Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time Away

It’s been a while since my last post.  My  most recent time away demanded  more  engagement in my physical life than the virtual.  I do not apologize for the absence as the time away was well spent and desperately needed.  I used my time away wisely.  I enhanced my education, mentored,  released and welcomed.    It has provided rich fodder for upcoming posts.  I look forward to sharing it with you.   It is good to take time off the grid to  disassemble,  disengage, and disappear to address disarray, disassociation, disregard, and  disparagement.

In our world of  convenience,  we have come to expect constant communication, contact, and conveyance.  It almost seems unconscionable to remove yourself for an hour, a day, week, or  few months as we are led to believe we need to be constantly fed or stimulated.  Think for a moment.   How much time do you really need or have to actively participate in the daily fast paced world?  Is it more important to be bombarded daily with shallow vanities or to have meaningful interactions of substance?   When you find yourself seeking pleasure or gratification from constant electronic connection, time to take a break.   Time to stand still, in the midst of chaos, to regroup and reconnect with the simple beauty of naturalness that surrounds us each day.  Time to cleanse.


­­­Time away cleanses the mental, physical and spiritual self.   It is the foundation of retreats and vacations.  The purpose is to remove yourself from the very things which took you off track in the first place.   Start your cleanse.  During your time away,  revisit your goals.  If you never established any, use this time to create them.  What are your  aspirations?  Where do you see yourself within future time bands?   What do you need to get there?   Is each goal positive to help you be the best you can be?  Does each objective help you help others with servitude and humility?  Do they promote your growth and the growth of those around you?  If you have already pre-established a few dreams for yourself….where are you along your path of accomplishment?  Have you started?  Have you procrastinated?  Or… have you achieved?  Time away from distraction enables focus on what is real, what is true.  

Unplug and tap in

Unplug from the electronic world for a moment.  Disassociate to take a cleansing breath.  Tap in to your true self.  Actually look, see, and feel what is real and true.  You will realize you now have the time to accomplish that what you seek.  I used my time away to do just this very thing.  In the short span of these past three months while I was “away”, I have been able to achieve two of the aspirations which blessed my list.  Along the way, I was able to meet new people,  with new focus, new agenda, new path facilitating growth and strengthening my “return”.   I now do so with eager veracity, void of negative influences, infused with gratitude, and ready to share with a clearer focus of where I am to “go” next.

BE it
Yes.  With a smile, as I’ve said so many times before, affirm your success.  Say it, believe it, do it….BE it.  Take the time to find and put your plan in place.  Make your dreams come true.  Who will you BE when you return from your time away?  With positive intention and supportive patience, I bid you happiness as you leave.  Enjoy your trip as you revisit your “self”.   Rejoice!  Upon your return, abundantly  and selflessly share  the gifts you received during your time away as I freely,  now share with you.


Yoga:  Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya is a cleansing, redeeming mantra which means to honor and be true to Shiva or inner “self”.  When distracted, we lose focus of our purpose and who we are.  Taking time away to discover  ourselves  awakens the divine bestowed within us.  It reestablishes our truth, our personal path to growth, and allows us to use individual gifts we have to selflessly give. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Love Belongs to Everyone

This past month has been month filled with Love. Love of practice, Love of beings, Love of life, Love of Love.  I was honored to BE in the presence of two love ceremonies, feel new love through new friendships, and cherish the embrace of the love of old all in the midst of yogis who love yoga.  It was appropriate to me that all of this occurred during this month of "Rawgust", celebrating love of raw veganism.   I have had an incredible month full of Love.  As I reflected, I thought, "wow, this feels so good, everyone deserves to feel the way I do".  Then it hit me,  everyone CAN feel this way because Love belongs to everyone.

The revelation of this brought tears to my eyes.  Leading up to the first ceremony, I had been listening to the song "Love Belongs to Everyone" by David Newman (Durga Das).  I loved the song.  It starts with the Gayatri mantra, one of the oldest and most powerful mantras for cleansing and purification.  It loosely translates "May all beings on earth reach enlightenment."   It is a mantra of unity and love of fellow man. It is comprised of three (3) parts:  praise, meditation, and prayer.

At the time, I had no idea why I was to drawn to this song.  It was on my playlist.  I knew of David briefly years before but I was not ready to receive his message.  During the first love ceremony, a four-day Bohemian Hippy Yogafest Love Ceremony, we attended a kirtan with him.  The music he and his wife brought to us was a testament and demonstration of their love.  As we sang along, it flowed through each of us.  This love now belonged to each of us.

Love Belongs to Everyone/Gayatri  David Newman©2012

Om Bhur Bhuva Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya
 Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
Love belongs to everyone, love belongs to everyone, love belongs to everyone…
we belong to Love.
Frame by frame, here and now, yours and mine is just a stepping stone, love will 
never let you go, it will satisfy your soul!

The Number Three

It was not lost to me that this experience felt very spiritual for this month was a month of three's:

*  3 Celebrations:  Love of friends, love of family, love of raw life 

*  The Gayatri is comprised of three parts:  praise, meditation, and prayer.  

*  It marked the beginning of the 3rd year since I decided to pledge fully to a vegan life

In Yoga, according to the Bhagavad Gita, there are 3 paths to yoga:  Karma, Bhakti, Jnana (selflessness, devotion, knowledge).  I spoke with my soul twin who also revealed that she too is attracted to the number 3.  It is significant in many religions:

Christianity - Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)
Hindi - Trinity (Purusha, Shakti, Own/self);  3 is also the base of the sacred number 108 for mantra and prayer
Buddhism - 3 precious jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha)
Islam - 3 stages in Life/faith
Judiasm - 3 symbolizes a harmony synthesizes two opposites

Grounding and Witnessing
Honored to witness the grounding of this love

I feel grounded and embraced within these threes.  I feel free to love all and to BE demonstrative to show that we all are responsible to care for the portion of love entrusted in our care. In the span of just 3 weeks, I witnessed acts of love of those who realize their belonging:
  • the love of the childhood friend that feels like just this mmorning when it was actually 27yrs
  • the two love partners together for 19yrs who expressed their love by dancing openly for the first time
  • the anesthesiologist that loves to spread joy with her song and dance
  • the skydiver who welled up when he spoke of his love for his yogini queen
  • the holistic oncologist who illuminated her new mate in new light never before seen
  • the corporate engineer who is still just the girl from around the way with the big smile and humble heart full of love
  • the man who expressed love and honor of his friendship to the Supreme Goddess Mama
  • the man who held fast and patiently waited for his love of 29 years
  • the owner of Pump House Bed and Breakfastwho with a labor of love created a beautiful respite in the woods in the middle the mountains
  • the gentlemen from India who selflessly came to help transitioning vegans from the love of their hearts
  • the soul twin yogi sisterwho speaks as I speak, thinks as I think, feels as I feel, loves as I love and is as unconditional as unconditional can be
  • those who every day post, write, inspire, teach help support and love those whom they do not know.
  • the two yogi partners who with love, hosted our Kirtan with,Peace of Mind"
  • the Durga Das and his wife who reminds us that we all have love to share.
  • the Minstrel who found his Goddess the 4th time around
  • the photographer whose love of love captured most precious of moments and spaces
  • the niece who traveled 1100 miles by car round trip in 3 days to say goodbye to love that transitioned
  • the raw vegan now raising a calf and a goat in need of love
You Are Love

What love have you witnessed?  How have you cared for the love you've been entrusted with? As you acknowledge the love you receive? How do you share it?  As you show your love, feel the love you deserve and remember  the compassion of the threes:

Love belongs to me, I am Love

Love belongs to you, You are Love

Love belongs to everyone, We are Love.

Embrace it, let it fill you, let it surround you, then give it graciously and freely.


Yoga:  Trikonasana - Triagle Pose

Trikonasana is said to make the sacrum feel comfortable.  The sacrum is a large triangular bone at the base of spine and houses the kundalini -the center of our power and desire to love.  Triangle pose teaches 3 lessons:  stability, grounding and expansion. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Raw Inspiration

RAWGUST (Raw + August) is here.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  This year marks the third Rawgust anniversary for me.  As I reflect, I am grateful for growth.  While I still have much to learn, I've begun the transitional journey from student to teacher in such a short period of time.

Paying it Forward
In my initial post, Ready for Rawgust, I spoke about creativity and personal commitment.  This year, my focus is to teach, guide and inspire as many as I can.  I've been fortunate to study under those who have inspired me, whom I now consider friends.  What each of these individuals has done is to pay it forward - giving in order to give, reaching in order to reach, sharing in order to share, teaching in order to teach.

Rawgust for me this year is all about spreading inspiration  - to be a source in the same manner as those who have inspired me, to give as freely as I have received.  This year, instead of just participating, I am set to inspire with raw determination, to lead by example, to help.   I've decided to co-coach a juice cleanse and to offer free, compassionate support to anyone who wishes to replace at least one meal per day with fruit and vegetable alternatives, and to provide physical health awareness and suggestions.  With good fortunate, I do so with the assistance of a few wonderful souls who, daily, seek to positively awaken "the being within" by evoking the simplistic enormity of their hearts with humility, grace, peace and love. These kind earthlings inspire as they offer their tremendous light to all they encounter.  I am grateful for their selflessness.

Not A Gimick
Rawgust is not a gimicky play on words.  It's an opportunity to introduce the concept of incorporating and increasing whole, live foods back into daily meals.  As stated previously, it takes twenty-one days to effect change.  The true spotlight of Rawgust  provides the platform for the time needed to jump start the behavior modification process.  Rawgust is not designed to force "conversion".  It's purpose is to educate. It's more of  "try it, you will like it".  Those who try will be able to compare the differences in their lives, measure the increase in energy, the improvement in health, the overall feeling of well-being, and in some instances, the loss of weight.

Rawgust is a tool to inform and to expand knowledge bases.   If a few individual life-time converts develop along the way,  awesome!

However...if just a few people, made a few changes, for a few days, then celebration of the first step should be championed with the same zealousness for it sometimes takes more courage to take first step than to dive straight in, especially if one has had a previous negative experience with other "first steps".   First steps take conscious thought, much different from the impulsive, impromptu nature of diving in.

Try It Out

Try it out.  Join Rawgust.  Seek assistance, put together a collaborative, realistic plan - it can be as simple as replacement of an order of chips with a piece of fruit 3 days per week or a two-day juice fast jump start.  Rawgust is not just for August,  it can be anytime. Regardless of when, Rawgust is for you, Rawgust is for me, Rawgust is for everyone.


Raw Resources for Raw Inspiration:

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Forks Over Knives

Getting Started
Cooked to Raw Conversion Chart
Getting Started Simple Meal Suggestions
5 Ways to Get Started

Physical Health/Fitness 
SuperFit Vegan

Resources and Recipes
Plant Powered Living
Raw on $10 a Day or less
Sexy Raw Food and Fitness
Young on Raw Food

Support and Assistance
Yoga Girl goes Vegan
Raw and Delicious Lifestyles
Kalavati Health-Be Alive

Monday, July 15, 2013


Sunshine is our friend.  It is the catalyst to health and wellness and the best natural source of Vitamin D.  We all know what can happen if we spend too much time in the sun, but are you aware of what can happen if you don't get enough?  Do you of the wonderful benefits of the sun?

Let the sun SHINE in

In our recent history, we have been taught to shun or stay away from the sun.  For thousands of years however, our ancestors worked, exposed daily, in the sun for hours, and our ancient predecessors actually worshipped the sun, never suffering from the sun-based ailments we suffer from today. So what happened?  How did we transition from loving to fearing the sun?  It is simple, our diets changed.  When we ate diets heavy with whole fruits and vegetables, the sun was our friend,  the catalyst to health.  Now, as our diets are laden and clogged with processed and animal based foods, we have poor cell health and deficiencies which block our ability to naturally absorb the benefits provided by the sun.  We need to let the sun shine and thrive within us in the same manner as our ancestors, and as a few native cultures which continue to do so today.  We have to allow the sun to SHINE:

Sun   Helps  Initiate  Natural   Equilibrium

When we let our life SHINE, the Sun:

  • lowers cholesterol
  • improves sleep
  • provides natural protection against disease
  • promotes cell generation and growth
  • improves immune system
  • enhances well state of mind/mood and being
  • helps break down toxins

Vitamin D 

The best source of Vitamin D is the Sun.  Lack of Vitamin D can lead to cancer, however too much sun exposure is also a cancer source if you are not eating properly.   Early morning sun establishes calmness and peace, but does not produce Vitamin D.  Mid-day sun is optimum for Vitamin D absorption.  This is also when deadly UV rays are the highest point as well. Over exposure can lead to illness and dis-ease.  Daily, all you need to do is spend a solid 10-15 minutes in the mid-day sun to absorb Vitamin D.  So it's a balancing act to understand when and how to spend time in the sun to reduce your risk of cancer instead of increasing it.

In addition to increased risk of cancer, deficiencies in Vitamin D can contribute to many illnesses including diabetes, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), heart dis-ease, weakened bones (osteoporoses), and multiple sclerosis.

Watch the Sun Screen

Sun screen products block the harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays.  However, they also block the ability to absorb and produce natural vitamin D.  Remember, for healthy sun absorption, you only need 10-15 min per day, unless you are already suffering from a melonoma, let the sun block go for a few moments to initiate the Vitamin D and cell growth processes.

Sun Bathing

The purpose of sun bathing should not be for vanity. It is not about getting a "tan".   If done properly, sun bathing has great health benefits.  It contributes to clear skin, reduces risk of heart attacks, and high blood pressure.  The key is to do so responsibly.  Steps for safe and effective sun bathing are:

  • hydrate, hydrate hydrate
  • eat properly - reduce or eliminate animal and processed foods. A clean body will reduce risks of cancers and sunburn
  • bathe in the mid-day sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun's rays are at peak levels. 
Many argue this is the most dangerous times for sun exposure.  However, exposure times should be based upon consumption habits, health history, and skin tone.     The fairer your skin, initially, you need to spend the least amount of time, perhaps 2-3 min, the darker your skin, you can stay out a little longer.  Daily maximum times to spend in the sun varies for each person.  For some it is 15 minutes per day, while for others, a few hours. Regardless of where you begin, you can gradually increase your exposure safely by adding a minute or two per day.  Sunburn occurs only when time in the sun is not spent wisely, causing overexposure.

Sun Gazing

Sun gazing is the age-old act of staring directly into the sun.  For some it is spiritually based, while for
others, it is to increase energy levels.   The best time to sun gaze is different than that of sun bathing.  When sun gazing, it is best to do so before 11am or after 3pm when the rays are not at peak levels.  If not done properly or during high sun (mid-day), you run the risk of permanently damaging your eyes or causing blindness.  To sun gaze, stand barefoot or in a restful pose.  Look initially for 10 seconds, gradually increasing by 10 seconds each day for up to 1 hour.  Why do this? It is said that sun gazing promotes hormone growth by stimulating the pineal gland, increases production of serotonin and melatonin which are the body's natural endorphins that help us feel "good" or exhibit positive mood.  If you are interested, please research and seek the guidance of a practioner who can help facilitate the process safely to avoid detrimental results.

We are graced with the awesome powers of the Sun.  Accept its gifts with gratitude.  Spend a day in the sun.  Plan activities based upon optimum sun exposure times:
Morning: Sun-Salutation
Mid-Day:  Sun Bathing and Vitamin D absorption
Afternoon:  Sun Gazing

Enjoy the resulting euphoric mood and positivity.  Rejoice, bask, and SHINE!

Surya Namaskar - Sun Salutation

The purpose of the Sun Salutation is to honor the sun. Surya Namaskar means to bow to the sun).  It is a series of 12 asanas  practiced together in a flow which many use to start their day.  Surya Namaskar is traditionally practiced at sunrise, facing the sun.  It is sometimes practiced with recitation of mantras  for honoring the Sun, honoring nature and to obtain spiritual balance...a beautiful way to start each day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eat your Vitamins!

Deep Green Leafy Vegetables -  Source of multiple vitamins 
Where do you get your protein?  Do you use supplements?  Do you suffer any deficiencies? Do you take vitamins?  These are some of the questions I am asked on a frequent basis.  Let me answer:  I get protein from my fruit and vegetable intake, I do not consume supplements, I am not suffering from any deficiencies and I don't take vitamins.... I eat them.  Yes, I eat my vitamins.  Fruits and vegetables provide an abundance of the vitamins we need for health.  For every animal based "vitamin" source, there is a natural, plant-based alternative.  So here's a jump start for you:

Vitamin A - dark green leafy vegetables (especially spinach), carrots, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes    for:  immune system, bones & teeth; aids vision

Vitamin C  - berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, peppers, lettuce, papayas, mangoes, kiwi  for: bones, teeth, gums, blood vessels, antioxidants; aids iron absorption; immune system health
A few Vitamin C Sources

Vitamin D - sunshine 10-15 minutes/day    calcium
Vitamin D - Enjoy this gift from the sun.
Spend time daily, in practice, basking in the rays

Vitamin E - avocado, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables  for: cell protection, red cell growth, skin/tissue repair, hair, and antioxidants

Vitamin K - dark green leafy vegetables, cabbages   for: bone formation, blood clotting and repair
King Kale:  Vitamin A, B, C, E, K

The Mighty B's

Vitamin B - bananas, seeds, deep green leafy vegetables  for:  energy; nerve growth; red blood cell regeneration

B1 - nuts, seeds
B2 - deep green leafy vegetables

B3 - mushrooms, asparagus, deep green leafy vegetables
B3- Asparagus, Mushrooms

B6 - fruits, vegetables
B9 (Folic Acid) - deep green leafy vegetables
B12 - yes, there are Vegan sources:
Seaweed & Kelp noodles-Vitamins  B12, A, C, E, K and folate

green vegetables
kelp and seaweed
sprouted soybeans
sprouted seeds
root vegetables

 Other Goodies:

Banana smoothie with flax seeds: Omega 3,
Potassium,  Vitamin B

Omega 3 - flax seeds; walnuts


We've got your protein coming right up!!!

These examples are just the tip of iceberg,  do your homework, research and put together the fruits and vegetables you like.  Examine your vitamin intake.
Try something new...Bitter Melon
excellent source Vitamin C
Recognize those you are consuming.  Identify what you are missing.  Be adventurous.  Try a new fruit or vegetable to experience a complete compliment of natural foods to facilitate all of the protein and vitamins your body needs. You don't have to supplement vitamins or proteins...all you have to do is eat them.

Live Life.  Eat Raw!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


I've been releasing.  At first it was unintentional.  My new work consumed the majority of my time every day for the past five months.  I dedicated a lot of energy to it.  This dedication took me away . Soon, I found myself letting go of the very things near and dear to me.  I lost priority.  I love my new work.  I don't notice the 12-16 hours days.  I like the feeling of that I am affecting change.  It is a new project for me.  I love the thrill of contributing to stories of success. Unfortunately, along the way, I realize that the more I relished in my new found joy, the more lost I became in my "new" way of life - the very reason I am working so hard in the first place

Losing the Way
When it became clear that I was releasing my day to day touch and connection with my vegan community, no longer having time to create recipes, post pictures, write, or coach others, a few things happened: First, one of my vegan idols reached out to me with an amazing, international offer.  I accepted, adding to my already overloaded basket.  The offer never materialized and was silently withdrawn, presented to someone else.  My idol had released me, seeing what I could not see - that there was no way in which I could truly dedicate any resources and that perhaps a better suited candidate is the way to go.  Second, one of my vegan mentors, with no knowledge of my vegan idol, offered me an incredible opportunity to travel within the states, yet once again I could not partake.  This time, my mentor just let me know the offer will wait for me. Once again, released.  These two things allowed me to look back into the bubble from whence I came  to look with clarity, objectivity, and truth.  I was on the outside looking in. Many had moved on and I lost touch.   I had lost the way.  However, the third occurrence put everything into a perspective.

Finding the Path
My yogic community was the one constant that embraced and supported. It was through this connection that I as able to reconnect with myself. My sisterfriend soulmate  Jen who is forever tapped into my psyche sent me a care package. In it was a mirror with a personal inscription to  reMIND me of who I am, sweet grass to cleanse my environmental BODY, and some music filled with the sounds of gongs to resound balance of SPIRIT.  What a catalyst. the reconnection  of the three key elements of Yoga proved to be.  Yoga for me is the way to my vegan path.  It is who I am.  What an epiphany.  This connection caused me to look again at my "release" with positive instead of negative to change the paradigm of "release"  and instead to see RE-lease.

Establishing Meaning
This experience caused me to examine the prefix "RE".  It means "again".  It is typically a positive prefix.  I pondered how the word "release" became associated with letting go? Perhaps RE-lease is just the opposite.  If to "lease" is to obtain for a period of time, then perhaps RE-lease is to re-establish, to obtain again. Think about it.  Many words that start with the prefix "re" mean just that:  refresh, renovate, re-do, restart, re-engineer, renew, rejuvenate, re-claim, rebound, recalculate, re-animate, regroup, etc.  Of course there are words to the contrary, however this is the  common meaning for RE.  So, I decided to go with the positive.

The joy and excitement of returning was exhilarating.  Many of my yogini sisters helped me find the way to my other love - my open, vegan life.  As I coach others and experience in their revelation, I decided to get a coach of my own, someone who can objectively hold the light while I find my way out of the dark.  Fortunately, I was able to sign up with a certified health coach.  With serependity, my new health coach is a yogi.  In just two coaching sessions, she has helped me rework my schedule, prioritize my daily workouts, and design how and when I'll practice yoga, do cardio/aerobic workouts, and  resume my strength/body building training.  I am RE-leasing "me". I have actually begun to  take my days off and work only 5 days a week.  I have shortened my work days to about 10 hours.  I have begun to write again and post pics of my fruits and veggies.

As I return, I do so as a new creature.  Nutritionally, my health coach and I decided I needed a reboot.  I am on a 5 day juice feast to rid my body of the sluggishness I obtained from eating high fat raw vegan such as avocados, nuts, seeds,and almond milk banana smoothies daily.  The detox will get me back on track to low fat raw vegan, energy and vitality - to as she puts it "to give me the energy to do the very things I wish to do".  She helped me to find my balance and for that I am grateful.  It's working.  It's day 2 of my fast.  I am writing, have completed a chakra cleanse, and went outside yesterday and ran for the first time in weeks.

What about you?
Rebooting and Removing:  Juice Feast/Fast
How are things for you?  Do you need to jump start?  I recommend:
Retreat-Yoga, spa, massage
Reboot-Watch movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Rework-routines, re-prioritize
Remove-toxins (mental, physical, and spiritual)

If you don't need to RE-lease, then pay it forward with gratitude, reach out to be a coach to someone else, help them find their way.  Either way, look at any negative and turn it into a positive to know that some times you have to let go in order to gain, that you have to release to find RE-lease

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana -Standing Big Toe Pose

A pose that is grounding, balance, yet REleases to look toward a new direction, allowing you to be present and grounded in the present moment, yet rejoice in the newness of each day and as my dear friend says, to "expand outward"