Monday, April 11, 2011

eat; detox

This week, I began my first ever detoxing program. I fell into it by accident as I subscribe to The Raw Divas website and stumbled across their free 7 day detox program and thought 'why the hell not!' Kind of silly really as I didn't think about my sister coming to town and my mum cooking up an Italian storm everyday for her and so temptation was going to be doubled, even tripled some days! But as I write, I am at the end of day 5 and yes, I will confess to having cheated 3 times. But is cheating really that much of a big deal when detoxing or is it our thought about cheating that is the real issue? Detoxing is an amazing experience even if you do find that you have 'cheated' during the program.

The 7 Day Detox by The Raw Divas entailed mono fruit meals, green smoothies and salads. No nuts, avocado, oils or salt were allowed. The lack of oil and salt has almost killed me and my bowels are still saying WTF?! During my first few days, I experienced the headaches everyone talks about when detoxing and also pain in my hips, which was really strange. Late last year, I did have uterus issues and saw this pain in my hips as part of a healing process my body had finally been given the chance to attend to. Detoxing hurts because your body is finally getting a rest from digesting all the food you consume in a day, all day everyday, and so has a chance to work on healing the other parts of your body that need attending to.

But my reason for undertaking the detox was more than just to loose weight, clean out the plumbing or heal a past wound. I wanted to detox mainly to give up smoking. Gasp! I know! The woman who writes about good healthy eating and LOVES it, is a smoker.

Smoking has been something that I have enjoyed for many years. It has been the thing I look forward to as I take breaks from long days of writing, waiting for my train to arrive, smoking with my girlfriends over a few bottles of bubbly or simply smoking with my morning coffee in my P.J's waking up to the day. Yep, that was me!

A few months ago was when I first started talking about the idea of quitting. I am one of those smokers that has NEVER said I needed or wanted to quit. I was a smoker and a proud one at that! My friends in Australia told me they hardly smoked while I was gone but have now bought ciggies with the news I arrived on Australian soil. Smoking became part of my personality, my signifier to the world that I may be all of this, but I'm still a bad arse underneath it all.

So the detox seemed like a good excuse to quit smoking. Days 1 and 2 I did have a ciggie a day, but today, day 5, I have been without a ciggie for 3 days. I have found it alot easier than I had anticipated and I know it is becuase of the detox program. I have replaced the attention I would normally put onto the fact that I was not smoking onto food that I was allowed to eat and so in a sense, I have forgotten I smoke. Sounds kind of strange doesn't it? It's all in the mind.

I have discovered the power of the mind. Yes, we have all heard this 'the power of your mind will amaze you!' But how many of us have actually experienced it? I did this week. I discovered how I can choose to listen or not to listen to whatever thought floated passed me. Apparently we have 3 hundred billion, trillion something thousand thoughts a day, and a high percentage of those thoughts you thought yesterday! So in other words, we are constantly reaffirming our thoughts which turn into our beliefs because we keep thinking the same thoughts everyday!

So with this in mind, every time I feel like a cigarette, I feel that desire and then allow the next thought to move in and distract the thought of wanting a cigarette. It is a thought afterall, which means my addiction to cigarettes is not real but simply a floating thought too. This way of thinking has made not smoking a lot easier for me as I have been able to rationalize what it is that I am feeling and in turn justify why I shouldn't fall for that thought. 

Every negative thought I am having about myself comes under the same sort of process as the thought of wanting a cigarette. It is working for me and I thank detoxing for discovering what I am capable of doing with my mind. This process works really well when you are tempted to give in to a 'craving' thought about food, or if you are bashing yourself up over your weight, your hair, your life or your work.

Having said all that, I accept that I will always be a smoker and always want to smoke. I will never promise myself that I will not smoke again, but I will promise myself that I will consider the thought in any given moment when I do feel like a cigarette and I will wait for the next thought to take over before I act on the desire to smoke.

Give detoxing a go if you are ready to change your thinking and be conscious to the fact that most of your thoughts are simply rehashed from yesterday, and the day before that, and the month before that, and the year before that. What you say to yourself during your detox is the same things you've been telling yourself your whole life. Is it not worth considering a new way of thinking when you are detoxing? Just as you are releasing toxins from your body, so too you are releasing toxins from your thinking. It really is a mind and body overhaul that I would recommend to anyone who wants to change their way of thinking.

pink; ai weiwei

On April 3rd, Ai Weiwei was detained by Chinese officials at Beijing airport for "economic crimes" and there has been no reports on his whereabouts since. Ai Weiwei is no stranger to being attacked by the Chinese government. Recently, a studio he was building in Shanghai was completely demolished without any warning or reason. He is a man that is under constant surveillance by the Chinese Government who sees him as a real threat to social unrest. Here is a very good article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal on April 6th about Ai Weiwei's detaining.

He has not created any works in pink but I have been very moved by this situation that I had to include it here on this weeks posting. On the TED's youtube site, Ai Wei Wei's situation is written about like this; "...for anyone who believes in the power of ideas, of human imagination, it is heartbreaking to see one of the world's great artists shackled in this way." It is perfectly said and in the video, Ai Weiwei speaks of how the Chinese government are trying to keep him quiet. You can see the Ai Weiwei TED video here where the audience gives the man a standing ovation (LOVE!).

Hyperallergic, a blog about contemporary art, is posting liveblog accounts on Ai Weiwei's arrest, while major art museums around the world are asking for signatures with online petitions. Ai Weiwei has a blog which has been tampered with by the Chinese Government through the deletion and censoring of his writings. If you are interested in checking it out, go here. It is in Chinese though (google translator!). The photo below apparently was what broke the government into action.

It shows the artist naked except for a toy horse concealing his genitals. The caption has a double meaning in Chinese, so millions of internet users have seen the six characters interpreted as: "Fuck your mother, the party central committee."

Ai Weiwei has contributed to the Chinese contemporary art scene for the past few decades, having moved back to China after his education in The States in the 1980's. He has created an artist community in Beijing where galleries and studios are occupied by Chinese and international artists. I spent time in this community when I lived in Beijing and it really was my saviour from what felt like a repressed social structure that I found myself surrounded by. Maybe this is why I am passionate about Ai Weiwei as I have experienced first hand what he is fighting so hard to break down and how much time and energy he is putting into fighting for a country he dearly loves.

This is a real tragedy and everyone should look into what they can do to help this situation. I will be posting a picture of Ai Weiwei as my profile pic on Facebook until he is released, as a gesture against this action by the Chinese. You can check out the event I created here. Please press the 'attending' button and 'share' the event with your Facebook friends. I think he would like it if everyone did this on Facebook as he is very much into the power of the internet. So if you do care, please follow suit and make a picture of Ai Weiwei your profile pic and spread the word! Add this link so people may sign the petition too :0)

Check out this video which shows what a truely amazing man he is.

For the latest news, click here.

Peace and love to Ai Weiwei.

love; ten things i love this week
1. My sister coming for a visit from New Zealand. She visits us once a year but I missed her last year as I was in The States. She is an absolute pleasure to feed and to show her what I've been up to with my work. LOVE!

2. My sister saying the best comment ever on the weekend while my mum and I were both in the kitchen cooking. My mum was doing her amazing Italian zucchini flower fritters while I was preparing my raw lunch and my sister said "It's like MasterChef in here!" I giggled so hard and said, "...and you're the judge!" LOVE!

3. Rainbows!!! It is Autumn (Fall) here in Australia and the rains are soooo grand! Love the sun shining it's glory through the rain and presenting me with a lovely rainbow! LOVE!

4. Detoxing. I have thoroughly enjoyed detoxing this week. it was my first real attempt at it and I highly recommend it! Check out my full post about the experience here. LOVE!!!

5. Drinking mineral water with slices of cucumber. As I'm drinking more water because of the detox, I'm finding mineral water with slices of cucumber or strawberries or other fruits really enjoyable! Makes drinking 2 Litres a day tolerable! LOVE!

6. Driving in Australia again. It took me a long time to get used to the other side in The States and it seems to be taking me a while to get used to driving back! Weird how that happens! Someone told me to remember that the driver side is always closest to the middle of the road, no matter what country you drive in. Great advice! LOVE!

7. This blog about Cake Wrecks! It is hilarious to see some disastrous cakes out there from bad spelling to just plain ugly! Check it out! LOVE!
8. Eating an Indian meal with my good Aussie friends. I did miss good Indian food in the States. Sorry guys, but Australia does have THE best Indian food around! LOVE!
9. All my Aussie friends excited about eating raw with me! So many have posted on my Facebook wall links to raw restaurants here in Melbourne, but I'm sure they will not compare to the ones in California! This IS a type of food Americans do very well! LOVE!
10. My Mum. With me being a crazy artist, my mum sure does handle me very well. it must be a tough job being the mum of an artist who keeps shaking up her own life to find something to satisfy that crazy hunger inside.  I LOVE MY MUM!