27 June 2006

Welcome to the new House

27June06 Tuesday 5:37pm

I decided to move my blog over to blogspot.com since my subscription
service doesn't work with my angelfire.com URL.

I will also cut and paste my early entries from my previous blog here.
The entries that pertain to Living an Inspired Life or that brought me
to the decision to make my blog writings about that...



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22 June 2006

What Am I Not Letting Go Of?

Thursday 9pm 22June06

I had my first massage swap this week with my friend L. She does
Swedish massage and I do Reiki.

My neck, shoulders and back were filled with stubborn knots. One of L's
first questions was, "When was the last time you had a massage?"

Yeah, healer heal thyself...

As I lay on my stomach and felt her attempts to work through the knots
I kept thinking that they felt like they wouldn't let go. They were
holding their stubborn ground.
Subsequently the question flashed through my mind, What am I not
letting go of? Where in my life am I not letting go? What misguided
beliefs am I not letting go of?

There's something about pain in my body that makes me ask questions
related to that pain.

When I was ten years old I developed stomach problems. I was constantly
sick to my stomach. I went through weeks when I couldn't keep my food
down. The worst of it went on for six years.

My mother took me to the doctor during times when my stomach problems
got progressively worse. I went through all the tests and X-rays,
gagged down the chalk drink that never tasted like a strawberry shake
the nurse said it would taste like. A couple times a year I suffered
through those tests hopeful that the doctor would find a problem, any
problem. Each time after the results were studied I was told that this
real pain was all in my head.

My doctor finally sent me to a child psychologist when I was fourteen
and after a couple visits I couldn't see how this guy (who couldn't
understand why I didn't like getting my period) was going to help me.
Come on, what woman likes getting her period?

My mother threatened to physically hurt my doctor if she didn't figure
out was wrong with me. "She's fifteen for fuck's sake, she's been
suffering with this shit for 5 years you can't tell me that's all in
her head."

My doctor finally saw the light and sent me to a stomach specialist. I
liked him almost immediately. He talked a lot almost like an Anthony
Robbins, expressive and energetic. He told me that he didn't believe
that my stomach problems were all in my head, that he was going to re
do all the tests of the previous years just to make sure nothing could
be found. He questioned me about my weight and self concept to rule out
any eating disorders. Did I think I was fat or over weight? No, I knew
I was physically fit.

He did other tests - an exploratory (a camera in a tube down my
throat); an ultrasound and the like. He still found nothing.

After he told me that he believed I had a nervous stomach and
prescribed me children's Valium he told me a story:
He said, "you are like a fellow student that I went to med school with.
He had to vomit everyday during exams. In fact, he still vomits before
he goes into surgery. Whenever you are upset about something you get
sick. You'll probably be like that for the rest of your life and die

I tried to imagine an eternity of suffering from an upset stomach and
digestive weakness. The image was bleak.

"I don't want to die young," I said.
He banged his hand forcefully on his desk, "You're going to have to
speak up for yourself. If you're mad, say you're mad. Tell the people
your upset with what you are feeling."

Whenever I repeat this story people are shocked by his harshness. No
doctor today could get away with telling a 16 year old girl that she is
going to die young. It woke me up. Sometimes we need the Mack truck to
get our attention. The thought of dying young, what did young mean? Did
it mean I would die at 30 or worse at 20? I was going to die because
people were upsetting me to the point of making me sick? That was
crazy! I wouldn't stand for that.

I like to call that awakening the year that I grew a mouth. My mother
and step father were shocked the first time I spoke up. They weren't
prepared for it. My doctor always insisted that I attend my
appointments without a parent. They had no inkling of what my doctor
said to me because I didn't tell them.

My mother became silently impressed. My step father went from stunned
to angry to scared (by the time I hit eighteen) when it dawned on him
that he could no longer verbally beat me down and I wouldn’t walk
away from a verbal wrestling match. In fact, I’d begun to enjoy
it. My mouth was so quick and I could mix cruel words together and
still not swear. What a liberating feeling to speak up for yourself
after years of silence. it only took me 6 years to get there.

My favorite part of the Color Purple is when Celie finally speaks up to
Mister and he backs down because he's actually scared of her. I lived
that moment. I was Celie.

I stayed on the children's Valium until I moved out on my own and kept
forgetting to take them. I realized that I didn't need them anymore.

In 1991, I got two strange lumps in my neck and my scalp got itchy to
the point where it felt like bugs were crawling all over me. The first
Saturday, I went to emergency and the doctor said it looked like the
German Measles but he wasn't sure. He gave me meds and told me to buy a
special shampoo. During the week, I developed three different rashes
all over my body including the palms of my hands and the bottoms of my
feet. I went back to emergency the following Saturday and although the
doctor was fascinated, he had no clue what was going on with me. He
prescribed oatmeal baths and upped my medication. I would find out in
emergency the following week that it was enough to dope a horse.

On the third Saturday, I woke up and felt like I had obstructions in my
eyes. I couldn't open them all the way. I stayed in bed scared to get
up, knowing full well that this wasn't good. When the courage hit me, I
got up and packed an overnight bag with stuff to do. I knew I was going
to the hospital to stay. I finally walked into the bathroom to check
myself out in the mirror. My face was so swollen that if I didn't know
I walked there I wouldn't know it was me. I had slits for eyes. I
looked like the elephant man.

In the dermatology ward my team of doctors buzzed with fascination over
my plight and said stuff like, "I'm going to give you Lydex for your
face. It's not something I would ever suggest but I figure at this
point, it can't hurt.
Great! That's reassuring.

In the two weeks that I remained in the hospital my team never knew
what I had. They experimented with treatments and my rashes went away.
A work acquaintance recommended that I see a Naturopath and I gave
David Bray a try.

David told me that I had too much heat in my system. Basically my blood
was boiling and presenting rashes all over my body. When I asked what
caused this, he said it was cumulative stress. He asked me two
"What's making your blood boil? Who is getting under your skin?"

Those questions clicked with me like my stomach specialist telling me,
if you don't want to die young you'll need to express yourself. David's
questions made me crystallize what ailments mean and get at the source.

One year when I was getting frustrated with listening to those kind of
people who bludgeon you with their opinions, I kept getting these
wicked colds and my ears were filled with liquid to the point where I
couldn't hear.
What didn't I want to hear?

We're in our bodies for our journey. When I refuse to pay attention or
try to avoid what's happening in my life that Mack truck comes
barreling at me. This week the truck tapped me and I'll have to keep
asking until I discover the answer, what am I not letting go of?

Inspiration from my body.

Happy Birthday Charles Alexander Domingue... wherever you are!

11 June 2006

I Love Food

Sunday 11June06 12:07pm

I love food. I have a passion for eating. I used to work with a woman
at the Science Centre who used to say she could take food or leave it.
"I eat because I need to eat to survive," she said.

Are you kidding me? To survive?

I love working with people who love to eat. I love people who bring
tasty goodies to share. I love people who tell you about great foods
they've tried or better yet, great concoctions they've come up with.

I'm known for carrying a bag full of food to work to ensure my day long
graze fest. In fact, at the Science Centre, one of my work mates
nicknamed me the chuck wagon because I carried so much food.

I love cultures that love to eat. I love the Italians for their
homemade pastas and for giving me ideas to experiment with my spaghetti
sauce ( I put ground beef, Italian sausage, and pepperoni in mine.) I
love West Indians for jerk chicken or pork, curried goat and roti. I
love them for all the other foods that I never tried growing up despite
having a West Indian Grandfather. I love the Dutch for their meal of
mashed potatoes mixed with sauerkraut and served with with steamed
sausages. My step dad usually used polish sausages. I also love that
they embraced Indonesian food. I could eat Nasi Goreng every single
day. I love the Chinese for Dim Sum.

When I started following Harvey and Marilyn Diamond's Fit For Life, I
was turned on to salads (something I never liked) and juicing. With my
Magic Bullet I've been able to make smoothies using frozen fruit in the

I'm a firm believer that you need to be well fed before you can do
anything well. Sometimes it's the smallest things that can bring me
joy. I took Friday off work in anticipation of the Bloody Words writing
conference. I was too excited by my shop when I came home with shrimp,
escargots and cherries amongst my normal list of grocery needs. I look
so forward to what I have to eat at home that I rarely eat out.

To me, food is one more reason to love life.

My Ultimate Favorite Salad (that doesn't need salad dressing)
Spring Mix (mixed greens)
Dandelion leaves
Red & Green Seedless grapes
Grape tomatoes
Cheese (Havarti, Double Cream Brie or Cambozola)
If I feel like having salad dressing I add, Renee's Ravin' Raspberry

Favorite Feel Good Breakfast
Raspberries and Blueberries mixed together

Fresh Juice (I have a Charlescraft juice extractor)


Green Grapes

I Don't Eat Enough Vegetables Juice
3 Beets
A bag of Carrots
A bag of Apples

Give em a whirl, tell me what you think.


Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall

Sunday 11June06 12:35pm

I worked for a Life Coach as her personal assistant for four months
from November 2004 to March 2005. It was an interesting experience but
the best thing was that I learned that I hated winter a lot less than I
believed I did.

In one of her regular seminars, she made the attendees who said they
hated winter list all the reasons why they hated winter and then what
they could love about winter. I realized that I always loved shoveling
snow, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing. I love the slow down
(hibernation) that winter brings, the ability to stay home all day long
to read and write, cooking hot meals that make the apartment smell like
a loving home. I love making different kinds of hot soups in my two
crockpots that are on the go all winter long. I love Christmas and my
solitary Christmas ritual.

What I love about winter is the first snow fall when the snow is
covering every surface making the trees look like marshmallow trees. I
love making footprints in the snow or following someone else's
footprints pretending that I'm on the trail of a bandit or about to
find my one true love. ha ha! I especially love when the footprints are
huge and I can giggle at how much smaller my footprints are in

Because of the winter I appreciate the first days of Spring and the
promise of possibilities. Who can be in a bad mood when it's the first
warm day and you feel like you're standing straighter. All of a sudden
we come in to bloom like flowers facing toward the life giving sun.
You undo your coat, look up to the sky, take a deep breath and smile.

I love all the colorful tulips that are planted by Parks and Rec and
the smell of lilacs that make me inhale deeper like a smoker satisfying
her nicotine fit.

I love looking forward to the Summer and BBQ's, sitting on patios with
refreshing cold beer or Sangria with pieces of fruit floating in it.
There are so many types of beer these days that it's so hard to choose
just one. Back in the days of Growler's, my favorite pub that has
closed down, summer meant wheat beer with slices of lemon to squeeze
in. I miss Growler's!

I love CHERRIES! I can and do eat cherries all summer long. I buy them
when they are $6.99 a pound and buy more of them when they are 99 cents
a pound. I love walking and roller blading, sitting in the park with
nuts for the squirrels. I love visiting Buddy the donkey at the Farm
and the little chapel across the street where Davin's funeral was and
subsequently where his memorial plaque is.

I love Canada's Wonderland and roller coasters. I love how clear and
even my skin is from the kiss of the sun. I love peaches, nectarines,
watermelons, cantaloupes, raspberries, blueberries and did I mention

I love the Jazz Festival (Montreal preferably), Caribana and Gay pride.
I love seeing hot men that have worked out all winter and the sexy
women that turn their heads. I love wearing sun dresses and sandals. I
love sweating!

It's harder for me to transition from Summer to Fall however. I still
get a bit of the back to school malaise even though I haven't been in
school for years. But I love back to school specials (i'm addicted to
office supplies) and Indian Summer with a few bonus patio days. I love
looking forward to Author's festival in October and the turkey eating
of Thanksgiving.

Learning to remember what I love about winter has made me appreciate
all the seasons. If I say I only love summer it leaves me with a few
short months of enjoyment and nine months of self imposed misery. I
used to think that I wanted to live somewhere that was summer all year
long but now I know that I'd miss winter and the excuse to hibernate
which brings me to spring and it's many promises.

Inspiration all year round.

04 June 2006

Examples of Odd

4June06 Sunday 11:56pm

Quote - "Give me a man who sings at his work." Thomas Carlyle

Who knew that life would be like this when we grew up? Do you ever
notice that you relive the emotional stuff of your childhood

I've been able to compare some of the jobs I've worked at over the
years to my childhood. I can remember writing in my journal years ago
about an international theatre company I worked for. I remember
comparing the big boss limping into the building as my alcoholic father
coming home in a violent rage. The staff go into hiding mode waiting
for mommy (the general manager) to come and say, "It's okay kids.
Daddy's not drunk and he's in a good mood."

At my previous arts job, my silences were similar to when I wouldn't
speak to my step father for months at a time. At that job, I knew I
couldn't fight the system so I said nothing at all. As a pre-teen, I
didn't yet have the courage to stand up to my step father, so I drove
him crazy by ignoring him as if he didn't exist.

At my current job it's about being the odd one out.

In my childhood home I was the black child in a world of white siblings
(one older brother and two younger step sisters). Things were said
about black people that were unacceptable. My mother, a black woman,
was often the one who said the unacceptable things. The life my white
step father embraced implied the rest.

I always believed that my step father wanted to be black. He hung out
downtown at Rockhead's Paradise, a black owned establishment, that had
a predominantly black clientelle. The black men he hung with and
subsequently emulated lived a life of crime. My step dad's claim to
fame (before he went to jail for break and enter charges) was that he
was the most trustworthy coke dealer in Montreal. He invited every
sort of black criminal into our house - pimps, bank robbers, murderers

While the coke was snorted, the alcohol was mixed and the music played,
the discussions were primarily about the black world versus the white
world. The black man was doomed they'd all agree. My mother would
inevitably pipe in on how I would surpass black expectations and in the
next breath she'd discuss how I'd always struggle against being kept
down by a system built for whites.

In the daytime, my mother hated my nappy hair and made fun of it in
front of my white stepsisters with their easy does it hair. They had
the hair that most every black woman coveted (until we get in touch
with our roots) and every black man loves about his white woman.

I had no choice but to embrace my blackness other wise I'd have no
sense of a stable foothold.

In my day job there are moments of emotional similarities. I am the
only woman in a group of 13 or so men. They all love women obviously
but they are guys. They point out hot women and believe things about
women (not their wives of course) that are just plain stupid.

There are jokes about my singleness, why I should date a white guy that
only likes black women. One of them even went so far as to tell me that
a real woman has babies (No, he and I aren't close).

As the female representative that absorbs the messages, I can either
debunk a myth or perpetuate it. I choose to do neither. I choose to
embrace my femininity in my unique way with a ball breaking hard edge
and a warm mushy inner core.

I come face to face with what others believe of my type (black, single,
woman) and who I choose to be amidst the mixed messages. I see each
job, each relationship, each encounter as representing a layer of
myself as food for thought... and writing material.

Living in Inspiration

Work on Earth

4June06 Sunday 11:36pm

"Rachel came through you to do her work on Earth, which includes her manner of death."
Quote from Ram Dass letter to parents of child killed violently (in book Inspiration. Your Ultimate Calling - Dr. Wayne Dyer)

I often wonder what my work on Earth is meant to be. I analyze and pick apart situations and my reactions to them. What was the benefit of feeling left out as a child? I had to rely more on myself, depend less on the need to be a part of a group. Certainly the constant moves in my early childhood helped me through that. Yet I still get insulted when someone deliberately leaves me out.

What lesson am I still not learning? The learning is in finding the benefit in the so-called negative.

Looking at the recent incident ( see = Miscellaneous - Interesting 18May06 below) at work with the guys getting a special lunch when I wasn't at work, one benefit is that it's good for me to miss out both health and weight wise. My brown bagged lunches are far healthier than any special lunch they could order.

Another benefit is that I have to stop and look at my reactions and attitudes and how I choose to behave.

It's a bit of a reality check that people are sometimes happier when they are upsetting others. it is up to me how I choose to react to any situation. That is definitely something I need to get a better handle on.

There were times as a child, when I was at my happiest, that I felt like my mother deliberately did or said something to wipe the happy off my face. it was the feeling that was depressing but the lesson was to choose to be happy anyway.

We've all said that about people, " She gets on my nerves, she's so damn happy all the time."

"She's ugly (name your insult), what's she got to be happy about?"

Sometimes the only enjoyment we can see is the opportunity to pick on someone until they feel as miserable as us. It makes me think of my harmless jokes and what they may mean to others. I want to be more mindful of what I do and say.

There is inspiration in every situation especially the one that upsets me.

Living in Inspiration.