a return to core values

What’s on my plate this month?

walking on the beach after cleansinga return to core values

My plate this past week has been more of a glass, a straw and a bowl of blended goodies than an actual plate.

You see I’ve taken this week ~ the week after a flurry of summer guests, the week of my 47th birthday, and the week of the anniversary of my husband Isamu’s passing (eleven years ago yesterday) ~ to sink back into myself, back into my core.

To cleanse.

To quiet.

To nourish.

And to realign with my true intentions.

It’s also been an opportunity for me to experience the benefits of Refresh: A TrulyFood Summer Cleanse before leading you through it in just a couple of weeks. And I’m not ready to let those benefits go.

This past week also had me thinking, for reasons that may or may not be obvious, of a post I wrote a couple of years ago that I wanted to share with you today. The post is about that re-alignment, about tapping into our true potential, and about the ways in which we can each be reminded to come back to our core values.

I like to think of our core values as root source. It’s your home base. Your gut instincts of what is and what is not right for you. And this is why I love the TrulyFood Summer Cleanse for this level of symbiosis. It’s all about the gut and sinking into your personal core.

Now for that post which may lead you simultaneously singing and reflective.

I have a confession to make: I’m a sucker for musicals. And as a sucker for musicals I developed a bit of an obsession with the TV show Glee, which is now, sadly, cancelled.

Another confession is that I don’t own a TV. I haven’t for almost half my life. For the most part its hard for me to understand when people have time to watch TV. But as I learned to love all the assets of my laptop computer, I also discovered that I could savor a TV show or two like a drop of precious indulgent nectar.

The first season of Glee was a little pithy and high-­drama for my tastes. I was in it for the singing, dancing and musicality. This seemed to evolve in the second season. And then, a couple of summers ago, in a desperate attempt to satisfy the craving for that specific indulgence, I stumbled upon The Glee Project. Devoid of sarcastic humor The Glee Project was reduced to the hard work, practice, talent and initiative of a slowly decreasing number of kids pouring their heart and soul into their efforts to secure a dream. . . a seven episode spotlight on Glee, season three.

But what does The Glee Project have to do with you?

What does it have to do with your core values and your gut instincts?

It all boils down to episode 7 on the first season of The Glee Project and a 20­-year-old boy named Cameron; a self­-proclaimed nerd with a lyrical capacity and authentic determination that inspired a flurry of emotion in me. That’s a lot to say about a young man more than half my age on a reality TV show!

But I’m not alone.

Cameron’s a guiding light for us all and similarly inspired many. I’m hopeful that his intentions and constitution will inspire you too.

On episode 7 of The Glee Project, the six remaining contenders were charged with a focus on the theme of sexuality. Each episode had a unique challenge. There were topics like individuality, vulnerability and tenacity. Things we all explore as we journey through life.

Yet the eye on sexuality was particularly difficult for Cameron. It conflicted with his religious beliefs and, as a result, he faltered in his performance.

In keeping with the show’s progression, Cameron was called in for a “last chance recital” along with two other hopefuls due to their hiccups in the group production. One of them would be asked to leave the Project, thus losing their chance to win the spotlight on Glee.

It was both Cameron’s “last chance recital” and his response to the challenge that I want to embrace as an example for poising yourself on your own journey to health and your core values. The performance was a heart­-stopping rendition of Blackbird by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney about the civil rights struggle for blacks after reading about the race riots in the US. And Cameron, after singing from the soul, was forced to speak to his difficulties with the sexuality assignment of the week.

You may guess or know what Cameron did.

He didn’t follow the pack. He trusted his gut instincts to lead him to his own version of success.

And what I can tell you is this: Cameron knew himself.

At the ripe age of 20, this young man knew his strengths and his limitations. Through tears and grief he found the way to stand for them, to stand for his core values. And from there, I believe he has taken his broken wings and learned to fly.

We can look at the oppressions of life as those inflicted from our culture or the outside world. They can be self-imposed by psychological barriers and limitations we put on ourselves. Even our health struggles and afflictions can feel like the ultimate persecution.

Yet within the confines of constriction and injustice, you may just find your wings. It may take dropping into your root ~ your gut and your heart, the natural organs associated with this season ~ yet from there you can learn to fly.

As Cameron learned, sometimes the strength of aspects of ourselves comes with some flip-­side weaknesses. Knowing those weaknesses ~ knowing yourself ~ and accounting for them, instead of ignoring them, is what enables you to soar beyond any limitations.

This is the season to fly.

Lyrics to Blackbird:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Warmly,

AndreaSig

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Click here to watch Cameron’s rendition of Blackbird.

(My apologies for the scary preview before the song, but most versions of the performance have been removed from the web. It’s worth it when you get there!)

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What else is on my plate this month?

replenishlogoflowerSTRAWBERRY MINT LEMONADE

This seasonal strawberry mint lemonade makes a nice refreshing drink on a hot day. You can make it a bit sweeter by adding more coconut palm sugar or if you like a more tart flavor use more lemon juice. It’s fit for an anti-inflammatory detoxer and the whole family!

Step 1:
Ingredients:
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
2 cups filtered water

Directions:
Combine coconut palm sugar and filtered water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and whisk until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

Step 2:
Ingredients:
4 cups whole organic strawberries, stems removed
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 cups filtered water
¾ cup green stevia powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
Blend ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a large pitcher.

Step 3:
Add dissolved sugar and water mixture along with 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice to the pitcher along with the strawberry mixture. To this, add 4-5 cups of filtered water (depending on how tart/sweet you want it). Add some extra chopped or whole mint leaves and lemon slices to the pitcher, stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Serve chilled in glasses with ice and fresh mint leaves.

recipe provided by Andrea Livingston for Replenish PDX



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