Exactly One Year Later…

This is my 52nd blog post. It’s been exactly one year since I began 365livefoods on July 1, 2012. The first post was entitled “A Journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step!”:

Who knows how I’ll feel June 30, 2013, 365 days from now. I commit to taking this journey one day at a time, and focus on staying in the moment! The purpose of this blog is to serve as a form of accountability to help me stay committed. What better way to start this! Maybe I can get a few people to join me on this journey.

These are words written in my first post. I didn’t know then how I would feel at this moment! My mission evolved over the course of this year. I was not successful at eating raw foods, but I did learn a few things. Surveying throughout the year’s posts I’ve written about everything from issues on water to following your bliss to GenXers.

I really like writing and sharing these posts. I’m proud of my consistency in posting. I wasn’t beholden to any contracts that would force me to post, yet I wrote anyway. I allowed the blog to evolve and hopefully wrote on topics that were interesting to others aside from myself.

So what comes next?

If you’ve read this blog with any regularly you would have read about my goal to successfully open a natural food store in Houston, Texas. I will transition this blog to my endeavors with Organic Soul Foods. My goal over the course of this week is to remake this blog page. Thanks to all who joined me on this journey of self discovery.

until next week,

lillieth

Spirals

On Sundays I watch Super Soul Sunday on OWN network. The guest this Sunday was Karen Armstrong. She is a former nun and a leading authority on religion and spirituality. Armstrong has a memoir entitled The Spiral Staircase. Spiral is used as a metaphor for life. Often we think we’re not progressing in life, but actually we’re spiralling upwards.

In Wake Up World’s “Ancient Spirals – What do they mean?” The Spiral is a sacred symbol that reminds us of our evolving journey in life. When used as a personal talisman, the Spiral helps consciousness to accept the turnings and changes of life as it evolves. The acceptance of change is one of the greatest freedoms a human can experience, putting consciousness in the present moment where the power of creation is condensed. On a larger scale, using this symbol assures all beings are reminded of their inward and outward evolution, a balanced and centred state of mind. On water, it carries the power to flow and change.

Essentially this week’s post is just a reminder that even when we think we’re going in circles or worse yet just standing still we’re steadily moving towards or hopes and dreams.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Growing Pains

Here lately I’ve been fixated on changes needed to live my best life ever. In the Follow Your Bliss post, I wrote about the challenges some Generation Xers are having coping with the economic demands of today. My remedy was for us to follow our bliss. In the 20th century there was an ongoing battle to expand and redefine who was allowed to have the best of life, i.e. the women’s rights movement, the Civil Rights’ movement. People tired of narrow definitions of who was allowed to have the American Dream. Throughout the 20th century there have been people who championed for everyday people realizing their dreams. Self-help gurus such as Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Norman Vincent Peale, Iyanla Vanzant, Deepak Chopra, and Dennis Kimbro are examples of people who worked/ and are still working to help us redefine what is possible in our lives. In the 90s I believe the spiritual transition to believe you can have your heart’s desire culminated with Oprah’s Change Your Life series.

The growing pain some of us Generation Xers have is making the transition from what I perceive as the 20th century way of thinking in which once we reach adulthood we are a finished product; to the 21st century way of thinking in which we are all works in progress. We have to realize we can’t allow our skill set to become outdated assuming that what we learned in college is all we ever need to know. We have to approach our lives as if it’s a science experiment in which we are constantly researching ways to improve our lives. We, Generation Xers, can successfully navigate these changes if we accept the inevitability of change and stay current.

I hope my thoughts in this post are not too “all over the place”. These are just streams of thought I’ve been mulling over for the past few months. Thanks for reading.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Mother’s Day Thoughts

I searched for a poem about Mother’s Day to no avail, so I chose a poem with sentiments I would think mothers would wish for their children.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling
 
Until next Sunday,
lillieth

Why?

This week I’m reading the book The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan.  It’s an exposé of the American food system. It’s a first person account of the author’s travails working in the fields as a farmworker in California, a stocker at Walmart in Michigan, and at Appleby’s in Brooklyn. The book has been eye-opening in expected and unexpected ways.

“And anyone slogging through the depths of our economy on minimum wage or less, whatever their job, knows that their survival depends less on their own individual fortitude than the community of people they’re able to draw around them for support.” p. 234

This quote articulates an answer to a question I have gotten a few times: Why do you want to open a natural food store in the black community in Houston, Texas? The quote implies that we are meant to be our brothers keepers, and to whom much is given much is required. It gave me words to explain why the location of the store is as important as the contents of the store.

Don’t you love when reasons are given to you for questions you did not know you didn’t have the answer too! 🙂

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Finding My Life’s Rhythm

I just celebrated a birthday this past week. I’m at an age when stereotypically a woman starts worrying about aging. Funny thing happened though, instead of feeling old I felt/feel empowered! These past six months I have been focusing on launching Organic Soul Foods and it has ordered my life in indescribable ways. This weekend I came up with a name for this feeling. It’s my life’s rhythm! My life steps are ordered. With each step on this journey, what I need comes to me. Experiences just flow. There’s something about being blessed with a life work that gives my life substantive meaning. It’s the honor of my life to be endowed with this calling to bring SOUL (sustainable, organic, unrefined, and local) foods to my community.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Invictus

For several weeks, much of my spiritual reading has been on the power of the subconscious mind and our ability to control it.  I thought today my post would serve as an exemplar of what it means to control your subconscious mind. What greater example than Nelson Mandela! A man who walked out of 27 years in prison with no bitterness, anger or vengeance. His only aim was to continue his steadfast goal to free South Africa from apartheid. Here is the poem Invictus that Nelson Mandela would recite daily.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
 
I think we would all do well to memorize these powerful words to empower our daily lives.
 
until next Sunday,
lillieth

Tears

Keeping with the theme of water I thought I’d share an excerpt from Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant, dated March 21st.

I cry out with my whole heart. -Psalm 119:145

Water purifies. Water nurtures. Water is the healing force of the universe. Water cleanses. Water corrodes. Water refreshes. It is the conduit of growth, protection and maintenance. Crying produces salt water. It purges, protects and expands the spirit. Crying is a release, a cleansing, an expression. However, we must learn to cry with an agenda. Are you crying to release, to purify, to cleanse? Are you angry, frightened, worried or elated? We may cry because of a particular situation, but there is underlying emotion we really need to express. When done properly crying brings clarity and healing to the body and spirit. It can be a refreshing experience, so do it as often as you like. The moment the tears start to flow, just write down your agenda.

– When I cry with an agenda, my needs are met.

This whole post has been an excerpt from Acts of Faith by Iyanla Vanzant.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

Eat your veggies!

Technically it’s still the New Year since we’re still in the month of January, so it’s still befitting to discuss ways to live healthier. My initial purpose in eating raw foods was to transition back into the healthier lifestyle I established in 2009 through 2011. I had finally found a rhythm on how to live a whole, healthy lifestyle. I was eating whole balanced meals and exercising regularly. I’ve been a vegetarian close to 20 years now, and it was not until 2009 that I started focusing more on eating vegetables than on not eating meat. It’s a slightly different perspective. Eating more vegetables focuses more on what I can have to eat, the later focuses on what I can’t. As I was better nourishing my body, I simultaneously had a spiritual and mental regimen. A healthy lifestyle is not simply about eating healthy foods and exercise. It’s about the mind- body- spirit continuum. Feeding our bodies healthy food, nourishes the mind and spirit as well. Some tips I’ve found to be helpful with the mind- body- spirit balance are:

1)      Start each morning in prayer and devotion.

2)      Commit to cook/ prepare your meals at home at least one day out of the week.

3)      Try a recipe with a vegetable you’ve never tried before.

4)      Try a Bikram yoga class (prepare to sweat).

5)      Exercise regularly.

6)      When possible, shop at the farmer’s market  (support the local food economy).

7)      Drink plenty, plenty water.

8)      Get as much sleep as your schedule allows (7 to 8 hours is ideal).

9)      Love more!

Each of us has our own ideal way of living a healthy lifestyle. What I know for sure is that there is no one way to attain a healthy lifestyle. It’s just what’s ideal for you.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth