Belly Button Rings and Qi

Passion NavelI had a strange experience the other day. I was in the shower and suddenly got a weird metallic feeling in my belly button. It seemed to originate from my navel piercing and shot upward towards my breastbone. It felt like the sound of a fingernail on a chalkboard and sent shock waves through my cells.

I pierced my belly button the end of the summer in 1994. My friend and I had been working at a boy scout camp in Lake Arrowhead as cooks for the summer. These were some spoiled boy scouts if you ask me — they had a heated pool, we cooked them 3 meals a day 6 days a week, and on Friday they had BBQ ribs. Anyway, whatever, it was hard but fun work and we were so glad to be done for the summer that we rushed into the nearest tattoo parlor and got our belly button’s pierced. We had been warned to eat beforehand, but didn’t heed the advice so my friend passed out when she leaped from the chair right after her piercing. I took my time getting out of the chair after that and was fine – but it took a while for my belly button to heal. I was at a point where I was going to give up, when it suddenly healed up and has given me no trouble for 14 years. Part of the reason it was strange to suddenly get this nerve grating metal feeling from it.

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The Feng Shui Cookbook

Chinese philosophy holds that life force, or qi, comes from breath and food.


I recently came across a very special book called The Feng Shui Cookbook: Creating Health and Harmony in Your Kitchen by Elizabeth Miles. Although this book is small and easy to overlook it is a very different breed than the glossy-food-porn-coffee-table cookbooks that we see so much of these days. Elizabeth Miles has done an incredible job of condensing a layered and vast amount of information and experience into a very handy and practical guide to conscious cooking.

I have heard about Feng shui for years but never really looked too deep into it, so reading this cookbook has been very eye-opening for me, she gives a very good description:

Feng shui is the ecology of flow, the architecture of energy. Based on the idea that good fortune results when people live in balance with their environments and their inner natures, feng shui has been praised as an environmentally sound practice that emphasizes respecting rather than tampering with nature. Today, this ancient and intuitive idea is so forgotten as to seem revolutionary. -p4, 5

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How to Count Yarrow Stalks

yarrow stalk i chingWith the global mind shift moving into high gear, more people are getting interested in other ways to slow down and live consciously. As a result we are regaining respect for many things we had dismissed because we did not understand them. Using yarrow stalks to read the I Ching is one of these things. I have found using the I Ching or other methods of understanding your present moment (such as runes or tarot) can be much more useful than talking to a psychologist. It is also much more affordable =)

I had used three coins to count the lines for years so it took me a few tries to figure out how to use the yarrow stalks. This method puts you into a meditative and receptive state of mind. Yarrow encourages this being a plant that collects energies and sends them spiraling down through it’s hollow stems. The counting becomes a mystical experience with the sound of the stalks clicking and resonating together as they are thrown down, or collected together. Then, when the hexagram is formed, trying to understand what my translation of the I Ching is saying and how that relates to my situation. The whole practice is a wonderful exercise that gets the whole body, soul and mind involved.

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Revisiting Women Who Run With the Wolves

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD

Medicinal Stories that Nourish the Soul

A culture that requires harm to one’s soul in order to follow the culture’s proscriptions is a very sick culture indeed. This culture can be the one a women lives in, but more damning yet, it can be the one she carries around and complies with within her own mind. -P189

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Women Who Run with the Wolves is a very powerful book that I have found very helpful at crossroads in my life when I had to look deep into myself and understand who I was. I know there is a huge community of women who have also been supported by these ancient stories and the poetic way that Clarissa Pinkola Estes brings them to us. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to post your favorite quote(s) and what they mean to you (or not) in the comments section.

I have been a South Park fan since episode one, but I will confess, they hit my button in the episode which mentioned Women Who Run with the Wolves. It is time my secret came to light–I get annoyed just thinking of Cartman badmouthing this sacred book, on the other hand, I also take this as a good sign–South Park is doing what it does best, pointing out where we take ourselves too seriously. If you have seen this episode, don’t let it deter you, this book is worth more than gold…

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Early Spring Cherry Blossoms

Vancouver BC has amazing cherry blossoms all over the city in Spring, many of these alleys of candy floss have old trees that branch right over the road, creating clouds of pink fluff, tender carpets out of the asphalt roads and perfume the air with sweet happiness.

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Bread and Butter Pudding

This makes a delicious holiday dessert, warm, rich, moist nourishing and comforting.

  • 1 loaf Panatone bread
  • 250g softened butter
  • 1/2 liter cream
  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 2 t vanilla essence or 2 vanilla beans
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt

Method:
Warm the cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon gently on the stove-top. Do not allow to boil.

Slice the Panatone and thickly butter each slice.

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Beware the Pharmaceutical

balcony harvestIn the Americas we don’t know whether what we are eating is genetically modified or not. We don’t know what other types of additions we are getting in our meat and dairy either. Food is also “enhanced” with all kinds of vitamins and minerals as well as flavorings, toxins, colorings and preservatives. These are the sorts of things that we should be worrying about in defending our right to unadulterated food.

Our food has been allowed to become toxic and is creating disease. It is not a bacterial “germ” that is bringing about our demise. It is the insidious and ever-present man-made filth that is creating extinction and disintegrating our nervous systems.

To be even more honest with you…sometimes I wonder if it isn’t a conspiracy of some sort, in fact this is right on track. The ultimate evil conspiracy. It turns out that the real war-crimes criminals behind the Nazi’s concentration camps were the executives of the pharmaceutical company IG Farben. Not only that but you may have heard that Donald Rumsfeld is behind pushing through aspartame despite the fact that the FDA had refused to approve it for 16 years. Interestingly pharmaceutical companies have also been accused of genocide before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

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