Monday, July 28, 2008

S & T: Life is too short for bad olive oil

or how to make killer pesto

summer basil harvest means pesto-a-plenty!

In my house, two things will cause a riot: running out of garlic or olive oil or both. Milk we can live without for a day. If there are no eggs, then it's oatmeal for breakfast. But no olive oil?! There really isn't anything you can substitute for it. The same goes for garlic. I grew up with good home Italian cooking. My parents bought olive oil by the gallon. I think olive oil is necessary to keep my motor running properly. I've even converted my Jewish Eastern European descent husband to crave olive oil and garlic.

I am constantly trying different brands of extra virgin olive oil to find the best one at the cheapest price. Some people look at the color and appreciate the taste of a fine wine. I do the same with olive oil. The bottle of olive oil I recently bought on sale was so bitter, I stopped making dinner and went out to buy a fresh bottle. Life is just too short to eat bad olive oil. It's so bad, I'm going to return it.

The reason I taste olive oils is that a fine olive oil is critical to good tasting pesto. It's pesto harvest season in my garden. If the olive oil is too bitter, it will ruin your pesto. Some extra virgin olive oils do have a bitter aftertaste. I usually save those for sautéing. Choose the smoother tasting olive oils for your pesto. Lean in closer while I tell you how to make the finest pesto that money can't buy.

First, you need to grow your own basil, unless you have wads of cash lying around that need to be spent. You'll burn through a small fortune buying fresh basil at the farmer's market or grocery store if you make pesto the way I do, with LOTS of basil!

It's hard to believe that I'm a die hard basil lover now. My mom always grew basil, along with flat leaved parsley, for her Italian cooking. My brothers, knowing that I didn't like the smell of basil as a child, used to chase me around the yard, trying to shove basil up my nose. I managed to survive that trauma to grow up as a gardener of basil. In fact, I realized in horror the weekend before last, that I was not going to be able to freeze enough basil to get me through the winter on the eight plants I had already planted. I only had enough frozen basil and pesto to get me through January last year on six plants. Luckily, the farmer's market had lots of basil plants on sale this weekend, so I bought two more.

Ingredients for Pesto:
lots of basil
1-2 cloves of garlic
pine nuts, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup
romano cheese (optional), about 1/4 to 1/3 cup or to taste
salt, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
olive oil

In order to become a good Italian cook, or a good cook in general, you have to give up the need to have exact quantities. The first time I asked my mom for a recipe for pasta fagioli, the conversation went something like this:

Me: "Can you give me your recipe for pasta fagioli?"
Mom: "Well, you need tomato sauce, cannellini beans, some celery with leaves, ditalini, garlic, some olive oil, and salt and pepper."
Me: "How much do I need of each?"
Mom: "Oh, I don't know. I don't measure quantities. I just sort of wing it."
Me: "But I have no clue what I'm doing!!"

My mom never had the patience to teach me how to cook as a kid. I did manage to inherit the family cooking gene, and now I'm able to use my intuition when I cook. I'm doing the same thing she does, adding ingredients based on experience, intuition, and taste-as-you-add. I'll at least try to give you relative quantities, though every time I make pesto, it's a little bit different. A lot of making pesto is relative to how much you like of each ingredient. I like a lot of basil, and you'll never find that in store bought pesto.

The How to of Pesto Making
I make pesto in a food processor. A blender will work if you don't have a food processor. First, fill the food processor with basil leaves. Grind them down. Put more basil leaves in if you like a lot of basil in your pesto.

Next, add a clove or two of garlic. I don't like a lot of fresh garlic in my pesto, even though it would seem that you can't have enough garlic. A little fresh garlic goes a long way. There are many different types of garlic too, but that's a whole 'nother discussion that I'm not really qualified to get into. I like a mild garlic, which is usually the standard grocery store type.

Then, add the pine nuts and romano. I have never found a good substitute for pine nuts. You just have to bite the bullet and spend the money on them. You can use walnuts, but I think they are too bitter. Process the pine nuts enough that it chops up the nuts, but not enough to make pine nut butter. Pulse the processor if you have to. When it's starts to stick together, stop processing! Ideally, you would want to stop before it starts to stick together, because that's when it tastes like pine nut butter. You'll know what I mean once you've made this mistake. I've done it more often than I'd like to admit.

For cheese, I prefer romano to parmesan. Again, it's what I grew up with. We always had a jar of fresh grated romano cheese in the frig for sprinkling on all our Italian dishes. Romano has more flavor than parmesan, in my opinion, but use what you prefer. For a long time, I could not eat dairy, so you can leave the cheese out and the pesto will taste just fine.

Lastly, add the olive oil and a little bit of salt to taste. Try adding the salt in at 1/4 tsp at a time and taste it as you go. The romano will make the pesto salty tasting, but I like more salt than that. I don't measure the olive oil. I just keep adding it until I get it to a consistency I like. You can pulse or run the food processor each time you add the olive oil. My husband likes his pesto creamier, so he usually puts in the olive oil in first with the basil. You can experiment with which technique you like best.

In the winter time, we often make pesto the same way but with arugula. The taste is different, but it all looks the same in the end:

Ahhh, heaven!

The Bionic Man

Just a quick update on Steve Austin Magic. He came home Wednesday night and has been driving me crazy recuperating ever since. He is walking around on crutches. The first week has been quite painful for him, but that was to be expected. Already, he can tell his gait will be different once he has healed. He'll be better, stronger, and faster than he was before!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Child of the Universe

In participating in the Roundup Extravaganza this year, I discovered a poem on My Scar Smiles At Me's blog, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Desiderata in Latin apparently means "desired things". The end of the poem is very inspirational to me. I thought I would share it with you.

Through the events of the last couple of months, I have lost my faith in the Universe, God, and myself. I have often had faith that, as the poem says, "the universe is unfolding as it should". Even if things don't go the way I want them to, I eventually have a realization that everything is perfect just the way it is. I haven't gotten to that point yet.

I can say that I am not at peace yet. I am not at peace with my soul yet. I know I will need to get there, and I have faith that I will get there, but I'm not there yet. In the meanwhile, these words of an American poet that were not discovered until after he died will provide me with some comfort.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drugery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let's Blow This Popsicle Stand

Hospitals remind me of all the medical treatment I've had in the last two years plus, memories I'd rather forget. I'm writing this from my hospital bed, or I should say cot. I've spent the last two nights with Magic in the hospital, mostly giving him support, being his other nurse, and being his advocate.

Unfortunately, I've gotten to know this floor of this hospital all too well. Last time Magic was in the hospital four years ago, we weren't married yet. His "outpatient" surgery turned into a four day hospital stay. He had to stay completely flat on his back because of a surgery oopsie. I came in the first morning he was on the regular floor to find him with a cafeteria tray on his chest trying to feed himself horizontally. I was furious that the nurses had left him in this position. I proceeded to schedule family and friends to help me feed and care for Magic in the hospital the next four days. Because we were not married then, I couldn't take sick leave to take care of him. This time, I planned on being with him as much as he wanted.

I've learned this much. Medical care isn't the same in this country as it was when I was a kid. My doctor dad agrees. Back when I was a kid, he always used to get me in to see the best doctors right away. Now he has to deal with our lame health "care" system like anyone else.

The biggest vent I have about health "care" these days is that no one checks up on you. You might get a reminder that you need to come in for a physical or your next dental cleaning, but that's about it. No one was checking up on me when I was first taking the Prozac while pregnant. I could have offed myself, and then it would have been my fault. I can hear it now, "she stopped taking her medicine" or "why didn't she just get help?" It all makes me so mad now. Back then, I just wasn't functioning. I had no clue I would fall apart once I was pregnant. I didn't have a support system in place to help me, and all my "health" "care" "providers" were pretty much worthless.

Magic is doing well and recovering nicely. If all goes well today, he'll be coming home. His co-workers from other countries marvel at how quickly he will be out of the hospital. In their countries, he would be in the hospital for at least two weeks. I think I'd shoot myself if I had to do that. While the main reason that hospital stays are shorter now in this country is for insurance and financial reasons, I think its best to get people home earlier. Back in the day, my mom got "bored" with her week long hospital stay after having baby #4 and took up smoking. My nurse mom with a doctor husband started to SMOKE IN the HOSPITAL AFTER having a baby. I think it had more to do with stress/self-medication than boredom. I always said my brother and I, babies #5 & #6, were screwed up because she smoked during our pregnancies. Now I think it has more to do with the fact that mom and dad were just plain ol' burnt out on raising kids.

Can you tell I'm ready to go home now?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Huddle

The best words I heard all day; "Magic's surgery went fine". I am so relieved!! I did find out that his healing will take a little longer than usual as a precaution. I'll be happy when I can talk to Magic in person.

Live Blogging Action: Surgery Waiting Room

I was inspired by Mel's live blogging from the BlogHer Conference, so I thought I'd give it a try now. I'm currently in the surgery waiting room while Magic is beginning his transformation. I was very nervous yesterday about him going into surgery. I didn't like the idea of being in a hospital again. It's kinda nice to be on the support end rather than the receiving end. This time, I'm not the one getting poked, proded, or cut into. This is the easy part. The hard part is to come. The hardest part is watching your loved one suffer. I'm hoping that they will be able to manage his pain while he heals.

I signed up for the IComLeaveWe before Magic decided to have his surgery this week. I don't know how much I'll realistically be able to comment this week. Magic is my #1 priority. I think I can do it today, since Magic will be in the recovery room after surgery for another hour and a half.

The most exciting thing that has happened so far is that I heard my name being called while they were wheeling Magic off to surgery. I thought it was our male nurse, but it turned out to be a guy I know from work who look like he was getting prepped for surgery too! I said a quick "hi" and "good luck" as I didn't have time to talk.

I'll be waiting for the dreaded talk with the surgeon which should be in the next 15 to 45 minutes. Let's hope everything is going well in there!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Show & Tell: Fluffernutter

She's fluffy and she's nuttier than a fruit cake, hence the name "Fluffernutter". She's a seal point Himalayan cat. That's her younger, half brother in the lower part of the picture, the late, great, Mister B.

Hey, what are two doing in that closet?!

She outlived him by three years, so far. She'll be nineteen on Monday.

When I first met Fluffernutter, Magic's cat, she was one of those neurotic, pure bred cats who would meow, asking to be petted, and then run away as soon as you reached out to stroke her.

Watch Fluffernutter Run. Run Fluff, run!

Magic used to leave dried food out for his cats 24/7. I told him that this wasn't good for them, but he didn't want to "deny" them. Mister B ate so much that the bed would shake when he jumped up on it, that is, when he could get his fat ass up there. Mister B got diabetes with the constant supply of crappy food.

Eventually, I convinced Magic to put both Mister B and Fluffernutter on a raw food diet to help with Mister B's newly diagnosed diabetes. We got Mr. B's diabetes under control, with the improved diet and daily insulin shots, and he lived for another 4 1/2 years. Flutternutter, in the meanwhile, had a personality change. She sounded like a Hoover vacuum when she sucked down new food. She soon became a friendly cat who no longer hid under the bed when you approached her.

Now that she is older, she doesn't like the raw food diet anymore. I finally stopped fighting with her, and now just give her high quality canned food. Fluffernutter has her own geriatric medical problems. We have to give her subcutaneous fluids every other day to offset her failing kidneys. You thought subcutaneous shots were bad? Try having a 22 gauge needle under your skin for 15 minutes while you have 100cc of fluid injected in. We have an IV bag set up in the living room for her. Without it, Fluffernutter would have been dead a long time ago.

While Fluff looks ferocious in this picture, she is actually demonstrating how she drives us crazy in the dead of night, yowling at nothing in particular. We were told that this was a symptom of hyperthyroidism, a common problem in senior cats. We treated her thyroid, which helped for a bit, but she continues to wake us from a sound sleep with her yowling.

This is how Fluffernutter spends most of her time during the day when she doesn't yowl:

Happy Birthday Fluff!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm not done with this

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


If men had to do IVF, fertility clinics would not be in business. Magic had his pre-op appointment yesterday and whined about how it hurt where his blood was drawn. Can we get a collective "aaawwwww" from all you women out there who have cycled? I made fun of him for being such a wuss and threatened to trash him on my blog.

Then he says, "you're gonna love this." He told me that he has to have subcutaneous shots of heparin in the abdomen for 10 days to prevent blood clots. "Paybacks," I exclaimed happily! I made Magic do a sympathy shot during my first IVF cycle with some saline. Of course, doing one SQ shot isn't so bad. We'll see how he does with 10 days of a daily shot in the stomach, though I was doing four shots a day for the same period for both my cycles.

I asked him to spare me the gory details of how they are going to pull his leg from his hip to put in the new joint. Maybe egg retrieval wasn't quite as invasive, but I still get pains on the one ovary they messed around with more at ER when I ovulate, damn it! I still wish they could fix his plumbing while he's all doped up on anesthesia, but I said to him that he probably doesn't want a hip specialist to work on his penis. Yikes!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Show & Tell: A Bear of a Week

I thought I'd post more cool pictures from work that were taken this week. These bears were caught on "candid camera". We have motion sensitive cameras that take candid pictures of wildlife as they pass by. Sometimes bait, like road kill, is set out to see what kind of wildlife shows up. This black bear is getting a manicure.

This brown bear must have been on the move, perhaps checking out the camera since it's looking right at it. Bears are curious, and they tend to want to investigate the flash from the camera. We've had some funny close up pictures of bears from the remote cameras. It's interesting that such massive wildlife can be so close to urban areas.

On the theme of bears, it's been a bear of a week for me, and it's not going to let up for awhile. Between work work and personal work, I've got a lot to do before Magic's surgery. At least the work work stuff is fun this time of year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

If I were a rich man...

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all day long I'd deedel deedel dum...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ready for the Knife

I found the perfect birthday card for Magic. It says, "you make the simplest things seem like an adventure". Such is the life with Magic. Our life together is not boring. He's made the decision to go under the knife in less than two weeks. Luckily, he found out he is a candidate for hip resurfacing instead of the full blown hip replacement. Just to make things interesting, this is also right around the time he finds out about a make or break event at his work.

I'm kinda glad he is finally getting this surgery. In fact, I asked him about a month ago, "when are you going to get your surgery so I know when we can try again?" I told myself I wouldn't think about trying again for at least three months, but I can not help it. When I ovulate, I can't help but heed the call of nature; "must have baby now!" When Aunt Flo arrives, I can't help feel the pang of loss. Life would be so much simpler if I didn't want children. My body has other ideas. This has nothing to do with reason.

I still feel like I'm not ready to have kids, but I'm not getting any younger. As it is, if we had a baby today, Magic would turn seventy and our kid would still be in high school. I feel kinda bad for Magic because of this. I warned him that this is what you get when you marry a younger woman without kids. I'd like to be able to enjoy our golden years together before we get too old and decrepit to do so.

With Magic's recover and travel plans we have at the end of August, I'm thinking October is the absolute earliest time we would try again. We have totsicles on ice. Even though I know they are in suspended animation for a very long time, I keep thinking about them.

The next couple of weeks are going to be stressful. I need to be strong for Magic to support him. He was there for me, staying calm all during our second IVF and pregnancy. I hope I can be there for him.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Let Me Tell You About My Mother

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The Grumpy Grandma

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Show and Tell: Out Standing in My Field

Today, I'm continuing with my theme of burning. In my last post, The Phoenix Process, I talked about how I feel like I'm still in the process of burning. Here, you can see, I'm not afraid of a little fire.

This is one of my favorite photos of myself at work. We were doing a prescribed burn to improve the native ecosystem. What am I doing here? I'm watching the flames. I'm not just doing this because I am a pyromaniac or I am obsessed with fire, though I do enjoy lighting up. I don't smoke, but after working on a prescribed fire or wildfire, I do feel like I've smoked a couple of packs of cigarettes. What I mean is that I like to ignite prescribed fires. I gave up working on fires when I was trying to get pregnant. I figured that sucking in all that smoke wasn't healthy. By then, I was also over the novelty of working with fire.

In this photo, I am watching how the fire burns the plants so I can understand later how the plants regrow. Then, I will know for next time what kind of fire is best to get the kind of response we want. Yes, there are different kinds of fire and different ways to burn. Hmmm, I wonder if there is some kind of analogy here to The Phoenix Process? I'm sure there is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Land of the Free

Home of the Brave

It's been a rough week for me. I started out the week feeling pretty good. I felt I had found some meaning in our loss. I felt some hope in transformation through The Phoenix Process. Then, just when I thought I was doing better, reminders of our loss kept popping up. I haven't been getting much sleep because of these things bothering me. This morning's experience pushed me to act.

After a restless night, I woke up depressed. I allowed myself to grieve some more in bed, sobbing, and wondering how I would get through this. These feelings are intensified by the fact that I am ovulating. I can feel my uterus today, and it strangely feels similar to when I was pregnant. Yesterday morning, I woke with a clear message in my head: "I do not want children." Well, that's true, in that I didn't want children right at that moment. I wondered if it was really a true feeling, or a reaction to the trauma I experienced while pregnant. I went to the office and was completely engrossed in my work, when another reminder hit me like a 2x4 in the head. I walked in the bathroom, and one of the pregnant women in my office just came out of a stall with her very large belly exposed as I nearly ran into her. A cascade of emotions began flowing from my heart. First jealousy that she was having the baby girl I should be having. But no, I wasn't angry with her. It wasn't her fault, what happened to us. Then, wishing that we had never been put in the position we were in. Angry with our clinic. Regretting that we had been put in a shitty situation that I never wanted to be in. I spent the rest of the day mulling over the events between work commitments, and it continued into an emotional session with my therapist. My therapist described what happened to us in a metaphor, about all the efforts I had put into getting pregnant and what happened afterwards: "It's like you were driving 65 miles and hour, and you hit a brick wall that you didn't know was there. Now, you are left to pick up the pieces."

This morning, when I sensed into my uterus, I felt her love. I felt her love for a child. Since our loss, the couple of times I have ovulated, I've felt a renewed desire to have a child. Even if I am not ready to go there yet or I am considering quitting all efforts to get pregnant, ovulation pulls me back into wanting a child. This drive feels stronger than my will.

I was feeling all this love and desire for a child again, so I picked up a book I had been avoiding, Understanding Your Moods When You are Expecting, and dang it, if there wasn't a story that paralleled mine right on the pages I opened to. My heart stood still, ready to break all over again. Luckily, the story did not say what the outcome was, but it did confirm that I was not crazy.

I have been fairly cryptic about my pregnancy loss experience for many reasons. It was a complicated situation that not everyone would understand, but I believe would be a helpful story for those who are ready to hear it. Unfortunately, Blogger does not have password protected posts. Wordpress does have password protected posts. I tried to get comfortable again with Wordpress last night, but I really don't like it. Today, after reading this uncanny story similar to mine, I found the only way to protect my posts in Blogger is to create a separate private blog and link the posts. I am going to try it out today, on Independence Day.

"The truth shall set you free"
American's have this thing about the truth. We value the truth. Our Constitution talks about our truths (guess I'm feeling a bit patriotic today). While I am a lover of truth, not everyone is. Sometimes, I feel like I'm having this conversation with the blogsophere, or maybe even myself, when I think about sharing what happened to us. It's one of the great scenes from an American movie classic, "A Few Good Men":

Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson): "You want answers?"
Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise): "I think I'm entitled."
Jessup: "You want answers?"
Kaffee: "I want the truth!"
Jessup: "YOU can't handle the TRUTH!"

This scene from the movie will raise hairs on the back of your head. It's such a great performance by Jack Nicholson, that I couldn't resist including it here again. Americans, if you're not feeling patriotic today, this will surely make you question your country!

She's Got Ovaries
In the book Broken Open that I talk about in my previous post, The Phoenix Process, the author, Elizabeth Lesser, writes about her extramarital affair that she had for a year before divorcing her husband. I thought that was pretty ballsy of her, or, as my friend likes to say, "she's got ovaries". The affair and her former lover was what prompted her decent to the fires of hell, metaphorically speaking, and she emerged like the phoenix from the ashes to transform her life that was true to her real self. When I first read it, I thought she was being awfully self-indulgent, but as I pushed my ego's judgment aside, I saw that she was making a point. That life might unfold in such a way that you find yourself doing things you that you never thought you would do, but that there is a method to the Universe's madness, or at least, I'd like to believe there is. She didn't have to divulge this controversial thing that she did in her life, but in her candor of her humanity, I got the point she was trying to make, probably much more so than if she just lectured about the process without the personal connection. I got it, and I respected her for her honesty and humility. Sometimes, it takes an experience like hers to really crack you open.

If you would like to read my story, e-mail me at to request access to my private version of this blog. Please also write a line or two about why you would like to read my story. If I like what you say, or I know you are a regular reader from your comments, I'll grant you access. My story may be potentially disturbing to you, so consider that in your request. If you want to read my story for entertainment purposes only, then I'll have to decline your request. If you are a lover of the truth, then I welcome you. It goes something like this...

Not What I Expected When I Was Expecting

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Phoenix Process

...and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin

I'm reading a book called Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser, recommended to me by another wonderful member of my Resolve support group. The opening to this book has the above poem, the same one that is on the cover of my personal journal. I bought the journal and started writing in it after my first IUI failed. At that point, I was very scared to do IVF. I thought the blossoming might be the risk to do IVF to have a child. I express what the journal means to me in my first entry, saying it's "my personal exploration journal, expressing itself through fertility."

"The Phoenix Process" is the book's term for going through any major life change, like divorce, illness, or death, and using it as a way of transforming your life. This book came to me after I started this blog. I feel like I am going through a Phoenix Process. I felt burned by IVF. Because of what I experienced, I feel a crack in my usual way of thinking. I have been broken.

The first crack was realizing that kids will not make me happy. This does not mean I will not have kids, but I do not want to have children from an egoic desire or instinctual drive. Is it possible to have children from an egoless state? Can there be any other purpose in having children other than the instinctual drive to procreate or the ego's desire to have children? Am I just looking for one more thing to fill the holes in my life and make myself "happy"?

I am now wondering if the "risk" to blossom is the risk to find my True Self, my True Nature? Is it the risk to throw all my dreams and desires away and live a life from True Nature and Being, rather than filling it with one more thing, like children?

I have the perspective of growing up in a household with many children and seeing that it did not make my mother happy. My mom always talks about how she wanted a dozen children, though she can barely stand to have us and her grandchildren around now. I honestly feel that my parents should have stopped at child #4. I'm #6 at the end of the line. Sometimes, I do not think I should have been born. My parents were burned out by the time they had me.

I have lived with a lot of depression in my life, even as a teenager and probably as a child too, though I was not aware of it then. In the womb, I was searching for my mother's absent heart - I was born breech, the only one of the six. I've been searching for meaning for a long time. My career has brought me happiness and a sense that I am doing something positive for the earth, but I long for something more. I thought children would fulfill that meaning and longing, but I am no longer convinced of that.

I am reading about this Phoenix Process at the same time I am reading about living a life from the present moment in Eckhart Tolle's books The Power of Now and A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. I am reading these books as if I have never heard of living in the present moment, but I have! I've been on a spiritual path for the last nine years that focuses on this same teaching. I left my spiritual group between my two IVFs because I felt that it wasn't supporting me, and that the teaching was becoming stale.

I have been enlightened, or I should say, I have had an experience of enlightenment. I remember how I felt that Being was enough. I did not desire anything else. I did not need a purpose in life. But that feeling did not last long. I was not truly transformed. What will it take to completely let go? Do I have it in me to go there? Do I have the same drive and passion for the Truth as I did to have a child? These are the questions I have.

Who will I be when I emerge from this Phoenix Process? How long does this process take? Several months or several years? I feel that I have not been completely consumed by the flames. I do feel a little crisp around the edges, but on days like today, I feel that part of me is still burning.

Broken Open has many inspirational stories and passages. This one spoke to me in particular:

"I do not wish upon anyone a descent into hell. But if your life has to be turned inside out in order for you to know yourself...I pray that you use its force wisely. I hope that you take the ultimate responsibility for your actions and that you consecrate any destruction to the rebuilding of your higher self and a more radiant life."

I hope that what I have written will inspire you to share with me your stories of your Phoenix Process.