You are NOT what others think you are. You are NOT what your family, teachers,colleagues and friends think you are. If you want to successed in life the most important thing you need to do right no…
Source: The Start to Your Success
You are NOT what others think you are. You are NOT what your family, teachers,colleagues and friends think you are. If you want to successed in life the most important thing you need to do right no…
Source: The Start to Your Success
Ever have one of those moments when you tried something new and wondered why the hell you did? Not only was it likely to be as awful as you’d heard reports say it is, but you tried it anyway, like you’re on some super cool reality show challenge, and you wanted to test your nerve?
Enter durian fruit. (Drum roll, please!)
Hailed as the King of Fruits, in part because of its massive size and thorny spikes, this (beast) demands respect and is highly revered for its wealth of nutritional benefits. It is high in calcium, potassium, folate (folic acid), Vitamin C, and is touted as well an anti-aging, anti-cancer wonder fruit. A native of Malaysia and Brunei, but commercially produced in Thailand for export, a fully grown durian fruit can reach up to 3 kg (7 lbs), inside revealing five large pods of highly messy and famously
putrid stinky pudding-like flesh. The smell is so bad that some hotels forbid guests from bringing it inside their rooms and taxi drivers refuse to ferry it in their cars, yet daring newbies continue to seek it out, willing to risk odor for beauty or good health, while most locals consider it a delicacy.
My first durian encounter came at the Go Raw Café in Las Vegas last year, where I jumped at the chance to try the durian smoothie on their menu.
“Have you ever had durian before?” I was asked, as the three colleagues lined up behind the counter to review my answer.
“No, but I’ve heard so much about it, I just have to try it,” I chirped. I could hear crickets as the three exchanged knowing glances, telepathically deciding whether or not I was nuts.
With a heavy sigh, the chef/manager acquiesced and agreed to add more orange juice to the smoothie if I couldn’t handle the taste, and gave the nod to begin making the shake. I secretly did a little happy dance and I gave the rest of my order – delicious portobello collard wraps – then took a seat at a nearby table. I was going to try my first durian!
Wait… Hold on… Back it up. Did she say she’d add more orange? In the words of Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’, “Big mistake. HUGE.” I have since learned the innate creaminess of durian blends well with anything but citrus. Better to enhance its flavor with fresh coconut, almond milk or cacao, and subtle spices. Not to knock the valiant efforts of the staff at Go Raw to get me to like one of their favorite foods, but as I gagged my way through their concoction, determined to fight my way through to the finish of what tasted like a garlicky orange creamsicle, I did not have a pleasant experience. (NOTE: The friendly folks at the restaurant felt they were doing me a favor in attempting to mask the initial smell of the fruit with orange, but as I grew more and more hesitant in the challenge, the drink thawed slightly and became harder to swallow with every quiff. This was attributed to the common knowledge that the frozen fruit is more odoriferous than its fresh counterpart.)
So why did I make a second attempt? Because if the virtues far exceed a minor (okay, major flaw), then it’s worth a second look, and because I binged shopped while out with a visiting friend. 😉 I spied it in the frozen foods case at one of the local Asian markets, chucked it into my basket with a squeal of joy at my find and not an ounce of sense. I kid you not. And now, as I’m moving soon and have to clean out the fridge, what better time is there to try?
Enter durian, Take Two.
Countless YouTube videos extol the miracles of eating durian from younger looking skin to never catching colds to it being a natural aphrodisiac. Smoothies seemed to be the best way to go, but if I was going to get past my bad memories, I had to do some research and come up with a more palatable recipe. I settled on the Sexy smoothie – why not? – and if I got past that, I’d try a simple fudge. Reportedly, cacao powder and vanilla help mask the odor, so much like stinky cheese, the finished product tastes better than it smells. Alas, since everything tastes better with chocolate, I defrosted my precious purchase and peeuw!!!
But I digress….
The recipe* by Summer Sanders is as tempting as her name is cool, and she presents a mighty fine argument for sexy longevity. I whipped up a pitcher full (*substituting 12 oz of coconut water plus 1C shredded unsweetened coconut for the young Thai coconut) and tucked in. Not bad! I could get to like this durian stuff. The odor was still there, but greatly
mellowed improved as I left the rest to sit in the refrigerator while I read for a bit and did a mini trampoline workout. I finished my second glass and felt energized and a little er… sexier. Could I be hooked at last?
Feeling bold and in need of something sweet to make from what I had on hand, I next decided upon Johnny Freesh’s Raw Coconut Durian Fudge. The recipe is amazingly simple to make, sets up beautifully, but is also IMHO one for durian lovers, not us newbies. Or perhaps, I should have gone with the rule above that everything tastes better with chocolate and added a healthy dose of stress-relieving cacao. At any rate, when I get back home I’ll pull the fudge out of the freezer and invite a few friends to try it with me. Maybe we should film our responses, just like on one of those super cool reality show challenges!
Maybe I’ll just eat the jar of leftover coconut butter, instead. Yum! Now that’s delicious.
Get out there and explore new things, then challenge yourself!
A tout à l’heure…
Everyone wants to receive compliments, right?
Not me. There was a time when I didn’t want the added attention and I certainly didn’t seek it. The more I remained under the radar, the better. After all, that was a time when most comments leaned toward:
“I can tell you’re tired because your scars are showing.”
“You remind me of a caged animal.”
Not exactly confidence-boosting, right? It’s no wonder I became really good at rolling my eyes on the inside. I mean, why say anything at all if you can’t say something nice?
That was then. This is NOW. And the huge shift that occurred in me that shook me from the days of feeling stuck and, I admit, caged in are ancient history. NOW I receive true compliments – and I welcome them – along the lines of:
“You look fantastic!”
And… “You seem so happy, you’re glowing!”
Those who knew me from before ask how I got from there to here. They wonder what I do to feel this great. So, I’m going to let you in on a few little secrets. The road can be frustrating, filled with tears and obstacles that make you want to turn around and quit at times, but the end result is absolutely worth the journey. Put simply:
If the button you’re pushing isn’t working, try a different button.
Looking back, I recognized specific steps along my path and began to share my story with others who found themselves struggling with that same feeling of suffocating in a room full of air, like we’d forgotten how to breathe. I broke it down to ten small steps, some so easy it was hard to argue against them.
So here are my Top 10 steps for turning your life around from a place of feeling stuck with no energy and no growth, to having the most fantastic things happen to you all while feeling amazing.
Step 1: Watch only comedies. No violence or sadness allowed. No exceptions until you are thoroughly and truly beyond the effects of watching any other genre, like horror or action films, and can emotionally distance yourself from those lower emotions.
Step 2: Listen only to “happy” music. Everything is energy, including the songs we sing. When lyrics only speak off how depressed someone is after their lyin’, cheatin’ ex stole their heart, or of some gangsta that got shot, how is that serving you? Misery loves company. Soon you’ll be as miserable as the man in the video. Make like Pharrell Williams and Get Happy!
Step 3: Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. A regular meditation practice brings precious moments of quiet time to reflect upon stale habits and envision an abundant future. You may wish to enlist the help of a gentle guided meditation, go deeper with binaural beats, or simply sit in peace as you find the right style for you. It can be for ten minutes or two hours. Trust and listen to your intuition for insight. Om.
Step 4: Boost your diet to include more fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat a rainbow of colors and consume as many of these living, healing foods as you can. I call myself the Lean, Clean, Green Machine. Not only will your heart, arteries, and digestive system thank you, but you’ll watch your moods improve, too.
Step 5: Cut back on consumption of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Most of us know sugar is bad for us, but did you know it could be the real culprit behind vicious mood swings? If you follow Step 4, your need for stimulants and relaxants will naturally decrease as you begin to take energy from whole, living foods. One rule of thumb: IF YOU’RE CRAVING SUGAR, YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH FRUIT. Try it for at least five days and check in with yourself. Once your system achieves a stable balance without all the highs and lows of sugar and caffeine, you’ll sleep better. I don’t know about you, but when I get a good night’s rest, I’m golden!
Step 6: Move. Your. Body. Find an activity or exercise you like to do; one that makes the time go by faster. Better yet, dance to the song in Step 2. You’ll boost your endorphins – the “happy” hormone – and get in shape, too. I invested in a rebounder mini trampoline, because I’m not always motivated to get outside in extreme weather, I currently don’t belong to an athletic club, and it fits in my apartment. Just 10-20 mins a day provides good exercise and stimulates the lymphatic system, which benefits the circulatory and immune systems. When you’re healthy, fit, and smiling, you can’t help but feel more self-confident. Self-confidence leads to contentment. Contentment leads to peace.
Step 7: It’s an old platitude worth repeating. Be the change you wish to see in the world. If you think the world has gotten to be a crusty place with no beauty or love in the world, do some guerrilla gardening or make a sign and give out Free Hugs. You’ll be surprised how quickly little acts of kindness can make someone’s day…. And smile more! Sure, you may be mistaken occasionally for a complete freak, smiling randomly at strangers, but I guarantee you’ll get strangers to smile back more often than not. Think of it this way: No one wants to be that first couple out on the dance floor, yet it never fails that once two daring souls start to boogie, others scramble to join in. Be that first dancer and get your groove on!
Step 8: Be grateful. Let go and trust that everything happens for a reason. Everything you’ve gone through has gotten you to where you are today, so take a look at those relationships you thought were so terrible. Were they really so awful or did they force you to realize what it is you truly do want for yourself? When something didn’t go as you planned or hoped, did it allow for an even better, different solution than you’d imagined? If there’s a lesson in every situation we encounter, an attitude of gratitude creates opportunity. Breathe and be thankful.
Step 9: Trust your intuition and follow your heart. Life is what you make of it, I say. I’d rather make crazy decisions and fall flat on my face than live life so cautiously it passes me by. Don’t be the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” person. However large or small, be the person that follows her dreams. You’ll take peace and comfort in knowing you tried. While you’re at it, be happy for others who’ve done well with their lives. Their journey is not your journey, so don’t let envy of someone else’s success get in the way of your bliss. Keep the peace and watch life flow.
Step 10: As I wrote in ‘The Power to Manifest a Delicious Destiny‘, surround yourself with positive people… the kind of people who motivate you to become to type of person you wish to be. As you incorporate the nine steps above to increase your own inner peace, you may find that those individuals with whom you once had a close personal relationship no longer resonate with you. Don’t worry. Those who insist upon remaining negative will gradually fall out of your life. One day, they’ll just be gone and you’ll realize you didn’t have to do a thing. Don’t be sad! Embrace the idea that the Universe is cleaning house for you, conspiring to bring others into your world that help you along your path.
If you follow these 10 steps, I guarantee that over time the small adjustments you make NOW will add up to big changes in your future. How much you want to change is up to you, but I trust if you’ve read this far, you’re ready to try pushing a different button to create a more vibrant life and achieve that inner peace you deserve. Many blessings for your journey.
As I sat looking at recipes for dinner, I realized everything had an ‘orange’ theme: carrot ginger soup, sweet potato noodles… mangoes and clementines for dessert.
What does this all mean?
It can mean nothing or it can relate to the 2nd, sacral chakra, located in the lower abdomen just below your navel. Often, wearing the same color clothing or eating the same color foods repeatedly is a subconscious indication of harmony or a need to balance a certain area of one’s life.
Here are a few traits often associated with the color orange. Sound familiar?
• Divine Feminine energy (as opposed to red – the Divine Masculine)
• Going with the flow
• Open to intimacy
• Focus on relationships
What colors are you wearing or eating these days?
A tout à l’heure! Om…
Hi there! What’s new and good?
It’s been a while, I know. But between buckling down to study for an online course I’m taking with IIN – the Institute for Integrative Nutrition – helping my mom out after a surgery, getting away for my fabulous, long-awaited for vacation, and traveling for work in between… Whew! It’s been a hectic eight weeks.
Some days flowed effortlessly. Others started out the worst days EVER (First World problems). Yet, every time I thought I saw a negative, I held fast to my old belief that “everything happens for a reason.” I simply had to find out that reason and look for the signs to turn in a better direction, and invite that redirect to occur. Fast.
I went from being on the verge of failure for non-participation to taking a proactive stance in my career future and being told I’m a natural at coaching others toward good health and wellness. When I sort of declared my unrequited love for someone and had it go unreturned, I didn’t look at it as rejection. I saw it as the impetus I needed to get my head out of the fantastical clouds and realize my true worth that someone, someday will truly appreciate, while allowing myself the freedom to finally invoke that perfect partner to come into my life and (re)connect with my heart. And then, as I was denied board on a flight through fatigue and neglect, blaming myself for missing a special opportunity to hear a treasured music play… one for which I’d pre-paid… the artist wrote to suggest I attend a personal sound healing with him, instead; an experience I’d wished for but previously thought impossible. Moments later, like fairy dust sprinkled on a dream, an appointment was scheduled at the magical hour of 2:22 pm, and I walked on air.
If there’s a moral to the story, it’s that we cannot always control what happens in our lives, but we have absolute control over how we react to those circumstances. What seems like the worst thing in the world one moment can free you up to receive the most amazing gift in the next. Just let go. Let go and acknowledge that there is a divine plan, and there are plans within plans of which we have no idea, but be open to the truth that Spirit/God/Allah/Yahweh/Source only wants you to be happy. Let go and create a space for that happy-ness to squeeze its way inside and light up your whole world. And since Light is Information, you will receive that inner message, that wonderful opportunity, or that amazing prize you truly deserve.
Peace and Love.
À tout à l’heure…
I would eat kale chips and truffles every day of the week if I could, but I digress.
During meditation this morning in my hotel room in São Paulo, I prayed again, as I often do, to bring people and experiences into my life that inspire and assist me in moving along my journey as a fully conscious human being.
What does prayer mean to you? My agnostic and atheist friends would say it’s bunk. Speaking to an unseen, unproven entity while pinning all your desires onto this force is outright crazy-talk to them. Me? I see prayer as a simple case of semantics. Whether I’m praying to an individual that represents perfection of spirit or sending out a request to a universal Source of energy in the All That Is makes no difference to me as long as my intent for change and living my own truth is pure. That said, in all things, one must be careful not to always “wish” for something. As Universal Law of Attraction teaches: you will be given the perpetual experience of wishing something to come true, rather than living that desire. Verbiage is critical here and I can’t stress it enough. Everything happens for a reason.
So, days later, it occurred to me that because I called out for these people to come into my life, it’s no wonder I sat in the Portland airport one early Thursday morning, a nervous wreck, wondering whether I’d get on the flight as a standby passenger, only to feel that sigh of relief, like I won the lottery or something, when the agent called my name and gave me the middle seat to LAX… saving me from missing my next work trip that afternoon. One of the last two people to board the airplane, I found my place in 11E between two women, one of whom immediately greeted me with a friendly ‘Hello’.
“Oh, jeez,” I thought to myself. “This one’s a talker! I’d better tell her how I’m operating on only two hours of sleep and need to rest before I get to work…. Where are my ear buds?”
Fortunately, in this particular case, my instinct for kindness was stronger than my instinct for survival, because Gwen C. and I ended up talking from the time I sat down till the time we stepped off the aircraft in Los Angeles, and it was one of the greatest conversations I ever had in my life. Gwen is a lovely, vivacious 73 year-old with an amazing attitude and she’s totally dialed in to the collective universal consciousness. We covered everything from the state of our current educational system to the care of aging parents; from needing to grow our own vegetables to finding our life’s purpose. Currently, she lives in Mexico but imagines a life traveling and meeting people while exploring new cultures. She’s well-versed in current affairs, dabbles in real estate, exercises, and eats healthfully to maintain her endless energy. Heck! I want to be like Gwen when I grow up and she’s interested in reading my blog. (Hi, Gwen! And thank you.)
I left that flight feeling jazzed and ready to go about my day, a luxury I’ve been able to re-create every time I think of her. I asked for this, right?
My 2 hours and 20 minutes with Gwen capped off an excellent few days of long flights, driving through the most gorgeous, natural landscape in America, meeting up with the newly dubbed ‘French traveling hippie’, eating raw chocolates, and listening to some Beloved music.
Back in the day, I was known to travel for good music. If my favorite band was playing within 500 miles, I was in the car on the road to see them. Now as a flight attendant I can stretch that distance a bit further, so when my friend Brandy sent me a flyer of Elijah Ray playing in Ashland, Oregon, I couldn’t miss out on yet another opportunity to see him perform live and rearranged my schedule to fly over from France. Around the same time, a friend on vacation from Paris, Cécile, contacted me on Facebook to say that while traveling through Canada via the Trans-Canadian, she discovered she liked “hippie things”: yoga, meditation, nature and music, and that she would soon be trekking from Vancouver down to California on her way to see some giant trees. Wow! A girl after my own heart! Growing up in Detroit, I’d dreamed of taking the train across Canada and exploring the wilderness as Cécile was doing. And suddenly I felt ashamed to have lived so close to the redwood forest in San Francisco and never visited those majestic trees. Even though I’m a tree-hugger at heart, had I been that
lazy ambivalent? I was a different person then. Although I practiced yoga and liked to putter around in the garden, I was caught up in the vicious cycle of television and shopping, living a superficial life at best. Cécile was living it, and traveling alone in a country where they didn’t speak her native language… an achievement I wished I’d acquired many years earlier than I did. I was proud and happy for her. We hoped to find a place to convene and see a familiar face while away from home. Perfect timing! Enter Elijah and the Peace Village music festival.
An in-flight road trip was born.
After landing in Boston, then Portland, and then Eugene, I picked up my rental car and headed for a little motel to crash for the night. It was nearly 10:30 pm, and I had to ring the doorbell to get service. A disheveled, middle-aged Indian man eventually appeared behind the glass in a pair of plaid boxer shorts and flip flops, buttoning his short-sleeved shirt over his tank top. I felt bad for possibly having waken him. Maybe it was the jet lag and sleep deprivation, but I wanted to snicker, too. A long way from Paris, I felt completely out of my element at this roadside stop in the middle of logging country. This called for a sense of adventure and humor…. He gestured for me to hold on a moment as he disappeared back into his apartment behind the counter, then the innkeeper’s vivacious daughter came out and took over the transaction. I hefted my bags up the stairs and squirreled away for the night. In the morning, I’d see exactly where I was.
It was lovely.
Incredible groves of tall pines, as full as any picture-perfect Christmas tree, swayed in the wind along the road on the drive from Eugene to Ashland. I could see how the famous vampire and werewolf families would use them as thick cover to hide their secrets, but we’re not vampires and werewolves. We Are Human: a term used to describe this physical condition we’re in, as part of the great race walking the earth, connected and yet lost in the quest for self-discovery. We Are as invincible as we are vulnerable…. The opening set of music from the artist who calls himself Human was just that: touching on our vulnerability while embracing our aptitude for life experience. (Regrettably, I did not purchase one of his CDs while at the show and cannot find him on YouTube, so if you know how to get in touch with his music, please let me know.)
During intermission, Cécile and I wandered around the campsite venue in search of refreshments and found chocolates, instead. Kristina Pescatore is the delightful maker of Kilikina’s Chocolate, the lovingly created, silky smooth, raw bon bons in delicious flavors like hazelnut truffle, raspberry and lavender. (You can have them delivered!!) She is truly turning her creative passion into a living, where work is no longer a job and inner peace is the payoff. Cécile jokingly offered her to teach us how to make the chocolates so we can
eat sell them in Paris, but we may have to settle on a visit and more samples. Not a bad thing, as this girl rocks feminine laid-back cool and I’d be happy to call her “friend” any day.
Kristina is also the other half of flugelhorn specialist, Max Ribner, whom I recognized from Medicine and the People, but now plays with Elijah in the +Band of Light-. Munching on whole grain bread with avocado, Max declared our tribe “clean hippies” (❤️) and excitedly told us how he and Kristina would love to visit Paris; take his music there and live the dream, traveling. He was speaking my language! Music, clean living, chocolate, traveling… Max gifted me his latest CD, ‘Leap to Flame’ which is fun, upbeat and full of talent, just like the man, himself. It was an honor and a treasure to meet this couple, both living from the heart in service to their fellow brothers and sisters. At American Airlines, they form what we call TeAAm, with two As and an eagle in the middle. This beautiful pair will be a welcome addition to the City of Light.
If you’ve read my posts before, you may have noticed Elijah is my musical crush, and to be included in his +Band of Light- family is a blessing. The man exudes grace and Love, and I’ve thanked him in return by sharing his tunes whenever I can (and will continue that tradition today). Often, I refer to him as an Ascended Master, as I believe he is definitely one of the angels among us, with his lyrics encouraging us to ‘Give Thanks’ and honor what we have today while consciously creating the space for a brighter future. I think he’s deserving of a much bigger following, but those fans who know of him are wonderful and true; their contact with him genuine. Beginning the set with a sound healing meditation, we gathered round the stage and let the vibration carry us where it may. Once the official concert began with Elijah’s +Band-, Cécile found herself in Hippie Central, grinning from ear to eat as everyone rose to dance and gyrate around us in front of the stage. Much as their parents did, little children danced with joy and abandon, the atmosphere supercharged with L-O-V-E.
I would’ve taken more photos but I was too busy singing and dancing, figuring it was far better to be in the moment than to record it for all time, so you’ll just have to make it to one of the band’s shows, yourself. 😉
As all good things must come to an end, though, the concert was forced to wind down as the curfew hour arrived. Even our raucous applause was too loud to warrant another encore, so the event organizer encouraged us to give silent appreciation and we chose… wait for it… JAZZ HANDS!! In return, we were treated to the celestial voice of an angel: Tina Malia in her precious duets with Elijah.
Life is what you make of it, and our time in Ashland was short but sweet. After the show, Cécile and I make our way back to our motel, where we’d only get three hours sleep before heading out. Loaded up on provisions from the Ashland Food Coop (vegan “Heaven”, she called it), as I headed for a flight out to LA where that divine reroute would have me meet Gwen, Cécile rented the same car and drove on to see some really big trees. Seated on the plane in front me: the incredible dancer I’d seen at the concert the night before, Elijah’s girlfriend, Amber. Reminding me of a more peaceful warrior, I imagine her the goddess of the Amazons, it’s no wonder they make a perfect match. (Reminder #2 – Google ‘ecstatic birth Amber Hartnell)
So, prayer. The power of intent.
When I left the familiarity of San Francisco fourteen years ago for the complete unknown in Santa Monica, it was to surround myself with people who were where I wanted to be in life. At the time it meant learning how to be a better writer by being around those who worked on screenplays, so I took a course and became a script supervisor. It lead to some eye-opening, fun, stressful, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-anything-in-the-world adventures. Am I a better writer? Only the reader knows, but I met some amazing people that taught me a lot.
Later, I’d call in others who could provide with guidance when I strayed off the path. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much. Financially and spiritually broken, I physically broke bones when I repeatedly said I needed “a break.” Words, thoughts, deeds, and actions are powerful entities, each with its own capability to manifest into something life altering. Choose them as wisely as you’d choose your friends or lovers. Trust in the Universal Law of Attraction that you will be given all that you desire, as well as be provided the tools and people who can help get you there. Be very clear in your request! When you are ready to make that call, the Operator will provide what you need. If you seek inspiration, ask and look for the signs. Suddenly it will be all around you. With any luck, it will come with a smile, a bear hug, and wisdom, all wrapped up in a delicious raw chocolate maple truffle with some fabulous music playing in the background.
Now, what will this week bring?
A travel update from Cécile: I’M ADDICTED!
Live your dream, French Hippie! Live your dream.
À tout à l’heure
If you’ve read my entry ‘Fortitude’, you know I can relate. My own NDE – or what was as close as I came to dying – taught me how to live. 💜
AngelicView: I think this is one of the most un-selfish things for a spirit/soul to do – to come to Earth for an incarnation only to benefit the evolution of another. This NDE (Near Death Experience) is one such case. Gary says that he was given the option to stay on Earth or go on, and the choice he made wouldn’t affect him at all. But if he decided to leave Earth, it would mean the mission failure of someone else.
I was taken in to surgery for routine spinal reconstruction after sever injury. I was prepped, made small talk with anesthesiologist, nurses and surgeon. Was given an IV, then gas. Counted backward to ten and then was out. At some point, while still unconscious, I heard the surgeon telling the staff to get me going again “What happened? Why does he not have a pulse? Is he getting oxygen?…
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