Gratitude is Great!

I know I’ve posted about gratitude before. I’m sure there have been a few gratitude lists and explanations, but it is worth revisiting because I truly believe it is one of the simplest, most effective and yet undervalued tools for emotional transformation. It is a fundamentally spiritual tool- by putting out there what AMAZINGNESS already exists in your life, you open up to more of it!

For me, part of recognizing that love is in having a grateful heart. It’s hard for me to be conscious of the good in my life if I don’t work at it.

Today I am grateful for:

1. Rebounder. I picked up a cheapy one last week and I love it! I like how I can jump for short spurts all throughout the day and I really feel like it gets things moving on all kinds of levels. Love it! Can’t wait to work up to being able to jump for a really long time!!

2. The simple truth that movement begets move never. Isn’t one of the basic laws of physics that an object in motion stays in motion? The short, doable bursts of exercise that I’ve been doing make me want to keep doing it! I absolutely love that feeling

3. My life thus far. All of it- EVERY wart makes me who I am now. All those times I suffered, feeling like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, whatever enough- Thank You.

4. The people who came to my talk tonight. Thank you for allowing me to share my truth with you. There are many things I get excited about, and eating greens is one of them!

5. That soup Dan made tonight! I don’t know what all it had, but I know it was celery, kale and potato cooked in a vegetable broth some medicinal herbs like astragalus, maca and goji berry, then blended. It felt incredibly nourishing to my body after a long, long day and sick people all around.

YES!!

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Winter Solstice

It’s time to turn the focus inward. To go deep and do the work. To recognize that which is not serving. And let it go. Releasing patterns, behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and feelings that we do not need to bring into this next cycle with us. Making room for blessings in our life.

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I’ve been doing my work with Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz and Life 2014 Planner.
Me last night, sick babe at my side, dogs at my feet, doing the work.

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Embracing the Crafty Goddess Within

I like to think of myself as having a DIY spirit. The truth is, though, that I have more of a ” let me find a template and then search for about 10 examples of the finished product using said template so that I can see how other people have done it first.”

The problem with this approach is that

1. I spend ridiculous amounts of time on “research” and then can’t find time to actually create anything.

2. I have abundant fodder for self-comparison and thus judgement and

3. I am invalidating my experience, talents and creativity.

I know that a large factor in all of this is simple old fear of failure. What if I spend x amount of time and x amount of supplies(i.e. money) on the project and it comes out crap?

As women ( humans, really) we are infinitely creative. In fact, that is our true nature. With help from the Divine, we create the world with and through our very bodies. What could be more creative than that? I think that once we realize that it is our nature to do so, we cannot fail!

So what I can’t crochet a doily to save my life or that bias tape is my arch enemy?? So what the best gluten-free cupcakes I have ever had weren’t made by me? So what there is another mama out there who not only uses cloth diapers, but MAKES her own?

I have my own gifts, just as you have yours. But neither you nor I can ever embrace those gifts and realize our potential if we do not first embrace our true nature and embody it!

I think that keeping company with other women is important to the process. Women’s circles, stitch-n-bitch, red tents, whatever the details are is unimportant. We need a sisterhood of support, of inspiration and of shared resources. In my life, this is one of the most glaringly obvious voids and I want more than anything to one day be a part of something similar.

So go make something, already!

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Light Cleanse and Weekend Happenings

I have been feeling really bad physically.  On one level, I have been feeling the remnants of the flu I had- just sort of low grade symptoms- headache, sore throat, tiredness, etc.  And then on another level I have been feeling really unhealthy in other ways- I feel so overweight and out of shape.  I also feel like I have been holding on to my baby body.  I guess being pregnant and giving birth and now mothering Amethyst has meant such a significant change in my life- how I live my day-to-day, who I fundamentally am as a person, what my priorities are that I just haven’t been able to let go of this belly.  But I feel like by shedding this extra weight I can return into myself a little.  In the yogic tradition, a new baby and mother share an aura for 40 days after the birth of the baby.  During this time, baby and mama are still connected as fundamentally as when baby was still in the womb- just that this connection is more energetic in nature.  Doing this cleanse has felt a little like I am taking some power back into my body.  As I am still (somewhat) breastfeeding my daughter, I decided to do a really light version of a cleanse.  Juicing and smoothies all day and then one meal and a light snack.

Saturday-

Wild green kuice- cleaver, apple, chickweed, lime
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Smoothie-frozen blueberries, mango, kale, coconut water, vitamineral green, sunwarrior protein powder, cashews, dates

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, fennel, ginger, kale stalks, lemons, limes

Smoothie- blueberry, mango, sunwarrior, avocado, dates, vitamineral green, pine pollen

Green juice- more of earlier green juice

Snack- some Hail Merry chocolate tarts- mint and almond butter flavors, shared with my Dad and hubby.  Also some little chococherry energy bite things from Hawaii.

meal- cucumber, shredded carrot, celery, lettuce, quinoa, roasted potato and beet in a raw Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce.

The sauce was awesome on this really hearty and filling yet light (if that totally contradictory description makes sense to anyone but me!) salad.

Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce

3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds, soaked 4 hours

juice of 2 lemon

pinch salt

2 date, soaked

1 dried chipotle pepper, soaked

1/4-1/2 c spring water, if needed

Add everything to blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Sunday was similar foodwise-

smoothie- blueberries, Sunwarrior, dates, rainbow chard and ice

smoothie- more blubes, Sunwarrior, cashews, dates, vitamineral green and cacao powder

juice- carrot, apple, celery, beet, cilantro

snack- Bearded Bros. Maca chocolate energy bar shared with hubby while having almond milk au laits at Rhino Coffee

juice- more of above root juice

meal- kelp noodles with spinach, grated carrots, pickles and Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce
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Also yesterday the hubby and I went to a sound healing session.  The woman used Tibetan singing bowls and a gong.  This was the first thing remotely like this that we have done since moving to Shreveport.  I fell asleep briefly during the session but have not been so relaxed in a reaaaaaaally long time.  I think it also helped shift me into a more positive headspace as well.  Dan enjoyed it as well and Amethyst was FINE with her grandparents while we were gone 🙂  Also, we were able to introduce ourselves to a few people and saw some other interesting looking people near to our age.  So, it at least gave us some hope for creating a nice life for ourselves during our time in Shreveport even if it is only temporary.

Today was also similar-

Green smoothie made by hubby but had mixed frozen fruits, spinach and pine pollen

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, cilantro, lemon, grapefruit

Wild greens- Cleaver and chickweed, grapefruit, lemon
juice makings:
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Chickweed juice

meal- Blue corn tacos with black beans, daiya vegan cheese, spinach and beet greens, grated carrot, guacamole, chickweed-cilantro pesto, and tomatillo salsa.  OMG so delicious were these!

Chickweed-Cilantro Pesto
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1/2 cup chickweed

1/2 cup cilantro

1/4 cup pine nuts

pinch salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

splash of good olive oil

Throw everything into food processor and pulse into slightly chunky paste.

Adi Shakti Mantra for Pregnancy

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Chanting mantras is an excellent tool for meditation, especially for those who have a hard time sitting in silence.  By chanting a mantra, you are giving your mind a direction so that it knows what is up.  Mantras can also be used for specific ends as well.

During pregnancy, one of the most invaluable mantras is the Adi Shakti mantra.  Yogis believe that the soul enters a fetus at 120 days of gestation.  By chanting this mantra, you can actually change the karma of the soul who is entering.  So, what if you don’t do it before 120 days?  Well, all is not lost- the mantra is just that powerful!

When the fetus has differentiated into a gender, the environment inside the womb which contains a male becomes more acid, in what the yogis refer to as the “acid bath”.  This acidity hinders the development of the right brain (intuition, empathy, abstraction, etc.) and promotes the development of the left brain (logic, order, duty, etc.) These left-brained traits served men (and women) well in the past.  A man leaving his family to go hunting, knowing full well that he might not return, could not afford sentimentality.  Now, entering into the Aquarian Age, our lifeways are different and we need a world full of intuitive, empathetic and compassionate MEN!  Chanting the Adi Shakti Mantra reduces the effect of this acid bath on the brain of the developing baby.

If the fetus is female, chanting the mantra has the effect of elevating her spiritually.  For the woman chanting (pregnant or not) it forges a connection with the Divine Feminine. So really, there is no reason not to chant it!

Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti

Namo Namo

Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti

Namo Namo

Pritham Bhagwati, Pritham Bhagwati, Pritham Bhagwati

Namo Namo

Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti

Namo Namo

If you decide to try it out, you can always sing along with this beautiful version by Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha Singh.

The Seven Alchemical Healers

I can only imagine that if you are reading this, then you have at least a fleeting interest in health and wellness.  Although my path to those ideals has been, and still is, full of detours, mistakes and a dash of apathy, I am getting there. Slowly but surely, and picking up more and more information and experience along the way.  To me, than is more important than any number on the scales.

I know that I tend to focus entirely too much on food.  I think to myself, if I can just eat raw food, if I can just eat clean for x amount of time then I will be healthy.  While what we put into our mouths is absolutely important, it isn’t everything and quite often I need to be reminded of that.  

I had the pleasure and privilege of doing a short certification course with Dr. Gabriel Cousens last November, and while I know that the seeming austerity of a low-glycemic diet isn’t for everyone, I have no doubt in my mind that for optimal healing that man knows what he is doing.

In his book, Spiritual Nutrition, he talks about the Seven Alchemical Healers.  They are the foundations to a healthy and balanced life and I would like to share them with you.

  1. Fresh air– This can include breathing exercises (pranayama), or simply exposing as much of our bodies as possible to pure, fresh air (air baths)
  2. Pure Water-It is becoming more and more difficult for many people on this earth to find truly pure water and there are seemingly endless opinions on what type of water is best.  I recommend spring water if you have access to it http://www.findaspring.com/  Otherwise, do a bit of research and buy the best quality filter you can afford.  
  3. Sunlight- Dr. Cousens recommends a minimum of 30-60 minutes a day either in the early morning or late afternoon.  This is essential for Vitamin D in the body, but be aware that the further you are from the equator, the more you will need.  Here in Spain, 30 minutes would probably be enough to get away with not supplementing but if you live in England, you would need much, much more.
  4. Exercise– This means more than just a leisurely stroll around the block or a relaxing yoga class.  It means reaching between 50-80% of your capacity.  That surely involves sweat! 
  5. Rest– Generally, this means finding a quiet spot in nature and/or meditation.  However, for sedentary or intellectually active types of people, this means activities like gardening, hiking, game playing, and periods of silence.
  6. Right Diet– This can mean many different things to different people.  A clean, whole-food and plant-based diet is without doubt optimal.
  7. Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Peace- Although this is quite broad, it generally means living in right relationship.  Are you living in a way that aligns your deepest self with your current reality?  If not, then peace cannot be found.

I know that I can personally benefit from making sure to include each of these in my daily life and I challenge myself to do so!  What about you?  What do you currently do and what could you improve?

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image from http://www.rickrichards.com/chakras/chakra_man1.jpg

An Attitude of Gratitude

I am the kind of person who has a tendency to be very much in my head.  I overanalyze things, dwell on the negative, and can always think of a worst-case scenario.  This tendency has no doubt contributed to a lot of the depression and apathy that has marked much of my life until very recently.

This morning, a lot of those old patterns began to surface and I could feel myself getting stressed, anxious and angry.  Thankfully, I have built up a little tool kit of coping mechanisms.  The one I want to share with you today seems ridiculously simply, but is actually quite profound.

Periodically, especially when I start to dwell on negative things or what is missing in my life, I like to make a list of the positives in my life- the things that I am grateful for.

Today, it looked like this:

1. I am grateful for the changes that have taken place in my life in terms of diet, spirituality and my relationship with myself.

2. I am grateful that Dan is on board for all of it.

3. I am grateful for the long walk we took this morning and the happy look on Tater´s face as she was exploring the tunnels.

4. I am grateful for the sunny day and the promise of spring

5. I am grateful for the raw ice cream sundae with vanilla cashew ice cream, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, goji berries, almond butter, strawberries      and bee pollen.

6. I am grateful for friends who push me until I actually come through.

By number 2 or 3, I could tangibly feel my mood lifting.

So, try it- honestly, you´ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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