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Day 1 – October 30, 2009 – The first day of the rest of my life …

October 31, 2009

Welcome to DAY ONE.  Yesterday was my 50th birthday and so I consider this to be the first day of the rest of my life.   From this day forward I hope to post daily here on my blog. I have been inspired by the wonderful Sharlene Rough and her daily blog where she keeps track of her life and what she eats every day.

The discipline and simplicity of her doing this reminded me of two other persons in my life who did the same: my sister and my grandfather.  My grandfather on my father’s side wrote every day in his dairy without fail for – I don’t know how many years.  My sister kept a regular diary as well.  (I have them with me.)  And so now I will do my best to keep one as well and blogs are perfect for them.  I probably won’t be as consistent as Sharlene as I am not so disciplined.  But the occasion of my 50th birthday seems to me to be a good excuse to begin and at least try and so let this be my first entry.

Lily with Grandpa Kushi 1975

Yesterday was my birthday.  I spent most of the day at home taking it easy reading a book, playing music and acknowledging all the well-wishers on Facebook.  I am about halfway through the “Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown  (the part about 1514AD).  It’s a great book full of fun and interesting facts.  Later I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Bizen restaurant in Great Barrington with the most important woman in my life: my daughter, Teruko.  She is an incredible person and artist.  Though we don’t see each other so often as she keeps a busy life, I was delighted when she called and asked me out to dinner.  I could not have had a better time.

After dinner, I went to an alcoholics anonymous (AA) meeting.  I had been to one last week just to check it out.  It may seem strange to many that I would go to one of these meetings.  The truth is, I have no problem being extremely disciplined with what I put in my mouth.  But, in the past, I have had the tendency to enjoy a little too much sake or beer on occasion to the point where it became undesirable.  And so, just as I quit smoking the day I turned 40 (yes, I used to smoke cigarettes!  Camel Filters no less) I have decided to quit drinking alcohol the day I turned 50.  I have had my thrill with it and it has served its purpose.  It now no longer serves any more purpose in my life.  The only “vice” I have is coffee and I drink it black.  I don’t eat sugar, dairy, meat or take any drugs of any kind.  I have never had any medications, prescription or otherwise, in my entire life (except during visits to the dentist).

As much as I am interested in not drinking alcohol anymore, I am also very interested in understanding the social culture that has so many turn to and then try to abstain from alcohol or other addictions.  A couple years ago I came across this inspirational video by Craig Ferguson from 2007.

It fascinates me that people willingly ruin their lives over such things.  It also fascinates me that many find support and salvation through AA.  Knowing what I know about food, health, toxins, dietary fat, addictions and how to change them through the application of yin and yang, I am fascinated to understand what makes AA work.

Even in macrobiotic circles there are many “addicts” and people who have eating disorders that don’t get helped just by changing their diet alone.  They lack an emotional social support system of non-judgmental unconditional love from friends which is usually not present in macrobiotic circles.  Macrobiotic teachers are great for learning all about food, cooking and yin and yang but really offer little in the way of emotional support to those who need regular attention in order to gain some control over their lives.

There is something about a social/ communal emotional support system of acceptance that seems to override personal addictions or addictive behavior that interests me.  If it can be successfully applied to addictive substances, then what else can such a support system be applied to to  the benefit of all of humanity?  Can it be applied in ways to accelerate a process of human transformation and enlightenment?  I actually think about these things.

Today was another quiet day.  However, later in the day at the suggestion of perhaps, my best friend, I was invited to another friend’s home to help him process a deer that was recently killed by a car.  He brought it home and need some help to cut it up. You can see photos on my Facebook page here:  It was the first time for me to ever touch and handle any red meat in my entire life. No, I did not eat any.  But, hey! If I decide to eat any meat then freshly killed wild venison is probably the best that is available to me!…I am looking forward to what new adventures lie ahead!  Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    October 31, 2009 6:57 am

    Happy Birthday Phiya
    Congratulations for what you’ve accomplished in the first half, and wishing you a rich and fruitful journey for all the adventures that lie ahead.

    I’m very interested in this topic of addiction as I’ve struggled with various forms at different times in my life.

    Food addiction is truly insidious and is certainly epidemic.

    We can survive without drinking, smoking, gambling, sex, etc. but must eat to live. And it’s not simply that all food addicts are holed up in their cars eating mass quantities of fast food. Food addicts may be addicted to any aspect of food culture or behavior; stealing, secret eating, and/or indulging in that which is destructive for their body’s condition like overloading on salt or sugar or diet soda.

    I haven’t smoked since 1980. I haven’t felt a desire for drugs or alcohol for a very long time. If someone looked at my food diary they would think I eat a fairly balanced and basically healthful way. What’s the problem? The problem is that I’m not well and know that if I ate differently, I might not be cured but it would undoubtedly improve much in my life, including my energy, my appearance and my thinking.
    This is addiction, too.


  2. Sophia permalink
    November 2, 2009 2:57 pm

    I commend you Phiya!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. María permalink
    May 30, 2012 2:33 am


    Thank you so much for opening your Heart……emotional support is a key to survive to addictions but if the person with addictions ísn´t taught to survive by themselves, can become addict to feel that safety or security from others too, that is normally translated into the need of listening or being close to those we see that have what we lack or that we want to get, other kind of slavery at the end.

    What I know about the twelve steps is that is a good way to begin to walk by ourselves and be fully independant, but every person is a whole world.

    Phiya, this was written three years ago, I wish you have achieved the goals you were ready to get, specially the ones related to alcohol and having emotional support in your life.

    Addiction seems to me that comes directly related to emotional emptyness, but we should be able to find that “well of water springing up to eternal life”, …….ups and downs are a healthy part of human life as a natural wave of the cicle of life, we are guided to learn to appreciate and be thankful for all we have and we don´t have, but this is talking too much already.

    Thank you very much again for your articles and for your clean, transparent and open Heart.

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