join the new age movement on Facebook at

Saturday, April 30, 2011

evolution of the apple tree

my grandpa took this pic of my daughter PG standing atop one of my parents' apple trees in NH.

my dear and committed foodie friend JW organized an outing for a bunch of girlfriends thursday night - an environmental lecture at BU (boston university).  nathan phillips, associate professor of georgraphy and director of the center for energy and environmental studies, is an expert in global change with a passion for trees.  nathan schooled us on the evolution of the apple tree and i wanted to share some of what we learned with you.

a gazillion years ago in the tian shan mountain range, between kazakhstan and china, the first wild apple forest grew.  liken it to eden.  within each of these apples there was (and is) a chamber of 5 seeds, each seed with the potential to reproduce.  the offspring of these apples, naturally made, look nothing like their predecessors.  probably don't taste like them either.  a total hodgepodge. 

over centuries, folks traveling on the silk route spread these wild apple trees throughout asia and europe, and inevitably all over the world.  as these trees became domesticated, farmers began to figure out how to clone the biggest and tastiest apples through grafting.  grafting is the process of severing a branch belonging to an ideal fruit and binding it to an amputated branch of a more unsavory tree.  no more hodgepodge.  just barrels of perfectly identical apples.

it sounds like a great idea but there's a major flaw in it.  by grafting, or cloning, these apples, the farmers stripped away the apples' ability to genetically mutate.  when the apples stopped evolving, they were unable to fight off their enemies who were evolving.

so farmers started treating their trees with pesticides.  these chemicals blanket apple orchards, killing everything bug in sight - bad and good.  but the chemicals also started killing other living entities and making people sick. 

so this is how we got to where we are today.  it all seems innocent enough, but i think the overriding point is, don't mess with mother nature.  she created this planet to perfection and anything we humans do to change, harness or control the earth will just fuck us all up.  we are so spoiled now.  anything we want, we get on demand.  on the last day of april we can go to the market and buy and apple, though it hasn't been in season for months.  all of our food is like this.  all of our everything is like this.  i'm happy to benefit from the changes, but i must say it doesn't come without a heavy feeling of guilt. 

so there were a couple of other things nathan discussed regarding trees.  the first was an organization near and dear - the boston tree party.  this is a group of peeps whose mission it is to plant a whole lotta heirloom apple trees in boston and the surrounding area.  (they plant pairs so they can cross-pollinate.)  they are doing this in public spaces and publicly viewed spaces like church and school yards.  if you have or know of a space that could support a couple of trees, click here to join the cause. 

*on a side note, i live in a relatively urban town just north of boston.  i have three pear trees in my small yard that produce a fantastic amount of fruit.  i didn't plant them and i do not maintain them, but every other year we enough pears to feed an army.  this is something you can do, too.

one more thing nathan talked about - gas.  this is powerful information so tune in.  under the ground is an extraordinary network of pipes through which gas flows.  there are countless leaks in these pipes - leaks that are killing trees at an alarming rate and are downright dangerous to public safety.  they seep methane gas, which replaces the water and oxygen in the ground, cutting off tree roots' food source and eventually killing trees.  if you have a tree in your yard that is inexplicably dying, this may very well be the reason.  there is a man named Bob Ackley who can detect a gas leak and let you know if this is why your tree(s) are perishing.  contact him through is website by clicking  he is working with Attorney Jan Schlichtmann (of A Civil Action fame) to hold gas providers accountable for this serious problem.  but this is one problem that we can fix. 

okay, guys, hope you enjoyed this passed on message.  if you have additional information please post in the comments.  it's so important that we make our voices heard and share what we learn and know.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

getting acquainted... or reacquainted

just wanted to use a day's posting to acquaint new readers to this blog.   i try to post every day, monday through friday, though sometimes life gets in the way.  i also write each day for a virgin audience.  i hate it when i visit other blogs and feel like an outsider.  it reminds me of when i tried to start watching 24 midway through season 2.  i was like, "what's going on?  who's that lady?  is he good or bad?"  if i do piggy back an idea from another posting i will include a hyperlink to the relevant story.

down the sidebar to the right, you'll currently see lyrics to a zac brown band song that i looovvvveeee.  there's also a pic of me followed by my (un)professional back story.  i've listed several books that are perfect for those interested in learning more about metaphysics, past lives, numerology, chakras and such.  they are introductory books and i think they are all perfectly suited for getting to know new age from scratch.  there are also a few websites i like - some are interactive, which is always fun.

finally, i really like to hear from readers.  so if you want to share something, whether it's in line with my thinking or not, please go ahead.  don't be shy.  post anonymously if you like.  by listening to and understand different view points we can better explore and connect with our own spirituality.  i share these stories in hopes not to convert you, but to connect with you through laughter, passion, tears and curiosity. 

peace out, peeps!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

i love you too muchie

i call my nanny VR "little mamma".  nanny is not the right word for her, b/c she is so much more.  we met four aprils ago through a very strange series of happenings.  an introduction that was meant to be.  she spoke very little english.  basically, "hi, how are you?"  but surprisingly we communicated with relative ease.  we'd play charades all day - or i'd say, "tell me in portuguese," hoping that her vocabulary would be similar to french and i'd figure it out.

we stayed together b/c our energies complemented one another.  over time and countless impromptu english lessons, VR and i got to know each other on a level that i haven't experienced with many other people.  she is my family and i love her as deeply as i've loved anyone.  we often imagine past life possibilities together.  we wonder how we are connected to each other, because we know without doubt that we are soul mates.
when i learned i was preggie with my third, XG, VR was the first to know.  she was so excited.  she has two grown children in brazil but she was very young when she had them.  so young that she didn't fully understand the beauty of motherhood.  but now she does.

for those long months of pregnancy, she'd talk to my belly in portuguese everyday, professing that he was going to recognize her voice when he came out.  she made rice and beans for me every single day.  one day i shot off the couch screaming and grabbing my cramped calf, she rushed over and kneaded the muscle, knowing exactly what my body needed without a word.  she hugged and kissed me several times every day (as she always has and does), even when my hormones made me a total nightmare.  my pregnancy was as much hers as it was my own.

the day i came home from the hospital, VR came to my bedside and scooped up the baby.  she cried into his tiny body and said, "thank you, vanessa.  you give me opportunity to be a mamma for the first time.  i love you too muchie."  it was such a beautiful thing to say.  all i could think was how lucky i was to have my little mamma come into my life to take care of me without judging me and love me when i was unlovable.  and there she was she was thanking me.  (btw, i'm bawling my eyes out right now as i type.)

so this morning, VR arrived as she always does, arms wide open, smile from ear to ear, lips puckered and ready to smooch.  first kissing PG then SG then me.  XG heard some commotion downstairs and decided it was time to climb out of his crib and start his day.  we heard him call, "vovo?"  ("grandma" in portuguese.)  our little man stumbled into the kitchen, hair sticking straight up, droopy diaper to his knees and puffy sleep-filled eyes, and ran into VR's arms, giving himself over to her big, beautiful love.  she said to him between kisses, "god give you to me."  and she's right.  he is a gift.  as much hers as he is mine.  we are so blessed.  he is so blessed.  their love for each other is something to behold.  something to treasure.  (still bawling. ;-)


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

is there really anything to forgive?

An excerpt regarding Matthew 5:43-45 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven,"  from Deepak Chopra's Jesus...

"Loving your enemies reminds me of a story from World War II that always brings tears to my eyes.  The Nazis gathered up Jesuit nuns and monks and sent them to the concetration camps, along with Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals.  One nun was subjected to the horrifying and perverted medical experiments associated with Dr. Josef Mengele, Auschwitz's dreaded "Angel of Death".  The assistant who administered these torments was a woman, one of Mengele's nurses.  In extreme suffering, the nun knew she was about to die, and her last act was to take the rosary from her neck.  She held it out to the nurse, who recoiled suspiciously and asked what she was doing.  The nun replied, "A gift.  Take it with my blessing."  They were her last words before she died.

Here was a living example of  "resist not evil," and in a flash it tells us that Jesus's core teachings depend upon higher consciousness.  Few of us could respond to deep, intentional evil with compassion unless, as with this nun, compassion had become a part of our nature.  In addition, such compassion must replace all that isn't compassionate, those instincts that force us to resist, fight, struggle, and curse evil when it touches our lives."  

Can you imagine?  This woman, in all her physical pain, cared so much for her torturer's soul that she reached out and blessed her.  Maybe this was her ultimate test before God offered her the relief of a dying breath?  Was this her soul's opportunity to bear extreme physical pain and and exhibit uncompromising compassion in order to elevate her entire soul family to a higher level of heavenly love?  

Robert Schwartz in his book Your Soul's Plan investigates the role of a soul while life is being played out.  He interviews one girl whose hand is blown to bits by a mail bomb left in the mail room of her office.  She survived and continued on a path that was more fulfilling and enlightening than the one she previously walked.  She also forgave her attacker.  A few psychics were assigned the task of channeling various higher souls surrounding the victim.  They uncovered that she and the bomber are in the same soul family and that he promised the girl that he would carry out this act of violence in order to help their entire family evolve.

Could it be that the Nazi nurse was in the Jusuit nun's soul family?  Did a loving pact draw them together?  While one learned deep forgiveness and compassion on the road to enlightenment, the other learned loathing and brutality in attempt to reach the same place - knowing love?  Because only through its exact opposite can we truly understand and appreciate the beauty of love.  How do we appreciate being healthy if we are never sick?  How are we motivated to reach enlightenment if there is no challenge to overcome?

Just some things to think about...


Monday, April 25, 2011

what color are your panties?

lately i've been listening to a blog talk radio show called hariette knight's psychic and healing hour.  she's a psychic-medium and healer out of cali whose favorite topic seems to be chakra maintenance.  she's cute.  i like her. i read her book, too, chakra power!, and while it was more a really simple and basic introduction to chakras, i did pick up a fun tidbit that i wanted to share with you today.  (oh, and if you're just tuning in and need a quick crash course in chakras, click here to read my entry "chakra & awe".)

if you want to or amp up a particular chakra you can do so by adding that color to your wardrobe or home, be it jewelry, clothing or decor.  one of the examples she used was for the root chakra, which corresponds to the color red.  as we know, the root chakra, located at the base of the spine, grounds us to the earth.  this is the source from which we feel our power, security (financial and otherwise), safety, primal sexual drive, and is the foundation of all other chakras.  when the root chakra is balanced we have a fighting chance at realizing our full human potential.

jump starting your root chakra is very simple.  just wear red underwear.  i actually dragged all my kiddos to nordstrom on friday to buy some.  i've been wearing red undies for the past few days and i honestly feel an energy boost, specifically, a heightened confidence in my feminine power.  love it!  try it out! 


Friday, April 22, 2011

finding jesus through the back door

i love jesus.  he lived the perfect life.  i think we all agree, we know this is true.  whether you are christian or jewish or muslim or buddhist.  we know he was the righteous bomb.  as much as i enjoy him now, though, i was never really into him until recently.  as i've said before, i didn't grow up learning about him.  but when i explored my spirituality through the new age movement, i was able to interpret and admire jesus through my own better-developed spiritual beliefs and realized just what an awesome miracle he was.  a-ha moment.  paradigm shift.  all that.

there are two major things about jesus that i've never been able to wrap my head around.  two major things that keep me from giving myself over to loose christianity.  immaculate conception and the resurrection.

as magical and mysterious and powerful as i know god is, i don't think for a minute he got mary preggers without the aid of a real live penis.  so in my opinion, joseph is mary's baby-daddy and there's not shame in it.  jesus is still the rockingest dude on the planet, immaculately conceived or not.  [on a side note, i'm always curious if, as a toddler, jesus bit other kids or threw his oatmeal on the floor like my son does.  i'm sort of thinking, no, though.  he was just too good to start off naughty.  anywho...]

that said, immaculate conception makes a damn good story and begins the magical mystery tour called christianity with a big hazzzzaaaahhhhh!  so i get why the holy roman empire pinched that bit of the story from those filthy pagans.  (thank you, dan brown, for bringing this fact to light.)  no disrespect to my jesusy friends who believe in the vatican's accepted truth.  you very well may be right on the money and i will someday be burning in hell for writing these words... and just about every other word i've written in this blog.

throughout jesus' life, he said loads of amazing things.  he is the most quoted man in history for a reason.  his words were loving and peaceful and inspiring...  prophetic, full of light.  his direct connection to god and the universe was undeniable and incomparable.  he was absolutely given heavenly gifts, because he had an enormous responsibility.  god sends us all here for a purpose.  jesus' purpose was extraordinary.  he had to save the world.  in jesus' time, people were fucking crazy.  killing each other, stealing from each other, overpowering each other, raping and burning and pillaging.  the planet was a shit show.  god was like, "damn, baby, i've got to send some bad ass spirity peeps down to clean this disaster up."

so jesus was born, completely equipped with every weapon in god's healing arsenal.

compassion?  check.
orator skills?  check.
openness?  check.
diplomacy skills?  check.
faith?  check.
healing hands?  check.
positive attitude?  check. 
kindness?  check.
balanced chakras?  check.
rugged good looks and long shiny rocker hair?  check.  check.

his gifts were spectacular.  and entirely possible.  again, looking through my new age lens here.  the japanese call healing hands "reiki".  christians call healing hands miraculous.  there is modern day evidence of gifts like his - people who have snip-its of his abilities to heal and connect and inspire.  john of god, gandhi, oprah.  but no one has had it all like jesus did.  jesus got the whole bag of goodies.

with these gifts, he was able to prove to the world that he was delivering the word of god.  he worked miracles to confirm he was harnessing some seriously powerful energy.  "listen up, y'all!  i'm going to heal the blind, feed the poor and let you know that our loving and forgiving god is everywhere!  i'm the real deal, yo, so check me out!  follow me around!  clean my feet!  love this divine universe!"  so, yes, i believe without a doubt that he performed miracles and delivered god's word.

okay, moving on to the whole dying and resurrecting and moving the rock thing.  as i said before - i never believed it.  thought it was all a horseshit.  but a couple years ago, i was sitting in church, a congregational jobbie led by a truly inspirational pastor named skip waterbury.  it was easter sunday and my husband and i had just returned to the crowded pew after dumping our kids in the church's super-fun basement playroom.  skip began his sermon by reminding us that we're christians and christians believe in christ's resurrection.  (is that giant red arrow above my head blinking the word "hypocrite" meant for me?)  he retold the story of the first good friday through easter sunday with all the drama and reality and inspiring interpretation he could muster.  an extraordinarily gifted speaker, skip had (and has) the ability to make you WANT to believe.  and for the very first time, this magical jesusy door opened up to me.  i was bawling.  but, then again, i always cry in church.

i wanted to believe but my logical self still said, me thinks no.  i had already started my new age studies and felt the pull away from the doctrine of church and toward this east meets west universal spirituality.  and i loved it.  but the more i learned about new age, the more i thought about jesus.  i realized how perfectly possible it was for jesus to work miracles and to move that big effing rock. this is why:

have you read the book "eat pray love"?  in it, elizabeth gilbert mentions saint teresa of avila.  teresa's this nun who meditated non-stop.  she was totally addicted to her connection with god.  she'd become so deeply entranced that her sisters couldn't feel her pulse.  so this is my theory on jesus' resurrection.  he had mastered meditation and his peace delivered him through pain.  how he could bare being nailed on that cross is so far beyond the scope of my pain tolerance, and i've gone through natural childbirth three times.  so in his agony and struggle during his crucifixion, he turned to god.  he prayed.  he submitted.  he gave himself over.  with his deep awareness of and love for god, one could only assume his full consciousness was with god on that cross, entering another dimension of this universe while his body suffered on earth.  and much like saint teresa, his pulse would have become so weak he would appear to be dead.

so the bad guys consider him a goner and his body is transported to this cave.  but while in the cave, jesus recovers enough to sit up and assess his situation.  he remembers that while he was comatose, god was like, "son, you've gotta get up and finish what you started!  i need you in the game right now!  you can do this!"  he knows he's got a job to do but there's a gigantic boulder in his way.  and you know what happens to people when they're facing the worst odds...  they find a way.  (start humming rocky theme song while you read.)  he heaves that bad boy aside, veins popping, lips quivering, muscles crunching.  it's like those stories you hear of a car wreck when someone is trapped and the person at the scene drums up this superhero strength and lifts 2,000 pounds of mangled steel to pull out their loved one.  call it adrenaline, the will to survive, a miracle from god - it doesn't matter.  the point is, it's possible.  it makes sense.  and it's magic.

so i believe now.  in my own way.  who knows what the truth is?  this is our mystery to explore and discuss. 

this is what i call "finding jesus through the back door".  i realized his greatness for myself, on my own terms.  no one told me to do it.  no one forced me to study the bible.  no one convinced me i'd go to hell without accepting christianity as my sole chance for salvation.  i don't want to believe in a god who damns people to hell for eternity.  that's just mean.  and actually, i don't think jesus would do that to anyone, and those who think so don't understand jesus' message of peace and acceptance.

i do think that jesus will welcome me into his arms when my body dies away, just like he has after all of the other lifetimes i've lived.  ;-)  he loves us all.  and i think he sits upstairs in the universe without judgment.  because he knows we'll do a fine job judging ourselves when the time comes.  (read "life after life" by raymond a. moody.)  i could be totally wrong.  but to me, this theory makes such beautiful sense and feels so good.  maybe my mind will change someday.  i still haven't read deepak chopra's take on jesus.  i might have a different viewpoint after that.  and that's okay, too.  but for now, i'm holding tight to this pigskin and sprinting for the end zone.  haazzzzzzzaaaaahhhhh.

there's no one like jesus today, but bits of the gifts god gave him are spread out among each one of us.  we are healers, we are teachers, we are troubadours, we are soul workers.  we are working to propel this earth's energy in a better direction.  working to heal the planet and heal ourselves through mindfulness, kindness, compassion and love.  ain't that just what jesus would do?


in developed countries, most of us are living civilized lives; but the state of the affairs on earth is still disasterous - a big bowl of spaghetti that's splattered upside down on the kitchen floor.  will jesus come back down to help us clean up our collective act?  or is jesus spreading out his resources this time?  allowing a piece of his infinite self to exist in each one of us in hopes that we will individually hear his call and collectively transform?   hmmm...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

celebrating 100 posts

you're still here?  hard to believe we've reached a hundred days of new age weirdness together.  either you are as crazy as i am or we're all onto something pretty special - a new age spiritual movement full of energy and positivity that is taking over the world. we are a bad-ass group of strangers, i'm telling you!

i originally posted this story with a request that readers chime in and share spiritual experiences, but silence was just too much for me to bear.  so instead of trying to pry your truth out of you, i'll just say thank you for co-piloting this journey earthly journey with me.

big, gigantic, enormous, herculean XOs and endless gratitude for all the times you've read this page and touched my heart.  see you tomorrow!


too old to recycle???

Note:  A few of you may have read this post in its original form a few weeks ago when I first shared it.  I pulled it off the shelf b/c I thought it was too angry.  And I don't want to be angry.  So here's the edited version, still passionate but more encouraging, I hope.   A recycled story for you.  ;-)  Enjoy! 

A few months ago, I visited my hubby MG at his office in Faneuil Hall.  I met him in a little cafeteria called Taste of the Town.  While I waited for him, I had an egg sandwich and a bottle of apple juice.  MG came down and I hopped up to throw away my empties and couldn’t find the recycling bin.  The owner happened to be right there and I asked about it.  He said with a smile (and I quote), “I’m too old to recycle.”  I swear I almost launched over the counter to take him out.  WTF???  WHO SAYS THAT???  Of course I laid into him, saying things like, “Are you serious???  You have hundreds of people eating here every day!  Don’t you care about your grandchildren?  Your planet???!!”  MG grabbed my arm and dragged me out lecturing, “Vanessa, you can’t unload on people who don’t think like you!”  

He was right in a way, but this is not about me.  This is about all of us  When someone steps on your toe, you say, "Excuse me, sir, you're stepping on my toe," right?  If your roommate is leaving bright blue globs of Crest in your sink, you say, "Can you clean this up, please?"  So if someone is adding to the dumpfest here on earth, it's okay to say, "What you do matters.  Can you do better?  It's important and you make a huge difference!"
This planet is suffering.  Google the word "dump" and click image.  You’ll want to puke when you see and read about the amount of waste we create.  Ignoring will not make it go away.  I mean, there are families, TINY BABIES, in third world countries LIVING LIVING LIVING on MOUNTAINS of sickening TRASH.  They are poor without options and sick from the fumes and filth.  It’s absolutely heart breaking.  It’s not just in poverty stricken areas, though, and it’s not just “them”.  It’s US.  And WE are also responsible for this.  We all are RESPONSIBLE.  

You don’t have to be poor or live in a third world country to suffer the effects of waste.  (Case in point – a book/movie we all know, “A Civil Action” based on middle class suburban town Woburn, Mass., the town next door to my town, Winchester.) Waste doesn’t understand property lines.  It rides through the air, floats down the river and seeps into the soil.  It’s everywhere.   

Every week I drive past an enormous landfill, a benign name for a toxic pile of nastiness, along the highway just a few miles from my home.  By nature, this landfill is seeping METHANE GAS and polluting the air.  It's hidden under a layer of bright green grass because we suburb dwellers don’t want to see it or be reminded it’s there.  But it is. 

One person creates hundreds of pounds of waste in a year and the pile is growing bigger every day.  But YOU can reduce it!  YOU matter!  YOU make a difference!  YOU have (say it with me people) SUPERPOWERS!   

For those who could use some inspiration, here are a few things I do to conserve...

I know this is hard and I am sometimes criminal of this, too, but buy only what you will consume.  Isn't it a terrible feeling to look in the fridge and see food that went bad before you could eat it?  I try to spare myself this scenario by food shopping daily and sticking to my list. 

My personal pet peeve is the ubiquitous cardboard box in the grocery store.  The cereal box, the cracker box, the frozen chicken box.  Why the hell are these things in boxes when inside the box there is a SEALED BAG???  Shouldn't trees win over marketing?  Three Sisters and Envirokidz are companies that bag cereal.  There are others, too.  When the bag is empty I use it to pick up my dog's poop.  :-)  You can also save some extra plastic by buying liquid hand soap refills.  (Baby steps.)

The opportunities are limitless!  Instead of buying the snack packs for your kids' lunch boxes or using Ziplocs, buy the big bag and throw a handful in a Tupperware container.  (They sell cheap BPA-free ones at Old Navy.)  Bottled water is a part of life, but it doesn't have to be.  Use a canteen whenever possible.  Buy biodegradable garbage bags.  I didn't know they existed until this summer.  But now I don't know why bag manufacturers make anything else.

These ideas are not rocket science and most of you reading this post probably do these things already.  So to those who don’t, please reduce, recycle, change your heart and your habits, think about packaging, employ a green trash collector, do what you can.  Your planet cares.  Your children do, too!  Don’t leave your babies with skuzzy leftovers.  Don't add to the problem unnecessarily.  You don't have to!

We all know better.  Let’s do better.  

We can’t buy our way out of this problem.  We just really need to act responsibly – no matter how old we are.


this is not right.

literally, in their back yards.

piling up on city sidewalks.  look at all that cardboard that could be recycled!

mountain high.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

you can take it with you

beauty is captured in a million memories over the course of a lifetime.  a sunset over the water in key west, a savory homemade dinner, a color-coded closet, a 3.5 gpa, a great hair day, a strawberry pop tart...  or the bittersweet memories - nursing your last baby for the last time, retiring from a lifelong career, being honestly beaten by your kids at checkers, walking to the bus stop on your first day of kindergarten.

regardless of any particular moment's depth, they're all beautiful, but all fleeting...  or are they?

whenever i'm experiencing one of these instances, i take a picture in my mind.  if there's opportunity, i'll spend a minute writing in my journal or whip out a camera, but in most cases my mind suffices.  you see, i can access the moments anytime by shutting my eyes and asking them to come on back to me.  in a quiet moment i can be flooded with imagery and feelings and smells, bringing the specialness of the scenario to the surface of my consciousness. but it starts with being present, being mindful.

my two year old son climbed into bed with me this morning.  he snuggled under my sheets and said, "a wuv you mammi."  while we laid there i rubbed his back and thought about how soft his skin feels.  how his fuzzy hair tickles my nose.  how long his eye lashes are.  the way his little toosh fits in the palm of my hand.  i memorized the feeling b/c life moves quickly and i want to carry that moment with me always.

i think those especially profound moments, though they feel temporary, are actually quite permanent.  i think that when our bodies die, our souls can live those moments over and over again without limitation.  so it's important to fill our lives with beautiful moments.  because they last forever.

this life is a drop in the ocean.  and the ocean is god, is us.  we are always young, or old, or in-between like i am now.  forget the timeline and live in the present, live for the experience, not for the goal.  because in the end, the result doesn't really matter.  the journey does.  and the journey continues.

so seek out and enjoy your special moments, because that is really all you have.  and your bank of memories is the only thing you take with you.

"the things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul."  maria montessori

a beautiful ordinary moment.  a picnic on the kitchen floor with my baby boy and a large cheese pizza.  a keeper.  :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

enjoy the music. click "everything old" to read post.

say what?

I love the song Southern Cross by CSN.  Every time it comes up on my IPod I sing along, creating my own nonsensical lyrics.   So I googled it to figure out the words and learned this - nobody seems to know what the hell it's about.  There are chat rooms abuzz about its meaning and long long long lists of internet debates on the subject.  Most people seem to think the song is about finding God.  Or maybe it's about a guy who left his wife for a sea?  What do you think?

Got out of town on a boat
Goin' to Southern islands.
Sailing a reach
Before a followin' sea.
She was makin' for the trades
On the outside,
And the downhill run
To Papeete.
Off the wind on this heading
Lie the Marquesas.
We got eighty feet of the waterline.
Nicely making way.
In a noisy bar in Avalon
I tried to call you.
But on a midnight watch I realized
Why twice you ran away.
Think about how many times
I have fallen
Spirits are using me
larger voices callin'.
What heaven brought you and me
Cannot be forgotten.
I have been around the world,
Lookin' for that woman/girl,
Who knows love can endure.
And you know it will.
And you know it will.
When you see the Southern Cross
For the first time
You understand now
Why you came this way
'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from
Is so small.
But it's as big as the promise
The promise of a comin' day.
So I'm sailing for tomorrow
My dreams are a dyin'.
And my love is an anchor tied to you
Tied with a silver chain.
I have my ship
And all her flags are a flyin'
She is all that I have left
And music is her name.
Think about how many times
I have fallen
Spirits are using me
larger voices callin'.
What heaven brought you and me
Cannot be forgotten.
I have been around the world,
Lookin' for that woma/girl,
Who knows love can endure.
And you know it will.
And you know it will.
So we cheated and we lied
And we tested
And we never failed to fail
It was the easiest thing to do.
You will survive being bested.
Somebody fine
Will come along
Make me forget about loving you.
At the Southern Cross.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

some spirity crib notes for my peeps today...

how much do you know about islam?  though i grew up in a christian family, we didn't go to church and i barely had an opportunity to understand the bible.  so needless to say, my understanding of other religions was pretty much nil.  but now that i am in this place of wanting to know god better, i've been cracking books about prophets and religions.  deepak chopra wrote three easy-to-read books about the prophets of three major religions:  jesus, buddha and muhammad.  i just finished muhammad and wanted to share some crib notes...

so muhammad was a regular guy who lived in a city called mecca, a desert city in arabia.  he was born in 570.  at the time, those who inhabited mecca worshiped little carved idols and profited by selling these idols to other polytheists who stopped in mecca while crossing the desert.  mecca was able to survive in the desert b/c of a single well called "zamzam". 

muhammad's grandfather, abdel muttalib, owned rights to the well so he was a wealthy and well-respected man.  but, like the christians and jews, he believed in one god, an idea that was unaccepted by meccans.   christians and jews were not even allowed to step foot within the walls of mecca.

skipping over some of the details, muhammad's super sexy dad, abdullah, died tragically and suddenly just weeks after he got hitched.   fortunately, his wife aminah had become preggers on her wedding night.  muhammad was born 9 months later with a light in his eyes.

in those days, mecca was a disgustingly dirty, filthy city so rich mommies sent their newborns to live with wet nurses in the desert, so as to escape disease.  muhammed was sent off with a loving woman named halimah who cared for him for five years.  during this time he is said to have been touched by mysterious sentient beings who opened his heart to god's love.  (god and allah are interchangeable.)  other spirity things happened to him as a child, too, and a few people were aware that he was god's next great prophet.

so muhammad eventually came back to mecca, aminah sadly died and muhammad was raised by his uncle abu talib.  abu talib cared well for him and knew that he was a special boy.  muhammad grew up to be a well-respected, honest man.  folks turned to him to settle disputes.  his reputation was top notch.  he married a rich widow named khadijah and had 4 baby girls.  he also adopted one slave boy.  life was relatively good.  but he had to be careful about hiding his true feelings about religion.  like his granddaddy, he believed in one god and sought to become closer to him.

so he found a quiet spot in the hills away from mecca.  he'd spend all day there, thinking and praying, then returning to his wife and family back in mecca.  one night he camped out in a cave and was awoken by the angel gabriel who ordered him to "recite".  muhammad freaked out.  he was like - WTF???  am i losing my mind?  this is scary!  i know i asked god to talk to me but this is CRAZY!!!!  so he ran like a bat out of hell and practically threw himself off a nearby cliff when suddenly he looked around and saw gabriel's light fill the sky.  he decided to trust the angel and hear him out.

so basically, gabriel told him to repeat whatever he heard.  muhammad had never been much of an orator, okay he basically sucked at poetry and public speaking to the point his tribe mates thought something was wrong with him.  but muhammad submitted to god's wishes and began channeling beautiful messages which would eventually inspire droves of idol-worshipping arabs to turn to allah.  

when muhammad channeled god, he was visibly changed.  he'd shake and sweat and his voice sounded totally different.  followers knew that this was no joke and passionately worked to convert idol worshippers to this new religion called "islam", which means "acceptance".  those who surrendered to allah called themselves "muslims".

the muslims were eventually forced out of mecca by the polytheistic tribes.  there had been bloody disagreements between the meccan tribes and the muslims and god told muhammed to get the hell out of dodge.  so they went to medina, a city across the desert run by several jewish tribes.  the jews liked the fact that these muslims worshipped one god so they let them stay.  but the jews didn't understand the way muslim women dressed and one day a merchant in the market ripped off a muslim's woman's robes, exposing her naked body.  she freaked out.  her husband freaked out.  he killed the merchant, then was swarmed by market-goers and killed.  not cool.  the islamic faith base was growing, and muhammad was told by god it was time to kick the jews to the curb.

this was when people of other monotheistic religions started to think muhammad wasn't such a nice guy.  money and food were tough to come by in the desert, so it was pretty normal for tribes to send out little posses to attack merchant caravans and rip them off.  one day, ali, muhammad's right hand man, went out and raided a meccan caravan and the scheme ended up bloody.  the meccans were pissed.  battles ensued.

muhammad, who channeled god several times a day, would received messages on how to win these battles and he really cleaned up.  at one point, he was defending medina beautifully until the one tribe of jews left in the city decided to let the meccans in through their corner of town.  the plot failed and the muslims were rip shit.  they wanted heads to roll - and that's what happened.  muhammad supported the decision to behead every jewish man and sell the women and children into slavery.  the jews were horrified b/c just a few years earlier they had provided the muslims with asylum.  one by one their own tribes were forced out of their homes and then finally he gave his thumbs up basically to genocide.

muhammad's prophetic messages and military might spread far and wide and thousands converted to islam.    though muhammad's power was extraordinary, so was his humility.  he considered himself "a man among men".  he credited allah for all of his successes and wisdom and blamed himself for pain caused to others.  he knew he was not perfect and made mistakes along the way.

at the time people were lost.  they had worshipped silly idols for so long that when a prophet of god came along to show them the way they needed explicit instruction on how to live.  so the muslims lived by every channeled word.  when muhammad died in 632, his closest followers, including his youngest wife, created guidelines for how to handle just about any scenario that exists in life - from taxes to domestic disputes.  and it's all laid out in the koran.   

what's important to know is that muslims have a lot of books in their backpacks.  the old testament, the torah and the koran.  muslims believe in the same god that christians and jews do.  they know that jesus was a great prophet.  they love moses.  abraham is their father, too.  but they believe that muhammad was a prophet of god's word.  (which he was, duh.)  he introduced the arab world to god.  allah.  this was done at a time when people could barely survive.  some pretty nasty things had to happen in order to show people the light.  had muhammad not encouraged his people to fight, his message would have been extinguished and the arabs would have not had the opportunity to know a peaceful and loving god.  (compare this to the christian crusades.)

war is not part of the islamic message, though extremists have muddied the religion's reputation through terrorism.  but every religion has its whack jobs.  hello?  can you say, "inquisition?"  catholics took great pleasure in racking heretics and snickered while their bodies burned at the stake.  christians can be psychos, too!   anyway back to the point, war was a necessity of the time.  and if you don't listen to muhammad's spiritual message, the words beyond the basic survival, you are missing out on something truly beautiful.  there is a branch of islam called sufi.  sufism capsulises the purest and most loving part of muhammad's work, using his teachings on the loving road to enlightenment.  think of this when you think of islam and muhammad's legacy.   

peace...  no really, peace.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

divine chaos


I haven't seen to my Pop in 20 years or so.  I've forgiven him for skipping out on his fatherly duties and have accepted that he walks a path that leads him far away from home.  His dreams were always much bigger than the reality his small suburban family could provide him.  He wanted to change the world.  And he did so through education.

He taught high school English through a bilingual program he developed at Boston English HS.  He lectured passionately and positively about the growing Latino movement in Boston.  He was even invited by Harvard University to do a lecture series about his work.  I remember attending one of his lectures and was completely shocked when a swarm of undergrads rushed the lectern after his presentation, praising him for his work and his passion.  His students loved him, his teacher community praised him, and his family thought he was nuts.

Pop walked down the street pinching a joint in one hand and flashing a peace sign in the other.  His signature look was a  "No Nukes" sweatshirt, overalls and long curly hair wrapped up in a red bandanna.  No apologies.  Crazy genius, I like to call him.  I respect him for achieving some pretty amazing things as a teacher and advocate for the Latin community in Boston, though as a father he pretty much sucked.

Today's story...

In 2001, my husband MG introduced me to Dorchester's Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center, a tuition-free middle school for bright girls of limited financial means.  He'd been involved with the school's fund-raising mission for some time and brought me to their annual spring event in Jamaica Plain.  I remember being greeted by a bunch of smiling girls in plaid kilts, knee socks and oversized red blazers with shoulder pads - all singing, chattering, laughing and doing double dutch.  Suddenly an nun came out of nowhere and jumped between the ropes.  She was really good.  A couple of other nuns ran in and did the same.  It was absolutely adorable.  I laughed out loud.  And so the love affair with MCAEC began.

After several years of attending MCAEC's annual spring gala, I joined the dinner committee.  I'd just had my first baby so my initial participation was dim.  In subsequent years I stepped up my game and gave over more time, eventually co-chairing the annual spring event (officially and unofficially) for 3 years.  As my family grew, I'd take my babies along with me to the school for meetings.  I would sit and breastfeed at the conference table and hand off my full-bellied baby to a friend when it was my turn to speak.  I enjoyed the experiences, but longed for a real connection with the girls for whom I spent so much time raising money.  Plus I was knee-deep in diapers and nap schedules and the 40 minute drive was getting tough.  So in 2009, I took off my co-chair hat and signed up to mentor a student.

My girlfriends KF and CP also decided the time was right to reach out to one of these amazing Mother Caroline girls.  So the three of us attended a meet and greet with the entire 8th grade class at a swank football party in a private box at Foxboro Stadium overlooking the 50 yard line (provided by a generous donor, of course).  After a few awkward conversations, I came upon a charming girl, LR - well, "came upon" might be an unfair way to put it.  Honestly, I practically gave CP the Heisman to get to her, interrupting their conversation and shoving myself between them.  The reason for my boldness, though unknown to me at the time, would be revealed later.  ;-)

LR and I chatted easily for a long while,  sharing some pretty personal things about each other and discovering lots of commonalities between us.  She's an old soul.  Thoughtful, inquisitive, interesting, genuine, beautiful.  I cornered the head of the mentoring program at the end of the game and gushed to her that I had a great conversation with LR and would love to have her as my mentee.  As it turned out, LR liked me, too.  So we were matched and spent the next few months getting to know each other.

The program head shared with us that typically mentor/mentee relationships start off slow.  And I think that's true for LR and me.  Friendship and trust grows over time and as LR has told me, "We have a lot of years to do that."   So we've been sporadically setting up outings and getting to know each other.  A couple of weeks ago LR and I were in the car together, talking about high schools.  I mentioned that my Pop taught English to bilingual students at Boston English.  She said, "My Mom went to Boston English."  Some quick math led us to realize that our parents were there at the same time.  And LR's Mom being Puerto Rican, the likelihood of her knowing my Pop was good.  Really good.  Really really good.

About 8:30 that night LR called and told me that her Mom had class with my Pop, "Mr. Cronin", and remembered times staying after school with him when he'd tell her about my family and his days living in Honduras with the Peace Corps.  Not only that, but she also spent a couple of years as a counselor at Pop's summer camp "Campemento Hispano Internacional" in Waltham.  I had also spent a fair amount of time at that summer camp as a kid, visiting with Pop.  Weeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrd. 

I'd just spent the last couple of days blogging about coincidences so I was certainly conscious of the ones happening in my life and was well-studied on synchronicities.  And right there, on my family room couch, I was living through a pretty major one.  I hung up the phone with LR and chewed on the idea for a minute.  Then I proceeded to burst into tears.  Fat ones.  A full-on contorted-face-heaving-chest ugly cry.

I surveyed my mind to figure out why I was having a fit and realized that I was feeling the loving presence of my Pop for the first time in 20 years.  I felt our intangible connection through the Universe.  I saw the parallels between us, our mutual desire to make the world a better place, and the genetic gifts he gave me that have allowed me to be where I am today.  I understood in that moment that God's power is great.  That there are no coincidences.  That LR is my karmic gift, one that I am so happy to accept.

The things that had to happen and the timing of which those things had to occur was perfect.  Divine.  How on earth could something like this happen without God?  God is perfection, organizing events in just the right way, even though to us it looks like total chaos.  But it's not total chaos, it's divine chaos.

For me there has been a paradigm shift.  LR fell away from my Mother Caroline family neatly settled into my soul family.  We are part of each others' weaving labyrinth of life and always have been.  And now we know.  Now there's no question, no surprise that I practically gave my dear friend a black eye to get to her at that football game over a year ago.  Everything is written.

So a week or so has gone by since figuring out all this.  And in that time, guess what?  I found my necklace - you know, the one I told you about in "example"?  And as I clasped it onto my neck (along side KC's replacement), I thought about the series of coincidences that had occurred over the past week and decided this...

Change (in some cases loss) is inevitable.  Embrace it.  Everything will be okay.  And sometimes, what you think is lost forever is really not lost at all.  God will bring it back to you in one form...  or another. 


Add caption

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my body is a templesta

before february, it had been about 12 years since i'd exercised regularly.  over the years i've broken a sweat here or there, but i was not at all committed to my body, what i put into it, or how i maintained it.  but this winter i made a conscious change, thanks in large part to one fabulous drill sargeant named julie and the support of one of my bffffs "chloe" ;-).

you see, back in january i had been getting to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, sacrificing 30 or 40 minutes to the cardio gods then schlepping around some sally-weight barbells.  the effort was minimal - wishy-washy at best.  tired of hearing me complain about being a physical train wreck, chloe took it upon herself to get this wet noodle into boot camp.  julie tempesta's boot camp, that is. 

julie had invited me to join her boot camp before and i respectfully pretended i never got the email.  i'd heard of her program from friends whose asses she kicked regularly.  agonizing words like indian files and push-ups filled said conversations.  i really had no interest and never imagined myself participating - because i didn't think i could handle it.

so one day chloe called and said, "do julie's boot camp with me."  and i mistakenly hesitated before i said, "no."  but that hesitation was enough of an opening for her.  and suddenly i was signed up.

every wednesday, chloe parks her perfectly toned ass in my driveway and waits patiently for me to come out of the house so i can join her at julie's house of pain.  i don't always come willingly.  sometimes she'll call me from outside and say, "i'm here, where are you?"  and i'll say, "oh, i can't find my other sneaker," or, "my pinky finger hurts today, i think i'll skip."  but chloe doesn't fall for it.  she heckles me until i schlump out the door and climb into her car.  off we go.

so what happens at julie tempesta's camp?  well, it's really hard.  i'll tell you that.  she whips us 10-15 house fraus into shape to the techno beats of "billy jean" and "hurts so good" (that one always makes me laugh).  we balance and pump and groan until we get all shaky and red, moving quickly from one challenging station to the next, then jog up and down the hallway until our lungs are burning.  fun, huh?  well, actually....

it is.  julie is the balls.  she inspires, she cheers, she encourages and she pushes just enough.  i came to her my first day laughing at myself b/c i could barely do a sit up.  but after a month or so of making this conscious effort, a change occurred...

i. felt. strong.

i noticed it last wednesday morning when i held plank without taking a knee.  i felt like a perfect and solid triangle.  i was totally shocked, to be honest, but i enjoyed the moment and it gave me confidence throughout the rest of the workout.  sure, there were still plenty of things i still cheated on, or modified to my ability, but that feeling of solidity stayed with me.

then thursday at tennis, the feeling returned.  i was down in ready position i felt a line that burrowed from my core through my skinny chicken legs straight into the ground.  it was strength!  (a big yah-baby for my neglected lower chakras!)  i hadn't felt that since i was 23 years old!  who knew???  it felt great and i want to feel it more!

so now i get it.  i'm motivated.  i still can't touch my toes but i'm thinking that in time, i'll at least get to my ankles.  baby steps.  i'm psyched...  but i'm honestly a bit unsure, too.  curious to see if i will achieve that feeling again tomorrow morning.  i haven't exercised yet this week and now i'm nervous that all of those good feelings will disappear like the bag of dancing deer cookies that was in my pantry this morning.

this is reminding me of my own spiritual path in that some days are great and filled with amazing feelings and thoughts and other days are just days.  living mindfully is a constant practice with dips and tips.  i guess strengthening my body is like that, too.  not every day is a lou ferrigno day, but it has the potential to be if i can be mindful.  wish me luck, peeps! 

much love and gratitude to julie tempesta and my sister by choice "chloe".  i love you guys.  thank you for having more confidence in me than i do. 


if you want to join julie for her bootcamp here in winchester, mass, send me an email and i'll pass it along to her.  xoxoxox

Saturday, April 9, 2011

another great daily om. subscribe at

April 4, 2011
A Legacy of Love
Leaving the Earth a Better Place
From our first breath here to our very last, we will find infinite opportunities to influence our environment for the better.

We inherit this great planet from our parents and from the generations that came before. Then, in concert with the surrounding culture, our elders teach us how to care for the land and the sea, ourselves and each other. They model ways of being in relationship with every other expression of life on earth. But whether they act with care or carelessness, compassion or cruelty, generosity or greed, we have the ability to choose our own individual way of relating with the planet and her inhabitants. From our first breath here to our very last, we will find infinite opportunities to influence our environment for the better. We can decide now to act with intention in order to leave this amazing planet brighter and more beautiful than when we arrived.

If we enjoy environmental activism, we might feel moved to clean up beaches or to plant trees. But, we need not feel limited in our ability to contribute positively. There are many ways to leave a legacy of love. We might begin by radiating affirmative thoughts and feelings about how magnificent the earth truly is. We might create and tend a special garden, one that provides an abundance of food and herbs for ourselves and our loved ones. Or we might create a garden filled with sweet smelling flowers to uplift our hearts. We might even honor the earth simply by trying to be the best person we can be while we are here. Such good will can have a domino effect, inspiring others to contribute in their own way as well.

We spend our lifetimes being nourished and enlivened by the rain, sun, soil and wind. Our experience is blessed by other living beings, from plants to insects to birds and humans. We receive so much; giving back just naturally feels good. When we live our lives with intention of leaving this temporary home a better place for generations to come, we are perhaps leaving behind the best gift of all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

the original JT

academy of country music awards ended their annual bash on sunday night with two all time faves of mine.  zac brown band and james taylor.  they sang zbb's song colder weather WHICH I LOVE and wrapped it up in a beautiful bow of deep greens and blues - sweet baby james.  it was such a moving performance on so many levels.

passion absolutely explodes from ZB when he performs.  you can really see this guy's soul when he sings.  but what inspired me to tears was JT's contribution...  and his legacy.

i grew up with james taylor.  the original JT.  i remember riding in the back seat of my parents' aqua blue VW bus every summer, sitting on the hot, sticky vinyl seats with my sisters, playing games during long road trips and listening to his tapes.  (carolina in my mind, shower the people, fire and rain...  such great stories.)  along with my entire extended family, we'd arrive at our vacation destination, always a woodsy new england campsite, set up shop and talk, play, laugh and swim all day.  when the moon came out, pop and my uncles cracked miller lites and picked up their 6 strings; we'd sing those familiar JT tunes, nestled around a campfire on cool summer nights on saco river.  magic.

JT's songs were the soundtrack to my childhood... and my life.  i've passed his music along to my kids.  hardly a night goes by that i do not sing "sweet baby james" to my own sweet babies.

watching JT on stage performing with zbb, i could see the years on his face, his struggle to read lyrics from the prompter, the faintness with which he strummed his guitar.  and i grieved him a little b/c in his performance i could see the end of his career, the end of a beautiful era.   

i'm so happy that i've been able to see him live in concert.  mom and auntie c brought me to his show, my first concert, at great woods when i was 11.  it's a vivid memory for me and i'm so grateful to have it and grateful to james taylor for a lifetime's worth of sweet songs.

i've said it before, i'll say it again (this time with a tear in my eye ;-).  change is inevitable.  embrace it.  we are so blessed to enjoy this ride, even though the scenery is always changing.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ken Cook - Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill

and... action!

okay, so i write a spiritual blog, not a political action blog so this will be the last entry about the organic food movement.  at least for now.  but i wanted to let you know how i used my SUPERPOWERS yesterday.

i called massachusetts governor deval patrick's office (617.725.1100) and spoke with his aid kevin, who is extremely bright, articulate and knowledgeable.  i told him about my concerns and asked if food is a topic that comes up often in the governor's office.  he said, "honestly, no."  but then he told me that they discuss topics that are popular amongst constituents.  one of the ways they find out what's on our minds is by tallying the number of phone calls they get each day on a particular topic.  he also said that it would be possible for a state to pass stricter laws on food standards, so long as they are at least equal to federal standards.  state trumps federal.

so i know there was at least one "food standards" phone call placed to the office yesterday.  that was mine. but what else can we do?  kevin said concerned citizens can connect with lobbyists and private organizations like the ACLU that are trying to get bills into legislation.  i went online and sifted through several pages of legislation and didn't find anything that specifically met my topic, but did find lots of names of state senators and lobbyists who are involved with food issues.  go to and click on "find a bill" to do this.

kevin also suggested i get a group of voters together to contact our state rep.  then i went to again and found my state senator pat jehlen.  i clicked on her email address and sent her off a 3 paragraph message expressing my concern and urging her to write legislation to force folks who sell food in massachusetts to adhere to the same standards as they do for european consumers.

the whole thing took about 15 minutes.  but now that i've done it once, i think i could knock it out in 5.

this is what i ask of you.  if you are a mass resident, call the governor's office every monday.  you can remember because it's "MEATLESS MONDAY".  leave a message that you demand higher standards for food.  after that send a quick email to your state rep or state senator.  (if you live in winchester, the contact is  it can be the same message every week.  just save it in your draft file and resend each monday.  if this is important to you, join me in this small action.  even if just 10 of us reach out every monday, our voices will be stronger and be heard.  i'll remind you on my facebook page.  if we're not friends already, friend me today:  vanessa gobes.  let me know if you're up for making these calls, just so i have some feedback.

if you dare, and if it's important enough to you, turn our voices up another decibel and ask friends and family to do this on meatless mondays with us.    

much love for you guys!  back to business as unusual tomorrow.


p.s.  massachusetts is very lucky to have deval patrick as governor, as he has the president's ear.  they are dear friends - obama even used patrick's campaign slogan during his first run for the white house.  (yes we can / together we can.)  this is a state of leadership and there is no question patrick wants to be that bright light that shows others the way.  let him know what's important to his people!  if we are silent, how will he know???

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

fed up: forget bin laden. homeland security needs to investigate the real national threat - our own FDA.

Did you watch yesterday's post?  Doesn't it make you want to revolt?  It should!  And you can! 

I admit, I'm new to the organic food movement.  I'm a bright, well-educated, relatively eco-friendly 35 year old who never understood the power of food until one of my extraordinary BFFs battered me with big scary words like Propyl Gallate and stomach-turning disease statistics, educating me about how truly disgusting my eating habits were.  (Endless gratitude KLF.)

But we don't all have bio-obsessed foodie friends who are going to kick our asses into organic submission. And most Americans don't have a fucking clue what they're eating.  It's not their fault - they just don't know.  But what's worse, even if they did have a clue, they still don't have healthy options at the grocer b/c good food simply isn't stocked on the shelves.  Whole Foods doesn't set up shop in the ghettos or in the rural parts of middle America.  It's sad but true.  Most Americans shop the Twinkie aisle of Piggly-Wiggly.  It's killing us and bankrupting our country.

I'm not being dramatic.  By allowing big food to market chemical-ridden products, OUR OWN GOVERNMENT IS KILLING US at our kitchen tables.  Isn't dining a basic human right?  To eat?  To breath?  With a sky full of pollution and a cornfield full of pesticides, it's become near impossible in this country.

So let's look at what Robyn O'Brien just taught us.  Sometime in the early 1990's new, unsafe proteins and growth hormones were introduced to the American population via our food supply.  (Who needs terrorists when we have the goddamn FDA to kill us all off?)  This problem is the responsibility of every US President from the first Bush to Barack.  And we are only getting deeper.  Example - Why was Michael Taylor just appointed HEAD OF THE FDA?  THE SAME CREEP WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARTIFICIAL GROWTH HORMONES???

Why is so much of the political focus on the problems caused by food?  One thing Robyn didn't mention was that our national hospital bill is on target to bankrupt our country.  But if our beloved politicians could only use ethics in agriculture and food distribution, we'd lower that bill by creating healthier citizens.

Now we have an election coming up.  In past campaign years, reporters haven't asked big questions about food at round table discussions.  During national debates, moderators never asked the candidates about the nation's food supply.  WHY????  Don't they know????  Instead they rattle on about the damage caused by our food supply - "Excuse Mr. Candidate, what brand of bandage are you going to slap on the gaping bloody gusher called health care?"

I'm hopeful that this issue will finally reach the presidential campaign this year, bringing it (or introducing it) to every family in America.  But in order to make this happen we have to speak up.  It's time to elevate our conversational chatter to action.  Educate the masses and tell our politicians that we will not accept a government who thinks so little of the health of its constituents.  If you are passionate about this cause, it's time to stop talking and starting DOING.  Don't think for a minute you don't have any power, b/c you do.  You have SUPERPOWER.  And you can and should use it.  Otherwise, why the hell are you here? 

And, if the US government can't deal with this issue, we need to.  As a family unit we can start to make changes by focusing on organic products.  But it's going to take more than that.  Once you know better, you need to not only do better, but spread the word to others.

Let's make a campaign club.  We'll call it "Fed Up".  No meetings.  No dues.  No ritual hazing.  The only membership requirement is that you DO something. 

There are endless ways to do this...
  • Hold a picket sign in front of Stop and Shop that says "KRAFT KILLS".
  • Sign a petition demanding CEOs produce American food to the same standard as European food.
  • Go to an inner city school principal and offer to educate children about the perils of poor food choices.
  • Write a letter to your Senator demanding the highest standards for your state.
  • Grow a veggie garden in your backyard and share the food with neighbors.
  • Start a local farmer's market.
  • Write a blog for your friends about how to shop for organic food.
  • Pull your family's personal financial investments out of irresponsible food distributors like Monsanto.  They're the bad guys - wolves in sheeps' clothing!  Encourage your extended family and friends to do the same.

Big food spends billions in marketing and advertising campaigns for their shitty products.  We can flush all that money and effort down the toilet by not buying into it.   

I'll end by asking this:  Would you give your baby a cigarette?  No, it'd kill him, right.  Not immediately, but eventually the kid would develop lung cancer and die.  Haven't we all given our babies Lucky Charms and canned red sauce and Perdue chicken?  Yup.  And you know what?  Statistically that'll probably give them cancer, too.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  So stop.  Now.  Make better choices.  Change your mind.  Change your habits.  Change the world.


p.s.  This article is full of hyperlinks.  Drag your mouse over any highlighted word and it will lead you to a website that gives you additional information.