Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Lesson in Forgiveness

Forgive the one who hurt you.

The hands of Insecurity beat them down

And stepping on you

Made them feel tall again.


(Unbeknownst to them)

Your compassion has already made you

The bigger person.
 - R. Leonard

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What's On Your Plate?

Last night I curled up and watched a documentary called Food Inc..  It was insightful, disturbing, well researched and candidly proved why ignorance is not always bliss.  I heard about this movie a while ago while online one day and made a promise to myself to check it out.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally decided to settle down and press “Play”.

I’m still reeling.

Producer-director Robert Kenner took me on a radical journey through the evolution of modern day food and it left me wondering, “What am I putting into my body?  Why haven’t I cared this much before?”.  I (like many of us) have occasionally fallen prey to word doctored untruths promoted by some of the biggest names in the food industry.  Do low fat, healthy and all natural sound familiar?  These words are often highlighted in order to cover up underlying ones such as calcium carbonate, niacinamide and pyridoxine hydrochloride. Pretty packaging and catchy jingles have been created to detract our attention from what lies within the cellophane packages resting on supermarket shelves across our country.

If it walks like a chicken and clucks like a chicken, it usually isn’t.

That is just one of many alarming facts revealed in this film.  Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) provide us with pertinent knowledge about what we are both ingesting and supporting with our hard earned dollars.  I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional when I watched as a low-income mother expressed her dilemma between feeding her kids much needed fruit or cost-efficient fast food.

I took a moment to pause and think of ways to ensure my son is fed good quality, whole foods now in the hopes of avoiding expensive health care costs later.

I appreciated that Food Inc. made me think.  There were several realities exposed and candid truth bombs dropped which made me squirm but I couldn’t press “Stop”.  I felt obliged to learn more about the politics, ethics and debate surrounding this controversial topic simply because knowledge is in fact power. 

I’m not an activist. I’m not a politician.  I don’t hold a PhD.

I’m a woman and mother now empowered with information that will forever change my life and possibly extend it, too.

This is a documentary fit for (and made for) human consumption. It doesn’t preach of vegan or vegetarian supremacy but it does speak to the magnificence of doing what’s right for the betterment of everyone.  I hope that you (like me) are now inclined to become aligned with the courageous people that lent their voices to the award-winning piece called Food Inc.

How can you effect positive change?  These are some avenues that I’m going to explore in my adventures:

1.      Check out the local Farmer’s Markets in your area – Get up close to the people that work hard to produce the food you eat.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product and/ or service they offer.  Ottawa Organic Farmer’s Market offers a selection of Certified Organic Meats, Breads, Vegetables, Fruits, Olive Oil, & Skin Care  year round.

2.      Learn more about good food and the people supporting them – There’s seemingly endless information on sites such as Foodland Ontario which include topics such as restaurants that serve local food and seasonal food recipes

3.      Explore your city/ town! – A road trip is always fun or perhaps you want to stroll and see what’s in walking distance.  Mapquest, Google Maps and other online resources can be valuable tools in your search.  If you like meat, you might want to check out Ashton Glen Farm.  They produce organic, environmentally sustainable grass fed beef and pastured pork just outside of Ottawa near Ashton.  Looking for veggies and fruits?  Just next door in Shawville, Quebec, Bryson Farms offers organic produce and home delivery options.  I love the extensive information found on their site!

Feel free to share your thoughts!

Until next time…..

Thursday, September 13, 2012

37 Candles

I celebrated my 37th birthday last weekend.  I made a promise to myself that I would forgo any expectations as to how the day would evolve and just let it happen.  It was a beautiful day and I was embraced by loving friends and family.  There weren’t any parades or fanfare when I came into this world and it would be pretty silly to expect them now.

My, how much I’ve grown, how much I’ve changed, how much I’ve lived….

And yet there’s still so much more ahead.

While preparing to write this post, I came across the lululemon manifesto and was drawn to the part that read,

“This is not your practice life.
This is all there is.”

I let that resonate with me for a while and recalled times in my life when I’ve wished for a second “take”.  I promptly negotiated with the universe to give me another chance each time I had either missed an opportunity or had a less than favorable outcome to a situation.  More often than not things usually turned out to my liking but one of my biggest fears has always been taking these “do over’s” for granted and running out when I need one the most. 

A lot of thought and deep introspection revealed to me that my dependency on second chances is born from a feeling of uncertainty.  I’m finally starting to understand that:

We all learned to walk in order to get places.  Learning to confidently make choices and move forward in life shouldn’t be any different.

Just take it one step at a time.

Richard Bach once said, "We teach best what we most need to learn." and I am certainly not exempt.  Throughout the year one of my greatest wishes is to live life in a way that allows me to be open. 

Open to joy. 
Open to pain.
Open to change.
Open to success.
Open to the mistakes that I will inevitably make and
Open to the process.

With that said, I close my eyes and blow out 37 candles.

Until next time…..