September Update 2011
It’s been a while since I did a general update — things have been pretty crazy so there is a lot to tell. We just got back from a trip to the Catskills where Hella Delicious was born four years ago and most of my cooking videos were shot. It’s always great to go back–so nice to only have the sounds of nature buzzing in your ears. It was shocking to see the devastation caused by the flooding going on all over the East Coast, and gave me a different way to think about water, as well as a reminder of the terrible effect on our health caused by moldy conditions. Since it was so wet all kinds of mushrooms had popped up all over the place. We weren’t there for long, but had a chance to get some nice photos and take a midnight hike in the full moon up to the burial grounds of our old trailer home, which was squashed in the snowmageddon NY had a couple years ago. We still have 15+ more recipes filmed from our time there — just haven’t had the time to edit them! Embarrassingly enough we also have 5 more episodes of Mouth of Babes to edit as well.
I originally started this blog as a way for me to process information, I find it therapeutic. This is the main reason I keep it as a boutique community and don’t do too much hype, or sell ad space etc, I don’t want to get stressed by it. When I started blogging there was no one really paying attention, so it was nice to just put stuff out there. Things have changed over the last couple years and I have gotten to know many of the people who read my blog. This has made me self-conscious about blogging, often getting to the point where I’m sick of hearing myself think.
As a result, I’ve been putting my focus into my craniosacral practice, which involves getting to know your body very intimately. Things like tai chi, chi gong, yoga and vipassana meditation are very useful ways to do this. Getting regular craniosacral treatments has helped me find ways to integrate my life. I have had such fragmented experiences and groups of friends that I’ve always found it very difficult to have them come together. I am starting to feel I understand what this process is more intimately now.
On our trip to New York, I was reading a very interesting book called The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions by Winifred Gallagher, quite an interesting book to read when you are moving from place to place and becoming aware of the various influences she describes. I’ve gotten curious about the study of epigenetics recently as I like to consider the impact of environment on emotions particularly as I have always felt Asian. Maybe I’m nuts, but I feel there is an Asian influence in my family because my mother and father both spent a lot of time in Asia. My self portraits are always an Asian lady. Yet living in Asia, I stick out like a sore thumb, being a foot or so taller than everyone. I also feel that growing up in an unpolluted Eden-like environment in Papua New Guinea was a pure delight. There is no question that the impact of that environment on my childhood was very powerful.
Some of you may have noticed that I tend to operate rather cyclically in when and what I post as well as email contact, social media activity and whatnot. Over the past few years I have been trying to allow a different rhythm to unfold. It has been quite frustrating for me, my friends and family members at times, but it is slowly starting to make sense. Growing up practically on the equator, I never understood cycles of nature as dramatically as living so far North and it’s been a valuable experience. I’ve also been reading a lot about the electricity of the body which is connected with the cycles of the earth (more to come). It has been quite a learning process but I feel like things are starting to balance out. I am starting to become comfortable with not-naming.
I’ve recently started blogging for CocosPure, a new coconut water retailer here in Vancouver, BC. I am excited as I have started making coconut kefir, which is really delicious and full of beneficial probiotics. Please check out their site and like their facebook page to stay updated and be in to win a case of coconut water! I’m also managing the social media for Body Intelligence which is an international school for Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy. There are a couple courses starting here in Canada soon — one in Toronto and one in Victoria, I personally think everyone should do the course whether they plan on becoming a therapist or not as it is so life-changing, there are also courses beginning in Malaysia, India, New Zealand and Europe. I also have a small regular clinic in my apartment office. Currently, I have 4 regular clients, which is almost more than I can handle with my other responsibilities, but I would like to expand my hours. I had a clinic in Wellington, NZ and in the Catskills, NY, but as they say the third time’s the charm and it’s very rewarding to see the subtle and not so subtle progress of my clients.
I have a new computer, finally! My email seems to be working ok, I have nearly gotten it organized there are a few other things I can do to make my life simpler and with an external monitor and keyboard my body can handle sitting at the computer much better. I specifically ordered a Dell that is geared for Ubuntu, so it is really working well. I have partitioned it with Windows so I can start putting together that cookbook I’ve been promising for so long. I am also working on a few other exciting projects which will help folks figure out their own healing rituals.
My blue morning glory in the balcony garden is looking gorgeous and I’ve been getting plenty of cucumbers. I dug up the sidewalk outside our apartment earlier this year, I don’t remember if I have told you guys. I was actually way over-ambitious and dug up more than I could handle. One of the areas I planted seed-balls of crimson clover, sunflowers and diakons which has done really well. I have actually had a good year this year harvest wise! When I water the garden I look out over the 4 lane main road in front of me and dream of a day when my garden will cover the whole hillside and the land under the gas station is living and fertile again.
Unfortunately the community garden is a bit far for me and not really practical at all, so I haven’t been able to get involved or anything, I’ll probably have to give it up next year. I have gotten some huge white squash from it, and it is a really cute garden under the sky-train. The most embarrassing thing finally happened to me the night before we left for NY–we checked out our co-op car just to take a trip to water the garden–talk about a classic yuppie sustainability disaster move.