Monday, June 27, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love and Navel Gazing

Okay, I am a bit behind. I just saw the movie after reading the book months after it came out. I could have skipped the Italy part of the movie but was completely in love with the India - pray section. Partly because a secret desire of mine is to go to India, study with a guru and be silent and serene for weeks. But serenity begins within. So, I really don't have to go anywhere for that. What the movie did do for me, that the book didn't as much, was bring to clarity Elizabeth Gilbert's excessive navel-gazing and privilege. A successful career, money in the bank, no children and now no husband. She had no attachment to anything that walked on this earth so she could go and "find" herself. Which has always been the job of priviledged, mostly white, people. But then I had a thought: I come from some of the strongest stock of people in the history of this universe, anyway. Black people could have gone the way of the dinosaur, but we didn't. We adapted and survived and each generation works to improve upon the wonder of those who came before, well at least some of us do, and those of us who can work like hell to help those who can't yet. So I don't need to go anywhere to find myself. I am right here.

So, I will feed myself in my own kitchen. Pray on my own floor. And find love in my bathroom mirror. Let's start with the eating part. And I know some of you are sick to death of the myriad of blogs I have. Impossible to keep up with all the stuff going on in my life. I know. Better living through chemistry helps. And I tend to lock onto an idea and then see another bright and shiny thing and lock on to that. No longer. I have my kids this summer because we cannot afford to send them to camp in this expensive city, so I have picked up the recession camp blog. This blog, Nanda Mama will always be home base for me to come back and reflect and hopefully start a dialogue on some of the things that make me go --- hmmmm. But yes I am adding another blog to the list and it is entitled quite simply - Keisha-Eats. For years I have dabbled in healthy eating even before I went to IIN - Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Finding my health, healing my gut, soothing my soul, has been an eternal struggle. So I made the decision to give myself a couple of gifts this year. Nothing strenuous. Nothing outrageous and barely possible. And nothing expensive. I am going raw vegan, as best I can, for the summer. Cancer kicked my ass - no sense in lying about that. And even though I ended treatment three years ago this coming July, I am just now dealing with the fallout, the emotions, and the anger of having had to go through that particular life lesson. And the fog is finally starting to lift. I am a life learner. And also someone who feels that she has quite a few books in her to write. But still trying to figure out what it is I want to write about. What do I want to say? So many things. There are so many things I am interested in that I am hoping this time - this year - I am giving myself to center and come home to myself will clarify some things. So stick here if you want to hear my daily, weekly, monthly musings on life and whatever other piece of lint I pick out of my navel. Come to recession camp if you want to see how I get all four of us through the summer with nothing more than a metrocard. Or come on over to my newest venture Keisha-Eats, which will make it's premiere soon. Loving you all fiercely!

Be well

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ask and you shall receive....not always

This post is specifically for Gen X-ers. If you were born before or after this moniker's designation keep it moving. Remember women when we were coming of age we were instructed to speak up - to ask for what we needed and wanted? That wasn't a complete statement. What should have come after that was "and be prepared for the person to give it or not." I think I missed that part of the conversation. So for the longest time I thought that when I asked someone for something because I had spoken up and used my voice that they were going to give it to me. But it is much more complicated than that. And today I had one of those moments when a lesson is not just an epiphany but it has become part of your personal ontology - it has been ingrained into your belief system.

I have every right to ask others for what I need and what I want. And they also have every right to say they cannot or worse yet, will not give it. But then there is a third part to this conversation - I then have the choice of accepting their answer and them as someone I want to keep in my life or let go of. HA!!! That lesson took years for me to get.

Each person is unique and has their own issues and we get to decide if we love them enough to put up with those issues. Love them, not like them or think they're cool, but love them enough. I have a male friend who is not the person I go to when I am in emotional crisis. He is horrible at being supportive and making me feel better. But in one specific instance I needed his support and I asked him to meet me as best he could. He couldn't do it. Big choice to make for me. After I assessed why I needed them to be there for me in a way they never had before, I decided that yes, I can keep them in my life because I love all the other ways they show up for me. And I knew - going in that he wasn't going to be able to fully show up for me - but he was the only person I could ask at that moment. And secretly I wanted to see if he could bend, even just a little. He can't. I tested him and now I know for sure. And he is still on the island.

There have been people that I have used this test with as a way to get rid of them. I ask them for something I need, they can't give it and they get voted off. It sounds harsh and cruel but it really is an important test for me. It allows me to see if I am keeping people around who feed and nourish me or if I am keeping them just because they have been there so long and they are comfortable. If I want comfort I'll buy uggs. If I want support I will keep friends who can give it. You know how the clutter gurus always say only keep things in your house that you absolutely love and give the other stuff away to someone else who could love it? That is what I am doing with the people in my life. Only keeping the ones I truly love - their light and dark sides. Their shadows and their brilliance. And I am urging you to do the same. Are their relationships that no longer serve you? Do you absolutely love them? Then let them go. And bless them and leave them to find someone who can truly appreciate their particular beauty.

I am so glad that this lesson no longer comes in snippets of light but that it is firmly a part of my world now. No need to be mean, just release. I thank Grace for this latest piece of wisdom.


May cool winds fan your skirts