An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

"The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The world is on your plate. When you begin to understand what prompts you to use food as a way to numb or distract yourself, the process takes you deeper into realms of spirit and to the bright center of your own life. Rather than getting rid of or instantly changing your conflicted relationship with food, Women Food and God is about welcoming what is already here, and contacting the part of yourself that is already whole — divinity itself.” -Geneen Roth

The essence of living organisms is encoded in their DNA. All living things contain this information, which is communicated across generations and across species in a continuous process of evolution and the food chain. Thus, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, eggs, dairy, herbs, and tea contain information that we introduce to our bodies on a daily basis.

Women, Food & God is not a guide to the information contained in each food choice, but an exploration of how our relationship to food and ultimately, to ourselves, is the lens through which we process that embedded information. No matter how “healthy” our food and drink choices may be, when our conditioning and thought process associated with eating and drinking are not healthy, we will be chronically deprived of the deep nourishment that we need to thrive.

According to Geneen Roth, when we are present and aware, we are able to allow our intuition to influence the process of seeking nourishment. By listening to our bodies, we discover that we already know what we need- how much, how little, when, why, and how- without the help of the $20 billion per year US weight-loss industry that has captivated 108 million Americans with its costly advice.

Roth invites us to rethink our cultural identification with diet culture and orthorexia (obsessive behaviors associated with the pursuit of a healthy diet), offering us the alternative- freedom to trust ourselves and listen to the truth in our own bodies. In doing so, the pursuit of happiness and wholeness becomes possible as it diverges from random numbers on a scale.  

I personally have found that Autumn Bear Botanicals' tea blend Skinny Me, soon to be renamed Energize, is exactly what my body wants and needs. The puerh in this blend gives me just the right amount of energy to start my morning, and the natural melatonin-producing effects of puerh ensure that the trace amounts of caffeine do not affect my sleep. As an alternative to coffee, which I normally load with cream and sugar, the puerh combined with the peppermint, hibiscus, and orange peel doesn’t require any further accoutrements, which eliminates that crashing feeling and craving for another uplift. My body truly loves this tea!

Seek Clarity

Seek Clarity

At the very heart of Chinese medicine’s Daoist roots is a desire for clarity. In Daoist traditions, the way this virtue is cultivated is by observing and living in accordance with the seasons- moving as nature moves when nature moves. In order for the Heart to do its job efficiently, it requires a certain level of clarity.

Year of the Fire Rooster-Phoenix: She Who Rises From the Ashes in Flames

Year of the Fire Rooster-Phoenix: She Who Rises From the Ashes in Flames

The theme of the shadow self has been surfacing more and more in the collective consciousness. As human consciousness evolves beyond the New Age / Burning Man wishful thinking that being blissed out in a yoga class or at an Ayahuasca ceremony is synonymous with transcendence, we begin to understand that there is no spiritual bypass- real transformation requires a certain, sometimes excruciating, amount of facing our own pain, trauma, and ugliness.

What's so bad about coffee anyway? ☕️🙅🏻

What's so bad about coffee anyway? ☕️🙅🏻

Humans have the unique ability to use our will to push ourselves to persevere despite needing food or rest. We do this by tapping into our deepest inner reserves to supplement the basic everyday energy that comes from food and rest. In Chinese medicine this is called spending our Jing.

Daoist Inner Alchemy: the JinJing Gong

Daoist Inner Alchemy: the JinJing Gong

The sacred mountains in Sichuan Province in China offer a unique opportunity for synchronicity with the wisdom embedded within ancient consciousness.  The roots of classical Chinese medical theory, interwoven with ancient philosophies, esoteric spiritual practices, and the secrets of Daoist inner alchemy originated here.

Mount Emei

Mount Emei

n Chinese medicine, mountains, rocks, and minerals belong to the Metal element, the element that governs purity and radiance. Metal is the realm where we are given the opportunity to let go of ego and pride, suspending judgments and attachments as a means to create space for the virtues of selflessness, justice, and clarity of Spirit.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine

As my time in Nepal comes to a close, the overwhelming emotion I feel is gratitude. In three weeks, I had the opportunity to treat 240 patients and learn many invaluable lessons about health, culture, and life. I worked with amazing, sensitive interpreters and developed a very fulfilling daily routine of eating, sleeping, working, exploring the rice paddies, greeting the street dogs and maintaining a safe distance from the endearing monkeys.

Namaste

Namaste

Being in Nepal has reminded me how important it is to leave our cultural comfort zones and allow ourselves to experience those slight shifts in perspective that pave the way to major insights and life-changing revelations. It is so interesting to realize, again and again, that there is no objectivity- what we believe to be universal truth quickly disintegrates when we are immersed in another culture that has been built upon entirely different universal truths.

Compassion in Action

Compassion in Action

The acupuncture clinic has been full of patients this week, sometimes with a line out the door. Some walk as much as three hours each way along dusty dirt roads weaving through rice paddies to get here. They come for acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Ayurvedic massage, and Tibetan medicine provided by volunteers, in exchange for the price of a cup of tea.

Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley

The Vajra Varahi clinic is outside of Kathmandu, in the much smaller and less chaotic town of Chapagaun. The lower level has a reception area and treatments rooms, and the two upper levels are bedrooms for staff, as well as a common area and shared kitchen. The rooftop terrace is beautiful, with resident feline friends and amazing views across the valley.