this past year, i started to write articles for Breaking Muscle. i am stoked that two of my articles made it in the Top 10 Nutritional Articles for 2012! i am excited to continue with my writing and to share my knowledge and experiences with all of you. thanks for the support!
Tags: Debbie Ford, Goddess, Personal Growth, Women
we are now in the flow of change, new beginnings, relationships, experiences and transformations after passing through winter solstice 2012. i had a beautiful celebration that day that i will share later. for now, i am holding myself accountable in the second week of posting a quote that continues to inspire me. i posted this quote on my facebook page this past summer and was blow away by the attention it received! i am honored to pass on the teachings of Debbie Ford and know that i am a ripple in the positive effect that is occurring with us all. whether we acknowledge it or not, change is upon us and we are now stepping towards a more Goddess-oriented world. i intuitively feel that this is the beginning of women stepping up and become an even stronger presence in their community, family, work place and world. one intention i am holding space for in 2013, is to tap into my warrior-goddess-self and to step into the role that i am here to fulfill: being a leader!! she has been knocking at my door the past year and now i am ready to open!
i am also excited about the unexpected Very Inspiring Blogger Award nomination i received from Naiad and the moon of!!! (i will respond to it after vacation.) over the past month, i have been getting to know other inspiring bloggers who are writing to spread positive energy and good news!! we are all the ripple in the sea and together we can do so much!
Books written by Inspiring Women:
Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence. -Debbie Ford
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. -Brene Brown
The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles. -Marianne Williamson
The Green Intention: Living in Sustainable Joy. -Sandy Moore
The Soul of Money. -Lynne Twist
Tags: Buddhism, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings, Getting Unstuck, Pema Chödrön, Religion and Spirituality, Start Where You Are: A Guide To Compassionate Living
try to learn to stay. learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. and work with it instead of against it. -Pema Chodron
i have been intently studying the Buddhist teachings of Pema Chodron over the last six months. coming from a Christian background of being told what is “right” and what is “wrong”, Buddhism offers an approach that is filled with unconditional love, compassion and acceptance for all sentient beings. diving into the works of Pema Chodron has opened my heart and mind to cultivating love and kindness to myself and the experiences i face each day.
the quote i chose for this week was one that i meditate on frequently. simply learning to stay in your body. stay with your thoughts. stay with your joys and your fears. stay in the present moment. i challenge you to give it a try this week. you have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain from within. namaste.
books i have read and re-read many times (and recommend) by Pema Chodron:
Taking the Leap
Start Where You Are
Comfortable with Uncertainty
Tags: Drink, Fermentation, Kombucha, SCOBY, Tea
13 bottles and counting!
after living out of my car for almost a month, my kombucha bottles started to pile up! i know i bought way more than 13 over that time period but some got tossed in the recycle bin. after noticing how many bottles i had, i asked myself: “is this a healthy addiction?” what are your thoughts on this?
now that i am settled into a semi-permanent place, i am going to be making my own kombucha very soon! to read more about the benefits of fermentation, check out the article i wrote for Breaking Muscle, “The Real Reasons Your Guts Need Fermented Foods”. another great resource is the website, Wild Fermentation.
have a great weekend, everyone!
i have a confession to make. i have not been completely honest with you, my readers. and i want to change that. one of my best friend’s called me out on this the other day. she told me that she loves to read my blog posts and enjoys that i channel my experiences into a positive outcome but, that i am not being completely honest. because, what she loves about my self-expression, is that i am not afraid to show my pain, my sadness and my frustrations through my writing. and i have not really been doing that. the past six months have been complete chaos transformed into the deepest-darkest holes and caverns. to the point where i did not want to exist. and that is my truth.
‘altered groundlessness’ is the best way i can describe my current life situation.
five months ago, i thought that having my girlfriend breakup with me on my 29th birthday was about the lowest life could take me but the universe decided to throw even more complications into the mix a few months later. all of my expectations of 2012 have completely gone out the window and i’m not even close to where i had started.
i realized i had finally hit rock bottom.
When the sweet ache of being alive, lodged between who you are and who you will be, is awakened, befriend this moment. It will guide you. Its sweetness is what holds you. Its ache is what moves you on. -Mark Nepo
basically, after getting my heart broken, i made the choice to move on and everything was going great! i was doing awesome at my job, (despite the daily hysterical breakdowns in my car), my home situation was amazing and i fell in love with all my roommates, i was gaining strength and speed in the gym and i had a new appreciation for life and the challenges it gives us! but, a black cloud was quietly hanging over me. i didn’t see it coming because i was choosing to ignore it. i was having so much fun with life that i didn’t want to acknowledge that i was sick and depressed and that there was something deeper going on.
then, i realized that the icing on the cake of my life was black mold.
two months ago, it was confirmed that Stachybotrys, otherwise know as black mold, was in my home. let me tell you, this stuff is serious and it can do major damage to a person’s immune system and mental health. all of which i was experiencing first hand. after two months of being sick, i intuitively knew something else had to be going on with my body. i was experiencing many of the major toxic mold symptoms such as: fatigue, unable to concentrate, night sweats, hives, hormonal imbalance, loss of appetite, persistent cough, join pain and mental instability. it is crazy that something so small can attack your body and drain your immune system to the very core! i knew it was time to get out of that house for good. i reached out to my crossfit community and they provided a place for me to stay until i found something more permanent. i was being taken care of in terms of shelter and support but the next step was taking care of myself and healing my body, mind and heart.
consequently, over the past two months, the “altered groudlessness” of my life has been teaching me a lot. like. a LOT. to help me cope with the uncertainty of life, i decided to follow along with a 21 day meditation challenge through the Deepak Chopra Center. this challenge focused on abundance and gratefulness on one’s life. i certainly had a lot to be grateful for and these daily intentions helped to bring that to awareness and become alive in my heart! i then went one step further and created a physical place of grounding in my temporary room with an alter.
“As I let go of the need to arrange my life, the universe brings abundant good to me.”
i share my experiences not to receive pity, but in hopes that whoever is reading them will feel inspired by my rawness and expression of the challenges in my life. the level of grief that i have experienced over the past few months has been deep. dark. and intense. but, it has also been filled with a level of growth i did not expect! i have been provided for and supported and loved in so many ways that my heart overflows with the feelings of gratefulness. but, what i have learned the most is that it takes work. you have to work through the pain and heartache. and you will have set backs. and you will have gains. and just when you think you are riding smoothly, the biggest wave will crush you and send you to the bottom. this is the real test. then, when you can stand up and climb out of that pit, this is when you know that the work you have been doing internally has paid off. you truly do have the strength to live on.
you have to honor yourself. love yourself. respect yourself and be at peace with who you are and where you are in life. i know that i will feel different levels of pain and grief throughout my lifetime but with each experience, i am empowered by the challenge to work through it and love myself through it all. namaste.
you could say i am on my way to a full sleeve tattoo! i have no idea what the future will hold for my continued fascination with ink but i do love my tattoos and the part of my soul they allow me to express.
i recently had an older lesbian-Jewish-New Yorker ask me: why do you have tattoos? why are you stretching you ears and have piercings all over? why do you have dreadlocks?…..
in that moment, i felt put on the spot, as i gazed out at the setting sun on the pacific ocean.
then, i responded:
i have a deep-rooted connection to my ancestors from Central/South America and Africa. the people of these tribes chose to decorate themselves with piercings and tattoos; hold ceremonies and offerings to their gods and give thanks with their expression through art, song, and dance. i don’t know how i am connected through my linage of ancestors besides that i just intuitively feel it deep inside. therefore, i just know. my tattoos, piercings and dreadlocks are also a way for me to share a part of myself with others if they desire to learn more.
these are all certainly “attention-getters”, but, instead of letting others stare in fear with question, i choose to take that fear and allow them to feel safe with their curiosity and ask questions.
then, i tell my story.
we all have a story to tell and i thank you for tapping into your curiosity and listening to mine.
below are pictures that show the additional work i had done a couple weeks ago in bringing new life to my cacao pods. as i enter a new transition in my life and being on the dawn of 2013, i felt they needed some foliage and flare with the beautiful leaf and branch work. i offer much gratitude and appreciation to my incredible tattoo artist, Micah Riot. the connection that we have is what brought our creation to life!
In Lak’ech Ala K’in = I am you, and you are me.
In Mayan tradition, there is a greeting that many people working with Mayan wisdom know of. It is the law of In Lak’ech Ala K’in, which means I am another yourself (A modern day interpretation). It also means I am you, and you are me (A traditional Mayan interpretation). We have come to understand that this Mayan greeting is an honoring for each other. It is a statement of unity and oneness.
in this present moment, i am so grateful for the beautiful world i live in. i just had to share some of these pictures that capture only an essence of what is seen by your eyes and felt with your heart. enjoy!
“It seems that intuitive listening requires us to still our minds until the beauty of things older than our minds can find us.”
-Mark Nepo (from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen)
breakfast of champions. check out The GoodOnYa Bar – they are saving me each morning over the next few weeks!!
sitting outside Peet’s coffee has become a new tradition for me over the past week. i am currently living half out of my car; half at my friend’s amazing home (where i wake up with a fluffy dog at my feet each morning!) and random appearances at casa olema; i officially feel like a nomad. but, i am seeing my abundance in many areas of my life.
i will write a much more in-depth post about my unexpected transitions with my health later this week but in this moment, i just feel so grateful that my strength is beginning to come back and my brain is not a complete could of fog and that the sun is shinning on me!!
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? . . . Your playing small does not serve the world.” —Marianne Williamson
the loudest cheers came from the sidelines this year and i was a part of it for the first time. i never realized how much the spectators at the annual TJs Games put into their efforts to cheer on their fellow teammates until i was on the other side. it was an equally amazing experience just as participating in the games always is for me.
but, to be honest, i was absolutely devastated when i realized that i would have to drop out of the games this year. it’s not like i was out to win a prize full of gold or a year supply of protein powder but, i still wanted the thrill and excitement that comes along with that day. i had been waiting for months to spend all day with my “crossfit family”.
with my friends and community.
to push through those crazy WODs and to go to the places that scare you the most and come out a winner in the end.
but. it was not my story to tell this year.
two weeks leading up to the games, the nerves in my neck started to lock up again. i keep thinking that if i rested a week before the competition, i would be ok. then, a few days before game time, i had a visit with my doctor, “the thumb”, and he basically said to not lift anything heavy over my head. my heart sunk deep down in my gut and i began to battle with the forces of my ego and she was coming on strong!
i went back and fourth with the pros and cons of competing. i sought advice from two good friends (Sunya & Jamie) and i looked back on my past experience of pushing through an injury, and decided it was best to drop out of the competition two days before game time. instead, i stood on the sidelines and cheered for my amazing teammates of TJs Gym!! i am so honored to know all of those women and men who competed and gave it their all with grace, dignity and excitement!
i also want to give a special shout out to my girl Tia who originally signed up because i talked her into it (so she says although i feel it was more of a nudge.) Tia has really taught me a lot over the past couple months and i am so proud she put it all out there and the glow on her face when the competition was over was worth everything!!
i admit that it was hard to watch but after awhile i felt a deep appreciation for the lesson that i am getting out of this event. on top of my physical pain that stems from my right-side neck down the right-side of my back, i have been dealing with intense illness and a major hormonal imbalance in my body. it’s not exactly the wake-up call i wanted but it is what i am getting. so, i know that i have to make serious changes and to find new ways of healing my body outside of physical activity. anyone who knows me, will understand how difficult this is for me to do! and, while i get frustrated with myself at least ten times a day, i know that it will not be like this forever and it is simply a small chapter in the book of my life. i am taking on the changes beginning today and plan to keep track of them all and share what i come up with so that others will find their healing process easier and comforting to know they are not alone.
to everyone that is feeling something. anything. physical pain. emotional pain. spiritual pain. or a combination of them all. i want you to know that on my in breath, i take in your pain, and on my out breath, i blow healing love, compassion and kindness into your heart. (this is called the practice of Tonglen in the teachings of Buddhism.) stay strong and learn from your discomforts and keep breathing into them!
in less than a week, i will be competing for the 3rd year in a row at TJ’s Games and i have been preparing for months to dominate the scaled division!
ha. totally joking.
in all reality, i am in fact competing. (if all goes to plan and my cold subsides and the inflammation in my neck goes on vacation.)
but, i honestly have not been preparing for months by following a strict paleo diet, workout plan, getting adequate sleep and visualizing each move to bring me closer to the prize. basically. i live this life to my highest ability each day. we are always in training for something and i want to have the healthiest, strongest and most sustainable body as possible because who knows when the beginning of the end of the world will begin (or has it already?)!
i do hold myself accountable to many parts of my life. i follow the paleo diet about 90% of the time (did you really think i would give up peanut butter for the rest of my life?) i work with a 6-8 week cycle of strength training and only focus on certain movements/lifts during that time frame. i get roughly 7 hours of sleep each night and i make sure to meditate at least 30 minutes before jumping into bed with Pema Chodron and Emily Dickinson (my cat pillow. yes, it does get crowded at times). and, when it comes to recovery after a workout, i make sure to always have a proper combination of protein and carbs in the form of REAL FOOD.
for the past two months, i have diligently been downing my green smoothie after my wod at the gym and everyone will ask me, “what is in that thing?” i find it interesting that people refer to it as a “thing”. as if a green liquid could not possibly taste good. but, my smoothie tastes so good that i would take a bath in it if i could. that is why i am sharing my secret recipe and you need to make it yourself.
here is the basic recipe on my super nutrient-protein dense vegan smoothie that i chug down each morning in my re-usable cream jar! (it tastes like vegan chocolate milk!)
2 frozen organic bananas
2 tsp Vitamineral Greens
1 1/2 scoops of Nutiva hemp protein powder (use the scoop that comes in the container when you buy it.)
1 Tbsp raw organic cacao powder
4 organic ice cubes
1 cup organic water (add more for a thinner texture.)
*blend in a vitamix or whatever kind of blender you have that can handle all the rawkin’ organic ingredients and enjoy!
stay tuned in the next couple weeks for a recap of the Games that will take place on October 28th at the Marin Civic Center! if you are in the area, come check it out and see over 100 TJ’s gym members in action and doing what we love!