Where Our Fabric’s Interwoven

My mom and I talk on the phone on the upwards of four to five times a day, and this morning we were chattering on about our usual stuff. Actually, she was at work and I was pumping endorphins out on my morning walk, so it was really me who was doing the yammering today.

I was going on about my reasons for staying in the area where I’m living while attending Holistic Nutrition School. See, there’s a campus in my hometown area, and I had anticipated moving back to the sweet wine country valley where I grew up at some point after graduating college. Well I graduated last June, and dove headfirst into my YogaWorks Teacher Training.

Best. Decision. Of. My. LIFE.

Hands down.

So I said to myself, after this I will move home.

Then I decided to attend Holistic Nutrition School. Perfect! There’s a campus back home.

But then my mom gave me some food for thought. Here I am, in this bustling Bay Area city, finally immersed in the life I’ve wanted the entire time I’ve been here. I moved here in January of 2010. It took me until now to build a community and support system that is worth staying for.

I have a job that supports me and in which I’ve gained some seniority. I now live in a space with a housemate that fosters positivity, security, warmth. I have made incredible friendships in the past 6 months and am only just beginning to share experiences and make memories with these beautiful people. I’ve built a yoga community in this area, bonding with my incredible teachers and mentors, and securing teaching opportunities that will benefit me endlessly in the future.

How could I leave that right now?

The answer is I can’t. I won’t. It’s worth staying for. I know home is my final destination, that’s where I’m headed. But, and I find myself saying this again and again, timing is everything. Still, again, inevitably.

So, as I yammered on to my mom, literally rehashing for her the very advice she gave to me (as she so patiently listened to my regurgitation of it, as though it were all my own) it suddenly occurred to me that I felt a little pitiful for taking three and a half years to build this community for myself.

How is it that I’m still processing life on my own when [my ex] has already moved on to another relationship? I asked my mom. Suddenly my high flying spirits were taken down. I moved to this area for school, and for him, in 2010. He had family, history, friends and a life here. I didn’t. He had all of it already established here, so I didn’t work to build it for myself. That ended up playing a big role in the demise of our relationship. That paired with the fact that we weren’t right for each other. Oh, that tiny little detail…

So now I’ve built it, and I’m dancing happily in the bliss that has risen from the foundation of this new, solid life and boom – my ego takes me down.

He’s happily in a new relationship and you’re only just now, a full year after the break-up, getting the life you should have built three years ago…

Well, that’s not nice to think, but I thought it. It put a hitch in my giddy-up and I felt my expression grow quizzical at the very notion. How to proceed, how to proceed…

I lost my identity in that relationship, I stammered to my mom, my inflection noting a question mark at the end of that sentence.

You gained an identity in that relationship, my mom gently countered, it grounded you. A lot of people get together because they ground one another, but those relationships don’t last, because the foundation is wobbly. They’re meant to ground you, not to last.

Jeez, what a wise woman I have for a mother.

Those relationships are meant to ground you, not to last. And that’s just what mine did. I was wobbly as all hell when I stumbled into it. I was 20 and in the throes of “who the hell am I,” far from comfortable in my own skin and completely ready to turn my back on who I’d been for the past few years. I was desperately in need of rescuing from myself, and that’s just what my ex provided. We ground each other.

Fast forward two years. Still together. Fighting the natural growth that was taking us apart. I would never have done this yoga teacher training if I were still in that relationship. I simply wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t be pursuing holistic nutrition school either. I needed to be grounded so that I could find my wings and fly. The relationship, all three years of it, were a safe haven in which to plant my roots and learn, through loving someone else, how to truly love myself.

I pondered this as I yammered. I said to my mom I want to write about this, I’ve been wanting to write about it, but I’m afraid if he sees it he’ll think I am still hung up on the relationship. Then I realized something. I blurted out you know what Jen Pastiloff, my biggest writer idol, would say to me if I told her I was afraid of what he’d think if I wrote about all this? She’d say who fucking cares. She’d say write it and who gives a shit what he thinks or what anyone thinks because it’s your processing and it’s your life and this is your growth at stake, that’s what she’d say.

So I’m writing about it. I’m vomiting it out on paper (err, blog post), getting the words out in a totally disorganized fashion before the concept slips out of my grasp.

Timing is everything, again and again. Timing is still, inevitably EVERYTHING.

This is all happening as it should. I’m now a person so grounded it’s sometimes unnerving. Sure, I still have my natural bouts of “what the hell am I doing” but now it only lasts a day or so and it never knocks me off my feet.

I still have my moments of my ex is with someone else (REJECTION), he chose her over me (EGO), I’m a pitiful person for needing to be single to chase my dreams (NEGATIVE SELF-CHATTER), but it inevitably passes. It even inspires blog posts 😉

This is the fabric of my life. The material of my writing. The fuel in my engine. The substance I work through on my mat. The experiences that mold me into the person I’m becoming with each new day. This is a gift.

And I’ll continue to write about it, dammit. I can hear you, Jen, telling me to write this. To get it out. To not give flying fuck what anyone has to say about it because it’s my story and it’s my Truth and it doesn’t make me anything but human to put it out there, to the whole world.

Not that the whole world is reading my blog, but I’ll sure as hell gain more readers with soul-baring honesty than some “my life is so perfect, there’s never been a bump in the road” bullshit act that’s not true.

This is real. This is humanity. This is how we all connect, this is where we all bleed together, breathe together, cry together. This is where our fabric is interwoven.

Our journeys serve a purpose.

It’s not that who we used to be was wrong; it’s not that who we’ve become is someone better. It’s that the process has unveiled to us what we needed to step into our most authentic Selves. It’s let in the light so that the world, and we ourselves, could see who we’ve truly been all along.

 

 

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Image courtesy of TheHolisticIngredient via Instagram.

I’m Listening Now

I followed my intuition, and it led me to …

my Self.

It’s empowering to follow one’s intuition. It’s liberating. It’s like sipping in cool, fresh air after holding one’s breath. It’s like coming up for air after being pressurized underwater, lungs tiring, compressing.

I followed my intuiton today with more conviction than I ever have before…and it was awesome.

What I didn’t anticipate was the ensuing flood of emotions. They were subtle, but I am very in touch with my subtle body, as much if not more so than my physical body.

I noticed that I was able to see myself clearly today. Faintly, I could see through the cloud cover that so often blurs my perception of myself. Instead of getting caught up in my normal fight with the “comparison game,” (I’m sure you’ve played it, the “she’s doing it so I should to it,” or “that person’s in running gear I should really run,” or “he thinks I should _____ so maybe I really should ______…) I saw myself clearly. Honestly. Perfect in my flaws.

She may be doing that, but I’m doing this. Because I’m me, not her. That person may be in running gear but I’m a yogi, and a walker. Because I’m me, not them. He may think I should  _____ but I’m going to _____ because it’s up to me, not him.

You’d be hard pressed to see the above in the transcripts of my internal monologue.

I suddenly was flooded with memories. Fairly pristine memories of childhood, reminders of who I am, gentle and heartwarming recollections that soothed my sense of Self. Such understated twinklings that, had I not been so in tune, might have slipped right past me.

It is empowering to listen to one’s own intuition. The humming, singing, whispering presence of intuition.

Simply hearing it, listening to it and following it, thereby liberating oneself from the opinions of others!

Liberation. 

Liberation from the penetrating, frankly insignificant opinions of others. Opinions of other can prove so beneficial, or they can prove hauntingly debilitating…the baggage overshadowing the fine light that is our Truth, what we truly know all on our own.

As I drove home tonight from a great yoga class taught by my goddess friend Mandy, I suddenly burst into tears. Just sitting at a red light. Initially I was taken aback but, as a seasoned yogi, it only took a matter of moments to pin my emotional fireworks on the heart opening sequence we’d just practiced. Dhanurasana waterworks!

The heart opening practice was amazing and I felt a huge release occur for me physically, made evident by how I had to literally drag my own arse out of the studio. I highly doubt I was in a state to drive. So, what was being held up? What was I holding captive, or hostage, if you will, in my heart space?

I only recently began following my intuition unquestioningly. I’ve always listened to it, always heard it, but I’ve also always sought a second opinion. As if I couldn’t possibly know all on my own what direction to head. I saw my intuition as the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. Maybe this way…orrrrr that’a way! I tiptoed cautiously down my yellow brick road whenever I had to make the decision all by my lonesome. I bolted daringly ahead when I’d received a second opinion. Sometimes I hungered so desperately for that other opinion, that light that would surely guide me, that my own intuition, my own piercing light, was totally lost in the fog. Completely smothered by insecurity. Well…

I’m listening now.

I hear it. I see it. I am following it. I’m perfectly aware that the scarecrow may at times point two different ways, with crisscrossed arms, to try and throw me off. It’s to be expected. That’s life. There are many ways up the mountain. But now I’m in charge of what route I take.

Others may disagree, and that’s going to be hard as hell for me to stomach. I already know that. But I’m going to stomach it anyway. I’m going to forge ahead knowing that the sweet release of having trusted my “gut” will conquer any sourness left by the fear of disappointing them.

Them.

Who are they anyway? They can’t possibly know what’s better for me than I do and, if they’re so important to me, they can’t possibly want anything but the best for me. Right?

Right.

See, there I go listening to myself 😉

Be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Set the goal and then do it, be it. Be unapologetically true to yourself (yes I’m talking to us both). Climb that mountain the way you think you should and anyone that thinks you’ll fall, and has the balls to shout it out, will bow their heads in reverence when you finally, eventually, inevitably make it to the top. When bits of gravel are falling from the skies as you scuff your feet on the edge of the cliff, lungs full of air, heart beating wildly, intoxicated by the pure adrenaline of your own intuition.

Because you will make it up that mountain.

And when you do, you’ll throw back your head and call out into the vast, open air, “I’m listening now…”

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Shine Yo’ Light & No, It Doesn’t Make You a Narcissist.

Possibly my favorite of Jen Pastiloff’s vlogs, and one that came to me at JUST the right time. Thank you Jen and thank you Universe!

The Manifest-Station

Sorry Tribe, the sound is a bit off and not synched but this is such an important message straight from my heart to yours. I love you guys. Keep shining!

Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as…

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3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

 

Panclogs, anyone? 

3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes.

 

So easy, SO delicious. Protein powerhouse, no added sugar, rich in super foods, free of fat (fat is super important with brekkie but mine will come in the form of an avo smoothie pre-yoga!). Topped with a dollop of my own special made vanilla bean cinnamon yogurt and some sliced naners.

 

Yummmmmmzah!

 

 

So easy to make you could do it in your sleep…practically 😉

I made the batter last night before bed and just added a smidge more almond milk to wake it up this morning, but it can be made right before cooking too.

Batter

  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (organic, cage free, vegetarian fed if you can)
  • 1 Scoop protein powder (I use Sun Warrior vanilla flavor)
  • A few TBSP of almond milk (unsweetened)

Whip this all together until it’s the proper “batter” consistency and use coconut oil to cook them up in a pan over medium heat.

Sara’s Vanilla Bean Yogurt

  • 1/2-3/4 C natural, plain, fat free greek yogurt (I use FAGE Total 0%)
  • 1 t raw, organic vanilla bean powder
  • Healthy sprinkling of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of stevia

Whip this yogurt concoction together and boom, you’ve got yourself a sweet, indulgent topper for your healthy panclogs. Store bought vanilla yogurt is loaded with sugar and yucky stuff, typically, and I prefer my greek yogurt tangy, plain and all by itself usually. This frees me up to experiment with a smidgen of it when I wish to top a dessert or fancy brekkie! Plus, raw vanilla bean powder is known to prevent sugar cravings and is a nutrient rich superfood. 

This brekkie is high in fiber, crazy rich in protein, free of sugar (save for the banana), laced with superfoods and totally delicious. This recipe is fat free but, as fat is a huge component of a filling breakfast, I would recommend adding a nut butter or sprinkling of nuts, what-have-you. I simply am making an avocado green smoothie before yoga so I will get my fat then. But protein + fat = satiation, so definitely give a smear of almond butter or something to your short stack.

I was never a big fan of pancakes because of the “gut bomb” feeling one gets after eating them, but these have revolutionized the breakfast dish for me. Light and filling and scrumptious! 

Garnish with ripe, delicious banana slices and you’re all set! Just don’t spill a bite all over your jammie pants like I did 😉

Happy Saturday my loves!

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My Holistically Nutritious Creations – Part Deux

Feast your eyes on this green smoothie that’s hearty enough to not only be called breakfast, but PRE-CARDIO-YOGA-FLOW breakfast!

Kept me full long enough to get my hot and sweaty floga on, peruse the studio and chat with yogis afterwards, pop into Whole Foods, come home and whip up my protein pancakes. Smoothies don’t always keep you full, but here’s one that has all of the elements!

 

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In this “oh my gosh I can’t believe it’s not a milkshake” GSOTD, I threw this plethora of nutritious ingredients:

  • 2 large leaves of raw organic kale
  • Big ‘ol handful of organic spinach
  • 1 C frozen organic wild blueberries
  • 2 small deglet noor dates
  • Some walnuts (probably 5)
  • 1 scoop Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder
  • 1 T unsweetened cocoa (you can sub cacao, I have both)
  • 1 t maca powder
  • 1.5 T hemp seeds
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 1 C filtered water
  • 4-5 ice cubes
  • Topped with bee pollen

Happy blending!

Rebirth

I am saying yes to embodying tranquility, serenity, calm. I am saying yes to living as a holistically well being of light. I am saying yes to the manifestation of my dreams.

It’s quite a journey, coming to terms with one’s dreams. I’m unendingly grateful for the light that’s been shed on my path by the Universe. I spent a long time lost. A long time in the throes of the “who am I,” trekking through the mud that stuck fast around my ankles. I spent a long time trapped in my past.

The light is so warm, healing and vibrant when you’ve lived in darkness.

It doesn’t matter in which stage you find yourself now; you yourself may be in the throes, floundering around in the dark, or perhaps the light has become visible up ahead…maybe you’re even dancing in a warm pool of golden light. Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you believe this is a journey. That you grasp with all of your consciousness that this life is a journey. It’s not meant to be well lit the whole way through. It’s not meant to make sense every step of the way. It’s not meant to be rosy and delightful with every breath.

If it were, we would never grow.

Think of a plant. It grows in fertile soil. What can be used as fertilizer? Decomposed plants, animal manure, compost of coffee grounds, peels, cores, the like…it’s all waste! It’s a cyclical process, plants decompose and their waste grows new plants…it’s a process of life, growth, death, rebirth.  It’s meant to be this way.

We must rot for a spell in our own waste in order to shed the layers and be reborn. Rebirthing of dreams, relationships, ideas. It’s all in our hands. All we have to do is believe, know in the depths of our core, that it’s all happening in a cycle. It’s a process. We’re operating in the rhythms of nature. Things are unveiled to us – opportunities, lessons, realizations – in due time. With purpose. Trust the process. 

It’s the trust in this growth that makes the light so much lighter when we find it. It’s the trust in this growth that gets us through the future spells of darkness. We may never traipse through the pitch black again, but the light will go dim, inevitably. The cycle will spin, there will be fears, doubts and moments of complete despair. But, if we carry the light within us, we can see our way through any eclipse.

It’s through this trust in growth that we harbor the light. 

So be. Be unabashedly here, feet planted in moist, fertile soil. Dig your toes in. Be unafraid of the missteps because it’s through bold, faithful trust of this earthly process that we harness our true potential. It’s through this process that we are reborn. 

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My Holistically Nutritious Creations

Recipe time is past due…so here we go!

 

Spinach Protein Pancakes 

I adapted this recipe from a multitude of sources…my friend Josie, the incredible Jessica Sepel and my own creativity. Needless to say, I will continue to evolve this brilliant foodie concept for years to come, incorporating superfoods and nutrients galore. For now, this was go number one.

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I used:

  • 1/3 C organic rolled oats (next time I will use oatbran so that it’s already a powder)
  • 1/2 C organic, cage free, vegetarian fed egg whites 
  • 1 C frozen spinach
  • 1 T sacha inchi powder (protein rich superfood)
  • Almond milk (I was experimenting so I don’t have an exact measurement, likely 1/2 C)

Blend it all in the vitamix (or blender, or food processor, etc.) and take it to a hot pan.
I use organic, coconut oil cooking spray. Spray the pan, and the rest is self-explanatory. Decide what size pancakes you want and watch ’em bubble, give ’em a flip, easy peasy lemon squeezy!

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My finished product was delightful, the sacha inchi powder gave them a very nutty, hearty flavor. I would use protein powder, stevia and spices for a sweeter flavor. Those will be coming soon 😉

I topped my pancakes with my own special greek yogurt blend:

  • 1 C nonfat, plain FAGE greek yogurt (or plain, natural yogurt of your choice)
  • 1 t cacao powder
  • 1 t raw vanilla bean powder
  • Cinnamon 
  • Nutmeg
  • Stevia or honey

Whip all of that together with a spoon and you’ve got yourself a lovely little creation to dollop away with.

I encircled this creation with a banana and called it a day. Can’t wait to give it a second go!