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Owner, "MAP Wellness" - a culinary nutrition and wellness company. Writer. Passionate cook, raw food chef, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and LIVE WELL educator. ​do yoga. enjoy good food. run. plant food. cook. savour wine. read books. buy good food. love. grow your energy. find peace. enjoy food. have passion. skip. eat food. do yoga. listen to jazz. have presence. be present. bike. read. see. hear. be. live. love.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011. We lost Dad 5 months ago today.

I visited my Father over this past weekend.  Well, I visited his graveside, and spoke to his spirit that I know is always around.  I do “visit” him often, asking for his presence in the everyday, while at home in my apartment, on the subway, walking down the street, looking for an answer to tough questions in my life….. It’s funny how different it is when I go to the cemetery in Exeter and try and do the same.

It makes me very sad, but also angry.  It is really only when I go his grave site that my anger and frustration about his death really “get” to me.  As my mom and I spoke to once again on the weekend, Pops really is in a better place now than if he were still with us here on Earth with his illnesses.  The ALS and FTD were only going to get uglier, the reality harsher, and eventually there would be pain.  Dad was never really in any physical pain while with us, and for that we are all so, so, grateful. 

Dad's resting place now officially has a headstone.  PEARSON.  1947----2011.  Optimism, Courage, Humour.  It is not pretty, I have to admit.  It is a gorgeous marble, the etching is precise, the wording as we requested.  But what it represents is an ugly thing, and I don’t think I will ever grow to like it one bit.  Mom was less than enthusiastic the first time she saw it too, unhappy with the placement of the text, the size of the fonts….One thing we both agreed on however, was that the extraneously long dash that they put in between Daddy’s birth and Death dates was fitting.  Here’s why:

The week of Dad’s funeral was a tornado of happenings.  I think my whole family existed in a fog, a surreal blur of 24 hour days blending together with a combination of wine, exhaustion, visiting family and friends, and condolence cut meat tray after condolence cut meat tray.  One rock solid figure during that time was our funeral director Colin.  He was, and is, an amazing young chap who guided a group of Type A, mourning women through the steps required after a loved one’s life ends. We really got to know Colin during that brief period, and he us.  The day of Dad's burial, Colin read a poem to our close family during the casket closing.  He said he thought it really spoke to how Dad must have lived his life.  Colin didn't know Dad when he was alive, but got real insight after witnessing the past weeks' events; hour long waits for visitation, lineups out the door, jovial laughter and remembrance, Nylons blasting through the speaker system, a life-size cardboard cut-out of John Wayne standing on guard in the funeral home, Dad's convertible parked saucily on the homes front lawn..... This is the poem:

by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth…
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

I loved this. It moved me.  It brought me to tears. Again.  It is so perfect and so real.  My Father LIVED his dash.  He really did.  And he inspires me to do the same.  To really live.  So, as a reminder, I now have what I affectionately refer to as my "Daddy dash".  It's a permanent fixture on my arm, and a permanent mantra for how I plan to live my life.  I will live MY dash.  Thank you Pops, for all you have taught me and everyone else you have touched in this world. I love you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Autumn!

So I had a very brisk bike ride into work this morning.  Brrr!!

However, I found myself peddling with a huge grin on my face the whole time.  The crisp scent of fall filled the air as I rode down Yonge street in the wee hours of the morning, before anyone else was awake, the only other vehicle on the road, the Blue Light Bus.

I am pretty happy right now, and grateful for all that I have.  There is no reason to live in history, or re-live past pains when there is so much to be content with NOW, and to look forward to in the future. 

Late yesterday afternoon I received word that, YES, I had been formally accepted in the Meg Telpner Culinary School starting this spring.  The essay worked!  And as I plan this next venture on my own, another exciting opportunity  has revealed itself!  Look for my “nourishment centre project” in the future as well; a collaboration being dreamed up with the help of a dear friend and fellow hard knock survivor.  This of course, is just one more thing to be happy about.  I am also thrilled to have a great job, amazing friends, and love to spare.  This is it. 

Happy Thursday to all.  Peace, Love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An essay.

I decided a long time ago that I needed to create an alternate career in the wellness world.  As the following essay states, this idea has been rumbling deep inside of me for a long time, and I am taking yet another step towards my goal.  I am applying to be a student in Meg Telpner's "Culinary Nutrition Expert" course in the Spring of 2012.(  I was required to send in an essay explaining why I want to be a student of her craft, and how I planned on using my newfound nutritional knowledge.  I wanted to share it:
My Essay:
Why I want to be a Stellar Student of Meghan Telpner’s School of Culinary Nutrition
By: Meghan Pearson

Why do I want to be one of the very first students in Meghan Telpner’s “Culinary Nutrition Expert” course?  Well, I share the same name with her.  And I spell it with the proper “H” insertion as well.  That “H” is a rare thing, so I think this is just plain meant to be!  Not enough proof?  Okay, well here goes...

I have spent the last ten years working in the television industry here in Toronto, knowing deep down that my true passions lay elsewhere; in the kitchen, and at the yoga studio.   I have a very intimate relationship with food, having battled bulimia and anorexia for many years.  It is sad to recall how much I despised food back then, and now I savour every morsel I consume, and cook for others with love as often as possible.  I also found a gorgeous relationship with yoga while going through some very low times in my life, and together, proper nutrition and physical attention has really improved my entire universe exponentially. 

Once I really acknowledged that I was meant to work in the culinary and health worlds, I decided to take most of 2010 off from “the Biz”, and instead explored my options.  I took the Can Fit Pro Fitness instructor course in order to get a taste of what it would be like to teach group exercise, and also took a job as head office manager with the vegetarian restaurant chain “Fresh Restaurants”.  These were “it”.  I knew I wanted to further explore how I could flop my career, and decided to move towards a final career goal of wellness cook and yoga teacher.  Obviously in order to do this, I’d need proper certification, and to do that, I would need some cash.  So this is where I am today; working full time on a morning TV show in Toronto (that I LOVE!), making the money I need to take your course!
My hope is to develop a personal wellness business to help women like me source the balance they need in life, and feel good from the inside out.  Having battled and beat up on my own body for so many years, I know the importance of feeding your body and soul with all the best possible ingredients you can get your hands on.  I spend hours in the kitchen currently, cooking elaborate vegetarian meals for one, and never fail to plate a pretty pile of food for myself, even on the busiest of days.  I have an uncanny ability to store any food related factoids in my brain, and have a ridiculous culinary vocabulary that I suppose I developed during my many hours spent in front of the Food Network.  Now I don’t even have cable, but I do know that the television industry is a stressful one, and I hope to keep my connections in the field, and have already began to recruit potential clients to help get on the wellness wagon with me next year.  

I love food.  I love my food processor.  I love my knives, my cutting board, my mixing bowls.  I love thinking about the future and it including me being able to prepare and share my delicious knowledge gained from your course with the world.  Heck, I love the simple idea that I will have even a small sampling of Meg’s amazing knowledge in my repertoire.  I am ready to commit to this, and will be Meg’s mini-Meg supreme.  Top of class.
Thank you for reading, and hope to see you soon!
Meg Pearson