Archive for December, 2011

Resolution #2

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I am sitting with my brother and his girlfriend, watching a very (extremely) weird movie in which the serial killer is a tire.

But that is neither here nor there.

What is here and now is that it’s another day and thus you are owed another resolution. Yesterday we discussed writing, so today let’s tackle what I shall call


* Heal my bladder condition (interstitial cystitis for anyone out there with any tips. It’s been giving me the beatdown this week.)

* Be grateful every day

* Eat a 50-75% raw diet

* Work out daily

* Meditate three times a week

I had what I was pretty sure was a fabulous idea for a blog post this morning, but I no longer remember it whatsoever. I’m not sure why I’m telling you this except to say that obviously my brain ain’t so sharp, but also as a reassurance that perhaps one day I will come up with a good idea and actually remember AND execute it.

So that’s something we can all look forward to.

Until then, brace yourself for tomorrow’s installment of Vanessa’s New Years Resolutions 2012: the year a jaguar god returns or it all comes to a crashing halt or both or neither.

quit smoking Maui

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Resolution #1

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Seeing as I’m a bit bereft of useful content these days, I figured I’d share my new years resolutions…but drag it out so that it seems like you’re getting more than you really are. Think of me of the Lays potato chips of details.

Honestly, I haven’t really thought them through, so I’m not sure how many we’ll be slogging through. (hopefully at least five…)

However, and without further adieu, say hello to number one:


* finish writing, editing, rewriting, re-editing and then finally freaking submit YA novel written (a now somewhat unfathomable as it seems like another lifetime) eight months ago…

** rewrite THE FOOD MACHINE. (Be prepared to start all the freaking way over save a few passages or clever concept or two…)

*** write a new novel: this time, it’s satirical.

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Go at it boldly: part deux

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Have you ever golfed?

As my dad succinctly summarized it after watching me take a few practice swings, “Well, you’re not a natural.”

For better or worse, the man speaks the truth. Nonetheless, I spent a couple years really trying to improve my golf game. In general, my over-thinking nature leaves me weak off the tee. If you could get into my mind at that moment, you would hear a cacophony of advice about finger placement and grip and back swing and follow through and probably a short grocery list and God only knows what else. Again: not too awesome for my actual execution off the tee.

However, once in a while I stop thinking and trying and plotting and planning and just go with it: and in those moments I’ve hit the ball the farthest and with almost no effort. In fact, the perfect swing is marked by its notable effortlessness (and the sight of that little ball careening far into the horizon). It’s kind of a magical moment, really.

I am starting to think that life works almost exactly the same way. The trick is to figure out what constitutes your perfect swing.

I am not here to tell you what that is – only you have the capacity to figure it out, in fact - but I do think there is a way for you to devine it if you haven’t already. In my own blossoming wisdom, it seems that the key is to listen to your heart and proceed with near-reckless-abandon in pursuit of the things that light you up. This means boldly and perhaps even a little bit irrationally responding to the pull and putting yourself in the proximity of the people, places, jobs, animals, events, and things that bring you real joy.

If something feels wrong or off or just won’t seem to work? Honor that guidance and be willing to let it go. Struggle and resistance are as important of signs as the good stuff. Notice what you don’t like as much as you notice what you love.

Then lift up your head, open your eyes, and feel what does draw you in and puts you into flow; that time and space continuum where everything just seems to work without (much) effort.

I can tell you that I did this with Maui - listened a rational dream of living where it was always warm and beautiful; noticed how happy and joyful I’ve always felt in the Hawaiian islands….and then launched and executed a totally insane plan to move there with two animals despite the fact I didn’t know a single living soul.

And it worked out.

In fact, I would argue if the strength and tenacity of the friendships I’ve already built there are indicator, I did indeed come home. And I have high hopes for my writing and my hypnotherapy practice in the months to come. I have a garden that is growing (in December!!!) as I speak, and a home that I love living in, and a Jeep that makes me smile every time I drive it.

I have had a similar lightening bolt of pure happiness in other areas of my life, as well, and I think that this rare and sweet moment of near-perfection in which I write to you right now really is due to my decision to pursue bliss. I will not settle or compromise so long as I have the power and the means to stay afloat blindly and ruthlessly pursuing only that which lights me up.

And so far, so good.

So that’s my gift to you this Christmas: the hope that you can hear your own call and start to make big or small gestures toward it. The wish that you can take a little stock in my unexpected success and find some faith that your own path will be so smooth if only you give it a real chance.

This is your life.

And it goes by quickly.

Passionately pursue the things that light you up and bring you joy.

 “Go at it boldly, and you’ll find unexpected forces closing round you and coming to your aid.”  ~Basil King.

Merry Christmas and Mele Kalikimaka to you and yours…

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Be gentle with yourself

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

This isn’t going to be a long post, but it is from the heart.

I owe you guys more – and I will deliver shortly. Things are a little hectic from a travel/take care of all my bizness standpoint – but I had this idea in my head and wanted t o illuminate it:

Be gentle with yourselves, wherever you may find said human being right now.


You are a child of the universeImagine you showed up at your own door – tattered and tired – and how much generosity and kindness you would muster for that wayward, lonely traveler.

And then….turn that inward.

Shower yourself with love.

Allow some flaws.

Realize you’re doing the best you can.

And then consider this: everything that has ever happened to you was necessary to get you to where you are at this very moment…and where you are right now is perfect.


So take a deep breath.

Hold it for ten counts.

Let it out slowly.

And have a little faith.



You are perfect exactly the way you are.




More soon.


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Sea Crackers. See Crackers Dry.

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Remember all that time I spent bitching about wanting a dehydrator?

Well, the good news is: it worked! And the bad news (for all of you, because now I want a Kindle Fire. Santa? Jesus? Yahweh? Anybody?) is: it worked!

A friend and reader auspiciously named Kai (Hawaiian for sea/ocean or water…although I don’t necessarily know that he was named per the Hawaiian language. It’s likely it means things in other languages too.) came through for me in spades, despite several ridiculous hurdles and the thing even being returned to sender once.

But now it is here – much bigger than a breadbox and halfway to being big enough to sleep in – and being enjoyed by animals, vegetables, and humans alike! (No minerals…yet.)

In a show of gratitude, I have done two (one rather overdue) things:

1) made a page thanking all of you who have ever donated to my humble blog efforts in some tangible way (not that the intangibles aren’t highly valued as well) by name


2) Documented the maiden voyage of the SS Excalibur, as it ventured to make raw crackers…which may be a bit of a punishment really. I don’t know how exciting of a post this is going to be, which is probably why I don’t really blog about food typically, but I will do my best to keep you entertained while you enjoy the photographic expedition into the wild and wooly and slightly unappetizing (sometimes) land of raw food…


Despite rumors of toads, snails, and puppy dog tails, raw crackers – these anyway – are actually made out of the following stuff: lots and lots of flax seeds, chia seeds, and some vegetables.


The food processor seemed to do nothing more than spin the seeds around really quickly a la The Vortex or whatever those amusement park rides were where they would spin you really fast until you stuck to the wall and then the bottom dropped out. Makes me kind of pukey just thinking about it…


So I got the blender involved as well and crushed the whole situation to smithereens.



Crammed the whole kit and kaboodle into the food processor.


Felt highly dubious as to the odds of success with the sight before me. (um: yuck.)


But before I knew it, the situation looked remarkably like meatloaf “batter”…only stickier…and despite how that might sound, my hopes were buoyed.


It’s almost dehydrator time!


Which, you should know, Fu also considers his throne.


Then I rolled it out (is this as boring as it seems???)


And then ten hours later it was ‘cooked’ or at least dry and blah blah blah…


Raw cracker!

(I swear I will make up for this boring ass blow-by-blow tomorrow. Still excited about the dehydrator, nonetheless. Thanks again, Kai!!!)

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