That night I had a dark, vivid dream…
So, that’s my plan, I refuse to lie on the grass and get swallowed up!
Sometimes inspiration comes to me while on a walk in the woods, sometimes from a dream. A wise woman recently shared with me, dreams are visions of the what if’s, or a bit of your past presented so you can handle it.
After a dream, sometimes I spring out of bed with purpose, like a seedling that cannot hold back from sprouting. On that day, the sun shines brighter than usual and as I breathe and fill my lungs, a brilliant internal “Happy” appears. I feel a gift from Divine Inspiration to be alive and to know, it is going to be a great day!
Recently, I was talking about motivation with a friend. We pointed out the usual differences and nuances of choice, discipline and failure. Understanding the ups and downs of life was our focus as opposed to a quest for moving forward. Some days are just better than others, they stand out. Well of course, without sunshine there is no rain, without earth there is no sky. We seemed to have a breakthrough over a 90-minute, fairly healthy lunch. Both of us came to the conclusion that we are fluid beings and in order to live harmoniously within our surroundings, we need to go with the flow. My subconscious brain kept processing these thoughts.
That night I had a dark, vivid dream…
In my dream it was a cloudy day and I was walking down a busy New York City sidewalk. I was overwhelmed with a knowing. The Earth was sick. Randomly, people were swallowed up as they walked down the street. I was with a group of strangers and the person next to me was swallowed up. Instantly. Completely. The person disappeared. Gone. No more. I asked why. There didn’t appear to be any reason for the Earths’ particular choice of who it swallowed. Remember this is a dream and things shift fast in dreams.
As I turned the corner, a beautiful park appeared. I saw tall, green trees glowing with life. I heard the birds singing loud, happy songs. Curiously I looked closer, I saw a lawn full of people laying on the grass. I instantly knew what they were doing. They were waiting to be sucked up by the Earth. Accepting their inevitable. This was a horrific site to me. I felt a knot in my stomach and wondered why they were not fighting back? We could build boardwalks or at least try to figure out the cause of the Earths’ illness. Then I woke up.
This is one of the most upsetting dreams I have had. Throughout my day, in my mind's eye, the thought of those people, lying on the lawn waiting for something to happen, kept appearing. Then it came to me. It is our internal motivation that heals us. Simply said, to go with the flow is not all ways the best option. Yes! Choose mental motivation over compliant malingering.
So, that’s my plan, I refuse to lie on the grass and get swallowed up!
Recently I became more aware than usual about a place that nobody really likes, that is, on the fence of a decision. A brain clash! People, and that includes me, weigh out the possibilities of outcomes known and unknown. In the business world, mergers and large money acquisitions are common occurrences, but to the average person, life decisions can cause stress, sleepless nights and digestive disorders. The fence of fear can be present anywhere in our lives. The truth is, big decisions sometimes make us powerless.
Here are a few things to consider:
I often hear people say, “I should have done that 10 years ago”. No one is ever 100% ready for big change, sometimes you have to just make the best choice for you and go with it.
If it helps you, focus on "less is more" and live as simple as possible. As I clean out the clutter, donate bags of unused items to charity and free myself of the unnecessary, the height of my fence decreases. Why not let lowering the fence and jumping off the fence become a lifestyle? Healthy choices and lifestyle changes may open new doors to allow joy in!
How ironic, The Clash’s 1982 hit single “Should I Stay or Should I Go” says this plain and simple, set me free! I encourage you to choose wisely, be set free and remember our choices show us who we truly are (Harry Potter) . . .
Interesting that a music group named the Clash should write a song that has a soul searching message about a “brain clash”!
Gardening brings me much joy. Mixing the soil, holding it in my hands, and smelling the earth excites my soul!
I have a small compost bin and use a three corner method to create compost. Vegetable food scraps are piled in first corner covered with a layer of soil, then turned into the second corner about a month later and topped with soil. This corner is then turned into the third corner and ready to use in another month. I create dark lush soil that reminds me of melted chocolate!
The plants scream YUM!
Composted soil makes up half of the soil mixture I use; the other half includes a sterile soil called Pro Mix with a couple of handfuls of organic manure mixed in. I turn this all together with love in a wheel barrow. Mixing soil is like baking a cake you need to have the proportions right to get the cake to rise and grow. You see, a soil mixture is rich in nutrients to support a growing seed or plant. Nutrients in the soil help the plant grow even and strong. I often mix soil because I grow seedlings and wheatgrass in trays year round.
The difference between soil and dirt lies in a Dad fact…
Dirt is, as my dad would say, something you hear at the beauty parlor.
Get the difference?
A conscious nurture vs a beauty parlor comment. How did Dad know this would be so evident as I aged and my thumb got greener? Who knows. I am here to share Dad’s wisdom with you and hope you pass it on.
Grow tall and spread out your branches, reach for the light, change with the seasons, provide shade for someone who needs it, and enjoy the sunshine!
Gardeners that take time to notice life awaken to a new surprise every day. WOW! A new bold bloom. You weren’t expecting that or what about an iridescent blue moth that hovers and glistens in the sunlight. Taking time to take care of yourself is noticing the garden surprises of your life.
Here are a couple of garden tools to help you grow:
Flexibility is a Sign of Health - Remember everything that grows changes. Expect change. Even plan some time for unexpected changes. Take time to enjoy the spaces in-between the blooms.
Plan a Mild Quarterly Cleanse - Taking 3-10 days every four months is a healthy way to eliminate clutter in your body and your life. Plan to rest and rejuvenate. Reorganize and clean out your personal and cabinet pantry, make a plan for healthier eating.
Sing, Dance & Breathe - We were made to move. Take a new class that gets you moving, singing or breathing. As we consciously inhale, life is enhanced. As we exhale toxins are expelled. Conscious breath helps us focus on what is important. The little annoyances melt away and a bigger picture is revealed. Fill your life with music, it lifts the spirit and alters any mood.
As time passes and garden life switches, carve out some time for you to look at all weeds as an exotic, organic, wild crafted, high nutrient feast!
A little flu got me down last week, you know the kind of flu where you loose your appetite and all your energy. Headache, chest congestion and 4 boxes of tissues have become globs of trash and you then realize... crap I am sick, and I am not going on antibiotics, get me the herbals, homeopathy and water.
Well it was during that time that I started to think and talk to myself…” If I could cook or eat anything what would it be?” I repeated this over and over, nothing came to mind as strong as French Toast! Being a vegetarian that knows grains cause inflammation, this is something I never attempted. So, I scanned several recipes and came up with my own. ENJOY!!
Lightly toast your bread, and place to the side to cool.
Start warming your frying pan with coconut oil. Whip the tofu with spices and milk in the food processor until you achieve a lovely creamy consistency. Pour this mock egg mix into a flat or pie dish and saturate your slices of toasted bread. I made it thick because I wanted to get the presence of egg not bread and syrup…
Frying went well, as long as I flipped when brown on the bottom and used a fair amount of coconut oil. I sliced the fried toasts and topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup. Then after two bites remembered the cinnamon and...
WOW! Best French toast I had in 10 years.
Just like the delicious memory of French Toast, sometimes you don’t realize how good you feel about something until you get sick and your senses come back to life!
Ah… Maitake! How lovely you blessed me with your presence.
The “Dancing Mushroom”, also called the “King of all Mushrooms", is noted for it’s many health benefits.”
Yup, according to Japanese folklore, when this big beautiful mushroom was first found, people danced, it brought them such joy!
Hmm . . . since I believe we are an accumulation of many lives,
that is ancient JOY, that’s a powerful thing!
This giant mushroom, joy stunned me at first glance!
The awe took me back to a state of surprise I hadn’t felt in a long time.
For me it compares with winning the lottery or getting a 100 on my college anatomy and physiology exam.
A wow beyond WOW!
A real surprise that gives you a rush of adrenaline in your belly and an overwhelming sensation of pure JOY!
Clinical studies have been done on this mushroom, Grifola Frondosa. In 1992, Maitake’s anti-viral activity was confirmed by the National Cancer Institute and the Japan Institute of Health. Other research shows this beautiful mushroom helps to balance blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, decrease cholesterol,
and promote weight loss.
Say YES, to eating fresh Maitake!
Okay, enough with the science, let's get back to the joy and what to do with this "King of Mushrooms", (besides dance with him of course)!
Well that’s easy… cook him up!
(Which may take me a while because of his size.)
Sliced Thin and Pan Fried:
This tastes like chicken to vegans or vegetarians, sliced thin and pan fried in real butter, seasoned with large pink salt crystals, fresh cracked black pepper, dehydrated minced garlic and dehydrated sliced onion, and a few herbs. You can top a salad with this or make a wrap with a bit of hummus to help hold it together.
Cubed and Sauteed:
Cut this mushroom into cube-like squares and sauté in coconut oil.
Put in any sauce and serve on top of pasta or rice.
This mushroom will get tough and dry as it ages!
Wrap up what you don’t use today!
Sometimes we save things, pretty or sentimental, and hold them close to our hearts. The average person probably calls this a collection. Let me tell you, I saw many collections when I did home health house calls many years ago. People collect salt and pepper shakers, ash trays,
shot glasses and yes, even absolutely adorable Nun Dolls. The list of the items a person could collect is endless. Time is taken to display, dust and share the joy of collectables with friends and unexpected guests. It’s really not a bad thing.
Well to my amazement while I was in an antique shop looking for a few more punch bowl cups, instead of seeing collections I saw stories of people’s lives. Holiday dinners were being served on these broken up collections of plates, smiles and stories about everyday lives were being exchanged. These dishes in piles brought up visions similar to a Norman Rockwell painting, a feeling of a family bond, a rare history that some get to hold dear to their hearts and experience in their lives. That vision created a sentimental feeling in my stomach. Then the feeling shifted and it kind felt like a glowing of energy. I felt the presence of these people, their history and their lives lived in joy and sadness. It was pretty heavy; I guess this is how my brain works, or maybe it was the energy trapped inside these stacks of plates, these well made antique items.
Interestingly enough it was not long after this experience I was asked, “What do you collect?” To my surprise I responded to the warm person that asked me without hesitation or thought, “Smiles, Got one for me?” Of course her smile appeared so bright and brilliant it is ingrained in my memory for life. By asking for a smile I surprised myself as well as her. What really happened was I asked for and collected something. Just the thought of collecting happy smiles makes me sparkle inside. So yes, I collect something precious that I hold dear to my heart, pure joy and big bright beautiful smiles!
A friend, Lynda, and I were about 45 minutes early to a Reflexology appointment. We anxiously awaited this appointment, it was about two hours away from where we live. Lynda is one of those rare friends, you laugh at pretty much everything with, and then laugh some more. In the south we call that getting tickled. I have to say, “I wish everyone could experience a tickle, at least once a week.”
We were so early for our appointment we decided to stop in at a Goodwill Store and mosey around to see what we could find. She scored big, (that’s what we say long and loud when we find a treasure, or a meal that is really delicious, SCCCOOOORE!) finding a handheld massage tool, a space heater, and some brand new tights that had gold sparkles on them. We laughed at the many holiday decorations, and an over-sized hot pink lace brassiere!
However, I was drawn to all these odd glass punch bowl cups. There were probably close to 50 cups sitting on the many shelves. I stared at them and they stared back at me. Most of the little glass punch bowl cups were different, but some did match. While looking at them I had an overwhelming feeling, “take these cups home with you,” my intuition said, (plus they were only 10 cents each). Some gloomy thoughts and questions came into my head… “you are downsizing, you don’t really need them, and what are you going to do with all those odd cups?”
Well, I have learned to trust my intuition, and decided to compromise. So, I bought just three shining glass punch bowl cups to take home with me. When I got home I promptly put the three cups in the dishwasher. As I took the little jewels out of the dishwasher one at a time, they sparkled with a fairy-like magic. I stacked them up and left them near the sliding glass doors where I would see them every day thinking … “I will do something with these pretty little things.” A few weeks passed, and one sunny morning I was walking my little dog on a green mossy path, it glowed with the first hint of spring! The trees on our walk spoke to me saying, “why not decorate us year-round with sparkling things?”
I immediately saw the cups in the trees sparkling. So there it was, a use for all those punch bowl cups…
Unfortunately, I was to busy to drop everything and drive two hours away to get the many cups I previously saw. I hung the three sparkling little gems I had and went on with my routine. But those cups called to me, haunting me. This cup story became an on-going saga between Lynda and I, and among many friends. Interestingly enough, people began bringing me their old unused punch bowl cups. I had to order cup hanger hooks in bulk!
Now I have hung over 75 cups. While hanging some cups it came to me to ask the trees, “why cups?” I could have used garland or Christmas lights. The trees responded quickly with, “to remind you, your cup runneth over.” So now I have no excuse not to be grateful, every time I look out my window and see the sparkling cups or drink a cup of tea, I am reminded, my cups run over with joy and gratitude!
Ok SO . . . a week of spring time air has me thinking. But, it’s to early to plant outside. I know better than to plant to early and stress that things will get bit by a cold night and ruined.
What does a healthy gardener do?
SPROUT, SPROUT and Sprout some more!
Get some lentils and dance around the kitchen.
(sprouting instructions below)
Put lentils in a hand held strainer or colander inside a bowl.
Rinse the lentils and sort through for stones or debris (the water is always dusty and dirty).
Set the strainer in the bowl and fill the bowl with water so the lentils are covered by an inch.
Let soak overnight.
In the morning, strain the lentils. Rinse well.
If you have pets or a lot of dust, transfer your lentils to a quart canning jar.
Rinse again in the evening. Cover with cloth and place in a quiet spot.
Rinse the lentils two times a day until the lentil sprouts reach your desired length. The speed of the growth depends on the temperature of the room; I leave mine for 2-4 full days.
Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy on top of salads, soups or or toss with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Yes it's true, massage and laughter are great health tools!
Both tools help to decrease your anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve your digestion, burn calories and are considered passive forms of exercise.
So YES! this is good stuff for your health!
Hi, I'm Jude!
I love to share healthy lifestyle tips and recipes. I teach cooking classes and help people all over the world to have more fun and live healthier.