Secrets

I am a soul.

I am but a small spark in the universe.

My eyes see, my ears hear, my fingers feel.

Just like you, you, you, and you.

No better, no worse.

I have done terrible things

And I have done good things.

I want you to know.

There is pain.

There is shame.

There is strength.

There is beauty.

Look into my eyes and see me fully.

Don’t condemn me, don’t praise me.

Simply see me.

And sit with me for a while.

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I Am Worthy.

This year started off shaky.  January was incredibly tough. Between serious stressful stuff going on all month at work and the loss of my grandmother, my husband’s aunt as well as a former coworker of his, we seemed to consistently be undergoing turmoil in our household.  What got me through (other than the incredible steadfastness that is my husband) was the encouragement of my vision board. No lie!  I am amazed by the amount of positivity I maintained during that difficult month.  Every morning I see my vision board in my bathroom and I remember to keep my chin up and to take life one step at a time.  I got myself through that difficult time by never losing sight of my core values.  I remember to be grateful, to breathe, and to remain soft and humble without losing my strength, among everything else.  I was able to find my zen in the midst of chaos.vision board

Despite all that loss and all of that strain, this year has been an incredible year for me.  I am working on finding my passion and purpose in this life.  I am learning to trust in the universe, to trust in the energy, and to trust in my intuition.  I realize that I have always struggled between what my heart wants and what my head wants.  I have always overanalyzed to the point that I would actually end up causing myself harm.  I have always been my own worst enemy, judging myself so harshly in so many aspects of my life.  That stops now.  I have been opening up and working with the universe rather than blocking it out like I have for so long.  Looking back, I realize that there have been a few groundbreaking moments in my adult life – all that occurred when I decided to open up to the universe.  These have been the most shaking and yet the most meaningful for my life to move forward into alignment. But this year will be the first year I am fully opening myself up to my higher consciousness and it is truly amazing how things just start coming together once this higher power is aware of your intentions.

Just Monday of this week when I was commuting into my 8 – 5 job, something incredible happened to me that I took as a good omen of alignment in my life – I got stuck in traffic.  I know that sounds crazy but just keep reading!  Before leaving my house I chose a podcast to listen to on manifesting your desires – nothing like positive vibes on Monday morning!  That’s when I discovered Sarah Prout.  (Her journey is absolutely inspiring so I totally encourage anyone to consider checking her out on social media or listening to her podcast channel.) The podcast was entitled “10 Things Successful Manifestors Do Differently.”  As I am driving in Charlotte rush hour traffic, I’m listening to the episode and feeling very positive and very connected to this message.  And as I’m approaching the end of the list of 10 things, traffic suddenly comes to a complete stop.  I-85 North becomes a parking lot – no one is moving.  When the episode ends, I keep listening and it automatically starts playing the next episode, this one entitled “Your 5 – Minute Meditation for Manifesting.” So as I’m sitting there in traffic, cars all around me, with cloudy bleak skies on a Monday morning – I concentrate on this meditation.  (I know this is incredibly dangerous and I DO NOT encourage anyone to meditate in their car in rush hour traffic EVER.)  It was so powerful and in that moment I just surrendered myself fully.  I surrendered to Sarah’s words, repeating what she was saying out loud in my car.  I envisioned a white light surrounding my heart extending out into the white cloudy sky and out into the universe.  I held my hand to my chest and felt one with universe – I truly felt myself as star stuff in that moment.  When the meditation was over, I reached down to my phone to stop the episode and immediately traffic began to move again.  It was as if a divine force wanted me to stop where I was and listen to this meditation right then and there.  I began crying in my car because of how powerful this felt to me. I did find out what the reason was for this hault in the flow – as I approached the scene, I saw probably 10 to 15 police vehicles pulled over on the shoulder arresting a man – the fact that this was not a car accident made this even more powerful to me.

What this really divine intervention?  I honestly believe it was.

I am worthy of everything I have ever desired.  And you are too!  You just have to open up and tell the universe what you want.  What you seek is also seeking you.  I believe this with all of my heart and soul.landscape-sky-night-stars-29435.jpg

 

 

I Am Authentic.

I’ve been absolutely terrible at this whole blogging thing. I had all these grandiose plans of what I was going to do, what I was going to open up about, what I was going to bake and craft and share about, but I think, you know, maybe it just hasn’t been the right time these past couple of weeks. I shouldn’t feel like I’ve failed. Maybe I just come to it when I feel that calling.

Like today. I called out of work. It just felt like I wanted a mental health day. And I know that some people think that’s just a bullshit excuse to be lazy (and I’m sure it absolutely is sometimes) but honestly, today I feel like I want to just take a breather. And just a moment ago I was drawn to open WordPress for reflection.

My husband and I took a roadtrip to Asheville, NC and the Biltmore Estate with some very good friends yesterday (another good reason for a day off – I’m tired!). We’ve been there many times but it’s always a different experience depending upon what season you’re going and who you’re going with. We had so much fun exploring the grounds, laughing at silly jokes, and people watching.

We’ve only known these wonderful friends of ours for a little over a year now but I feel that we have known them forever. You know when you just instantly connect with people on your own wave length.

At the beginning of the new year, I made a vision board and it’s incredible how I’ve seen many of my goals for the year beginning to manifest in my life. One of them being to surround myself with positive people, to let go of things that no longer serve me. It’s important to have friends who encourage you to be your very best *authentic* self. And I have no doubt that the universe has brought these friends and others into my life for this purpose.

I’ve been exploring the inner workings of my mind in an effort to become my most authentic and happiest self. This exploration just within the last few months has been so powerful. I have been venturing into areas I’ve always been drawn to but that my ego has always seemed to get in the way of. Things that I’ve felt called to but was always taught are taboo. Growing up in the Bible Belt of North Carolina, things like tarot cards, crystals and meditation have never really translated well. Replace those things with going to church, reading your bible and prayer – anything else was of the devil.

It’s really taken me years to figure out that tarot cards and crystals in particular are NOT EVIL, people. Tarot card readings are not a means to speak with demons and spirits. What they actually are is a means to connect with your higher consciousness and listen to your intuition. It is a tool for bringing those thoughts and feelings that you’ve pushed to the outer rims of your consciousness back to the light. And my crystals are helpful friends who allow me to create a positive space – whether I am meditating with them or if I bring one or more of them to work with me to shield from negative coworkers, or even doing a tarot reading with them – they radiate certain energies that, along with mindfulness, aid me in day-to-day life. These resources resonate with me in an unequivocal way.

My goal in my life is to live meaningfully and authentically. To be truly happy. To explore the world and to learn from it. As I approach my thirties, this is all becoming more important and necessary than it has ever meant for me before. It’s incredible how things begin to unfold when you tell the Universe or your higher self or God what you want out of life. When you put your authentic self out there, you begin to attract the right kind of energy back to yourself.

If there is anyone reading this blog post who is unhappy or even just feeling a little off lately, I urge you to connect with yourself and let go of your ego. What is it that’s distancing you from your potential? If you are looking for resources for guidance, I recommend checking out Chris and Sara Oakley of Soul In Wonder (they’re on Facebook!). They are incredible life coaches who are so passionate about inspiring others, especially Vegans, to unleash their true selves. They have been a divine sanction for me in my journey thus far.

The Chocolate Banana Experiment

Some Monday nights I get home from work and do nothing but become a warm unmoving object on the couch for my cats to sit on. Other Monday nights, like last night, I come home with this unexplained god-like energy and make vegan pizzas with hubs and dance around in my kitchen to Lady Gaga’s greatest hits. AND all before the newest episode of The Alienist! I don’t know where this energy comes from but I never question it – I just accept it as a beautiful gift!

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I love desserts and I love baking. One of the things that I worried about when making the decision to begin a plant-based diet was whether or not I’d have as much enjoyment from baking and creating desserts with my new restrictions. But what’s amazing about living in today’s world is all the alternatives available for things like eggs! But setting aside the egg substitutes for the moment, I have been curious to experiment with the raw approach to desserts lately. And after doing some research I whipped up a bit of an experiment – I think it was Lady Gaga coursing through my veins.

I’ve never eaten dates before in my life, let alone include them as one of the main ingredients for a crust in a dessert. But it turns out that the earthy sweetness of these babies adds the perfect sweetness to a dish and also acts as a binder for all your ingredients. Not to mention the incredible health benefits! Packed with potassium and fiber, they’re actually the perfect sweet snack as well.

So I decided to embark on this chocolate banana…concoction. Aaaand didn’t succeed but yet didn’t really fail! The outcome was interesting.

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For my crust I used medjool dates, walnuts, coconut oil, coconut flakes, and a dash of salt. I blended them all in my food processor until all ingredients were broken down and incorporated together. I spooned the mixture into a 9- inch springform pan, smoothed out an even coating with my hands and set aside while I worked on the chocolate banana topping.

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I had a mixture of almonds and cashews soaking in water in a bowl for two nights. I wasn’t quite sure what I was preparing them for but I knew I wanted them to be ready when inspiration striked me (thank you Mother Monster)! I measured out about 2 cups of them into my food processor, adding coconut sugar, cacao powder and 4 bananas along with it. I also added a sprinkle of Himalayan salt to the mix. And after this mixture was as creamy as I could get it with my Hamilton Beach food processor, I smoothed the mixture on top of the crust and set in my freezer overnight.

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Well, my friends, this was my first raw trial (pun intended) and the outcome was not pretty enough for a picture. Ha! I brought this to my office today and had my coworkers taste test for me. We all seemed to agree the texture was a bit too grainy. And it was more like mush than a torte or a pie would be (which is what I think I was going for here). BUT…it was actually pretty damn tasty to be honest! And that’s the part that really counts, right? 😉  I think LG would agree.

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I’ve got another recipe in mind soon. And as I don’t think this was a total failure I think maybe I will do some more research on raw recipes and get back to baking for now.

Have you tried creating any raw desserts of your own? What was your experience like?

Becoming An Herbivore

I’ve never been much of a writer, at least when it comes to writing about myself. But as I embark on this new chapter of my life I felt called to share it with complete strangers in the process. 🙂 My hubs and I just began our vegan lifestyle as of January 1st! And since making this change I already feel the universe calling on me to open my mind and share my experience in this new life on this platform.

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Today I have been living my plant based diet successfully for a month (plus a few days)! And although I know that isn’t impressive at all, I do feel it is something to be proud of myself for! I will admit to you all here – I cheated once and ate cheese because it was still in the fridge. But in my defense, I hate to waste food and I hadn’t yet discovered Follow Your Heart cheese. We eventually offered the rest of our cow’s milk cheeses to our neighbors though. Omnivores for all our lives, we heard our calling to dive in and make this very important change in our diet! For our health, for the animals, and for the environment – this is without a doubt a win, win, win.

I was inspired to begin this blog because I made a decision last year to start listening more closely to the inner workings of my soul. I’ve always felt something deeper inside me than living for this material world that I grew up being taught was so important. “Go to college, get your fancy degree, get a fancy job, buy a fancy house, and fill it with fancy things – THAT is what makes you successful!” There have only been a couple of times that I have had life changing epiphanies, one of those being a day in November 2017 – something finally clicked and I realized in an instant that I was going to change certain aspects of my life because there were parts that no longer served me. And since then things have begun to naturally fall into place. One being the decision to become vegan. So I want to keep a log of my journey, connect with other soul searchers and maybe even inspire others to begin their vegan voyage as well! I hope to share what I have personally learned from my spiritual growth and continue checking in with monthly updates of our plant powered progress as young vegans.

It has certainly been an interesting month. With the help of beautiful friends and various social media platforms, we have officially bid good riddance to the consumption of all animal products! That’s actually one of the first things I noticed while making the switch – the unbelievable support system of vegans wanting other vegans to be successful. I honestly don’t know if I have ever felt so encouraged to do something good for myself. Friends I haven’t spoken to in years and folks I have never spoken to in my life are reaching out and even commenting on my Instagram posts of our dinner concoctions with words of encouragement, advice and praise for our lifestyle change. It’s truly been uplifting and even heart warming actually. But I think that’s really the basis of what veganism is about – you know, other than not eating animal excrement. It’s about being a good human in general. And what good of humans are we if we aren’t lifting other humans, ya know?

In absolute honesty, I have never in my life really looked at the ingredients in the foods I buy from the grocery store and put into my body. And wow, have I been living in the dark. Hubs and I had a fairly healthy diet pre-vegan. Don’t get me wrong – we LOVE to eat. We always have. I mean we live in the south so we love us some fried foods of course, but I’d have to say we really ate those kinds of things in moderation. But up until a little over a month ago, when we actually started prepping for our transition into veganhood, I never really cared to look on the back of the box for the ingredients! I was essentially just taking the front of the box’s word for it and trusting the advertisement – eek. I have been brainwashed by food companies for the longest time and I never would have understood that without making this change. I had never watched Food, Inc. or any of those other big food company documentaries until after we made the switch. If I’m being honest with myself, I have totally been avoiding these documentaries all these years. I knew I wouldn’t like the truth and I’ve been living in ignorant bliss swatting that inkling of truth away like an annoying housefly. The horrifically inhumane treatment of animals, the lies we’re being fed daily by false advertisements and commercials, the suspicious connections between these big money corporations and our government. It’s absolutely outlandish the amount of power these corporations have – and we’d rather live in the shadows than to face this head on. But I can’t say much…I let that fly buzz around for so long.

We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with new foods and tweaking some of our most beloved recipes. The experimentation has been the most fun – we’ve always loved cooking (especially hubs) and trying new foods. I never thought chickpeas could be used in such a variety of delicious ways and I never knew jackfruit even existed! I’ve made a lot of yummy soups (it is Winter after all) and discovered the deliciousness that is the Gardein brand. I made my first ever black bean burger and baked the most delicious cauliflower crust pizza I have ever eaten in my life. I’m starting to develop a new and better relationship with food.  My body has certainly felt this transition but after a few weeks I’m feeling back to normal. I no longer feel gross after meals or like I’ve overindulged.  I am more aware of what is going into my body and I no longer feel guilty for consuming animal products!  I feel more free and lighthearted about meals and that has done wonders for my conscience and my soul.  I plan on sharing some of my favorite recipes so far as well as my new adventure embarking vegan baking – there’s a cheesecake in the works!

I’m so excited for this new chapter of my life and so excited to share with you every step of the way. I feel more in tune with my body, mind and soul than I have in quite some time – and that’s not just from my new diet, but through other aspects of my life that I will also open up about in blogs to come. I hope that if you are not content or happy with your life that you might decide to make a change for yourself as well.

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