Thrive

I am reading a plant-based food lifestyle magazine called Thrive.  I flip through it with coffee, looking at the pictures and recipes.  I feel like I am ingesting the images of the food.  I say to myself, “if I had a chef, I could live on plant-based food, it looks so good”  Interesting thinking. This thinking is powerlessness at its best.  It leaves me waiting for the day, when I could hire a chef. It leaves me reaching outside myself for someone to feed me.  Someone who can nurture my body, with the right food for me.

How many of us flip through magazines, and watch the food channel aka food porn, with no intention of cooking the recipes. My friend watches the food channel and eats chips as her entertainment.  A quick hit of a fantasy, just like porn, and then go back to our mundane life.

The plant-based movement really intrigues me.  It has a sense of decadence to it, and an inclusive lifestyle.  There is a no deprivation energy– just abundance.

I realise I have waited my whole life for someone to feed me well.

What about feeding myself?

Do I do the same with love?

Do I wait for someone to give me the love that will nourish me, heal me and fulfil my soul?

Dr. Barbara D’Angelis, best-selling author of the Choice for Love  talks about giving ourselves what we really need.  She equates it to getting on a plane hungry, assuming they will have the food you need.  “It is like starving yourself and expecting someone else to feed you”.

Now is the time for me to start feeding myself.  Feeding my body what it really wants; food that makes me feel happy instead of sad. Yesterday I made a roast, potatoes and greens. After dinner I felt content, energetic and proud.

Now I am re-evaluating everything I ingest.  Taking in entertainment that uplifts me, rather than leaving me feeling beaten down, by viewing violence and pain. Feeding myself great protein and tasty treats.  The protein is real love and connection, with myself, my partner, and my beloved dogs. The tasty treats are meditation, love, sunlight, cuddles, and thankfulness inside and out.

A great chef designs recipes that are deeply satisfying.  How do I learn the recipes that makes up the menu for my life?

In 2018 I am going to become the master chef of my body, mind, and spirit.

I want to Thrive.

 

 

A different world inside….

When you get to a certain age you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.  You can stop and evaluate your life.

I believe that the first 50 years of my life I have spent trying to figure the world out, trying to figure life out.  Working very hard to manage life to get what I want.  I have spent all my energy wanting to understand motivations, people and systems.

Now I feel I am moving into the heart phase of my life.  Letting go of the need to know, letting go of the insistence of understanding the world and people.  Letting go of the hard work to constantly quantify people and experiences.

As a child I thought that if I understood and had knowledge it would protect me and keep me safe from the outside world.

As an adult I know…….

Most of the universe is unknowable.

So much of life is a mystery.

When I focus on needing to know, needing to understand; I narrow my bandwidth for the divine to flow in.  I can only know what is in front of me.

The next 30 years I want to spend experiencing the mystery of life.

I want to flow rather than understand.

I want to love rather than evaluate.

I want to discriminate rather than assess.

I want to share the love that I came here to share, for myself and others around me.

If we all did this we would have a very different world!

“Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

The heart loves silence

Have you slowed down enough to listen?  Where can you slow down enough to make space for the silent whisper of your heart?

There is so much silence here in the mountains.  On our daily hikes we have found secret meadows for a picnic, and spots where we can dip our feet into the cold mountain streams.

I have taken to meditating by the mountain stream.  The rushing water creates a background of pink noise that you can zone out to.  I imagine sending my energy and stress down to the earth and into the stream.  I invite the pine tree energy and the cosmic sky above to flow universal energy in through the top of my head, and mingle with the earth energy.  I can smell the pine trees, I can hear the running water.  I am sitting on the moist earth after a night of rain.  Running these two energies through my body clears out any “cobwebs” or stuck energy that I have picked up thought the day.

My two dogs sit beside me, drawn by the energy.  What a privilege to be here in the mountains at this time, insulated from the chaos in the rest of the US.

You can always find stillness inside if you slow down enough to listen. I would love to hear what is your place that allows you to get to still inside?

Learning to Settle

After surviving the winter as a new immigrant.  Spring came then Summer, along with my work permit and my SSN.  All of a sudden I could open a bank account, get a driver’s license and access to money.

Finally I am here.  I shipped all of my sentimental belongings to Rick my new husband as “gifts” through UPS.  I have no belongings left in Canada.  No longer straddling two countries I finally feel like I have landed here.

I think back to my parents who emigrated to Canada from England at 42 with 3 kids. I remember my mother saying “it takes a year to stop hating a new country”.  I thought she was ridiculous  at the time.  Perhaps she was right.   I am two months away from my one year mark, and I am just finally settling in, realising I live here and that I am yes married.

We have taken to hiking in the mountains first thing in the morning.   At 2pm each day it rains for an hour and clears up in time for happy hour.  The climate is perfection, 75 degrees and with a soft wind.  Perfect for hiking into the mountain woods with our curious Husky and our little Eskimo/Papillon dog.

For a ski town, the tourists don’t stop in the summer. Farmers markets, craft shows, food and wine shows, paddleboards, tumble bubble,s and multiple hikes make this a summer play land.

I am starting to love hiking.  In my past I never had the fitness, or energy to hike the trails.  I have met many women on the trails with injuries who told me they are “trying to get their power back”.  Perhaps that is what I am doing in these mountains, learning to get my power back.  In the trauma of sudden loss I forgot who I was, each step I take I start to reclaim my energy, reclaim my joy, and reclaim my power.

 

Its not nuclear war

It’s not nuclear war, we are just trying to get health insurance!

This is the cry of my fiance as he is attempting to get me on his health insurance policy.

He puts me on the phone with the insurance broker, who tries to pretend he is my friend.  After a little small talk about how he wishes he was Canadian because of our abundance of water and health care.   He proceeds to investigate me and my health history.   I tell him about my surgeries 2 years ago. His response “well I am not sure we are in the clear”.  I told him “it sounds like we are going to war.” He laughed and said well we have a 2 year window on surguries.  Oh ok.

My next step? to be investigated by the underwriter and then to be verified.

Douglas our insurance broker tells me its all about risk and assessing risk.

I start to wonder if we approached relationships focused on risk how many of us would date or fall in love again?

Crazy US world.

Relationship Flashbacks and Mud season

After the initial romantic fling ends, the domestic partnership begins.

Last night my fiance brought out a wood spatula to show me how the rice had been baked on in the dishwasher, and informed me “it needs to be scrubbed before it goes into the dishwasher”.

“Oh I see” as he waved it in front of me while I was reading the New York times weekend edition.

Then came the muffin pan, “you really need to wash these by hand you know” .

“Oh ok”

“I am not nagging you, I just want us to be a good cleaning team”.

“Oh ok”

When did we transition from passionate romance to being a good cleaning team?  Yes it has been a long winter in the mountains.  And the snow continues.

We are now officially in mud season.   This means that the ski hills have closed April 23rd, but the snow continues to fall.

The restaurants and cafe’s that were packed are now empty.  Most people have closed up shop and gone on vacation for 2 weeks.

We were initially excited for mud season that lasts from April 23-June.  We thought finally, we can get a table in some of the really nice restaurants like Relish, Twist and Hearthstone, that are always packed with a 1-2 hour waiting list.

Now we go to these gorgeous restaurants and they are closed till May 29th.  Even our favourite sushi restaurant does not reopen till June.

I understand that businesses need a break before the summer tourists arrive to hike, bike and rock climb the mountains.  Suddenly the only people left are the few locals that are too poor to take an exotic vacation.

Our beloved yoga teacher hurt her back, but the chiropractor and the accupuncturist are away, and will be back after mud season- so suck it up.

My fiance just came back with dinner and told me the hot local news.  The city has just hired a new housing authority, as housing is in short supply in the mountains.  The successful candidate has just turned down the job, because he can’t find affordable housing here.

Well no cleaning team tonight, take out fish and chips from Murphy’s irish pub, and a Netflix movie, who says romance is dead?

Braving the golf ball hail, waiting for spring…..

 

Healthcare in the US is like a Rodeo

Living in the USA without proper health coverage is an ongoing stress.  I have some travel coverage, but it only covers emergencies.  Recently I was having pain down my right side and feeling nausea and diarrhea after eating.  I also had severe shooting pain and was in bed for 5 days.

I took myself to the herbalist who told me it could be a bile blockage or gallstones. She treated me with anti-inflamatory herbs such as turmeric, black pepper, calunda flowers, milk thistle and cleavers.  I also found a remedy on the internet of Apple cider vinegar and organic apple cider.

Then I took myself to the accupuncturist who treated the gallbladder. I also found a chart of foods to illuminate when you are having a gallbladder attack, so I have eliminated my favourites, coffee, chocolate, beer, all pickled things, beef, bread, mayonnaise, egg yolks.  Whoever invented liquid egg whites in a carton needs to be spanked.  I could hardly eat the fried egg whites, even my two dogs picked at them and left them on the kitchen floor.

After this lifestyle adjustment my symptoms have subsided. My accupuncturist strongly encouraged me to see a doctor and get an ultrasound.  Sounds like solid advice.  The challenge is getting to see a doctor, when you have no health insurance.

My fiance found a doctor who will see me, his office is at the King Soper grocery store?  Ok unusual for me to see a doctor where you pick up your vegetables and meat.  But why not.  They have a variety of prices for the same service.  Ok so I check the box for no insurance, and the cost is $100.  If you do have insurance the cost is $250.  Strange system.

Then I need to find imaging centres.  It was recommended  not to go to the hospital up here in the mountain as everything is triple the cost-geared towards wealthy tourists who are in ski accidents.   I start an internet search for stand alone imaging centres in Denver two hours away, as they are the cheapest. I find a company online called health images, I fill in the online form.  I am told that all the health images centres in and around Denver will contact me within 24 hours with their bid.   Now I feel like I am at an auction, with my body as the item to be bid on.  True enough I get a series of competitive bids, on my phone with a quote on what an ultrasound will cost at their centre.

The Vegas of healthcare; go see the doctor, get a doctor’s order for the ultrasound, drive 2 hours down the mountain, pick the lowest bidder, get the ultrasound, and then hope the doctor two hours away gets the results, Giddyup!

What a crazy ass piecemeal system.  I miss Canada.  You may have to wait to see your doctor, but they will know you personally.   They will send you to an imaging centre in their building, and the results are sent back to your doctor the same day.

No Bidding or auctioning on the service, no driving for 2 hours…..Yes the Canadian system is slow and steady, predictable and reliable.  Good Ole Canada, bring it home!

domestic bliss

Today we drove to Silverthorne and went to look at BBQ’s for our mountain home.  Standing kissing in the seasonal section I said out loud “I feel so married”.  I ment this in a good way.  Here we were buying house hold items together.  We had moved passed the dating, to the going steady, to domestic bliss.  How did that happen so fast?  We also looked at deck chairs.  At first my fiance pulled out plastic Adirondack chairs.  I had to disclose that I hate plastic chairs as they always look cheap and dirty.  We settled on woven outdoor wide chairs and a side table.   We even bought potting soil!

Those of you who are in longterm relationships are used to this.  For me it has been a long long long time of being single and buying furniture for one.  Now we are a family with our two dogs.  I had a mixed feeling of bliss, excitement and relief!

It finally hit me, I was no longer alone, no longer solely responsible, we can share in everything and we can accomplish more together.

On our way back  to Breckenridge with our SUV full, we stopped for a romantic walk by Lake Dillon. The ice melting in the 60 degree sunlight-8,000 ft in the mountains we walked along the beach, stopping to kiss.  I love this area in Spring, a time of hope, a time of renewal, a time of new beginnings.

Quirks of living at altitude 

Wednesdays are my favourite day in the mountains.

We have a private salsa dance teacher come to our home.  I went on a site called one mans junk the facebook page -for the mountains.  I posted for a dance teacher.

We got a response from a professional ballroom dance champion.  He is amazing young professional, and a great teacher.

Where else can you get a professional to come to your home to teach you salsa in your living room. This champion ballroom dancer is working two restaurant jobs to make ends meet here in the mountains.

One local in a coffee shop said” there are two kinds of people in Breckenridge, those with 2 homes and those with 2 jobs”.

Dealing with Altitude physically:

I am so “regular” at altitude, which I never used to be.  Is it the pressure of gravity pushing down?

One product I swear by is called Resqwater on the bottle it says “Scientific research shows the ingredients in resqwater aid in muscle recovery, clinically tested”.

I have one of these a day in the morning, and I find it gives me my daily supplements.  I have never heard of this till coming to the mountains.  It is wonderful and it is way better than any sports drinks as it is natural and has no speedy ingredients. Check it out….resqwater.com.

Wacko Bathrooms

Only in the mountains do they have outdoor bathrooms in cold weather conditions.

I am sitting in a wonderful coffee shop called Cup a Joe’s, and next door is the popular yoga studio.  One coffee in, it is time for the bathroom, except the bathroom is outside.  You go outside down the stairs and through another building.

The same with the yoga studio no indoor bathroom. You are in the middle of a great  downward dog session and you need the bathroom. You need to get the key go outdoors, down the stairs and through another building, in minus 20 weather.

No one blinks and eye at this.  To compensate they crank the heat in the coffee shop and the yoga studio, all the staff are barefoot with shorts on.  The cafe is like a steam sauna,  you run outdoors to the bathroom, and back in.

How to dress in the mountains?

I assumed women here would wear sweaters and winter weight dresses.  Nothing is further from the truth.

In the street local women wear Sorrels and big coats.  Once the outdoor burka is shed.  Women wear tights, little mini skirts and a cami, or backless t-shirts with their tight and boots.

It is the strangely alluring look; big boots tights and lingerie.  Most of the 20 something women are half-naked but with their boots on!

“Rock on” in this mountain town.

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