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Meringue Pie and Ugly Tomatoes – The Power of Looking Within

Lemon-MeringueSite2-1024x767

Our relationship to food and our body is a rather complex one, layered like the proverbial onion, and concealed from what lies beneath like a mountain of meringue on lemon meringue pie. Naturally, I don’t profess to have it all figured out. It’s complicated (and I’ll tell you more about that later…). But I do know that nothing is as it seems. It turns out most of us have been living our whole lives following the wrong teacher. So it can come as quite a shock to learn that most of what we’ve been taught…just isn’t true! How can it be when its modus operandi is fear, often disguised as something else (another proverbial) a wolf in sheep’s clothing – so it’s not always easy to detect. Most people still get conned by it. That’s how sneaky this sleazy sheep really is!

Deep down we all know there’s something fishy going on, but we don’t want to be the one shouting, “The emperor has no clothes!”. It takes the eyes of innocence to do that.

Instead, we wear a mask, many actually, convinced as we change roles and masks, that this is just the way things are. Showing anyone, including ourselves, what’s behind the mask, what’s really on our mind buried under clouds of meringue, is just too scary. If you’ve ever spent a chunk of time watching your thoughts, you’d be amazed at the stuff you think, that you don’t know you think!

Not that a thought has the power to bring you down, but a thought, thought, again and again, becomes a belief, and those can do some serious damage if they go on undetected. Usually, it’s not until things in our life begin to fall apart that we’re finally willing, really willing, to look within.

Until then, until we get a wake-up call, we’re happy to wear our masks, afraid if we look too deeply within we’ll find ourselves seriously lacking. We’re so convinced we’re not good enough – even if we’ve achieved great success – that we dare not dig through mere clouds of meringue, so certain we’ll find mud. Now, if you’re ever bitten into a delicious piece of lemon meringue pie, you’ll know it never fails to awaken your senses with its  perfect balance of tart and sweet that so innocently seduces you in sweet surrender.

Food makes a wonderful muse. I once wrote a story about the ugly tomato…you know those tomatoes with the odd shapes and forms that look nothing like the perfectly round unblemished tomatoes that get all the attention. Yet, anyone who knows and loves tomatoes knows it’s the misshaped ones, the ones that get hidden in a basket instead of getting their own display at the local supermarket, that taste the best! And those who hunt for them are willing to pay a premium for them…worts and all!

Heirloom Tomatoes

Ugly tomatoes are like the people I like best. These are the people that are so willing to show their warts, that they inspire the rest of us who don’t even want to go out of our house on a bad hair day! They demonstrate the courage we lost one day on the playground when we were provoked by the class bully. They’re not afraid to act differently from others. They know they march to a different drummer and wouldn’t want it any other way. They’ve hurt so bad, they know first hand the power of forgiveness and so they’re not afraid to love.

I didn’t fully embrace the gifts of being an ugly tomato until I was broken open one day. It was shortly after I got married to an old love who miraculously came back into my life after my husband and children’s father died. I had very different expectations of how things would be and…lets just say they were not that. I was about 38 years old and for the first time in my life, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had everything figured out all wrong. I began to question my judgement, my faith, and just about every belief I had. I didn’t know then that this, being broken, questioning my beliefs, was a good thing. In my mind, I was Humpty Dumpty who had just fallen off the wall that was built with everything she believed in, and now she (and her beliefs) lay broken into a million pieces on the hard ground. I can be quite dramatic when I’m down.

I’ve been broken open many times since, but that time is pivotal in my memory and storyline. Since then I’ve learned not to pay any mind to anything it may think while shattered. All of our insanity comes spilling out, regurgitating nonsense embedded in our DNA from generations of shattering. And if I could remember this when in the midst of a melt-down…I’d cheer it on! I’d get up and do a happy dance. I wouldn’t be shattered longer than a moment because I’d know that something big and good would come out of this.

Now I know that my insanity, your insanity, our collective insanity is merely fear talking. He’s the monster under the bed, the “powerful” oz behind the curtain, the voice in the head that says we’re not good enough; the trickster pretending to be us! Wouldn’t you want this heist broken open? I do. The only reason it’s painful is because we resist him…just like we did the bully in the playground.

“You can’t engage crazy.” I heard a wise man once say. Surrender without a fight and watch how the shattered pieces of our lives get put back in the most perfect and miraculous ways.

Blessings, Silvia

Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Photo Credit: http://www.2foodtrippers.com

Photo Credit: http://ofbatteranddough.com/lavender-infused-lemon-meringue-pie/

 

 

Making Contact

Contact Somewhere within each of us, buried but not lost, is a yearning to hear the Voice spoken as one, used to pierce the veil of forgetting and remind us of who we really are. It calls us to join in a dialogue whose only purpose is to guide us home. This gentle Voice is ruthless in it’s pursuit of purpose, using anything to turn our attention to it’s consistent message of love, reminding us that we’re not lost, could never be lost, regardless of where or who we think we are.

Over thousands of years and countless journeys on this road that seems to go on forever on the timeline, but experienced only as now, comes a moment of contact that changes everything. For me it came as a 10 or 11 year old child when the teachings of my Catholic up bringing tried to tell me of a God of anger, punishment and sacrifice when all I could feel was His love. And so one day, smack in the middle of my Wednesday religious ed class,  I raised my hand and declared out loud, with an innocence I couldn’t betray, “But he’s a God of love. This can’t be true! ”

This knowing has never left me despite huge challenges along the way; disappointments I thought I’d never drop; detours that sucked me in time and time again and would have been meaningless except for the curiosity and openness of that child who declared, “This can’t be true!” I remember it still -many decades later – that moment when there was no doubt, when the child knew her innocence and could clearly hear the Voice of Love.

Is it surprising to any one of us that life with the ego interrupts a communication that was once so strong? We all get sucked into the character of the script we’re living, and as we do, the connection to the Voice gets weaker and so we stumble and gather up sad stories to tell ourselves and anyone who will listen.

I’m not interested anymore in your  tales of woe, or mine…except when they can be used to heal or inspire. As long as we believe the character is us – even a little – we’re living a divided life. I’m living one, like you are.

Somewhere along this path of awakening to our True Self and from the dream of characters we’ve all played in a never ending story of complex chaos, we ask for help. And the help meets us where we are, infiltrating our misadventures with reminders of a connection that can never be severed, and waits patiently until we can once again hear it’s soft Voice of Love, loud and clear, through the distractions we set before it.

Getting to loud and clear is a winding road tethered by the thinking of the world we learned so well and interferes with the connection we once knew. For most of us this is a long and arduous trip from which we’d never make it out alive, like a suicide mission we signed up for and then forgot..so distracted we were with playthings and magic tricks that diverted our undisciplined attention from what was really going on.

This trip is different. We made contact, and that’s all that needed to guide us back on course; back on a road that seems to twist and turn, get blocked and broken, filled with obstacles that impede our way, often dark and lonely until a break through the thick canopy of dreams comes a clearing, a light to point the way to the next rest area where we can be still a while and lighten our load, bruised but not broken, graced with a strength we didn’t know we had. Now, revitalized and inspired, we set out once more.

Silvia

Would love it if you’d share your thoughts or comments below!!!

A Crash Course on Contrast

A Crash Course

There are times along our path to awaken, when Spirit gets our attention in the most inventive ways. The ego may be clever but the Spirit does its crafting with Grace.

Having invited Grace to Guide my life (formally, with a written prayer even) at a time that seems like ages ago, when I was brought to my knees and I knew for sure, that the only way out was surrender. Since then, I’ve had my share of experiences (as I’m sure have you) big and small, mundane and profound, where the hand of the Divine was apparent. Grace was in the details and the broad strokes. I couldn’t help but notice.

The two most recent examples of this Divine intervention in my life came in the form of my car breaking down at a diner and me breaking down at home. Either way, the last few weeks have been a crash course in contrast. Each incident gave me an experience of the difference between my choice for suffering or peace, and showed me – beyond a shadow of a doubt – how quickly I can go from one to the other.

One day my car battery died after I stopped for breakfast at my favorite diner, one bitter cold morning after leaving a girlfriend’s house. I sat waiting in my car for what seemed like an hour, until at least one of the cars parked on either side of me moved, so someone with jumper cables (if I found anyone) could jump start my battery.

This was my predicament as I sat freezing, banging my hands in frustration on the steering wheel, and beating myself up for stopping for breakfast when I knew my battery was iffy and  I clearly had the thought to go straight home, but didn’t listen. But then I paused, took a breathe and remembered I had a choice. I could resist what was happening and continue to be upset at myself and the situation, or I could relax and trust it would all work out.

The moment I stopped resisting what was happening, the car parked next to me moved, someone on the diner’s kitchen staff showed up with jumper cables – though my car didn’t start after many almosts –  but I was given a ride up the street to a service station that replaced my battery (at a great price in record time) while I was entertained by a friend with an exchange of flirty text messages.

Turns out, if I had driven home, not only would it have been likely that the car wouldn’t have started up again (thereby needing to call a tow truck) but I would have almost certainly done damage to my car as well…showing me quite clearly how I had judged the experience of my battery dying at the diner (ha ha, sounds like a murder episode) as bad, inconvenient, and irresponsible, when in fact, it was a graceful, well orchestrated detour.  In the process, I was shown that Spirit truly has my back and I cannot judge anything because….

I don’t know what anything is for.

But the fireworks came one night a few weeks later when I was relaxing at home reading, when almost out of nowhere, a thought of fear seeped into my consciousness, expanded and gained a hold of me, sending me into a tailspin. It wasn’t until I was in the thick of things, lost in ego thought, mild panic running through my body, forcing me to lie down…that I remembered I was getting exactly what I asked for. That thought…”oh wow, I’m getting exactly what I asked for.” was enough to stop the panic in an instant. 

In that moment I knew I wasn’t alone. I remembered that earlier that day, I specifically asked Jesus (but it can be whoever your guide is) to show me everything that stood in the way of my being in peace and happiness and fully available to Him. I wanted these barriers out of the way! I wanted me out of the way. 

I wanted all the ways I judge things – myself especially; all the ways I doubt myself but don’t trust Him; all the things I feel guilty about; all the concepts, ideas, beliefs I hold as true without question – all of that out. I was simply tired of having this garbage in my mind.

It wasn’t the first time I looked inside the trash heap, as I’m sure it’s not your first time. I’ve looked at my misguided mistakes for years and I was frankly tired of playing in the place they led me to; I was tired of being lured back to this idol infested territory with false promises of happiness down a dead end road. I wanted off that road, out of the self made, dressed up prison we all get trapped in without even knowing it.

When the anxiety subsided, I rested a while, comforted by the thought that I wasn’t having a nervous breakdown, but getting what I asked for. But before I could get comfortable, another wave of ego attacks began. Thoughts of unworthiness, disappointments, failures, lost opportunities and on and on were making their way through my consciousness which I could then see, in my mind’s eye, as a steady winding stream of grey matter coming out of my body and out the wide glass doors to the side of my bed, headed towards the brightest full moon high in the night sky. Wow!

You just can’t make this stuff up! Back and forth I went for what seemed like hours, from excruciating pain to periods of rest and relief- like giving birth. As some point I felt myself lean back, seemingly weightless, into an embrace like no other and there I rested. Exhausted I finally fell asleep.

The contrasts continued over the next few weeks, though not quite so dramatically. It seems  there’s always more clutter than we think – which, incidentally is why de-cluttering is such a good thing for anything! But of course that’s a judgement right there. But it works for me when inspired to do so…and then there’s nothing like a bit of housekeeping therapy to set things right again. It can be that simple when Spirit has the soapy sponge.

I felt unspeakable gratitude as I realized that not only was I being put through the wash cycle as I had asked, and being prepared for a purity I already was but didn’t quite believe…but I was being shown – quite literally – experiences of how the Spirit has my back and what it felt like to rest perfectly safe in it’s fold that’s always just a moment away, accessible, anytime,  anywhere by anyone.  It’s always there – ready and waiting whenever we want to lean back and rest.

Love, Silvia

And now…I’d love to hear from you. Does this resonate?

Where have you felt the hand of the Divine at work in your life?