Thursday, August 23, 2007

Get Up, Stand Up!

I used to live in a beautiful apartment building in Ballard. With Josh moving in and the need for a bit more space (A 570 sq. ft. apt was too small for BOTH of us!), it was easy to vacate when they raised the rent. My lease had been up for several years already so we just had to find a new place and move. I had a feeling that some bad stuff was going down because people were getting evicted left and right. It was a good time to go. Luckily, we were able to.

I went to a meeting a couple nights ago for the current tenants of Lock Vista (my old. apt. bldg) to discuss the impending condo-conversion. Apparently, 900 condo conversions have happened in the last six months in Seattle. This is BAD news for folks who cannot afford a $250K studio (540 sq. ft!). This forces more people to seek affordable housing (both subsidized by the city and not) elsewhere. But with all the condo-conversions, where will they go? Aha! They will go far away from the "nice" neighborhood and settle in the suburbs or exurbs and continue to be neglected there. Housing costs will rise and then of course only the really rich people will be able to live in the "nice" neighborhood. That always works out well.

This completely angered me. I was a renter for a long time. I was an upstanding citizen (as a renter) who smiled at people and helped make our neighborhood a neighborhood. Varying incomes in a geographic location keeps this neighborhood mentality in tact. People with families can afford to live in nice neighborhoods when rent isn't too high or condos aren't too expensive. Just because you take away their housing, poor people don't evaporate. Their services are in cities, and less so in suburbs. While no one wants urine filled buses or unruly intoxicated people hanging around, taking away affordable housing DOES NOT HELP THAT.

So I went to the meeting to provide support and offer suggestions of getting folks in Ballard to be aware of the changing landscape. What makes Ballard interesting is the diversity. Artists can afford to live there, families can afford to live there, professionals can afford to live there, etc. It felt good to take a stand and offer support.

When I feel complacent and inactive (as I did on the SAD), I do not *feel* moved to act. I hope someone else has more energy to help. I usually feel hopeless and unhelpful and then apathetic. But apathy is a thing of the past. I feel strongly about things now. I don't feel defeated at all. In fact, I feel more connected to God and then more connected to this oneness that exists around me (with or without my acknowledgement, thankfully). Byron Katie frames it in a good way and I'll paraphrase here. If I see a discarded can in the desert, then it's not enough to be angry that someone left a can there. The discarded garbage gives me a chance to pick it up, to be of service. So thank goodness for the can.

Here's a blog and several comments about this Ballard condo-conversion:
I'm all for DENSITY, but that includes diversity of income so EVERYONE can live in a great neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sense of Calm

After a very successful support meeting yesterday, I feel enthusiastic about helping folks get support for the raw lifestyle.

I'm currently in weekly therapy and I started going not because I have tons of issues, but because my food choices were changing my life. At first, because I was eating a lot of sugar, the changes were not so good: weight gain, sugar addiction, poor nutrition, obsession, etc. After going raw, I started to regulate my eating better, felt much lighter, got much lighter, started noticing more peaceful feelings inside, and overall didn't need to dramatize my life as much. That's enough incentive to eat raw right there.

Today in my session I was talking about how I don't need to spend so much time in other people's business. All the energy I expend to be right, judge, criticize, and more means that much LESS for me and my own furthering of my life.
When I spend time focused on expanding my business, then I don't have time/energy to bully other people (which I did a lot, unfortunately).

Eating raw food has streamlined my body enough so that I am not eating over my emotions. I'm not using processed food to distract me from my purpose. I'm not entertaining myself with food in the same way (now I try to use simple ingredients to make tastier food!). When I am tired, instead of eating food for energy, I get the rest that my body wants. When I am sad, I cry instead of eat. When I am angry I do not rail against people, now I just rail for a mere moment against circumstances, and then I look to use the experience to help me grow.

I'm turning 30 soon (in less than a month!) and although I thought this birthday would be about a huge party and whooping it up about tons of '30 year old' seems that I'm hearing the wise-woman voice louder and that's enough to celebrate for me. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Get Together

I saw a Rawcumentary (Supercharge Me: 30 Days Raw) on Saturday. It was great to go to the movie and be with people who are either raw or raw-curious. The movie itself was great. An easy to identify with format made it interesting and entertaining. I already decided to go raw before the movie, but it affirmed the concept that raw food is so good for me. Plus, I really do like seeing other raw supporters in the same room. I felt completely normal, which is nice.

Afterward there was a fundraiser for Raw Washington at Chaco Canyon and the food was delicious! Loved it! Raw pizza, coconut balls, pates, cheese (yum!), sushi. I sometimes forget that raw food can also be really gourmet. SO GOOD.

Raw Network of Washington also sponsored a Raw for 30 Days Challenge and had people sign up to host a support group for four weeks for those who would like to get more resources, meet more people, and connect with the raw community. I volunteered to host and tonight was our first get together. Jenna Norwood, Mary and Monika all came and we talked about ways to offer and receive support, as well as ways to support the raw community as a whole. We talked about the fact that food wasn't always what we wanted to talk about and an idea was born to start raw salons, created solely for conversation and not FAQs for those who want to talk about more. I'm a big fan of a raw women's group, too. A place where we can talk about the bodily changes that we are experiencing; including menses, menopause, pregnancy, depression, exercise, and weight loss.

I had a great time discussing all the possibilities ahead of us. I may even join the board!

What I am enjoying lately is what is happening with my life's purpose. I am slowly feel dissatisfied with my work and putting a lot more energy into manifesting sustainable work from home. I have a few possible Reiki clients and I'm eager to make cards and start promoting myself. To me, Reiki and raw go hand in hand. It's a good community to work with, mission-wise.

I have some upcoming travel in Switzerland and Italy and I'm very excited, although I am curious about how it will be when I'm raw. I'll keep you posted.