Monthly Pilgrimage

Heavenly journey of delicious, nutritious, and conscious  joy

Once a month I make a pilgrimage to Delux Burger in Phoenix. I’ve been doing this for years and years now. It satiates my red meat cravings and my body’s nutritional requirements. When I first started going there for my burger craving satiation I was not fully aware of why I was led there. But in time it became clear to me. They use meat from conscious cattle ranches. I am quite sure they have other meals on the menu but I only and always get the same dish: Delux Burger, medium rare, lettuce wrap it please (occasionally, I’ll bun it up), sweet potato fries, and all aioli sauce, (hold the ketchup – why would anyone want ketchup when the aioli sauce is so delicious – i could drink it as a milkshake – not quite, but almost), please. I have tried other burger places, but I always gravitate back to Delux.

Initially, I ate, consumed, enjoyed the burger mindlessly, not fully aware of what I was doing and the ripple effect I was creating from a simple act of feeding myself one meal – well in actuality two for me. That is until  I started becoming more and more sensitive to my purchasing decisions, to the animal spirit world, and to energy. This awareness and Gift opened up a whole world of blessings and HUGE responsibilities. The blessings came in the form of me choosing food and personal care products which were clean, conscious, and Love based. The responsibility came in the form of now that I knew better, I could no longer in good conscience not do not better. The double negative said another way is that  in knowing and feeling the energy of what I was eating or putting on or in my body, I could no longer choose food and personal care products that were not made with integrity and love.

In an earlier HerStory article of mine called “It’s Very Complicated”, I shared how difficult it became for me to eat meat. I began knowing and feeling the Oneness with everyone, animals, nature, and inanimate objects. I began seeing animals as my soul brothers and sisters. It repulsed me to eat meat of any kind because I felt like I was eating my sister or brother. That’s how sensitive and attuned I got. Many people are experiencing these shifts in these days. There were times when I saw others eating meat that I wanted to throw up because it was so revolting to me. During this period I visited the Biosphere 2 in Oracle/Tuscon, AZ. There I learned that the human inhabitants became so close to their animal companions, which were supposed to be their protein food source that no one could do the “deed” (slaughtering). Thus they became vegetarians for the duration of the experiment and the animals were spared. Life was mirroring back to me my inner and outer journeys of what I was struggling with and working through. Although I was not raising any animals, but because I became so sensitive, such an empath, that I felt them and was at one with them. I did not want their blood on my hands. I did not want to be responsible for their slaughter. I was not going to be a cannibal. I would live without eating my brothers and sisters. Or so I thought and so I tried.

Over a period of three to four years several times I went vegan. Each time I lasted about thirty to forty days. Each time I almost made myself sick because I felt so depleted in the nutrients provided from meat. Each time when I went back to eating meat, I would crycrycry and then cry some more, feel tremendous guilt, and apologize profusely to the sacrificed animal, my sister, that I was eating her. In this phase I would tell people that I outsourced or subcontracted my killing or murdering. Oh yes, I dragged others along on my inner guilt trip. On one such occasion, the person responded back by saying that “cows are delicious”. This statement haunted me for years. Yet, on the other hand, I also felt much better after I did eat meat, I felt like life was coming back into my body. I felt strong again in ways that plant, legume, and nut proteins could not fulfill. It was a heavy duty catch twenty two. If I ate meat, I felt selfish. If I did not eat meat, I felt the life force leaving me and me becoming weaker and weaker. That’s what happens when you become closer to feeling and knowing Oneness with all of Creation. You feel deeply every one and everything that enters your orbital sphere.

As always, Grace came riding in on a white horse sweeping me out of my emotional quagmire, my mental conundrum, and my energetic dilemma. Grace showed over time through various books, conversations, and insights how it does not have to be an either/or stance, that it can be both. It can be an “and” way of life. Grace rescued me from me.  Grace eased my mental and emotional anguish and showed me how to make wise, loving, gracious and gratitude based choices. Grace showed me that everything and everyone is a gift, a blessing, and a sacrifice. We are gifts to each other. We are a blessing to each other. We also offer ourselves as a sacrifice to each other. The sacrifice looks different for everyone. Each has their own path, their own mission, their own passion.

Passion = pass + i + on. We pass on the “i” of us to others and thus to God. We pass on our i or eye or essence to Creation. This passing on of ourselves nourishes others and is our redeeming gift and privilege.

With this shift and insight, my burger eating experience took on another dimension. I became deeply and profoundly grateful for the nourishment and the joy in the journey of my nourishing . I went form being a mindless consumer where the end justifies the means to a grateful participant in the entire circle of living life on our earth biosphere bubble. Now, when the hamburger is presented to me and before me, I don’t dig into it. I stop. I take a breath. I think of everyone involved with getting this burger on the plate. There is first and foremost the Holy Spirit of the Cow which was sacrificed; there is the farmer and all her/his helpers; the veterinarian; the people who helped build the barns and the fences around the pastures and the suppliers of the barn and fence materials; there is that person who did the “deed”, or the person who invented the machine that is doing the “deed”; there are the people, knives, packaging, and electricity it takes to then dismember, package, and refrigerate the sacrificed cow; then there are the trucking companies and drivers and distributors; then there are the restauranteurs with their art and helpers of creating a delicious meal. It takes the whole village to keep the village going. The globe is the village. Lastly and most importantly, there is God for sending sun and rain and grass and the Gift of the Cow. Now I can begin eating and enjoying my hamburger, consciously, gracefully, graciously, and gratefully.  I now know just how many people it takes for something simple to appear: many, countless.

Just like the Native Americans used to thank the Buffalo Spirit in advance of their hunt for offering itself up to them, we too need to take a moment to practice mindfulness and gratitude before a meal – especially if there is meat in it.

I still remember the first time I consciously ate a wild caught salmon. I had been purchasing my fish from regular food stores but in this awareness journey I began purchasing some of my nourishment at Whole Foods. They have a fresh fish department whose focus is on sustainability and they will cook the fish for you. Since my kitchen is primarily for display purposes only (very basic cooking is what I do), I loved that they prepared the fish. I was so excited to bring home and eat a salmon that was not farmed but one that had roamed the wild seas. The night that I ate the wild caught salmon I had a dream. I dreamt that I was in the ocean swimming with the salmon and then I and the salmon merged – our energy became One. We became One. We/i swam in the cold waters off of the coast of Alaska. The sense of freedom was wonderful. The feeling of the freedom entered into my blood, my veins,  and my energy. It was after this meal and this dream that I realized that we absorb and we become the energy that we eat. “Irena, now that you know this, be VERY MINDFUL of how you nourish your body.”, was an imprint onto my being. I am and will always be grateful to the Holy Spirit of that Salmon that gave me that Gift of merging with him.

The opposite is also true. If one eats the soul&spirit of an animal that has been raised in tight cruel quarters, that energy will also merge with theirs.

I have come full circle in my meat eating journey.

Take Charge of your life, nutrition, and experiences,                                                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                        02/21/2018

Relationship Status: Very Complicated

My relationship status with eating meat, and especially beef, is very complicated. Aaaahh, I thought that becoming more aware and more feeling would make life simple, and it has, but it has also made it much more complex.

Long long time ago, before the awakening of my awareness and my deep deep feeling, I used to eat meat easily, readily, heartily, and frequently. I was a voracious carnivore. The flesh of another was my sustenance. None of them were safe: pigs and piglets, cows and calves, chickens and other avians, fish and crustaceans – all were fair game.

That was, until my journey showed me what was truly happening and how it was affecting me, my energy, my vibration/frequency, and how that was coming back to me: boomeranging back at me with greater intensity.

As I delved deeper  into eating clean and living clean, into understating how my nutritional choices and product choices were creating ripple effects into my body, my energy, my life, and even into the world, I began to realize, see, and feel just how “ONE” we really are with everything and everyone. When I asked for this Gift, I thought I would get a simple formula. On the contrary, I instead received a “world tour” of how my choices affect the Universe. Furthermore, these choices are like avalanches or a tsunami, they start small, but build in strength, power, force, and impact. My, your, our choices are not inconsequential. They reflect our values and priorities. They reflect how and what we LOVE.

My journey unfolded in three different area: meat, personal care products, house hold products, clothing. Here and today, I will only discuss meat.

MEAT                                                                                                                          When I opened myself up to being more aware about meat several things happened. First, I came across vegans and vegetarians and PETA. They were everywhere: people I met, conversations that arose, social media feeds, auto stickers, youtube vides, books, articles, TED talks… Then the movie “TEMPLE GRANDIN” showed up in my path. She is an autistic woman who has a doctoral degree in animal science and revolutionized the cattle industry. I saw things in the movie and other videos that disturbed me, troubled me, and made me crycrycrycrycry. Event now when I think about it I am crying as I write this. Next I saw PETA videos of animal “factories”. These did more than just make me cry and break my heart, they sent me into a deep pit of sorrow and sadness and even despair, borderline depression. The violence. The sadness. The agony. The torture of being caged up with no room to move.

How could I eat meat after seeing all these images? The images would appear to me if I even thought about eating meat. How could I condone and be a contributor to all this violence by partaking in it? How could I put this violence energy – the slaughter, the factory conditions – into my body? I couldn’t (for a long while). I could feel their despair. I could feel their fear. I could feel their incarceration. I could feel their slaughter. I wanted noting to do with this violence.

The next level of this Gift was my journey into Shamanism. Here the animals showed me their Minds, Hearts, Spirits, and Life Force Energy. I no longer saw them as objects and separate from me. I now felt at one with them and at one in their soul’s journey. I now saw them as my bothers and sisters in Christ. My soul was in a hu/wo/man body, while their soul was in an animal body. We both need and want the same things in life: peace, health, safety, joy, love, expression, FREEDOM, community, and prosperity. (Side note: everything has a soul: a rock, a tree, a body of water, house, vehicle, smartphone, spoon, hammer, towels… Everything is soul. Everything is God Energy. Everything is Holy.) Thus, I began to see, feel, and know them as me. A hamburger was no longer just a hamburger, for me it began to feel like I was eating my sister, or eating a part of me. I felt like a cannibal.

The natural and obvious solution was to become a vegan or a vegetarian eater. Several times over the past decade I have tried. Th longest I lasted was about thirty to forty days. Each time toward the end of the journey or fast, I reached a point of shakes, lightheadedness, very low energy, and just a feeling of weakness and inertness. I began to feel as though I was shutting down and opening myself up to serious mental, emotional and physical consequences. I just knew that if I did not eat meat, I would die in time. And thus the very complex dilemma: in order for me to not just survive, but thrive, I needed to eat the flesh of another; another had to sacrifice their life for me; another had to die so that I could live; another’s blood shedding was my blood’s enlivening. The death of another meant that I could live. It was the Cross. It was the voluntary act of Jesus going to the Cross. It was the Blood of Christ enlivening and strengthening my Spirit.

(Note: He was not a victim. He said “YES”, a trepidatious “yes”, but it was still a “yes”. Before His Blood was shed on the Cross, It first seeped out of His Pores in the garden the night before. That’s how afraid He was.)

Saving Grace

In the angst is also the relief. Grace opened me up and showed me the shadow side of this journey on earth. Grace showed me that sacrifice is part of The Way. Sacrifice is heart wrenching and necessary and a requirement for and by all. Grace also gave me the coping tools with which to nourish my body without crying and feeling guilty.

The first Gift was the book “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo. I am blood type O, the universal donor. Blood type Os need red meat.

The second Gift was Pablo, a friend who grew up on a family ranch in Arizona. He told me how at the age of ten or eleven his grandfather made him go and put a bullet in between the eyes of a cow the had raised as a calf, his friend. He was also required to do this to rabbits and pigs. He told me how sick it made it him to do it. He also told me how necessary it was. Listening to him mirror back to me my inner workings gave me validation, justification, and a little bit of peace of mind.

The third Gift was the Native American Way. They were/are masterful shape shifters. They could/can visit/enter/meld with the SpiritFlesh of an animal (temporarily – such stories I have heard). They lived/live at One with Mother Nature. They understand Her. They respect Her. They receive from Her sustenance. I learned that before they would go on a buffalo hunt, they would pray/mediate/chant in advance and connect with the spirit of the sacrificing  buffalo. They would thank the buffalo spirit in advance for offering him/her self up to them as food, as sustenance. They understood that it was a Gift from the buffalo. They understood that it was also a Sacrifice on the part of the buffalo. It was a mutual understanding. It was a Soul Contract. Even though at the Spirit level both parties are aware of this, it still does not make the doing of the “deed” any much easier.

The fourth Gift  was a brief minute conversation in passing. I was at a conference and outside the lecture hall was a table/booth set up by the Arizona Beef Council. The representative was a young lady who had grown up on a family ranch. I told her of my inner turmoil when I ate beef. She gave me a perspective that shed a different light on things. She did not call it “slaughter”, she called it “harvesting”. A euphemism, I thought and said. But she went on to explain that every part of the cow is used for something. Nothing goes to waste. Beef byproducts are ingredients for a variety of items such as surgical sutures, tires, instrument strings… Wise stewardship is being practised. Even if one as vegan, the chances that animal byproducts are in their life are high.

The fifth Gift was Whole Foods. When I first entered this store, long long time ago ( and long before the Amazon marriage), I thought I had entered a different universe. The products, the origins of the products, the focus of the products, the labelling, the people were all so unique and foreign. It was “conscious capitalism”, or a conscious market place. It mattered where the ingredients came from. It mattered how they were harvested. It mattered the impact the product had on the farmer and the environment. It mattered that the farmer was being paid well for their contribution. It mattered where the animal came from and how they were respected in their life journey.  If I were going to eat meat, if I was going to put the energy of the flesh of another into my body, if I was going to absorb the life force of an animal and their experience here on earth, I was going to do my best in making choices that were based on love, respect, and dignity.

The sixth Gift was my understanding and feeling of energy. I realized, or it was shown to me, that if I eat of an animal that is caged all its life, like chickens, I bring in that “caged” energy into my being and my frequency. By eating this vibration I am being this vibration: like attracts like. Thus, it became imperative for me to eat eggs from chickens that roamed in the fields, felt the sunshine on their bodies, stretched their wings, and lived as pleasant a life as possible. Happy hens make happy eggs. Hens who roam in the fields, feel the sunshine, and scratch the dirt and grass, make wholesome eggs filled with LOVE.

The seventh Gift was the Bible. Although it sends contradictory messages when it comes to the eating of meat (and in other topics), it resonated with me that it was ok to do so.

This meat eating journey has taken me deep into the shadows, but within the shadows there were guides and Light sent to show me The Way out and how to eat meat, righteously. I see this same pattern in all my journeys. Each time a new path of Awareness is presented to me, it is by going into the shadow that that is where the Light out is shown. The awareness comes, the light is shone in the darkness. The supposedly  random meetings and conversations, well, they were all preordained and predestined. Then we have a choice to make as to how we will live our loves and lives.

I have also realized that the more wholesome, clean, and as much organic as possible the food that I eat, the less of it I need because it is more delicious and nutritious. My body is satisfied and satiated with less food. My meals are also more simpler. And, I’ve stopped taking vitamins.

In this journey I’ve realized everything and everyone is a sacrifice: even the carrots, beets, apples, walnuts, and fresh cut flowers. We are called called to sacrifice ourselves for the other. The BIG question is, “how do I sacrifice?”, “what am I called to sacrifice?”. The answer is with the Divine, and not the ego or others’ expectations. When we sacrifice in alignment with the Divine, it is filled with Grace and it is life giving to both the giver and the receiver. Remember, Christ’s crucifixion was only one day in the entirety of His Life. The remainder of His Life was relatively “normal” of eating, drinking, sleeping, grooming, working, gathering, worshipping, preaching, healing, and sharing. He chose to go to His crucifixion. In doing so He Rose and filled us with His strength, power, mercy, forgiveness, and LOVE.

Thus, be not afraid of the shadows dancing about you and inviting you in. Gird yourself with Love and Light, and trust the journey already has a predestined Light Out-Come.

I invite you to think about or research your purchasing decisions that you make all the way back to the source. Consider all the people it took for your product or service to arrive to you. Consider their working conditions. Consider the lives of the animals.

Consider if you could make a choice based on more LOVE.

Abundant Grace, Wisdom, and Love,                                                                                Irena As I Am                                                                                                      01/27/2018