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Niyama...

 

Grateful to be part of this year’s gathering
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‘When the sun has set, and the moon has set, and the fire has gone out, and speech has stopped, what light does a person here have?’
The soul, indeed, is his light,’ said he, ‘for with the soul, indeed, as the light, one sits, moves about, does one’s work, and returns.’
BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD, IV. 3.6.
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Father Christmas

JRR Tolkien

Take, and welcome joy within you:
Showers, flowers, powers,
Hatfulls, capfulls, lapfulls,
Treasures, measures, pleasures,
All be yours to enjoy!
-Celtic Devotional
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Even though both our daughter’s are well beyond the fantasies of a “real” Santa, the story of the Tomtem, mythical Finnish elves, (and these days what I would give for a Tomtem to help cook and clean!) and snuggling up to endlessly open each envelope within Tolkien’s Letters From Father Christmas, the magic and our imaginations still shine with wonder and grace for the season– no matter what.

The Spirit of the Holiday is quite powerful if you take the time to remember and reflect on what truly is important and meaningful. Such a simple and beautiful gift to give oneself, but not always easy to do.

Tis the season of gift giving and ever-expanding commercialization of Christmas
as we modern people know all too well. This busying and running here and there has robbed the “sacredness of the season” as I refer back to the wise words of John Matthews:

 

….we ask and are being asked, “What do you want this year?” There are certainly things that we would quite like, things that we hope will be brought for us, but these are not the same as our wants. True wants are not small things satisfied by prettily wrapped parcels: they are the immense needs of inner space that can be overwhelmed by all our little wants and yearnings. To consider our real needs– the things we lack in our lives – is often too frightening, opening up an abyss of need that calls our very existence into question… Our real wants eat holes in us: never resting, never loving, never greeting, never finding, never seeking, never ever being satisfied deep down. These ravenous wants define our treasures so truly. They create a Christmas list that no store could supply: time to stop and really enjoy, in a space of quietness and contentment… Space to give and receive love reciprocally. The grace to seek and find our spiritual joy. Freedom from the tyranny and burden of other’s expectations, of what others think. Acceptance of ourselves as we truly are.

This season our wish is for our youngest daughter to really begin believing, once again, within her own inner gifts, her endless possibilities to live a full and happy Life, without ED. That she can accept herself as she is, feel safe, trust herself and others, allow her body and mind the time it needs to heal; and acknowledge her own true needs.

It again, seems so simple.

I also wish for all of you to give yourselves the gift of time to listen to your own true needs, find an inner abundance of Peace and Love, and allow time and space to fully ENJOY this holiday season!

shanti

* Many Heart-Felt Thanks to all who have emailed and written with your thoughts and support! We feel very blessed to have such caring individuals in our lives– especially at this time– THANK YOU! Marielle the gift-basket was so incredibly generous and such a surprise…. words can’t begin to convey our appreciation. -XO*

 

When I think of the most beautiful voice, there is no comparison to the sound of Lata Mangeshkar. This lyric brings me to tears and yet I find great comfort in both the sounds and words.

-A very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

वैष्णव जन तो (Vaishnav Jan to ): वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जेपीड़ परायी जाणे रेपर दुख्खे उपकार करे तोयेमन अभिमान ना आणे रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …सकळ लोक मान सहुने वंदेनींदा न करे केनी रेवाच काछ मन निश्चळ राखेधन धन जननी तेनी रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …सम दृष्टी ने तृष्णा त्यागीपर स्त्री जेने मात रेजिह्वा थकी असत्य ना बोलेपर धन नव झाली हाथ रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …मोह माया व्यापे नही जेनेद्रिढ़ वैराग्य जेना मन मान रेराम नाम सुन ताळी लागीसकळ तिरथ तेना तन मान रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे …वण लोभी ने कपट- रहित छेकाम क्रोध निवार्या रेभणे नरसैय्यो तेनुन दर्शन कर्ताकुळ एकोतेर तारया रेवैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे

Hindi- :Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye Jay peerh paraaye janneyray Par dukkhey upkar karey teeyey, man abhiman na anney ray Sakal lokma Sahuney bandhey, Ninda Na karye kainee ray Baach kaachh, Man nischal Raakhey, dhan-dhan jananee tainee ray Samdrishi nay trishna tyagee, par-stree jaynay mat ray Vivihva thaki asatya na bolay, par-dhan nav jhaley haath ray Moh maaya vyaayey nahin Jeynay, dridth vairagya jana manma rayRam-nam-shoom taalee laagee, Sakal teerth seyna tanma ray Vanloohee nay kapat rahit chhay, Kaam, Krodh nivarya ray Bhane Narsinhyo tainoo darshan karta kul ekotair taarya re:

English- :Speak only as godlike of the man who feels another’s pain Who shares another’s sorrow and pride does disdain Who regards himself lowliest of the low Speaks not a word of evil against anyone Blessed is the mother who gave birth to such a son Who looks upon everyone as his equal, Lust he has renounced Who honors women like he honors his mother Whose tongue knows not the taste of falsehood Nor covets another’s worldly goods Who longs not for worldly wealth (or fame)For he treads the path of renunciationEver on his lips is Ram’s holy name All places of pilgrimage are within him He has conquered greed, is free of deceit, lust and anger Through him Narsinh has godly vision And his generation to come will attain salvation:

leaves

 

I have a group of friends, some of us have been buds since high school, that take an annual “getaway” to the Cape Cod of the Midwest and rekindle to a cabin, enjoy great food, great sights and wonderful memories. We are an eclectic bunch, love and support each other dearly, but most of us either live at opposite ends of the globe or within different states, have families, busy careers and do our best to stay in touch via email, phone and the annual escape.

When we discovered Kate Jacobs The Friday Night Knitting Club we began to loosely refer to our own “group” of eclectic Momma’s, hip-Sista’s, and cherished Friends within similar shadows cast in Jacobs endearing novel. Some of us do also knit, but my abilities at this craft (my Finnish G-Ma I know is grimacing down… all those beautiful scarves, legwarmers, mittens and sweaters to my clumsy and pathetic scraps of endlessly funny looking pot holders, both of my girls can also needle me to blushing embarrassment! What I yield with a paintbrush, quill and acrylics makes up for that I guess) are definitely comical.

Two years ago it was impossible to consider this pilgrimage with our daughter’s eating disorder diagnosis, and everything in our lives just seemed to stand still, as if one was holding in the deepest breath, waiting to exhale.

Next fall, we’ll be approaching three years in… deep exhalation; I take the moment to do something for myself, heck even have some fun!

And it was well worth it, and probably why my body is clearly present back here in the city, but my mind is still back in Door County, appreciating those gifts of friendship and remembering that caring for oneself is just as important as caring for others.

As parents, caregivers, extended family members, and partners who support and care for our loved ones recovering from an eating disorder, it doesn’t matter if you head for the woods or take a bubble-bath surrounded by candles and peaceful solitude, what does matter is that you remember to take the time to honor and care for yourself as well.

Simple yet so easy to forget… so please remember.

shanti

   Fire”  T-Mere

 

 

… what’s it worth?

 

“Art is the most passionate orgy within man’s grasp.”

-John Donne

Sarah Stevens (center) and siblings-StarTimes

I love reading authentic stories about hard-won recovery work unadulterated by a gamut of other voices and agendas. And when it’s coupled with a genuine spirit and determined passion to make a difference in the eating disorder community you can’t help but be touched and feel gratitude toward those who have not only triumphed over an eating disorder but are determined to implement change.

So while in the midst of carving the last finishing touches upon our collected Jack-O-Lantern harvest and waiting to roast the seeds, allow Sarah Stevens’s story to inspire (you can also sponsor her ‘Walk’ scheduled in November: beautifulstars@hotmail.co.uk or sponsor by phone: (09)426-4844)and cast the goblins away this Halloween Day!

Happy Samhain to my Earth-centered friends!

-NY Times

… and putting real faces and voices to the lives of those with Eating Disorders. The NYtimes Health Guide along with Well column/blog by Tara Parker has a wonderful piece documenting a variety of brave and courageous individuals who share their journey of Hope and Healing.

shanti

 

: Sarva mangala mangalye shive sarvartha sadhike

Sharanye trayambake gauri, Narayani namostute :

_______________________________


: O Mother ! You are the personification of all that is auspicious,

You are the benevolent form of Lord Shiva,

You bestow Divine energy and help people achieve Righteousness, wealth, fulfill desires and Liberation,

You are worthy of being surrendered to.

Three eyes adorn You.

O Narayani Devi, I pay obeisance to You

 

I love fall!

I love our annual trip to the apple farm, the continued but slowing scramble to farmer’s markets until they close shop next month, the cool nights and the warmth of a wood-fed fire pit surrounded by the deep and intoxicating smells that this season brings along with it. The cornstalks soon to be put out along with the vibrantly hued pumpkins, the trees’ deciduous leaves now changing in accord… it’s a sensory orgasm!

Last week seemed a bit more hectic, balancing home, family and a personal work-life in conjunction with extended family and friends for our annual Late Summer-Fall Equinox potluck. But all the work and preparations reminded me how vital it is reconnecting with others whose lives are busy like ours, whose children are growing and/or grown, and gather for one evening to celebrate the change of season, share a bountiful meal, taste new creations, revisit old favorites and maintain some deeper meaning within our lives.

A couple of weeks ago I was inspired to see BANA (Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association) holding it’s Global Dinner Table Conference (wonderful titled theme!) and extending efforts to educate and connect within the Ontario region with spokeswoman, advocate and eTalk journalist Ms Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau presenting a powerful personal journey through recovery from bulimia. Now as a healthy mother, wife and proponent for eating disorders she stated quite beautifully: “healing means reconstructing your notion of self, and who you are, and your connection with the world”.

BANA is one of a handful of grassroots organizations that actually carries out valuable, useful support and services instead of only allocating funds-donations and collecting data, along with having a vital partnership with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that is broadly interconnected with hospitals, medical communities, local demographics, schools and universities to align more effectively with clinicians and the broader public to reach those in need and provide support for families.

Another organization of note that has recently joined earlier this month at the “global table” is BEDA (Binge Eating Disorder Association) which can be additionally pivotal towards connecting those whose diagnosis is either “undefined” “unspecified” or completely overlooked towards the resources they need, and continue providing the educational and preventative services as well as highlighting probably the most common form of eating disorder more broadly present.

It’s aspiring to see such organizations take root and develop, gathering together as a unified front to fight an illness that has left far too many for too long uninvited or unheard to now join at “the global table” to come together!

 

 

“O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not,but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance,
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. “
– William Blake

 

Eating disorder recovery, like gardening, is most definitely a labor of love.

And while I’ve been gardening as long as I can remember (although when I was younger, I absolutely detested those summers in the “country” toiling, weeding and watering; the only salvation was my G-Ma’s raspberry pies- and oh, how we grumbled and complained! Such indentured servants to the land we were; little did we know the lessons being planted early on by our wiser parental-elder units indeed!) with digging and transplanting in country soil, urban community plots, studio rooftop gardens, CSA worker-share’s- you name the place, I’ve always found a way, even on a low budget, to squeeze something beneficial, tasty and aesthetically pleasing into the ground our family happened to be living on top of.

With only two years passing since our daughter was diagnosed with anorexia, there are many things we are still learning together about this illness and how to best tend-cultivate to our daughter’s support and recovery. But we have definitely learned so much since she was diagnosed, what works, what definitely doesn’t, when to move on, regroup/restrategize, and also when to let things be, step back, and also knowing when to step back in when needed. Quite like tending to a garden plot I’d say.

And I can’t but think as I’m scrambling to let the frittata cool, get the gazpacho out, toss the pasta with fresh tomatoes from the garden… we have ten or twenty arriving? ugh! Hubby’s tending the proverbial flame to finish the tandoori chicken and burgers- that some of the best lessons are learned from the garden.

__________________________________


For the garden of your daily living, plant three rows of peas:

  • Peas of mind
  • Peas of heart
  • Peas of soul

Plant four rows of squash:

  • Squash gossip
  • Squash indifference
  • Squash grumbling
  • Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:

  • Lettuce be faithful
  • Lettuce be kind
  • Lettuce be patient
  • Lettuce really love one another

No garden is without turnips:

  • Turnips for meetings
  • Turnips for service
  • Turnips to help one another

To conclude our garden, one must have thyme:

  • Thyme for each other
  • Thyme for family
  • Thyme for friends

-Jessica Prough

 

Have a wonderful and abundant Labor Day!

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