Category Archives: Internal awareness

Consciousness raised!

So I spent the weekend immersed in a little consciousness-raising movie marathon, inspired by my viewing of Food, Inc. last week.

First, the playlist:

King Corn:

I loved King Corn.  Really interesting to hear that nearly all the corn grown in Iowa is turned into either HFCS or animal feed.  This has just validated my hesitancy about corn.  The hard part is that corn is in so much…found this cute image online:

One thing is for sure: any corn products I eat will have to be non-GMO.  So, so sad to see the following snacks have to go from my pantry: Pirate Booty foods, Food Should Taste Good products…and the list will no doubt grow.

Food Matters:

Honestly, I found this one a little boring but still useful information.  Maybe I’ll give it a second viewing another time.  I could have been on overload by then.

Forks Over Knives:

I really liked this film as well.  This one was recommended by a few friends. So I just jumped in without knowing much about it.  I, again, learned a lot.  Funny enough, the themes of both this and Vegucated (see below) were the same: promoting a vegan diet.  The doc seemed to be more focused on the health benefits of a vegan diet.  Meanwhile…

Vegucated:

…Vegucated took a more sort of in-your-face style, which I appreciated. This doc reminded me of my days in college radio.  I became a vegetarian in college (and stayed one for 10 years…and all it took was one cute boy to lure me back to meat…har!).  One thing that helped was going to a Consolidated concert (anyone remember them??).  Awesome band that were radical activists/vegans.  They would attach huge television screen to the scaffolding behind them that showed footage from slaughterhouses, all while they played along.  I’m not sure how anyone could stomach meat after going to one of their shows.

Needless to say, I have a very veggie filled weekend.  And while I’m not ready to stop eating animal products, these doc certainly left me committed to being very mindful of where those product are produced and how.  I don’t envision that I’ll get to this point:

Even though Portland may, in fact, be my new home in a few months!  More details on that later.

Eyes On

So when I’m not cooking and baking, or doing yoga, I work as a psychotherapist.  The type of treatment I provide is mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy; specifically Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

I recently provided a training on cross-cultural supervision and for the first time I had participants do an exercise called, Eyes On.  I should back up for a second.  The central theme of that session was learning to accept and willingly have discomfort vs. running away, which we easily and quickly do, as humans.  Once we are accepting of discomfort rather than working at getting rid of it, or away from it, we are free to choose to respond in a way that aligns with our values.  So the Eyes On exercise is a way of placing ourselves in a situation that is typically discomforting and to stay there with it and with your partner.  The instructions are simple: after being partnered, you sit, knees to knees, and just look into the other person’s eyes. You are told to “just notice your own mind and what it is doing. Let go of what your mind is doing, and see if you can just be present with this other human being across from you for a few minutes.”

Given that I had never done this exercise before, and it scared the willies out of me, I fully planned, and expected that I would just watch and lead everyone through the exercise.  But as luck would have it, we had an uneven number and thus the decision was made.  I was doing it.  In the end, it was painful but not as terrible as I had expected.

This morning, a colleague on an ACT list serve I’m on posted this video.  It’s from this website, which posted the following commentary, helpful to understanding the video:

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.”

 

The awful wheatie truth

After my last two days, I think it’s safe to safe to say that my relationship with wheat has come to an end.  It’s okay though.  I’m looking at it as an amicable break up.  The way that wheat has treated me in the last two days is something that we can’t come back from.  But we both know the appeal will remain.  So we also accept that if, in the future, we want to say, just have coffee together, that it’ll be okay.  It can just never go back to what it used to be.

All drama aside, wheat day was not the greatest.  Well, I felt fine during the day.  My back pain in slowly easing up so I’m a little more quick on the draw.  I ate lots of whole wheat throughout the day.  By that evening, I was starting to feel tired.  I just assumed that it was because I had a day of back-to-back sessions.  This was the same night that I had the text fight with MJ.  I didn’t realize that it could be because of the wheat that I felt so slow and crabby and dense.  Well that just continued and worsened by Friday night.  I had plans for dinner with friends and as I was getting ready to go I had the worst intestinal cramps.  I was well enough to go to dinner which was as fun as it could be considering my body hurt and I was still crabby.  It also didn’t help that this diet makes it difficult to eat out or buy pre-packaged foods.  Yes, this is in actuality a good thing…just not convenient!

Here’s some pics from dinner:

542480_10200091674471025_1364396156_n

312447_10200091684791283_1423446905_n

150846_10200091685351297_202231688_n

550115_10200091686431324_1325480558_n

75811_10200091692391473_1925546495_n

602968_10200091694591528_260841269_n