Burnout and Stress, Food, Personal Wisdom

Thoughts on the Habit, Addiction, Diets and the Books – Essentialism, Bright Line Eating, the Power of Habit  

Thoughts on the Habit, Addiction, Diets and the Books – Essentialism, Bright Line Eating, the Power of Habit  

My husband and I were having a conversation tying together our current research into habits and addiction, our life experience, our previous Shadow Work, and the books and resources discussed below.  Specifically, we were talking about how these apply to addiction.

While often presented with information that there are 2 parts to addiction and recovery, we believe that there are 3 parts.

1) The physical dependence – which can often be broken in days or weeks.  He deals with this every shift, as an ER/ICU nurse; patients come in and have to detox from their particular physical dependence. It’s usually a harsh detox by fire, i.e. a cold turkey kind of thing, done in the hospital. It doesn’t take long to end the physical dependence.  It’s the other parts of the dependence that stay active.

2) The habit – this is complex and has a multitude of factors and parts. I am not qualified to speak on it, having not been educated in this area, but I can speak from an experiential way, as I have had ‘small’ addictions (cigarettes as a teen, running, and ….cookies, to name a few).

The habit is the dickens to resolve!  Why – because they are habits! Unconscious patterns that take over. That is what they are designed to do – to keep us doing the same things. This is where Bright Line Eating, by Susan Peirce Thompson, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg, excel.  The authors give a thorough grounding in the background of why habits work – and how to start to think about undoing them.

The third part is often not mentioned:

3) The Shadow behind the behaviour – i.e. the underlying cause, or in yogic terms, the Samskara.  My discussion below of the author of Bright Line Eating is hinting at this. There are many ways to describe this, but simply put, until the underlying cause, the deep issue is addressed, the addiction is only a behavior away.

There are several resources to look into Shadow Work®.  The originators are Cliff and Alyce Barry.  There are related work, such as Integrated Family Systems, by Richard C Schwartz and Parts Work, by Tom Holmes.  The Mankind Project, serves as a great place for men to practice similar work, in a safe supportive group. There are chapters across the country and overseas.  For women, there are unfortunately fewer resources. There is Women in Power, a women’s retreat lead by ALisa Starkweather, and there are certified Shadow Work® facilitators and workshops.

 

We both like the sound psychology in these books. They dovetail well, with lots of information regarding making new habits (and breaking old ones.)  It also fits well with Chad Hinkle’s Program on Resilients, and building resiliency, in which he specializes.

We have ongoing conversations about addiction and recovery, habits, and shadows.  The subjects come up around gardening, mental patterns, eating cookies or having a ½ beer when the day has been upsetting.  It comes up around bad relationships, good sex, and marriage.  It comes up around our studies in sex coaching, and the concepts of compulsion vs. addiction.  Mostly it comes up around alcohol; his quitting all alcohol, my struggle with wine-and-cookies. i.e. I rarely drink, but if I have red wine, it’s hard to drink 1 glass, not 2, and then I consistently end up hitting the cookies!  No these aren’t life decimating addictions. They are touch points to look at all our compulsions, inspect our minds, and how our minds work. THAT is the stuff we love.

 

I first saw a video promotion on Bright Line Eating. I am not sure why I stopped to listen to it – however – the science got me.  I love knowing not just that something works, but why it works.  What I heard, dovetailed the science I already knew.  What fascinated me however, was its relevance to addiction and recovery.  The psychology is the more interesting part of the book. This is where it dovetails well with other resources. I like Bright Line Eating as a text book on changing habits – of any type – because it is clearly and simply written.  Again – I have lived these processes in my own life and body. The psychology make sense, the research supports it, and it works.

The author; she has quite a story – a dramatic fall, a long struggle, followed by a tremendous recovery.  However, what I noticed was that she is still intensely caught up with food.  This is at odds with her statements that this diet allowed her to live without constantly thinking of food. She is clearly constantly thinking of food – in a way that is very helpful to others, in a way that is not clearly damaging. However, after there are clues that not everything is resolved on a deeper level.

I stopped following her vlog about ‘slowing down,’ where tells a story, of which the details are now thankfully fuzzy, where her daughter asks if the mom will stop working to come visit the girl in the hospital.  Wait – this is a vlog about slowing down, right?  My heart bled, and I couldn’t watch anymore vlogs.  I did get the book Essentialism…..And the book Bright Line Eating.

I read Essentialism. I put Bright Line Eating on the bookshelf.

However, I got it back out.  The physiology is backed up by research. I like that.  (We all like to be correct.)  Physiology that makes sense, and is even backed by research. It’s clearly not the whole answer, however.  Look at my previous foray into Lectin-free Diets.  Bright Line eating, however, it also correlates with my experience – I like that even better. I was willing to start thinking it – but not ready to do a diet.

 

by Tama Cathers  – self- explorer and introspective woman, full of personal opinion and thought.

Disclaimer: We totally do not have the training to advise, direct or otherwise speak anything other than our own opinions on the topics above.  Thus – the information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

Tama Cathers, David Sink, The Empowerment Center or any associated members makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.  Tama Cathers, David Sink, The Empowerment Center or any associated members do not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site. TAMA CATHERS, DAVID SINK, THE EMPOWERMENT CENTER OR ANY ASSOCIATED MEMBERSIS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

 

 

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Burnout and Stress, Health, Personal Wisdom, Writing, Yoga

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 60

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 60

I woke up last Saturday with a full list full of things to do.  Yoga and Writing were not on that list.

They called me powerfully, however.  The house was quiet, no one else was home or awake. It was morning. All these have become my Cues. They tell me that it is definitely time for yoga and writing. The next thing that is supposed to happen is a behaviour loop – I do my yoga and writing, and the Reward is that I feel much better.

That is how habits are formed. That is what I was looking to do! Cue, Behaviour, Reward. Do it often enough and TaDa! – a habit is formed. I have been delving into the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book by Charles Duhigg. It is a powerful book that I am thoroughly enjoying.  It explains many of the essentials of why we have habits, how they are formed, and how we can change them.  The sections on organizations and cultures are even more interesting than those on individuals!

In The Art of Joyful Living, Swami Rama says that we do not teach people how to Un-Learn things – and we should!  I would agree with him. While we are told to break our bad habits, and told to make new habits, no one is teaching us how, or explaining why it is so darned hard. There is actually science behind it; from modern western science, and way back to ancient yogic traditions, among others. This stuff is teachable. Since it is also learn-able – I am trying to learn it. It was part of the point of this challenge. Can I make didactic learning work for me in real life?

I would say my reactions to a day that I was not ‘supposed to do yoga,’  indicates the Challenge has been a success!  I can hardly stand to have a ‘free’ day, without Yoga and Writing.

I have been so grateful for this challenge!

by Tama Cathers, sometimes yogi, sometimes writer, always an investigator.

 

photo credit – shutter stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burnout and Stress, Health, Personal Wisdom, Writing, Yoga

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 28

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 28

 Here we are at the end of the first of two months of yoga and writing. I can tell you first off, that I am ever so grateful that I set the challenge up for 2 months. One month is clearly not enough.

A challenge is definitely a correct term. Every day, I have had to corral myself to do the most important things first – yoga and writing. I’ve witnessed in myself the tendency to go off track, over and over again. Gently and compassionately, I bring myself back on track saying, “Nope, you have to do your work first.” Because of this attitude, I have been much more efficient throughout my days. By forcing myself to do the things I have to do first, my attitude remains one that is focused on getting the essentials done.

We all likely know the adage ‘Do the Important Things First,’ but like me, we slide off that path. Bringing ourselves back takes work, but it pays off.  I feel proud each day about what I have done. I feel trust in myself, that I can fulfill my promises to myself.

Many times, we fail ourselves over and over. That results in losing that belief in ourselves. It is easy to come to not trust yourself. Choosing a difficult, but doable, task, and then succeed, helps renew that faith in ourselves.

I engage this challenge only on the days I don’t work outside the home. That means the days available are sometimes quite limited. However, I have only missed two days; one – for tax preparation, and one this week due to being in a work funk:

I missed yesterday. I decided that preparing a budget, and shopping for hiking gear for our Appalachian trial hike next week, took precedent over writing and yoga.  I spent most of the day at my computer. I felt restless. I was poorly attentive. Sometimes I was anxious and uncomfortable in my body. All day I plugged away at crunching numbers, then later, presenting them poorly. All day I was feeling – not great

I now know that these tasks did not deserve precedent. Clearly skipping my commitment was a mistake. It was not a devastating mistake, but regardless, it made it clear that nothing takes precedent over the thing that has precedent.

 

Today, I got up and went down to do my practice. The week had been full of work, so it was my first day on the mat all week. I found that today was the first day that I was disappointed my time was up, and I had to leave the mat. Like a cool science experiment, I wasn’t ready for ‘my lab’ to end.

It felt GREAT! I had missed it so much!

This is what I have been looking for; the day I feel something is out of alignment when I don’t do my practice. That is how you know you are starting to form a habit.  I recently read that it takes 28 – 256 days to form a habit, I only need to go another 3 to 230 days for it to be set. Yay!

What have been the other challenges and benefits? First, I have found resources within me. Without a teacher leading me, I have found my own practices. This has been particularly rich.

One day, I decided to do all the sun salutations I had easy access to. There are about 5-6 in my folder. For each one, the first time I looked at it and did it, I thought “well – this is stupid!” the next time, I wobbled through the salutation, while realizing there was some point or value to this particular exercise. The next several times, I let go and dove into the lesson in the practice. Not only did I have a great work out, but I got to see the pattern of my own resistance. I could note how it played out every time – even when I was aware of it!!! Fascinating. Really!

Next, I was left to form my own yogic rest and meditation. I had a very old memory of being lead through a meditation where I felt my brain.  In my shivasana/yoga rest, I felt through the parts of my brain, finishing with sending energy through my crown chakra. Afterwards, I walked around for two days feeling like I had a crown of light radiating from my skull. It was slightly weird, and a little embarrassing, but fortunately no one else could see me glowing!  I ended up making a new guided meditation, which I have used several times since then.

Additionally, I found I can acknowledge that I am too tired to lead myself, and can elect to use videos to substitute for an outside teacher. They are also helpful to review the finer points of techniques, or wording. Altogether, I am able to follow my curiousity and learn so much more.

As far as writing -I have written 8 blog articles, 4 meditations, 3 stories, 2 poems, in addition to journaling, and -hey! -getting our taxes done!

I have been studying how we form habits, how we break old ones, and this challenge has supported my studies, and vice versa. We are our own laboratories, just waiting for our curiosity! It’s well worth going inside to play!

 

by Tama Cathers

Photo Credit: Myriams-Fotos Pixabay

Burnout and Stress, Health, Personal Wisdom, Writing, Yoga

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 5

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 5

Since starting this program, I have felt incredibly productive.

I have also struggled with the challenge, and worked to sabotage my own efforts. I will call any sabotaging of my efforts to form these new habits “My Saboteur.”

I felt so productive the first day, that I stayed up – late. I was up until 2:30 a.m. working on a must-do project, then several add-on projects.

I woke up after 5.5 hours sleep, and wondering how I was going to get through the day? I don’t work well on less than 7 hours of sleep. I am usually functional for as long as I slept. I should have had only 5.5 hours of productivity.

During this second day, I focused on doing what I promised to do, and then what needed to be done. At the end of the day, I hadn’t run out of energy. That was quite odd. So…. I stayed up until 12 a.m.! Gar!

The third night, my husband stepped in, reminding me to go to bed, at about 10 pm. However, I kept chatting, saying I really did not feel tired. I was amazed at the energy I had! When I did hit the sack, it was difficult to sleep.

The next morning, the fourth day, I could barely drag myself out of bed. I got my duties done, including my yoga and writing, but then I fell apart, including a long nap.

Today is the fifth day. I am still logy, but not as bad as yesterday.  I am able to move through my morning, with focused concentration.

What interesting stuff is going on! I can clearly see the work of the My Saboteur here.  It tries every avenue to divert me from these two simple tasks!

I realized that if I were truly treating this challenge as important, say as important as a job, then I would have behaved very differently. As I pondered this choice, and pointed my finger at My Saboteur, I found it interesting that the goal to stop this life change (yoga and writing) showed up so quickly, and so hugely.

Now, my tactics have to change, in response to the situation.  This will be quite an interesting challenge!

by Tama Cathers

 

Photo Credit: 412d5bfeac8b2dd17343fa56c9762ed0–dark-magic-fantasy-magic-dark.jpg

 

 

 

 

Burnout and Stress, Health, Personal Wisdom, Yoga

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 2

This Month’s Challenge: Yoga Practice & Writing, Day 2

Today, while I was doing my yoga practice, I was writing yoga lessons as well. It’s not a bad way to write lessons.  However, it is not a good way to practice yoga.

In our busy fast-paced world, I am used to multi-tasking. All the time. Everywhere. This type of yoga practice suits that model; getting two things done at a time. However, it is my deep belief that we all need real down time. Not only that, but the purpose of yoga is to slow and still the mind and body. How can I really do that while jotting down notes, thinking of cues to say, or ‘breathing slowly-really quickly,’ so I can move on to the next pose? I can’t!

What I really want and need are those times of bygone days, where I had the slack time to do nothing, even stop thinking. Just sit on the porch and hear the wind, birds, or watch the steam rise from the cup. These are the breaks we need. Yoga is a way of feeling like we are actively doing something, yet giving ourselves that important time to ‘do nothing.’ We give ourselves permission to ‘do nothing’ by doing ‘something.’

 

In my reading yesterday, I was reminded of how willpower works. We have about 15 minutes of decision making before needing substantial recharging; that is all decision, they all tax our willpower store. Delete the email, respond now, save it for later. Eat the donut now, or get an apple. Finish typing or take a break and go to the water cooler and bathroom. You can see how checking 30 emails might use up or whole store in one sitting. Then you go to the water cooler AND eat the donut.

I was also reminded about how having firm plans help us conserve our willpower. I am struggling to make that plan to accommodate my goals of writing 1 hours and yoga / exercise 2 hours. I know I can’t do it without a frame work. This is how decisions and habits can help and guide us. This is why we make clear agreements. This is why we schedule. This is why we do the important things first.

Without some framework, this is also why we fail to put the most important things first. Why we are exhausted, taxed, and have just enough poor self control to eat those donuts. God! I don’t even like donuts! But after a day full – i.e. full of decision – I might eat one any way.

by Tama Cathers

Burnout and Stress, Food, Food Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Recipes

In Pursuit of GI Balance – An Adventure in Radical Elimination Diets (Don’t Try this at Home!)

In Pursuit of GI Balance – An Adventure in Radical Elimination Diets (Don’t Try this at Home!)

I started this blog following a decline in my vitality, after having surgery. I had my gall bladder removed, which was great.  However, then I got everything: GI thrush, Influenza, every cold in my daughter’s school. I was tired, stressed, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Maybe eat and sleep.

So I started by adding more herbs to my diet. Our family started eating more vegetables. Eventually we removed most carbs. We adopted a Mostly Reduced Lectin Diet, primarily as a means to eat more veggies. It certainly reduced our lectins (protective plant proteins) which are found in potatoes, legumes/beans, peanuts/cashews, and peppers.

I also have fought cravings for, well forever. Sometime in there, I gained 10 lbs, chalking it up to age. I accepted that, but then I started having GI issues. I have always been a person whose stress shows in their guts. I thought that now, post-Gall Bladder, post Career Change, I was supposed to be on the upswing!

No upswing.

I went hiking and drank untreated water, unintentionally. I got ongoing diarrhea. Wait, maybe I’d had this on and off – but never like this! I thought I had cryptosporidia. It’s a diarrheal disease from livestock – yup – that’s who shared our water sources. In 4 – 6 weeks I should be better.

6 weeks later – I wasn’t any better.. I got treated for traveler’s diarrhea, and for giardia. I didn’t get better, but I did get GI thrush. Again.

I stopped eating Sugar and Flour. This was tremendously helpful in managing my cravings. My tongue turned pink again. This was a first.  Pink is the color our tongues is supposed to be! Mine had not been that color longer than I can remember.  However, my GI system was not better. My doctor ordered a fecal culture and testing – no cryptosporidia, nor any other pathogens. She told me to stop eating dairy and eggs. Add in fiber and probiotics.

I shifted my diet again: no sugar, no flour, no dairy, no eggs, added fiber and probiotics. It did not change my GI system.  Maybe it was the nuts. I eliminated nuts, making my daily Walking Oatmeal with seeds and my sugarless flour-free chocolate cake with seed butter.

No better. Things might even be worse. I emailed Doc for help, to ask about a plan or an elimination diet.   I was told I could come in and talk with her……In a month.

 

I sat down and cried. I felt betrayed. I couldn’t go another month. What was I supposed to eat! I wanted to not wake up at 3 am every morning with GI pain or worse. I wanted to go to sleep with out my belly hurting, or to spend a day without it torment me all day. I wanted not to be filled with gas at times every day. And hot damn – I wanted to stop shitting 6 times a day.

My handsome husband stepped in. He’s a nurse. I am/was a doctor of animals. We know what to do. We were going off track – without a doctor. We were going to do an elimination diet!

His plan was radical. I mean radical radical.  Nothing I could find on the net was so radicle. But it matched what he would do to a human, and what I would do to a pet.  I choose 1 meat, 1 vegetable, 1 starch and 1 fruit, then add food back one at a time. I chose chicken, rice, carrots, and papaya. We added honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and black tea, just to make it do-able.

As a nurse….or a veterinarian feeding an animal…this likely makes sense. We can do that to the creatures under our care. You just – do it.

Well, it’s not so simple, when one is the creature!

On day 1, all my GI signs went away.  Day 2 was great, husband made me ‘pizza’ with a crust out of white rice, and topped with carrots and chicken. For dessert I got caramelized carrots with honey.

On day 3, I had to eat my dinner in the living room, away from all the other families food. I couldn’t stop Watching Them Eat!  By then I had already started cheating, a little. Adding a spice, or fennel tea, or wild rice instead of white… Little cheats.   On day 5, I decided to add new foods. I was going crazy! I did not mind eating these 4 foods, they were still good and the results were great, but I could hardly stand to not eat other food. I loved the happy pain free belly I now had!  It was great! But I couldn’t eat rice and chicken for the rest of my life! So we negotiated adding 2 foods at a time: White fish and sweet potatoes. I also cheated and ate a little brown rice and a bite or two of wild rice as well.

I was back to GI-sick for 2-3 days. Obviously, I went back to chicken and rice.

On day 9, I told my husband I was not going to be able to stay on this diet for more than a day or two. I wanted to plan my exit, not be rash. But exit I must –  I was about to just off a cliff, maybe with a parachute. I wanted to drink in the morning: Every morning! (I don’t drink much at all!) I wanted to drive race cars, or set the house on fire – just a little fire… Really, I felt crazy. We made a new plan.  I continued the 4 ingredient diet for another 2 days, actually traveling cross country, and attending a holiday potluck, without cheating. I knew relief was coming!  I wasn’t even tempted to cheat anymore, in the face of the relief, because I knew how badly eating regularly had made me feel. I was not at all tempted by the holiday desserts flooding the counters everywhere. Not one bit! I swear – and it was pretty weird not to be tempted.

At the potluck, I spoke with a physician. She could not believe I was going with out sugar, eggs or dairy. She thought that was the hard and amazing part. I thought to myself, Well, THAT ain’t nothing!” By talking to her, I realized just how hard the thing I had been doing actually was – enormously hard!

I returned home and started a new plan; a modified rotating diet plan. In this plan, you choose to eat from different families of food, and not eat that family again for 4 days. There are a lot of theories as to why this may work, and lots of information as to why it won’t work. In veterinary medicine, food allergy testing is considered of no use, but practically speaking, I have seen it almost always be of some uses. This is because food allergies, which are really intolerances, they shift around. So the science of testing does not work well, but the art of food trials – now that works. We are not talking about allergies here however, we are talking about sensitivities, or intolerances.  These things shift around, mostly flaring up against the things we eat the most.  My rotating, you avoid that.  Using this plan, I could rotate through more foods while ‘eliminating them.” Maybe I wouldn’t go crazy.

I modified it because I was still more interested in an Elimination Diet, rather than rotating through a vast array of foods. I limited myself initially to choosing 4 different food families and eating those for 2 days each. I found I couldn’t manage to eat the same 4 foods for 3 days, but I could for 2 days. Beef, green beans, white potatoes, and bananas. Pork, Quinoa, Squash, and Melon (that was a little tough).

After that it was Christmas. I really wanted to eat candy, drink eggnog, and share that big block of brie I got weeks ago! I choose Chicken, rice, corn , legumes, milk eggs and mangos. That might’ve been more than 4 foods! However, that way I could eat my candy (milk and corn syrup), drink my eggnog, and eat cheese. Guess what – I was great! (I might have felt a little nausea after downing 2 candy bars in 30 minutes, having not eating sugar for 3 months, but I don’t think that counts.)

The next round was Fish again, this time salmon (steaks and Lox’s!), broccoli, amaranth, and apples. OMG! I could not even finish the 2nd day! Wow! At least I know I am on the right path – it is food. I was beginning to wonder. Good feedback and – Ugh!

 

Since I started this blog, I have used myself as a laboratory. Weight loss has never been my primary goal, but eating healthy has been. Of course, I wouldn’t argue with 5 – 10 lbs off!  I tried the Low Lectin Diet, which increased our vegetable intake mild to moderately. I lost no weight.  I loved the psychology behind the Brightline eating diet, and am a big believer that sugar, corn syrup and likely flour are not our friends. I tried that diet, cutting sugar and flour. I think it was really helpful in controlling my cravings. Super really. It’s a bit obsessive if you ask me. I did not subscribe, or measure my food. I just cut sugar, flour, ate meals, avoided snacks (for the most part), and I got control over my cravings. I also lost 2-4 lbs, maybe. I don’t know because my scale broke, but I do have a mirror. I eliminated dairy and eggs with no effect.  I removed nuts, shifting to seeds. No help.

I tried a radical elimination diet, way more radical than anything out there on the web. I failed to stick to the diet. Yet I feel I succeeded. Now, I am using a rotating diet, to investigate what makes me tick, and what makes me – well, sound more musical, and less comfortable. By the way, I am pretty sure I am in the 5-7 lbs weight loss range. My cravings – still mostly controlled.  When I have eaten most of my regular foods, which will take a few rotations, then I will test out the failures in each group. After that, we’ll see. I might consider this rotational diet for the sake of an eating plan. I certainly plan on continuing to eat in ways I have learned controls cravings, avoids GI distress and focuses on balance. Even if I eat sugar sometimes.

It’s all about balance!

by Tama Cathers, an independent food laboratory with feet.

 

 

Burnout and Stress, Food Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Parenting, Personal Wisdom, Yoga

Food Wisdom Herbs Yoga: A Pursuit of Health & Happiness

Food Wisdom Herbs Yoga: A Pursuit of Health & Happiness

I am re-titling my blog page. When I started out, I wanted to share what I knew. I know lots of stuff, from herbs, to mothering, to medicine. What I was, however, was in search of the right stuff to make me stronger, more resilient, and to rebuild my body systems. I put up a lot of recipes. My search and growth lead me, and continue to lead me, down pathways different than I first envisioned. My subjects are broader and my search is still ongoing. The title I first chose, it’s not fitting me right now.

So as this is the beginning of the New Year, I am putting up my New Title, to better reflect this blog.

I will still be throwing in recipes, from my current explorations as well as from the past; you know, when I ate things normally.  In addition, I will be posting some of my stories chronologically.  I want others to be able to follow a progression.  I hope the story is one of growth and flowering, or at least change. I figure it will be, because, well – that’s what I do.

I have spent 9 months trying to figure my life out, inside and out.  Inside – that means how do I eat without craving, binging, eat for health, eat for vitality. My bar has fallen recently; all I want to do is eat without GI disturbances or pain.  Outside – that means how do I work in this world in a way that promotes health for others as well as myself. How do I negotiate the world of invariable stress, while remaining balanced, even through the tuff stuff.

I am still in search of that combination that brings us balance; parenting, working, studying, developing, self-care and nurturing others, relationships rocky and smooth, exercise, writing, insights, play…

I have come a long way already, from despair to curiosity regarding work. From hope, to despair, and now to curiosity about how to eat.  I am working hard at developing new parts of myself, and beginning to untangle the web of Unseeing that wraps around all women.  I am now parenting a teenager, and learning first hand about parental toxicity and alienation.  I am deep in two yoga teacher training courses, as well as a sex coaching program. They are very hard, but good work.  I am now married, and managing the tidal waves from that. So much good stuff, turned over and ready to be examined and learned from! It may sound horrible, but it is a really really good trip.

I hope you will continue to come along.

Let’s see where we can get to, together.

 

by Tama Cathers, ex-Marine, Snowshoe Bunny, Hollow Cave Deep Sea Diver, Monk, and Racer Driver….Nah! Not really!