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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

'Eat,Eat,Eat' --cont'd. Gripping saga of how a beautiful, emotionally stable, happily married woman survives travels in USA

I can't help it. I know it's a cheap shot, but the girl can't help it!

I have already traveled through Italy, most parts of Europe (including, by the way, the part of Europe that, IMHO, has the best foods of all European worlds -- the Alsace region), Africa, and other parts of the world. Traveling the world, does open one's eyes to alot, including the parts of your heart and soul and inner spirit that helps you discover all that you are and need to embrace in order to be thankful, to feel blessed, to be content, and at peace with yourself -- to attain 'happiness'.

Having said that, though -- I have to say -- everyone is different. Elizabeth Gilbert found herself through this journey of her physical travels and inner 'discoveries'. She seemed to need to leave the USA and all that she had here to start her process of 'finding' the 'real' her.

I, on the other hand, experienced my 'journey' of discovery right here in the good old USA (or should I say, the 'new' USA if I think in terms of the 'Old World' vs. the 'New World). You see, growing up NOT on a Christmas tree farm in Connecticut, but rather in a working lower-class neighborhood and very ethnic environment, initiated my 'awakening' and discovering the beauty of knowing that it didn't matter -- I was just as blessed, beautiful, talented, and giving as those lovely people who DO grow up on Christmas tree farms in Connecticut. I also learned in my 'journey' of 'growing up' -- working from the age of 12 to help support the family, excelling in school knowing that would be the only way to pursue higher education (which I did attain on full and partial academic scholarships through undergrad and grad school), and just living life with seeing it, first hand, from the eyes of someone in both the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' camps. I learned that 'a sense of purpose', 'trying to be good', and 'thankfulness' are the great equalizers. That is, it doesn't matter what you have, where you come from, or even where you're going or end up -- embracing your life and living it to find a way to, somehow, contribute productively to the world, being 'good' to yourself and to one another, and just being thankful are really what brings inner peace, happiness, and joy. And it IS difficult to experience all of this when one is struggling financially. Money and financial security gives freedom and the luxury to BE thankful, to BE good, and to find purpose. But, not always. It's as if one can never guarantee the other. We are born into certain circumstances and we just have to find our way with grace, dignity, and resourcefulness, YET never forgetting to be good, kind, loving, and thankful for mercies along the way, great and small, and for unconditional love -- from God, from those who love us, and from ourselves.

I'm so grateful that I started my journey on my home turf. I wasn't really looking for love and romance, but I received it in bundles when I met my so-kind, loving, good, YET suave, worldly, and magnificent husband -- ALSO, right here in the USA. Life with him has taken me to many lands and far-off places, a couple of which is where my beautiful children were born and raised. For me, my 'journey' has continued with traveling and it's been wondrous.


Whenever I come back to the USA, NOW, I find that MY struggles occur HERE, NOW, MORE so than anywhere else I'm living or have lived. The environment of life and living here IS not easy -- and it's completely ironic and complicated as this is still a country of the world that has SO many choices and comforts. But one feels the 'rat race' and 'survival of the fittest' mentality here SO strongly. It creates tension and robs you of spiritual contentment. I often feel so unsettled here and find myself feeling weak. There's SO many cues for unhealthy eating here and I find myself giving in more to the temptations that I seem to have MUCH more control over in other parts of the world. I drive more here and that decreases my physical activity level and the unobtrusive energy burn I get from living in other parts of the world. Because I'm not as-fastidiously implementing my healthy lifestyle living here, perhaps I'm physiologically/hormonally, in a worse place during the time I spend here. It makes me wonder if other folks have this here, too, and how much of the general population who live here ALL the time just end up having this unhealthy, hormonally-unbalanced, physiologically-challenged state-of-being as their norm. All I know is, I LOVE this country and 'found' myself here and now I feel, after 25 years of living abroad, that, I can easily lose my way if I end up staying here. That makes me sad. What I see happening here is some sort of extreme polarity of people. Those that 'have' have TOO much -- money, publicity, possessions, access to all that is good WHILE those that 'don't have' are scratching and doubtful and fearful and desperate. And THEN, there's this vast middle-of-the-road crowd that are becoming more paranoid, cut-throat, ornery, and miserable by the minute.

And they keep on EATING -- to find not just a source of energy, but comfort, joy, purpose, and something 'good' (and 'yummy') in their lives WHILE they watch and read endless reams of nonsense about 'unhappy' celebrities.

Take me to Italy, India, and Bali -- but kicking and screaming!!!! I'd MUCH rather stay right here and have it all going on -- eating, praying, and loving -- with the flag of freedom flying high!

Bye for now!

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