Of Luscious Living and Tomatoes.

One luscious, interesting tomato straight from the garden is better than a thousand

cookie cutter tomatoes straight from the industrial farm. (FYI - I said that...not Confucius).

I love tomatoes. And words. Lately, I've been eating a lot of amazing tomatoes (end of summer in New England, anyone?) and writing a lot of words (some of them more amazing than others).

One word I'm using a lot in my new "Meat and Romance" business service descriptions and offerings and marketing materials is LUSCIOUS.

As in, Luscious Living.. and helping others to live a more Luscious Life.

Being a rather weighty and passionate word, I've chosen it carefully...and I've been thinking a lot about what the concept means to me.

So...if you're at all interested, or waiting for the pasta water to boil... here we go:

For me, LUSCIOUS LIVING isn't just some great tag line or titillating combination of words or a clever alliteration (although I am shameless in admitting to the fact that I do so love a titillating combination of words or clever alliteration). And it's not about going out for decadent dinners or traveling to exotic locations or staying at five-star hotels or getting the newest vehicle or the most impressive kitchen countertops or dropping copious amounts of money on (or merely lusting after) what society deems

luxurious.

No...it's beyond any of that shallow stuff.

It's meaningful and soulful. And additionally, it's healing.

It's my life philosophy.

I suppose it's always been my way of living, at least the basic premise, although it's absolutely deepened and expanded as I've journeyed through my life and experienced the healing power of this way of living as I've dealt with some pretty tough stuff. It's not just mindful living. And it's not simply lighthearted living.

Nope. It has it's own name. And it's definitely Luscious.

And so with all due diligence given to the dictionary, be it Oxford English or Merriam Webster or whichever other ...here is a stream-of-consciousness taste of the Sandi Amorello Dictionary definition of LUSCIOUS LIVING:

It's falling in love with life. Living fully. Deeply. Jumping all in with courage and trust and a sense of adventure.

It's falling in love with change and living with the flow of change rather than trying to keep things the same. Because life IS change. That's it!

It's falling in love with ourselves. With our bodies. Just as we are.

It's doing things slowly and intentionally. Not rushing through things. Enjoying things. Paying attention.

It's embracing life as a fabulous and mysterious gift. Saying YES.

It's embracing death as a fabulous and mysterious gift. And saying YES to that part of life, as well.

It's waking up grateful. Going to sleep grateful. Basically saying thank you a lot. And meaning it.

It's spending more time in our body and less in our head. Feeling more. Getting more connected to the pulse of life. Getting more grounded. Moving more. Analyzing less.

It's relishing the pleasures and delights that come to us through our senses ~ sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. (This includes the joy of things like rocking out to Pour Some Sugar on Me whilst brushing our teeth [I have never done such a thing, of course], inhaling that oddly delicious tomato plant fragrance from a tomato that still has the vine attached, eating curls of toasted coconut and tidbits of dark chocolate, looking into the eyes of your Bassett hound, and/or getting your feet massaged by your grandmother. Yes. Yes. Yes. To all of the above. Yumm!)

This image covers both the sound/music and touch/ lovemaking categories.

Genius. I know! I'm as delighted as you must be. ;) (It also happens to be

a tiny portion of a much larger piece of my artwork...double good.)

It's trusting our intuition and our heart more than the opinions, judgments and voices of others.

It's feeling things fully and deeply. Joy. And especially, pain. And then letting it float away on a breeze. And then having it rush back in out of the blue like a f*cking rogue wave and flatten us. Then allowing ourself to feel it all. All over again. So we can get on with life.

It's laughing as often as possible, as hard as possible, and for as long as possible.

It's crying when we need to. As much as we need to. As sobbingly loudly or chokingly silently as we need to. And then, getting up and finding a reason to smile.

It's relishing the magic and beauty of nature... everything from a peanut plant to a planet. And feeling in awe that we are part of it. Born out of the same stardust and energy. One big beautiful, mysterious, cosmic circulating stream of creation. (Cue to sing the "Circle of Life" song. Out loud.)

Our souls are like seagulls, soaring on currents of warm ocean air...OK. NO.

Let's try this: Feathers in a cow cup made by some random elementary school child whose blossoming artistic career was ruined by parents who crushed his

soul by tossing his cow mug into the trash. Where it was rescued by...a lover of

children, cows, and great art. The great circle of life... (YES!). ;)

It's acknowledging we are not less than or better than anyone else. Anyone. A. N. Y. O. N. E.

It's taking life, and ourself, less seriously. Often, for some of us, waaaay less seriously.

It's knowing that living life purely for fun and joy and love is more than ok. (Thanks, Jack Kerouac!)

It's choosing quality over quantity. Especially in our food and our friends.

It's surrounding ourself with soulful, beautiful, playful and meaningful things. (From Goodwill, from some fancy-pants designer...no difference...it's the feeling it evokes in us and the resonance that counts.)

Vintage treasures that make my heart sing...a Big Boy restaurant mascot, a bottle

of Sweetie soda that my late husband Drew gave me...because we so often called

one another Sweetie (possibly nauseating everyone in our path!), and a wind-up

elephant who has obviously been loved endlessly. So all of you chain stores filled

with mass-produced garbage' ...beware! Your soul-less wares are just not doing it

for many of us. ;)

It's saying a big old "adios" to the concept of perfection. Perfection = Robotic= Soul-destroying.

It's striving to contribute and add meaning to the world rather than aiming to be more "productive."

It's infusing your days with creativity. Because we are all Creators.

It's staying close to anything that makes us happy to be alive (this means objects, people, places, etc). (Thanks, Hafiz!)

It's allowing more love into our life. And doling it out more generously and fearlessly.

It's treating ourself the way we'd treat our beloveds: With absolute love, compassion and forgiveness.

It's being the hero of our own life, the author of our own movie, and choosing ourself rather than waiting for outside validation, or for others to deem us worthy/ good enough to do our thing. AMEN.

It's discovering, loving and embracing our true self. No shame. No guilt. No embarrassment.

NO EXCUSES.

It's liberating ourself from the Batsh*t Crazy of what society and Madison Avenue brainwashes us into believing we "need" to look like or own or accomplish in order to have a fulfilled, joyful, successful and meaningful life. It's all Batsh*t Crazy. (Oh wait, did I say BATSHIT CRAZY already?)

It's creating our own set of priorities and values and rules for our life. "Making a Bible" out of our own truths. (I forget who said this or something close to it, but I know it didn't come from me. So, thanks!)

It's letting other people be who they are. And if you don't enjoy who they are...well, there are over 7.5 billion people out there, at last count. Move on and cease the whining. (And also, there are furry friends to be made, as well. And they can't speak...which is a delicious thing at times.)

It's infusing our life and the lives of others with TINY pleasures. They are everywhere. And they add up to a big heaping platter of joy and comfort and good feelings at the end of each day.

Recently, I bought one ounce of tiny organically grown rosebuds. That were then

wrapped in a little swatch of brown kraft paper. Aren't they beautiful? I shall

be steeping a sprinkling of them into my bedtime cup of warm milk and honey

tonight. I think it cost me less than a gallon of gasoline. Gasoline or rosebuds.

Rosebuds or gasoline. Hmmmmm. I think I'll take the rosebuds. And walk! :)

It's loving ourself first. Filling up our cup with what brings us genuine joy. So we can share it with others and be a radiant ball of sunshine....a bouquet of sparklers (shout out to Cole) in a world that can sometimes feel dark and hopeless and lonely.

Lastly...

It's smiling for no reason.

It's having a light heart.

It's enjoying being HERE. NOW. IN THIS MOMENT. Because that's all we actually ever have.

(Thank you Buddhism, Eckhart Tolle, et al!)

There. That'll do it for now.

Thank you for allowing me to barge into your life, once again...and unannounced, to boot! You remain the most gracious host/ hostess I've ever met.

May your Sunday evening be filled with love, lusciousness and sparklers. (Perhaps a potential new sign-off line for me?...hmmmmm.)

Sandi

xo

As always, you are invited to share my words and the love, support and laughter they hold with those who need it. Which is...most of us!

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