Archive for December, 2011
Well – we made it. All that’s left is New Year’s and at my age it’s not the pressurized deal it used to be. Yay! I’m happy to report I had absolutely lovely winter holidays this year. I was skeptical for a while there and even wrote a mean spirited blog about being newly single for the holidays which dear Kate, Living Light receptionist, suggested I hold off on publishing. Wise woman. By the time they actually happened, all was well. I wound up feeling a lot more grateful than wistful and focusing on abundance rather than lack. Good for me.
So – no more gifts till Valentine’s Day. Speaking of which, have you been checking out our new Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest? It’s a Sweet Valentine contest, just like last year, only this time the recipes have to be low-glycemic and gluten free. I’m looking forward to watching the videos and am bound and determined to make 2012 the year I remember to vote for my favorite. Keep an eye on our Hot Raw Chef site to be a part of this fun and healthy way to start the New Year!
As the year draws to a close, it feels like we’ve been through a lot. We are all crammed into a little office after our flood, and our desks are all in different places. Most of our files are in boxes, and someone might give a shout of delight to find something – there’s a phone book! Makes you appreciate the simple things in life, and makes me think of the people around the world, and in our own country who have suffered great upheavals, challenges, trials, and tribulations. This year of 2012 holds a lot of promise, as all new years do. For a few golden moments everything is swept clean in our consciousness, and the world seems full of inspiring possibility.
Let’s keep that in mind. What can we do to make the world a better place? Keep our thoughts positive? Be more mindful of others? Be kinder and gentler, even to ourselves? Should we make resolutions, or just resolve to do our best no matter what the circumstances?
At the very least, we can be hopeful: Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards All. Every year as the sun begins to take hold again, we have this opportunity. And most years we see a lot of people who can’t quite seem to hold that thought. Let’s do it – let’s be the best we can, and take good care of each other in the coming year.
Happy holidays, everyone. It’s Christmas Eve and I’m here at my desk writing one last blog of the holiday season. I can remember some frantic, last minute type Christmas Eves in my life, but this one’s pretty mellow. All my gifts are bought and wrapped and I’m looking forward to spending the next couple of days with old and new friends and, of course, my sweet children. I’m feeling loving and balanced and supported by the universe and appreciative of these sparkly winter holidays that distract us from the cold and dark and remind us to love one another.
But let’s not get carried away. Is it too early to think about Valentine’s Day? Not here at Living Light, it isn’t. We’ve just launched our Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest – Sweet Valentine style. These contests are a lot of fun. The contestants are eligible for all kinds of super fantastic prizes and we voters are treated to tons of raw recipes! And guess what? This one’s all about sweets, but the recipes have to be low-glycemic and gluten free. So come on, all you hot raw chefs! This Christmas, write a Valentine’s recipe dedicated to the one you love.
Tis the season…it’s actually happening, and we’re coming to the end of our holiday blogs. Mary Elizabeth and I always enjoy doing them, because it’ s something special and personal that happens only once a year. This holiday season has been a little daunting – everything from 50,000 emails in my inbox, to a flood in our administrative office (we’re all cozy in the abundant health classroom, temporarily.) But you know what they say – change is good. So we’ve shifted the energy, and after we get the new carpet in and all of our desks moved back, everything will be fresh and ready for 2012. Seems auspicious in a way – at least I choose to look at it from that perspective. Meanwhile, this season, we’ve had glorious sunny days, frosty mornings, and starry, starry nights. And 2012 is supposed to be a pivotal year for all of us, when we step into the new paradigm of how the earth can be. We are a little microcosm of relationships here at Living Light, so we have opportunity. Speaking of opportunity, we’ve just launched our latest Hot Raw Chef Sweet Valentine Video Recipe Contest. Mary Elizabeth is going to fill you in on more details tomorrow. It’s going to be fun seeing all of the great contestants, recipes, and this time the contest is low-glycemic and gluten-free, so it’s quite timely. Who doesn’t want to enjoy guilt-free raw food recipes that make you feel good? More than that, the contest is open to both professional and amateur chefs, so no matter what your skill level, you have a chance to win. And we are giving over $4200 in prizes this year.
My children have successfully past another solar return, so I’m cleared to let the winter holidays begin. We’re all just about to leave for four days of holiday fun with my mom and stepdad. She lives in suburbia so we get to get our fill of malls and giant movie theaters and big national chain stores. We’d like to squeeze in some holiday music, too. And we get to experience the bustling Kristin was missing here in our little hamlet of Fort Bragg. Even though I don’t have much money to spend on gifts this year, I’m looking forward to people watching and arguing with my kids about how much they can spend. Of course, we’ll be having our holiday dinner and gift exchange a little early, but the kids and I like to spend the Christmas holiday at home . Ahhh….holidays.
How are you at keeping yourself focused on what’s really important this season versus slipping into a commercially driven frenzy of spending? No matter how careful you are, or broke, it’s hard not to get caught up in the “spirit of giving”. But, as long as we all agree it’s unavoidable to some extent, why not satisfy the urge to spend at the Living Light Marketplace. You can come in or order on-line. We have some great deals right now for all the raw chefs on your list. Happy shopping and happy, happy holidays.
The past couple of days my computer has been behaving like it is possessed. Yesterday it was trying to receive literally tens of thousands of emails from as far back as 2006 ..they were trying to come back to visit me, like ghosts of Christmas past. It’s true that every time I think I might just slip by the mercury retrograde paradigm, it catches me, like when Jimmy Stewart lassoed the moon. My email will not be “back up” until tomorrow, so I thought it must be the perfect time to write my weekly blog. We just got three new people in our office, and they all seem quite wonderful (one used to work here, and she’s back!) So it feels like we’re lining everything up to move forward into the new year. I’m glad that Mercury goes direct again today, and that things should shape up and settle down, just in the nick o’ time. We’re all looking forward to a new year, with lots of new students – it’s going to be extremely busy, so maybe mercury is just helping us slow down and think about what we are doing. A moment of reflection never hurts as one year is ending and a new one is coming up. It’s like looking out a new window and seeing all of the possibilities that lie before you. I feel like 2012 is going to be a most remarkable year, and I’m hoping that we all step fully into who we are and share our gifts with each other and the world. It’s time, don’t you think?
Before I get too caught up in the winter holidays, both of my children’s birthdays are this weekend. I usually try to postpone decorating, etc., until their special days have passed. I hold off on a tree until after their parties, for example, which totally backfired one year. Bridget had just turned five and Sean was only two and when we went to get our post birthday tree they were sold out all over town. This potential tragedy was averted with a quick, if legally questionable, drive into the woods. This year I’ve got my eye on one of those little tiny trees outside Safeway, of which there seems to be an abundance, so I’m not too worried.
We’ll say good-bye to our last group of students next Tuesday – sending them off in plenty of time to share whatever winter holiday they like best with their loved ones. And hopefully with some great new life skills, ready to begin the New Year all healthy and raw. I’ll miss them. It gets awfully quiet around here when there are no students. Well – maybe not exactly quiet here in the office, but at Living Light in general. Happy, happy holidays to all of our 2011 graduates – you made this year so special!
I must admit that even though it is the season of our holiday blogs, I’ve not quite found the spirit in the way I usually do by now. Is it because Mercury is in retrograde, or because we are approaching a lunar eclipse during the Gemini full moon, or, well – what could it be? Is it those crazy expectations raising their heads, like when you were dreaming of a diamond necklace and got a vacuum cleaner? I’ve never dreamed of a diamond necklace myself, and would probably prefer a vacuum cleaner, especially a Hoover – my mom’s brand of choice. Usually by now, I’ve found a lot of cool little things for friends and family, and I’m in the hustle and bustle of getting it all together, making trips to the post office, and writing cards. This year, when I go outside, even the store windows don’t look as festive as usual. Time will tell. Will the spirit strike me at last? Of course, we all know that consumerism is not necessary to our happiness. What do any of us really want or need, anyway? Still, I long for that feeling of joyful anticipation, and lots of people in the streets. Maybe it’s time to start watching those corny holiday movies. What brings the holiday spirit home to your heart?
Indeed it is December. Although it doesn’t snow here in Fort Bragg (or rarely, so locals say), we can make it snow here on our blog, a cozy touch I like. We’ve already had our holiday party here at Living Light. I’m listening to Christmas songs on Pandora as I write these words, and everywhere I turn are announcements of Christmas concerts, craft fairs, cookie sales, and other delights of the season. I haven’t started my Christmas cards yet, or wrapped any presents. But we’ve wrapped up the school year, and Dan and Cherie are going to be working from Costa Rica for the month of December. I’m glad that they are taking a little time to be in a place they love, and I hope they spend some time enjoying the tropics. I’m spending Christmas right here in Fort Bragg – no traveling (a good thing). So I plan to attend some local events and spend a little time with friends here in town. We’re even talking about midnight mass on Christmas eve. Let’s see if that comes together. Right now Frank (Sinatra) is singing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” That’s it – the reason for the season – peace on earth. Let’s hold that thought in our hearts for the next month.
Happy December! Wow – can it really be the end of 2011? I guess so, but it feels sort of soon. I say that every year, though. This year I may be feeling this way because there’s been some recent changes in my life and I may be mistaking “wow, that was fast” for nostalgia for what was going on in my life at this time last year, or maybe even feeling like I just let the year go hurtling by and had I paid a little more attention, maybe I wouldn’t be in this situation today. Oh well – the truth is that here we all are and December is upon us and like it or not it is one whirlwind of a month. Every weekend is all filled up with no room for changing plans or backing out. That’s okay – being busy has its upside.
This weekend our last group of Living Light students will be completing the first Science of Raw Food Nutrition Educator certification. Congratulations to all of them! And, if they need a study break on Saturday night they can watch Fort Bragg’s annual Lighted Truck Parade. This small town adventure is a great way to kick off the season, but wear a jacket! My former roommate, Amanda, and I are going to make a big dinner and let our kids hang out like the old days and then walk downtown to see what the electrically inclined of the town have been up to for the past few months. Super yay for the holidays!