Monday, December 31, 2012


As one year ends and another one begins, so many reflect over what they could have, would have or should have done.  They "resolve" to be better, bigger, brighter, or anything associated with overcoming that which they failed to accomplish previously.
It is commonly known that many do not achieve what they resolve and many fail resolution within the first weeks or months of declaring intentions.

Why?  Very simple.  A resolution is a wish without any plan to actually achieve it.  It's just something simply said.  In a previous post Affirmation, I discussed how resolution is just a part of the formula.  Instead of resolving, we must also affirm, to realize the words of our resolution to fruition.. To visualize it into reality.

To affirm successfully, you must continue pass the initial resolution stage of "say It".  You must also, believe It,  do It,  and be It.

Saying IT
Please do not think that I am minimizing the importance of resolution.  Saying it is the first, crucial step.  If we don't first say it, we can not proceed.  It is key to verbally express your intent.  Saying it incorporates reflection of where you have been, recognizes your present moment, and introduces where you plan to go.  Saying it truthfully is the next step.  If you distort any component in saying it, you are destined to break your resolve which is why many never move past this point.  The problem is that most resolutions are passive intentions.  For example, to say "I resolve to loose 30 lbs"  without truthfully acknowledging how long it initially took you to gain those pounds, the habits that placed you 30lbs  up or the real reason why you wish to loose it, will become burdensome and you may give up before you actually get started.  Perhaps you  really don't need to loose 30lbs.  Perhaps you are only trying to loose weight for an artificial event or reason, or perhaps the real root cause is your health and to loose 30lbs is a by-product.  So instead of resolving, say your intent with affirming truth "I reduce my pre-diabetes risks".

Believing IT
The reason most do not get past the Say IT stage is because they either set a superficial resolution or they don't believe it themselves.   A realistic statement that exemplifies your truth will lead to successful realization.  You say what you believe and believe in what you say.  When you believe your statement, you will exhibit it and those around you will believe it also.  As said in the past, imagine yourself not failing.  Believe in your success.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~ Gandhi

Doing IT
Saying and believing your statement is the catalyst.  Remove the passivity of resolution - instead, do it.  Actually doing It is the action to bring it to be.  Remember
"Actions speaks louder than words" 
Put your words into place.  Prioritize the steps needed to accomplish what you desire to be.  Address each step an item at a time.  For example:  "I live cruelty free".  Begin by believing you are cruelty free in your actions and intentions.  Make a list of things you will no longer do and those which you will:  get rid of all of your animal based products,  replacing each one-by one with cruelty free items - start with your pantry, the move on to your refrigerator, then your closet. As you move through the steps,  acknowledge that you are "doing IT", say your affirmation out loud as you "do".   Remember, no artificial or stressed-filled created/generated deadlines.  Work through doing IT, one day, one step, one moment at a time.

Being IT
After you have done it, the final step is to actually Be IT.  Being it is reinforcement and the physical manifestation of the original words "said".  It is accomplishment of objective.   Successfully being IT reinforces your  belief in yourself and allows you to proudly state who you now are, for example:   "I am vegan", "I climb mountains", "I run marathons", "Today is a great day", "I help the homeless", "Absolutely nothing is out of my reach", etc.    Being IT transforms resolution into affirmation and affirmation into a positive self-fulfilling prophetic truth.   When you have become that wish you sought to be, a euphoric empowerment washes over you, giving you the ability to "say it" again, to move on to do and be the next thing.
So, whatever IT may be for you, as one year ends and a new one begins, remember to realistically wear the realization that "it" is more than resolution, "it" is affirmation. Proudly say it, believe it, do it.....BE IT.

Happy New Year

Monday, October 29, 2012

Being Super

I apologize.  I've been away for the past two months. I've been busy....busy taking on a full time project directing a group of health and wellness representatives.  It has been hard, work, the hardest I've worked in recent years.  I love it though.  I feel as if the 12 to 16 hour workdays will be worth it, that the reward shall be realized through the positive results of those involved, to know that I am physically making a difference.  Two weeks ago, after a  particularly long, arduous yet successful task, my colleague commented that she felt as if the two of us were standing strong, each side by side with a huge "S" on our chests, capes flying in the wind....that we were incredible, that we were.... "super".

Super, Fit, and Vegan?

Jeff Sekerak,  Super, Fit, and Vegan
Wow. Super. The statement was true.  We had worked hard and tirelessly because we believed in that in which we were engaged.  As with everything in my recent life, I immediately applied the thought to my vegan path. How does the act of being super apply?  Is there such a thing as a Super Vegan?  When it comes to coaches, activism, cooking, nutrition, and education, many can think or name several super vegans.  However, when it comes to the image of a vegan super man or super woman, not too many come to mind.  That is due to the common misconception that vegans are scrawny and very thin in physique.  There are many however, who proudly promote to the contrary.  Along this journey, I've met many strong vegans who exhibit physical strength and fitness.  Once such being is my friend, Jeff Sekerak, the Superfit Vegan.  Jeff who daily runs several miles, practices yoga, completes intense workouts, and is the epitome, of fitness states there are: 

5 Proven Keys to being Super Fit for Life:
  1. Eat a 100% plant based diet (with emphasis on raw fruits and greens)
  2. 30-60 minutes of uninterrupted calisthenics per day
  3. Fast walk, bike or run everywhere you go
  4. Aspire to greatness in all you do (cultivate true friendships, stand for something)
  5. Enjoy silence (turn off the television)
Jeff practices what he preaches.  He, along with his partner, Megan, are committed to:

Belief in these things are evident in the countless posts, pictures, books, and videos he generates. There is a  sweet, genuine aura about Jeff, who has now begun to spread his message internationally as he travels around the world.  He takes each of us along for the journey as he selflessly sends daily posts of positivity from where ever he has roamed that day, promoting that we all can be the best that we can be, as strong as we can be, and as super as we can be. His super-human approach to body weight exercises have transformed me into a strong, lean, vegan, machine.  Many often marvel at how I can be as slender as I am yet exhibit the strength that I have. Through Jeff's numerous videos, I have learned how to workout smart, hard and simple.  I am grateful to know this super being with a super humble soul.

su-per (soo.per) adjective  
of the highest degree or power; first-rate; excellent

More than just physical.....

Being super is also more than just physical.  It is tapping into your personal source of power to become the best that you can be in all that you do.  Innately, we all possess the ability to excel, to utilize our power.  What is it for you?  What makes you super?  The discovery can be just as amazing as the very gift itself.  Last evening, I spoke with my aunt. The conversation reminded me that while growing up, she was always my example of superwoman.  She was strong, smart, beautiful, creative, sophisticated, independent, and successful.  As I watched her from afar, I wanted to be just like her.  I wanted to look like her, dress like her, act like her.  I wanted to be...her.  It took years to realize that as much as I wanted to be, I could not be my aunt.  I had to  The realization that a superwoman was lying dormant within me was phenomenal and awakening. Now that I have brought life to my own super being, my aunt, as I spoke with her, told me she thought that I was strong, smart, beautiful, creative, sophisticated, independent, and successful.

How ironic.  The entire time I focused upon her, she focused upon me.  We both saw and marveled at  the same thing within each other at the same time not realizing that we were looking at ourselves.  Are you missing the picture of the truth of your nature?  Are you overlooking the super entity that lies within you?  I challenge you .   It is more than just physical. When you are super, you can be a writer, baker, candlestick maker.  It doesn't matter as long as what ever it is, it is that which awakens you to fulfill your purpose.  Awaken to the being within.  Awaken to your superness, put on your cape, and allow it to flow confidently in the wind.

Yoga:  Tadasana -Mountain Pose 

Tadasana is often used in grounding.  However, this quote says it all:

"Mountain pose is an affirmation.  You can conquer anything 
with your natural boldness and resolute strength"  ~Terri Guillemets


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ABC's and 123's

September.  In this country, it is a month that traditionally marks change - students return to school, seasons transition, and the final quarter begins signifying the end of the year is near.This month also marks a personal change – it is the anniversary of this blog and my conscious decision to eliminate all animal-based products from my life.  It has been an extraordinary two years.  If you have followed from inception, you will note the ups and downs happiness, disappointment, growth, and lack thereof… however through it all, the consistency of elated forward movement and positive energy through the power of education has carried me and holds me with strong steadfast along this path.

Easy as 123

The key to any successful transformation is simplicity.  The less complex you keep things, the easier it becomes to maintain.  As I reflect on the eve of year three, I take with me and present to you three simple things that I’ve learned up to this point:

1.       KISS yourself every day.  (I know I’ve said this many times before, but I can not express enough how important it is to Keep It Short and Simple).   If you are transitioning to veganism, whole, live foods are the ultimate fast food.  Just pick up a piece of fruit or vegetable and go.  Keep meal preparation within 5 minutes or less with 5 ingredients or less.  If you are transitioning in another area, KISSing yourself each day will facilitate your success.

2.       Never underestimate the importance of daily movement and exercise.  Movement, as simple as a brisk walk or as challenging as a two-hour workout, makes such a difference in your overall wellness.  Get up, get your blood circulating, oxygenate your system, increase your brain cells, introduce your body to a little perspiration.  The more you exert, the more overall energy and strength you will gain.

3.       Embrace calm.  Calming down and introducing breath into your day detoxifies your body and remove stress. Take the time to pray, meditate, chant or do whatever it is you do to rest, restore, renew, and re-nourish the whole self.  Express gratitude and humility each day.   Calmness changes your demeanor and your approach to life.  In the end,  everything will always be alright.

The ABC’s of it
As I reflect, I thought I’d have a little fun to measure how many new things I’ve embarked upon during this journey. The best way to categorize is to find a place amongst the alphabet for these great tidbits.  Although  previously aware of some of areas listed, I soon discovered there were more things about them that I did not know as opposed to what I did.    I figured I’d come up a few things, however, to my surprise, I have actually accumulated a wealth of information.   Let me share just few with you, a small fraction, of that which has brought new awareness:

Bitter Melon &  Cucumber
A – Affirmation (be it), Awakenings (goodwill and balance by Jen McGown) , Alkalization (ultimate cellular state; dis-ease can not live here!),  Apple (yes, one a day does keep the doctor away.  See malic acid below), Avocados (vitamin C, K, folate)
B – Body Weight Exercizes; Breathe (key to life); Bananas (best fast food ever!- fiber, vitamin c, b6, potassium, mangaese), Beets (lowers chlorestrol), Bittermelon (strengthens immune system) Bok Choy (folic acid, vitamin C, antioxidant, potassium) BAV(it's ok to go bold by John Lewis)
C – Chia seeds (a super –dooper super food); Cucumbers (who knew?-too many good things to mention); Coconut water (natural electrolyte - perfect to rehydrate or to start your day); Cleanse (detox regularly)
D – Dates (medjool - best natural sweetner! and great treat); dry brushing (surprising aid to digestion)
E – Embrace (yourself as well as others), emote, energy, eggplant (yes, you can eat it raw)

Jicama "Sandwich"   
F – Fennel (awesome source of source of iron, calcium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin C; Focus; Folate (crucial B vitamin essential to cell growth and reproduction) Food Combining; Fitness (one of the key factors to wellness that provides cohesion)
G – Greens (deep greens - perfect to eat raw!); Guava; Grapefruit; Guru (become experienced; get help; give help)Gratitude
H – Happiness & Harmony (key to well being - bring your internal sunshine out by AsanteGeorge)
I – Indian Cherry (fiber rich, potassium, vitamin C, A)  
J – Jackfruit; Jicama (pronounced "hic-ca-ma") sweet root vegetable -fiber, potassium, vitamin C); Juice Fast (nice way to cleanse detox and jump or re-start)

Kale Wrap
K – Kombucha; KISS; Kale (superfood king; 45% protein; vitamin A, K, calcium); Kundalini yoga (unites the mind, body and soul) Kalvarti (raw vegan and life coach, Jo Ann Hazelhurst)
L – Live Food; Lemons (secret wonder food-cleanses inside and out)
M – Metta (the state of lovingkindness and good will); Meditation; Malic acid (key ingredient in apples-provides energy and promotes muscle health); Mango (mm mm good)
N – Nectarine; Naturally Healing (Pele Chen-healing through holistic consumption; Newsletter (the next step I'll share)
O – Om (reminder that universe is within); Oranges (super fast food #2)

P – Presence; Pulp Madness (growth, my first e-book)
Q – Quinoa (pronounced "kee-wah"- a seed not a grain; considered a complete protein- contains all essential amino acids, iron, calcium)
R – Radish (copper, manganese, folate, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin C) Raw veganism; Rest; Raw & Delicious Lifestyles (raw vegan education Toni Allen)
S – Sabbe satta suku hontu (pali chant - May all beings be well); Sprouting; Starfruit (vitamin C, fiber, copper); Sunflower seeds (too many to name -here's a few: copper, magnesium, selenium, vitamin E); Sun baking; Sexy Raw Vegan (my coach Drew McCall Burke, who first believed)The Super-Fit Vegan (body weight expert, Jeff Sekerak)
T – Tumeric (powerful root spice-great for anti-inflammation); Transformation; Transition

Zucchini Sliders
U – Uncooking; Ujjayi breathing (cleansing breathe of fire)UBRaw (raw chefs Ronnie & Minh Skurow)
V – Validation
W – Wellness; whole food;  water (brain food; re-energizes; drink it for life)
X – Xigua (Chinese translation for watermelon; full of vitamin A,C)
YYoga Girl goes Vegan (tangible dreams come true), Yams (yes, you can eat them raw); Yoga (my base, the trigger that started it all)
Z – Zen (learning to be present in the moment), Zucchini (protein packed, vitamin C, K, B6, Folate, Magnesium, fiber)       

Whew!  That's quite a bit.  For as much as I listed; there is much that could not fit. The information obtained in this short span of time demonstrates that you can increase your knowledge if you obtain, apply, and adapt it into your daily life.  Take a moment to reflect upon your own journey.  Marvel at how the mass of what you have learned has become integrated into your new way of doing things.  In the beginning, the goal was to execute change for 21 days - the magic number to create a new habit.  Wow! In no time, it's now a little over 21 months.  The same shall be true for you.  You'll realize that all it takes is a little education to go a long way.  As you think about your personal season of change, remember that continuous education, repetition, and building upon newly established foundations will guide your steps.  The amazing part is that each day you learn a little more and it will just seem to become easier and easier.  As easy as ABC's and 123;s.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Possessing Power

Points, objectives, tasks, initiatives, projects, destinations, alterations, changes, transitions, reformations, transformation all equal the same... goals.  Each of these represent things we would like to achieve.  Sometimes just observing it becomes overwhelming and we loose the ability to see successful implementation.  Other times, we over think our approach - the "how" or method by which we will achieve that which we desire.  It cripples us and stops us from accomplishment because we simply do not realize that we each possess the power to make it happen.

In prior posts, Chain Reaction and Affirmation, I have referenced the quote by Robert Schuler, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  It is a very strong statement that provokes deep thought.  Let's change it a bit.  Ponder this::  What would you do if you knew you possess the power to do anything you set your intentions to do?  WOW!  A jolt of strength and energy should be coursing through your bloodstream right now, awakening your mind.

The Power of ONE

"The Power of ONE to change a few, 
the Power of a few to change many,
the Power of many to change Nations,
always begins with....the Power of ONE." 

Suzanne Africa Engo
Last week, I was fortunate to experience this first hand.  I watched Suzanne "Africa" Engo's documentary "I Love Africa"*  which chronicles her journey to raise Aids Awareness.  I met Africa through social media without any prior knowledge of her "power".  I immediately found her to be a bright, shining light, humorous and an inspirational raw vegan chef.  What I did not know is that this wonderful human being decided to raise awareness for this devastating dis-ease by dedicating her life to veganism, incorporating fitness, and then move with her power possession, to change the world...and she did it.  She initially started off on a run from New York to Chicago.  The success and notoriety propelled her to then run across the world, from Milan, Italy to Cameroon, Africa on behalf of her cause.  Prior to becoming a raw vegan, she weighed 250lbs. She used her power to transform herself, loosing 110lbs.  Africa then took this power, sharing and spreading it through her infectious smile and positive energy to share with one, many and thus, nations on behalf of her cause.  Her power has become international.  She demonstrates that all you need is you to start using your power. 

 "If you build it, they will come" ~Field of Dreams ©1989  

Africa's added another initiative to her "plate", encouraging Americans to eat healthy and vegan in the National Fight Against Obesity.  As a raw vegan chef, she loves to keep it simple.  Here is my take on one of her dishes:

1 sweet potato
handful of walnuts
1 tsp cold pressed coconut oil

Shred or with a noodle tool, make sweet potato noodles, sprinkle nuts and drizzle with coconut oil.  Simple, nutritious, and tasty

*for those in the United States, the documentary via this link:  I Love Africa, is avail for free viewing until the end of the year at which time it will be produced into a DVD for international distribution.   May her story inspire you.

Power to say NO

Sometimes, you don't need power to start something new or to transform the world  Sometimes, you need the complete opposite - just a little power to change an element in your surroundings for your well being. Sometimes, you need to possess the power to say "no". Many of us are people pleasers.  I am guilty.  For many years, I worried about providing the right answer, the right solution for acceptance or judgment.  So, I always said "yes" to people, situations, and things that I should not have.  It wore on me down both professionally and personally.  Everyone else was happy because I took on their projects and goals. I made it happen for them.  Yet, I was not happy.  I had not taken the time to please myself.  I had not said "yes" to me.  It was  not until I learned how not to be co-dependent, that I learned how to say "no".  Sometimes, if we remember to say "no", we will remember to say "yes" to those elements we need for our well being:  air, sun, water, freedom, tranquility, positive energy, and light, each of which empower us to be the best we can be.  Begin to say "no" to situations and things that drain and wear you down - that steal your power. Regain possession, realize there is a difference between giving and doing with selfless humility and giving away that which fuels you.  Initially, practice saying "no".  It's okay - the world will still be standing after you say it.  Look into the mirror to see how you look saying no.  As you say it, observe how your jaw bones move. "Feel" it physically.   After you say it, smile and remember that in order to achieve your goals, sometimes you have to say no in order to say "yes" to make things happen, and that you must first realize that not only do you possess the power to do so, but that YOU are the only ONE who can, and the rest of the world will follow.


Yoga:   Ardha Chandrasana Half Moon Pose

Highlights the power of one.  It is an alignment or standing pose in that improves balance, flexibility and anchors grounding of legs and ankles.  The possession of this one pose, is powerful enough to strengthen the core of the entire body.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I have come to the realization that your environment truly effects your wellness.  If what surrounds you is desolate, it will lend to feelings of destitution.  If you alter the picture to create a personal space of light, you will brighten that which initially began as darkness. This simple action infuses energy into any place devoid of positive aura and empowers you to reverse or reject negative vibes that threaten your success.  Changing environment can be as complex as moving to another part of the world,  seeking other employment, loosing or gaining relationships, or as simple as painting your bedroom a calming color, planting flowers outside your window, or smiling at one who frowns.

I found that this also applies to your workplace.  What does your work environment look like?  Is it conducive to your well being?  Does it allow you to be the best you can be?  There are many things in our specific  jobs we can not change:  who we work with, the times we work, the tools we need.  However, there always is something that you can do to make your environment work for you, to embrace your productivity and to foster your creativity whether you paste a flower inside of your hardhat, post a picture of your favorite oasis on your dashboard, or wear a smiley face pin on your lapel, there is always a way to remind yourself to just "be" in your moment within your environment, doing the best that you can with positive flow.

I work from home at a desk.  My "office" is painted in a warm tone which reminds me of cinnamon spice.  I love the taste and aroma of cinnamon.  It makes me"feel" warm.  I have pictures of goals and family members, a meditation stool, and full, uncovered windows which welcome open views of trees and the sky.  I created my space to be calming to allow me to be "me".  Sometimes however, we forget these things when we set about our tasks.   As like most people, when I am working,  can not always look around my room to "see".  Sometimes I need tangibility right in front of me. So, I remind myself, each day.  I used my desk to create a mini-environment within my larger one:

My desk is strategically set with subliminal messages to massage my spirit and thoughts to remind me to be calm and free as I work.  It is divided into three areas:  inspiration, relaxation, and meditation.  I believe that you can not have one without the other.  One can not meditate if one can not relax and one can not inspire if one can not become grounded through meditation.  The combination of these three elements lead to creativity.  

 The first portion of my desk is Inspiration.  It reminds me to:

always have  
time for love                                                              maintain balance

grow new ideas remember I  possess
                                                                               the resources I need

When I reach a blockage in the flow of my work, I always look to inspiration  for empowerment.  With exhalation, I am ready to forge forward to complete the tasks at hand.

The middle section of my desk is Relaxation.  

When stressed, I take out a little rake and make waves in the sand.  This zen based activity is very soothing.  This relaxation exercise is intentionally placed in direct correlation above the keyboard.  It reminds me that nothing is more important that a relaxed spirit for you will not be productive nor rational if you are not able to approach your situation with a calm demeanor.

The anchor of my desk is Meditation.

It is the grounding basis for which I can be the best I can be.  It restores positive thought, removes doubt, and increases flow for creativity.  If I have an arduous task before me, I light a candle, take a whiff of crystal  rocks that have been soaked in citrus and flower scented oils, and pick up my mala beads to either recite a cleansing prayer or recite a mantra for restoration, healing, and power.    I often meditate before I write as I wish my words to flow with truth,  clear conscious and without malice in my heart. Sometimes, I meditate after I work, in gratitude for productivity and for the gift of the skills with which I work.

When I close my door at the end of my day, I am grateful for this space.  It is a representation of the environment in which I can find solace, peace, prosperity, happiness, one in which I can give, share, extend, provide, one in which I study, learn, and grow.  

It doesn't matter where or what your environment "is", whether it is home, work, with whom you interact or otherwise. The question is - does it encourage your progression?  Does your environment encourage you to "be" the best you can be, foster your beliefs, one that can bring a smile to your face, and a warmth to your being?  If it does not do  this, then think about incorporating a few simple things to evolve your environment to that which will bring light, incorporates things you love, create positivity, enhance your wellness and affirm your success. 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Guru...In Progress

Originally, this post was entitled, "Redemption and Resurrection".  It was going to describe the healing process that began after the pain of my last post.  It was going to:

reveal regurgitation, regent rescue, restful respite, resilient renewal, replenished revival, regained rejuvenation, revenue realization, respectful reflection, resplendent responsibility, resurgence. 

Alas, this post was not to be for as these words swirled around in my head, I struggled with "how" to hasten healing hurt, harbor hope and hone happiness. Despite receiving honest refreshment from friends I still could not formulate the writing.  As I neared 30 days with thoughts held captive, floating around in my head,  another friend, gave me the most wonderful gift of all which helped me realize and remove my blockage.  She gave me these simple words:

"It is so easy to get caught up in raw gurus or individuals who may lead many in the raw industry because for the most part they are just incredible.  But when they fail, we get so very disappointed and even disillusioned with the movement.  Follow no one but yourself as you embark this awesome journey but glean from, listen to and enjoy all.  
Learn for yourself, be your own guru and enlighten your whole experience."

Eureka!  It was just the spark to re-ignite my flow.  All month, I had received yet not realized how the gifts that carried me through were linked and that each that help awaken the guru budding within me:

Jen - sight 
Ronnie - humility and selflessness 
Jason - support
Toni - mission and affirmation 

 Equipped with these new gifts, I moved to research, revive, and re-establish who and what I am to discover my own inner guru.  It is my responsibility to remain human and humble; to learn and to embrace. While it is important to learn from teachers, leaders, idols etc, it is our responsibility to continuously build upon our own foundations  to evolve, to establish and respect the guru that lies within us.  Education is key.  We all possess the gift of knowledge and the ability to learn; the gift to teach and the ability to share;  the gift of realization of as- is and the ability to expand beyond with the gift of of intuition and wisdom. It is important to remain to embrace humility  throughout the process for we will never know all or be all. That is not the objective of the guru.  A true guru does not ask to be such.  The meaning of the word guru is teacher, power, being, presence, counselor, and adviser.  It is a position of pure love.

Becoming a Guru

How does one become such? The answer came to me as I thought about Stacey True. Stacey has started a social media page, Confessions of A Fat Vegan  She is just beginning. She is, as she puts it, "on a mission to be completely plant-based and fit".  There is much she admits she does not know. She admits she does not know what she does not know but she is willing to learn. She is willing to publicly display her transformation and addresses questions before being asked - as she states "Yes, vegans are fat too" . I love her candor and observing as she learns, shares, and evolves. It is beautiful to witness, for example, the honesty and proud posting of a midnight snack of strawberries instead of previous choices.  I don't know if Stacey realizes it yet, but I see she is well on her way.  She is becoming a guru. With grace and brutal honesty, she is already teaching that what she has learned in six short weeks.

This past month, I also reflected upon my newly forged friendship with Dina Stewart.  Last year, she decided to follow her passion and started a year long dedication to practicing yoga every day which led to her recent certification as a yoga instructor. When she set out, she did not design herself to be  guru, yet that is exactly what she is becoming.  She has started a blog,  Love Your Life Yoga in which as she describes that "Yoga helped me to save my life, my body and my spirit."  The awakening goddess in her is now reciprocating that which was gifted,  "I am teaching yoga to share this gift with as many people as I possibly can.We pray, laugh, cry and become real on our mats."  It is soothing to feel the love, passion, and desire to give.

A picture from Dina's in progress.
Finding your inner guru

I applaud these individuals and their willingness to share, yet remain present in their moments. It inspires me to rouse the goddess within.   How about you?  What motivates the awakening of  your inner guru?  Are you still leaning or holding on to your teachers? Are you ready to let go just a little? A great teacher does not provide for one, they provide for many. Let them go. Allow them to use their gifts to help the next  student coming. It is now your turn.  Time to grow.  Time to become the example your teacher set forth for you. You now know what you know.  Use it, expand it, share it, move it, multiply it. It is okay not to be a guru on Day 1, it's okay to be afraid.  It's okay to ease into it and feel the strength it provides. Embrace it, do it, be it.  Your greatness awaits.

Yoga: Urhva Dhanurasana - Wheel Pose

Urhva Dhanurasana or Chakra Asana is the wheel pose. It is a form of a backbend which revitalizes the nervous system, improves breathing, and provides an energy boost.   It also opens the 4th chakra , Anahata - the heart center.  As you work and begin to release your inner guru, remember to do so with an open heart for all actions must come from your 
heart with lovingkindness. 

It is only then that  you will be able to embrace, emit, and evolve.  
Sat nam.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Light and Sight

My husband was born with the gift of sight. His grandmother always said he was born with "a veil over his face". It is believed that if this occurs during birth, once removed, the ability to "see" is gifted upon the recipient.  The veil is called a "caul".  It is a thin membrane of tissue that covers an infant's face and is removed immediately after birth, In many cultures it is considered good luck and an indication that the child is destined for greatness.  I can not attest to the gifts of the caul, however, I can say for certain that my husband can definitely "see".  He has an uncanny ability to look at people or situations and impart a brutal honesty.  Over the years, I have both cherished and cursed his gift.  He has saved me from situations I had no clue I was in and he has told me things I reluctantly had to accept although I did not want to hear them.  I am grateful for his gift and for the humility he exhibits as he acts always from a position of love.  He has one of the largest hearts of anyone I know as he passionately and selflessly gives to any, many times to strangers.  His words are often received as wisdom.  I realize he does this so easily because he can "see".  I have learned over the years to take heed when he is cautious of someone, that in time, the light of truth tends to prove him correct. Never abusive of his sight,  he uses it to shed a light in areas once dark bringing a truth where none previously exists.

I do not possess this gift.  I perceive, as one who hears and feels. I am a recipient of those who see.  It is important for those of us who feel to become quiet in order to hear what the seer is saying to understand what they see and to allow them to shed a light in dark areas.  When I can not see clearly, I often seek the advise of my husband or others gifted with sight to help me see.  Recently, this very task was presented as I became involved in a situation in which I had to become quiet and seek sight.

"The quieter you become, 
the more you will be able to hear"~ Rumi

Becoming Quiet

I have rapidly learned that human kind in the vegan world is no different than those outside it.  I had a naivete that somehow, those who do not consume animals had a softened sensitivity of all beings.  While I have met many who are sweet, sensitive souls, I have discovered that some of the intricacies of interaction that are not pleasant also rear ugly heads in the vegan euphoric world.  Unfortunately, I have discovered that many are not as they present themselves to be.  I do not purport to be or do anything more than what I am. Why people say one thing publicly and secretly do another perplexes me and causes pain.  Why I believed that vegans would not do so is, again, being naive.  I always want to assume that people have good hearts and intentions.  After realizing that all are not as I think they should be, it became time to remove my judgment, to stand still, to become quiet, to hear, and to allow the light of the seer to shine.

The Light of Truth

"whatever happens in the dark shall always be 
revealed in the light"

My mother and grandmother would always tell me this statement as a warning to be just in all my actions, even when no one is looking,  for one does not want to be caught in the light revealed unjust, to take heed for no matter how long, how deep, or how much time you are in the dark, the light always, inevitably, will come.  This proverb comes from the bible scripture "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest, neither is anything hid that will not be known and come to light" (Luke 8:17)  I guess I have lived not trusting the cloak of darkness therefore, ever cautious of any actions that would consume me with negativity as I walked in the light.  So as I sat with the hurt and pain that all are not as they appear to be, I prayed and meditated in a dark quietness to listen and to hear and to be prepared to see as the light of truth began to shine bright.
I experienced a revelation -  I realized hurt and experienced pain because I was looking and seeing through eyes void of  objectivity.  A true seer looks without judgment,  they just "see".  My mistake is that I had not thought about the variables that I did not see, that many people show you only what they want you to see leaving you to fill in the rest with your opinion, judgment and thoughts of how you think they are.  For the most part, we don't care. Our society loves to build people up and then tear them down. It's only when we become more intimate with them as friends, lovers, partners, or fans that we attach emotion to our views and become hurt when vision does not match actuality. For the majority of us who were not born with a caul or the ability to perceive with sight, we must remember - when the light of truth is revealed, instead of being angry or hurt  (as I was) we need to begin to look at ourselves.  What variables existed all along lurking in the dark that we did not,could not, or "chose" not to see?   We, just as those we feel disappointed in, will emerge from darkness to address challenges not by anyone else's accord, but within our own light.  As light shines upon you, look at your own truths and make adjustment.  It is not up to us to do anything but to stand in the truth of our own light.  When the light of your truth shines upon the darkness of someone exposing something you did not wish to see, do not be upset, be grateful for the lesson.  Do not linger upon it, for it is a waste to time.  Be quiet, listen and hear.  Allow the light to reveal, to help you see who and what you are dealing with.  Embrace new sight, let it heal, let it help you move in a different direction - one that you never saw coming.

Yoga:  Chakra cleanse... Third Eye-Openng

The dictionary defines the expression "eye-opening" as: "causing one to suddenly learn or understand what was not previously known" .  In my yogic mind, this expression comes from the opening of the third, all seeing, eye which is located above the brow in between the eyes.  When it is blocked or unbalanced, one can not "see".  It then must be "opened" to remove barriers which block sight.  The third eye can become blocked from emotional situations, when being judgmental, and after suffering grief or pain.  If it remains unbalanced, it is said that one can become manipulative.  Physically, a blocked third eye chakra can lead to headaches, ear, nose, throat problems and even difficulty with normal vision.

According to Chakra Balancing, when the third eye, represented by the color purple,  is open or balanced, it provides the gift of intuition  or "second sight," and allows one to see beyond physical, material things.  A balanced third eye facilitates congruence between thoughts, words and deeds... allowing whatever is occurring in the dark to parallel in truth with that which occurs in the light.

A simple, introductory way to open the third eye is to sit in lotus, hands in guyan mudra, eyes closed but looking up at the third eye located between the brows in the middle of the forehead, and recite OM or AUM  which manifests the spirit of God.


Thursday, May 31, 2012


As I have walked this journey, many have often expressed how difficult it is to transition to a raw vegan lifestyle and marvel at how I seem to have adapted with ease.  My response is honest, it is not difficult.  It is about making simple choices.  Right now, I am 99% raw.  I occasionally have eaten a prepared hummus while dining out or consumed a few nuts that were not raw.  I do not concern myself with this overall percentage as each day, I am on target.  This because I start daily with a focused simplicity to eat whole foods.  Throughout these postings, I have previously referenced keeping it simple and short, sweet, or satisfying. (KISS).  "Kissing" yourself if the best approach to not only raw vegan transition, but to anything you face in life.  Of course, there will always be fancy, decadent, complex dishes that mimic cooked or animal based meals which requires some form of talent to create, however, just a piece of fruit or whole vegetable will suffice.  Worrying about converting exquisite, complex works of art with way too many ingredients can lead to failure as one can easily begin to walk the path of procrastination while attempting to obtain everything they think they "need" to create mini masterpieces that will just be eaten in less time than it took to construct.    Save the fancy for every now and then.  Treat it no differently than consumption of a special dinner during an
evening out.  Realistically, how many of us, raw or not, eat fancy gourmet meals every day?  That being said, let's get back to kissing.  Make an honest effort to keep things easy.  Focus on just one simplicity and expand as you master it, one at a time. As simple as life seems to be, we've all somehow managed to bog and burden ourselves with materialistic, unnecessary objects and artificial deadlines.  It is important we learn to un-complicate our lives. Apply the Kiss to every aspect of your life -  keeping each component simple will relieve your stresses.  Kissing your life is loving yourself.  A peace-filled, zen based life will calm your soul and quiet your being.  I believe we were intended for simplicity.  Yes, I enjoy some technology as much as the next person, however, everything should be placed properly in its place and not take precedence over the simplistic way of life.

Fast Food for Real

In our modern world, fast is the way, steadily increasing its pace.  We want everything quick, we want it fast and we want it convenient.  I find it perplexing that the very people who obsess with the fast life do not consider fresh whole fruit and vegetables "fast food".  How is it not?  Live food is the same as the "value menu" cholesterol
 increasing, artery clogging, fat filled burgers and fries when it comes to convenience:  no prep time, easy to pick up and take on the go, relatively cheap and you can feed your entire family for less than $10. The crucial difference is that whole, live, raw foods are actually GOOD for you, free of fats, sugars, increasing instead of decreasing energy.  When eating real fast food, you don't have to worry about triggers, dis-ease, and illness.  The first stumbling block when converting to veganism is always trying to figure out what to eat.  My suggestion is simple:  stop worrying. Nothing complex to determine.  Pick up some real fast food - an apple, bananas, celery, cucumbers, dark green leafy plants, etc.  

Life Uncomplicated

As you simplify when, how, and why you eat, begin to apply these techniques to the other aspects of your life.  It doesn't make you different, it just makes you uncomplicated.

"Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box" ~Deepak Chopra

Uncomplicate your life, remove your boxes, get off the grid and make your life as easy as you can.  Reduce your stress and any object that you associate with it.  For example, people find it strange that I do not own a cell phone.   It was the first thing I got rid of when I began to simplify my life. I understand the practicality of a cell phone, however for me, it represented the stress of always being on call. I admit, when I first let it go, I felt I had made a mistake, yet I felt compelled to stick with it.  Quickly, as I re-educated and re-programmed my needs versus my wants, I discovered I no longer needed it.   I haven't had one for nine years now and enjoy the freedom of not being attached to it. Except for the younger generation, most of us grew up without a portable phone and life was grand.  This simple exercise led me to begin to align my thought processes in tune with needs and wants.  The stress and complications come with forcing wants into needs.  Mastering the ability to distinguish between the two is empowering.

The Power of Simplicity

John Lewis, the Bad Ass Vegan, first introduced me to the concept of active simplicity during the Rawgust raw food celebration in the summer of 2011. He created a mental challenge to eat simple.  It spoke to me.
Appreciate simple life....
It fell in sync with my walk.  It became my mantra.  This past month, another friend, raw vegan super athlete,  Jeff Sekerak, launched a new initiative, Power of Simplicity in which he highlights how empowering it is to live, eat and be simple. When you live simply, you gain a power.  It allows you to "see" for as you stand present in your moment, you are able to observe all around you and make conscious decisions with wisdom instead of in haste or in stress which most often leads to more stress and waste of valuable time.  A simple life is a powerful life.  It  gives you appreciation of the gifts provided to us through nature - grass, trees, water, air, love, life. Use this power to make choices to transition from complication into simplistic hedonism.  Enjoy the taste and smells of sweet succulent fruit, the burst of energy from pure nutrients, the feel of  natural clothing, the quiet from unplugging the television, the sound of crickets at night, birds in the morning, the satisfaction  water provides,  the tranquility of release.  Taking one step toward simplicity will envelope and cleanse every other aspect of your life.  Give yourself a kiss...think about what you can do right at this moment to simplify your life, it can start with eating an apple and instead of a bag of chips.  

"The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step" ~Lao Tzu

Yoga:  Pranayama - Breathing Techniques
The simple act of breathing is one of the most crucial components in any yogic practice. Breath is the key to life.  Without it, we cease to exist.  Breathing is one of the most simplistic things we can do effectively.  Pranayama literally means control of lifeforce.  Yogic breathing techniques balance the mind and the body.  Control of breath oxygenates, creating greater levels of consciousness as well as reduces stress, improves mental clarity and aids digestion. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Essence, by definition is the basic, real, invariable inward nature, substance or constitution of any "thing". In elementary terms, it means, what are you made of?  The more I learn about living clean, the more I pondered the word "essence" and its meaning which has led to an increased desire to continue learning.  When I started this journey, my intention all along has been to live with a clean mind, body and soul.  I now am at the place where I ponder what is my essence, what am I made of?  This has become a walk not just about eating.

All the Way
It is now about going all the way.  It is about discovering who and what you are and finding balance within.  I have found true balance through yoga, meditation, and veganism.  It swirls within me:
My Essence and formula for success. What is yours?                

Yoga.........body & mind
Meditation........mind soul
Veganism...................soul & body

I have found my essence which feeds my mind and soul and ultimately my body.  It is my formula for success.    It is my grounding and a happy cycle that overlaps each continuously as I work steadily towards going all the way. Looking at the word essence again, I found it also has a second meaning:  a substance obtained from a plant.  Ah-ha!  That is the answer I was seeking.  In order to go all the way, the logical next step is to begin looking, from a plant-based perspective, not only at what put in my body,  but also about what I put on it and what it is surrounded by.

After my ah-ha moment, I began researching natural, plant-based alternatives for everyday products such as toothpaste, deordorant, soaps, detergents, and remedies.  Within two weeks of this decision, an opportunity to conduct a product review for a natural, raw vegan company flowed across my path.  I found this to be no accident.  I had previously received solicitation to look a products that did not align with my objectives and I had respectfully turned each down.  This time was different.  The facilitator did not contact me directly.  She made a simple, humble request available to anyone who wished to participate freely.  This time, with no prior knowledge of her products, I felt an urging to try it out.  As I began to research the company she represented, everything began to align.  Once I spoke with her,  Lacey Swartz, I found a sincerity in her desire to provide natural products for her family which led her to become a representative for the company Miessence

I discovered that the company Miessence (pronounced "my-essence") proudly touts itself as the "world's first certified 100% organic company with products ranging from skin, hair, body, nutritional, and cosmetic  products."  It's logo is the "heart-shaped leaf of the bodhi tree, symbolizing wisdom, unity, prosperity and longevity".  This information felt good.  I felt comfortable to delve a little further.

Trying it Out
Of the choices, I  immediately decided try out the Deep Green Alkalising Superfood because it is a 100% raw, vegan, certified organic and an alkalizing product. Alkalization of the body fights dis-ease and wards off illness from a cellular level.  This product turned out to be my favorite of the two I tried.  I am sure my love of dark green leafy vegetables biased this opinion.  The product is as its name suggests - it is a deep rich green powder comprised of 12 ingredients including blue-green algae (spirulina), spinach, kale, and parsley.  The powder can be used by the teaspoon to make super juice or smoothie as well as a "seasoning" to boost dishes.
I first used it with a kale juice, adding one teaspoon.  The powder thickened the juice yet its earthy taste softened the strong flavor of the kale.  I found it to be tasty.  Lacey provided a cleansing recipe in which you juice 1 lemon and add 3 teaspoons of Deep Green to 4 cups (or 1 liter) of water three times per day for three days.
* Ideal for those who do not eat deep green leafy vegetables
* Algae is a source of B12  and iron
* Has sources of Vitamin E, K, and beta-carotene
* Product is versatile, can be used in many ways 
* Contains grasses including oat and wheat
* Price is a little costly, however, see it as an investment
* Be aware that this is a supplement, not meal replacement

This aside, I recommend the product.  For those interested in the grass aspect, the company states that they use "only grass juice powders, not the pulverized grass powders that are completely useless for humans!"  Just making a quick juice is ideal for those who find it difficult to eat at least 5-7 servings of vegetables per day on a regular basis.  I also used the product to make a salad dressing (1 teaspoon Deep Green, 1 pureed zucchini and 1 pureed cucumber) and a tasty dish consisting of  1 cup shredded carrots or pulp, 1 diced avocado.

The other product I sampled was the Berry Radical Antioxidant Superfood.  Initially, I was a little skeptical after I immediately noticed it contained raw cacao.  While true raw cacao
can be consumed on a raw vegan diet, generally is not found in its true state.  Most companies which claim naturalness usually offer a processed version.  Lacey checked with the Miessence creator to confirm the true 100% raw vegan nature of the cacao used in this product.  So, with that in mind, I tried it on faith of her word.  I made a chocolate mousse and ice cream.  It was delicious!

Mousse                                  Ice Cream                
3 plantains                             6 bananas                
2 bananas                              2 teaspoons Berry Radical
3 tsp Berry Radicals              1/4 cup pureed strawberries
For each:  Freeze bananas and plaintains overnight.  In a food processor or blender, whip bananas and plantains.  Mix in additional ingredients according to recipe.  For Ice Cream: serve immediately;  For Mousse:  prior to serving, let sit 20 - 30 minutes allowing it to thicken to "mousse" consistency cording to recipe.  
* includes superfoods such as pomegranate, acai, goji, and blueberries
* antioxidants neutralize free radicals which damage cells
* raw cacao
* coffee fruit (fruit of coffee plant which in raw form has potential to go rancid)

The cons are more of a personal taste and objective as these are things I do not normally consume.  That aside, I found the overall taste of the product to be more "chocolate" than "berry" which makes it, in my opinion, more feasible to use or blend into dessert recipes or smoothies.

Next Steps
This exercise has rewardingly reinforced my path. I am excited to discover who I am by trying new things. I have found that there are products, companies, and organizations which strive to feel, see, and just "are" the way I "am".  I started with internal consumption.  These next steps, however, will facilitate going all the way with external products as well. In time, and through research,  I will continue to meet more and more Laceys* of the world.  As I evolve, I work grounded with confidence, knowing what I'm about is in tune, with my essence.  For this, I am grateful.  Namaste.

* If you have questions or are interested in more information regarding Miessence products, please contact:   
                    Lacey Swartz
                    Independent Representative, Miessence

Yoga - Muladhara,  Root Chakra

Janu Sirsasana (head to knee) pose
one of many to open the Mulahara
The Muladhara is the base, first,  or root of the seven chakras recognized in the western world.  This chakra sits at the base of the spine and is the root of the physical body. It houses personal energy.  According to, the muladhara "bestows breath and mind control, knowledge of the past, present and future." Practicing poses which open the Muladhara will stimulate alignment of body, mind and soul facilitating grounding, stability, and security which provides the ability to go all the way.  It represents awakening and essence.