My whole life, I’ve been a total mess. Some blame it on having had a maid growing up, but my sister was picked up after too, and she’s neat as a pin. Some consider it laziness on my part, and yet I can exhibit profound un-laziness in may other aspects of my life. I remember in college, contemplating the ever-growing pile of dirty clothes in my dorm room thinking, like a frightened junkie: I gotta get a handle on this.
And I tried. I really did. But nothing ever stuck. A boyfriend I had in my twenties couldn’t understand that I cared so deeply about what I cooked for myself, and yet left the kitchen a total mess. After having inhabited by body for quite a while at that point, I completely empathized with the perplexity he felt. The only way I could explain it was like this: “I need you to think of me, honey” I said, sweetening the bomb I was about to drop, “as retarded.”
I wasn’t joking. It’s as if I’m simply wired to make a mess–as powerless as someone with any other wiring issue. And there’s no getting around it. It’s like asking a gay person to go straight, or a straight person to go gay. And what I was asking for from Todd was a little compassion, a little cut-me-some-slack-because-your-judgment-is-really-stressing-me-out and-it’s-not-gonna-get-me-to-be-neat-anyway. Know what I mean?
When I lived at the Kushi Institute, a teacher there said–with disgust–that messiness was a sign of mucky instestines. That totally freaked me out. So I did everything I could to clean out my inner tubing, thinking that could make me a Neat. And I got increasingly neurotic about it by the day. Dried daikon drink. Ume-sho-kuzu. Ginger compresses on my gut. You name it. Anything to make me a Neat! Until one day, I walked past the bedroom of a really fine, experienced, Japanese cook. His name was Naoki and he was in charge of all the food production at the K.I. He had not grown up on a sludgy Canadian diet. His energy was very refined, loving and yet, razor-sharp. His hips were as slim as a supermodel’s and he seemed the last person whose intestines would be full of sludge. And guess what? His room was a pigsty. Okay, not a pigsty, but there was a big, familiar, beautiful pile of dirty clothes on his dresser, spilling onto the floor. I almost had an orgasm.
But even with that validation, we Messies feel deep shame and are often judged by others. We spend our lives trying to turn ourselves into Neats, buying books about organization, filing and scheduling systems. We sometimes even hire the Neats to clean us up, providing short-term relief, but driving the shame deeper when we inevitably what we do best–make a mess.
But those days are over. Thanks to a wonderful book called “A Perfect Mess” by Eric Abrahamsom and David. H. Freedman. It has become my bible of the last week and I can’t express the relief it has given me. It actually questions the universally accepted assumption that neatness saves time and money. Or that strict organization and planning always lead to better results in life. Turns out we Messies (or “Scruffies” as we’re called in the book at one point) are better at a lot of things because we’re actually making room for flexibility, randomness and happenstance. And guess what else? We may even be saving time and resources by NOT CLEANING UP ALL THE TIME!!! Apparently, our messes have their own unconscious systems that work pretty well for many of us, and if the Neats would just stop judging us, we’d all get along just fine!
In fact, messiness is the new thing; companies like Microsoft and Google have a certain degree of messiness in their functioning that allows for ridiculous creativity. Process and not perfectionism is considered the road to innovation. Rigidity is so last century. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t keep a schedule and yet he manages to run California. Soldiers have to work with the constant messiness of war. Einstein was a total slob. Hallelujah!!!
In terms of yin and yang, it actually makes perfect sense; Yin is the spiral governed by expansion, like a hurricane (messy). Yang is the opposite, governed by contraction (neat). Nature’s tendency is toward entropy–disorganization, expansion, falling apart–which makes sense because the universe is on expand mode. So wait… I guess it’s actually AN INCREDIBLY SPIRITUALLY EVOLVED THING to be messy. Which really begs the question: why do the Neats end up so neat? I have no idea. Those poor, poor Neats. Let’s get scruffy Al Einstein on that one.
They say when it rains, it pours. In this last week, I was felled by a sinus infection (life simply sucks when lived through a throbbing skullful of snot), my blog got hacked (thanks “Seabat” or whoever you really are–GET A LIFE!), my precious, precious cat died (see photo below) and I heard some very scary news about the health of a loved one. Get out the freakin’ umbrella.
And I guess the umbrella right now is people. My father is calling all the time. I’m talking to my older sister in a way that’s new and deeper, forged by our fear. My friends are all stepping up to the plate in a way that really shows me we live in constellations of energy. Constellations of love, to be precise. And that love literally holds us up when the world as we know it collapses.
The vibrational world is real. Someone called it the “infinite mind” the other day, and I loved that. It made me remember that there is a huge vibrational plan, or template, and that we are its marionettes on invisible strings. And when we remember those strings, we can dance, and really live. When I tune into the infinite mind, everything is open and leads to possibility, even in the midst of feeling awful.
I’m grateful that I’m present for all this, even in its total suckitude. I was teaching a class at Kripalu this weekend and there was no faking that I was in pain–especially hearing about the death of my cat right before teaching a class–and the students were lovely. They said that my being totally present made them totally present. I guess that’s how it works. And then everything changes. And changes again.
It’s hard to believe right now that it’s all gonna be okay. My other cat is skittish and turns to find her brother with every noise. It absolutely breaks my heart that he’s never gonna show and that she’ll have to adjust. Life is a series of adjustments. And sometimes they feel cruel and cold. What macrobiotics gives me is the flexibility and depth of feeling to make those adjustments. Even when it hurts.
My new mantra: Love first, food second.
Be good to your family–human and animal. Nothing is permanent.
Thanks for listening,
Peanut Butter Porter, Oct. 27, 2003–Feb. 17, 2008
His sister Pepper, who needs good vibes sent her way…
I just taught my first online cooking class and it was SO MUCH FUN. I have had a vision for a while now (what’s called a “dream” in macrobiotics) to help people create MB communities throughout the country, world, universe–whatever. What I saw was potluck dinners happening all over the place–so that people had community in this adventure. Macrobiotics can be hard to practice in isolation. I saw people getting together and my providing these DVDs of lectures covering all sorts of macro topics–seasonal cooking, cooking for couples, home remedies etc. The DVD would be played at the dinner and I would be worshipped and feted like a Dr. Evil type, a la Mike Myers. Running the world and all that. Great dream. Totally do-able.
Anyhoo, I think I’m getting there. My point is that practicing MB is sooooooo much easier when it’s done in connection with others, and the internet really provides that opportunity. And now that the video technology is decent, we can be with one another in real time. The classes aren’t exactly pot lucks, but I love that I can show a food (like daikon, burdock, umeboshi plum) that might never get eaten without a gentle, visual introduction. I was intimidated by all this weird stuff in the beginning too! I love that people can ask questions and get immediate answers. NOW ALL OUR PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED AND THE WORLD WILL BE MINE. Wow. Big stuff for a little Wednesday in January! I had a lot of fun tonight, and the viewers, from Orlando, Joliet, Topeka, Toronto, The Berkshires, and Boston (to name just a few of the cities from which people logged on) seemed to have fun too. And hopefully we all feel inspired to keep cooking, letting nature have her wonderful way with us.
If you want to join us next week, go here
God, I love life sometimes.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I haven’t blogged lately. BECAUSE I’VE BEEN COOKING!!! Like, almost every day, dude! I’ve also been gearing up for the online cooking classes starting next week by looking through recipes and re-reading Michio Kushi’s The Book of Macrobiotics, just to make sure I know what the heck I’m talking about.
But back to the cooking. When I saw my mother over Christmas, and how she just cooks like a machine, I made a commitment to cook for 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You might have assumed that I already cooked that much, being the obnoxious macro guru I purport to be, BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Cooking regularly is one of the biggest issues in my life. And I’ve actually prayed about it on a number of occasions, saying “Hey Goddess, I know all this cool stuff about food… I even LIKE health food… You’ve even blessed me with this annoying hypochondria so that every time I eat crummy food I retreat into an ‘I’m gonna get cancer’ paralysis… and I know that by cooking every day my life would be so much better…. please help me!” And yet, I would have this strange resistance–like an anorexia that springs up in the face of my desire. But watching my mother cook from such surrender busted through all that. She just did it. No questions asked.
And I have been feeling terrific!!! So much energy. Clarity. Feelings. A wonderful sense of forward momentum. And relief from that horrible hypochondria.
I also went back to acting class. Ugh. I’m realizing that I actually have to change (Scream). And grow (teeth chattering). Be vulnerable (excuse me while I jump off this cliff!). And trust my teacher. Yeah, right.
Truth be told, after I’ve had my hissy fit, I love it when life surprises me–when I get sucked down a vortex I didn’t know was there. And I had totally forgotten that acting was an unending education, like macrobiotics. I became arrogant and fixed, rigidly protective of my “self”. And George Ohsawa said that arrogance is the worst form of illness Of course, life holds a million vortices waiting to consume us, but the ego does everything to lock into its patterns and habits, repeating them until it feels that lovely illusion of security. BYE BYE EGO. At least in acting class.
Speaking of class, please join me online so we can cook together. I’m so excited to send this information out over the web to people all over the place. I realize that the time zone won’t work for some of you, but as soon as these classes run smoothly, I will create a new time that will work for more hip chicks ’round the planet.
Yeehaw. JUST KEEP COOKING.
Have a great weekend,
I was on the Canadian Shopping Channel this week. THE. SHOPPING. CHANNEL. I might as well have been transported to Neptune in terms of the planet-hopping involved. Think whizzing, whirring TV studio that basically never stops, from 6 a.m. to midnight–every day. Lights, camera, ACTION! Think jewellery and colon cleanses and those little trampolines called rebounders. Oh, and don’t forget the knives, the graters, the juicer and the scale! All for $39.99!! Think the salespeople and the models–and me–hanging out in the green room between our “shows”, during which we are interviewed by the “host”, who grills us about our “products” for ten minutes, live, 3 times that day. Think the number of units sold ticking away down in the left hand corner of the screen. Think people with VISA cards out there–VISA cards just itching to be exercised–and the potential of reaching millions of people. Think: I HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME.
It’s easy to be a snob as a macrobiotic–in fact, MB practice sort of creates it. You start to feel good–really good–and one of the first things the mind say is “I feel so GOOD!” And then it rationalizes (because it must rationalize, and place itself within duality): “Anyone who doesn’t eat like me is an IDIOT!” It’s easy to get arrogant, sanctimonious, and frankly, boring. Thank God the real principles of macrobiotics–the laws of yin and yang–have nothing to do with judging anyone.
It would have been easy to be a macro snob this week, thinking that these two worlds shouldn’t rub together. But had I held onto those attitudes, I might have missed the whole experience. Instead, I looked at it all in the spirit of PLAY–George Ohsawa’s bottom line (read my book if you don’t know who George is). To George, life was play.
Now, play doesn’t mean having fun every single second of every day. The real meaning of play comes when you study yin and yang, seeing the larger picture of attraction and repulsion, with everything eventually becoming its opposite! When you begin to perceive that, you can detach from the conventional wisdom and “play”. Eating macrobiotically also allows you to have a natural flexibility in all situations, which makes life more playful. “Play” is an apt term too because, when you eat whole grains, abstaining from crappy, processed food, your body cooks up your natural happy chemicals, and you feel a simple, God-given high-on-life euphoria that kids often have. The MB ride is soft, and deep, and exciting and fun. It doesn’t mean there isn’t pain, and loss, and that you never have problems–and that they don’t sometimes really suck– but they are all eventually perceived as part of a bigger puzzle of yin and yang.
So, it was great to “play” on the Shopping Channel this week. Great to be part of the health food industry’s great expansion over the last 30 years, as this whole thing becomes more and more mainstream. George also said that yin attracts yang and yang attracts yin; so maybe it’s not so strange when the macrobiotic diet–the ultimate labor-intensive, hardcore health food nutcase diet goes on a date with its whirling, cubic zirconia–strewn, sugar-laced, get-one-now, “only thirty seconds left” energy OPPOSITE. Yin and yang, baby. It’s the only game in town.
Truth is, I didn’t sell a huge number of books–but I think I might have planted some interesting seeds. And for the people out there who did order the book off the Shopping Channel, THANK YOU and I would love to hear from you as you begin your macro adventures.
Life is play. Chew well,
P.S. Now I can get an “As seen on the Shopping Channel” tattoo on my ass!
When Howard and I were private chefs, we would always be on the lookout for our clients experiencing “the macro feeling”. It’s difficult to explain if you’ve never felt it, but I remember one guy saying “I’m used to going to work and pounding the desk” as he made the aggressive gesture on an imaginary desk, “but today” he said, with a mixture of surprise and disappointment “I just didn’t feel like it”. Howard and I looked at each other–there it was…it took about a week… the macro feeling!
“how is it that I am on this plane with all these other people who are so clearly stressed out, and I’m floating on this internal macro cloud–is that fair?”
Consistent macrobiotic practice makes you feel… soft. No–cancel that. It makes life seem soft. No–that’s not it. It makes me feel like I have cotton batten inside myself, insulating me from the rough edges of life. Yeah, that’s it. It makes the ride of life… soft. Which doesn’t mean I feel weak or ineffective–if anything, it’s the opposite. I feel clear, and precise and very in-the-moment.
It’s weird. The modern, Western world seems to thrum along at a certain rhythm–one which now invisibly incorporates the internet, the pressures of work, screaming kids and the war on Terror–just to name a few stressors. Turn on the cable news and watch the A.D.D. dance of the anchorperson, the moving graphic to the right of his head, the ticker tape news running below him and the ticker tape news below that ticker tape news. That’s the speed I’m talking about, and the world–as it gets more yang (faster, more pressurized, more crowded) is basically squeezing us to match its speed. But, the MB diet S L O W S I T A L L D O W N …to the pace of a seventeenth-century sheep farm somewhere in Romania.
I almost feel guilty when I’m in the slow, cushiony nervous system of whole foods. I feel like “how is it that I am on this plane with all these other people who are so clearly stressed out, and I’m floating on this internal macro cloud–is that fair?” And I don’t mean fair in the political sense, but in the sense of “how the hell can these two realities be happening next to each other, both waiting for the ‘occupied’ sign to turn to ‘vacant’?” We’re sharing the same external reality of the plane, but on the inside, I am swaying to Enya while my neighbor is thrashing to Megadeth. Seems weird.
That’s why I always say that macrobiotics is about consciousness. It’s about your inner peace and perspective on life. When I go over to my mother’s house in England, we always eat really well. Not perfectly, like the healing diet, but my mother really cranks out three macro meals every day and they are really good. After feeling yucky for a few days, I start to get the macro feeling and I remember just how powerful all this stuff is. I go home absolutely resolute in my determination to practice better. Not to be noble, but just because the macro ride is so nice.
But, and here’s the weird thing: I actually have to get over some fear in order to do that–fear and limiting thoughts. In order to accept that 17th-century Romanian sheep farm feeling in 21st century urban North America, I need to bust through the belief systems and unconscious thoughts that are holding me back from taking such a smooth ride. I need to ask myself: what is preventing me from feeling as good as possible? What resentments and fears is my shadow producing to hold me back? What are my upper limits? How much joy can I stand? I’m sure we all have different answers to these questions, but they are universal questions, nonetheless. Very few people take off like rocket ships without any resistance from their subconscious minds. Growth can bring up anger and fear, precipitating sabotage. I write out my resentments and fears each night in order to get really clear with what my shadow is up to, and it’s very helpful. I follow it up with a gratitude list and I feel deeply prepared to live the following day.
Anyway, just wanted to check in. It’s the new year. It feels great. If you have the macro feeling, enjoy it. And if you don’t, know that the works required to get it is worth it. What I learned at my mother’s house is that the macro kitchen/food life has to function like a machine to get momentum; I can get all caught up in the minutiae of life (“does my intuition say I should do this? Is now the perfect moment? Do I REALLY want this leek?”) while my mother just barrels through and the energy, the force, the love that gets put into the food from that consistent action creates beautiful results. Less thinking, more doing. So, just for today, I’m siding with Nike in saying “just do it”–meaning cooking. Just keep cooking. It’s the real Secret.
I hope I take my own advice…
BEWARE: LONG BLOG AHEAD
First of all, I want to say THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU to everyone who has posted blog-encouragement to me in the last week or so. Every message has been sucked on like a candy and throughly digested by my soul. Thank you. It really helps. If you feel moved to keep it comin’, I will continue to appreciate it.
Second, today is the one-year anniversary of my meeting a man with whom I embarked on a love roller coaster that eventually boomeranged into a House of Haunted Horrors this past year. Which was not entirely a bad thing (Everything that has a front has a back–the bigger the front, the bigger the back). I learned a lot… I grew a lot… I cried a lot… and the whole experience managed to smash a long-held template in my heart that was no longer serving me–probably the true silver lining to the cloud. Plus, the love part is always wonderful, no matter how it ends. Because today is the anniversay or the original meeting… it seems important to mark it. Normally, I might feel self-conscious about mentioning it in public, but because this person happens to be gleefully self-absorbed, there’s very little risk that he’s reading this.
We recently experienced the Winter solstice, which is my favorite day of the year; it is from here that we boomerang into expansion after having reached the ultimate depths of contraction. It is at solstice time that I am forced to face the yuckiest yuck of my shadow–the deepest fears and sludge–and from here on in, nothing is really that scary.
Speaking of scary, blogging has forced me to wrestle with the idea of privacy recently–with the energetic insulation we carry in the world to keep ourselves our “selves”, stopping us from bleeding into cyberspace–psyches spilling into the void. However, I’ve been reading some of my favorite writers–Marianne Williamson, Anne Lamott, David Sedaris– and it’s exactly their vulnerability and honesty I find most compelling. I’ve taken my sweet time with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat (35th printing) Pray (might as well start printing money!) Love (who do you think will star in the movie?) and I am amazed at the nakedness she shows. And equally amazed at how much I love her for her nakedness. While her book is seemingly all about herself, it is actually a lively, funny, colorful veil on the face of the Goddess. A true paradox. It’s a reminder to me that only by being completely real do we allow intimacy with one another and offer an opening for God (or grace, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it) to shine through. So I’m gonna keep taking the risk of being more honest with myself and with you– dear Bloguee. I’m getting ready to tell my big secrets–the ones the squeeze of Autumn has been forcing me to confront–in the name of creating space for faith, for intimacy, and maybe even a miracle or two. Here goes:
THE THINGS I’M MOST AFRAID OF ADMITTING, 2007:
1. (Drumroll) … I’m single. And I’m not exactly 25 anymore. Or even 35. THIS FREAKS ME OUT. From the side of darkness, I hear: “Loser”, “What’s wrong with you?”, and the worst: “Everyone feels sorry for you”. But, even as I write that, all sorts of healthy voices rise up in my defense; voices that shout: “There are more single women in North America today than there are married ones!!” (True–New York Times, Jan. 07–google it) and “Women are single today because they no longer have to sacrifice their souls to mediocre relationships!” (Probably lots of truth to that–with all respect and kudos to people in healthy relationships) and “The Universe has not abandoned you just because you don’t have a ring on your finger!” (I do still seem to be breathing, walking, writing–even getting some action every once in a while, etc.)
In fact, when I see beyond my personal conflict with singleness, I appreciate that I am of a generation that has never existed before–we are chicks who have the education, the financial power, and the self-esteem to really live our lives–for ourselves, if we choose to. And although that may be swinging us to unprecedented extremes, someone has to discover how far the pendulum goes…someone’s gotta collect some payback for the witch hunts… I mean, someone had to set off for India and end up discovering the freakin’ New World!!. So why not us? Maybe my singleness is actually a sign of the times. In other generations, I would be married with kids right now whether I liked it or not. And there have been a lot of “nots” in our patriarchal history. That’s the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction–gender-based servitide, and many women around the world are still in it. Now I–and clearly many others–are riding to the furthest frontiers of female experience–a place of freedom, self-actualization, and … who know what else? And the women loving, feeding, growing families… they are our sisters, and we can balance each other out. So if you’re on this side of womanhood with me–singleness–I say it only makes sense to enjoy it. And who knows? Maybe Mother Nature really needs us right now. Maybe the lovely, magical yin energy that all women have available–maybe if it’s not being given to a partner, or kids–is meant to be channeled into alternative projects that need it just as urgently–like nature. It’s a serious time on the planet, these day, ladies. Someone’s gotta clean up the vibes around here…
All that being said, I have no problems with anyone sending me their nice, non-narcissistic, willing-to-eat-decent-food brother!
2. I’m afraid of being judged because I don’t practice macrobiotics perfectly. This is a big one, especially as I put out a public image as a macro “expert”. It also dovetails nicely with another fear: I’m afraid of dying of some funky disease and everyone saying: “Well, that proves that macrobiotics is baloney” or “she was such a hypocrite”. Welcome to the rarely-discussed neuroses of many health-careered people. For the record: I don’t do MB perfectly… followed by about everything else. The only thing I’ve done perfectly for the last 18 years is acknowledge that I am not perfect. Long-term consistency in any kind of discipline beyond that eludes me. I eat healthy food… regularly. I only cook macro food in my home. I think macrobiotically, meaning I am always looking for yin and yang of everything, but I do not practice like a saint or a monk. I do yoga… sometimes. I meditate… a lot, but not every single day. I pray… when I remember to. I get sucked into fear, and resentment and Houses of Haunted Horrors more often than I would like to admit. So there! Sue me.
3. I’m afraid of getting closer to God. When I first surrendered to the idea that there was a lovely, benevolent force guiding me along my path, I absolutely fell in love with It. I really did. I quit graduate school for It. I read everything I could get my hands on about It. I prayed to It. I talked about It inessantly. I would have handed out flowers in airports for It, I think, but thankfully never felt moved to. But in the last few years, I’ve grown quite complacent. Life is pretty good. “Move over, God(dess), I can do this thing called life–I wrote a freakin’ book, I’ve got lots of cool friends, I eat okay… come on–HAND ME THAT STEERING WHEEL!!”
You see, if I get closer to God,–really letting myself fall in love with It again–I will feel Its power, and that means NOT BEING IN CONTROL. And not being in control begat surrender. Which begat more ego destruction. More… whatever the hell God decides to give me… flowers in the airport? Embarrassing, decidedly un-Canadian zealotry? The point is: I DON’T KNOW! My way just seems–if not happier–at least more familiar…
But, when I get past this ego fear, I do have a sense that God(dess) has some pretty cool plans for the world: I think that It wants food-conscious people to support each other in our efforts to strengthen the quality of our bodies, and therefore the whole human fabric, by bringing back whole foods and the concept of balance. Not because there’s some crazy edict about it, but because that’s just nature taking nature back, through us. I believe that the Universe/God is pretty much on the side of the planet staying intact. I believe that–no matter who their parents are–that the Universe would like to see all kids given a decent shot at health and freedom. I believe that God wants me, and you, to keep striving in our lives… to realize our true dreams.
Which brings us neatly to NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS*. Yay! It’s so nice to clear out the fear to get to the positive stuff (another boomerang). SO HERE ARE MY DREAMS FOR THIS YEAR:
1. I would like this website to serve as a touchstone for everyone interested in improving their lives by improving what they shove in their pie-holes. I hope to inspire and educate through honesty and humor. And to be educated by you. I want this website to feel like a soft place to land (yes, I just quoted Dr. Phil–I HAVE A WEIRD THING FOR HIM–I can’t help it) in a world that tends to chew people up and spit them out.
2. I would like people (and especially women–I’ll be honest–with all respect to dudes, you’ve been in charge A LONG TIME, gentlemen!) to realize the AWESOME power that exists in our lowly kitchens. COOKING IS SO AMAZING! When I was in Florida recently, I met a woman who had just read my book. She took me to her lovely home and I saw that she had arranged her kitchen in a horseshoe pattern so that she cooked, and talked and healed from the center of the vortex. “You are a witch” I said, “a beautiful, powerful witch.” And we all are–in a good way. So let’s bring back the witchcraft, ladies (and warlocks), as we cook whole grains and vegetables for our loved ones. Let’s spread Mother Earth’s good vibes through our families and communities. Let’s secretly–and selfishly–love this world back into balance from our stoves. There ain’t no stakes to be burnt at, girls. At least not in North America. Thank Goddess.
3. Oh yeah, and I wanna win an Oscar. Almost forgot!
So what are your plans for the New Year? What are the fears or negative belief systems that might be getting in your way? How can we use this site to inspire each other?
Happy New Year.
*I just realized that New Year’s resolutions, which are invisible, vibrational projections (yin) are born of the extreme squeeze we experience at the solstice (yang). Every extreme produces its opposite. Neat! More macro gobbledygook: All “dreams” begin in the yin ether and we experience them as visions, intuitive urges, vibrations or desires. When our physical conditions are strong, and we eat whole foods–rich in minerals (yang)–we naturally begin to manifest our dreams; they literally come through us, going from the yin ether (dream) to yang (material reality) in the world. When you eat well, this process happens quite effortlessly. Try it–you’ll see. It’s one of the coolest things about being macro!
For more Hip Chick blather, check out the podcast I did at the
Hip Tranquil Chick website:
I just got back from acting class.
It’s strange to spend my life trying to recognize, sort through, and ultimately discard layers of sludge and useless “self”, then plop myself down in acting class–a room full of 24-year old blondes and their male counterparts–where I immediately take a nosedive into the murky, smelly fishtank of self. IT IS THE MOST INSECURE EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD IN A LONG TIME.
Talk about painful! I’ve been reading a lot about narcissism lately (a fascinating topic for any chick who has beaten her lovely head against a charming, engaging, but utterly immovable mountain of man-self—or vice versa, for male readers). Anyway, for a narcissist, the only real pain comes from what is called “narcissistic injury”, which is a blow to the fixed image they have of themselves as perfect, fabulous, or whatever. This blow creates a hole in their shimmery armor that is usually met with denial but, if acknowledged, comes face-to-face with the dragon of rage.
Welcome to my acting class.
But let me back up a little: I find ego-deflation liberating, albeit painful. And, to give myself a little credit here, I’ve done quite a bit of it; the eating disorder I carried through adolescence began to crumble in the face of spiritual growth and ego-reduction. I’ve meditated a hundred different ways and really dig that moment where thought just melts and my soul exhales. Ahhh, the freedom of selflessness! And although I could do a lot more of it, I really enjoy being of service to other people and the feeling of universal connectedness it brings.
BUT DON’T MESS WITH MY ACTING. Don’t critique it. Don’t punch holes in it. Don’t remind me that I’m not a 24-year old blonde with the world opening up to her like a rose. This part of my “self”, I want locked down in a shiny little box called “confidence” to which only I hold the key, thank you veddy much. And when my stupid, boring, totally unworthy-of-my-time acting teacher picks up that key and starts picking at the lock, my narcissistic dragon spits fire at him: “DON’T YOU SEE, MISTER STUPID ACTING TEACHER, THAT I HAVE NO HUMILITY HERE!!!! WHAT IS YOUR FREAKING PROBLEM?? JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!”
I bet Cate Blanchett is just the same.
I guess I just need to trust, as we all do, that when our egos are challenged–whether it’s by spouses, children, bosses or acting teachers–there is a big Self underneath the rigid armor. That the universe is holding me up, while splinters of ego fly everywhere… that maybe there is a box much bigger than my little shiny one marked “confidence”.
Or some kind of bull like that.
I am off to England tomorrow, where I will be with my macro mother. We will cook together, and share our stories, and I will nurse my narcissistic wound. As we watch British TV, and I complain about my stupid acting class–comparing myself favorably to Judi Dench and Helen Mirren–my dragon’s fury will quietly cool down and the hole my stupid, boring, TOTALLY UNWORTHY acting teacher created will become a secret, magical opening to my future. And I’ll go back to class in January.
Do you invite the dissolution of self? How does it feel? During and after? How does the macrobiotic diet help dissolve the little self?
Life is so weird. I’m having all these major insights lately, and it’s very intense. THIS WHOLE TIME OF YEAR IS INTENSE. Especially because I have a birthday, neatly tucked away in the shadow of Jesus Christ Our Lord’s annual bash. So it’s not just holiday time for me, but that season of self-centered reflection, gratitude, and remorse–all spent cuddling up to one’s personal little puppy called “mortality”. Heavy.
Plus, I thought I dropped a bomb in someone’s life recently–the so-called “earthquake” I talked about a few weeks ago was actually the sending of a particular letter, to a particular person, about another particular person, and I just found out the letter was never received!! I have been processing my reality for the last three weeks–in the most intense way–as if some energy bomb had been dropped–BIG SECRETS TOTALLY REVEALED–and they were not. Or at least it looks that way. It’s as if God reached down into a computer and plucked a blistering missive from an inbox and shoved into a spam folder. Whoah. It changes everything. And yet… nothing. Because I did all the processing I needed to do to get angry, detach, learn some big lessons… and just because the other side of the tennis court didn’t show up doesn’t actually matter. In fact, the not-showing-up issue was–funnily enough–the most major issue of the original relationship that the letter’s about, so it’s perfect, in a way. And the truth is, I can live without the guilt that comes with launching bombs, however righteously.
So this is what I’ve learnt (love the British spelling of that word):
Beware of narcissists. I mean it.
Old friends are sweet like chocolate and steady like brown rice.
Love all kids–enjoy them like the springtime scallions of the soul.
Blogging is still hard. Anyone who enjoys this blog, PLEASE ENCOURAGE ME–I’m self-employed and getting myself to do it is like pulling my own teeth, and if I know I have someone I’m talking to out there, it really helps. Plus I love to feel the presence of people all over the world turned on by the oomph of macrobiotics–it’s powerful and radical. What an amazing and challenging time to be alive…
Be honest with yourself–no matter what. Energy will stop moving if you lie to yourself for too long. Never fear the truth.
Family is an ever-changing organism. How amazing to feel it morph, and shift, and know where it can crack.
I am very lucky.
Enough yammering, Porter! I hope you all have a great holiday season, getting closer to people, feeling the aches and joys of that. Don’t forget, in the mix of it all, to eat some whole foods (especially grains), and chew them well.