By bells, 2013-03-27
The Sun caressing the Earth, warm fingers brushing away the chill of winter. Blades of green thrusting toward the sky, no longer held back by the frozen soil. Wild violets, those eager spring greeters, open themselves to the fresh air. Oh, i've been pining for you, Spring, your hand in my hair and fire in my belly, energy waking up, rubbing the sleep from it's eyes and throwing off that cold blanket of snow. i've been waiting for your embrace. After all that teasing, you coy thing, here you are, dancing merrily on rays of sunlight and twirling in the breeze.
Can you feel it?
By bells, 2012-12-27
Every knot was an intention, a manifestation, a prayer.They carry my hopes, dreams, wishes, and plans;
i will live closer to the Earth.
i will renew my yoga practice.
i will strive to treat others with loving kindness.
i will strive to treat myself with loving kindness.
i will live outside the chains of expectation.
i will be patient, and therefore peaceful.
i will manifest love and joy in my daily living.
i will be more my Self.
i will find beauty wherever i walk.
i will always seek Truth.
These things i carry with me, now, locked into place, part of me. An ever-present, nearly intrinsic reminder of where my path lies. These things i bind to myself, in knots that can't be untied.
i wish everyone blessings in the year ahead.
By bells, 2012-12-30
With the recent uptick in interest in water fasts, i thought i would share an alternative method that detoxifies the body and flushes the system while keeping the body from going into starvation mode, which can really mess up one's metabolism, among other things. Often, if you are fasting for the first time, or eat a western diet between fasts, a plain water fast can be quite a shock to your body, the sudden change can make your body react negatively, often counteracting the beneficial effects of your body. If you are doing a fast to clean your body, not lose weight, you may wish to consider using this method as opposed to going from eating processed food and refined sugars and who knows what else to...nothing. i post my personal detoxifying fasting practice in hopes that a few may find inspiration for their own gentler, efficient body cleanse practice.
If this is your first fast, or your regular intake includes refined sugars, added sodium, preservatives, or loads of red meat, you may find a bit of preparation useful. Cut out any caffeine, alcohol, or drug consumption you may indulge in, first. These have a more immediate effect on your body, and are harder to quit. Do that first, then move on to eliminating the other unfriendly input listed above (refined sugars, etc.) This should be accomplished in the two weeks leading up to the start of your fast.
To ease the transition to a fasting state, you may wish during this time to stop eating proper meals. Instead, 'graze' throughout the day on very small portions of fruits, nuts, and veggies (raw is best, but a half cup of brown rice and steamed veggies makes a very satisfying 'meal'.)
Depending on the intended length of your fast, you will need varying amounts of supplies. i usually recommend a 3 day fast for those new to fasting, but most importantly you should listen to your body. Some can go a week or more as if it were nothing, it really does depend on the person. For a week long fast you will need:
- A good quality skin brush, or any soft natural bristle brush. (c'mon, yer not using them on your hair)
- A tongue scraper, or a packet of popsicle sticks.
- Dandelion root (1 oz.)
- Fresh cilantro (4 cups)
- ~ 1 bulb garlic
- Dried cranberries.
- Hemp seed oil (3.5 oz.)
- Green tea (4 oz.)
- 7 lemons
- Filtered water
Dandelion: This well-known detox herb helps cleanse the liver by stimulating the production of bile and its flow to the gallbladder, one avenue through which the body naturally removes toxins. Dandelion leaves are also a diuretic. Steep the roots to make dandelion tea, or add the leaves to salads. Learn more about gathering wild dandelions in A Dandelion Celebration .
Green tea: A study reported in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research found that the catechins found in green tea increased production of a group of important detoxification enzymes that have been shown to protect the body from toxins and cancer-causing chemicals.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds such as allicin that oxidize heavy metals, making them more water-soluble and easier to remove from the body. Garlic has numerous other benefits that can help strengthen your detox system, like strengthening the immune system and controlling free radicals. If eating garlic raw, be sure to cut, crush or bruise the clove to activate its healing properties.
Cilantro binds to heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum, making it easier to transport them out of the body.
Steep about .5 oz (1 tbs) of green tea in hot (208*) water for ten minutes. Eat one garlic clove, and drink your tea.
Toss a small handful of dried cranberries with the hemp seed oil. (The oil binds toxins to it, making them easier to pass through the system) That's lunch. Nom. Read more about hemp seed oil here: http://www.regenerativenutrition.com/content.asp?id=64
Steep 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tsp dandelion root. Add the juice of one lemon. The hot drink will trick your body into feeling a little more full, making falling asleep MUCH easier.
Throughout the day, be sure to drink plenty of filtered water. (SIP, don't chug!) This will help flush your system and keep hunger pangs at bay.
A day or three into your fast, you'll notice this icky yellowish white goop on your tongue. It's gross, but it also means your fast is working. Scraping your tongue thrice daily will get the nasty out of your mouth and keep your breath from smelling too badly.
Exercise, but don't overdo it. The motion will bring the toxins to the surface, but remember that you're in a low-fuel state. Be gentle with yourself.
Dry skin brushing before bathing will help bring the toxins out through your skin, slough off dead tissue, and exfoliate. Use small circular motions or long sweeping strokes, moving away from your heart, toward the end of your limbs, starting at the top and moving downward. Brush firmly on areas such as the top of your chest and bottoms of your feet, and more softly in places like your face and thighs.
Bathe daily, if your skin won't revolt. The toxins leaving can make quite the odor, so frequent washing will not only keep you smelling nice, but will also help the impurities leech through your skin.
Since your body has not become slightly accustomed to low intake, it's best to break your fast slowly. Choose raw or lightly steamed vegetables with low acidity, and eat a very small amount, to start. Slowly add a clean carbohydrate, like brown rice, once your body can handle food again. NEVER end a fast with a bacon egg and cheese sammich. You won't be dying, but you'll wish you had.
If you've done well with a partial fast like the one outlined above, and your energy levels haven't plummeted, you may consider tacking on a couple days of water only fasting. This will help complete the flushing of your system, and will eliminate any lingering remnants, leaving you all tabula rasa, and whatnot.
DON'T put those icky things like refined sugars, preservatives, etc. back into your body after you've spent this time clearing their remnants out. Keep a clean diet and your body will thank you.
Remember, this is the only body you get this time around, so be kind to it!!!!
i hope reading this has been an informative experience. Whatever fasting method you use, i wish you luck, health, and happiness in your efforts toward a cleaner body.
By bells, 2013-01-10
Methinks these dreads are growing into my brain. These past two weeks have seen a lot of personal growth. First i effectively kicked a decade-long caffeine addiction. As counterintuitive as it may seem, my energy level has gone up. i'm eating healthier, more natural food now and smoking less. i'm calmer, more peaceful. i exercise patience more often. It's easier to not get frustrated when everything is just...good. It's good because it is. i feel cleaner, lighter, energized and joyful. i'm madly, head over heels in love with the world, my home, my family.
i started this dreading journey to bear with me a constant reminder of what i want to embody. Love, Truth, Beauty. i see myself finding that, in tea and sunrise, the taste of salt water and loose hair, in a bowl of rice and my lover's arms, in loops and baby laughter, in music and the trash bin, in everything.
Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say, and more true than you can hear.
By bells, 2013-01-16
There was a wall of worry, and i ran headlong into it. There i sit, dazed from the impact, blinking up at the looming height, a cliff of my own making in my mind. A breath, and then i begin my ascent. Patience, i tell myself, is all i need, but my hands scrabble for purchase as fears and insecurities tangle my feet under me.
There's some that are unraveling, and more disconcerting, some that aren't. There are some that cause me doubt, and some that simply seem "wrong" to my eyes.
My frustration with the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of my own uncertainty sends me catapulting to the bottom of the wall, shaken. i need to change my approach. i can't go around, it stretches for miles, closing off the horizon. It's set deep, i can't tunnel under. All avenues exhausted, i finally stop searching for a solution. It's okay, wall, i can wait.
This anxiety and unease will cease if i stop worrying about not worrying. Instead of fighting against my fear, i will recognize it for what it is, and allow it to pass me by.
It crumbles before my eyes.
The state of ambiguity - that messy, greasy, mixed-up, confused, and awful situation you're living through right now - is enlightenment itself.
- Brad Warner