On the 8th of July I moved to Colorado from Texas to live with my Aunt and little cousin for mental health and financial purposes. It has been extremely sweet and absolutely a dream to be so close to family again!
Today this household started Whole 30 in effort to both lose weight and see if the removal of sugar from my diet does anything to stabilize my mental health. Oh and I hate to mention it, but we are also taking caffeine out of my diet and I’m already feeling so sad about that, but let’s focus here primarily on the positive things.
I’m loving that green things are becoming such a part of our diet!! Here is the smoothie that we kicked our day off with this morning:
It gave me the same boost of energy I look for in my morning cups of coffee. My relationship with coffee is actually on the brink of termination now that I have learned that as a depressed person, coffee can exacerbate my symptoms. Not just that, but this smoothie really gave me a boost that I have never felt with coffee.
Another plus: it’s so green and makes me feel so calm and connected to nature.
Ok and finally I have to share what we had for lunch. It was a particularly creative dish that my aunt threw together with scrambled eggs, pan fried potatoes (fried in coconut oil), spinach and salsa. Boy it was better than I can describe and look, more spinach and plenty of protein.
It tasted so much better than the justice the picture does it. Boy oh boy!
So I’m thrilled. I know that we are all thrilled at the start of something new, but I have long waited for answers concerning my mental health. I have waited for the support of others in the area of such strong life changes, and have been asking God to pour fresh vision into my heart and mind with regard to my overall health and well-being. I really believe a foundation for stronger will power, and nutritious eating is being laid.
March 19th 2020 marks the first day of Spring this calendar year, and coincidentally falls within the same week where deep soul searching and release of pain and baggage have taken place in my life. The last time I remember feeling this reflective and clear about big changes that needed to take place in my life was during my second to last year in college, which I would call my junior year, except it took me 5, instead of the traditional 4 years to graduate.
That year I sat many sessions across from my counselor (psychologist) Susana Martinez, who possessed the most still countenance of anyone I’d met up until then. She’d sit, cross legged, chin in palm with her notepad fixed neatly in her lap, and maintain perfect eye contact with me the entire hour we sat together sorting through my pain and dilemmas. Her presence was like a mirror. She showed me deeper parts of myself.
“So why are you so determined that you need this friendship if it is obviously dwindling away.?” She asked me unbiasedly, slicing through the thick tension that existed in the room as a result of my tenacious resistance from the fact of the matter— I needed to let go. In those days I was stubborn, and Susie was still. I was lost, and she was gentle, pure, and chose to see the best in me. Something about our relationship was marked by a sincere kind of honesty where she didn’t need to tell me the hard truths always. They made themselves clear in her stillness.
I didn’t want to let go because it was too…different. As bold as I am, few things scare me more than stepping outside of routine and familiarity and into the unknown. God had certainly arranged the friendship that wasn’t working anymore. How could I let go? Wouldn’t I disappoint him?
Still Susie would sit there and out-wait me like any tough psychologist, with no ulterior motives or agenda, except to listen to me. She’d listen to me so good, I couldn’t help but listen with her, and with each passing session I learned that Susie was loving me. If she loved me, I figured I could loved myself, and loving myself would look like letting go.
Those sessions still give me the courage to let go when I face the crossroads of tough decisions in my life. “When is enough enough?” I ask myself and reach for memories of Susie teaching me that when I can’t take it anymore, I can always fall back on the grace of God to catch me. Leaving isn’t always quitting. That’s just not always the right perspective to see things from.
Nowadays, I am filling bigger shoes and diving deeper into this life thing. I have taken the bull by it’s horns and decided to steer my life into unordinary directions. I’m walking a bit on the edge of my comfort zone because I feel that is where breakthrough is born and it hurts. There is pain in letting go. There is pain in honestly admitting to oneself that growth is necessary, and where growth is necessary, there will be discomfort. Ugh it hurts to bad, but someone once told me that if something isn’t growing then perhaps it’s not alive. You do the math.
I am learning that we come frequently back to these still points of reflection and Spring Cleaning of our beings. Daily we should be emptied in order to be full of Christ, but seasonally, even bigger more life altering changes will occur, like perhaps letting go of an old pal, or switching jobs, moving homes. You’ll know when it’s time. Don’t fret.
There is nothing we should cling to more tightly than Jesus. All else is temporary, and seasonal. Its funny how something can be so beautiful and life changing that it seems it should remain forever, but dies off instead into the deadness of the past, leaving the branches so barren, only for new ones to be formed. How the seasons change so quickly and effortlessly! It’s sort of cyclic almost.
How do we find the strength to let go?
It is in the stillness. It is in realizing that the shoe does not fit anymore; it is time to buy new ones or we will not be able to walk where we need to walk. It is in realizing that the job is not paying what we need; it is bad for us mentally and emotionally, and following that still small whisper of peace inside that frees us from our obligations of staying. It is in realizing that even if we are making a mistake, God is still sovereign, and that we were born with wings spiritually speaking. He is not trying to cage us.
The seasons will change my friend. It is only a matter of time. You cannot keep your grip on them tight enough. What keeps you from letting go? What things are most sacred to you, and does that need to change?
That one thing that keeps you feeling so comfortable and so yourself, will not always be your anchor. It will go through metamorphosis, and if you’re healthy so will you. Do not resist the tides. If something feels stale in your world, ask the Lord to bring life to it, with a healthy spring cleanse. You will feel the freshness of his breath marking that dead thing with the season of spring, and new beginnings, which will be sadly preceded by some sort of death. Submit to that dying so that you may enter gracefully into the Spring of his love.
Everything that’s grown stale by yesterday is as good as a crinkled sheet of paper waiting to be tossed. There’s no room for the junk anymore. You are at the threshold of new beginnings, peace of mind, and growth. Welcome this season with open arms.
The information provided in this post is from the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, as cited at the end of the page.
Herbal Tea v. Tea
Herbal tea is any mixture of herbs that are derived from leaves, seeds/or roots and various kinds of plants (Ravikumar 2014). It is a popular misconception that teas are derives from the traditional “tea plants”. They actually come from what are called ’tisanes'(herbal teas).
A General Overview of Benefits that can be gained from nearly all herbal teas as listed in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Achieving a more calm and relaxed state of mind
Supporting heart health
Aiding with stomach and digestive problems
Providing Cleansing Properties for the body
Promoting energy and wellness, nourishing the nervous system
Providing antioxidants to the body
Boosting energy levels and invigorating (similar to strengthening/enlivening) the body, relieving stress.
Helping to avoid colds
Stimulating the internal organs
Promoting a good night’s sleep
Specific uses and Purposes According to The Type of Herb
Chamomile: Known for its calming properties and also said to anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.
Chrysanthemum: Is sweet-tasting and is able to reduce body-heat resulting from fever. It also helps protect against liver damage and neutralises toxins.
Cinnamon: Is calming and helps to support healthy circulation and digestion.
Ginseng: Stimulates vitality and helps the body stay healthy.
Ginger Root: Is excellent for improving circulation, and is one of the best herbs for improving digestion, nausea, lung congestion, and arthritis.
Parsley: Is diuretic and helps with kidney function.
Peppermint: Is good for stress relief. It also helps with stomachs and digestive issues, as well as freshen breath.
Red Clover: Use as a medicine for menopausal symptoms, cancer, mastitis, joint disorders, asthma, bronchitis, psoriasis, and eczema. It is not recommended for children, pregnant, or breastfeeding women.
Rose Hips: Are a natural source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are a live, kidney, and blood tonic, and are a good remedy for fatigue, colds, and cough.
Sarsaparilla: Promotes energy and healthy skin.
Slippery Elm: Helps to relieve stomach cramps and other gastrointestinal problems.
Ravikumar, C (2014). Review on Herbal Teas. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 6 (5), 236-238