By Molly Patrick
Sep 22, 2015,
No matter what all of the healthy lifestyle experts are saying, life is not always good.
Life is filled with heartbreak and you can’t negate that by upping your kale and goji berry intake and dedicating every free second to a yoga mat.
Willing a bad situation good by thinking happy thoughts is about as effective as eating butter and bacon for your health. As nice as it sounds to some people, it’ll never work.
Pets die, people get sick, spouses cheat, herpes happens, and there will be glitches and roadblocks that you had no way of foreseeing. Feelings change, evil mother fuckers exist, accidents happen, bones break, and good intentions aren’t strong enough to win out over addiction.
People will disappoint you from time to time, and at some point you will be the one to disappoint. You’ll never be able to fully understand another human, regardless of how much you want to, and sometimes we wake up feeling discouraged and sad for no goddamn reason.
And this goes for everyone. No one is off the hook here. To be human means that we’re guaranteed to experience all of the emotions that we come equipped with. Anger, love, joy, fear, compassion, sadness, etc. These are built into us, just like our hair and our heart, so of course hard, shitty, unbearable moments are guaranteed.
Maybe we need to let go and be okay with that.
The freedom that comes when we release, when we surrender, and when we let go of the constant battle to protect ourselves from pain is like being able to breathe again.
The idea that we can never fully protect ourselves from pain is both freeing and terrifying, but when we make peace with this, it becomes more freeing and less terrifying.
When you surrender to the inevitable fact that there will be pain, the focus starts to shift to the things that you have control over.
And it turns out that you have control over the very things that determine how you handle painful situations when they come your way.
Will they shake and rattle your soul until you break, or will you have a solid base that will carry you and your heartache through?
So when you’re going through a shit time, you might not be able to up your green smoothies, snap your fingers and magically be transported to a meadow that’s void of heartbreak and filled with pygmy goats, fat babies, and an endless supply of perfectly ripe peaches. But what you can do is start working on creating a solid base so that when the shit hits the fan, you won’t unravel into a dark place that’s tough to get out of.
Consider these 5 things your blueprint to build a sturdy base. They won’t make your world perfect, but they will help you deal with the imperfect world without coming unglued.
Do these things even if you’re in the middle of a shit storm and it will be less smelly.
1: Be thankful for time, but anchor yourself in the present moment and allow yourself to be drenched in whatever you’re feeling without judging yourself.
No feeling or circumstance lasts forever my dear, and when crap times hit it’s important to hold on to this.
Next, it’s time to bathe yourself in your feelings. Kind of like bathing in roses, but only if those roses have stems and thorns. Yeah, this one stings a little.
Close your eyes and picture a bathtub. Imagine that tub filling up with all of the emotions that you’re feeling. Take the time to dump all of them into the tub. Next, picture yourself undressing, getting into that bathtub and totally immersing yourself into your emotions, while safely being held by the tub.
Picture this for as long as you need, take a few deep breaths and then release the drain, allow all of those emotions to drain out and then rinse off your body with clean water and wrap yourself in a big fluffy towel.
This is one way to tap into your emotions. Then you can start processing shit. Then you can start feeling better. This process might be painful, but that’s okay. Release into that pain and allow yourself to forgive and let go.
2: Let go of the shit you can’t control.
Some things are utterly and entirely out of your hands. Feeling responsible or devoting too much time to these things is like wishing you were 5’10 instead of 5’2 – totally useless. If it’s out of your hands, let it go and focus on something else.
3: Nourish your body.
Help your body and mind thrive by eating healthy food, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of sleep.
If you have an addiction, start opening up to the idea of facing it and healing it. You can’t fully nourish your body if you engage in consistent self destructive behaviors.
Whether it’s food, drugs, alcohol, sex – whatever. Living your life with an addiction is hard enough. When shit pops off and life gets rocky, that addiction can throw you from borderline to not fucking good in the blink of an eye.
Consider getting on board with my weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans to make nourishing your body much easier.
4: Accept that life can be a straight up bitch, and don’t let that be an excuse to stop you from making good choices.
Yup, life can suck and it can be hard.
We all have the same 24 hours in the day, and we all have shit that’s hard as fuck to deal with. Make it work however you can to make sure that your base is solid.
For as much as it sucks at times getting there, when your base is solid and sturdy, not only will the crap times be more bearable, but the good times will be more joyous, and you’ll find more bliss in the everyday moments.
And really, it’s the everyday moments that make up the majority of your life, so you may as well find some bliss in them.
5: Slather yourself in love and be easy on yourself.
Whatever you’re feeling is okay, and we all go through ups and downs. Loving yourself through those ups and downs without judgment might be hard, but it makes all the difference in the world.
As one of my favorite Buddhist saying goes,
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves love and affection.
Post it on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself often.
I’m going to land this fuckery by telling you that kale is awesome, but kale alone can’t make your world magically pain free. Whatever you’re going through, you aren’t alone, and it’ll be okay, one way or another.
Today’s recipe will nourish your body. And frankly, it’s fucking yummy, so it’s a win-win.
“This is the best Caesar Salad I’ve ever had, and I don’t even like salad” ~Luanne (my girlfriend, the meat eater)
For the Salad
- Romaine chopped
- Red onion thinly sliced
- Radish cut into rounds
- Cucumber diced
- Fresh mint chopped
- Fresh dill chopped
- Fresh Parsley chopped
- Avocado diced
- Croutons recipe below
- Caesar dressing recipe below
- Black pepper
For the Caesar Dressing
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in water for at least 10 minutes 70g
- 2 small-ish garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 12g
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dulse flakes or powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
Make the Caesar Dressing
- Drain and rinse the cashews (discard the soaking water) and place them in your blender, along with the rest of the dressing ingredients (garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, lemon juice, dulse, Dijon mustard, salt and water) and blend until super creamy, about a minute.
- If you have a nut allergy or want a lower fat version use 1/2 cup tofu (100g) instead of cashews.
Make the Croutons
- Croutons without oil? Heck yes, totally doable and yum-tastic.
- Take 5 or 6 pieces of sprouted grain bread and cut them into good hearty chunks, a little bigger than bite-sized.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and place the bread chunks in the skillet.
- Cook for 5 minutes, flipping them occasionally so they get toasty on all sides.
- Add some dried and fresh herbs an spices and a little sea salt and continue cooking. You can add whatever herbs and spices you like, but a pretty solid combo is onion and garlic powder, paprika, a little chili powder and some fresh dill.
- Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing burns. When the croutons are toasted and crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside, that’s when you know you hit perfection. Turn off the heat and allow them to cool.
- A good trick is to save the end pieces of your bread in the freezer and when you’re ready to make croutons, bust them out and use those.
Assemble the salad
- I have no idea how hungry you will be when you make this or how many people you will be feeding, so how much you add of each thing is entirely up to you.
- In a large bowl add the romaine, red onion, radish, cucumber, fresh herbs (just a little of each), avocado and croutons.
- Add the dressing and then mix until everything is coated in the yummy dressing.
- Top with fresh black pepper and serve.
I hope that you have a happy week. May you find time to work on building a sturdy base (and if you happen to find a meadow with pygmy goats, fat babies and ripe peaches, please email me right away and I’ll hop on the next plane to wherever you are).