the dark and the winter. And I am realizing what a gift it is now to have the studio at home and to be able to cheer myself with paper and color.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

An interesting short talk on style

Nicholas Wilton has one of the wisest and most encouraging voices in the art world. This short video has much to say about much of life, not just art, about how our choices make our style. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Curious about whether you have a problem with food?

Susan Peirce Thompson, who runs Bright Line Eating, has made her Susceptibility Quiz available all the time now on her new web site.

I'm a 10 of 10 on the scale, the most susceptible to food addiction. But not every fat person is susceptible, and many thin people are among the most susceptible.

If you're curious, you might take the quiz and see where you land. It may give you peace of mind to know that you're not susceptible; it may give you peace of mind to know that you are. Knowing I was a 10 brought me peace of mind because it was no longer a personal failing that I couldn't stop eating sugar and flour. It's a disease.

Here's to knowing our truth.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One year free of sugar and flour

October 12 marked one year of freedom for me. Freedom from sugar, flour, and snacks. I started the Bright Line Eating program then in earnest and have been abstinent all this time. While I have been abstinent from refined sugars for longer periods than a year, I never gave them all up and I never gave up flour. This has massively changed how and what I eat.

The benefits have been miraculous. I've lost 81 pounds and 56 inches. The only remaining clothes from my old life are two coats I'm having altered and some shoes (even some of my shoes had to go as I no longer need Wide). I have so much more energy and stamina. I regularly walk 2-3 miles without fatigue. And I'm happier. Sugar and processed carbohydrates are depressants. That's why we love them. They relax us. They make us numb to whatever ails us.

I don't miss sugar and flour foods. I have no cravings for them and when I want extra food, I want meat or nuts or fruit. But I miss being numb. I do. I probably always will.

I don't miss the weight or any of the attendant physical misery. And I sure don't miss the guilt and shame and self-loathing. So grateful to BLE and to my friend Carole Warner, who encouraged me to spend the money and do it. So grateful to my own willingness to change for the better.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Launching Candy Girl, my latest book

Part-memoir, part-how-to, these short essays on food addiction and recovery describe my journey and offer suggestions to those who struggle with putting sugar down. It's available as of today at A Kindle version is in the works. I'm thrilled.

And yes, that's me. Sugar addict at 2 years of age.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A thought about the elections

I'm not politically active. My arena of influence isn't in that sphere but I want to express my sadness at the state of affairs. In many ways, Donald Trump is the perfect candidate for our times: an aging self-important, scheming white man who speaks his sense of entitlement every time he opens his mouth. He represents the past as the time of the sovereignty of the white male is vanishing. At the same time, Hillary Clinton is another perfect candidate: a smart, accomplished woman who has figured out how to succeed hugely in the white male's world, something my generation of women (Hillary and I are the same age) aspired to and took on big time.

My sadness comes from the fact that this election is about who they are and not about what they can do towards resolving the enormous and complicated problems ahead of us. That's what I loved about Bernie Sanders. It wasn't about him, but our world. I think Hillary would like this election to be about that too--I think she's got lots of ideas but of course, Trump doesn't. All he has is personality and so it's about personality.

I want very much for Hillary to be elected. Not only to defeat Trump but to pave the way for other women in the White House, particularly Elizabeth Warren.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

One more quote from Matthew Kelly

"It would be lovely if our souls growled every time they were hungry the way our stomachs do. But they don't. The voice of the hungry soul is confusion, questions, and a general sense of being overwhelmed."

From The Rhythm of Life

Saturday, October 8, 2016

My legitimate needs, Part II

Here's the list of legitimate needs I've come up with for me (these aren't in any particular order):

Spacious schedule
Simplicity in my environment and my schedule
A tidy environment
Ways to express my creativity
People who really get me
People who love me and whom I love
Kindred spirits (at least a couple)
Sobriety and abstinence
Engaging, satisfying work
Good health
Peace of mind and spirit
Sky and light and big trees
Things to learn and consider
Movement every day
Ways to share my thoughts and make a difference
Deep rest and reflection
Softness around me
A deep connection to Spirit
Ways to be generous

In many ways, this is a description of my best life.

What are your legitimate needs?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Our legitimate needs Part I

I've been reading The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly and it's having quite a profound effect on me. Much of what he says in this book isn't new to anyone who's taken courses in personal transformation or read much in New Age thought. But he's particularly eloquent and his spin on these ideas resonates deeply with me.

Our best life, he says, comes when our legitimate needs, our deepest desires, and our unique gifts and talents come together. Most of us know what our basic needs are as we all have the same ones: food, water, shelter, air, touch. Without these, we die. But each of us has other legitimate needs that help us do more than survive; they help us thrive. And these aren't all the same.

When I've been addictive in my addiction, I'm focused on needs that aren't legitimate: ice cream, alcohol, money, donuts, buying stuff. When my recovery is solid, I can focus on my legitimate needs and when I do, my life goes so much better.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The only way to say no

This quote from author Matthew Kelly is guiding me at the moment:

"The only way to say no to anything is to have a deeper yes."