Island of angels

I’m back in Boulder. Lance stayed a little longer to be fawned over by all sorts of real live angels. Seriously I have never met a place with more concentrated heart centered, caring people in my life. Just good good people…angels with feet (pictures below)…

Coe, just one cool lady with a heart of gold

So I am just wondering how am I going to implement all this knowledge I learned? We learned a lot about food down there and a part of me is wanting to step up this nutrition thing a notch and another part of me just wants to take a big deep breath. I learned a lot about enzymes (among other things) which I am going to share in a post to come but I kind of need a big green house to grow all this stuff and not so sure Lance is up to building me one. I do know Lance is so sick of eating that energy soup that I’ve gotta wait a week before serving that ;). And btw, although I know it didn’t exactly look appealing, there are ways to make it quiet tasty!

Pamela who makes colonics a spiritual experience

6AM yoga with Caroline. Caroline taught us many things. She moved to PR with her 3 kids and husband b/c she is so passionate about this way of eating, living and breathing.

So when I get overwhelmed I just come back to…a little of this, a little of that…a little at a time and before I know it, I got all sorts of new things going on…both in life and in the food department. So while I throw a lot of stuff at you, trying to encourage you to do these things that we do, I also want to reiterate to just pick one or two at a time and when you’ve got that mastered than pick up another one or two.

 

I am not just talking about food either. I am talking about making these changes that will ultimately change your life for the better.

Leslie from NY...my Puerto Rico BFF.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am when someone says to me that they are being more present in their marriage, or or they are meditating for 10 minutes a day, or even some people who said they have been inspired to downsize and simplify their lives. It’s like the ultimate reward for me to hear these stories.

So thank you for sharing with us the changes you have made. Please keep them coming! It’s working towards a healthy, happier, more peaceful life that is our ultimate goal for you. One change at a time.

Day of departure...my "after the cleanse" photo

 

 

 

Okay now off to plant some sunflower sprouts.

Love, love, love,
Nancy

 

 

 

The Story of Our Lives

A friend of mine, Ryan, gave me this amazing book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller. I encourage everyone to read it.

Million Miles is about what it’s like to edit down your life to the interesting parts. Donald wrote his memoir and in the process he had to cut out a lot of his life. If you write a memoir, hopefully you want people to read it. So it needs to be compelling. It needs to be a good STORY. That means all the boring stuff needs to come out. Editing your life. Yikes. What a strange experience deleting big parts of your life that people wouldn’t think is interesting.

What it led Don to realize was that we can write The Story of Our Life in the present and make our lives truly remarkable right now, not so people will want to read about it, but so we will live amazing lives.

There is a chapter early on in this book about Don listening to a friend (Jason), as his friend is telling him about the trouble he’s having with his teenage daughter. Jason and his wife found pot in her room. She was hanging out with the wrong crowd and the wrong guy. The whole thing was devastating to Jason and his wife.

So Don starts telling his friend about the concept of Story. Telling Jason about his experience editing his life story and realizing we can all create wonderful stories in our lives in the present moment. Then he said, “Your daughter is living a terrible story. She’s writing a story where there is risk and adventure with pot and crazy boyfriends” which made Jason realize he hadn’t mapped out a great story for his family so his daughter had chosen one for herself. The best story available to her.

Don’s friend kind of went a little crazy after that as most of us would define crazy. He did what I think is amazing. He took a $25,000 second mortgage out on their house (he definitely should have talked to his wife first!) and paid for an orphanage to be built in Mexico that they were also going to help build. It transformed the family. Jason had had the realization that not only was he not taking risks, but they weren’t helping anybody. His daughter was totally into it, wanted desperately to go to Mexico to take pictures of the orphanage and children to post on her website and inspire people back home to help. She dumped her boyfriend. Their lives changed dramatically for the better.

I am so inspired by how this dad changed the story of his family’s life and by how he saved his daughter. The chapter is called, “How Jason Saved His Family.”

This whole concept of story has made me think how Nan and I can change our story. Nan is thinking too. What can we do to give back? All of us can change the Story of Our Lives at any moment.  Why haven’t we built an orphanage? If we do something crazy soon at least you wont be surprised.

Love,
Lance

Native American Ceremony

I think I am writing this for myself as much as I am for anyone who wants to hear about our ceremony last Saturday night. First, thank you for all your comments, emails, texts, pictures of candles lit, people telling us all over the country that they were holding some sort of prayer/meditation for us. We felt so supported.

Pulling off this ceremony was no small feat. The more I saw how involved it was to put this together, the more shocked I was that my sister made it happen in less than two weeks. Sometimes these ceremonies take 6 months to a year to pull off. People came from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado..most of them driving. And even my sister didn’t know many of these people. You must be wondering why? Why drive 30 hours for someone you have never met, know nothing about? That’s what Lance and I were asking ourselves. The answer is simple. That is what these people do. If someone is suffering or sick, they come and pray.  Maybe they have suffered in the past and they want to give back. We can relate to that. They have the purest hearts and the best intentions and that became clearer and clearer as the night went on.

I started realizing the day before when my sister arrived with some friends how much was going into this ceremony. They (meaning the people involved to make this ceremony happen…and trust me when i say it was a lot) pray on everything…how they prepare the food, how they put up the tee pee, how they tie the polls, how they cut the wood, the water, the fire, EVERYTHING is full of intention and prayer. At one point, Lance was helping prepare the food chatting about this and that while my sister and her Native friend were dead silent. I quickly filled Lance in on how you are supposed to be preparing the food in silence, with intention and prayer. He was silent from that moment forward.

Saturday night. We arrived at 7:45pm. All I could see besides people milling about in the dark was this enormous tee pee pitched outside with a glow of a fire being started inside (no matches were used). It looked a lot like the picture above only there was the whole front range of snow peaked mountains behind and the night was clear with Venus and Jupiter shining brightly in the sky. When we went into the tee pee, we had very specific places to sit, next to the person who conducts the ceremony and his wife.  I cannot express enough how meticulous everything is run with such a specific protocol. I was a little ambivalent about what I had gotten us into mostly because this was a 12 hour ceremony, sitting up all night long. I like my sleep! There were approximately forty people sitting all around the tee pee and at least half were Native Americans.

Lance was asked to speak of his story from day one, all the details that we have been through so that these people knew exactly what was going on and what to pray for. Then I was asked to speak which was really through a lot of tears but they understood.

The most crucial and well attended part of this whole ceremony was the fire. The fire is everything. Well the water is too because without heat and without water we cannot survive. Tending the fire is A LOT of work. One person is appointed to tend to the fire but others help. The fire is a prayer and an art form in itself.

Without going into all the details, there is drumming and singing all night long. The songs are Native American prayers. In between all the singing and drumming, there were very specific prayers made to Lance and I sometimes spoken in English and sometime Navajo. People would share stories which helped us understand why they would come all this way for someone they had never met.

I can’t really explain the whole process of the tee pee meeting (as a Native said to me…you can explain all you want but you really need to experience it) but there are a lot of rituals and prayers and cedar burning. There were children 13 and 14 years old that sat perfectly still, sang the most beautiful songs and just kind of blew my mind!

Around 5AM I heard a rooster crow and I have to admit, I was like, “Oh Thank God this is almost over.” (I was uncomfortable and getting restless). Little did I know this was hours before we were getting out!!! I had a moment of panic and whispered to my sister, “I can’t do the sweat lodge after this!” and she looked at me in her still position that she had been in ALL NIGHT LONG and said to me, “What are you worrying about that for? That’s not for another 4 hours. You should be in the moment.” Point taken but 4 more hours?!!

After the ceremony and after the 2 hour sweat lodge, there was a feast organized by my friend Roxanna. For a moment, I thought, “I can’t believe I invited people to come here.” I wasn’t exactly feeling social. However, it was incredible when they all came, how naturally they all fit in and how they all commented on the love and peaceful and inviting feeling that was just emanating from the place.

It was a magical and moving night…one that we will never forget. We were so touched by the intention of these people. We are so grateful for everyone who participated near and far. Our gratitude is deep, our hearts filled, once again we are humbled.

Hágoónee’ (that’s goodbye in Navajo),
Nancy

 

 

One of the many lessons of 2011

My year ended the way it started, in the hospital, and I was reminded how everything can change in an instant. Not that I needed reminding but I thought I would share in case anyone else needs reminding.

Yesterday at 7AM I was planning on taking my parents to the train station for their ritualistic train ride back to California. The next thing I knew (literally 15 minutes later) I was in their hotel room with an ambulance crew and my Dad who had fallen was being carried out because he had broken his femur. Boo-hoo! I didn’t like it one bit! It’s no fun seeing anyone in pain but seeing your Dad in pain (especially for a Daddy’s girl like me) was especially upsetting. He was a champ though and somehow making us laugh even through his pain and it occurred to me he was acting very Buddha like. So after a 2 1/2 hour surgery and an entire day in the hospital, I reflected, “well that’s not exactly how I thought I was going to spend my day.”

Life changing on a dime isn’t always necessarily negative either and sometimes (often) it’s wonderful exciting new things.

But either way, it can change and change quickly. So my reminder is and I know you have all heard this a million times but how many of us practice it on a daily basis? I hope this doesn’t sound preachy (that is the least of my intentions)…it’s just what I remind myself.

  1. don’t take things/people in your life for granted (even the very subtle things or people), count your blessings, show your appreciation for your loved ones, reach out to your friends and let them know what their friendship means to you, be present and spend quality time with your kids…AND….
  2.  if you are in a difficult situation, remember everything is impermanent and things are constantly changing, often for the better. I say this with a few people in mind, who I know have been suffering (actually quite a few) and I know in my heart with time and effort things will change for them too. I speak from experience.
Now I am off to the hospital for a challenging day of PT for my Dad. But I know as each day goes by, it will get better and better.
(This picture is 10 years old from my Dad’s 70th bday in NY. All he wanted to do for his birthday was to walk from Soho (downtown) to Clinton’s office in Harlem (125th street)…which we did! One of my all time favorite days with my dad.
Love and veggies,
Nancy

Laughter is the best medicine

I LOVE TO LAUGH. Who doesn’t? I would go so far as to say, there are few things in life that I love as much as a huge belly laugh, tears streaming down my contorted face, sides aching, almost peeing in my pants kind of laugh. I love that feeling and yet, I asked around and almost unanimously, it’s rare! RARE! More specifically, laughing with your partner, your spouse, your significant other. So what’s the problem people? Why aren’t we all laughing more?? Why is life have to be taken so seriously? I know what you are thinking “THAT’S A BIG STATEMENT coming from you.” But even in our darkest moments, we have found humor to set us free. And truly, Lance and I laugh more now than we ever did. I love love love that feeling having a big laugh with Lance…it’s like some kind of high. Except he didn’t think it was so funny the other day when I told him his salad looked like it came from Denny’s 🙁

I have always been someone who loves to laugh..often during inappropriate times (in yoga, in meditation, in places where you are supposed to be quiet…I think several of my witnesses will remember some of those uncomfortable situations). And I have always had big laughs with my friends. But I notice within myself and with my friends, we get more serious when we are with our partner. Talking about “responsibilities” (children, money, work, etc). Why not just take the night off, and just be with each other and with the kids (if you have them) and just laugh. Play games…charades makes everyone laugh in my family or watch a funny movie, or just be goofy. Sometimes I do this really weird fake laugh and I look like such a freak, but inevitable I can make my whole family laugh. Even just making a goofy face can make you laugh and you know what?….it feels good. It feels so good I ask myself, I ask all of you “why not just laugh a little more and frown a little less?”

Earlier this summer, I told Lance we needed to laugh MORE! That it was a key ingredient to his healing. So, we actually did seek out things that would add more humor to our lives. Here are a few things that we have actually brought more laughter in our lives.

  • For the first time EVER in our entire relationship, Lance and I occasionally watch a TV show…called Modern Family. I think anyone who watches it feels like they know at least one of those characters in real life. For us it’s the hilariously funny gay guy Cam.
  • Our friend Amos. He came to visit from Vegas where he does an opening act at the Wynn Hotel as a clown…not a creepy clown but a clown in a tux. Amos, come back. You had us all in hysterics for 4 days.
  • Some unmentionable things I just realized but they were funny!
  • Seeing Lance sitting on the couch bald, wearing his galabeya as if this was the most normal of attire was definitely my biggest laugh of 2011.

I called Lance the other night (I was out) and when he answered the phone his voice sounded weird (had he been crying was my first thought?). NOOO! He said ‘I’m watching Louis CK …and I almost peed in my pants.” Music to my ears…

There are some people I know that have a pretty sh**ty diet but I swear they laugh more than anyone I know and I swear they will live to be 100 and still be laughing. I believe in laughing so much that I think it’s not only something that prevents but heals. Science shows that laughter among other things, has the following effects:

  • boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins (the body’s natural feel good chemicals & the body’s natural pain killers)
  • relaxes the whole body (for up to 45 min)
  • protects the heart  (it improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems).
  • stimulates the heart and lungs
  • improve mental functions (i.e., alertness, memory, creativity)

 So start laughing people.

Lance and I have realized that sometimes it’s more important to laugh than mediate. On that note, I would challenge all of you, to just notice, situations where you might typically be serious, and instead you could be silly. Is that so hard? I bet it’s a lot easier than juicing!

We would love to know what makes you laugh. Humor us with your humor.

Love and Laughter,
Nancy

PS: I am actually trying to relieve my dear friend Mary who has sent out every single update in disguise of myself or Lance. So if you want to get notification when we post, please subscribe at the top right. Thank you so much for reading.

Team Gentry

Lance and I are not sports fans. We have no idea what team is which sport be it basketball, football, baseball, hockey or soccer…okay I know 3 teams: Man United (random i know), 49er’s and The Knicks. But ask us any other team, Rangers, Giants, whatever and Lance and I look at each other totally clueless. I bring this up because one of my big realizations this year is how much team work means. I was thinking about all this because after Lance’s super awesome last post (especially the last line about ME…ahem..), I’ve felt super intimidated to write anything! And then I realized (with great relief), I don’t have to be the spiritual sage that my other half is. He can do that! Lance reads to me in bed often at night (be it Thomas Keating, or Joel Goldsmith, or Rachel Remen or the Bible or Ulysses (it’s clear here who the intellectual half is) and then I impart all my nutritional wisdom on him. I coach him through tough times and we cheer each other on whether it’s getting up early to meditate, juice, be focused, stay on our path, make sage decisions, or any of the many choices we face on a daily basis.

I bring all this up cause this team (Lance and Nance) is starting this blog and moving away from CaringBridge. This all started because a couple weeks ago, I really put myself out there and made a video of myself for a contest I entered to win a ticket to a women’s entrepreuneral event in NY (Lance is telling me to post the link, I am ever so slightly hesitant). I didn’t win (boo-boo) but am still going (yay! I leave tomorrow!) but really it was an exercise for me to get clear on something that has been bubbling inside me these past few months. Over the year we have had people ask us, “What are you eating?” “What are you reading?” “Can you give me some recipes?” “What’s your routine like?” A few people have mentioned our CB website read more like a blog and a few people have encouraged us to start one. What will it be about exactly? Well, it is something that is going to evolve, I imagine. But it looks something like this: be healthy NOW, eat well NOW, take care of your body, mind and spirit NOW, make choices on what you need in your life and what you don’t NOW, Laugh MORE, Love MORE and EAT your g**damn veggies NOW!  There is so much that we ALL can do to take better care of ourselves before DiS-EASE strikes and we are going to motivate you to do it NOW!

We also both like the idea of moving away from CaringBridge and having you follow us here where there can be more of a dialog and being the opportunist (and optimist) that I am that’s 1000 people reading and participating on this site! It’s also a symbolic move, for sure, one that is full of LOVE, LAUGH(TER) & VEGGIES. Please post comments here rather than on CB.

Oh and one last thing, Lance is AWESOME!
LOVE,
Nance
PS: Lance is a reluctant blogger (is it not cool or something?) and is worried about this sounding egotistical and we really want this to be more of an interactive thing. We want to be provocative and have it be more of a two way street than CB has been.

Julia Roberts and Nan’s Birthday

Hi,
We are having a wonderful time in Hawaii. Kauai is like nowhere I’ve ever been. I’m looking out at a 200 ft waterfall cascading off the side of a mountain as I write and everyone sleeps.

Day before yesterday we were at our amazing hotel and I was in the kids activity room playing air hockey with Zach and Ama and Nan was at the pool. This group of girls comes in and is screaming! “Julia Roberts is down by the pool!” I espouse my Hollywood wisdom and tell them shed never come here, but they are fully convinced. About 15 minutes later Nan comes up for lunch to get us and the room erupts in giggles and laughter. I introduce Nancy to these girls as Nancy and finally I understand. Nancy was their Julia Roberts. They’d been chasing her around the pool convinced she was Julia. They even had a People magazine to compare. It was all quite bizarre. Why do all the glamourous things happen to Nan?

Today is Nan’s birthday and Im sure she’d love to hear little happy birthday wishes across the Pacific.

We love you all and thank you for getting us here with all of your thoughts and prayers. Without Nancy and all of you, Lord knows where I’d be.

Big Hugs, Lance

A Midsummer Update

I felt compelled to give an update mostly because I know it’s been pretty quiet on our side and I’ve realized lately when I run into people that they are wondering how Lance is doing and are sometimes tentative about whether they should ask. My mom always had a saying when I was growing up (still does actually) that no news is good news. So on that note, DITTO. Lance continues to be not only SUPER HUMAN but A SUPER HUMAN BEING. I am in constant awe of him. Anyone who has been following this website is pretty well informed about his diet and disciplined routine. What I don’t mention much is he is also working and has been on 3 business trips in the past few months and somehow turns them into not only a success but a spiritual experience. I tell him often (even though it can bring tears to his eyes) that he amazes me. That he has been so strong physically and mentally and so brave and has been so open to learn so much so quickly and eat all the things I make for him (remember this is a guy who grew up on fast food) and has been through so much in the past 6 months (to which he always replies something like, “It’s no big deal” or “I haven’t done that much” or “Other people have it much harder.” ). He is humble and gracious and just plain amazing. He even leaves me little notes sometimes around the house of little things I do that used to bug him that now say, “This doesn’t bother me at all” (like my lotion bottle upside down in his sink). When he walks though the door at the end of the day, I feel happy and joyous and as if I am looking at someone that I am not only learning from but growing with in ways I never knew we could.

So what have we been doing? We had a wonderful trip to a lake in Michigan (not Lake Michigan) that was simplicity at its best. We unplugged, went barefoot, had campfires and frolicked in the water for 10 days with Lance’s wonderful Aunt Nancy (Nancy Gentry #1 we call her) and her five children and all their children that in all make up some kind of fairy tale version of family…just fun loving people who love to have simple summer fun with each other. It is my kids interpretation of heaven (and actually Lance’s and mine too).  We also had a visit from my sister Lisa. The kids love having Auntie Lisa around. She makes very creative outfits out of giant palms leaves that have fallen off my house plant. Amelie turns 7 this weekend, Lance and I celebrate 11 years of being married next week and then next weekend we leave for Hawaii!
One last thing, my birthday is coming up (August 3rd to be exact) and I am not only saying this because I love any opportunity to remind people (the Leo in me) but more because if I had one extra wish (I already have my #1) it would be for us to remain in your thoughts and prayers and to continue to visualize Lance as an old man.
Hope you are all enjoying your summer.
xo
Nancy

TOUGH GUY

Lance is ONE TOUGH DUDE. And I don’t say this lightly. I think about all that he has been through in just a mere four months and with no forewarning and how he has come out amazingly strong. He is embracing his new life style and it just makes me so proud of him. He has made some profound changes and he does so with so much grace. There are no other words to describe him except that he is a (fill in the blank) Rock Star.

I also wanted to mention that we are keeping a very low profile and for no other reason than that’s what feels right to us at this moment. So if it seems especially quiet chez Gentry’s, it’s as simple as that. For this, I am especially proud of Lance. As most of you know, we are slightly extroverted and we love our friends. But we both feel that it is important for us to save our energy and keep it inside to continue this healing process, to be more quiet with ourselves and each other, rest, not get pulled in every direction and I say this all while Lance is on a business trip presently and just finished building an 8 ft. bookcase this past weekend but other than that, life is pretty mellow! However before you all start crossing us off your summer party lists please still include us! We might just get a wild hair and want to tie one on with a big fat shot of wheatgrass.

Love,

Nancy

FORGET CHEZ PANISE I’M AT CHEZ NANCE

I’ve been home about a week and along with lots of love from my little family this is what Chef Nan has been doing…it’s unreal! Everyday is like a journey to raw and organic spas around the world. On my layover in Miami coming back, Justin’s mom Denise took me to the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm. It was amazing, but this, its kind of crazy. I could get seriously used to this.

Breakfast – Buckwheat Cereal with Organic Blueberries and Strawberries, Ground Flax Seeds, Coconut oil, Kifer and lotsa love.

Lunch – Organic Watercress, Spinach, Arugula and mixed greens with sunflower sprouts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, avocado, flax seeds, TURMERIC, green apples

Dinner – Organic Dahl and Forbidden Black Rice with lots of fresh ginger and turmeric with cilantro, lime and coconut on top. Some organic zucchini in the bg.

Unreal! I am blessed. Love you all, Mohawk Warrior (still sporting it)