Gifts

Beautiful nightNamaste

December is here, and we are coming upon the darkest time of the year, yet it is also a time of great celebration and deep connections.  A time to celebrate our love for our loved ones and our community as a whole, whether near or far.

This beautiful, cold month is a wonderful time to  honour the quiet voice of nature and to let our bodies rest a little bit more than normal.  Take notice, and see if you are pushing yourself to get things done, and listen to what your inner voice tells you.  Trust that what needs to be done, will get done.  It has been beautiful here on the West Coast, clear, bright and filled with sunshine.  The sea lions are barking, the light of the morning and evening sky is filled with colour, and the energy is peaceful and full.

I have many announcements this month, there really are so many wonderful things going on.   If you scroll down to the end of the newsletter you will see the special events happening  (A wonderful yoga fundraiser and wellness raffle for the Philippines,  and A new Healing Light Yoga Therapy Class that begins in January, and of course Gift Certificates for Christmas).  Also, I am excited to announce that the documentary I filmed in 2012 is finally being released on February 3, 2014- there will be much more information on that coming soon.

Life has been wonderful here at Ananda Ayurveda, lots moving, and shifting as we continue to grow.   The new space is beautiful and has been infused with such powerful healing energy already.

In the spirit of Christmas I am offering a December special of a 1 hour massage for $100. I don’t usually offer this shorter treatment on its own, but it’s a beautiful opportunity to try a taste of Ayurveda.  The 1 hr massage is powerfully clearing- strokes are quick, and light (usually), the body is drenched in warm, organic oils and the treatment is extremely relaxing.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but still with the glorious ocean view. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

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Gifts That Are Larger Than We Are

sunset in heart handsAs we enter the holiday season I am reminded of the importance of giving, and of honouring those that are around me. At a time when the media and stores are promoting mass consumerism I would like to take a little space to look at giving from the heart and also expressing gratitude to the community around me.  Yes, every day is an opportunity to give, to share, and to show gratitude, but when there is so much energy directed in that way, then the flow of light is even more supported.  Also, its a cold time of year (at least in the northern hemisphere), and energetically it is important to nurture and take care of the self and those around you.  I think of the people in my life, and I feel so blessed to know all of them, whether they be close friends, and family or those that I find more challenging.  I see and honour the expression of consciousness in each being and the more that I embrace that seeing the clearer it is.

On my walk today, in the beautiful sunshine of Cowichan Bay, I passed a few people, all with a smile and a hello, they were different sexes, ages, sizes and manifestations of spirit, but each one glowed in thier own way, and it reminded me of how blessed I am to have connections with others, even through something as simple as a greeting.  Just sending a smile to someone can sometimes be the biggest gift in the world.  We can lose sight of that at times, when we get stuck into our story, or caught up in some of the traumas the world is facing (and there are many).  If we can remind ourselves to open to the connections that are there for us in daily life, something as simple as a smile can make a huge difference in our day.

This brings me to the importance of community in our lives, of connecting with others.  Whether it be with our family, friends, towns, or just a larger awareness of the earths community as a whole, it brings so much to our lives to realize that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves.  There are times where we may feel alone, or spend lots of time on our own, but just the knowledge that we are part of a larger fabric, and that our role is integral to the entire tapestry of all that is.  Of course it is wonderful to connect one on one with those arounds us, to share ourselves and give of ourselves to our friends and family, to anyone in need, but even without the physical relationships there is so much happening beneath the surface, so much sharing, talking and loving.  It is important to remember that the entire world is our community, and what we share radiates through that community  The smiles I shared today were felt all the way across the world.  It’s pure magic.  A gift of presence, of openness, of acceptance that touches everything and everyone.

And that takes me to the final part of my sharing this month.  Gratitude.  How much I care for all of those in my life. As my heart light continues to shine bright, I am constantly amazed at the beauty and the love that I feel for those in my life and in my community.  As I work with my clients, I just feel the peace and beauty of universal light running through my cells, and as my yoga classes melt into Savasana I often experience  great joy.  I am so honoured and blessed to be able to work with each and every being in my life.  I have my days and moments where I get stressed, or I may not agree with everyone (they might not fit into my story the way I desire), but when I let things be and am present, it’s amazing what I feel.  And this feeling, this opening, is a gift from all of you, a constant reminder that you are just reflecting back to me all that I am, all that we all are, and it’s amazing.  Beyond the gratitude I feel on an energetic level, I want to express my thanks to all of you for your continued support, for showing up just as you are, and for allowing me to grow in every moment.  For your acceptance of me as part of your community.

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Recipes

In the spirit of the holidays I thought I would share a few seasonal holiday recipes.  As vegetarians we like to come up with healthy, yet luxurious things to treat ourselves with over the holidays, and these are a few of our favourite dishes. Brussel sprouts are in season here on Vancouver Island, and are delicious with maple syrup and toasted hazelnuts, and the Cranberry Orange Chutney is a wonderful replacement for the more sugary traditional Cranberry Sauce.  Both of these recipes do use some sweetener.  In Ayurveda, the cold winter (vata) season is a time to eat heartier, warmer, and sweeter foods.  Not that sugar is good at every meal, but when you do have it, enjoy it, and always use a more naturally sourced kind.

Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1/2 lbs Brussel Sprouts
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Toaste Hazelnuts Coarsely Chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To prepare the brussels sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems and cut in half.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper together.
  4. Once all of the brussels sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9-by-13-inch (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.
  5. After 15 minutes, stir the brussels sprouts with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 30 minutes, stir in the maple syrup. (Steps 1 through 4 can be done a day in advance; store covered in the refrigerator. Continue with Steps 5 and 6 right before serving.)
  6. Continue to roast the brussels sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).
  7. Toss the roasted brussels sprouts with the hazelnuts and devour!

Enjoy:)

Cranberry Apple Chutney with Ginger And Orange

 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
2 Cups Chopped Apples
Juice and Zest of One Orange
¼ Cup Raisins
1/3-1/2 Cup Honey or Coconut sugar
1 ½ Tbs Fresh Grated Ginger
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
½ Tbs Ghee of Coconut Oil
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
¼ tsp Star Anise Ground
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Cardamom
pinch of Mace
½ Cup Water
  1. Combine cranberries, apples, orange juice and peel in saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. While fruit is at a simmer, add sugar and raisins.
  3. If needed add a little extra water to stop from sticking
  4. In a separate frying pan heat the ghee, and then add the ginger and cumin seeds. Cook a few minutes until ginger is soft, and cumin seeds are starting to brown.
  5. Combine the two pots together and add other spices.
  6. Cook for a few minutes until desired consistency, adding water as necessary.

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Upcoming Special Events

In the spirit of giving this holiday season I am so excited to share some of the fundraising events that I am taking part of in my community.  Its amazing how much energy we can create when we share with others.  It is the season to give, and what better way then to give to those that are really in need.  I am also excited to announce a new session of Healing Light Yoga Therapy.  Our last class was a powerful and transformative experience for all involved, and this next session will encourage more growth, opening and emotional flow- there is no experience necessary.

Yoga And Wellness Raffle For The Philippines 

Sunday, December 15th, 2013 

10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Yoga and Chanting will be 1.5 hours- the rest is tea time and sharing)

Raffle Tickets Are Being Sold Until The Draw At The Event

IMG_7068Let’s come together to practice Yoga and Chanting to honour the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Practice will be guided by Sadie, Asrael, and Paulina. Stay for tea and conversation after class. Guaranteed to be a heart-full event!

Admission is by donation (suggested $20) and of course any amount is appreciated if that is above your budget:)
Stay for tea and conversation after class

The Raffle

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20
Draw date: December, 15, 2013

Package 1 includes:
3 Prenatal yoga classes or 1 private yoga class with MarySue Henneberry
“The Chakra Series,” an eight DVD set of full-length Kundalini Yoga classes with Swarn Leung

Package 2 includes:
Ayurvedic massage with Asrael
Gift certificate for organic veggies from 8 1/2 Acres

Package 3 includes:
Body Talk session with Christy Greenwood
Therapeutic Massage Treatment with Lindsay Campa

Also prizes from Botanical Bliss, Farm’s Gate, and Kathy’s Simply Soap 

Donations of $25 or more are tax deductible:)

Feel free to email me to purchase tickets- and if you live faraway you can click on the link below to make a donation online.

All Donations Are Going To The Philippines through Plan Canada– Plan’s emergency teams are on the ground and responding to the needs of children and families affected by the storm. Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and we are doing everything we can to provide life-saving support like food, water, healthcare, shelter, sanitation and protection for vulnerable children and families.

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Childs PoseHealing Light Yoga Therapy- Emotional Flow

This is not just a regular yoga class, this is an experience and a journey of great transformation and growth.  This is a great  opportunity to release held emotions, and to deepen your experience of the more subtle energies of your being.

This practice A six week series beginning Saturday, January 11.  Classes run 8:00 am-9:30 am PST.  If you miss a class they are available by streaming during the weeks that follow.

Healing Light Yoga Therapy Series 2:

Happiness – Embracing Emotions, Emotional Flow, and Emotional Clearing

Live Online Classes – Can Be Taken From Any Location

Emotional healing often precedes physical healing, as it is on this level of life that much of dis-ease originates. Learning how to unwind tightly held emotional experiences from our emotional bodies paves the way to emotional freedom… and greater happiness, joy, and ease. This second series of Healing Light Yoga Therapy focuses on creating happiness through embracing, flowing, and clearing emotions. In this six-week course, the basic principles and techniques from Series 1 will be applied, along with additional techniques of Chakra clearing and balancing, and the use of sacred symbols. By healing the emotional body we tap into our ability to experience bliss, gratitude and contentment in everyday life. If you are ready to release that which no longer serves and experience the sweetness that lies beneath, join us for this transformative course beginning January 11th, 2014

Registration for this course is open everyone, including those who have never done  Healing Light Yoga Therapy before. Introductory videos and handouts that illustrate foundational principles are included.

For more information or to register click here:)

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Gift Certificates

I have beautiful gift certificates available for all of my offerings- many which are available online.  Its wonderful to be able to give a gift that nurtures, expands and honours the individual.  Feel free to contact me for more information or to buy a heartfelt gift for that special someone:)
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I wish you all a beautiful holiday season, whatever it is that you are celebrating.  Embrace those around you, feel the joy of the sparkling lights, and the nighttime sky.  Take rest when you need it, and allow yourself to relax, to let go, and to move in the flow of all that you are.

Namaste

Asrael

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Ayurvedic Tips For Late Fall/Early Winter

treeAs we move into the Vata season of late fall and early winter.  I thought that it would be a great time to share some tips to help us keep balanced .  I have shared some of these practices before, but its always good to have a reminder. And of course there are many other practices that enable well being during the winter season.  These are just a few of my favourites:)

Dry Brushing (Garshana)

A wonderful way to reduce Kapha and ama.  This is a wonderful home practice to do in the morning, before your self oil massage and/or shower.  I am also now offering it in tandem with an Ayurvedic Abyhanga Massage.

It has so many benefits:

  • It stimulates the lymph system which boosts the immune system
  • It increases circulation to the skin (our largest organ)
  • It removes dead skin cells which helps to eliminate toxins and open the pores
  • It reduces cellulite and fat.

Natural raw silk gloves  (available at Ananda Ayurveda) are a beautiful natural way to exfoliate.  A dry bristle brush can also work, but be gentle, we are not trying to scrape the skin.  To do this, softly massage the body while wearing the glove, make sure you include the face, and allow the strokes to move towards the heart.  Feel free to do some big circles on your belly and your lower back.  Take time, and enjoy.

Daily Self Massage

An important practice at any time of year.  This self massage is deeply grounding, very nurturing, and balances all of the dhatu’s (tissues) that make up our body.  This regular practice helps relieve stress, insomnia, and creates flow in our emotional body as well.  Always use an organic base oil- coconut is too solid for this time of year- so I would recommend a sunflower or raw sesame oil, or an Ayurvedic Oil for your dosha.

Warm the oil gently in a container that is set in hot water, and liberally apply it to your body.  From head to toe.  Take time over your chakra centres, connect with your being.  Let it sit on for 10 minutes minimum, and then rinse it off in a nice warm shower.  You will feel fresh and energized, yet extremely grounded.

瞑想Daily Meditation

Meditation is always helpful, always balancing, and always connecting us to the source and the light that we are:)  20 minutes twice a day will have a profound effect on our sleep, our stress, our joy, and our lives.  If you are new to meditating, feel free to contact me to learn more about it- I am happy to share and teach some techniques, and ways to embrace the bliss of this practice.

Eating Regular Meals At Regular Times

Something so simple to do, yet in our culture we often find it a very difficult to put into practice.  I invite you to notice your eating habits.  Do you sit and eat comfortably, giving attention to your food?  Do you take the time to eat when you are hungry, even if it means consciously taking a break from your busy schedule?  Our biggest meals should be eaten in the middle of the day when our digestion is at its highest.  Warm, hearty and filling meals at this time of day are extremely balancing to our nervous system and aid in our digestion.  Take a day or two and pay attention to your eating habits.  Sometimes we aren’t aware of how out of balance they may be.  Then try an experiment for a week of eating at the same times every day, being with the food as you take it in.  You may be surprised at the difference it makes in your day and in your body.

Taking Time To Rest

DSC_0090A relatively easy thing to do, and very important to honour during this colder and darker season.  Often we will push through our tiredness, trying to get things done, even when our body resists.  Notice the natural cycle of the seasons, and pay attention to how that mirrors your own energy.  At this time of year, we want to honour that inward focus.  We need to replenish our nervous system with more sleep, and relaxation.  If you feel tired, listen, and take the time to sit down, to meditate, to read a book, and to rest.  With darkness falling earlier it’s easier to go to bed before 10, which will encourage a deeper night’s sleep.

Nurture, Nurture, Nurture

This is important at any time of year.  But when the air is cold and dry, when the natural warmth of the sun is waning its an even better time to give yourself a little bit of sweetness.  What is it that you desire?  What is it that your body, or soul needs?  Listen and give your self the gift of that energy.  It’s a great time to get a nurturing body treatment, or to take an afternoon off work, to do something that you really enjoy.  Whats going to bring some warmth to your being?  Give yourself the gift of whatever that may be- You deserve it:)

Subtle Intention- Vibrations of Surrender

Buddha DharmaNamaste,

Autumn is beaming its soft, gentle light upon us now, and with the weather shifting into the deeper, darker nights there seems to be a release to the natural rhythm of inward reflection.  Harvest season is slowing down, and the abundance of all the beautiful food and dreams we planted in the spring are being enjoyed, while at the same time there seems to be space to plant new seeds, to create new intentions that can marinate as we settle into our winter cocoons.

Its been an amazing summer and fall, so much has been moving, in every sense of the word.  I haven’t even had space to sit and be with all of the flow, it has just carried me away, and amazingly enough I have been so supported with an abundance of energy, of health, of all things really.  It has been wonderful to just let go and relax, even when there hasn’t been time to physically do that. It’s been joyful to watch the manifestations of dreams bloom within my being, and to see this energy move out into the world.  It’s been freeing to let go of the thoughts, and to just trust the process of life, and see it unfold before me, as I just move in tandem with it.  And now, as things settle a bit, in my new home and in my body, the vibrations have space to move out, and to release the ama (toxins- emotional, physical and energetic) that has been shaken up in these past few months.  I honour the space to plant new seeds, to see what divine creation brings forth next.   I honour the time given to reflect, and to purify.  I am thankful for all that is.

So, whats new at Ananda Ayurveda.  Well my new work space is beautiful.  So bright and alive with warmth and light.  It’s a powerful, grounded space for deep healing.  I will post some pictures soon.  The Healing Light Yoga Therapy classes have been amazing, such transformation, and we are only half way through.  About 50 students are joining us from all over the world, and I feel with each class the vibrations increasing and the deep healing that is occurring.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this with others, and I am learning/healing from all of the students as they move through their process as well.  Our next offering online will be in January, and I am hoping to either offer some classes locally, and possibly a weekend workshop or two as well, I will keep you updated.

YogaYoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but still with the glorious ocean view. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

The Power Of Subtle Intention

Which way to choose - 3D renderI talk about intention a lot in my classes, newsletters, and sessions with clients.  It’s a powerful way to create energy flow in any aspect of our life and our being, one that is available to us always.  I have found that in my practice, and in my life that what I think about, how I feel about something, and even what I imagine can all come to be.  What is so magical about intention is that there really needs to be no effort behind it, there is no special key to making it happen, and it seems that the more you “force” it into being, the less it seems to manifest.

Yes, sometimes our deepest dreams, hopes, desires seem to get stuck.  Sometimes there is the illusion of lack of flow. Trust that things take time to marinate and to come to fruition, sometimes the universe knows that there is more that needs to be done before the flow can come into place. It doesn’t mean that its time to push against it, or to let the intention go.

So, how do we work with intention? How do we put it out to the universe with out forcing our will onto it?  It’s simple really.  Yes, it is true, what is “simple” can be the most difficult thing to do, especially when it comes into the realm of letting go of control and of letting go of the outcome, and the path that it may take to get to the highest manifestation of your dreams.  My teacher talks about it in terms of sending a letter out into the mail.  When we post something off to another place in the world, even if it’s something very important, we take that letter to the mailbox and we let it go, we trust it will make the journey to its destination.  In a way working with subtle intention is very similar.  We need to just envision into being, whether in words, pictures, colors- any form of vibration, and then we allow it to flow out to the universe, with the beat of our heart and the support of our energy.  The more we are in consciousness or connection to source when we envision it, then the easier it is for it to reach it’s destination.  It’s great to send out the waves of intention after meditation, healing breath work,  savasana, or just upon waking or falling asleep.  The term “waves” is a great way to describe the process of placing the intention.  I often just imagine the thought or the desire (the San Kalpa) in my heart, and then I allow it to expand out into the universe as I transcend on it (surrendering it), as I ride the flow of that light that it connects with.  I may do this a few times or for a few minutes, but each time I allow this magical seed to go, and I surrender to the greater universe with it.  Not focusing at all, just letting it go, and then it seems to naturally repeat in my vibration with no effort.  When the time is right, it comes to be, without me “doing” anything at all.

This is not to say that we can’t have goals and work towards those goals on a more “physical” level.  Of course what we do in our daily lives will help to create the space for this intention to flow.  By setting foundations of a firm practice into being, we can support the subtle energetics of it all.  Always follow your dreams, always walk and move into the desires and the flow that calls you, but notice if you are forcing it, if you are attached to the way it may be playing out, or if you are struggling so hard to make something happen, and when that’s the case I invite you to try to relax, to release and to let go.

***

Recipes

img_5935As the seasons change, it is important to nurture our bodies in this Vata time of year.  To eat nourishing, warmer foods, that are easy to digest.  This will help to support our immunity, our nervous systems, and our physical body, as the temperatures start to drop.

I thought it was time to share another curry, it has been a while and this is a lovely one.  The creaminess of the coconut milk with the warming spices are a balm to our being.  If you don’t have a recipe for korma powder, or garam masala, try to find a nice organic blend at your local health food store, or order from us, we have beautiful spice mixes for sale, 100% organic and made with the most important ingredient- Love. $12 a piece.

I am also sharing a pomegranate chutney as they are coming into season.  Yes they are still imported from California, but what a treat to enjoy.  The pomegranate is very cooling towards pitta,  and this chutney also balances excess vata.  Most of all it is extremely nourishing for our emotional heart.

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Vegetable Masala Curry

  • 2 Tbs Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbs Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 Tbs Korma Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Leek Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Head Cauliflower Chopped
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato or Yam
  • 5 Kale Leaves Coarsley Chopped
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Date, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 4 Tbs Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Coconut Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat ghee/coconut oil in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add leek and ginger and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add cumin seeds, cook for 1-2 minutes
  3. Add korma, and garam masala, stirring constantly until heated through
  4. Pour in coconut milk (if very thick, add a little water), stir to form a sauce
  5. Add remaining vegetables, lemon juice, tamarind paste, bay leaves, and date, stirring frequently as the sauce thickens until the vegetables are cooked (10-20 minutes)
  6. Remove bay leaves, add fresh cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

I like to add cashews in when I add in the vegetables, a nice addition of protien and they soak up the spices and taste heavenly.  Feel free to substitute for the vegetables, and greens, go with what is local or fresh that day in the market:)

Enjoy

***

 

DSC_0004Pomegranate Fig Chutney

  • 1 Tbs Ghee or Coconut Oil
  • 1 ½ Tbs Fresh Grated Ginger
  • ½ Cup Chopped Dried Figs
  • Juice of ½ a Lime
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 – 1 ½ Cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • ½ Cup Fresh Pomegranate Juice ( Made by blending equal parts pomegranate seeds and water, then straining)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 Directions

  1. Heat the ghee in a small saucepan
  2. Add ginger, figs, lime, pomegranate juice, and spices
  3. Cook for 10 minutes at medium low heat, so that the sugars from the figs start to caramalize
  4. Add extra pomegranate juice if necessary
  5. Combine with the pomegranate seeds
  6. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool

***

Once again I want to share my gratitude to you all for taking the time to read this, and for your community.  We are all connected, and as we share in our spirits and in our practice we help to support all beings.  As I share with you, I too receive from each of you, and I thank you for your presence in my path.

I look forward to sharing more with you, the possibilities are endless.  I look forward to further expansion and growth: more classes, retreats, and transformation radiating forth soon:)

Much Love and Peace to you all

Asrael

October Newsletter- Peace With What Is

 

DSC_0065

Loving the lifeNamaste,

I hope this email finds you comfortably in the flow of the autumn season.  Its been a while since I last checked in, and I apologize for that. Vibrations are high, things have been extremely abundant (in all ways), and time has just flown by.  Change is all around and its been a surprisingly grounded, yet fast flow of energy.

I am excited to announce that we have moved into a new home in Cowichan Bay (about 10 minutes from The Hawthorn).  It’s a very different space, and it vibrates deeply with its own expansive and peaceful healing energy.  We are blessed to see the ocean from our living area, and with all the rain of the past week, many beautiful rainbows too.  Ananda Ayurveda will be opening its doors here on Monday, October 7, in a beautiful, light filled space on the ground floor- There is a separate entrance, a beautiful bathroom with a shower if needed, and the space radiates peace and joy.  Pictures to come soon, as we are in the process of painting.  It feels wonderful to be by the seaside, and I even get to walk to teach my yoga classes.

There has been lots happening in life, on a personal and business level, and I have a few new offerings to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as the continuation of all my existing services.  A few months ago I asked for expansion.  Well when you ask, the universe does provide, and I know there is much, much more to come.  On Saturday, October 12, I am excited to be teaching a brand new yoga class, Healing Light Yoga Therapy.  This 6 week class is a powerful exploration and experience of growth and transformation, and available to anyone, anywhere in the world, as it is offered online.  I am also offering a course on Ayurveda And The Energy Body, at Harmony Yoga in Duncan, BC on Sunday October 13 from 1-3:30.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the subtle energies that we are, and to experience the body as much more than a physical being.

Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, we are inside now, but still with the glorious ocean view. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

Peace With What Is

Sunset YogaTime seems to be moving so quickly these days, a reflection of the movement that is flowing through so many of us at this time.  It seems that as the vibrations of the universe increase, that our awareness and our ability to be one with the movement is also increasing.  I am noticing big shifts in the way that not only I, but my clients and friends, comprehend the changes that are occurring.  There seems to be a more subtle acceptance of it all, a surrender to the natural rhythm of the universe, as much as it may move up and down and all around.  Its almost as if there hasn’t even been time to let the mind get involved, to step into the fear. The past few months for many of us have been about action, and movement.  Shedding our skin, it is the year of the snake after all, and instead of leaving it all behind, integrating it into our present awareness, so that there is the connection to our past, a grounded space to be in, to move from and with.  An honouring of all that we are, and all that we have experienced, the easy times as well as the challenging.  This doesn’t mean that there are not the bursts of energy in the chakra centres that can connect to our emotional memories.  There are huge shifts  in those emotions, and they need to be acknowledged and allowed to be experienced, this creates more flow, leading to deeper peace and greater awareness.

Now I know that others are feeling more stuck, more held in.  For some there is a stagnancy, it feels like there is so much ready to move and to open, and the same patterns keep getting played out over and over again.  Perhaps it is with a physical illness that doesn’t seem to want to move, or it keeps returning.  Perhaps it is the memory body that keeps bringing visions and experiences of the past.  For some it is relationships that seem to have lost their sparkle.  Those that are feeling this tired, old energy, are often frustrated, and ready for some movement yet it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  This too is all part of the process, part of what is needed for you to go through, to integrate all of the changes and shifts that are occurring in the subtle bodies.  Your being is just moving with it differently, its releasing and cleansing in its own way, and there is nothing “wrong” with how its happening.  It may feel challenging and that is ok, but remember that its nothing that you are doing.  That you aren’t in control, and the only thing that you really can influence is your reaction, and movement with it.

For all of us, I ask the question.  How does it feel to be with what is?  Is there Peace there?  What would it be like if we let go of attachment to all that was happening, and were ok with what was?

As human beings, we really like to control things, the story is so important to us.  How we feel, what may happen, what should be happening.  The list goes on and on.  As the frequency of the vibrations increase, and the layers of our skin, of our lives are peeled off there is lots of upheaval and change.  For some this is very quick, flowing, moving, like a fast river, filled with rapids.  For others this happens as we hold still, as we stay put, but the energy is still flowing. It never stops.  What would it be like to be at peace with what is for us?  What would it be like to know that it was all just as it needed to be?  This doesn’t mean we have to be happy, this doesn’t mean not feeling emotion, but as we accept and let go of attachment, surrender will come.  With this letting go, there is greater peace, and grounding, whether moving quickly or staying put.  There is the knowing that all is exactly as it should be.

***

Healing Light Yoga Therapy

DSC_0122I wanted to share a little bit about the Healing Light Yoga Therapy that I am offering with my teacher Dr.Paul Dugliss, from New World Ayurveda.  It is such a gift and an honour to work with him, as well as to share this powerful opportunity with the world.  It is a very different experience of yoga, and so much more than an asana class.  Its an opportunity to dive deep, to explore the subtle energetics of your being, and to open to the fullness that you already are.

Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand, both are practices that affect us on the physical,emotional and subtle levels.  In our modern world we seem to focus more on the tangible aspects of these practices, when in reality they offer pathways to the deeper layers of our being.  In a regular yoga class we move our bodies, and deepen our experience of the breath which can expand our experience of mindfulness and peace in our lives, a wonderful and important practice.  But just as we need to connect with our breath and our bodies, we also need to bring our awareness to the more subtle aspects of being, which can be achieved through Healing Light Yoga Therapy.

This practice shares the essence of Ayurveda: connecting with consciousness to heal, to express and to be.  It’s very simple, a matter of connecting with your own innate healer.  This purifies “ama” (impurities- emotional, energetic, karmic, and physical), and encourages release and rebalancing.  This yoga practice is accessible for anyone, even someone that is not physically active.  It combines restorative yoga asana, pranayama (breathing techniques), enlightening energy awareness and the practice of surrender.  By connecting with the deeper layers of consciousness, transformation and healing occur in all ways.  Physically there can be great opening and releasing of pain, emotional blocks melt away, and energetic healing of past lives, chakras, and deepening of the intuition.

This is a powerful practice, that reminds us that there is more depth to yoga than the asana, more layers to Ayurveda then the lifestyle choices, and infinite possibilities for our growth, health and awareness.

The class is offered online in 6 week sessions, the first class starts on October 12.  It’s ok, if you miss one or two, as they are available afterwards for streaming.  The next session will begin in January. Dates to be announced.   I am hoping to create space for a workshop locally in Duncan, sometime this autumn or winter season.

***

Recipe Of The Month

Its time to harvest the rest of the tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse here on the west coast, and the harvest is abundant.  Tomatoes and peppers are both pitta aggravating food, but this soup brings balance to the heat, with coconut, and coconut milk, which also helps to balance vata.  As we are moving into the Vata time of year, nourishing and hearty soups and stews are wonderful additions to the diet.  As always feel free to play with the vegetables you have on hand, adding what feels good to your body.  Enjoy.

Mulligatawny Soup

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups slice leeks, or fennel

1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
1 pinch cayenne to taste (more if you want heat)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 medium carrot chopped
1 large yukon gold potato, or sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1 medium red or orange pepper, seeded and chopped
1 firm tomato, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened finely grated coconut
1 cup coconut milk
2-4 teaspoons fresh lime juice (to taste)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantroIn a medium soup pot, saute the onions and celery in the oil. When the onions are becoming translucent, add the cayenne, turmeric, and ground coriander. Saute for a minute, stirring to prevent the spices from burning. Add the stock, salt, carrot, and potato. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes.Add the pepper, tomato, grated coconut and coconut milk. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Then add the lime juice and cilantro. Adjust the seasonings. Serve at once, or even better, let it sit for an hour or so to bring out the flavors and then reheat gently and serve. Top with fresh cilantro.***1398043As always I thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  I feel such gratitude for each and every one of you.  The light within us all is so full, and so spacious, so beautiful, and I honour each and every connection in my life. Thank you for your piece in this beautiful fabric of life.NamasteAsrael

 

August Newsletter- Riding The Waves of Change

DSC_0023

 

Amorous exploitsNamaste,

I hope that you are all enjoying a bountiful and beautiful summer.  It has been glorious here in the Cowichan Valley, so much sunshine and light, fresh breezes, and just lately a little bit of rain to feed the gardens and the forests.   As I sit outside on my deck writing this, I feel so grateful for the warmth, and space that summer offers.    The gardens are abundant this year, a jungle of growing food, delightful to the eyes, and filled with nutrients and taste for the body.  My favorite sight is the huge pink dahlia that greets me when I walk through the gates.  It reflects the beauty of the heart chakra expanding, so alive, open and breathtaking.  Life is amazing.

Summer has not only been filled with abundance in the garden and sunshine, but there has been abundance in work as well.  Things have been buzzing here at Ananda Ayurveda, a steady flow of clients, old and new, and powerful transformations are occurring.  Not only have I been blessed with fulfillment in practice, I feel the strength of connections in community, in my friendships, and in the beautiful faces I see at yoga every week.  Not only do I get to experience teaching outside next to the ocean in a serene setting twice a week, I am touched by the presence of all of the yogi’s (new and experienced) that shine their spirits bright on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.  What a gift and an honour it is to be able to share my time with everyone.  To teach, to learn, to express, and to open.  Life is amazing.

August is already halfway passed and there are many changes on the horizon.  There will be no monthly meditation this month,  but all other practices are ongoing.  I will be away for a week teaching an amazing Ayurveda and Yoga intensive in Maine, USA with my teacher Dr.Paul Dugliss and New World Ayurveda.  Its so exciting.  Sadie Bartram, will be subbing my yoga classes, and what a gift she is, bright, conscious, and an amazing teacher.

IMG_7070Yoga Classes are at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, it is right outside by the seaside, weather permitting. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

I also wanted to share a dear friend of mine’s new spirit-inspired business venture.  If you meditate or are drawn to the magical energy of gemstones, or consciously inspired jewelry then I highly recommend taking the time to visit Meaningful Mala’s.  Malas are sacred prayer beads, that can be used for mantra’s spiritual focus, or support during meditation and life.  These are particularly beautiful and sacred pieces, all infused with powerful light energy and love.  I have two, and they sparkle radiantly.  When I wear them I feel extra energetic presence, grounding and peace.

***

Steady Vibrations

Which way to choose - 3D renderThere is so much happening right now for many of us.  Emotionally, energetically, physically and mentally there are many vibrations coursing through us.  What was once hidden below the surface is now coming to light, although it doesn’t seem like it has broken through quite yet.  The humming is getting stronger. The movements are building up.  Any sense of calm and peace is held in check by a strong current of transformational energy that is so close to bursting through.   Opportunities arise, the wave reaches a crescendo, and then something happens and it doesn’t manifest, or it turns into a different path.  Old patterns are coming to the surface.  Emotions are moving steadily, as energy expands.  And of course the heart is beating brightly, shining light through all and any discomfort, if we choose to notice it.

What do you notice?  Are you feeling connected to the flow right now, or are there sensations of something bigger happening, something that you can’t quite put your finger on?  Are there emotions or memories arising that you thought you had worked through?  Does it feel like what was once safe and familiar no longer serves you?

We like to think that we have control, and we like to think that we know what will happen, but really one of the only things that we do know for certain is that there will be change. Nothing stays the same, nothing is permanent.

Universally right now it is a huge time of shift and restructuring.  All of the old, heavy, outdated patterns, and foundations are breaking down.  Ways that used to serve us are proving to be no longer useful.  There is rubble in what was thought to be safe, or strong, and there is a powerful sensation of not knowing what will come next, or how things will rise from the old.  One of the ways this is manifesting in our lives are by old emotions, and patterns coming to the surface once again.  Don’t worry they aren’t here to stay.  Open to them, notice them, and allow them to be (don’t encourage them, but embrace them).  Feel their energy like an old friend, and trust that they are part of the transformation.   Whether it be a stuck feeling in the belly, old emotional energy hanging around the heart, or anything else that feels stale and uncomfortable.  Let it be.  It’s on the surface so it can be experienced and released, not pushed back down again.

Pay attention and notice what else you are experiencing.   For many with this heavy current of movement that isn’t quite reaching its potential, there is also a strong sense of light in the heart and in the being.  A sense of peace, of knowing that all is well.  Connect with that, feel that beauty, and notice that even when things are uncomfortable that the light of this powerful energy is still present.  Pay attention to the bursts of gratitude, joy, and connection that arise, and maybe you will notice that those sensations are in everything, even the discomfort.

Another “symptom” of this shift is the inability to really “think” about what is going to happen next, to properly “plan” out the next move.  There is an emptiness when it comes to really creating and focusing the mind on the task, yet when things need to get done, it happens.  This is all part of the restructuring, the mind will always do its thing, monkeying around, but as consciousness expands there won’t always be the need to “know” how everything will happen, or to “know” the answers beforehand.  It will all unfold, and when we need to speak, act, move we will be able to do it spontaneously, and firmly in the moment it is needed.  So if you have been feeling spacey lately, embrace that too, its not a worry, its perfect, as is all the energy that is being shaken up at this time.

As always there are many tools that can help keep the nervous system grounded, and soothed as it grows and opens to the higher vibration.  Meditation, daily self massage, bodywork and time in nature are all powerful tools.  Acknowledging what is, also is extremely helpful, as is trust.  For those that are feeling that there is more to move then they know how Ayurvedic Counseling can be a powerful tool, helping to release old patterns, and bring into practice all that you may individually need for peace, growth and grounding.

***

Recipes of the Month

It’s summertime and the vegetables are abundant.  Whether you grow your own, or buy from a local market, there are so many choices and wonderful foods to enjoy right now.  It’s also hot out and often I find myself too busy to cook big meals, or foods that involve the oven or stovetop at dinner time.  I thought I would share with you two of my favorite salads.  Both of these can be made in advance and left to marinate for the day or overnight.  The cooked grains help with the digestibility of the raw vegetables, and remember to always serve them at room temperature, not ice cold.  I have always loved middle eastern food, so here is a different spin on Tabouli; and Barley is great for summer, easy to digest, and very balancing to pitta in the heat.   These are two recipes that seem to find their way to my table quite regularly these days.

Three Grain Tabouli

Grains

  • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dry millet
  • 1/4 cup dry bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Lemon Blend

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced

Mix

  • 1 large bunch curly leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbs scallions, diced fine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preparation

Rinse grains in a strainer, while you bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add grains, cover and turn down to a low simmer until water is cooked out (about 15 minutes).  Let cool

Puree lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender. Put aside

Coarsely chop the parsley, until you have about 2 cups.  Place in a large bowl and mix together with all of the remaining ingredients, including the grains and the lemon blend.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but even better if it sits overnight.  Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy

If you are gluten free, increase the millet and quinoa by 1/8 cup and make it 2 grain tabouli:) or use buckwheat or kasha instead of bulgur

Barley Mint Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked pearl barley (cooled)
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cups scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery or fennel, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Puree lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a food processor or blender until the garlic is pulverized.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients and let marinate for a few hours.  Serve at room temperature and enjoy.

– Feel free to add different vegetables, I like to throw in zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.  Be creative, and create a colourful and tasty meal.

Both Recipes are from Vegetarian Traditions by George Vutetakis, an amazing chef and a wonderful, inspiring cookbook.

***

IMG_7197Once again, thank you so much for your time and energy in reading this.   I so appreciate each and every one of you.  As I mentioned before there are lots of changes on the horizon.  Expansion in all things, transformation and growth.  I looking forward to sharing it all with you soon:)
Some things to look forward too.. Creative Expression Yoga and Ayurveda retreats filled with Radiant Awareness, hosted by me and my dear friend Robert Halley,  Yoga and Ayurveda Workshops at Bella Yoga in Metchosin, and Harmony Yoga in Duncan, and much much more. Stay tuned, and enjoy yourself:)
Namaste
Asrael

 

July Newsletter- Comfortable With Uncertainty

Woman and maze

IMG_5992Namaste

I hope this newsletter finds you in a beautiful space, wherever that may be.  I can’t believe it is already almost July, what a full, and busy summer it has been.  I have been blessed with lots of physical flow in my life so far this summer, so enjoying the travelling and connections with friends and clients.  This travel has allowed me to embrace the strength of the city, and the also the amazing depth of knowledge of so many Ayurvedic Practitioners, and Doctors, at the AAPNA conference in Vancouver a few weeks ago.   Just to be balanced out with the quiet calm connections of community and deep natural beauty at Quadra Island last week.  Such different places, and energies, both filled with exactly what I needed at the time.  I am excited to be doing further travel this summer in August, teaching a Yoga and Ayurveda Course in Portland, Maine.  I can’t wait to spend the time with my mentor as well as share in spreading the knowledge with the students, there is space available if anyone is interested, and it can be done online too:)

Things as always are lush and beautiful here at the Hawthorn, we have been blessed with our early planting, eating abundantly from the garden already- Beets, Carrots, Peas, Broccoli and more greens than you can imagine:)  We even have some small tomatoes on our early plants.  I feel as the seeds from the garden produce, so too are the seeds planted in my being.  Movement is starting to stir inside, and the spaciousness is beginning to show its potential.  I am in the midst of planning some retreats, hopefully I will get the dates out soon.  A Cowichan Valley retreat in September, and maybe someplace more tropical in February or early March.  I am very excited to watch things shift and grow.

This month’s  Monthly Meditation Morning  will be held Sunday July, 14.  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 space is for any silent mediation type, no experience necessary.  Its a beautiful opportunity to sit in silence and just be, with all and anything that is.

IMG_7070Yoga Classes are ongoing at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay,  Mondays, and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00, it is right outside by the seaside, weather permitting. It is a lovely class, great for all levels, and a beautiful community to practice with.

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.  ConsultationsAyurvedic CounselingTarot Readings, and Jyotish Astrology are also available.

***

Comfortable With Uncertainty

Sacred MudraAs summer comes into full swing I am noticing the beginnings of new movement in my being.  Almost as if I have been in a gestational period and that new life will blossom forth soon.  The spacious peace that I have been experiencing is deepening and shifting to an experience of great vibrations, and of powerful energetic movement. I trust that this will in time be mirrored in a more external way as well.  As I feel this expansive energy start to awaken in my body, it’s not necessarily comfortable, it doesn’t feel so safe or controllable, instead it feels like a river of movement that will flow where nature takes it.  I notice it more as sensations in my body, a feeling in my chest, perhaps a tickling in my belly.  Is it excitement, is it anxiousness, or is it just energy flowing?

The first thing I try to do is let go of the labelling of it, and just acknowledge its presence.  What is my mind going to do, but create a connection to something in the past, probably something fear based?  Instead as I just notice the energy, even deepen my experience of it by bringing my awareness there, it shifts into a fuller experience.  That experience is not always the same, and I remind myself to let go of any judgement, to notice what happens, and to let it follow its natural course.  Sometimes the sensations soften, and disappear as the energy moves and shifts, at other times it may become more intense, and bring back powerful memories, or stronger sensations in the body, before transforming into a space of openness.  Other times it just seems to stay around, reminding me of its presence, letting me know that there is energy building, making its self known.   As I let go of the judgement and attachment to it I become fascinated by the sensations that it brings, the way that it feels, and the way that I experience and react to it.

Its important to remember as things shift and move in our lives and around us, that we are never in control, that we never really know for certain what is going to happen.  At times when things start to move, when life gets a little wobbly or even if there is just a new feeling of energy moving through us, we are thrown into the knowledge of our tenuous hold on things and that can create the feeling of a tailspin.  Its so easy to feel safe and in “charge” when life is still, but are we ever really?  When life moves, when energy shifts, when something is born into being it can be scary, overwhelming, and filled with uncertainty.  There can be feelings of fear, mixed with excitement, adventure mixed with trepidation.  These times are a wonderful opportunity to dive in to your awareness and let go of any sense of control, to play with the sensations of emotion, to open yourself to all the possibilities.  Anything can happen, at anytime, and as we hold onto a feeling of what needs to be, or play into thoughts of being in control, we just set ourselves up for suffering and disappointment.  When energy starts to move, when life flows, whether easily or in a challenge, explore the moment, play with the sensations, acknowledge all of the emotions, and embrace the uncertainty- its a great reminder of the life energy flowing through us.  Trust that nature will lead us exactly where we need to be.  That we are exactly where we need to be, and that being in control of that is just an illusion.

***

Recipe Of The Month

Our garden is bursting with peas at this time of year.  Planted in early March, they have grown taller than me, and their abundant white flowers keep popping with tasty sweet pods.  We have both snap peas and shelling peas in the garden.  They are delightful to add to any meal, adding fresh energy, and sweet enjoyment.

Seared Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil,coconut oil, or ghee
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 3-4 scallions or green onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • Salt
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh Squeezed Lemon juice to taste

Directions

1 Heat a large sauté pan on high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and heat it until it shimmers, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar peas and toss to coat with the oil. Sprinkle salt over them and toss again. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute.

2 Add the green onions and fresh ginger. Toss to combine. Let cook for 1 minute. Toss and cook untouched again, this time leaving everything undisturbed for 2 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat, mix in the lemon zest and mint, then add black pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve at once.

Enjoy

***

IMG_5350As always, I thank you for your time in reading this.  I always appreciate your comments and your feedback, and I look forward to connecting with you again soon.  Let me know how you are doing, and open your heart to the possibilites of connecting in a Yoga Retreat sometime soon, whether here in the Valley, or someplace warm and tropical in the winter.

Above all, encourage your being to enjoy the flow, to feel the changes, and to embrace the uncertainty~ every moment is fresh with possibilites, and we never know what will happen, so remember to take time to pay attention and to enjoy the journey:)

Much Peace

Asrael

 

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