Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peacemaker's Basket

First off, I need to apologize.  For the next month, this space will primarily be filled with the two "programs" I am doing right now to bring better balance to my world.  Yesterday I posted about Project:Simplify, and I am pleased to report that the closet clean-out is now about 80% finished.  I have to head back to IKEA for more hangers and tackle the sweater shelf.  I will be posting before/after pictures this weekend so you can see.

The second "program", 30 Day Vegan, has been an interesting journey so far.  It's been both easier and harder than I thought. I find myself thinking about food constantly.  Not in the "Oh, I can't have that" way, but in trying to be really reflective on how what I am eating makes me feel. As terrible as it sounds, it's just not something I've paid much attention to.  I felt good or bad or tired or whatever, but there was never a connection in my mind to what I was eating.

I can't go so far as to say I've noticed a tremendous difference in the last 4 days.  But I have noticed little things.  I'm less tired at the end of the day.  My sugar cravings have dropped considerably.  I am noticing that I have all kinds of hang ups about "good" and "bad" foods that are just plain silly.  For example - peanut butter is high in fat, so instead of an apple with a small amount of peanut butter to dip in for a evening snack, I would choose a big mug of instant hot cocoa.  Instead of getting the benefits of the apple and the satisfaction of the peanut butter, I was choosing a bunch of sugar and artificial ingredients. Hmm...something's wrong there.  One thing that has really helped me was Heather's suggestion of "crowding out". Instead of thinking about all the things I "can't" have, I need to focus on all the yummy foods I get to enjoy - large slices of avocado on my white bean and veggies wrap, crunchy quinoa salad with carrots and parsley, sliced bananas on toast with almond butter.  Who's suffering with those delicious options?

But the biggest thing that has changed had nothing to do with food. It's funny - I thought I was just signing up for a meal plan/food cleanse.  Instead, Heather has organized it much more as a month long retreat for taking care of our bodies and ourselves. It's been wonderful.  Today's morning idea was the creation of a Peacemaker's Basket - a basket of those things that you can turn to for a moment of calm.  A spot where my favorite things are gathered, prepared and ready for the quick five-minute retreat when dinner is in the oven or while the boys are playing peacefully with their blocks.  I love that idea, so here are the things I will gather for my Peacemaker's basket this evening:
  1. Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison
  2. A photo book of the family session my dear friend Emily shot last May
  3. Cotton yarn and needle for knitting a washcloth (mindless, always needed, feels like the ultimate domesticity)
  4. Cacao nibs from Alma
  5. Journal and favorite pen
  6. Yummy hand lotion
  7. Bubble bath - something from Philosophy (love the cinnamon roll right now)
  8. A pine cone - reminds me of my grandma, and the value in balance and symmetry in nature
Taking the time for breathing is so overlooked in our busy lives.  And I don't know anyone who isn't busy. But if all I need to "get away" is a basket next to the bed, I'm all for it.  I can certainly fit that in.

SO, indulge me.  What would go in your Peacemaker's basket?  Leave a comment, and on Saturday I'll draw a name and some amazing Alma chocolate will be headed your way!


  1. Ok, so you're making me think here...dangerous!

    1)one of my LuSa essential oils -- probably lavendar
    2) my journal
    3) a box of notecards and a pen so I could write all those personal notes and letters I've been meaning to but forget
    4) some Werther's hard candy :)
    5) my nalgene bottle filled with water
    6) a crossword puzzle book
    7) our cribbage board -- so that we actually sit down and spend timing doing something we enjoy together

  2. 1. Have you ever scrubbed your hands with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil and a packet of sugar? HEAVEN.

    2. Body Shop used to make a pulse point balm that I loved - it was minty and refreshing. I should find some more!

    3. A hot cuppa tea can do wonders.

    4. THIS - a "Gathered Truths" box that was a total splurge a year or two ago, which I still have to find and unpack.

    5. My rosary beads