Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sweet Peace: Week 1

Forest Sacrament

Today is Solstice, the day the sun returns. It is also Tuesday, a day which gets its name from the Anglo Saxon god of war and is perhaps best known for Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Normally a day of excess, I’ve chosen it as my day of sweet peace.

Yesterday, my friend Barbara and I finished a significant project: redesigning her peace magazine. We were both pleased with the result and wanted to celebrate. I have been thinking about celebration for several weeks as I worked on the revision of the gratitude journal, looking for ways to celebrate life events without resorting to food or drink. Unsuccessful in that attempt, we opened a bottle of champagne and ate sweet treats as we watched the final episodes of Frankie and Grace.

The excess of sugar, carbs, and alcohol left my stomach almost as disturbed as my mindset. Sleep came slowly and fitful. Around 3:00 a.m., I heard the invitation of Solstice to begin again. Sugar has always been a central character in my drama: a reward, a treat, a temptress, a siren song leading me toward the rocky shores of a toxic desire. 

Sugar toxicity seems to be a scientific fact, and yet it is still the center of our cultural rituals and celebrations. Yesterday convinced me to break this tie, so for the next 52 weeks, I am going on a journey to find non-food/drink replacements for the desire for sweetness. This does not mean replacing sugar with sweeteners. It means finding sweetness in life, indulging in joy and celebration, focusing on gratitude and connection rather than taste bud ecstasy.

I don’t know how to do this so it will be a learning journey. All ideas and suggestions will be appreciated. I found my first piece of advice in my quote file …

María Sabina, Mexican healer and poet states:

“Heal yourself with the light of the sun and the rays of the moon. With the sound of the river and the waterfall. With the swaying of the sea and the fluttering of  birds. 

Heal yourself with mint, neem, and eucalyptus. Sweeten with  lavender, rosemary, and chamomile. Hug yourself with the cocoa bean and a  hint of cinnamon. Put love in tea instead of sugar and drink it looking at the stars. 

Heal yourself with the kisses that the wind gives you and  the hugs of the rain. Stand strong with your bare feet on the ground  and with everything that comes from it. 

Be smarter every day by  listening to your intuition, looking at the world with your forehead. Jump, dance, sing, so that you live happier. 

Heal yourself, with  beautiful love, and always remember ... you are the medicine.”  

Image: Forest Sanctuary ... while wild and colorful life swirls around him, the person in this story focuses only on wine and the table before him. I want to look up and see the rest of life.


  1. Joyce, I love this plan--and will anxiously await news of your progress. I need to be on the same journey...and María Sabina's quote is a lovely start. I wish you a merry, happy, jolly, restorative holiday.

  2. Thanks, Becky ... it always helps to know someone is observing. Just read an article about a hedonic reset ... interesting ... like giving something up for Lent or fasting ... bringing back appreciation.
    We'll see what else turns up. https://betterhumans.pub/how-to-hack-gratitude-try-a-hedonic-reset-43e14ef9bbfe