January 23, 2014
- Olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts broth of choice
- 1/2 head cabbage, chopped coarsely
- 3 carrots, sliced thinly (not shredded)
- 1-2 roma tomatoes, pureed (or a can of diced tomatoes)
- 2 cups of soaked and cooked navy beans
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Saute onion and garlic with oil in large saucepan until tender. Add broth and cabbage and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once. Add sliced carrots, tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. That’s simple, delicious, and warming for these cold temps of winter! Even my hubby love this soup, and he doesn’t typically like cabbage! Enjoy.
January 20, 2014
My dream for all humanity…is that we do not value even a segment of our self-worth based on the judgments and opinions of others. Being accepted, approved of, graded or judged is part of all things in life that are temporary. You cannot take these with you when this embodiment is over.
The ego will identify with the parts of yourself that change. Everything from your body (we age), appearance, status, worldly accomplishments and even your job-title, which are all temporary, become the way that we identify with the self. We at times distress over them, and at other times celebrate them. This is a perfect example of what Patanjali describes in Yoga Sutra II.6 as asmita, or false-identification. Sometimes translated as “ego”, asmita is the second of the five mental afflictions, or klesas, outlined in the second chapter of the Yoga Sutra.
Realize your very existence is miraculous! You’ve already “made-it.” You are the quiet place within you that does not change. You are a shining star…a Divine spark in your corner of the Universe, and your natural ability to love and to serve is your highest purpose. You know how this makes you feel, you don’t need someone else to confirm or deny you. What anyone thinks of you, is none of your business.
Yoga teaches us that your true essence, or higher Self remains stable, no matter what happens around you or to you. With practice, we can get glimpses of this, and sometimes it stays for a while. This is why we practice. Asmita is when you mistakenly believe, on some level, that how you look or feel, what you do for a living or even what you’ve accomplished in the worldly realm has something to do with who you are and that these things define you, instead of recognizing your true Self…at your core…which is unchanging.
A healthy ego will teach us that we can recognize the magnitude of our very existence as a human incarnation, and not squander our lives away. The ego is the immediate voice and the “seer” in your mind, it keeps us going…but with practice, we learn to explore ourselves deeper…where you will find your true essence, your higher Self. You don’t need an “approval board” for life. You know when you are squandering, or when you are in alignment with your true life’s purpose.
Listen to your innermost Self, you may call this your inner-guide, or your deepest intuition. It is highly likely that you will hear a calling to love and to serve in some way. Aside from the judgments, approvals, and acceptances of other people or groups, your deepest Self lights the way. Can you imagine a world where we all are just guided by this true inner-Self, instead of the temporary and changing standards of society? When we give up our energies on trying to “fit in”, “make the cut”, or “be approved”, we realize that we have already arrived…at our own birth. How will we live? Can we practice being still and listening deeply? We just might hear how to love…and serve one another. The Beatles have a way with words; “You may say I’m a dreamer….but I’m not the only one.”
January 3, 2014
Happy New Year! As we have done the past several years, I invite you to choose an “intention” for the year. This will be your mantra for 2014, just one word to “hang out” with for the year. There are no goals, nothing to strive for, just a word to channel your energy around its meaning. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. There is no magic formula for determining your annual intention, just ask yourself what it is that you need more of in your life. One word.
Mine for the year is “Prana” (Life-Force). What this means to me is: Only feed my body with foods and things that provide good prana. Surround myself with people and experiences that nourish my prana, rather than take away from it. Remind myself of the importance and value of being filled with abundant life-force energy.
Last year, my intention was “Fitness”. The year before, it was “Music”. Some other ideas to offer: “Self-Care”, “Creativity”, “Balance”, “Celebration”, “Laughter”, “Surrender”, “Let go”, “Journal”, “Cherish”, “Gratitude”, “Love”, “Dance”, “Trust”, “Forgiveness”, the possibilities are endless! What do you need more of in your life?
If nothing feels natural and fitting, then maybe your intention for the year is simply “Open”, or “Listen”…the Universe will provide all that you need to hear or realize.
In a few months, your intention for the year may feel boring, and you may want to change it. This is when you know it is beginning to work! Keep it the same throughout the whole year. You will be rewarded by the power of single-pointed awareness of the energy that you have been generating and expanding into the Universe.
Each and every breathe is a new opportunity to connect with your mantra for the year. Say it to yourself with each breathe & throughout your day, when you sit for formal meditation, sit in traffic, stand at the checkout line, before surrendering to sleep, whenever you remember to. A new breath = a new opportunity to check in.
Here is a link to last year’s New Years thoughts: https://divineshantiyoga.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/being-present-happy-right-now-regardless-of-what-calendar-day-it-is/