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What's Up With Helen and other delights


Christopher Carson on Unsplash

It’s a glorious day here in Charlotte as I stand up to write my weekly blog.


I rarely sit these days—it triggers my hamspring.


I had an MRI done a few months ago—seeking diagnosis for the pain I’ve been dealing with on one side or the other for months, maybe years. Hamstring tendinitis. My mouth doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, so I’ve given up and call it my hamspring.


That way I can imagine myself as a happy porker gadding about in a field of daisies.


I usually write my weekly posts based on my weekly Facebook Live. This past week was a delightful and enlightening conversation with my friend, Brandy Lang, who is a gifted practitioner of Myofascial Release. Since this is really not my area of expertise, I thought I would break with the norm and do a What’s Up With Helen session.


My hamspring, certainly.


I could share the exercises I’m doing, the supplements I’m taking and the positive thoughts I’m thinking in order to heal myself. Or I could talk about something more compelling to me in this moment: my book.


Yes. I’ve been writing a book.


And yes, it is tangentially about nutrition—because I am tangentially or slightly-more-than-tangentially about nutrition—but more so it is memoir.


I was chatting about it with a buddy who works at my local Trader Joe’s (best store ever, by the way, solely based on the people who call it Job) and he asked if it was going to be turned into a screenplay.


Because of where I am in the process, I replied, “No, it will be a scream-play.”


There is a lot of screaming in the bits of the notebook I’m reading right now.


My sister’s notebook. She journaled in it her senior year of high school and goes into verbatim detail about the conversations she has with various people she is close to.


I have written 72,439 words as of today. That’s a lot of words. Granted they do include most of the lyrics of the 1981 Chilliwack song, Gone, Gone, Gone, She’s Been Gone So Long, but still.


Them’s a lot of wordly things.


My sister and I exchanged a lot of wordly things over the course of her life. It stopped in 1992 because she died of a heroin overdose, but I have much of the delightful proof of it in the letters in my possession. Back and forth letters. With postmarks and addresses, giving me signposts along the trajectory of her life.


What a cool kid.


The world lost an out-of-the-box thinker and budding transformational force when she shot herself way up into oblivion. She had been turning her life around. It’s unclear what made her decide to throw away eight months of “clean” for a night of debauchery in her small bedroom down the street from me in Brooklyn.


She called it “Crooklyn” in a letter to her best friend. I don’t know what specifically she is referring to—unless it’s just the stereotypes which the different boroughs had in the city.


I lived in Brooklyn and worked in the Bronx. People I knew in Brooklyn were terrified for me. People I knew in the Bronx were terrified for me. As for my part, I was not terrified of either.


Call it naïve or call it—wherever you go, there you are. And the oft-quoted Wayne Dyer story:


Apparently he met someone on the beach near where he lives. She told him she had just moved to the area and asked him what the people were like in this new place.


“What were they like where you came from?” he asked.
“Horrible. Selfish.”
“Oh, well, I think you’ll find they’re the same here.”

So that’s what I’m up to. Writing the story of my sister and me—with bonus recipes.


Honoring her journey on this earth and letting her know that all is well—even as I think of her and miss her every day. Even as I think of her and miss her every day I also know—from sitting with her body—that she was relieved to no longer be stuck in that human form.


She got to fly free that night almost twenty-nine years ago.


She is free and, yes, I do feel her with me when I pause and allow myself to connect.


For that I am grateful.


As always, I am here for you. To support you on your own journey—mind, body, spirit. It is all part of our whole. The program which I teach, Meet You Where You’re At, does just that—and incorporates a sugar detox alongside the stuff that makes new and healthier habits stick.


Reach out if you’re interested. The next one begins March 17th.


Peace, Peace, Peace.

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