Saturday, 31 May 2014

Before I lose you, I would like to see you again and again.

Via on Sep 6, 2013
Things I Would Like to do with You Before I Lose You.
“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I would like to grow old with you, before I lose you.
You may lose me, first, for I am not all so very young, anymore. But I will take care of myself so that I may build thin bonfires on the cold beach with you: I will climb regularly, I will wear through expensive running shoes, I will bicycle daily, I will yoga reluctantly for it stretches me where I am tight and leaning into resistance makes me lazy. I will eat real food and go to bed at a reasonable hour: I will not drink bad beer, or take my stress too seriously: I am good at sighing. For I would like to live to see you grow old like a thick vine, still flowering.
I would like to see you wear that same turquoise dress with white flowers when your hair has turned white.

“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
~ Honore de Balzac

I would like you not to cut your wirey hair, but to wear it long: proudly and tightly but messily the way beautiful old women who like to garden or make art do.

Looking into the world
I see alone a chrysanthemum,
Lonely loneliness.

c-33-w-cary-grant-2I would like to make love to you, and again, my tired head in your breast, and again, my strong arms and shoulders lifting your hips up and rocking them, again, both hands turning you and pulling you and finally crushing down into you, again, my sweat and weight upon you. And again: for sex may get boring, but making love does not get boring, but it does get more and more intimate.
I would like to give you small gifts for no reason: like an old Oscar Wilde or William Blake book or a spontaneous, forgettable haiku with one too many syllables tacked up above the dishes that reminds you to relax or finish your art for I am picking up the children.
I would like to look at these children and feel a mixture of pride and relief in their health and beauty, and kindness and lack of self-consciousness. Little knights.
I would like to notice you noticing other men and remember that I do not own you, or hold you, or have you: I am just a train, running alongside your tracks. And I will not smother you, but I will smother them—with the paper-thin friendliness of a tiger, burning bright.

I stand like the lonely juniper
Which grows among rocks,
Hardened and tough.
Loneliness is my habit —
I grew up in loneliness.
Yet sometimes also,
Lonely moon,
Sad and Happy
Come together.

I would like to love you. I would like to love you after the honeymoon. I would like to fight with you and dislike you and judge you and fault you…and remember to breathe and leave. And I would like to quickly fault myself and regret it all and go for a long hard walk, stomping in the woods. And I would like to come back and apologize and mean it, mostly.
And I would like to learn from you even as I argue with you, and even if I know you are somewhat wrong, and even if I know I am somewhat wrong.
I would like to stare into your eyes and I would like to cry but I will not, hopefully. I have spent so many years trying clothes on, that when we set our hearts next to one another and found no fitting necessary—but rather we found you slow and me fast and both of us set against one another in delight: friendship shot full with passion—oh, I knew then that we had something better than tragic love.
I would like to take you out of the New England woods and talk with you in the wooden café with a fire lit in the dark grey stove, it is winter, after a chocolate tasting at a golden old book store, before I lose you.
I would like to go on a first date with you, a VIP party, and see you melt into me…until my bad whiskey makes me dull and I just want to go home and I lose you.
I would like to make love to you, and again, and again: I would like to take you upstairs, lifting you up onto my standing lap and seeing you, later, lying on the bed and to readily take you then, again. I would like you to think to “spice things up,” standing, touching your toes. I would like to make love to you in the moonlight, you trying to coo softly so as not to wake up the neighbors. I would like for the loud neighbors on the other side to finally holler in hypocritical anger at 3 am when you have been screaming, and for us to laugh and close the window, it is so hot, I need air, so much sweat. I would like for you to pause as I, from behind, first move with you and you pause to tie up your thick hair out of your face. I would like to watch you walk down the hall, tall, in front of me, naked but for your underwear. I would you to ask me to leave my work and rendezvous in the middle of the day for afternoon sex, it is the best. Camping with friends: I would like to stuff the soft edge of my hand or the pillow or the sleeping bag in your mouth, we are trying to be quiet again, and again failing, your head against the edge of the tent, as you open your innermost heart to me in yearning delight.
And I would like to be surprised by your honesty and wisdom and your willingness not to understand yourself, but to wait, and then to leap as much as 50 feet off the cliff and into the water.
I would like to dance with you, but not in slow-motion.
I would like you to stop laughing at me and let me take my dancing seriously, I will move into and against you in the middle of an enthusiastic crowd and later we will walk to the parking lot and I will lean against you leaning against a car. It is not our car, I biked.
I would like us to not play games, but rather to be simply honest.
And, I would like us to play games like Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit, at the pub, sitting in the tall golden booths with dear friends, drinking hoppy beer.
Before I lose you, I would like to see you again. I will hike with you (and Red) up to Chautauqua and down Flagstaff, or bike with you all the way up to Gold Hill for simple music, or go to an outdoor movie with you, or to an upstairs dinner, or to farmers’ market on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning.
I would like to run into you on the street and flirt at you and have you talk over me and laugh, for you are strong like a filly, and you laugh into me as I talk back over you, and we talk over one another as the tide does when it retreats and folds up against itself, old waves relaxing back into new waves rushing.
Before I lose you I would like to go to a bad poetry reading where everyone talks loudly and humorously, spoken word-style, because that is what they think poetry sounds like. When really, we’ll smile at one another, for we know what poetry sounds like. It sounds like listening to whales, underwater, on an old vinyl record. It sounds like the nightly crickets we forget to hear. It sounds like the pause before a cherished old song comes on: say, Debussy, or Chopin, or Gene Kelly, or some whiskey-lit Scottish Folk. It sounds like old love and old arguments and going for a walk on a dirt road after dinner.
I would like to hold your hand, again. For it is always the first time, when I hold your hand, for I am so in love with you I hope you do not notice, and I have to constantly remind myself that I will likely lose you.
For the future is all made up, none of this matters, these are just words.
I would like to stop wordplaying, and see you.

Never, never trust.

I would like to belatedly protect you without jealousy or anger, and I would like to debate with you about astrology and I would like to be right but lose the argument, but not give in. And I would like to cuddle with you, despite the late summer heat sweating us both into one another…still we hold closely.

But be friendly.
By being friendly toward others
You increase your non-trusting.
The idea is to be independent,
Not involved,
Not glued, one might say, to others.
Thus one becomes ever more
Compassionate and friendly.
Whatever happens, stand on your own feet
And memorize this incantation:
Do not trust.
~ Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

I would like to insist on staying with you when you give birth, though I am not good with blood from those I cherish, and I will faint nearly and be a bother and be asked to leave but I will stay and faint and be a bother.
I would like to read your handwriting and I would like to notice the way your eyes curve, and your wide white smile, and your simple yet personal style, and I would like to ask you the same damn questions again and again so that you wonder aloud if I do not listen but no, I assure you without reassuring you: I have always been forgetful and it does not mean I do not care.
I would like to grow old with you before I lose you.

~ But wait! There’s more! ~
This is the fifth.
norman rockwell boy reading book home

They greet me in the morning, so excited to start their day, 
they give no thought or worry as to what may come their way. 
They wake me from a restful sleep with a gentle nudge, and though at times I grumble, 
they never hold a grudge. 
See they have a secret weapon, one that never fails, a cold and wet yet loving kiss and a hardy wag of their tails. 
They sit there very patiently, though their persistence knows no end, they are so much more than “just a dog”, they are my loyal and trusted friends.
They are my dogs, my 4 legged family fur members, and I love them.  tw,LNPB

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Lymph: The Elixir of Life.

Via on May 28, 2014


According to Ayurveda, the study of lymph, called rasayana, is also the study of longevity and rejuvenation.

The word rasa means “lymph” or “juice,” and ayana is a “special study.” Rasayana is, therefore, the study of our rasa (our lymph), or our “longevity juice.” This study of rasayana is so highly held that it is one of the eight major branches of Ayurveda.
While lymph may be the least understood bodily system in Western medicine, it is perhaps the most understood bodily system in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, it is the lymph that governs the emotional and hunger responses at the first scent of your favorite food.
It regulates each and every step of the digestive process that, according to Ayurveda, takes 30 days to complete, from its start, when we ingest our food, to its role in the formation of all the body tissues. In addition, the lymph is the body’s primary means of detoxification, governs immunity, and plays a key role in our human and spiritual potential.
The word “rasa” has many meanings, all of which describe one aspect of the many subtle roles of the lymph. In Sanskrit, the more meanings a word has, the more important the word. Interestingly, the three primary definitions of rasa are lymph, emotion and taste, which are the topics of this article.

Some of the Sanskrit definitions of rasa:

Rasa = lymph
Rasa = emotion
Rasa = taste
Rasa = juice
Rasa = nutrient fluid
Rasa = melody
Rasa = plasma
Rasa = water
Rasa = menses
Rasa = semen
Rasa = breast milk
Rasa = satisfaction
Rasa = love
In this article, I want to take you on the digestive journey of rasa from the first scent of food, to its last manifestation of digestion 30 days after the first bite. That’s right, it takes 30 days for the rasa to complete its incredible journey.
Join me as I track this incredible journey of the body’s least understood circulatory system: our longevity juice.

What is Lymph, Anyway?

Classically, the lymph is the plasma or clear fluid of the blood. In the blood it is called plasma, but once it oozes into the intercellular spaces, it is called lymph or, in Ayurveda, rasa. This fluid, along with fat soluble nutrients and toxins that it is carrying, is drained into lymph channels, where lymph nodes purify the rasa with the help of the immune systems’ white blood cells.
From there, it works its way through as many as 500 purifying lymph nodes on its way back to the heart or spleen, where it is recombined with the blood, and it continues its 30 day journey of human digestion.

The First Scent

Digestion begins with the first scent of food, and the lymph plays a significant role in this. When you smell brownies baking in the oven, that scent travels through your nostrils and olfactory plate to the limbic, or emotional center, of the brain. It is here with the first scent that the food is emotionally charged.
That emotionally charged scent will trigger the release of digestive enzymes in the mouth, which is what’s going on when you start to salivate. This first emotionally charged digestive fluid is called sara, and is a mixture of the digestive enzymes and rasa (lymph fluid). This effect is emotionally enhanced by the other senses when you see and touch the brownie.
In Ayurveda, the senses are called “avenues of consciousness” that allow us to connect our intelligence and consciousness with the consciousness or intelligence of the food we are about to consume or are consuming. This only happens when we eat the food with our senses wide open and our mind aware of the process of eating.
This awareness, while supported by all the senses, is most affected by the awareness of the sense of taste. Gobbling food down without the acute awareness of its taste will not create the bond between us and the plants or foods we are ingesting, and as this is the first step in the production of rasa, the rasa will be poorly generated.
Remember, this is the beginning of a 30 day digestive process, so we need to get the first step right!

Rasa and the Sensory-Emotional Link

In Ayurveda, each taste and smell is linked to a specific digestive process and a specific emotion. So, it is not surprising that when you smell brownies in the oven, you get “happy.” At the first scent of a meal, a specific digestive process beginning in the mouth, nose and emotional centers in the brain charged the food with that emotion. At the first scent of the meal, we continue an emotionally charged specific digestive process in the stomach and throughout the digestive tract.
As the taste of the food is called rasa and our emotions are also called rasa, the first lymph fluid, or rasa of digestion, will carry the taste and its related emotion into every cell of the body.
Since, according to Ayurveda, each taste carries a different emotion, it is important to have all six major tastes at each meal to create a balanced emotional state.

The six tastes (rasa) and their corresponding emotions are:

  • Sweet                satisfaction, contentment, fulfilled
  • Sour                  discernment, insightful, heightened awareness
  • Salty                  desire, zest for life, passionate
  • Pungent           extroverted, driven, ambitious
  • Bitter                dynamic, focused, cool-headed
  • Astringent        introspective, mental clarity, reflective; composed
If any one of these tastes is missing in the diet over a long period of time, or is present in excess, it can cause an emotional and physiological imbalance.
We know that 95% of the body’s serotonin is manufactured and stored in the gut, and we know that emotional states are affected by the kinds of microbes we have in the gut. We also know that the emotion-making microbes are very affected by the salient mood and feelings in our environment.
According to Ayurveda, the mood, feelings, and environment we are in during a meal will determine the state of your rasa, your nutrient fluid or lymph that is produced with the nutrients gleaned from that meal, which affects everything.
Thus, the tastes of each food and their corresponding emotions can help maintain, restore or disturb the subtle balance nurtured by eating. Foods are emotionally charged by how we eat our food, and each taste plays an important role.

With a lack of one of these six tastes you can become:

  • Sweet                complacent, apathetic, indifferent, lazy
  • Sour                  critical, judgmental
  • Salt                    hedonistic, controlled by the senses
  • Pungent            angry, aggressive; offensive
  • Bitter                 grief, disappointment
  • Astringent        overly sensitive, fearful, anxious

With an excess of one of these six tastes you can become:

  • Sweet                unsatisfied, depressed, discontented
  • Sour                  impulsive, careless, indiscreet; scattered
  • Salty                  unmotivated, indifferent, procrastinating
  • Pungent            passive, non-confrontational
  • Bitter                 bitter, depressed, pessimistic
  • Astringent        dull, listless mind and body, brain fog

Emotionally Charged Nutrient Fluid

The rasa or nutrient fluid generated will take on the charge of the environment, mood, feelings and awareness you experienced during your meal. The long-term cumulative effects of an excess or deficiency of one of these six tastes will further emotionally charge the food you are eating, and the lymph fluid produced.
As the food moves into the digestive tract, it takes the form of ahara-rasa, or nutrient lymph. It is this nutrient-fluid-rich food bolus that feeds and emotionally charges the trillions of microbes in the intestinal tract. These microbes in turn begin to manufacture digestive, detoxification, immunity, mood, energy, hormonal and numerous physiological chemicals and neurotransmitters that do the heavy lifting for the majority of the body’s functions—all with a specific emotional charge!

The 30-Day Digestion Cycles and the Major Body Tissues

After the ingestion of food and the creation of the rasa, the emotionally charged nutrient fluid begins its journey to develop the major tissues in the body, in this order:
  1. First, we have the creation of rasa.
  2. Then, with the help of certain enzymes, it becomes the blood (rakta) of the body.
  3. Then, the blood becomes the muscle (mamsa).
  4. Then, the fat (medha).
  5. Then, bone (asthi).
  6. Then, nervous tissue (majji).
  7. And finally, the reproductive tissue, the sperm and ovum (shukra).
These seven tissues are call dhatus in Ayurveda, and it takes 30 days for this process of their creation to be completed. Stress, negative emotions, eating in haste, or eating poor quality food can derail the production of healthy tissues.

How Tissue Production is Compromised—What Not to Do.

Stress, malnutrition, trauma, excessive activities, strain, worry, fear and of course eating without awareness and while under duress will alter the ability of the body to create healthy tissues. It is during this process that the molecules of emotion, or mental ama, are carried into the deep tissues of the body—which is one of the main reasons Ayurveda puts such great emphasis on detox.
It is not only to cleanse the body, but to purify the unhealthy emotions that we all carry since childhood. These emotions, if unreleased, will over time further disturb the production of healthy tissues in the body, and inevitably will begin to break down the body.
The science of rasayana is the science of rejuvenation and longevity aiming to reverse this degenerative process and ensure the healthy journey of rasa or lymph into the body’s most precious creation: Ojas.

Ojas Power

While the reproductive tissue is the final product of tissue creation for the needs of the species to procreate, there is one other final product that is unique to Ayurveda’s understanding of the body. Along the way, as rasa becomes the seven tissues, there is a subtle substance being formed simultaneously. This substance is called ojas. This is also called the longevity, immunity or vitality fluid.
It is the most subtle and most refined manifestation of the 30-day journey of the rasa or the lymph fluid. Small amounts of ojas are said to be produced as each dhatu or tissue is being made, in order to support the vitality of that tissue. But the supreme ojas, called Para Ojas, is produced at the end and as a result of the month-long process.
This supreme ojas is known as the physiological aspect of consciousness, which means it is the body’s most refined substance that most resembles consciousness itself. It resides and is stored in the heart and supports not only the health, immunity, and vitality of the body—it supports the spiritual process as well.
Excess strain, worry, fear, overeating or emotional wear and tear will deplete ojas—the final manifestation of rasa—our precious lymph. Though we cannot avoid some of the stressors that cross our paths in the modern world, there are some things we can do to help the body deal with stress better:

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Editor: Travis May

My Letter to Society’s Expectations of Women. ~ Whitney O. Wilson

Via Whitney O. Wilsonon May 27, 2014

Photo: Maegan Tantari via Flickr

Dear Society,

I am sorry but after 26 years of careful review, I know for certain that I can longer accept your influence in my life.

I cannot believe that my worth lies in the cleanliness of my home or in the appearance of my body. I am not defined by the size of my pants or my bra and my purpose is much greater than fitting nicely into the shadows of the men around me.
I am choosing to trust myself, and my own intuition, which cringes with each backwards message you try to shove down my throat. It knows that I am not some pretty princess who can be easily contained by the tiny, restricted definition of what this world expects.
You want me to be small.
You want me to be quiet.
You want me to be polite and appropriate.
You want me taned, skinny, shaved and covered in makeup.
But I have a big personality and loud mouth that spews swears like a sailor. I live in Maine, so I am always wicked pale. I enjoy my food and I am passionate about my meals, so I will always carry an extra layer of padding on my body. I am content with the majority of my legs being covered in hair—it keeps me warmer.
And I like how I look without make-up because it lets my face tell my story.
Why on earth should I make myself look well rested when I didn’t sleep well?
Stop making me feel shame for just being a human being. I will never be a “do it all” super woman like so many female characters in movies and television are being unrealistically depicted. That’s probably because they are fictional and I am real.
I am just a person, who happens to be a female, and if I do not fit the mold exactly, you scream at me that I am flawed, imperfect and worthy of less.
I love myself too damn much to let my greatest health and fitness aspiration be “to look hot/sexy in a bikini.” I refuse to worship photoshopped images of unrealistic bodies. I am not interested in making myself a more appealing objectified woman.
I am interested in nurturing my body, not changing it.
I am interested in living my life and enjoying my experiences, not looking pretty and having a man to validate my existence.
I want a body that can move and dance and jump and climb, not a body that can bend over and shake it for you while you undress me with your eyes.
I am just as awesome in a sweat suit as I am in a swimsuit, so stop trying to tell me otherwise.
You betrayed me and my sisters. You convinced too many women into becoming obsessed with needing to change, when they are already perfect.
I think happiness lies in self-acceptance, from that a natural desire to nurture your body and promote its health is born. Then once you can march to beat of your own drum, you will find it takes you were you want to go.
Being healthy is our natural state; it’s all the things we are doing without the intention of honoring ourselves that cause harm and discontent.
I think we need a revolution, not a new diet.
I am not just speaking for myself and many other women, but also for a lot of men. They don’t want the women in their lives depleted, constricted and demoralized. The men closest to me all have a deep love of juicy hips and squishy mid-sections.
I fell in love with a personal trainer and nutritionist (a man who values healthy bodies) five years ago and to this day he begs me to gain more weight, because he loves the curves that come with it. Men appreciate strong women, not helpless wimps. My brothers enjoy mowing down on large meals with me, because we love celebrating our vivacious appetites together.
When we conform to what society’s expectations dictate, we rob men of the happy, healthy, spirited companions they adore.
So I am sorry, society, but I just cannot do it anymore.
I can no longer subscribe to the belief that my femininity is a flaw.
I can no longer convince myself that being appealing to males is my greatest glory.
I am completely done having my self-worth decided by others.
It’s time to walk away from the whole damn scam that you’ve been selling.
I look forward to being a mother someday and praising my daughter for all the things she is wonderful at, not for her appearance. Because if she is anything like me then empty, shallow compliments about her looks will fall on deaf ears before she is even a teenager.
I want her to have a beautiful heart; I could care less if she has a beautiful face, because we can never be ugly if our soul is happy.
You will be fine without me in your ranks; there are far too many other women complacently swallowing the shit you’re slinging anyways. But unfortunately for you I know a lot of kick-ass chicks who are also through with you and we are making it our mission to take the rest of the women with us.
Soon you will be all alone.
Whitney Olivia Wilson
P.S. Here is a short list of stupid apparel items you’ve tried telling me that I should wear (I won’t do it.):
>> Spanx
>> Push-up bras
>> High-heels/Stilettos
>> Thongs
>> Skinny jeans & Mini skirts
>> Body contouring anything
“I get worried for young girls sometimes. I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shriveled.” ~ Amy Poehler

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