Archive for the ‘ABNA (novel contest)’ Category

Amazon Reader Reviews of Schizandra

Schizandra’s getting some really interesting reviews on Amazon. Test readers noticed more vivid dreams, too. I’ve also been hearing from clients who bought the novel but haven’t finished it yet that their dreams and thought patterns are becoming noticeably more creative and fluid.

Cool! I edited the heck out of this book to help people feel and experience a sense of oneness and movement in and through different realities on the edge of their current consciousness. With my soul readings and medical intuitive work, “dimension hopping” as Shazzie calls it, comes naturally to me. Moving in and out of ancient memories forms an everyday occurence. I’m happy to see from these initial reviews that Schizandra and the Gates of Mu has begun to weave its magic in others’ lives.

Here’s a HUGE thank you to everyone who has ever had a soul reading, intuitive life path assessment, animal communication session, Reiki class/session, or medical intuitive reading from me. I didn’t know it at the time, but providing those services was honing my brain to write a book about conscious expansion into freedom and bliss. Much love!

Laura Bruno

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Shazzie Reviews Schizandra

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Review by Shazzie
I’ve always wondered where the novels were that I’d want to read! With more people waking up every day, the need for switched-on fiction is growing ever more pressing. Laura’s ability to write a book like this without everything becoming a raw-vegan-yoga-cliche is notable. She achieves this because she truly lives this lifestyle, fluttering from dimension to dimension, pulling it all back into 3D words. And happily, though the characters are also flitting from dimension to dimension, they are all very interesting and funny, with not a trace of brown rice and sandals to them. It’s like reading about people we know doing things we do: drinking yerba mate, ignoring phone calls, ’80s pop music, drowning in spam and emails, 2012, feeling ascension, finding crystals to heal instead of calling your GP, tarot card readings, synchronicities, modern classic literature, the history of the future and of course yoga. Laura even mentions the non-leather seats of a Jaguar, and all us vegans know how frustrating it is to have to buy half a cow when we just want a nice car.

With lines like “I will love you forever for thirteen cacao nibs”, “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay in paying it. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and then not pay” and “Give me liberty or give me death”, we are blissed with profound realisations coated in chocolate fun. And, yes, Laura squeezes the history of cacao, real chocolate into the novel. The novel draws us into the desert and its desolation, weirdness and otherworldliness so well you start to feel the cold odd nature of the place, despite its heat. Telepathy, teleporting, all we want and need to make a quantum leap to the next level of communication manifests in this work.

Laura skillfully weaves a tapestry of an orphan’s magical journey, the prophecies of 2012, a mystic grandmother descended from witches, twin maiden reflexologist great aunts and alien-like cacao guzzling frog creatures. The orphan, Schizandra, has an ability to see pain and illness in others, but she doesn’t really understand her power. However, it’s clear she is a metaphor for being the centre of the universe, a portal for transformation. And as with our personal growth, we can only truly heal when we become the centre of our own universe, creating life from our thoughts. We come to realise why so many have a foot in both worlds, afraid to truly let go: because this is the “time of no time” according to the Mayans. As she rebirths, we realise that we all have to do the same and leave the old world for once and for all.

The work we do on ourselves reflects perfectly in Schizandra’s condition. While reading tarot cards, Tom explains that Schizandra’s very reason for incarnation is to trigger evolution and ascension of the species. “This Ascension process would only occur in a calm and loving heart.” Yes! It’s all about the love, love. Laura pulls together the stories of all involved at the same time, as everyone works in their own way to save and rebirth Schizandra, which in turn does the same for all of humanity.

This unique work of heart is so fast paced it almost reads like a short story, yet it’s a full-sized flesh on vegan bone novel. I furiously flicked through the pages wanting to know how our own end will spark our own beginning, in rebirth.

Review by Shazzie.

You can find Schizandra and the Gates of Mu here, immediately on Kindle, or order an autographed copy here.

Schizandra’s on Kindle and Amazon!

Well, that was speedy! Schizandra and the Gates of Mu just launched in the Amazon Kindle store for $9.99. For those of you who prefer Kindle to paper, you can actually receive your copy even before I receive my preordered paperbacks.

Those who prefer Barnes&Noble and Amazon can also find it available there for preorders with online discounts. I will be getting my first batch of paperbacks to autograph and mail out either late this week or early next week. If you’d like a personal inscription and/or autograph, please click here.

A number of people have already reviewed Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, and those reviews will start to run next week, as soon as I know Amazon will have them consistently in stock.

Thanks to everyone for your excitement and support. In celebration of this release, I’m also offering a “Schizandra Special,” which is a 60-minute Soul Reading for $111. (That’s a $64 savings off my normal price. What can I say, Schizandra likes those 111’s and 11:11’s.) In order to take advantage of this discount, your session must be prepaid and at least scheduled between July 4, 2009 and July, 14, 2009. Ten days of exceptional Liberation energy!

Cheers!

Laura Bruno

Finding Time to Write

I coach a fair amount of writers and would-be writers, and lately many have asked me how I found the time to write Schizandra and the Gates of Mu while running a busy coaching practice, blogging and creating The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I thought I’d share some of my secrets here and also invite any aspiring writers to join me and some of my clients on a special challenge we created yesterday.

1 ) Find Your Most Productive Writing Time in the Day. For me and a lot of other people, that happens to be first thing in the morning. If I turn on the computer, open up Word, and leave my email off, I can write some good quality stuff at a faster pace than later in the day when distractions have begun to mount. It also helps me to have that connection with dream time, since I often dream of my characters or plot solutions. As the day wears on, those details lose their freshness, but first thing in the morning, they come out strong.

Some people just aren’t morning people, though. My husband writes best between 1 and 4 a.m., and I’ve had a number of clients who “thought” they should write in the morning because they read that some famous novelist got up really early to complete his draft. Unfortunately, for these clients, writing in the morning created more frustration than inspired writing. They needed massive amounts of coffee or cacao just to open their eyelids, and the words simply did not flow. Some of them had given up on writing altogether by the time they contacted me. When we discovered their most productive writing time, though, their writing began to flourish — even if that meant eating dinner an hour later or spending two hours on the computer before bed.

It doesn’t matter what other people do. If you’re trying to squeeze in writing time, then doesn’t it make sense to maximize that time as the most productive possible?

2 ) Decide What You Want to Write. No, you don’t need to know exactly how things will turn out. Few, if any, authors truly know that when they begin a project. But it definitely helps to have some idea of what you’d like to create, along with your most deeply desired timeline.

I got the idea for Schizandra and the Gates of Mu in October 2001. At the time, I thought it would be a short story, because I still couldn’t read after my 1998 brain injury. The story percolated in my mind as the brain damage healed.

By 2003, I realized it would be a novel, but I still hadn’t started it. In 2004, my husband and I spent two months in Sedona, and that’s when I really began writing Schizandra because I suddenly knew the story’s setting.

It was my dream to write a novel (OK, many novels), but from a goal standpoint, I sensed that was much further away. I decided to finish my non-fiction book If I Only Had a Brain Injury and just let Schizandra continue percolating. Because I felt clear on my writing priorities — finish the brain injury book, write some helpful articles, then work on the novel — I felt satisfied and fulfilled by the writing I produced.

Yesterday I spoke with two aspiring writers. Really, they are already writers; they’re just aspiring to finish and make something of their projects. Both struggle with finding time and discipline to write. We took some time in sessions to discover what would feel like an accomplishment in terms of weekly, monthly and seasonal writing. One wants to write a short story by summer’s end. The other wants to finish a book review, write an article and then get started on her own novel, which she would like completed by April 2010. By vocalizing those goals, both were able to step back from an amorphous “I need to write more” and see what they actually need to do.

When Stephen and I moved to Petaluma, CA in May 2008, we did so with the goal of me finishing Schizandra during our 13-month lease. I vocalized this goal every time someone asked me, “Why Petaluma? Why now? You really seem to love Sedona.” (We moved to Sedona again in October 2007 for my research.)

Why yes, I did love Sedona and still do, but I did not even open the Schizandra file the entire second time we lived there! In Petaluma, I couldn’t walk to two raw food restaurants, two juice bars, two natural food stores and three crystal shops/metaphysical bookstores. Nor do I drive, so I was pretty much stuck in our little condo with no excuses or distractions. My tummy was not the happiest camper, but, boy did I write! I figured I had 13 months to finish, and I uploaded the final draft to the printer literally the day before we left Petaluma!

3 ) Create Some Supportive Accountability. This can be from someone who totally believes in your writing gifts, a friend who thinks you’re a fantastic manifestor who gets everything you desire, a life coach, or a writing group/partner.

Having others know my novel goal helped keep me on track. I took a two month total break from Schizandra after I wrote The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide. I figured I had earned this break and I might have just rested on my laurels a whole lot longer. I had a blog; I’d written two books. Come on, wasn’t I pushing myself a little too hard with this whole novel in a year thing?

I really owe Cecilia of http://www.rawglow.com for her big kick in the butt! We were walking one day and in the nicest way possible she mentioned how it amazing it was that I had made peace with not finishing Schizandra before our lease ended. “When do you think you’ll finish it? Two years? Three years from now? Isn’t it a series? How will that work with the 2012 theme?” I admit, I got a bit defensive — at least inside (Cecilia claims not to have noticed my reaction) — but her comments really got me thinking. The next day, I hauled myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and started writing. With the exception of Christmas week, I think I spent about 6-10 hours per day at least five days a week writing or editing Schizandra and the Gates of Mu until we moved.

Does everyone need to do that? Nope, but I really wanted that novel done in Petaluma.

4 ) Commit to Something. It need not be as ambitious or demanding as finishing a novel by 2010. Maybe you want to journal three times a week. Maybe you want to write five articles. Maybe you want a short story to show for your efforts.

Take that goal and break it down into tiny bites. What does it ultimately take to write? Um, some time spent writing. 🙂 So, commit to that. I’ve found for myself and coaching clients that it’s more effective to commit to something small and keep it than to commit to something huge and feel like a big loser for not meeting your obligation.

5 ) Don’t Edit While you Write. You will have a hard time flowing from your right brain if your left brain won’t stop criticizing your grammar, style and concepts. Leave the editing for an editing time and the writing for writing. They are vastly different processes, both important, but both better off kept apart, especially in the beginning. Especially if you have a history of writer’s block or getting discouraged with your early drafts.

Let the drafts come out. If you want to compromise, you can read books on writing in your free time so that your first drafts come out better and better. I particularly like Elements of Style and The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes. If you know how to create good writing from the beginning, you’ll feel happier with your drafts.

Seriously, though, don’t edit while you’re inspired to get things onto paper or into the computer. The muse can be fickle. Honor her and celebrate when she graces you with her presence. She will visit more often!

6 ) Create Some Community. Writing can be lonely work, especially if it means 4 a.m. dates with the computer before heading to the gym or out to work. The idea that other people — somewhere — are also committing to their craft can help you feel a sense of community and joy. That’s one reason National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) has become so popular. Thousands of people set themselves the “impossible” task of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Does everyone finish? No way! But they have fun doing it, and they get a heckuva lot more writing done than they would have on their own. The insanity of the quest creates bonds that last beyond the month, and many people participate year after year.

7 ) Get Creative. At least two of my clients and I have decided to apply the above principles in our own lives. We have each committed that on five days per week we will begin our days with thirty minutes of writing. One of those five thirty-minute periods can be for editing, but the other four must be straight writing. We can write for longer than thirty minutes, but we must commit to at least thirty minutes per day, five days per week, starting today. In our cases, that writing will occur first thing in the morning.

I meditate before I write and consider that part of my process, but today I hopped on the computer right afterwards and began this post. My personal goal is to finish the first draft of Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar by January. There, it’s public. Oh, Lordy, that will be quite the feat, but with the commitment I feel towards my clients and my readers and myself, I know it’s etched in my brain now as an intention.

So … are you an aspiring writer? Do you wish you had more time to write? Always wanted to release a cookbook? A novel? A memoir? Start a blog? You’re welcome to join us. At least three of us will be writing first thing in the morning for at least thirty minutes for five days per week. Whether you tell us your goals or not, we’ll be holding that space for you!

Cheers and Blessings,
Laura Bruno
http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Pruning Roses, Garden Paradise & Schizandra

Those of you who have read The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide know I’m not too much of a gardener. LOL, I rarely even grow my own sprouts! But this doesn’t mean I don’t have great admiration for those who do. In particular, I have always wanted a rose garden. My maternal grandmother lived in Irvine, CA for most of my youth, and she had the most beautiful roses in full bloom on her patio. A former opera singer, she would sing her arias while pruning away, offering me, her sixteen year old granddaughter, mimosas and chocolate for breakfast. In retrospect, Gramma Irene was a pretty cool grandma!

My grandmother has since moved somewhere that maintains the rose gardens for her, but she still has lovely rose pillows and garden paintings in her apartment. When Stephen and I moved to our new home in Sonoma County, one of the first things I noticed was a woman singing arias while she gardened. It totally reminded me of my grandma! As things turned out, we have our own rose bushes, too, many of which needed pruning. I finally went outside today with some pruning sheers — my first ever — and had a go at them. I think I did pretty well, but we’ll see how many new blooms we get. 🙂

While trimming off the old blooms, I remembered some old thoughts I’d had regarding the whole concept of pruning: the idea that in order to grow, sometimes we need to cut back more than we think is necessary. Some of those leaves looked just fine to me, but I needed to prune them back to the first 5-patch if I wanted the bush to continue blooming.  During life coaching sessions, sometimes that same principle holds true. Parts of someone’s life may look just fine, but in order to invite the big blossoming, they still need some cutting out and reshaping.  I love how nature reminds us of the abundance of life — that we can remove parts that sap energy in preparation for the tremendous blooms in store for us. We need not fear some discipline or change. Giant, fragrant petals are on the way!

While pruning roses, I started thinking about a Garden Paradise, and quickly those thoughts turned to humanity’s attempts to return to that original Garden Paradise — our personal Eden. Of course, this reminded me of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, because Schizandra embodies that potential. She’s a 13-year-old orphan with a cosmic destiny, and that destiny means awakening others to their true potential for bliss and transformation.

As synchronicity would have it, Schizandra arrived at just that moment. More precisely, proof of Schizandra arrived. Yes, I do mean proof: my very first “proof” copy of the paperback novel is now in my hands for review this weekend and release into the world next week:

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu

I made a late decision to switch from iUniverse to my own publication company, designer and interior formatting. Gwen Gades and Cathi Stevenson did such a beautiful job it made me cry! I’m so pleased to present Schizandra in her new duds. Anyone who would like an autographed copy before the book becomes available on Amazon and in bookstores, please click here.

After my hubby and I skimmed through the book, he decided we needed to celebrate by taking me to Seed. (I know, more garden imagery!) Seed is a totally vegan, mostly raw food restaurant in Santa Rosa, CA. They have weekly boxes of food, as well as a fab and ever-evolving menu. Today I brought home a zucchini marinara and rutabaga alfredo pasta duo with Caesar salad, some watermelon mango soup, portabello (eggplant) bacon cheezeburger and my very favorite, cacao-custard-caramel pie. Mmmm … mmm … feast at the Bruno’s. It’s not every day that a novel comes out about raw cacao, and I’ll only get to premier my first novel once. Stephen said it was time to live it up.

Many, many blessings and much love!

Laura Bruno

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

Schizandra and the Gates of Mu: Pre-Orders!

Well, it’s official! I can start taking pre-orders for my new novel, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. I’m correcting the galleys and the book should be available to ship sometime in June 2009.

I’m taking pre-orders because my husband and I are moving at the end of June and I have no idea how many to order in advance without taking some kind of pre-order. If you would like an autographed and/or inscribed copy, please click here. All prices include shipping and handling, so please make sure to order one that reflects your location.

Here’s what people are saying:

“A beautiful debut, this fantasy sparks real-world insights into life’s challenges and chance encounters. Synchronicity, renewal, and power of belief shimmer through an intriguing tale with heartfelt characters. This story lingers, as readers find through it more magic in their own lives.” –Victoria Moran, author of Living a Charmed Life       

“I had the blissing to review Laura Bruno’s upcoming book Schizandra And The Gates Of Mu while I was on holiday. Schizandra, the teen heroine is a portal for human transformation. As I read it, I realised that everyone we meet is a portal for our own transformation. Seems there’s a little Schizandra in all of us.” —Shazzie (full review to come via another post)

“From first page to last, a truly tasty, fast-paced treat. Suspense, mystery, humor, danger and a rainbow of characters and landscapes converge in a masterfully crafted modern myth that awakens inner senses and leaves us hungry for Schizandra’s next journey!” –Karen Lang, Lemurian Stargate

“Superbly written, well-researched, fascinating, weird, suspenseful, playful and definitely entertaining.”  –Traci Moore, Editor, Monsoon Voices

More blurbs and reviews to come. To pre-order your autographed copy, please click here.

Natural Healing & Raw Food Novel Finished!

After months of extensive (read obsessive) editing, I am pleased to announce that I have finally finished Schizandra and the Gates of Mu. The last two weeks of work have helped me to turn a novel featuring raw and vegan foods, cacao, reflexology, crystals, tarot cards, Sedona, shapeshifting, Reiki, astrology, numerology, yoga, animal communication, medical intuition, past lives, universal telepathy, Atlantis, Lemuria, helicopters, 2012 and the Mayan Calendar into much more of a mainstream offering.

Yes, that was as difficult as it sounds!

I did have some help from a wonderful editor named Traci Moore. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants help honing a message, and especially if you feel (as I did) like you can’t look at your manuscript or website for another minute. Traci brings fresh eyes and a lot of writing experience.

I will submit this first novel in the 5-part Schizandra series to iUniverse today, Friday, May 8, 2009, complete with a custom cover image designed by Visionary Artist Tania Marie, a back cover photo by my hubby, and some wonderful blurbs from Shazzie, Victoria Moran, Shirley Andrews and many others. I’m so grateful for all the support and excitement around this project … and truly thrilled to have finished! I’ll give order and arrival notice as soon as I know.

Blessings and Cheers and enjoy the transformative power of tonight’s Full Moon in Scorpio. I know Schizandra and I will. 🙂

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

“Synchronicity, Intuition and Intention”: Laura Bruno on YouTube

On April 3, 2009, I spoke at the Petaluma Raw Food Potluck. I’ve included the videos of the talk below. In addition to the topics indicated by the title, this one covers raw food and increased spiritual awareness, how to get out of your own way, overcoming fear, how the body works to support the soul’s path, connections to the Alaskan wilderness, finding abundance in today’s economy, the heart chakra and where we’re headed as a species. I also talk a little bit about 11:11, Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide,  and If I Only Had a Brain Injury. I hope you enjoy the talk!

If you liked this talk, you might also like “Maximize Your Brain Function.”
www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

2012 and the Mayan Calendar: What’s Happening?

Lately, a lot of folks have been asking me what I believe will happen in the next few years. The short answer is that no one can tell you the exact scenario because it hasn’t played itself out yet. Too many choice points still exist to make a solid prediction.

The longer answer is that I have the advantage of having deep conversations with people from all over the world — on a regular basis. Such encounters give me a sense of what trends are coming and how the people creating those trends feel about them. What motivates these folks? How do the inspirations arrive? How do they fit together?

Some people feel quite scared about the prospects of 2012. They worry that the world’s about to end or that the Apocalypse looms large. I agree that change is coming. In fact, change has intensified over the last few years. But from where I sit, that change looks really good. So many of you are bringing amazing visions to fruition. So many of you have worked through or are in process of working through lifetimes of limitations in preparation to unleash yourselves to a previously unknown degree. I feel awe and excitement when I consider the sorts of things coming into our world!

A huge amount of love continues to sprout and grow on this planet. I feel it everyday during coaching sessions when people tell me how much they want to help people, animals or the world. I feel love from colleagues who have stepped into greater visibility so that they can share their messages of love and rejuvenation in larger and more influential ways. And I feel love in my own life as I see how years of synchronicity and service have begun to form a tapestry that “materializes” my deepest longings and dreams.

Good times are upon us! Times of change, yes, but these changes come from a place of love, faith and hope.

The number of people asking about 2012 has strengthened my resolve to get my novel Schizandra and the Gates of Mu out there sooner rather than later. This fictional series explores where we’re headed as a species, planet and galaxy, but it also offers many routes to get there. While I finish the final editing and submission process, I thought I’d share just a few of the resources I’ve found particularly interesting or relevant during the course of my research:

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck.

I like to dive into this book “randomly” rather than reading it straight through. Daniel gives lots of history, personal experiences and science interwoven with ancient prophecy. I had already written or planned most of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu before reading 2012, but the book really resonated with some ideas coming through my novel.

Warning: it’s a dense book — definitely not a fluffy read. The prose will stun you, though. Daniel Pinchbeck grew up in NYC’s literary elite, and you can tell. His lyrical passages will coax your soul into a new awareness even if your mind wants to dig its heels into the old world’s ways.

 

Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel. I’m using this book more for background on book two, Schizandra and the Peruvian Jaguar, but I love Martin Prechtel’s writing! His true story reads like fiction, and you’ll find yourself breathing in the magic of the Andes and her people. This book provides insight into the descendents of those who created many of the 2012 prophecies.

 

Healing Crystals and Gemstones by Dr. Flora Pescheck-Bohmer and Gisela Schreiber. This book is not about 2012 either, but it does share some great background about crystals and gemstones, which help to raise vibrations into alignment with the coming shifts.

 

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. This classic continues to stand the test of time. Many of his verses speak even more strongly today than they did last century.

 

Abundance through Reiki by Paula Horan. I often recommend this book to Reiki students, because Paula Horan gives a 42-day method for bringing more Reiki into your life. Since Reiki is, by definition, universal life force energy, embracing more Reiki leads to greater flow and a sense of connection with everyone and everything in our world. When you feel connected, abundance comes naturally. Allowing yourself to flow in your natural state will help you to ride out whatever blessings or challenges come your way.

 

The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide by … me. 🙂 I wrote this little e-book because I found myself saying so many of the same things to so many clients. People kept having the same issues on a raw food journey, but I could not find one or two other raw food books that shared all that information. I wanted to offer an easy guide around the stumbling blocks.

I do not believe that everyone needs to turn to 100% raw foods in order to help humanity make its next shift; however, raw foods do offer one effective way of raising vibration to a higher level. This book also addresses the increased synchronicities andspirituality experienced by so many people on their raw journeys  — and why that matters. (Hint: the extra energy can work for or against you; The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide gives steps to harness your most positive energy.)

 

Lemuria and Atlantis by Shirley Andrews. This book provides shared experiences through past life memories, regressions and/or channeling regarding the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. Whether you believe in either or both of these mystical lands, their energy pervades much of the changes of the last few years. Reading about these cultures — even if you think of them as fictional — will help to clarify your thoughts and feelings about today’s world. Atlantis in particular comes up often during Intuitive Life Path Assessments. The collective subconscious has a lot to say!

 

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Originally written as a marketing study, this book gives insight into how changes take place. How does an idea become a trend? How does a trend become a phenomenon? How do phenomena change our very reality? I highly recommend this book, especially for anyone who wonders how a single person or a small group can make an enormous contribution.

 

Well, that should keep everyone busy for awhile! I hope you enjoy the resources. 🙂 Once I know the price and estimated release date, I will start taking pre-orders for Schizandra and the Gtes of Mu. If you would like to get on the pre-order list, please email me your contact information: laura at lazyrawfoodist dot com. 

Many Blessings …

www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com

A Few of My Favorite Things

Having spent the past two weeks in massive editing mode for “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu,” I thought I’d take a few moments to share some of my favorite things these days. I’m not affiliated with any of these products or services; I’ve just found them valuable or otherwise intriguing:

1.  Ascended Health Oral Regenerative Elixer. I think I found this via a link from Dhrumil at www.welikeitraw.com, so thanks, Dhrumil! I love this stuff. It even contains Lemurian Crystals and marine phytoplankton. On a recent visit to the dental hygientist, she told me she “never sees gums this healthy.”

My dentist discovered that I had some extremely old, internal cavities that hadn’t shown up on X-rays for years. Fortunately, something told her to dig, and she was amazed by what she found. “Anyone else would have needed root canals ten to fifteen years ago,” she said, “I want your protocol because you are actively reversing decay. These cavities were too old for you to stop them entirely — probably from your teenage years — but somethig has been building your teeth strong from the outside in.”

I follow the recommendations by David Wolfe in Eating for Beauty (lots of MSM, silica, and greens), and I take Jarrow’s Vegan Bone-Up, but I attribute much of the unusual healing to Ascended Health. You actually swallow this toothpaste; it’s that good for you! Shazzie first turned me on to marine phytoplankton for tooth health, so I was pleased to find it in such a convenient form.

2. VEGA Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer (the green label), available at most Whole Foods. I don’t believe this is a 100% raw product, but it does have a super nutritional profile with hemp, yellow pea, brown rice and flax protein powders. I like to mix just one scoop in a Vitamix full of greens (romaine, pea sprouts, dandelion, cilantro, etc.), a bit of fruit (banana, goji’s, strawberry or some other combo), water or coconut water or nutmylk, some Vitamineral Green and frozen wheat grass cubes. I sometimes add an avocado and extra bananas with kale. These combos feel so alkalizing, and they’re chock full of Omega-3’s and probiotics.

Sure, VEGA’s an acquired taste, probably not for everyone. I know many raw foodists don’t use supplements, and that’s fine (with the exception of B-12). As a Lazy Raw Foodist, though, I like to make sure I get my nutrients. VEGA and other supplements allow me to maintain high quality health long term without obsessing about food prep or nutritional analysis. 

3. Tiny amounts of cooked food. For years, I followed a 100% raw diet, and I felt incredible. I did have to work hard at grounding myself, though, because I spend so much time doing intuitive work. If I didn’t actively remind myself about the physical world and why I was on this planet, I would feel my soul wanting to fly off in the ethers. This was fun, but it required tons of energetic effort to stay tethered to my body.

Then I discovered that I could no longer tolerate cooked food at all. This really bummed me out, because I had originally chosen raw food for the freedom it seemed to afford. I wanted to know that I could eat brown rice or some steamed broccoli if my husband and I went out for dinner.

It took way longer than I would have imagined, but I gradually added tiny amounts of cooked food back into my still 90% raw diet. At first, I felt sick and experienced what I called “the cooked food hangover” — very black moods and fatigue after eating non-raw anything. The VEGA (mentioned above) finally provided me with a painless transition. I stopped trying to eat anything cooked, but allowed a bit of brown rice protein and pea protein into my body, mixed with tons of greens.

After a few weeks, I felt effortlessly grounded! Even my massage therapist noticed that my body “had substance; it’s like you’re finally in it.”  I still love the raw lifestyle, but now I feel like I have my freedom again. I just keep a tiny bit of cooked food in the mix, and that has allowed me to eat it in small doses without negative consequences. I just feel good. As Kristen at Kristen’s Raw likes to say, I’m HRAV (High Raw All Vegan), and I love it!

4. Breast Thermography. I had this done yesterday at the Sonoma County Thermography Clinic, and it was really interesting! Ladies, did you know that by the time a lump shows itself in a mammogram or ultrasound, it has already formed for about eight years?

Thermography allows a technician to view hot spots that may indicate future weak areas for cancer growth. My preliminary scans looked good, but they gave me some additional ways to improve, including a visualization technique: “blue boobs are healthy boobs.” Ideally you want to have cool breasts with free-flowing lymph. That’s why rebounders, non-underwire bras, and breast massage reduce the risk of breast cancer. I was already following most of their list, and the results affirmed my diet and lifestyle decisions.

5. Krishna Das CD’s. I’ve mentioned these before, but my all-time favorites include: Door of Faith, Pilgrim Heart, and Breath of the Heart.

6. Community Creativity. This past few months and especially the past few weeks have brought a sense of community to “Schizandra and the Gates of Mu.” Artist Tania Marie has provided an amazing cover image, and Traci Moore’s brought incredible editorial insights. In addition, numerous people have offered to write pre-publication revieiws and/or blurbs or to connect me with those who can. Big thanks to everyone and a special thanks to Shazzie, Dhrumil, Erin Pavlina, Victoria Moran, Karen Lang, Giacinta Vosika, and Philip.

I love when people and things come together. Schizandra shares so much synchronicity, both in the story itself and in the writing of the story. In the past I’ve commented on the importance of 11:11 and Schizandra. Well, yesterday, even more 11:11’s occurred. My hubby took a back cover photo for me, and I sent it out to two people for their take–once in the morning and once in the evening. Unintentionally, I had sent each of those files out at 11:11. I guess that’s the photo!

“Schizandra and the Gates of Mu” should be available through iUniverse in late May or June. Once I know timing and price, I’ll start taking preorders for autographed copies. Love and light to you all!

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