Friday, February 28, 2014

{this moment} - and the weekly {Smile-Up}

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"There are no ordinary moments." ~Way of the Peaceful Warrior

{no ordinary moments} - a Friday ritual. Photos capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments.
This started as the "365 Grateful Project" (A year long photographic project which involves taking a photo a day of something you're grateful for) 
and has evolved to my own liking -  using Daily Gratitude to see the world as anything but ordinary. 

Served with the weekly {Smile-Up} - gratitude practices to love and appreciate your life. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' and 'smile up' in the comments for all to find and see.
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{no ordinary moments}

{my week of photos - 365 Grateful Project}

{Smile Up}:

Getting in touch with friends I haven't talked to in a while ^_^ 
Sunny Sunroom that makes me feel like summer 
 Bare legs! I miss not wearing layers and layers of clothing! haha
Tea Dates!!!
Morning workouts  
Oh my kitties, my kitties, my kitties
Drawing on my cintiq  
Sketching & Writing for "Everwake"
Being lazy
Positive Texts and mutual support for and from friends :)
Getting my health on track 
Amazing inspiring women
 ReLove at Vegan Store "Republic of V" --and friends sending photos and messages of seeing my stuff there! ^_^

Loving: Reading • Daily Gratitude • Everwake • Long cozy socks • Drawing • Writing • Sunshine • Kitties • Tights • Totoro •  Laughing and Smiling • Yummei Artwork  • 

Interests for the week:
Reading: "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdomes" by Christiane Northrup (this book and this woman are Brilliant!) 
✯  Current Anime/Manga: "Black Butler" anime. Finished "D.Gray Man" Manga (I want the next chapter to be released!!!). "Dogs: Bullets & Carnage" Manga.
✯  TV Shows: none this week. 
Music Playlist: Breaking Benjamin. Thirty Seconds to Mars. Evans Blue. "Beats Antique" Bassnectar Remix. "Sleepless" Excision ft. Savvy.  "Zombie Eaters" Ill Nino & Chino Moreno.
Food Faves: Avocado Pudding Kayer "G35 Series" Vegan Chocolate! "Raw" Cookie Balls Gluten free Bread Daiya Cream Cheese ♥ Stir fry with rice pasta 

Lessons of the week: 
 More and more attention needs to be focussed on Self-Love! Especially as Women in a society we are meant to feel rejected in. Healing takes time and patience and kindness to one's self. Encourage others, feed them positivity and you both reap the benefits. Practice Daily Gratitude--repeatedly throughout the day! Start with YourSelf--Healing and Love must start with your self--everything else flows more easily thereafter. Go with the Flow. Don't stress about things that have not yet come. Always look to the Positive. ☀ 

Wishing you all the most magical and amazing week and day ahead!  Remember to Create the life of your dreams and to Create an awesome kick-ass day! 
What amazing moments did you have this past week? Please share (and link to your blog if you're taking part in similar projects)! 
So much Love and Hugs! 


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

❀ The Good News ❀

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Stop watching the News on T.V. filled with lies, propaganda, and made to make you feel helpless and afraid.

With all the negative news in the world, it's time to give you hope and inspiration. It's time to the weekly Good News! 
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Big News: U.S. Bans Domestic Trade on Ivory and Rhino Horn
In an effort to crack down on poaching, the White House set a worldwide precedent last week in announcing a ban on the commercial import, export, and domestic sale of ivory. The ban is part of the administration’s newly established first-ever "National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking," which will work to set guiding principles for U.S. efforts to stem illegal trade in wildlife. The plan also includes an ambitious set of actions to stop the multibillion dollar illegal wildlife trade and elevate the seriousness of wildlife crime in US law and foreign policy.  
This is big news. The United States is one of the largest markets for ivory in the world. 

Wild Orcas Will NOT Go on Display at Sochi Olympics
The Sochi Olympics were planning to display two wild orcas captured by the Russian government. Animal lovers around the world spoke out against the plan, which would cause extreme suffering to the whales. More than 110,000 people signed the petition on Care2, which was delivered to the Russian government -- and, at the last minute, the Olympic Committee confirmed that orcas will no longer be put on display at the Games! 

Success! The City of Sochi Formed a Shelter for Homeless Animals!
Thanks to the voices of many on Care2 Petition site and other venues, our appeal was reviewed by the experts state administration of Veterinary Krasnodar region on behalf of the Presidential Administration of The Russian Federation. The city of Sochi formed a shelter for homeless animals, saving the lives of the cull intent to kill 2000 stray dogs and cats for the Olympic Games (Sochi 2014). 
More information about the details see at:

Officials Call Off Two of Three UK Badger Culls
Because both badgers and cows can fall ill to a deadly disease, bovine tuberculosis, UK officials planned two badger cull pilots, in which people would cruelly shoot badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset. The two pilot programs were called off -- but there's still a third cull planned in Dorset. 
Join Care2 members demanding an end to the Dorset badger cull: Take Action: 

Buddy the Dog Saved and Reunited With Owner 
Care2 member Jennifer Blachly started a campaign when she found out that Buddy, a golden retriever in San Antonio, Texas, was scheduled to be euthanized. Buddy was accused of attacking a girl in the neighborhood who startled him, and kept confined in a kennel while he awaited execution. After more than 19,000 people signed Jennifer's petition to save Buddy, he was finally reunited with his owner. 

Dogs in Frozen Peril: 4 Amazing River Rescues by Heroes Who Cared
The link below is for the stories of four dogs who ventured onto frozen rivers this winter and found themselves in desperate danger. This is also the story of the selfless people who rescued them, despite crippling cold and perilous conditions. The dogs’ lives were literally on the line until these brave animal lovers took action.

New York’s Largest Cockfighting Ring Busted in ‘Operation Angry Birds’
Authorities and rescuers joined forces to participate in what’s believed to be the largest cockfighting bust in New York state’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S.
The take down was part of Operation Angry Birds, which was a combined effort by New York’s Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), the Ulster County Sheriff’s office, the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), the New York State Police and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Animal advocates hope this provision will help crack down on the people who help fuel these barbaric underground enterprises and perpetuate other illegal activity by holding everyone involved accountable, as opposed to only the people who are running the show.

Victory! Pharmaceutical Giant Will Stop Experimenting on Chimpanzees
In a victory for animals in labs, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has announced it will join a growing number of companies that have stopped using chimpanzees for biomedical research.
Merck, the world’s third-largest drug maker, cited the availability of alternatives that can replace chimpanzees in research as the reason for its policy change. The move is being applauded by animal advocates and organizations including the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Success! German Animal Conservationist Who Shot Elephant Has Resigned
“Dwindling.” “Fewer and fewer.” With wearying frequency, these are the terms used to describe the ever-declining number of elephants in the world as poachers slaughter them for their ivory tusks. Amid rising fear that ours could be the last generation to see elephants in the wild, many have been cheered to know of conservationists’ campaigns to put a stop to the illegal ivory trade.
Finding out that a German environment minister, Ude Wedekind, had recently gone hunting in Africa and killed an elephant was shocking, mind-boggling news that led many of us to wonder, how serious are those who say they are championing endangered species and the environment?
Care2 members know what has to be done to save wildlife whose existence is threatened. More than 36,000 of you signed a petition demanding that Wedekind be fired for hunting those he should be protecting. Earlier this month, Wedekind was forced to resign from his position as environment minister in the central German province of Thuringia.

Victory: Congress Passes Wildlife-friendly Farm Bill!‏
After years of persistent effort by tens of thousands of wildlife advocates, Congress passed a new farm bill that provides huge wins for wildlife!
The 2014 Farm Bill is a strong, conservation-friendly bill that supports healthy soil, clean water, and abundant habitat for wildlife. A huge win is the conservation compliance provision to protect environmentally sensitive land and prevent the destruction of millions of acres of wetlands on which wildlife depend. There's also a substantial increase in funding to help farmers create wildlife habitat on working lands and important improvements for protecting our fragile native grasslands.
This victory for wildlife is evidence of the tremendous impact people can make for wildlife.

Success! Kellogg’s Will Stop Using Palm Oil from Damaged Habitats
Care2 community, pat yourselves on the back. After a prolonged campaign to convince Kellogg’s to stop using palm oil that comes from companies that employ tactics of deforestation, the food giant has pledged to obtain palm oil from only sustainable sources, reports Bloomberg.
In a statement on its website, Kellogg’s says it will soon independently confirm that 100% of its palm oil suppliers meet both local laws and a high standard of environmentalism by 2016. Though this step is not the first the company has taken to mitigate the effects of the palm oil industry, it is the one that demands the most accountability for all involved parties.

Major victory in conservation battle against oil company
A major corporate social responsibility agency has announced an examination of Soco International PLC for alleged violations of human rights and environmental protections related to the company’s operations in an African World Heritage Site. 
The move was triggered by WWF’s complaint alleging that Soco has breached the most respected global corporate social responsibility standards in its pursuit of oil in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). WWF’s case has exposed “material and substantiated issues meriting further examination,” a United Kingdom Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agency said in its initial assessment published February 14th.
More help is still needed, so Please sign WWF's petition to say NO to Soco threatening the health of the wildlife and ecosystems of the park. 

BREAKING - Victory: Canada agrees to review use of toxic pesticides‏
Last August EcoJustice took the Government of Canada to court over its refusal to take steps to protect Canadians from toxic pesticides already banned for use in other countries. EcoJustice said that litigation was a last resort, but a powerful way to prompt government action. Now, the proof is in this piece of unexpected good news: For the first time in Canadian history, the Minister of Health has agreed to do special reviews of harmful pesticides banned in Europe but still used in Canada.

‘Freedom Now More Perfect’ as Virginia’s Gay Marriage Ban is Overturned
A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Virginia’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. Though this decision is stayed pending appeal, it is being treated as a landmark victory.
The lawsuit that led to this decision argued that the Virginia Marriage Amendment, also known as the Marshall-Newman Amendment, unlawfully relegated gay and lesbian couples to second-class status by banning same-sex marriages and any and all unions that, like civil unions, are designed to approximate marriage.
The suit also took aim at the state’s statutory ban on same-sex marriage, saying that all are unconstitutional and unlawfully restrict the freedom of same-sex couples. The lawsuit also argued that the bans inflict harm upon same-sex couples by preventing them from accessing state marriage recognition.

Tunisia’s New Constitution is a Breakthrough for Women’s Rights
Tunisia’s new Constitution has captured international headlines. It enshrines many rights for women and is a step in the right direction, according to many Tunisians.
Sana Ben Achour, women’s rights activist and law student, stresses that this Constitution is the first in the Arab world to give all Tunisians, women and men, the right to be presidential candidates. Similarly, she says that “Article 46 is proof of an impressive advance. From the outset, it safeguards the rights won by Tunisian women by referring to the Code du Statut Personnel (Personal Status Code) of 1959. Back then, the Code established a rights and freedoms panel unheard of in the Arab world. These included the right to divorce, to marriage by mutual consent and also the banning of polygamy.”
In addition, Ms. Ben Achour said that the State will ensure that there was gender equality in the workplace and it would encourage equality, notably through affirmative action measures.

Now Same-Sex Marriages Receive Same Privileges and Protections Under Federal Law
In a speech at the Human Rights Watch’s Greater New York Gala, Attorney General Eric Holder made a bold declaration, “In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law.”
This means that for the first time, married same-sex couples have the same protections as all married couples in legal proceedings.
The Obama administration has taken several steps to ensure equal protection for same-sex couples over the last few years.

How Beauty Salons Across the Country Are Joining the Fight to End Domestic Violence
Thanks to an innovative training program, thousands of beauty professionals are learning to identify signs of domestic abuse and encourage clientele to find help. Why? Because they’re uniquely positioned to help address the problem.
CUT IT OUT, founded in Birmingham, Ala., seeks to capitalize on the bonds between women and their beauticians, teaching professionals nationwide — including “hairstylists, skin care specialists, makeup artists and other salon professionals” — about indicators of domestic violence. Professionals in the beauty industry have an advantageous platform from which to detect domestic violence because the focal point of their work is clients’ appearance. Moreover, beauticians frequently establish friendly relationships with customers, and are therefore perceived as trustworthy confidants.

Native American Women Finally Gain More Protection From Rape and Abuse Thanks to VAWA
Thanks to the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the U.S. government is beginning to take steps to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence within American Indian tribes. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that three tribes will participate in a pilot program that will allow them to prosecute non-Native­ men for abuse against Native American women, an initiative that will eventually be expanded to additional tribes.

Scotland Passes Gay Marriage Bill! 
Hooray! The Scottish Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a same-sex marriage bill, allowing the first such ceremonies to take place by the end of the year.
Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil called the bill’s approval “one of the great historic days of the parliament.”
The Scottish government said passing the same-sex marriage bill was an important step for equal rights and paved the way for same-sex wedding ceremonies later this year.

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Thanks for reading this week's "Good News!" Join us every week and feel inspired! 
Be sure to sign up for Care2's newsletter for some real news around the globe, to make a change, and to open up your mind to the Real World!
See that your actions count and get out there and do good! Be the Change!  


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Saturday, February 22, 2014

{life reflections} Being a Woman! + Emotions & Health

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{life reflections}
 Weekly thoughts and rambles. A glimpse into my mind and world. 
Entries that I might jot down in my Happy Diary; the release of thoughts to flow uninhibited. Reflections from the soul. 
Reflections of life.  

I hope to leave you inspired. 
If you want to share your own reflections of the week please leave a link to your "life reflections" entry in the comments for all to find and see.
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Being a Woman! + Emotions & Health

It's tough being a woman. It's also intensely magical and amazing and I wouldn't trade it for the world. My husband has asked me before, on days where I'm clutching my stomach with cramps of death (of course he waits until they subside before asking) if I would not trade all that to be a man. I wouldn't. It's not because I don't like men or don't find them deeply fascinating as well, it's just that I love being a woman. Being a woman is such an opening experience, as if we can feel more deeply and wildly and enter depths and bonds amongst fellow women that perhaps men don't get to enjoy. I just love the feminine energy. There's something magical about it; like free gypsy souls, empowered goddesses, and/or soulful fairies. 
I saw this meme on Facebook yesterday (see below) and it made me giggle because I've been talking about similar things with other women in my life a lot at the moment to which the image made me relate. For instance, I keep describing myself as trying to "get my fire back", and we as women in general tend to like using these whimsical metaphors to describe our energies and feelings and passions that can't be put so bluntly into "logical terms." Sometimes it's as if women have their own dialogue--and studies have down that in some ways we do because of the way our brains are wired. These are things that if you tried to explain to (most) men, you'd probably get an arched eyebrow and a look to suggest you might have lost your marbles. "You're fire back??" But… women get it. They just get it. You'd only need to half explain yourself and women would just get it. "Ah, yes, your fire back! Of course!"

The experience of being a woman is one I wouldn't trade for anything. Being a woman is fun, and we are strong, compassionate, fiery beings that have so much to offer each other and the world around us. So, I'd take cramps of death any day and still be a woman. 
The truth is that our society is very uncompassionate and detached when it comes to women's health and women's bodies. I realize this more and more as I dive deeper into learning about my own body, about our cycles, hormones, and the emotions that Directly affect our health. And yet we're meant to believe that our health has nothing to do with our emotions. This is another topic that has been reoccurring lately: Emotions and Health--but I'll get to that when I'm done talking about the awesomeness and trials of being a woman. 
Being a woman should actually be a lot easier than it is. Every part of it! But society has suppressed women for centuries. Feminist talk? Absolutely! How about we stop shying away from being "feminists" because every single damn person on this planet should be a feminist! Feminism doesn't mean hating men, it means equality. I also feel that it is much more than that, I feel like it's about getting back in touch with our roots, with each other, and with men as well. Becoming open to Love in all areas of life. Our attitudes towards men has developed into one of tension and separation. Separation is everything to do with feminism (in my opinion) because women have been pitted against one another creating separation amongst our own gender and the opposite gender--leaving us feeling utterly alone for much of our lives. I think it's so eye-opening and important to realize this so that women can stop being so catty towards one another and finally love and support one another instead. You'd have to be pretty blind not to have noticed, or not to have felt, (once you're paying attention) the level of cattiness women have towards one another--feelings of jealousy, envy, and all around bitchiness. It's absolutely mad that women should be this way! But it's absolutely intentional, because it came with the territory of suppressing women all that time ago. What better way than to pit women against one another? Now, feminism has continued because of our society, because of the mentalities of both men And women. We can no longer blame it on the opposite gender, as many men are also feminists, and most women are a part of continued suppression (simply because it's embedded in our society). 
I've been reading Christiane Northrup's book "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdoms" and it is absolutely fascinating and every woman should read it! I bring this book up because reading it is like one long moment of "Wow! That is so accurate! I wish I'd realized this sooner!" However, one bit in there really stuck out to me that I wanted to share: that women are constantly apologizing for their very existence! It is so so true, and on such a deeply embedded subconscious level that it really becomes no surprise women still face such oppression. The mentalities of our society keep women in check; we grow up apologizing for being here, we grow up feeling badly about our bodies, about our appearance, about our periods and hormones, and everything else imaginable. We have a constant feeling of never being good enough. It's no wonder we have PMS, hormone imbalances, health problems and relationship drama. If we are constantly apologizing for our very existence how can we possibly hope to feel love, feel good about ourselves, and thrive and flourish as the fullest awesomest versions of ourselves? 

Back to emotions and health… when women are constantly apologizing for their very existence, then that creates some awful emotions towards our bodies, minds, and souls, and thus, health problems result. The connection is absolutely undeniable (between emotions and health) but it is something never taught in the medical field or in society. This connection makes the issues of PMS and other women-related health problems no surprise at all--because we're practically taught that our bodies are foreign objects that give us pain and bleeding every month and that this is simply something we must accept and deal with. We don't! If we start to fix the way we Feel about our bodies and ourselves then we start to see improvement within our health and all of those PMS syndromes can finally go away. Of course, this is such a deep and complicated issue, which is why I recommend picking up Christiane Northrup's book, because this woman is brilliant and highly educated and I feel as if she could help every single woman on this planet with her information and insights and intellect. 
My husband also picked up this amazing book the other day that has this chart connecting certain body parts to the emotional significance. Going down this chart, we were both blown away by the accuracy. Completely and utterly blown away! I wish someone had made me realize all of this sooner. My health has had it's turbulences forever now, but it makes so much more sense knowing that it all began (and continues) from emotional blocks. I feel much better knowing now that if I want my health to improve then it's time to dive deep emotionally. 
As it happens, I had a large breakthrough a while back, which has only been more and more solidified by all these new insights. I feel very fortunate to know these things now, which is why I felt like rambling about such subjects today. I mean, what amazing things to know and understand that we have not been told about?! The truth is that a lot of my time and thoughts have been taken up on these subjects at the moment (women's issues, emotional trauma and health). But, for today, that's all from me. 
I wish you all the courage in the world to tackle your own emotional blocks and to get your own health to all that it should and deserves to be!  
So Much Love from my heart and soul to yours!     


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Friday, February 21, 2014

{no ordinary moments} + the weekly {Smile-Up}

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"There are no ordinary moments." ~Way of the Peaceful Warrior

{no ordinary moments} - a Friday ritual. Photos capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments.
This started as the "365 Grateful Project" (A year long photographic project which involves taking a photo a day of something you're grateful for) 
and has evolved to my own liking -  using Daily Gratitude to see the world as anything but ordinary. 

Served with the weekly {Smile-Up} - gratitude practices to love and appreciate your life. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' and 'smile up' in the comments for all to find and see.
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{no ordinary moments}

 {my week of photos - 365 Grateful Project}

{Smile Up}:

Discovering the power of EFT 
Beautiful Snowy days 
Sunshine to bask in my sunroom 
The exciting reminder of sunshine and summer 
Morning Mantras
Morning workouts  
Visiting family
Drawing, drawing, drawing 
Writing, writing, writing
Kitty Love
Sleeping in 
Living in the Kootenays
All the amazing women in my life
Winter Hermit = Creative Awesomeness
Hot tubs on cold nights with the hubby  

Loving: EFT • Practicing Daily Gratitude • My Cintiq • The infinite Inspiration to be found online (in both fashion design and art development) • Drawing • Hermitting • Kitty Cuddles • Cozy Sweaters • Colourful Hair extensions •  iPhone • Pinterest • 

Interests for the week:
Reading: "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdomes" by Christiane Northrup (this book and this woman are Brilliant!) 
✯  Current Anime/Manga: "Black Butler" & "Full Metal Alchemist" anime. "D.Gray Man" Manga. 
✯  TV Shows: How I met Your Mother. Wilfred. Louis C.K. show. 
Music Playlist: "Passenger" by Deftones feat. Maynard. Norma Jean. Marilyn Manson. Chelsea Wolfe. Skylar Grey. "Snake Eyes" by Feint.
Food Faves: Avocado Pudding Kayer "G35 Series" Vegan Chocolate! Sun Warrior Protein Powder Curry  Chocolate Quinoa Cake 

Lessons of the week: 
 In a society that teaches us to feel badly about ourselves, it is important to remind yourself that you are Loved and Awesome! Every Physical problem in the body is the result of an emotional problem manifested into the body. Women are constantly apologizing for their very existence--time to reenforce love for ourselves and fellow women. Practice Daily Gratitude--repeatedly throughout the day! Digging into our pasts is a bumpy journey but necessary to move forwards. Stop using forms of escapism in life; face your problems instead of running or burying them--because they will come back to haunt you. Life is about Enjoyment and Happiness--if you enjoy it, then enjoy the hell out of it! ;)

Wishing you all the most magical and amazing week and day ahead!  Remember to Create the life of your dreams and to Create an awesome kick-ass day! 
What amazing moments did you have this past week? Please share (and link to your blog if you're taking part in similar projects)! 
So much Love and Hugs! 


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Thursday, February 20, 2014

☺ 'She let go.' a poem by Rev Safire Rose ☺

This beautiful poem was passed on to me and I feel it worth sharing to pass on to you. So, a lovely poem for your lovely day and dose of inspiration. 

'She let go' by Rev Safire Rose 

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ Rev Safire Rose 


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Monday, February 17, 2014

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺

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We're taking back Mondays!!!
"Motivational Mondays" are fabulous tips to get you excited and pumped for the week! 
Feeling low? Moody? Down on life? Well, that's what these posts are for! Time to feel awesome again and get some Positivity rolling! Just because it's Monday doesn't mean you can't have fun, smile, and enjoy Today! Apply these tips to your week and try to tell me that you don't start to see an improvement in your life! ;)
It's all about You! Change your perception, change your attitude, love your life! xo

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Law of Attraction Tip: Remember that if you want to see improvement in an area of your life, if you want to see change in an area of your life, then it is important to start noticing the things you are grateful for. If you spend all your time complaining and thinking negatively about that area of life then the only thing you are doing is attracting more of the same situation. If you start focussing on gratitude then you are harnessing a different feeling--and by the law of attraction, better circumstances will come to your life.           
Self-Help Time!  This is a new idea I had for myself yesterday and I think it's a good way to go… Dedicate an hour every day to "Self Help". By "Self Help" I mean time to improve yourself, work on issues that you need to work on, read a helpful book, write in your Happy Diary, do The Magic, or do anything else that serves your inner self. Let's face it, we all have problems that need tackling; and if we say we don't then we are not being honest with ourselves.  
Dive Deep!  Continuing with the thought above: don't be afraid to dive deep! Healing takes time, but you'll never get there if you never address the issues at hand. I have witnessed and been a part of what happens when we bury our problems, sweep them under the doormat and pretend they haven't hurt us; it all comes back to the surface sooner or later. Not only will it return to the surface, but (if you're paying attention) you can see the wrecking ball effect it has had over your life for however long the problem has gone unfixed.     
Helping Yourself Means Helping Others! It's funny how we can feel selfish for needing to work on ourselves, but the truth is, that we must respect our personal needs to be of use to others. It is equally important, for that reason, that if you have a partner that they be supportive--because by supporting you, they are actually supporting the relationship; because if you are happy, you will contribute back to the relationship with love as well. Never forget the importance of your Self!   
Let Your Inner Child come out and Play!  It's fun being childish, it's fun having an imagination, and it's especially fun to stop caring what people think about you. Learn to have a little fun. Learn to invite magic into your life. Learn to Expect magic in your life. That inner child within you is a good messenger; it can tell you when something is wrong, and when something is amazing and to take advantage and be fully in the moment. Learn to be a kid, to smile, to laugh, to be innocent again. Learn to have fun, and don't take life so seriously!              
Give Long Hugs! Hug like you mean it! It is amazing, and quite fascinating the power that a hug can have on someone. Feeling human contact, feeling the beat of another person's heart, feeling love and a connection of energy; a hug is one of the most powerful things in the world. So don't just throw away your hugs, hug like you mean it, and hold on a little longer than maybe you should.      
“I stopped telling myself that I’m lost. I’m not. I’m on a road with no destination, I’m just driving with hope that I’ll find a place that I like and I’ll stay there. I’m not lost, I’m on my way.” ~ Ahunnaya. Remember that everything in life is a journey, and everything in life can be beautiful! Enjoy the ride instead of looking beyond your sight into the future.    

Create a great day! 
Much love from me to you! 


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Quinoa Chocolate Cake Ⓥ

(sorry for terrible iPhone photos)

This recipe is based off a recipe from a friend of mine-- and I probably improvised as much as he did when he first made it, but it turned out so incredibly delicious! 

vegan / gluten free/ refined sugar-free/ healthy

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

1 large ripe avocado
1 cup cacao powder
1 cup date paste (easy to make overnight)
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
2 cups of cooked quinoa (or 1c quinoa + 1c millet)
1/2 cup grated coconut
Stevia to sweeten and/or Agave

Preheat oven to 400° F.
In a blender, combine all the ingredients (except the baking soda and powder) and blend until super smooth. Add the baking powder and baking soda and blend until just mixed. Pour batter into a spring form pan or dish and bake for approximately 1 hour--checking with a toothpick to see when it is done. 
Once fully cooked, top with icing of your choice--I made a very simple but delicious raspberry chocolate icing for this one, it complemented very nicely. Recipe below… 

Raspberry Icing:
1/3 cup date paste
1/2 cup Raspberries
1/3 cup Coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp Cacao powder
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or other sweetener

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour over cake and allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. 

This cake is also fantastic if you grate a chocolate bar onto the top--pure decadence! Soft, moist, melt in your mouth awesomeness! Plus, it's healthy! ;) 



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Friday, February 14, 2014

☺ The Paradox of Love ☺

Society has a constant need to tell us that our happiness and our self worth are dependent on another person (i.e. "soul mate"). Now, I'm not saying that being in a relationship can't be fantastic (I mean, relationships can be so incredibly fantastic and mutually beneficial) but the Need to be with someone is where the flaw comes in. "Need" can never be anything more than a fear based relationship, and fear is not a good state of mind to be in on a daily basis. Fear can create paranoid behaviours, neediness for attention and constant reassurance, jealousy, and a general lack of respect towards both involved. The truth is that you don't need someone else to make you happy, you only need You. Happiness comes from within. If you are not happy with yourself then you will never be happy inside a relationship either. 
Why is that, you ask? 
Because, as human beings, when we look at other people we most often see a reflection of ourselves. So, if we are feeling good about ourselves then we will tend to see the things in the other person that we like about ourselves; and when we feel badly towards ourself then we will pick apart the other person because we are really just picking apart ourselves. This is why finding your own happiness, becoming comfortable with yourself and loving yourself, need to become a priority.

Today's topic is really focussing on Real Love versus a Need for it, and the general paradoxes that society has taught us about Love and Relationships--and, of course, what we can do to fix them.   

Self Worth and Happiness
We are told that we must be with someone (soul mate) or else we are not happy. We are taught that the great life purpose is to find your soul mate, get married, have a family and a career and die (happy?). Society teaches us that we must be with someone in order for anything good to come to our lives. That happiness IS our soul mate. By this we are, essentially, told that we ourselves are worthless without another human being there beside us. When putting it in blatant terms as this, I am sure you can see how utterly wrong and negative this mentality is? But this is simply the way that we are raised into this perplexed society that is constantly teaching us to devalue ourselves. Society devalues our sense of self because if we are unhappy then we will be more materialistic and follow everything like perfect little herds of sheep--because we will be too busy trying to fix ourselves to even notice what else is going wrong in the world. That being said, the point today is to tell you that your value does not decrease based on someone else's inability to see your worth. If you are only worthy because someone else assures you that you are, you will never truly be happy and you will never truly feel good or confident in your own skin and mind. However, if you can realize how Perfect you are (just the way you are) then you will see that your happiness does not, in fact, depend on another person being "the love of your life". You will come to see that you already Are Worthy, and that you already are Valuable--and that is something that no one can take away from you but your own self allowing it to be taken. 
Now, again, I'm not saying that marriage, having a soul mate, or having children, etc. is bad, I'm simply saying that the mentality we carry when pursuing and entering those relationships can often be a not so great way, and can lead to many more unnecessary problems later on--because it is coming from Need and Fear instead of a place of unconditional love.

Unconditional Love 

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." 
~Thomas Merton

The other problem with "Love" is that we are usually constantly trying to change the person we are with. Change is good, change itself isn't the problem (change helps us grow as individuals and in relationships and allows us to become even better people). The problem is our Need to change the person we are with. It is not up to us to change the people around us, the only person we are in charge of changing is ourselves. The people around us have their own path, their own personalities, their own lives and paths of their own to pave and to make changes at their own accord. Being in a relationship means accepting the person we're with just as they are; otherwise we are only loving the reflection of ourselves we see in them instead of loving the person actually in front of us.
This concept goes both ways, and it is important to remember. The person you are with needs to accept You as You Are as well. It comes back to a matter of respect and being honest with yourself; do you really love this person for who they are? Or are you trying to mould them into something you want them to be? 
Love is unconditional, through and through. Love is accepting our partners, and our partners accepting us, just the way we are. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement on either side, for there is always room for change and improvement, but those changes need to come from a place of working together instead of against each other. Those changes also need to come only when we are able to accept and love the person we are with (and ourselves) as we already are. You can't make changes without first having gratitude for what you already have and are.

A Note on Sacrifice 
True love does not require sacrifice. The idea that in order to be with some that we must give up on our own dreams, interests, and even relationships is an absolute recipe for disaster. Never should sacrificing your own joys and passions enter into a relationship. If it does, then you will find resentment surface and boil for the remainder of your time together. Resentment is a breeding ground for tension, for no longer appreciating the other person, and for feeding a lack of respect for your own self (in other words, producing a lack of love and sense of rejection towards your own self). This is not good, for obvious reasons. If there are dreams and plans you have then pursue them and don't hit the pause button on life. Either your partner will be on board and be supportive, or they won't; and if they aren't, then it becomes a power struggle in the relationship--another recipe for disaster. 
Relationships and love shouldn't be a constant battle against one another; you should be working as a team, helping, understanding, and supporting one another. If your plans and dreams cause a temporary split, then that is better than sacrificing and regretting your dreams and carrying resent with you. If you are meant to be together, then the world will bring you back together again. Have enough respect for yourself to do what you need to do for You--because if you are with the right person, then they will understand and be supportive regardless.

Love Who You Are
Perhaps even more important than accepting one another is learning to accept yourself. Through and through, the most important lesson you can gain from life is to Love Yourself. Gratitude for yourself is the key to unlock happiness and the doors to unconditional love. When we learn to love and accept and respect ourselves then we stop picking apart the people around us, we allow ourselves to be happy, and we allow good things to come into our lives. And, we learn to love the way love is intended: without judgement, criticism, and with the fullest acceptance, respect, understanding and gratitude. 
Accept your inner and outer beauty. Accept that you are perfectly imperfect, with all your flaws and all your talents and all your lovely personality quirks. All of these things are what make you uniquely and wonderfully You. And, remember, there is no one else in the world exactly like you, and that is a beautiful thing! Be Who You Are, without being ashamed and without holding back. 
When we first enter relationships we often feel the need to censor ourselves, to hold back on parts of who we actually are. This comes back to society teaching us that we are never good enough and that we should only fit into this one ideal and one personality type. This is, once again, devaluing yourself. Don't censor yourself, and don't pretend to be someone you're not. In a relationship, then you are just wasting time on someone who doesn't see who you really are or might not be compatible with you. On a personal level, you are feeding a lack of self acceptance and love for yourself--very counter-productive. Be unashamed and openly the person you Are; do this and you will attract the right "love" and the right friendships to you who will fit your unique self perfectly imperfectly. And life will be much more free and honest and happy. 

Nourish yourself, nurture and fill yourself with love and gratitude for your own self. Do this and your world will be filled with genuine and true love all around.


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