IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

Food for Thought: How Lentils changed my Life

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Have you ever done something so long that you didn't know how to not do it?  This is the story of how I learned to stop doing it.

If you know me, and most of you do, I am a little weird.  I like being out there, uncool.  I like creating my own little world of eccentricity. 

But, when I wasn't prepared to say no, when I was distracted with boredom, life offered me a peek into how the status quo live, that 1% of perfection and Restoration Hardware decor, and, well, I went beyond the curtain.

For 6 years I was equipped with a well-appointed apartment in the VA-Hi neighborhood in Georgia.  I drove a souped-up sports car on the 404.  I shopped at boutiques.  I had Jimmy Choos.  I had a big, freakin' diamond ring. I had all the things I could want: money for coffee in the afternoon, time to write and walk the mall mindlessly.  It was luxurious, and I was sad.

One day, strolling the shops, comparing myself to the other socialite housewives (whom I secretly loathed), while having my afternoon cappuccino, the local weekly said that the French film Amelie, was playing at the art house.  That week, on a Tuesday at 1:00, I drove to the theater, got my popcorn, my iced down Coke, a pack of M and M's and sank into a wonderland of magic and loneliness.

lf you haven't seen Amelie, and you should, it is the story of Amelie, whose mother passes early in her life, is raised by a single father, and as a result grows into a young woman with a self-prescribed singleness. It is about her journey back into the world of love and purpose.  

In one of my favorite scenes in the film, the narrator tells us that Amelie has "[cultivated] a taste for small pleasures: dipping her hand into sacks of grain, cracking creme brulee with a teaspoon, and skipping stones at St. Martin's Canal."  The scene in the market is splendidly Parisian.  There are two reasons I want to live in Paris:  Gene Kelly's apartment in An American in Paris where he has to pulley his bed up to the ceiling and roll his breakfast table out of the closet with a kick, and Amelie's neighborhood grocery.  

She goes once daily to the grocery to buy things like 5 stalks of asparagus and a baguette, or fresh artichokes (which have hearts). When the grocer isn't looking, she delightfully dips her hand into that canvas bag filled with green lentils.  I realized I hadn't dipped my hand into anything delightful at all lately.   I felt the fresh, cool, joyful life slipping away.  

I began looking for lentils:  I volunteered at the botanical gardens.  Every Tuesday at 9:00 it was my job to crawl through the orchid garden and look for rogue weeds.  I preened the dead leaves like a soft koala in the eucalyptus. I plucked the random grasses from their fought-for place.  I flushed the lush flowers with warm water.  

I began looking for lentils:  On Saturdays, I went to the men's rehabilitation center and helped with art projects.  I talked to them about anything.  About the weather.  About the Braves.  They were sad.  They just wanted to be spoken to.

No one was talking to me.  They all assumed I was happy in my luxurious cocoon.  

I had stopped doing yoga because weird people did yoga.  I began running.  Every morning before the sun came up,  I was running.  I ran hard.  In the rain.  In the heat. I ran nowhere.  I had nothing left that was mine.  All of my weird was gone.  I had lost it in exchange for comfort, acceptance and a Crate and Barrel place setting.

would like to tell you that one night I spilled a bag of lentils on the kitchen floor and I read my future in them, that my future involved a shared commune with a coven of witches or at least flower children.   

But, no, that was not what happened.  My story took 6 years of figuring out I could not do it. It involves a slice of chocolate cake in Cabbage Town, sitting with a friend after her husband passed.  My story involves a bad boy.  My story involves a kiss that tasted like Chapstick.

That's for another time, though.  This is a story about lentils, and how you can stop doing whatever it is whenever you are ready.


Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


radiance, yoga Out of Range Righteous Babe Awareness Einstein Wizard of Oz Creative Source Swadhyaha Inner-light of Awareness Birthing Upward Facing Dog High Functioning Autism Dr Usui Apathy Purusha Richard Freeman Suffering Practice Liberation 5 Principles of Reiki Flawed Pain Heart Breathing Weight loss chaos Honesty Intentions Expire Unity Goals Grief Mindfulness Chronic Depression Nature Buildings and Bridges We Are One Babies Isvara Pranidhana Hot Yoga Yoga Journal Light Be Love Birth Wild Horses changes Resolutions Equanimity the Mind Transformation Natural Childbirth 504 The Universe YTT God Wisdom Shelf-life Grace of God Diagnosis Leslie Kaminoff Cancer Political Truth Change Attachment Essence Gratitude Full Wolf Moon Unconditional Love Chronic pain hurricane Surrender Aversion Courage Mama Universal Love Running Wild Sensory Processing Disorders Roseanna Cash Patanjali Just for Today School Agers Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah Pull and Push purnam Prakriti Subtle Energy Acceptance Energy Steel and Stone Whole Health Ani DiFranco Human Nature Observation Urdhva Mukha Svanasana True Self Running Kindness Stroke Peace Breathe Goddess Sensory Issues Creation IndigoGrrl Kriya Yoga Hatha Ken Wilbur Cardio Human Existence YouTube Discernment "I am not my body" Tapah Moms Keen Awareness meditation Satchidananda Yin and Yang Reiki Diabetes Divinity Flexibility Birth Story Sacred Consciousness Being Human Compassion Roses Fabulous Namaste Lifestyle Changes Organic Body Suit Drug-free Birthing Non-reactiveness Priorities Introspection Personal Love Self-control Prenatal Yoga Yoga Thorns Disapproving Cat aging Carole King Loving-kindness Integrity Christmas Programs Yoga Sutras