Tag Archives: church

The Black Swan in All of Us

Good evening bloggy boos! Hope you’ve had a great Tuesday:)

I loved reading your comments on my last post! Reading random things about you guys makes me smile and feel like less of a crazykins:)

Tonight I’d like to talk about an issue that has been on the brain for a bit of time now, and needs to let loose.

Over the weekend, I saw Black Swan.

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It made me feel so many emotions: unsettled, disturbed, sad, excited, humored, but the greatest of these was disturbed.

The main character (played by Natalie Portman) is a ballet dancer, living with her single mother as an adult and trying so hard to be the “perfect” ballerina.

Natalie Portman had to lose a lot of weight for this movie, to become what was referred to by the film makers as “emaciated”. I am not one to make judgement calls on one’s appearance, but their description of the actress’ condition certainly played to the fact that many of the character’s behaviors portrayed that of a girl with an eating disorder, which is a strong symbolic representation of the strive for perfection.

I know this because five years ago, I battled and overcame a terrible eating disorder that almost consumed my life. So, seeing this movie obviously brought back some dark memories, and was ultimately disturbing.

This intrigued me. Not because of the condition of the character, nor because of her portrayal, but because of the symbolic meaning.

She is asked to dance the part of the White Swan and the Black Swan at the same time, and through her struggle to portray the Black Swan, she ultimately finds hers.

Isn’t this quest for “perfect” exactly what we all get trapped in?

I think it is. We all want the perfect grades, the perfect man, the perfect family, perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect friends, perfect body..you get the idea.

But most of all, what we find ourselves trapped in is having the perfect diet or having a perfect fitness level.

Let me tell you a little story.

This morning, I woke up and packed my gym bag with every intention of going to the gym after my last class. I went through the day’s routine, and finally came home before I was supposed to go to the gym.

And you know what? I was tired. And every time I thought of getting on a workout machine, I cringed a little bit, and my bed seemed more and more appealing.

So, you know what I did? I had a bowl of hummus with raisins and then took a two hour nap.

And it rocked.

When I decided in myself to skip today’s workout and give my body the rest it deserved, a pang of guilt pinched in my chest for a second.

Woah, hold on there! Why should any of us feel guilty for giving our bodies rest?

Girls, listen and listen hard: exercise for vibrancy, and rest for rejuvenation.

If you need some rejuvenating, don’t put the extra stress on your body and set your body’s vibrancy clock backwards. Instead, give your body what it needs and then exercise when you’ve got your vibrancy back.

At church on Sunday, one of my ministers gave a sermon on “sick professions”. He spoke about the fact that Americans are constantly trying to be more productive in their lives and their careers instead of doing something that serves to help the world and people around them. Because of this, we end up feeling used instead of well-used.

Do you see the difference?

If not, think of it this way: if your heart is not in it, you most likely feel used. If your heart is in it, you feel that you are well-used, and part of a greater purpose.

The reason I tell you this is because it can apply to everything in life. If your heart isn’t in your exercise, don’t do it. You will just end up feeling used. Instead, take a break until your heart is in it again, and use that to find your vibrancy.

Today, I gave my body rejuvenation. I fought the urge to make myself productive in an ultimately un-productive way. That pang of guilt ain’t got nothing on me! The urge to be “perfect” consumes all of us sometimes, giving us the inability to see the good, the truth, and listen to our best friend: our own bodies.

That is my Black Swan.

What’s yours?

xoxox,

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Filed under Rants, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

Say a Prayer + Owl House Eats!

Good evening all! Hope you’ve had a lurvely and restful Sunday🙂

The first part of today’s post will be a little emotional and sappy, but I feel that this is a topic that I need to address because it really hit home with me today.

This morning after I posted a gluten-free pizza-for-one recipe, I headed off to church where I listened to an unexpectedly profound service.

It started with a meditation on the “goodbyes” that will be said at the end of the year (leaving for college), as well as a highlight on the goodbyes that will be said to the graduates that leave to go to war.

As I sat with eyes closed, I imagined my “goodbye” with my family with both excitement and incredible sadness. I will be leaving my comfortable house filled with the people I love most (and my stove), but entering into a new place that will have so much to offer: a life of my own, creativity in the kitchen, and the many excitements of college life (pursuing my passions and partying..obv).

But then, my mind shifted to how I would feel if I were leaving my parents to go to a place where I would be killing human beings, for the sake of “freedom”.

I am not in any way saying that there cannot be justifications for war, but instead I would like you to put yourself in that eighteen-year-old’s position for a moment. Imagine saying goodbye to your parents, knowing your next destination would be a foreign country with a bunch of soldiers you’ve never met, to a place where no one can be trusted.

Then, put yourself in the position of the parents saying goodbye to their child. The fear that their baby wouldn’t come home, or wouldn’t come home all in one piece. The fear that their little girl or little boy wouldn’t be the same person they said goodbye to, but instead someone they don’t recognize.

Many soldiers return home only to commit suicide. Over one thousand have survived suicide attempts, and most will come back from war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Whether you support war or not, please support our troops. These are our friends’ boys and girls, our neighbors, and the person who sat next to us in elementary school.

Say a prayer for these soldiers and their families tonight, and remember that our soldiers do not always believe what they are doing is right, but they feel that it is right to fight for our country and the lives of their loved ones.

Though I do not believe in the killing of any human being, I support the humanity of the people who lay down their lives every day, no matter whether that directly or indirectly protects us.

The reading and sermon that followed the meditation will be covered in tomorrow’s post. Here’s a hint: it has to do with your passion, your life, your career, and your heart. Any guesses?

If you pray, please also include my family in your prayers. Today had an abrupt turn for the worse, and we need your prayers as we nurse a family member back to health. You all are beautiful, and I know with the love of us all, we can all get through the tough times!

Also, please drive safely. You never know when one choice in a vehicle could change your life.

God bless!

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Now onto a less emotional topic………FOOD!

This afternoon (after the awesomely moving church service and a nice jaunt around the neighborhood with the puppers), we headed off to The Owl House.

I cannot rave enough about this place, it is delicious, has copious vegan and gluten-free entrees (this place even has gluten-free bread made with teff, can I get a hell yeah?!), and every dessert is vegan.

Gett @ m3.

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I got the Garden Salad (Field Greens, Farmers Market Vegetables, Lemon Vinaigrette), topped with a Lentil Burger, sans the Vegenaise and Onion Roll (not gluten free).

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It was delicious, I scarfed it down in 0.26 seconds and loved every bite. I haven’t had a grilled burger in much too long, and a reunion was well overdue. Hello, smoky flava!

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It made me incredibly skippidyy happy to find that the waitress was very accommodating to my vegan– and gluten-free restrictions (last time I came I was not on a gluten-free diet).

I always end up feeling like “that girl” who pesters the waitress.. “Can I have the blah blah blah but with no blah and with blah blah on the side? Oh, and no blah blah, either, can I get blahty blah instead?”

I would feel bad, but I like my food, and I like it my way:)

Which takes me to dessert! I absolutely could not resist this son-of-a-gun even though the burger left me sufficiently stuffed.

There is always room for chocolate.

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Chocolate Mousse (Cocoa-Avocado Puree, Fresh Fruit, Cacao Nibs).

IMG_3467This was to. die.

Recipe to come.

I’m not sure exactly how this motha was concocted, but I don’t ask, I just eat.

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Just you wait kiddos, this will be the most decadent thing that ever hit the bottom of your endless stomach.

I literally could not stop making “mmm!” noises while I was licking this off of my spoon, it was too good and I was getting some funny looks but I could care less.

And then I looked in the mirror and there was tons of chocolate in my teeth.

But as before, I could care less. It’s a small price to pay for chocolatey deliciousness🙂

Then, we headed across the street to one of my favorite co-op’s to explore fun foods and get free samples (wooo for Sundays!). There was free chocolate, chocolate-covered almonds, and organic blueberries! Uh, chocolate and fruit fo free? Get at me!

IMG_3469Blooooooobs🙂

I had three of these little cuppies, it’s fine. They’re free for a reason, people!

That’s all for now lovies! I’m off to make some din din, do my homework, get excited for my first day of psych tomorrow (new semester, hollllla!), and go to sleep EARLY.

I am making a vow to myself to go to bed NO LATER than 10 every night, and I am telling all of you because that will make sure I am more accountable for my own rebelliousness. It is now your job to keep me in line. Good luck, people!

What is your view on “support our troops”?

I support the people, not necessarily the war.

Do you ever feel like a pesky food orderer?

Uh, always. My food, my way, beeyotch!

Do you get food stuck in your teeth/your hair/on your clothes?

Yes, yes, and yes. That is why I wear scarves🙂

Have a good rest of your night! Eat some chocolate for me;)

xoxox,

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Rants, Restaurants, Vegan

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

I had a different post in mind for this morning (an update on my de-chipmunkingWinking smile), but a sermon I recently listened to at church has been on the brain and needs to let loose!

In all truthfulness, every single one of us has a lie that we tell ourselves.

Sometimes it comes from the media: “5 Tips to Lose 5 Pounds!” “Be skinny, beautiful, and happy!” A picture or a commercial creates a precedent in our minds.

Sometimes it comes from a loved one, a friend, or a rumor. “You would have been better off if you had done this instead.” “You should be more like your sister.” Someone spreading a rumor that you’re too fat, too skinny, stupid, or not good enough.

The worst ones come from ourselves. From self-doubt, self-pity, and words that be beat ourselves up with.

See something in common? All of these lies convince us that we are not good enough.

Not good enough to enjoy a beautiful meal with people we love.

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Not good enough to see the sun rise in the morning.

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Not good enough to smell the flowers, or eat the fake ones.

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Not good enough to make something sweeter than we are.

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But we are. We are strong,

me

We are beautiful,

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We are loved.

me em and tita editAnd that’s all that we need to know.

I’m crying as I type this because we all have had our own journey to where we are today, and sometimes that journey takes us places that are darker than others.

Some of us lie to ourselves in more hurtful ways than others, but today we are going to end that. Today we are going to know how worth it we are.

This morning I read aloud from Kris Carr’s book,

Please help me open my mind. Ignite my child-like curiosity and anything-is-possible attitude. Tap me on the shoulder if I act like a cranky old bat. The voices that hold me back are thoroughly misinformed. Grant me the wisdom to release them now. – Page 184

Repeat with me please:

I am capable, confident, intelligent, resilient, and in charge. Health and happiness are my birthrights and I accept with gratitude. – Page 184

I know this sounds cheesy, but we all need to remind ourselves how beautiful we are.

It’s easy to forget what we did do, and what we did accomplish, when what others and ourselves focus most on is what we didn’t or couldn’t do.

Take a moment to think today:

What lie are you telling yourself?

How can you change that lie into something positive that will allow you to grow, be stronger, and live more beautifully?

Lots of love,

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