Monday, April 30, 2012

May 2012: Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel

May 2012: Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel...

"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... There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you..." ~ Marianne Williamson
Enlightenment is about becoming more conscious, about being our unique Selves completely, not about hiding, or conforming, even to a yoga community's standard or expectation. We are alive to be individuals, to lose all the layers of non-self: all of the conditioned-beliefs that we unconsciously absorbed and never questioned, all of the fears and mirages of inadequacy we acquired along the way. As we peel back these layers we find the light of our heart revealed, our individual charm, skills, passions and personality, and as we live fully and vibrantly, we give ourSelves like a gift to this world.

How do we peel back the layers? Mindfulness.. being present. How do we acquire that skill? Practice.. in daily life, especially perhaps, through our yoga and meditation practices.
Reality is laden with oxymorons, and the big one here is that mindfulness develops our objective observation skills.. the more objectively we observe ourselves and our world, the more we know ourSelves subjectively. The more we know ourSelves subjectively, the more we can understand others and universal principles.

I use capitalization carefully... the capital S on Self means our deepest or highest Self.. the Self connected to the whole, the Self without all of the non-self baggage and obstacles attached longer. The self is the whole package before we begin develop mindfulness and along the way, where the ego (non-self) still gets the better of us. But although we are all basically in this boat, as soon as we begin practicing mindfulness, the Self outshines the self increasingly so. We spend more and more time feeling whole and confident as opposed to chaotic and blocked.

You are doing no-one a favor by supressing your creative force and individuality. Just note that this doesn't mean that we should have or do whatever we want at the expense of others.. that means harming animals, the earth or other humans with our choices. However, dressing how we wish, living passionately, following our hopes and dreams, enjoying the company of like-minded people, achieving spiritual and material success through being ourSelves completely may piss off people who are jealous or insecure, but it will not harm them. People will get jealous or feel threatened by your brightness at times, all successful people experience this. But those who may feel that way and are ready to take responsibility for their own happiness will be INSPIRED and live more passionately because you helped them see their own potential.

Happiness is a responsibility! You have to cultivate it! Living your life isn't passive, it is active!! LIVE VIVIDLY! If you die with regrets or only ever having lived halfway you can blame no one but yourself!! You aren't dead until you are dead, so don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself.. embrace your reality fully here and now in each moment and rise to all of the magnificent opportunities you will begin to notice! Namaste!!
<3~ laura

1 + 1 = 2 ... We aren't halves, but we can be complimentary colors

Many people think that they need another person to complete them. I think this is a well-intentioned, but slightly unhealthy way of viewing the kind of connection most, if not all, of us long for.

As long as we look outside ourselves, towards our material circumstances or other people, for our satisfaction, we won't have lasting peace. The Buddha discovered that human beings automatically become dissatisfied regardless of their external circumstances. He realized that our happiness has to come from remaining present and dynamic. As soon as we look to something to remain exactly the same, we are certain to become disappointed because no one and nothing remains constant. It is as simple as that.

I do think the urge to find a partner is very strong and leads to beautiful experiences, but it will never be fruitful if we are looking to become completed by the other being. I do believe in rare and amazing connections between people and that these are very sacred and special, but we cannot look toward the future and demand that they shine unchanging forever. Instead we have to honor that these connections may grow together and apart as we both move on. Connections disconnect and new ones appear. Some connections are re-connected down the road as paths converge again, only to diverge when they diverge. That is what is so special about a genuine connection that lasts for many decades, to truly have that soul connection last that long requires the ability to remain honest and present as individuals, and a lot of grace and luck as well.

So if we aren't two halves that fix each other, can we be two wholes that blossom incredibly in each others' presence? Like complementary colors, side by side, each being completely ourselves, uncompromised, we can be our happiest, healthiest, and brightest with each other.

As soon as that ceases to be so, as soon as we begin to compromise our path, our individuality, in an unhealthy way, we get mixed up. When you mix complementary colors they become muddy and bland and disappear from their true brilliance. Sadly, out of obligatory courtesy or desire to conform or fear of the unknown, too many people settle to be muddy and unsatisfied, married or not. Marriage has little to do with happiness, by the way, happiness in a relationship comes from the honesty both show themselves and each other, when both people can be honestly themselves and honest with themselves and each other, and are joyous to be together, then nothing else is needed- no approval from others, no jewelry or certificate or tax break or labels.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Farmer's Markets are for Making Friends

One of the most profound differences between farmer's markets and grocery stores (besides the obviously locally grown/made vibe) is the strong social aspect. Grocery stores are less social, most people adhere to the "ignore everyone else" pretense. Farmer's markets are inherently social, where growers, producers, chefs, musicians and discerning shoppers mix and banter, sharing pieces of themselves as well as exchanging goods and money.

Here's my new friend Mauri and I, Mauri is all positive energy!! She is the artist behind Sistahs Vintage Aprons ( in Albany, NY. I will be rocking Mauri's colorful and feminine aprons in my cooking videos for youtube.

If you've never been to a farmer's market, a well-rounded, well-established one, such as the Schenectady Green-Market is a lovely way to be broken in (held all year, inside Proctor's until the weather warms up, then in front of City Hall, centered right around the fabulous and hip Jay Street).

Happy exploring! Love~ laura

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ecuadorian-inspired lentil cashew salad

A friend in college had me over for his father's good Ecuadorian cooking, and I remember the salad that was thinly sliced peppers and onions with cilantro, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mmmmmm!! This is not that, but inspired by that. If I had fresh parsley or cilantro, they'd be in this.

Ecuadorian-inspired Lentil Cashew Salad

Sprouted green lentils

Sliced, chopped, or finely diced bell peppers and onions

Lots of brown rice vinegar

Olive oil

Salt, maybe a little pepper (lentil sprouts are already peppery)

Marinate all day, and add in raw cashews (not soaked), at the last moment before enjoying! Herbs of choice beside parsley or cilantro could be basil or oregano.

Enjoy!~ laura

Will Sing For Love: An Experiment in Co-creativity

Not that what I typically write isn't highly personal, but this post is particularly so, very clearly. I'm an open book when it comes to my experiences and views if there is any way it will enhance the experience of another...

So I love love, I don't think that is a secret. I am a devotee of unconditional love and truth/reality. In my personal life, I am filled with lots of love that I pour into and receive back from my life and those within it. When recently I truly felt I found the deepest connection imaginable with another person, the someone and something I thought was going to bring me home, I was shocked when it ended, quite quickly.  I made peace with reality fast, because I had no other choice.

I am living my life even more passionately then ever before, aiming to be as present as possible. I am pretty damn happy. I am at peace. I am blissful. I also know that (long, very personal story short) it has been a long time and I am very much ready for a deep, beautiful, loving connection to arise in my life.

Most people have heard of the Law of Attraction, which works, is very real, indeed. However, the way I like to view it is as co-creativity, because our sheer will can bring us things, but if the thing we wanted and what actually satisfies us are one in the same more then one out of ten times I'd be surprized! Working with the constant truth unfolding in each moment as felt in our hearts, co-creativity begs a more dynamic  and honest approach to life then saying "I want what I want, and that is all I want, I will not bend!" Won't you bend, if what you get is infinitely more gratifying and elevating then what you imagined you wanted? Really!?  ; )

SO I am living. I am loving. I am learning. I am dancing and singing, creating, working hard, enjoying each moment along the way. I enjoy who and what I receive each day. Some days I am a little lonely and wish the universe would hurry it up a little. Most days I am too busy living to worry about it anyhow! Loneliness is part of the prayer- (to me prayer is a feeling, whatever you feel.. love, gratitude, desire, worry, anxiousness.... sends energy outward, which is met with like energy.. feeling is prayer!) and part of the experience that makes finding new people to share time and space with so beautiful.

Music is so key to me because it evokes feelings, it can be used to direct your mood where you want it to be. I love music. I love singing, I love dancing, I love expressing rhythm with my body. I do it everyday, quite naturally.

So I made myself great playlists. I made one I call "Random Sweetness", all sorts of degrees of sweetness in the form of songs I enjoy. It's sweet as sugar. I play it whenever it fits the mood. I sing at the top of my lungs, just like I do. Who am I singing to? Who is the object of my affection?! The mystery! Whomever is the next great love of my life, that's who! Who is this guy? Your guess is probably as good as mine! I don't need to know until I know.

A fun exercise I do when the mood passionately strikes me, is to write a letter to the universe. Just a scribble for fun in my journal... I write exactly what I want and make sure to add- " what I ultimately want is what is best for the entire universe, especially all involved." I don't want what I want at the expense of anyone else's happiness, not when the universe is abundant with love and joy.

I watch synchronicity, like when a million little clues come up in the form of what song pops up on the radio, a license plate, a statement from someone who doesn't realize that it means something significant specifically to you or points to someone in your life.

I sit back and watch. I go out and live. I follow my heart and passion. And I shall see who I am singing too. I am so outgoing that I often do the pursuing and I said very clearly that I want to be loved so damn much for who I am that I will be pursued this time.. in a very loving and genuine way.

Some say I am crazy, and some smile and nod because they know. This is how the world works. This is how I live. And guess what? I am healthy, happy, productive and compassionate. I live a fulfilling life. I aim to live without regret. I have none because I keep moving forward and living deeper and deeper in each moment.

"My method is uncertain, it's a mess, but it's working!"  ~Fiona Apple, lyrics, "Please, Please, Please"

"Live your life, be your self without fear. Put yourself out there and yes, follow your heart, passion, attractions. But don't cling, or grab desperately at the first sign of interest if it isn't met with the complete radiance of the sun, the most amazing sensations you have ever felt. You will know real love when you find it, and if you have to ask, you simply have not found it yet! Follow the clues, instead of thinking the clues are the treasure, you will know when you find it! Trust, your own intelligence and intuition. Love is everywhere. Your story will be worthy of your heart..." ~laura harrison

Rumi says that real lovers are not satisfied to play on the shore of love, but will run right in and drown in the ocean of unconditional love. I know myself, I am a real lover. I am floating in that sea often, and I get more connected everyday. I will be my radiant self and never compromise to satisfy or gratify anyone's insecurity. When the right wave comes, I will let it swallow me. The best part, is that although you lose yourself in real love, you become more yourself then ever before. Real love makes you feel more independent, while being completely connected. That is what this enlightenment game is all about... completely unique and uncompromisingly individual, while completely given to the fact that we are individuals woven into a fabric of one universe, and loving that oneness and living within it's beauty....

May all find the love they seek and know it exists in their own hearts!

all one <3 , laura

Baby Kale Dressing/Pesto

This would be amazing on pasta if you aren't raw... Or I think I will put in over sprouted green lentils with tomatoes... Mmmmmmmm! : D

Baby Kale Dressing:

1 bunch baby kale

1 clove garlic

Generous amount of brown rice vinegar

A few heaping spoons nutritional yeast flakes

A decent helping of olive oil

Dash of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Salt to taste

Add any herbs and spices that suit your mood! Puree in food processor until smooth and magnificent!

Love to all~ laura

Kale Cadillac Smoothie

This smoothie has so much goodness in it, it is an amazingly delightful breakfast.. Light but nourishing! X

Kale Cadillac Smoothie

3/4 of a bunch of baby kale

1/2 each organic strawberries + blueberries (frozen berries are fine!)

1 + 1/2 organic bananas

1/2 or 1 whole avocado

A handful of raisins to sweeten, soaked are easiest to puree

A spoon each of chia seeds and ground flaxseeds

...Blend it up with a dose of cosmic love and gratitude! Blessings~ love to all... Laura

Friday, April 27, 2012

Playlist Therapy~ the powerful yoga of music and movement

Almost everyone I know is very connected to music. We choose an artist or playlist that accentuates our mood, or picks our mood up when we are low, or calms us when we are stressed. This is a form of yoga therapy.

Music powerfully moves energy through the body. The right song at the right moment can trigger a huge release of energy- I know I have had shivers singing the right song at the right moment. I have had really high peak experiences, huge energetic releases complete with flowing tears, laughter, and feeling like inside of me a storm had ended, dark clouds rolled away, and the sun came through to reveal the most perfect sunny, blue skies.

The wrong song at the wrong moment can also depress us, or focusing on music that evokes a particular downward spiral of energy can suppress, depress, and repress our energy. We can easily get almost addicted to the bitterness of sadness and keep rolling with it. It is healthy to use music to touch on pockets of sad or difficult emotions, to cry, sing, move them through, but we must be cautious not to ruminate or become stuck there. The name of the game is movement, kids. Everything in the universe is always in a state of fluidity, if we get stuck, we are not in harmony. Harmony is dynamic, harmony is dancing with the spontaneous rhythm of the universe as it unfolds.

With that thought in mind, dancing, not choreographed dancing, but spontaneous movement as an exchange with the music, letting the music move your body, letting rhythm move energy through you, is extremely theraputic. It helps get the stuck unstuck, helps release self-consciousness that binds our joy and creativity, it helps free us and inspire us. It brings our light out.

Don't take music lightly. Don't conform, listen to what moves your heart and soul, even if it is the same song 14 times in a row! Try new music to see the world through another's eyes and maybe even find a new part of yourSelf.

Playing music, if you are so inclined, singing definately, are POWERFUL means of growth and expression. Bolo, Bolo!! (sing, sing, in Sanskrit!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

If You Think You Know, You Probably Don't

Shyam Das said this at a recent Kirtan Festival I joyously attended, "He who thinks he knows, certainly doesn't know, but he who thinks he doesn't know, may know."

Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing in concrete states of knowing or being. Nothing is solid, nothing is set in stone, nothing is permanent, nothing is unchanging. Yet we seek some sort of solid perfection, solid harmony, solid sense of who we are, where we are, or where we are going... but the truth is that although we can intuit, can co-create, can participate, we can't ever know for sure. Nothing is solid.

Balance is dynamic. Harmony is a constant flowing conversation with reality. Happiness, health, peace, all of these are a constant state of fluctuation with the ocean of life. Either we surf, or we struggle. Yoga practice is attempting over and over to get on that board and ride the waves in. Fall as many times as we may, we keep learning the dance. We keep learning and become better and better at riding, enjoying our time more and more along the way. This is life.

We tell ourselves that we'll be ready to take chances, to have adventures, to find love, when we are more solid, when we know. What are we waiting to know that we don't already know? What makes us think the endless cycle of forgetting and learning isn't going to continue as it has always throughout our lifetime and throughout the ages?

Today is the day to open up to the endless flow of life. Participate in the conversation. Fall and get up again, over and over. Shine. Grow. Learn. Love. And live your life like it is the only one you have to live, give your gratitude, appreciation and love to the world around you like this moment is your only moment. The rest will figure itself out...

Thank you for your darshan Shyam Das!!

Infinite gratitude to every being that touches my life, may my love reach you all, and all beings, everywhere!!


Zoo by Ani Difranco

I can no longer watch TV
Cause that shit really melts my brain
I think I’m what they call sensitive
And easily thrown off my game

All that bloodshed and pettiness
Just makes the world seem so insane
And I just feel drained

When I go to do my food shopping
And all I can see is the packaging
One big mountain of garbage
About to be happening

And I walk past my own self-loathing
Like I walk past animals in the zoo
Trying not to really see them
And the prison they didn’t choose

If I should ever quit your spotlight
I hope you won’t think me wrong
Says the poet to the moonlight
Says the singer to the song

It’s enough just to stay upright
Upright in every single way
Pour your love into your children
Until there’s nothing left to say

Pour your love into your children
Until there’s nothing left to say

Finding Your Gifts and Letting Them Blossom Fully in Your Life

I have been around the block yogically speaking... I mean, I have tried many different modes of practice and integrating practice into my lifestyle, into my worldview, into my heart...

"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... There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you..."    ~ Marianne Williamson

I started with a very ascetic mode of practice and viewing life, and while parts of it fit, and the universal mindset of yoga always fit, it just denied all creativity, all passion, the drive of the heart, which to me, always leads to Truth. Unconditional Love and Truth are my path, no matter how hard I tried to suppress my light, my style, my passions, they always would shine through. Not only will they shine through, but they are attractive and inspiring to others. Others say I brighten their day or make a difference in their lives!! What an enormous honor and humbling opportunity to grow.. so why would I suppress that? Why do most people suppress their passion, their individuality, their creativity?...

For the sake of fitting into a mold called "normal", I suspect. Conformity comes at a very high price. It is basically akin abandoning your soul. Abandon everything that makes you YOU and live just like industry will have you- eating engineered garbage and thus getting sick and depressed, eating out of big pharma's expensive hand, and consuming egregious amounts of disposable plastic objects made in sweat-shops in China to fill the deep spiritual and emotional void developing inside. Is it worth being sick or slowly dying inside the rest of your days to think you feel like you fit in, just so that you can complain to the next guy about the weather and how much life sucks? Is this not the truth if you look at it with unclouded eyes and an open mind?

When we become more ourselves and give us to that path of individuality, we will lose our connection to some people, sometimes even family members. But the only connections that will fall away are the ones that are not real soul connections. They may be rekindled later, or they may not. I have hurt when dear friends have shunned me during dark times because my positivity has flown in the face of their depression. Many people have rejected me in many ways because I am "too damn happy" for them. It stopped hurting me, because I started to see what I saw as a teenage girl... I never cared too much for conforming, and always followed my heart, it was my greatest wisdom and gift that I think I was gracefully born with... people warned me not to be so open to other people so that I don't have my heart broken, and I, in my teenage ferocity, said, "I'm right following my heart, why should I change because they are assholes?" Why should we sell ourselves short because others are not open to us? No reason! Why should we not shine because others are afraid to shine? No reason, in fact, we may inspire others, give them the courage to open up and really live, really love, just because we are uncompromised in our uniqueness.

While why is covered, how is the topic I wanted to discuss, how to figure out what it is we are, truly ARE... what positive qualities automatically surface over and over again? What do we feel naturally passionate about, drawn to, in the world, in others, what do we love to learn about or feel we cannot get enough of?  That is our starting point.

From there, allow yourself to dream, allow yourself to speak with all different sorts of people in all different sorts of places. Let your passions and ideas grow. Don't be afraid for some ideas to flesh out and most ideas to lead only to other ideas, this is how it all works. Open up. Be brave. Be fearless- fear is the opposite of being fully alive.

For me, I used to try to shut up and not talk so much. Sometimes that isn't a bad idea... like when watching a movie, or listening to someone, or really hearing a song, or really being in the moment with nature, or sharing close contact with a loved one.. then I will shut up, blissfully and naturally...  but if it weren't for my ability to paint with my words, I wouldn't be me, I wouldn't benefit from the knowledge and inspiration I has been granted by so many amazing beings. My business survives and now grows and thrives by the connections made by being me and speaking to others. I have found loves, found friends, found knowledge and found my Self through connecting with other beings, especially other human beings.  Other parts of mySelf have been unlocked by knowing other people, again, because I was myself and spoke from my heart with no self-consciousness or restriction. Relationships, especially the major romantic relationships in my life, have each unlocked a space within myself I never knew about.. for one the major factor was travel... for another it was music... love of beauty, intelligence, art, nature, and playfulness are part of the very fabric of me.

I have been blessed with a mind that puts things together like no other. I look at the world in a very unique way. Some would say its a very Aquarian thing. Sometimes my creative perspective leads to momentary confusion on my part, or misunderstanding with others, but mostly it leads me to live in a very free, unconstrained way. I fulfill my societal obligations with the least hassle possible, and live as my free-spirited Self, carving my own path through this lifetime. This is why I am the kind of person that works for herself. I have been blessed with the ability to put all of my natural qualities together and carve it out into a beautiful career serving the world and growing as a person all the way.

We all may not be meant to work for ourselves- it has ups and downs!! Yet, we all have this ability to put together our passions into a satisfying, gratifying, inspiring and extraordinary way of life. Our career ideally will challenge us and honor our needs so that we can stay nourished, refreshed and whole, but it isn't "who we are". Our hobbies, our choices outside of the office, what causes we are active with, what we choose to do with our time on this earth describes us. Let the way you spend your time be worthy of you as a person. Pour your love into your lifestyle. 

We all have to eat, clean the house, make a living financially, and interact with the world. HOW we choose to fulfill these roles is unique to us, and shouldn't by any means be compared to any societal standards of expectancy or normalcy. It may take time, but live as your Self, and you will attract like-minded beings, you will form your own tribe. Maybe what satisfies you is very simple, maybe very wild and adventurous. As long as you are not kidding yourself, not saying, "I would do this, this or that if I could, but..." BUT NOTHING!! This is your life, happening one moment at a time! Don't resign to shrink into the corner and let others live. LIVE FULLY! Live Vividly!! Follow your passions! Think of good reasons not to.. I bet you will find more compelling evidence to live then slowly dry up and blow away!

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."   ~Anais Nin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Are NOT Under Attack: stop taking everything personally

This is a topic that surfaces frequently because nearly EVERYONE does it at one point or another, and it is not at all productive. I still do it, and now I see myself doing it and sort of laugh, even if I'm uncomfortable at the same time. I encourage you to develop the same regard for this highly egoic behavior.

A break-up: you are totally in this amazing relationship and suddenly the other ceases to be as connected, shut down completely and or runs away. It simply must be a reflection of their regard for you, your worth as a person and as a mate, right?

Correspondence: you call, text, or email someone, and don't receive instant response, the other person must have been offended or is certainly rejecting you, right?

Moods: someone gives you a dirty look, acts snobishly, or is unusually abrupt with you or unenthusiastic in speaking with you. Friends or strangers, the teller at the bank, the person at the Taco Bell drive-thru, your mom- you must have done something in their eyes to have made them mad at you or they must not think you are as good as them or something, right?

Rejection: that someone you are romantically interested in doesn't know that you exist... You must be totally ugly and unlovable, right?

In each moment, every single person has his or her own set of filters in his or her own mind, running all information and experiences through those filters colors the interpretation of the meaning. We see what we want to see, or what we see as bent through the lenses of our minds. What are these filters made of? Each person has his or her own chain of experience- unique head-stuff, insecurities, plus the history of individual life experience and experiences that day and at that very moment. We are such intuitive beings that we pick up on the energy of others- even subtle discomfort, irritation, dissatisfaction and the entire gamut of human emotions, but we make the mistake of thinking that they all must be directed towards us. That is where we go wrong and cause unneeded hurt to ourselves and others.

What if that someone ran away from the relationship because they were truly frightened to feel something so deep? What if that person is just genuinely busy, having a hectic time and happens to be unable to write back for a while? Maybe someone's mood is sour because they have a headache, their blood sugar is very low or high, they are self-conscious, or upset at something that has nothing to do with you? Maybe that person doesn't notice you, but maybe they are intimidated by you, or assume you are in a relationship? To every situation there are infinite possibilities. If we choose to take everything personally we only give ourselves an off-putting, negative, paranoid, insecure vibe, which actually will repel the positive people and situations we are hoping to attract.

Next time you are sure the world is out to get you, try and broaden your perspective to include the other possible permutations of the situation. If you don't want someone to be upset with you or reject you, don't reject them by assuming they dislike you every time they breathe in a way that isn't in line with your expectations. Dispel your expectations when you can because they will lead to disappointment, unless they can roll with the unfolding of truth/reality moment to moment.

Believe in yourself, in your goodness, in your lovable qualities, in the fact that you do the best you can each day. When you stop acting like a victim or feeling scared of the opinions of others, you can actually grow in confidence, patience, and beauty every day...

Incredible, Versatile Curried Cashews with Parsley

Oh man, this is Soooooooo good! The most delicious thing I've tasted in a long time! This photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful contrast of curry powder's bold yellow, parsley's bright green and if you wish, add some paprika on top or a tomato slice for red!

You can eat it straight like I did, or you can roll it into balls and dehydrate for a sort of falafel, or add some carrots and or onions and press into veggie patties. Fresh is best in my world, I don't need fancy shapes!

Curried Cashews with Parsley

1 big handful soaked raw cashews

1 small spoon Bragg's liquid aminos

1/2 clove fresh garlic

1 big handful parsley

A decent spoon of good curry powder

Small spoon olive oil

Combine in food processor until as consistent as possible, probably not smooth, but consistent. Maybe add a dash of salt.

Enjoy!!!! <3, laura

Chakras, Energy, Posture + Fulfilment in Life: a surprisingly simple primer

For the discerning modern person, very busy, atrophied attention-span and all, here is all you need to know about chakras, energy and posture- the Reader's Digest version! ; ) But more seriously this is a good review or beginning point for those interested in learning how philosophy meets practical application in our lives.

It is a very complex interaction- the body, mind, energy interface that is the human experience. We are not informed or prepared in public schools to actually understand how to take care of ourselves and trouble-shoot illness, discomfort, and negativity. So here is one small point that makes a huge difference it my physical, mental, emotional well-being on a daily basis...

Most people, even those of which practice decent posture, don't stop to be conscious of how they direct energy/the force of gravity through their bodies. Unless you are trained in yoga, or perhaps ballet, you never would think that such an opportunity even exists... However it does, in each moment, and if we are unconscious about it, we slowly deteriorate the quality of our bones and joints, and our overall health.

The chakras are subtle (invisible to the eye, or pretend for the skeptics!) energy centers along the spine corresponding with major glands throughout the body. When we sit or stand unconsciously, we compress the entire abdomen with more pressure then our structure is meant to support. Energetically speaking, this obstructs the flow of energy, life force, diminishing our vitality. On the physical side of the very same experience, we deteriorate the quality of our spinal column with this extra pressure, and we greatly reduce both nerve function and blood supply to our major organs. This causes degenerative and "chronic" disease and lots of discomfort- bloating, heaviness, digestive issues and so on.
Ideally, energetically, we want a free flow of energy from the lower chakras up through all of the upper chakras, which simply isn't possible with this caveman-collapsing-into-gravity syndrome we have going on.

So how are we supposed to be doing our thing, us human beings? Here's the rundown from the ground up!
First of all: our connection to the earth is crucial- this is our foundation. When sitting your main connection is through the pelvis, the hip bones, or sitting bones as yogis often call them. Standing, obviously, the feet form the foundation. Use the whole foot evenly, without collapsing the arch. PRESS into the earth just a bit. You will already feel the energy lifting up through your body- you will sit or stand a little straighter.

Then keep your pelvis neutral, in other words don't let your lower back round out or belly hang out, balance in the middle. Draw the navel toward the spine. This helps with digestive health, proper alignment, core strength, and promotes confidence. By doing this, you should still be able to breathe smoothly, and it directs the energy flow up from the lower chakras to the upper chakras.

From there, open your chest fully, don't let the shoulders round forward- it is like caving in your heart. Instead keep your chest high, shoulders relaxed down, shoulder blades a little bit drawn towards the ground behind. Breathe well, freely and smoothly.

Try not to let your head slowly creep forward into your monitor. Like I so quaintly joked in my personal trainer days, "you're neck ain't nothin' but a part of your spine!" (Ha ha! I am a lovable goof ball!).

All of our strength and ease currently lies in our default posture, so it takes patience and diligence to retrain the body to a healthy posture, but the results physically, mentally, emotionally are incredible. Also, we have to become more present, more aware in each moment to do this work, so our mindfulness grows. Mindfulness, or presence, is the single most powerful catalyst for creativity, joy, and fulfillment in life.

So there is it, in a nutshell- how and why bother to stand up and sit up like good human beings, from the subtle and physical perspectives. If the body feels terrible, if energy flow is blocked, our happiness and ease are sharply reduced. We feel happier and better at every level when we can move and use our energy the way it is meant to interact with the body for ideal fulfillment in life.

With love for all life~ laura

Popeye Fruit + Green Smoothie (Spinach!)

Finn approves! : D It ended up a little drab color-wise only because of the combo of blueberries and spinach yields a fairly neutral color! lol!

Popeye Berry Smoothie:

2 small bunches baby spinach- rip off at the main stems (ours is very dark green + delightful, from our Farmer's Market)

A big handful of organic blueberries

A small handful of organic strawberries

Juice of one lemon

A couple spoons of milled flaxseed

1 and a half organic bananas

Blend with gratitude and cosmic love, add a few raisins or dash of maple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten if desired...

Enjoy with a smile! : D

       with <3 for the whole universe~ laura

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Laws of the Universe~ How We Create Our Experience from a Scientific Sort of View.

If you take a few moments to reflect on each of these concepts, it makes sense, from philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific (quantum physics) viewpoints...


These same ideas and concepts were outlined by great wise ones like the Buddha, Jesus (the historical figure), and countless poets, singers, artists of all kinds, throughout the ages.

Even if you are skeptical, why don't you try a living experiment: with the idea of energy being a very real thing, and knowing that there is measurable energy in the human body, and thinking burns energy, it may begin to make some sense. Faith in an idea shouldn't be blind- put it to the test, see if you exercise positive, passionate, compassionate thinking for a few months if you don't see any benefits or interesting results.... Good luck and let me know how the experiment goes! <3~ laura



The 7 Natural laws of the universe:

The Law of Vibration states that everything vibrates and nothing rests. Vibrations of the same frequency resonate with each other, so like attracts like energy. Everything is energy, including your thoughts. Consistently focusing on a particular thought or idea attracts its vibrational match. How to apply it: Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want.

The Law of Relativity states that nothing is what it is until you relate it to something. Point of view is determined by what the observer is relating to. The nature, value, or quality of something can only be measured in relation to another object. How to apply it: Practice relating your situation to something worse than yours, and you will feel good about where you are.

The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every cause has an effect, and every effect has a cause. Be at cause for what you desire, and you will get the effect. All thought is creative, so be careful what you wish for… you will get it. How to apply it: Consistently think and act on what you desire to be effective at getting it.

The Law of Polarity states that everything has an opposite. Hot-Cold, Light-Dark, Up-Down, Good-Bad. In the absense of that which you are not, that which you are… is not. Polar opposites make existence possible. If what you are not didn’t coexist with what you are, then what you are could not be. Therefore, do not condemn or criticize what you are not or what you don’t want. How to apply it: Look for the good in people and situations. What you focus on, you make bigger in your life.

The Law of Rythym states that everything has a natural cycle. The tides go in and back out, night follows day, and life regenerates itself. We all have good times and bad times, but nothing stays the same. Change is constant. Knowing that “This too shall pass” is great wisdom about life’s ebb and flow. How to apply it: When you are on a down swing, know that things will get better. Think of the good times that are coming.

The Law of Gestation states that everything takes time to manifest. All things have a beginning and grow into form as more energy is added to it. Thoughts are like seeds planted in our fertile minds that bloom into our physical experience if we have nourished them. How to apply it: Stay focused and know that your goals will become reality when the time is right.

The Law of Transmutation states that energy moves in and out of physical form. Your thoughts are creative energy. The more you focus your thinking on what you desire, the more you harness your creative power to move that energy into results in your life. The Universe organizes itself according to your thoughts. How to apply it: Put your energy and effort, your thoughts and actions into attracting what you desire, and you will surely attract the physical manifestation of that energy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Purpose of Suffering.. or at least one of the positive purposes it serves

What I have seen in my life, coming into sharper and sharper focus, is that fact that suffering has many positive purposes. Granted, if we all always suffered severely, we would probably just want to die and give up on this whole physical plane thing, but suffering comes and goes in cycles like anything else.

Generally, suffering comes from resistance, fear, and destructive/loss cycles of life... times when we lose something or someone, or close a chapter to our life story. One chapter closes so that another can begin, though, we must always remember that...

What I have seen though, at least as a healer of sorts, is that every single way I have ever suffered has given me a connection to another being years later.. my struggle that I overcame in the past (sometimes distant past, sometimes maybe a week ago!) is the very same way in which this other person is now caught, suffering, struggling, and I now have the direct experience and thus humility and insights, to in some way be of service.

This has happened many times over in my world. It gives me more peace when I go through difficult times, since I know that I am not alone. I cease to feel sorry for myself, or at least get out of that self-pity pool much quicker, perhaps just a fast dip! I can see the purposeful patterns emerging in my lifetime.. and I cannot pretend to know exactly what shall be, but as my intuition sharpens I feel it happening from an earlier and earlier point.

It is hard to roll with difficult experiences with grace.. it takes enormous trust, faith, not in the conventional sense so much as faith in your own inner strength and ability to persevere. Trusting that life brings about purposeful experiences and a purposeful arrangement helps give us something to hold on to. This concept is called "vinyasa" in Sanskrit- purposeful arrangement, to place in a special way, or a cycle with phases, such as the seasons or moon cycles.

 Another concept that ties into this is synchronicity, which, once you are open to, gives you a LOT of inspiration, joy, and strength... Synchronicity is seeing everything that happens as purposeful, and thinking that coincidences don't blindly exist, but instead are very meaningful. A way to view it is as if everything that happens in your life is part of a conversation with the universe (or a higher power or however you perceive it to work in your worldview)... everything is purposeful, even your suffering.. and when you see yourself heal, move on happier then ever and more full of life, you can easily start to feel this way. Then when you in turn, quite naturally, see the opportunity arise to use that experience to help ease another's suffering, it can be powerfully encouraging. Then when you find another difficult transition, confidence has grown, it becomes easier and easier.

Life is not bleak... it can be bliss... we just have to adjust and attune our perceptions to an increasingly larger and larger view to see it....

Blessings!  ~<3, laura

Friday, April 20, 2012

If You're Not by Ani Difranco

If you are uncomfortable with explicit language this one won't be your cup of tea. The message is so good it is worth it if you don't mind a cuss word or a few.

Many of Ani's songs are very consciousness, animal and human rights oriented.. Atom is a really great one to look up the lyrics too as well. This one is playful but the message is right on and in line with yoga...

If Yr Not~ Ani Difranco

If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not getting happier as you get older
Then you’re fuckin’ up

If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not aware that what you put out
Is what you get back
That you make the world through the way you act
You can’t harness the awesome power of that fact

And it builds up, it builds up
It builds up, it builds up
Yeah your love builds up till it’s bigger than you
Then it just carries you through
You better ready yourself cause whatcha gonna do
If you’re not

If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not, if you’re not
If you’re not, oh if you’re not

If you’re not getting happier as you get older
Then you’re fuckin’ up

The Fear of Freedom

I believe it was Nelson Mandela that pointed out that we have to first realized we are imprisoned before we can free ourselves.

We oftentimes don't even realize how trapped we are in unconscious beliefs and filters, or how many of our daily actions are driven by a desire to avoid the raw intensity of the present moment.

I have noticed that not only stimulation like smoking, TV, internet/electronics, shopping, drugs and alcohol that distracts us from the experience of the moment and makes us less conscious, but also food choices make up an unconscious barrier between us and the moment.

Many people are familiar with the idea of emotional eating: eating driven by boredom or as a reaction to difficult emotions or to fill an energetic/emotional void. I have seen that the choices of what we consume as well plays into this pattern. Processed and animal foods block the most awareness, distract us from the moment the most deeply. Even cooked plant-based foods, especially sweets and starches, even whole-food ones stand as a buffer between us and our experience. Raw foods give us the least ability to avert our awareness from reality in each moment- it is a raw experience on all levels.

A prison can be comfortable if it is all we have known, and fear of the unknown, can also be a fear of success... Who will we become when we can't identify ourselves by our stress, drama, illness or disabilities any longer?

We are spirits, energetic beings, manifesting bodies. Bodies can seem burdensome and heavy and we crave lightness, freedom, expansiveness... But if the heaviness is all we have ever known, freedom can be overwhelming and scary. We can run away from real love, material success, and happiness in all forms due to this fear of our potential and the unknown. Even if this way of life causes sickness, misery, loneliness, negativity, suffering.. it is all I have ever known about living, so having to take responsibility and carve my own path is frightening.

When we see ourselves running away from a magnificent opportunity, from a new experience, from a loving relationship, we should check in with our motivations and investigate if it is truly the action in the best interest of all involved, for their short- + long-term health, happiness and growth, or if we are just afraid to free ourselves to move forward and embrace the incredible uncharted adventure of life lived fully.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


If you have or can find a dehydrator, you are set to make the greatest chip creation ever!!!!!
Wash and dry the kale, preferably organic, rub generously with olive oil and sprinkle on some sea salt. Dehydrate for about 4 hours until all the moisture is gone, and love up the delightful, crispy deliciousness!!!!! : D

With love~ laura

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wholegrain Blueberry-Sesame Muffins: by Finn's request! : D

This is my first time baking anything sweet since going raw, but the reviews are in and they get the approval of the toddler and picky adult male demographic representatives. ; )

Amounts are approximate because I cook by sight and feel more then measurement. Take heart because muffins are forgiving creations!

Wholegrain Blueberry-Sesame Muffins: (makes about 18 muffins)

2.5 cups stoneground whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. Baking powder (non-aluminum)
A pinch of salt
1 to 1.5 cups organic blueberries (we used frozen)
2 tbsp. Ground flaxseed
2 tbsp. Sesame seeds
1 tbsp. Chia seeds
3/4 or more (or less) sugar to taste
1-2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
1/4 cup olive oil

(Orange peel would go well, or lemon peel or juice if you are feeling the citrus vibe)

Bake on 375 degrees F in well-oiled muffin pan for about 25 minutes, until a knife inserted in center of the biggest one comes out clean. Turn off oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Take out and cool in pan 5 minutes, then carefully pry them out and cool on a wire rack!

Voila! Enjoy with smiles and gratitude, perhaps while looking ot the window, breathing fresh air and listening to bird songs, or your favorite tunes!

With all my love to all the universe!! ~laura

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vegan Pizza- for all you cooked food addicts ; )

Whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, green peppers, onions, vegan pepperoni (Tofurkey brand), and mozerella style Daiya (vegan, soy-free "cheese")!

Pizza Dough
(Bread-maker recipe, I imagine you can mix + knead it up yourself)

1/2 cup bran (I used oat, but wheat works too)
4 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 3/4 tsp. Salt
2+ tbsp. Olive oil
1 3/4 tsp. Active dry yeast

For bread-maker, add all wet ingredients + sugar, then all dry, adding yeast to a well in center. Turn on to pizza dough setting. Ta da!!

For human-powered dough making, dissolve sugar in warmed water ( just over skin temp. Not hotter then 106 degrees F). Add yeast, let set a few minutes while you mix dry ingredients. Add wet to wet, then wet to a well in the center of well-mixed ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes (fold, push, quarter turn, over + over), rest 20 minutes, knead 5 more minutes, and cover with a towel to raise somewhere warm for 25 minutes.

Take dough and press onto well-oiled cookie sheet or pizza stone to desire thickness. A pastry docker can be used, or a fork for that matter, to poke holes in the center of the crust to keep it from getting too thick if a thinner crust is desired.

Spread on sauce, vegan pepperoni (or marinated tofu chunks, Tofurkey vegan sausage, white beans, etc.), add Daiya "cheese", and veggies, diced finely. We used peppers and onions as our stand-by, but green and/or black olives, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, pineapple chunks, or anything else you can think of possibly enjoying will do.

On Long Island, I first encountered "salad pizza"- a thin crust baked completely plain, the afterwards a garden salad of shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, etc. is added on top, dressed with Italian dressing. Pretty tasty!!

Bake your pizza on 375-425 degrees F depending on your oven and inclination. Keep your eyes peeled, but generally it takes 25-45 minutes depending on thickness, bake-ware, oven, altitude, and phase of the moon ; )

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mourning the Mirage

I believe in love. I believe that two people can stay together for a very long time and truly remain in love with each other. I also believe that finding this kind of love is a birthright, but that most people jump the gun and miss the mark. I don't know about there being just one... I tend to see romantic relationships as a progression, and an opportunity for growth, perhaps ending up at one that works for the long haul... or perhaps just relationships of varying lengths throughout our lifetime... the answer to this probably varies for each person's life story.

Most, if not all, people have the strong urge to pair up- to find someone, a partner, to share life with. We all want someone to love us just the way we are, through thick and thin, someone to have fun with, to be intimate with, to curl up with, a friend, but so much more. And no one wants to get old alone, right? We want a partner in life especially perhaps so that we are not lonely when we are old and so that we do not die alone.

I think all too often, because we are so excited to find this someone or a someone that fits the bill, we take our good intentions and excitement too far and we meet someone that we like alright, and in our heads we try to make the square peg fit into the round hole. We kind of convince ourselves that this person is exactly what we want and need, because, well, they are here now. We sell ourselves a dream, we compromise, or settle as people often say.

Human beings are very excellent at rationalizing things. We can even rationalize ourselves into love. My theory on falling in love is that we see this person we have met, and we know or perceive some things about them, but there are many gaps where we simply do not have information. Our mind superimposes our own feelings, wishes and views upon them, filling in these gaps and creating a connection to them as being who and what we perceive them to be- filled with our own ideas as much as or more then the reality of who they actually are.

When the "honeymoon stage" wears off, I think we begin to see someone as a little bit closer to what or who they are, as opposed to the image we have built in our minds of who we imagined them to be that we actually fell in love with. Then we may fall in love with the more real version of who they are, or we may say to ourselves, maybe even to them, "you've changed. I wish you would be the same as when we first fell in love.", "Why are things so different?", "What changed?" We may be pleasantly surprized, and form a solid relationship based on two people caring about each other, growing as individuals and growing together.  This is the ideal scenario, and it certainly can and does happen.

Sadly, more often we are incredibly let down when we reach this point. But because we had such a strong connection and investment in who we thought they were, we stay. We also stay often times because no one wants to be lonely, or be the bad guy or girl that breaks a heart. So we drag out a relationship that we are not happy in well past the point of realization that this is not working and is over. This describes a lot of marriages and relationships, unfortunately. We have all seen it and or been there: the couple that bickers over nothing, shows no signs of being in love, caring, touching or even intimacy. It is the zombie-ghost-image of a couple. No one wants it, but so many people settle for it for fear of social disapproval, for fear of hurting the other (even though nothing would hurt me worse then being unwanted and strung along), for fear of being alone (as if there are no other people in the universe or as if sleeping alone might kill you instantly).

People are clingers, we are. We get attached to an idea of reality and like to stick to that better then owning up to real truth because we are scared little beings. We seem so mighty when we raze a landscape of trees to build a strip mall, or when we kill each other with giant, crazy weapons for very archaic or materialistic motives, but when it comes to the one-on-one scale, and our inner workings, we are very fragile and frightened creatures.

Many break-ups and divorces are a long time coming before they come, and this whole experience is why... we were never in love with each other, but in love with the idea we had of who the other was. When we woke up and saw this other person for who they actually were, we realized we weren't really connected.

Knowing this can help make handling break-ups easier. We begin to see that instead of losing "the one" we are moving forward and one step closer to finding someone we are genuinely in love with. We have to recognize the image we had of our partner is what we were in love with and who we are missing. We can have great fondness or even love for the person we actually were with... in time we may develop a very deep friendship. And we can move forward, and with great care we can listen deeply and honestly to our hearts and let ourselves fall in love naturally, instead of rushing it or forcing it.

Even very conscious people will most likely superimpose some of their own wishes upon the reality of the being they are with at the start, but when that image fades, it is possible to recognize the difference between fantasy and reality and love reality when it sets in. It takes discernment, patience, and compassion. It takes honesty and strength to be upfront with ourselves, because love is an interesting thing. We can choose to be loving people, and to widen our circle of compassion to include all beings, all life, the entire universe, but romantic love is a fickle thing. True romantic compatability, being "in love" as it is called, I believe is a very subtle thing. It is based on energy and vibrations... either two beings are harmonious or not, and the depth of their harmony determines the depth of their relationship. If as two beings progress through life, as both evolve and change, if their energetic vibrations remain harmonious through all of the transformations, then they will happily be able to stay together. There are likely to be times when they are not harmonious here and there, but harmony can be cultivated, and these patches where they do not resonate beautifully should be brief. Too many people remain trapped and held back out of fear, when this is actually stunting both people tremendously; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually....

We can strive to become as aware as possible, to avoid these pitfalls, to own the truth of our life situation with strength and integrity, out of respect for ourselves and for each other. We can let go of trying to change the other person to fit the ideas and images we projected onto them or wished for them to fulfill and we can allow ourselves to either move on or fall in love with the actual person we are with. Any move made in honesty, compassion and integrity with reality will enrich both people's lives for the better, even if pain is part of the process.

Yummy raw picnic! : )

Today's menu:

Carrot-celery salad with sprouted wheatberries (my original)


Dandelion pesto (idea from Prof. Johanna Sophia of Saratoga, from Sophia International Learning Center)

Carrot celery salad with sprouted wheatberries:

1 carrot
3 stalks celery
2 dandelion greens or a scant handful of fresh parsely
1/4 to 1/2 cup already sprouted wheatberries
Juice of half a lemon
First-cold press olive oil
A teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root

Mince carrot, greens + celery in food processor, add rest, relax and enjoy! Better after sitting a little while.

Dandelion Pesto:

Nuts, greens, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt. That's the basic plan for innumerable variations of raw-vegan pesto that I learned from Prof. Sophia.

This time round I used a huge bunch of dandelion greens from the yard, walnuts, lots of lemon juice, lots of garlic, some olive oil + salt.

Pesto is amazing on raw flatbreads, crackers, or by itself!

Blissfully yours, my dear sweet universe!... ~laura

Glory be!! Homemade vegan cheese!!!!! : D

Cheese-lovers, your lives are saved! This is cheap, easy and amazing!
A million thumbs up, and if cows had thumbs, they'd be up too!

I got this recipe from: Living Cuisine- The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods by Renee Loux Underkoffler. This book is HIGHLY recommended for anyone interested in eating more vegan or raw foods, and definitely for those rebels who want to go all vegan or raw!! ; )

Take one cup of any raw nut or seed or combo, and soak overnight (6-12 hours). Drain, rinse, and put into food processor with 2 teaspoons unpasteurized miso. Pulse until mixed and chunky like cottage cheese.

Put in a clean glass jar in a warm place (preferably 85 - 95 degrees F) for 6-12 hours. Make sure to cover jar with cheesecloth or linen + a rubber band. Take the cheese, wrapped in cheesecloth, and wring all the whey out. You can put it in the food processor with a little olive oil and blend until smooth. You can also season it anyway you can imagine, be creative!

I made my first batch with cashews, and blended it only with olive oil + salt. It tastes a little cheddary, like those Wisconsin crock cheese things, but blended with olive oil, it tastes like American cheese!

Our lives are saved! Cows rejoice! Pity if you are allergic to nuts, but you can use seeds, like sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and so on.

Blessings! Enjoy in radiant positivity!

: D ~laura

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Gracefully Survive Transformations (should you ever need some ideas)

I cannot say when I experienced my first personal revolution.. when I decided to follow my heart instead of my head, or my parents, or what is considered the "normal", "logical", or "proper" path... We all come to crossroads in life, when we feel how heavy the weight of our choices are, that everything will never be the same again based on our decisions, or when we experience the death of a loved one or loss of a relationship or even the loss of a plan or dream that meant everything to us. Life will never be the same again...

This ties in with our teaching theme for April.. Healing, letting-go and growing in the experience of loss...

Even if death is not the loss we are experiencing, any time a chapter or era in our lives comes to a close, it is a small death. It is the "death before we die" that Rumi speaks of. Who we thought we were is no longer who we are. Life is different now. Our future has changed, our possibilities are very different. We are not that person that lived in that reality, we are somehow new and different.

This can lead to a feeling of disintegration, literally dis-integration. In time we re-integrate, we become grounded again, in our new, present circumstances. When the ground shifts beneath the feet, it sends you down to your knees. There is a deep sense of surrender. Just like the weakest moments spent before vomiting, we tend to be broken open, not physically so much as emotionally. Completely surrendered to what will happen.
             'Okay!!!! Please!!!!!! Just get it over with, let is go, c'mon.... Oh I can't take this!!!!!!'

The suffering is the greatest when we resist or fight it, so the first thing to realize is that no amount of denial or refusal is going to change reality in this moment. We are better off opening ourselves to it fully, resist nothing.... which means feeling the raw, searing pain of our circumstance.

 In the case of a break-up, for example- there is the sting of embarassment, of betrayal, of rejection; the punched-in-the-gut feeling of love that is not returned or the grimy, clinging feeling of the desperate grasping of one who wants you to be in love with them when you are not, anger, frustration, the shattering of something you thought would last longer or always be there, and more depending on the specific dynamic you are experiencing. This is not easy stuff, not for the faint of heart... but it is real. We have all or will all experience heartbreak in various forms at some time or another. Most of us will have our hearts broken in various ways numerous times during the course of our lifetime.

After accepting the reality, we can let ourselves have permission to feel, space to process, time to mourn. I like to give myself 3 whole days all to myself to feel whatever I need to feel, including self-pity, agony, sadness, depression, desperation, whatever. I cry out loud, I lay all the right music to get me sad or indignant or clear and happy again. I sing my heart out, I cry some more, I walk outside, I sleep a lot.. whatever I need. Then, day by day after that, I turn my focus deeper and deeper into the rest of my life- instead of clinging to what happened and what isn't anymore, I focus on what is and pour myself into that.

Remember that you are not the first person to feel what you feel, you are joining almost every being on the planet in one way or another. We all have loss, pain, sadness and fear at sometime or another. In this way we can develop our compassion and empathy. Suffering makes us love more.. as our heart breaks, it splits wide open, and as long as we embrace and not deny our experience, it heals wider then ever, we are capable of greater and greater love and compassion. Whenever I go through heartbreaks and difficult times, I wish for a heart big enough to swallow all this pain and love ever more then before.

So after a few days of heavy-duty processing and accepting, we can work on moving forward. Pour youself into your life as it is. Do good things for others, because it makes one feel so much better. We are at our best when we unselfishly help others. Take care of yourself too, mind, body and heart. Find a balance between doing good for others/being with others, doing your work, and taking care of yourself and being alone. Time alone is the space that allows us to come back to our Self. It is as if we are a foam cushion and life in the busy world is the ass sitting on us, we need to have time alone to bounce back into our shape, or else we will get carried away from who we are by life's little distractions.

"I won't let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me anymore"  ~ Jack White

We tend to let ourselves get molded into other shapes by our relationships with others, not just romantically but also by friends, family, co-workers. We pick up positive and neagtive habits. The ones that inspire us and bring us good health or help us to be more creative, fulfilled or compassion we can keep, they are us. The ones that drag us and those around us down, like gossiping, complaining, judging, excessive cursing, impatience, smoking.. these habits can go, they cannot be who we are at our essence, because they make us feel mean, depressed, or seperated from our iner greatness or health. So whenever we go through a transformation in life, we can reflect on what habits we have that are ready to leave us- the ones that keeps us seperated from our happiness, health, creativity and confidence.... and we can build stronger connections to the qualities and habits we have that are healthful, helpful, inspiring and being out our confidence and very best. Journalling this is helpful.. since we are a new person coming through a transition, clarifying to ourself who this new one is can be very grounding and clarifying, helping the transitional chaos to begin to subside.

Try not to dwell on the past... make peace knowing that you (and others) do the best they understand how to do in each moment given their awareness and inner experience. Don't worry too far ahead. Try to take things one day and one moment at a time. Your life will take a new shape and that shape will become clear to you very soon.

*****Remember to practice yoga and or meditation, during the most stressful times, try to practice everyday to help you process the energy. I know that this is CRUCIAL, absolutely MANDITORY for me if I wish to stay together as much as possible and suffer the least I can manage during difficult times. My reactions to others are more harsh when I do not do this.

Taking care of your body's needs, likewise, makes the process easier. If your mental and emotional state is precarious and tender, you can at least keep a comfortable, healthy body. Make sure to get extra sleep whenever possible; eat clean, vegan foods, as much organic and raw as possible; drink plenty of pure water, kombucha, herbal teas, and minimal to no coffee, alcohol or other intoxicants that will pollute your body and cloud your experience.

Give yourself completely to the experience, and trust that it will all work out for the highest and greatest good of all involved. Trust in the unfolding of reality, in the benevolence of the universe. If you send positive energy out, positive energy will come back to you, so keep your chin up, your mind open and your hopes high ( with no hard expectations!!). You have survived thus far so you shall survive this. One basic rule is that everything is in a state of constant change in life, so know that this will change, will not last forever.. and believe that life will get better then ever. Believe it and it will, as long as your mind is open to flow with reality as it unfolds. Good luck and blessings!

with <3, laura

Pleasantly Surprizing +Satisfying Raw Veggie Soup

Dear Universe,
You may prefer this in the Summertime... You can add greens, enjoy with olive oil + salted kale chips, raw crackers, or a garden salad...

Raw Veggie Soup

One bowl:
3 soaked sun-dried tomatoes with extra soaking water, about one cup
2 stalks celery
1/2 carrot
1/4 onion
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Fresh ginger root, 1/4 x 1/2 inch chunk
6 soaked raw pecans
Salt to taste
Optional: red miso, bragg's liquid aminos, anything else you wish, fresh herbs, greens, etc.

Put everything into your food processor or Vitamix (lucky! : P Lol.)
And blend it up, using the soaking water from the tomatoes to thin to the perfect brothy consistency, in your humble opinion.
Enjoy in love, bliss and gratitude!

Offered w/ <3, Laura

Monday, April 9, 2012

Zucchini Jicama Salad

A light + fulfiling salad!! Enjoy! : )

Zucchini, sliced into thin coins or julienned
Jicama root, peeled and julienned
Soaked sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Basil, oregano, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, optional crushe red pepper!

* walnuts would also go well in this...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ginger Fruit Smoothie

Banana, strawberries, pineapple, hemp seeds, fresh grated ginger, love and cosmic gratitude!!!!     

 ~<3, laura

Caught me red-handed! Beet Salad

There are so many salad recipes for raw beets... They are earthy and sweet, colorful and cleansing... Perfect for Spring holiday meals.

Add any form of green herbs- dandelion, parsely, cilantro, chives, or other favorites to really complete this recipe. To make it a meal in itself, add raw nuts such as almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, or add sesame or hemp seeds.

This makes enough for 2-3 as a meal or for 6 as a light side... Enjoy in brilliant health + happiness! ~ <3, laura

Jicama Beet Salad

1 beet grated
1 carrot grated
1/2 small jicama root, peeled + chopped
1/2 finely diced fresh pineapple

Add 1/2 chopped greens
1/2 cup nuts or 1/4 seeds

You can juice a fresh lemon over it, drizzle on olive oil, add salt + spices or herbs of choice to completely change the flavor

OR just enjoy the fresh, light taste, welcoming the bright side of the year!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 2012: Healing and Letting-Go~ Flowing onward...

April 2012: Healing and Letting-Go~ Flowing onward...

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."     ~Anais Nin

Part of this path, this human experience, is hurting. We all usually far prefer happiness over pain. However, we can't have one without the other. So what do we do!? How do we deal?

Well, we can't go around it.. it will find us. We can't stick it down somewhere deep inside of us in some sort of a cement-blockaded fallout shelter... because it will rot and corrupt our future happiness and physical health (I have a theory that suppressed emotions are related to cancer). We simply have to open the door and let it in... we have to let it flow over us and around us and through us.. cold, cold river water in the mountains, stick your feet right in, feel the shock, feel the invigoration, allow it completely... shock, sting, wanting to run away, numbness, intensity, and somehow, somewhere, the heaviness, the jumble, is relieved, released, and we are somehow sharper, freer, more alive and blissful then ever. And we will see how and why we had to experience what we have, to be who we really are.

Mourning the end of a relationship, be it to death, break-up, or moving far apart, fading away... it is a form of death. It feels like dying, sometimes and at some point we feel as if we don't care if we live or die. Take heart, because this is just part of it. A part of us does die, like dried leaves on a house plant, we shed our old views of how it was supposed to be, who we were, what our relationship was, who the other person was, and we start fresh. A new reality is born. A fresh opportunity to live, to be, to move forward into the unknown without fear- with excitement and joy.

Let go completely of the past views. Let the pain ravage through you, cry, feel, move that energy, and let yourself heal.
When it happens that you are experiencing a transformation, a loss, a break-up, and you must heal, let yourself feel it without fear. You are not alone, you are not the only person who has felt this, and you will move forward into a brighter future, as long as you can give yourSelf completely to the present.

<3~ laura