The God Glow


My spiritual journey as an adult has always been one at arm’s length with religion. Being reared up in the belief system of Christianity I have always had a tendency to have one foot in the door of religion and the other foot tip toeing out to learn about other beliefs that may have seemed a little more interesting, dare I say.
Over the years I have explored faith in a few alternative ways as I craved to know more about Buddhism and Hinduism, just to name the most recent.

Having re-established my own faith again in my thirties(you know after I choose to believe God must surely have made the aliens too) I also wanted to understand more of what faith could offer other than that which had been uninvited and drilled into me as a child. Truth is I am basically happy I was given the foundation of Christianity as a child. In the same sense I choose to raise my own children as Catholics; you know the traditional baptism followed by the same legacy of a Catholic school education, even though when making these choices for my children I was questioning my own religion. I just knew I very much wanted my children to know about God, and after that it would be up to them to make their own choice when they got older. I have never forced my children to go to church (much as my son says never is simply not true) nor did I go much myself as an adult, until recently when I found a place which no longer feels like church, The North Bramelea United Church.

Religion in general has always left a bad taste in my mouth. Having always felt it was something my grandparents believed in and practiced and mostly not for me allowed me to feel free with my own perceptions of God and faith. Even though I do believe in God, I have felt strongly about “not needing a building” or a religion to represent my faith in God as He (being God that is) already knew me well enough to know where I stood on religion and my beliefs.

I am also not proud of the ideologies formed from the interpretation of religion by man. No matter what name or face history has titled these belief systems if choosing to use religion as a cover for war and madness there is no other definition for this other than criminal; crimes against humanity are still crimes if you for any reason use religion to harm even one single person on this earth. Fact is all we need to do is look around to see the chaos created by religion and reflect did God really intend this mess? I vote a big NO.
As a young Catholic girl I was taught to pray; certainly some prayers were by force (especially those hard floored Rosary prayers, ouch) and some prayers just as a means to comfort from the boogey man and whatever the heck it was that lived was under my bed, of course. Like most Catholic families we had the typical good night prayer “God bless mommy & daddy” etc. etc., and of course the well-practiced prayers from Sunday mass which were carved so deep into my brain that I don’t even remember learning them, yet still today if I’m at a Catholic mass my lips are automatically moving with those same words as the priest, I don’t know why… but it still happens. Yes words I learned so long ago, even some Latin words, who knew I could speak in tongues!
Mom always told me I should pray whenever anything scared me; and as a child life was not so great so I prayed a lot. So many times I remember praying eyes squeezed tight just to go back to sleep from a bad dream, falling asleep with “Hail Mary” or “Our Father” on my lips as I drifted back into unconsciousness , a typical night for me as a Catholic child. Having been raised a strict Catholic I was naturally forced to go to church every week which also included church in school as well, it was just second nature to do so. There was never an opportunity to opt out of church or dare say the words “No way I’m not going!” as I hear my kids scream out when asked if they want to go to church. Not only were we not asked if we wanted to go to church, we would also have paid a dear price for saying no; and when I say paid …I mean PAID with a lesson remembered for days or weeks depending on whether the teaching tool was a belt, a stick or a hand!

I don’t even recall ever thinking about not going to church, not at least until I was about sixteen or seventeen. I sang in the choir for years and my brother was an altar boy, it was just what we did. It seemed everyone was punished, oops I mean treated with the same unsaid expectation of church as we were good Catholics, something that meant a lot to my Irish/Scottish grandparents. I was really no different than any other kid in our family who were likely taught to pray from the womb as I suspect I was.

Aside from religion something inside me always left me feeling different from others. I always wondered why or if it was just my own fault for not fitting in, ever. Even now my kids say “mom you are different, good different”, at work I have heard others say “ you are so different”, my kids friends have said “geeze your mom is so different”, and once many years ago an older Asian woman stopped me outside a store and stared in my face and said “you have a very kind face”, I have always remembered her, she was so intense as she stared directly into my soul that day, one thing for sure is she made me feel different! I think I can see my differences now and I believe it could only be in my character. I have my strong, caring nature which I hope is why I have a respectable character, or at least that’s what I think people who get to know me will think. Having a knack for helping people coupled with lots of empathy has always caused my heart to swell even when reading about sad stories of poverty, pain and oppression, and don’t even get me started on my depth of love for or animals, always wishing I could do more to help or take them home. It was only recently I realized those pieces of me which are different are not that different at all. Now that I have connected with others who I feel are similar to me touching my life in one way or another, I see we have some common ground ethically and in character.

A new friend of mine spoke recently at an event that I had attended. During her talk she said something that touched a knowing in my heart as to why I could be different. To be honest I can’t even remember what it was she said exactly but what I do remember is she said something about her and God …something along the lines of “and that’s why I am different, because God…”and then it was like I knew in that very moment ! What she said was or could be the reason why I too might be different! You know I definitely had a few notches in the ole prayer belt especially as a kid, so maybe someone was watching over me shining inside my spirit bright enough for me to be the odd one out, or perhaps I was meant to shine just a little differently so that only those like me could see the same glow in their heart of hearts. I don’t know really; it’s not like this is a provable theory after all but why not a theory all the same, after all people make stuff up all the time and spend years trying to prove it right?

I thought about a few other people I connected with over the years who have helped me in a positive way in my life, you know those ones who just seem to appear out of nowhere to support you in a time of crisis or misery. I now believe they too could have some sort of spiritual connection in this web of existence, not necessarily Christian but maybe some belief system or another that has them praying or believing that our creator is looking over us, impacting us, guiding us and helping us find one another when in times of need. Those that had most impacted me also had this profound sense of helping other, fairness and social justice in their hearts…I then thought “I think we all have the God glow!” Really this is just something I made up, God glow that is, but what if it’s real? A real glow, you know a special glow in people who have a deep connection with God whether in a church, in a field beneath a tree, around the dinner table or just in our heart or hearts.

I’m certain those that have this connection with God whether young or old have a special inner glow. I don’t think the glow can be seen by the naked eye, I think it can only be felt by the heart and seen in people’s actions. Maybe everyone has it and some people get a higher dosage than others, who knows. All I know is I’m glad I see the same glow in those good people I have met along my way, and I will forever feel like I have found something special that I didn’t know I had before, the “God glow”.
I’m also happy to report this can only mean I have more good than I ever knew, thanks God!

 

Written by : Corrina Leblond

Image by: www.achievinglotus.org

 

 

TIS SEASON – to give or not to give?


man

I dug deeply into the corners of my purse searching for spare change, just a toonie or loonie to pass through my window before the light changed green “come on purse!”

I knew in about three minutes the cars behind me would scream on their horns with discontent threaded with road rage in this angst that moves us along our hum drum catatonic road of life.

He stood there holding a sign that read in broken English, “hungry need money for food, wife dead, three children.”

Walking slowly to those cars lined up behind my car his expressionless face held some remnants of hope, hope that a hand of compassion would reach out to drop a coin for his cause; my car’s unwelcome window as many others was rolled up tight.

Second in line behind the light I dug faster as I watched him five cars down through my rear view mirror; the hand on the light flashed warning that the moment would soon pass. “Damn, not even an emergency grocery cart quarter!”

My purse was a usual disorganized mess of crumbs, old receipts and unused plastic point cards. “Why???? I usually have something!”

An epiphany came over me! My hand felt the smooth bills in the corner pocket of my purse; the 20’s I had withdrawn a few hours ago for our family’s weekly jar money , a new thing I was trying in hopes to keep us on track with our monthly spending.

I pulled out a twenty not even looking at my partner to see if he would agree or disagree. My guy knows when I have my mind made up I usually dig my heels in stubbornly; when I need to give I give.

I rolled down my window as the light began to change and yelled “sir, sir”, he was still at least 2 cars behind my car but I could see him walking back slowly in my rear view mirror. I held my arm out the window “sir!” yelling louder.

He appeared to the left of my window as the light changed, I had slowly begun to release my foot of the break. I smiled as I said “I couldn’t find any change but I hope a 20 will be okay!” He quickly stuffed the bill in his pocket not saying a word unlike most I give to who often murmur the seemingly grateful response of “God bless you.” No not a word from this man and not even a change in his facial expression. From his khaki pants and sweater I wondered if this may have been his first time on this highway corner.

No matter what his story I knew I did right by me and my heart felt good! Perhaps he did have kids to feed, and even if he didn’t “who am I to judge?”

I drove away with my kids unusually quiet in the back seat, my partner quiet beside me and a tear in my eye. I knew at that moment this was exactly what I was supposed to do and because I could, I felt blessed.

~

I have posted a video link below of a clip I watched a couple years ago. I also worked with one of the gentlemen in this video, Daniel Cullen a published author who had struggles with homelessness for many years; last I heard he was still facing many challenges. At the time I met Daniel he was working on bringing awareness to the public about the issues faced by those experiencing homelessness in the Brampton and Peel area where we both live; working with him was an eye opener to the issues in Peel. Ill never forget how he introduced me to the corners of support and sadness in the Brampton area. I never knew there were places like Regeneration whose team feed an amazing breakfast to everyone walking through their door on a daily basis just downtown Brampton. I also had the pleasure of serving at a Linda’s soup kitchen another spot I never knew of in Brampton working effortlessly to provide hot lunches to those in need. My heart still remembers my own poverty as a child and how I believe many of us could be just a few pay checks away from homelessness should our conditions change. Please watch this video and bring awareness to yourself and others if you can.

Image by:

Spaces & Places – Homelessness in Peel Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cesymDsCsP8

The Vegan I dare to be – My contribution to lessening global warming



Giving up the remaining animal products I consume has been forever on my mind, even more so in the last 3 years.

So just last week I decided to take the leap off the ovo-lacto vegetarian band wagon and wiggle my one unexcited toe over to the vegan ship; all the while fighting voices in my head screaming “noooooo (I hear that’s called dairy addiction).”

 I have to admit I love (loved) dairy and have always held onto my truth (and believed) that the idea of consuming dairy was not contributing to animal cruelty issues. Not really a truth as parts of me did indeed know the facts but choose to wear those rose colored glasses, as many do.

Over the years I have whispered in my own ear a million of times “it’s ok, it’s not like the animal has to die or be harmed if I consume their products; at least I’m not eating its flesh for the past 20+ years; everyone else is the problem when it comes to mass consumption, production of meat products, salmonella and of course animal cruelty, not me!”

I hate the idea of animals being farmed like a conveyor belt in a factory like a pair of rubber gloves, they are living beings!

I even wrote a research paper a couple years ago about how the ozone layer is in part depleting due to the massive amounts of methane gas produced by the millions of cows farting which believe it or not are also contributing to global warming, yes farts. Of course if there were less demand of animal products than naturally there would be less of the farting problem, including dairy.


Them not me :)…. what a lie!

For those of you that wish to know more about global warming I watched an amazing little film called “How to boil a frog”, you too could learn amazing factoids about global warming which you may not know. This is a funny, well produced film which I learned a lot from.

Here’s the link if you want to check it out.

http://www.videoproject.com/howtoboilfrog.html

So back to my veganism, which of course everyone around me is horrified by hearing or even fathoming, me too i I dare say so myself .

Day 1 was last week on Monday June 1st. It was painful. I heard my dairy addiction screaming the whole day. It was hard, and I mean very hard. I’ve eaten raw for a few days without having dairy, I’ve even done a crazy 9 day juice fast with no dairy, yet this time is was different, this time it was only the dairy I cut out, and I noticed…let me tell you!

Day 2 was also difficult as I searched for food items to stuff my mouth as I longed for a Greek yogurt, cream in my coffee and cheese on my salad, sandwich, potato and whatever I could slap cheese on….did I say I loveeeee (d) cheese? Arggggg..I was not going to make it!

But I did.

I told myself if I could just get through the present, and not worry about the future, then maybe I could do it, one day, another one day, no stress no promises. And I did.

 I reached Friday and patted myself on the back proudly. I did it, and lived!

By Thursday the craving had gone, the thoughts about wanting were still there, but the screaming inside my head of “grab that cheese” was not.

I’m not saying I’m perfect as I did fail to resist some awesome homemade pizza on Sunday past, but I didn’t beat myself up over it.

What I did notice from my indiscretion of eating dairy is that not only is it the dairy cows that get ….well……gassy……nope not at all.

But that’s a whole other thought!

 

Today I wondered if God was listening!


(Trigger warning & strong language, yet a story I had to tell)

Just one more trip to the grocery store and my busy day would soon be met with some justified relaxation, ahhhh. Since midday today I was on a life high having recieved some great news. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could relax and sink into this new found happiness. The only thing left on my mind after work was celebrating; should it be a white wine or something special?

As I hurried through the mall parking lot a cab stopped by the mall entrance. I noticed the passenger, a mid thirty something female who almost tripped out of the cab’s back door when exiting.  She stood up after the near mishap adjusting her clothes over her slim figure. I thought she obviously must be in a much bigger hurry than I was as she quickly ran into the mall disappearing from my view. For one second my busy mind paused as I admired how tall and thin she was with her chic haircut that only a few people would ever dare to sport or look good in. Damn skinny people, my inner voiced chimed; they can wear or look good in anything!

My mind shifted back to my errands and the pizza order I had placed that would surely be cold as it was now more than an hour since leaving work late on another Friday night. It was my fault the family had become dependent on these Friday night takeouts, I take full responsibility for doing it one too many times as I will NOT cook on a Friday, they are all big now and can pitch in, or so I tell myself. In another alternate reality I fantasize about coming home to an amazing cooked meal with my family’s painted happy faces ushering me to the table after a hard day’s work, swooning over me as they take my bag and rush to caring for my every need (ha and then I wake up). Even when I say this in my head it sounds silly and preposterous! Meal times in my house seem to have become one of those “what’s mom cooking/bringing home” kind of homes, despite my proud feminist views.

I entered the mall and only seconds later my busy mind tuned into the yelling and screaming just ahead of me. As I was jilted from my own thoughts I noticed the screams were coming from the cab passenger who was screaming and walking in a fast pace towards where I had just entered the store.

She screamed “I told you, I fucking , fucking told you NOT TO MOVE, what the FUCK is wrong with YOU, why CANT you ever listen to a FUCKING word I say!!”

A notable gasp and cry came from the husky 10-12 year old boy as she wailed on him screaming just inches away from his face crouching over him, eyes bulging with a clear firm grasp of his shoulders. Her next words were inaudible to me as I think I went into shock, her words became a blur. For sure a threat of “if you do….then I will ….slap, hit” She continued on for a few more painful seconds.  I couldn’t help but feel like I was frozen in time as the air became so thick it was hard to move forward. She screamed a few more F bombs and her last words clear and cutting as she turned back to him yelling “DONT MOVE and stop your crying you FUCKING PUSSY!

Oh my dear God!!! What ???? I could not believe my ears; I’m now certain I was in shock. All I could think of was this poor, poor boy and ask myself who the hell is that person?

I found myself praying for him immediately asking God to come to his side and comfort him. As part of my religious upbringing praying still came easy as I also begged for angel Gabriel to come and cradle this child from this pain. I prayed that she wasn’t his mom, maybe an older sister, a crack head stepmother, anyone but please don’t let this be his everyday life! I’ve never ever heard anyone speak that abusive to a child before. I was stunned needless to say. I’ve heard a lot of verbal abuse in my time but never this much or with such contempt and language towards a child, and certainly never in a grocery store.

I noticed others in the store who had lined up for service had that same frozen look of disbelief on their face. I looked at the child as tears streamed down his cheeks and I wished I could just hug him. I stopped for just a second long enough to hear people around me beginning to rumble about how disrespectful she was, but no one moved towards the child. The cab passenger was just a couple of aisles ahead of me grabbing random items off the shelves, popping her head in and out not really even looking over. I wondered what anyone could even legally do in this situation, I was lost for what to do.

With my heart wrenching I could feel his sadness, my heart was breaking. I continued walking to the deli and paid for my pizza as the pain in my heart grew. I grabbed my pizza box and decided I would go speak to him, give him a word of encouragement, something, anything!

I headed back to where the child was determined to get his number, maybe just a name so I could call the police or child services.

To my sadness he was gone when I came back; I don’t know what happened to him or where he could be. Out of the corner of my eye I seen the cab passenger but this time she was alone, I wondered where the child was.

I left the mall with a huge lump in my throat and a nagging feeling that I should’ve done more. I drove home, my cold pizza beside me absent of the joy I had felt earlier. Tears filled my eyes as pain rushed into my heart thinking about what a shitty day that boy was having, maybe a shitty life, no one deserves that treatment!

I again said a prayer to God. I asked for help for the child and asked God to help him through his journey as I know I was comforted many times in my life. Still this wasn’t enough to ease my guilt; I slowed my car I wanted to turn back. I know somehow this was a bit crazy of me, or was it? I just wanted to DO SOMETHING. But again I decided to go home and drop off the food for my family.

When I got in the door I spilled out my story to anyone who would listen and asked my partner to come to the mall with me so we can find the boy. He was on the phone and half heartedly listened as my kids grabbed the food and the dog hopped with excitement hoping for just one bite of fallen pepperoni. Yes I was back in my life now, but part of me was still with the boy.

My 13 year old pulled out three math tests he was prouder than proud of, his face beamed with excitement as he showed me three A’s, one that was an A+, first one of the year. This was a special moment, I wished I could’ve been happier and more involved, but I was still with the boy.

My mind consumed with guilt and images of the child in the mall. I still didn’t know what to do, even if I went back to the mall he may be gone or sitting with her. What COULD I really do? What should I have done? Why didn’t I do anything?

I felt so sad, I tried to smile at my son and give him the attention he deserved but I could not get that image of the pain and embarrassment on that other child’s face out of my mind. His sadness haunted me as I reflected on my own pain as a child. He will grow up one day, it will get better, I comforted myself.

I knew that no matter what he wasn’t really truly alone, none of us are. God is with him, even if he didn’t have God as part of his upbringing as I did.

My younger son hugged me and shared with me what he does when he feels like I was feeling, “mom you know what I do when I wish I couldn’t done something and didn’t, I ask God to forgive me”. His words touched and surprised me, wow!

I knew immediately that was the answer. “Give it to God” a friend once told me. I humbly asked for forgiveness and hoped this would be enough.

My spiritual journey doesn’t always involve a church, but it always has involved God, a side effect of being raised in a religious home.

There were no celebrations that night but refreshed awareness that for every joy we have someone somewhere is suffering, too real a reminder, I counted my blessings.

I am blessed for so many reasons, and blessed most of all to be so lucky to have such a wise child who offered me the comfort that I only now truly appreciate as an adult, Gods comfort.

Written by: Corrina Leblond

MicroSkills ( where I work) Needs your help!!! Please sign our petition for our funding!


Hello Everyone:
Please see attached letter we are sending out regarding news we received this morning about substantial funding cuts for the amazing funded programs MicroSkills uses to support low income marginalized women in our communities.

Not only will this greatly affect our clients; myself and my colleagues will too will be directed immediately impacted.

We are asking that you take some time to sign our petition as well as send a letter in support of our programs here as soon as possible!
 
 http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/hon-teresa-piruzza-reinstate-funding-to-microskills-5
 
“We have just learned that Ontario Women’s Directorate has abruptly decided to cut all funding to MicroSkills Information and Technology (ITTW) and Skills Trade (WIST) . >This decision, conveyed to us at the 11th hour, on Friday March 28th, has grave implications for the women who rely on our programs and jeopardizes the many women who are still currently in programs who require job search and placement assistance.
 
We are asking our corporate and community partners, clients, graduates, friends and family to send a letter to Hon. Teresa Piruzza, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues requesting that she reconsider this decision.
 
If you would like to join this campaign, feel free to do so by sending the attached letter to the emails listed below. Please send this correspondence from your personal email (not MicroSkills email) by Wednesday, April 2nd at 11am. You may also share this campaign with your personal and professional networks. “
 
Send letter to:
tpiruzza.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Tel
Ministry: 416-212-7432
Constituency: 519-977-7191Fax
Ministry: 416-212-7431
Constituency: 519-977-7029

 
c.c. to:
omar.raza@ontario.ca
mcoteau.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
Tel
Ministry: 416-325-6200
Constituency: 416-494-6856Fax
Ministry: 416-325-6195
Constituency: 416-494-9937

 
jonathan.espie@ontario.ca
 
kwynne.mpp@liberal.ola.org
Tel
Ministry: 416-325-1941
Constituency: 416-425-6777Fax
Ministry: 416-325-9895
Constituency: 416-425-0350
 
 
All the best Corrina Leblond

I, I love you like a love letter baby


A  few months ago I was intrigued by an article that was titled  “Write yourself a Love letter”. Certainly you might imagine my first thoughts of this article as positive, well they were not. What I found instead was that my brain muttered out two simple words … say what!  Along with these simple words,  I could also sense a shadow of  negativity within me.

Looking back now I may have even been a little judgemental as I thought to myself that this idea sounds like nothing more than an article written to amuse those who may already have a an over inflated ego;  creating a tool to further enhance additional self serving testimonials of lies and gibberish attached to meaningless self worth!

Okay I know , maybe I’m a bit too harsh hun?  Upon reflection I seem to have channelled a bias that most definitely needs some work.

I guess we all know a narcissist or two, maybe lll leave that rant for another article.

Back to the love letter….I challenged my assumption by deciding to judge the article in its entirety, I read on.

A few more short sentences into the article something new began to happen,  I  began to feel  the  size of my biased  judgemental heart growing, tingling and growing some more . I even began to imagine that my heart grew three times its normal size!!

. ( wink wink……remind you of anyone?)

As I hungrily devoured word after word of each personal love story in the article,  I knew that not only do I deserve to know this information I too deserved to write myself a love letter. I even secretly hoped that when I eventually did find the courage to write my own letter, that somehow just doing so might change my life in some subtle way.

I’m guessing we all can have those nagging negative messages that we unknowingly stowed over the years just so we can pop those suckers out for those much needed self loathing days. Many of us have those days when we begin pull forward every last hateful thought we had about ourselves from that sealed jar, and then choose to believe them, even for a moment.

Why is that you ask?? Well its just because we can and also because we have seen the generations before us that teach us the same rule of thumb; repress , repress, repress!

Most of us have these days every now and again. We find this need to match up false unjustified assumptions with our own inner negative dialogue;  like when an unwarranted comment/ugly remark gets hurled at us in a moment of heat from those we call (friends , relatives and/or co-workers)failing to duck as these hurts smack us in the kisser…or heart.  Ill admit no matter how good I feel about myself in those moments, all I have to do is look inside to find that one stored negative comment that mirrors this infliction and poof..Im there, judging myself.  Sometimes it takes just one negative word to re-enforce that low mood and then a day or two to shake it off.. pffttttt!

My hope is that by writing this love letter that I can create a pool / jar of loving thoughts to battle these rainy day moments with  so I can create my own sustainable sunshine from a light inside, why does the darkness have to have such power anyway..

So here I go;

MARCH 27, 2014

My darling Corrina,

When I look back at all the years we have shared together, I can see how much you have developed both spiritually and emotionally. You have grown in countless ways as your strong spirit never seems to just give up on anything. I remember how mom always said ” well she doesn’t always get it done fast, but she always gets it done”!   Mom was right ya know, and she is still right on the money!

The young naive lady you were when you left home was a young girl filled with adventure , hopes and a  promise of new beginnings. Hard work never scared you as hard was all you ever knew. Determined and courageous you set your sail for independence and you sailed away, barely looking back at the tear stained faces of those you left behind. That was hard dear girl, but you knew that this was your only choice as you needed to release your wings and fly free.

It was not always easy in the beginning, lessons were learned the hard way, but you never gave up. Its true things were not all roses and butterflies, yet there were some green fields where you could always rest your head and look to the blue skies knowing  God smiled down on you.

The hint of that brightness kept you hungry for more. I could always see this in you, your search for self improvements never ceased, your search for love also challenging as you had little reference point of what a healthy loving relationship looked like. I still admired you though, you could have given up so many times and ran back to the place where unhappiness laid in wait, but you didn’t, you moved ahead.  One day at a time never ever asking for so much as a dime or a hand out, giving all you had and more, even when the silence and loneliness around you haunted you at times.

Now looking back I cant believe how many years have passed, so many changes, so much growth. You have never ever let me down, always my rock and my constant .

You have done just great despite the barriers life have challenged you with, you amaze me! Watching how deeply you are connected with your children proves just what power you have to love and teach. Your connection to nature is inspiring, I have never met anyone like you before.

If they only knew you as well as I do…..the world would be in awe!  You are incredible and I love you!! Thank you for always being their for me and learning from the mistakes you made along the way. I could not be prouder of you than I am right now.

hugz and more hugz, you are my role model and my best friend.

loving you always 

me xoxoxoxoxo

And there it is…..gotta admit that made me feel pretty darn awesome! 🙂

How do I love thee..Let me count the ways…My love/hate relationship with wheat!


Image

You are about to read my very sad tale about my recent realization about wheat and my body. It appears wheat is causing me more than issues with just my waistline;  however the truth is I would never have known this had I not eliminated wheat from my diet as I recently have.

My story is not new and I’m certain my story will not surprise many of you that read it. I, like many others, have been having very serious issue’s with today’s wheat( I say today’s wheat, as it has been modified, yes-yes it has).

Eight weeks or so ago I began a new journey towards increasing my own health as well as my family‘s health.  When I began my walk towards this anticipated change in lifestyle I had hoped for a blend of two worlds. The world that I have always known, and the world that would ultimately bring added health to myself and my family. I had many reasons for knowing I had to change my eating such as regular issues I experienced with bloating, gas, stomach pain and mostly just being plain uncomfortable. I soon began to fear what my reactions would be to any meal I ate, even a bagel would cause me issues such as watching my belly expand by inches and inches becoming hard as a drum in minutes, there was no way this was normal, it had to be something!

I heard about wheat belly, felt like something I might be experiencing.Bulgur-Wheat-cereal

So yes I committed to a plan, a plan to change my ways and the ways of my family, after-all we are all in this together.

Week 1 we all did the “raw food” thingy. I encouraged my children to complete one day of juicing and raw foods, while I continued on like a hero for a full four days of raw food eating.

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 Well just three words to describe my experience!!!!!     I was starving………..!!! ARGGGGGGGGGGG

Between the caffeine withdrawals,  headaches, intense sugar cravings, constipation, tiredness, brain fog, plus more, I still cant believe I managed for four full days of a raw food diet .

I DID IT…NO IT WAS NOT EASY!

day four

My “then plan” was to keep wheat and caffeine from my diet for most of the week, only indulging on the weekends.

I mean who could give up their favourite food completely..like pizza, not I  😦 !!

pixxa

As I have mentioned before, I grew up on the east coast. In other words we were meat and potato eaters primarily, and of course bread lovers, the staple food of each and every East coast family “home-made bread” (and bologna..aka..newfie steak).

The mass produced bread we called “bakers bread”  was a crime to have in your house, as the young were taught to make bread as a part of our traditional culture and upbringing.

Now I am not saying that I have committed my life to making “home-made bread“….but I have often made it just as my mom did when I was growing up. That aroma of yummy smelling delicious bread, buns, rolls, dumplings cannot be replaced. My mind always fnds me with that image of an old bugs bunny cartoon of a cartoon dog floating towards some yummy smell that was filling the air, eyes closed, body sauntering on air, floating directly to the yummy smell…lol .

That’s how I feel when I smell home-made bread.

I can also attest that there is nothing yummier or more comforting then the taste or smell of home, and that is what the smell of home-made bread brings me back too, home.

baking_bread

So now you know why it is all that much harder for me to contemplate giving up “breads/wheat” forever.

Miss you mummy!

So lets fast forward to week 3. Everything still going good, feeling good, even noticing some other subtle changes in my body and mood that were different than before. I’m no longer noticing those crazed sugar cravings and I’m feeling confidant and happy about cutting out the wheat during the week days, and the coffee too. Heck I’ve even lost a few pounds and that’s not something I’m going to complain about.

The biggest issue for the kids is not finding any “food” in the house, hmmmm, that certainly might bring the image of an empty fridge , but I assure you, that was never the case. There simply were no more processed foods..and yes a bag of rice may not look like food…but it can be :).

empty fridge

I have not been totally cruel to the children, I have bought bread for them four out of seven days a week, its only three days or so they have to manage wheat free. I go longer plus I make sure there are plenty of rice crackers in the house.

Now to week 5 , I’m much more comfortable with my new eating plan.  I find myself wondering what to prepare for dinner, its a weekend and I have no time to cook as its late , so we order out. Yes wheat was involved, this time BAMMMO, a clear message was sent to my body within an hour after eating. I immediately started getting heart palpitations, a stabbing headache in my right eye, and of course the always expected gas and bloating. It scared me!

About three years ago when I first began getting heart palpitations I had been trying to reach my six minute mile, running. I was almost there..that’s when the palpitations first began. Of course I went to the cardiologist and did all the tests. There was nothing wrong except of course that my heart was skipping up to 3000 beats a day, which the smug Dr told me was perfectly fine… commenting that I should come back when I really have a problem???? hmmm..some Doctor!

Anyhow I soon became accustomed to that feeling of my heart fluttering and skipping , hoping the Doctor was right. I never once thought this too could be caused by foods I was consuming….well it seems I may have figured it out ..eat wheat, have heart palpitations, each and every time!

heart palp

At first I was sure it was a coincidence, really hoped and prayed it was as I looked forward to my weekends enjoying “normal” life and eating as I pleased. Then I noticed it again, and again, and again..a direct reaction that occurred only with “wheat”,

I’m heartbroken really :(.  

So its true, wheat is not my friend any more,  it’s no ones friend really.

 So I kinda sorta knew this I suppose. I have been in mourning now since this knowing has come to me. Wheat truly causes me health issues. I have mixed emotions to say the least.

I’ve pretty  much removed it completely since, but with a heavy heart. Yes I know there are alternatives such as  gluten free. I’m on my way, yet I cant help but feel as though I have lost my best friend.

 sad goodbye

Wish me luck, it has to get better from here!

Please review this amazing clip from a young director as he travels towards fame and fortune!


Who knew when we were teenagers our kids would be so darn awesome!! Congrats to my amazing high school friend and her family for their sons newest release!! Good luck Keith!!

Please vote!

http://enroute.aircanada.com/en/articles/rift

Director’s Bio

Keith Hodder is an award-winning filmmaker from Mineville, Nova Scotia and a graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program. His faux trailer, Van Gore, won the Hobo with a Shotguntrailer contest and is featured on the film’s DVD/Blu-Ray release. Keith is currently developing his first feature film

It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man! Or is it?


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Well maybe you really don’t get it yet (the reference that is) but soon it will be clear to you. How do I count the ways whilst I missed thee in those 37 hours of grief without you? Watching you lay in a mere bag of parboiled rice with no life signs after your near drowning , it was just devastating! “insert Sniff” 😦
 
 
Image

“It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man!

No, its my iPhone…sad , yes very sad, but oh so true!

Had I been told me a few years ago I would be this attached to a mobile device, I might have called you crazy. I suppose my story really started just two short years ago. I had a friend who was in need of someone to take over a cell phone contract. This is when I suspect the initial seed of mobile device “addiction”was planted . From there my addiction slowly began growing and sneaking up on me before I even knew what happened,

Until that day though , I had managed to live 40+years of my life without this strange connection to this need for mobile devices .Yes I was witness to countless others having this, what can only be described as “dependency.

In part I held off yes for my own reasons ; such as the annoyance of never having a conversation with someone who wasn’t checking their phone every few minutes , this was not a person I wished to mirror.
Image
 
I held the position that not only did I not want a cell phone I also didn’t need it nor could be bothered to pay for a plan or have that unnecessary bill added to my list of wants, not needs.
 
Perhaps you may think I am totally a tech dinosaur , well not completely.  I did buy a “pay as you go” mobile phone once or twice for emergencies over the years, however I never really used it very much.
 
So here I was two years ago with my first contract and a new mobile phone. This phone now included a data plan plus other cool features (or so I thought were cool features). Still this phone was not a biggie for me. I admit I did get accustomed to using it daily and taking it with me on outings, but when I was in for the evening, day or weekend, it often lay tossed somewhere , uncharged, lifeless and dead…you know what I mean, there was no love, or love lost.
 
This phone was not where the love came in..that came later.
 
My phone did serve a purpose of course; maybe even held a higher regard then the “pay as you go” mobile that barely had a dime on it for a call.
 
Yes the roots were beginning to show of attachment.
 
Fast forward two years later my mobile started to show early signs of this throw away society and naturally began to decline in health. I knew it would be soon time to either give up this device I became accustomed to using or upgrade to a new device. Naturally by now I questioned whether I could live without a mobile and what that would look like; well we can guess what happened from there.
 
It didn’t take too much self talk to say..”go for it,,get that iPhone, its no big deal, everyone has one, and so I did it, I upgraded!
 
Now I’m certainly not promoting any one device over another by any means. I basically got the cheapest upgrade that was made available; which happened to be the iPhone 4S that day. Until this point of my life I had known very little,  how to call out on this device nor any other smartphone was a challenge. I was even a little bit intimidated by it at first; well that was three months ago and things have certainly changed in that aspect.Image
 
 
Turns out, I love my phone, and no its is not a hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man, yet it does provide an extension of my life in so many ways and I need it, I need it, I neeeeeed it!!!!!
 
What has happened to me? I am done like dinner, seeded,  sprouted, addicted, dependent, you name it! My life with iPhone has changed..there is love.
 
 
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I use this device in so many ways,,here’s just  few.:

Alarm clock
Watch for time
posting in my blog every day
music
Camera
Video
games when I’m bored
reminders for appointments
Schedule
Calendar
Calculator
Meditation downloads
videos
Facebook
Linked in
Twitter
Compass
GPS
flashlight
Internet
oh yeah..phone

And soo very much more..wow in just two months I’m fully in..and all I have to say for myself is…what took me so long !!.  🙂

Yup true sign of addiction. I’ll admit it I like it and now  I cannot look back either!

But then last week something almost changed everything , yes something devastating happened. The funny thing is I had a premonition about just this but as I was half asleep and I did not really consider this accident and near death of my new friend as a serious threat.

My iPhone faithfully woke me by alarm as it does every day, and then like a slow motion scene from a movie I watched in horror as my beloved phone slipped from my hand into a full glass of water by my bedside.  Of course I immediately snatched it out in a second and removed its protective gear( that is unfortunately not waterproof), and immediately began to shake and dab out any water.  I felt the phone spasm and vibrate off and on as if every last electronic breath was being squeezed out of it in my very own hands..I was horrified.

I immediately woke my partner, even though it was 530 am ,  he too knew how precious the life of this iPhone was as he had a scare with his beloved iPhone just a few days earlier (no not water).

As fast as you can imagine my guy dove down the staircase and immediately grabbed the vacuum to suck out whatever water remained to ensure all the water was extracted out. I never would have thought of that one

Obviously he had love too, for the iPhone that is! ) 🙂

 All the while I Googled how to save my phone. Well the one solution that popped up over and over was to make sure the phone is as dry as possible and then place inside a sealed bag of rice..which we did. Image

Who knew if it would work or not,. After 37 hours, with little hope, I gave it another try!

Hallelujah..it worked!!!! 

Now I have answered my own question,.yes it has become important to me,..perhaps not a hand or foot…and sure I may possibly get unamused again one day, but for now, I am still in the honeymoon stage :), so yes, this must be love!

Please read this and provide support if possible!


Please help save Juan!

Please help save Juan!

Hi,

My name is Gunter Matysiak. This boy you will read about below is a friend of my son. He has been over to my house and I have met him through the friendship he has with my son.

What happened to him has touched me deeply and he needs your help to ensure he gets the treatments he needs to give him the best chance of recovery.

He was not expected to live and has. His parents are pleading for help. Please do what you can. While he waits for treatment that is not covered by OHIP his chances of coming back to us are degraded.

All help is appreciated. I am thanking you in advance for whatever you can do including prayer.

You can see Juan, his story and how you can help on this site: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-juan-torres/87973

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