May 26, 2010

I ride my bike

I roller skate, don't drive no car
Don't go too fast , but I go pretty far
For somebody who don't drive, I been all around the world
Some people say I done alright for a girl

-Melanie Safka

World Naked Bike Ride in the Northern Hemisphere is approaching in participating American cities the beginning of June. Flip up your kickstand and dare to bare all: the X-rated outrageousness takes place in San Diego Saturday, June 12th, 5pm at Evolution Fast Food 2965 5th Avenue. For other times and places visit the website!

This clothing optional bike ride brings attention to our reliance on automobiles and the fuel they require to run. This year seems to be an especially poignant year in regards to the current oil spill of mass destruction and utter sadness.

Yes, it is illegal to ride your bike naked through the streets. The world naked bike ride website offers some words of advice on this concern:

The laws on nudity are often incredibly vague and difficult to enforce.
You probably don't need to cover up an awful lot to be legal. With the incredible transforming powers of a little body paint, liquid latex, a strategically-placed sock or duct tape you too can transform the average city-streaking wild naked cyclist into "the legal city-streaking wild naked cyclist". Be creative: a little imagination can change everything.

May 25, 2010

You put the lime in the coconut

and drink it all up

Kalpa vriksha, sanskrit, "the tree which provides all the necessities of life."

When I am away J eats us out of house and home, and in the process has made a lovely discovery and my new obsession. Young Coconuts! I had bought the white pointy Cocos nucifera with little intention of actually doing anything with it, and in his desperation, J to the rescue.
-The coconut water, found in young coconuts, is full of fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and provides an isotonic electrolyte balance.
-It's nature's sports drink.
-It is filtered through the trunk of the palm and sterile until opened. It has even been used for blood transfusions during World War II.

-The nut (fruit) meat contains saturated fat and protein and the vitamins iron, phosphorous, and zinc.

-Harvesting the bud, the heart-of-palm, kills the palm and is therefore a rare delicacy referred to as "millionaires salad."

This man taught J how to open his coconut and has since become our best friend. We enjoy blending the gelatinous meat with the water and one whole vanilla bean for an island-life-giving smoothie, or just sipping the water and scooping the flesh.

I use the empty husks as tea light holders or as chocolate pudding pots!

May 21, 2010

You can have your cake

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
-Mahatma Gandhi

On our gregorian calendar the date of the Buddha's Birthday changes from year to year. This year it falls on May 21st (also, my half birthday) Happy Birthday Buddha!

Celebrate everyday with Birthday Cake Remix Jelly Bellies. They taste of cake batter, sprinkles, brownie and fudge.

I cannot take full credit for this doodle, it's a rendition of a cartoon on wordpress. I'm a Copycat. It's how I practice. As per usual these days, it is made and sent from my iPad.

May 15, 2010

Just because you listen harder

Doesn't mean you can hear better
Here at my yoga retreat in the hills of the Berkshires of Massachusetts we are participating in 'Noble Silence' or 'Social Silence'.

We are actively restraining the way in which we are accustomed to functioning in this world in hopes to become cognizant of the mind- to train the mind, and remind it that it's not the boss! This quiet time amplifies the conversations we have in our heads (our reaction to life, the story we hold on to) and hence sheds light on our dark areas. Withdrawal from constant stimulation also turns everything, not just sitting purposefully, into a meditation.

Meditation is noticing what's happening while it's happening and noticing your relationship to what's happening.

Wish me luck!!! I will be in stillness all this week, meditating for hours, wishing I were doodling. Sitting all day is no easy feat, it is the hardest pose in yoga after all: the pose, along with Savasana, that all the other poses lead up to.
What did I get myself into?!

I invite you to join me this week for your own retreat at home: a Media Respite!
I realize it is not practical to ask you to cut off all communication (that's what these hippy centers are for,) but I welcome you to take a break from unnecessary outlets of communication and stimulation.

For example:
Leave the TV off!!! (if you do nothing else, do this)
Exonerate the daily newspaper*
Forget the radio in the car
Give the iPod/iTunes/all i's and tunes a rest**
Refrain from random surfing and internet chatting

If you want to go the extra mile:
Exnay the gossip
Use the phone for purposeful calls only

Bonus points for:
Not texting
Sitting still and watching, bemused, your monkey mind.
It's b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

Choose one/a few/all/any of these suggestions and commit for the week. Right now: write down your plan and intention. Set up the time-line and the parameters. What do expect to get out of this? What will help you go through with it? I'll be right here with you, thinking of you! (I have nothing else to do.)

*we are so attached to the news and have countless excuses for the addiction, just TRY letting it go for a few days, see what happens. I promise you'll know if the world is ending.
**yes, music can be soothing, but silence, especially if it scares you, is the sound that will set you free. If you're not a granola, it can be the most deafening noise of all. This fear, as all things do, shall pass.

The only thing we can rely on is that we cannot rely on anything. The only permanent is impermanence.

I'll see you in a week.

Meditate like a glass of muddy water, sit and let the silt fall towards the bottom.

May 12, 2010

I'm twenty-something and I have angst

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.
-Wayne Dyer

Characteristics of a quarter-life crisis may include:
(per Wikipedia)
  • realizing that the pursuits of one's peers are useless
  • confronting their own mortality
  • watching time slowly take its toll on their parents, only to realize they are next
  • insecurity regarding the fact that their actions are meaningless
  • insecurity concerning ability to love themselves, let alone another person
  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments
  • re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
  • lack of friendships or romantic relationships, sexual frustration, and involuntary celibacy
  • disappointment with one's job
  • nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life
  • tendency to hold stronger opinions
  • boredom with social interactions
  • loss of closeness to high school and college friends
  • financially rooted stress (overwhelming college loans, unanticipated high cost of living, etc.)
  • loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies
  • desire to have children
  • a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you
  • frustration with social skills

Being twenty-something is no walk in the park. I am gradually coming to realize this, and thankfully registering at the same time that I am not alone in this thinking. As I was perusing the Kripalu (yoga school) website for my airport shuttle times this Friday I came across a six-day workshop entitled Quarter Life Calling: Creating an Extraordinary Life in Your 20's and got me thinking, maybe I'm not so mentally strange.

Only an hour later I found myself at lunch with my early 30's friend L and the same topic came up. She reassured me that it is in fact a troubling time of uncertainty and angst (her word,) not just my imagination, I am thankful for friends like these.
Knowing I'm not alone makes me rest easy. Already, I' feeling breezy.

The man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
-Henry David Thoreau

May 11, 2010

The power of the sweat

I have this terrible dark side to my personality, which playing tennis keeps at bay.
-Monica Seles*

Exercise is the number one recommendation for naturally fighting the symptoms of depression. (I am not a doctor.)

Even if it was ages ago, most of us have experienced this through a "runner' s high," a clarifying hike, or a laugh-out-loud exercise class. Exercise releases the feel-good brain chemicals: neurotransmitters and endorphins, boosts confidence, is a great distractor, and can be a social outlet.

Take the first step, no more, no less, and the next will be revealed.
-Ken Roberts

Unfortunately, when we are depressed exercise is also the last thing we feel like dong- much like water can nearly cause us to gag when we are dehydrated. Baby steps. A 10k is not in order, gardening or washing your car is the perfect prescription!

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.
-Helen Keller

*Monica Seles has a new book out, Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self

Did you see Venus Williams' brown booty at the Australian Open? Apparently the whole stadium gasped when she first bent over. I personally applaud the mocha-colored jockey statement.

May 10, 2010


Juicing gives me wings!

I just came home with the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro, and I can vouch for his products. I bought two. J and I owned the Classic in Aspen, but it didn't make it cross-country twice on our trek to California via Ohio, so now I have the new shiny chrome model and I love it so. No fruit nor vegetable stands a chance.
This baby mashes bundles of kale and parsley, grinds through seeds and cores, and shoots out rainbows of vitamins like it ain't no thing.

It is exhausting to keep up with the mounds of fresh produce one flies through after investing in an extractor, but you will have the energy! This juice gives me the stamina to lug around sacks of fresh navel oranges and carts full of carrots for miles wearing havaianas and a smile.

You will also no longer throw away aging crops that you can't manage to finish in time, instead you'll shove them through the tube and suck them down in seconds. And then you'll be wired enough to deep clean the whole house. Everybody wins.

Don't hold your breath for Cali to legalize the green stuff- instead get to juicing and get high!

J and I also find it much improves our digestion.

Existence is Gold

This Thursday I am leaving for the Berkshires of Massachusetts to return to the mother ship, Kripalu, for a 10-day meditation module, part of my 500-hour yoga training.
I could use a clearing of the chatter!

May 7, 2010

Gu-darkness. Ru-Light.

Guru. Bringing darkness to Light.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

- Marriane Williamson
found on Lori Painter's Inspire2act blog, (click) a frequent read of mine.

When the student is ready the teacher will come.
Bhuddist Proverb

I often get inquiries from friends and family who are curious in starting yoga. I tell them the teacher is the most important element in the you-plus+yoga=equation. Some of them have been to a class and felt 'yoga wasn't for them.'
Trying one yoga class and dismissing the entire practice is like tasting a banana and declaring you hate all fruit (or even all food.)

It often takes a few or many drop-ins to find the teacher best suited to you. The teacher is far more important than any other factor, including the difficulty level and style. Often what you want is not necessarily what you need. (Injuries and other obvious physical boundaries excluded.)

I, for one have always been weary of the stringency and seriousness of Iyengar yoga, but Friday at 11am was such a perfect fit in my schedule that I showed up and my vision has shifted. This teacher does something to me; she changes how I look at things and how I feel. It is indescribable.

*A great great read: (I might even have to Amazon another copy seeing as mine is in Cleveland)
Has anyone read any of Geeta Iyengar's work? This is BKS Iyengar's daughter. I have not, so let me know.

Some tips from a teacher (yours truly):
-Introduce yourself to the teacher when you come in- we dig this!
-You do not have to be "good at yoga" to SIT IN FRONT. The more of a beginner you are the nearer to the teacher you should be plunking yourself. You'll get so much more attention and a little one-on-one in yoga is clutch. Don't be shy, get up there and get yourself more bang for your butt!
-There is no such thing as being good at yoga.
-Flexibility has nothing to do with your hamstrings.

90 percent of life is showing up
-Woody Allen

May 5, 2010

my Muffin Top brings all the boys to the club

This recipe is flying out of the tin:

Fluffy Easy Blueberry Muffins

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3 Tbspn sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups milk, plus 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbspn maple syrup
1 cup blueberries (thawed from frozen ok)

makes 12 muffins.

Pre-heat oven to 400. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Combine milk with oil, egg and maple syrup. Make a well in of the dry ingredients; pour the combined liquid mixture all at once and mix lightly. Do not over mix! Quickly fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter in to muffin pans- lined our lightly greased. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool a few minutes, remove from pans.

Thank you Cathy Banks form the Ocean Beach Co-op

I recently read an article regarding Agave- my current sweetener of choice. It is said the Agave is not processed much differently than High Fructose Corn Syrup. (Using strong acids, caustics, and genetically engineered enzymes.) Yet, organic manufacturers claim this is not true. Agave has been proven not to spike blood sugar the way many other sweeteners do, and because it is about three times sweeter than table sugar, it does take less to get your desired taste. But in the end it is still a sweetener.
It may be natural but it is not a whole food. Our bodies are not designed to consume a processed, high-sugar diet, no matter what the kind of sugar, and where it is coming from.
The holy grail of benign sweeteners does not exist. Instead, we must tame our sugar cravings.

I am no saint. I eat "refined" wheat/sugar products- mostly, when they are homemade. Yes, I have a little muffin top (and not the kind pictured,) but I have no regrets. After reading this and admitting I am a sugar addict, I am less likely to slather on the agave (in the past splenda- ew) as I have been known to do.

Many natural foodists, nutritionists and the like agree that honey is our best option. (See post 'home is where my honey is'.)

May 4, 2010


Sage, from the X-men: (from my iPad)
The Sage acts without action
and teaches without talking
All things flourish around him
and he does not refuse any one of them
He gives but not to receive
He works but not for reward
He completes but not for results
He does nothing for himself in this passing world
so nothing he does ever passes

(Verse 2, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu)

Sage, the color.

May 3, 2010

the grocery getter

I'm back in San Diego and the California farmer's markets have exploded! Like a humdrum green bush erupting with vibrant flowers in Spring, rows of avocados and tomatoes have morphed into fruits and edibles spanning the entire spectrum.

The French Breakfast Radish is my current favorite. (the elongated, tubular variety)

To prepare- slice off the greens and trim the tip so the radish is flat on both ends.

To enjoy- scrape a little butter on one end, dip in sea salt and chomp into the crispiness.

... and watch as radishes disappear as you have never seen them do before. Into your own mouth no less.

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, speaks of six tastes and declares that a fulfilling meal will contain all six: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent.
The radish is pungent. Herbs and spices such as black pepper, garlic, ginger and cloves are pungent as is the condiment mustard, but very few foods fit into the pungent category, making radishes very unique.
Radishes are also thought to freshen the breath, regulate appetite, treat constipation and improve circulation among many other benefits.

This evening I was gifted Hula O Maui, Pineapple sparkling wine 'made from the juice of fresh golden pineapples' grown on Maui. Definitely my kind of beverage. Thanks K!

May 2, 2010

It will all work out

J, my mom, and I all went to see the Palm Beach Psychic before making our way out of town yesterday. Her store front is so glitzy its gaudy- no wonder I couldn't resist. We all agreed she was very intuitive, though only 25, and had the cutest big ears. the Orient large ears are looked upon as auspicious because they indicate wisdom and compassion. The Buddha is depicted as having big ears because he is the compassionate one. He hears the sound of the world - hears the cries of suffering beings - and responds. The important thing for us is not how large our ears are, but how open are our "mind ears." -

I won't reveal the details of our readings, of course, but in the end the overall message was the more you know yourself the better you will fair, and to relax and allow your destiny to unfold. She recounted who we were in our past-life, information which helps to explain our fears, worries, insecurities, burdens, and pains, as well as shed light on our powers, virtues and strengths.

In summation, Knowledge is power.

Wedding countdown: the fifth full moon from now.
J and I (above) are clearly excited. And on our way!

May 1, 2010

Not my dress

I bought the first dress I tried on for the big day (wedding.) It was not in your classic boutique where everyone frou-frous around you, and this made me apprehensive. But then I remembered how this whole business started and the way things were done in the old days. I was reminded not to buy into the hype and to stick with my personal style. I did it my way.

The day in general is unlikely to be your average bear. It's going to be spectacular. It was also a breeze to plan (thanks mom) without the stress you see in the movies, minus maybe a little tension regarding the band (which has since been diffused.)

The big lesson: things don't have to be stressful/difficult/fight-inducing just because people say they are. You write your own story. It is what you make it.

On a yoga retreat with Baron Baptiste, Baron lectured that we all carry around like a heavy burden these made-up tales of our life, and that's just what they are: dramatic narratives that we compulsively repeat.
He urges us to strip our lives down to just the facts (this is going to take A LOT of editing) and examine what is left. Not much. We can create any story we like around the simple frame, why not make it a great one?

This is on my registry. Thanks A! xxx