Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love and Money- The Real Connection

Love love love. Why is everyone around me talking about love? Falling in love, staying in love, figuring out if it is really love, love and sex, sex and no is on the tip of everyone's tongues. That and the economy. Is it because they are both a gamble? Unpredictable, maybe unstable. When it's good, ohhh, it's good. When it's bad, oh damn, that shit will break you if you ain't careful. Both can be quite the ride. And I think in both cases, in the end, we want something that will last. Sure, the roller coaster can be great...exciting, new, butterflies in abundance. But it can also be devastating when and if it falls apart and the instability of the ride can shake everything else in your life up. Literally, it can be almost impossible to hold everything else in tact when love or money falls apart. I have done the unstable tract for both. I've waited tables and watched each night on the floor turn into a guessing game of who was going to actually tip me or how many tables I would get, heart racing in hopes that I'd make enough to cover the rent. I have dated the ever so mysterious or commitment phobic or just plain tortured soul who could give me a taste of what I wanted, but in the end never really put himself out there so I never really had something I could count on and have mutual love. Mutual respect. This is true in love and work- without mutual respect, the relationship is doomed and it's only a matter of time for things to fall apart.

Having experienced bad versions of both, what have I learned? Well, for starters, I am too old for bullshit. In the case of love and work (money), I don't like to be deceived, I don't like things sugar coated, I don't like be taken for granted. I'm a valuable commodity and therefore should be treated as such. I have a lot to offer, I have a lot to give. I should not only be giving, but getting my needs met in return. Whether it is a job interview, an audition, or a first date, we so often forget that in the midst of selling our strong suits, we should also be carefully deciding if the potential employer or lover is really a fit for us. We sometimes fail to ask the tough questions and really examine if this going to be good fit over time. Yes, it is true that sometimes we just want a part-time job or a part-time, short-term love. Nothing wrong with that if indeed that is what you want and need at the time. But if you really want a fit that is going to feed you in the most important way of all, that being your spirit, you need to start from a place of self-love.

If you come from a place of self-love, you have standards. You command self-respect. You have values and boundaries and will be damned if anyone is going to cross them or step on your toes. You can't fathom working for a boss who will continually make you work overtime and miss out on family vacations and holidays. You can't be with a lover who never says thank you, who tries to play you, who takes your love and manipulates you because they know you really care. You can't and won't work for or love anyone who doesn't see you as the beautiful soul that you are, who doesn't see your talents, your heart, and applaud them. You know that although the other party is important and valuable, without you there would be no them. The nature of relationship is partnership. One person can not be in charge of holding it down alone.
Have I allowed myself to be disrespected? Yes. I have done things in the name of money and love that I nod my head at in disbelief. I can remember working 2 waitressing jobs and teaching to make ends meet, and I can still remember coming into work at one of my waitressing jobs with fear in my stomach each and every time because I knew my boss was going to pick me apart the entire evening. But I needed money. What I really needed was a little more self-love. As for love, well, I got stories for days. One of my failed attempts was with a man who just kept saying he wasn't ready, wasn't ready, then starting dating someone else and me at the same time, and just kept saying he needed to figure it out..a little more time please? And I gave him time, about a year that I can't ever get back, and all the love this little heart of mine could give. I don't blame him for taking my love. I don't blame my employer for keeping me on. Why would they give up a good thing? In both situations, I lowered by standards, I did not respect myself, I did not practice self-love. I was just focused on what I thought they could give me. One could give me love. One could give me money. If I just did it right, whatever it was, I thought I could get the prize. Somehow I forgot that I was a prize to be had and if I couldn't get my needs met with them, I could take this 5'3" prize somewhere else and make it happen.

I compromised too much and in the end I was left with nothing. The employer eventually let me go just a handful of hours before my next shift because of my "schedule" constraints- the truth was that there were girls there who were sleeping with the managers and got moved up, got my old shifts. When I finally had enough and asked him where things were really going, the lover eventually told me that he valued the other woman's feelings more than mine, that he had more "allegiance" to her, and that he still hadn't decided if he wanted to be with me or her yet...maybe he would know more in 6 months time when she moved back into town. Wow. What a slap in the face. Wait another 6 months for a guy who had that little regard for me? No way.

In the end, I'm glad I had those experiences, the times that I let my boundaries be stomped on, my heart get broken, and my spirit get beaten because I came out much stronger. I now know the difference between a relationship that honors you, makes you better, challenges you and one that sucks you dry. This is true in love and work. I also learned that eventually, what is not serving you will fall away. You can only ignore the writing on the wall for so long. You might stay put out of fear, but eventually, if you don't make a move, the Universe will gently or not so gently push you on and out. This might mean you get laid off, fired, dumped, cheated on and catch the individual red handed. This might most likely cause you to lose your head for a moment, cry, scream, or get numb. But hopefully sooner than later, you will see that this was how it had to be to lead you to something or someone better. If you are not being respected and if you are not practicing self-love, your situation cannot go on as it is. Something has to change or someone has to walk away. What lies in darkness must come to light. Never fails.

I am unfortunately watching folks around me lose their jobs. I am watching relationships break apart. I might lose my job as well, and my last real attempt at love was a messy disaster. But what are we all doing? We are keeping our options open. We are opening our eyes to the possibilities in front of us. We are in full acknowledgement that, although it is scary and unstable, a new path is far better than a beaten one straight to nowhere or one filled with resentment and sadness. I find that exciting. I find that empowering. I am free to love and work and play. I am free to honor myself. As for love, well, who knows when I will I find someone who can match me and love me in just the way I have longed for. I remain hopeful, I believe in love, and have had some great experiences to show me love's potential. And at least I know that for now, when I crawl under the covers and I fall asleep alone, I am resting in the company of one who has a big, loving heart, who knows how to give freely, who can give and command mad respect, because for the first time in a long time, I know myself again, I got my priorities straight, and this makes for a restful slumber. The empty spot next to me is once again a highly coveted place.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Serendipitous Raw Encounters!!

It seems that as I travel down this raw path, I am having serendipitous encounters and experiences almost daily now. You know what a serendipitous encounter/experience is...those chance meetings or run-ins or even bits of information you hear that you label as a strange coincidence, timely information, or maybe even too good to be true. Yes, I have had them even before going raw, but it seems like the momentum is picking up and they are happening almost daily.

I think my visit to New York is when I really started to notice this. As you know by now, I am transitioning into a more raw diet. When I arrived at my friend Gemma's house, who I stayed with in New York, the first thing I saw on her desk was Natalia Rose's The Raw Food Detox Diet, which I had just finished reading a couple of weeks prior and I was already on one of her other books, Raw Food Life Force Energy. It turns out that Gemma's client (she is a personal chef) was beginning a raw food diet, and then she shows me her kitchen which was loaded with raw food goodies and fresh produce. It didn't stop there! She went on to tell me that she had signed up for a raw food (un)cooking class the following Sunday but didn't think she could make it and could I fill in for her! I was thrilled. Here I had been worried about how I was going to maintain my path towards raw in NYC, and then the raw red carpet had been laid in front of me.

While I was in NYC, I also quickly realized that the yoga studio my yoga teacher had recommended, Yoga To The People, was just a 5 minute walk from my friend Gemma's studio. What luck!! Then it hit me that my friend Mike from Give It To Me Raw (GI2MR) that I had been corresponding with via email had mentioned that he lived just minutes away from that studio. So imagine that- I had been emailing with this guy, we become friends, the NYC trip pretty much falls in my hands, and he happens to live in the same hood I was staying in. Now, when you meet someone new, especially someone you have only been corresponding with via email, you never really know how you are going to vibe in person. So when we agreed to meet for lunch, I was a bit nervous. Would he be an odd duck? Would I have anything to talk about to him besides raw food? Well, I should have had more faith in the Universe. Instantly, Mike and I clicked and he wound up being one of the warmest, intelligent, and just plain awesome people I have ever met. I had the good fortune of spending a good deal of time with him on my trip. And from him I learned not only where the best raw food in NYC is, but he also opened my mind to looking into CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture), getting my own piece of land in a community garden, and really taking my raw lifestyle to the next level. Not to mention that this guy knows his NYC history so I was flooded with amazing historical facts and deep appreciation for that amazing place. It also turns out that the second raw restaurant we visited, Quintessence, was the same place that the (un)cooking class would be.

That class lead me to another serendipitous encounter. As I was looking for the class' location and was asking for info at their retail store, I noticed a girl who looked strangely familiar. I had to approach her. I asked her if she was on Give It To Me Raw, she says yes. I ask her if her name was Amanda, she says yes. Turns out she was a girl I had been emailing on Give It To Me Raw over the last month. Another warm, beautiful individual.

After I left the lovely city of NYC, the raw love just kept flowing. So, remember how I mentioned that Mike got me interested into looking into CSA's and community gardens? Well, it turns out that my city's closest CSA produce pick up is at the Farmer's Market that is down the street from my house on Sundays. And within just days of coming home, I met a great guy named George who just got a patch of land in a community garden in Santa Monica. I know I will learn a lot from him as well. Then I get a message from Dhrumil (the master mind behind the two best raw sites out there...WHAT WHAT!!!) encouraging me to attend a raw food meetup in Orange County with Anthony, aka The Raw Model. I was kinda hesitant, meaning lazy, because it was like a 45 minute drive. But I went. Wow! So glad I did. What great people I met...Anthony, Debbie, Dawn, Disa, Lisa, Marie, Ingrid, and Mia just to name a few. And Anthony gave us a great tip on a great deal on green juice at the Santa Monica Co-op, which I have now become a groupie of. Not only that, but just a few days after the meetup, I ran into Marie at the Co-op, while only the day before that I had ran into Mia at Leaf in Sherman Oaks. I also coincidentally realized that Disa and I had been emailing on GI2MR before we met. Flowing, flowing, flowing...the Universe is just flowing with serendipitous events!

Then there was a serendipitous food event. Being part Italian, I was raised on quite a bit of Italian food. I had given up pasta long ago, with the occasional flirtation with brown rice pasta before heading into a raw lifestyle, but really missed some of the traditional foods I had grown up with. One of those foods is(forgive me, I do not know how to spell it so we are going phonetically here!) Scechata , a traditional Sicilian style pizza from Alessi's bakery in Tampa, Florida (you just learned where I grew up!) that we had at pretty much every wedding, birthday party, and holiday growing up. It's not your usual pizza. It its square, with a thick, almost paste like sauce, loaded with chunks of what looks like pieces of meatballs, and just a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese. So yum. Typically, this pizza is served at room temperature or even cold. I can remember devouring square after square of it as a child, my mouth tattooed with the a light red ring around my mouth. I haven't had this pizza pie in years and to be honest the opportunity has not really come up because I no longer live in Tampa; it ain't easy to get your hands on. But during my East Coast adventure last month, my mom brought some Alessi goodness to my sister's house. There it was, my beloved childhood memory. Of course, I did not have any- even though I had pizza in NYC, I really can't do the meat thing. However, it did make me a little nostalgic. Fast forward to last week when I was at the Co-op, doing my juice groupie thing, but also longing to make my own, raw tomato sauce. I decided to go with Sarma Melngailis' recipe. I went home with my sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic, etc and got busy. Once my food processor had done its thing, I took an apprehensive taste of my red swirl. Oh my goodness!! I knew this taste! It was almost the same exact flavor of my beloved Alessi Bakery tomato sauce. Suddenly, I was flooded with memories. I was five, I had a ridiculous cake with Chuck-E-Cheese or maybe it was Cinderella in front of me, and I was slopping down some Italian goodness. Too bad I was alone in my kitchen because it really was a special moment. Was this serendipitous? I sure felt it was. Of all the recipes I could have chosen or tried, I went with this one. And it was magical.

What do all these little events mean? The people, the encounters, the events...what is the Universe saying to me? In my opinion, it is the Universe's way of whispering, "Hey Anita. You are on a great path. I will support you. Look! Another amazing friend! Another beautiful day! What did you say you needed help with? What information did you need? What bad situation did you need to be pulled out of? What feeling were you hoping to have? There you go- get your manifestation on!" Any doubts I may have had about what I'm doing are gone. I know I'm on the path towards my own enlightenment. I have learned that food equals lifestyle and lifestyle means taking a serious look at all parts of your life. You are feeding more than your body; you are feeding your soul. Whatever you are trying to get answers to, stay open, let the Universe (or whatever you would like to call it) show you the way, and watch your thoughts- make them good ones! I know I will. I am approaching each day with a new child like curiosity-hmmm, what will be revealed to me today? What amazing person will I meet? Who's got something I need to hear? And when I need some comfort and some reminding on what it feels like to be childlike, I now know one little magical sauce (thanks, Sarma!) that will transport me to time when I ran like the wind, stained my clothes, and laughed relentlessly. Maybe not much has changed! :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Simple Things I LOVE!!

It is Friday and I'm feeling light. I'm on my lunch break, chomping on a cucumber and guacamole. So good- seriously, if you are not hip to this combo, put away those tortilla chips and give yourself some extra green love! The sun is shining, it is the perfect temp outside, I have already had the chance to run and do yoga with my kids. Life is pretty sweet. Yes, it has been a bit of a difficult week and the soul searching has begun. But that doesn't mean I have to stop living or spend every moment in deep contemplation. I have a lot of work in front of me this weekend, but I also want to remember that life is full of simple pleasures. To make myself remember just how sweet it is and maybe stir your soul a bit to relish in the little wonders, I thought I'd make a list of simple things I LOVE...and most are free:

1) A good, long hug. I love good huggers that hold just long enough and tight enough that you really get the love.
2) A really good kiss. Ok, what's on my mind!!? But seriously, a kiss that is full of passion and excitement and that "I just can't get enough of you!!" feeling rocks me and is FREE!!!!!
3) Writing. I love to write. Good for the soul.
4) Sweaty yoga. The more I sweat the better. Yoga is my life line to all things sweet.
5) A good conversation. Oh, when someone inspires me or makes me laugh, wow!
6) Which reminds me..a good, "my belly hurts" laugh. You can not buy or plan that one!
7) CHOCOLATE!!! I love chocolate and raw eating has taught me what real chocolate is all about.
8) Lying in my bed on a Saturday morning knowing that I can be lazy for a bit longer is such a treasure!
9) Walking on the beach. My favorite beaches to walk are still in Florida..
10) A good cry. Sometimes, it feels so sweet to release.
11) Sunset....we have some great sunsets here in SoCal.
12) A great glass of wine with great company.
13) Brunch...especially on Sundays.
14) Meeting a man who gives me butterflies.
15) When that man calls and asks me out...
16) When I know I really dig him....soooo great.
17) The first day I realize I am over an ex. Liberation to have a truly open heart!!
18) Meeting someone you know will be a friend for years to come.
19) Singing in my car, shower, or apartment. I am my own concert. Dancing may consume!
20) Watching a favorite movie for like the 100th time but doing so because it comforts me like a warm sweater.

21) Riding my bike. Fun and makes me feel like a kid again.
22) Getting my hands on a new CD and loving it soo much that I wear it out. I  still love reading the lyrics, the credits, and checking the photos.
23) Creating playlists. I am into soundtracking my life and music is my ultimate journal. It can bring me back to about any moment in my life.
24) A hug from one of my students. Warms my heart.
25) Teaching yoga to my kids. To pass on concepts of love, compassion, patience, balance, and heart opening exercises is a gift in and of itself.
26) Visiting a new city.
27) Shopping with my sisters. Really, I could buy nothing but no one makes me feel more beautiful or is more fun than those ladies. Think dress-up for women.
28) The perfect lipgloss.
29) Food shopping. I love this. I love picking out amazing food, pure, whole foods that will nourish me.
30) Preparing it. Even if it is just for me, such self-love,
31) When someone buys me flowers, my heart melts.
32) When my students have that "aha!" moment, my life is brighter.
33) The warm easy company of a friend you know so well, you don't even need to say a word.
34) Karaoke. I will never get sick of singing "Baby Got Back" or "Push It".
35) Getting a cute, thoughtful text from the guy I'm crushing. Crushes me. Better yet, a call.
36) Long dinners and long lunches with great company.
37) Being in my PJ's relaxing with my family. Love it!
38) A great book that is so wonderful I want to go home to it instead of going out.
39) Dancing all night to the sound of a DJ who knows what the real ish is!
40) Green juice in large amounts.
41) Smoothies!!! Green ones especially.
42) When I hear a song I haven't heard in years comes!
43) Getting ready to go out...the beautiful experience.
44) Knowing I made someone's day a bit brighter.
45) A good, strong run. 
46) Lying in the warm sun. I love the beach like no one's business!
47) A moment of silence followed by a deep breath.
48) When my dad sends me a text, I smile. He is so cute!
49) A great quote that sticks in my mind and warms the soul.
50) A warm a cold wind any day.
51) The first time I lay eyes on new surroundings.
52) Watching my beloved sleep and be peaceful...can't wait to have a new beloved to watch!
53) Waking up next to that same beloved be continued! Oh..and falling asleep by his side....the best!!
54) When something tastes so good you have a religious experience.
55) Believing in myself.
56) The perfect outfit at the perfect price.
57) Dogs. I love dogs. I love people who love dogs.
58) Driving in my car with great music going and no pressure of time.
59) Portuguese - I like hearing it, especially from the lips of a Brasilian man. Yum.
60) Vacations.
61) Fridays.
62) Getting my eyebrows threaded. I like the clean feeling. I like the look.
63) The first moment I see an old friend or family member after a period of absence. A piece of my heart returns.
64) Watching "Sex and the City" episodes AGAIN. It is a sick obsession that I don't apologize for.
65) A fresh bag of Corn Chips from Leaf.
66) I like comments on my Facebook and Give It To Me Raw pages. As long as they are nice.

67) Emails written with sincerity.
68) People. I really like people. Good, kind, loving people. I know a lot of them. I am blessed.
69) My siblings...they are my past, present, future.
70) Planning an adventure!
71) The present moment.
72) Getting older and wiser. I dig my birthday.
73) Knowing that even though my heart has been broken in the past, this only means that the best love of my life is on his way.  No mistakes, just learning.
74) Naps. Love naps with warm blankets.
75) Smelling my love's scent on my pillow. (Again, I'm trying to manifest!!)
76) Going to Marina's house for random fun, good talks, dance party, and raw food exchanges. She is my second home.
77) Trying a new raw recipe and having it come out super yummy!
78) Indian Food...I think I will always love this cooked food luxury.
79) Watching a great movie that moves me soo much I have to call someone and tell them something meaningful.
80) Serendipitous encounters.
81) The first time someone I love tells me they love me and me having the openness to say it back.
82) Being free from my car...a subway ride, a walk, a bike ride. Just to know I can get around without it.
83) The smell of clean laundry. Special emphasis on clean sheets.
84) When my apartment is totally clean and organized. This usually happens only with the help of good music. I like to just sit there and bask in the cleanness. 
85) Warm ocean water to accompany the perfect tan. The sound of the waves is also a treasure. So soothing.
86) Thoughtful gifts. It is not about the cost. It could be a homemade card, a CD, a picture in the mail. Just knowing that the person made it or saw it and thought of me is what makes it special.
87) Pictures. I love them. I am addicted.
88) Finding old letters.
89) Reading old journals.
90) Making a list of my goals.
91) Hot Cacao Almond Milk.
92) A juicy, ripe mango in the middle of summer.
93) Hiking in the middle of some beautiful piece of nature.
94) Star gazing. It reminds me of the infinite possibilities and not to over-think things. It also makes me feel a sense of awe.
95) Sand between my toes, grass underneath my feet, sunshine on my face.
96) Moments where I see so much beauty in the world that I feel my heart expand.
97) Holding hands with someone special. Intimate.
98) Eye contact with someone with warm eyes. Melts me.
99) A hot, long shower. Every once in awhile, you have to let the water run a little bit longer and enjoy it.
100) I love it when someone plays with my hair...especially when it is someone I dig!
101) And Q-tips. I know it's bad but it feels so good!!
102) Lying under the shade of a gorgeous tree, with branches long and deep roots. And if by some chance there is Jasmine in the air, perfect.
103) Loving another. It means I have kept my heart open and no matter what the risk, love is a pleasure unlike any other in all its forms.

I will admit, I finished this list after the lunch was over. The truth is that there were so many more things to include than I had originally thought. I HAD to finish at home. And  I probably could go on a lot longer, which is so good to know. No matter what happens, it is so comforting to know that these pleasures exist for me, maybe not everyday or everywhere. But they are there for me.  What pleasure lies in living, what comfort lies in gratitude, what happiness lies in simplicity.
Love and Light to you!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Like Cleaning Out Your Closet!!

The more I go over all of this, more and more stuff is coming to the surface. It's like if I am going to exploring reinventing one part of my life, I have to ask the big questions....what do I really value? If I could have it any way I'd like it, what would that look like? What have I been wanting to do or try that I have not been freed up to do? Freedom brings a lot to the surface. I feel like I'm cleaning out my closet and all my clothes are all over my bedroom floor. It has to get messy before it can get clear. I need to make sure that I get myself over to yoga tomorrow night. Keep it open open open. Open heart. Open mind. Open life. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Big Change Is Coming

Well, it has been a rude awakening coming back to LA. It seems like years ago that I was in NYC, exploring the city and myself as well. First, my brakes went out on my car and $450 later...I was lucky enough that Peter loaned me his car so I could get to work today. I will say I have amazing friends, always have been blessed that way.

But trouble was brewing before I even got on the road. I turned on the news to find out that LAUSD is looking to get approval this evening to start cutting some 2,600 teachers beginning in the next couple of months. They will be starting with non-permanent teachers and then go on from there. As a by-product, our students will be getting shuffled around to different classrooms. They still need to be educated by someone. I think I will be ok for the first set of cuts but then there is next year...they are saying that the next step will be letting go of permanent teachers by way of seniority, in which case I will definitely be out of a job. Add in the fact that they are talking of getting rid of our paid vacation days (salary cut) and cutting health benefits and whooo! Overwhelmed. I have to ask myself, even if I don't lose my job, with all these changes and added burdens both financial and in the classroom, is this where I want to stay or is it time to make a move?

So all this is going on in my head and then I find out that two students of mine have lost their dad to cancer over the break. I am so saddened by this. He was really a great man and now their family is going through so much financial hardship. It really makes me realize that my life is not full of problems, just situations. This poor family is the one in a crisis.

So what to do about this situation. I really think that if I just stay put, I will be like a sitting duck. It is only a matter of time for things to get even crazier and the cuts to get deeper. And I am a single gal. No live in boyfriend, no hubby, not even a roommate. I am fully in charge of my livelihood. Great, but in a time of crisis, the weight of that freedom is heavy.  Like my co-worker said, if she gets let go, she at least has her hubby to keep the fam afloat. I am my only lifesaver here in Cali. A few years ago, my life was very different. I was finishing up my credential, about to get contracted at the school I had been working at, I was in love and in a committed relationship, and my family was here. There were a lot of reasons to stay put. I felt very "do or die" about living in LA. Over the last couple of years, the contract came through, the credential was finished, the boyfriend and I split, and the family moved. I started to get some Wanderlust. Still, when I had fantasies of moving to Brasil or somewhere else in the U.S., I would always kind of shove it under the table, thinking why would I leave my great friends, great apartment, and a great job where I am starting to make more money and love my students and my school. Foolish, right? Who would leave all that?  I think I also was holding out the hope that Mr. Wonderful would appear in LA and then, after my long-term love and I ended and I started dating again, spent about a year trying to turn the guy who was only mildly into me and my well being into Mr Right. 

Now the job might be gone. The friends and all that are still awesome but I learned at 16 that your beautiful heart can love love love your friends, encounter new ones and love some more!
And I really don't want to be attached to things, like an apartment or a couch. As for dating in LA, I can say I have given it 12 years and an open mind. Maybe he's just not here. Really. I am really starting to wonder if the Universe is trying to get me moving in another direction. Peter thinks this could be my blessing in disguise ...if I lose my job, what might I gain? Really, I could redesign my life, starting with moving. Right now, I'm thinking of NYC or Austin..NY because I just simply fell in love with it and Austin because of my family. In so many ways, I have been becoming more and more drawn towards different interests and feel like I am blossoming into a new part of myself. It is like I started this path a couple of years ago and it keeps leading me more and more towards connecting deeper with myself, nature, compassion, love. So hard to really put into words. I am wondering if all this change here in Cali and at work is just the catalyst for me to go to the next level.

For now, I really need to map out what I want, get my life organized if I do need to make a move (literally), and examine what option is best for me. It always best to move with a sense of clarity and calmness, as opposed to fear and anxiety. Time to really tune in to my highest self. I am trusting that all I need to know and all I need to have will be provided. In the end, I am going to learn a lot and maybe even change it all.....what an adventure!!!!!!!!!

"My Way" Feature

I feel very honored that my friend (when will we actually met, Dhru??) asked me to be this week's "My Way" feature blogger of the week. Dhrumil has two sites that I am a member of , and If you don't know what's up with Dhru, get your learn on! He is very knowledgeable, kind, spiritual, socially conscious, and pretty darn adorable. His sites are a wealth of knowledge and have been pivotal on my journey towards moving more and more into raw foods. I am planning on having a whole blog post devoted towards how my journey started, why I am moving towards raw, and my insights thus far. I would also like to give a BIG UPS to Mike Lieberman for being my instant NYC friend and giving me a great raw experience in East Village. It is not very often that you meet someone like Mike who is so giving of time and energy and is mad knowledgeable about his city and how to be a responsible citizen.  Are all the adorable men raw these days?? Maybe!!

Check out my raw food adventures and some NYC highlights on the following link:

Friday, January 9, 2009

My reward for being a lover and following my heart.

I have so many thoughts stirring in this head of mine. So many ideas to share and at the same time I am trying to get out of this apartment and ride my bike in the beautiful LA sunshine and enjoy looking at the coastline. That's why I live here...and I'm trying to not miss NYC so much.

But I just wanted to share for now that I am happy to be a lover. What do I mean? I had so much ish go down in '08 to break my spirit and my heart. At times, I questioned why I loved so much and even if there was a way to love less and protect this heart of mine. (I am known to cry easily and have little guard up. My sister teased me about being a DF- Delicate Flower! )But that is so contrary to who I really am and what I believe in. I have fully accepted that I was just sending my energy and attention in the wrong direction. As I have been going down this raw and yogic journey, I have come across people and experiences to just open me up, to push me to stay open. And as I keep doing more and more loving things for myself, it is like my tank is just getting more and more full. I find that I am coming across more and more like minded people and serendipitous moments and circumstances keep unfolding for me. Like yesterday, I went to Leaf to grab some lunch and I'm wearing my "I Love NY" shirt and this nice woman asks me if I'm from there. We get to talking, she tells me she is from NY and is going back in a few months to visit, I give her some raw restaurants to try in East Village, and suddenly we are friends, bonding over raw food and a common love for NY. When I finally sit down and write my big NY highlights blog, I will be able to list many serendipitous moments. But anyway, I guess my point is that I don't want to change being a lover and having a big, open heart. Sure, I get my heart broken and at times feel the sting of disappointment, but really, I feel like I'm so lucky to have the courage to put myself out there. It is beautiful to allow yourself to let someone in and really see them, really take in who they are. The superficial stuff does nothing for me. If it hurts to let someone go, then, man, that just means that they really touched my soul. What a gift!

My homegirl Julie and I were talking on the way to the airport the other day and she said that she really admired that even though I have had some crappy relationships that I was not bitter and am ever hopeful of meeting the right guy. I guess this is because as I continue to unfold as a person, as my capacity to love myself and those I encounter grows, I believe that the kind of person I really want and should be with will present himself. I have grown tired of being someone who does all the work and of allowing myself to be taken advantage of. Why is it so hard to remember sometimes how special you are? Why do we sometimes accept anything less than the real thing, in friendships or in love? I also believe that the Universe is supporting my journey. I hope to hold on to this optimism and have the courage to let go of anything or anyone who is really not feeding me, but rather is taking my energy away.

I hope we all are supported on our journey and do not let our past stories keep us from getting what we deserve and desire. More than ever, I am treasuring my open heart.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Soo much to catch up on!

I am so tired right now. Jet lag has hit me on my first night back from NYC. Such an amazing trip. I want to give it the attention it deserves so a much better blog post will have to be posted tomorrow. I just wanted to write something to remind me of the feeling I have right now, of being inspired by such amazing sights, great people, of just knowing that I could go somewhere new and love it because it so different, and of realizing that I'm still horrible at goodbyes. Can't help it. When I let folks in or even a city like NY, it is not easy for me to part ways. I asked David why I'm such a softie and he says it's just because I have a really big heart. Well, that makes me feel better. I'd rather feel things with great intensity than just a big void or hold back. I think I'll rest now and blog more tomorrow. Loved loved loved NYC. But it will be nice to snooze in my actual can only do the pull out bed for so long.