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Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’

My intense artistic/spiritual (same thing) January practice has already begun to shine in some light, and with that the Universe also continues to deliver inspiration to keep the motor running. Today’s inspiration,  I AM (directed by Tom Shadyac), is so timely to me regarding the current world events, where I am (with myself) at this point in my life, what empassions  me, and what calls me as far as what to do about it all, and how.

 

I find this movie so synchronistically timely with the recent events of the world: the economy, global warming, Occupy Wall Street, poverty, health care (access and lack there of), educational systems, wars, and the list goes on an on and on and on.  What struck a chord with me while watching this movie was how Shadyac says we should approach the 1% (he doesn’t use that terminology, but when you see the movie, you will understand that he means the same thing); we must act to evoke the change we want in the world with compassion and the understanding that those that are wrecking havoc, abusing the system, the people, and the planet, are in fact mentally ill.  We, through compassionate understanding of this fact and the allowing and use of Love, can help them, which it turn helps and heals the collective all.  And the first person we must start with:  ourselves.

 

I use capital “L” love intentionally, as I do not mean the mushy, sweet, sappy, polite, I-dont-want-to-hurt-your-feelings kind of love.  I mean love in the way that Gandhi meant it when enacting Satyagraha: Soul Force, or Soul Love; Truth.  For any real GOOD change to be born and have lasting effect and growth, it must start  and end from this place.  Which means, then, that the responsibility falls upon us, individually and collectively, to open up to this change within ourselves that needs to happen in order for this to occur.  This is where our real Power is.  To open up and allow what is already there to emerge and be what moves and breathes and acts and interacts in our world.

 

(Side note:  Towards the beginning of the movie, Shadyac briefly mentions once hearing about how talking to plants can effect their growth.  I actually did this as a science project experiment when I was in the 5th grade.  I had two sets of plants.  Group A I said loving things to, played them classical music, and “sent” them loving energy.  Group B I yelled at and insulted and neglected other than the basic needs of sunlight and water.  The sunlight and water provided for both groups were identical.  By the end of my experiment ( 6 weeks), Group A plants were strong, bright,  green and flourishing.  Group B had fewer leaves, several yellow or blackening on the tips, and  much weaker structures. TRUE STORY.)

 

I just cannot recommend this movie enough.  Just see it.  Just see it.  Just see it.  It is already available on Netflix (although I believe there is a long wait…and I do currently have one of the copies:)  and Amazon.  Yes there are spiritual undertones and possible interpretations, but if this tends to not be your cup of tea, know that it is not a religious or woo-woo film.   It is about humanity and life and who and what we really are and what we are really capable of being and creating in our world.  In the words of my late and great friend and ASL instructor, Geoff Mathay:

I believe.  I have hope.”

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It’s actually been  more than a week, but here goes.  I have a lot to write about, or perhaps more accurately said, a lot brewing.  For tonight, though, I will keep this brief as Breaking Bad episodes, season 2 via Netflix are waiting (thank you dear sister for this new ADDICTION).  Normally it would still wait, but it’s Jack’s one day off this week, and while he knows I have self commitments I am wanting to stick to, I also want to capitalize on the time with him.:)

The 30 minutes exercise daily has been getting the least attention, definitely not by choice, as I’ve been pretty sick  this past week+ (and actually was ordered to have bed rest).   In addition to the “calcification” or whatevertheheck is trying to exit my body, I also woke up on Monday with an oh-joy cold/sore throat/sinus infection medley.  Doc says this is actually good as my body is trying to cleanse itself. Well cleanse away body. CLEANSE AWAY.

The daily creative writing has been mostly good….I did miss 2 days this week, but it was due to low energy level and how I was feeling those days health-wise.  Yesterday was one of them, which I also missed doing a blog post (the only day missed so far, however).  The writing I am LOVING and am fascinated by the themes that keep showing up (as well as what keeps showing up in my life to feed these themes): spirituality, religion, honne and tatemae, authenticity and/vs audacity, grace vs nature, ho’oponopono, shame, blocks, cleansing, release, lies, truth, etc.  As my goal was to have this daily writing prepare myself for work on my solo performance work (and beyond), I find these themes to be exciting and I am open and ready for what is to come.

Through my morning pages, meditation, and constructive rest, I am reflecting and opening to how this all relates to me personally as well as my life’s work.  The shoulder still has not healed and I have opened up to the possibility that it actually might not heal enough for me to return to restaurant work.  I’m not as stressed out about this as I was in the beginning, but rather continuing my work (along with my healing) and being open and actively inquisitive as to “ok, then, if not that then what’s next?”

I have stayed 100% vegan:  SUCCESS!  I have cooked up some pretty incredible vegan dishes this week, so keeping Jack happy in the process= double success.  Constructive rest has happened daily without fail, and I am really noticing the difference it is making in my body and my awareness (where I unconsciously have been holding tension, aka “protecting”).   There is a definite shift happening in my back and neck, and so I am completely motivated to keep this up and feeling all around pretty good about that.

Staying off Facebook and websites of the like has been easy (I did go on to  “exit the conversation” of a couple of mass emails (that I’m not able to participate in at this time, as I was constantly getting emails as a result).  While I do not miss the inundating myself with constant information that drowns out my own creative voice and/or using it as a huge mode of procrastination, I DO  greatly miss the connection with my family and friends.  This has become exponentially true with the isolation(even though I’ve still been in touch with many) of being at home so much to due to injury and illness.  There is one friend in particular that I think about daily as she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and has been very forthcoming in her moment to moment experience of it all via facebook.  Her status updates (and those of others like her) being trended would be a lot more beneficial to the spreading of true awareness of breast cancer and the likes than silly little hidden messages in status updates that really don’t mean or do jack shit (sorry but it’s true!).  I know that’s harsh, and I have a number of friends actually participating in this facebook status trend (which I know about from the emails until I logged in to drop out), but I feel like if people want to spread awareness, do it in a way that is real and deep and actually has some meaning and the potential to really impact and awaken people to something they don’t already know.  It’s not like breast cancer is some big secret.  We are all perfectly aware it’s there.  But my friend (who is undergoing treatment) and the sharing of her experience…now THAT’S some effective awareness spreading right there.  I’m just sayin’.

Ok, off soap box.  The only thing that truly got neglected this week was the working on my PATH. Oh wait, that is somewhat a lie…..I did buy a new 2012 planner.  I just didn’t do anything with it other than admire its newness and beauty.  So that is something for me to really look at  and think about why and how it can be approached differently.   We’ll see what new news I have to report about it next week.  To finish off, daily meditation and morning pages happened without issue (and I have found myself already lengthening my meditation time), as did my artist date (which is in my last blog post).  I am already aware of a pretty big shift happening in myself;  a slowing down to notice details so much more as I am doing things even mundane tasks, an increased calmness, a new sense of enjoyment of  even the smallest things.  I’m laughing a lot more, too.  This is good and is keeping me motivated and focused toward my daily tasks and I look forward to more and more and more.   As I wrote out today, every writing or meditation or creation of every kind doesn’t have to be golden.  It’s awesome when it is, but it’s obviously not always going to work out that way.  What’s important is the practice itself, showing up, and how you show up(and sometimes just saying “hey, I’m here okay” has to be enough, and that’s okay, too).  The rest will eventually somehow, in Its Own Way, start to work Itself out.

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In lieu of making this post all about how sick and crappy I feel, I thought I would spread some happiness.  This here is my first ever batch of vegan double chocolate chip cookies.

In keeping with promises to myself for the month of January, I am doing at least 1 new vegan recipe a week and at least 1 Artist’s Date.  Given my current health status, going out adventuring unfortunately wasn’t in the books, so Part One of the Artist Date was whipping up these bad boys.  (Part Two, since I know you’re dying to know, was watching The Tree of Life, courtesy of Netflix…I am on the fence on this movie…not what I was expecting, which isn’t necessarily bad, but way over board with the in your face, drive it home symbolism…still, worth watching and good food for mind/body/spirit.)

This recipe comes from Lindsay Nixon’s The Happy Herbivore, page 203 and brilliantly titled “Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  The recipe is below, and the only variations I used were (1) her suggestion option of unsweetened cocoa (to make it double chocolate chip cookies), and (2)instead of the called for 1/2 cup of (vegan) chocolate chips,  I added (quite) a bit more.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (WORTH getting the organic kind here rather than the generic crap)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use So Delicious organic coconut milk, and the name doesn’t lie)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I suggest Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • a few dashes of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used the store brand bittersweet chocolate chips, which uses soy lecithin; I don’t remember where, but some vegan cookbook or website suggested Ghirardelli baking chips for vegans, however it says right on the back of their packages MAY CONTAIN MILK.)

DIRECTIONS: (Again, this is directly from Lindsay Nixon’s The Happy Herbivore, page 203..this is NOT my recipe)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper (I used parchment paper as you can see in the picture).
  • In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.
  • IN a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon (actually found I needed a big bowl for this).
  • Transfer the dry mixture into the wet mixture in three batches.  Stir until almost combined.
  • Fold in chips.
  • Drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes for a soft and light cookie or a few minutes more for a firmer cookie, being careful not to burn.

When you are spooning them, they will be gooey/slightly liquidy–not the consistency of non-vegan cookie dough, so fyi that is normal.  I set the timer for 5 minutes, then put them on the higher oven rack  to bake for about 2 minutes more.  These are very light and fluffy, so not a lot of density and could burn very easily.  If I had cooked mine for 10 minutes, they would have been toast, so keep a close eye on yours and don’t get distracted.

Variation:  Double Chocolate Chip Cookies–Replace 2 tbsp of flour with 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa (powder).

 

This recipes says it makes 16 cookies.  As you can see, I got  11 medium sized cookies, so for 16 you would have to make them a bit smaller.  They are pretty light and fluffy tasting, almost cake like, and very moist.  The apple sauce  I think is what really makes the difference.  I am thinking you could use coconut extract instead of vanilla for chocolate coconut cookies as well (maybe mix in some coconut flakes, too).

 

I gave them the “Jack Taste Test,” letting him know ahead of time that they’re vegan (which I realize can be a  mistake as it often creates a bias), and he gave me a medium-enthusiastic “they’re good.”  Of course he ate half of the batch, so somehow he managed to get them down.  They were good, not mind blowing, but I will likely make them again.  Super easy and quick to whip up and a heck of lot cheaper than the $2.50 each vegan brownies that I am addicted to at my local health store.

 

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I had a follow up exam for my rotator cuff injury with my doctor today.  There has been a lot of improvement (as one would hope after FOUR WEEKS).  But there is still pain on the top of my shoulder,  tightness and pain on the long muscle on the side and back of my arm, and some limited range of motion; so my doctor says there is no way that I can return to restaurant work without risking deepened injury.  In fact he has reset the next follow up appointment for JANUARY 30TH.  He says I also need to continue constant use of the sling, even with the improvement I’ve had, which I  honestly loathe.  I always end up getting extremely toddler-having-a-tantrum frustrated every time I have it on and am trying to do the simplest things.  Jack keeps telling me this is a small chunk in the time of my life, and I know that he’s right, but I have been starting to go a bit out of my mind not being able to work, go to the gym, help out around the house more (especially with Jack now working even more), and just normal every day things now being so much more challenging.

 

Then my doctor and I went over yesterday’s doctor visits (re: the kidney stone I mentioned in yesterday’s post; he had referred me to a specialist) and their findings.  He actually drew a different conclusion from what we know so far (some tests are still out) and that it is in fact NOT a kidney stone.  And after our long discussion, I have to say I agree with him.   Mainly because, although it is causing me excruciating pain, I have not had a lot of the tell-tale signs of a kidney stone(back pain, blood in urine, etc).  He agrees there is some kind of calcification near the uterus/bladder/stomach area, but that it’s hard to determine exactly where or what’s causing it from the x-rays, and the sonograms didn’t help much in revealing any additional information either.  So at this point, I am on heavy pain medication (he prescribed me NINETY Vicodin, I am not even joking), heating pad, lots of liquids, simple diet, and rest rest rest rest.  And rest. And rest.

 

So.  I surrender.  Seriously.  I’ve been internally and not-so-internally fighting this time-off-from-work-due-to-injury since it first occurred (even worked a shift after it happened before my body said NO FREAKING WAY).  I just can’t be irritated or worried or anxious or any of that any more.  I’m tired of it.  The truth is, if this calcification or whateverthehellitis hadn’t appeared, you bet your butt I would have feigned my shoulder being better than it actually is so that I could get to work.  If I’m honest, I know that I would have done that.  So for whatever reason, the Universe has decided that I am not going to be waiting tables right now, or anything else for that matter,  but rather resting, meditating, taking hot baths, writing, reading, and watching a bajillion documentaries on Netflix.  Fine, okay, I get it, thank you.

 

Minor side note, but not of little importance:   as I was preparing to leave my doctor’s office, he and I got into a discussion about the state of the nation (food corporations, bureaucracy , government, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, recent OWS protests, etc).  His thoughts resonated strongly with mine.  We have to be like Gandhi when he evoked satyagraha (soul force) in solidarity with Indians by boycotting foreign cotton and instead spinning their own  on the Charkha (Indian spinning wheel, which btw is also their national symbol today for self reliance).  We have to get self reliant (hello Emerson),  evoke our own personal power, and work together.  And the key to that is simplicity.  Simplicity.  I love that, because it is the answer and key to so many things(EVERYTHING), from the minor every day events to Global issues.  What that might(probably…definitely) mean is the sacrifice of some things…but the gain created by such sacrifice promises to be great.  I’m on board.

 

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