Winter for me is typically a time of reflection and isolation. This winter was particularly cold, dark and long. It has been a good metaphor for where I have been at with my emotions. It is such tricky water to navigate. I try to sit in the feelings as they wash over and move through me, paying attention but not getting stuck. I find myself often struggling with how much to sit in it. I find myself questioning am I sitting in the darkness too much? Or am I asking the question because it is an uncomfortable feeling? One never questions if they are sitting too much in the joy! Maybe I am asking these questions because life just continues to go on around me, and I'm projecting what I think others expect of me.
It has been a long time since I have felt like my authentic self, and I suppose I have this story in my head that others are expecting me to be that again. The trouble is I have been exploring who my authentic self is and I am not sure anymore. My authentic self has changed, and I will never be the person I was before I said goodbye to our little Amethyst. There are definitely elements of the old me but I'm really trying to figure out how to sit comfortably in this new me. I still hold the values of honesty, integrity, and respect at the forefront, and am struggling the most with the honesty and I feel like my public face is often a mask which to me feels fake. Necessary but fake. I've never been very good at hiding how I feel and it takes a lot of energy. I find it often leads to coming home from work exhausted, cooking dinner, making lunches, and getting to bed as early as possible. I think the fact that I am able to do that is the only way I have been able to continue putting one front in front of the other and not just staying in bed. Honestly that's where I want to be. In bed. And just stay there. Being sick gave me some space to do that, which I appreciated. Now it is time to get out of bed!
I am making a conscious decision to dig deep into my inner spirit and lift myself up. It's not to say that I am going to stop paying attention to my pain as it moves through me, but I am going to focus my attention on figuring out who I am NOW. Part of that is to strengthen my holistic well-being. I can't keep just putting one foot in front of the other, I need to feel alive again.
I haven't been content sitting in this place of transition. I am ready for a big change, and change is right around the corner. Last week I had the privilege of presenting to a Child & Youth Care class speaking to Cultural Awareness and Humility and it was the first time in a long time that I felt that fire inside me. I am not feeling the same passion for my work anymore and it's feeling like I need to shift something. I miss the social justice aspect to my work, I miss being a part of greater change. It seems my fire has returned in some aspects of my life. Sounds like a place to start... it's also time to re-visit how I am caring for myself holistically.
Somehow even with riding the roller coaster of grief and being sick I have managed to continue cooking. I have been opting for the easier meals and the regular rotation because my brain power is limited. Fish tacos are a regular meal item around here. I like making these because I can do most of the prep the night before and just cook up the fish so they are ready in about 15 minutes. There are some variations of them depending on what is in the fridge, but they always have white fish, broken into pieces and pan fried in my taco seasoning. I make my black bean & corn salsa with red onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt & pepper, cashew cream, and my guacamole. This one I used snapper, which is my preferred fish to use, and topped it with fresh pea shoots.
These ones I used haddock and a generous helping of cilantro. You can really use any white fish. I have also used halibut, cod, sole, mahi mahi,& tilapia. Like I said previously snapper is my favourite option, but I go with what's fresh or on special.
My sweetie often doesn't get off work at his scheduled time so he's not able to help out with meals during his work week. With my low energy I have found myself exploring more of the quick throw together dinners, but I also don't want them loaded with preservatives and junk. I also don't want to be picking up restaurant food all the time. My ability to be creative in my cooking has been lacking in the same way my energy has. I found these yummy easy throw together dinners at Save On Foods that just require adding a few fresh ingredients. I also find them versatile because you can cook them on the stove top or throw it in the crockpot and just walk away. This stew was delicious, and I am looking forward to the other 3 I still have to try. I suppose exploring these options could count for some creativity rather than just having a bowl of cereal;)
I love me some curry! My favourites are red and green Thai curry. I have tried numerous recipes but they never taste as good as what I eat at the restaurant. I found this delicious canned Green curry.
I sauteed carrots, eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, & bamboo shoots. I made some basmati rice to serve it over. Doesn't look very inspiring, but oh so delicious!
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
~M. Scott Peck