Archive for July, 2012
Daydreaming about travel and adventure was not enough – I had to take action, and so I booked a flight via British Airways to visit my brother and sister-in-law on the Cote d’Azur this October. Funny, when a dream becomes a reality how your psyche is just ready to catch up and it feels like you are already on the road. Having something wonderful to look forward to makes every day a little brighter. And although traveling isn’t as easy as it was a few years ago (with added security and long lines at the airport) still…it’s like turning a page in your life and finding something completely new there. Travel is one of those experiences that can never be taken away. It will always live in your memory, with sights, sounds, and sensations of a different time and place. I’m excited! For inspiration, I’m reading travel writer Pico Iyer’s new book The Man Within My Head, based on his psychological and spiritual connection with the writer Graham Greene. Now that my brother and his wife live part of the time in Europe, they get a lot of guests (location, location, location), so I’m glad they’ve reserved a place for me again this year. My sister Katey is going in September, and I’m sure my sister Kim and her husband will schedule a trip soon, too. They just bought a place in Mexico, and my son lives in Canada, so our family is becoming more international by the day. Speaking of international, our students come from all over the world to Living Light – and they are happy and proud of the decision they made to start a new adventure – this time as a raw food chef.
This week is a contemplative one for me. With my daughter at camp, I’m on my own for ten days. I’m actually camping for most of it – hard to believe, I know, but it’s true! And – I’m actually kind of enjoying it. I have lots of time (well…all of the time) to myself to read and write and I’m in such a lovely place. When I think of all the different environments I’ve been in in the last three weeks it really amazes me. The colorful southwest and then the south for the first time. I now get why Faulkner wrote the way he did. Then Ohio and Pennsylvania. It’s all been so different and so beautiful. And now I’m here in Westhampton, Massachusetts – a true bucolic paradise. It’s all green fields, red barns and white flowers. And Northampton is just up the road and truly – it looks like a New England movie set. And guess what? I found a place to get green juice!
All this driving around through different places has made me appreciate how foreign Fort Bragg must feel to lots of our students. For one thing, I can vouch for how much cooler it is than most of the rest of this country. And I’m sure it’s missing all sorts of things our students are used to having around. Traveling is fun and exciting, but it can also be strange and scary. I’ll definitely have a new level of compassion for the students I work with as they make that life changing decision to come study with us at Living Light.
So – I’m all the way across the country now. My daughter is safe at music camp and Part One of our journey is done. I can’t even really begin to tell you about all the things we’ve seen and done, but I can tell you how much I miss the food at Living Light. To be perfectly honest with you, we aren’t doing too well with the whole raw travel thing. I know people do it all the time and buy stuff and bring it with them and prepare it and all that, but that requires a pretty high level of organization. I mean, it’s all I can do to keep ice in our ice chest, which means there isn’t any in there today and there wasn’t any in there yesterday. Oh well – we’ve been doing our best. We had salads in Gettysburg day before yesterday. I’d call them “chopped”. And we ate at a buffet yesterday – more salad and a stab at tostadas which wasn’t too successful. I consoled myself with Tres Leches cake and my daughter consoled herself by skipping cake. Of all the many people, places and things I knew I was going to miss on this trip, I hadn’t actually factored raw food high enough on the list.
I’ll bet there are some of you out there who can’t take the kind of food we have at Living Light for granted like I can. Maybe you can’t get a green juice everyday or even have access to an all organic salad bar. If you don’t, one option is to learn to make delicious raw food yourself, of course, and what better place to do that than Living Light? We can get you started on your way to a whole new way of eating or a whole new career in raw cuisine. Maybe you could open a raw food restaurant chain along America’s highways. I wish you would!
My friend Ken and I were just talking about how we enjoy the music of the jazz age and into the swing era – a time when things seemed simpler – summertime and the livin’ is easy sort of thing. Of course, times always seem simpler when you’re not in them. Still, it’s nice to look back with rose colored glasses from time to time and feel the innocence of an earlier age. With the very recent new moon in the sensitive sign of Cancer we have the opportunity to re-anchor our intentions to our higher path right here and right now. Our individual spirits may be longing to plant the seeds and set our intentions in the direction of what we most want to do in the world. It’s gratifying to know that laying the foundation for the future we’ve been dreaming of is possible. We see it here at Living Light all the time. Students arrive here, acquire the skills they need to fulfill their dreams, and in a very short time, many of them are living those dreams and sharing with others the possibility of a life only previously imagined. Plant the seeds, pick the flowers (or vegetables) and keep growing. You can swing it!
If I were at work today, I’d be a part of FUN Friday – so named for it being the Friday before FUNdamentals of Raw Living Foods. FUNdamentals is the first class of all the certifications we offer at Living Light so we have students checking in from all over the world to begin their courses. And that makes FUN Friday actually fun because we finally get to put faces with names. We finally get to meet the people we’ve been working with; some for a long time. We get to see the end of their journey to Living Light and the beginning of their journey as a student. It’s very exciting and so rewarding. The students’ arrival is such a tangible reminder of why we do what we do.
But – I’m not there. I’m traveling across the country with my daughter. We’re in the southwest right now where it’s about a thousand times hotter than Fort Bragg. We’ve stopped in Vegas, the Grand Canyon and are now spending a few days with relatives in Corrales, New Mexico. So far the trip has been exciting, boring, lovely, ugly and very funny. Our ultimate destination is Massachusetts so there’ll be lots more adjectives before we’re done. As I’m writing this I’m actually feeling a little homesick – we won’t be back home for another month. But I’m also feeling excited. So far we’ve just been places I’ve been before. Once we leave here, it’s all new territory. Just like the new students coming to Living Light for the first time. I bet they feel just the way I do.
Fireworks, birthdays, independence, summer and life – those are just a few things that July means to me. Independence Day is a great celebration. I spent the day with my fellow office mates working. Here at Living Light we tend to have class on the holiday, but I have great co-workers so it makes it do-able. And no fireworks for me this year as I will be out of town this weekend helping at the Breast Cancer Walk. FortBragg always has its fireworks display on the first Saturday of July because we have the most visitors that weekend for The Worlds Largest Salmon Barbeque. In my 32 years of living in Fort Bragg I have yet to attend, but I know that it is a well attended event and a busy weekend in town.
My birthday falls right in the middle of the month, not fun when you’re a school age child by the way, but now I love it. It opens up lots of time for me to do things to celebrate my happy day. This year I am turning 33, a super fantastic number so it should be a great year. My mom just celebrated 70 revolutions around the sun. I am so honored to have been part of her celebration and I know she has many more to come.
Summer and life sum up the rest of my July. My son plays baseball and was selected onto the 11 & 12 year old All-Star team. What that means is lots of driving and lots of time, but I love watching and am glad to cheer them on. Life continues in the simple fact that it is summer vacation for the kiddos and that means finding them places to go. I love the summer but it goes by so fast!
Speaking of cheering on, this week is demo week for our Associate Chef and Instructor students. It is always a pleasure to see them prepare for them and see the satisfaction on their faces when they complete them. They are preparing themselves to go out in the world and share their knowledge and love of raw food. We still have two more opportunities to complete the Associate Chef certification so why not make plans now? Enjoy your summer and hopefully we will see you in the fall!
We just rearranged the Admin. Office here at Living Light. It looks less cramped, the space is better used and we cleared out some stuff, too. It’s a nice change of perspective. It feels better, and best of all we moved Amanda out front with me! I’m delighted to have her closer. I’m actually leaving on a five week, cross country vacation this weekend and oh my stars – am I going to miss her! Other than that (and the fact that we’re not packed at all….) I’m ready to go. The longest I’ve been away from Fort Bragg since moving here fifteen years ago was seven days. I’m really ready to leave home behind for a few weeks so I can change my perspective by adding some new ones. The first part of this year has been all about changing from the inside. Now I’m going to try some outside influences. I’ll be blogging from the road, too, hopefully with some interesting perspectives to share.
If you want to get away from home for a month or so, why not come to Fort Bragg and study with us here at Living Light? We have an Associate Raw Food Chef and Instructor session beginning September 1st. You could be a certified chef by the 21st. Or – stay until the 26th and add a pastry chef certification to that. What a beautiful way to change your perspective. Nothing brings things into focus like focusing on a healthy, planet friendly diet. Try it! Let’s all change our perspectives this summer!