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Organic GYN Goes to Portland for Baby Shower

Posted on 12 February 2011

Been to an organic baby shower? Me neither!

I'm in Portland, helping to throw a baby shower for my beloved sister, Anna. That would be her diaper cake, made by a friend, above.

I've taken my organic show on the road twice now: first to Point Reyes at New Years, and then to Tahoe over MLK weekend. It's rather easy to wear, eat & schmear organic in Point Reyes but Tahoe is another story. Jury is still out on how easily organic I can be in Portland but I'm hopeful.

Anna is pregnant with her first baby, so my other beloved sister, Justina, together with our mom are throwing Anna the shower. Mom has done the heavy lifting of planning and purchasing all the food.

I brought Anna an organic wool sleeper for her baby (in the color "natural." naturally). When i presented my small gift, she gave me a grin and thanked me. She's trying to go along and be a sport, about my latest experiment but really it must feel a bit irritating.

Most of the food we're serving which is heavy on the Ina Garten crowd-pleasers such as Arugula salad with roasted potatoes, tomatoes and green beans and from-scratch herbed crisped crackers plus mini cupcakes from Saint Cupcake in Northwest Portland - not organic. Savignon Blanc and mimosas made from Proseco from Trader Joe's - not organic. Carrots for the crudite platter are organic! I'll be eating those with Yogi Tea.

"Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together."  - Pema Chodron

Anna bought a cute little maternity dress from Nordstrom. I'll be wearing my usual organic uniform: organic cotton jeans, organic wool socks, organic cotton thong from Etsy, organic cotton Athena top from Blue Canoe (I actually adore this top - rather sexy for being organic!), organic wool cardigan in a color that almost matches the Athena top, organic cotton bra from Rawganique. Not so fancy but it's a thrill for me to have my little uniform and not stare with despair for long moments at my closet about what to wear. I only have 3 outfits! Keeps the packing easy!

I'm also sporting an organic tampon; perhaps TMI as my 11-year-old is fond of saying.  But seriously - think about the dioxins in your Tampax right up next to your precious vaginal lining where you have bazillions of blood vessels and vulnerable, important nerves. Your G-spot prefers to be toxin-free!

Anna knows me well and wisely ferried me to my fave organic vegan cafe, Blossoming Lotus, upon arrival, and commanded me to purchase a weekend worth of food because the plan was takeout toxic Chinese for dinner last night. She knows how I feel about MSG. I enjoyed raw pesto portabello pizza while my darling family of origin ate hot and sour soup with white rice and sesame chicken.

Forecast for Portland my entire stay? Rain. That's another gap in my organic wardrobe - along with being poorly equipped to snowboard organically, I also haven't yet sourced any organic rain jackets. Leave me a comment if you've figured this one out!

Overall, this shower is a lesson in letting go, loosening my grip on how I think others should be (WTF! That cupcake is toxic!) and staying on my modest organic path without being too pedantic, self-righteous or smug. Or irritating. Or maybe even insufferable.

"I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us...It was all about letting go of everything." - Pema Chodron

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