Release

Last night I sat in meditation for 20 minutes, before my alter. My mind was racing. I’ve been having that lately. Perhaps a combo of a new schedule, Dad’s open heart surgery and the shift of seasons. Just a guess.

After meditation, whilst chanting to Ganesh, I released some stressors that’ve been bonding me as of late. Fears. Anxieties. Hindrances. 

When I came out of meditation, I got up and emailed my master teacher, imploring any kind of guidance in my practice. I’ve found, over time, that meditation is HIGHLY effective, particularly for my constitution. It is for most, I humbly presume. But what I know for certain is that it calms and centers me, the only person I’m really here to study. I know this, and yet, it is the first practice to slip when life gets bonkers. As life so often does…

My teacher replied with what I expected to hear, that only so much can be offered over email. But she did offer what she felt she could via email, and I was supremely grateful. Little did I know how beneficial her shreds of wisdom would prove in a mere 12 hours…

This morning I woke, after the most peaceful night of sleep in weeks, and went straight to my bolster to sit again for meditation. With two candles lit and the sun far from rising, I sank deeply into stillness, repeating the mantra my teacher had bestowed upon me the night before. Meditation after rolling out of bed is powerful, and a practice I highly recommend. I notice it makes me a kinder, happier, gentler, less reactive human being when I get around to starting my day. It’s also easier to sit for meditation upon first rising, as the mind is usually still quiet. Sitting in the evening can be harder…the mind is now racing. The Citta is often alive and boundless!

Well, this morning was quiet, dark and still. Peaceful. Cold, but I wrapped up in a big, fuzzy blanket. My mind quickly grew tranquil. In what must have been the final 60 seconds, I had this profound sensation wash over me…the sensation that everything that’s happened to me up until this point has been Divine (a Truth I already knew but had yet to feel so deeply in my cells). Everything. The sensation that every little instance has led up to this point…to meeting my teacher, to reaching out for her guidance, to sitting in this very meditation, this very morning…and suddenly the thought came to me, “Release what no longer serves you.” I was deeply immersed in my own consciousness, and so the realization that the thought was directed outwardly didn’t trigger any curiosity in me, I just  merely turned it inward, without question.

“I release what no longer serves me.”

(Said stressors, anxieties and hindrances).

In that moment, in offering them up, I realized how truly parallel my thought was to the words of my teacher just last night. “Offer up every disturbance to the supreme shakti,” she said, “treat every ripple as divine teacher. RELEASE THE INTENSE NEED TO CRAFT YOUR LIFE SO GRACE CAN GUIDE YOU AND HOLD YOU SAFE.”

Boy does that last line speak directly to me!!!

Suddenly it all made sense. Life made sense. In a way it never quite has before. Those types of “aha moments” will occur during meditation, I’ve found…a moment of Divine clarity that, albeit fleeting, will never ever fade from your memory. It’s the feeling, the experience, the palpable taste of higher consciousness that keeps me coming back to my bolster, my seat in meditation, my practice…

I felt a weight lift in that moment. A weight I knew was there…and yet also didn’t know was there. With my eyes still closed, still deeply immersed in meditation, I began to cry. Tears just slipped out of my eyes, down my cheeks, soaked up by my blanket. Cathartic and cleansing. A completely natural reaction. A purge.

It. Was. Powerful.

When I came back into my body, still bathed in candlelight, I reached for my journal. I downloaded the whole experience, the realizations that came to me, documenting what was sure to feel faint and faraway the next time life went “bonkers.” I wanted concrete evidence of the freedom that can be attained with focused attention. Then I read some of my favorite texts; Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of my chakra books and my moon watcher’s guide (we are coming up on a new moon in just four days, my loves).

Unsurprisingly, I turned straight to a page in my chakra book with some lovely shiva and shakti info that I thought would be beneficial to share. 

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Remember the oneness of all things. Unity. No duality. Power and the power holder are one. 
Now, for anyone wondering why meditate?…I will just say this:

I felt more divinely at home in my Self this morning than I ever have before. I had a sixth chakra moment of clairvoyance after meditation, a vision of having been a Native American healer in a past life (*I met a psychic several months ago who, unsolicited, read that I have been a healer for several lives). I had a new vision this morning, though, as well. The distinct impression that my soul was around in the 60’s. Crazy, right?! A free wheeling hippie 😜 whose experience has drastically shaped my perspective in this life. I sense I knew my dad back then too. Clearly this life was cut short, perhaps in protest ✌️I digress…

Do you ever sense memories from past incarnations? The more I meditate and sink into my practice the more I do, but I have always been aware of past lives and dreamt vividly about them. I am (obviously) fascinated by the interplay of past and present. 

That’s what yoga is, restraining the modifications of the mind-stuff (Sutra 1.1), so as to ascend into higher consciousness. Many forget this. Sure, for some the practice is about asana. The Western world has managed to make asana seem like the focus. My yoga practice includes a great deal of asana, yes, but that’s not what it’s about. I practice my yoga every single moment of every single day. It takes reminding, when I have an unkind thought, or I seem to have left my compassion at home, tucked under my pillow. I come back to my practice time and time again, day after day, and I trust it will always be that way. I certainly don’t expect to reach Self-Realization in this life. I know I have loads of work to do at the base of the totem pole, and I’m a happy camper to be there, on the bottom rungs, working my way up. The work is a blessing. That’s something my Divine teacher reminded us of several times over, during yoga teacher training. Not everyone has access to this knowledge. Not everyone knows that this is how life can be. Not everyone practices yoga, or knows that they can practice yoga. This is not common knowledge, and it is a sacred gift. So remember that, my loves, when you practice your yoga, if you practice your yoga. This heightened awareness, this blessed appreciation for the stream of consciousness that is neither your body nor your mind…this thread that has carried you through past lives and into this one…this is a gift. A body that can practice asana is a gift, a set of lungs that can practice pranayama are a gift, a mind that can sink deeply into meditation is a gift…a higher state of awareness that realizes these practices are all part of a bigger picture, a more vast concept, that’s what is happening when we practice. Deep down below all the layers. Like taking a rag to a cloudy window and slowly rubbing it clean in little circles. Slowly, with some elbow grease and ample patience, the light begins to stream in.

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Your Power is in Neutrality

“Your power is in neutrality. The real power is in neutral, loving compassion for all things.”
-Julie Piatt

This is a quote from the Rich Roll podcast, an episode of which I listened to on my morning walk today. I really like Rich Roll and his gorgeous wife Julie Piatt, they have a great message and I totally jive with their plant-based lifestyle. Jai ma!

Anyway, this quote really stuck with me. So much so that I paused, rewound as many times as it took to get it right (not easy to do with numb fingers on a brisk 7am power walk) and typed it into my iPhone (even harder with cold fingers). I felt these words to my core, as neutrality is a concept I’ve studied and practice regularly. But, in that early morning moment, it felt very important that I hear that quote…and I was not able to articulate why it felt so achingly important. So I downloaded it, and moved on, not puzzling on the “why” but certainly acknowledging it. Well, the answer to that “why” arrived tonight.

I received “hate mail” tonight, if I can even call it that. A painfully long letter from someone I don’t personally know but know of, who has developed at very real, very vivid and very emotional view of me. There wasn’t any hate involved, but loads of accusations and misrepresentations. And by loads I mean LOADS. Interestingly, unlike my old ways of always needing to express my Truth, be fully understood and “have the last word,” if you will, I’ve no inclination whatsoever of doing that. I have been utterly judged and misunderstood, and actually attacked, yet I feel bizarrely detached from it. I felt very neutral reading it. Perhaps because the accusations are nearly entirely false, so I almost view them as directed towards someone else. You can’t be speaking to me, is how I feel, because the person you are describing is not me.

The old Sara would need deeply to be seen for who I really, truly am. The old Sara couldn’t stand to be disliked. I spent way more time obsessing over the ones who didn’t see that I’m genuine, or who did and didn’t like me anyhow, and trying to get them to like me than I did appreciating the ones who naturally jived with my spirit. The Sara I’ve evolved into (the ever-evolving me, that is) came to a realization at some recent point along this journey, though. No matter what, there are always going to be people who don’t like, agree with or understand us. Despite what we say, despite the truth, despite reality, despite our intentions – those people will still be there. Let me say that one more time…

No matter what, there are always going to be people who don’t like, agree with or understand us. Despite what we say, despite the truth, despite reality, despite our intentions – those people will still be there! 

And you know what? LET THEM BE THERE. They NEED to be there. It’s the nature of life! We could do everything right (which we likely won’t, Lord knows I make mistakes on a regular basis) and still, they will be there. Hissing at us from the sidelines. It’s just part of life’s rhythms, though. It simply is. Without them, what would the ones who do love us mean? Would the ones who “get” us, who understand, uplift, truly see and support us hold the same weight in our hearts? Perhaps. But you get where I’m heading with this. Duality. Here it is again…the nonexistent duality. The ones who love us and the ones who hate us are the same. It all just IS.

So I don’t bite. I don’t reply. I don’t even cling to the message, which I scanned with soft eyes, quickly and objectively once before closing it. I haven’t even deleted it, nor do I intend to read it again. I respect the words, the hurting soul who wrote them, I hold space for it (lightly, of course) and release it. What else is there to do when one is unliked, after all? The power is in neutrality.

Ah, yes, here it is. The Divine reason for Julie’s words reaching my cold little ears on this day of all days. The beautiful Universe really has some elaborate inner workings, never failing to dazzle me! A reminder not just of the power in neutrality, but of compassion. 

Compassion is not oft the emotion that pops into one’s heart when one is verbally attacked. But such is the path of a yogi. Compassion leads to release, but neutrality protects from absorbing in the first place. So the two combined are potent. Not only is the negativity not absorbed – literally leaving one untouched – but the response is positive. Compassion. Compassion for all things.

I recently took a workshop with one of my master teachers, Lakshmi, and we discussed neutrality in depth (hence why Julie’s quote perked my attention in the first place). So the concept was on my mind more than usual today, and I’m so grateful for that. I felt it was a very timely reminder to recommit to a practice that is difficult (it’s SO not easy practicing neutrality! The mind wants desperately to latch on to thoughts, things, emotions…the Prakriti). So, tonight when I received that message, I felt super prepared (appreciative nod to the Uni for that one). Neutrality is twofold; a protective shield, and a vessel for compassion.

We can never control how people see us. People will see us as they will, and we must just keep speaking our Truth. Appreciate opposing views, utilize those who view us as adversaries as “mirrors;” allowing others to show us what they perceive to be our flaws, our faults, so we can then filter that information through our own reason. Our own common sense knows the truth. It’s never harmful to hear negative views if one knows one’s own truth. When another person’s words really sting and burn, sticking in the mind and hurting more than they should…it’s likely there’s some truth in what’s been said. Something that prickles deep down in the subconscious, something that likely bothers us about ourselves.

But when we truly react in indifference and feel nonattached to the words…it’s a good sign. When we can sort reasonably through what someone’s said, picking up bits here and there for consideration, in neither damnation nor denial…it’s a good sign. When you fully know that it’s your choice what you believe, that your reason and common sense are finely sharpened tools, perfect lenses through which to see the world and opposition…it’s a good sign.

There will always be adversity. It’s a law of nature. Adversity exists. When we remain rooted in neutrality and compassion, it is then that our power remains ours. Untouchable. It is through that conviction and dedication that we rise up.

The power is in neutrality.

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Holistic Nutrition Corner

Beautiful, beautiful friends…

For those of you who are interested in the recipes I post, I’ve begun posting them to my Tumblr site, as it seemed so random to pop them in here on Body Karma! One day I will have a techie connection to build me a gorgeous website where there’s actually a recipes tab all on its own 😉 till then, there’s Tumblr. Also, Instagram.

Alright, off the soapbox I climb, thank you all for being such an exquisite presence in my journey and offering me the space to cultivate, manifest and share this passion that flows so strong through me.

Om shanti, abundant love and namaste.

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10 Ways to Make Eating Healthy EASIER!

As seen on MindBodyGreen.

Who doesn’t want to make healthy eating easier? I don’t hear any of you piping up… That is why I have compiled a list of ten simple ways to make healthy eating all the easier, more accessible and enjoyable.

  1. Make a grocery list.
    No exceptions. I make mine right into the “notepad” app on my iPhone. Boom, there’s a green, easily accessible grocery list for you. I make cuts, too, just before shopping. I glance over my list and, like a football coach, make final adjustments to my line-up. As an eco-conscious earthling, I’m hyper aware of letting nothing go to waste. I’ve become acclimated to how much food I need for a week and, because it’s just me, the routine is down pat now. Buy versatile foods that will work in many different meal combinations. Pick a base (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, oats) and work from there. Always load up on greens. Fresh produce. Stock healthy condiments (real mustard, apple cider vinegar, raw sauerkraut, nutritional yeast, low sodium tamari, etc.), spices (cinnamon, black pepper, rosemary, garlic powder, etc.) and superfoods (cacao, maca, mesquite, goji berries, nuts, seeds, etc.) to boost flavor, nutrient content and enjoyment in every meal. Experiment and find what tickles your fancy.
  2. Meal prep.
    Do not underestimate the power of meal prep! Your pocket book, mother earth and your body will all thank you emphatically. Meal prep is not complicated, in fact it’s as simple as it sounds. Pick one day and prep for the week. I choose the day just before my week starts and I get sorted for the coming days. I bake five sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil, and fridge ’em. I whip up a pot of whatever my heart desires, be it quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats, lentils, beans, whatever I’m intuitively craving. I then doll those out into…
  3. Invest in glass tupperware.
    Plastic leeches into our food and even the BPA free kind of plastic just doesn’t have as long a lifespan as good glassware does. It also falls under the same category, for me at least, of treating mealtime as sacred…eating off of your nice plates or fine china, making a place setting, all those tips you’ve read to be more present at mealtime…this feels like one to me. When I’m on the go or at work, the glassware just classes up my meal a bit. 
(*I also tote along my own silverware…along with classing up my meal, it also reduces my carbon footprint exponentially over time).
  4. Keep offenders out of the house.
    You likely have “trigger” foods, along with everyone else, and my advice is to just keep them out of the house. This gets more complicated when living with a significant other, family and children. It requires willpower. As a society, there’s an epidemic of disordered eating. “Trigger” foods are foods that you cannot register satiation with. You eat a little and it opens up the door for you to eat the entire jar, or start to binge, or see the day as “ruined,” in terms of healthy eating, and so you go AWOL and decide to start again with your healthy eating tomorrow. It’s something sooooooo many people do. I worked at a gym for five years and our busy season was always just after New Year’s. We live in a “resolution” society, ready to be bad today and good tomorrow. But then today turns into tomorrow and the cycle perpetuates.
(*I have now have eaten clean for so long, so many years, that I simply do not crave nor do I want unhealthy foods anymore. My body has just rewired to only want clean fuel. Food I used to love no longer even appeals to me! Either because it is unhealthy or because, despite it’s healthfulness, it didn’t agree with my system. I’ve become a hardwired intuitive eater). 
I’m not telling you to be like me, nor am I telling you that, by avoiding “trigger” foods, you will choose to never eat them again. I was just sharing a brief peek into my world. I’m saying that one ought to tread lightly around trigger foods. Whether it’s chocolate, chips, cheese, whatever…keep it out of the house until you have healthy boundaries around what it means to eat today everyday. Which leads me to…
  5. Get off the “I’ll start tomorrow” wheel.
    

Just climb down, while all of your dignity is still intact. This way of thinking is a trap. The rug will be pulled out from under you at some point. I’m saying this from personal experience, because it was pulled out from under me! I used to have a love hate relationship with food. I struggled with binging in the years after my eating disorder. Here’s a little not-so-secret though: binging is also a form of an eating disorder! But it’s a disordered eating habit that has been normalized by our society! Think back to childhood sleepovers…did you ever have those nights where you’d eat cheetos and then pizza, followed by ice cream for dessert, and then possibly even more candy? Did you ever experience eating junk food way past the point of hunger, just for a good time? It’s commonplace in our society. Portion sizes are out of control, food quality is tragic (in most places), and the natural instinct of satiation is treated as one would treat a yellow light, rather than a red light. Instead, be here now. It is today everyday.
  6. Understand that “healthy” does not mean “plain.”
    Nor does it mean boring, bland or repetitive. One just needs to get creative. Seek inspiration. Decide what flavors appeal to you (spicy, sweet, sour, salty) and go with it. Climb out of your comfort zone. Get on the internet! You will find piles of recipes that suit your tastes. I never follow a recipe 100%, I always tweak it to have a bit of my own flair, and sometimes recipes are jumping off points for inspiration. Just know that, with a world of herbs, spices and healthy ingredients, flavor can be off the charts. Remember: practice makes perfect. Contact me for if you want some of my favorite plant-based sources of inspiration.
  7. Always keep a 911 snack on hand.
    One never knows when a traffic jam, impromptu meeting or adventure will pop up. I keep one of my favorite healthy bars in my purse at all times (these bars are raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free and their shape withstands the abuse of being toted around in a purse everyday). Other good options are a portion of almonds, plant-based protein powder or coconut water packet (to be mixed with water) or a portion of some other nut/seed/trail mix. Be wary of bars as they can have tons of sugar and just be candy in disguise, but simple, low GI, mindfully made bars are great to keep in the purse/backpack/glove compartment. Just don’t be left without an emergency healthy option. Going hungry taxes the metabolism and making unhealthy choices taxes the body and mind holistically.
  8. Make the kitchen accessible.
    This is a big one. It sounds so simple, but it makes a huge difference. I like to make sure my spices stay full, the fridge is organized, the dishes stay washed and put away, and that I have everything I could need all ready for cooking. This is another great thing to do on that day off when you do your meal prep. An unclean kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes will send you running in terror to the nearest restaurant! Okay okay, that may be an exaggeration, but it’s true that an ill-equipped, unclean kitchen is no cooking sanctuary. Take the time to organize your cabinets, fridge and pantry so that cooking becomes easy, routine and accessible. Eating in exponentially heightens one’s capacity to eat healthfully. Dining out may be fun socially, but it can be a nightmare for the conscious eater. Especially those who’ve worked in restaurants in the past (*raising my hand*). Chefs in restaurants want to make the food taste good, whether it requires a stick of butter or a shake of salt. It’s a mystery what goes into the food and it’s totally out of your control. Even being “that person” who requests everything a specific way doesn’t mean you’re going to get things the way you like them. There’s an element of flexibility involved there and I’m certainly not telling you to never eat out again. Just be mindful of how food is prepared in restaurants and don’t be afraid to ask for things the way you like. My main point is to choose eating in over eating out when you can choose. You can make the most delicious food in your very own kitchen with just a bag of groceries, a recipe and your own vivacious little self.
  9. Invest in key appliances.
    No, healthy green smoothies do not require a vitamix. Although my vitamix is, to this day, the best purchase I’ve ever made. Some key players in my kitchen are the blender, zester, peeler, measuring devices (measuring cups and spoons), jars (I save old almond butter, pickle and kraut jars to stock spices, grains and other goodies in, as well as to use for on-the-go smoothies/juices), potentially a juicer (I don’t own one), spiralizer and clean dish towels (do not underestimate the importance of owning enough dish towels to keep your cooking routine green, clean and easy!).
  10. Make “healthy” the only option.
    That’s about as easy as it gets. When eating junk is simply not an option in your mind, then the path is paved. The problem is the mind. The body wants clean fuel. Eating clean food likely will eradicate nearly every “issue” you physically suffer from, but the mind desperately latches onto the way you’ve always eaten. Listening to one’s body is not as easy as it sounds. It requires willpower and redefinition of what food’s role actually is in our lives. Food is fuel. It’s beautiful to be able to make it delicious and enjoyable, yes, but at the core, it is gas in the tank. The truth is this: you can have the best of both worlds! Clean, scrumptious sustenance that has an energizing, anti-aging, detoxifying, satisfying and palpably beneficial effect on the body exists. Get into the kitchen, get food on your hands and find out which healthy combinations make you tick.

As ever, I am wishing all of you lovebursts utmost health, wellness and vibrancy. Om!

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Image courtesy of MindBodyGreen via Shutterstock.

To Each Their Ever-Changing Own

Yesterday morning, as I took my brisk and beautiful 7am walk (for which the moon was still up and glowing, in all her glorious fullness), I tuned into a podcast. Podcasts are my new obsession. I feel like a real grown-up.

I had been looking forward to tuning into “The Period Party,” a trio of women discussing natural fertility, who I consider highly admired fellow wellness professionals. While the wisdom is aplenty, and much of it is music to my ears, I was a little disheartened to reach the point in one of the talks where one of the hosts stated, essentially, that “if [you’re] having hormonal imbalance and not eating meat, you need to eat meat.”

***Disclaimer: I STILL highly admire these three women and will continue to tune into their podcast, this is by no means a poor review or “bashing” of any sort, it is simply my reaction the opinions of natural fertility professionals I’ve grown to admire.***

But, I will admit, I was fairly aghast at this conclusion that had just been drawn.

Now, who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing in ten, five or even one year. We are ever-changing creatures, this is certain. I will change in ways I cannot predict, which is where the beauty and terror of life both lie.

At this time in my life, and for the foreseeable future, I am ethically bound to a vegetarian lifestyle. Morally and ethically immersed, you could say. I fully entertain all nooks and crannies of the nutrition spectrum and am learning said nooks and crannies in nutrition school right now. My college promotes a healthy eating model aptly titled “Eating for Health.” It’s plant-based, and does not determine for an individual whether they consume protein from a plant source or animal source. Plenty of room for individualization, which is key in any “diet.”

I’ve grown to be anti-label, with what I consider to be good cause, but I’m technically vegan. Some aspects of labeling oneself are great (building community for example), while others can prove a sincere hinderance (boxing oneself in).

In nutrition school we’ve learned about most of the “fad” diets that have existed in the last few decades, as well as some other well-known diets like the Blood Type Diet, Ornish Diet and Macrobiotic Diet. I will be perfectly honest, the blood type diet freaked me the eff out. According to my blood type, it appears I should be rather highly carnivorous. A concept I find disturbing. While there may be some merit to this theory, I simply cannot bring myself to eat animal flesh again. Even though there are pasture raised, grass fed, humanely treated options for meat readily available, my spirit begs me not to seek this food out. I don’t see meat as “food” anymore, but rather as little sentient beings.

I by no means judge or abhor any carnivores! I was one, for many years, and – honest truth – I loved meat. My decisions to abstain from meat came from a moral place, which many of you understand, and my body has acclimated joyously to the shift. I live for intuitive eating and existence (though I’m not always successful, it is my intention).

That being said, could my intuition ever lead me astray? My answer is no, of course, as I believe the intuition to be deeply divine and graced by a hand not our own. But we definitely all have different constitutions. We have different blood types and have evolved from different ancestry. And you want to know the truth? I’m slightly terrified that my constitution, blood type or ancestral evolution really does implore me to eat animal protein. I am a chronic hypochondriac in the sense that I almost always listen to a slew of symptoms and think, Oh my God I have that… Do I usually “have that?” No. Do I obsess and worry in the meantime that I do have it until I forget about it? Yes. Normally.

This is a great point that the women touched on during the podcast in question, actually. That some women, like Jess Ainscough and Kris Carr, thrive on a vegan diet. Their bodies are in balance and they’re brimming with health. There are also some whose bodies simply will not tolerate plant-based protein alone. Enter fear. I know, I know, I preach all about not allowing fear into one’s life, but I will admit, since starting nutrition school, I’ve been fearful that my body may be one that requires animal protein. Save for hormonal imbalance (hence having found my way to the work of these gorgeous period party gals) leftover from the [hideous, in my opinion] birth control pill, I am the picture of health. I’ve had blood tests done and am in healthy ranges for all of the tests. I feel constantly bombarded with articles about the healing wonders of bone broth, the endocrine loving nutrients in organ meats, the nourishing protein in grass fed meat, the “perfect protein” that is an egg. Naturally, these are all organic and local animal products (which is sadly and distinctly different than the animal products consumed in the Standard American Diet). That being said, I can’t help but wonder about every little thing I’m doing in my life. When I hear these professionals speaking about “the average person” needing animal protein to thrive, have a healthy endocrine system and essentially be a properly functioning human being, it really makes me quake in my little ballet flats.

Why does it frighten me? Because so often I tell myself, Oh look at so-and-so, she thrives on a vegan diet, and now that seems to be shot out of the water. Truth is, I have known this all along. I know we are all divinely unique and it is what I tell my clients! It’s the work that I myself do! Individualizing plans for beautiful beings to be at their most healthy and vibrant. But what about my own life views?

That’s where it gets tricky. My choice to abstain from animal products is ethically driven, not health driven. While it’s exponentially skyrocketed my health as a byproduct, I did not go down this route with that as my driving force, which is why I cannot go down the grass-fed, free-range, humanely treated “trial run” route of reintegrating animal products to test its effect on my hormonal system. I just can’t. I won’t. My spirit won’t agree. At least in terms of meat. I am still wrapping my brain around the concept of “happy eggs.” Said eggs come from hens roaming the grounds of a local farm that one visits oneself and knows the owner of. These hens are fed organic produce, treated like family and left to roam free in the sunshine. They die of old age and are never, ever killed for meat. Many vegans will still say that this is entirely unethical, and I’m not here to get into that discussion (exhibit A as to why I resist labeling myself!). Because I’ve not made up my own mind! I don’t eat them, but for some reason I find this idea of these beautiful hens, living as kind and free lives as we ourselves do, gifting us with the fruits of their loins in the form of a happy egg to be rather sweet. That’s not to say I will go one way or the other on the topic, in terms of consumption, but again just expressing an idea.

There are so many alternative healing modalities out there. I deeply believe in a plant-based diet as the root of most healing. Again, that doesn’t specify omnivore or herbivore. A plant-based diet is merely one whose basis and vast majority is comprised of plants.

Just as I listen to opposing viewpoints, I also podcast with likeminded rockstars like Kris Carr, Rich Roll and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, all of whom are vegan activists. I admire Jess Ainscough deeply (a gal who, mind you, is vegan but seemingly not about to pin the label to her blazer for the world to see – proof that privacy can still be a virtue). I am educated (and honestly comforted) by the equally professional and intelligent viewpoints of these incredible health professionals. Wellness warriors, as Jess calls us all. 

The real bottom line is that most people are going to cling steadfast to their “way.” Whether it’s veganism, paleolithic eating, being a Democrat, driving a Prius…whatever! People want to convince other people of the “right” way to do things, to live life, to eat, to believe, I could go on and on… I am not here to do that. I’m still a total sponge, soaking it all up. I’m fully embracing the fact that my lifestyle and beliefs are subject to change. It scares me a little bit to admit that, because change scares me, but it’s just the truth. Maybe huge changes won’t occur, maybe they will. I think it’s dishonest and ignorant to think otherwise.

What I will say for certain, is that I have a mantra. An affirmation, if you will.

I AM healing my body and my precious hormones with a plant-passionate diet and a mindset of fierce kindness.

What I find most interesting about this entire experience is how, typically, I’d grow defensive and angsty over hearing ladies I admire voice opposing views. The old me would have reacted that way, I believe. Not this time, though. Not anymore.

I have reached a place of steady trust in myself, of divine faith. I have reached a place inside where, while my mind still races around entertaining the different ideas flitting about and worrying over all of the little nonsensical details, I know exactly what I need. I believe thoroughly in my capable, ingenious body’s capacity for healing and wellness. I also bathe it in gratitude for all of the ways it functions optimally rather than honing in on the one tiny imbalance it has. The “average” person is burdened with a slew of imbalances, be it a result of genetics or lifestyle, and I am blessed to not be. So I didn’t feel bullied or picked on, listening to that podcast. I relished in the wisdom and the perspective, and I took a deep breath, still confident in my own choices. I didn’t think, Oh my God my way is wrong or I’m causing my own problems by way of my lifestyle. The thoughts naturally wanted into my mind and, while I acknowledged their existence, I didn’t let them pervade.

Instead I found myself thinking, When I’m on the other side of this, I’LL be on a podcast discussing how I healed my body MY way… and I’ll tell you what. THAT is an empowering thought 🙂

Namaste, xx.

 

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“You’re STILL Not Apologizing!”

A woman crowed at me today, after I rang up her groceries.

What was going through my mind? Ohhh a myriad of things…

I have a frigging college degree don’t speak to me like that! … Don’t speak to ANY human being like that! … You want me to THANK YOU for being rude to me for the past five minutes? … I’m starting my own business and you probably just look at me like I’m some high schooler here to serve you… What on earth could have happened to you to make you this way … Compassion … HAG …

Save for the last one, most of the smattering of thoughts were somewhat productive in their own right. The jumble of thoughts led me to reply very simply, “You’re being a little rude to me…”

Just as she squawked, “No I’m not,” the woman behind her said, “A little??”

Ah, decent humanity coming to my aide.

I decided then and there that I’m going to continue standing up for myself, and stand up for myself more often. Just because I’m currently in a line of work where “the customer is always right,” does not give anyone the right to treat or speak to me like I’m a frigging minion. Heck no, H2O.

I realized in retrospect that the old Sara would have blinked and probably apologized. Instead, though, I just looked at the woman straight on. My mouth stayed shut. Her fit ensued. I wasn’t glaring at her but simply watching her. Marveling at how a person could be so unhappy that they go out into the world bent on taking out their misery on unsuspecting strangers. When it finally came time for me to say something, I was pleased that it wasn’t an apology that I uttered. It all happened so fast that I couldn’t have articulated a planned reply, but I’m grateful that what I did manage to say was not only the truth, but it was in defense of myself. Woo! Self pat on the back.

I think it’s so important that we only apologize if we’re truly sorry for something. I say that all the time and I believe it. But it’s hard. We’re conditioned to be apologetic. While knowing how and when to apologize is essential to being a polite and caring human being, being faithful to one’s own Truth is just as essential. I’m calling for us all to hone in on what that divine Truth is and what it means to speak only truthful words. It’s harder than it sounds. But when it happens, it feels miraculous and it fuels the fire of Truth within.

Speaking of miracles, the other day something miraculous happened. Well, miraculous for me, at least.

I left for work. It was a Saturday, so I knew there’d be less traffic and I’d be on time or even early. But as I merged onto the freeway and peaked the first little hill, I saw traffic was at a standstill. I was plugged into my headphones leaving my mom a voice message when I saw the traffic and my sentence was mutilated with, “What the ———,” there’s not supposed to be traffic on a Saturday! My phone jingled in my lap. A text message. An alert from my traffic app (which had given me the green light, all’s clear signal upon checking it all morning and again just as I was leaving) letting me know that a tractor had overturned blocking all four lanes of traffic. Um, yeah, I see that.

After a subdued eye roll at the belatedness of my technology (first world problems?), my mind immediately scrolled through the facts of the situation:

  • I was going to be late.
  • I’m not supposed to be late because I surpassed the number of overlooked tardies in a fixed amount of time and need to go three months without accumulating three more tardies (side note: I was never ONCE late until I moved in March. I guess one doesn’t have reason to be late when one lives walking distance from work, but still. Freeway commuting…I have nothing nice to say about it so I will move on).
  • I’d already used up one tardy with the bloody thumb incident, so this would be number two.
  • If I ended up with a warning, then I ended up with a warning. “It is what it is.” This was out of my hands.
  • I had a great podcast on my iPhone I was excited about.

You want to know what happened next? I made a decision. I made a decision not to stress. It was as simple as that, really. I just…decided not to engage in the stress-fest that typically ensues upon the discovery of unexpected traffic. I called work, calmly, and then I plugged back into my podcast and took a deep breath.

I told you it was miraculous!

I didn’t focus on not stressing, it wasn’t even all that purposeful. I just…didn’tI thought to myself if I’m late I’m late, there’s nothing I can do about it. Whatever happens will happen.

THEN you know what happened? Apparently the tractor (which looked more like a tiny little Amish contraption upon driving by the wreckage) was moved to the side of the freeway and, vroom, traffic was free flowing like any Saturday morning commuter would expect.

And I got to work on time. Albeit with a little jog…

So that’s what can happen when you resign to fate and simply go with the flow? Rather than fighting the rapids, thrashing against the current, refusing to surrender to what is and clinging to what should be. “Should” is a word that has no place in our vocabulary. A man I know once said that to me. He’s a therapist and fellow homeopathy nerd. “The words ‘should’ and ‘ought’  have no place in our lives,” he said. I cocked my head to the side. I realized then that he was right. If we spoke without should’s and ought’s, what would life be like? What would our mindset be like?

I should do that. I should not go there. I should but I don’t want to. I ought not eat this. You ought to go to work.

We could do and not do all of those things without the should’s and ought’s. Easily. All they do is add an element of “I’m not doing it well enough,” to the picture. It’s unnecessary! I haven’t fully cut these words from my vocabulary, just yet, but it’s been on my mind for the past year.

I will do that. I will not go there. I don’t want to. I won’t eat this. You can/will/must go to work.

There are other words to use! Words that give the sentence and thought a whole different vibration. Powerful, right?

Very much like not apologizing when apology isn’t due…

If we apologize when we’re not truly apologetic, not truly sorry, the vibration of the experience, thought and verbal resonance is altered. Shifted. Damaged, frankly. The internal vibration that we carry within us, that sacred, sacred vibration, is marred by the untruth. So, why not just get more comfortable with being honest? Because we like to “bandaid” human experiences. Goodness forbid uncomfortable tension accumulate in the air! We like to swat it away with, “I’m sorry’s” and “should’s” and “ought’s.”

Let’s not. Let’s be revolutionary in listening to, and speaking, our Truth. Let us be radical in our self love and the love we emanate into the Universe. Let us be radiant in our acceptance of ourselves, and our Truth. Love for ourselves. Love for our lives. Love for one another.

“Because true love means never having to say you’re sorry…”

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