What are you GRATEFUL for?

On my quest to find “conscious food, business, lifestyle, and relationships,” I knew that one of my destinations in California would be Cafe Gratitude.  I have one of their cookbooks and I’d read about the owners Matthew & Terces Engelhart who had been through their fair share of challenges in life.  Terces write about struggling with eating disorders, abusive relationships, divorces, and scarcity.  But she realized that she had made up those “victim stories” and if that was the case, she chose to re-write her story.  And make it anything she wanted.  She loved food and sharing that joy with others.  When Terces discovered raw foods she writes that she began to see the healing that could from creating and sharing WHOLEsome food and began nourishing herself and others on SO many levels.

My dinner dates, Max & Trey

As I’ve mentioned before, when we start to notice and move forward in ONE our part of our lives that goodness spreads to all areas of our being.  That goodness is infectious, if we open our hearts to it.  We can literally hand-pick our thoughts and if we choose empowered ones we give ourselves the mentality to live in joy, sharing, creation, and love every moment of our lives.  One of my favorite parts about their cafe is how each dish is titled as an affirmation.  When you order you actually say, “I am elated,” “I am vibrant,” “I am grateful,” etc.  It may sound like a bunch of new-age who-ha.  BUT listen for a minute to the affirmations we tell ourselves all day “I am unorganized, dumb, pathetic, not good enough, etc”  and how easily we believe that…. What if we changed our beliefs? Maybe our actions, our hearts will follow.

"I am magical" veggie burger

"I am elated" Burrito

Highly recommend both of these books!

Matthew & Terces now have Cafe Gratitude in 10 different locations around California.  They employ over 200 people, work with local farms, and they’ve written severals books including one on conscious relationships, Kindred Spirits, and one on conscious business, Sacred Commerce.  I’m seriously loving reading these books, understanding more deeply how business doesn’t have to be “dirty” or “just a job” or “just a way to make money.”  The financial aspects of our lives can become a joyous creation, and offering of service if we choose something that we love to do everyday.  I’ve heard that said since I was little, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  But I would still get hung up on what was “wrong at work”, or how things weren’t working out “properly”. Learning to communicate and manage people was challenging for me when I wasn’t even sure that I was fully capable of everything I was doing, how could I possibly lead others?

I’m remembering how we are all mirrors for ourselves.  I have a lot I can learn from each and every person.  BUT they also have things they can learn from me!  Leadership has been defined as ““process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”  Surprisingly, I found there is nothing in there about having to be perfect or having super powers.  It’s all about bringing people together to accomplish common goals.  A “merging” of sorts 😉 Beautiful!

I am having so much fun with the Keyes family.  We all went running together yesterday before dinner.  I ran 4 miles!  They go to a running club 3-4 days a week and all train with a group of kids and parents who are coached.  They basically all get their exercise in together and in a way that they can work on positively improving themselves and challenging themselves in a fun way.  And then of course we all felt that runner’s high and life just beautiful!  Exercise is just way more fun with someone else.

We made a large Italian (live) dinner.  Neighbors and friends were popping in and out, and we played around just having fun, not following any recipe, but more of a general concept of what we wanted to make.  We had these yummy kept noodles that we used as a “pasta” and then we made a couple sauces for the toppings.  I made a simple marinara by blending up some sundried tomato, fresh tomato, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Himalayan salt and pepper.  Turiya made a creamy pesto with cashews, basil, YUM!  And then we made a super delicious garlic bread out of sprouted whole grain manna bread by simply slicing it up and spreading some olive oil, minced garlic and salt on it and then popping it in the dehydrator to warm it up and let it absorb all the flavor.

But I have to say the most fun part of dinner was the dessert!  There are three 12-year-old boys in the house here including Turiya’s son Baraka and I was so impressed that they not only ate & wanted the raw food but they were also psyched to make raw dessert.  I gave Jordan a general list of raw ingredients to prepare the “cake” part: dates, cacao, pecans, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, vanilla bean… and he really freely tasted and found a balance that he liked.  It turned out awesome.  And meanwhile I blended up a raspberry citrus sauce (raspberry, lemon, lime, salt, coconut oil, coconut flakes) that we decided to pour into the cakes, making them into little cups.  Lastly, I created a chocolate ganache sauce out of cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt – simply decadent.

    

We had a blast decorating each one differently with the sauces, pecans and large coconut flakes.  And meanwhile Diana, photographer extraordinaire, was snapping away capturing the moments.

Cacao Raspberry Bliss

It reminded me a lot of spending time with my own family.  It’s funny how sometimes it takes stepping away and viewing your own blessings from the outside you realize how good you have it.  I can’t wait to get home and hug my loved ones.  I am so grateful.  I am elated.

What are you grateful for?

 *would make Eliza a great Christmas present 😉

Gratitude bracelet... modeled by Jason Mraz.

For more info on Cafe Gratitude’s vibe & how it’s thriving with LA’s health conscious actors, producers, athletes and executives… check out this article in New York Times: click here.

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Co-creation… putting together the puzzling pieces.

I feel like a sponge that needs to just wring out and process everything I’ve absorbed so I can process what I want to hold onto and what what I can let go of.

I’ve made my way to a lovely home in Newport Beach, CA.  I am graced to have met the Keyes family through a friend of a friend of a friend who once couchsurfed here, haha.

And I have to say that only thing that truly makes sense to me lately is the joy and love that I see in the family I’m staying with here.

My quest has been to write about all of these conscious businesses and lifestyles and there are many exciting posts that I will “wring out” in the next couple of hours as I catch everyone up on laying it down.   It’s interesting, I’ve gone to all of these conferences, workshops, cafes and businesses, in quest of the meaning to life… and I think I’m starting to see it coming together.

Beneath the surface of everyday awakening, learning, growing there is a force that DRIVES us to create.  I recently wrote a couple lyrics, as I’m trying to solve this puzzle:

What is it that drives us to create?

Why do we get out of bed each day?

Without the light, we’re in the shadow

Without a direction, there’s no-where to go.

I’m going to be really honest.  Throughout my entire life I’ve tried to find the illusive “peace.”  I thought if I could just get the room set up the way I wanted, get some quiet, and make sure everyone else was happy, and I wasn’t bothering anyone then I could go to that special place and find my “peace.”

Once I was there I’d read or play guitar, go for walks outside, and be “at peace” with myself.  But if other people were to interrupt that time, or distract me from my “peace,” or even try to join me on these walks I’d often lose that complete sense of comfort, and feel anxiety.  I had put so much effort into creating my own little world so I could be “at peace,” and that meant alone and without anyone else to impress or who needed my attention and who I had to smile and listen to while I really just wanted to go back to my little “comfort zone of peace.”

Recently I’ve had some great conversations with Greg & Diana, the couple that I’m staying with in Newport.  Greg talks about “tension,” an inherent quality of existence.  Tension is a delicate balance between being completely relaxed to the point of immobility and the strenuous tightness that causes pain and discomfort (also causing and immobility).

Basically, to be alive and moving, we have to have a certain level of “tension” holding our bodies together, propelling us forward, holding us in place.  As in yoga, the truest releases and relaxation comes from flexing our bodies.   It seems contradictory, but it’s not.  We have to put energy into our bodies to allow the body to relax.  Relaxation does not exist without a release.

WHOA.

It’s so simple and obvious.  But it’s rewarding to find peace after chaos.  It’s rewarding to find solutions.  Without the puzzle, there’s nothing to solve.  We like this game.  We chose to play, to be here, to speak, to run, to CREATE.

Our lives are not just about seeking that moment of empty “peace” as I imagined it in my room all alone, meditating, but to also find PEACE with the cycles, changes, growth, & constant everyday unfolding and evolution of LIFE.

Perspective allows us to see this in many ways.  In the past, I would get frustrated with myself because as an artist I always rushed to “finish” my artwork.  I liked that feeling of stepping back and viewing the details as a whole.  It’s “come together,” I liked that sense of cohesion, and fitting the puzzle piece into place.  I felt the details were messy and seemingly  didn’t make sense, but when viewed with an eagle eye’s perspective, there was always a whole LOT more going on beneath the visible 3-D surface of this puzzle.

Maybe the puzzle is 4-D or 5-D or 100,000D or simply infinite.

When we pick up two pieces sometime they just don’t fit together.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t belong in the same larger picture.  Or that they have to all look the same.

Maybe the rules change constantly as we put together the pieces and we start seeing that just by desiring to make sense of them by beginning to play, they seemingly “fall into place….”  And maybe we are all participating in the creation of the puzzle so we can step back, observe, and marvel at the beauty of life.

Peace needs something to pull us, to push us, to create.  Within the chaos there is certainly order, patterns, cycles:  Day and night/  Tidal waves, rising and falling/  Seasonal changes of winter, spring, summer, fall/ Stages of life: birth, childhood, development, adulthood, sex, giving birth, maturation, deterioration, decay, death.  This exists for all kingdoms of life – plants, animals, planets, stars, etc.

“Tension” could be seen as the string of time.  Tension is the line that runs through the spirals, connecting places, space, and matter.  Tension can be ascended or descended like a spiral stair case.

“Tension” could be the key to our ascension.

Once we understand how we evolve, how life is constantly in flux , we can allow ourselves to be, to grow, in harmony WITH a certain amount of tension.  It is the tension itself that springs us forward into LIFE.

I spent so much time avoiding confrontation, afraid of hurting other people’s feelings or not sure if it even mattered putting energy into talking to them.  If there was really any purpose to it all.  I now realize that we all share a common existence, but each person’s experience is UNIQUE and confrontation (con-FRONT-ing) of the other puzzle pieces could mean simply flipping them over to see their true colors.  Rather than getting mad or angry that we don’t “fit” next to them,  or we can’t understand them, we can simply recognize their common goals to find the balance of tension and existence, as we co-create our lives.

We don’t have to build exactly the same life, we can each choose what we want and create that life for ourselves.

One law or rule I’ve recently come to understand more fully is perception.  The truth is, when we focus on scarcity or “not enough” that is the ideology that we bring into our existence.  When we focus on abundance, we see all the blessings we DO have.  I realize more and more everyday how it’s our own internal nature that creates our PERCEPTION of the external world around us.

I have been cranky and tired, and felt only the frustration, worry, and fear that comes along with money, work, and “having to keep going.” And other times I reflect back and realize I don’t think I would have appreciated where I am now if it wasn’t a puzzle of learning and stretching and growing to get here.

There is magic.  The whole world is magic, the universe doesn’t reply to an order or a snapping of the fingers.  In order to create and shift our experience our existence,  there are certain “puzzle rules” or laws of attraction, gravity, time, energy, space, and perception that exist in this 3-D realm.

We can use these rules/laws/guidelines/programming as a foundation from which we can imagine, dream, grow, create, craft, shift, and unfold into the divine beings we truly are.

I have been reading The Ringing Cedar Series, and again and again Anastasia speaks about our inherent ability as human beings to CO-create the world in which we exist. We have been given this ability through a source some call God, universe, father, mother, spirit, divine spark, big bang, etc… but without a label, it simply IS.  (“I am who I am.”)

At the Longevity Conference I attended in Costa Mesa, CA, this weekend, David Wolfe kept quoting Napoleon Hill saying “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

I’m loving putting the pieces together, in order to create.  I am finding that once I allow myself to just enjoy playing with the puzzle, building and creating, I am more capable of communicating and opening to others and finding joy in the different gifts that we each bring.

Here’s to the puzzle.

Learning to Surf in Newport Beach, California

Woooo!!!

Live it.  Love it.  Get into “the flow” and see what emerges 🙂

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Grace Grove

“Here and now, it’s where she is found.  Alive in this moment, is the life you have chosen.  Let her surround, let her surround you.  Open, open your heart to grace…”

                         – Eliza (yes, me! haha)

I wrote that lyric for a song about grace a while back, and it reminded me of this beautiful place I visited yesterday in Cottonwood, Arizona called Grace Grove.  The retreat center is nestled within the hills of the Arizona desert, a true oasis with fresh water Oak Creek running through the green lush 25 acres of property.

I met the co-creators of the center in Eden, Arizona in May when I retreated to hotsprings there.  I “randomly” decided to call them up and see if we could stop by on Monday only to discover they were only 20 minutes away from where we were camping out at Lo Lo Mai Springs.  I called the center and Morgan one of the founders, along with his partner Puma, answered and invited us to come on by.

We drove through what felt like arid Tuscany hills (with cacti!), crossing hills of vineyards and dry dusty space, Turiya (my traveling companion) and I pulled up to the address and to our surprise found a dank green lawn with chickens running around the yard.  Morgan came out to greet us at his home, dropped everything and gave us an hour-long tour of the grounds and estate.

Morgan greeting us

As we walked around the grounds we passed a pool heated by solar panels, the creek runs pretty much the property, and there were hand-made clay benches using red clay and stones from the creek.  And Morgan explained to us that most of the staff also lives on the property, some in a house near theirs, but some are in building sustainable yurts or domes.  Here is the beginnings of what will be two side by side domes for Dr. Dan Engle, and the foundation he is digging out himself:

The idea of community living is becoming more and more appealing to me.  There are several co-op houses in Buffalo, which I have been to and loved.  But the concept of living on and of the land with intention is really calling me to me.  Sustainable building practices and permaculture are high on my learning list.  I’m considering going to Nicaragua in the winter to learn more at a place called Inan-Itah …. if I can make the trip sustainable!

Although Grace Grove in the desert, they have fresh berries along the trails, an orchard with persimmons, apples, and other fruits as well as a vegetable garden, which Morgan said yielded a good part of their food this summer.  One benefit to Arizona is that while water is scarce in most areas, being in the south they have an extended growing season, and the ability to grow fall crops.  Whereas in good ol’ Buffalo our season is much shorter due to, what else, the snow.  (But hey, we have a better snow board/skiing season…)

Seed Starting Boxes

Sunshade over the vegetables

As we walked up the main building, I asked Morgan about how they acquired the land and began the center.  He said that he met Puma at Epic Eden hot springs (the same event that I met the two of them at in May) and that they fell immediately in love.  They planned out a two-year road trip traveling across the country to “be free,” and after 7 days of traveling, they came across this land.  They kept traveling a while more, but came back and purchased the land realizing the value of the fresh water, arable land, and background of Native American historical use of the land.  The land resonates with a peaceful subtle energy, it’s understandable they never found anything else like it.

Retreat Center

Check out their website for information on business groups, personal or group retreats, digestive detoxes as well as emotional clearing.  It’s incredible, but as we shift one part of our lives (health, business, relationships, exercise, etc) it affects all the others.  As we detox physically, emotional energies will also be released that we have literally stored in our bodies.

For me, on the drive down from Buffalo to Arizona I experienced massive shifts.  I’m not much of a cry-er, but I felt this emotional overwhelming energy as we were driving through back roads somewhere in Illinois.  I had to ask Turiya to pull over.  I walked down a dusty country road not sure of what I was experiencing, but I just started sobbing, allowing myself to release all the anxiety about leaving home and beginning this journey and not knowing what the outcome would be, if I would be perceived as crazy, or if I was making some big mistake by leaving merge and my family for so long.  But I’ve found that one we release, and let the energy be felt, actually go INTO the feeling, and not trying to ignore it.  We’ll find that it has messages for us.  Our bodies communicate with us through feelings.  When we consistently tell our bodies to “shut up” by taking drugs to numb feelings or pain our bodies we are ignoring valuable information that is really there for a reason.  Going into the pain, into the emotion, we can notice, allow, and shift.

Having someone (or a place) where you can go to literally SHIFT your life into empowerment is a most beautiful gift to yourself.  It allows support and re-enforcement of your value, your truth, and your SELF.   For any entrepreneurs out there, I recommending reading this blog on the Grace Grove website about the state of your health matching the state of your business.  When we allow ourselves to grow, dream, and flourish, our businesses will do the same.  Rather than working more, harder,  pushing and fighting our way to the top we can begin to look at the END results.  WHAT is it we want to ACHIEVE?  Most businesses aim create stability and peace for themselves and other people while offering a product or service that will benefit the collective.  What if we lived FROM this place of peace and stability FIRST and then allowed the business to come from this place?  What would the world be like?

Heart Fountain

Get into your body, into your heart today.   Notice and allow.

❤ e

PS Check out my song “Open to Grace” here:

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ChocolaTREE, Sedona, AZ

So one of the main places I’ve been hanging out in Sedona is The Chocolatree, similar to merge it is a community gathering space as well as a restaurant/café/gallery/music venue/yoga studio/chocolaterie & shop where they sell healing cards, crystals, supplements, and herbs, and packaged goodies.

This place is electric, alive, and vibin’.  People flow in and out at a refreshing pace of life, all saying friendly hellos to the staff.  Everyone seems to know each other in this small vibrant town — even the tourists.  We got to know the owner (or co-creator, as it says on her business card), Jenny Warr, and several members of the charming staff by the time we left.  I spoke with Jenny about the growing raw foods movement in Buffalo. I said “I wished a place like this would work in Buffalo,” but she stopped me saying “the world is craving this, people come in from New York asking me to open there all the time.”  What do you think Buffalo, are we ready for this?  Jenny gave me lots of support, mentioning some of her inspiration came from The Ringing Cedars Books, an incredible series of books on consciousness.  They’re mind-blowing, I’m on book 7 now.  For anyone who hasn’t heard of them, do yourself a serious favor, these books are life changing, click on the link above and check it out.

This fence is the lovely gateway into their garden inspired by the series.

The entire menu is vegan, and organic.  They use local honey and some of the food is cooked, like beans and rice tacos or quinoa, but otherwise it is almost all live or raw food.  And chocolate, oh my, the entire place smells of dark decadent chocolate.  They have handmade artistry raw gourmet chocolate using organic, stone ground, fair trade ingredients.

         

The patio not only has a garden where they grow some vegetables for their food, but it also has a stage outside in the patio where they have ecstatic dance on Sundays and yoga a couple days of the week.  Similar to merge, there is a screen behind the stage, and they also do a movies nights!  I was so loving the energy of this place, and it was awesome how with their weather, they can offer night events outside all year round.

On all the tables inside there are tarot decks or oracle cards, offering a chance for people to get a bit of inspiration or guidance.  There is wi-fi inside and on the patio.

And of course, here’s the best part, the delicious food!  My favorite dish was the Viva Burrito.  I’m a sucker for guacamole & salsa on anything but this wrap was light, soft like a tortilla, and packed with flavor.

I am so grateful for these places and people who bring together our global community.  It also makes me appreciate what we offer to the tourists & community in Buffalo with merge.  The world feels smaller day by day as we move in these circles of attraction, I find that many of the new friends we’re making are also going to Longevity Conference this weekend in California!   We’re looking forward to lots of great lectures and up to date information on the raw/vegan lifestyle.  I’ll be updating everyone as I’m learning day by day.

Keep the faith & here’s a bit of inspiration for you today:

Blessings,

❤ eliza

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Food for Thought.

One of my readers commented that he didn’t understand some of the things I was discussing in my posts.   I realize that I should probably explain in more details about some of the big topics like raw/vegan foods.  So, let’s start at the very beginning.

First, I want to preface that I understand that each person’s biochemistry is unique and each person must work out their own diet to suit their life goals, life style, genetic predisposition and current state of health.  This is what I do with my health coaching clients.  I help them to find the balanced diet and lifestyle that allows them to meet their highest potential.  There is no single, one, all-encompassing, correct diet.  BUT there are some general guidelines that allow for overall health for everyone (Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a balance of protein and carbohydrates, and keeping the amount of sugar, dairy, alcohol, and coffee to a healthy balance.)

Some diets are great for certain periods in our lives, and I have chosen to “go raw” for this trip while I am getting more in-tune with myself, detoxing physically, emotionally, mentally as I’m traveling.  And I feel GREAT!  So, I want to share what it’s all about.

What IS vegan???  In the simplest definition it means eating plant-based foods rather than product or by-product of animals (no meat, dairy, eggs, etc.  Some argue against honey as well, but I love honey and bees!)

There are a lot of people looking at vegan as a fad diet and bizarre sub-culture and others who live it as a hardcore lifestyle.  I like to eat vegan/raw because of a number of reasons, mainly how good it makes me feel.  It can definitely be argued that if you pour love and energy into anything you eat it will literally be better for you & your body.   But on top of that, raw foods offer all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are inherent in natural plant based food.  When we cook food over a certain temperature (most agree it’s about 115 degrees F) these important nutrients and minerals are killed or cooked out of the food.  So, while you’re eating cooked broccoli, you’re not really getting the full benefit of all the goodness and live energy in the plant.  It’s simple and it makes sense.

It doesn’t mean that everything you eat MUST be raw.   But there are SO many benefits to eating raw.  Let me just tell you, I’ve been raw on and off for a month or so at a time, through different periods of my life, and I’ve always noticed positive changes my attitude, energy, and awareness.  I already feel an immense different in my energy, the softness and clarity of my skin, I’ve lost a little weight, and the biggest difference is in my mood.

You are what you eat.  Without high-stress foods, I  feel less stress in my body.  Living food, minus inflammatory agents like sugar and processed flours, allows my body to regulate itself more efficiently.  My mood is more stable, I literally have more patience and energy with myself, and others.

I’ve always had a sweet-tooth, but I’m finding that I’m not even craving sugar, and if I do want something sweet, I’m loving trail mixes with craisins, raisins, coconut, walnuts, almonds, cacao.  YUM!  There is so much delicious food you can eat while being raw.

Here’s a basic breakdown YES foods:

– Vegetables

– Fruits

– Seeds & Nuts (Walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, chia, flax, sunflower, etc)

– Whole grains (soaked & sprouted is best! Quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, etc.)

– Sea Vegetables (Seaweed, nori, dulse, arame, kelp, etc)

If you’re new to raw foods, this may sound like not a lot of options, but it includes SO many delicious foods!

Here are some examples of LIVE/RAW foods we’ve eaten on this trip, so far:

Raw “Sushi wraps” from ChocolaTREE, Sedona.

A yummy raw meal we made for one of our couchsurfing hosts: Kelp pasta (you can buy the noodles at any grocery store and we made a simple sauce out of high quality olive oil, fresh basil, heirloom tomatoes, and some seasonings.  Grounding salad (We used root vegetables: beet & daikon radish, beet greens, kale, and some green onions).  Apple slices with cashew butter.  And for dessert, we had fresh figs, cacao nibs, and goji berries.

This is a travel trail mix of sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries, goldenberries, pepitas. I made one with walnuts, craisins, raisins, coconut flakes, and dried apricots.  YUM!

It is really joyful and fun to make raw foods, because honestly, you can’t go wrong.  You can’t actually burn anything.  Just follow the basics of food combining (A balance of salty, sweet, acids, and fats = YUM on your tongue!)  High quality ingredients and a little creativity go a long way, and make preparing food more fun.  You can follow some recipes in the beginning stages if you like, but the truth is raw eating can be as simple or complex as you want.

For more information on raw foods check out some of these links:

Buffalo has a couple meetup groups focused on vegan & raw foods.  I host a vegan meetup at merge once a month.  But while I’m out-of-town, I left it up to the group to schedule another meetup, so there may not be one until I’m home, again.

The Buffalo Live Meetup Community is really growing and a great way to get access to information & meet people meanwhile, check out one of their potlucks or movie showings.

David Wolfe, well-known raw foodist, we’ll be attending his Longevity Now Conference in California this weekend.

Gabriel Cousens, raw author & founder of “Tree of Life,” a retreat center in Patagonia, AZ which hopefully I will be visiting later in October.

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BlissFULL Inspiration

I’m in the vortexes of Sedona, a whirlwind of energy, finding a deep calm in the eye of the ever-shifting, changing universe.  I have taken the so called “leap of faith” and BAM!, the net appeared.  Actually, I’m not sure I need the net, I feel like I’m flying, and I’m ok with that, that’s how I roll from now on.

I have met so many people who are inspiring me in my faith, my action, my goals of understanding and exploring nutrition, and my wellness coaching, and I’m opening my heart to grace. Right now I am in a beautiful house on the top of a hill in Sedona, Arizona, a place known for its heightened, healing vortex energy.

I am inspired, alive, and invigorated.  I am so grateful for the ability to choose what I eat, where I go, who I want to be around, and how to make my living.  But I am also grounded in my body, my heart, and my faith.  This balance and trust is ringing through my body, and my fingertips as I write.  I don’t feel as much excited as solidified, like I am finally aligning with my purpose, my calling, and my worth.

It’s amazing how quickly I’ve met friends and places to stay in this lovely town. (couchsurfing.org is an amazing tool) I’m finding people here smile at you walking down the street, talk to you while you’re standing in line, laugh together at the table next to you at the cafe, there is an incredible sense of community and belonging.  This begs me to ask the question – “have I shifted my own paradigm?” or “is it this particular place that allows such freedom of individuality and actually the people here are more genuinely beautifully true to themselves?”

I always seem to find that as one (myself especially) begins to shift his/her own perspective, release his/her fears, and open up his/her own heart, one finds the world around him/herself TRANSFORMED.  For instance, driving down the same road late for an appointment we can either see the person in front of us as “an idiot for driving so slowly and not knowing what the f*** he’s doing” or we can take a deep breath and simply remind ourselves to leave earlier next time, allowing ourselves to be late, rather than blaming ourselves, others, or anything at all.  CHOOSING how we respond, and not reACTING.

This itself is a huge paradigm shift for me.  I mean I “knew that”, but I didn’t really KNOW it experientially everyday in my life.  the ACTUALization that I create my own world is a huge shift for me.  I realize that my past (some can call it karma – actions, thoughts, choices) have created the exact world that I now live in.  AND if I decide that I want a different world (more love, more money, different places, people, or opportunities) all I have to do is decide for myself that is what I want, put the intention out into the universe and then create it.

Many people refer to Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” but I found out recently the true quote is actually “we MUST BECOME the change you wish to see in the world.”  It is ACTive.

And once we tell the universe (God, source, ourselves) what it is that we choose, what we want, if we start walking the walk, we literally attract what we call forth into our lives.  We draw our dream into being, we become the change we wish to see.

I’m approaching this journey in a similar fashion to Henry David Thoreau when said he went to the Walden pond, to the woods… “because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Take a moment for yourself today to reflect on this & another Thoreau quote:

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with success unexpected in uncommon hours.”

Blessings & Light to you on YOUR journey ❤

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Buffalo to Sedona in 2.5 days. Phew!

To be honest, I already feel immensely different than when I left.  I’m shedding skins like a snake. It’s been three days of traveling, conversing, eating raw, and following grace as we had no set plans of where to stay anywhere yet.  I have to be honest that I’ve been surprised by the amount of emotion & fear that has come up and been released in just a couple of days.  I’m traveling practicing trusting that we will be where we need to be wherever we are, and opening to “the flow” as they say.  It feels like it’s been months traveling already, haha.

Sunday morning I arrived to meet up with Turiya, my beautiful raw yogi friend and her 12-year-old son, Baraka, (no longer raw and proud of it) techie genius.  I ran up to them all excited to jump on the road, when I noticed a slight hesitation.  Apparently Baraka’s friend had been telling him about an earthquake that is astrologically supposed to shake up California on the 26th of September, and they were concerned that maybe this trip was a risk.

I paused.  Hmm, normally I would be the one worried about something like this, but I knew deep in my gut that I have to take this quest and seek parts of myself.  So, I said I was going either way, and their joining was up to them. My good friend recently gave me the mantra “feel the fear and do it anyway,” which has given me a lot of courage lately.

We made some phone calls and ended up staying the first night in Chicago with the fabulous Sarah Campbell. Her roommate Patrick was having a birthday party that evening, haha, and they made for lots of laughs to say the least.

Woke up and internet hunted for a raw cafe in Chi-town before getting back on the road.  We discovered this lovely spot called Earth’s Healing Cafe

Walking in feeling a little stressed about our trip, I felt a wave of calming energy come over me as I walked into this cafe.  A beautiful person named Benjamin helped me with my order, I got the “liver harmony juice” composed of carrot, apple, dandelion, burdock, and tumeric.  I had never had fresh burdock or tumeric in a juice before, it was a welcome treat, offering some earthy grounding, which was exactly what I needed.

This was their “Strength of a goddess” which not only has an awesome name but a delicious taste! Lovely stuffed half avocadoes with a mango-curry pate made with cashews and sprinkled with fresh green onion.  It came with a fresh salad and very bright garlic-parsley dressing and olives.  YUM!

We jumped in the car ready to rock and drove through the night.  I am currently sitting in Sedona, AZ, we manifested a couch to surf on (today!), this lovely woman Pamela happens to live just around the corner from the Chocolatree (which was one of my must-visit spots in Sedona)  and OH MY GODDESS… this place is going to need another blog of it’s own.  This place is incredible… everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Honestly I’m exhausted though and I start my 3 day intensive class on Akashic Records tomorrow so you’ll have to check back in with me next time to see all about it.

With love and deep gratitude for all the goodness surrounding us ❤

eliza

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