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Awareness Requires Space

Most of us are too busy, too ambitious, or too stressed to take a time out, and pause, to become receptive to the insight inspired in the empty moments. The fast pace of life, if you let it, clouds clear realization into knowing our capacity, which may in turn cloud our ability to be realistic about our efforts. Many of us are biting off more than we can chew, feeling overwhelmed, and wiped out. Routine becomes an enemy of time, obligation an enemy of spontaneity, busyness an enemy of awareness. Many of us awake and wonder where the time has gone, where our health has gone, where the sparks of joy, creativity, and sanctuary that bring us back to life has gone. Stop!

Awareness requires space.

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The Contrast of Karma has an Important Role for Evolution

Yoga tells us that Karma is certain. Every thought, word, and action has a vibrational energy that consciously, or unconsciously, creates our reality experience. Einstein told us that the Universe is curved, supporting Newton’s Law and the Law of Karma that everything will eventually, and inevitably come back to us. Yoga offers us several gems of metaphor to inspire magical shifts in perspective assisting us in freedom from the contrasts of the Karmic wheel. The practice of yoga inspires consciousness in the present moment, so as to allow us the willingness into the co-creation of the energy we are actually driving.

The contrast of Karma has an important role for evolution. It guides us like a treasure map to journey into the mysteries of who we are. The practice of yoga offers us clues into who we are.

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What I learned working in a Psychiatric Hospital

I spent a year working in a Psychiatric Hospital post graduate school, and I had seen and learned all that I will as a Mental Health Counselor. I remember my yoga teacher Sharon Gannon stating that we all do the best we can in each moment according to each moment. I am proud of myself to state that I did my best. I did good! I was in a full time position with the Adolescent Unit, working with children the ages of 12-17. I also worked (what I would consider) too often on the Adult Intensive Unit, with adults who were diagnosed psychotic. My job was to keep people calm, keep people alive, prevent violence, and promote stabilization. I was also a leader of daily psychotherapy and educational groups. Most patients came from the ER post suicide attempt, or transported from the police station.

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The “Big” Choices

Perhaps the biggest choices with the most profound effects aren’t the choices we as a culture consider to be the “Big” choices. For example, we may all think the “Big” choices are concerned with job, marriage/divorce, home, family, etc. Perhaps these are more causality.

The “Big” choices I am communicating about are the (subconscious to conscious) choices we make in the moment by moment scenarios of our life. The choices we make about how we choose to show up to our lives and how we choose to conduct our perspective, and contact with our environments. The choices we make in the silent moments, such as, when we awake from sleep.

Perhaps the “Biggest” choices with the most profound effects are the choices we make to live this life with integrity. To live with a goal to be compassionate, patient, empathetic, and open. Perhaps the most profound choice is to choose to share the wisdom of life, rather than the woe.

I truly believe that these are the most profound choices, the really “big” choices, that effect our health, as individuals, and as part and parcel to the collective.

Attitude is everything.

Imagination Explorations

Patanjali, author of The Yoga Sutras, shares that there are five states of mental activity; understanding, misunderstanding, memory, sleeping, and imagination.  Imagination seems to be a challenging mental activity for those of us raised and living in our current cultural, social, educational, and economic system.  Or so we remember.  How often do we as adults imagine, like we did as a child? I remember my childhood imagination explorations including faeries, castles, mythical creatures, dances, romances, flying, time traveling, body swapping, etc.

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Know your Instrument

When we have a clear realization about our capacity, we can be realistic about our effort.  Stress and anxiety often comes from too much expectation, or too much ambition.  Knowing your capacity can help in setting limits and boundaries to ensure that your efforts are in alignment with your truth, and values.  It’s hard to gage our future capacity, especially when we meet the moment of our previously filled schedules.  Calendars, work/survival responsibilities can offset presence, and distract us from our essence of joy, and the in-joy-ment of being alive.

Take a moment to explore what it is you truly value in life, and set your priorities towards that. I have come to experience that when I am doing and experiencing a life I love to live that my standards for living simplify, that my calendar clears to allow for spontaneous creativity, that my nervous system calms, that I have the capacity to show up to the moment by moment scenarios of my life, and greet them with an open and warm heart.

Benefits of Juicing/RawVegan Lifestyle

Juicing is an easy way to get tons of raw organic veggies and fruits into our bodies.  When we juice we assist our bodies in digestion to allow full assimilation of enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.  When our bodies receive this gift of Nature our immune systems boost, and our body’s vitality increases.  Once our bodies begin to realize that they are getting the nutrition they deserve they start to detox fat and toxic storages.  With the help of colon hydrotherapy to assist the intestines in releasing the sludge from processed foods that build up on the intestinal walls, our bodies begin to directly assimilate RawFood nutrients, and heal from leaky gut, and other life threatening dis-eases.  Chewing raw fruits and veggies is however very important in order to get nutrients from fiber, and a gift to our senses!  So unless you are planning a detox juicing program, give yourself the gift of textures, colors, and taste through chewing.  Juicing is an easy power packed way to get incredible health outcomes and hydration from fruits and veggies.  Juicing allows for variety and exploration of recipes and food combinations.  It is easy, colorful, and fun!

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Make your own NutMilks! RawFoods Recipe!

A healthy alternative to soy and cow milk products!  Processed almond and coconut milks in the grocery stores still have some strange and scary ingredients!   Making your own nut milks can offer you full awareness of all the ingredients you are ingesting. Making your own nut milks is also so much fun, and easy!  Having a good intention with preparation can also contribute to many health benefits.  There is something very empowering about living raw and preparing your own food.  It makes the whole experience sacred.  With all the environmental toxins we are now faced with, eating and preparing rawvegan foods is a way we can support our bodies in detoxing toxins and sustaining peace with our environment and other beings we share this planet with.

Recipe for Almond Milk (Use the same ratios for any nut milk, and hemp milk)

What you will need:

VitaMix/or Blender, Fine Strainer (optional), clean water and your choice of nut, maybe a date or two, or other super foods such as maca, cacao.

*Get bulk organic raw almonds or cashews or hemp seeds or any nut you would like to make milk out of.

*Soak Almonds for at least 8 hours in clean water (I like to soak almonds over night, and make my nut milks in the morning).  Perfect for my morning fruit smoothies!

*Peel off the brown shell coverings on almonds exposing the white meat of the nut. Soaking and peeling nuts can assist in digestion, so digestion is less rancid, and produces a better pH balance result.  Peeling the shell on almonds also allows for a smoother and creamier texture.  The peeling is fun too, the almonds will jump out of their shells, so be ready for some to fly!

*Use 2:1 ratio of water to nuts, for example 2 cups of water to 1 cup of soaked and peeled almonds.

*Place water and nuts in vitamix or blender and blend till smooth. I also sometimes add a pitted date for natural sweetening. I will sometimes add other superfoods such as cacao (my favorite!) or maca for taste and nutrients.  I use a heaping spoonful of cacao to make a chocolate nut milk.  Maca is a excellent superfood that is helpful for balancing hormones and is great for both women and men.

I personally like the gritty texture of having some bits of nuts in my milk. If you want a smooth and watery milk, strain the nut milk through a fine strainer, or use a cheese cloth. I personally feel using a cheese cloth is messy and time consuming.  But some people dig it.

I store my nut milk in mason jars and use it for other recipes and meals such as sauces, smoothies, etc. It is incredible!  I find that I make nut milk 2-3 times a week, and that they last for several days.

InJOY!

Love, Light, and Bliss Absolute,

Shannon

Shannon Connell