Meditation & lunch in a Koreantown church

Today I started a new job with Aids Project Los Angeles, located in the heart of Koreatown. I had been in a weird head space for a full 24-hours due to a recent breakup with an old love I tried making a relationship with. Even after meditating, I still felt weird. So I hadn’t really been eating and it was lunch time and I couldn’t imagine putting food into my body, so I kinda just sat there with my feelings, in a business courtyard right alongside Wilshire Boulevard. I looked around, debated calling my best friend, but decided to just sit down and feel what I was feeling. I started thinking about food and eating natural.

I just couldn’t imagine putting heavy food into my body like carbs because I knew that if I ate carbs, they would make my pain go away and I might miss this feeling that I have and not learn anything from it. Food has always been something that has helped ease my pain. Growing up I ate because I was sad. I dated because I was sad, but yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to use food to feel better after my breakup. I was going to feel exactly what I was feeling and if I got hungry, I was going to eat something healthy and nourishing to my body. I had dinner with my best friend yesterday at our favorite Korean restaurant, but I only ate the vegetables, light broth, and tofu. It was so funny. He almost spoon-fed me because I couldn’t bring myself to eat, but eventually I was able to and I felt better.

So today at the APLA office, I began thinking about my late uncle Paul, who had HIV and kept himself alive for so long because he ate healthy and meditated. I knew that the universe was speaking to me, saying, that this was a way to deal with my pain and trauma. So after a while, I snapped out of it and began thinking of what I could eat that would be healthy. That’s when I saw a lady selling fresh fruit. Perfect. I got in line and began rehearsing in my head what I would order in Spanish. My Spanish isn’t so great but everyone thinks I speak Spanish because I look Hispanic (And I am), but I’m very Americanized.

So I managed to order a large plate of fresh fruit, topped with lime, chili, and a little salt. It was perfect, all I needed. I thought about where I wanted to eat this and saw a Catholic church across the street. I sat on the steps in the shade and slowly savored the fresh fruit, thinking about what nutrients each piece had and how I was actually getting protein from the coconut. After I got full, I decided to go into the church. I sat down in the back and closed my eyes, and began to meditate. I began to say to myself, “Heal. Release. I am loved. I am guided. I am safe.”

Since I’ve been meditating, I’ve become more in tune with my deep rooted pain from childhood, you know, the kind of pain that we all carry our whole lives and may not really realize affects us still, but does. I can almost see my pain and trauma and it’s rooted in my stomach, deep in my gut and lower back. Every day I grow closer to healing that pain. Meditating is like the lifeline to God, and I know and feel that the more I meditate, the more I can trust myself and be true to what I’m meant to do here. All I know is that it has something to do with giving back to the community, to being intuitive and empathetic, connected, because that’s who I am. That’s what I have to give.

I must feel what I feel right now to break through and create some real shifts in my life. I give myself permission to feel and know that I am safe.

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Praising the life of the man who started it all

I haven’t written in a while because I have been dealing with a life changing event: the death of my uncle, two days before Christmas.

You ever meet people who are so out there and full of life? Well, he was one of those vibrant, high energy kind of people and to imagine someone like that passing is just surreal. You almost never think people like that die. I guess I don’t really think he’s passed. He was the kind of person who believed that we are more than just bodies and I have to believe he’s still thriving, free, at peace.

I knew he battled demons every day, but he was the man who started it all for me–the idea of healing through creation, eating healthy to prolong your life, and that meditation worked.

I admired my uncle throughout my youth because I saw him as a fighter. My uncle was an artist and an openly gay man, who was HIV positive for nearly twenty years. The HIV was not the cause of his death though. Growing up, I witnessed him juicing fruits and vegetables daily, growing wheatgrass in his backyard, cooking with miso, tofu, and vegetables at every meal. He meditated daily and was always giving. This is what I grew up with. This is how I know you can heal yourself alternatively. But I also know from his death, that it takes work to keep yourself alive.

As strong as my uncle was, he battled demons that took him out of his healthy state of mind and into drug abuse. I never understood how someone like him would turn to drugs. I know he battled with the demons. He even wanted to get better. All anyone in my family wanted was to have the old him back. His death still remains a mystery. They aren’t sure how it happened. Anyway, that person is gone now, but all I want to do is praise his memory. All I want to do is fight for my health and keep it going.

I feel very changed and moved by his passing. I can’t say that I am even the same person because all I want to do is things that matter. I am very positive but it takes a lot of work to battle demons that exist within all of us. I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and some preacher was saying that we can’t look at evil as existing out there, it is within us. I always thought this was such religious rhetoric when I heard people say that we are born evil, but we all have that capability. Really, it takes a lot to stay in the present moment. Being anywhere else, in the past, in the future, could be potentially evil, distracting. The only place that keeps us positive is our present moment.

This is something I have to do every day, seriously, every single day, or else demons can take over. My uncle was living proof of that.
And in his memory, I’m starting the Course in Miracles workbook that I’ll be writing about in the blog. I’ve wanted to do that for some time, why not now?

Day 11 of 21

Alright! 10 more days to go and this cleanse will be complete. Today involved eating a Ginger Mango Shake for breakfast and as a snack. When I was at work I had the Spring Sauerkraut Salad with Thermo Dressing. Seriously, the Thermo Dressing is one of the best dressings I’ve ever had. When put over any bed of greens, it provides a superb flavor that totally eliminates any cravings one may have for junk food. Seriously, every time I eat this dressing over a salad, I forget completely about what I craved before. I become completely satiated physically and mentally. The thermo dressing is listed in Ani Phyo’s book “15 day fat blast” and it includes miso, raw soy sauce, ginger, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. It’s so refreshing and fulfilling, and full of nutrients. I am so proud to say that I finally bought Braggs Liquid Aminos raw soy sauce alternative. I used to buy the regular reduced sodium Kikoman brand and thought it was okay but really the Braggs has such a mild flavor and still has the taste of soy sauce without the head rush of sodium.

My uncle who was really into health food used to cook with raw soy sauce and I never knew it. Braggs totally reminds me of him and the dishes he used to make, like this one really good dish which consisted of brown rice with tofu, zucchini, and broccoli that he would simmer with raw soy sauce and garlic. Omg, this was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. My uncle is HIV positive and has been so for over twenty years. He was probably my biggest inspiration growing up in regards to health food. He always seemed so strong to me since he used to do so much for his health like work out fiercely and meditate daily as well as make juices and smoothies, and put veggies in everything. I remember as a kid being weirded out that he would put broccoli in all our food, even ramen. I didn’t get it then but I do now. Today, he doesn’t really eat like that anymore because I guess he’s going through some things mentally but I’ll never forget the way he inspired me growing up. I would love to include a bio about him in my inspirational people section. He really is an inspiration and would inspire anyone so they can see that eating the right food, meditating, and exercising really can keep you alive and healthier more so than medicine will keep you alive.

All tangents aside, I’m having the Red Pepper raw soup tonight. If you are interested in the recipes in the book “Ani’s 15-day fat blast,” by Ani Phyo, I can list them as I go on, or you can check out the book, which is so worth the buy. It makes eating raw so much easier and not such a foreign concept for hippies and eco vegans, since many of the recipes only include a few simple ingredients. The book utilizes staples like coconut oil, miso paste, and a variety of common fruits and veggies that you can find anywhere.

Day 11 is nearly over and I’m stoked about it. My uncle inspires me to go on even if he doesn’t eat this way anymore. There is always some inspiring person who leads the way and the rest of us will carry on the torch.