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Monday, December 23, 2013

Living Well - now with Chocolate Cookies

On a lighter note than my usual musings...  a delightful recipe success.  I'm thinking, what can I contribute to the seasonal Christmas Cookie gluttony when I'm gluten-free and really prefer not to eat sugar?  There really are many options, but here's what I went with, woven together from other online recipes and intuition.

Gluten-free, reduced-sugar Triple-Chocolate Cookies
(Because wheat and sugar are dispensable, but chocolate is not.)

The Dry Stuff:

  • 1 C Gluten-Free All-purpose Flour mix.  (Good brands include Glutino, or 1-2-3 Gluten-Free - something that includes rice flour, tapioca, among others, and a little bit of guar or xanthan gum.)
  • 1 C Xylitol.  (Could be less - 3/4 works well for me.)
  • 1/2 C Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
Whisk it all up.

The Double-Boiler stuff:
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 t vanilla
Start chips melting in a double boiler; add butter and vanilla.  Turn off water before it gets too hot, just has to melt together.  Stir together till fairly smooth & even.

Stir 2 eggs into the Dry Stuff (it'll be clumpy), then add the Double-Boiler stuff.  When well mixed, add another 4 oz chocolate chips.  (White chocolate chips are good here, too, but watch out, they're often based on trans-fats instead of real cocoa butter.)

Bake at 325-350 for 15-20 minutes.  (Still working the precise timing out, but the cookie should "bounce back" when you poke it lightly with your finger.)  Cool rapidly.  (Wonderful served chilled.)

Fun to do one tray w dark chocolate chips, one with white.
Blessings of the holiday season for all.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The "Problem" of How to Live Well

Recently in a group meditation, I realized that I place a huge value on "living well" - essentially on living the sort of life that I could be proud of, and satisfied with, when I die. But there are so many different ways to interpret this.Recently in a group meditation, I realized that I place a huge value on "living well" - essentially on living the sort of life that I could be proud of, and satisfied with, when I die. But there are so many different ways to interpret this.

There are at least three major dimensions to living well. There's living ethically and with love, where the focus is on our right relationship to the people and society around us. There's living well for ourselves, ensuring that I've done right by this being that I am, giving my Self the opportunity to fully bloom in my own talents, passions, creativity, and joy. And, for many of us, there's right relationship with spirit, with God, with the creative force behind the Universe itself.

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return"
- Nat King Cole

I've been working this "problem" for most of my life. In college, I decided I'd been too focused on academics, and needed to balance with parties, drink and social life (lest I miss out on something fundamental to being human). After college, I decided I needed to contribute to the world through politics - that that was an essential part of living well and responsibly. Later in life, I came to more fully embrace my spiritual nature, and meditation and practice became part of living well. I decided that my body needed to be a "worthy carriage", so I lost 30 pounds and built up my strength. Following this ideal, I at times added in writing, healing and facilitation, developing my Masculine side, even occasional musical expression.

"I invoke and dream Awake the Infinite Empowerment of my sexual, spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and financial relationship with Life."
- Astarius

But I say "problem" because I see now that that's how I've been relating to it. I haven't been motivated so much by the positive - having a full, rich life - as by the negative - better not get this "life" thing wrong, you've only got one! What the recent meditation helped me to see is that I'm "never going to get it figured out". I'm never going to land on the perfect formula for living my own full, rich life. It's going to be a source of confusion and exploration every day that I walk this Earth. So facing that, I have an opportunity for despair - but behind that, an opportunity for surrender. I get to just live, and strive, in the muck and confusion with the rest of humanity.

In this context, "living well" becomes, simply, the best I can figure out, day to day, year to year. I can't promise myself that I won't have regrets, or wasted time. Indeed, I can promise exactly the opposite - because a life that's so tightly controlled that it has no regrets or wasted time is no life at all.

"It's better to regret something you did, than something you didn't do."
- Red Hot Chili Peppers

One of this advantages of having this as a driving obsession for most of my life, however, is that I have found a number of things that work really well in my life, and may in yours.

If you're interested in learning more about how I lost weight efficiently and easily, please visit my page on the Body-Mind Morphing protocol.

To delve into the archetypes that drive your unique life, join me in exploring your Shamanic Astrology chart. Finding my Scorpio moon was a huge opportunity for liberation in my life; similar treasures may await you! Learn more at astrology.core-light.com.

And... one of the most challenging areas for "Living Well" for most of us is the realm of sexuality and sexual expression. We've all had turns of being afraid of it, driven by it, ashamed of it, proud of it, and for most of us, feeling stuck in some way. And yet it's a vitally important part of who we are, affecting our health, our energy, our relationship to the world.

Some of the most advanced and accessible work I've seen in the area of sexuality is being offered by my friends Sol Sebastian and Saida Desilets. Saida & Sol have updated practices from the Taoist and Tantra traditions into practical programs that make sense for people today. The work is integral, in the sense of addressing healthy sexuality from multiple perspectives, including the physical, the psychological, and the energetic. They're offering a free teleclass series as an intro to their work - click here for the Multi-Orgasmic Man program with Sol Sebastian or the Multi-Orgasmic Woman class with Saida Desilets.