Bacon, Eggs and Yin Yoga….going native in a wierd world

Well hello again dear reader. There’s been a few changes around here. You know I’m not one for prolific posts (I have a life to lead away from the screen!) but I thought you should know what’s been going down around my particle of universe…check it out….

I am wearing my shades at night and not in the sun. I have switched from becoming almost vegan to eating meat every day and Yin yoga is stretching the parts of me that no other medication could ever reach. Oh and my biceps are bigger than they’ve ever been in my life.
What the hell is going on?

Well, in a nut shell I’ve gone native. I’m living as a hunter gatherer in the 21st Century, er, you know…hunting in Waitrose and going barefoot in the garden lots….well, it’s a start. I tell you what though; my energy has gone through the roof and for a while there I thought I was never going to shift the ME/CFS label thing out of my system but guess what folks, it seems the yolks have it and bacon has never tasted so virtuous.

If you want to know more than skip along to http://www.marksdailyapple.com (when you’ve finished reading this post and pressed the follow button of course) and learn a bit about how our bodies are designed to eat animal protein and being a vegetarian might just be wearing you out, never mind the veganism….yawn…

It’s ok if you’ve never experienced meat power in your muscles, but being brought up on meat and then going veggie years later, I never did recover that sense of sheer joy at feeling the full range of oomph in my muscles that they were surely designed for. Now you have to buy ethically of course as it’s grass-fed meat and organic produce we’re after here because like every veggie we care about the animals but I’m sorry, if you eat cheese and milk you are inevitably part of the industrial food chain and the best you can do is to give yourself the proper nourishment so you can really go out there and make some changes.

I tell you, this is all a major turn around for me. not more than a few months back I was proudly announcing how close to a vegan ideal I was getting in my meals; farting and sporting a gassed up bloated bean belly, at least I felt ethically superior. It did nothing for my energy however, and day after day of lagging on the sofa waiting for that magic few hours of pick up was starting to take its toll. I started on the St Johns wort as I just couldn’t find my inner sunshine anymore.

Fast forward a few weeks and a month in to my new diet of meat, fish, fowl, eggs, nuts, salad leaves, vegetables and lots of cold water (with cacao and other treats interspersed) I am just about to launch my yoga business and start my first group classes. I’m already expanding my range of activities to hauling rocks, gardening with a spade, carrying my nearly three year-old into town on my back (with shopping sometimes)…well it doesn’t take a genius to figure what my body has been lacking.

The other day when eating freshly fried bacon in butter (yeah!) I was thinking how every food is trying to emulate this basically supremely satisfying blend of protein and fat and salt. Oh boy. But you do need to realize on thing. This is a food choice pathway that leaves bread by the wayside. The complex carb boat is sunk. No more rice, spelt, wheat, rye, anything containing gluten and also no beans. Mung bean no more. Chick pea forget. No. This diet is only for those with the mind of determination and the will to survive.
After two years stuck on the sofa, I can’t look back now. I’d rather have muscle power than bean farts any day, anyway.

As for the shades…well that’s a whole ‘nother story….ha!

Go Go PALEO!

Want More Time? Stuck In a Rut? Then Slow Down…

There’s something about my approach to painting that I have only recently understood and it very clearly serves to explain why I’ve been frustrated and frequently blocked, even when I’ve been prolific. For ages I’ve thought my paintings suck, or lack, or just don’t quite do it for me. I’d like to share this with you because it’s a common problem with lots of areas in our lives. Apply my theory to any area in your life and see what happens.

Here’s my theory…

It’s not what you are doing It’s HOW you are doing it!

Now that may not be a major revelation for you if you are a careful person who instinctively takes their time but for me, when I discovered I was simply rushing, this was my moment of breakthrough. Ok, I knew why I was rushing; because I don’t have much time to paint and I’m trying to fill a canvas or whatever and get a painting ‘done’.

What I had forgotten was the process. I had become goal oriented…oh how strange!

Just like the vast majority of my life I had unwittingly transferred my frantic search for ‘more’ to my creative life as well!

You know the scene…rushing through the boring jobs to get to the one you love and then when you get to that important one you really give a damn about you are so strung up you botch it by overworking a piece, going too far, too quickly, your mind completely out of the moment and in the idealized future when….oh dear, another unsatisfying result which leads to further feelings of frustration and reinforcing the ‘I’m crap’ belief system.

Sound familiar? Well it does to me.

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of guided meditation during my chill time with the help of a few inspired apps like Insight Timer instead of reading or searching on eBay. This is paying dividends in my attention span and my ability to choose thoughts. Its been a while since I rushed headlong through a painting. I’ve been close but the process has been loosened out a bit from my previous habits and there is a bit more time to choose the next move. As a result my work is starting to deepen, and this pleases me immensely.

Ok, it’s been frustrating to have to wait so long to actually paint something, simply because I am taking longer to get round to it, but again, the quality over quantity bug is starting to itch me more than the one that just wants more, at any cost. I get the feeling we can all be a bit fixated on the more and not the less, so it’s a bit of a minimalist thing I suppose. I guess you could say it’s minimalism in action, not in stuff terms or to put it another way, simply pacing our activities away from more to less.

It’s not just our most important creative pursuits that need pacing. Due to experiencing ME/CFS for the past few years, I’ve had to learn how to pace everything! Literally…

My walking, my talking, my breathing, my eating, my cleaning, even… well you get the picture! Even getting dressed used to get me wound up in the morning and falling over my jean legs; I was always trying so desperately to get somewhere, but where?

Somewhere Else!

The thing is, the grass really does look greener on the other side because we’re not standing in it looking down at the gaps! In psychological terms when we are rushing we are living in non-acceptance of the present. Why is this? Why is the present moment such a hard place to be?

Our culture for one encourages the vision to always be scanning for bigger, better, brighter…it actively fuels our discontent.

Indeed, many a time I have observed myself walking through town scanning, window shopping, desiring, planning my next spend. It doesn’t matter how much we have, the habit of spending as just one example is indicative of our collective inability to slow down. Yeah, there is also the background pressure to keep the economy going, but this is rhetoric. We are the economy! If we slowed down to a human pace and not that of a machine, the economy would adjust. But lets face it, I’m being utopian here and humans are no more going to slow down than I’m going to become Buddha in the next five minutes.

Wait a minute. …

But I could you know! I could become a Buddha in an instant if I really believed it was possible, and so could you. Likewise, it’s as hard to imagine we are even able to slow down, but I’ve seen it is possible and probably necessary for lots of reasons that we all know. Stress for one.

What if we spent a whole day watching our breath, watching our thoughts, watching our endless list of needs and desires play themselves on loop. What would happen if we could see clearly?

What if we became mindful, ethical, peaceful, slllllooooooowwww down just enough to take care of our creations and most importantly, our relationships, for they might just be the most important things we ever create.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

‘What if……………………?’

Namaste

🙂