Grand Opening Party at Garden of Mind

Much in my typical “mimic the seasons” fashion, last winter started out very dark for me. I was mourning another period of relapsed health and in many areas of my life I felt that I was grasping to hold things together as they teased me with disintegration. And how timely it was that I was reading Pema Chodron’s classic When Things Fall Apart!

It was only when I had moved through the “feeling sorry for myself ” and “letting fear guide me” stages that the beauty of synchronicity entered my life — an unfolding that was catalyzed by my 100 days of meditation self-challenge and continues to this day. Among the many synchronicities I’ve experienced since then was one that not only led me to new business opportunities but also new camaraderies. Continue reading

Vegan and Beyond in Europe: The Power of Travel

2 weeks. 4 countries. 7 cities.

croatia cairn

I’ve recently returned from Europe — my first trip to Europe! A European getaway has been a long time coming, a dream that’s almost manifested many times before. In fact, this one was supposed to happen a year ago, but I reluctantly postponed it due to a relapse into the depths of chronic fatigue. I’m not one to let my illness get in the way of things, nor do I use it as an excuse to avoid doing things that are scary and new to me, so it really hurt to admit to myself that I needed to fully devote myself to another phase of my healing.

I’ve been fighting against the urge to downplay my travels — the perpetual pushback against the stereotypical feminine construct as meek and unvalued —  because it seems like these days everyone goes everywhere. But no matter how many world travellers and wanderlusters I follow on Instagram, I have to remind myself that not everyone lives like that. We all have our own paths and our own moments of unabashed elation. So yes, this trip was a very big deal for me, and I’ll highlight a few of the major reasons why. Continue reading

A Novice’s View of Ayurveda + More Shinrin Yoku

There’s an ancient healing system called Ayurveda. You may have heard about it, but most of us in the Western world are not well-versed in its practices. Over the years, I’ve dabbled with Ayurveda; I adopted some of the practices, I took an introductory class on it, consulted with a practitioner, read books (Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health is one of the most popular). It’s very complex, but even knowing the small bits I know – I’m still a total novice – has helped me understand health in a more complete way.pgh from a hill Continue reading

100 Days of Meditation: Challenge Complete?

I’ve long known of the detrimental effects that the overactive mind has on our bodies. Stress, anger, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, insecurity; all of these are examples of emotions that can harm our health. Many times, I’ve experienced physical reactions to these emotions as I’m sure all of you have as well. Despite my knowledge, I was never able to successfully stick to a meditation practice.

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Healing in Nature with Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

My mom, recently retired, has discovered HGTV. I can’t blame her for her recent obsession given that there is literally nothing on the hundreds of channels on cable. Also, some of the shows are pretty awesome, and I was hooked on them during my initial illness recovery. Between HGTV and Food Network, I always had something interesting to watch.

Look closely. There are buds on this tree!

While HGTV and Food Network can be addicting, one channel I haven’t watched in years is Animal Planet. From what I remember, they used to have good programming, but now it’s become somewhat of an embarrassment (though they do air Whale Wars which gives them some props).

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