Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

Dessert First! Day Seven.

I find myself at the end of this week in which I have deliberately savored the rich, sweet moments of every day BEFORE I rushed off to fill an obligation, achieve a goal, or take care of something for someone else feeling as though I’m at the crossroads of two realizations that seem paradoxically at odds with each other. First I feel as though this practice of Dessert First has resulted in additional insight and positive momentum. It has also begun to soften the edge of my communication with others. Because of these positive results, I feel as though it is important to incorporate this practice into each day going forward.

This belief is juxtaposed against the realization that one of the reasons for the positive effects of Dessert First is that it was an interruption to my previous habits and patterns. If I begin to make Dessert First a habit, it will lose the power of the interruptive effect.

So what should I do? This might be a true dilemma for me if I were asking the question two days ago, but as is often the case, the universe has stepped in to assist me with discernment. Last night I was in a state of deep, sound sleep when I was awakened by the phone. It was the alarm company summoning me to meet the police at the office. The drive takes less than 10 minutes. I usually spend that 10 minutes feeling increasingly frightened about the possibility of what I will find when I get there. I know what a break-in feels like. I’ve experienced 3 successful and one attempted break-ins at my home in the last 6 years.

This time, I was awaking from such sound slumber that I threw a ratty flannel robe over my mismatched pjs and headed out struggling to get fully awake. There was no time for fear to take hold. The event turned out to be nothing more than a simple interruption to perfectly comfortable rest. There was no visible reason for the alarm. I could ignore the interruption and stick with my previous plan.

But I made a different choice. I allowed myself to sleep late and refocused my day away from the to-do list and back to taking care of myself. As I made that choice, I realized that the universe often assists me with unexpected interruptions that give me a chance to learn. I need not fear incorporating a positive practice into my day. Whenever repetition becomes a limit to insight, something unexpected is sure to come along to assist me in shifting my focus. I can relax and continue to enjoy the rich, sweet moments of each day.

I am grateful for this week’s insights, grateful for the alarm, grateful that the alarm didn’t mean a real break-in, and grateful for all the beautiful moments each day brings. It has been a fantastic week.

September 29, 2012

Dessert First! Day Six.

Today, I’m on the road working. My routine has been compromised by the bathroom remodel. It takes me two trips to the office before I realize I’ve forgotten my make-up. Now I’m faced with a choice. I can ramp up and push myself so that I feel more efficient, competent, and on top of things, or I can laugh off the mistake and take 10 minutes to go home and fix my face as they say.

An unplanned trip home will still put me on the road in time to be prompt for my meeting. I choose this option. I’m not quite on track for savoring the beauty of the moment, but I did not give into the temptation to move into fast forward setting a frenetic tone for the day.

Once I leave my house, every moment is accounted for. I manage a long glance at the stained glass window in a customer’s office and relax my shoulders briefly, but through much of the afternoon I feel the burden of everyday reality weighing on me.

Even so, I watch events unfold in front of me to make the day easier. Two maintenance men unexpectedly help me unload the 12 heavy boxes I’m transporting. Rather than just dropping off a sample, circumstances give me a chance to visit with a potential client. I return to my office in advance of rush hour traffic to find an exciting email in my inbox. I take a moment to absorb the news and feel happy.

If I had not been practicing Dessert First, would I have even recognized these serendipitous events? Probably not, so I am grateful that discipline and practice in one area is carrying over into other areas.  For the second time this week, I recognize a cycle of positive momentum building.

So, let’s leave this on a high note for today and come back tomorrow to wrap it all up in a bow. Until then…

September 29, 2012

Dessert First! Day Five.

In the morning before I’ve had a conversation, it’s easy to remain focused on my intent to linger over the sweet moments of my day. It is now Day Five of Dessert First and my bathroom is still under construction so I must drive to my office to shower. During the drive this morning there was a moment in which smoky, thick, tall, blue columns of clouds surrounded the orange-red sun creating dramatic depth in the forefront of the sky. I lingered at a stoplight to gaze and the scene quickly changed as the sun broke free to shine its blinding bright white.

As I stared, I was struck by the contrast between the methodic, dependable, and regular movement of the sun and the constantly changing sky pictures it creates at sunrise. The swiftness and drama of the scene change didn’t feel alarming because I know I can rely on the pattern of the sun’s movement.

Perhaps the greatest reward of week’s shift in focus is that it has led me to new insight every day.  After reveling in the beauty of the sunrise and recognizing that change is part of what made it so awe inspiring but not frightening, I began to think about our resistance to change and the fear it seems to trigger. Why fear? We accept that things must change. If there were no change, when it rains it would never stop.  If there were no change, when we cut our finger it would never heal.

And yet, when we get a new boss at work our first response may be to tense up and assume we’ll be under scrutiny instead of feeling like we are faced with a new learning opportunity and the possibility for greater success than ever before. Or when our elderly parent marries a new spouse, we immediately examine his motives rather than embracing him with our eyes open to all the possibilities both positive and negative.

Are we feeling fear of the unknown? We don’t know how the sky is going to change at sunrise or sunset, but this does not instill fear. We are open to its shifts. What is it about the concept of change that causes us to feel a need to protect ourselves?

This is a big question requiring a big answer. I’m not going to attempt to answer it today. I realize that it is an essential concept that must be addressed in order to thrive. Even more specifically, fear of change must be addressed because it is often the greatest roadblock to the adoption of a gluten-free lifestyle. We fear change more than we fear the pain, illness, and detrimental health effects of ingesting gluten. That is a powerful emotion.

We will come back to this here on the blog, address it in the full website that will launch in January, and incorporate techniques to alleviate such fear in our Essential Utensils Social and Emotional Support Tools.

If you are struggling and want feedback now, please email support@cooking2thrive.com.

September 27, 2012

Dessert First! Day Four.

As this week progresses, I become increasingly aware that I have surrounded myself with difficult people. Is that because I exude the same sort of energy as they?  Possibly.  It is also possible that I exude a calm acceptance that feels safe or inviting.  I’m not sure which is the most true right now.  What I know is that it takes a lot of dessert to absorb, dissipate, and cushion negativity and on Day 3 by the afternoon I had resorted to actual dessert. A gluten-free espresso brownie to be exact.

Okay, truth is I had ice cream too later in the evening after a difficult phone conversation. Lots of sweet. Too much in fact. When I eat food full of sugar or carbs without supporting it with protein, I get sick. The same is true when I choose to focus only on the positive and ignore or deny the negative around me. It is only with balance that can accept myself, others, and life’s circumstances and begin to nourish my spirit. It is through nourishing my spirit that I find compassion for others.

In some cyclic way that feels beyond my ability to describe in words right now, I believe this is the beginning of a cycle of positive energy that will feed on itself, grow, and make a contribution to good in the world.

I feel a tiny bit of progress.  What do you see?