Change for our Time

420 Connecticut Street

I just returned from a viewing of 2012: Time for Change, an incredible documentary about the shifting of consciousness toward a more co-operative, sustainable, and peaceful world for all.  The film was shown by Jess Kangas of Evolver Buffalo at the new (as of August, 2011) Burning Books, anarchist bookstore, at Connecticut & 15th Street.

I had first seen this film in Eden, Arizona, the epic hot springs retreat in May of this year, with the creator of the film, and author of the book 2012: Return to Quetzelcoatl, Daniel Pinchbeck.  I was lucky enough to spent time with him in Eden and experience a film viewing followed by Q & A with Daniel after the film.  Being in Eden, this sanctuary away from the world & seeing this film was amazing, but experiencing the energy & resurgence in my own city was truly refreshing.

Burning Books was literally packed full of conscious souls, many of whom spoke after the film about “coming together” to help the community, their personal and business efforts, and ways we can collectively change.  Although there were different points of view, and many who brought up the reality how much change needs to take place (from healing the past to healing ourselves, and feeding our people…) the general consensus was positive, forward action… moving from our HEADS down to our HEARTS to live in the moment – doing what we can now to remedy the past within ourselves, our community, and our world.

Door detail, Burning books

Q&A panel after the film

I am so grateful everyday for the way Buffalo is waking up, coming together, and for the people who are re-generating life here every day in their own way.  I am looking forward to co-screening the film THRIVE at merge with evolver Buffalo in January at merge.  The dates and times are being finalized now, but it will most likely be on a monday as part of our Dinner & a Movie Mondays, a once a month film showing with $10 vegan buffet!  To cap off a great day, I’ve been enjoying watching the pretty snow falling down the first time this year, and it’s beautiful.

 

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BuffaLOVE

So I’m back in my hometown, Buffalo.  I’ve re-acclimatd for about a week now & within that time period it’s been an incredible realization that as I evolve, so does my city.  I’ll admit, I was worried when I was driving back East after such a magical trip that the feeling of “flowing” and “synchonicities” would go away and I’d just fall back into place… not to say that it was ever a bad place before, but that after feeling so divinely connected to the nectar of life, nothing would ever taste so good.

And how wrong I was.

I am overwhelmingly surprised at my new understanding of the power and people of this town.  Buffalo, NY – we’ve been through a lot, often the underdog, seen nation-wide for our struggling sports teams and… snow.  But there is SO much more than that.  Buffalo has a heart, a soul, and passionate, friendly, loving community.

Upon arrival after 2 month away, I was truly impressed by the amount of change that had taken place for a “small town.”  Again, I wonder if as I raise my vibration I’m just more tuned it and impressed… was it like this all along?  My good friend Megan Callahan assured me that no, Buffalo is waking up more and more everyday – and while I was gone there was an incredible National Preservation Conference hosted right in our city letting out the secret of the gorgeous historical Buffalo architecture including several Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, Louis Sullivan, and planned parks by Fredrick Law Olmstead.

A small sample of Buffalo's fine architecture

 

So… what does this have to do with consciousness raising?  Well, sustainability is best determined on the individual basis.  It’s up to us to use our “recycle, reduce, REUSE” mentality to find materials that already available to use to.  Our planet is going through a lot now, and when we are choosing our homes, our gifts, our food… it is important to ask the simple questions  – what resources do I ALREADY have? Rather than running out to buy new things, we can CRAFT what we already have (looking with eyes of abundance)!  In fact, there are some incredible businesses here offers just these services, one called Buffalo Re-Use that breaks down piece by piece buildings that are going to be demolished, so that the doors, knobs, windows, wood can be re-used in new ways!

If you’re making do-it-yourself projects and you happen to need some tools, Re-use teamed up with PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing) to offer a lending library of tools called the Buffalo Tool Library.  There is another one that just opened on Main street, as well, the University Heights Tool Library offering memberships to rent out any high-tech tools that you need for large-scale or small-scale projects…

Buffalo ReUse

 

And beyond amazing buildings and structure of our fair city, there are a plethora of juice bars and healthy eating venues opening all over the city!  I am wow-ed especially by one place in particular that opened around the corner from where I am living called Ashker’s Juice Bar, Cafe, and Gallery.  The owner is the nicest guy – Angelo, who has several other locations in the Lewiston & Niagara region.  This downtown location is at Bidwell and Elmwood, next to the HSBC, formerly “Comfort Zone.”  Angelo & Sarah are the two main people opening the place – offering delicious veggie friendly options as well as a meat for people who are so inclined, juices, smoothies, beautiful local artwork, and coolest of all – they have a side room that can be used for meetings, special events, studying, etc.  In that small space, they have created a small office for their friend Dr. Dan, chiropractor, to offer health coaching, corrective services, and wellness advice!  I’ve been there almost every morning, haha, stop by and check out their community feel, comfort, and delicious food and juices!

Ashker's at night

Artwork at Ashker's

More local artwork at Ashker's

 

Now that I’m back in Buffalo I’ve decided to keep the blog going… as I’m realizing the evolution never stops… there is so much to share just within my city.  Plus, I have a feeling I’ll never quit the traveling bug… so stay tuned in!  I look forward to have a little more free time to catch everyone up on my time in Northern California and Colorado as well!

This week I jumped right into the Pre-Holiday Cleanse with Buffalo Yoga Studio that I’m offering with Turiya (yes, my road trip travel partner).  I’m making raw dinners everyday for people to pick up at merge this week, which I’m LOVING, and we’re doing juices every morning with yoga, e-3 live, and chakra alignment.  What a blessed life I lead.  In fact, Buffalo Spree is coming into merge tomorrow to photograph me for an article on healthy eating in Buffalo.  I can’t wait to share everything I have to offer with Buffalo.

Check out the raw meals I’ve been working on this week:

Juicing in the mornings for the cleanse

Day 1: Spinach Wrap Enchiladas

Day 2: Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Day 2: Pad Thai

Day 3: Raw Sushi

Day 4: Savory Crepes with lemon thyme "yogurt" sauce

Day 5: Falafel, hummus, marinated veggies

I also can’t say enough about the changes I see at merge – and that is whole other post, too – so much to share.  I am grateful.  I am overwhelmed with the joy of family, friends, and community.

Thank you for welcoming me home with open arms, Buffalo!

Where so ever you go, go with all your heart.

Peace Prayer Vigil at Occupy Buffalo

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SynchroniCITIES, Berkeley, CA

The last week I’ve been floating around Northern California.  After Ecotopia, I drove up to meet up with a friend I met in LA at the Leaders Causing Leaders Conference, Garo.  He invited me up to visit Berkley which worked out perfectly because Turiya & Baraka were headed to visit friends in Sebastapol, about an hour away.  We drove up together, but spent the week separately enjoying the company of other friends.

I started my Northern Cali journey in Berkley.  This was one of the first places I spotted that shows how progressive California is.  They have BioFuel Oasis, stations which use clean, local, refined vegetable oils (For diesel engines).  Pretty rad.  This particular place also offers supplied to urban farms, classes, and it’s also a co-operative owned by women since 2003!

Alternative Fueling Station in Berkley

I got the opportunity to take a yoga class at a studio called Yoga To the People.  They are completely donation-based.  I had actually gone to the studio in East Village in NYC last summer.  I found that they have four locations, mostly near highly dense college student areas.  It is a beautiful gift to the students & community to make yoga available to everyone, no matter what kind of money they can spend.  The studio offers a service to their community, “In a time where yoga as a business is getting a lot of attention, the fact that it is being priced out of many people’s reach is in direct conflict with what we consider to be the spirit of yoga itself. The question our studio seeks to answer is: Can a yoga studio maintain itself as a business while keeping the focus of its intention on providing yoga as a service first and foremost?”

It seems that yes, they are.  With four locations (Berkeley, San Francisco, NYC, and Seattle) they are thriving and each class is packed with people.  There must have been about 30-50 people in the class, and if each person gave an average of $5-$10 the financing will come through.  It’s mass quantity yoga, but I honestly love the large classes.  The group energy pushes you to be your best and sweeps you up so that you don’t even think about it being a work-out.  It becomes a collective breathing, sweating, tension releasing, energy raising movement!


I spent the night in Berkeley, enjoy an absolutely sumptuous dinner at 
Zatar, a family owned restaurant which servers eclectic Mediterranean cuisine using all organic produce, most of which is home-grown!  You know how you taste a huge difference when you eat a tomato out of your own garden? You can taste the freshness, the uncommonly deep flavors, and the love… ?  Well this was what our entire meal was like.  Sarah (my sister & merge‘s co-creator) and I have been talking for some time now about starting our own organic garden for merge.  It was really inspiring to meet the owners, who are a very sweet couple – Waiel and Kelly Maijd.   They said they only open 4 days a week because they cherish their family time, gardening, travel, and time off too.  Neither had ever worked in a restaurant before, but were both passionate cooks and gardeners since their childhood.  Their business truly is a labor of love.  Their menus covers are beautiful authentic red leather that they had brought back from their travels in Morocco.  And their walls are adorned with ceramic platters that Waiel said the couple brings back from their travels each time they return to the Mediterranean.

Zatar, voted Berkeley's most sustainable business 2006

After dinner I was walking with my friend Garo & we “randomly” strolled into a comic book shop.  I’ve only read one graphic novel in my life, but I said aloud “You know, I read a book called Blankets once, it was so beautiful, I would definitely buy a book by that same author.”  Literally as I spoke those words I had stopped at a table and picked up only one book.  I looked at my hand and it was a red hard cover book that said Habibi, by Craig Thompson the author of Blankets… I bought it.  I’m finding it hard to deny the signs the universe/angels/source/God (whatever the word you use for it) gives us.

New graphic novel from Craig Thompson

That same evening I continued wandering around the streets of Berkeley and enjoying the sounds of a saxophone street musician.  He stopped playing and started singing “Heaven, isn’t this little life a lot like heaven…” And I had to stop and smile to myself… it sure is.  And I’m not kidding you, the next words that came out of his mouth were “Dear Eliza, Eliza Jane… you’re the sweetest little thing, dear Eliza, Eliza Jane.”  I started laughing out loud with him because that’s my name (Eliza Jean).  What a day of serendipity.

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Ecotopia, Ojai, CA

Buddha welcomes us with sage at the portal/entrance to the ecotopia festival.

So this post a little late.  I’ve had such an amazing time I have a lot to catch everyone up on.  I spent last weekend in Ojai, CA, a majestic valley town within the mountains about an hour in-land from Santa Barbara.  Turiya, my traveling partner along with her 12-year old son, Baraka, wanted to stop in Ojai on a recommendation from a friend to check out a living opportunity at a conscious community called Full Circle Farm.  It was about 2 hours out of our way headed up to the Bay Area, and I almost resisted.  But it ended up being a decent mid-way point to stop for the night, so I had Turiya call to see if we could crash there a night.

They offered for us to stay in a little trailer outside, and we ended up rolling in late Friday night.  We drove off a little country road into a grove of pine trees and came out of the car to hear someone playing violin outside and the warm glow of voices and light streaming from a wooden cabin-esque building.  As we walked inside I felt awed by the comfort and familiarity that swept over my body.  Surrounded by natural woodwork, aromatic vegan stew smells, and smiling faces, it was a feeling of HOME that resonated in those walls.  My family had a cottage on the shores of Lake Erie in Canada for about 13 years when I was younger, and this place glowed with that same cozy, woodsy, earthy goodness.  If anyone in Buffalo is reading this it feels just like the Co-op kitchen at North & Elmwood!

Full Circle Farm Kitchen in the morning

  

Goddess Wall
Full Circle Farm Garden

  

                                                   
Eco-home made of earthen clay!

Turiya & I with Bob, the creator of Full Circle Farms community

We immediately fell in love with the big community family and got invited to spend the weekend volunteering at a festival they had helped to organize across the street called Ecotopia for the next two days.  We’d been seeing this beautiful poster for the festival since Newport… and we knew this was why we’d really stopped in Ojai.  I had to laugh out loud for a couple of minutes to the universe.  Ok, ok, I get it.   I’m here.  No more resistance! I keep realizing that everything is happening in its divine timing if only I allow it to.  I have really come to love this new pace of life I’ve taken on.  I get just as much (if not way more accomplished) because I am being more present in conversations, decision-making, and the very FLOW of life.

So, as you know if you’ve followed this blog from the beginning of the journey, I set intentions for discovering conscious business, lifestyle, food, art, and community.  And in Ojai, I again, hit the jackpot.  Comm – UNITY.  This whole festival was dedicated to creating conscious communities.  We were hosted an a private owner’s home ranch with a pool, large garden, stage, and simple tent accommodations.   There was a turn-out of about 400 or so people from my own estimations.  The vibe was really relaxed and chill, there was no alcohol allowed, and people were just blissed out on love.

Qi-Gong Class

I had never experienced anything like this.  Everyone was walking around smiling to themselves, joyfully happy inside, and when we caught another’s glance, we’d just walk right up to them and hug one another.   It was so easy to open up, share conversations and connect naturally. I laughed, a lot.. this was a heavenly experience.  It’s hard to use words to even describe the joyful energy at this beautiful place.  I’m thinking the best way for me to try to express the event is through pictures.  And I took quite a few…

Merlin’s Sacred Mother Stained Glass

Here is a photo of our new friend, Merlin, who makes stained glass windows of the ascendant masters.  We helped him decorate the festival area with flags and fabrics, creating a sacred space.   The energy was slow and steady, without rushing, it was a smaller space and a very intimate feeling festival that made me feel like I was at once everywhere I needed to be.  I floated in and out of lectures on conscious architecture, Cafe Gratitude Clearings, sacred femininity, and group Qi-gong classes as well as my first ever experience with African dance.  I loved moving to live drum beats and swinging and shaking my body in such a high-energy dance!

African Dance
Baby love. Placing a bindi on his forehead!
Opening ceremony, tribal body paint
Beautiful new friend, Elaina, a devotee ofAmma

Ryland & Lizzy from Cafe Gratitude, giving a demo of “Clearings”
Ryland genuinely opening his heart & clearing energy with his beautiful wife, Sarah

Momma to be, getting her belly painted

Listening to the Shylah Ray Sunshine Band

Babies and puppies... I'm in heaven!

Gotta love making friends while doing yoga to live music

Angel in the garden at Full Circle Farm

I feel like I’m reconnecting with parts of my past, people whom I used to know and am re-uniting with again all in blissful timing.  It’s incredible how when you change your frequency to more perfectly align with your own being, you attract those who are resonating with you… and you literally “attract” or draw them into your life.

I am open to where I can best serve and offer my self as a channel of light and love.  I am now in San Francisco.  I spent an incredibly synchronistic couple of days here and in Berkley, which is a very progressive college town about 20 minutes outside the city. Look forward to more updates from northern California in the next post.

*Cows in the Ojai valley, as we drive north through the mountains

Blessings, light & love to all!

❤ eliza

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Eden Hot Springs

Epic.

The Source Pool

Luscious living water dripping down from the very heart of mother earth.

Eden hot springs is a desert oasis about two and half hours northeast of Phoenix/Tempeh, Arizona.  This was my second time being blessed to spend time on this sacred, raw land.  I first visited the hot springs in May of this year for a retreat called Eden Epic Hot Springs.  That event effectively changed my life.

Sunset on the Mesa

I felt wild, free, alive more so than ever in my life before.  It brought me back to childhood days of running free all day on the shores of Rosehill in Canada.  But it also took me beyond, meeting people who shared my passion for sustainable lifestyle, spirituality through nature, incredible live music (by Elijah and the Band of Light & Kayt Pearl), soaking naked in the sunshine (and moonlight), and most of all I found people who loved themselves and who were all “healing” parts of themselves, openly vulnerable in their acknowledgement of their growth process, thus making themselves super sexy and strong in their conviction and truths.

When I heard they needed volunteers for an October retreat, I jumped at the chance to help in the kitchen, preparing a menu of completely vegan and almost all raw foods, psyched to work with an amazing raw chef, (and she’s the host of Travel Channel’s Hidden TreasuresKirsten Gum.  About a week before the starting date, though, the October retreat was cancelled due to low registration.   But the two women who run the retreat and rent the land decided to use the week for more of a “friends and family event,” offering people the opportunity to use the land in a more of a relaxed setting.

The Big Pool at sunset

So last week I drove down from California and spent about 5 days on the land.  It was very different from my experience in May.  There were no specific lectures or music or events, it was all up the people who attended to create their own retreat.  My friend Rachel brought and set up an art experience, offering a huge canvas and allowing everyone free rein to add to it with paints, pastels, inks and while there was a soft outline, it was free for interpretation and creation.  We were laughing because throughout history, men have painted nude women, and here nude women were painting the art.  (Did I mention it was completely clothing optional here?)

Community Art Wall

Yes, everyone swims (and a of them walk around) completely nude.  This was really joyful for me.  I love being naked.  It’s actually very healing to be naked collectively.  It removes “layers” that we normally put up to protect, shield, and hide ourselves.  When everyone is naked, you see each other as they are.  There is nothing to hide and I found myself feeling more comfortable than ever, because I felt completely accepted just BE-ing who I  was and soaking up nature’s water, sunshine and fresh air.  (And no, it’s not creepy or sexual like people might imagine)

I met so many amazing people there.  Some names you might recognize are Daniel Vitalis and David Willcock.  

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Daniel Vitalis actually spoke at the Longevity Now Conference that I attended in Costa Mesa, earlier this month.  When I met him at the springs he mentioned that a lot of what he spoke about he learned from this land, from the Eden hot springs.  He talked about developing sovereign health and the quest to re-WILD ourselves.  He said it is our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves.  We are like domesticated puppies, we never allowed ourselves to reach the wild, wolf-phase of our development because we keep returning to doctors and hospitals where we were born and “imprinted” a sense of safety to us.  We thought we could step outside of the natural world and now finding our way back in it complicated.

BUT our capacity for regeneration and detoxification is amazing.  His tips were to

1) exercise your body (like taking yourself out on a walk… like a dog)

2) Be sure to get enough rest (actually discipline yourself to sleep MORE!)

Daniel broke down his subject matter in a very simple and easy way.  He broke down nutrition and elimination into the four elements/ four organ systems.

1) Earth Element – Digestive System

We eat the earth, it goes into and out of our bodies through the digestive track. (Eating & defecating)

2) Air Element – Respiratory System

We inhale and exhale air.  *There are many Ayurvedic cleansing breathing practices to detox and clear the respiratory system.  You can check out his demos of breath clearing on YouTube.com

3) Water Element – Kidneys

We drink water in, water flows out

*Pee should be clear, drink LOTS of fresh water.  Natural spring water from the source is best… (Kangen is a great alternative!)  He actually has a site dedicated to locating a natural spring near you  – findaspring.com

4) Fire Element – Integumentary System (Skin!)

The sun is composed of plasma (solid, liquid, gas, PLASMA) soaks vitamins and nutrients directly into our skin and we eliminate oils, toxins, etc through our sweat.

Daniel recommends Saunas for inflammation and detoxing (like modern-day sweat lodges, they offer an opportunity for your skin to release and detox)

For more information, check out some of his incredible video resources on youtube.com There are some from Eden, and the Longevity Now Conferences, and many more.  Here’s part 1 of a 6 part series on indigenous nutrition & physical evolution.

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David Wilcock

David Wilcock was going to be the keynote speaker for the originally planned Epic Eden. You might know him best from the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens.  He is an incredibly intuitive psychic intellectual.  He is also a professional lecturer, filmmaker and researcher of ancient civilizations, consciousness science, and new paradigms of matter and energy. His upcoming Hollywood film CONVERGENCE unveils the proof that all life on Earth is united in a field of consciousness, which affects our minds in fascinating ways.  You can also view his film, Source Field Investigations for FREE on his website.

David came to spend time in the hot springs regardless of the retreat being cancelled and he nonetheless gave us even more information than we might have received from just one lecture through countless conversations and personal time with him. While swimming in the pools or just hanging around the kitchen, he immediately drew little crowds of people who were fascinated by him – asking him questions and basically just soaking up the insane amounts of knowledge this man has.  We joked that if people knew it would be “naked Q&A with David Willcock” they might have gotten a lot more people to sign up for the retreat.

He is genuinely open-hearted and generous with conversation and his time.  It was really refreshing to experience a man who has so much knowledge and fame being so grounded and sharing.  He said no matter how we look at it, the details of information that we do or do not have, the one thing we can do is care enough to care.  When we honor ourselves and all other beings, we find joy, peace, and love.

Please check out his website or complete films on youtube if it’s calling to you, there is a WEALTH of knowledge in his free video section alone!

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I am humbled by the power of intention as I have been lead to these amazing people and circumstances where I’m acting like a sponge, simply absorbing the beauty, information, and goodness all around me.  We’ve drifted to Ojai, California for the weekend.  I will update you on Ecotopia festival in the next post.

Blessings light&love to you!

❤ eliza

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UNION

I’ve found my way to Santa Barbara for the day.  We came in last night & took an incredible yoga class at a local studio called Yoga Soup.  I’ve been to quite a few yoga studios all across the United States, but this space had by far the coolest entry/community area I’d ever experienced.  I will highlight the studio and then talk about my personal experience of how yoga changed my life and opened me up to community and communion with the divine.

Entry/Community Space at Yoga Soup, Santa Barbara

Like many places, Yoga Soup offers some donation-based classes, which basically means you pay what you can.  From my experience his usually works our beneficially for everyone.  I really like packed yoga classes, and when you’re offering people a chance to pay what they can (and the calibur of the class is high) it seems to work out that more people will come, which means the classes are more intense and energetic for all involved, and while each person individually doesn’t have to pay as much there is more money to go around as a collective offering.

Free snacks and community events binder

I dug the comfortable couches, wi-fi, and free refreshments – Yogi Tea (one of my favorite brands because it comes with different inspirational sayings on the tea bags, haha)  Tecchino, and snacks like raisins, fresh tomatoes, nuts, whole wheat breads, etc.

The particular class I took last night was transformative.  The yoga instructor was Eddie, and he talks off and on throughout the class offering a chance for the students to get “out of our heads and into the shape.”  When we forget about being tense, or the sense of struggling and pushing to get into a certain shape we lose the beauty of being completely present in the shape our bodies are creating.  It’s not about “being perfect” it’s about “being present.”  Anyone who has done yoga knows that it can be frustrating falling out of postures or feeling like your flexibility isn’t “up to par” or seeing people who are “better than you.”  But the truth is, yoga is simply not a competitive sport.  It’s about so much more than that.  In India, yoga is taught as a series of poses to mentally and physically prepare the body for meditation and a state of tranquility and enLIGHTenment.

Bookshelves filled with instructions, information, and inspiration for the modern yogini

I took my first yoga class four years ago at Shakti Yoga in Buffalo.  I remember thinking about it as a workout, something like pilates.  I had no idea what I was really opening myself up to.  The first couple classes I took I had a lot of emotional releases.  I was going through a breakup and was at a big turning point in my life.  I was 22 and working in the service industry which in my case meant a lot of partying, drinking, and smoking.  I took a couple of classes here and there, but that year I hit rock bottom  – it might have had something to do with winter in Buffalo, haha, but it was much deeper than that.  I was completely depressed.  I was working a lot and staring a new business and I knew I needed to begin changing my lifestyle in order to accomplish what I dreamed of.  There had to be more than feeling so elated and high, then depleted, emotional, depressed, and consistently overwhelmed.

I reached out to the universe for help, and I found my way to the Snyder Holistic Center.  There I began seeing an acupuncturist named Ben who offered Chinese herbal medicine and healing.  (I’ll have to do another post on the power of acupuncture, which I highly recommend for anyone looking for deeper alignment.)  But it was at Snyder Holistic that they taught me some simple yoga poses I could do at home, and I began developing my own daily routine of time for yoga stretches and I eventually added meditation.  This not only gave me a reason to get up out of bed, but it allowed me to begin my day in a positive FORWARD manner.  They guys at Snyder taught me about the importance of balanced health in all areas of my life.  The effects of acupuncture combined with my own personal motivation allowed me to begin taking charge of my life again.  I slowly moved from all the various anti-depressants I had been on and off of for the last 4 years, and I learned breathing practices and techniques to help me deal with my anxiety naturally.

Over the next year I made my way to the Buffalo Yoga (BY) in the Tri-Main Building and I found a place where I could come out of the so called “spiritual closet” and was turned onto a whole community of incredible teachers, students, and new friends who I really resonated with.  I felt accepted, nurtured, and challenged.  I still take classes all over Buffalo (and across the country when I can) which I recommend that for everyone, but you’ll most likely find one studio that just feels like a home for you.

I did a yoga cleanse hosted by my (now) good friends Megan Callahan, Morgen Love & Turiya Mistretta.  These women offered a week long cleanse at BY.  I was introduced to a whole new world with daily (6am!) yoga, raw foods, fresh juices, breath work, netti-pots, skin brushing, and chakras.  Each day of the week focused on a different chakra, or energy center, in the body.  So we started from the root and worked our way up to the crown.  This week changed my life.  I had never felt so in charge of my life, vital, aware, awake, alive.  I began to get more in tune with the messages my body was sending me.  I took lots of restful and nourishing naps that week, but I also felt for the first time like I was truly pushing forward and challenging my self.  And the rewards were plentiful.  I lost weight, felt calm, clear, peaceful all day, and discovered a support system of new friends.

I began to face my fears and anxiety as something I wasn’t “dis-eased with” but something I could respond to and learn to balance.  I also found that I wasn’t alone – that this was a pretty common reaction to the over-stimulated, caffeinated, fast-paced world that we live in.

I can proudly say now that I got the opportunity to HOST the last cleanse at Buffalo Yoga and now I’m loving offering that gift to others.  I am inspired again and again on this trip to share the blessings I have experienced up to on the West coast.  merge and Buffalo Yoga are offering a special cleanse coming up again November 13-19th of this year for anyone out there who is looking to make changes in their lives.    During that week I’ll be offering an additional “raw pick-up” through merge that will include a raw dinner and a dessert for each night of the week for anyone who may not have the time or is new to preparing raw food.  This is a great way to get introduced to raw foods and I’m psyched to be sharing this experience with what I know will be an incredible group of people.

I am so grateful this opportunity to travel and fuel my passion for this spiritual lifestyle.  I feel like all I can do is give back, and keep sharing this overflowing abundance that I have uncovered.  I am still learning and growing and unfolding everyday. I am definitely not claiming to be anything but a student of life, but there comes a point when although we each have much to learn, we realize we also have a plentitude to offer.

A Stupa we visited in Sedona

I want to share a couple of videos that I saw over the last weekend at the Leaders Causing Leaders Conference.  Shore & Raven spoke about two of the inherent qualities of ANY leader.

#1You must tap into being authentically YOU.  No matter how “weird” or “different” that is, THAT is exactly what makes you great, your unique, awesomeness.

Check this out for inspiration.  These guys are completely 100% genuine and lovable:

#2 – You can use your pain, your “garbage” your history as your greatest gift.

As Rumi, a great spiritual poet from the 8th/9th century said “Out of our wound comes our greatest light”

Check out this amazingly talented child’s voice AND her story.

After a yoga class, to conclude our practice we say “namaste,” which translates as “the spirit in me acknowledges the spirit in you.”  With blessings to all, NAMASTE.

❤ eliza

Posted in conscious, inspirational, raw foods, travel, Uncategorized, yoga | 2 Comments

Leaders Causing Leaders

What a weekend.

In my last post I wrote about having gone to Cafe Gratitude for dinner.  When we received our bill there was an attached flyer for a conference taking place in LA over the weekend called Leaders Causing Leaders.  Seeing the environment of love and openness at the Cafe, I knew deep down that any chance I had to interact with the owners of the Cafe & soak up some of their knowledge would be beneficial.

So, I signed up and spent an incredible two days with leaders from all different backgrounds getting psyched about owning our gifts and sharing them with the world.  I have lots to share, so buckle up!

First of all – the whole idea of “awakening” being the focus of a workplace has always seemed like it’s true purpose.  But seeing it in action is a whole new understanding of what it means to be in “working relationship” with others.  Matthew & Terces and their sons offer workshops teaching others their systems by asking questions like:

“What if conflicts in your work community were acknowledged as a chance to heal collective wounds?  What if the mission of your business was to usher in a sustainable, spiritually fulfilling society?”  They have written a book called Sacred Commerce, about the practice of having the Eternal present in a commercial environment.  WOW.  I mean, for one person to practice that, yes, I’ve seen that.  But a whole restaurant, all the staff, with a spiritual focus of SERVICE & seeing the exchange of goods as a sacrament?

I suppose most restaurants are bound as a team, focusing their core more on making money and providing a sustainable business for their community, without really allowing as much room for the .  From my personal experience owning and running a restaurant for two and a half years now, I have seen that management of people and the conflicts that arise among very different people working together is a serious challenge.

But it is also a serious opportunity for personal, group, and community growth through communication.  I have often found myself in a mediation role, or taken it on, wanting everyone to “get along.” I can empathize with both parties, because that is my nature.  It’s also been my nature to “take on” people’s energy, to absorb their pain, and that only ends suffocating me, making them a victim, and not offering them the tools of empowerment.  My goal on this trip has been to empower myself, and I’m finding that in doing that it is my DUTY to speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts or how uncomfortable it is.  And once we dig underneath some uncomfortable layers of aches and pains there comes a release, an adjustment, a re-alignment.

I got the opportunity to do a workshop with Deepak Chopra’s daughter, Mallika, who spoke about meditation and its power to realign us with the truth that we CREATE our very experiences – we choose to see the world in the ways that we do, to go the places we go, to be the people who we are.  Her new website intent.com offers a chance for people to post their intentions for the day, and share their with the world, offering each other support.

Altar at Yoga Soup, Santa Barbara

It may sound hokey, all this intention setting and affirmations, but it’s important to realize that there is an incredible power our thoughts.  Marianne Williamson, renowned author of Return to Love  and A Course in Miracles talked about another great leader who recently passed, Steve Jobbs.  She mentioned that he was a vegan and Buddhist which was news to me.  A man who ran such an efficient creative corporation, offering products that increased world-wide communication, sharing, art, and innovative ideas was both a profound leader and a seeking soul.   Because of his lifestyle, his clarity of thought and direct communication, Steve Jobbs was able to be a great leader, to share his gifts with the world.

Things are shifting, before our very eyes.  Shariff Abdullah spoke about how the paradigm we live in is changing.  When the Founding Fathers of our country sat down to write the Constitution they were RADICAL.  There were slaves at that time and they were writing that “We hold these truths to be self-evident.  That all men are created equal.”  WHOA, that was a HUGE deal.   He spoke about the Occupy Wall Street protests that are going on in New York City right now and noted how the sense of unity was created around what we DON’T want.  But now it’s time for us to come together to decide what we DO want.  He said that asked people all over the world “What do you want in the world” they would all argue, and fight, but when he asked them “What is the nature of the society that you want to create for your grandchildren” they would all seem to come to agreements.  He wrote his book Creating A World that Works for All on this subject.  He mentioned that this includes all sentient beings, supports ALL of life.  What if our new constitution (formation, establishment, composition of our LIVES) was based on this:  “We have found this truth to  be self-evident that all life is sacred, is conscious and deserves respect and honor.”

Developing Mural in the Cafe Gratitude Restroom

Respect starts with honor ourselves.  Honoring our bodies, our thoughts, our spirit.  It’s not about changing others but coming into a deeper alignment with our selves.  As Matthew & Terces Englehart, the Cafe Gratitude owners, said “others are playing a role for our enlightenment.”  Click on their names to see a video of them discussing their concept of conscious business.

To conclude, spreading the leadership causing on to whomever is reading this, I want to share what a lot of the speakers stressed: Surrender NOW, while you’re still a mess.  Make ourselves available – the form of ministry doesn’t matter, just put yourself out there to be of service.  Marianne Williamson said if anyone asks “Who do you think you are? God’s gift to the world?  Say yes, and mean it.”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

Spider is the weaver connecting the knowledge of the past with the possibilities of the future. Also notice that the center of the web is always small (you), and the web ever expanding (your possibilities).

“Become the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Gandhi

In light&love

eliza

Posted in cafe gratitude, conscious, inspirational, leaders causing leaders, leadership, raw foods | 4 Comments