Mind. Body. Soul.
First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I hope that your year is filled with blessings, abundant prosperity, and a ton of growth (which often includes some level of challenge and hardship..!).
As some of you may know, I recently arrived home with my fiance, Curtis, from a 3.5 week vacation in Tonsai, Thailand, and boyyyy was it a doozy.
I'm 7 months into this plant-based vegan journey. That's right. Mostly plants.
It's been flippin' fantastic, and given me a testament that feels true (and tastes delicious): The future is cruelty-free, the future is veganism.
Alright, we can calm it down. Thankfully, this is a no-slap necessary recipe, unless you want to consider slapping this all over anything you put in your mouth. I've been making this chimichurri as a replacement for basil pesto. In my opinion, this is it's spicy, zesty, full-of-life cousin.. Or sister.... You get the context. It's exactly what we need to beat the summer heat (It's gotten to 120 a few times already.. I wonder when this city will become inhabitable!)
My fiance, Curtis, and I are dippers. We join the clan of guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, and hummus lovers. Even for dessert, I'll slice apples and mix peanut butter, and greek yogurt (tastes exactly like peanut butter pie filling!!). Dip is fun. It's low maintenance, and comes in a variety of tastes, and textures. I've tried making my own hummus from scratch a few times, but became intimidated after a few failed attempts at making various types of beans from scratch.
Amidst the downright confusion and being hit by waves of emotion from the recent election results, you know what I've been thinking about...? FOOD.
Quite possibly my favorite appetizer to make; whether hosting a dinner party, or an in-house date night. Easily made vegan by eliminating the ricotta from the crostini at the end. This is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves the sweet/salty combo. The briny sharpness from the kalamata olives comes together with the sweet grapes, which let out their nectar as they blister to produce the yummiest sweet/salty syrup on the bottom of the pan, which you can drizzle over the crostini, or slurp straight from the spoon!
One of the first goals I set for mySelf this year was to create a space that would serve as an outlet to deepen my connection with you. Yes, you. The person reading this blog post. You have come across my page by some miraculous happenstance, and clicked your little phalanges on this post, and that can only mean one thing... We're meant to connect further.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu - May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. - Hindu Prayer -
Spiritual practice looks different for everyone. For many years, organized religion was the majority, but I do feel that in this younger generation, we're starting to appreciate a more DIY approach. We do what works for us, walls of what's 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' are becoming less relevant. We're honoring what makes sense to us and makes us feel good. And why shouldn't we?
I’m aware that pretty, neutral posts offend no one. They also change nothing. (As much as a post, as a page, can change anything, that is.) - Kathryn Budig
Yoga is as much about learning as it is unlearning. Discovering, and making peace with, yourself on so many deeper levels. I've been reading on and integrating a lot of chakra balancing into my practice in recent months. It's sharpened my memory, and I now remember so much more of my past. Chasing back imbalances to their circumstances and situations, figuring out when 'this' or 'that' thing happened in my life that shaped me into who I am today. One thing it's taught me is that I'm passionate about speaking honestly, however ostracized it's made me, but I've been so inspired by this movement that I see growing all around me. I'm starting to uncover the gifts I've been blessed with.
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. - Benjamin Mee
I believe that as a society, we're only truly beginning to understand the internet and it's capabilities now. How many people do you know who have a spiritual practice; whether that's doing yoga, meditation, a practice of gratitude, or reading spiritual texts?
How many of those people were doing those practices 10 years ago?
This has been a circulating topic amongst friends in my community a lot, the last week or so. The Universe has a funny way of challenging you in the ways you need it most, even if you can't see it at first. As I grow stronger in this work, and trying to narrow the scope of what it is that I was placed on this earth to do, I've been consistently met with people who challenge me. They can be seen as annoyances, disturbers of 'flow state', or just plain 'haters', but it's really dawning on me that, just as I believe 'everything happens for a reason'... These challenges are no exception.
What I intend to do with this blog is demystify various practices that people may feel obscured by. Lately, I've been surprised by how open people are about asking questions, and being interested in what I write on my various social media platforms about this transformation I'm going through. When information isn't 'given' in a preachy way, people are much more open and receptive.
Let me take you back to 2001. I'm in 7th grade, attending Becker Middle School, in Las Vegas, NV. I'm an energetic animal lover, and absolutely obsessed with Christina Aguilera. There is a special that I've been looking forward to for weeks, showing on either MTV or VH1, on her life, and how she got to where she is 'today'.
I'd been begging my parents to help me record a sample tape to send to various record labels, I really felt that I wanted to pursue a singing career, which my dad was really supportive of. We developed a fun schedule where I'd pick a certain number of songs, memorize them, and sing them to him every week. It was really fun, and every single (literally) day, I'd come home and watch this TV Special on Christina Aguilera, so full of inspiration that she followed her dreams and was now a 'superstar'. I did wind up sending a tape to labels, and never heard back from anyone.
Well, I'm back from the most incredible and transformative week I've had in a long time.
Curious as to how this story will reveal itself.
I guess, I'll begin at the beginning!
Curtis and I planned to go to Symbiosis Gathering 2016 after having an incredible experience last year. This festival is full of yoga immersions, health workshops, speakers, and panels. Families have been on the rise at these wellness festivals, so many can have incredibly healing experiences, it provides a great platform to gather, connect, and celebrate individuality.
How often do you feel completely sure of yourself about something?
That's a pretty loaded question, everything from 'I know what I'm going to eat for breakfast today' to 'I can't believe I said that yesterday!' all the way to 'She still hasn't responded to me, I'm sure I pissed her off when I ______, I always do that, it's all my fault.', and make up an entire story about the scenario, which usually includes a lot of talking to yourself in a way you'd never talk to anyone else.
Your life complications most likely look very different from mine, but there is something that rings true for everyone unless we have an active practice to step away from it: we assume.