Mothering Magic

IMG_0101.JPGYears ago, Ralph Ferrier said to me: “If there is such a thing as a soul-mate, then I think that it is our children who are our soul-mates.”

Young, inexperienced and childless, I scoffed at him. I wanted to believe in soul-mates as in a lover who we are destined to be united with, perhaps like Plato’s split-apart theory which held that the human soul was split-apart and separated, and the two halves were forever destined to search for one another hoping to join together and regain their sense of original wholeness.

But Ralph was steady and sure, and held to his belief. A devoted father, he got up every day and made breakfast, delighted in his two daughters, folded their small shirts, and told them he loved them.

Fast-forward ten years, to April 19, 2001. My daughter was born via C-section at 4:19 pm. Nearly-paralyzed from excessive epidural drugs, it was all I could do to shrug my shoulder and roll the baby who was nestled in the crook of my arm, toward my breast. She latched on immediately.

I didn’t know it then, but my life changed entirely that day. I was no longer alone in the world – I had the duty of constant care for this small being. I was never lonely – every waking moment was consumed by the nurture of another. I lost my old self and found a new me. I traded solitude for responsibility, autonomy for attachment parenting, and sleep for devoted infant care.

Today, my baby turned 16. I drove her to the Driver Testing Centre and waited while she wrote the test to get her G-1. We went for dinner, shopped for shoes, and then on the way home I pulled over, scooted out of the drivers seat, and let my daughter drive us home.

These days, with a growing teenager, I have more time to myself. There is less direct care, more guidance and support. Less constant togetherness, more solitude and autonomy. And best of all, I actually get to sleep through the night.

Ralph Ferrier died last year, but before he died I had the chance to tell him that I finally understood. While I have loved and been loved as a girlfriend, lover, partner and friend, it is in my daughter that I have discovered my soul-mate. Since the day she was born sixteen years ago, I haven’t had to search for a sense of wholeness. I haven’t felt as if a part of me was missing, or separated from me. I have found my split apart.

Happy Birthday Soul Mate.

Inanna’s Descent – Part 1

806Inanna’s Altar

With Venus in a retrograde cycle (March 4 to April 15) I’ve been studying the myth of Inanna and Ereshkegal. A Sumerian myth of descent, loss and rebirth, I have connected deeply to the archetypal meaning of the planetary transit and found transformational magic with it.

Studying archetypal meanings attunes me to the movements of the larger cosmos, and how the archetypes are enacted in my life. Through synchronicity, I see my microcosm mirrored in the macro themes, and feel part of something much bigger than myself.

The archetypes

Venus symbolizes the Goddess: Inanna, Ishtar, Aphrodite and Venus. Pre-patriarchy, Venus was a goddess of fertility, love, and war. A feminine warrior who loved passionately and fiercely, she was highly sexual, fertile, beautiful and powerful. Venus fought passionately to protect what she loved. Modern Venus has been watered down. Quoting Chani Nicholas, she was “sterilized, stripped, pacified and packaged in a way that would be pleasing to patriarchal male-fragility. She became innocent, docile, vulnerable and soft. She was no longer a threat to the construct of male power.”

But let us not forget that Venus is a strong, feisty fighter.

The retrograde cycle, when a planet appears to cease forward motion and move backward in the sky, symbolizes introspection and reassessment. It is the act of looking back in order to move forward. Looking inward in order to live more fully in the outer world. Honouring our deep self in order to be in authentic relationship with others.

Astrologically speaking, the house or place that Venus transits through in your natal/birth chart represents the area of your life in which you will experience these combined energies.

I have retrograde Venus transiting my 7th house of ‘partnerships’. Not just symbolic of marriage and significant others, the 7th also rules business relationships, contracts, legalities, negotiations and agreements. It is through our interaction with ‘partners’ in the 7th house, that we become more whole. Putting the parts together, I have been reassessing how I love and fight for people who are my partners.

In early December, I discovered that my lover of two years had an ad on Plenty-of-Fish, looking for a “positive, kind and confident woman” to “share life with on all levels”. He placed this ad while living in my house, and engaging in a mutually articulated monogamous relationship. While still sharing meals, sex, adventures and deep conversation with me, he was looking for someone else.

I spent the dark winter season shrouded in the pain of rejection, loss and betrayal. I floundered, unable to comprehend the deception. Shocked that he sought to reject the reality of an ongoing relationship with me, for a tawdry, one-dimensional, sexualized fantasy of female companionship.

“I just wanted to feel desired” he said, “It was a fantasy. You are reality.”

I struggled to understand this betrayal. Constantly processing the event with my therapist I finally got to the question: How could I choose a man who is capable of such deceit and duplicity?

On March 4th, when Venus first stationed retrograde, I started to get the answer. I had a chance encounter with my estranged mother which opened up a chasm of loss: she left me when I was 6; she removed my from my father’s home when I was 11 and situated me in an apartment while she lived elsewhere with her lover; recently, when she moved she didn’t tell me where she was moving to.

Like Inanna I heard the calling from the underworld, the plaintive call of historic betrayal, abandonment and loss connected to my earliest partner, my mother. I answered the call, taking the symbolic journey down into my psyche.

In the days that followed, as Venus began her descent in the sky, I descended into my pain surrounding my earliest experiences with ‘partnership’. I felt fearful and vulnerable. I saw where I learned to give love and trust to people who did not demonstrate love, care nor respect for me. Like Inanna, I died (emotionally) at the hands of those who were supposed to love me.

In the days that followed, I extrapolated the historic pattern to the present. I gave my love and turst to someone who did not demonstrate care nor respect for me. I chose a man who was incapable of meeting me as a partner. In the end I was lied to, deceived and betrayed.

I saw the pattern, and named it. I asked him to move out of my ‘in-law’ suite where he had been residing, symbolically severing my ‘care’ and ‘sharing’ with someone who did not demonstrate care for me. No more playing ‘partners’.

Maybe if I had been more the ‘modern Venus’ – loving and giving, innocent, docile and undemanding, the relationship would have continued. I would still be giving love, care and attention. But my hurt aligned me with the ‘old-school’ Venus. My hurt boiled out – strong, opinionated, demanding and fierce.

The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh reminds me that “everything we seek can only be found in the present”, that “to abandon the present in order to look for things in the future is to throw away the substance and hold onto the shadow.” As we begin Venus’ ascent cycle archetypally, I carry this understanding with me. I will honour my Venusian energy. Transformed by this journey, I will love myself enough not to settle for less than a true partner.

And I will leave the shadows to those who choose to throw away my substance.

Transformative Magic

On Thursday, in the middle of March, a Black Swallowtail butterfly hatched in my home. My daughter discovered her drying her wings, perched in a pot of Rosemary.  How long she had been in a chrysalis, in our home, undiscovered? We marvelled at her beauty, colour and tenacity.

Through the day it became evident that one wing wasn’t fully unfurling, the tip remaining turned under at an awkward angle.

“Don’t touch her wings,” I said to my daughter, not wanting to be the reason the butterfly could not fly. Uncertain how to help her, I watched as my daughter cut up an orange and left a quarter nearby, a ready source of sweet nectar.

Friday I awoke early and found the butterfly more active. Using her long black legs she was climbing up toward the top of the plant, now atop a waxy leafed Kalanchoe. One wing was still turned under and misshapen. But that was the least of her worries.

The two cats discovered the interesting little being moving amongst the plants. The butterfly was in their domain, the indoor garden in the sunny southern facing window. They watched her every movement. I stayed close  all day, working at my desk, watching the butterfly exercise her wings, keeping the curious cats at bay. But as she attempted to launch herself into the air, the cats were overcome with instinct. The fur on their backs standing erect as they crouched in hunting mode. I grabbed both cats by the scruff of their neck and carried them to the kitchen.

“This is how their mother carried them,” I told my daughter, “It doesn’t hurt them, and they remember submission.”

Carefully closing the two doors to the room, I contained the cats where they had access to food, water and litter, temporarily protecting the butterfly.

I know that I can’t reach out and straighten that bent wing. Human touch can tamper with the integrity of butterfly wings, stripping away the ability to fly. And I knew that the instinct of the butterfly was to fly. Regardless of the wing problem.

But I also know this: there are two cats living in this household that cannot be forever locked in the kitchen. And, this is a house and not the great outdoors, the usual habitat of butterflies. And, beyond the confines of this house, southern Ontario is in the latter days of winter. The ground is covered in snow, and the temperature is regularly below freezing.

There is no hope for this butterfly.

And yet, I said: “Let me provide one day in the sun.”

For while I cannot control the world or any of the beings in this house, I am a strong and capable woman with good intentions. I know how to provide safety and nurture for myself and others. I have cultivated great sacred space within my home, where I, my daughter, and two rescued kittens (now cats) have healed enormously. All who have entered into my cocoon have felt the effect of its transformative power.

So I chose to help this tiny butterfly. Transformed, she was freed from her cocoon into my home. And while she is doomed in so many ways, I want to provide one perfect day. So here, in the sunshine, she climbed and explored, flapped and fell, tried and failed, fluttered and flailed. For one day this miraculous butterfly lived.

If “magick is the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with will” as Dion Fortune says, then this Black Swallowtail butterfly worked magic in my life. She awakened my consciousness to the miracle of transformation, and the awareness of resilience and tenacity in the face of injury, hurt or disability. She helped me see the deeply emotional journey that I’ve been on since being betrayed in December as ‘transformation’. I have journeyed deep into the safety of my cocoon, and now I emerge transformed. Like the butterfly my wing is bent and I cannot fly on my own right now, but it doesn’t make me any less beautiful or less worthy.

This butterfly deserves my respect, care and protection just because she exists. Like me, my daughter, and these two cats, I want this butterfly to know safety.She may have been the first Black Swallowtail butterfly to enjoy a full day of sun and plants, in the middle of March, in Wellington, Ontario, Canada. Protected and provided for by my will and attention, I went to bed last night aware I had offered her what I could. Safety. Nurture. Nourishment. And love.

She was gone this morning, eaten by a cat I assumed.

But tonight, as I watered plants, guess what I found?

 

Pause

imageSometimes I get so wound up with ‘things I need to do’ that I forget to just ‘be’. Sure, it sounds like a cliche, one of those cute memes that reads “I’m a human being, not a human doing”, but between earning money to pay the bills, guiding my teenage shape-shifter, keeping us fed and clothed and the house in a reasonable semblance of tidy, watering and dead-heading in the garden and doing the marketing and billing that self-employment entails, I occasionally forget to just be.

Truth be told, I am a bit of a list person. I regularly use a notebook to keep track of my life. I write two pages of ‘gratitude lists’ every night, have a ‘longer-term projects list’ at the back of the notebook, and devote whole pages to what I need ‘to do tomorrow’.

I love to write stuff down. The words empty out of my head, and I have the sense that nothing is going to get lost or forgotten because it has made its way onto paper. With big tasks, or when I feel overwhelmed, just writing stuff down makes it seem less daunting. At night, when I write all these lists, it feels like I empty everything out of my head, fill it with gratitude, and then go to bed. The next morning I get up, and start with the lists.

“There,” I say, “I have a list, that’s one thing done already.”

And in that state, I get busy ‘doing’. And when whatever it is gets done, I check it off of my list. Then I use the energy of accomplishment to spur me on to the next thing.

I get a lot done.

I’m one of those people who saves their receipts. I keep them in my wallet, and every couple of weeks pull them out and put them into the big envelopes that I keep for taxes. Easy labels like ‘writing expenses’, ‘exercise expenses’, ‘auto expenses’ and ‘rental unit expenses’ enable me to collect my receipts according to tax write-offs that I take against my different streams of income.

When I get a utility bill I pay it online, and immediately enter the information onto a spread sheet that tracks all my household expenses, and then file the bill in an envelope labelled ‘utilities’.

It sounds like a lot of work, but this sort of ‘doing’ is worth it. At the any given time the spread sheet can tell me where I stand financially. I can compare my income and expenses from month to month, and year to year. The added benefit is that it’s easy to pull my taxes together at the end of the year.

An example of how ‘doing’ can support ‘being’.

I have a part-time job, an elected position, a tenant, and several streams of self-employment income. Because I have chosen to earn a living in a non-traditional manner, I have non-traditional hours. I like to say that I have the perfect balance of time and money, together.

But, if I don’t work, I don’t have any money. And if I don’t do, I don’t get to enjoy the time just ‘being’. But in order not to get perpetually caught up in the busy cycle of ‘doing’, I have started to schedule ‘being’ time. Using the big wall calendar that hangs in my kitchen, the one that has all of my work and self-employment commitments scribbled on it, I schedule ‘being’ time. I block it out.

Yesterday I took myself out after work on an ‘artist’s date’, and went to see the Art in the County show. Today, after teaching a Pilates class, I invited a friend to go up the Lavender Fields with me where we simply sat for an hour and a half, and soaked in the peace.

Each day this week I have scheduled a little ‘pause’ in my day. Forty-five minutes or an hour to just be. Quiet time. Enjoyable time. Slow time. Peace time. Creative time.

And if magic is the ability to change consciousness at will, then these little pauses are magical. Yesterday I came home feeling inspired and excited by new images. Today I absorbed the calm buzz of the bees in the field of lavender. Their calm drone reminding me that all is well. I feel content and calm and centred.

So while I continue to get lots done, and am very organized with all that I ‘do’, I am learning to use the ‘doing’ structures of lists and scheduling to support just ‘being’. I’m learning to take a pause.

Gratitude

imageI have a lot to be grateful for, and find myself writing a list most days.  Just before bed, I take pen and paper and list two pages of things that I’m thankful for from the day.

It’s simple process – I review my memories of the day and look for things I am grateful for. Always by the end of two pages long hand, I have magically changed my consciousness regardless of where I might have started.

Today:

Thank you for a deep and restful sleep, with a pillow pulled over my head. I dreamed deeply and remembered the dream when  I awoke. That’s how I know I slept enough.

I am grateful to connect quietly with Adam before the busyness of the day begins.

I am thankful to own a house that shelters me and provides a deep sense of ‘safety’. I am safe here and love the powerful sense of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’.

I am blessed to live in a magical village on the shores of the Great Lake Ontario. Woven into a social web of friends, neighbours and villagers I have a wide sense of community and connection.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for good friends, reliable friends, gentle, funny, loving, creative and inspiring friends. And thank you for what they teach me about showing up, caring and trusting.

With all my heart thank you for all the varied and enjoyable ways that I make a living; for the blessing of selling my writing; the honour of sharing healing conversations with people and their bodies; the adventure of delivering books throughout the County; and the trusted service I do through my elected position. These livelihoods are sustainable and enriching in a multitude of ways.

i am joyful to share this part of my life with my daughter. I have learned how to love, nurture and trust. Loving her has brought out some of the best in me. And watching her change, grow and shapeshift has kept me present in the moment, aware of the nuances of miraculous joy and blessings.

Oh goodness, I am so lucky to be able to see and count my blessings. And these are just a few.

June -Brain Injury Awareness Month

brain-injury-causes-anger

We were driving through downtown Belleville when my daughter spotted the banner strung over the street. Red with black lettering it stood out against the blue sky.

“Hunh,” she said quoting the sign, “June is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Did you know that?”

“Yes, I knew.”

“That’s weird, eh?”

“What? That I suffered a brain injury during Brain Injury Awareness Month?”

“Yeah, that’s weird.”

“When I was injured I don’t think that there was a Brain Injury Awareness Month then. At that time there was a lot less known about the brain, and about brain injury, than there is now. I’m grateful that there is a Brain Injry Awareness Month to educate people, make them more aware.”

On June 19, 1999 I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury when the vehicle I was driving was hit head-on by a cube van. My face connected with the steering wheel, breaking my front teeth, crushing the bones of my nose and ripping open the flesh from my bottom lip all the way down to underneath my chin.

When I awoke in St. Michael’s Hospital emergency ward two days had passed without memory. I had no idea how I got there, and no memory of the accident. I have only the written records of police and ambulance which document what eye-witnesses saw.

The CT scan read: ‘Right temporal hematoma’ and ‘diffuse axonal sheering’. This means that I had a bruise on my brain in the frontal right region, and that tissues in my brainstem were torn by the forward and back motion caused by the sudden stop.

Each of these injuries had their own sequelae: difficulty reading and remembering what I read, forgetting where I was in a conversation, perseverating (asking the same questions over and over), extreme emotions, and continuously labile (crying). I couldn’t process complex stimuli, so any amounts of noise, movement, lights, vibration or scent sent me into a state of overwhelm instantly.

This ‘moderate’ brain injury separated me from my work, my sports, my social circle, my pursuit of a Masters degree, and from my youthful beauty. With no teeth in the front of my mouth and huge red scars on my lips and chin, I struggled with my identity as a woman.

Here I am 17 years later, and on June 19th I remembered my injuries, and gave thanks for the accident. If not for a brain injury, I might never have moved to Wellington, Prince Edward County, and never had my daughter. I am grateful to have had the brain injury that forced me to find news ways of being in the world, and helped me to redefine what was important in my life.

I’ve heard it said that near-death experiences often sharpen a persons awareness of deeply held desires and goals, and for me it did just that. Understanding that life can change in an instant, I knew that I wanted to mother a child, to live in the country, and to have work that I enjoyed shaped around my life. Without the accident which changed my life trajectory, I might never have realized these deep desires.

If magic is the ability to change consciousness at will, then my brain injury was magical. It made my current remarkable, diverse and sustainable life possible.

Work your own magic and change your consciousness. Become aware of all the miraculous things the brain does, and how vital it is to quality of life. And as the month closes out, take a moment to observe Brain Injury Awareness Month. Wear a helmet when you ski, skate and bike. Protect your head and your brain.

Brain

Micro Green Magic

What if you could grow your own food all year long? Food that was delicious, nutritious, affordable and fun?

If magic is the ability to shift energy at will, then growing Micro Greens is an act of magic, and eating Micro Greens produces magical results.   I have been having so much fun growing and eating Micro Greens that I thought I would share the simple ‘how to’ information. They are so easy to grow.

Sure, at this time of year access to high quality, fresh food is abundant. Everything is growing and the eating is easy. But in the fall, winter and early spring, Micro Greens are an excellent alternative to high-cost, lower-quality vegetables. Micro-greens are inexpensive, and simple.

Micro Greens are different from sprouts in that they actually grow in a small amount of soil, which provides access to important microbes which we need as part of the vast pallet of probiotics in our gut. Micro Greens can be grown indoor, in any season, in a window that gets a moderate amount of direct sunlight or under ‘grow’ lights.

You can grow Micro Greens in seed starter trays, a plant tray or simply use a ‘cookie sheet’ – it is a great size and provides the perfect amount of space for soil. Most little seeds don’t like to be buried. But bigger seeds (especially those that have been soaked) do like to be buried. Tiny seeds (alfalfa, lettuce and radish for example) like to be simply ‘put to bed’, placed on top of the soil and lightly pressed in.

Here is the quick and easy method for growing your own Micro Greens:

There are so many varieties of seeds that you can use. I have grown, Alfalfa, Radish, Kale, Sunflower, Speckled Pea, Clover, Radish and Mustard. The tastiest are Peas and Sunflower. The easiest are Alfalfa and Radish.

For Speckled Peas use about 3/4 of a cup of seeds, and soak them overnight in a large bowl. They really absorb a lot of water, so be generous.

The next day, prepare your planting trays. I like to use the 2 inch deep seed trays (black plastic), and I fill them with about an inch of growing medium (soil plus compost). Strain your seeds, and lay them on the surface of the soil, adding just a little soil on top as though you are ‘tucking them into bed’.

Water liberally, but not so much as to float the seeds away.

It is important to cover the trays so no light gets in. Cut some big pieces of cardboard and lay them overtop. If you are using several trays, stack them on top of one another.

I check the seeds after 24 hours, but if they don’t look like they are sprouting, they can stay in the dark for another 24 hours.

Now remove the covers, and place the trays in a bright window or under your ‘grow lights’. Water them daily to keep the soil moist. I like to use a spray bottle to evenly soak the trays.

Different seeds take different amounts of time to grow, but you can usually start to harvest and eat your Micro Greens between 5 and 15 days from planting. While they’re growing, rotate the trays so that the Micro Greens don’t all grow in one direction. Plant successive batches so you always have a good selection of fresh greens to choose from.

To cut greens, simply grab a small hand full, and use scissors to cut them above the soil. Most varieties of greens will continue to grow, and produce, if you cut above the first set of leaves. Sunflowers are an exception, they must be cut before they produce a second set of leaves because that is when they start to get fibrous and bitter.

Once cut Micro Greens don’t need to be rinsed, just plate and eat them. If you want to keep them after harvesting, refrigerate your Greens.I add Micro Greens to salads, in sandwiches, as part of a stir-fry, to garnish a plate, on top of fruit salad and even in a smoothie.

You can get seeds from most health food stores (Penny’s Pantry here in the County has some) or directly from:   Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds – www.sprouting.com. They are a Canadian company that sources good quality organic (non-GMO) seeds.

Micro Greens contain concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, plus amino acids and proteins. They really are nutritious, delicious and magical.

Kali-Ma

imageWhen I took possession of my home in May 2000, a small Calico cat was living under the house next door. Feral, emaciated and very pregnant, I took pity on her and regularly put food outside the back door. When her three kittens were weened, I live trapped them all and found homes. The mama cat was spayed and given shots, and named Kali.
She chose to live outdoor. And for 12 years I fed her faithfully every morning and every night. Over the years she became less feral, allowing me to pet her. In the summer she was a deck cat, staying close around the yard and in the garden. In the winter she would crawl out from under the house next door, climb the snow bank and come to my back door for food.
She chose to move indoor just days after my ex-partner left for the final time.  I took it as a sign that I should have recognized his anger and violence years before. I couldn’t see it , but the cat could.
This year Kali developed a sore on her nose that would not heal. The vet said it was skin cancer, and because of her age there wasn’t really anything to do. He offered a shot of anti-inflammatory and sent us home.
In the past 8 weeks Kali has grown frail and skinny. She began to poop and pee in odd places – carpets, hardwood floors, and on any books or file-folders that were left on the floor. Each morning, I would would carry her around as I did my ‘poop patrol’. She purred and enjoyed being held. As her health declined she chose to be held and cuddled more and more, purring continuously.
This past Saturday morning she was unable to purr. Struggling for breath, her nostrils eroded by the skin cancer had blocked the nasal passages. Kali ate little, and slept a lot. She mostly lay in the chair in the sun, and was happy to be held. Pressed against my chest, she purred, then gulped for air. In the garden she lay in the sun, and stayed close.
And this morning my tiny, gentle, loving friend was euthanized.
Kali-Ma- the great mother, reaper, destroyer. She helped me learn to mother, she enabled me to trust and care again, and she mirrored my choice for safety and peace within my home, only choosing to live indoor, once my home truly was safe and peaceful.

This afternoon I buried Kali-Ma in the garden, returning her to the earth. Starting the cycle all over again.
Blessed are our familiars. image

Deep, dark, chocolate cake

imageCake, cake, magical cake. Yes, that’s right, I am blogging about cake. Sure, last night I told you all about growing micro greens, and I know you were looking forward to some ‘how to’ instructions so you could grow your own little green goodies, or maybe you thought I was going to blog about sprouting, BUT I feel like I really, really need to talk about cake. Yes, cake.

Dark chocolate, gooey, moist, delicious and…. nutritious cake.

I know, you rolled your eyes just then, didn’t you? Right when I said the word nutritious. I’m pretty sure you did, because I would have too, if I hadn’t actually made the cake and seen exactly what went into it.

I’ve switched up my food lately, and while it was challenging for a while, stirring up feelings of deprivation, lack and food insecurity, the reality is that I am feeling so much better that I am carrying on. I’m in something like week 10 of a 3 week ‘liver cleanse’.

While I have been eating a lot of vegetables, beans and leafy greens, plus some fruit, and grains, it has taken me a while to figure out some things to eat that feel like ‘a treat’. I’m very childlike in my eating habits, and need sweets as a reward. Sometimes, on a bad day, I use the sweets to soothe me, to just get through the day.

Today, was a watermelon kind of day.

I have been a volunteer on a committee that is dysfunctional. The meetings leave me feeling depleted. Today, undertaking a task for that committee I felt derided, and uncomfortable. I was shamed and silenced. My energy dropped quickly and I realized I felt like I was under attack. My self esteem plummeted, and I began doubting myself. My stress level rose, and I realized I was squeezing my teeth together so hard that my jaw ached. Talk about swallowing my words!

Luckily, afterward I played a game of tennis with some folks. Exercise, oxygen and a good sweat helped to shift my energy. I walked home feeling a bit better, and decided to make a cake.

Yup, self care 101 – bake something.

Since I started to follow the ‘liver support system’ I have found a few good recipes that comply with the the ‘clean eating’ guidelines that should enable my liver to rest, recuperate and reset. The best two were a flour-less Hazelnut Torte, and Pavlova – a delicious baked meringue. One was made for a 60th birthday celebration, and the other taken to a dinner party with a person suffering from Celiac Disease and another with a lactose intolerance. Needless to say, my desserts were big hits on both occasions.

Tonight, needing to do something ‘sweet’ for myself, I tried out a flour-less Chocolate Quinoa Cake recipe, complete with Chocolate Coconut Cream icing. Sure, I had to cook the Quinoa and let it cool, and I had to chill the coconut milk so that the cream would separate, but other than that it was easy and amazing. The result was a dark, moist, satisfying and delicious cake, topped with a two ingredient icing that tasted like Chocolate Mousse. The ingredients contained high protein, good fats and lots of anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate. It was almost OK for my liver.

I admit there was a small amount of sugar in it, and next time I may try to make it with Agave or Maple Syrup, but for tonight, that small of amount of sugar was the price I paid to make something that gave me a deep sense of being alright in the world.

Creamy chocolate cake, with gooey icing. Warm cake, cool icing. Dark chocolate and creamy coconut. So delicious that my teenager ate it and asked for more, even when I told it was ‘good for her’.

And, if magic is the ability to ‘change energy at will’, then making a flour-less chocolate cake that tastes great, and is good for me, is magical. This small, simple act gave me the sense of being cared for, safe and alright in the world., and diverted feelings of worthlessness, shame and fear.

Dark chocolate cake is deeply magical.

Magical Seeds

imageThere is something magical about Spring, not just that the snow melts and temperatures warm, but every living thing seems to be renewed.

Since underaking a ‘liver cleanse diet’ (renamed ‘liver support system’), I have been feeling renewed. My body has responded very well to the increased nutrition, and decreased ‘stress-causing’ foods and drinks.

I have been sleeping deeply, and enjoying vivid dreams. My weight dropped, and I feel more ‘comfortable’ in my body. My energy (which has been lagging for over a year) has increased. Not fully returned, mind you, but way better than I was before.

I have been growing ‘micro greens’, like sprouts but grown in a shallow bed of soil. The three varieties that I started with are are Speckled Peas, Kale and Sunflowers. I’ve also been sprouting Alfalfa and Broccolli, but I will tell you about sprouts in a separate blog post.

Micro greens are the very young shoots of plants. Eaten while they are young and tender, the greens are sweet and filled with nutrition. Just one cup of Pea shoots contains 15% or the daily requirement of Vitamin A, 35% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, and 66% of the requirement for Vitamin K. They also contain almost 3 grams of protein, lots of fibre, folate, antioxidants and carotene. That means they: help to make and maintain our cells, and protect against DNA damage; fight free radical damage and reduce the risk of cancer; and inhibit antioxidant activity (more cancer protection). Pea shoots also play a role in reducing inflammation.

Not bad for an easy to grow, tasty little leafy green, eh?

I’ve been adding micro greens to salads, on top of stir-fry’s, as an edible,  gorgeous garnish on the plate. I even put them into my blender-smooties. It is such an easy way to boost the nutrition of every meal.

If ‘magic is the ability to change energy at will’, then Micro Greens are magical food. Not only are they sweet, delicious crunchy and delightful, but they pack an intense nutritional effect and have part of what has helped me feel much better.