Set New Years Intentions

Image by Veronica Rae

Image by Veronica Rae

Happy New Year!

A friend of mine, Veronica Rae, wrote a great article in the Huffington Post about setting intentions for the new year. She shares simple and easy steps to help you do it, too. Click on the link below to find out more.

Rather than create New Year’s resolutions, which often come from a place of lack and frustration, try setting New Year’s intentions. It’s simple, easy and refreshing! Here’s how…

For many years now, I have setting an intention for the year. Why? Well, it helps me stay tuned in and on my path for the year. Setting an intention helps me connect with my Spirit’s plan for the year. It’s freeing to let go of making resolutions that I can’t keep.

Just like Veronica suggests, I center myself, let go of expectations, make sure I’m grounded (i.e. connected to the center of the earth) and in a clear space (feeling calm and peaceful). During the whole process I tune into my intuition. In my mind I ask, what is my intention for this year? Information comes to each of us in different ways. For some people it’s in images, for others it’s in words or feelings, and for some it’s a deep knowing. Whatever works for you is perfect.

2014 intention

My overall intention symbol for 2014

For me it’s helpful to allow colors and images that represent my intentions to show up. Usually the first color or symbol that comes is the right one. It represents the qualities of what I want to create and what I am working on during this next year of my life. Sometimes I count to myself: one, two, three. Now! And then notice what the first color or symbol is that appears in my mind’s eye.

For the past two years I have done water-color paintings of my intention symbols. The image to the right was my over-all symbol for last year (2014). It has hung in my bedroom as a wonderful reminder all year.

I have shared two examples of ways you can tune into your intention for the year. There are may more. Have fun playing with these exercises and see what works for you!

Blessings for an amazing year!!

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A Unity Prayer

The Light of God Surrounds You,

The Love of God Enfolds You,

The Power of God Protects You,

And The Presence of God Watches Over You.

Wherever You are, God Is and All is Well…

Sunset

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Gluten-Free Brownie Bites

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These are super easy! As usual I made a few alterations to the recipe… I left out the peanut flour and used only almond flour (which I made fresh by grinding almonds in a coffee grinder). I used a little less than 1/2 cup coconut sugar since the sunflower butter I used was sweetened.

They are kind of like a chocolate power bar with all the nuts, seeds and the egg whites. Next time I will likely go ahead and use the whole egg instead of just egg whites.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

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Vegan Ice Cream

Vegan Ice CreamFor a while now it has been clear to me that I don’t do well with dairy, but I still love the occasional ice cream treat. For a while now I have been choosing coconut milk based ice creams instead of dairy, which has made my tummy (and my whole body) happier than eating a dairy based ice cream. Recently I tried cashew & date based chocolate pudding that a friend had made and decided it was high time that I try making my own nut based ice cream. If you like nuts, then you will most likely enjoy this ice cream, too!

First I did a little research and one recipe I looked at was from the website Elana’s Pantry. As usual, I altered things a bit. I don’t have a vitamix or similar type of blender, so I decided to soak my cashews first, which would make blending them easier. Because they had been soaked I used less liquid than her recipe.

Here is the recipe that I ended up making.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked in water over night & rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or other liquid of your choice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (you make want a bit more)
  • dash of salt
  • fresh fruit to put on afterward (optional)

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight & rinse them before using them.
  2. Add all ingredients (except fruit) to your blender and blend until smooth
  3. Put liquid mixture into the refrigerator (probably optional, but I thought it might help the process and I didn’t have time to make the ice cream right then)
  4. When you’re ready, place liquid mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the directions of your ice cream maker. (My mixture was ready in less than 20 minutes.)
  5. Scoop out into bowls and serve immediately with fresh fruit. You can also place it into a container and put it into the freezer for later. If you do this, the ice cream will be hard when you take it out of the freezer, so let it stand for 10-15 minutes before scooping it out.
  6. Enjoy!
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Making Herbal Salves

KatjaWellness isn’t just about what we put into our bodies, but it is also about what we put onto our bodies. Many people are become more aware that it really matters what we put onto our skin and are trying to avoid any synthetic ingredients.

Today I went to a class put on by a friend of mine, Katja, who taught us how to make healing organic herbal salves using plants that we commonly find in our backyard. It was surprisingly simple and also very helpful to have the practical hands-on experience of making these salves together. It was wonderful to see Katja’s passion for herbs and natural remedies.

HerbsIn the class today she focused on four particular herbs that all have wonderful healing properties – Calendula, Comfrey, Plaintain, and Yarrow. A few examples of how these herbs can help our skin… Calendula is great for dry skin, acne, and insect bites. Comfrey helps heal cuts, bruises, burns and even broken bones! Plaintain helps relieve itching. Yarrow is great for eczema, rashes, and inflamed skin.

After learning a little bit about the herbs, Katja talked with us about what kind of oils can be used to create the herbal infused oils, most of which can be found in a common kitchen (i.e. coconut, olive, sunflower), which are then used to make the salves. Finally, we got to create the salve with a mixture of the herbal infused oils plus some beeswax and drops of essential oils (i.e. lavender). It was so much fun to work together with the group, measuring out ingredients and learning how to make these at home.

Salve makingKatja will be teaching a class on Making Herbal Salves over the next two Saturday at the College of Marin. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in healthy living. You get to try out something fun and new, plus you’ll get to take a healing salve home with you! You can find more information on Katja’s class here.

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Coconut brownies

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Yesterday I came across this great brownie recipe in a newsletter that I subscribe to. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free and it still sounded delicious and easy. With the rainy weather we’ve been having I was in the mood to bake, so decided to give it a try right away. Thankfully I already had almost everything on hand and was able to make one simple substitution, so I was all set.

Ingredients:

½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw organic cacao powder
¼ cup organic coconut sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt
4-6 dried pitted dates
¼ cup light canned coconut milk
¼ cup organic coconut shreds
4 prunes
2 Tbsp. organic unrefined coconut oil
1/3 cup applesauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Blend almonds in food processor until ground.
3. Pulse in the cacao, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
4. Next, add the dates, figs, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut shreds, and blend until you have a smooth batter.
5. In a medium bowl, stir applesauce into the batter.
6. Grease an 8×8” pan lined with foil and spread batter evenly on the foil.
7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
8. Let cool about 10 minutes before cutting. They can last a week in the fridge, but it’s doubtful they will make it that long!!

Here’s a link to the original recipe: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12821/fig-coconut-brownies-a-gluten-free-vegan-treat.html

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Presence and Eckhart Tolle

Some of our Frequency Holder team members

Some of the Frequency Holder team members

This last weekend I attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco as a member of the frequency holder team. One of the highlights was hearing Eckhart Tolle talk on Saturday. Interestingly, I heard that Eckhart Tolle was the one who wanted to have frequency holders at the conference. He defines this roll as someone whose “purpose is to let consciousness flow into whatever they do – to do everything in a sacred manner.” Hearing his presentation was so very fitting.

When he walked out on stage we were invited to simply be with him (instead of clapping). That moment when he came out was magical. He exuded love and compassion, which I experienced as a huge wave of acceptance in the form of a golden light shining throughout the room. It was an offering of love to any who wanted to tap into it. His simple presence offered tremendous healing. Feeling this offering and opening up to it brought tears to my eyes.

For the next half hour or so he talked all of us through a straightforward, simple and yet powerful meditation. It was an invitation to be present, consciously aware and in the now moment. The simple steps he shared are as follows:

  1. Notice your surroundings. Stop and really look at what is around you. This will help you begin to let go of all the thoughts or mind chatter.
  2. Next use your senses to find something that you hadn’t noticed before. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, touch? As your thoughts quiet there is an alertness that remains.
  3. Open yourself to this alertness and ask yourself what is beyond the senses. In other words notice the part of you that is watching the mind and the thoughts. This observer self transcends the “story you” (and all the drama) and is the light of presence in you – your consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle

These steps help to bring us into the present now moment, which is all that there ever is. Eckhart Tolle talked about how we never arrive in the future as the future, but only as another now moment. He talked about how we are not our personal histories or life stories, but that instead our true essence is this “presence”.

As with anything, being in the present moment all the time takes practice. My experience is that the more I pay attention to these steps and practice them, the easier it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no master at it, but after many years of meditation and learning it has become easier to let go of the “story” or the “drama” (the mind chatter) and simply BE in the now moments.

It was such a gift to experience his presence, listen to his words, and watch how he was able to touch so many people. When asked about what brings him hope he said, “My hope comes from this moment being here with you.” Thank you, Eckhart Tolle for being with us.

Also, a big thank you to my friend Ryan of Soulful Brand who worked hard to coordinate and lead the frequency holder team!

Click here if you want to read more about frequency holders and other thoughts of Eckhart Tolle in an interview with Unity Magazine.

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