Sustainable Halo

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

Oh, Holiday…Spooky Holiday… November 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Simple Jess @ 12:09 am

How do we connect with the dead?  How do we actually find a line of communication with them?  Do you believe in the supernatural?  All good questions in my book.  Let us not stop there: Should we even bother?  How “real” is the possibility of them being a part of our everyday lives?

Like it or not, we are obsessed.  As a society, we flirt constantly with the unknown and unseen, while quickly skirting away when things get a little too uncomfortable.  Personally, I have found that my ability to strip away the context and story surrounding the death gives me some space.  The less I try to “understand” the situation and instead seek an “understanding” of the nature of death, I seem to find peace in loss.

No matter how traumatic the loss of life affects us, we truly can decide to embrace and love our lost ones in our own special ways.  Tonight, I honor my mother.  I seek to love my mother, who I lost so long ago.  I choose to parade with my children and celebrate life on this holiday but I am opening myself more than ever to the loving space that I trust my mother has in my heart.  As I draw the blinds on a spooky Halloween night, my spirit is drawn to my mother.  May she and I both rest in peace.

 

Been Hibernating February 9, 2011

Filed under: Mind, Body and Spirit — Simple Jess @ 1:58 pm

 

I must apologize to those who follow my blog.  This last year was one of pretty major transformation which required me to, well, hibernate a bit.  It is great to see that during this hiatus I have some new readers who were attracted by my posts of the past!  So I am back and thrilled.

You know, I started this blog with a desire and strong motivation to write and share through an urge I had to really change the modern lifestyle I was living, to make conscious choices and follow a shift that had come from my soul.  What a mind blowing journey it has been thus far!  I got more than I bargained for and have had to face, up close and personal, not just the harmonious side of doing right by myself and the universe but the ugly side as well…the reverse…the things that I, myself, was doing to hold back out of fear.  I have really been able to look at my shadow side and embrace it, to shed the false need to have only a beautiful representation of these changes taking place.  This last year I turned around and looked straight into the mirror with a willingness to see the ugly.  I realized that I was sometimes mistaking being positive with being fake.  Sometimes I have a difficult time in just admitting that, hey, something does not feel right here and its okay for me to be upset.  As long as I don’t act out on it in an unhealthy way I can accept my emotions, make friends with them and listen to what it is they are trying to tell me.  This is not easy in any way, believe me, I have found really “functional” ways to act out without being too obvious over the years.  I decided that I no longer want to take short cuts in order to appease my desires or my fears.  I no longer want to be hard on myself for things that are way out of my control.  So now, I am working this year to REALLY go inside and find the ways in which I pollute my inner riverbeds.  How do I cut corners for convenience and avoid reality when it comes to my emotions?  How do I put aside my spiritual needs to appease my dominant mind?  What is it that truly makes me feel good and at peace?  Instead of having brief encounters with my intuition and being mildly uncomfortable with the sensations it brings I choose to embrace it, get to know it and let it drive the bus.  Learning to trust myself, my higher self, the core of my being has proven to free my soul from the chains that were binding.  That shift that my soul was calling forth is in full swing now.  The only time I stumble or trip is if I or my ego gets in the way of that motion or an old pattern of belief or thought somehow escapes my now careful scrutiny of its existence within my behaviors.  I will expand on these topics later.

So, although I will continue writing about my usual subjects,  you will now see a lot more reflecting in these new areas…a little more honest, bare bones soul searching.  I hope anyway.  Certainly far from perfect, and thank God for that.

 

Food Matters April 21, 2010

Filed under: Alternative Health,Food, Food, Food!,Sustainable Living,Take action! — Simple Jess @ 11:23 pm

Charlotte Gerson is at it again!  My mentor and dream grandma figure lends her infinite wisdom to yet another attempt to inform Americans in the ongoing battle for health in this nation, the documentary Food Matters.  We should all take the time to brush up on the frightening but inspirational information gleaned from her lifelong crusade.  She has been plugging away for decades and now faces an ever more challenging problem with the addition of Franken Foods to the increasing veil of untruths we have to face when making food decisions in our lives,!  Agricultural corporations will continue to fight to the grave but fortunately for us, so will she.  And she is alive and kicking due to the Gerson Diet and Lifestyle so she will be fighting for us for many years to come I am sure.  She and the other very worthy warriors out there should not be so alone in this fight.  We, as citizens, owe it to ourselves to join the fight.  We are worth it.  Our children and grandchildren are worth it.  Check it out!

Love and light,

Jess

 

What a shame…. February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Simple Jess @ 3:17 am

I have been absent for awhile, just living and riding the wave of life.  I have so much to write about and much of it is lovely.  BUT!  Tonight, I am writing about something that just makes me sick.  Sick and sad.

What kind of reality do we live in when we are demanding organic, non GMO and so called sustainable food from our grocery stores?  It is a paradox!  Yes, it is good to let them know that we want something different but can we achieve that by requesting responsible products or is there a better way?  YES!!!!

There is a better way. I am going to be very simple about this because I respect your time and really am just so fed up that I am not interested in my writing skills right now.

#1.  Participate in your local Co-op if you have one.  If you can google, you can find it.  Become a member and shop there for your food.

#2.  Your local Co-op will have labels on their produce and you can look up the name and get to know the farmers.  It is a RELATIONSHIP.

#3.  If this is not an option for you, find your closest organic farm, again through google, and find out if they have a CSA.  Don’t worry about what that is right now.  Just know that it is JUST LIKE the old fashioned market. Google CSA and your town and you will find something if it is available.  If you have organic farms that do not offer CSA and you are a trooper….contact them and ask them to start.

I want to share a recent email from my CSA that broke my heart……BUT spurs me to express what is going on!

Here it is:

This Week’s Delivery CSA items for week of  February 8, 2010:   Avocado, Navel oranges, Pink Lay apples, Kent Mangos, Asian pears, broccoli, carrots of baby leeks, red mustard or kale, alfalfa sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, salad with edible flowers, lemon, heirloom tomato and bouquet of flowers.

Dear Shareholders,

A word of caution.  This weeks message won’t be of the ‘fluff and fold’ type that I usually like to give.  There are so many incredible beautiful and uplifting events that happen every week that sustains us, I like to share them.  However with regret and gratitude to those that did support us, we are not going to be offering the farm stand after this Saturday, Feb. 13.  It truly became The Last Stand.  We were able to let many people (many with children) visit and tour so at least they know we are here and the dream lives.  It was a matter of economics and in these times, we just couldn’t afford to supplement it. Shareholders may visit any time they’d like by letting us know when and we welcome you.

I’ll give you a simple recipe for your red mustard (can be sharp/hot when raw) or kale in a minute.  Here’s some Ag news.

We receive a newsletter from the Farm Service Agency from the USDA (US Dept. of Agriculture).  The January issue had a title that caught my eye -Help Available to Stressed Farmers.  It read, “In the past year, the economy, inclement weather, drought and other factors have hurt many farming operations around the country.  These events pushed some farmers to the emotional breaking point.  Watching their livelihood being threatened is difficult for farmers and ranchers and especially for those who care about them.  The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available to help.  If you know a farmer or rancher who is under stress (??) and is reluctant to ask for help… call 1-800-272-TALK.  ”  The last sentence reads “This service is not affiliated with the US Department of Agriculture.”  Another tidbit of information is that the zip code that receives the most federal agriculture subsidy monies is 92037, La Jolla, California!  Know of any food producing farms there?  The things that amuse me….

Greens and Pasta

This is a classic for any type of cooking green.  Wash and chop 1 bunch cooking greens (mustard,Swiss chard, kale, rapini, etc).  Saute a couple of garlic cloves (or our dried garlic) in olive oil with a pinch of dried red pepper flakes if you like.  Add greens and cook to the consistancy you lprefer.  Add to cooked pasta and toss with good shredded Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.  Serve as a side dish or main with salad and crusty bread.  Even children will eat their greens!

THERE YOU GO, FOLKS…..

I am not yelling, just making a strong statement.

If this is the type of interaction you would like to have with your food provider, then follow the simple steps to get started.  If it does not seem simple and you do not know where to start….PLEASE CONTACT ME FROM THE ABOUT LINK AT TOP OF PAGE.  I will help you!  I know how overwhelming it can feel and how intimidating the initial scare of the cost can be….but be assured.  Once you start, the cost pays for itself and you begin to see how you either pay now or you pay later….or our kids pay later…..

Love and light,

Jess

 

Thanksgiving Day Reflections November 26, 2009

Filed under: Inspirations — Simple Jess @ 4:21 pm

Hello, lovelies!

I completed my fast and have spent the last couple of days working food back into my system so I would be able to eat a meal of gratitude today with my two beautiful boys and my great friend Lauren.  As she continues her journey from Calistoga to San Diego, I am filled with excitement and joy.  The boys have been playing and sparring and crying and all the stuff little toddlers do.  I am grateful.

I decided to take a drive with them to pick up a few last minute menu requirements and chose to veer off my path a bit to get a gauge on the island on Thanksgiving.  We blasted inspirational Christmas music and gloried in the beautiful and joyful day.  There were a lot of sporty couples strolling, running and lounging on benches as they soaked up the warm sunny day.  A lot of teenagers were out and about on their beach cruisers, surely plotting how they would get away from their parents to hang with their buddies.  Maybe I was a bit like them, trying to explore my boundaries.  One man stood out.

I have seen him occasionally the past week walking around with a small piece of luggage that he pulls behind him.  He has a bright light but I could see it in his heavy shoulders and settled way that he was hurting.  Finally, today, I stopped the car.  I pulled over.  Graham said, “Church!”  I thought of how appropriate his intuition was.  I said, “Yes, honey, I need to do little something for God.”  I walked over to him and asked him if he was okay and if he had something warm for the holiday.  He said, “No.  My heart is heavy.”  My eyes welled up because he was so demure and composed.  I hugged him tight and told him that if he needed a place to celebrate the holiday he was welcome.  His pride stepped in and he explained that he was hoping to see his son.  I hugged him again and wished the best for the holiday.  He apologized as tears came and said he was worried he would wet me with his tears.  I said, “Those are blessed tears and I welcome them, sir.”  He stepped  back and asked my name, which I then shared.  He said, “I am going through a divorce and I am at the bottom.”  I said, “Then there is nowhere to go from here than up my brother.  Think about anything you might need and if I see you around, let me know.  You are welcome to have Thanksgiving with us.  God bless you.”  He thanked me and humbly walked away.

I got back in the car and wept.  I wept with sadness and joy all the same time.  I wept the whole way home and felt the gratitude that was in  me this day.  I have so many things to be grateful for today.  This man was but a reflection of me.  I saw the beauty in both of us and hopefully shared a spark of that with him.  I share with all of you, my friends, my family…thank you, thank you, thank you for listening.  Life is beautiful even when it is sad.  Life is beautiful.

Love and light,

Jess

 

Land of Oz Liquid Fast for Thanksgiving November 18, 2009

Filed under: Alternative Health,Food, Food, Food!,Mind, Body and Spirit — Simple Jess @ 5:34 pm

So, I created my own fast for Thanksgiving preparation and since so many of you have expressed interest in this topic I decided to share this fasting experience with my beloved readers.  Finding a relationship with food is so difficult for so many.  It can seem like we are Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as we traverse the scores of recommendations and reports constantly surfacing, as we seek out the wizard.

I believe that with clean cells and a body set up to channel lots of energy we can handle anything.  Maybe if Dorothy had sipped a nice fresh pressed fruit drink that day in Kansas, she would have found herself much stronger and not so afraid of the wicked witch.  Bare with me and the hokey Land of Oz stuff  as I have been fasting and the creative juices are flowing…trust me, I am holding back.

Don’t be the Scare Crow and shy away from my corny approach here…keep reading!  Okay, I’ll stop.  Let’s get to the fasting.

I began with a 7 day juice fast, followed with 7 days of light eating and am now on a 10 day fast that is broken down into segments.  Here is my outline:

7 days of fresh pressed fruit and veggie juice, water, kombucha and peppermint tea fasting

7 days of light eating, mix of raw and cooked vegetables and lots of raw fruit…still juicing and tea drinking of course:)

10 days – First 7 days just like the previous 7 days and the final 3 days will be distilled water and hot peppermint tea

For the fruits and vegetables, I suggest playing around with these:

-kale, romaine, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, cabbage, parsnips, sprouts, avocados, watermelon, apples, grapefruit, oranges, grapes (which are heavenly this time of year by the way…really sweet)

You can juice and cook all of the vegetables in unique ways.  Make sure you eat fruit by itself as it should never combined with other foods.  They slow down the digestion and it begins to rot in your tummy…giving you horrible digestion problems and eliminating the cleansing properties of the fruit all together.  My current understanding is that when you juice, you can combine fruits and veggies as it is assimilated so quickly in that form.  If you have any digestive or bowel problems it is best to separate you fruit juice from your veggie juice.  If you need your veggie juice sweet you can add a bit of stevia or even better beets or carrots…they sweeten quite well.  I am neglecting some minutia here but as far getting started goes this is good practice.  Then you can listen to your body and soul.  Pay good attention, they have a lot to say.

The juices give an abundance of energy and joy during the fast and are a really great introduction to fasting as they provide nutrients and minerals and protein and so on and so on.  I enjoy my juice so much now that it is often more appealing to me than cooked foods and salads.  However, I am at a point in my life where I still have cravings and seasonal preferences so I am not above baking an apple, roasting a big platter of root veggies and I really love blended salads…I’ll write more about those another day!  Let me share a sample day of juice fasting, today in fact:

I started my morning with nothing, just prayer and contemplation, followed by skin brushing and tooth/tongue brushing. (Fasting tends to bring out the toxins and they need to be brushed away.  I cannot stress how useful skin brushing is in my life.)  Then I showered and tinkered around the house.  Then the boys are up and we tickled for a bit. Around 9AM I juiced:

Around 15 large carrots – 3 gala apples – 2 inch chunk of ginger.  Now, this drink is highly addictive and has been known to cause an abundance of squealing from my little munchkins.  They love to help me stir before I serve it and there is never any left over.  Its always good to make enough for sharing:)  Even though it is best to drink it right away while it has the most enzymes, I am a mother and pragmatic so I understand that we all do not have time for juicing constantly.  So, you can juice in the morning and put it in stainless steel to go containers for the day…just drink it that day for sure.  I do this for my boys so I have quick sips for them on hand when they are in the mood.

After getting some exercise and doing some yoga stretching, which ended around lunch time, I juiced:

8 or 9 stalks of kale – 1 really large red bell pepper – 5 stalks of celery – 2 apples.  This juice is just heavenly.  It gives me so much energy and it would completely kick the pants off of coffee if it weren’t so peaceful and kind:)  It sweeps through your body, cleaning out your cells and letting them know that its time to dust out the cobwebs and caked up dirt that arise in our bodies due to over-indulging ourselves.  I like to think of it as “The Good Witch.”

Then I spent the day playing with and taking care of my children.  During nap and down time, I caught up on studying and reading and stuff.

Since I am taking night classes, I need a really good juice to keep my mind sharp and spirits up.  So around 4PM I juiced:

1 Whole Pineapple – 1 Grapefruit – 1 Pomegranate.  This is seriously yummy.  Its like a nice dessert treat to end my day. This is sure to take you somewhere over the rainbow!   Hopefully I will get some sleep tonight with all of these cells dancing with joy in my body.  Really though, I sleep just fine because my body is really receptive to the break it is getting from solid food and soaks up the energy of the juice but when the day is over it completely lets me knock off.  After class, I meditated and prayed, did some light stretching, took a bath and here I am about to hit the hay.

Please note that in a recent conversation with my yoga instructor he shared with me some Auyervedic wisdom.  He recommended not combining fruits and veggies during a fast because it causes “wind,” gas, and keeps us a bit too expanded.  If you feel too esoteric, as I do at times, it is good to separate the juices from the veggies.  I am not used to doing this and will experiment and share soon.  I can say that I have been feeling a little fairy like and do not prefer this so I intend to follow his advice and see what comes.  Until then, here is what my days have been looking like, minus one or two juices depending on my hunger level.

I would like to end this post with a bit of inspiration.  Whatever our approach to food is it can only bring good when we eat consciously with good intentions.  Being grateful for what we eat is so important.  Let yourself slow down and give thanks for the food on your plate.  Find the strength and kindness of your heart, even if you feel a bit like the Lion who knew he needed one but did not know how to get it.  It is there and a more compassionate and respectful approach to your food is a great place to start.  Take a little time to get to know your food and let it nourish you in ways that you might be ignoring due to the rush of life.  I am not suggesting that we make it all about food.  There are other ways we should be nurturing ourselves too.  Seek out nourishing relationships and activities.  Take care of your whole self.  Food is just a tangible thing that we can get our hands on and even though it is rich with complexity it is something we see, taste, smell, feel and hear (if we listen really closely.)  If we start with cleansing and healing our bodies, clean cells jump for joy and neurological pathways open up and the guidance we need in other areas of life unfolds.  The wisdom of our design begins to parade and lead us in directions that we never knew we were capable of.

Sure, life happens and we inevitably face hard times but it is so much easier to do when we are scrubbed clean.  Venture down the yellow brick road and see what you find.  Have some fun.  I look forward to a humble Thanksgiving and spirited experience.  Check back to see what I prepare for the feast!

Love and dancing light,

Jess

Please note that I am not a medical professional and am not dispensing medical advice. I am merely sharing lifestyle tips. If you find anything in my material that inspires you to change your daily habits I encourage you to discuss it with your doctor.  Fasting is not something to take lightly and one should be a very serious study done carefully or professionally guided if looking for success.  Make sure you know how to break your fast, which is about the most important part of the process.  Step back in to food carefully with easy watermelon, canteloupe, broths, soups, cooked vegetables, etc.

 

Blogging October 7, 2009

Filed under: Sewing the Seeds — Simple Jess @ 5:24 pm

Blogging is such a fascination for me. There are scores of wonderful blogs out there. I mean I could endlessly read blogs. I love to see how they are organized, what their general theme is, what is their purpose, etc. But I really love to learn more about the writers. I am always so curious about who it is out there that is writing the material. I often wish I knew them and the more colorful side of their everyday lives. In the internet age, we have formed a new kind of relationship! What used to be restricted to reading books about characters, watching television shows and communicating with pen pals has transformed into a cornucopia of networking relationships that I find very thrilling! There is a danger, however, of losing the magic of grocery store conversations, long walks with friends, playing cards with friends instead of a computer, activities and involvement in the community, etc.

I have taken classes in person and also via the computer. While a I like the pace and freedom of online courses I truly savor the classroom setting. Especially when you find your instructor to be vibrant and wise. I like to challenge my brain with a computer game but it is really pretty one sided…it is mostly your imagination. I prefer to play cards or games with real people where the real kaleidoscope of fun takes place. In recent years, I had gotten to the point where I detested phone conversations and found myself texting. While I still text, I find a good phone conversation a much better release.

I strolled the boys to the market today and there was a lovely older woman, who I discovered was a ripe 83 years young, and she stopped to give the boys a sweet hello. We started chatting and it turned into a wonderful connection. I could have stayed in my hurried, distracted and pragmatic mind frame that I was in: you see I had groceries to get and we had to walk home yet and I had to……you get the point. Instead, I took a moment to experience her colorful wisdom: the same experience I sometimes wish I could have with my favorite bloggers.

Woman in Garden

So my suggestion to my readers today is that you find the hidden gems in your community. Be open to innocent communication with your neighbors and townships. Step away from your cocoon of your home and all of its comforts. You just might find a friend. As always, you will always have a friend in me. You are all my brothers and sisters and wouldn’t it be so nice if we ran across each other at the market?

Love and light,
Jess

P.S.  No this is not the woman I met, but pretty darn close:)  Mine had some really stylish sunglasses on!