Spring is making its way to the west coast early this year. It is so wonderful to experience the magic of the earth awakening. Snowdrops are in full bloom, the buds on the trees are starting to plump up, and the nettles are in beautiful abundance already. It is such a welcome and refreshing feeling to know that the light is growing stronger once more, to know that once again its time to plant seeds and to allow the magic of nature to support the growth of all things. A wonderful time for setting new intentions, and to clear out any cobwebs that we have been collecting over the past few months.
Things are wonderful here at the Hawthorn, we are starting to seed our garden, and Pete has been creating a beautiful new fence and space for us to enjoy the wonderful vegetables that the seeds will transform into. He is also starting a small permaculture/organic gardening business, so if you, or someone that you know are looking for any ideas or extra help this year, please call him at 250 597 3973. His work is abundant and beautiful, creativity shines through in everything that he does.
This month’s Monthly Meditation Morning will be held Sunday, March, 10. There will 3 separate sitting periods: 9:00- 9:50, 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50. Drop in for any one, or stay for them all. This is daylights savings day, so set your clocks forward an hour. This space is for any mediation type, no experience necessary. Last month’s was very well attended, and I had many people calling and asking for more. Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.
Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay, Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00. 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.
Be All That You Dream
I was blessed to experience a wonderful few weeks in Hawaii this winter. This was a short but powerful time away, magical in so many ways. I had amazing adventures snorkeling in the sea, walking on the lava fields, seeing the active volcano, and I even swam with beautiful wild dolphins.
The energy on The Big Island is so powerful, yet so gentle. I experienced huge shifts in consciousness that illuminated the misconceptions of my mind, and allowed me to witness the deeper connections of the universe. This time away was a wonderful reminder of the importance of surrender in my life. I clearly saw the restrictions that reside in my mind. These restrictions are tricks of my belief system; mainly the thoughts, the patterns, and the ideas that hold me back from reaching my highest potential. It became clear to me how important it is to let go of this old “world” invented by my mind. How each moment is an opportunity to dissolve the restraints of what could be, and to instead embrace all that is. We often talk about “going with the flow”, and at times feel like we are doing that, but so often we get caught up in the routine of our daily lives we just stay strictly on a certain “known” path. Even as things fall away within us, and as the shifts in our life and our universe continue, it seems that we hold ourselves in by certain boundaries of what is, or what can be possible.
Everything and anything is possible. To know this is one thing, but to believe it and to live it is another. Do you notice that there are things you would like to do in your life, but that seem impossible? Or maybe you are feeling stuck on your path and not seeing a clear way to further growth. Perhaps part of the challenge is the linear thinking we are so accustomed to. As we relate our movement through life with the metaphor of a path, or as we experience ourselves as a structured and set being, we limit our true potential. We are energy, and the boxes, the restrictions that we create in our mind are illusions, we make them true because we believe. Reality is nothing more than an idea, and if we can create the idea of a “path”, why can’t we embrace the idea of a universe? Instead of a straight line forward, imagine a spacious place that allows us to grow in all directions. Visualize the path becoming a shooting star, or an ocean filled with open flow. Look at your thoughts and your feelings, take a moment to realize that is all that they are. Thoughts and ideas-we give them power with our belief. Now is the time for change, and perhaps the biggest change can come as we let go of the structure in our minds, and instead believe in our creative, flowing potential.
How do we do this? Good question, one I am sitting with and being with on a daily basis right now. The key image that keeps coming to me is “surrender” and to let go of the safety of all that you think is real. Another word that chimes in is “awareness”; to pay attention to the traps we set in our thought patterns. By changing the structure of our thoughts, by opening to a world so much greater than the one we have created in our mind since birth, we can experience the fullness in everything. Believe that jumping off our straight, set path is supported, that there are other ways that we haven’t even dreamed of yet. We are energy, and energy moves in all directions. We need to flow. Without flow there are blocks, there are restrictions. Always remember that we are life, and life lives, it moves, it breathes, and it is free to explore everywhere and everything.
Recipe Of The Month
I thought I would share 2 recipes with you this month. A beautiful greens dish to honor those new spring greens that are starting to appear in the Valley, and a sweetly spiced millet, to warm our souls on the chilly days that still appear now and then. Enjoy:)
As local fresh greens are starting to come into season (nettles, kale, spinach, chinese greens, and soon dandelion leaves) I thought it would be a wonderful time to share a simple Saag recipe. Traditionally made with spinach it can be made with any kind of leafy green vegetable. Greens are a wonderful addition to any diet, whether steamed, sauteed, or juiced, they offer abundant nutrients and cleansing support to our liver. We are blessed here on the west coast to have an abundance of nettles, which are a superfood, filled with so many vitamins, minerals and even protein. Great in the springtime after eating foods that are stored, or grown further away, harvesting local greens are a great gift to ourselves. In Ayurveda bitter greens are very balancing to Pitta, and are also great for Kapha, because of their abundant nutrients they are also fine for Vata to eat, but better cooked then cold.
- 2 Tbs Fresh Ghee or Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
- 4 cups greens chopped (a mix of them is fine)
- 6 cups spinach chopped (if you have it, otherwise just add more spring greens:))
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan. Add the ginger and the spices and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the greens, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 10 minutes) Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend if you would like it a creamier texture.
Spiced Millet With Dried Cherries
Millet is a grain that doesn’t get a lot of use, but it is a wonderful option for a breakfast cereal or for an alternative to rice and quinoa. Gluten free, it is very high in protein and easy for most people to digest. A beautiful yellow color, it is a pleasure to look at as well as to eat. This dish can also be prepared with a basmati rice if you don’t have millet on hand. The ghee, the millet and the maple syrup add some sweetness, with a bit of cinnamon spice. A wonderful healthy treat as we begin our transition into spring.
- 1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup chopped celery or fennel
- 3/4 cup millet
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp saffron
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup pistachio halves
- Coconut milk
1. Heat the ghee or oil in a suacepan, saute over low heat for 30 seconds until it melts. Add the celery or fennel and cook until it begins to soften (2 minutes)
2. Add the millet and saute, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, until the millet darkens slightly. Add the water the salt and the saffron. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat, and simmer until the millet is tender and the water is absorbed. Stir a few times and be careful that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
3. While the millet is cooking, combine the cherries, the water, the maple syrup and the cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the cherries are tender. Fold the cherry mixture and the pistachios into the millet.
4. Add fresh almond or coconut milk for a little extra creaminess if you like
If making basmati rice instead of millet, follow the correct water ratio for the rice.
These recipes are adapted from Heaven’s Banquet, by Miriam Hospodar