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.
Yoga 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. Consultations, Ayurvedic Counseling, Tarot 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.
There 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
- 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
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 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
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.
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
- 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.