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Archive for the ‘cheese’ Category

Ella and me in a buddhist temple in Singapore. 

Recent conversations have left me feeling unsettled and frankly kind of shitty. Perhaps it’s a lack of articulation of my feelings or just not wanting to “go there” with folks. It’s not a new topic for me or I’m pretty sure for any other parent of a kid with a disability. Sometimes when I’m talking about Ella, people say things like, “It must be so awful for Ella not to be able to talk or walk or eat for herself or do anything for herself.” Or people will  give me a look of sadness and pity when I tell them about her. I usually just smile and move on.  However, sometimes I’m left feeling like shit and often like a failure as a Mom and a women. I do understand that this is not people’s intention and they’re trying to show concern. However, stating the obvious of Ella’s condition to me, Ella’s Mom of 9 years, is just hurtful. Our family has worked very hard to get past these incredible challenges, move on and live a very happy, fulfilled life. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that when people bring up these facts about Ella, it’s only awful for me not Ella. Ella doesn’t know a different way of living. She has adapted. She communicates in a non-traditional way. We help her get everywhere she wants to go and she is a very happy kid. As for me, I don’t really think about any of the things that Ella can’t do until someone brings them up and then I feel like shit. On most days, I am just doing what I need to do to help Ella. Enjoying the challenges that come with trying to get her involved in life and never thinking that Ella is missing out. Life is too busy and full to entertain such thoughts. Sometimes, I like to think of Ella as a zen master or a bodhisattva, who sits for many hours in meditation without moving. They don’t need food or water. Flies land on their noses and they resist swatting them away.  They’re not tempted by the frills and thrills of our physical world. They sit peacefully with a gentle smile on their face and teach us about patience, love and compassion. This is what I wish I could articulate about my sweet, enlightened Ella during each of these conversations that I frequently have (or perhaps cram down people’s throats). However, I always resist my urge to explain our lives or philosophies on life  (and my violent, unkind thoughts.) I take my lessons and lead from Ella and the enlightened teaching masters to act kindly, compassionately and to speak friendly, warmly, and gently and to talk only when necessary.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”  Gandhi

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I can’t quit you…

I gave up drinking alcohol about three years ago–no problem. Drinking too much red wine after Ella was born, I was waking up too often with a headache and feeling like crap.  I’ve had no problem with cravings or slip ups with alcohol, I feel and see the benefits of not drinking. I wake up feeling great, my nose is not always stuffy, my head is always clear, I’ve lost weight and our dinner bill when we dine out is so much cheaper. Why can’t I quit sugar and dairy??

I have been seeing the same nutritionist as Ella https://juliepeoplesclark.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/remarkable/ for the past six weeks. She has made a  huge difference in Ella’s overall health with dietary changes, quite remarkable changes. I wanted to see what changes she would have me make in my diet. No surprise here, eliminate dairy and sugar. Overall my health is very good, I eat well, exercise everyday and feel very little stress. However, I always feel– hummm…. not so great when I eat dairy and sugar. Dairy hurts my stomach (and effects a few other things, but that would be TMI to talk about here) and sugar gives me a headache. BUT… I LOVE CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE! One of my nephew’s spelling words last week was cheese. His homework was to write sentences for each spelling word, his sentence for cheese was, “My Aunt loves cheese.” It’s true! and I love all kinds the stinky most expensive kind and the crap that comes out of a can (although I don’t eat the crap anymore–that was my college munchies days.) This cheese habit started very early with me. When I was a kid I ate so many American cheese slices each day that I hid the evidence by stuffing the wrappers in our family’s couch. After I moved out to attend college my Mom found thousands of cheese wrappers that I hid in shame and my ugly secret was exposed. Sugar, I am not quite as addicted to, but every few days I fall off the no sugar wagon. I was doing really well abstaining from sugar and dairy until this past weekend, Friday night I had homemade mac and cheese and an ice cream cone, then Saturday I went to a friend’s birthday party and had a pretty large piece of an amazing flourless chocolate cake and ice cream, then Sunday, I don’t even want to talk about Sunday–Let’s just say nachos were involved. With all that said starting Monday I went back on the no sugar/no dairy wagon, let’s see how far I travel this time.

Ella eats so well, sugar and dairy have never touched her lips. Her skin and hair are beautiful and her digestion and elimination are right on track. She never whines about the lack of cheese and chocolate in her diet. Once again Ella is my teacher, my guru ( https://juliepeoplesclark.wordpress.com/yoga-and-healing/.)

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