Archive for What I’m Reading

world peace diet reviewed & renewed

In which I say a lil about this phenomenal book, The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle.

Order online at
Kitten clip at the end.

*** from a review by Eve Spencer, Vegan Voice Magazine **
“The World Peace Diet is not a diet in the sense of a fad diet to lose weight, but the author illustrates clearly how the social, psychological and spiritual consequences of our meals “ripple through all aspects of our lives.”

“The book is systematically developed to reveal the connection between what we daily put on our plates, and peace in the world and in our lives. Some of the chapters covered include the power of food, the herding culture, the nature of intelligence, domination of the feminine, the metaphysics of food, science and religion, profiting from destruction, the journey of transformation, and in the final chapter—living the revolution—is ‘the last days of eating animal.'” …


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Insights into codependence

I starting going to a 12-step group for codependence about a month ago. What started me was reading the book “Facing Codependence” by Pia Mellody and recognizing myself on almost every page. I’ve tried other 12-steps before (Al-anon, SLAA), but none of them really seemed to ‘fit’, until this one.

I want to share a little excerpt from Pia’s book here. I think it’s a useful insight into our culture, no matter if you struggle with self-esteem or codependency issues or not (although in our culture, it’s hard to not be affected by either of these issues).


“Our culture divides our feelings into two kinds: “good” and “bad.” Anger pain, fear, guilt, and shame are labeled bad or negative. Joy we consider good or positive. Unfortunately, this sort of ‘black or white’ categorizing is erroneous and dysfunctional.

“One dysfunctional message our culture gives us is that most of the time it’s not acceptable to have “bad” feelings listed above. The message to children is that mature, well-controlled, successful adult people stay ‘rational’ at all times, which means staying out of ‘bad’ feelings. By the time one is an adult, the message often is, ‘If you’re really mature, you don’t need to have ‘bad’ feelings.’

“Parelleling that message is one that says that if a person does own and express any such emotions, that person is immature. I fthe feelings are moderately intense, the person is labelled ’emotional’ (as opposed to rational). And if the feelings are extremely intense, the person had moved into the realm of craziness. Since of the major symptoms of codependence is ‘feeling crazy’ because our emotions seem to be out of control, we codependents feel a lot of guilt and shame for being who we are.”

I want to pause here — the last three paragraphs personally gave me so much freedom because I have always felt that I am fighting to not feel guilt & shame for who I am and have spent much of my life angry at others for ‘not getting it’. As you can guess, I am used to being labelled ’emotional’ and ‘feeling crazy’ and on some level had come to accept this about myself – but hoping that others could accept me also. Acceptance was something I didn’t feel much of when I was younger …

The next two paragraphs I think are quite insightful about gender and feelings. The text is a bit dated, but I think the core message is still true:

“Another cultural message is that even if it is acceptable to our family and friends for us the have some feelings, there are still certain feelings that we’re not to have. for example, in our society, men must not have fear. If a man is afraid, he’s a coward. It’s acceptable for a woman to be afraid, because she’s supposed to be weak and vulnerable. But woman must not be angry. If a woman is angry, she’s a witch. But a man’s anger is his male right; he’s just exerting his power.

“Pain is not acceptable for either sex. The message is, ‘You have a right to not have any pain, so take whatever you need to numb it.’ Since wisdom and maturity come from facing pain and learning from it, I believe we are a nation of very immature people who don’t have a willingness to experience the pain that leads to authentic wisdom. We haven’t learned how to tolerate pain and deal with it as an agent of positive change.”

– Pia Mellody, “Facing Codependence.” pp. 92 – 93

Bravo, especially to the last two points. Pia Mellody is absolutely right on the count of Americans being immature, running from and covering up their pain. I think it’s rare to find people now who take time away from their technology, jobs, busy lives, whatever, for spiritual reflection & authentic expression … well, maybe they do, but I’m not sure where that dialogue is occurring.  I know during my childhood in several Christian churches, I didn’t hear much of authentic dialogue going on … It wasn’t until I got into a secular self-help seminar and then a Unitarian church that I felt there was an environment that encouraged and supported people in facing their pain and moving through it – with an understanding that on the other side is … FREEDOM.

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Ishmael in hibernation


My blog is in hibernation apparently. Suffering neglect. The fact is, blogging feels a bit too public and bothersome. Readers don’t really want to know the gory details of a strangers life … or do they?

I’ve gotton used to 140 character updates on twitter. writing much more than that seems long-winded or pretentious! Bytes of information should suffice.

What I’m reading:

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

I’m not done with this book yet, and I love it. Maybe I’m prolonging the ending by not getting to it … but I am surprised when people say ‘oh yeah I read it’ and then glibly move on to some other inane topic. How can you read this book and not be moved???!!  Probably people don’t want to talk about it b/c it left the metallic taste of blood and guilt in their mouth after they put it down, and that’s all they remember.

The premise of the book is that a resigned, post-hippie-era writer (Quinn?) finds his search for truth reignited by a classified ad by a teacher seeking a pupil. The teacher is an intelligent and telepathic gorilla who is trying to reach out to any Westerner that can possibly grasp the impact of what thousands of years of Western mythologies have done to the planet. Hello, is anyone listening?

Anyway, read it and be prepared to have the cultural perspective you’ve grown to take for granted be questioned and disassembled. My recomendation is to not try to put the pieces back where you think they should be – because you will be lying to yourself. Quinn is insightful in the way I wish more authors would be. He’s writing stories that matter.

Update January 25

I finished reading Ishmael yesterday. I don’t want to ‘ruin’ for anyone but I still like it as much as I did before. Actually feel I need to go back and reread the last few pages. I want to put a quote on here that I feel sums up what I got from the book…

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I write, design, edit – what am I?

Hey! I’m excited because I think I finally figured out the proper title for what I do on a daily basis:

I am a Communication Designer. Specifically in health care. This definition is broad/vague enough to encompass all that I do, but specific enough to aptly describe it.  On a day to day basis I’m: designing customer service banners & poster; ordering promo items; manipulating image & text; editing photos; creating brochures & mailers for different hospital departments & programs; gathering information and laying out hospital-wide newsletters; coordinating physician lectures & mass faxing flyers; writing press releases; taking photos & writing copy for our website. You get the idea …

A Communication Designer “seeks to attract, inspire, create desires and motivate the people to respond to messages, with a view to making a favorable impact to the bottom line of the commissioning body, which can be either to build a brand, move sales, or for humanitarian purposes. Its process involves strategic business thinking, utilizing market research, creativity, and problem-solving.”  I work mainly with visual & text.

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Sharing a piece of Rumi

A Delicate Girl


The terrible grief of being human! Let

us drink it all, but with a difference.


We sit with Junnaiyd and Bestami. The

moon rising here cannot be covered with


cloud. There are no deaths for lovers.

Who is the self? A delicate girl that


flows out when we draw the sword of

selfless action. This earth eats men


and women, and yet we are sent to eat

the world, this place that tries to fool


us with tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow,

which we outwit by enjoying only this


now. We gather at night to celebrate

being human. Sometimes we call out low


to the tambourine. Fish drink the sea,

but the sea does not get smaller! We


eat the clouds and evening light. We

are slaves tasting the royal wine.



Right now it is snowing heavily on Pontiac. Makes me miss upstate a little … trying to figure out the immediate future is slow going. Each little thing dependent on the next on the next on the next … etc.


Some Kiss We Want


There is some kiss we want with

our whole lives, the touch of


spirit on the body. Seawater

begs the pear to break its shell.


And the lily, how passionately

it needs some wild darling! At


night, I open the window and ask

the moon to come and press its


face against mine. Breathe into

me. Close the language-door and


open the love-window. The moon

won’t use the door, only the window.



Someone who does not run

toward the allure of love

walks a road where nothing


lives. But this dove here

senses the love hawk floating

above, and waits, and will not


be driven or scared to safety.

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What I’m reading, and other news

Just an update – since I used this blog as a record of my own reading…

Reading: Right now I am engrossed in a few books: Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov; Small Changes, by Marge Piercy; and the current issue of The Believer.   Feed my brain!

Life: I’m right now packing up for my move to Michigan. Monday was my last day as copy editor at the local paper … it’s a little weird to have so much time to myself now, but that’s what I wanted!  I’m hoping to leave this weekend, and looking forward to spending time with family and getting myself grounded again.

Naturopath: I realize I never really gave an update after last time like I said I would. Basically, I completed a two month allergy diet and determined that I at least have a sensitivity to SOY. Not wheat, or corn, or milk even. Soy is really what sets off my tummy. Wow. Kind of interesting for a vegan … So I haven’t been eating soy for about a month, and have been eating local organic eggs from my friend’s farm, and I feel a lot better.

My colitis symptoms are for the most part under control, however, I am still on a lot of pharmaceuticals, including dicyclomine (anti-spasmodic), cortifoam (cortisone supporitories – though I’m doing these less frequently), still on azasan 50 mg x2 (immuno-suppressant).  The funny thing being that I’ve been doing things that were on my ‘avoid list’ for a long time (i.e. smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol moderately) yet  I’ve been feeling healthier than I have in a looong time.

So I think it’s more a state of mind. My stress level is much lower now than it was when I was engaged/married, and I’m more physically active now than I was – walking, yoga, packing etc.

If you get a chance, check out new photos on my Flickr page – I uploaded lots more crochet and knit photos.



As for Barack Obama being elected the 44th president of the United States … WOW. I’m proud to be an American and looking forward to his leadership. I don’t think there’s anything I can say that hasn’t already been said about this historic election, but for me personally it was truly inspiring. America you did the right thing! My faith is restored!

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New photos, insights, dreams

I’m not so good at uploading photos to this blog, but I have ‘new’ photos that I just scanned and uploaded onto my flickr page (apparently I can’t copy the link here – but go to flickr and search for alethafaye). They are photos that Adele took when she was in her photo class(es) at school and she was gracious enough to mail them all to me as I was looking for photos to start building a ‘portfolio.’ I think she is quite good … Soon I will also have standard head shots & body shots to apply for some modeling gigs and whatnot.


From Adele's collection

From Adele



From Gina - Headshot

From Gina - Headshot




Have been using the tarot frequently, as an interpretation tool. The deck I have is the Fenestra deck, a really beautiful deck in the style of the classic Rider-Waite. I was drawn to it after spending almost 45 minutes at the shop in Sedona looking for the ‘right’ one. I didn’t really even look at it, but just decided on it at the last minute. With a good guidebook with exercises (“Learning the Tarot” by Joan Bunning) I have been learning a lot — not just about tarot, but I think about myself, which is, after all, the purpose.

She suggests doing a daily one card reading. Admittedly, I have not been doing it every day, but it is very interesting on the days that I do, and have generally been keeping a journal. Last week I did a 12 card Celtic cross on a particular situation in my life and it proved to be very apt. I found myself crying (not hard to do for me) and in awe of the accuracy, and revelations, of the reading.

Today I drew The Hermit card (IX of the Major Arcana) … signalling a need for introspection, spending some time alone, withdrawing from the senses. This is something I’ve known I needed but have been resisting, or ignoring. It’s very easy for me to be a ‘slave to the senses’ so to speak. Luckily, I have that opportunity to be alone right now in my life, though I may find it a struggle to do so. Often the cards reveal something know by my ‘inner guidance’ but that I may be ignoring. It helps to bring things to light that sometimes I would prefer hidden. The tarot forces you to be honest and look into yourself (sometimes we all need a little kick, right?).

I have cards from the suit of swords come up rather frequently. I think this is interesting because I have also been having dreams about swords. I also dream about particular cards some nights and wake up to learn about them. I have never really been one to believe in ‘signs’ but I have always been a vivid dreamer and recognize my dreams as carriers of messages …

A particular dream I had featuring swords: My friends and I are having a pageant of some kind, inhabiting a rather large house … six people in flowing robes, like togas, are dancing in a line, when simulatneously they are all stabbed with swords. Not fatally … my one friend, who is in a lot of my dreams (people usually represent an aspect of self rather than themselves, hmmm – now I have to think about what this friend represents about me), is stabbed in the arm, his bicep is separated from the rest of his arm and the end of the sword is somehow broken or burned off. He falls and I run to see if he is OK, there’s a lot of blood. He wants me to pull the sword out, but I am scared that will hurt him more. But I pull it out, and then he is alright.

One interpretation is that I see I that while I have the power to inflict pain (I worry about this a lot) on others, and myself, I also have the power to heal, to make things right, to pull the sword out.




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