When I love something, I really love it in that moment! Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:
1) Seed Restaurant in Santa Rosa, CA. Readers of this blog know I love Cafe Gratitude, but not everyone knows how much I love this little gem in the heart of Sonoma County. Seed serves up 100% vegan and a mostly raw menu 6 days per week, including a Sunday Brunch, which I have yet to try.
I’ll be interviewing chef/owner Jerri Hastey very soon for this blog because I just love how she’s fostered a real sense of community and homespun charm in the restaurant and (my favorite) Seed On the Go. I must confess that I order so often, they actually recognize my voice whenever I call. For a quick “BBQ Cheez Burger,” “Toona Sandwich” or “Arame Salad,” you really can’t beat Seed, and I love meeting friends or colleagues there for some business, fun and raw chocolate caramel pie, which brings me to number …
2) Cacao. I have an on-again-off-again relationship with this little pod of bliss. Contrary to impressions gleaned from reading Schizandra and the Gates of Mu I do not actually live on cacao and cacao alone. Frauke is a character, and while I did, ahem, research cacao extensively in preparation for her cacao addiction in book 1, I don’t really spend my days dreaming of giant cacao pods. In fact, if I’m not in writing mode, I can’t even stand cacao. It just doesn’t agree with me. However, I am back in fiction writing mode again after a brief hiatus, and so my cacao consumption has resurged — sometimes (gasp!) with the decadent addition of kombucha. If you want to know how I cranked out three books in one year, this potent combo had at least a partial role.
Is cacao the healthiest, purest of raw foods? Nope (although it does have a ton of antioxidants and a lot of iron and magnesium). Will it burn out my adrenals? Yeah, it does seem to do that if I’m not channeling some massive creative energy along with the cacao. I find this pretty common, actually, since cacao is a spiritual food. If used simply as candy it eventually stops working or worse, turns around and bites you. When used intentionally and in vibrational harmony, though? Mmmm, for me, it’s bliss … which brings me to number …
3) Kundalini Yoga. I love this stuff! If you think of yoga as stationary or slow, kundalini yoga will blow those preconceptions right out of your downward dog. Also known as the Raj or King of Yogas, kundalini yoga is where it all began. All the current schools of yoga originated from asanas (postures), exercises, mudras (yoga for the hands) and mantras (chants) found in kundalini yoga. Folks, this stuff works fast. So fast, in fact, that you can easily abuse it or cause the energy to rise too quickly.
I myself have been known to engage in a wee bit too much kundalini yoga. Even a few minutes raises the vibration into such a state of bliss that I find myself wanting to do kundalini yoga multiple times per day, sometimes for hours. I’m known as “The Lazy Raw Foodist” for a reason, so this is not typical behavior with regard to exercise. I just love the bliss factor. I also love that kundalini yoga works so fast to manifest intentions. It’s both active and highly meditative.
An example: I am currently nursing a sore wrist that arose from, um, too much kundalini yoga. Way too many hand flaps and liver maneuvers. My body was super-toned and my brain felt incredible until my right wrist said, “OK, you need to take a break.” When I said, “No way, I’m having too much fun here,” my wrist responded with “Fine, here’s some tendonitis. It is time to take a break.”
For awhile, I could barely type and this might have seemed like a negative situation considering I had set as my intention the faster creation of book 2 (Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar). I’ve overdone kundalini yoga enough in the past to know that the benefits continue to reveal themselves even beyond the classes, though, and sure enough, my intention manifested very fast. The forced computer break caused me to reevaluate how much time I spend answering emails. Turns out my “justified” time away freed up about 12 hours per week I was spending on emails. 12 hours of writing time that now gets funneled back into the creation of book 2.
Additionally, the forced time away from the computer allowed me to realize that I had been barking up the wrong tree with the time frame and plot for book 2. A few potent meditation sessions and a conversation with my friend Tim (who helped inspire the character Tom Brown in the Schizandra Series) led to a very speedy download of exactly what I’d sensed was missing. I visited my acupuncturist with whom I always have fascinating discussions, and my wrist felt good to go just at the moment I had the proper focus to continue. I really sense that this kundalini “gluttony” triggered exactly what I needed to bring my visions into reality — shaking out any blocks and blissfully moving me to the next level. In the absense of the physical exercises, I’ve returned to my old bliss standby, number …
4) Krishna Das. I talk about sacred chants a lot, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say that I never tire of “Door of Faith.” I am also one of those odd birds who actually did memorize the entire 42-verse Hanuman Chaleesa from “Flow of Grace,” partly because I wanted to, and mostly because I’ve listened to it so many times that my mind now sings along.
Some people do not like the intense maleness of Krishna Das’ voice. Personally, I find it grounding. A few minutes of any album pulls me immediately into my heart. If my brain feels overloaded, zapped by fluorescent lights or spastically mental, I can pop in “Door of Faith” and feel all that energy tumble into my heart and expand with the very first Om … all of which brings me to number …
5) Everyone and Everything. That’s right, I am feeling the love for everyone and everything. I always do, but lately that love has felt both more refined and more intense. I feel such gratitude for all my clients, my husband, my friends, family (both blood relatives and soul mates), and for this vast universe that moves in, around and through us.
I love helping people dance their cosmic dance and bring that down into 3D steps — joyful twists & leaps & turns like a mazurka. I love my job! I love that so many people have joined in their intentions to manifest a film version of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. I love that more and more people realize how much we can each accomplish when we recognize ourselves as part of a bigger whole … and also as the whole itself. I love that all mystics speak the same language, and I love that we are moving to a world of greater connection, more immediacy, and a chance to vibrate as one conscious living, breathing universe.
And I love Twitter. I work from home and until I joined Twitter I never realized how much I missed those little small talk moments at the water cooler or the quick hello on the way to the bathroom or to a meeting. For me, Twitter has provided that social snippet during long days of writing, or a welcome lightness between intense sessions.
So, yeah, I’m feelin’ the love … and before anyone rolls their eyes and asks just how much cacao I’ve actually had today:
Yes, I ate at Seed with Shana Dean. And yes, I ate a chocolate caramel pie, and yes, it was total bliss. But I was already feeling this way anyway. I’m sending lots of love to everyone and everything. As Joni Mitchell sings, “We are stardust. / We are golden / And we’ve got to get ourselves / Back to the garden.” It’s really happening, folks! Peace.