Wishing you all a wonderful and amazing winter holiday season. Know that the light in increasing, in more ways then one. Embrace the beauty in your heart, and allow your love to flow freely and fully to all those around you.
Much Love, Peace and Wishes for a Beautiful New Year!
Happy December 2012. A time for great celebration, connections and opening. Not only is it a seasonal time of many holidays, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza. It is also the time to welcome the light back to the earth on Solstice, December 21, and the end of the Mayan Calendar. 12/12/12 is also a very auspicious day, one filled with great possibility of inner expansion and transformation.
Life is wonderful here at The Hawthorn, it has been a moody winter-grey and cloudy, but also full of warmth and energy. I am so blessed to share community in this beautiful Valley, and with those outside of it via skype:) The gratitude I feel for all of you that I am in contact with, whether it be in person, voice, or energy is amazing. Thank you so much for being in my life.
It is the holiday season and a great time to share our love with those close to us. I have beautiful gift certificates available- for all of my services, local and distance.
Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4-5:30. As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels- in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.
A Very Special Solstice
This year, as most of you know is an extra special solstice. A day that transcends all others, offering opportunities for planetary enlightenment, and the awakening of all. The end of the Mayan Calendar. For many there is the fear of doom, and destruction, but I believe it is the turning of cycle, an opening into a new way of being, one that may not take place all at once, but that will continue for the days and months to come. We are blessed to be alive at this amazing, and wonderful time. Trust that the magic that has been unfolding will be sparked to life in these coming weeks. Listen to your heart, and know its power. Share with community. Let go of fear and division. Welcome unity. Open your eyes to the light in each one of us, and notice that the separateness is no longer so clear. We are all transforming, none of us are alone, and life is bursting forth with light, love and beauty. Take time for yourself this month, to go inward and to pay attention to the shifts occurring. 12/12/12 also offers to be a powerful day for inner illumination. If possible on that day, gift yourself with some extra time for meditation, or silent reflection. Take it easy, and don’t force anything, let everything unfold in exactly its own time, and enjoy. Listen, look, and enjoy whatever happens, it is for the greater good, new beginnings are possible, and new beginnings ARE taking place right now.
Heart Centered Awareness
As things shift all around us, and within us, its a great time to bring our awareness and our attention to our heart center. We have been programmed since birth to think with our minds, and to allow our mind to control our everyday interactions, to run the story of our emotions and our lives. We have been programmed since birth to think with our minds, and to allow our mind to control our everyday interactions, to run the story of our emotions and our lives. What would happen if we let our heart lead instead?
You may have your own practice already to connect you with that higher heart awareness, a few ways that I like to connect are:
- Heart Marma Massage: Place your hands on your heart center (center of the chest). Take a moment or two to close your eyes, and pay attention to what you feel. Perhaps there is a warm, tingly feeling, lots of energy flowing through the heart. Maybe there is a tightness, or no feeling. Let go of judgement and just experience whatever is there. Then gently start to massage the heart center, in a circular direction. Let your palms be relaxed and your body comfortable. Practice this for a minute or two, and then let the hands settle, taking time to notice if the energy has shifted.
- Heart Breathing: Great to do anytime, but especially nice during yoga, or before meditation. Take a few deep breaths to settle your body and your mind. When you feel relaxed, breathe deeply into your heart and as you exhale imagine light flowing out from the heart into the universe. If you like you can even imagine the breath filling in the entire heart chakra before it moves outward. As you breathe imagine the breath flowing up from the earth into your heart, then down from the sky to your heart, maybe even from your back body into your heart. Notice which way feels most natural to you, and most of all enjoy.
- Bliss Technique: Perhaps the simplest practice of them all. This can be done as often as you like, for as long as you like. It is key in learning to “think with the heart and love with the mind” . All you have to do is turn your attention to the heart and let go of the thoughts in the mind. Experience the love that is already present. This attention allows the heart to open and brings divine bliss to the mind. Don’t worry if you don’t notice any difference in your heart in the first few days of practice, over time, the light will grow stronger, and the mind will relax to open to experiencing the natural beauty that is there.
I wish you all a wonderful holidays. Enjoy your loved ones and enjoy your self. Trust that all is well, safe, and divinely inspired. Open to the magic of the times, and allow the light to shine brightly, through you, within you, and all around you.
Much Peace and Love
Welcome to November~ Time is such a mysterious thing, passing by at times in the blink of an eye. I hope that this beautiful autumn season has you all filled with a sense of peace and presence in your lives. Darker days, cooler temperatures, and the magnificent colors of the leaves on the trees. Things shifting into the inward season, a wonderful time for reflection, and of course a time of great transition and shifts for us all.
A few people have asked me about my newsletters being missed, and I want to apologize for not being more regular with them, life has been very full, and honoring my downtime has been key for balance to my being. Life is very beautiful right now, heart awareness is flowing strongly through me, and I am enjoying all of the openings that the universe is bringing.
I am excited to announce a few new offerings from Ananda Ayurveda. As many of you know I had been taking part in an Ayurvedic Counseling Course. I finished in July and have been working with clients steadily since. It has been a beautiful journey of deepening self discovery, and powerful inner healing for both myself and my clients. For more information visit the section on it down below. I am also happy to announce that I have a few new products to offer, I will be carrying beautiful Therapeutic Essential Oils from YoungLiving, as well as Planetary Oils from Enlightened Living Enterprises, both extremely powerful, soothing and healing for our bodies and spirits, for more information feel free to email, or to call me.
This November 3, I will be giving a free talk, and meditation on Ayurveda and the Energy Body, at Harmony Yoga in Downtown Duncan, from 1-1:30. The following week I will be sharing a workshop on Integrating Ayurveda Into Your Life, also at Harmony Yoga in downtown Duncan, from 1-3:30, $30. For more information or to reserve space please call: 250 597 3973
Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, its such a beautiful place to practice. The sea lions are back and the ocean view is as lovely as ever.
As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels~ in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.
Awareness Shifting Beneath Our Feet
Does the earth feel like it is rumbling beneath your feet? Earthquakes in October, on both the east and west coasts of North America reflect the shakiness of our stance on the earth today. Over the past few months, even the past year, I am noticing the steady increase of strong vibrations of change. There is great movement and growth happening in our beings, as we cleanse out the old to open for the new. Life is happening, moving and shaking us to our core, bringing up bright feelings of blissful hearts at times, and at others there may be waves of anxiety or stress. As the energy expands life often brings to us “big” moments whether they manifest in an illness, an emotional release, or just in lots of things coming our way at once. All of this energy is very important for our growth, what can seem unmanageable, is in fact exactly what we need to move forward onto the path of our true dharma. Remember we are never given more than we can handle, and even the huge struggles of life, are our biggest opportunities for us to expand. I know that it is not always easy to embody this, especially if we are in the midst of a very difficult time. Trust that life is full of valleys, and the darkest, deepest ones lead the way to the highest peaks. Just like earthquakes these shaky times are actually important for releasing stress. If we can let go of our judgement on what is happening, the uncomfortable buzzing, the busy minds, the stress in our bodies and even feelings of fear, can all be healthy indications of energy moving, as the nervous system refreshes and replenishes itself.
So what can we do to ease any feelings of discomfort we may have. How can we move with the flow, instead of feeling like we are constantly swimming against the current?
There are a many ways, and we are all different, so what works for one, may not for the other, but in general here are a few ideas, that have been powerful helpers in my journey, as in those of many clients and friends:
- Emotional Flow– Notice if you are restricting or pushing back any of your emotions. As things rise up in these tumultuous times it is important to let the energy flow. We are not our emotions, they are energy, and just like all energy they need to move, to be experienced, and as that happens in turn it can be released and transformed. Embrace the tears, accept the anger, and don’t run away from the fear~ welcome them and notice what happens when you do.
- Meditation– A daily meditation practice is wonderful for shedding the skins of the story, and realizing that truly, what is happening, is not the “real” you, instead just an opportunity for you to play, to grow and to learn. Meditation is also a great way to release stress from the nervous system, to tone and massage it, as well as to open the door to greater consciousness, and the realization of what we already are. 20 minutes once or twice a day is a huge boost towards our acceptance, our healing and our growth. I am teaching free mantra based meditation if you are interested in learning, and also happy to help with a zen based practice.
- Rest– Make sure that you are getting enough rest. In Ayurveda it is recommended to be in bed before ten pm, this can be difficult for many of us. If you stay up late regularly and find yourself tired the next day, try going to bed a half an hour earlier. On the days you don’t have to work let go of your alarm and notice if you sleep in. Often once we allow ourselves to start to rest, then the our body will really show us how tired we are and sleep will come easily and fully. If you are getting enough sleep, but still tired, nurture yourself with some gentle walks outside, a yoga class or two during the week, or weekly self massages followed by a bath~ a ritual for relaxation and peace. As we rest, we create the firm ground for stability and peace through the changes that are occurring
There are many more practices that help with the transformations, these are just a few. I believe what supports us most of all is listening to our heart, and trusting that we are not just ok, but that we are in the perfect place.
As many of us are experiencing great shifts and changes in our perception, and our consciousness there is a large desire to shed the patterns of the past, and to jump into the perfection of the spirit and the present. Often for us to embrace the magic of the “moment” we have to release our old conception of ourselves and of the world, enabling us to greet our daily lives with peaceful acceptance and joy. Much of today’s counseling happens in a very literal sense, working with the perception of our “story”, and learning to work through it all on the mental and emotional layers. In Ayurvedic Counseling we move deeper, getting to the core issues at hand with intuition, awareness and consciousness. As an Ayurvedic Counselor, I help to facilitate these shifts, but the client is the magician, learning the tools to connect deeply with their own being ,to experience powerful connection, and release. In essence remembering their true selves, before the patterns that served them once became stuck in place after their usefulness was over. Profound shifts are occurring in the universe today, and magic is happening. As I work with clients in this way, I see great support for the transformations of the soul, and huge shifts in just a few sessions that allow for the shedding of the old, and the blossoming of the new.
In Ayurvedic Counseling, you can learn:
- Natural Meditation (an effortless, mantra-based meditation)
- Intuition – How to access your inner knowing to aid in change and transformation
- The Energetic Flow of Emotions
- Chakra Needs and Chakra Healing
- Planetary Influences on your life and relationships through Vedic Astrology
All of this in a beautiful sacred space, safe and comforting~ whether it be in person in Duncan, BC or by skype from anywhere around the world.
For more information see Ayurvedic Counseling or call 250 597 3973.
Recipe Of The Month
Speaking of rest, one of the best ways to nurture our physical body, and to create ojas (essential energy of the body) is to have a cup of warm spiced milk before bed. Now I know that many people are lactose intolerant or vegan, and raw organic local cows milk can easily be substituted with a nut milk of your choice, or even a creamy coconut milk. If you do choose to drink milk from a cow, it is extremely important that it is as close to the source as possible, and that the cow it comes from is happy and fed well (non GMO organic grains), and that the milk is non homogenized. Its very hard to find milk like this in the west these days, but if you do, it can be nutritious, nurturing food. Another important thing to remember is that the milk is simmered for 10 minutes or so on a low heat, and always spiced, so that it doesn’t ferment in your body. If you are feeling very vata (airy, spacey, or perhaps anxious), you can always add a ¼ tsp of ghee to the milk for extra grounding.
Spiced Bedtime Milk
1 cup Milk (Cows, Goat, Nut, Rice or Coconut)
¼ tsp Ghee (optional)
honey, maple syrup or stevia to taste
Place all of the ingredients into a small pot, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 10 minutes.
Sweeten and sleep well
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this~ I look forward to connecting more soon.
Enjoy Your Selves
I hope that this newsletter finds you well and happy. Its hard to believe that it is already September, it feels like summer has just began. Time is so interesting, the way that it can bend and shape itself in our perceptions. Things are wonderful here at The Hawthorn, the universe’s abundance manifesting in all aspects of life. The last few months have been extremely powerful, filled with so much transformation. To ease the movements of the shifting energies, I took a month off from the newsletters to nourish my being,to enjoy the warm summer sun, the flow of the cool Cowichan River, and the peace of stillness in my being. As life continues its flow I am still finding a full and busy schedule, but my heart missed you all, and wanted to check in.
As we step into September, its almost like stepping back into our routines, a time of harvest, but also of getting back into a regular practice in our life. Not that it can’t be a holiday all of the time, but one that is more focused, practical and grounded. Its a great time to get back into Yoga. Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay. Classes will continue 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, for the month of September, changing to 4:00 in October. There will be class on Labor Day as well. Join us in this magical practice space; as we move inside for the cooler months, we are still blessed with the beautiful ocean view. I was lucky enough to be part of a short video for the classes~ Check it out here and see the beautiful space we practice in:)
As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels~ in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.
Transformation- Magic Unfolding
There are so many things I could write about this month, but what keeps speaking out to me over and over, through my experience, and that of clients, friends, and family, is the powerful transformations that are occurring today. 2012, has long been held as a year of major change, and it seems that the time is now, it is upon us, and there is no running away. There is so much happening at this time, affecting us on all the different levels of our awareness. It seems like there is wave after wave of movement, shift and flow coming our way, in overwhelming magnitude.
What is this transformation? How is it affecting you/us?
Its different for all of us, yet the main thing that resonates is that it is powerful, and life changing. Perhaps there is something happening to you on a physical level, a sense of heaviness, old injuries speaking strongly to you; or a difficult to diagnose illness, something that comes on powerfully and suddenly. On an emotional level, it can feel like a roller coaster of ups and downs, times of depression, anxiety, or great fear, while at other moments the heart just seems to sing, and see so clearly the light and love all around us. Energetically dreams are powerful, and vivid. Sleep may be interrupted, and in the waking state sometimes it can feel like you are vibrating at a higher level. Your experience may just be that life is bringing you challenge, after challenge, pushing you to expand your boundaries of acceptance and surrender. At times it almost feels like there is no time to rest, to rejuvenate~ that things are happening at an amazing rate, and all you can do is hang on.
As the transformations expand, and we shed our comfortable skins, there really is not much we can do but surrender and believe. Believe that it is all happening for our greater good, that this discomfort, pain, fear, and joy is all reverberating through us to support our souls journey, to bring greater light to the universe and the planet as a whole. As these deep, swirling currents grab hold, know that they are enabling us to breathe fresh light into our beings, to expand our awareness, by letting go of the old “stuff” that we have been carrying. Its not time to run away or to stuff down the emotions, to deny the experiences we may be having in our physical, and energetic systems. Instead feel everything completely, embrace it, every bit of it. Hold and nurture it in your heart, so that it is part of the whole, so that it can be digested and illuminated with our hearts. Not kept separate, not judged but experienced fully, as a friend, a teacher, and part of the beauty of all life. Who are we to say that what is happening to us in any given moment, isn’t perfect. Every breath is a stitch in the fabric of life, and right now, the universe is weaving a beautiful multicolored tapestry. We are part of this wonderful evolution, and for the transformation to continue, we need to move through many changes, letting go of our judgement, and experiencing the beauty of it all. As we step forward each moment, knowing that we are on the perfect path, and that the best we can do is believe, and be with ALL that is happening. Remember you are not alone, we are all connected, a reflection of the whole, and the center of this whole is bright, beautiful, and shining. As unsettled as these times are, we are supported wholly by the universe, and magic is unfolding in every moment.
Recipe Of The Month
Raita are yogurt “salads” that are mixed with vegetables and spices to create an easily digestible accompaniment to a meal. In Ayurveda yogurt should rarely be eaten alone, it is best mixed with other spices to balance out the acidity, and eaten at room temperature. Fresh homemade yogurt is preferable its easy to make, and wonderful in lassi’s and raitia’s . As always, raw milk, straight from the cow is a magical nectar, but if that is unavailable, the organic, unhomogenized is fine. If you are vegan, you can definitely substitute almond milk or coconut yogurt.
This raita is filled with the garden’s bounty, add other vegetables and experiment with the spices. Most of all enjoy:)
Mixed Vegetable Raita
2 cups yogurt
1 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbs sunflower oil
pinch of asofetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp curry powder (optional)
2 cup grated cucumbers
½ cup grated carrots
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped toasted cashews
1 ½ Tbs lemon juice
1. Whisk the yogurt with the maple syrup until it is free of lumps.
2 Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the spices in order, and saute over low heat until the mustard seeds “dance”
3. Mix the spice mixture into the yogurt, stir in the vegetables, ginger, cilantro and cashews. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Wishing you a beautiful and wonderful September, filled with the beauty of life. Remember that you are never alone~ we are all connected, and the transformations may seem overwhelming, but remember, all the cracks let the light shine in:)
Happy July. It is hard to believe that summer is already here. I hope that wherever you are you are being graced with the light of the sun. Here at The Hawthorn, things are beautiful as always, even if a bit cool~ it has been a perfect June to practice gratitude for the soft breezes and gentle clouds, as much of Canada and the States are sizzling in abnormal heat waves. There has been a whirlwind of activity flowing around me lately~ I had an amazing trip to New York City, this past month. The energy in NYC is so vibrant, creative and powerful, so many people, and so much to do. Loved walking in the city, feeling the sun on my face in the parks, and just soaking in the powerful vibrations.
On my return to BC, I brought back two old friends of mine, Chela (a fluffy ginger lion) and Trouble (his strong, sleek brother). Their energy is soft, yet powerful; deeply healing, and full of strong magical medicine. I do have a separate entrance to the healing room for those of you that are allergic~ and of course the treatment space is always animal free:) I am also blessed to have my mom visiting for a few weeks. Its so nice to spend time together, enjoying the beauty of the the Valley, the garden, and whatever each day brings.
Summer is pitta season. It is important to find balance at this time of year, staying cool, and content in the heat. Last year’s July Newsletter has lots of information on how to enjoy the summer sun, without overdoing it.
Yoga Classes, are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, at a new summer time 4:30-6:00, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. It’s such a beautiful place to practice, and if the weather is nice we will even enjoy some outside yoga by the sea.
As always I am offering beautiful and wonderful Bodywork Therapies, so soothing and nurturing, conscious healing, on such deep levels~ in a very gentle heart opening space. Consultations, Intuitive Counseling, Tarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also ongoing.
Honoring The Guru Within
Tuesday, July 3rd is Guru Purnima, Ayurvedically this is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year, a time to honor one’s teachers and to give thanks for the lessons of life. It is also important to remember to honor our own inner teacher, giving gratitude and respect to the innate knowledge within. One of the biggest lessons in our lives is to learn to trust, and accept the strength of our own intuition, our own power. Teachers may shine the light on the path, offering us tremendous gifts, but there is always the spark within that serves as our deepest guide. At this time of great awakening, more and more we are hearing our inner voice. There is a sense of knowing, of letting go of the monkey mind, and a deepening of the connection with the deepest layers of our intuitive being. As we allow ourselves the time, even just a moment here or there, to stop and to listen to what is underneath the thoughts, what is underneath the emotions, there is the opportunity to experience the powerful movements of our own teacher.
We all go through things differently. For some of us there is the feeling of needing to move in a certain direction, or to stay put, sometimes there is a strong yes or a no that comes when we are faced with a decision. For others we may actually process things physically, feeling heavy or slow at times when our spirit is telling us it is time to shift, while feeling a safety or contentment when we are where we need to be, even if where that is doesn’t feel “safe or secure” in the mind. Perhaps guidance or direction will come in dreams, trust the magic that happens in sleep, listen and believe that what you feel underneath it all is very, very real. We often second guess ourselves, separating ourselves from our own truth. By honoring this sacred truth, this sacred knowing, we open the way for the flow to move clearly.
Perhaps this Tuesday, as well as honoring your favorite teachers, it is a perfect time to give yourself the greatest gift of self love, acceptance, belief and gratitude. To trust that you are the “perfect” teacher, that your inner angel, is always letting you know the way. Allow yourself to believe the magic within, let your heart light shine back to you, and enjoy its brilliant warmth.
For those of you who would like more guidance on working with your intuition, I just finished an Ayurvedic Counseling/Life Transformation Course, and will be offering sessions to learn to dive deeper within, facilitating the awakening and opening of the greatest teacher of all.
This month I wanted to share an easy, nutritious recipe, that is cooling to the body, yet more easily digestible than a normal salad. Toasting the Quinoa in oil before cooking it brings out a delicious, nutty flavor. Green onions, and zucchini are now readily available in the garden, or at local markets, and the currants mixed with the lemon add a delightful sweetness to the dish. This is great served warm, or let to sit for a few hours and served at room temperature. Perfect for a warm sunny day:)
Quinoa With Dill, Lemon and Currants
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
- 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the green onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes.
- Add the water, the currants and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons of juice.
- To finish, remove the pan from the heat, stir the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.
This recipe is from the cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck:)
Wishing you all the most wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable July. Enjoy yourself, your families, and the magic that is all around us. Much gratitude to you all for all that you teach and share with me~
Much Love and Peace