Anxiety: fight it or ride with it?

Posted on October 31st, 2013

Every few months or so I get stuck. I get wobbly or, as was the case this time, I get so thoroughly sick of myself I can’t move forward without offloading some of the spinning thoughts somewhere. In the absence of a pillow talk companion, and to save my friends the tedium of discussing my ground-hog day dramas, I call on Kristine, a psychic I’ve known for years now. She’s not a purple-haired, woo-woo type. Her feet are firmly planted.

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Image via Favim.com

I’m happy to share a little of what she covered with me. It’s great insight in these busy, non-present times. She Skype-messaged me afterwards with these words I share below.

The theme of our chat was my confronting my fear (of relaxing more and caring a little less and getting in touch with what nourishes me during a time that sees me caught up in the outside world so much). I keep going to the ledge, but backing away again. Over and over. I’m ready to jump, to connect with myself and to become a more care-free person, then I baulk because it’s so…. alien. I’ve lived so many decades in the “external” that I’m uncomfortable with the idea of sitting at ease with myself. Kristine reminded me:

“When one is really ready to approach their fear, it does require real commitment. It will require the commitment to truly act and not “react”.” You know, to actually go in deep and think about where I want to head next.

She then reiterated that we’re ready when we don’t have a choice. When the discomfort is more painful than the pain of confronting the fear, we have no choice but to jump. Anything is better than the discomfort!

So how do we get to this point? Well, by simply sitting in it. And embracing the discomfort. Not fleeing from it or fighting it. Saying “yes” to the discomfort, not having judgement, and “loving the stress” and anxiety, even if it’s extremely painful. The discomfort can Read more

Why do we write? Tweet? Blog?

Posted on October 29th, 2013

Anyone who blogs, or finds themselves really quite glued to their social media feed, asks this of themselves intermittently. I do. I have my answer now. I blog because I need to. It’s my dharma.

Image by Arno Rafael Minkkinen

Image by Arno Rafael Minkkinen

The way I experience things is to pull apart the elements, to break them down, to cluster and to organise and to entertain meta theories and note interesting patterns of behaviour or phenomena. It’s a sport for me. Some people do cryptic crosswords. I spot patterns in life.

I spot that middle-aged Jewish men like to power walk in pairs.

That people born and raised in Sydney often have raspy voices.

That our idiosyncrasies spawn from a need to escape loneliness.

That Liberal MPs are all starting to speak in the same stilted, hesitating, lip-licking way as Tony Abbott.

Then I have to record them. I’m reminded of something Arthur Miller wrote. Scrap that. Sarah, get real!? I never remember quotes. Rather, this quote popped up somewhere, I saved it, and I found it again just now:

“The very impulse to write springs from an inner chaos crying for order – for meaning.”

Writers, bloggers, we all have the need to spot patterns. I think we tend towards the obsessive end of the behavioural spectrum, with an impulse to create patterns and order. Read more

I was wrong about sugar…

Posted on October 24th, 2013

Just kidding.

Although today I want to take a moment to emphasise and clarify a really crucial issue that a few unmentionables in the comments insist on challenging: that my focus on fructose is misguided. Or, more specifically, that substituting fructose with glucose as a sweetener is misguided (which I don’t actually do, but more in a second…).

Image via

Photography by Angie Gassner & Thomas Mailer

I’m responding to you lot (calm and reasonable readers; not Mr Unmentionable) in the event that you might be wondering if I care about the issue at all.

I do. And to be honest, I’ve had to double-check my position. Just to get clear myself. And for this, I’m grateful to the Mr Unmentionables out there who like to go after me for encouraging people to get real with their sugar intake. As I emphasise throughout my books and other materials, I’m constantly exploring and researching this area and am open to tweaking my thinking as I go. Then sharing it with anyone (calm and reasonable) in my orbit who cares to read on.

So, let’s break it down.

Why do I target fructose specifically (and not sugar as a whole, or glucose)?

Sugar is 50:50 fructose and glucose. It’s the fructose bit that I say is problematic. This is because:

1. Fructose is metabolised by our liver (while glucose is metabolised by all our cells). This taxes the liver BIG TIME: it spends so much energy turning fructose into other molecules that it may not have much energy left for all its other functions. Leading to the production of uric acid, which also promotes insulin resistance and is linked to a whole bunch of metabolic diseases.

2. This liver dumpage also causes it to store the fructose as fat, especially in the liver, and triglycerides, leading to a fatty liver and insulin resistance.

3. Fructose stuffs our appetite mechanisms. Our bodies strictly regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose stimulates the pancreas to Read more