running from the quietness

Posted on January 31st, 2013

I think many of modern life’s ills stem from running away from quietness and lurching for something more. Constantly lurching, reaching out, not settling inwards. I think about this today as I bounce and lurch from task to phone call to the fridge and back again.

by Lizzy Stewart via “advice to sink in slowly”

We are so afraid of stopping and being quiet. I practice being in a quiet space each day by meditating. To sit and do nothing is noble. It takes smarts. Reflection. I don’t kid myself it’s easy. It is my life’s toughest journey: down and in.

As Oscar Wilde once wrote:

“To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.”

To sit with the silence, the nothingness, it’s a tug of brutal war. Every part of me wants to run from the quietness that my meditation mantra attempts to take me to. So much so, my right hip actually aches as I meditate. It’s my right leg that lurches out towards life. In many traditions, the right side of the body is seen as the “masculine” side. As in, the side that tends to be about lurching out, conquering, forcing, making things happen, doing. And so my right hip aches to move away, to do.

As an aside, it’s my right leg that attracts all my injuries – I’ve broken my right ankle twice, split open my right knee twice, broken my toe and torn a tendon… all on my right leg. And always when I’ve been forcing life too hard. When I’ve been doing and not sitting in enough quietness.

You might want to read about one of my favourite techniques for sitting quietly with myself here.

Why do we run from the quietness? Pscyhiatrist Neel Burton writes about the manic defence in The Art of Failure, The Anti Self-Help Guide:

The manic defence is the tendency, when presented with uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, to distract Read more

my simple home: my next project

Posted on January 30th, 2013

A few things are about to change around here. In a few weeks this site will be all fresh and different, and my new I Quit Sugar site will be starting to take shape. 


image via energy efficient homes

In the meantime, much of my passion is going to funnel into my next campaign, which is all about setting up your home to be as sustainable, ethical, minimal, efficient, toxin-free and economical as possible. I’m going to share the best tips and advice via my own bumpy journey to transform (or steer) my own home.

Just before Christmas I bought my first apartment. It’s not big – 1.5 bedrooms, no balcony or yard, no parking. It’s old. It doesn’t have much storage nor many flourishes. It’s a bit of a shell. On top of this, I own no furniture. Actually, that’s a lie. I have a mattress, an old Formica table that I inherited from a friend and two IKEA chairs, an old crate I found at the dump when I was 18 and have lugged about with me for two decades, two cushions, a coffee table and bookshelf I found on the street about 10 years ago and two boxes of sentimental nick-knacks and crockery. Oh, and two surfboards. I’ve simply never bought stuff. I’ve inherited and given away my white goods and couches (actually I’ve NEVER bought whitegoods or couches, not even a kettle) and I’ve never been one to go for vases or candles or whatever else people buy at homewares shops on weekends. Which means I’m in an amazing position to start from Read more

sugar-free berry and buckwheat galette

Posted on January 29th, 2013

I love Aran from Cannelle e Vanille. We all love Aran. And we love that she’s offered to share another recipe with us all today. I recently shared three summer quinoa recipes from Aran’s beautiful book Small Plates and Sweet Treats (now available, details here). This one is a sweet one…but I’ve adjusted it to be sugar-free.

Summer Berry Galette

Summer berry and buckwheat galette

Serves 6 to 8

Buckwheat crust

  • 3/4 cup superfine brown rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1⁄4 cup potato starch
  • 1⁄4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons stevia granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Summer berry filling

  • 31/2 cups assorted berries
  • 2 tablespoons stevia granules Read more