Reconvergence of Divergent Paths

One of my favorite poems depicts the oft accurate story of my life journey:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And being one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Road not Taken by Robert Frost

So I took the path of entrepreneur, sensual lifestyle and wellness coach.  After all the (law) schooling, (office) training, (fun) sacrifice, and attention not paid to the naysayers.  I loved helping people to manifest their deepest desires, having control of my time, and living a sensually spiritual lifestyle and being authentically delicious 100% of my time.  La-la-la-laaaaa…

Enter a contracting economy.  With a dwindling client base and mounting financial stress I decided to get a daytime office contract gig.  Nothing ambitious, just something easy that yields a predictable base pay and requires no overtime.  But of course, nothing could be so easy for me.  Just shifting the remaining clients from daytime to evening, going on the short commute (to the other side of my neighborhood), doing some boring paperwork, and then coming back to my delicious life.  Not quite.  I ended up in a slightly different (higher) position than I had applied for.  Word got out quickly that I’m also a lawyer and the responsibilities quickly multiplied and I found myself being sucked into the miserable abyss of indentured corporate (gum-ment) servitude.

A series of unbelievable events occurred and a year and a half later I found myself popped right into a real legal position under the wings of two top-notch mentors from my alma mater, earning a decent keep.  Wha?  Nooooooo!  This was not what I intended to happen!  I thought I was leaving all this behind when I founded LifeBliss Solutions.  I wondered what would happen to my delicious life now?  But this opportunity is one I could not refuse.  So in the true spirit of sensual spirituality I decided to take it on, and just go with it.  It was undeniable that I could shore up resources for the future of LifeBliss for years to come.  I didn’t only decide to go with this, I decided to bring my delicious life along with me.

Living a delicious life does not mean always being free to do whatever you want, whenever you want.  I’d almost forgotten that it means always making the best of what you have in the present moment.  After all, it has been my life work to help others live deliciously, whatever their current circumstance may be.  Now I had the opportunity to demonstrate in real-time.

I happily took on the new challenge and obtained the necessary assistance with LifeBliss’s functions, which I now have ample resources to procure.  There are many bright sides to this spot I am in right now and since I am more comfortable that LifeBliss Solutions will continue to thrive and support the mission to change the world, one person at a time, I feel fully delicious again.  It’s as though I have one foot on two different paths and I like it. With me, things never go as the textbook predicts.  So I’ll just go with it.

The Grace in Falling Apart

by Pamela Slim
Escape from Cubicle Nation
from Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur

There is a dark, ugly and awkward place that many self-help enthusiasts don’t want to tell you about.

Sometimes it comes up from behind and hits you in the head like a wooden plank.

Like when you get scary results back from a cancer test, or learn your spouse is cheating, or lose your job.

Other times it creep ups on you inch by inch as you are in the midst of being busy.

Like when you wake up one day and realize that you really want to do something different but don’t know what. And that your current work feels hollow, and meaningless. And that you know you have done great stuff in the past, but don’t know if you are capable of doing great stuff in the future.

It is the meantime, and it happens when you leave the comfortable, creative groove of feeling secure in your life and enter into the territory of I have no idea what is going on and I really want to feel better and won’t it stop now?

It can feel really, really awful.

The reason it feels awful is that you have no grounding. You are not producing great work. Your long-term relationships feel awkward.  Your sleep is fitful. You want to do something but don’t know what it is. Most people don’t understand it. You don’t understand it. You just want to go back to the way things were in the “good times.” You want to be a Linchpin, a world changer, a force for good. But all you can manage to do is watch reruns of Law & Order.

In the confusion, there is grace

If you let yourself sit with the confusion and sometimes dread, sadness and anxiety, a wonderful thing happens.

You find yourself.

Under the fancy degrees and impressive experience and a stellar community profile, there sits a quiet and unassuming person.

One with the confidence and wonder of a 5-year old. One without preconceived notions of what is responsible and appropriate and without fear of disappointing anyone but herself.

And you can ask her: If none of this frenetic activity really mattered, what would I be doing?

Or perhaps:

  • Who do I really want to work with?
  • If I had a dying breath and had to say something to the inhabitants of this planet, what would it be?
  • How do I want to spend my limited time on earth?
  • Who do I really love? Who really loves me?

Great, meaningful, deeply significant work happens when you really marinate in the meantime.

It is not a distraction from the creative process, it is the creative process.

Khalil Gibran explains this perfectly in The Prophet:

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep in your heart the miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”

If you are feeling awkward and out of sorts, take a deep breath and sink into the feeling.

Renewed creative spirit must be just around the corner.

Affirm Your Dream Today!

Greetings fellow Goddesses! Whew! Life has taken me on a whirlwind tour as of late and I just had to jot a few thoughts out to you, since I’ve been so inspired. The power of  “Be and It Is” should not keep shocking me but as I sit and reflect on some of my own personal accomplishments I’m floored by the power of positive affirmation. Without going too far into the Yay Mee story let me just give you the short gist of what’s been going on.

A few months back I had my 31st birthday. Not the milestone 30th but for some reason I felt that milestone angst you get when you turn the corner on your twenties. I decided to mark this year as my 31st year of firsts, I scribbled out a short list (which has since grown) of first experiences I wanted to have this year and I hit the ground running with the idea. Now some of this may have to do with my sun sign. As an Aquarius I have about the most impulsive sign in the zodiac, and anyone who knows me would agree that I encapsulate impulsivity. But it’s something else altogether when a myriad of impulses come together to forge one linear and focused path, and even more strange when that path is the most improbable imaginable. Well however improbable, here is where I find myself and the only thing I can attribute to this is the power of concise affirmation.

A few months back I made a declaration, not so much of things I wanted, cause things are trivial, but of a way of being that I desired. Now it just so happens that this way of being brings those trivial things I mentioned earlier, but I can’t be held to the fire for that! At any rate, I know I’m no Houdini, and I’m no more special or powerful than the rest of you Goddesses, so my message to you today is a simple one. If you’re not living the existence you want to live, AFFIRM IT!

First decide on what you want or where you want to be. Picture yourself there.  See yourself doing whatever it is you want to do. Word of advice…pick one path or you’ll drag yourself in a million and one directions! (take it from me) Once you see yourself, and I mean, really picture yourself there, begin to shape yourself around that image. For example I have always pictured myself on the jacket of a book cover. In this picture I’ve always had long locs. Well the longer I put off locking my hair the longer that process will take right? I experienced a life altering event about a year ago and decided to loc at that time. Now I didn’t consciously do it to match up with the image of myself on the jacket cover but since I did that, I’ve been well on my way. Funny how that image I’ve been carrying is bringing itself to light. And I should probably add that though I pictured myself with locs I had no interest in ever wearing my hair that way. I mean I would have belted an emphatic HELL NO! If you told me my hair would be locked today.

Next you need to tell other people what you’re affirming. This is the hard part cause this can be kind of embarrassing. If your thinking of a desire that is intensely personal to you, you might not want to share it with anyone. You might be afraid of their response. I say forget their response today. Imagine their response when your actually living your dream. Do you know what that response will be? They will be saying, “I knew her when…” No matter how crazy it sounds just put it out there. Just be careful not to share too much with those toxic folks out there. You know, those dream killers. A perfect stranger would be better to share your dream with than one of them.

Make your affirmation a consistent part of your routine. You should affirm who you are to yourself daily…ALL DAY actually. This not only keeps you focused but it allows you to begin to really believe what you are telling yourself if you haven’t been already. In addition to that, you will find that you accomplish more in the way of achieving this goal when you set time aside in your daily routine to work on it, even if you are still only thinking about it or mapping it out. Mental energy is REAL energy. So what you focus your thoughts on will manifest in some way eventually.

There i s no last step to this process, it’s as perpetual as breathing. Like every breath, each thought will take you to the next. You’ll be amazed at where you end up!

I hope you got a little inspiration out of this. Look for my next post coming soon, and I should have a link for you to follow so I can show you first hand how far affirmation can take you!  Until next time…Peace and Power!

Aset Musheera (Shemeka Hollis) is a DC artist, poet, essayist, mother, sister, student, lover, awesome best-friend, and enthusiastic liver of life. She revels in the journey of the life experience and encourages everyone to explore the inner passions keep tucked away in the vessel we mistake for our identity. She is silly. She is cogent. She is loving. She is present in this experience. She IS. Bless

Raw Vegan Thursdays and Chocolate Cake Fridays

I decided to take on a new challenge, and inevitably drag my friends, family, and coworkers into it. Raw vegan Thursdays. It may get me over the last 5 lbs to lose plateau as well as train my palate to enjoy more healthy, natural fruits and vegetables.

Meemo's Kitchen blogOn raw vegan Thursdays we will eat only raw foods, and no dairy, meat, or other animal products. Now, unlike some raw vegan extremists, I will not be purchasing any expensive kitchen gadgets, growing sprouts in my kitchen, or using enzymes to make the food into something it is not. I’m not eating any raw vegan fake meat or bread, because since I am an omnivore, I can eat real meat and bread when I feel like it. Anything that was not intended by nature to be eaten raw will not be eaten by me on raw vegan Thursdays.

It will be challenging, a little fun, and unconventional but I am sure there will be benefits. Want to try it? We start this Thursday.

One coworker suggested that we chase raw vegan Thursdays with chocolate cake Fridays. Sounds like a plan!

Raw Vegan Extremism–Eat This Way or Die a Horrible and Immediate Death!

The other day (really months ago, this draft has been waiting for inspiration, which I found today thanks to Chocolate Covered Katie) I was in Whole Foods with Yasmin looking for new and fresh ideas to add more raw vegetables into the family’s diet.  I had done my research over the past six months or so.  I learned that heating to a certain temperature does kill some nutrients.  In certain cases, it kills most of the nutrients.  Conclusion: If I want to increase the amount of nutrient-dense, high fiber, lower fat, lower sugar foods to increase energy, prevent disease, and enhance our overall well-being, I should probably eat more raw fruits and vegetables.  I already eat a variety of salads and single fruit and vegetable items, but I was looking for some more variety to help us enjoy these foods more often.  I thought this was reasonable.  We were looking at raw vegan books when this scrawny man walked up offering his unsolicited irrational nutrition advice.  This was one of my first encounters of the raw vegan extremist kind.

Why, why, why can’t I be a healthy, happy omnivore who eats mostly whole foods and a good supply of raw fruits and vegetables?  Some say that once I start down this road raw veganism is where I am destined to end up.  So what?  We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  But for now, I’m not giving up the non raw vegan foods that I love.  I adore but rarely eat hoagies, cheese curls, and donuts.  Now, I am also not interested in any fake meat or fake dairy, with one exception.  My family drinks soy and almond because of lactose sensitivities (from milk but not yogurt or cheeses) and the delicious taste of almond milk, which I love more than cow’s or soy.  Generally, I don’t like substitutions.  I just want the straight-up fruits and vegetables that taste good just being themselves.  I am also not interested in purchasing any expensive new kitchen appliances (like a dehydrator) or growing sprouts or using strange enzymatic whodda-whaddas to do something to raw food to make it edible.  Let me just throw in here that there is nothing wrong with doing these things if that’s what is you wish to embark upon, I just don’t.  I strive for balance and happiness in my life and doing these things are not where I choose to spend my resources. I wrote to several online sources for guidance but was quickly shocked and dismayed at how unholy, savage, and just monstrously putrid certain raw vegan extremists perceived us omnivores to be.  They couldn’t respect my decision to be a healthy omnivore who eats lots of raw fruits and vegetables, and would not waste time on me unless I committed to moving towards exclusive raw veganism.

But the claims that are made by certain extreme raw vegan enthusiasts only require basic common sense to completely discount. Now I’ve heard it all.  After becoming an extreme raw vegan they claim to have eliminated almost all forms of ailments, cured allergies that have nothing to do with meat or dairy,  even corrected vision!  Ooookaaay.  None of the photos of these folks portrayed them as the vision of vibrant health they professed to be.  I thought they looked rather pallid and feeble.  The whole idea of raw vegan extremism is built upon some seriously flawed logic:  If X is better for your health than Y, Then Y must be bad and gonna kill you.  WTF?  That’s basically what they say.

Or, how about the idea that things that are not really edible in raw form just can’t be eaten at all because they need to be cooked?  Some of them even prohibited the use of certain condiments because they had been heated above a certain temperature.  So I can’t eat a tablespoon of salad dressing because it was heated above a certain temperature, lost its nutrients, or the heat made the dressing a carcinogen?  I’m gonna die from cancer if I eat pb&j because the jam was cooked!?  Oh Lawd!  I was so tempted to cut and paste their crazy statements here but I am not into humiliating or bashing anyone.  But I hope you get the gist anyway.

I have a theory for this raw vegan extremist obsession.  You see, some people, but not all raw vegans, desperately need to belong to something.  Something that is exclusive or difficult for others to be a part of, in order to feel special.  Some people like to wear their food allergies, real or imagined, like badges of honor.   Others insist on creating the most intricate and restrictive eating plans and call them “lifestyles” and be total pains in the ass to deal with in any social eating situation.  Some people have this extremism as their only claim to fame and can’t survive for more than fifteen minutes without bringing their noble raw vegan extremism up in a conversation.  I don’t need this in my world.

Not all raw vegans are extreme, and I hope to meet more healthy sane raw vegans along this journey but until now, I’ve been mostly on my own with this venture.  I just discover ideas and recipes one at a time as I come across them.  For example, I throw a little fresh raw kale into a fruit smoothie to pump it up.  It really does not change the flavor at all.

I’m Not a Cat Person but Oh, How I Loved My Kitty, Ziggy

Ziggy was our cat for about 5 years. We adopted him from another owner who adopted him from the shelter but discovered she was allergic.  He was tall, handsome, macho, and bad as hell. He loved to kick over the kitchen trash around 4 in the morning. He didn’t want us to know that he loved chicken tenders or french fries, so if we tried to give him one he’d roll his eyes and refuse. But if you left that food unattended for a second he’d snatch a tender or fry and take off somewhere. When we got him he was not very affectionate but over the past year or so he would climb onto my lap, but only late at night after everybody went to bed or when he wanted my attention while my best friend visited.

According to my husband, he and Ziggy had an ongoing battle for “control of the household”. I can’t verify that but Ziggy definitely preferred pretty girls and ladies, especially those with curly hair, to anyone male.

Ziggy recently became very ill and had to be put to sleep.  I’d never lost a pet before so I had no idea how much heartbreak ensues for the family.   I still wake up in the morning looking to see what mess he made overnight.  I look for him when I come home.  He was so funny and quirky but also snotty and aloof.  He was a gorgeous big, burly tiger.  But, so goes the cycle of life.  I love you Ziggyboo.

Disappointment at No New Posts on my Favorite Blogs…Hmmm

I love reading blogs. I use Google Reader and when I am bored and go there for a literary snack I feel sad that my favorite blogs haven’t had new post in a few weeks, or a few days. I even got sucked into a few articles while logging in to Passionfruit just now. So I just realized, uh-oh I haven’t published in…

I’m not making any more promises but let’s just say, I’m aware.