Raw and Grateful

Sun BurgerWhat does one get excited to eat for Thanksgiving dinner when they are doing a raw cleanse?  Well this one is very excited to enjoy one of my favourite raw dishes from Raw Roses book, Uncooking with Raw Rose. It is the delicious Sun Burgers with all of the fixings. Just a warning here as I continue to blog about my raw cleanse, I will be mentioning Rose’s book often, but mostly because it is my favourite raw recipe book. If you are interested in this particular recipe you’ll have to contact Rose or myself to purchase her book.  I am writing about my cleanse, but for those of you interested in the recipe, that is where you’ll find it.

I want to share that it is possible to be just as excited for Thanksgiving Dinner as everyone else craving their turkey and mashed potatoes.  I made sure that yesterday I did all of my own food preparation so that I would be able to sit down at the family dinner table tonight and be just as satisfied.  My bonus will be that I won’t suffer from the food coma like everyone else (that doesn’t mean I am doing all the dishes by myself after).  While the family is enjoying pumpkin pie, I will be very grateful for the wonderful gourmet raw chocolates that I made for my dessert.

If I sound like the typical “dieter” who sadly munches on their salad wishing they were eating what everyone else was, but pretends they are loving their salad, this is definitely not the case.  I am truly excited about my dinner tonight, and feel so very grateful for the abundance of fresh, healthy food that I am able to enjoy.  I know I’m doing what my body needs me to.  In the recent past I’ve chosen a very out of balance way of being and I now have the motivation to correct it.  My health has become my priority thanks to the support of my transiting planets of my astrological chart, and I am not going to waste this loving, supporting energy.

I have collected a lot of tools over the years for living and being healthy, and I’ve practiced many ways of being.  I have “failed” and “succeeded” over and over and each time I’ve been able to keep a gem for my treasure box, seeing the beauty in each lesson.  Now I get to practice presence and to not hold onto judgements of the past.  I am here now, and this is all that matters.  Today I choose to do what is in the highest good for my well-being, and that is enough. I have let go of excuses, and blaming others for not fully supporting me or not choosing to make the same choices as me.  This is my journey, and I need to be fully accountable.  I am grateful to be in this place today.  I am grateful for my beautiful family.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to make every moment a new beginning to practice being the best me I know how to be, without judgement.  I am here, now…and I am so very grateful to experience it with the freshness of each brand new moment, over and over again.

 

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Raw Noodles & Pesto

Zucchini & Pesto NoodlesMy partner said to me last night, it must be hard to get full while eating raw.  I replied it’s actually more difficult for me to get hungry!

I start each day with a fresh juice or smoothie, later I snack on some fruit and vegetables, then I try and eat my supper around 3 or 4 in the afternoon (I enjoy it most at this time).

The food I am consuming is so full of nutrients that my body is able to use; it gets the job done right the first time around.  I am not mindlessly consuming empty, lifeless food hoping to eventually feel full.  I also get the benefit of feeling energized after I eat instead of feeling like I need to go and relax because I ate too much.  So for now I am enjoying the positive benefits of my raw cleanse.

As one of my mentors Raw Rose likes to quote:

“Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels”      – Anthony Robbins

Here is one of my suppers I made for myself that was quick, easy, and really yummy!

Zucchini

Raw Noodles & Pesto

 Zucchini 

  • Make desired amount of Zucchini noodles using a peeler or mandolin 

Creamy Avocado Pesto

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cup of Spinach
  • ½ Cup Pecans
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ¼ Cup of fresh Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. of Lemon juice
  • ½ of Water or more to get desired consistency
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

– Blend ingredients in a blender

Vegan Parmesan Cheez (optional) 

  • ½ cup slivered Almonds
  • ½ cup raw Cashews
  • ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder

– Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse until a fine meal forms

– Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months

Assembling Noodles and Pesto:

– Toss Zucchini Noodles and  desired amount of Pesto Sauce in a bowl

– Sprinkle some Vegan Parmesan Cheez on top

– Add fresh Cherry Tomatoes (optional)


Ingredient List:

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cup of Spinach
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ¼ Cup of fresh Basil
  • 1 Tbsp. of Lemon juice
  • ½ cup slivered Almonds
  • ½ cup raw Cashews
  • ½ Cup Pecans
  • ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper

Recipe by Raven Magik

www.ravenmagik.com

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Going “Raw”

FullSizeRenderThe other day while talking to my sister-in-law she told me her neighbour gave her a fresh zucchini from the garden, and that she wanted me to have it. She then sweetly follows up with, could you pleeaaasseee make me that amazing raw lasagna?  I haven’t made it in years, but lucky for her I was about to venture into a raw food cleanse. This to me was a sign from the Universe that I am being supported to follow through on my recent contemplation of taking on a raw food lifestyle in order to bring myself back into balance.

This particular recipe is one of the fussier raw food dishes that I like to make. I tend to only be motivated to create such meals when I am eating clean, real food. Apart of it I believe has to do with energy levels.  I feel inspired and motivated to accomplish a lot more in my everyday routine when I’m fuelled by living foods with a higher vibrational frequency.

Other benefits I find is that my taste buds change and I get really excited about eating real food, and only real food.  If you are wondering how could someone eat something that wasn’t real, well my definition of food that isn’t real refers to the processed, modified, chemically altered and tampered with products that have been mastered into luring and deceitful products.  Some of us love to consume these food imposters even though we really shouldn’t.  I then take it to the next level by not cooking my real food, so all the live enzymes stay in tact.

Once upon a time I was a firm believer of only eating 100% raw food, but this is because when I did for a period of six consecutive months, I felt the most energized and on top of the world in my entire adult life.  I have since evolved into seeing the benefits of other ways to eating healthy whole foods, and know that many people feel great consuming cooked grains, beans, vegetables etc.  I think that since we are such complex beings that the most important way of living, comes down to finding out the formula that resonates best for you.  In our society food is much more than physical nourishment, so based on many different personal factors, there will be lots to consider.

At this moment I am choosing to cleanse and detox by consuming 99% raw. I only leave out that 1% because sometimes I’ll eat a toasted nut or two, or maybe eat non-raw nori, but my goal is to eat as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.  When eating this way your body eventually is able to use all that you consume and therefore hunger doesn’t happen the same as before.  Because you aren’t putting in empty, useless calories that the body can’t utilize, you need a lot less food each day,  well at least that is my experience.

After a few days of detoxing and feeling disoriented as my body tries to figure out what to do with the lack of processed cooked food, and how to make the most of the fresh living foods, I start to feel good.  I’m still up and down a bit, but I’ve spent far too long eating whatever.  I’ve been a strict vegetarian for 17 years now, but on and off as a raw foodist, or vegan.  As we all know there are way to many concoctions out there to support an unhealthy vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.  I have even learned you can be an unhealthy raw foodist.

The most important thing when it comes to following a healthy lifestyle, is to know that you are your best doctor, nutritionist, or coach.  Listen to your body, research what interests you, learn from others as well, but in the end you know what works best and what you need.  There is far too much information and opinions out there, especially in the health industry, and it is changing all of the time.  The thing I love about this is that it has forced me to be the one to know what I need, or to at least try and figure it out.  I have also found it important to not attach to the labels such as “vegan” or whatever because it then limits the ability to truly listen to the body and it’s needs.  It is all a process, and with multiple important planets in my sixth house in my astrological natal chart, it is a major part of my journey to focus on my health and mastering my optimal self.

Once I hit day five of eating raw, I felt inspired enough to make the raw lasagna that my sister-in-law requested.  It is a two day recipe, but oh so worth it.  I decided to take pictures and share it here with you.  I look forward to eating it for my 3:00 supper today, and will happily share it with other family members who are interested to try it as well.

Today I am inspired to create some delicious raw desserts like raw chocolates, raw “cheez” cake with berry sauce, or a chocolate coconut cake.  Once I get started I wouldn’t be surprised if I make them all!

Almond Ricotta

 

By request, here is the recipe:

Raw Lasagna Recipe

 Extra Prep Time:

  • Prepare Almond Cheez (soak 8 hrs. + ferment 8 hrs.)
  • Soak sun-dried tomatoes
  • Marinate mushrooms for at least 1 hour to overnight
  • Lasagna can be warmed in dehydrator 1-2 hours

Quantity: 7”x 7” casserole dish, or 9” round spring form pan (4-6 servings)

 Ingredient List:

  • 1 green onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 4 portabella mushrooms
  • 2-3 medium zucchini
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 vine ripe red tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon probiotic powder
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Nama Shoyu or other unpasteurized soy sauce
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup raw cashews

Directions: 

Almond Ricotta:

  • 1 cup Almond Cheez
  • 1 Green Onion (minced fine)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (crushed)
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Place ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside

Almond Cheez:

  • 1 cup of Almonds to soak (8-12 hours)
  • ½ cup water + ¼ teaspoon probiotic powder (= 1 capsule)

To make Almond Cheez, leave skin on, or remove it. The colour and texture are more cheese-like when skin is removed. For both methods:

  • Soak almonds in cold water 8-12 hours
  • To make a white, creamy ricotta, remove skins by pinch/peel almonds while they are still in water. Discard soak water and skins
  • Rinse and drain peeled or unpeeled almonds. Blend almonds with water and probiotic powder until smooth and creamy
  • Pour into a nut mylk bag hanging over a bowl (to catch drippings), or put a nut mylk bag or cheesecloth into a colander, over a bowl. Do not use a metal colander or strainer. Ferment 8 – 12 hours (less in warmer weather) in a warm (not hot) place. If the room is cold with no warm location, cover with a damp towel and place in dehydrator set at 90º
  • When desired fermentation is reached, scoop out cheez and store in a covered glass container up to a week

Tomato Pesto Layer

  • 1 cup Dried Tomatoes
  • Water to reconstitute
  • 1 bunch of Basil
  • 1 cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Soften tomatoes in a small amount of water. Drain, reserving liquid, and place in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade
  • Pulse together with the rest of the ingredients until it is a thick paste. If need be, add enough of the tomato soak water to complete processing

Mushroom Layer

  • 4 Portabella Mushrooms
  • ¼ cup Nama Shoyu or other unpasteurized soy sauce
  • Rinse, dry, and stem caps.
  • Slice thinly crosswise, place in bowl and stir in soy sauce to coat
  • Let sit one hour to overnight in the refrigerator
  • Drain and press out excess liquid before using

Zucchini Layer

  • 2-3 medium Zucchini, sliced 1/16 inch thick lengthwise using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler or a mandolin

Spinach Layer

  • 2 cups Spinach (chop just before assembling Lasagna)

Tomato Layer:

  • 2 vine ripe red Tomatoes, sliced thin

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • ½ cup slivered Almonds
  • ½ cup raw Cashews
  • ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse until a fine meal forms
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months

Assembling Lasagna:

  • Lay strips of zucchini lengthwise and crosswise in dish
  • Spoon some of the tomato pesto on top and spread evenly
  • Cover with a layer of mushrooms and press with spatula
  • Spoon and spread 1/2 of the ricotta cheez
  • Cover with a layer of spinach
  • Press firmly
  • Repeat above steps
  • Add a last layer of zucchini slices
  • Top with fresh sliced tomatoes
  • Finish by sprinkling Parmesan Cheez across the top
  • Serve immediately, or warm in dehydrator at 125 º for 1 to 2 hours. Store in fridge up to 2 days

*Inspired by different recipes including the Almond Ricotta from Uncooking with Raw Rose.

 Recipe by Raven Magik

www.ravenmagik.com

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Shadow Work

Shadows_dancingThe filter to which most view the world is through the thought process. Sometimes we are very attached to our way of thinking that we are unaware of the results it directly creates in our day-to-day life. The thoughts trigger our emotions and then our emotions trigger our actions. If you take the time to accept the truth of your thoughts and feelings from the very roots that they sprout, then you will bring light to them. When we resist painful emotions we continue to supress them or only half deal with them. By allowing yourself to fully be in what you are feeling and then decide if it is the truth or not, you shed light and bring clarity to what is actually going on.  This is called shadow work.  Darkness is the absence of light.  When we bring light into the shadows all can be seen.  This awareness raises the vibration of the once hidden energy.

Often people avoid going into the shadow side of their truth thinking it will go away or they wont have to deal with it, but instead it continues as a heavy, lingering energy without any clarity or direction. This also creates confusion and misunderstandings to why things go the way they do.  It is important to figure out what your fears are. Do you fear you are unworthy or undeserving of love? If this is a feeling of yours then find out the root of it. Why do you feel this way? Don’t be afraid of the dark.  Your presence alone will illuminate the path to the truth.

If we understand that our egos are tools used to accomplish our souls lessons in order to evolve, then we can accept that the ego’s expressions are not personal. Feel what you are feeling and thinking, but don’t attach to it like it is the truth.

Focus on the magnificent energy of your divine connection to all things in life. See the ego or false self as an amusing part of this journey, but don’t, by any means take it to heart. Once you connect to the source of life, you will feel the warmth and comfort of spirit in every moment, regardless if you are alone, or in a busy place of many occupied people. Love will emanate from the inside out of your being, and there will be no desire to feel that something outside yourself should fill a void within. You will know in your heart that, that is not possible.

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Did you RTFM?

oh_noooo

Why did we not come with a manual when we were born?  I know many parents would have loved this when they brought children into their world. If we had the opportunity to read our own personal manual to understand our purpose and experiences in this life, then maybe there would not be so many lost souls struggling to figure out what the point of all of this is.

Well I have come bearing good news, for those who are unaware…we did come with a manual!  It may sound crazy, but it is true.  You might want to read my previous article “Who is Driving…Hu or Man?” first, to get a better understanding of what I am about to address here, but maybe you will understand it anyway?

First off Hu (our life essence, energy from source, God) does not come with a manual.  It does not need one because it just “IS”, the old “I AM that I AM” energy cannot be put into any sort of intellectual script to be understood. If you are fortunate enough, Hu is doing the majority of the driving for your human vehicle, and this is where we get to “trust in the process” of life.

For the most of us though, we have not yet figured out how to keep “Man” (our ego self) out of the drivers seat, and so then we get taken on some pretty crazy rides, that sometimes lead us off of our path (life detours).  Now I realize there is a debate on whether everything happens for a reason, and that it is all suppose to be what it is.  Some believe we get to figure out where free will comes in, and when it does, then that is what it was suppose to be… or was it? If we believe in free will, then the question becomes whether or not that free will decisions are pre-destined already or are we able to alter the course as we go?  You decide which theory works best for you.

I accept that at this time I am not aware of all of the answers to the big questions in life.  I know that my beliefs change and evolve over time as I remember the truth of my being. I will now get to the point of what I wanted to discuss in this article.

Man… is the ego expression of our self in this lifetime.  It is what gives us our unique sense of being as an individual doing our “part” here. The manual I discussed earlier is the manual for the Man-being of our existence.  If you would like to know how to successfully operate this useful tool along your journey, so that your soul may evolve as it came here to do, then RTFM! (For those who don’t know what RTFM stands for it is Read The F***king Manual!). Where would one find this manual I am speaking of, you may be wondering?

Well when you were born you entered this world at a precise moment in time here on earth.  In that very moment if you were to take a snapshot picture of the sky, from the location you arrived, there you would see what astrologers refer to as your birth natal chart.  This is your specific manual for this journey.  In it you will discover the energies that you chose to make up your persons expression, to come here and learn exactly what you need to. You will find your obstacles, your gifts, your influences and desires all in this astrological manual.

The manual is translated on many levels.  Most of us are aware of our Sun sign and it’s interpretation.  Since some do not fully realize that it is just one piece of the puzzle in a chart, although a significant one, they tend to brush off astrology as nonsense if they cannot fully relate to it.

When we start to explore our chart even just a little bit, we soon discover all of the many cosmic influences that express themselves through our personal being. There can be very dominating aspects that create certain patterns in our behaviour that we may not realize these are the reasons we are doing the things we do.  Feeling stuck or frustrated in life we end up confused at the outcomes of our journey, so we continue on the treadmill of cycles trying to figure out what we are doing wrong.  Or sometimes we are aware of certain gifts or talents we may have, but do not know how to direct them, or do not realize they are one of the most significant factors in our purpose of this life.

Learning to interpret a birth chart can bring a sense of relief when we see that the challenges we face in life are intentional.  This is a blueprint of our internal wiring. As we evolve and are influenced by the multiple environmental circumstances, we may recognize that there may be some re-wiring required to achieving our souls purpose. Before one starts messing with this sensitive system, it helps to know how everything is naturally hooked up first.  The nature of astrology is so complex that you will have to do your own homework to learn how to read a chart, or find someone to help read it for you.  Once you start though, the fascinations will more than likely pull you in so much, that you will effortlessly want to carry on exploring!

Here is a brief breakdown of a chart:  There are the planets (Saturn, Mars, Venus etc.) in our solar system that each emanate a specific kind of energy and bring certain lessons to us.  How the lessons are taught is filtered through the different zodiac signs (Libra, Taurus, Leo etc.) energy. The areas in our life, or where these lessons take place happen in various “houses” in a chart, for the interpretation of this aspect you will need the exact time of your birth.  Each house is designated to a specific subject or topic in the human journey.  When looking at a birth chart you will see it all divided up into twelve sections, these are the houses.  Where the planets are placed, and which signs occupy the different houses, creates the energetic expression of you.  Without diving into any more details of reading a chart at this time, I will move on now.

If we accept that we came here with a mission, and we want to accomplish this mission, then it might not be such a bad idea to RTFM! This manual holds the valuable information of where we have come from, the karmic lessons we have come to deal with, the operating tools we have been provided with for this particular mission, and how and where to use them.  We can discover where we need to work harder, what natural gifts we can embrace, and what details are important to not overlook.  This of course is only if we want to consciously be participating with completing what we came here to do individually.

Over the years I have witnessed multiple ways to get a job done.  It’s kind of like assembling a piece of furniture.  You have the natural intuitive who has learned over the years what works and what does not.  They toss aside the instructions and just piece together the project in front of them.  It was likely that this was after many years of trial and error that they started to pay attention to what worked and what didn’t.  They may have learned through other people’s mistakes, maybe they listened to the wisdom of their elders, or maybe they just tapped into source and surrendered to the ultimate truth for their situation. These people have developed their conscious connection to the greater whole.

There are also those who toss aside the instructions and fumble their way through the process.  They can sometimes be the know it all’s and often find themselves back tracking because things didn’t quite line up properly.  Maybe their piece of furniture is now crooked or unstable, or they are left over with some mysterious pieces that they have no idea where they belong? They were too eager to get the job done and not pay attention to the details.  Sometimes after great frustration they disassemble everything and start from scratch. They may even do this multiple times before they choose to look a little closer at the important details they overlooked.  If they are fortunate, they get to a place where they feel complete with their project, imperfections included. Whether or not they completed the project they were supposed to in this lifetime is another story.

When we purchase a new gadget with multiple functions we can choose to explore its abilities by playing around with it.  Sometimes we get frustrated because we can’t figure out how to make a particular feature work, and this is where to RTFM will make a difference.  It will also help learn about all the incredible functions that it is capable of. Reading the manual of our Man being, AKA the astrological birth chart, we get insider details so precise on the mission we signed up for and how we are meant to execute it, I cannot imagine not reading it once one has learned of its existence.  It is in my chart though to dive deep into the depths of astrology, so of course I think that way.

As this great shift in consciousness continues to expand amongst the collective, more and more of us are tapping into our souls purpose for evolution.  We are seeing and feeling the magical thread that weaves itself through all of existence. We are feeling connected to our power and know we are greater than this temporary human experience.

More of us are realizing that our soul did come here with a mission so defined and detailed like a well-oiled machine, and that every individual part is required here.  The more of us that express our part the way it was assigned to do so, the more the other parts are supported to run the way they are suppose to.  As a whole we start generating the most magnificent source of energy in the cosmos, expanding to a place that one could only once imagine.

When you are ready you may choose to connect to your souls purpose in this life’s mission.  There are many outlets to do so.  I personally have discovered that reading the astrological birth chart has been the most clear, biggest writing on the wall ever of what we have each come here to do and be.  It is actually quite the gift we have been given.  It is a manual that provides the blue print of your journey and continues to be a checking point along the way as you follow the movement of the sky and line it up with your original chart. It becomes a continuous language to de-code as you follow the ever-changing pulse of life.

Now it is not in my nature to share, what seems like an aggressive message to me, the importance to RTFM.  I just remember a time when computers were still new to have in our home, and there was a family member of mine who was quite genius in understanding how to operate them. His biggest complaint was people not reading the manuals to the new software, any add on accessory, or the computer itself.  They were always asking him for advice for something that was clearly stated in the manual already.  He used to always ask first, did you RTFM TWICE!?  Yes he still helped people, especially if they did read the manual and were still confused, but he would ask if they have done this first, since he did not support laziness.

How can you expect to understand something new to you if you don’t take the time to read the instructions that it came with?  If you believe in past lives, you may know this isn’t your first barn dance. Regardless, we seem to have been designed with an amnesia feature that takes effort to transform it.  As we re-discover our truth, without judgement we can gracefully accept our personal mission.

If trial and error, hit and miss, or repetition is your thing, then carry on with whatever floats your boat.  But, if the truth of your souls mission is important to you, and you want to understand the unique intricacies of the who, what, when, where, why and how’s of it all, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll take the time to RTFM!

 

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Who is driving… HU or MAN?

Earth Angel 70

We are human, which is made up of two main parts.  The HU (pronounced hue) is our true essence, our soul, and the truth of who we are.  The MAN (pronounced ego), is the stuff we manifest here on earth, the energy that can be manipulated and thrown around in every direction.   

We are made up of both energies, but HU is what we are and the MAN is what we use as our tool.  When we recognize MAN is taking control, we can then see we have misplaced the true purpose of MAN’s role in our life. HU just “is” and if we recognize when we have lost touch with HU we can then choose to return to this connected place once again. This will effortlessly diminish the power of MAN’s egoistic energy.

When we recognize these two parts of our existence, we then can see which one we have allowed in the drivers seat in different situations of our lives.  Now MAN should not ever be in the drivers seat, it is just the passenger, it can help with navigation, passing you some water, taking care of HU (you :).   It is the assistant along this journey.

If this energy jumps in the driver seat, put it back in its place.  It is not your truth, you are HU, don’t get fooled by this very tricky part of yourself.  It has a place, just know where that is and there will be a lot less stress, pain, and discomfort.  Not that those things are bad to feel and experience, they are actually necessary in evolving HU, but it cannot be done effectively unless MAN is in the passenger seat and HU in the drivers seat.  

The gift of having HU taking us along in this journey is accepting that we do not have to attach to our ego’s ideas and judgements of who we think we are.  The concepts that we create, of what we are all about don’t exist in the presence in HU.  All of the ego’s structure falls away; it no longer defines us because we know that it is all an illusion of the mind.  These defining beliefs that we create, is what also creates separateness.  Ego makes us feel special to have a sense of an individual identity.

HU is oneness.  The only thing that creates the separation is our personalities in our passenger seat that we allow to direct us on our journey.  It creates the varying dynamics on our planet.  It gives us the outlets to learn, grow and evolve to the point where we realize that the truth of who we are is of all the same energy, from the same source.  It is like we have all been given assignments to come here on earth to complete. When I look at everyone’s birth natal charts in astrology and I see how aligned everyone is with the energies of the planets of their chart, it tells me that the universe is much greater than my MAN’s mind could ever fully understand.

The complexity of a birth chart has so much detail happening that lines up with each persons journey, that I am amazed when people say that astrology is nonsense.  I realize that most people only think about their sun sign in astrology and don’t fully understand the depth to reading a whole chart, but more people are starting to get it and accept its purpose.

Even fully understanding a birth chart in astrology is just a tool used here. It is a stepping-stone to the realization of the ultimate acceptance of HU.  The mind that creates the attachments to the beliefs about who we are and what we do is the false self that we create.  A picture gets painted of our reality based on the ideas we hold on to.  We decide if we feel good enough or worthy enough to be or do certain things in this life.  We decide if other people are doing their life right or wrong, based on the belief system we have bought into.  Eventually, if we are fortunate enough, none of this will matter.  We wont get so caught up in the chaos of our minds.  We will acknowledge our passenger in the seat beside us, but a knowing of our true essence, the HU that runs through us all that “IS”.  It just is, and there are no egoistic, man driven definitions to label, judge, control, or manipulate it.  It is the truth of who we all are.

So the next time you find yourself in a stressed out situation, maybe ask yourself how you can put MAN back in the passenger seat and allow HU to take the wheel.

Remember HU comes before MAN for a reason.  We are HU first, MAN second.  If life is seeming a little messed up, you are likely operating as a MAN-HU, and that’s just silly! You are a HUMAN.

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What is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me!

FreedomWhen it comes to a relationship, what is love? Is it simple? Is it complicated? Does it carry more light energy than dark?  What constitutes a healthy relationship? These are a few questions I ask myself every now and then. After many years in the same intimate relationship, I have had many opportunities to reflect on all of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”.

A neat thing I’ve learned about relationships is that absolutely everything I connect with along my journey is a relationship.  A relationship can be with myself, a partner, a child, a thought process, a routine, my work, my car, and so on.  The common denominator is me.  So, when I remember to take a moment and pause each time I feel stress, or discomfort with someone, or something else, I ask myself  ‘How am I participating in this exchange?’

This is an exciting place to be, to know that I get to accept the truth of my moment, or reject it.  What is the truth, one may ask? Well this is for me to discover in each and every moment.  My truth may be ego based and attached to the need to control and judge, or my truth may be grace and acceptance of what is, rather than what I think it should be.  The secret is, that what I believe to be me in that moment, will influence my experience, and to know that “my” truth does not always equal “the truth”.

If I believe I am my ego, then I will participate accordingly.  Feelings will get hurt, the need to tell others how to behave will either come out of my mouth, or be implied by my intentional silence and body language.  My thoughts will be of judgement, resistance, and the need for control. Not all ego experiences cause discomfort either.  It can be pretty tricky when it comes to distracting us from the truth. In a place of ego I may feel like I am doing everything in the best interest for all involved.  I may fall under the illusion that I’m trying to help others, or improve a situation, not realizing that it is my own egoistic needs that are truly being met in that moment.

Why is it so important to understand the difference between ones ego and the truth when it comes to relationships?  When there are exchanges in a relationship, there is always an opportunity to expose the truth.  Since I am here to consciously evolve, I take advantage of life’s daily chances to do so.

Although it is much easier to point the finger and blame others, or outside circumstances for how I feel, I try to choose courage and honesty of my part in that moment.  The realization doesn’t always happen immediately, and my ego sometimes puts up a great battle to resist the truth of the moment, but I stay strong and wait to be hit by the overwhelming embrace of the purity of truth. Of course this only happens once I get out of my own way.

We seem to get lost in looking around us at what everyone else is doing wrong.  I hear a lot of people saying to those they are close to “Do this”, “Don’t do that”, “Speak this way”, “Don’t say those words”.  It makes sense, since we are domesticated from a very early age.  We have collectively decided long ago what is acceptable, and what isn’t when it comes to the common way of behaving. When someone steps out of this format, people become very uncomfortable, and feel the urge to implement domestication.  How dare someone behave wild and free to the beat of their own drum.  We become comfortable being comfortable and resist the challenge of taking on our own desire to control others instead of just accepting someone for where they are.

It takes courage to apply every feeling to your own responsibility for your state of peace, or lack of it.  It takes honesty to know that you decide what your daily experience looks and feels like.  If everyone decided that the only one they needed to change or control was themselves, then what a loving and accepting place this would be. If we knew that what anyone ever said to us had nothing at all to do with us, and that it was just them expressing their words through their life’s filter, then no one could ever steal our peace, or take away our freedom.

So yes, Love in a relationship is simple, because we only ever have one relationship in this lifetime, and that is with our self.  If we choose to remain pure, without care or worry and allow others to do the same, we will find life a lot more harmonious.

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The Hanging Man

After a bit of distraction from life’s chaos, I chose to get back to business with my personal studies. I like to pull a Tarot card a day, because I find this helps me connect on a personal level with each card. Today was the first time I’ve done this since I’v shaved my head. I could not believe how much I could relate to todays card, The Hanging Man XII, with my recent choice to drastically alter my appearance.

This card represents the half way point of the Fools journey in the story of the Tarot cards. It is a place to pause, reflect, and connect with our spirituality. A place to let go of our material perspectives, release the burdens of our everyday world, and to find a way to alter our everyday view that we’ve become accustomed to seeing. It is also a place to suspend our beliefs, and look out a different window.  It represents a time to leave our comfort zone, become uncomfortable, and trust in our abilities to still function. To know that in order to evolve, change and challenges push us out of our everyday box, requiring us to step up and find a new way of being.

If I so happen to live a “full” life, I am about half way through my journey. I have been responding to changes and challenges of all kinds throughout my life. Shaving my head is just a change that I initiated on purpose to shake things up a little. My astrological birth chart will not allow me to have any moments of boredom. I guess as I mature and life settles down a little bit, I have to resort to such things as removing all of my hair.

Now the Hanging Man card represents my journey at this time of my life. I’v taken away a mask I am use to wearing, my long hair, and have asked myself to see beyond my appearance. I am being asked to let go of a material attachment and connect with the energy of a planet that is connected to this card, which is Neptune. Neptune governs spirituality, change, and illusion. I’ve been under the illusion that my hair had more significance than it actually does.

I have let my hair go physically, and I am now slowly releasing my emotional attachment, being left with the truth of my soul. More and more I feel my presence of being, and less of how I look. I still believe our physical bodies and looks have significance along this journey, I am just taking a pause, hanging upside down for a little while, and rethinking my identity a little more, for a moment.

You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.
                                                                                  – Denise Waitley

I have always been drawn to a spiritual outlook on life. I believe having the courage to embrace change, whether self-imposed or not, is important, so that we do not become stuck or stagnant along the way. I believe we are here to evolve, and to remember what we already know, to take away the blocks that we have created, and see the truth once again. One of the things I loved reading from the author Adyashanti, was that it wasn’t just about becoming enlightened, but figuring out how we have unenlightened ourselves. What is it that we are doing to stop us from seeing the truth of our already enlightened being? What thoughts and beliefs fool us into thinking that we are not already fully aware?

I continue to challenge my habitual beliefs and views on life, so that I may continue to remove these blocks. As the Hanging Man has suspended what he is doing, turned his being upside down, he can now see things differently than he normally does.

We can practice this in many ways in our everyday life. Sit or lie on the floor instead of the couch. Go outside and lye upside down on a hill, park your vehicle in an different area of your frequently visited parking lots. Brush your teeth before getting dressed, if you usually do it after. I think you get my point. Recognize habits and see what happens when you change it up a little. I find it brings a heightened awareness to the moment. Like looking through a child’s eyes once again, we can embrace the freshness of the new experience.

I will continue to embrace The Hanging Man for awhile, and listen to the messages that I need to remember.

*Image of Tarot card from Ciro Marchetti's Deck
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Acceptance

 

Who would have known?  The hair I was so attached to, but is now gone, made quite an imprint. Although it is no longer here, I feel the sensations like it is still apart of me. I am amazed at the physical and mental memory of having long hair. It has been a couple of weeks now, yet I still reach to pull it out of my shirt after I get dressed, or go to lift it above my head on my pillow, after I lay down or turn over in bed.

I guess the acceptance of change is not always an automatic thing. When I engage in conversation with someone, I am still looking through the same eyes I have always looked through.  It isn’t until I walk away and get a glimpse of my reflection that I see what others are seeing. At this point, it is still a surprise to me.  I even jumped at my own reflection once, thinking it was someone else staring back at me!

When I am not caught up in conversation and I am just doing my own thing, I become hyper aware of my head.  I do not know if all people with short hair feel this, but it feels like my hair is all tucked up on the top of my head, or like I’m wearing some sort of hat.

I feel like my head has had more physical contact from myself and others over the past couple of weeks, than in my whole life. The sensations are intensified, and my scalp feels so alive and invigorated.

I am still operating my old program when it comes to my showers. I stand under the water for the same amount of time I did with my long hair.  It just seems impossible in my mind, that I could have my hair completely rinsed in such a short amount of time.  I’m sure I will clue in soon.

It is clear to me that this change was long over due.  The habits and rituals of the person I was with long hair still linger.  My awareness and connection to my physical self had become stagnant.   Now, how I feel I should look when I look in the mirror, I am slowly letting go of.  I did not expect my ego to just disappear because I chose to alter my looks so drastically.  I know this is a process.  I have years of conditioning and influence from the outside world of what a female should look like.  Even my astrological sun sign of Libra has a strong attachment to needing to feel feminine and to have long hair.

I recognize my attachment to my thoughts.  I feel less feminine with my head shaved and having a heavier set body at this time. My long hair contributed to my sense of my female identity.  A good thing though is that my occupation with my thoughts around my hair are slowly fading.  As each day goes by, and I see and accept my new look a little bit more, I realize this is me, in this moment.  I am starting to release the need to inform people that this isn’t my usual look, and that I use to have very long hair.

The truth is, this moment is all I have.  I wanted to experience having a shaved head, so now I need to let go of who I was, who I think I should be, and accept who I am.  What really matters is who I am now, how I’ve chosen to express my physical being now, and to recognize and accept the consistent presence that is.

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Letting Go

I did it! It’s gone, with the exception of a very thin layer of bristly hair. My goal was to have a shaved head, and here I sit with a shaved head. The amazing hair dresser Erin at the Utopia Hair Studio was so supportive. She took before and after photos, and gifted me her hair styling expertise. Everyone told me how beautiful I looked, even the client with the long gorgeous hair beside me. I was overwhelmed with an odd inner and outer smile. Feeling silly, weird, and like I was in a dream, I looked at the unfamiliar reflection in front of me. All I could keep saying was that ‘this was crazy!’

I feel like I’m wearing a hat. I thought I might feel the need to cover my head for my ride home, but I didn’t. It was what it was. This is a first for me. I’ve never worn my hair short my entire adult life. I barely even put it in a pony tail because I didn’t like how it looked. I swore to myself that I would not ever go for the short hair “mom” look when I reached my forties (many women pull this look off no problem, no judgement here), just as personal preference. Yet here I sit with this weird sensation of short, stubbly hair.

It is/was a lot of work having super thick, long hair. As a professional organizer, I guess I just decluttered some time consuming rituals, and energetic space.

There is a lot of stuff happening in my world around me. Life and death are making their presence so clear. I see and feel the suffering and pain of loved ones close to me, and know this journey is not an easy one at times. I feel that as big of a deal it was for me to shave my head, it really cannot compare to what really matters in my life. The love I feel for all the souls expressions that I get to experience day to day, knowing we are all doing our best to understand this journey of life, is the truth of what actually matters.

No matter what I do to my appearance, or the distractions I choose to occupy my time with, it is the essence of being that really matters. It is knowing and believing that “I am” regardless of my crazy choices. Knowing that no matter how anyone chooses to alter their personal expression, the truth of their being will not change.

 

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