Finding Seeds in Sorrow (+ a Spring Soup!)

"Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed..."

Malcolm X

Yesterday was day 3 of my cleanse. A calm, clear day. A day for shedding the past and moving into the present.

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” Willa CatherThe Song of the Lark

March the 22nd also holds special meaning for me and my family. This is my father's birthday. {Happy birthday Dad, wherever you are! } A day celebrated but for several of the last years a day I have tiptoed gently around. Today's cleanse was about more than letting go physically. In this calm I have gained something...gratitude.

Clearly this cleanse, filled with nourishing whole foods, rituals of self-love and the power of intention is establishing within me a place of calm and love amidst the chaos and fear. It feels so good to take nurture myself and to make a concerted effort to nourish myself with wholesome home-made foods.

I am eliminating the clutter and the distractions. I notice the details, the little feelings and a building of awareness. There is no where left to hide. It's so easy to distract myself with the habits I've built, the foods I treat myself to - even yoga and exercise become a place to hide - when uncomfortable thoughts and feelings arise

When we lose a significant person in our life, this absence becomes a presence. An emptiness. A strange and precarious place inside us and around us.

With time, this emptiness becomes something of its very own. For me, I feel the loss but now I recognize the seed.

I have learned to apply courage, strength and focus. I have gained trust, compassion and confidence. I appreciate the precious, fragile nature of all that we hold dear. I value this time and find gratitude in some of the oddest places:-)

Each of us experiences loss in our very own, unique way. Is there a theory on the bio-individuality of loss? Shortly before I lost my father I lost my marriage. That year I was filled with a profound sense of grief and loss and anger. In the storm of those emotions I learned to understand my strength, my resilience, my courage.

I clearly remember those feelings but hold onto them no longer. Today, in a world-view that is often focused on loss and grief and anger, on lack and not enough, we all know these feelings well. Loss, it seems, comes in many forms.

Today I stand taller. I have lived these losses, held them close like a comforting well-worn blanket and now grown out of them, plenty ready to let go. Yet loss leaves its mark...

Through our loss we connect, we share out stories, woven from common threads and we plant the seeds for friendship, love and deep connection. Some of my dearest friends have weathered great loss and while our loss is uniquely our own, within us there is a piece that knows and recognizes this experience as our own.

“People live through such pain only once. Pain comes again—but it finds a tougher surface.” Willa CatherThe Song of the Lark

I am truly grateful for the other side of loss, grief, anger. A place of opportunity. A sense of compassion and gratitude. A commitment to live within and not without.

I am still learning trust. Gaining the capacity to place my faith beyond the realm of my own limited understanding. I am on my path and clear in my purpose. I am ready to live, love and continue to learn...

“The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers...I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” Willa CatherMy Ántonia

I hope you'll join me to celebrate Spring as we shift into the season of hope and rebirth. Let's connect not only over our losses but with our hope!

In Health, Gratitude & Hope,

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Celebrate Spring Broth and Vegetable Soup

Makes approx. 10 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbs Olive or Coconut Oil 1-2 Large Onions, chopped 1 lb Celery, Chopped 1 lb Carrots, washed but unpeeled, chopped 3 Whole Cloves Garlic 1 Bay Leaf 10 Whole Black Peppercorns 1/4 Cup Low Sodium Tamari or up to 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt (optional) 1 Gallon Water

For Soup Add:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 turnip, finely chopped or 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 ounces green beans, ends removed and chopped
  • 8 ounces asparagus, ends removed and chopped
  • 1 heriloom tomato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Parsley or Rosemary, a few sprigs (optional)

Method:

  1. Find a large pot. Add oil, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Sweat for 3-5 minutes.

  2. Add enough cold water to cover, about 1 gallon. Add bay leaf and peppercorns.

  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for approximately 1 hour.

  4. Add tamari or salt to taste.

  5. If making only vegetable broth: Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Strain to remove and discard vegetables and spices. Keep for up to 1 week in fridge or freeze in small batches (ice cube trays work well).

  6. For soup: Add fresh vegetables through asparagus. Return to boil.

  7. Reduce heat to simmer and add tomato.

  8. Optional: Add beans or spinach if using either. Allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

  9. Add pepper to taste and stir to combine. Taste soup before serving! Ladle into individual bowls. Enjoy!

Every soup is unique - You may also add or substitute these items to your tastes:

Left over vegetables or scraps

Broccoli, Snap Peas, Leeks Mushrooms, Cooked Beans Sweet Potatoes or Yams Peppers, Zucchini Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard Ginger, Fennel