Helpful wisdom, compassion and care for you

When I felt like a scooped-out avocado (and what I did about it) — plus my very delicious, non-traditional guacamole recipe!

When I felt like a scooped-out avocado (and what I did about it) — plus my very delicious, non-traditional guacamole recipe!

We recently went through an especially rough time. My youngest son, who’s recovering from a traumatic brain injury, had a frightening exacerbation of symptoms, in which he began to feel that his brain was swelling, and eventually that his head was going to burst. (This story has a happy ending.) A 6:30am trip to the ER and a CT scan later, we knew that his head wasn’t, in fact, going to burst. But we still didn’t know what was wrong.

My son’s doctor, osteopathic physician Jeffrey Haggquist, came by that afternoon on his bike. How many doctors make a housecall on a Saturday afternoon on their bike? He did a quick exam and explained that much like the phantom limb phenomenon — the sensation that an amputated limb is still attached — my son’s brain was receiving, or interpreting, signals that were not…true. We felt relieved and exhilarated by the reasonable explanation. Thank you, Jeff!

A few days later, my friend Maria dropped by to ask how I was feeling. I feel like a scooped out avocado, I said. This statement just came out of my mouth.

Moms, can you relate? The news about your child (whether 2 or 22) is good! But you’ve been in tiger-mom mode, and it takes some time before you calm down and realize that you are a woman who feels … like a scooped out avocado!

Well, maybe there’s a little tiny remnant where the scoop didn’t get everything, a glimmer of green. But how do you come back from feeling like that?

Here’s what I did.

  • I talked to Maria. Aren’t friends just the best? Offering or receiving the gift of a listening heart is beyond priceless.
  • I had just enough vitality to get to my yoga class with Pleasance, the weekly women’s restorative practice that grounds, replenishes, and reconnects our minds, bodies and spirits. We drop very deep without excessive exertion (thank heavens!). I felt 78% readier for life after that one class.
  • I attended 7:30am meditation classes at The Center for Mindful Living as often as possible that week, and received loving hugs from my dharma buddies, which always delights my soul.
  • I talked to my longtime friend and colleague renowned healthy chef/cookbook author Rebecca Katz, about avocados. She says, “They are the ultimate magic carpet, full of amazing nutrients — good, healthy fat, fiber, and 50 million different phytonutrients!” She was deeply empathetic about my scooped-out avocado state.
  • I made guacamole!

My bright, creamy, non-traditional, homemade Guacamole

Scoop out and mash (I just use a fork) the contents of one ripe avocado.


  • Juice of ½ lime (or lemon)
  • Several pinches of sea salt
  • Lots of shakes of cardamom and cumin

Taste. Add more of whatever you like.

We often use this as a dipping sauce for tortillas with black bean filling or in a colorful bowl of vegetables or salad. If you eat bread, it would be amazing on toast. Or straight out of the bowl! Without the chilis and onion, it’s a whole different thing.

I’ll bet babies would like this! I remember Ali, proprietor of the Mediterranean Deli which used to be up the street from us, teaching me to feed my babies his fresh hummus with a spoon, just as Middle Eastern moms do. A huge hit with my little guys!

When you feel like a scooped out avocado, give yourself the space to find that juicy place where the spring water of your spirit comes from. Revive and restore!

What makes you feel like YOU?


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  1. I don’t have any kids but I have felt scooped out avocado before. Thanks for the visual.

    • Jo

      Good point. Not at all limited to moms! Glad you appreciate the visual. The expression surprised me so when it came out of my mouth… but felt oh so accurate! xo

  2. Tanmeet

    Jo-I loved this post, it was so real and I really got your metaphor. Sending love for your mama heart and gratitude for you sharing with us so we may also touch our heart.

    • Jo

      Moms can’t afford to be scooped out for long… But then we have our wise ways of replenishing! And just need to remember to nourish ourselves with our healing arts to keep us going. Sending you lots of love and light, wise one! xox0

  3. Alex Maul

    Oh, Jo! I am so glad everything turned out okay – what a wonderful doctor. I can totally relate to the scooped out feeling – the perfect metaphor. You inspire me to take better care of myself. Thank you for this perfectly-timed message 🙂

  4. Jo

    So delighted to hear from you, Alex, and honored that this inspires you 🙂 Your journey to wellness continues to inspire me! And the journey does continue, doesn’t it? The destination is each moment… and the next. Sending lots of love! xoxo

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