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Instead Of…

January 12, 2012

Instead of wondering how you’re going to die, decide how you’re going to live.

Instead of putting all of your energy into trying to control others, put all of your energy into controlling yourself.

Instead of talking about the faults of others, listen to what your spirit is saying about your own faults. There’s a BIG difference between hearing and listening.

Instead of feeding your body cheap junk, feed your body temple…a HOLY temple…quality, nutritionally dense foods. There’s a HUGE difference between PRICE and COST.

Instead of feeding your mind with negative, blasphemous, toxic thoughts, feed your mind with positive, loving, constructive thoughts.

Instead of speaking negative, abusive, hurtful words, change the tone and the words…find a different way to say what’s upsetting you.

Instead of tearing down any good feelings you have about yourself, build and reinforce them.

Instead of spending time on destruction, invest your time in creation.

Instead of blowing up over anything, develop a habit of stopping yourself before you blow up and ask “is it really worth it?”

Instead of wishing, start doing.

Instead of wearing a mask, in the words of the immortal Dr. Seuss, “Be Who You Are.”

Instead of settling for less, refuse any and all that’s unworthy of your presence.

Instead of making excuses, be honest with yourself and decide to change. There’s a BIG difference between wanting for something and deciding on something.

Well, that’s all I have for tonight. I’m sure there’s something in here for everyone, as well as there’s some here for me.

Peace be with you. Until next time!


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Ahh…Stress…

January 10, 2012

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I’d found out some bad news about my youngest sister, and things with work weren’t great either. I went for a walk during my lunch time and on the way back, I got this overwhelming temptation to get in the car and get a burrito.

We all know those voices inside…the “devil” and the “angel”….the ones that frequently duel each other for your attention, with the goal of winning you over to what they want you to do.

Devil: You can drive over to the market and pick up those vegetarian canned refried beans, the lime and cilantro tortillas and the store-made guacamole and salsa. One stop and Boom, you got a burrito. Remember how those taste?

Angel: You’re on a fast. You’re on the 9th day. Don’t blow it.

Devil: One day isn’t going to harm you. Just get back on the fast tomorrow, no problem.

Angel: This 40 day fast was set by you, based upon your intuition, and your intuition always guides you successfully, for your own well being. You’re feeling weak right now, but you can get through this without caving in.

On and on it went, for several hours.

The mind is a powerful thing. I tasted the burrito in my mind and remembered how “comforting” it is to me. Comfort is something we all seek. Then I would remember how it made me feel…even if it was a much healthier version. It made me feel lethargic (I am convinced a big reason is because of the gluten in the tortilla), and lead me to eat more gluten rich foods. Could I REALLY get back on the fast?

I will never forget the day I took my youngest niece to her Kajukenbo class. One of the kids there kept goofing off…disrupting the class. The teacher finally confronted him, and of course the kid denied what he was doing. The teacher said, “Be honest with yourself, and then you can be honest with others.” That response from him has stayed with me for 10 years. I will always be grateful for that, Sifu Frank.

The angel ended up winning, that afternoon, as did I.

EMOTIONAL EATING

We are ALL emotional eaters, on some level. Most of us equate food with love, and it is, to some degree. We also equate food as a type of drug, a numbing tool, when things get rough and stress is at an all time high. Some of us are completely aware of it, and many of us are not. Consciousness is badly needed, in so many areas, and we’re all at different levels with that.

One thing that helped me not get in the car is remembering how good I feel…how alive and energetic I am, and it’s really a priceless feeling.

I was happy with myself, at the end of the day,  that I stuck to my fast. I know this journey isn’t going to be easy, and it was a good wake up call, that there’s going to be tests like these, a challenge of the will, and for me, it’s one of the hardest things to overcome. Fasting forces you to deal with life’s crappy times, without using food as a crutch. That’s one of its many benefits, and since one of my goals is to become stronger and stronger in my abilities to deal with bad times, I know I have to keep this as part of my lifestyle, which I’m very happy to do.

Now…on to my juice for this morning…


On Support and Criticism

January 9, 2012

Day 8 for this 40 day fast is ending, and I have to say, as I’ve said many times, once I was done with day 3, everything just got easier. No headaches, no fatigue (in fact, the energy is through the roof!), and my sinuses/mucus issues are fading very quickly. Yeah, maybe that last part was too much information, but my documenting this fast is going to be like that, be warned.

Today I drank a lot of juice, and by a lot I mean about 1.5 quarts. That might not be a lot to someone else, but it is when compared to the amounts I’ve had. I think it might be because I walked more today that I have on any day so far. I got a lot of sunshine too, and Vitamin D helps increase your energy, on top of everything else that wonder vitamin is good for.

SUPPORT MATTERS!

Overall, I’ve gotten so much support from friends and family, that I cannot even say how much that helps. In the book, The Miracle of Fasting by Paul and Patricia Bragg, they advise against telling others that you’re fasting, because of all of the negativity that they might give out. I tend to disagree with that…or rather, I think it really depends on your circumstances.

If you are a person who is very mindful and proactive in whom you allow into your life, and those people are positive and supportive, for the most part, then I say go ahead and tell them. It would help them to know that you’re doing this, not only so that they can offer support but also that they’re aware of it, and they don’t invite you out to eat (or maybe they’ll invite you to a place that offers fresh, living juice!). I can handle negative feedback, but I’ve got to say that it’s important to have support and not go at this alone, even if you’re the only one doing the fasting. It matters, and increases your chance of carrying it through successfully. On further note, it’s good to do this, for any of your endeavors. There’s more strength in numbers, even if it’s strength you get only in spirit, from those who aren’t walking your path.

CRITICISM IS HARD TO TAKE, AND HOW YOU TAKE IT MATTERS!

The other day, I received some very negative feedback from a reader, who, by the way, was a complete stranger, about my fast.

Here’s what he said:

Hello Ms Rubio…
I cannot tell you how dangerous it is for you to engage in such long term fasting… Please …Please stop….See a doctor to find out if you have already damaged your health… See a licensed psychiatrist to explore what inner thoughts make you want to do this..we have lost family members due to fasting…this is very serious… please stop fasting…follow above suggestions.

Best wishes……..

My first thought? Wow, THIS dude is the one who needs a psychiatrist….STAT!

After I let that settle away, my next thought was, okay, be calm and respectful in your response, even if he’s being extremely ignorant and obnoxious. I had to tell myself that he’s only one of many people who are clueless and uneducated about fasting, yet feel the need to offer their “suggestions”. Somewhere in my blog, he imagined that he saw “Please help me with your advice…I’ll take anyone’s unsolicited two cents.”

I responded with:

I’m sorry you’ve lost family members but I’m very doubtful it was due to fasting. fasting is a practice that’s been done for ages, by many people, and it is quite safe for healthy people…in fact, it improves health, and I have a lot of experience in it. my long term fast is something my intuition is telling me to do, and my intuition has never failed me. if my body one day tells me to stop before the 40 days, I will do so, rest assured. I appreciate your concern, but it’s misdirected.

He responded with relief  that I was listening to my common sense and intuition, and that if something bad happened,  he wouldn’t have forgiven himself.

(Nice to know he feels responsible for my well being…UH HUH)

I responded by saying that this why I encourage people to become educated. I left it at that, and hoped he read between the lines. He’s clearly uneducated and blames his family members’ deaths on fasting, when either A. they didn’t fast correctly or B. they died from the effects of malnutrition, which runs rampant in this country.

I was glad I carried out my intention of presenting myself in a respectful way and I was also grateful for this feedback, because it gave me the opportunity to practice this. I can say without a doubt that fasting helps me stay calm and level headed. I’ll blog more about that later. It was also a reminder to myself that when documenting this fast, and the other topics I plan to blog about, I have to expect more and more criticism. Criticism doesn’t scare me…what I am concerned about, however, is how I react to it. I want to be a good representative for all those who step outside of the mainstream and live their lives according to their God given intuition and intelligence. We are a misunderstood bunch.

Ending this day on a stomach empty of food, but stuffed with gratitude.


Fasting…Continued

January 7, 2012

An email conversation from my sister, asking what I drink besides juice, on my fast, inspired me to write up this post.

I started this fast thinking that I was going to drink mostly green juices, but as things are progressing, I’m finding that it’s more like 50/50, meaning, I drink juices half the time, and the other half is water-based drinks. No particular reason why…it’s just what my body’s ordering me to do right now. Some days I don’t even drink that much juice. Yesterday it was mostly water-based drinks, and I was fine with that.

So as far as what those water drinks are, a big portion of them are teas. I’m becoming a tea connoisseur, without planning on it. I just make sure that they are caffeine free and organic. Why caffeine free? I’m not usually super cautious about caffeine in teas (I’m not a coffee or soda drinker) but during this time of fasting, this is the way I should go, because caffeine tends to cause fatigue, anxiety, irritability and a depressed mood. In order for me to fast for 40 days successfully, I don’t need those kinds of potential symptoms to arise. I tend to prefer spicy teas like chai, but I also like caffeine free green teas. I’m also drinking hibiscus tea. Here’s some cool information on its benefits.

WHAT ELSE?

Other drinks I’m consuming include apple cider vinegar mixed in water. I used to need a little stevia in it, but during this fast, I’ve been drinking it without it. Apple cider vinegar? What? Yes, ACV is an incredibly helpful tool when I’m fasting. It’s very cleansing and has a ton of benefits. But I only go with Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s raw and it’s organic. I find that it helps with any signs of hunger too.

I like to increase my intake of Chlorophyll when I can, so I’m including Liquid Chlorophyll in water, and to mask the flavor a bit, I use flavored liquid stevias. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants…the sign of photosynthesis. I like to call it Plant Blood. It’s what we get when vegetables and green juices are consumed. You can read up on it here. The key word, in case you didn’t catch it, is Green. My favorite color :)

Lastly, I’ll mention that plain water is another thing I drink, but only when I feel the need. I like to drink water that has something else in it, to give me more bang for my buck. Filtered water, that is. If I was close to a spring, I would be drinking that, instead of filtered water. That’s living water…and that’s another subject :)

I hope this has helped anyone who’s thinking of starting a fast, or needs ideas to continue their fast, in case they’re becoming bored or feeling a bit ‘stuck’.

Day six is ending for me, and it’s going great.

Happy Fasting!

No Food for Forty Days and Forty Nights!

January 5, 2012

I’m on day four of a forty day fast, and this will be a record for me. The longest I’ve fasted is 30 days, but it included raw vegan soups which were pureed…and technically, in many people’s minds, it wouldn’t be considered a true fast. I happen to disagree. The dictionary defines fasting as: 1. to abstain from all food. and 2. to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance.

There are different levels of fasting…some that are much more intense than others and tend to have different results. The more “gentle” levels, which would be more along the lines of definition #2 above, would be called by some a “cleanse”.

The benefits of fasting are huge..too many to list in this post. In a very basic explanation, by not eating food, or limiting it, your body and digestive system are given a break in the energy it takes to process the food you eat, so that other parts of your body can heal and repair. Juice and water fasts are most effective for these goals.

IT’S AN INSTINCTUAL THING

Animals fast when they’re sick, because they know instinctually that resting and fasting will bring on healing. Unfortunately, the human animal isn’t so keen on it, at least most of us aren’t. I will expand on that in another blog. Here’s a great site to read more on the benefits of fasting, and I can’t recommend the book, The Miracle of Fasting by Paul and Patricia Bragg, enough.

I started fasting a little over two years ago as a regular practice. It’s been one of the smartest lifestyle adoptions I’ve ever made.

I did a water fast every Sunday during a season of Lent, 15 years ago. It was hell on earth, and why I did it, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. At that time, I was uneducated about the benefits of fasting. Little did I know then that a one day fast once a week is actually a very good thing to do. I also had a mindset of struggle, which didn’t help things at all. Mindset is another topic I’ll expand on, in another post.

MAKING THE CHANGE

My first long term fast was what is called a Master Cleanse. It lasts ten days and consists of salt water in the morning (the nastiest stuff you’ll ever drink) and the rest of the day drinking water mixed with maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper, followed at night by a cup of Smooth Move tea (I think you can conclude the purpose of this tea, by the name alone). If I thought the “every-Sunday-during Lent” fast was hell, I was in for a paradigm shift. I read about the effects, but experiencing it is a whole other thing.

I got symptoms like I was having a cold, with chills, lethargy…the whole nine yards. I couldn’t do anything for the first four days but sleep/dose/read a little on my sofa. I don’t see myself doing that type of fast ever again, only because I don’t like the amount of maple syrup I went through and I most certainly didn’t enjoy the salt water. Ugh! I am, however, very grateful that I went through it because it helped me get rid of my addiction to cheese, and my intention was to go vegan in the following couple of months, so it was a transition step.

I “graduated” to juice fasts, the following year, and decided that I was going to fast at least four times a year. I’ve actually done more than four a year. I fast when I intuitively know that it’s time for one…when I’m lethargic, when my diet isn’t at its optimal, or even emotional obscurity is running rampant. Those are times, in my opinion, when one is very susceptible to illness and disease, so I like to nip it in the bud as much as I can. I haven’t been sick in three years, come February.

I hope that you’ve gained a little more clarity on the subject of fasting, and as I mentioned, I’ll be blogging more on my views about fasting, as well as this particular fasting journey that I’m on.

To your health!


Back to Blogging :)

January 4, 2012

I’ve been blogging for almost two years. I started it just as a means of expression, since writing is one of my biggest passions. As time went on, I found that my posts were naturally veering into helping people feel better about themselves or gain clarity on personal issues they had.

It became apparent to me that I enjoyed that aspect, even more than writing itself. My insights were helping others make their lives better in SOME way. What a pleasure!

In 2011, I really started lagging on it. And within the past year, I’ve been meditating on how to make my blog earn money. I still don’t know much about the technical side of blogging or websites…it’s all very confusing to me. I do know, however, that whatever you focus on, expands…I’ve witnessed that many times.

AND ALONG COMES OPPORTUNITY

Recently, I joined up with Empower Network, which is a viral blogging platform. It seems like an excellent way to 1. learn more about blogging and the technical concepts within it 2. integrate my own personal blog with it, and 3. earn money doing it.

In fact, it’s exactly the type of opportunity I’ve been meditating on. I’m very excited to start this, and looking forward to growing not only my income but also to grow my blog and reach more readers.

Whether you have your own online business, your own blog, or you don’t have either, people from all backgrounds are making money by using this powerful and affordable tool. All it takes is for you to blog and spread the word!

I hope you’ll be encouraged to check out Empower Network  and join up…you deserve to improve your business, make money online, and improve your financial life as well.

Hopefully you’ll check out my personal blog as well, and that you enjoy it!

 

A Love Letter, Of Sorts

July 4, 2011

Lately, since Father’s Day, I’ve been thinking about my dad. More specifically, about what he taught me. I’ve heard all my life, “This person taught me _____, or how to______.” I often wonder if I’m the only one who thinks more along the lines of “This person taught me how NOT to _____, or NOT to_____ and _____.”

‘Not’ can be a very useful word in guiding us through life. More times than ‘Not’ (lol), I tend to do the opposite of whatever my dad did.

For example, he was a smoker and an alcoholic, so that’s kind of a no brainer. I am neither one of those things, and I know that I never will be. “Never say never”? Speak for yourself.

One time, when I was about 5 years old, he got so angry with my mom (and he was drunk), that right in front of my eyes, his fist went through a wall. Since then, I knew that anger was something that needed to be controlled, whether you’re drunk or sober. Yes, at 5 years old, I knew this. And it’s not that I mastered the art of anger management since then, but my consciousness about this was born at that time.

My dad showed me more, very crucial lessons in the brief time that I knew him (he died when I was 15). This whole post can read like I’m trashing him and his memory. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s actually a type of love letter to him, in an unconventional way, because that’s just how I roll. LOL

He loved to talk about what happened yesterday…meaning, what was in the past. There’s something truly sad and pathetic about someone who spends every day ‘wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’, plannin’ and dreamin’’ (borrowed from Dusty Springfield) about things that have already happened. Some people can’t seem to accept the fact that time waits for no one, that the clock keeps on ticking forward…it never rewinds. So much time and energy is wasted on the past, when they could be accomplishing so much now, and making their lives rich with happiness. Instead of dwelling on what they did or didn’t do, and what someone did or didn’t do for or to them, they could be using that energy on reflecting on what the lesson is. Sometimes it takes a lot of digging to find the lesson, but when it’s found, it’s better than a pot of gold. One time, at around the age of ten, after he’d spent a good amount of time having a pity party, as he liked to do, I blurted out to him that he needed to stop living in the past. He looked at me as if I had slapped him and then proceeded to tell me the usual: that I was a spoiled and ungrateful brat, basically. How dare I, a ten year old, tell him such a thing? His reaction only confirmed that I was correct.

My soul has lived a long time. I tend to believe in past lives, and if there really is such a thing, I’ve probably lived half a dozen lifetimes by now, because in this lifetime, I observe and listen a lot, rather than talk a lot.

With his pity parties, he liked to play the blame game, especially on my mom (I certainly am not putting my mom on a pedestal here, since she liked to play the same game). Every failure, every disappointment, every miscommunication, was somebody else’s fault. The back and forth dance of blaming, between my parents, was not only infuriating and frustrating, but also very comical, in a very sick way. Needless to say, I was turned off to the idea of marriage, from a very early age. It took me a long time to realize that blaming others for ANYTHING was useless. I find much more strength, wisdom and peace when I look at myself, rather than others’ actions or inactions, and come to the conclusion on where I need to improve or change. I’m the only one that I can control, and it’s empowering, to say the least. Oh, and I don’t look at marriage anymore with any abhorrence 🙂

The last important lesson that my dad taught me was to always follow your gut. On the night that my cousin killed himself, my dad felt like he should be with him (they were very close)…that something was wrong. He had a premonition, but he didn’t follow through on it. Since then, it was a source of so much pain and regret, and it was definitely something that drove him to drink, among other things. At this point in my life, my gut..my intuition..my third eye, has become my best guide. It’s a gift given by God, to everyone, and it takes cultivation, especially when the background you came from is so far removed from it. My intuition has never failed me…instead I’ve failed it. But I’ve definitely come a long way, and I can safely say that I’m very much in tune with it now.

I’m so grateful for the man who was my earthly father, Louis Escobedo Rubio, for showing me what NOT to do and how NOT to live and how NOT to think. He was my first teacher, and taught me the most profound lessons of all I’ve learned thus far. I carried a lot of anger towards him during the time he was my dad, and for years after he’d gone. I know he watches me from where he’s at now, I know that he knows when I recognize the good things about him that have become part of me, and I know that his spirit  evolved, shortly before the time he left this earth. The many times that he hurt me and disappointed me are things that I don’t waste time thinking about. Instead, I choose to be full of love and gratitude for being given the opportunity to be his daughter and more importantly, his student, for a very short time.

Let’s do our best to look at every single person that is or was in our lives as a teacher…someone who had or has something to contribute to our evolution, our consciousness. It can be challenging to do, sometimes, and it really involves putting the ego aside. Not always easy to do, I know, but like everything else, it becomes easier the more you practice it.

This is my dad, at around 9 years of age. I believe he is shining shoes here. He was locked out of the house by his mom, forced to work and earn money for the family.  He dropped out of school after the ninth grade. He was the only male left in the house…my grandfather abandoned them.  I look forward to seeing him again, and this time, instead of my last words to him of “I love you”, I’ll also say “thank you.”