Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Triumph Over Comfort Food

As I was driving back from the rock climbing gym today, the most powerful craving for a certain comfort food nearly knocked me out of my car. This craving was for the Del Taco veggie burrito, with no cheese or sour cream, with del inferno hot sauce and a carton of icy orange juice. I turned into a ravenous robot and directed my car automatically towards Del Taco. When I got about a block away I realized that I didn't have my wallet with me, so i abruptly turned around to go back for it. As I was driving back to my apartment I remembered an article I read, just yesterday. It was about comfort foods, why we eat them, what they do for (to) us, and how we can avoid them. I didn't remember anything specific about the article, but it really drew my attention to WHY I could possibly be craving this thick, hot, juicy, heavy-in-your-stomach, burrito. The feeling I pinpointed was nostalgia. It reminded me of an earlier time in my life. I said to myself "Self, why are you craving the past when you could be creating the present and shaping the future!" So I decided to go grocery shopping instead. I went to my favorite store, a farmer's market, and walked around the organic produce, trying to put something together in my mind. Suddenly all my creative juices started flowing (or were they my stomach juices? I don't know) and I scurried around throwing this and that into my bag, becoming more and more excited about what I was about to make. I bought tomatoes, collard leaves, carrots, sunflower seeds, avocados, alfalfa sprouts, poppy seed dressing, and mint leaves. I will now tell what I created with all these delicious, fresh ingredients.

(That head of lettuce in the background is superfluous. I thought I was going to use it, but ended up not. It's really cool though. It still has its roots attached, so it's technically still 'alive'.)

I first chopped up the tomato, avocado, and carrots. Then I cut a collard leave in half, de-veining it, if you will. I put the tomato, avocado, carrots, and alfalfa sprouts on the bottom third of the leaf, then sprinkled it with sunflower seeds and some poppyseed dressing, just enought to kind of hold everything together. I also threw on some fresh mint leaves and a little bit of sea salt. Then I rolled everything up in the leaf and chowed down! I compared the way I felt afterwards to the way I have felt in the past after eating the veggie burrito, and the difference was very apparent, as you can well imagine.

It was delicious. I was glad I made that choice.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Take a Ride on the Soul Train

During my very first semester at BYU (summer of '07) I took a class called Intro to Philosophy. Near the end of the semester we started talking about 'the soul'. What is a 'soul'? Is it the spirit of somebody? Is it an all-encompassing personality? Well of course we never came to any one conclusion. There is no such thing as any one conclusion in philosophy. I came up with my own idea and wrote my final paper on it. I got a B+, I think. The following paragraph is MY understanding of souls and the way they work and interact with each other.

Our souls are living. They have substance that we can't See or feel because that substance is in some other dimension, i.e. behind the veil. Our souls envelop us and radiate outside of our physical bodies. This is what some people refer to as "aura". Now, what exactly shapes our souls and makes them what they are today? Our souls start out pure and clear and innocent. When we come into close proximity with any other person's soul or aura, they mix and mingle and share themselves with each other. We, in a sense, become a part of whoever we interact with through our "soul sharing". This explains the feeling of empathy. We are a part of everyone and every person is a part of us, so we can feel each other. But that is a topic for some other blog!

Like I said, that is all my interpretation of souls and what they are and how they grow and become "us". Now what do the scriptures say? Jacob 2:8 mentions "the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul." This leads me to believe that, yes indeed, the soul is living and can feel and be wounded and healed. Enos 1:4 says "my soul hungered". Another indication that the soul is living and needs care. Omni 1:26- "offer your whole souls as an offering unto Him" we can give of our souls and share with Christ and others. We need to be consciously offering our souls to God, sharing all of our experiences with Him. If we pour out our souls to God he will, in turn, fill us with HIS soul, or the light of Christ. King Benjamin "labor[ed] with faculty of his whole soul" (Words of Mormon 1:18) to establish peace in the land. He shared of his love and wisdom and peace and helped shape the souls of all who were in the land.

The Old Testament word for soul is "nephesh". This is translated in 31 ways in the Bible, with "life" being the most occuring translation. Other translations include myself, pleasure, appetite, ghost, dead body, creature, one, and person. It is very interesting that one word can be translated to 'life' and 'dead body'. This is explained by the root of the word 'nephesh' which is 'to breathe'. A dead body once breathed. Our souls live and breathe. (w.c. 5.)

I believe that the word "soul" is very much misused in our language today. It is more than our eternal spirit or personality or body or memory. It is all of that combined that lives forever, perhaps reincarnating to grow from more experiences in different circumstances. I know that our souls are exactly 'us' and we can be who we want to be if we associate with other souls who have already reached whatever plane we would like to be on. We, in turn, must help others reach their 'soul goals' by sharing our souls with them and accepting theirs.

Works Cited
1. Jacob 2:5 (Book of Mormon)
2. Enos 1:4 (Book of Mormon)
3. Omni 1:26 (Book of Mormon)
4. Words of Mormon 1:18 (Book of Mormon)
5. http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/soul-and-spirit.htm
6. picture from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/science/26soul.html